Friday, April 26, 2024

Asian Flair

 A little Asian Flair

Good day, fellow crafters. It's me, Tamara, and today, I'm excited to unveil a captivating new design on the Blank Page Muse blog, inspired by my deep appreciation for the Far East and its vibrant cultural traditions. This project reflects the colorful ceremonies and rich history that have always intrigued me. Dive into this artistic exploration and discover how Eastern aesthetics can enrich your crafting. Don’t miss out—visit the Blank Page Muse blog and let your creativity take flight with this unique design!

To get started, you will need the following:

Begin by immersing the watercolor paper in coffee for a full twenty-four hours to achieve a deeply weathered and aged appearance. As the paper dries, it adopts the warm, sepia-toned hues and slightly textured surface reminiscent of vintage posters you might find tucked away in an antique shop. This intentional aging process gave the paper a beautifully distressed look that perfectly complements the historical theme of my design.

Following the aging process of the paper, move on to create the background. I used the Japanese Characters Background stamp with brown ink to introduce an element of subtle depth and texture. To ensure the characters appeared subtly, first ink the stamp and press onto a scrap piece of paper—a technique known as 'stamping off. ' This step removes excess ink so that when it is stamped onto the background panel, the characters will be faint and contribute to the card's aged appearance.

This method was effective in giving the design a more authentic, worn look, as if the characters had been part of the paper for decades.

The next step in creating the background panel was the addition of the Geisha Collage stamp. To begin, mask off the large character on the left side of the stamp with some masking tape to keep it ink-free. Then apply black ink to the remaining parts of the stamp. After removing the masking tape, I inked the previously covered character in red before applying the entire stamp on my background panel. 

Next, while the stamped image is still wet, sprinkle clear embossing powder over the ink and heat set it in preparation for the next step which was to water color the image. 

(I personally like to add this step when I use watercolor pigments because the melted embossing powder provides a bit of a well to apply your pigments too which assists in reducing bleed through of colors.) Once the embossing is set, secure the panel to your work surface and water colored the image. 

While the image dries, choose some cardstock colors that fit together with your theme, in this case red and black, them trim them to their final dimensions to act as mats for the background panel.  Then adhere them together with the image onto a white card base.

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