"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Water-Embossed Paper Tutorial

This is a fun and fast idea to make a really unusual collage material. You will probably have everything you need for this project on hand – except possibly the embossing folder. Embossing folders are fairly inexpensive and even if you buy one just to try this tutorial, it will be money well spent. You might also look around your house and craft supplies to see if you have anything that could be substituted.  Anything that can be pressed into wet paper to leave an impression will work.


Bathroom Tissue (toilet paper) and/or paper towels
Embossing folders, or polymer clay embossing plates
Spray bottle with Water

Optional Supplies:

Tissue paper
Paper napkins
Heat gun
Acrylic paint
Spray bottle of water mixed with ink
Mica Powder (Perfect Pearls or Pearlex)
Gel Medium or Mod Podge
Finishing spray or spray starch

I love using Cuttlebug embossing folders to make beautiful embossed paper for greeting cards and Artist Trading Cards. By following this tutorial, you will discover another use for these handy folders, creating beautiful, soft water-embossed paper for collages, Artist Trading Cards, or whatever artistic needs you may have.

I first tried this method using bathroom tissue, which works perfectly. Then, I found that paper towels also work very well.

1. Decide what size you want your paper to be. It can be as large as the embossing plate, or smaller, if you are making an Artist Trading Card. Depending upon your embossing folder, you might also be able to make a larger piece of water-embossed paper by embossing the paper in stages, lining up the edges as you go.
1/2 sheet of Viva Paper Towels

2. Lay the edge of the paper on the bottom of the embossing plate and fold the paper back and forth until you have the desired thickness. I use about eight thicknesses of single-ply toilet tissue, or two or more thicknesses of paper towels. The number of pieces used depends upon the ply of your tissue, or the thickness of your paper towel. I used Viva towels and only needed two thicknesses. If desired, you can cut the tissue or paper towels into pieces the size you want and stack them together instead of folding them back and forth.

1/2 sheet paper towel, folded over makes 2 sheets

3. Spray water all over the surface that you are embossing. Get the paper nice and wet. If your paper is larger than the desired size of your water-embossed paper, then just thoroughly wet the area that you are actually using.

Eight sheets of bathroom tissue

4. Close the top of the embossing folder and press firmly all over the top. If you are using polymer clay embossing plates, place the paper on a cookie sheet, place the embossing plate on the top and press firmly. You may also want to go over the plate with a rolling pin.

4. Raise the top of the embossing folder, or lift the top of your embossing plate and there’s your embossed paper! At this point, you can gently lift the paper up and place it on a drying rack to dry. You can use a heat gun to speed the process, but hold it fairly high because the tissue will dry rather quickly and you don’t want to start a fire. I use a drying area that I have set up in my craft room and use a small fan to dry all of my work.

5. When the piece is dry, you can paint it, emboss it with embossing powder, run an inkpad lightly over the embossing to highlight certain areas, etc.

6. Instead of spraying with water, you might want to spray with an ink-water mixture. You can also add mica powders to the ink-water mixture for a sparkling finish.

Some examples of paper sprayed with ink-water-mica powder mixture

7. Cut the finished pieces carefully. Depending upon how many layers of paper you used, the paper may want to split. You can add a slight touch of gel medium, Mod Podge, or glue to keep the edges in place.

8. Experiment with placing items in between the last two pieces of paper before embossing. I tried using glitter, but was disappointed that the glitter was really not visible under the top layer.  You can lightly coat the top of the paper with gel medium or Mod Podge and sprinkle glitter on it.

9. Other types of paper to experiment with making this paper are paper napkins, tissue paper, or wrapping paper.

10. If you have made glorious brayered paper, you can cut some finished pieces to fit the embossing folder, re-spray with water and close the top to emboss.  You can also paint the brown paper while it's dry and then when the paper dries, wet it and emboss it with this method.

There are so many variations of this method!  I have only mentioned a few.  If you think of more, please email me or put a comment in this section.  Have fun!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Baking Day at Watercolor Class

Recently we had baking day, and created wonderful paintings of three loaves of bread cooling on a windowsill. Yes, this was how they did it in the good old days, I know. But can you imagine doing this now? First, you’d have to turn off your air conditioning so that you could open the window. Then, you would have to just cross your fingers and hope that the loaves didn’t get all covered with dust and pollution before they were cool.

Here are some highlights from our baking day.

Teacher Carole (seated) confers with Roselle about a painting she is working on.

Stephanie had already finished her bread painting in an earlier class, so she worked on a portrait of her granddaughters. When she came to class, she had not even started; but by the time she left, the painting was well underway! Stephanie has a real talent, especially painting children.

That’s Stephanie’s finished painting on the left, and my finished painting on the right. So similar – yet so different, too! The colored drawing in the back of the picture is the project we tackled next: Grapes and grape leaves.
Sharon proudly displays her work.
This painting was so much fun to create – but it did leave me with a strong temptation to drop by Publix on the way home and buy a loaf of their wonderful homemade bread.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


"Loved" is made with a sculpted tissue background.  I will have a tutorial on this simple method soon, if there is interest.  The couple is one of my favorite illustrations from illustrator James Montgomery Flagg.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Inkurable Ink Metallic Challenge

The current challenge at Inkurable Stampers  is metallics.

Here comes the sun. . .

Inkurable Stampers Gothic Arch Challenge

Here is my card for the Inkurable Stampers Gothic Arch January challenge:  butterflies.


Birthday card for Granddaughter, Katie (who loves wall-e)

2010 Dress Up Challenge

I am taking Alice and Camilla's 2010 Dress Up Challenge.  The challenge is to design a dress for each month of the re is my 2010 dress - rather simple, I know - but inspired by the three inches of snow that Atlanta got Friday.  For a day or so, it looked like a winter wonderland outside, a sight which we southerners rarely see.  The dress is stamped with blue snowflakes and is fit to be worn by a snow queen!  Stay tuned for more dresses as 2010 goes by.

Lonesome Dove

I may be one of the few people in the world to have that three-character image.

Happy Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine Inchies

"Years" Cards

These cards are made for my ongoing 'years' swap.
To participate, the trading partner sends me a card based on any year from 1900 to 2010.
I will then send them a card made depicting an event from the same year.
Then I will also send a card from another year of my choice. 
This trade goes back and forth as long as the trading partners are interested.

My trading partner sent me a card from 1935, the year Monopoly was introduced. 
I sent her this card. 1935 was the year "Snow White" first debuted.
I am challenging my partner to make a card depicting an event from the year 1977.
1977 is the year that "Roots" first appeared on television

Bread on the Windowsill

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Nobody reads anymore...just you

There's a story behind this card.  Last week I was browsing through the childrens' books at my Goodwill Store.  Two young boys were browsing, too.  They appeared to be brothers - one a few years older than the other.  Apparently, they had a limited amount of money to spend that day. The younger boy wanted to buy a book he had found.  But his older brother was discouraging him, saying that if they looked further in the store, they might find something REALLY cool.  The older boy said, disparagingly, "Nobody reads anymore...just you."

Unfortunately, the older boy won the arguement and they left without the book.  This was unbelievably sad.  When I think of all of the marvelous reading adventures I had as a child - visiting far away and mysterious places through the pages of a book, I feel sad for anyone who thinks reading is a waste of time.

Lady of the Vineyard

Valentines! Valentines! Valentines!

I went on a Valentine-creating jag last night!  All of these Valentines are covered with transparencies.  I got a beautiful pad of paper as a gift and scanned it to make the transparencies.

The first Valentine is made with a tissue-paper background. This couple is one of my favorite Harrison Fisher drawings.
This couple from the lat 1800's is such a beautiful, earnest looking couple!  When I see old photos like these, I long to know who they were, where they lived, what their lives were like.  This picture also used a tissue paper background.

Now, this picture is a REAL mystery!  Click to make it larger and check out the wedding attire that the happy (?) couple is wearing.  I know it was the mode not to smile when being photographed, but the groom in this photo looks utterly devistated!  But the most interesting thing about the photo is the groom's 'boutinniere.'  I have seen a couple of wedding pictures from this period showing grooms wearing this sort of decoration.  I have no idea what it is!  Does anyone know?  The bride's dress is just lovely!
I call this Valentine "College Sweethearts."  This couple looks young and starry eyed - especially the girl, who looks almost giddy with love!

Ah, Love's Passions!  The image of this lovely couple from over a hundred years ago still can touch our hearts!

Blue-Themed Inchies

Wild Blue Yonder -  Blue Moon
Blue Collar -  Blue Blood
True Blue - Blue, Blue -  My Love is Blue
Bluetooth -  Blue Hawaii
Blue Plate Special  - Got the Blues