For this week's technique challenge at SCS, Lynne taught us how to use Simple Green to make a speckled background. I didn't have any Simple Green, but Spray 'n Wash worked equally well.
I chose an array of shimmery inks - Amber Satin, Raw Silk, and Ruby Satin, all from ColorBox (available at my local JoAnn Fabrics and AC Moore's) - for the background. The only coated cardstock I have is textured, and while it made painting details on the flowers a challenge (no, make that "impossible" LOL), it actually worked well for the challenge.
I love the subtle speckling and was loathe to "cover it up" with a large image. This branch of cherry blossoms worked well and the colors I have traditionally used with this stamp were also perfect for the background. I painted the blossoms with mica paint and I regret that the photograph could capture the shimmer. It's lovely!
I made a treatment for inside of the card that imitated the cover of the card, using the same card stock colors but in a different arrangement. One satin bow makes a card hard enough to mail - putting a bow on the inside would make it impossible! But these bows, made with the Cuttlebug (they are part of a Christmas ornamnet die set) are perfect, and I'm starting to use them more and more on cards I want to mail as well.
If you've been considering purchasing e a palette of the mica paints but hesitate, wondering if they'll be easy to use, go for it! They are no more difficult to use for watercoloring than watercolor pencils. You just load your brush with water and moisten the pot of ink and water color as usual. You can also use them with watercolor pencils, adding shimmering elements over what you've colored already and mixing them with other colors to give you a broader rainbow.
I bought the "Vintage" palette and the colors are absolutely wonderful. I've blended them with both taditional watercolor pencils and acrylic paints and find them easy to use. And I love the wonderful effect of the shimmer.