I was looking to get my crafting mojo back after a period of not doing any card-making, and on the way found a new favourite card style using distress inks and die cuts.
I started by just making a whole heap of coloured backgrounds. I used Distress Inks because they have so many interesting properties but you could use whatever you happen to have. I tried a range of different cardstocks including Distress Watercolour paper as they all interact differently with the inks and give different finishes. And I tried a range of different application methods. For inspiration on using Distress Inks, see Tim Holtz’ youTube channel.
I didn’t worry too much about what I was making, just combining different colours using different techniques. It was very therapeutic to just be able to ‘play’.
Previously when I have made coloured backgrounds, I found that there were always backgrounds that I just didn’t know how to use. They may have been too bright or too busy or too dark to put something on top of. I had started to buy dies with designs that I could just put over the top of a coloured background – but hadn’t got around to using any yet.
So once I’d had my fill of making coloured backgrounds, I got out my Cuttlebug die cutter and some black cardstock and started cutting all the various designs, just to be able to try them out. Then I tried them out in different combinations placing them over the top of different colour backgrounds to see what looked good – and was delighted with the results.
I had also just received some new dies from Sizzix (Tim Holtz latest releases) and had to try them out as well. These dies included some large letters – I usually get frustrated with die-cut lettering because it is so fiddly and difficult to stick to my cards (and I don’t generally use a lot of words on my cards) – but these larger letters allow you to use them as an integral part of the card design whilst still keeping the cards clean and simple.
Funky Insects is another newly-released die set, which pairs wonderfully with the large letters. I also discovered that it was wonderful with my coloured backgrounds: I was able to cut out beautiful and interesting wings and other insect bits from the coloured card that looked amazing.
I tried various combinations including cutting out letters from the backgrounds and using both the positive and negative images. The negative letters looked great with a black background showing through. And cutting the insect parts and letters from the same background meant that the colours were well matched so you could easily use them on another card.
I had previously been reluctant to cut up my coloured backgrounds because it seemed like such a waste, but now I could get lots of insects and lots of letters out of a single piece of card. And I LOVED the results!
I got so inspired thinking up different combinations of words and insects, and looking for plainer backgrounds to put them on. The script stamp in Tim Holtz’ Entomology stamp set is perfect stamped in lighter colours. Here are some of my cards – I hope they will inspire you too.