Exploiting the Creative Potential of Your Tools!

If you’re stopping by from the Hampton Art blog, welcome to my humble post in the ether!  If you’re here by another route, please take a moment to check out my tutorial at Hampton art today.  I share the results of a really satisfying exercise that I recently incorporated into my crafting practice.  This exercise is based on ideas in a video I produced several weeks ago, “One Stamp, Three Ways.”  I hope you’ll try it with one of your tools – it’s a challenge that just may widen your crafting perspective and help you grow your craft.

Here are some teasers to lure you over there!

Leaf Detail

Love incorporating nature – look at the PINK leaf!

Seek Joy Focal Image

So psyched that these highly discounted snaps that I bought in LA’s Fashion District are finally making their way into my projects.  Speaking of LA, I just got back from an awesome solo road trip there – this enlightening trip will be the focus of my next meaty blog post.  So keep your eyes peeled for that one!

For those of you visiting from HA, I mentioned that I was going to give a go at a fourth project using the Hampton Art Blooming Memories SC0038 Stamp set – a funky psychedelic card.  Well, I’m not so sure I’d describe it that way now that it’s done.  Somewhat funky?  Most importantly, I had fun and stretched my crafty muscles in new ways.  Recently, my thoughts have been focused very much on change, the minute, imperceptible changes in being that cumulatively transform us.  So it makes sense that butterflies, the perfect embodiment of beautiful transformations, swarm about on this card.

Butterfly Embellishments

Aside from a strong pop of color for my focal image, I kept everything else white, playing with shadows and texture to keep things interesting.

Butterfly Shadows

An embossing folder from The Paper Studio was used on the card base to keep texture moving around the card.

Butterflies Galore

In order to create the focal image, I first applied a nice, sticky watermark ink to the large, wonderfully graphic bloom stamp included in the Blooming Memories set.   Then I stamped the image onto a smooth, dense bristol vellum.  I sprinkled with clear embossing powder, tapped off the excess, and heat with a heat tool.

Heat embossing is so fun!

This masks your image from further applications of various media!  Then I rubbed Faber-Castell gelatos in my preferred choice of colors onto the surface of my paper.

Faber Castell Gelatos

This stuff is pretty cool – the color applies just like a waxy chapstick.  But it is water-soluble and blendable wet with a brush or dry with your fingertips.  I rubbed my project with my fingers.


I was pleasantly surprised at how creamy the gelatos were, how clean the process of applying color was, and how easily the color washed off my fingers.  Then I applied blue and purple at the edges of the focal image and blended as I had before.


For me, this was pretty psychedelic.  At this point, I was thinking Grateful Dead and tie-dye – way way outside my comfort zone.  Then I wiped the embossed areas to fully reveal the white masked image.

And the stamp is the star!

I stroked the center with a wet brush, which removed some of the intensity of color from the center. Then the image was matted and the card front was arranged as shown below.

Butterflies Card

From the angle shown below, you can get a better sense of the dimension the butterflies provide!

Dimension with butterflies

The metallic gelatos that I used gave the project a subtle sheen as well.

Metallic Gelatos

You could also try this with watercolors, although the final effect would be different.

That’s all for now, folks.  Thanks so much for following me here today.  Hope you’ll stop by again to read about my recent adventure in La La Land!  Pssst – slipped in between my musings, there will be pix of an awesome little haul from LA’s Fashion District – a veritable haven for crafters!


2 thoughts on “Exploiting the Creative Potential of Your Tools!

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