"Hi, it’s Alison, back again with the third and last of my trio of trios. And, although this one may look the simplest (an elegant simplicity, I hope), it was actually the most complicated to make, I think! It didn’t help that I started off in completely the wrong direction... I wanted to use the fabulous coated Greyboard that Leandra’s been mentioning in recent videos, and I had an idea in my head that I would do some weathered white crackle over a multi-coloured background".
So I dotted Eggplant, Hyde Park and Baltic Blue onto the coated side and used a brush to randomly blend the colours.
So far, so good. Next, I added the Crackle Glaze - a fine coat, applied with a palette knife (one of my best ever buys: three differently shaped plastic knives for £1!) and once it was dry, I used a paintbrush to add Snowflake Fresco over the top.
Generally, you shouldn’t go back over an area you’ve already painted when you’ve got Crackle Glaze already starting work underneath, but I wanted a really bold distressed look, so - as well as adding the paint quite thickly, for deep, wide crackles - I did use the brush to drag some of the paint away in places. I hoped that would give a nice big space for the vari-coloured background to show through.
I like the dramatic, well-worn crackle effect I’ve got, but I was sad that my dark base colours didn’t seem to show up much. And by this point, I’d also started operations with my bottles, and that was changing my thinking... so I did a rapid re-think. I turned the three boards over and started again!
This time I used Tinned Peas, Hyde Park and Toad Hall, again dotted on, and you’ll see this time we’re on the uncoated grey side of the board - no matter, it works perfectly well as a surface too!
This time I scraped the paint into place with a piece of stiff shiny card which happened to be sitting around. Not a credit card - but that would also do the job.
Crackle Glaze time again, and this time I added the Snowflake over the top using some Cut N Dry foam for a much smaller, more delicate crackle - more of a porcelain crackle - though I did vary the thickness of application so that you get some variety of texture.
You can really see the different effects of the thicker brush application, with dragging (, and the softer sponging.
Much happier this time... I sanded back a bit around the edges to reveal more of the greens, as I knew by this time that green was going to play a major role in what came next.
I have to say, the whole business of trying to decide some time in advance what products I might want to use in any given week, did give me slight headache. It’s not in my normal process to think and plan in advance... I’m much more likely to start out without any idea of where I’m going! But, with the advance planning which was necessary here, one thing which did bob up for me was the idea of creating some dimensional “glass” bottles with the fabulous images in HP1203 and HP1204.
Of course, as it turned out, I ended up using only the HP1203 bottle for this particular project - it just worked better to have all three bottles the same shape, than to have one odd one out. And I wasn’t really sure how it would all work out, so I’ve got to say I love the results - just look at them in the sunshine!
I used some acetate packaging (left over from a Tim Holtz die, if I remember rightly), and stamped the bottle in Olive Archival... and waited... and heated... and waited... and heated some more... Nope, no go. Everybody’s right: Archival doesn’t want to dry on acetate. And I was so sad, because it looked so cool, too!
But this presented me with a problem. The only StazOn I have is black, and that didn’t look nearly so cool.... even when I tried stamping it onto some alcohol inked acetate instead of the clear. Thankfully, I remembered that I could make the green ink stay put if I were to clear emboss it into place... so that’s what I did.
I used combinations of Olive and Library Green, so that you get slightly different shades of glass, and in one case, a darker shadow down one side of the bottle - I like that one! You have to heat with care as you emboss the ink, since the acetate will start to want to melt and move... we want that to happen, but not just yet.
When it came to moulding the bottles, I used the sanding block to get the 3D edge I needed. If I’d used the round bottle, I’d’ve shaped around a Fresco bottle or glue stick, depending on the diameter, but since I had a square bottle, it was edges not curves I was after.
Now it just remained to get the flowers “inside” the bottles, and the right-shaped quotes “outside” the bottles. It took some quite precise positioning - again done with tissue paper versions of the stamps I wanted to use, to make sure everything would fit.
You’ll see that at this point I still had the iris in the mix, as well as only one flower in the left-hand bottle. Still playing... and I also knew I’d need some partial stamping to get the flowers I wanted inside the narrow necks of the bottles.
I love the meadow grass stamp from HP1005... I extended its stem by re-stamping upside-down. I quite like the little knot in the stem - like the knuckle in so many grassy stems.
I borrowed its stem to give the single flower head from HP1204 - which I’d decided would work better than the iris for these rustic vases - something to stand on. I inked it up with the Olive Archival, and then wiped away any places where the ink had landed unnecessarily.
And with the large rambling flower from HP1203, I just wanted to use the two heads, so again, I inked them up one at a time, wiping away ink from any places that I wasn’t interested in having ink!
The sentiments are all stamped in double Archival. Coffee was too dull and Sepia was too bright, so each time I first inked up the words with Coffee, and then added Sepia over the top of that before stamping. I like the depth it gives to the colour.
The final step was realising my dimensional bottles really needed something “to stand on”.
The little strips of Crunchy Wax Paper were the perfect solution - toning in with the colour of the words, and also retaining some translucence, so that you can still see the crackle underneath - love that, a very happy accident.
Just a hint of Vintage Photo to age up the edges, and my final trio is done.
Thank you so much for your visits and comments this week... I’m so looking forward to seeing what turns up in response to my botanical trios. See you out there, and back here next month!
Leandra Says: Ohhhh loving the embossed acetate...that was very brave, but those embossing blobbies look like water drops on the glass! How cool, and bending round the corner was clever too! Fab trio!
Gillian Says: How cool do those dimensional bottles look ... glad you percivered to get the right effect. So many interesting tips/techniques in tonight's project, the Crunchy Wax Paper strips are brilliant and adds another whole 3d look to the project. Another beautiful trio of Botanicals Alison.