Tuesday 17 May 2022

2022 Topic 07: Specimen Jar {by Asia Marquet} with Gwen Lafleur stamps

Hi everyone, it's Asia Marquet (Lemon Creationwith you today, and I'm here to share with you rather unusual project for the Specimen Jar topic- a set of interactive ATCs.

First of all I need to tell you that I am more of a paper crafter and making a real Specimen Jar would have been too big of a challenge for me. But trying to put this idea on paper- that's something which really speaks to me. Mixing up things is always good and the beautiful stamps by Gwen Lafleur, perfect for this type of project, were calling me from afar. So this is my very first Specimen Jar project and because it's interactive- it's fun!

I had an idea in mind when I thought about this project. To use more than one jar stamp I decided to make a set of  two ATCs, with flowers which can be put in and taken out from the jars. Everything was supposed to be in earthly/ rusty tones, kind of like a herbarium colour scheme. So naturally my choice was to use Infusions with their walnut tones (Green ManRoyal BloodLemoncello and Orange County). They are a perfect match to two of Gwen Lafleur's stamps (EGL13 and EGL25). My last minute decision was to use handmade paper- once again for a more vintage look.

I was not sure how Infusions would behave on the handmade paper, but I was pleasantly surprised. I love the texture of this type of paper- with the colour it added a really vintage look. I sprinkled Orange County and Lemoncello on the paper and then sprayed it with water and let it dry. 

For once I didn't want to keep any white space- after all it was supposed to be a vintage project.
I love this look- the choice of Infusions and handmade paper was a really good idea. What I forgot to mention was the fact that my handmade paper was A5 size, so to make two ATCs out of it, instead of cutting the paper I teared it to create an ATC size- a neat idea with great results. If you don't have handmade paper, you can do this  with  regular paper. Torn edges add rustic looking colours add so much charm.

Just because I found the colour on paper a little bit too bright to my liking- (after all this is vintage project so the colours are supposed to be a little dull), I added touches of white to the paper with Fresco Chalk Acrylic- Snowflake and the brayer. But in order to not add too much white, I diluted it with water to get it more liquid, harder to stay on the brayer and therefore not too pronounced on the paper. The last step was to darken the edges with Distress Oxide- Vintage Photo.

There is this stunning tissue paper which you can get now with your PaperArtsy purchases. There is a lot of old-looking  script on it, so I added some of it to the background together with some script stamp from Background Plate 2.


Let's start with the part which took the most work, but I didn't mind, I was happy to have my paper base ready and really wanted to see how the flowers and branches were going to fit with it. They were to be my interactive part- being able to put them into jars or take them out- it was to me such a fun idea. I am gonna talk more about jars a little bit later, but I wanted to attach them to the paper  with their top part open, so there will be no problem to slide inside them the branches. At this point I was not sure how am I gonna do that, but ideas come to me sometimes at the last moment. Baby steps.

First step- preparing the paper for stamping. I sprinkled on it Infusions: Royal Blood and Green Man, then sprayed the water. I let it dry, not worrying if the paints covered the whole surface of the paper.

When the paper was dry I placed it in the stamping platform and stamped on it the flowers and branches from Gwen's stamp collections: EGL25 and EGL13

The longest part was fussy-cutting the images. Here is the hint- do it while watching something, it goes much faster! My question at this point was how to make them more layered, more 3D. Going for a Crackle Accents was a good choice. Once again- crackled make you think vintage- isn't that right?  I am thinking however that the best option would have been to crinkle them a little, as crackle is quite shiny. On the other hand maybe the ATCs needed a little bit of shine?

Next stage was to prepare the specimen jars (stamp EGL25). To me the jars needed to be transparent, so I went for stamping and embossing them on heat resistant acetate. Not an easy task! Even though I used an anti-static tool, I got some particles from embossing powder (Lindy's Gang- Blazing Black) kind of all over the place. Here is a technique I am not mastering! But I am not aiming for perfection and the older I need the project to look, the more forgiving it is.

I stamped 3 jars in total, not sure which one I would use and which ones would fit better with the flowers. Finally I chose two smaller ones which were just the perfect size for ATCs.

The idea on how to attach the jars to the ATCs came to me during the stage of embossing on acetate. When I cut out the jars, I left a small border to be able to run them through my sewing machine. I love adding sewing to my projects, leaving loose threads hanging. So this was obviously an idea I was really happy with. I needed to sew slowly to be sure I followed the edges of the jar. To the top part of the jar I inserted a piece of paper- a reminder that this is the part which needs to stay open and I can't, under no circumstances, run it through my machine.

For the sentiment I opted for colourizing a piece of masking tape with Lemoncello and add some delicate stamping with the same Background Plate 2 stamp. I tore the tape into two pieces and later glued it to the ATCs. On top of that tape I glued tiny words from old book and added the black base cards to the backs of the ATC.

The nicest part of the whole project was to put the flowers and branches into the jars. I spent few good minutes arranging and rearranging them over and over again! 
It is my very first interactive project and I love this aspect of it- the possibility to play with it and find new ways of fitting all of those beautiful flowery elements together.

Working with stamps is such a pleasure for me and the two sets of Gwen's stamps I used here are just perfect for specimen/ herbarium type of project. The interactive part of the project surely was (and still is), the most enjoyable part for me.  There is still some part of improvement and  that part is definitely embossing on acetate. But the rest- colourizing handmade paper and masking tape with Infusions and sewing the stamped elements onto the background, was really enjoyable and gives such a great end results!

Thank you so much for stopping by.


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Helen said...

I love the look of the infusions on that handmade paper! The end results are amazing.

Anonymous said...

Amazing and beautiful 🌹❤️💯

Anonymous said...

My name is Linda Scott not Anonymous lol

Gina Goodling said...

This was a really indepth, very helpful tutorial, Asia. Your interactive ATC's are beautiful with a lovely vintage colorway!