Thursday 15 February 2024

2024 With 3 things: ATC Fun {by Claudia Neubacher}

Servus and welcome to the new and awesomely inspiring "With 3 Things" feature here on PaperArtsy! Being picked to be one of the first three blogging team members to tackle this fun challenge makes this even more exciting!

We were told it was going to be a challenge ... and when I unpacked my surprise bundle, I found it truly was that for me as there was a cute stamp - one of the latest gorgeous Tracy Scott designs - waiting for me to be turned into a true "Claudia" make. Most of you know that I usually don't do cute, but hey - I also never dodge a good challenge as this is always fun and tickles your brain in a way a comfort zone project never can! And when I saw the other two goodies - my favourite colour turquoise (in this case the Tracy Scott Fresco Finish paint Bermuda) and the Scrapcosy Printed Tissue with lots of beautiful script and map patterns - I immediately started planning the design of the project around my favourite colour.

I also tried to go by this month's theme and topic ("Glazed" and "Miniature") and started to browse my stash for something I could "glaze" in the most dimensional way possible. UTEE is a great embossing enamel when you want something glossy and bulky and when I found a left over die cut ornate frame in my left over die cuts box, I knew what I wanted to make: a kind of cabinet card with the cute fairy queen in a glossy Bermuda turquoise frame on a script pattern background. And to go by a miniature format I chose one of my favourite formats to work on when going for small: an ATC (Artist Trading Card). And this is the result:

Here are some of the additional products I used and these are actually nothing fancy - white opaque paint, brown archival stamping ink, coloured pencils, die cut left overs, cut to size ATC I didn't use anything too special (except maybe the UTEE, but you can also use normal clear embossing powder instead).

I started with priming the ATC using white paint (so the script pattern from the printed tissue would be as visible as possible) and the die cut frame got a thorough layer of Fresco Finish Bermuda. I heat dried both so I could quickly move to the fun part.

Using  an embossing dabber on top of the dried Bermuda I applied a first thick layer of UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) to my frame. Then I added more UTEE to the still hot previous layer. I repeated this two more times to get a really chunky glossy frame. Time to let everything cool down thoroughly! (if you are using normal clear embossing powder you just need to add more layers to get a chunky result).

Then I could finally move on to the most fun part - cracking the UTEE on the frame! That's an effect I really love as it adds a lot of interest to makes and I always go for a weathered and worn look (which may be one of the reasons why I struggle with cute ;). To crack the enamelled layer I simply twisted and folded the frame in different areas with my fingers.

I think this looks just awesome, doesn't it? To highlight the cracks a little, I smudged some archival sepia stamping ink onto my media board and diluted it lightly with very little water from the spray bottle to create a kind of liquid ink wash (this is a trick to go by when you do not have any ready made inks  or other liquid media at hand to apply as a wash to highlight cracks).

Make sure you use a very soft brush and only little of the ink wash on the cracked UTEE - otherwise too much water will seep into the cracks and under the UTEE and your die cut cardboard will easily tear, the UTEE might come off and everything will take ages to dry (as because of the UTEE you cannot reheat your project without losing the cracks).

I loved the result a lot! While I set my cool frame aside to let it dry naturally, I continued with the focal element - the fairy queen from Tracy Scott's lovely new PaperArtsy Minis series.

I stamped the image in sepia archival stamping ink onto a sheet of lightly textured sketching paper and used coloured pencils on it. They allow for a subtle shading and create a soft vintage-y look. I also used diluted Bermuda paint and a fine detail brush for the background and on some of the image's details like the flower, the necklace and the bow.

I picked an area of the printed tissue with a lovely even script pattern to add to the ATC, but before I applied this layer with diluted matt decoupage glue, I blended the ATC's edges with the sepia archival ink using a piece of blending foam.

I heat dried the glued on tissue before I cut off any excess. Finally I fixed the coloured pencil portrait and the UTEE frame in place with tacky glue and added a little star on top. Done!

I had a lot of fun during the process and I really do like the outcome! My first idea was to only use brown sepia tones on the image but somehow the design just led me to go for a more colourful look (well done, Tracy Scott - you can even lure a grunge girlie like me into having some real cute colouring fun!).

I absolutely love how the three things took me on an adventurous and fun little journey and I also love where they led me to. I hope you like the result as much as I do!


Miriam said...

Fabulous project. I love the cracked frame too.

Claudia N. said...

Thank you, Miriam! So glad you like it! xxx

Anonymous said...

This is so cute!

Empire of the Cat said...

Love this idea Claudia, and that cracked frame!