Tuesday, September 5, 2017

"now trending"

...is the theme of this week's challenge at shopping our stash, so obviously we'd like to see your take on one of the many popular images, techniques or products that are hot in the papercrafting world just now. i realize that seeing those words in connection with *ME* is kind of hilarious, lol; and if you suspected that i had very little idea what actually was currently trending in the card-making world, you're quite right! luckily, the SOS team had some suggestions (arrows, pineapples, stars, mustaches, flamingos) and my craft bestie stephanie tossed me a few more ideas (marble, gilding flakes, distress oxides, nuvo glitter or dots, mermaids, narwals, galaxies) so i was good to go. i chose galaxy and i'm pretty pleased with the result:

galaxy background created on strathmore watercolor paper using colorburst watercolor pigment powders by ken oliver crafts in shades of: lamp black, indigo, prussian blue, violet, wisteria, cerulean and ultramarine; flicks of white acrylic paint on top for stars; moon and stars drawn with a template on scraps of watercolor paper painted with gamboge colorburst and gold liquid metal; alphabet stickers: american crafts' thickers (moon), kelly purkey flat white letters (to the) and heidi swapp white chipboard letters for the rest; adhesives: elmers brand gluetape runner, 3m foam tape, sewing machine 

i bet i've watched 50 different videos in the last six months or so, on instagram and youtube of people making galaxies and then hand lettering or stamping or painting a silhouette landscape on top. this video by ken oliver is one of my favorites, especially if you want to use colorburst as your medium. in the video, ken uses the "spritz and sprinkle" technique, which works really well; but this time i decided to try the "smoosh" technique, because i love the blending effects i can get that way. so i put drops of clear water all over my 5x7" panel of watercolor paper, added various concentrations of different colorburst pigments, then placed a piece of clear acrylic over top to SMOOSH the colors together. i did this in a few layers, until the colors* had built up to where i loved them, then let the whole panel dry thoroughly, before adding white stars** on top.

i constructed my sentiment from three styles of letter stickers, including the luscious chunky glitter thickers that spell out "MOON". for the moon and stars i used an old-school plastic template to make the shape on top of a "rejected" yellow colorburst + gold liquid metals experiment, then cut them out with scissors. i originally mounted the completed panel to a glossy black 5x7 card, but it somehow didn't quite stand out enough, so i added a super-skinny white mat and called it good! since "anything goes" this week at the simon says stamp wednesday challenge blog, i'm linking up with those lovely folks.

be sure to check out all of the amazing ideas from my trendy SOS darlings, then start planning the amazing creation that YOU will link up with us this week! ♥

*if you're wondering about specific colors, for my version of a "realistic" night sky type galaxy, i used approximately 50% lamp black, 10% prussian blue, 10% indigo and the remaining 30% divided pretty randomly between ultramarine, cerulean, wisteria, orchid and violet. believe it or not, i didn't use ANY green, but there is a bit of green pigment built into the black and it serendipitously left some little greenish/grey areas i really liked. if you want more of an aurora borealis look, swap out the purples for as many greens as you happen to have, and try to concentrate them towards the center, or in a swathe. when i'm going for a specific effect my first stop is a google image search for say, "aurora borealis" and my second is a pinterest search for "aurora borealis watercolor". i will look at a bunch of different ideas, noting the bits i especially like or dislike. then i usually go off and do my own thing, which will not end up looking anything like any of the inspo pics, lol. but it does REALLY help me to have a starting point --grounded in reality-- before i let my imagination run wild.

**this is the first time i've gotten the white "splatter" effect of stars to come out the way i wanted, so of course i'll share that secret, too: in the past, i've used white acrylic craft paint, thinned with water, which made it liquid enough to splatter well, but unfortunately it was not opaque enough to stand up to a dark background. this time i concentrated on making the mix... well... more concentrated, lol. i combined glossy white acrylic craft paint, white gesso, and thinned it out further with some white chalkboard spray ink! something i forget every single time i do a splatter effect is that a BIG BRUSH gets you not just more splatter, but BIGGER droplets, as well. so you want a medium sized brush at the very largest, and you'll just keep adding layers until you've got the right effect. i found it looked more "galaxy-like" when i selected an area in which to concentrate the splatter and sort of stayed on that axis while i was flicking the paint. if you accidentally get a big drop or a smear, carefully blot it off with a paper towel. it will dull down the colors behind it a bit, but it adds that realistic "cloudy" effect you see in space photos. in fact, if you feel like your galaxy is TOO dark, or too consistently colored, i'd recommend strategically applying and removing a bit of white (or light colored) acrylic craft paint. good luck, and may the force be with you! :)


  1. So fantastic! Awesome sky, thanks for the tips!

  2. I absolutely love this Lauren! AMAZING card design and perfect galaxy work! Hugs, Autumn

  3. This is so Awesome and your instructions on "how to" are very clear although intimidating. now I need more colour burst just to try it.

  4. This is awesome Lauren. I guess it's for your other half (😘😉)? The background would be perfect on the titles of a syfy movie. Love all the extra info you give. Enjoy your day. X

    1. Should of added flamingos are huwge over here right now. I wanted to take one away with us next week on our vacation (inflatable of course ) but hubby said no not enough room! Recon there will be one to be had when I get there lol.

  5. Fantastic galaxy background Leslie.

  6. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh the sparkle!! This is super awesomely fantastic!

  7. I am soooo in love with this! Wowzers! I have missed so much in blog land - gonna make a point of visiting more often, promise!

  8. Fabulous card! Love the design and that wonderful background! So pretty!

    Love your blog name too!! That's awesome!! ;)

    Thank you very much for joining us this week at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog!


  9. The night sky you created on this card is absolutely gorgeous Lauren, my goodness!!! the colors are stunning the way they blend with each other, just lovely!!
    The directions on how to achieve this look are great, thanks also for the video.

  10. OMG, LOVE this. Been loving it since I saw it at team HQ. So much that I love that you should just know I'm infatuated. I was gonna say: thinned gesso works great as a splatter, but then you wrote that you did that! Great.


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