Friday, July 25, 2014

Sponsor Spotlight #3 With Nicecrane Designs

Hello Everyone. Julia here with our final Sponsor Spotlight for July featuring Nicecrane Designs.
Nicecrane Designs
Click here to be taken to the online store.
 Don't forget they are our generous sponsors this month for Astrid's wonderful Handmade Flowers and Hand Dyed Ribbons Challenge. Not entered yet? Click the challenge title for all the details and some amazing inspiration from the Design Team.

I won't pretend I found this Sponsor Spotlight a breeze in the park! I do occasionally use digital images but these are usually photos which I then digitally manipulate. Mostly, I prefer to stamp images.

I decided to choose two images from the 'Vintage Bathing Belles' collection. I've made two ATC's using these images. I wanted to make them look like a set so I've used the same stamps, acrylic colours, mediums, embellishments and embossed card on both. There are differences and these will become apparent as you go through the images. Hope you like them!

A very sunny day for taking photos! Doesn't do justice to my rusty fish but the colours on everything else benefit from that sunshine.
Two ATC's were die cut from mount board and three coats of gesso applied to seal the surface.
Two pieces of mount board were cut and embossed with a Tim Holtz small strip folder. DecoArt Gesso was applied as before followed by random application of the DecoArt Media acrylic paints shown.
The ATC on the left was stamped with water bubble image using archival ink. The ATC on the right was stamped with the same image using versamark ink. Three shades of mica powders were then applied gently. Both were left to set and fully dry.
Each chosen image was printed out onto 300gsm card. This image was finished with two coats of DecoArt ultra matte varnish on the entire surface. 
Both images were given a sentiment using clear tape in a label maker. This image was given a part coat of DecoArt crackle glaze, followed by some DecoArt Traditions burnt umber paint to highlight the cracks. DecoArt ultra matte varnish was then used over the entire image to remove the shine.
Each ATC was finished with a rusted fish embellishment. One fish is attached to a rusty wire line and the other to some colour matched 'line' (yarn in other words!).
Both pieces of embossed card were given a coat of DecoArt Interference turquoise paint followed by some white embossing powder to pick out the various features of the wave design. Each piece was then given a coat of crackle glaze followed by some burnt umber Traditions acrylic in the cracks. Finally a coat of ultra matte varnish was applied to both pieces. I like how this doesn't affect the colour underneath but removes the shine from the surface making it look far more authentic.
This image shows the  other piece of embossed mountboard. This has more white powder embossing and less crackle glazing to give a slightly different look. I used to highlight all the cracks on a glazed project with acrylic paint or similar but I now prefer to just highlight some areas.
I like the effect of the mica powders under the DecoArt ultra matte varnish. It gives a less harsh pearlised effect which I prefer. You can see this in the following image too:

 That's me done! I did enjoy using the images and perhaps I shouldn't shy away from incorporating them in my work again. I hope you will try out some of these techniques if they are new to you.

There's still just enough time to join in the fun with our Handmade Flowers and Hand Dyed Ribbons challenge. You could win the wonderful prize from our sponsor; be one of the chosen top three or even be our winner and come back to showcase your work with us.

Thank you for looking today.


  1. Such an unusual and creative way of using these vintage images Julia. Love the whole wave theme! Jenny x

  2. Gorgeous background for these ladies, Julia!
    Greetings, Alie :-)

  3. Stunning work!! Absolutely love the vibrant beach colors and Ignacio's images look fabulous on your projects. These are spectacular :)

  4. Oh Julia, I very much know what you mean, but I am in awe of what you came up with! Very creative indeed, I love your ATCs!! The backgrounds look fantastic!!

  5. Gorgeous shimmery waves in the backgrounds, and I love that crackle. I think you've done a cracking job out of your comfort zone - and made Ignacio's images shine!
    Alison xx

  6. WOW Julia!! Fabulous and Gorgeous- I Loooove those blues!! Great fish elements too!

  7. Wow Wow!!! Two fabulous ATCs, thanks for sharing Julia! these two lovely images are wonderfully showcased with the techniques and colours you used, fantastic work. Coco x

  8. Julia these are fabulous! I haven't touched base in such a long time. I'm emailing you for some advice.

  9. wow these look lovely, great colors too!
    Groetjes karin

  10. Absolutely Spectacular, Julia!! Your white-capped waves are -like-totally-awesome! (said from a beach girl from southern California!) :) Your colors are so vibrant and the fishes are FANTASTIC!! Love the both of these ATC's!! XOXO-Shari


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