Design a Watercolor Portrait with Walnut Inks

by Elina Stromberg

Design a Watercolor Portrait with Walnut Inks from Imagine Crafts and Tsukineko.

Whenever I come across an inspiring technique tutorial or a project idea, I save it to one of my Pinterest boards. Those pins become handy when there’s a need for getting the creative juices flowing, but even if the creative mojo is not lost I love to browse through the idea boards for getting fresh innovative ideas.

Some of the pinned projects have been on my to-do list for a while already, waiting for the right time slot to be explored. Like a watercolor portrait tutorial by Elise Engh in her Grow Creative blog that I pinned years ago: I loved the project idea and I had planned to make these cool monotone portraits of my kids, but I was not sure if I had the patience for following all the tutorial steps of editing, printing, tracing, and painting. So, when I finally decided to give it a try, I altered the steps, cut some corners, and finished in no time at all! I used a photo editing program for creating my painting template, and instead of making the painting completely monotonous I used two matching Walnut ink colors for painting. And I loved how the portrait turned out!

Creating the painting template requires some photo editing skills, but you don’t need to be an expert for making the template. You can use whichever software you wish, but as photo editing software vary, I did not include detailed instructions of the photo editing steps. However, please do leave a comment if more guidance is needed.

Walnut inks come in several natural earth tones, and they give a beautiful antique finish to photos, papers, and wooden embellishments. They come in handy spray bottles, but the strong pigment inks can also be used as liquid watercolors; they were the perfect choice for this portrait project!

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 1.5 hours

Directions

Step 1

Choose a well-lit portrait photo and open it in a photo editing program (e.g. Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Gimp, PicMonkey). Adjust colors and lightning, and if needed, add contrast. Convert the photo to black and white, and remove the background. Edit the photo using ‘Posterize’ adjustment tool. Set levels to 2, i.e. use only two colors on the posterized photo. Once done, lighten the black to a light grey so that when you print it is just a light shadow.


Pour a small amount of Walnut Ink in Brown and EucalyptusStep 2

Pour a small amount of Walnut Ink in Brown and Eucalyptus (an earthy green) on a watercolor palette. Taping the paper on the surface is not needed as the Walnut ink will not curl the paper.


Step 3

Paint the portrait using a small brush, covering all printed light grey areas. Let the colors mix, and add water for gaining lighter tints. Work rather quickly, using a rich amount of ink. Walnut Ink will dry quite fast on a porous watercolor paper. When finished, trim the portrait to the desired size and frame.

Thank you for stopping by the Imagine blog and if you enjoyed this tutorial then please comment below or share on social media! 

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Photo in digital format
  • Computer + Photo editing software
  • Printer
  • Watercolor paper
  • Palette
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Photo frame

Create Cute and Simple Window Decor for Christmas

by Elina Stromberg

Create Cute and Simple Window Decor for Christmas

If snow is not yet covering the ground, and you’re only hoping for white Christmas, it’s just the right time to hang snowflake decorations in the window. This fun upcycling project will take you into the Christmas mood and the best thing is that you’ll probably have all the needed supplies already in your stash. These snowflakes are quick and simple to make, and they’re also the perfect DIY project for children impatiently waiting for Christmas!

Skill: Beginner
Time: 30 minutes + drying time

Directions


Step 1

Die-cut or punch circles from clear plastic packaging.

trace snowflake lines with a silver irRESISTible Pico Embellisher
Step 2

Print or hand-draw snowflake images on paper. Place plastic circle on the printed image, and trace snowflake lines with a silver irRESISTible Pico Embellisher.


Step 3

Set aside to dry.


Step 4

Create chains of circles by connecting 3 or 4 snowflakes with white sewing yarn.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Clear plastic packaging
  • Circle dies (Sizzix) or a strong circle punch (Fiskars)
  • White sewing yarn
  • Scissors

Stamp an Easy and Creative Seasons Greetings Card

by Elina Stromberg

Stamp an Easy and Creative Seasons Greetings Card

A few years back a card making blog challenged us design team members to create Christmas projects using standard, non-Christmas themed supplies. After some desperate moments, I started taking new perspectives to the stamps I already had in my stash, and soon realized how rewarding it was to discover new and unconventional ways for using them.

This Christmas card is a continuation of that challenge idea: Instead of using a holiday wreath stamp, I draw a circle on craft cardstock, stamped leaves around it using a simple flower leaf stamp, and decorated the card with a hint of liquid red ink and a punched paper bow. The end-result looks yet quite Christmassy, doesn’t it!

I also punched two gift tags and used the same technique on those. So simple and easy to make! The metallic shimmer of the Emerald Green Delicata ink made my card look even more festive; it’s all in the details!

Stamp an Easy and Creative Seasons Greetings Card

Thank you for stopping by the Imagine blog and if you enjoyed this tutorial then please comment below or share on social media! 

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Stampin’Up – Bow Punch
  • Fiskars – Tag Punch
  • Visible Image – ‘Go-To Christmas Words’ stamp set
  • Simon Says Stamp – ‘Scribble Flowers’ stamp set
  • Cardbase
  • Cardstock – Kraft, Green
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Less is More! See How to Create Quick and Easy Christmas Cards

by Elina Stromberg

Less is More! That’s my slogan when creating Christmas cards. Especially when the plan is to make dozens of cards, and there’s not too much time to spend on creating them. However, a simple card design does not have to be boring; quite the opposite! Even if the card does not have many elements on it, the design can still include various textures and patterns, making each finished piece truly eye-catching!

Skill: Intermediate
Time: 1 hour + dry time

Directions


Step 1

For drawing the snowflake, I used a silver irRESISTible Pico Embellisher; always fun and easy to use, and it resisted nicely the wet Fireworks! spray colors I used for the background.


Step 2

Die cut the framelits


Step 3

For highlighting the silver snowflake, I created a silver frame around it. I die-cut a scalloped circle from white cardstock, dabbed it with clear VersaMark ink, covered with silver embossing powder, and heat-set the powder with my heat gun. The card got just the right amount of silver Christmas sparkle, don’t you think?!

Thank you for stopping by the Imagine blog and if you enjoyed this tutorial then please comment below or share on social media! 

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Cardbase – White
  • Cardstock – White, Dark Blue
  • Piece of mixed media cardstock
  • Sizzix – circle dies, circle scallop dies
  • ‘Merry Christmas’ sentiment stamp
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Heat gun

Today is a Great Day for Rich Cocoa

Hello Greeting Card in Cocoa Colors by Elina Stromberg

Our November theme color is Chocolate Brown. Some paper crafters may think that a deep brown color is a boring choice, but when mixing several brown tones together you can easily create warm and beautiful project for every occasion. Stamping platforms and other stamping alignment tools let you re-stamp the image exactly on the same spot several times, so with this card design I decided to take advantage of this awesome tool. I mixed three brown colors and applied ink only partly on the stamp, allowing colors to mix and layer. When creating a multi-colored stamped image I suggest you start with the lighter colors and continue building layers with the darker shades. Adding a darker ink color on top of a light one is easy, but when stamping a light color on top of a dark ink may not change the dark base color at all.

For this cocoa colored card, I used a light kraft cardstock as my background and layered several brown inks on my stamped image. The lovely image did not need too much additional decoration, but for continuing the idea of several brown tones I created a stitched border using two brown embroidery yarns. For making the beautiful browns pop, I added a hint of white with a gel pen. Then of course I mounted the kraft paper on the deep brown then altogether on a cream card base. Done!

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Misti Stamp Tool
  • Cardbase – Cream
  • Cardstock – Kraft, Deep brown
  • Waffle Flower – ‘Enveloper Hello’ stamp set
  • Brown embroidery yarn
  • Needle
  • White gel pen
  • Two-sided tape

 

You are the Hero in Your Own Story by Renee Zarate

This is a monochromatic card that takes us back to a different time and place. All of us know someone we regard as a “hero”. How delightful to send a card and tell them how much we admire them and why. It might just make their day.

Here is a quick run-down of how I made this card. Stamp images on a panel measured to fit the card. Use Rich Cocoa Memento for the city stamp and Celestial Copper Delicata for the hero sentiment. Stamp the crackle background with Champagne Delicata and heat set. Cut out the boy image and sentiment. Apply VersaMark to the stamped phrase panel and emboss with clear embossing powder. Distress the edge of this small panel with Memento pen in Espresso Truffle.

Distress edges of entire large panel with Delicata Champagne and a small sponge dauber. Color in the boy image with Memento Markers. Create a ground for the boy with stamping additional marks and washi tape. Adhere the the phrase panel and boy image with pop dots. Use Tear It Tape to mount the finished panel onto black cardstock then to patterned paper and then a piece of cardboard. If desired, tie a ribbon or twine around the left side of the card.

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Cardstock
  • Card base
  • Twine
  • Artistic Outpost – Paper Boy stamp
  • Snapping Monsters –  Wonder Girl stamp
  • Pop dots

Create a Cozy Feeling Crafting for the Holidays

Today’s blog features a warm and cool dynamic between two creative projects by Elina Stromberg and Mischelle Smith. Elina creates this cute bear theme card with a felt scarf to respond to the challenge “heartfelt”. While Mischelle creates a cool wintery snowman crafting project the whole family can enjoy!

Create a Cozy Feeling Crafting for the Holidays

Cozy Heartfelt Greeting Card by Elina Stromberg

Our friends often get handmade cards from us for Christmas, but a simple card for no special reason will for sure brighten our friend’s grey November day. Making the card will not take too much time nor effort, and I’m sure the heartfelt message will be valued and cherished. “You’re important to me, and I’m thinking of you.”

For this card in a clean-and-simple style, I used a leftover piece of patterned brown paper and a cute bear stamp by Studio Calico. Utilizing patterned papers is a good option when you’re not into coloring or when you want to finish your project quickly. If you want the stamped image to look bit dimensional you can shadow the edges with markers, the same way that you would do on a colored image.

This little bear got a felt scarf around his neck; before gluing down the stamped image on the card front I folded the edges of the scarf on the back and secured them with a drop of glue. I mat the card on a piece of dotted paper and glued the card front on the card base. Ready in no time at all!

This little fellow is already on its way to my friend! I hope he will make her happy!

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Cardbase – White
  • Cardstock – Kraft, Red Polka Dot
  • Studio Calico – Bear stamp
  • Carabelle Studio – background circles stamp
  • Red felt
  • Glue
  • Two-sided tape

A Snowman Craft for Thanksgiving by Mischelle Smith

A Snowman Craft for Thanksgiving by Mischelle Smith

Our challenge at Imagine this month is ‘crafts for kids’. For this challenge, I wanted to create a project I could use for our family Thanksgiving. Each year the ‘kids of all ages’ participate in a craft suitable for ages 6 – 80 (our youngest to our oldest family members). Some years Grandma likes to give awards… such as …‘most creative’, ‘beautiful coloring’, ‘sparkliest sparkle’…whatever comes to her mind!

This snowman is a perfect project for family gatherings! It combines embossing, stencils, stamping, cutting, spritzing, sparkles … everything a kid loves! Cut three circles from white cardstock in varying sizes to build the 3 parts of the snowman’s body. Add circles texture to the edges with VersaColor in Celadon (nice soft blue-green color) and stencil. Stamp snowflakes with Versacolor ink. Emboss with Iridescent Embossing Powder. Stamp snowflakes with VersaMark ink and emboss with Iridescent Emboss Powder. Spritz with Sky Blue Fireworks Craft Spray (which has a shimmer). Spatter with Wedding Dress irRESISTible Spray and Tuxedo Black Fireworks Spray and let dry. Spritz with Sheer Shimmer Spritz which is another layer of shimmer. Adhere three pieces together and add black gemstone eyes and mouth. Cut the snowman’s nose out of orange scrap cardstock and attach. Outline with Tuxedo Black Memento Marker as shown.

Add circles texture to the edges with VersaColor in Celadon

Since this is a family time craft then you can continue crafting your snowman as you please!

Supplies

Imagine
Other
  • Scissors
  • Black Gems
  • Cardstock – White, Orange
  • Circle Stencil
  • Close to My Heart – Snowflakes stamp
  • Sequins

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