Sometimes creative inspiration comes with a blazing flash of insight. An idea bursts into your mind like an exploding electrical transformer and you just *know* that it will be brilliant, and perfect, and all things wonderful. Other times, inspiration can be found…in the trash can.
As some of you may know, I have been struggling deeply during the past week with the loss of someone very dear to me. Someone who, in a very real way, has been my muse. As I tearfully worked to create a sympathy card for her parents, I clumsily dripped some glue on my workspace and used a paper towel soaked with alcohol to clean it up. I got the mess dealt with and never gave it a second thought. Until I went to empty the trash can the next morning.
The scraps of Crafter’s Companion Pearl Cardstock that I used on my cousin’s sympathy card and tossed in the bin had wound up underneath my alcohol-soaked paper towel. And the transformation blew me away. I immediately went to work trying to recreate the results, cutting up strips from every color of Pearl Card I had access to and amassing a plethora of samples.
Mere hours before, I had heart-brokenly wondered if I would ever be able to find my creativity again. And then - a gift. A magical, inspiring, unbelievable gift - which I have *no doubt* was sent from my cousin. Proof positive that even in the darkest times, flashes of brilliant light can find their way through.
Alcohol Bleaching on Crafter’s Companion Pearl Cardstock:
Any color of CC Pearl Card – I’ve found through experimentation that the Pastels react *really* well
Bottle of Rubbing Alcohol – mine is the 70% variety
Paper Towels, Cotton Rounds, Cotton Twine – any absorbent materials you think might make an interesting shape or pattern
A work mat – I use the clear flexible cutting mats sold at Dollar Tree
Cut your piece of Pearl Card into your chosen size. I have mine at a six-inch square, as I intend to use it as a card background. Place your cardstock on your work mat. (There will be some color bleed, so you do not want to do this directly on any surface that will stain.) Pour a generous amount of alcohol into a small bowl. (I use a porcelain ramekin.) Drop in your twine, cotton balls, whatever you wish to use for “texture.” On my example, I have used several lengths of cotton twine, which I laid out on my cardstock in a loose wave pattern. Dampen several paper towels (I use the half-sized ones) with alcohol, roll them into rope shapes, and *very* carefully lay them over top of the twine. Gently press into the card. Lastly, dampen a full sheet size paper towel with alcohol, scrunch it up a bit, then, being very careful not to disturb your layout, drape over the entire card surface and press gently.
Now…you wait! Leave your background undisturbed on a flat surface for around an hour – the different colors of cardstock will take different lengths of time to react. Once your curiosity finally gets the best of you – or the suggested hour has passed – press your paper towels onto your cardstock one last time, then remove. Tah-da!!! Your masterpiece is (almost) complete.
My suggestion is that you sandwich your damp background between two *dry* paper towels and leave it overnight to dry. As I know this is unlikely…you can go after it with a heat gun. Just be careful to use a low setting. Your finished piece *is* likely to have some warping. (Especially if you used the heat gun.) The Crafter’s Companion Pearl Cardstock *CAN* handle being ironed, if necessary. Just be sure to sandwich it between paper towels, and use a low/medium heat setting.
And here’s the finished product! A perfect tropical waters background for the fin-tastic ocean themed stamp sets available from Crafter’s Companion with their brand new Spectrum Noir Glitter Ink Kits
available for National Craft Month!
I sincerely hope that some of you will try this technique and enjoy it! It really is one that shall always be very special to me.
Until next time, happy crafting!