Friday, March 14, 2014

Think in Layers

Using Photoshop has taught me to think in layers.  Now I'm applying the same approach to making greeting cards.

For this project I've used my 9"x12" STENCILGIRL(TM) stencil BoxedVines ... and a couple of the images will be repeats of images shown in earlier posts. 

The first step I suggest taking is to use this stencil as a guide in cutting out individual vines.

I took the option of cutting out my vines freehand, so they aren't identical with the stencil's vines. 

But for anyone who doesn't have a Matisse-ish bone in her body, I recommend using masking tape to secure the stencil onto colored paper; then, to trace lines along the edges of the vines you like.  You can use colored pencils that match the colors of these papers.

(Here is a link with a helpful example of using a stencil to trace its shapes:  http://www.stencilgirltalk.com/2014/03/stencilgirl-guest-designer-gina-rossi.html.)

Your Boxed Vines tracings will show the "bridges" used in stencil-design (needed to hold the stencils together) but these small gaps will disappear as you cut out the vines.  I recommend using cuticle or similar fine-detail scissors.

On the 2 greeting card covers below, the vine cut-outs are the textured purple vine in the top card, and in the lower card, the orange and navy vines.


The backgrounds on these two greeting cards were created as Gelli Plate prints using the Boxed Vines stencil.


Yet another kind of collage for a greeting card cover:



 In the above image, 3 irregular-shaped background-papers have been stacked; over them, I've added a collection of vines in assorted colors. 

Again, I've cut these vines freehand -- but for those who prefer, the technique works equally well if vines are traced onto colored papers using my Boxed Vines stencil as a guide. 

When using my stencil as a guide, you can achieve more variety for your hand-cut individual vines if you flip the stencil over:  Your next tracings will be horizontally flipped versions of your first set of tracings. 

Remember to use cuticle or other fine-detail scissors to cut out the vines.  If you accidentally lop off a leaf, re-attach it as you're gluing down the final collage; nobody will know.  Promise!

2 tips: 

Cardstock is the best paper I've found for cutting out these individual vines.  I've tried "softer" texture-embossed papers but they don't work as well.

TowBow glue sticks work especially well in creating these collages.  I will soon be auditioning a Zig glue pen for the individually cut-out vines.  It may work even better.

My 9"X12" stencil Boxed Vines is available here: 
http://www.stencilgirlproducts.com/Boxed-Vines-Stencil-Cecilia-Swatton-p/l247.htm

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