And now, something a little different.
Okay, I know I'm usually all about MS awareness, and author platforms and what's going on in my book world, but another part of my Secret Renegade Gypsy Cowgirl life is my Silhouette Cameo. I love this machine. We have tons of fun together, crafting away all sorts of goodies. As many of you know, or might have guessed after reading Nightwatch, I love art. Creating it, seeing it, studying the history, haunting tiny galleries that dot the California and Oregon coastline, you know, the normal stuff.
I work part time helping out with The Grit & Grace Foundation, and last week we had a big barrel racing competition teamed up with Be The Match, and it involved a silent auction. I wanted to include my books because, let's face it, when you're an indie author you look for every opportunity to get your name into the public. But putting two lonely books from an author no one has ever heard of was not looking real appealing and I thoroughly believe in the cause and wanted them to raise some money.
Because of the hot cocoa moments in Nightwatch, I knew I wanted to include mugs, so I put these white ones from Pottery Barn in, plus some gummy worms, (Ryder snuck them in I think- book crossover), popcorn and chocolate.
But it still looked wah wah, so I went to Pinterest because let's face it that's where I go for inspiration. I saw these bookmarks and started thinking.
These bookmarks I found on Pinterest are free handed.
And I tried that...
But my penmanship is like a schizophrenic monkey with a hangover. I ended up with this one. Now before you say, "Well that's not bad,", no it's not, but this was me trying my very hardest. Sigh.
Then I tried sketch pens, but no matter the pen I used, the watercolor paper was just too lumpy to get an even image.
I went back to basics.
After some experimenting I found that 631, or matte vinyl, tends to bleed. 651, permanent vinyl, works much better. It's not perfect, but you can get a pretty good image most of the time.
That's reassuring, right?
So here's what I did.
I have a huge watercolor pad, so I did cut it way down. But they do have smaller pads at craft stores like Joann's and Micheal's, Hobby Lobby, you pick your poison. ( and walk out with 8 things you never knew you needed, if you're anything like me) I picked my size for my bookmark, and made a rectangle.
Then I used the duplicate tool to make a bunch more.
Cut and voila! bookmarks.
I leave the bookmarks on the work space in silhouette design because I like to see what my design is going to look like within the parameters. Just as a tip, I find thicker fonts and designs tend to work best. When I go thin the color tends to find its way under.
It's all the normal stuff, cut, weed, transfer. Check. Check. Check.
But then it's time for fun.
After my design is applied, I bust out the watercolors. Now, I have really nice professional grade watercolors that I use when I'm actually painting. But I have found that they have a tendency to bleed under. I wish I could tell you why, but I have no idea. Just my experience, maybe yours will be different. But the good news is that Crayola works great! And they are much more friendly on the wallet, plus sometimes something you already have on hand. Yay!
Paint and channel your inner artist. I limit how much water goes close to the design because, you guessed it, it can leak in. I work from the outside in as well and typically use wet on wet (wet paintbrush on wet paper) to the outside and wet on dry (wet paintbrush to dry paper) near the design. But experiment and see what works for you.
I let the whole project dry. It's hard to wait. But. I have found that if I pull it off early then the water will spread into my design space and make that awful bleeding fuzz instead of the crisp lines that I want (as seen below). So patience is a virtue and all that jazz, right? Right. I also dab off whatever paint/water that looks like it's pooling around my design. Very gentle pressure because you don't want to force anything under.
|Too much water makes it bleed|
Finally, peel back. Move slow because the 651 really wants to stay there forever and it can tear if you go too fast.
Then sit back and admire your new work!
Or better yet, grab a book and get to reading and using your bookmark, AKA "Quitter Stick".
As an extra, I have since made stationary as well, but I use the opposite technique. So instead of using the negative image, I use the vinyl as a stencil and paint inside the space.
All the same rules apply.
And in case you wanted to know, this is what my final basket looked like. You can see all the final up close pieces on my Instagram account : NellieKNevesAuthor
And no, I couldn't leave the mugs blank.
I'd love to see your projects. Comment below, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.