My favourite season of the year is spring, when everything is bright and fresh and new. I don't like the dark mornings and evenings of the late autumn and winter, or the dull days. Having said all that, though, I do enjoy the colours of autumn. I am lucky to live in an area with lots of trees, and they are now changing their hues. I can sit at my desk and look at them through the window. Across the road from our house are some beautiful old elms, and the wind this afternoon brought the leaves swirling down like snow. We have a small forsythia bush in the front garden, and just now it is looking quite spectacular.
I wanted to capture the autumn colours in a card, and at the same time try out a technique I saw in the wonderful StampARTic Blog. It used foam stamps to take away colour from a Distress Inked background. The foam stamps were simply sprayed with water and stamped on to the background. Unfortunately I don't have any foam stamps. I do, however, have stencils and sponges. I figured that I might get a similar effect by stencilling with a damp sponge, and it worked! First I tried it on plain card, and it was not bad, but the best result was using encaustic art card, which is semi-gloss. The Distress Inks stay wetter on it for longer and can be blended more easily. Having made the background I then taped a stencil to it and sponged it with clean water.
My first attempt was not very good, as I had the sponge too wet and the water seeped under the stencil. Having the sponge just slightly damp was much better. I also found that I didn't need as much water as I thought anyway, because the colour faded even more as it dried. Another advantage of the encaustic art card is that the water doesn't bleed into it as much as with plain card, so the image stays sharper.
I used a stencil by The Crafter's Workshop, called "Windsong," which I thought was really quite appropriate. It reminds me of leaves being blown about in the wind, just perfect for this card. The tree and leaf stamps are Elusive Images from Graphicus, and the word is by Hero Arts. I really like this stencil technique, and I'll be doing more of it.