Monday, December 1, 2014

December Mixed Media Card Challenge

 Winter Wonderland

The December challenge theme at Mixed Media Card Challenge is Home with the optional element of lace.
Holiday Wishes to my stamping friends!
Our winter days here in northern Alaska are filled with the magic of everything frosted and sparkling with ice crystals. And as every tree bough is filled with snow it feels like one is living in a Christmas card scene. For this month's challenge I want to share the brightness the snow brings to my home during this month when our days provide less than 4 hours of daylight.
The background began with stamped archival ink to color a flourish stamp and then distress ink colors the wave stencil (Memory Box). I used a baby wipe to move color onto the wave areas. And for the top layer I use a dotted circle stencil (ColorBox) with texture paste. 
The snow scene is stamped with archival ink (potting soil). A white charcoal pencil creates the look of layers of snow over the background and stardust glimmer is added. Layers of frost white acrylic paint added depth to the snow. A 2nd cabin is stamped and added on top the first for additional dimension. The sentiment is from Hero Arts.

Creating Acrylic Skins
This snowflake is created with an acrylic skin.  It is a very thin layer of colorful plastic I created to die cut these snowflakes. This is my 4rd acrylic skin and since some have asked for photos I will share  the basic details to help you get started.

Acrylics-either glossy or mat products will work and products can be either white or transparent.  Products like PVA white glue and gel mediums can be used successfully for the base.  Since I had Golden Clear Tar Gel Medium on hand that is what I used.  Acrylic paints or acrylic inks can be used to color the medium. 
Working surface-the skin will take on texture from the surface.  Cheap plastic wrap, freezer wrap or glass will work.  I use an old stained craft sheet and attach it to a cardboard base with masking tape for so I can move it easily .
Tools-texture tools such as skewers, toothpicks, plastic fork.

Basic steps:
Close-up of gel medium in center of  8x12 craft mat
I pour a puddle of medium on the craft sheet.  I tilt the cardboard to speed along the process of the medium spreading into a thinner layer.



I add drops of paint.

 Since I am using a transparent gel the foggy
looking gel throughout this skin will dry crystal

Here I added white pearl paint along with other colors and pull the colors through the medium.
I tilt the position of my skin vertically “to help” the medium spread across the surface.  Okay, that's my creative energy-I love to play with goo! 

When I'm satisfied with the look I make a few more additions. Here I add gold paint and some gold embossing powder.  Micro seed beads or other small elements may also be added. It generally takes mine an overnight to dry but climate variables can change the drying time considerably.

Here is my final skin with it's transparent base. It is “tissue paper” thin. The "yellow" is actual gold which is seen in the snowflake.

Using a skin in paper crafting:  So far I discovered the joy of die cutting shapes from my skins for use on cards. Metal framelits work well.  But punches do not.  l cut a piece of the skin and white typing paper the general shape of the die and  lay them together on the die with the paper next to the die. The paper helps with the release of the skin from the die as well as providing a means to handle the skin.  I attach the paper and skin to my card to provide a bright background for the colors to show their best. 

 I have not yet determined how to make the best use of the transparent quality other than stamping with archival ink on the back.  Stamped images are very clear but of course they are reversed.

Leftover skin pieces-flat storage is essential. If pieces fold-over onto themselves it is next to impossible to get them apart.  And for my already complex colors-double the look is way too much.
I can’t wait to see your skins!  Please let me hear from you so I can stop by and share in your experience.

I also hope you to see you playing in the mixed media card challenge!

Thanks for stopping in!


  1. Wow, acrylic skins are new to me, Jan. Thanks for sharing. What a gorgeous snowflake that must be. I really feel for you having only four hours of daylight a day. I get grumpy here when it gets dark at 5 p.m.

  2. This is fabulous and an awesome technique!!!

  3. What an interesting technique Jan! your snowflake is beautiful - love your little cabin scene too!

  4. Wow! I've been wondering how you made the snowflake - thanks for sharing the technique! I love the depth and movement in the background, the snowy scene and of course the amazing snowflake!

  5. Incredible card Jan. I love the background with the waves of colour and texture from the stenciled embossing past over top. Your stamped and watercoloured winter scene is gorgeous .. wow!! And the snowflake ... double WOW! Thanks for sharing how you make your acrylic skins ... very cool process and the finished product is gorgeous. Loll xx

  6. oh my, that is such a great idea! have never used acrylic skins before. definitely need to try this technique out! TFS!!!! that snowflake looks gorgeous!

  7. Saw your pretty card over at M.Media, and popped over to read all the luscious techniques. Love the non-traditional colors & the great products that you have used so successfully to make a gorgeous card for this challenge. TFS


Thanks for leaving a makes my day