Sunday, January 17, 2010

Crackled Vase Artist Trading Cards

This month the theme for my larger ATC swap group was "Crackle."  I had an idea right away - to make a vase that would have a crackle effect.  I looked in my supplies and saw that I had a bottle of "Inkssentials Crackle Accents" by Ranger (which I had never used) and then got busy with other things.

Well - I found out that crackling takes a bit of work!  At one point I considered taking a different approach and using the Rice Krispies characters - Snap, Crackle, Pop - but I stuck to it  (literally!) and finally got my cards done.

I chose the vase with flowers from the Pagoda cartridge.  The key is highlighted above.

While there is a layer option for the vase, I decided to simply cut the basic image twice and cut off the the flowers.  When I looked at the layer option, I realized it would take me forever to hide all of the unwanted parts!

I set up an ATC sized rectangle (2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches) and use this guideline to determine the size of the vase that would fill up the space nicely. 

As always, I was able to be very efficient in cutting the images by using Design Studio and arranging them "creatively" to fill the paper as densely as possible.

I chose this busy floral polka dot print for the base layer so I would have interesting random flowers coming out of my vases.  I wanted the flowers to be pretty but to put the focus on the crackled vase.

I cut another set of vases in the green cardstock I wanted for the vases.  After I cut off the flowers (which I saved for another project) I put the vase sections on an old Cricut mat and starting applying the Crackle Accents.

This turned out to be quite messy.  I had a hard time getting good coverage using the bottle tip to apply the medium so I ended up squeezing a "glob" onto each vase and pushing it around with my fingers.  I am sure there is a better way!

The drying time varied depending on how thick the coating was.  Overall it averaged about six hours.  in this photo you can see what a difference the glossy crackled finish makes to the vase.

Here is a very close view.  I definitely want to try some more projects using this medium.  It is a great effect and I think if I rubbed some ink in to highlight the crackles it would be lovely for a vintage project.

As I usually do for this group, I did the backs of the cards digitally.  For this one I chose a cracked effect to apply to my background.  My first thought had been to try to use paper that looked like blue and white china so I used blue on the back.  in the end I went with the brighter more contemporary colors but I left the backs blue - I like blue!

I made the base card from heavy textured Bazzill cardstock.  After I added the flower and vase layers I thought it looked a bit dull so I pulled out my white gel pen and dotted the corners.  These little dots just lifted the brightness and seemed to finish off the simple card.

Here is the entire group ready to be packaged and sent off for swapping.

It is a lot of fun to try new things on a small scale and participating in a swap group can push you into areas you wouldn't think of trying on your own.  ATCs are a great testing ground and a good way to stretch your creativity.

I wanted to let you know that Twisted Papers has some great new Valentine's freebies for subscribers to their newsletter.  You can see the images on the home page of their site and there is a link to sign up for the newsletter - couldn't be simpler.  If you have a Facebook account, check out their Facebook page and sign up as a fan.  Every time they reach another 100 fans, they will release another freebie so join up and spread the word.  

I used a tiger image from Twisted Papers for my last ATC (here is a LINK to that post).  They have so many fantastic images, the quality is terrific and the price is so reasonable - if you like vintage you will love this site!


  1. Lovely ATCs Diane!!! Thanks for the tip about costco, oh I miss that place!! I think we have one here in Atlanta, which is about 2 hours away from us..LOL! We have a sam's club, but haven't been a member there for quite a while..not much to get when there are only 3 of us.

    Btw, love love the photo of you and your DH!!! It looks like you both had a fantastic time!!

    Have a great week,
    Lisa Sturgill

  2. these are super, I always love looking at your ATC tuts! I do think the blob and finger swipe is the fastest method for the crackle or glossy accents stuff...


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I love to hear from the people who read my blog. I moderate all comments to keep spam off the blog without making you decode the squiggly letters so your comment may not appear immediately.