Sunday, 1 February 2009

Using Chalks

How To Use Chalks
Using chalks is a fantastic and fun way of adding extra colour, shades, depth and shadow to your cards and scrapbook pages.

Applying chalks to your projects can be done many ways. Got any old eye make up applicators? Use them with your chalks! A great way to do the fiddly bits and detailed areas. Fingertips, cotton buds and cotton wool do the job too. Using chalks the results are always unique, I have never achieved the same look twice no matter how hard I tried!

Before you begin to add chalk to any card making idea you have always have a scrap piece of paper too so that you can experiment, work out which colours go well together and see how you want to blend or ‘smooth‘ them. Depending on how dramatic you want the effect to be will be determined by how vigorously you apply the chalk.

If you have begun to add the chalks to one of your card making ideas and have made a mistake, all is not lost! Use an artists white eraser to safely and effectively remove the chalk errors from your paper. (This type of eraser is also handy for removing any stray chalk dust.)

Once you have finished applying the chalk and are happy with the overall design you will need to use a fixative to stop the chalk from smearing. As tempting as it may be never use hairspray to set the chalk. It is particularly important if you are using the chalks for scrap booking because hairspray is not photo friendly and can react badly causing your photos to deteriorate and yellow.

Storing your chalks is important. It is recommended that you store chalks as flat as possible as banging and/or knocking the box will cause the chalks to break up…. but worse of all it will mix the colours together rendering them virtually useless. The Dovecraft Blending chalks at Kay Dees Crafts come in their own metal case which is perfect to avoid this happening.

Here are a few ideas to trigger your own creative imagination:
* Fill in - or simply outline - a stencilling template with chalk.
* Chalk will even tint ribbons and fibres for a perfect colour match.
* Create a rubbing of an embossed diecut by applying the chalk directly to paper that is placed over the diecut.
* Apply chalk to the torn edge of cardstock paper, vellum, or diecuts for a shabby chic look.
* Apply chalk to crumpled paper. The chalk will be most prominent along the ridges.

BACKGROUND TECHNIQUES - from the scrapbook specialists at Hot off the Press

Chalks make a wonderful background for stamped projects too.

For a streaked background, such as a sunset or sunrise, start near the centre of the card and streak the colours outward. Combine several colours. Pull your finger or a sponge from the centre out to the edge. Apply one colour at a time, spacing the streaks as desired and then blend colours. Stamp the scenery elements on afterwards. (You may find matte finish paper to be the best choice for blending chalk colours.) An alternative for this technique is to cut a mask, covering the centre area of the card. The streaks will appear to radiate from a centre white area.

Chalk and water can be combined for a pastel background effect. Apply chalk in one or more colours randomly to the paper. Using a wet rag or sponge, pull and blend the chalked areas as desired. This technique is an excellent way to add colour to freezer paper that will be used for gift wrap or gift bags. Once the background is dry, it can be stamped over, and it does not require spray fixative to remain in place.

Marbled background: Put about an inch of water into a pan slightly bigger than your card, With a knife, scrape chalk dust of several colours onto the surface of the water. Lower the paper flat onto the surface of the water to pick up the colour, immediately lifting the card back out of the water. Allow to dry flat. If your paper develops puckers, it can be ironed to flatten it back out.

Create stunning cards using dark paper. Stamp and emboss a stamp using white or metallic embossing powder onto dark coloured cardstock. colour the inside areas with a heavy application of chalk, achieving a suede-like texture.

Happy Crafting!

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