Friday, 30 January 2015

[tutorial] the Challenge Spark---northern lights technique

 Tara challenged Jane and me to create a design with the "northern lights technique" as our Challenge Spark this week. (WOW, Tara, was this EVER a challenge!) What I found is that you actually have to THINK and PLAN AHEAD on this one! And as you follow my tutorial you will see my brain had a few glitches! Oh well, you will also see how it's possible to cover up mistakes! 

YES! I made you a very amateur tutorial this time! Bear with the poorly lit photographs; hopefully in a few days we'll be able to fix that ongoing problem. I just couldn't wait for better pictures; had to do this RIGHT NOW! And I think you'll be able to follow my thought-pattern on here even if it's shady!

 First I grabbed a pencil and quick sketched a few hills and a river onto a 4 1/4" by 5 1/2" piece of whisper white cardstock. Ya, they look kinda pointy, but stay with me...

I cut out my hills to use as a mask.

Using a little bit of adhesive (mistake number one! Next time use, um, something less permanent maybe???!!! Still thinking on that one!) I adhered my hills onto another 4 1/4" by 5 1/2" piece of whisper white cardstock, making sure to place it exactly where I'd had it in my sketch.

Since I wanted my northern lights to kinda splay outward from a central spot I began my sponging in that general shape, making sure the reflection in the river was similar. I started with So Saffron.

 ...then added Pear Pizzazz along one side of each yellow stripe.

 With Rich Razzleberry I filled in most of the white space. By now I could see my northern lights were turning into a v-shape, a bit more than I'd hoped, but I continued...

 ...filling in the white with Not Quite Navy, defining the night sky a bit more.

 I finished off my night sky with heavily sponging in the Night of Navy, making sure to shadow it deeply beneath the hills.

Now to unmask the hills. And here's where I GASPED! If you look closely, you'll see where the left-hand hill tore a layer right through the sky. But I'd come too far to start over. Experience has taught me I can "fix" mistakes. So to continue...

 I used the other part of my mask to cover up my northern lights and I just held this piece in place since I had to move it ever so slightly as I sponged on the black ink. I wanted to cover up all the white that was left. Then I unmasked it and beheld my beautiful river and hills.

 (UGH, that tear! But we WILL fix it up yet!) Taking my uni-ball Signo gel pen I highlighted the hills where in theory the light might reflect a bit. I got it too white, so with my inky fingers I smudged it up a bit. You can't see that part too well, but you're following my thought process, right?! I also used that same pen to stripe in the ripples in the river.

All that was left was to stamp on some trees from Serene Silhouettes and grasses from Wetlands.

A small piece of torn black cardstock covered most of our original tear! See? Simple! I'm so glad I didn't trash it back then when I GASPED!!! I used that spot as the place for my "thinking of you" stamp. I used pearls to finish it off; rhinestones would have been better as they are more watery if you know what I mean. But I'm out of rhinestones and the next batch is on the UPS truck even as we speak! 

Anyway, like I said, these northern lights are a bit too organized for my taste, but for a first, I'm not so disappointed. Next time I'll try and streak them across the sky a little more. 
And I'll TRY to not tear my paper!

And for NEXT WEEK'S Challenge Spark: something all-white or all-white with one tiny burst of color.


White Orchid said...

I like your scene! That white gel pen does wonders on the water & scene!

Tara said...

WOW! I love it!! Looks like I could learn a thing or two about how to create a scene on my cards!

rheajayne said...


Grace said...


Ya I'm lost without that gel pen. Comes in handy so often!

The more you "make a scene" the easier they become!

Jennifer said...

Love this card! Talented, that you are!!!

Grace said...

Jenny, I'd give anything to see what you would come up with, given this assignment! I seem to remember you are pretty good at anything relating to color and design yourself!!

Wouldn't it be fun to get together for an afternoon? ALL of us???!!!

Jennifer said...

Would love to spend a day together doing such! Or 2. Or 3. :)