I have got a couple of projects to do this week, one of which is a gift for our hostess when we go out for lunch next week. I thought I might do her an All-in-One Box like I did quite recently; this requires duplex card because as you fold it, the lid reveals the reverse side. That's all very well, if you've got some nice duplex card with colours which co-ordinate well.
When I started basic papercrafting some years ago, I bought quite a bit of card, mostly mixed packs, which were really not very nice at all - there was the odd sheet in each pack which was acceptable, but the rest have just been gathering dust, and I thought I might just throw them away.
Since progressing in earnest recently, I realise that many things can be redeemed with a bit of imagination! Tonight I decided to take some of the less acceptable duplex card combinations and try and make something of them - if it all went wrong, it was no great loss!
The colours are extremely bright and harsh, and not at all the sort of thing I would normally want to use. Starting with such a strong colour is a disadvantage, of course, because it alters whatever you put on top. However, I'm quite pleased with the results, but because of the strength of the colour, the duplex nature of the card isn't really improved - the two sides still do not co-ordinate as well as I would have liked. Having done a few sheets, I've decided to use the best of each side independently, and in future maybe to paint a thin layer of gesso over the more objectionable colours to tone them down a bit, at least, or to give me an entirely new, white, surface to work on.
Despite the awful colours, this is really quite good quality card - nice and heavy, with a slight texture, and it does seem to tolerate quite a lot of water and ink and rubbing to blend the colours, so I think this is worth pursuing.
The first one I tried was a totally awful crude bright orange (not my favourite colour!!) - at first the results were less than satisfactory, and at this point my hubby came in, and pulled a face! I said "It's not ready for comments yet!" and I felt pretty uncomfortable, experimenting under his watchful eye! After a few minutes he said, "Would you like me to get you a nice plastic bag and you can throw it straight in and I'll get rid of it for you?" I said no, I hadn't finished, and wasn't giving up yet!
With that one, I dropped some Tim Holtz distress inks onto my glass mat and sprayed them with water, and then laid the card face down onto the ink and moved it around. This did get quite a lot of colour onto the card, but it wasn't very easy to control, so for the others, I sprayed the card, and then dropped ink onto the wet card.
While the card was still wet, I laid some crinkled cling-film on top and scrunched it about a bit. I then dabbed it with kitchen paper, and dried it a bit with my heat gun, before applying more colour in the same way.
The colours I used on the orange card were Stormy Sky to start with - this was very dark, and looked almost black at first. I added some Chipped Sapphire, and then some Rusty Hinge and a small amount of Barn Door. The Spun Sugar I added was a bit too pale and didn't really show up, but a little Victorian Velvet helped a bit. After I'd blended the colours by spraying water and rubbing with kitchen paper, the result wasn't too bad, for a first effort at least.
After working on the orange side, I turned the card over and started working on the bright turquoise side. (Whoever thought turquoise co-ordinated well with bright orange??? Yeuuch...) For this one I used some Rusty Hinge which went a nice green colour, and quite a bit of Tumbled Glass, as well as the residue of the other colours from the orange side which were still on the glass mat. I think this will make quite a nice background for something - maybe an aquarium theme.
After that, I started on the ghastly lime green one (another of my non-favourite colours!) which is white on the reverse, which is at least half-way OK. I'm really very pleased with the result of that one! I did it mostly with Rusty Hinge and Barn Door, and got a very pleasing green by adding Tumbled Glass (blue) which blended well with the yellowy-green of the background. A few spots of Victorian Velvet added another element. I think this one would be a lovely background for stamping leaves onto - an autumnal theme. It also co-ordinates fairly well with the orange one, so perhaps I could use elements from both in a project.
It was quite hard getting the colours right in the photos - the results are not perfect, but I think you get the idea. Doing global colour adjustments didn't work as each time I got one element right, the rest would be "off." In the end, I selected and adjusted the colour balance of each element of the photo separately.
All three would look good with some gold heat embossing. I am also keen to try one of my new gel mediums in the trial pack that I got - the "tar" one which you can "drizzle" over a surface, and it leaves a continuous trail. This can be coloured with the addition of acrylic paint, or metallics, to good effect. Could be interesting!
I shall try doing some more of them when I get the time and energy, but I think I am going to have to use something else for our friend's box.
The other awful colour combinations in that fateful pack of duplex card are:
A darker turquose with a very pale, washed out greeny-colour (how much better it would have been to co-ordinate the two turquoises together!)
The same darker turquoise with pink - this is the one I used for my first All-in-One box - just about acceptable with the addition of embellishments made from the "opposite" colour on various elements of the box.
Yet more of the darker turquoise, this time with the same lurid lime green which is twinned with white. These are truly dreadful together!
I think the guy they let loose in the paper factory where they turned this stuff out must have been colour blind. If not, he had no excuse and deserved to be made to swim in his own dye vats!!!