Shimmering stars from mica-infused watercolor and glitter embossing powder enhance the galaxy background of this card, inspired by the AECP course Let it Shine.
Images of nebulae, particularly that of the Orion Nebula with its pink and purples hues, helped in deciding the card’s palette. Altenew’s Crisp Dye Ink colors of Purple Wine, Starlight, and Ultraviolet were chosen to create the atmosphere of looking out from within the nebula. Using Altenew’s Crafter’s Essential Stamping Mat and Pink & Main’s Ergonomic Blending Brush, large swaths of blue were applied to the card front. Since Starlight covers the largest area, it was necessary to angle the blending brush and use a sweeping motion to blend pink and purple in the remaining, narrow spaces, creating a subtle blend.
Once the background was sufficiently vivid, golden droplets of white, blush, and gold proper were splattered on the surface, using Kuretake’s Gansai Tambi Watercolor Palette. The paint was sprinkled by tapping the brush against a finger, making certain to change the distance from the card front for sizing variety. Nebulae are also called star nurseries, and this layered, shimmering, splattered effect produced great celestial fecundity, enabling the card to embody this moniker. The large, white gold droplets seemed too intense for the background, so they were softened by mixing the remaining white gold on the brush with the leftover Starlight on the craft mat from the earlier ink blending. The resulting color was applied to the partially set, white gold discs with the lightest touch from the brush’s tip. This altered the tone of the paint from bright white to pale blue and underscored the gaseous illusion of being surrounded by the nebula.
Altenew’s Faceted Stars background stamp added another layer of subtle beauty. After preparing the card front with an Embossing Buddy, the stamp was inked with VersaMark’s Watermark Stamp Pad and impressed on the paper. Then, Wow!’s Clear Sparkle Embossing Glitter was sprinkled on the blended background and embossed with a heat gun. This starry lattice glistens in and out of focus as the embedded glitter glints in the light and offsets the multi-toned background’s cosmic effect.
To finish this card, the same stamp set, Faceted Stars, was used to cobble together the sentiment “live a life full of wonder” and stamp it on a one-inch strip of card stock with Altenew’s Obsidian Pigment Ink. The strip was placed at a shallow angle along the lower third of the card front. After trimming this focal front to 4″ x 5.25″, it was applied to a sheet of craft foam prior to gluing the dimensional grouping to an A2 card base. While it isn’t necessary to travel to the farthest stars to live a life of wonder, this card encourages the recipient to see the sublime in the simple aspects of life, which might otherwise be taken for granted … to look up and enjoy the natural beauty, not just of the stars, but one’s proximal environs, too.