Hello everyone! I’m excited today to share with you my Altenew Level 2 Challenge project. My direction was to create a home decor/3D project along with a matching card or tag. So, so, so, many ideas were going through my head but I really wanted something original or unique. Once I thought long enough and had my idea, I had to figure out how to do it. I called one of my favorite craft supply stores and learned of this product called Daniel Smith Watercolor Ground (picture below). You apply this to any surface and it becomes essentially watercolor paper! How cool is that!? I acquired the surface I was using for my project and had to do a number of test runs. I had to see how it performed, how easy or complicated it was to do. I liked it and now my project idea was solidified. My project is recycling a simple glass bottle into a beautiful floral vase.
The most time consuming part of this project is applying and waiting the cure duration of the watercolor ground. To apply the medium, I used a soft cosmetic sponge. As this is going on a very smooth surface, you cannot keep that smooth surface. If you swipe you will be left with swipe lines and if you dab you will have speckles. The bottle I used started as a pearl bottle. I used translucent ground and dabbed, and it is still somewhat pearled. Translucent does not actually dry completely translucent (as I found out). There is a cloudy haze to the finished cure. The cure time is very important. It needs to cure for 48 to 72 hours. If you try to watercolor before then, you run the risk of picking up/removing the medium (ask me how I know) as you add water and color.
Once the medium was cured, I was ready to move to the next step, embossing on my hard, slippery and rounded bottle. To do the embossing, I started by dusting the area I wanted to stamp with cornstarch and a brush (an embossing buddy would work too). This will remove any oils that the embossing powder my try to stick too. I inked up my images with Versamark ink then slowly rolled the image onto the bottle. I sprinkled the embossing powder over the ink and tapped off excess. I continued with this process until there were enough images applied to use my heat tool. Just like embossing on paper, you heat up the embossing powder until it melts nicely. At this point you have to wait for the bottle to cool before continuing otherwise any added powder would stick where you didn’t want it. I embossed all the images I wanted on my bottle. The next step was to use my watercolors and color in my lovely images. You treat the bottle just like watercolor paper; slowly adding color and layering it up. As it isn’t truly watercolor paper; it doesn’t hold as much water, so work lightly. I’ve created a quick video tutorial showing my progression through all the steps.
Once my project was finished, I proceed to make a matching card. My vase used the Altenew Build A Flower – Anemone outline image and the smaller flowers are from the Altenew Beautiful Day stamp set. On the bottle, I used the Let’s Craft Together image from Altenew Crafty Life. I love how this image looked on the vase, similar to a wine label, and I wanted to be sure to incorporate this into my card. I embossed my big Anemone flowers and leaves onto Canson XL paper with white embossing powder. Using my watercolors, I colored up the images using the same colors I used on my beautiful vase. I die cut my flowers and leaves from the watercolor paper. My background consists of embossing the smaller images used on the vase with white powder and coloring them in with the same watercolors. As this is not watercolor paper, but cardstock, I used very little water. I embossed the ‘wine’ label in the lower right corner in antique gold power. When placing my flowers to the design, I added dimension by having 1/2 of the yellow flower flat on the background and the other 1/2 foam mounted. On the red flower I have it all foam mounted. The leaves are both some directly adhered to the back ground and others foam mounted. I love how this gives a realistic perspective to how the flowers are laying over each other. This was such a fun project and allowed me to explore lots of new territory.