Sunday, 2 March 2014

Sparkle At Anything But A Card. . . . . .

Hello everyone. Today sees a new challenge at Anything But A Card with the theme Sparkle. How you interpret that theme is entirely up to you. What you make is again your choice but don't forget: NO CARDS please! Remember that our DT is split into teams and you can get inspiration for this challenge throughout the month and a quick click HERE will take you to the work done by the first team.

For me, Sparkle was quite a difficult concept to work with! I like shimmer, shine and the odd touch of bling now and then but glitter and stickles don't sit very well with my style. Nothing against them at all but I'm a sparkle novice and feel totally out of my depth here!

That said, I'm not one to give up and one question kept going through my mind: 'Do you sparkle?'. I decided to base my piece on that. Not sure if I ever sparkle these days but a good dose of shimmer goes a long way to achieving the cause!

I have played with DecoArt Metallic Lustre on my tag today and I love the subtle level of sparkle/shimmer it provides. Be warned: there are quite a few pictures to scroll through here!!

My tag which really does shimmer and almost sparkle - I promise!!

A tag shape was cut from mountboard, partially folder embossed and coated with a thick layer of DecoArt gesso.
Three DeoArt Traditions colours were used to cover the tag.

I followed a technique discovered by Andy Skinner: DecoArt Metallic Lustres can be used as a shimmer spray when mixed with water in a mister. the result is as light or as heavy as you wish. I added a large amount of the lustre to my mister for extra cover.

A second colour was added to lighten the effect. Such a shame that the sparkle/shimmer doesn't show up very well in photos!!

Here the lustre is till wet and I think you can begin to see it's sparkle and shine. If it's too heavy you can wipe some off which is exactly what a did with a baby wipe.
Perhaps the angle of this photo gives you a better idea of the incredible shimmer and sparkle obtained by using this product.

I made a label for my question and roughed it up and added ink.

I have been playing with these Tando flowers for another project and couldn't resist using one on this tag. I love the combination of colours and I believe that flowers do sparkle - even on a damp day in Suffolk! They always make me smile anyway and lift a low mood with one glance.
The chipboard flower is folder embossed, covered with DecoArt gesso followed by various DecoArt paints to achieve a graduated colour effect (or ombre).

To finish the flower, I added a coat of DecoArt Triple Thick glaze to add extra sparkle. You may notice that some raw umber was swiped over the flower then wiped off with a baby wipe first to add depth.
The flower centre is one of my Fimo makes - a small flat button shape which has been given interest by pushing a rubber stamp into the clay whilst still wet. Some DecoArt carbon black Traditions followed by a rub of their Metallic lustre finished the look.

Behind the flower and embossed strips, you will see a combination of stencilled carbon black and embossed stamping. This was all added to give extra interest to this section.

Detailed view of the embossed stamping and below that the stencilling. You may also notice that some of the raised areas appear to have a dark shadow on them - I achieved this by shading with a charcoal pencil and then rubbing it in with a finger. I think the effect is subtle but just adds more depth to the piece - oh, and I never know when to stop!!
 A rusty wire hanging loop was added to the top of the tag.

Another of my Fimo makes, made using the same technique as described earlier. My little 'nod' to sparkle is not very clear here but there is a clear, tiny gem towards the bottom right of the heart!
Now it's your turn to show us what you interpret as 'Sparkle' on Anything But A Card! Can't wait to see what you come up with - hoping that one of you will help me with my 'sparkly' aversion!!


  1. Wonderful. Love the colors you have used. The orange with the blue. it looks fresh.
    And thank you for you good explanation must have taken you allot of time. If I have time left over
    today i want to give it a try. Have a lovely Sunday.

  2. Soooo in love with all the brilliant texture, Julia! LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

    Claudia x

  3. I love this tag, it is so tactile! The 'no cards' is a great rule to take crafters out of what might be their 'safety zone'. Good luck everyone.

  4. Well, I'd take shimmer and shine over outright sparkle (especially glitter) any day... and I just love the painty depths under the glow of the lustre. Fab tip about using it as a spray - excited to try that! A brilliant tag full of scrumptious texture, and the flower and heart finish it beautifully.
    Alison xx

  5. so pretty- love the texture and shimmer~

  6. Love the colours and textures of your tag, the pop of colour from that flower is fab and I've never thought of embossing chipboard before, great idea.

  7. Hi Julia, Gorgeous tag, full of lovely texture. love the colour and shimmer. Great idea to add a 'sparkle' in the heart.
    Avril xx

  8. Amazing, love the bright colored flower and the wire.

  9. Hee hee, another stunning make sweetie. I LOVE your flowers, soooooooo vibrant and cheery - big grin on my face right now lol.
    Huge hugs x x x x

  10. I don't mind a bit of glitter now and then but I do love your shimmer and shine, it is fabulous. And that flower is just simply stunning! Love this... a lot. Anne xx

  11. Fabulous Julia, I love the pop of colour your ombré flower brings to the tag. Xx

  12. Beautifully designed and made Julia, the bright zesty flower sits perfectly on the more grungy textured background and I love the added heart. great job xx

  13. This is a terrific tag--the flower certainly sparkles just as it is with the wonderful colours against the background

    Chrissie x

  14. I love your shimmery tag Julia - great textures.
    xxx Hazel.

  15. Well & truly yummy Julia! I love that glossy bloom! xxx

  16. Love this too, fab tag!!!! Coco x

  17. AWESOME texture and the color and spots are wonderful! The flower just screams look at that! Great tag!

  18. Jaw-droppingly awesome, Julia, as always .. Hugs, Suzanne xxx

  19. Oh this is lovely, so may things to ooooooo and arrrrrrrrrrrrr at and your little buttons are just gorgeous. Yes you sparkle girl!

  20. There are so many things I like about this tag!!! First that you own sparkle isn't your thing, but still worked in a whole bunch o' shimmer. The flowers are amazing. At first I thought they were metal...just too cool!! The colors and textures and fimo makes....mmmm, mmmm. Really great piece.

  21. One of my favourite colour combos used so effectively here. The flower positively pops against the bubble background and I love the wire stem. Jenny x


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Juliax