Finishing Up a Zentangle Greetings Card

Link to today’s video/vlog on YouTube.

Actually, the title should be ‘How Not to finish up…’. I had a bit of an accident. More about that in a minute.

This morning, I decided to work on finishing up one card design. I knew I wanted to add another layer beneath the panel already finished before gluing it to the cream-coloured card blank.

I dug out some scrapbook paper from my stash. Nothing felt right. The colours were just ‘off’. That’s when I realised I needed to use Distress Inks to colour the lower panel.

I could have used them to colour the panel, then use pens (black, fineliner or metallic) to draw a pattern on it. Instead, I decided to try to emboss the pattern into the paper using a dotting tool / parchment craft ball tool / embossing tool.

Before I did this, I experimented on some scrap paper to see how I could colour the paper (more on this in today’s video).

I decided to emboss the paper first, then add Distress Ink (pine needles) with the black side of a piece of Cut ‘n Dry foam. That kept the embossing white. I found that if I used a blending brush (aka make-up brush!) more ink settled in the embossing. That is also a lovely look, but not what I wanted.

Inside this border, I added some gold ink to create a gold border around the upper panel.

That looked fine and dandy. The horror story came with the next step…

I added some foam tape to the back of the upper panel to add some dimension to the card, along with some glue so I had some wiggle time to make sure I got the panel centred.

The glue was the mistake I think. I had the panel nicely centred until I turned it over to add some pressure to get it to stick firmly. It must have wiggled and become de-centralised.

And when I noticed it was very firmly stuck.

I was so annoyed with myself as I know this is something that nearly always goes wrong when I try to make cards.

The only way I can ‘fix’ things is to cut out that central panel and re-make the embossed border and reassemble the card once again. This time I’d consider having the embossed pattern going under the central pattern so that if it is a little off it won’t be quite so noticeable.

I’m not, however, going to do that. This time, I’m going to make notes in the card about what I did, the media used, what I like, what I don’t like, and what I need to be very, very mindful of the next time I make a card.

Reflecting on the card creation

I know I’m fairly happy with the design. I like the central motif of holly leaves. The sutble pattern in the border around it is nice too, as is the embossed border.

I do wish I’d not used chalk pastels to add colour to this panel. There’s something dusty and muted about it that I’m not at all sure of. I think that keeping things mostly monochrome on a coloured background works best for me, with touches of gold and white, with some shading perhaps.

It’s that thing again. I love colour, but making use of it always has me feeling that it’s where I mess things up, unless I keep the colours really simple. Simple as in black, white, the background colour, and a shadow colour, and maybe touches of metallics for some sparkle and shine.

I do better with colour when I work digitally, but in traditional media I always feel like I struggle.

It’s always a learning experience, more so when things don’t go as planned or when I’m not entirely happy with what I produce. My problem is I try the same kind of thing over and over and expect it all to improve. I think I’m hoping that I’ll work out how to make the various media work for me at some point.

I say, often, I’m going to stick to monochrome, and then go and try working with colour, often with the same kind of feeling at the end. The feeling I like the pen drawing, but the colour/media isn’t what I’m looking for.

Perhaps time for me to make use of this colour printer and add colour digitally and print it out!

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