Friday, 19 December 2014

Maybe it's me...

... or is "bokeh" everywhere at the moment?  In case it's not come up on your radar, it's originally a camera filter effect meaning "blur" that makes a pretty shape with all the lights, quite often circles but you can use other filters too, like this star filter pinned by Byulcho Hwang:
☆  ★  ☆    Stars, stars, stars... Oh...I will have to make a star filter for my camera this year!

I noticed that there is an adorable bokeh card in the Stampin Up Project Life Hello December kit, featured for example in Cindy's  Artisan Team post :


Cindy laments that there is only one of these designs in the kit, and I can see why, it is so pretty. Well, my little crafting ears pricked up and I decided to investigate how to create the bokeh effect on cards, and here's what I discovered:

Stencil method
Make a circle stencil by cutting circles into card or acetate using punches or dies.  Sponge white pigment ink through the stencil (eg SU's craft ink) until the card is covered. Remember to give it time to dry.  I suggest dabbing your sponge rather than rubbing, because rubbing gives a bit of a "rim" round the circle that I personally don't like much.
Stamp method
Stamp with a variety of circle stamps or round sponger/daubers with pigment ink. I've even seen it done with the little round eraser on the end of a pencil. Consider doing several stampings before re-inking, or stamping "off" first to get a variety of depth of colour.
Vellum method
Cut circles out of vellum and layer them up on top of your design. You can colour the vellum circles in pastels too if you want.


In all of these methods:
A blurry background, made with watercolours or sponging etc, works well as does an ombre one.
You can overlap the circles with each other, and over the edges of the card
You can do the circles [or other shapes] all the same size, or if you do mixed sizes, do the bigger circles first, applying smaller circles with more/darker shades of ink
Aim for odd numbers especially of the bigger circles
You could add some pretty sprinkled glitter/embossing powder on some of the circles...
If you want multiple colours on a dark background like fairy lights on a tree, try stamping white first then over-stamping with colours.  To avoid the colours smudging be sure to heat-dry your layers.

Do you know of any other "bokeh" paper techniques?  Please do post below, and look out for an example on this blog soon...

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Please feel free to link to your own related projects, Helen x.