A Clean Slate, or Just a Whole Lotta Dust?

Well, we are already one week into the New Year and the Universe keeps picking up my chalk and writing all over my clean slate!  I know, to quote U2, that “nothing really changes on New Years day,” but is it too much to ask that the illusion linger a little longer?  If this first week is any indication, 2014 may demand a much bigger eraser and a whole lotta strong-arming.  But if that’s how it’s going to be, well then, bring it on; I’m ready for the challenge.

And speaking of challenges, what do we have here?

Okay, Paper Players, I’m game, though I have to admit, this is one technique that definitely challenges me!  Initial attempts have left me fairly frustrated.  My renditions don’t look shabby-chic or imperfectly perfect; they just look like a big old mess!

And then I watched Betsy Veldman’s tutorial on chalkboard technique, which you can find here.   I stumbled across it last week, while checking out Papertrey Ink’s Make-It Monday year in review. Betsy’s work is absolutely charming, and her Paper* Scissors* Superheroes is one site I visit on a weekly basis.

So after watching her video a few times, this is what I came up with:

2014-01-09 13.33.35

A bit chalky, eh?  It being my first attempt using Betsy’s technique, there is much room for improvement.  However, the other elements of the card work, and I will likely create a new chalkboard sentiment to adhere if I plan to send this to anyone!

So a few details about how I used the chalkboard technique.

First, I actually used “chalkstock” paper, as opposed to regular cardstock.  This paper has a waxy finish and can be very forgiving, since you can add water and erase any pigment ink or stray chalk you don’t want.

This is the brand of chalkboard paper I used, purchased at Impress Stamps in Seattle.

Chalkboard Postcards

Second, instead of just stamping the sentiment in white pigment ink (I tried both Cat’s Eye Chalk Ink and Unicorn White; I prefer the Cat’s Eye Chalk Ink), I first stamped and then heat embossed with detail fine white embossing powder.  Becky recommended doing this.

After that, I stamped the sentiment again, over the original, just a little off center, as Becky showed.  This took a few tries, and since I was using this special chalkstock, I was able to wet and wipe.  However, I learned that too much wiping away will eventually change the character of the paper a bit and make removal of the ink harder each time.  A bit like an old chalkboard, though!!

In the photos below, you can see some of the detailing and resurfacing.



I edged the chalkstock with the chalk ink and when I was done smudging and edging, I heat set my board, which was cut using Papertrey Ink’s tag die.

I just opened a few new goodies, including my Paper Smooches Borders 2 die, and so I thought that would perfectly compliment the school theme of the papers and Lawn Fawn’s notecard die.  The ribbon was repurposed from the handles on an Anthropologie bag!

The quatrefoil embossing folder from Lifestyle Crafts reminds me of a chainlink fence around the playground, so I thought that would work as a background texture.  The Kraft paper is heavy weight from Gina K.


The inside of the card features my Graphic 45 buttons; the larger one is a clock and the smaller a dictionary entry for the word “unique” & “timeless”.


My signature washi tape adorns the back; I just love teal with red and yellow.  Looks like I need to update my tags, though!  Hello 2014!


That’s it for today!  I am wishing you all happiness in your creative endeavors.  Thanks, Becky, for your awesome tutorial and to the artists over at Paper Players for pushing me to finally attempt this technique!  Head on over and see what others have done with their tabula rasas!