nature print cards

I spent some time last week creating "nature print" cards in my effort to create art for sale, a new aspiration for me. In fact, I ended up making 30 cards -wow! If you click on the photo or link below, you'll go to my flickr account where you can view more of what I stamped with leaves and flowers . . ., originally uploaded by creativelenna.

My husband Steven loved these cards so much --the fact that they were nature themed/created with leaves and yet so different and unusual in their coloring. He insisted on taking them to work to show off and to possibly sell. : ^ ) Well, he did just that and the next day I took the rest of the cards to the Tapestry Rose Gift shop in Rocky Hill, CT. Steven's cousin, Sally Farrell, who owns the shop, really loved them. She took all the cards that were left! That was so wonderful for me!

Nature Printing is not too hard to do, it just requires practice & experimentation to find out what you like and what works. You need natural plant material, or even silk plants will do in a pinch. It's best to pick the material fresh, or you can store them in a plastic bag in the fridge if you need to, for a day or two. You'll need acrylic paints (I love using Lumiere, by Jacquard ) and an acrylic sheet, or a plastic plate. Even a piece of freezer paper will work for a paint palette. You will use this palette to mix paint colors and as something to put your nature item on when you sponge your paint onto it. You’ll need lots of plain paper to use as cover sheets for your nature items while printing.

How to do Nature Printing on Fabric: Take your nature item (leaf, flower, etc.) and put it on your palette sheet. Take a foam brush or a sponge and dip it in to the paint that you have poured onto your palette. Gently dab the paint onto your nature item. If you need to mix colors, do that on the palette sheet first.

Important: use a piece of scrap fabric or card stock to *test your nature print first* before going onto your actual piece of fabric or card/stationery. Use tweezers to pick up the leaf or flower if it is very messy and transfer it with the painted side down, to the scrap fabric or paper. Wipe your hands off and place a plain paper cover sheet over the back of your nature item and gently press or rub your fingers all over the back of the cover sheet & the nature item. Use a brayer if you prefer -I like using my fingers. Remove the cover sheet, and use the tweezers again to pick up the nature item. If it is a sturdy item, you will be able to use it more than once. You will definitely need to re-paint the item each time you press for a good print. If you are satisfied with your print, re-paint and go on to the actual piece that you are printing, replacing the nature item as it wears out. I love to mix colors on one leaf or flower and that is how I got some of my finished results that you see. I will be teaching this in person to my friend Carla Kurt in October, what fun!