Card Videos

3 Approaches to Watercolor Backgrounds

Hello, all! At the time of this post going up, I will be on a cruise to Bermuda! Yay! Before leaving home, I created some cards to give to crew on the ship with monetary tips inside (it’s customary to tip the crew member in charge of your room). So today’s video shows the creation of the cards. I decided to create three watercolor backgrounds using different watercolor methods and techniques.

(Wondering what I used in this video? Everything is linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post, or in the text below. Compensated affiliate links used when possible).

The first background was created using Nuvo Shimmer Powder in the color Violet Brocade. I loved how this color looked before and wanted to create with it again. The way the colors bloom on the paper is mesmerizing!

The second background was created using mostly Mijello Mission Gold watercolors (with a bit of FineTec pearlescent watercolors but those didn’t show too much). The traditional watercolor approach worked great here.

And the final background came about by using three different Distress Ink colors: Broken China, Cracked Pistachio, and Crushed Olive.

I used Mama Elephant’s Just a Note stamp set to finish off all three backgrounds. I stamped the large greeting in VersaMark ink and applied Sterling embossing powder for a silver finish.

NOTE: Since many of you asked about setting the Nuvo Shimmer Powder with Distress Micro Glaze, I tried it out on this background. The Micro Glaze did seal the shimmer and color in, however I applied it over the top of the finished card which included Sterling embossing powder. Unfortunately, the Micro Glaze broke down the embossing powder! I was not anticipating this reaction. So, just be warned: Do not use Micro Glaze over the top of embossing powder.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy today’s cards and video. See you soon! I’ll be doing a Live Chat from Bermuda on Wednesday! Join me at YouTube at 7am MT (it will be 10am in Bermuda). Thanks for stopping by!


Compensated affiliate links used when possible. Items marked with an asterisk (*) were provided by a store or the manufacturer. All other items were personally purchased. Items below are shown in the order they appear in the video.

*Mama Elephant Just a Note stamp set
[ SSS | MML ]
Tim Holtz Tonic Maxi Guillotine Paper Trimmer
[ SSS ]
Fabriano Artistico Extra White Watercolor Paper, cold press
3M Scotch Blue Masking Tape
Hardboard, 9×12
[ SSS ]
*Royal & Langnickel Zen Watercolor Brushes
[ SSS ]
Nuvo Shimmer Powder in Violet Brocade
[ SSS ]
Tim Holtz Distress Sprayer
[ SSS ]
Precision Heat Embossing Gun
[ SSS ]
*Finetec Pearlescent Watercolors, 12 set
[ SSS ]
Mijello Mission Gold Water Color Palette Set, 36 Colors (AZ)
Tim Holtz Distress Mini Ink Pad in Broken China
[ SSS ]
Tim Holtz Mini Distress Ink Pad in Cracked Pistachio
[ SSS ]
Tim Holtz Distress Mini Ink Pad in Crushed Olive
[ SSS ]
MISTI Stamp Positioning Tool
[ SSS | MSW ]
*MISTI bar magnet
[ SSS | MSW ]
VersaMark Ink
Brutus Monroe Sterling Embossing Powder
[ SSS ]
Sistema Storage Container (for embossing powder)
Clips for embossing powder container
[ SSS ]
Clips for embossing powder container
Mini Spoons for embossing powder containers
Neenah Classic Crest Solar White, 110 lbs, 25 sheets
[ SSS ]
Neenah Classic Crest Solar White Cardstock, 110 lb. cover, 250 sheets
Scor-Pal Scor-Buddy scoring board
[ SSS ]
Simon Says Stamp Teflon Bone Folder
[ SSS ]
3M Scotch Foam Tape
Tim Holtz Distress Micro Glaze
[ SSS ]
Dahle Self-Healing Cutting 18×12 Mat
[ SSS ]

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  • Reply Charlotte C May 14, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Hope you’re enjoying your cruise. We originally planned a Bermuda cruise just my husband and I, but decided instead to take the whole family (yep, 15 of us) on a cruise on the Allure. Should be chaotic fun. Anyhow, I’m always intrigued by how much effort you put into your cards and they are always stunning. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Trudie May 14, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Thank you so much for the both tips..especially about the Microglaze and embossing powder. Been wanting go try the Nuvo shimmer powder but have been waiting to see it in a video. Enjoy your trip and look forward to hearing about it. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Beth May 14, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Thank you – again – for reminding me a simple card can be a beautiful card. I tend to get wrapped around the axle of complexity. (Or course you make everything look easy!)

    I was taught to use an extremely small amount of microglaze and wonder if the amout on the card “helped” eat away at the embossing powder. I think I’ll experiment. Have a most wonderful cruise!

  • Reply Marcie Lovett May 14, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Lucky cruise staff! The card with the rubbed-off sentiment actually looks good on camera. I’m sure you saved it, somehow.

  • Reply Teresa Doyle May 14, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Very pretty Kristina. Too bad the Shimmer Spray eroded the embossing powder a bit, however thanks for leaving that in so we know what NOT to do.
    Enjoy your cruise.

  • Reply Carol MJS May 14, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    Lucky you to be visiting Bermuda! A little slice of heaven and my favourite place on Earth! My husband and I visited there just three weeks ago. I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time. Beautiful backgrounds on all 3 cards. I really like the purple one that you created with the shimmer powder. Too bad that the micro-glaze degraded the embossing powder. Your unfortunate experience is a learning experience for all of us.

  • Reply Kristie Maynard May 14, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Love those backgrounds, well the whole cards actually. Thanks for showing us these different ways to create the backgrounds and the tip about the glaze.

  • Reply Dana M May 14, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    Enjoy the cruise! Lovely cards, great to know about the micro glaze and embossing powder.

  • Reply gabbe May 15, 2018 at 10:22 am

    gorgeous cards! thanks for the micro glaze tip- i’m really surprised it removed the embossing like that! have a wonderful vacation!!

  • Reply Henriëtte May 15, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Love cards, this way watercolour is great fun! Have to try it. Did you perhaps put to much Micro Glaze on top of your card? Last time I saw Jennifer McG. use it on top of a card and she used a blending tool for it.
    Hope you enjoy your cruise and see you tomorrow on the chat!

  • Reply Irene Isbell May 15, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    Thank you . It is good to know about embossing not to use micro glaze . You learn some thing every day . And I love the cards . have a great trip .

  • Reply MaryAnne Rhodes May 16, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Hope you are having a wonderful time……have been there 2 times and loved it!!
    Loved the cards…..

  • Reply Terrie D. May 16, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    These cards are gorgeous! That’s too bad about the Micro Glaze and embossing powder, thanks for the warning :) I hope you are having a wonderful time on your cruise!

  • Reply Mary W May 19, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    When TH used it he warned us by saying use only a tiny amount so I think I’ll try your method again over embossing powder but use only a little bit to see if that helps. Wonder why the shine comes off on your fingers to start with?

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