I have a story to share. When our second child moved out of the house to begin his adult life, my husband and I decided to renovate the empty bedroom into a "man cave." I wanted to use warm colors and chose a blue that reminded me of Not Quite Navy for the lower half of the walls with a very light shade of this blue for the upper half of the wall. Then I planned to sponge two intermediate shades of the blue over the lighter color. In between the two halves of the wall would be a chair rail with a rope motif which was also used to frame the window.
I had never sponged walls before but I had seen the results of others work and thought that I could accomplish this easily. I picked up a brochure about sponging at the local home improvement store and read the instructions, gathered my supplies, and set to work. I started with a small area on one wall and the results were hideous! The paint seemed to look like splats on the wall instead of a gentle texture. I thought maybe the sponge was the wrong type, so I repainted that section of the wall and went back to the store and found a different type of sponge. I tried again and even with the new type of sponge, more splats! I repainted the wall, again, reread the brochure, again, and in frustration headed back to the store. I spoke to the gentleman mixing the paint and he assured me that I was doing the right thing but that maybe I should have a lighter hand and less paint. He also recommended a sponge roller. I tried again. The results this time were worse than ever! I was in tears as I repainted the wall yet again.
This time I called Mom & Dad and told them the whole sorry tale and asked what I was doing wrong. I have to mention that they are champion wall painters and have tried pretty much every technique for decorating walls with a high level of success. They were stymied and told me they'd be right over. I set up the supplies, explained what I was trying to do and they examined my tools. Then Mom asks me to demonstrate my technique. I picked up the sponge, lightly tapped the paint and headed to the wall. Mom and Dad began chuckling and told me to stop. It turns out that I had the right type of sponge the first time, the second time, and even the third time! The problem wasn't the sponges, it was water! Actually the LACK of water...the sponge needed to be damp. I went back to the brochure and showed my parents that there was no mention of a damp sponge. Mom demonstrated the proper technique with the sponge and I was on my way. Mom and Dad even stuck around to help and we finished pretty quickly.
So fast forward to today and the Frame It stamp set. When I first saw it in the catalog, I envisioned scrapbook pages and a fun way to incorporate a "wall" of photos. Here's what I came up with for the September meeting of the SASS Stamp Club.
I wanted to use the Well Worn Designer Series Paper for the lower half of the walls and picked up colors from the paper to use for the frames: Cajun Craze, Early Espresso, Not Quite Navy, and Soft Suede. The frame images were stamped on the cardstock with Versamark, covered with Gold embossing powder, and heat embossed with the Heat Tool. Then each frame was cut out with Paper Snips. When I placed the strip of paper and the frames on the Very Vanilla Textured cardstock base pages (without adhering them), the pages just seemed to scream "Bland!" So I sat there and stared at them waiting for inspiration to strike. Nothing. So I decided to step away and tidy up. While I was putting sponges away, I came across some small sea sponges. Of course! Sponge the walls!
I dampened my small sea sponge, tapped the sponge lightly on my Not Quite Navy ink pad, and I was on my way. IMPORTANT NOTE! As my Mom explained to me, the damp sponge should actually be considered "essence of damp" sponge. To achieve this effect: wet the sponge, squeeze out as much water as you can with your fingertips, then place the sponge in a paper towel and squeeze again.
Once the sponging was complete, I adhered the strip of Well Worn Designer Series Paper across the bottom edge of each base page and place a "chair rail" of Not Quite Navy Textured cardstock along the top edge of the Well Worn Designer Series Paper. Then I added the frames to the top half of the wall. For the left page, I used the rectangular and circular frames and for the right page the oval and square frames. The circular frame was "hung" on a strip of Not Quite Navy 3/8" Taffeta ribbon. A small bow of the same ribbon was placed at the top of the frame with a Mini Glue Dot. At the bottom right corner of the right page is a medallion created by stamping the "Memories" image on Very Vanilla cardstock using Not Quite Navy ink. The image was punched with the Medium Oval punch and matted with a piece of Cajun Craze cardstock punched with the Scallop Oval punch. These were adhered to a piece of Brushed Gold cardstock punched with the Decorative Label punch using Stampin' Dimensionals. The completed medallion was adhered to the base page with Stampin' Dimensionals. Oh, I almost forgot...the edges of the punched Brushed Gold cardstock were sponged with Not Quite Navy ink.
I liked the small circular frame wall hanging "treatment" so well, I decided to incorporate a part of the this into the 3" x 6" cards for my non-scrapbookers.
The "Hello" image comes from the Posy Punch Hostess stamp set and was adhered to the frame with Stampin' Dimensionals. The inside of the card features strips of Well Worn Designer Series Paper adhered along the top and bottom edges of a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock liner. The liner was adhered to the inside sentiment area of the card. A contrasting piece of Well Worn Designer Series Paper was adhered to the envelope flap of the Small Open End Envelope.
I can't walk past a sponged wall (or into my husband's "man cave") without remembering my adventures with wall sponging. It's one of those memories that I can look back on now with humor and treasure for the lessons learned. Sometimes learning something new can be frustrating; however, this time perseverance reaped a significant reward.
Have a great weekend!
Stamps: Frame It, Posy Punch; Inks: Not Quite Navy, Versamark; Cardstock: Brushed Gold, Cajun Craze, Early Espresso, Not Quite Navy, Not Quite Navy Textured, Soft Suede, Very Vanilla, Very Vanilla Textured; Designer Series Paper: Well Worn; Embellishments: Not Quite Navy 3/8" Taffeta ribbon; Adhesives: SNAIL, Stampin' Dimensionals, Mini Glue Dots; Tools: Paper Cutter/Scorer, Paper Snips, Bone Folder, Sponge, Decorative Label punch, Scallop Oval punch, Medium Oval punch, Embossing Buddy, Gold embossing powder, Heat Tool; Other: Page Protectors, Small Open End Envelope; Non-Stampin' Up!: Small Sea Sponge