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The picture is not the best.  The surface of the card is really shiny.  That’s what I want to share more than anything.

I had nearly two months to come up with a design for this ATC and nothing was coming.  I had no clue and I was down to days.  After watching this video from thefrugalcrafter, I had some inspiration.  I loved her background.  I was brainstorming how I would recreate it and then I remembered I had gotten pearlescent watercolors for Christmas.  I played with these watercolors but I didn’t have a project for them.  So this worked perfectly.

Let me tell you a bit about these watercolors because they are so accessible.  They seemed like such an extravagance but they were only $5 at Michaels.  These watercolors are part of their new art sets that are only $5.  They have a wide range of products in this line.  I’ve used their soft pastels so I was sure I was getting something that could be fun but it wasn’t going to be the end all be all.

But I was wrong.  They were fun to play with but until I did this background I had no idea.  Let me stop babbling and get to the point.  I started with plain ole white cardstock.  I painted it with a mix of blue, red, and violet watercolors.  I used tube paints because I needed something that didn’t require a lot of water to get the color on the page.  I wanted a dark background.  I let the colors mix and create a sort of night sky effect.  (I wish I had taken pictures as I went.)

I let that layer dry before adding the pearlescent paints.  I stuck with the blue, red/pink, and purple mix.  I forgot to say that I painted the underlayer side to side and then did the top layer at an angle to make it kind of a fun effect.  It came out so beautifully.

Since I was experimenting, I pulled out some dark purple cardstock and paint the pearlescent watercolor over that.  The effect wasn’t as full but it created some awesome papers.

After that, I had to come up with a design.  I went with the Dreamcatcher after watching Whitney Freya’s course on dreamcatchers.  I drew the main part with white colored pencil, then accented with trimmed turkey feathers and paint pens.

Nothing used on this card is top of the line – wait I lied, I did find a prismacolor pencil in my stash but I’m not sure I actually bought it.  I like to buy bags of colored pencils at thrift stores and garage sales so I can tell you I didn’t pay full price for that pencil.

Anyway, back to my point.  The watercolor tubes were a Royal and Langnickel set.  The pearlescent watercolors were from Michaels, as were the paint pens – all generic brands.  The turkey feathers were those cheap craft feathers they sell in the kids section of craft stores.  I don’t recommend cutting them unless you have a lot of patience.

What amazes me is that the colors are vibrant and I feel like a real artist.  This isn’t art that is going to get me into MOMA or recognized as a professional but it is art I can look at with pride and know that my creativity has a purpose.  I don’t have to feel guilty that I can only afford $5 paints.  I’m proud that I can do so much and have it cost so little.  The best part is that I know I can replace those paints when I have used them up.  They will never be too precious to not use.  They will bring me joy.

My mom felt a little guilty that the paints were all she got me for Christmas.  Not only were they $5 but they were the only full price item she bought that day so she got them for something like 40% off.

To me, it just goes to show that the right gift doesn’t have to have a large price tag.

I’m thinking I’ll be hitting Michaels up to see what other fun watercolors they have because I remember there being several sets.

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