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This box was decorated using a large background stamp (missing to cover some parts of the stamp with ink produces a distress look), a print out that was then distressed with a pine cone ink and stenciling. The gold ornament was made by mixing a bit of metallic paint with a white gesso for a slightly thicker effect. A few words about my favourite stencils, the brass ones, meant to be used with cuttlebugs for dry or hot embossing. They are perfect for 3d ornaments (stiff and thick enough to produce a ‘raised paste’, relief like effect) as well for stenciling. Although I very rarely use ink pads or paints for stenciling, I go for the most versatile medium sitting on my craft shelf – the liquid bitumen. It’s sticky, so does not run like a paint, and you can easily control the level of coverage. If trying this – use a flat head brush and dabbing motions. When doing that either hold your stencil firmly in place pushing down with your fingers or use masking tape (which I never do – can’t be bothered with the stacking down and repositioning process :). The other advantage of using bitumen is that when you’re done with one piece of pattern you don’t have to clean the stencil to use it for the next bit, just don’t use too much of the bitumen at at time – apply several layers (3-4) instead of a single, greasy one. And if you don’t like the effect, or wish to remove only part of the pattern – use baby (kitchen) wipes, they dissolve the bitumen, but do it quickly as the bitumen dries quickly and you won’t be to remove it with anything else but smelly spirit based solvents.

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