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Have you thought about using mica powders for card making?
Mica is a natural silicate mineral that is ground down to a fine powder and is added to cosmetics and creative projects.
Using mica powders for card making will add a vibrant shimmery glow to your cards.
You can purchase both natural and synthetic mica and both can be added to different craft mediums such as paint and texture paste.
The affordable products contain both mica and pigment.
When they are mixed together the mica provides the sparkle and the pigment changes the colour.
I've used both Ranger Perfect Pearls and Nuvo Shimmer Powders. Other brands include Cosmic Shimmer and Arteza.
Let's look how to use these products.....
Before starting your cards check out your card sizes and layers
Click on any Image to see the cards in Gallery format
Ranger's Perfect Pearls have a built in binder resin that will seal on your paper when misted with water.
It also produces Perfect Medium to help the Perfect Pearls stick to the paper. It is thicker and sticker than embossing ink. Though embossing ink always seems to work OK for me.
The powders can be used both wet and dry.
You can purchase small sets with a couple of different coloured jars, a brush and a mini pad of Perfect Medium. It's enough to get you started.
The jars are tiny but a little goes a long way!
So, what can you use them for.....
Simmer Spray - I use the "Perfect Pearls" Perfect Pearls to make my own homemade shimmer spray.
Just take a spray bottle and add a small amount of the powder. Add water and shake well to mix.
Shake each time you use it as the powder settles at the bottom of the bottle.
Stamping - Apply Perfect Medium (or embossing ink) to a stamp and stamp down on the paper. Apply dry Perfect Pearls with a brush to to lightly brush over the medium.
As it's difficult to see where you have stamped, the Perfect Pearls do tend to go everywhere (maybe that's me!). So I've just learnt to accept the whole of the card has a shine with more intense colour over the stamped images.
Gently brush off any excess powder. Then careful apply a light mist of water and leave to dry.
Stencilling - Add Perfect Medium (or embossing ink) through the stencil design. Apply dry powder with a brush. Brush off excess powder and mist. Allow to dry.
Painting - Dip a wet brush into the powder and mix on a craft mat or palette. Add a bit more water to the brush to create a paste before painting with the mixture. It gives a wonderful metallic paint look. Great for adding splatters too!
Jennifer McGuire has in depth videos on using Perfect Pearls on her You Tube channel and Blog.
Nuvo Shimmer Powders are packaged in small triangular bottles with a nozzle which make them easier to handle and shake over projects.
This makes them great for backgrounds...
Either sprinkle the dry powder directly over watercolour card. Spritz with water and leave the powder to move around to create a unique background. Any left over ink on your craft mat can be mopped up with more card using the ink smooshing technique.
Or spritz the card with water and sprinkle the dry powder. The choice is yours.
The less water you add the more definition there is to the individual colours.
You can also use shimmer powder to colour texture/glimmer paste and to add background colour to a heat embossed image.
My favourite shimmer powder technique is to use the powders as an emboss resist.
Heat emboss your image onto watercolour paper and then add your shimmer powder and water. The colours merge around the embossing creating a unique colour mix.
This is a wonderful technique when you are stuck for ideas as it gives you the freedom to just play with the powders and create.
Have a go and see for yourself!