Are you familiar with the term "faux" (pronounced FOE)? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the meaning of the word is "imitation". Uh huh. Another word I always think of when I hear the word "faux" is "FAKE".
Imitation/fake, whatever, anything faux is not the real thing, simply something created to look like the real thing.
Have you heard of the Faux Linen Technique? Just as the name implies, it is a technique made to look like real linen. And I love that technique.
The Faux Linen Technique is one I haven't visited in some time. But, the other day I was reminded of it, and was immediately inspired to use the beautiful old fashioned Santa Claus in the Father Christmas set on page 114.
By incorporating the Faux Linen Technique as a background for my Father Christmas figure, I was hoping to achieve an equally old fashioned piece, something that may hark back to the Victorian Era.
I measured the stamp, and determined that a 2 1/2" x 3 3/4" piece of cardstock would be a good size for this focal point. But, you can't use just any old cardstock for this technique. Glossy cardstock is a must for it to be successful.
The technique is really very simple. Cut your glossy cardstock to size, and with a sanding block (I used an old one that Stampin' Up! carried at one time), lay the sanding surface flat against the cardstock, and drag it straight to the other side. Drag the block with some pressure while sanding because you are scratching off the surface of the glossy cardstock. Do this first vertically, then horizontally. Once you are finished end-to-end in both directions, you should have a fairly even sanded grid on the paper.
The next step is where you will make some decisions, depending on the look you are hoping to achieve. If you want it to look like aged linen, choose a lighter neutral color of ink. In my case, I used Crumb Cake. With a stamping sponge, I sponged the Crumb Cake from just beyond the edges towards the center, all around, concentrating a little more on the the edges.
The photo below was my first attempt. I did an initial layer in Crumb Cake, followed by another in Soft Suede. It looked okay, just maybe a bit dark.
My second try, below, was perfect as far as I was concerned. Where I think I made my mistake was when I stamped Father Christmas onto the Faux Linen piece. I did a great job of stamping him in Early Espresso, but maybe a bit too great. It was just too pronounced. I wanted a softer look to go along with the softly aged look of the Faux Linen I was using for the background.
NOTE HERE: I maybe could have done a little sanding over the stamped image. Not having tried it, I'm not sure if it would work or not. Just a thought.
My third attempt was quite different in that when I did my vertical and horizontal sanding, I overdid it. I pretty much succeeded in removing all of the glossy surface of the cardstock through my diligent sanding. When it came to inking, the paper was much too porous to take the sponging evenly. In real life, this piece feels pretty cool. But it is just too distressed looking for my taste.
Back to the drawing board once again. I returned to the softer sanding as shown in my second sample. Remember, in that sample, the only thing I didn't like about it was that the Santa was stamped too darkly.
So, in this last sample, I made a concerted effort to not stamp Father Christmas as carefully and with not as much pressure. I was so happy with this result that I ended up making it into a card.
PLEASE NOTE: Do you see how beautifully the scratches in the Glossy cardstock made with the sanding block pick up and absorb the ink just the right amount so you can actually envision this as a fine linen cloth?
Anyway, as I said, I liked this guy so much that I created a card using the piece. I decided to use this card for my next Stamp-In Workshop on November 13. Thus, I don't want to expose the entire card so my girls will be surprised when they come to the workshop!
Grab some Glossy cardstock, a sanding block and neutral ink and a sponge and get to work manufacturing Faux Linen! If you've ever done the technique, share your experiences with us!