Friday, October 19, 2012

Brayer Misadventure & Delicate Doilies

Not long after I became a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, I was introduced to the brayer by my upline's upline when we had an afternoon of card making. It didn't seem too difficult but I felt that I could achieve the same results with other techniques. Before long, I realised that pastel blending, ink sponging or water colouring with inks, pencils and crayons could not give me a smooth and/or solid colour transfer on to card stock - it was time to buy a brayer. Armed with my new brayer, I could not achieve the spectacular results I had always seen on the internet. I concluded that I was hopeless at brayering and gave up.

However, at my group Catalogue Party, I was asked to show people how to use a brayer. Why? Because I had sought out Kerry Bunting (whom I call the the Brayer Guru) at the 2012 Melbourne Heartfelt Event and had made sure that I didn't miss her demonstration. I watched it, recorded it and when I tried it at home, again my efforts were a flop. I didn't want to be a bad carpenter blaming her tools but I finally asked Kerry about her opinion on brayers.

Duh! Why did I even ask? I should have known that the answer would be the SU brayer. I have professed in my profile that I am an SU snob yet all this time, I had bought and persisted with a non SU brayer which equals brayering FAIL. So, when I was asked to showcase brayering at the catalogue party, I panicked!

I still had this brayer,

failure with non SU brayer
the real deal - SU brayer
not this one

and was totally unsure if I could produce the goods!

I had to go borrow my upline's SU brayer and ahhhhhhhhhh......, a big sigh of relief. I could actually brayer quite nicely. Indeed, all brayers are not made equal and this misadventure with a "happily ever after" ending reinforces my belief that Stampin' Up! produces and/or provides us with high quality products although I temporarily forgot this fact!

Thus, I was able to show everyone how to brayer 2 colours together. Everyone got to make a card topper like my sample below. Do you like it? The colours reminded me of Indian Sarees, don't you think?

project recipe
stamps: Delicate Doilies  (W124960, C122592), Pennant Parade (W125012, C122742
ink: Classic Stampin' Pad - Primrose Petal (126858), Summer Starfruit (126991), Raspberry Ripple (126859)
card stock: Primrose Petals (127544), Summer Starfruit (127542), Whisper White (106549)
tools: Brayer (102395), 2-3/8" Scallop Circle Punch (118874), 1-3/4", 1-3/8" & 1" Circle Punches ( 119850, 119860, 119868) 
added pizzazz: Rhinestone Basic Jewels (119246), Stampin' Dimensionals (104430)

cardessence tips
  • roll only in one direction when you are loading ink onto your brayer as rolling it back and forth will leave "ink lines" on your roller which will transfer to your cardstock and thus will spoil the blend;
  • you can start with either Primrose Petal or Summer Starfruit in opposite corners but do not start brayering right onto the card stock ie. work from outside your card stock into the middle;
  • there are 2 ways you can work your brayer (assuming that you are right handed)
  1. Brayering with a cardboard underlay: With the brayer in your right hand, roll it back and forth from outside your card stock (right to left) into the middle - the colour lightens as you move into the middle. This method works best because the brayer being rolled back and forth and right to left will then not cause the cardboard to crinkle and scrunch up underneath your brayered card stock which will cause uneven ink distribution.
  2. Brayering with paper underlay: The above method will cause the paper to scrunch up underneath the card stock so the best way is to roll your brayer back and forth without moving from right to left. You will have to coordinate this with feeding your cardstock into the brayering ie. move your card stock from left to right. Heh, heh, heh, it's a bit like rubbing your tummy whilst patting your head and vice-versa.
  • I don't think that you can truly understand the difference and why it works without trying it out so, give the 2 different ways a go if you are new to brayering - hope it all makes sense.
Well, I hope that you enjoyed reading about my misadventure and had a good laugh about it. By the way, I have just received my very own SU brayer (a month after the catalogue party). Look for more of my brayered samples that I displayed at the catalogue party in my next posts.



  1. Your card is beautiful. TFS it! I got my SU! brayer and was all excited to use it; tried it and failed and then it sat in a box forever lol. Ur tips and tricks have given me renewed excitement and a desire to try again :)

  2. Thanks for your lovely comments Tracey. Have you tried brayering again since?