The first of two posts for today.
Today my friend Lucy called round with the Brushos she bought recently. We’d agreed to go halves on these because you get plenty in each pot, which would probably last more than a lifetime because you use so little. I had bought some little pots in readiness for transferring my share over, and a few days ago, I proceeded to label them so that they were ready – in their dry form the colours are not easy to distinguish from one another.
Brushos are water-based pigments in crystal form. You can use them in a variety of ways which makes them extremely versatile. Their main feature is the intensity of the colour. You can sprinkle a few crystals onto dry paper and then spritz it with water, and from the rather dull looking crystals, the colour explodes like fireworks! Alternatively, you can spritz the paper first, and then sprinkle on the crystals. Using the sprinkle and spritz method, some of the colours break down into their component colours – for example, the black one gives quite an array of subtle shades, which is very exciting – from a single colour, you can get many colours! You can also sprinkle a little onto a craft sheet or palette and add water with a brush, and use them like ordinary watercolours. Because they are dry, you can also use them to colour moulding paste without altering the consistency, and because you can mix them, you can make custom colours of any shade you like. The possibilities are endless.
Using the sprinkle and sptitz method combined with a simple stamped image in archival black, you can make simple cards very quickly – cards that have real impact, and no two the same, as the results with the Brushos are somewhat unpredictable and random. You can add as much or as little water as you want, for a less, or more, blended effect according to your preference. They make great backgrounds.
Watch this space to see what I do with my Brushos! I have got some nice stamps to use with them, and need to get on with a Card Factory in the near future as my stash is, as usual, pretty empty of ready-made cards and I hate having to make them to a short deadline.
Here are the little pots that I bought, ready to be labelled.
Having measured the tops of the pots and found that they were 1 1/4 inches in diameter, I chose my 1 inch circle punch, and began to punch out circular labels from a roll of self-adhesive address labels. Epic fail. On the first one, the punch jammed! I had to go online to discover how to unjam it, and one suggestion was to put it in the freezer to shrink the metal! I didn’t want to hang around, so I tried their second suggestion – to spray the punch with WD40 penetrating oil. After a few minutes, the punch released itself, and I managed to pull out quite a bit of gunk from inside – sticky label, backing sheet – and then had to wipe the punch clean of oil.
The best path to trouble-free punching of sticky labels is to punch them along with a piece of scrap paper. No trouble after this. Lots of nice circular labels ready to apply.
I wrote the names of the colours on each one – again, gleaning this info from online. I was assuming Lucy had bought the standard set of 12 Brushos. The darker colours would obscure the writing somewhat, but I had my white marker pen ready to re-name those.
Then another problem – boy was it hard to peel the labels off their backing sheets! Even with pretty decent fingernails this was an absolute pain. Got there in the end, though, and stuck the labels on the pots.
I decided to labels the pots in two ways. For the lids, to mix up a small quantity of each Brusho and paint it on like a regular watercolour, and for the labels on the sides of the pots, to sprinkle and spritz them, so that I would get an accurate representation of what the colours looked like in both forms.
Here are the pots after I’d transferred my share of the Brushos, with the completed labels. You can see how intense the colours are. In each case I sprinkled a very few crystals onto my craft sheet and mixed them with a wet brush, and painted them on – in each case I had to wipe up what was left. A tiny amount goes a very long way indeed. You can also see the labels for the sides of the pots in the making – I used four self-adhesive address labels each divided into three to give the total of twelve.
The next photo shows the Brusho crystals being sprinkled onto the first label using a dry brush.
Spritzing with water. With this first one, I used a bit too much water and it spread quite a lot.
Here are all the side labels complete. I think they look great with the spritzed effect.
The pots of Brushos complete, with all their labels. You can see that I have re-written the colour name on the black and purple ones because the black pen was obscured by the dark colour.
A selection of colours, showing that when you spritz some of them, the pigment breaks down into its component colours, giving an interesting range of colours from one Brusho. I think my favourite of all is the black one – just look at those gorgeous colours you get! The leaf green one breaks down into green and yellow, and the emerald green into green and turquoise. Some interesting effects.
I think my pots of Brushos look a lot nicer than the original packaging! They are fun and colourful.
When you buy Brushos, they are labelled only on the sides of the pots which is a bit of a pain because they tend to be stored up against each other in the box, and you have to lift them out to see what colour they are! A lot of people make labels for the tops, which saves a lot of time and aggro. They also make a hole in the top, which they plug with a paper tack or a cocktail stick – the general consensus is “DON’T open the pot!!” but I have seen some interesting videos online where the person definitely does open the pot, and picks up a few crystals on a soft brush, and taps this over the paper to release the crystals – I think I prefer this method as one does have a little more control. I also think that having a hole in the top is going to prevent the pot being air tight, and if you live in a damp area, as we do, the crystals could start to get damp and clump together in time. It’s a matter of preference, really.
Opening Lucy’s pots so that I could transfer half over into my pots, I found the original pots very difficult to open. I suppose that’s a good thing if you aren’t supposed to open them, but as I shall be using a brush, I’d rather have my pots with the screw tops which are easy peasy to open, and give a good airtight seal when closed.
Now all I need to do is have some fun with them!