Are you ready to get messy? Today's technique involves quite a bit of mess, but lots of fun and beautiful results!
Years ago (10+), I bought a package of Plain Paper Copier Transparency Film on clearance. I've trucked it through at least 5 moves, including twice across country. I knew that some day - some day! - I could use it to make window cards. Since I still hadn't used 1 sheet out of the hundred in the package, I decided it was high time I used it for something. I browsed through some technique tutorials on SplitCoastStampers and came across this gem by Beatte. It's an oldie, but since Stampin' Up! has Shimmery Crystal Effects in there upcoming Holiday catalog, it seemed like perfect timing.
I stamped a number of different pieces to try out different color combinations.
Cut a piece of light colored cardstock just a smidge bigger than your piece of window sheet and a piece of tissue paper that has about a half inch overhang on all sides.
After you've applied the Shimmery Crystal Effects, put a couple of drops from your re-inkers on different areas of the glue. I used two different colors and added one drop of each. Start with just a drop or two. If it's too dark, you can add more.
When your image is dry, trim off the excess tissue paper and cut the image to the size you desire. I found that the white and silver embossing powders showed up the best. The black, gold, and copper tended to get lost in the background design unless you turned them to the light just right.
Today I was working on creating Batik backgrounds. This technique, like so many other techniques, isn't hard, but it does take some time. For this card, I used Very Vanilla, Mango Melody, and Old Olive cardstocks. For the ink, I used Mango Melody, Old Olive, and Poppy Parade. I also used the Stitched Shapes and Wild Rose dies and the Brick and Mortar embossing plate. All of these supplies are from Stampin' Up!
Unfortunately, I wasn't thinking while I was working on this and didn't take any process pictures to share with you. Hopefully, the description is enough to help you understand the technique.
I started by cutting a dozen or more leaves from Very Vanilla cardstock. I used non-permanent glue on the back of these leaves and stuck down a single layer of leaves on a piece of Very Vanilla cardstock. If you look at my finished card, the leaves that are still vanilla were where I placed this first layer of cut-out leaves.
Using sponge daubers, I added Mango Melody ink in very areas of the paper, sponging right over the leaves that were adhered to the piece of paper. However, I didn't cover the whole piece of cardstock with ink. Then I did the same with Poppy Parade ink, filling in the rest of the blank areas and overlapping the Mango Melody ink in some areas.
It will be very tempting, but don't remove this first layer of leaves yet!
You should still have plenty of leaves left over that you didn't attach in the first step. I added these leaves in a second layer over the first leaves. Now, your leaves from the second layer will overlap those from the first layer.
Repeat the inking steps you did before, but this time, use Poppy Parade and Old Olive ink. When you are done, carefully remove the leaves to reveal the beautiful batik background.
Watercolor backgrounds can seem intimidating, but here's a way to easily create a watercolor background using an acrylic block. You know those clear plastic blocks you adhere your stamps to? Those are the secret to a beautiful background.
Today's Tips & Techniques for the Weekend focuses on heat embossing. This is an old standby in the world of stamping, but one that never fails to add a bit of elegance or a professional look to your card.
There are a few basic supplies you will need:
- Embossing Ink or Versamark Ink
- Embossing Powder
- a Heat Gun
For this card, I am using the To A Wild Rose stamp set and embossing the images on the See a Silhouette Designer Series Paper. Stamping on patterned paper is a fun way to get an interesting fill for your line images. I love the watercolor look of the See A Silhouette paper and this way, I didn't have to do any coloring!
I used white embossing powder for my card. Just dump some over the area you stamped, and then turn your card over and let the excess powder fall on your scrap paper. You can lightly tap the back of your card to remove any stray powder. If you still have some powder in areas where it shouldn't be, carefully use a dry paintbrush to brush it away.
Then, gently fold your scrap paper and pour the extra embossing powder back in the jar.
A much easier method is to use a heat gun. Slowly move the heat gun over your image as you see the powder melt. Be careful not to hold the heat gun in one place for too long because you can over melt the powder. This will cause it to appear dull and melt completely into the cardstock leaving a flat image instead of a raised one.
Now, you're going to cut this piece into strips going the other direction. Each strip can be the same width, I used 1/2" strips for one card, or they can be varying widths. Lay the strips side-by-side shifting the patterns up or down each strip. You can go back and forth between up and down, or make a wave-type pattern, or a variation of the two.
You can copy the ideas exactly, or put your own spin on it. I find that the more I CASE other stampers' cards, the more I start to formulate my own ideas. If you're new to stamping, it's a great way to get started. When I find myself with a little Stamper's Block, I CASE some cards and quickly find myself stamping away again.
Today's tip for the weekend seems like a no brainer, and maybe all of you are already doing this, but it was a light bulb moment for me while making cards yesterday.
However, when designing cards, proportions are really important. I always want to know how an image or a group of images will fill the card front. Since I was designing some single-layer cards, this was particularly pertinent yesterday. Then it dawned on me, why not cut down my scrap paper to card front size. Then I could try out a card design before I stamped in on card stuck. Well, duh, why had I never thought of this before?
Since copy paper is so thin, I could cut multiple pieces at once, and with just a few swipes of my paper cutter, I had a small stack of 5.5 x 4.25 inch pieces of scrap paper, perfect for practicing card fronts.
So, have you had any "well, duh" moments while stamping? I'd love to hear about them!
Heat embossing to the rescue! I embossed some small circles to mimic the look for enamel dots.
To start, I punched some Bermuda Bay circles using handheld circle punches in 1/8 and 1/4" sizes.
For the 1/8" circles, I used half of a glue dot to stick them on a pair of tweezers. Then I dabbed them on my Versamark pad and dip them in my container of clear embossing powder. I zapped them with my heat gun and went through the steps a second time to get a thick coat of embossing.
I did something similar on the window card from Wednesday's blog post. However, that time I used Stampin' Up!'s Glimmer Paper. Instead of embossing, I simply punched out some small circles and attached them to the card.
They added just the right extra touch of glitz to the card and since I made them myself, they matched the the other paper used on the card perfectly.
So, while regular enamel dots are quick and easy to use, if you're in a bind or want just the right color, making your own may be just the hack you need!