More embossing

If you read my last post you know I am taking a class and prompt #1 is to play with embossing. I didn’t have most of the items needed so tonight I tried some alternative ideas. Here is the report of what I tried.

Task 1: Make a multicolor embossed background. Use Post-It tape to mask off areas after inking with embossing ink. Add color 1 of embossing. Remove some masking. Add color 2. Repeat for all masking.
My Take: Use washi tape instead of Post-It tape.
Result: Washi tape was too sticky. It left sticky residue which clung to the embossing powder. It also lifted some of the embossing ink and thus get crisp images. (I used black, copper and silver embossing powders. Can you see all the colors? That part was lovely.)

Task 2: Make a faux ceramic tile. Using a chipboard element called Inchies, mask it, then die cut the whole thing with a wafter-thin die to just cut the masking paper while embossing the Inchie underneath to allow texture and different masked areas for inking. Cover the whole tile with clear embossing powder to get a ceramic look.
My Take: I used Avery label paper sheets as a masking paper replacement. I tried to reduce the sticky factor by running the sticky on my pants before using it. To replace the Inchies I simply cut chipboard into circles using a steel-ruled die.
Result: Masking paper was still too sticky. After running it through the die cutter, it adhered to the chipboard and peeled off the top layer when I tried to remove it to ink. This left an unpleasant fuzzy texture. The chipboard was just too dark to get the bright pops of color that the technique had. I do have thinner white chipboard so I may try again with that. (However, it may be too thin and the die may cut through it instead of embossing it.)

Task: Use different colors of embossing powder to create cool backgrounds.
My Take: Since I don’t have many different colors of embossing powder I tried making my own using clear embossing powder and Pearl Ex (an old, old stash item).
Result: I started with about a 2:1 ratio of powder to Pearl Ex and that was too much Pearl Ex (the white piece was stamped at this ratio). It did not allow a nice texture with the emboss. For the black paper I added more embossing powder for a 4:1 ratio. That worked better, gave nice color and nice embossed texture. As you can see the colors of Pearl Ex acted differently on white paper than black paper so this is important if you want a specific color for a project! One other note about the Pearl Ex: use an anti-static powder liberally before embossing because the Pearl Ex is VERY staticky and will stick to everything. After using the anti-static it still stuck to everything but was easy to wipe away using a baby wipe AFTER the heat embossing was finished.

Experiment with these things for yourself and see what you think!

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Heat Embossing & Inlay die cutting

I’m taking the Clean & Simple Cards 4 class from The class runs for this week as an interactive class and then will switch to a self paced class after that. So, if you are interested, head over and sign up. (Plus I hear they give away lots of prizes in their classes!)

Day 1 was all about heat embossing. I found that I didn’t have many of the supplies to complete the example projects (lots of colors of embossing powder, masking paper, etc). But I am finding I am comping up with ideas on how to adapt to the materials I do have. I took two colors (of the maybe 5 I own) of embossing powder and decided instead of doing the shape masking (no masking paper!) technique, I would do an inlay die cut technique instead.

1) Ink card front with background stamp using embossing ink.
2) Lay down thin die (steel ruled dies have foam that will ruin your ink) onto paper and cover with wax paper (to prevent the ink from smearing & spreading on your cutting pads)
3) Run it through the die cutting machine. Remove the cut part(s) and sprinkle each element with it’s own embossing powder. Heat to set.
4) Reassemble the die cut and adhere to card base. I inked the edges of the  card front and the die cut with just a small amount of green ink to highlight it a bit more.

Thoughts: I did have some stray embossing powder. That may have been from not using anti-static powder first or it may have been from some of the ink smearing in the die cutting process. I’d be a little more careful about this next time. I am not fond of the 2 colors of embossing powder but my other choices were white, clear and copper. None of them seemed good fits. I may experiment with mixing embossing powder and Pearl Ex to create my own embossing colors. I’ve not done that before so now may be a good time to try!

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Note Cards

I’m playing around with some ideas on making some simple notecards to just keep a stash on my desk for when I need to send off a random note (or check, or…). I usually only send cards for very specific occasions, so notecards is really something new to me. Well, needing to send a quick note to someone tonight about a mistake I made I realized it was time to play with some simple ideas.

My work turned more into play than simple; I got distracted playing with Copic markers and forgot about the simple. I am a Copic novice and I have a small collection of colors. So as you can see in this card my bird and my pots have little color variation. Still not sure what I could have done. Maybe make the bird blue!

What are your favorite color combos for birds? How about terra cotta pots? Comment to let me know!

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Art Journal Play

So I am taking a class over at called Finding the Art In my Journal. I’ve taken one other AJ class before but only got through a few of the prompts because I was trying to create “finished works”. This time around I am just going to let myself play with materials and see what happens.

So far I have this (which is truly just messing around at it’s finest!)…

And I have this (which is just words that popped into my head from the prompt and I just added color and played with stencils and baby wipes)…

The colors in the second are much brighter than pictured and I am actually quite happy with it. Discovery: playing with and blending colors just is methodical and soothing.

Go play with colors and see how they make YOU feel!

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Contest entry

Just a plain simple contest entry for a recent Scraptastic Club blog post. I wasn’t that trilled with the lucky theme of the May 2014 kit and wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. Best idea? Use up all the specifically lucky themed items in one big embellishment grouping. Since I spent this past weekend feeling very lucky about how our family makes its way in this world, I chose that topic to write about. I left it without a photos to just let the words speak. And that works well for the challenge.

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Card that doubles as a gift

I made this card for a family member who lives far away. I thought she could use some cheering up so I wanted to send flowers. But fresh bouquet deliveries are so expensive and they just die. So I made a paper bouquet instead! Plus the flowers pull out of the card and can be used as decor items or even bookmarks. How crafy of me ;)

(Remember that post about trying to get more blog posts done even if the image quality is low? Well here is that low quality, color uncorrected image I’m talking about. Uggh. I don’t know if this is going to work for me long term.)

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Layout Roundup- Oct STC kit

And the roundup of layouts I made with the October Never Tear Us Apart STC kit. I had the kit plus the pattern paper add-on. Another 8 layouts for this one. I had 2 full sheets of pattern paper still left over so the extra paper did help some, but not as much as you might think. I did struggle a bit with the alpha included. I didn’t have enough letters to make most of the titles I wanted so I turned to adding hand lettering, abbreviations and even my Cricut for title boosts. I’m not really a fan of hand titling, though hand journaling feels just fine. I want my titles to more clean and formal than what I can do by hand most of the time.

These first two here you haven’t seen before and they were the first two layouts I made with this kit way back when the kit was fresh in my hands. Fresh kits are so inspiring, yet hard to cut into those whole sheets of paper for fear they may be better used in some future way. I’m trying to get over that! Having a second set of pattern paper sure helped with that feeling.

The next 3 you’ve seen the layouts before even if in slightly different photographs. Using the same personally made sketch to repeat the same subject layouts for different people is one of my time-saving go-to tricks. More details on these here.

And finally 2 of the most recent from this kit. Using up some of the last of the kit. Remember in my card post yesterday that I mentioned how much I like the chevron paper? Well here it is again! (Inspired by this sketch.)

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Scraps into Cards #2

So I killed another STC kit and made cards with the leftovers. In addition to my kit scraps I only added in a stamp set by Lawn Fawn called “So Much to Say”, ink and pen-work.

To make these cards I had quite a bit of leftovers as I used the October kit and had ordered extra pattern paper. I am discovering that the paper to embellishment balance in the kits has varied for me quite a bit. Ordering the extra paper for this kit was unneeded. Plus, I have to admit that there was a sheet of paper in this kit that I did not like at all. That pink dog paper in the bottom photo. Not my thing at all. Neither was side “b”. I guess they can’t all be winners. I hope future kits don’t have something that makes me dislike it as much as I disliked that dog paper. But… that dislike was balanced with an uber like. That multicolor wood-grain chevron paper was THE BEST. Noticed I used pieces of it on 4 of the cards. I still have some left to play with later. Yeah!

And here is what I still had leftover. Everything has been sorted and filed. And that dog paper… straight in the donation bin!

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Layout Roundup- Sep STC kit

Here are the layouts I got out of the Scraptastic Club September kit. I got 8 layouts out of one kit. I think that is pretty good. Yes some of them are minimal. But it does the job!

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Scraps into cards

Here are the results of the card making I did that I talked about in my last post. I used scraps leftover for a kit club kit. As I end each kit I have decided to create cards. At this point I think most of these cards will be gifts or donations. I like to just play and create but don’t have a million people to send cards off to. This way I can play and create with things that might otherwise go wasted and turn it into smiles for someone in need. Win-win-win.

So along with those scraps I also added a bit of ink, some washi tape, enamel dots and a stamp set.

My favorites are the one on the far left and the “family” white on white card, right back. Some are less than favorite, but that is okay. Everyone’s taste is different and what I don’t like may make someone else smile!

This batch of cards went off to my brother who is currently stationed in Kuwait. He can use them for himself or share this out with his fellow soldiers. I included envelopes and stamps so it takes no money for a soldier to send a card home to a loved one. Sweet!

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