Friday, October 28, 2016

Technique of the Week: Ombre Embossing

This week’s technique uses something you probably already have – embossing powder.  (If you are like me, you have a lot of it.)  When I first started stamping many, many years ago, it seems like I embossed everything but I haven’t used it as frequently on my recent projects. 

I stumbled across this technique when I was watching a Sandy Allnock video about Distress Crayons (I’ll be trying that technique in the future.)  I thought I’d try ombre embossing to see if it was as easy as she made it appear.  The good news is, ombre embossing is easy and fun!

I decided to put my sentiment in the lower right corner of my card and then die cut a piece of velvet to go on top of the card.  I used a new “Thank You” stamp from Impression Obsession (#E20163) and the largest circle from the Memory Box Stitched Circle Layers die set (#30036).  To determine where to cut my circle I laid the die and the stamp where I wanted them positioned on a piece of Navy velvet card stock that had been cut to 5 ½” x 4 ¼”. 

I wanted a partial circle cut so I offset the circle die.

After cutting the circle from the lower right corner of the card I decided to use an embossing folder on the velvet to add some texture.  I used an embossing folder from the “Woven” set of the Next Generation Embossing Folders by We R Memory Keepers.  I LOVE using these embossing folders on velvet, especially the dark colors.  You can do this step in either order but by doing the embossing folder step after the die cutting step, you maintain the deep impressions created by the embossing folder.

For the sentiment I cut a piece of light blue card stock to 5 ½” x 4 ¼” and placed it in my MISTI.  I put the piece of die cut velvet on top of the card stock and then placed my stamp on the card stock.  I closed the lid of my MISTI to pick up the stamp.  This step ensures your sentiment will be aligned within the area of the card stock that will be exposed by the die cut circle in the velvet. 

I removed the velvet paper, used my powder tool on the card stock and then stamped my image using Versamark ink.  I removed the cardstock from the MISTI and placed it on a piece of wax paper.  I poured Judikins Gold Detail Embossing powder on the top part of the sentiment and then tapped off the excess.  I placed the card on another piece of wax paper and covered the bottom part of the sentiment with Judikins Detail Silver embossing powder. 

I heat set it and as the embossing powder melted, the beautiful ombre embossed image emerged. 

To assemble the card I adhered the light blue card stock to an A2 size card and then placed the velvet piece on top.  I thought the card needed a little bit more ‘bling” so I tried a technique that I saw on Jennifer McGuire’s blog.  Use you glue pen to place little dots of glue on your card and then sprinkle embossing powder over the top of the dots.  You might want to practice on a bit of scrap paper first – keep the dots of glue very light by just barely touching your glue pen to the card surface.  I held the card upright and added embossing powder with a spoon to avoid getting it on the velvet paper.  I added gold embossing powder to some dots and silver embossing powder to the other spots. 

I heat set the card again (being careful to avoid the velvet) and the card was finished.

You can use any combination of colors for this technique.  You can also apply the color in a horizontal or vertical pattern or use multiple colors.  These are a few samples using the same stamp with a variety of embossing powder combinations.

We have a great stock of embossing powders at Art ‘n Soul to include some beautiful glittery powders from Wow that will be great on your holiday cards.  While you are there, be sure to check out our velvet papers too.  I do hope you will give this technique a try and that you will share your results with us.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Technique of the Week: Distress Crayon Resist

One of the interesting things about Distress Crayons is that they act as a resist. To explore this technique, I used one of the newest stencils from Magenta (coming soon!). You need a stencil that has decent sized openings for this to work well. This leaf stencil was designed by one of the Magenta Design Team members, the very talented Carole Dion. It's absolutely beautiful, and perfect for this technique.

First I cut a panel out of Neenah Solar White 80# cardstock to 3.75" x 5" (using the largest rectangle in the Lawn Fawn die set LF768 Small Stitched Rectangle Stackables).

I taped the Magenta leaf stencil (TM190) to the panel and using the Picket Fence (white) Distress crayon, I colored into all of the openings and smudged it with my finger until I was satisfied that it had covered the whole opening.

Once I had applied the white Distress Crayon into all of the leaf openings, I dried the panel with a heat gun. The resist properties of the Distress Crayons work best if the crayon has dried.

Next I started blending Distress Inks over the design. I began with Mustard Seed, and continued with Wild Honey; Spiced Marmalade; Rusty Hinge; and finally with Barn Door. As the color on the panel got progressively darker, the image showed up more and more.

I wanted a little bling, so I went over each part of the stenciled image with a clear Wink of Stella glitter pen. This lightened the image even further, and added a beautiful sparkle that is impossible to capture in a photograph.

I stamped the Thinking of You sentiment with Versafine Vintage Sepia ink and embossed it with clear embossing powder. I sprinkled droplets of water over the image to add interest. It was at this point that all was almost lost, since I dropped two very large splats of water onto the panel by mistake. Since it was 1:00 a.m. by this time, I covered the offending splats with large sequins. This is always an option!

The panel was mounted onto a mat of Stardream Bronze cardstock cut to 4" x 5.25" and all was mounted onto a base card of Neenah Solar White 110# cardstock.

This is a fun technique that you can try with Distress Crayons, and is one of the many ways to use them. 

Art 'n Soul currently has ALL of the Distress Crayon sets that are currently available (Sets 1-5) in stock.

To see additional photos of this process, please check out the Backporch blog here; and to see another great technique using Distress Crayons, please go here to another Backporch blog Technique of the Week entry.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Technique of the Week: Stripe Inlay

This technique is from Jennifer McGuire, and I absolutely love it! This is a great way to use up your scraps of paper.

Here is my first card, and I love how it turned out.

I already save strips of paper, but if you don't have any, cut any of your scraps of paper into random width strips.
I especially save strips from my watercolor or Nuance projects. I absolutely do not throw them away, and now I'm very glad to find a great use for them. I sorted through my strips and pulled out all of the blue ones (there were a lot).

To start I got a piece of printer paper (text weight paper) and cut a piece 3.75" x 5". I wanted this to be the size of my panel. I covered one side of the paper with Stick-It adhesive, and pulled the release paper off the back. I set the panel on my table with the sticky side up and started laying the strips onto the sticky paper diagonally, with each strip snugged up the previous. I chose the strips completely at random.

Once the panel was completely covered, I turned it over and trimmed off all of the excess strips from the 3.75" x 5" piece. I took the striped panel and die cut it using 2 dies: Impression Obsession DIE311-R Santa's Sled and Memory Box die 99545 Snowdrift Breeze.

Once the piece was die cut, I covered the back of the panel with score tape. You could also use Stick-It, but I wanted to be sure the adhesive was very strong. The advantage of applying tape to the back is that it stabilizes your die cut piece; and also, when I turned the panel back over to the front, all of the open die cut areas had adhesive in them.

Next, I die cut the 2 dies out of Neenah Solar White 80# cardstock. These pieces are for inlaying into the areas that the blue pieces came out of. This process is not very difficult, and actually goes surprisingly quickly since there is already adhesive in all of the openings.

Once the white pieces had all been inlaid, I added some Stardust Stickles to all of the snowflakes and Santa's hat. I then mounted the panel onto a piece of So Silk Fair Blue cardstock that was cut to 5.25" x 4". The piece was then mounted onto a base card of Neenah Solar white 110# cardstock.

I had so much fun doing this card that I made another one out of pieces saved from Nuance projects that are red, pink, gold and green. I used the Impression Obsession Merry Christmas DIE439-J, and Curious Metallics Super Gold cardstock.

I will make additional cards with the pieces that I cut out of these panels. Check my Backporch blog in a few days for those (link above under "Blogs we love"), or come by the shop and see all of the cards in person. The photos do not actually do them justice.

To see photos of all of the steps making the first card, please visit my blog here.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Technique of the Week: Next Level Embossing Folder Christmas Card

It's time to break out the embossing folders again! This week we got in 5 different Next Level embossing folders by We Are Memory Keepers. These folders are really unique, in that the embossing is not just on one level. The result you get with them is absolutely beautiful.

We have some cards and samples in the shop to show you how each of these folders look, but I thought I would also make a card for this post to show you.

You get two different embossing folders in each set. The one I used here is called "Quilted."

If you have a Big Shot, the sandwich is a little different using these folders than with traditional embossing folders. You put your cardstock inside the folder, and there is a grid printed on the outside to make sure you place it in straight. The sandwich I used was the base plate with NO tab opened; metal shim; (if you don't have a metal shim, you can try shimming with cardstock, but you should really acquire one of these essential tools. We have one in stock, and more coming from Memory Box). I placed the folder with the cardstock onto the metal shim and ONE cutting plate on top of that. These folders are thicker than traditional embossing folders, so one cutting plate is sufficient. You may want to experiment with placing an additional piece of cardstock on top for more shim, depending on how deep of an emboss you get.

I embossed a panel (4" x 5.25") of So Silk Beauty Pink cardstock using one of the "Quilted" embossing folders, and stuck it down to a base card using score tape. You need a heavy duty tape to ensure that your panel sticks down properly. 

I chose a die to add the sentiment, "Jingle all the Way", which is a new die that we just got in from Penny Black. I cut this out of white cardstock that had Stick-it adhesive adhered to the back. (we just got in lots more of the Stick-it adhesive also, which is perfect for die cuts). I added some of the new sequins we just got in for sparkle, and the card is finished!

If you are looking for simple but beautiful designs for your holiday cards, or for any occasion really, try these gorgeous Next Level folders!

Come in to the shop and you can also see this card in person, along with other samples using these fabulous new embossing folders.

We just got in an order from Penny Black, and all of the fabulous stamps and dies have been flying out the door! Hurry in to see what's new!

We also just got in a huge order from our distributor. We have so much in the store, that you will just have to come in and see it to believe it! We got in new sequins, inks, 
scor tape and more! We have FIVE different Next Level embossing folder sets from We Are Memory Keepers. We got in toner sheets and adhesive foam to use in foiling, as well as more of the great toner pens. If you don't know how to use these things, just ask us, and we would love to show you! We got in lots more of the gorgeous colors of Dylusions paints! These paints are so beautiful! We have more of the Art Impressions square windows stamps that are so much fun to paint or color. LOTS more alcohol inks and Yupo paper. Come in and check it out!

Our Impression Obsession order is due in next week, and we also are waiting for some great new collection Memory Box dies. Come in, we'd love to see you!