Embossing: Using Paste & Powders on Cards

The one thing most card makers always remember is that feeling of awe the first time they used embossing on their handmade project. Whether it was embossing with powders, an embossing folder, a stylus or paste, it leaves an impression on both the paper & the person!

Earlier this week I teased you with information on the new embossing paste and posted the two cards I’m sharing today.

These cards are loaded with fun techniques. They are pretty easy techniques too!   We’ll focus on the card on the left, for the most part, but I will share how to make that great “hello friend” image for the second card towards the end of the post.

Step 1: Stamp the images in Versamark onto Crumb Cake CS, after using embossing buddy on your paper to keep stray powders away.  Then apply embossing powder (Gold)  and tap off extra.  Use the heat gun to melt powder.

Creating layers of texture with heat embossing powder.

Step 2: With your card front on an easily washable surface (I chose the silicone mat), choose your Decorative Mask and placement.  Then use Washi tape (I sometimes use Frog tape for painting) to temporarily tape mask down to keep it from shifting.  Apply paste with the Palette Knives in an even coat- Spread it like putting butter on toast or frosting on cake. Carefully remove mask immediately after using.

Step 3:  Immediately close up your embossing paste and clean your masks, knives and anything else that came in contact with the embossing paste using a water bath (for later cleaning) or warm sink and non-metal bristle brush (a toothbrush works great!).

Adding layers using decorative masks for embossing paste.

Step 4: If you didn’t take too long to clean your materials, your embossing paste should still have enough damp spots to it that you can add embossing powder (White) & it will cling to some (not all) areas- don’t try to get a perfect covering of it if you want the shading.  Apply, tap off, and heat set- Yes, be aware it will bubble because of the paste.  It adds even more texture.

Adding embossing powder over embossing paste.
Sponging ink over both embossing powder & paste.

Step 5: Using a dauber and Crumb Cake ink, rub in additional color in areas you choose. I recommend also doing the edges of the entire card front.  The areas with Embossing Powder will resist the color, the areas of paste which didn’t take on Embossing Powder will accept some of the ink, but not as heavily as the cardstock does.

Step 6: Since this card front used a lot of different mediums, I found Tear Tape to be the best to adhere it to the card base.  The card base I used is Marina Mist as it matched my Dragonfly Dreams die-cut the best.

Step 7:  I cut the Swirly Scribbles die out in cardstock (color doesn’t matter, it is being covered in embossing powder), and decided to trim parts of it away before embossing.  Cover it in Versamark, add powder, heat- Repeat 3 times for a nice glossy appearance to the Gold swirl. Attach using glue dots for best adhesion.

Adding a glossy look by applying Fine Tip Glue. Creating a gilded look with sporadic embossing powder application.

Step 8: Use watercolor paper, watercolor pencils, and aqua painter to create a washed blue/green background paper which you die cut to get the dragonfly with variations of soft color. The full dragonfly (background) die-cut is in Marina Mist.  Attach using the fine tip glue pen and then cover the entire die with the pen and allow to sit until dry.

Step 9: The dragonfly on the right has added embossing. Apply areas of Versamark (just tap the corner of the pad), Gold embossing powder, and heat to achieve this gilded appearance.

Step 10:  Use your fingers to slightly curl the wings and adhere the dragonfly to the card with glue dots.

Stamping into multiple layers of heated embossing powder.

Card 2 has one additional technique for this “hello friend” emblem.

  • Using the largest Layering Oval die, cover it in Versamark – just smoosh your pad over the cardstock.
  • Add the embossing powder and heat as usual.  Then repeat multiple times (mine has 5 layers).
  • Before the last time you heat, ink whichever Red Rubber (photopolymer might not like the heat- I didn’t want to try and perhaps damage) stamp in Versamark as a release agent.  Set aside.
  • Heat the final layer and immediately stamp into the wet/heated powder before it cools.  It might slide a bit so be careful to stamp straight up & down!
  • You shouldn’t get embossing powder pulling up on your stamp thanks to the Versamark pre-stamp, but do make sure to clean off any residue asap because the heated Versamark can be difficult to get off the rubber later. -Yes, a little more scrubbing will do the trick.

As an extra bonus: Layered embossing powder stamping is a great project for cardstock you don’t like or stamped poorly as it will be covered. Yippee for that!

I hope you liked all these techniques and try one or more of them on a card.  If you copy my card in different colors, I would LOVE to see the result.  I imagine it would be lovely in so many other colors of embossing and/or colors of the dragonfly & card.

Until next time…

-Joanne

 

 

Jar of Love: How to fill with water

A while back I got a request from Elaine (Hi Elaine!) in my comments asking how I create a water look in my jars.  Since I had already pre-planned and prepped most of my April blog posts early and I needed ample time to create samples of various water-filled jars, take photos, then write up this blog…well, I’m finally getting around to posting the many ways that I have created water in the Jar of Love stamps.

By far the easiest way to create the water filled jar is to use the water stamp which comes in the Jar of Love bundle and your preferred blue ink.  Even if doing this, you still have the option to alter the stamped image as I have done in image 2 above.

It is important to note that when choosing how to color water in your jars, the paper you choose will dictate choices which you have to work your inked images.

Stampin’ UP! Whisper White cardstock will pill very easily if it gets too wet. This paper is best used with direct stamping, blender pen use, watercolor pencils without water or VERY light water blending.

Stampin’ UP! Whisper White Notecards & Whisper White Thick cardstock  will hold up slightly better than the regular Whisper White, but still can not tolerate much water.

Stampin’ UP! Shimmery cardstock will allow for moderate water, but many beginners will find this also is easily overworked and pills with a heavy hand.  Once you get more comfortable watercoloring, you should easily be able to use this as a paper source for watercolor pencils + Aqua painters or a brush. Plus, stamped images are crisper on a smooth surface.

I love the effects of traditional watercoloring techniques seen above on the Shimmery White cardstock.  Both Shimmery white cardstock and Watercolor paper can get the results seen above with these basic techniques.  As stated earlier, Whisper White will not hold up well to the water wash primer with additional water application without pilling.

Stampin’ UP! watercolor paper is a very heavy watercolor paper which will hold up well to water washes, ink washes, dripping water, and puddles of water.  I purposely overworked watercolor paper to show how, if working too quickly with an aqua painter or rough brush, pilling can still occur.

Not all watercolor paper is created like the Stampin’ UP! watercolor paper.  Yes, I own other brands and many are cheaper.  Yes, the quality & results are easily recognizable. I prefer the heavier SU! paper over the box-store versions hands down!  The old saying you get what you pay for holds true here. Generally speaking, a good heavy weight cold-press watercolor paper gives the best results.

Make the choices which work for you and allow you to get comfortable with the techniques. Many people tell me that it is impossible to watercolor on regular Whisper White cardstock.  Yet, once you learn how to control the water, that is only partially true.  You will never get the same results or be able to do all of the watercolor techniques because it won’t hold up to heavy water use, but you can use watercolor pencils and watercolor images on this paper–It just takes a lot of practice.

I prefer, when using Stampin’ UP! products alone, to go with the Shimmer White cardstock.  I like the shimmery appearance of the background and the smooth surface of this paper which takes stamps well.  The more water you wish to use and ink bleed you want from your watercoloring, the more need there is for a good watercolor paper. The results you see above in the Shimmer White could easily be achieved in the watercolor paper, but the wash on the last (overworked) image of the watercolor paper would have been a trashed sample on Shimmer White long before I got to this point. Just remember the rule of water: more water needs better, thicker paper.  Since some techniques require more water, you have to choose accordingly.

One last tip: Need a palette for your ink?  Tap your ink pad, scribble your marker, add reinker, or use your watercolor pencil & aqua painter to create a puddle of color on one of your acrylic stamp blocks.  Then you can grab color from the block and ‘paint’.  Clean up is simple-just wash & dry the block when you are done.

Of course there are a multitude of other ways to create the look of water in a jar.  This just touches on a few basic ink to paper techniques, with just one other medium thrown in a sample (the fine tip glue). I hope this gives you a starting point to getting inky.

Until next time…

-Joanne

 

 

A Sparkling technique with the stamp set Helping Me Grow

The two cards today are both made from the Helping me Grow stamp set. They are very simple cards to stamp and make and yet provide a big punch because they are colored with the Clear Wink of Stella used as a brush with  various inks.  In person it gives a dazzling effect and I continue to make these and others like them because every recipient comments on the sparkling effect.

It is hard to capture the sparkle, but here you can get just a bit of an idea of how fantastic it is:

su-helping-me-grow-card-1-closeup

When using the Clear Wink of Stella as a coloring medium, you must remember it deposits glitter wherever the pen/brush is used.  So, do not color straight from your ink pad. You don’t want it all glittery! Instead, tap your ink pad to your acrylic stamp block to create a painters palette.  In addition to keeping your ink pads free of glitter, you can combine inks to form variations in colors for your flowers as I did in the second (flirty flamingo) card below. Plus, when you are finished you just rinse & dry and the block is clean.

The ‘coloring’ itself is just like using a paintbrush.  Simply add the color by touching the Wink of Stella to the ink and add to the area you wish to color.  You can even add layers of color.  This medium dries quickly, so you do not need to set it aside and wait.  Plus the color stays where you put it.

su-helpling-me-grow-card-1

  • Card stock: Peekaboo Peach & Smoky Slate
  • Inks: Peekaboo Peach, Soft Suede, Old Olive, Basic Grey Archival
  • Other: Clear Wink of Stella, Acrylic Block F, Snail adhesive

 

su-helpling-me-grow-card-2

  • Card stock: Flirty Flamingo & Smoky Slate
  • Inks: Flirty Flamingo, Melon Mambo, Old Olive, Marina Mist, Basic Grey Archival
  • Other: Clear Wink of Stella, Acrylic Block F, Snail adhesive

Imagine the possibilities of ‘painting’ or ‘coloring’ with the Clear Wink of Stella and any Stampin’ Up! Inks.

In case you are still wondering, just a couple swipes on a scrap paper removes the color so you can easily change color or return to the regular clear version.  All the Stampin’ Up! regular collection (water based) inks work this way.

You may wish to refrain from using pigment, alcohol based, & archival inks for this technique.  This includes: Stampin’ Up! White, Blacks (all versions), and basic grey. They may leave your bristles discolored or not spread ink well.   But, I can’t say I didn’t try 🙂

Do you have ideas how you are going to use this technique?

Have fun & experiment.  If you like sparkle, I think you’ll really like the results.

Until next time…

-Joanne