Saturday, 25 January 2020

Swirly Impressions

For her techique challenge at the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown, Andreja has chosen "Embossed Impressions".

When I tried this before, I wasn't particularly happy with the results I got, so I went back to the video Andreja suggested, and have made a card along very similar lines.

I used a Tim Holtz swirly die (another Christmas present), to create my corners. I cut my card to size first (one 6x6 and one 7x5 card). I gently inked the die with versamark, then ran through the die machine with the embossing mat. Learning from my previous attempt, I tweaked the plates so it wasn't such a deep emboss. This involved using sheets of cardboard to get the depth I wanted, but it worked!

I was looking through my embossing powders for ultra fine, as I thought that would work better, but only had white, clear and black. The first two wouldn't work for this technique (on white card) but I thought black might be an interesting look, so used that on one card. For the other I used regular powder in platinum (a pale gold that I love).

They turned out pretty well - the lines are a bit irregular but I don't think that matters.

Next I added my sentiments. As I hadn't planned at all, I didn't have much space between the swirls! So on the 6x6 card, I went for a small "Noel" from ClarityStamp. On the 7x5, I used a Merry Christmas, also Clarity, but had to shift the words relative to each other, by masking and cleaning in between stamping each word.

I embossed them both with the powder to match to swirls.

The next step was to water colour the embossed swirls. I used distress ink pads and reinkers, and a water pen. For the square card, I used barn door, pine needles, mowed lawn and bundled sage.

For the rectangle, I used dusty concord, blueprint ink, and peacock feathers.

This took a long time!!! But isn't it so pretty? Definitely worth it.

They were both a bit clean and crisp, so I splattered with the same inks.

I decided to mount these on another layer, with the same embossing powder applied round the edge. This meant cutting them down by 4mm to make space on the card blanks - and allowed for a bit of balancing where the sentiments sat.

And then just put them together.

This one is obviously very Christmassy colours. I think with the black it has quite a clean, crisp feel, and I love the pops of red.

But this is my definite favourite! The gold gives a bit of glamour, and I love the blues and purples in the swirls.

So, I think I can say that this is much more successful than my last play with this technique. If it's new to you, check out the video above, and my top tip is not to emboss too deeply.

To share your results, head to the 52CCT blog. This challenge is open until Friday 31st January.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Alternative gifts

Andreja's theme challenge at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown is 'Gifts"

I had a rummage through my stamps for this one, and found a wooden block stamp of a tower of presents - probably acquired at a charity shop at some point.

I used this with black archival to cover my card to start my background.

I love this as a pattern.

My next step was to stamp three large presents from a set, and heat emboss in gold.

I then spritzed with blue and purple, then spritzed water to encourage them to run down the card. I wanted the embossing to act as a resist and barrier, so the colours pooled.

This was the first attempt, while wet - I love the different shades! But... can you see where I mucked up the stamping in versamark and it's acted as a resist as well?

But I liked this enough to have another go, and got my stamping right this time!

However, I then fell out with it completely - I didn't like the big presents, the background shows through too much, it just doesn't work!

But I did like the background, and I hate waste. So, I cut the top and bottom away from one of the sheets, tore one side, and made a reverse panel card. (I don't know if that's a real thing, but hopefully you can see what I mean.)

I cut a sentiment and present from black card (the gift is a Tattered Lace die, the smaller of the set). Using the silhouette left where I'd cut the gift, I marked and cut out white card to go behind the gift so the background didn't show through the swirls.

Then constructed on a 6x6 card blank, and edged with a black sharpie.

I'm really happy with how this has turned out. I love the background, I think the repeated gifts look great and the colour is gorgeous.

Over to you - how will you make a "Gifts" themed Christmas card? Please share with us on the 52CCT blog - you have until Friday 24th to join in.

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Autumn trees for Christmas?

Hello again, time for our second 52 Christmas Card Throwdown challenge of 2020.

Andreja has chosen an unusual colour combination for us!

I have to admit, I struggled a bit with what to do for this one - I love the colours but for sunflowers rather than Christmas.

I wanted to use a tree die set by Tim Holtz that I got for Christmas, so decided to play with my brushos, which are always fun! They are sometimes not the best for colour challenges as they have so many different colours in them, but I thought these might be okay.

I die cut the trees, and spritzed water through them, then lifted and sprinkled on the brushos (yellow, lemon and dark brown). I used Sheena's stamping card as it takes water really well.

But there was a lot of orange in them, and when I spritzed again to disperse, I lost all definition.

Even to put a die cut over, these don't really work. But I think to use in an aperture, or die cut, these could be great.

So plan B was to use a yellow spritzer over the die cut. I spritzed, then lifted the die cut and added a bit of brown brusho.

I love this!

I tried again with the other tree design, but the colour bled a bit much and the tree lost definition on one side.

So I cut another tree in white, and when the background dried, I glued it over the top. This also gave me an aperture to use with a brusho background.

But I also had the die cuts I'd spritzed through, which were now glorious yellow. While they were wet I added a bit of brown brusho to them too, and they looked amazing!

At this point I had lots of potential cards to put together, on a theme!

However, my daughter then developed a fever and has been off school, so everything has pretty much gone on hold!

I have finished one card, with the first tree done with the spritzer. The rest will go in the "one day" box to be finished.... who knows!

I stamped a sentiment, first with fossilised amber distress oxide, then with spiced chai stazon (the colours match the tree perfectly!). I offset slightly, using the stamping platform.

I cut to size, edged with brown sharpie, and mounted on a 5x7 card blank.

I'm not sure this has a very Christmassy feel, it's more Autumnal - but I love it!

Obviously this could be done in different colours, and for birthday or other cards - now I've figured out how to do it, it'd be quite quick too.

To share your interpretation of a white, yellow and brown Christmas card, pop over to the 52CCT blog! You have until Friday 17th January to join in.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

Just as we emerge from the Christmas festivities, 52 Christmas Card Throwdown is back, with challenges to start creating cards for Christmas 2020! We wouldn't want you to get Christmas withdrawal now, would we?

Andrea hosts for January, and starts us off with a sketch.

I have to admit my mojo is a bit AWOL after a spell of poor health. I looked through my stash of backgrounds for inspiration, and found this one - which sort of has the panels (I've rotated the sketch) and comes from this session from last year.

I cut it to size and edged with ink.

The cabachon is from a Craftbox set. I wrapped embroidery thread round, and cut the tag from a card scrap. The JOY stamp is a set I got in a charity shop recently - it's terrible quality (silicon not ploymer I guess) but did the job.

Not my most creative card ever, but a lovely background, and my 2020 stash is started.

To join in, head to the 52CCT blog, and enter your card. You have until Friday 10th January to play.