I have been extremely productive the last couple of days! Finished my ATCs for the swap next week, the kit for the next swap in January, AND my Christmas cards which I really needed to finish before I left for Williamsburg. I don't usually post my Christmas card until Christmas Day but I had a couple of challenges that I needed to overcome to make the card the way I wanted and I thought I would share the process with you.
I used Tim Holtz's new layered snowflake die and new Thinlet set called Holiday Words; Script as well as an older embossing folder of his for the snowflake background. I pretty much ended up using almost all Tim stuff this year. As soon as I saw the layered snowflake die I knew exactly what I wanted to do for my card!
My first challenge was the embossed background. I wanted a soft white effect on the snowflakes. I've always had trouble with white inks so I tried Distress Paint in Picket Fence first. It was TOO White and the brush strokes from the dauber top didn't blend like I wanted them to. So I dug through my inks and found Snowcap White in the Adirondack Pigment Ink line. I hadn't used it in years was it dried out? Nope - still good but I realized I needed it to be really juicy. Did I have a reinker for it? YES! So I over inked the pad and used a mini ink blending tool to swirl the ink over the embossed snowflakes. Worked like a charm! It blended well so there were no brush strokes and gave the nice, soft effect I was picturing in my mind. Woohoo, one challenge solved.
The next challenge was pretty easy to solve. I initially tried a few different weights of clear acetate to figure out which gave the best embossed image. Turns out the best acetate was the heavy weight plastic packaging that so much of what we buy today comes in and it's essentially free! What a way to recycle!
The last challenge and the one that really kicked my butt was die cutting the words. They cut beautifully but I had a very difficult time getting them out of the die. They looked pretty worse for wear and not really usable by the time I got them out. Then I remembered a trick that a demonstrator showed us at the Springfield stamp show in June. She worked for Tessler Stencils and they had just come out with a beautiful line in thin dies that were highly detailed and intricate. Wax Paper. Yup, the stuff you probably already have in your kitchen. Wax Paper. I put a piece of wax paper between the die and the cardstock, ran it through my Vagabond & prayed! WOW! Worked perfectly! I still had to use my pick (carefully) to start to pop out the die, but once I got one part out the rest of the word just popped right out. Ahhhhh, yes! I love it when a plan comes together! Hee, hee!
To finish my card I edged the embossed background with Broken China Distress Ink. Then, I die cut an oval label from vellum and stamped the design with the same Distress Ink. I ran all the ovals and die cut words through my Xyron machine for a no-show adhesive on the vellum and because it made life SO much easier than applying glue to every word. I was making 20 cards after all!
To make the snowflake pop more and make it look icy I painted the backside (de-bossed side) of the embossed snowflake with the Picket Fence Distress Paint. I used the dauber to 'dry brush' the paint. I wasn't looking for complete coverage but a more random coverage. Here I wanted a streaky look. Once that side dried I applied Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles Glue randomly with my finger to the front (unpainted side) of the snowflake. While the glue was still wet I sprinkled on the Clear Rock Candy Distress Glitter, tapping off the excess. I wanted an really icy look! Once the snowflakes were completely dry I added a punched small snowflake (punched from one of my hand painted papers that I thought looked icy) and a tiny snowflake sticker to the center of the snowflake. This hid the glue dot I used to attach the snowflake to the card.
That's it! I hope in posting these tips I save at least one person some frustration and anguish.
Have a creative day!