There are lots of rainbows around at the moment, not the meteorological kind but ones created to celebrate the work of the NHS during the pandemic. This made me think of doing a rainbow-themed card for my blog this week. I used the leaf cluster from Rooted in Nature as my feature image whilst the large sentiment from the same set was the focal point.
To begin, I stamped the sentiment just left of centre.
Next, I stamped the leaf image seven times, changing between the rainbow colours each time.
Since I had decided to use a Pacific Point card base, I decorated the liner and envelope with the leaves stamped in the same colour.
To complete the card, the front panel was mounted on a black layer before being adhered to the card base.
I was first introduced to the Black Ice technique at Team Training back in January this year. One of the other demos, Stella, did a demonstration of this and I thought it looked quite intriguing. I made a note of it, thinking I’d try it out soon and then promptly forgot all about it!
Sadly, Stella passed away earlier this month but thinking of her reminded me that I hadn’t given the technique a go. I didn’t know Stella well but first met her a few years ago at a card making class and subsequently met her a few times at demonstrator events. She was always very friendly, so full of life and had a great sense of humour. She will be missed and I dedicate this post to her.
The technique was ‘invented’ by an American demonstrator called Melissa Kerman. She has lots of great videos on YouTube, not only on this technique but lots of other cool ideas too. Anyhow, here’s my first crafting journey onto Black Ice!
First of all, shiny card is needed for this technique: foil sheets are perfect. I used silver foil and Grapefruit Grove foil (from Sale-A-Bration earlier this year). I hadn’t used any of this foil as I had no idea what to do with I, it’s not really one of my colours. It seems it was crying out for this technique.
A sheet of scrap paper is needed to work on. I applied a small amount of temporary adhesive to the back of the foil piece and stuck it to the scrap paper. It is possible to do this without sticking the pieces down but it does make life easier. Using a black Stazon ink pad, I started off the edge of the card and lightly dragged the ink pad down the foil, pressing harder at the beginning and end to get a black edge. The aim is to get a streaked, antiqued kind of look. It took a couple of passes as the card was wider than the ink pad.
Next, again using black Stazon, I stamped my design. I used a selection of sets; Best Catch, Beautiful You and Lilypad Lake. My fisherman looked a bit lost, floating in mid-air so I masked him and stamped the water from Lilypad Lake, after wiping off some ink as the fisherman image is quite fine.
Once the ink was completely dry (if in doubt wait a bit longer or dry with a heat tool) it was time for stage 2. This time, I took a Versamark pad and using just the weight of the pad, dragged it down the foil piece in the same direction as the Stazon. Again, it took a couple of passes.
I then applied clear embossing powder and heat set it.
The aim is to get a streaky look with the embossing powder, looking like lines of ice crystals, hence the name! Here’s a close up once mine had been heat embossed.
I messed up the edge of this one as my temporary adhesive was rather more temporary than intended and came loose as I was applying the Stazon! This resulted in the two heavy lines of ink on the left, which isn’t a good look. I used an Inkylicious Picture Perfect stamp that I’ve had for years which has its own frame so at least the foil piece wasn’t wasted.
So, here are my finished cards. I didn’t do much with the backgrounds as I wanted the focal image to be the star of the show. (My photograpic prop this week is a kestrel feather. We are lucky enough to have kestrels nesting just down the lane each year and I found this feather on our driveway.)
Best Catch fisherman with the other fishing images stamped for the background and sentiment from the same set. I used Basic Black and Always Artichoke as I love khaki and have stacks of that card. It is retired now but Mossy Meadow is almost the same.
The yachts and water from Lilypad Lake with Pacific Point background embossed with retired Seaside embossing folder (there’s a High Seas folder now that would work for this theme).
The next two are my Beautiful You cards. As I wrote earlier, Grapefruit Grove is not my kind of colour scheme so I didn’t have any coordinating card stock for my card base. I found that the copper embossing powder worked well with the iced panel and Blackberry Bliss and Rich Razzleberry offered a good supporting role together with the Scripty embossing folder. The other card used some very old DSP that had a vaguely pinky-peach coloured design on it.
Lastly, here’s the ‘rescued’ panel. I used a strip from an iced panel that I completely messed up in place of ribbon under the sentiment.
I hope you’ll give this technique a go. It does involve a little trial and error but is great fun and gives stunning results.
Yes, I know it’s only August and your eyes are not deceiving you – this is a Christmas card! If you’re making all of your own cards for the festive season, it’s better to get started early rather than be frantically crafting in the middle of December to meet the Post Office’s last posting dates. Ask me how I know this!
The Dashing Deer stamp set and matching Detailed Deer Thinlits are the perfect set for creating quick but stunning cards. I really enjoyed getting busy with the glitter again too!!
The first step was to stamp each of the deer using Night of Navy ink and cut them out with the matching dies.
I made a ‘snowbank’ by ripping a strip of Whisper White card and then ran a thin line of glue along the torn edge and applied glitter. I stamped the greeting in navy on the bottom of the snowbank.
Next I embossed a piece of Smoky Slate using the Woodland embossing folder. I glued right-hand half the snowbank to the background.
I wanted the solid deer to be in the background behind the snowbank, but I didn’t want the head of the one eating to disappear. Attaching half the snowbank allowed me to glue the deer into the correct spot. Once they were in position, the remaining section of snowbank was stuck down.
Lastly, the background was adhered to a Night of Navy card base and the patterned deer, mounted on Dimensionals, was placed just above the greeting. I love how the solid deer seems to be looking in awe the patterned guy – he is magnificent though!
The Same But Different
I was really pleased with how this card turned out so I thought I’d try recreating it in various other colour schemes and using slightly different backgrounds. This is another one in the original style, this time using Rococo Rose, a rather non-traditional Christmas colour (unless you’re in Next! 😉).
Vellum works really well in embossing folders so makes for great backgrounds. The challenge is getting it adhered successfully as the glue shows through. You need to either have a pattern on it to glue behind or add a decorative element on top to cover the glue.
For the background for these two, I used some snowflake printed vellum that I’ve had in my stash for donkey’s years! I put lots of glue behind the snow bank and deer and then tiny dots in the centre of the snowflakes, which wasn’t entirely successful but just about looks OK.
My next two feature my own printed vellum. I used White Stazon ink and the tiny snowflakes from last year’s Snow is Glistening limited release set. This vellum is thicker so the glue isn’t as obvious.
For the last pair, I eschewed the embossing folder and instead used the silver birch tree trunks stamp from Winter Woods. When using this stamp, a deeper snow bank is required to cover up the bottom edge of the trunks as it looks a bit weird otherwise. The card on the bottom has no separate snow bank: I just ran the glue along the bottom edge of the trunks and added glitter. It was more difficult to get the deer to be in the background with this one; I had to chop off their feet! 😮
I really like trying out these ‘same but different’ ideas. Sometimes they work, sometimes not, but you can inadvertently discover a stunning combination when playing around like this. I really like all of them and can’t choose a favourite. Which one’s your favourite?
The Stampin’ Up! Butterfly Beauty die set has everything you need to cut out lots of butterflies. I particularly like the two large dies that can be used individually or layered on top of each other.
I started by cutting out the two layers in Whisper White and Lovely Lipstick and stuck them together.
To add further dimension and interest, I added Dimensionals on the back…
…and then mounted the whole thing on a Smoky Slate layer embossed with the Layered Leaves (retired) embossing folder and then onto a Basic Grey cardbase.
After making this card, I wondered how it would work making an inlaid butterfly, like I did previously with the retired (sniff!) dragonfly from the Detailed Dragonfly die set. As you’ve probably realised about me by now, I like a bit of ink blending so I inked up a panel in a rainbow palette.
Top tip for these dies: stick some double sided craft adhesive sheet on the back of your card before die cutting – it saves faffing about trying to apply glue to tiny pieces or thin strips of card.
Using Basic Black card, I cut out each of the two butterfly dies. The first one, I used black for the back layer and cut the top butterfly layer from the rainbow panel. I mounted this on a thick Whisper White cardbase that I had embossed with the planks embossing folder (also now retired!).
Then came to my butterfly rainbow jigsaw! So, this turned out to be much more of a faff that I had anticipated….locating all those tiny pieces.
I stuck the black butterfly top layer onto a white mat and then inserted all the pieces into their matching holes. This was then mounted on a Basic Black card base. It was a very fiddly operation and, to be honest, I’m not sure I’d do another one. However, the finished card looks super!
Mr L and I recently returned from a fabulous holiday to Bangkok where I purchased this beautiful scarf. I had walked past it twice, admiring it from a distance, but on the third time I could resist no longer and bought it – because I loved it and you can never have too many scarves!
Something about the scarf made me wonder if I could recreate the colours and effects on the scarf for a card and the only way I could think to achieve this was to use the emboss-resist technique and some ink blending.
I began by doing some simple emboss-resist by repeat stamping images on white card using Versamark ink and then applying clear embossing powder.
Once heat set, I blended pastel inks over the card. The embossing powder ‘resists’ the ink so the card gets coloured and the images stay white although sometimes a quick wipe with a tissue is needed to clean off any ink from the embossed images.
Round one was a success so I decided to try for the recreation of the scarf. This required ink blending first and then stamping with Versamark and applying clear embossing powder once the ink was dry.
Once the embossing powder was heat set, I sponged black ink over the card, adding layers until I had the depth of colour I wanted. Again, a tissue was needed at the end just to remove any black ink residue from the embossed images. I tried both pastel and bright inks and I think the brights are more suited to this technique.
I’m quite happy with the brights background and I think it looks quite similar to the scarf so mission accomplished!
The pastel under black doesn’t have quite the same contrast but still looks pretty.
I thought the two white and pastel cards were suitable for Easter cards as, whilst they don’t have the standard bunnies/chicks/eggs design, they are quite spring like.
I think it’s important when you’ve spent time making the background for that to be the focal point of the card so I only added small greetings so that the background could still shine through. A lovely little sprig of blackthorn flowers helps set the scene.