Every year, Mr L and I have our very own little carving competition. When I say competition, it’s not really as there are no winners, losers or even prizes, it’s just a bit of fun and has become a yearly tradition for us. The rules are simple: you are free to case ideas from the internet or just wing it and you can’t look at the other one’s work until it’s finished! We have had guest carvers on occasion too – my sister joined in the fun a couple of years ago.
This year we are using our home-grown pumpkins! They are a variety called Polar Bear that have white skin but orange flesh inside. We had a bumper crop due to the hot weather this summer and these two were the second and third largest at 16kg and 17kg – the biggest was just over 20kg!!
Whilst Mr L cooked our tea, I did the prep work, removing the seeds and hollowing out the inside (yielding 5kg of pumpkin flesh for yummy soup making later) and then the carving began.
I got the idea for mine from the internet.
Mr L’s came straight out of his imagination – I’m not sure what that says about him!
This idea came to me one evening as I was gazing out of my craft room window at the sunset. It was a beautiful sunset, with very rich pink, orange and yellow colours but only a strip of it was showing. It was obscured at each side by huge cloud banks which framed the sunset. It was stunning! As the colours intensified, the trees in the foreground became silhouetted which made the whole scene look even more spectacular. As such, I was inspired to create this card. As you’ve no doubt gathered, I’m a bit in love with the Dandelion Wishes stamp which works really well for this card, but any stamp which has a good silhouette image will do the business too – have fun trying out different images! I find that a black mat layer or just a black card base (if you’re not matting it) frames this card the best.
A piece of sponge or a sponge dauber for each different ink colour
Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Versamark Ink Pad
Clear Embossing Powder
Scratch paper for working on – it will get a bit messy!
Using small pencil marks, mark on your white topper layer where you want your coloured panel to be. I did 1” and 2½” from the left-hand side. Tear a narrow piece from the sticky edge of the post-it note, ensuring there’s still some sticky area left.
Apply the post-it masks to the topper, roughly in line with your pencil marks and press down well. Erase the pencil marks if you can still see them. Put this onto a piece of scratch paper as you’ll be sponging off the edge of the card.
Stage 1, going up! Using Crushed Curry first, dab the sponge onto the ink pad and apply the ink using small circular movements and ALWAYS starting on the post-it note, start at the bottom of the card and work onto the card. Work the sponge across the card making a small section of yellow. You will be going over this again so don’t worry if it looks a bit patchy. Next, use the Pumpkin Pie ink and using the same technique, sponge a small section of orange just above the yellow, overlapping slightly. Repeat this until you’ve used all your colours and are at the top of the card. You’ll probably still have some light sections between the coloured bands. This is fine, they’ll get blended out in stage 2.
Stage 2, coming down! Continuing with the Blackberry Bliss, start working your way back down the panel. This time when you start a new colour, start in the colour above and work your way down to the bottom of your current colour section but not into the lighter colour below. You always want to start your lighter colours on top of the darker coloured section above as this is how you’ll get the blended ombre look. Continue blending until you’ve reached the Crushed Curry layer again.
Once you’re happy with the effect, carefully remove the masks and leave to dry a little.
Using the Stampin’ Up! Stamparatus, position your card front and anchor with the magnet. Position the triple dandelion image in the inked panel so that the stalks are just off the bottom of the page. Position your sentiment on the white section to the right then pick up the stamps with the flap of the Stamparatus. (If your stamps are a mixture of photopolymer and foam mounted rubber, position one stamp on one door and the other stamp on the reverse side or on the other door as you’ll need to remove the foam mat for the rubber stamps.) Stamp the image and sentiment using black ink. I like Memento Tuxedo Black as it produces a fine image. Leave your stamps in place. Give the ink a minute or so to dry and then pounce (a crafting term for making little dabbing motions to make a bit of powder come out of the bag!) your Embossing Buddy over the surface of the card.
Side Note: Embossing powder is super fine and will cling to any static or oils from your fingertips and then you have the arduous job of trying to brush it off with a paintbrush without disturbing your image. Trust me, an Embossing Buddy is indeed a good friend to have!
Ink up your stamps again this time using Versamark Ink (which is stickier that normal inks and takes longer to dry) and then remove from the Stamparatus and add the embossing powder. Pour off the excess, give the card a tap, I like to give it a couple of flicks on the reverse too and then carefully put it down whilst you get your Heat Tool warmed up (30 seconds or so). This just helps the embossing powder to melt quicker to minimise the warping of the card. Once hot, hold the Heat Tool over the embossed areas and watch the magic happen! You will see the powder melt and go from opaque to shiny. Don’t hold the Heat Tool too close to the card, you could scorch the card (or even set it on fire!!) and move on as soon as one section has melted as you don’t want to overheat the powder, it will lose the shine and texture. If your card has warped, gently heat the reverse side as this can help straighten it out again.
Layer up the card. Adhere the topper to the coloured mat layer (if using) and then adhere to the card base. The card front will be warped slightly due to the embossing so it’s best to use some form of wet glue like Tombow. This is a strong adhesive and will help the card front regain its flatness (is that even a word??) which will then be further helped when sticking it onto the card base. This is why I generally add a mat layer if I’ve heat embossed. Adhere the liner to the inside.
You’re all done!
Optional: If you want even more shininess, add one of each size of rhinestones to the centre of the dandelions!