Ice, Ice Baby!

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.

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

2-for-1 Thank You Cards

Having had fun doing the ink ‘smooshing’ technique for last week’s blog post, I thought I’d try my hand at some watercolour backgrounds this week, although I used calligraphy ink rather than watercolour paint.  I’ve watched many, many YouTube tutorials on making water colour washes but it’s not quite as easy as it looks – well, not for me anyway!  Using the Stampin’ Up! Thank You die, I wanted to use the positive and negative spaces of the background to make 2 cards, hence the 2-for-1 title.  For an even speedier set of cards, use patterned paper instead of making a background.

I began by taking my piece of watercolour paper and wetting it thoroughly with clean water.  I then painted stripes of pink and yellow ink and let them blend together.  I then spritzed the piece with some Frost White Shimmer paint (mixed with isopropyl alcohol) for some shine, although the nozzle of the sprayer was a bit iffy so its more splotches than mist 😊

For my second sheet, I wet the paper and then just dropped in pools of blue, pink and yellow ink and sprayed with a little more water to get them to mix.  Again, I spritzed (splotched!) Frost White Shimmer Paint on and then left to dry.

As the water colour paper got very wet, it was a bit crinkly when it dried but I was planning to run it through the Big Shot so that flattened it out a bit.  I used the largest and third largest stitched rectangle dies to cut the background and a border and cut the Thank You from the central piece.

In the interests of using up as much of my inked background as possible and to give a co-ordinated look to the inside of the card, I cut the left over background ⅜” around the rectangular cut-out, cut this rectangle into 4 (2 tops and 2 sides) and then used these pieces to edge my card inner.

I adhered the negative piece onto my card base and then, whilst all the bits were still in the die, applied spray adhesive to the back and placed the die into the ‘hole’ on the card and pressed out the tiny pieces to make the words complete. This made card no.1.

Card no.2 was made by sticking the frame onto the card base and then adding the Thank You cut out to the centre.

These are the cards made with the second background using the same technique.

The sweet peas in the shot are called ‘Terry Wogan’ and are prolific flowerers.  They’re providing me with many gloriously scented vases of flowers around the house at the moment!

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Beautiful Bokeh Backgrounds

In case you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘bokeh’, it’s a photographic term for an aesthetically pleasing blur you get when the background is out of focus.  Bokeh is from the Japanese word ‘boke’ meaning ‘blur’ or ‘haze’ and as far as I can ascertain, it is pronounced “bo-kay”.  However, I may be wrong but, irrespective of how you pronounce it, it’s a fun technique to try out.

To begin, choose 3 complimentary ink colours and, using sponge daubers or sponge pieces, smoosh ink onto cardstock in random places gradually blending the colours together at the edges.  Leave to dry.

Next, you’ll need to make a bokeh stencil.  Cut a selection of circle sizes out of a sheet of acetate or glossy card.  You will need a pigment ink for the circles so that they show up on the coloured background.

Using a clean sponge dauber, apply the white ink in circles, moving the holes around the background and overlapping other circles in places.  Leave to dry.

The last part is to use your unique background to create a beautiful card.  I used gold embossing powder and the hot air balloons from the recently retired Lift Me Up set to finish my card.

I enjoyed the inking process so I decided to try out another in purples and yellow.  What I discovered in making this one into a card is that you can’t stamp silhouettes on it with Memento ink as it dries to a dirty grey colour.  Black Stazon works though, as you can see from my little experiment; S=Stazon, M=Memento.

As this inking disaster had ruined my bokeh panel, I cut off the offending half and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with silver embossed dandelions on the remaining half of the panel.

If you can’t be bothered with any of the above, you can use the Bokeh Dots background stamp.  These stamps are a little tricky to ink as if there’s too much ink on the stamp, it loses the effect. Applying the ink using a brayer worked better for me.

Whilst I had the stamp set out, I decided to use the other stamp in the set too, which is a starburst/firework kind of effect.

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Waterfront Whiz

I’ve been meaning to have a go with the Waterfront stamp set for a while since it gives the illusion of a water-coloured image with just some simple stamping – handy for those of us (like me) that can’t paint for toffee!

There are some great images of mountains, land masses, water and trees which can be combined to create romantic, relaxing or vibrant scenes, depending on your chosen colour palette.

My first card was inspired by the beautiful weather we’ve had on the South coast of the UK the past few days.  All along the seafront where we live are loads of beach huts and there’s a cute little beach hut stamp in the set which I stamped in Pretty Peacock, Real Red and Mint Macaron for a fun look.

I went over the sea with clear Wink Of Stella to give that sparkle of the sun reflecting off the waves.  A Pretty Peacock layer on a Crushed Curry cardbase finishes the beachy, sunny card.

My second card was inspired by Amanda Bates from the Craft Spa and her ‘out of the frame’ style card.  I first stamped the mountains using Smoky Slate together with some Blackberry Bliss dabbed on with a sponge dauber.  I could have done with a paler purple, like Highland Heather, but I don’t have one so I had to think of another way to get the purpley hue.  The mountains in the background were stamped with 2nd and 3rd generation Smoky Slate.  I made a definite land mass by inking up half the land stamp along the edge of the Blackberry Bliss stamp pad, to give me a straight horizon.

I stamped the water and then filled in any gaps along the shoreline with some ink and the Wink of Stella brush.

The tree stamp is too large to use whole for this kind of scene so the trick is to just ink up the top sections of the trees.

I die cut the centre section of the scene using the Stitched Rectangles Framelits…

…and then cut the centre section down further to create a border within the stamped border.

I think it’s really cool that by using different colour palettes with the same stamp set can create a card with a completely different mood.

 

 

 

 

 

Images ©2019 Stampin’ Up!

 

 

Marvellous Metallics

Last week I used foil sheets and embossing folders to provide interesting focal panels.  This week, I’m still embossing but using metallic embossing powder and heat.  I love using the metallic powders on dark card stock, especially the heating part – watching the powder melt and transform from matt granules to glorious shine!  Line style stamps work best for this technique so I decided an outing for the floral elements of Tea Together was in order.

I began by generously applying the Embossing Buddy over my Basic Black card front to remove static and oils from my fingers which would attract the embossing powder.  Next, I random stamped the various images using Versamark, rotating them and stamping off the edge too.  I also stamped another small flower on a scrap of black card, the sentiment and the large rose onto the liner.  I then applied gold embossing powder to the stamping and heat set it.

For my mat layer, I didn’t have enough gold foil sheet so I manufactured a bit using embossing powder.  This is a handy tip to employ too if your embossing powder doesn’t quite match your foil sheets.  To do this, I simply pressed the edges of the card onto the Versamark pad and then applied the powder.  It wasn’t completely uniform, more of a ‘hammered’ finish but I liked it.  If you wanted it to be smooth, you can apply another layer over the top.

My sentiment was embossed onto velum, which is not very forgiving when it comes to adhesive as the adhesive shows through.  I applied a large blob that I knew would be covered by my small flower decal and some teeny tiny dots behind the letters.

The last stage was to add the liner to the inside and then assemble the layers and top it off with the flower decal on some foam dimensionals.

My second card used the same stamps on Basic Grey card and silver embossing powder.  For the mat layer, I used plain velum for an understated look.

The third card features Night of Navy card and copper embossing powder with a copper foil sheet mat layer.

My last card used Basic Grey and silver embossing powder and the small flower.  After heat setting the powder, I used the Chalk Marker to add three small lines to each petal for some added interest.  The background looked a little bare still so I also added little groups of three dots.  (I was introduced to the “power of the dot” when I did my cake decorating course in prep for making my wedding cake).  Small but very effective!

Four cards using the same stamps and technique but with quite different results!

 

 

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!