This week’s post is the card I made for Mr L for Valentine’s Day. I was inspired to have a go at making a scene with Copic markers after watching (many) Sandy Alnock’s videos. Sandy is so talented and makes everything look so doable!
To begin, I stamped the mice from Colorado Craft Company’s Ever Thine, another of the Anita Jeram stamps. I used Ink on 3’s no-line ink, although the finished work ended up darker than I’d intended so I could have used black.
For the first stage of the background, I used a variety of pinks, purples, blues, oranges and yellows and swiped lines in from each side of the panel.
I started shading the mice, using darker and darker and darker shades, probably going too dark at the end as the features were more or less obliterated. I tried to add shadows cast by the sun, linking the shadow to one foot only to give the impression of movement, making it look like they are skipping.
Using the black Copic marker, I then added some silhouette foliage and a tree in the foreground.
I used the Copic colourless blender to lift some colour from the sky for highlighths on the clouds before white heat embossing the sentiment. The final touches were white highlights made with a Posca pen and a few Posca splats into the sky.
I do love a silhouette! Trees, plants, buildings, birds, people to name but a few – they all make great silhouettes that are super to use for card making. Create a background by using your preferred method – sponging, brayering, watercolour, stamping, embossing – and put your silhouette over the top. When I spotted the Friendly Silhouette Dies in the new Stampin’ Up! annual catalogue, they were immediately put on my wish list. I mistakenly thought that there were 3 silhouette border dies in the set, and there are – sort of! More on that later though.
For two of my cards, I sponged a sunrise and a sunset. What I like about inking sky backgrounds is that you can’t actually go wrong! For example, if you look at a sunset there are so many colours, shapes and patterns, many of which you’d think were unrealistic if you saw them in a painting but there they are in real life. That’s one of the beauties of nature, it’s sheer randomness!
I began by sticking post-it notes along the card to make the horizon (1). Then I decided whether or not to have a sun. I had a sun in these so punched a circular mask from a post-it note and used both the negative (1) and positive pieces (3) at different stages. After I’d sponged the sun, I removed the negative mask (2) and then placed the sun mask over the sun (3) whilst I sponged the sky. I used Crushed Curry, Rococo Rose and Seaside Spray for my sunrise sky. I removed the masks and then coloured below the horizon using a Basic Black marker (4).
I cut out the floral border from Basic Black card and simply glued the border over the sunrise. At this stage, I didn’t like the black horizon I’d drawn in so I just covered it up with the border die.
For the second card, I used an ink ‘smooshing’ technique. I got my largest block and pressed my Blackberry Bliss ink pad directly onto the bottom third of the block, transferring plenty of ink. I repeated this with Bermuda Bay on the top third of the block. For the bit in between, I applied Night of Navy using sponge daubers.
Once the block was covered, I spritzed it with plenty of water and then placed the card onto the block, pressed well, then removed and left to dry. The great thing about these types of background is that they are fun to make and are completely unique!
The bull rush border (my favourite!) was used for this card and I cut out an additional border from vellum and stuck it behind the black card, offset slightly to give some extra visual interest.
So that bring us to the last die. Now I thought that this was a palm tree border so image my horror when this is what was left when I’d cut out my border! I even contacted demo support to check that the thing wasn’t faulty!!
Anyway, another demonstrator in Amanda’s team guessed (correctly) that it is designed so that you use the negative space instead of the cut out. So, you ink up your background scene, then cut out the trees and put your background on top of a black card base to give you the silhouetted look. Now call me picky but I think a background should be, well…you know, in the background and the thing that’s making the silhouette should be in the foreground. Maybe I’m thinking about this too scientifically! Anyhow, this is how it looks behind my inked sunset.
I’ve left all my cards without sentiments so I can use them for whatever occasion demands in the future.
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!