Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some Christmas Cards and Some News

Howdy people!  I have been away too long but I have a plan to keep myself more involved with this blog but we will get to that as we go along.  This will be a long post so hang with me.

The first bit of news is that I intend to make this blog more of a tutorial style blog.  Therefore, instead of just showing you the finished product and giving you some information on the products I used, I'm going to attempt to show you a step by step of how I put it together.  Please bear with me as we go along as I am new to this and I am hoping that as I go along I will get better at it.  What I found last night is that it is REALLY hard to take pictures of each step and have your hands in there!  I will need to get a light weight tripod in order for this to work properly but until then, the following is what you will get!!  I will include a list of products used at the end of each post too.

So, I have not been doing what I should and now I have a week to complete 30 cards (eekk!).  I made a plan to make four each night so that by Monday, they will all be done and posted.  Of course, the international cards have all been made, filled out and posted - this is just for you Aussie people who get cards from me.  Last night, I decided to mimic a card that I found on Splitcoaststampers (where else?).  If you have never been there, click on the name and visit a wonderland of amazing card makers.  I chose a card to play with by nox2stamp.  If you want to see it, click her name and you can see what I chose as inspiration.  I ended up with these:

Although much alike, they also have some different touches like the sentiment, the gems used and the ribbon.  How did I do it I hear you asking?!  Well, here is how.

First, I die cut some tags using Grunge paper and Spellbinders Fancy Tags 2 and 3.   I did not use the embossing feature of these dies this time as the detail won't be visible on the final product.  I chose grunge paper instead of chipboard as I wanted the flexibility for later stages in the project.
With these dies, I find that the cut product may stick in the die and that pieces of the cut will stay in place.  I use a die pick or poker to remove them.
Once the pieces are cleaned, I used an Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabber in Snow cap to paint them.  Being impatient, I used a heat gun to dry them quickly.
This is what they will look like when you are done with the paint dabber and heat tool :0)
Next, cover each tag with Distress crackle paint in Rock Candy (which is clear).  This has to be left to dry on its own until the cracks have really started to appear.  If it is dried with a heat tool, the cracks don't have time to form.

I have the small bottle of the rock candy crackle paint and will have to buy the large pot next time as I love it!  Distress crackle comes in LOTS of colours and gives a fabulous aged look to your projects.
While the tags dry, it's time to get to stamping the main image.  As I wanted the look of a wreath, I masked off the centre of the Stampin' Up Medallion stamp with a circle punched with a 1 3/4 inch punch before inking.  I used SU Rich Razzleberry for the ink and the base card stock.  When inking, I found that the inner circle wasn't getting inked up properly so I finished the job with the matching SU Marker.
As I had to use a marker, I used the huffing technique before stamping.  For those of you unfamiliar with this, it means I breathed in a huffing manner over the stamp to help reactivate the ink.  This only works with water based inks.  I also distressed the edges and inked them using a make up sponge with the Rich Razzleberry.  Notice that it is kind of messy.  Personally, I don't have an issue with this.  Most of this will get covered up anyway but I like a shabby look so I don't worry to much when I edge the sides of an image.  If you don't like the look, just work more slowly and carefully!
Once all of the card fronts were stamped, I taped them to the Rich Razzleberry card stock.  Then I added rhinestones and pearls to the middle of each wreath.  I used some light green and silver rhinestones and some pale blue, cream and white pearls so each card is a little different.
Here is a close up of the detail so that you can see what I did.  I alternated the pearls and rhinestones on the circle pattern left by the stamp.
Here are all four waiting for the tags and bows to be attached.
Once the cracks have really developed in the tags, I use my heat tool to finish off the drying process.  It's a little hard to see the cracks now but just wait!  I'll make them stand out shortly.

Oh, by the way, I work on a craft sheet (from the Ranger Inkssentials range).  It allows you to do everything except cut on it so when I covered the tags in the crackle paint, I knew it would all come off with a little soap and water.  I highly recommend it!
Here is a close up of those cracks in the tag.  Cool huh?!
Once all of the tags are dry, I stamped my sentiment on each one using Ranger's Archival Ink in Jet Black (are we seeing a theme here?). Archival is permanent ink and is waterproof once dry.  As I am going to work more on top of this image, I needed an ink that will stay in place.  This time, I used cling stamps.  Personally, I prefer them (the clear version) as you can see exactly where you are stamping.
Here are a few of the tags with their sentiments.  I used the heat tool to speed up the drying of the ink.
Next I used an ink blending tool and Distress Ink in Pumice Stone to highlight the cracks.  You need to use a twisting motion with the tool in order to really get the ink down in there.  When I am happy with the ink saturation, I wipe the surface with a soft cloth to removed the ink from everywhere but the cracks.  I love how this looks.
Next, I covered the whole tag with clear VersaMark ink and then covered it with Ranger Super Fine Detail Clear Embossing powder and heated it.  Notice the tweezers.  In order to get the thick look with regular embossing powder, I needed to apply 3 to 4 coats.  If you are able to move quickly (to enable this, I have my embossing powder in a larger container with a plastic spoon), you can do all these layers on top of each other without the need of more VersaMark.  If you don't feel confident with this, allow the tag to cool, apply another coat of VersaMark and embossing powder each time.

Here is the tag after embossing.  Notice the smooth, clear, shiny finish?  This can be done easier with UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) but I only had white, not clear.  It will only take about 2 coats for the UTEE to be finished and the result will be even thicker.  See the Faux Crazed Porcelain tutorial here for a better idea of what I am talking about.
Remember I said I chose grunge paper over chip board?  This is why.  Once I "enamelled" the tag, I very gently bent it until the enamel cracked.  Make sure the tag is cool before you do this.  It adds an even more vintage feel to the piece.  You could ink these cracks too but I chose to leave them natural.
Here is a close up of the detail with the enamelling and the cracking.
Add foam tape to the back of each tag and adhere to the card below the wreath.
Once I attached the tag and bow (adhered the bow with a glue dot and they were made from silver cord), I added some bling with Diamond Stickles (another Ranger product).  I had thought of making the whole card shimmer with some Perfect Pearls Mist but I didn't think of it until it was too late!  So, the Stickles were my next option.
Here is a side view of the card so that you can see the dimension.
Bow and wreath detail shot.

Products used:  Spellbinders Fancy Tags 2 and 3, KaiserCraft Pearls, miscellaneous Rhinestones, grunge paper, Stampin' Write in Rich Razzleberry, Stampin' Up Classic Stamp Pad in Rich Razzleberry, EK Success Circle Punch (1 3/4 inch), Ranger Super Fine Detail Clear Embossing Powder, Ranger Diamond Stickles, Ranger Adirondack Paint Dabber in Snow Cap, Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black, Ranger Distress Crackle Paint in Rock Candy, Stampin' Up Medallion and Snow Swirled stamp sets, Stampin' Up Rich Razzleberry Card Stock, Stampin' Up Whisper White Card Stock, acrylic block, various clear stamp sets, Glue Arts Glue Glider Pro, Couture Creations Foam Tape, scissors, pick, misc cord, Heidi Swap Edge Distressing tool, Paper Craft Heat tool, KaiserCraft cutter, Inkssentials craft mat

Are you still there?  If so, here is the other news I have for you all...(jeez this is scary)

I am finally going to take the plunge and start offering classes to the public.  I don't know how often or how much yet.  They will be a mix of card making, scrapbooking and 3D projects and I will not be selling product (at this point any way).  I will have to limit the classes to 6 as I just don't have the room for more yet.

I will work out a schedule and fee and let you all know in the New Year.  Until then, please help me out by passing on this blog to others so that I can get the word out.  Also, leave me a comment if you are interested so I can gauge the insanity of this idea.  And, let me know if this tutorial was helpful or not.  Remember, this is a work in progress and I hope to get better as we go along!

See you tomorrow for the next instalment of my Christmas card making!  (Whew, I thought I'd never finish this post)



No comments:

Post a Comment