Feathered Fairy

I’m on such a roll this week, that I decided to try another challenge. Although this is an ATC challenge (an “Artist’s Trading Card”, typically 2.5″ x 3.5″ just like a playing card), I could always stick it on a card later to keep up with my holiday card-giving plans. This challenge comes from the Wicked Wednesday ATC challenge blog. I’m not even sure how I found this one, I think I was just investigating what makes an ATC. Anyway, the site was super cute, so I bookmarked it as a possible weekly challenge to enter.

The Wicked Wednesday challenge for this week is to “add a feather”. That in itself didn’t really excite me, although I knew I had a few random feathers in the stash that could certainly use a project. What got me interested in this challenge was that the featured products were “digital stamps” from a day for daisies. I had never heard of digital stamps, and maybe it’s a term they made up. But a digital stamp is basically just a black outlined image. If you do digital work, you will probably appreciate that most of the stuff comes as a PNG on a transparent background. But I’m not working much digital at home just at the moment. Anyway, the designs are whimsical and sweet without being too sweet, so I downloaded two freebies and bought a fairy image that I found irresistible.

This caused me to stumble into a couple of unexpected meatspace issues with this digital product. 1) How to treat it so that my inkjet ink won’t run when I add water based inks? And, 2) how to deal with that wonderful whimsical whispy hair since my feather-adding idea demanded that the back side at least be a raised cut-out?

My solution to difficulty #1 was that I remembered reading something about being able to directly emboss inkjet prints straight out of the printer. It worked brilliantly and was very easy. I printed off the fairy image on some expired letterhead that we use as scrap paper. The moment it was out of the printer I immediately dusted it with a super fine embossing powder. The powder stuck to the still-wet printer ink, then I shook off the excess and heated as usual. I was so impressed with how well it worked! There was a bit at the top where the printer ink seemed to run a tiny bit, but it was negligible compared to what I expected.

I wish I could attribute that idea to the correct source, but I’ve been pouring over stacks of technique books from the library, Pinterest links and blogs so much, that I can’t recall where I got the idea. It makes me wonder though: how do other people deal with “digital stamps”? Does everyone emboss their inkjet prints? Do they get toner printers? Something else? I look forward to exploring the other contributors’ work after I finish the challenge piece.

My solution to difficulty #2, was to redraw the fine details onto the background paper after cutting it out. This is ok, but since unembossed, it doesn’t have quite the texture of the original. Again, I’m interested to see what other solutions are for cut outs of detailed printables.

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Materials: Lost & Found paper, Distress Ink, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist, Micron pen, embossing powder, inkjet print of “digital stamp” from A Day For Daises, feathers, seed beads, permanent marker

ETA: sadly I didn’t check the submission deadline for this one carefully enough, and missed it by a few hours! Next time!

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