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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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Simon says Simple

For my second ever challenge blog entry, my inspiration challenge came from the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog. I’m not sure why they support two challenge blogs, but I’m delighted that they do. Monday is for the vintage, antiqued style while Wednesday is for a modern, fresh look. I think they’ll accept entries of all stripes, but I suspect the challenges lend themselves to either look. I think of it as Tim Holtz vs. Martha Stewart, two aesthetics I admire, so I’m happy to experiment on either side as time allows.

This week’s challenge is “Keep it Clean & Simple“.

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I embossed another of those clearance pearlescent A2 sized white cards (David Tutera, I think) with a Sissix folder called Alpine Flowers, and added a die cut “Holly & Berries 6”. The die cut was washed with a little diluted “Walnut Stain” Distress ink, and later I added some red acrylic paint for the berries. I love the result, very elegant. However, since the embossing folder and die came together in a set, I’m not sure this represents the most out-of-the-box creative thinking. I mean there wasn’t a picture of them used together, I just really doubt I’m doing something unique here. Oh well. At least I succeeded at my goal of being able to enter another challenge and complete another card.

Until next time, keep those stamps inky…

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Sewing on paper

For my first ever challenge-blog entry, I have been inspired by a challenge at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog. This week’s challenge is “patchwork“, and my mind quickly turned to cozy, snugly quilts.

As I attempt some of these challenges in the fall season, I hope to “put by a store” of handcrafted holiday cards. So using a holiday paper was a must. I used Tim Holtz’ “Holidays Past” paper. A sheet featuring 1.5″ squares furnished an appropriate scale. Then I got to sew on paper – a technique I’ve long wanted to try, but never thought of a reason before. I haven’t sewn a real quilt in ages – although I’ve recently been thinking of a new way to continue working on the ever-unfinished “Fall Quilt”. After sewing decorative stitches along the borders of the premade squares, I needed to deal with the whitened needle holes, so using a wet paintbrush, I inked the sewn lines and edges of the quilty paper with “Tea Stain” Distress ink. I fussy cut a photo of my baby and inked the edges with “Vintage Photo” Distress ink…

About now I need to confess that I have a bit of a design-crush on Tim Holtz. A month ago I’d never heard of him, and now I kind of want to buy everything that man has put his name on… Which pretty much means he must be really good at his job. So if it seems I mention his products ad nauseum, I apologize, I’m just really impressed. And as is my custom with such things, I want everyone to jump down the rabbit hole with me. It will make my excess seem more justified later if everyone else is kind of on board with me. Know what I mean? I just love tattered, grunged, antiqued, patina-ed, distressed, scuffed, aged, etc, and Tim Holtz is all over that style!

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Back to my project: baby photo went on a hand-drawn pillow, and all pieces went on a pearlescent card that was on clearance at Pat Catans (the local discount craft store). That’s my first ever challenge entry! I can’t wait to see how other people interpret the inspiration.