Thursday, 29 July 2010

Experimenting with Boring Gold Card and Other Stuff

Remember my boring gold card?

This is what a couple of the sheets looked like after I'd embossed them with the Cuttlebug:

Embossed Gold Card

I decided to have a go at altering the text one, so I covered it with gesso, using my palette knife. I wasn't sure how well it would go on, because the surface is pretty shiny. While it was still wet, I scraped the gesso off the embossed surface (not very successfully but I quite like the effect), and then when it was dry I tried sanding it a bit, but didn't want to remove the gold surface as well, so I abandoned that.

I then inked the edges using Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Pumice Stone (this colour is rapidly becoming my favourite!) - I discovered that these inks do not work particularly well on gesso, which seems to act more as a resist, but I redid it several times till I got the effect I wanted.

The surface wasn't very stable because of the shiny surface of the card (will have to think about how to enable more of a "key" without destroying the gold surface) so I decided to try stabilising the whole thing with a coat of gel medium. In the starter pack of Golden Gel Medium, I've only got the medium (as opposed to soft) one in semi-gloss and not in matt, so I didn't get the effect I really wanted, but it's quite interesting - it's really aged it and given it an ancient parchment look. It did dull the gold quite a lot, but when the light catches it, you still get a little flash here and there. Here's the result.

Embossed Text with Gesso

I thought this might serve very well for a background for a tag or small picture on a classic literature theme - it might be rather fun to do a series. The first one that sprang to mind was while I was watching the new series "Sherlock" on TV (Sherlock Holmes set in modern times) and I thought perhaps some iron work, in the form of a gas lamp and and iron spiral staircase, and the suggestion of a door with "221b" on it, and a brass knocker? With the addition of a little more distressing I might get the effect of London fog. I wouldn't want to overdo the Sherlock Holmes cliches of deerstalker hats and magnifying glasses, but I think this might work!

Another in this series could be based on Jane Austen, with a bit of Georgian architecture - a door or a window, perhaps, and maybe a bit of ribbon or lace.

Then there's Shakespeare - endless possibilities here!

I'm not sure I want the discipline of working very small with these. Perhaps the European size A6 of this test piece, or down to tag size, but I think an ATC might be too small, because the text would be too large in proportion. As miniature pictures they could all be mounted together in a frame.

Otherwise perhaps they could be made into a scrapbook or mini-album.

Just some ideas!

I've also been working on a "card bank" - the thank-you card I posted the other day was the first of these - I made a dozen partial-embossed cards using different Cuttlebug embossing folders. The only other one I've worked on since then is this one:

Embossed with Gesso and Distress Ink

I wanted to see what the result would be of applying gesso over embossed card. I don't think it's emphasised the embossing, but it gave it a lovely chalky texture. I decided to distress it a bit, but as I discovered with the gold card above, the Tim Holtz Distress Inks don't seem to work on gesso - it seems to act as a resist. It did darken it a bit, especially after several applications, and I rather like the slightly dusty, smokey look of the Pumice Stone (yes, that one again!) against the dead white of the gesso, and the way the bottom of the card, where I did not apply the gesso, has a lovely distressed look, and where I smudged the gesso at the bottom of the embossing, it's acted as a resist and shown up my boo-boos which I think actually improves the look of it!

I've had another idea today. Yesterday I bought two watches - one was really pretty, and if you bought 2, you got the second one a quarter the price. The trouble was, there wasn't really another one I liked that much, but I succumbed to "bargain psychology" and bought another one anyway! I then started regretting it. Then I had the idea of altering it! Here it is in its original state.

Watch for Altering

At the moment, I'm not actually producing much real ART, but just experimenting with what is a very new area for me. This blog is helping me keep a record of what I did to produce certain effects. It's probably a very vague, undisciplined approach but unlike many people, I don't have much knowledge of these materials yet, and have no training, so I am enjoying simply experimenting. Some may work, others will not. Anyway, I am ending up with some interesting backgrounds which I may or may not use - I may repeat the techniques when I want to do specific projects.

If anyone has any helpful input on this, I'd be interested to hear it. Perhaps you know what works and what doesn't, and can save me some angst! Although, of course, this trial and error method does throw up some unexpected results which I might not discover if I do what I am "supposed" to do!

I am hoping to get a Cricut Expression and SCAL2 software soon, and I think I'm going to hold off using these backgrounds until I get going with that - I need to be able to cut shapes accurately to make the embellishments etc. Hopefully there will be more on this as time goes on - so watch this space!!


  1. Looks like you might replace Tim!

  2. Wow Tammy, that was quick!! And WHAT a compliment! I only wish... Not that I ever could, but it would be nice to approach his exalted level lol!

  3. Oh WOW Shoshi....I absolutely LOVE these...the dramatic difference is AMAZING!!!!!


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