Last week I made a card for a friend’s birthday. I had a plan for it which unfortunately did not work, but I was able to use the pieces in a different way and ended up with a pleasing result, even if somewhat different from what I originally anticipated!
Materials and Equipment
Distress Inks in Milled Lavender, Dusty Concord, Victorian Velvet and Walnut Stain
Distress Stain in Picket Fence
Versamark Clear Embossing Ink
Clear embossing powder
Distress Crackle Paint – Clear Rock Crystal
Adirondack black archival ink
Ranger sepia archival ink
Angelina Fibre (Fantasy Fibre) “Soft and Sweet” in Pink
Fantasy Film in iridescent gold colour
Perfect Pearls: Dichroics – Berry Twist, Interference Violet, Plum
Perfect Pearls: Colours – Blue Smoke
Perfect Pearls: Metallics – Perfect Copper, Blue Patina
2 stamps from the Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Collection, Bitty Grunge
Tsuki CM-B5 moth stamp from Designs by Ryn
Happy Birthday stamp CHSH 238E from The Stamp Barn
Prepared inked background from my stash
Basic white cardstock
Hand embossing tools (large and small)
Light mauve mottled paper from my stash
Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive
Pinflair gel glue
ATG double-sided tape glue
Here are some still photos and details of the construction of this mixed-media card. (These pictures are stills from the video, as I forgot to photograph each stage as I did it.)
I began by creating an inked background from one already in my stash, using Distress Inks in Milled Lavender, Dusty Concord and Victorian Velvet, finishing off by distressing the edges with a small amount of Walnut stain.
Using the moth stamp, I heat-embossed a couple of moths off the edge of the card using clear embossing powder. This emphasised the colour of the inks underneath.
I added a little Distress Crackle Paint in Clear Rock Crystal to the opposite corners for a bit more texture.
I then took some Angelina Fibre and spread it over the moth stamp. Laying a piece of non-stick baking parchment over the top, I proceeded to iron this to fuse the fibres where there was contact with the stamp. I have had some success in the past with this technique, but when the stamp is as detailed as this, it does not work very well as not enough definition is revealed, and some colours of Angelina Fibre work better than others. In general, this technique works best with larger, less detailed stamps, or with wooden printing blocks.
I did not reject the piece, even though it wasn’t good enough for my original plan, but set it aside to use later. In the meantime, I tried the same technique using a piece of Fantasy Film (made of the same stuff as Angelina Fibre but coming in sheets rather than fine threads). Although the pattern of the moth was clearly defined on the film after ironing, it was too flat, and didn’t look right. Again, I set this aside to use later, after cutting the moth outline out of the sheet of film.
I took a piece of white scrap card and stamped the moth, using black archival ink. I cut this out with fine scissors.
I experimented with layering this with the Fantasy Film and Angelina Fibre moths but none of it looked right.
I decided to put the stamped moth on the top, with the other pieces underneath and showing around the edges, and used Perfect Pearls to colour the moth image, to provide an iridescent, glowing effect.
Some time ago, I made up a palette of Perfect Pearls by mixing the powder with water in a Tim Holtz palette – this makes them very much easier to paint with, as you just treat them like normal pan watercolours.
I used as combination of three dichroics (which produce two different colours according to the direction of the light) in Berry Twist, Interference Violet and Plum, and Blue Smoke from the Colours range, and finally, Blue Patina and Perfect Copper from the metallics range. Here is the finished moth.
I laid the moth face down on a piece of Fun Foam and hand embossed it using two different embossing tools, one large and the other small.
The completed moth, with the wings slightly lifted, and curled gently over the handle of a paintbrush.
Layering up the moth on the inked background card. The Angelina Fibre moth went down first, after I had pulled away some of the excess fibre around the edges, and then the Fantasy Film.
Finally, the stamped moth went on, so that a narrow border of Fantasy Film showed around the edges, the the Angelina Fibre gave a fringed effect below that. I originally tried sticking down the first two layers using 3M spray adhesive but this did not take, and the layers began to lift very quickly, so I used Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive instead. The top layer was adhered using Pinflair gel adhesive applied with a cocktail stick onto the reverse of the embossed parts, to help it keep its shape.
It shimmers in the light in a very pleasing way against the darker, mottled background which has its own, subtler shimmer from the clear embossing powder and Crackle Paint.
The next step was to mat the piece onto some gold mirror card, leaving a very narrow border which enhanced the sparkle of the piece.
I have some pale mauve mottled paper in my stash, which is obviously not strong enough to support the weight of a card, but it suited the project so well that I decided to use it. I distressed the edges with Milled Lavender and Dusty Concord Distress Inks.
I took a second piece of this paper to use as the card liner, and stamped the Happy Birthday sentiment in the centre, using Dusty Concord Distress Ink.
I then stamped with the moth stamp and Versamark, and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder, with the moth images going off the edges of the paper.
Heat embossing the moth images.
Then I distressed the edges of the paper using Dusty Concord Distress ink, and the clear embossing acted as a resist, showing the untreated mottled mauve card beneath, and adding a bit of shine.
The heat embossing completed.
To assemble the card, I stuck the card liner inside with a line of ATG tape glue, and then added the paper cover in the same way, sandwiching a piece of plain white card stock between, to give the required rigidity and support.
Finally, I stuck the mounted moth piece onto the card using ATG tape glue.
The finished card.
Here is a detailed shot of the moth, showing the painted Perfect Pearls, the narrow Fantasy Film border, and the loose Fantasy Fibre strands projecting from underneath.
A detail shot of the card liner showing the sentiment stamp, and the clear heat-embossed moth on the mottled card.
Here is the video I made of the whole project.
I decided to leave in the failed experimental parts because it’s always good to share one’s learning curve, and it may help someone else making the same mistakes.
This is the first video I have made using my new camera and improved camera set-up in my new ARThaven. It is also the first project I have completed in my new creative space, and it marks a special new beginning for me – I so enjoyed being creative again after such a long break when I had to concentrate my efforts on our house move.
I hope you have enjoyed this project.