Friday, 14 August 2015

Birthday Card Using Gold Seahorses Masterboard and Acetate


This is the second of two posts today.

Many of my regular visitors have been justifiably very frustrated and impatient with me lately because I’ve been working hard on several secret projects that I wasn’t at liberty to reveal until now. With her permission, I can now reveal that I have been making stuff for Shaz. As many of you will know, she is about to undergo major surgery and has been through so much over the past year. She and her lovely hubby share the same birthday and I have made cards for them both, a get well card for her (still under wraps) and a selection of bits and pieces for her to play with once she feels up to being creative again. She opened the parcel on her birthday (14th Aug.) and now that she has received them I can share the making of them with you. Until now, I didn’t want to spoil her surprise as she visits my blog regularly. Throughout my own cancer journey, this wonderful friend has been such an encouragement and support to me, and this is one way I can thank her, and show my own appreciation and support. I know that she would love a visit from you to wish her well for her surgery on 2nd Sept.

I shall be uploading a couple of posts each day over the next few days until all is revealed. Please scroll down for earlier posts.

Birthday Card Using Gold Seahorses Masterboard and Acetate

My gold seahorses masterboard is diminishing in size rapidly! I don’t mind, because this is what I created it for. I have made a birthday card for Shaz, using this masterboard, this time cutting three strips of masterboard of varying lengths, and arranging them vertically on the card.

28 Card Front with Tag and ATC

This card is quite three-dimensional and has plenty of varied texture.

The pieces of masterboard laid onto the base card to show the positioning.

01 Strips Cut from Masterboard

I matted and layered the masterboard strips with some slightly textured gold card. I did not want this layer to be too dominant but I needed it to be visibly gold, so I chose a card which was not highly reflective.

02 Strips Matted and Layered on Gold

On the middle one, you can see I made a boo-boo when trimming the gold card, but this will be covered up later so it didn’t matter.

I rummaged in my stash and found some scraps of acetate which would suit my purpose.

03 Acetate Pieces

Using my alcohol ink blending tool, I applied three shades of alcohol inks to the acetate pieces (Adirondac Stream and Clover, and Piñata Sapphire Blue) and dropped a few drops of alcohol blending solution to create the lighter patches, with the size of the patches diminishing with each layer.

05 Alcohol Inks on Acetate Pieces

On the third one, I added the alcohol blending solution onto the applicator instead, which produced the smaller circles.

Here is a mock-up showing the layers of acetate in place. At this stage only the upper edge of each strip has been cut in undulating curves to represent the waves of the sea.

06 Mock-Up with Acetate Pieces

I then cut the bottom edge of each strip into curves like the upper edges, as these would show through the layers above.

07 Mock-Up with Trimmed Acetate Pieces

I toyed with the idea of adding some of the narrow offcuts of acetate to the top of the card, because the top is rather devoid of interest and I do not want to create an unbalanced card, but I soon abandoned this idea and put these pieces in my stash to be used on something else.

Beginning to ink the background of the card base. The other night I watched a brilliant video on how to create a random-looking mixed colour background, using the corner-corner-side method. I had never heard of this before, but basically you take your first colour and blend it into two corners on one side of the card, and in the middle of the opposite side. I began this with Broken China distress ink.

08 Inking the Background - Broken China

I then chose Evergreen Bough distress ink and proceeded to blend this into the opposite corners and side of the card, more or less filling the gaps.

09 Inking the Background - Evergreen Bough

The final step was to blend in some Peacock Feathers distress ink to fill any gaps, and a light brushing over the whole surface to integrate the background. I am thrilled to have discovered this technique as it gives very good results.

10 Inking the Background - Peacock Feathers

Unfortunately the photos don’t really show up the subtleties of the colours or of the blending.

Here is a mock-up of the card, duly inked, with the three strips of masterboard and the three pieces of inked acetate. Being transparent, you can see the wavy outline of the bottom of each piece through the layers on top.

11 Mock-Up on the Inked Background

I stuck down the masterboard strips with double sided tape, and then the top layer of acetate using a little tacky glue at the sides.

12 1st Layer of Acetate

Laying down the second layer, I wanted there to be a gap between the layers, so I used Pinflair gel glue to lift the piece proud of the background. You can see the glue very clearly in the photos, but in reality it is not so obvious.

13 2nd Layer of Acetate

Here is a detail, you can see the blobs of gel glue on the right.

14 2nd Layer of Acetate Detail

Most people use their Pinflair glue in a syringe. However, I no longer do this, because I can go several weeks or months without using Pinflair glue and if you don’t use up the contents of the syringe pretty quickly, it sets in the syringe. I find one has a lot more control if one squeezes a little glue out of the tube and catches it with a cocktail stick, which is a useful implement for applying the glue and for getting the blob the right thickness. This glue takes a long time to dry, but when it is dry, it remains crystal clear and has a rubbery texture, so it is very useful for dimensional pieces and I usually use it instead of self-adhesive foam squares. I also use it to prop up flower petals and the wings of butterflies to prevent them from getting flattened, especially on cards that have to survive the ravages of the post; being transparent, it really doesn’t show.

Here are all three pieces of acetate, stuck down with Pinflair. Both edges of the second layer are supported by a blob of Pinflair on the bottom layer in the middle, and the top layer is supported on the middle layer, at the one-third and two-thirds mark, to allow the tag to go between them and sit in the centre of the card.

15 3rd Layer of Acetate

I added some stickles (glitter glue) in three colours: turquoise, green, and star dust, following the curves of the waves and adding some spirals in the turquoise and green. I used the star dust to go along the edges of the waves. I placed the spirals over the blobs of pinflair glue and they disguise them very well. As usual, the camera has failed to pick up the blinginess of this!

16 Stickles on Acetate Layers

That was the front of the card pretty well finished. I now moved on to work on the tag, and found this happy birthday sentiment in my box of small things cut using Sheba, my Cougar cutting machine. I have not had this up and running for a long time, and am glad that I still have some pieces in reserve.

I heat embossed the background pieces with gold.

17 Heat Embossing the Sentiment Backgrounds

I inked the sentiment words with Peackcock Feathers distress ink.

18 Inking the Sentiment Pieces

I glued them onto their backing pieces using Crafter’s Companion Stick & Stay spray adhesive which allows a bit of repositioning before setting in place. You can see my home-made spray booth in this picture!

19 Spray Adhesive on Sentiment Pieces

The completed sentiment pieces.

20 Completed Sentiment

The tag was inked in the same manner as the card base, using Broken China, Evergreen Bough and Peacock Feathers distress inks, as before.

21 Inking the Tag

Here is the back of the tag, inked as the front, with some water droplets having been spattered onto it.

22 Water Spatters on Back of Tag

The finished tag, showing the different yarns and ribbons that I used to complete the top. I wanted to capture the essence of seaweed and I think the selection works well. I stuck the sentiment down onto the tag using tacky glue, paying particular attention to where the word “Birthday” has to dip down and make contact with the surface of the tag between the two vertical strips. I added a few spots of Stickles to the sentiment, and a small charm to the top.

23 Completed Tag Front

The completed back of the tag with its water spatters. I love how one spatter has run down and made a trail across the tag.

24 Completed Tag Back

I also made an ATC to celebrate the 6th anniversary of WOYWW which happened this year – our weekly blog hop when we visit each other’s work desks. I did not take part in the ATC swap but thought I’d add one to this card.

25 ATC

26 ATC Full

I wrote the text with my embossing pen and heat-embossed it in gold to match the seahorse, and rubbed my Versamark pad around the edge of the ATC and heat-embossed that in the same way, resulting in a nice distressed-looking border. This ATC was made from a fragment of the seahorses masterboard which I’d cut off when doing another project, and it was fractionally too small, so I mounted it with double sided tape onto one of my ATC backing pieces with the details on it – before sticking the two pieces together I inked the edge of the backing piece with Milled Lavender distress ink which echoes the colour of the water droplets on the background. The face of the backing piece was inked with Peacock Feathers distress ink to match the front.

This is the completed card front without the tag. Originally I was going to put the sentiment at the top right of the card but then remembered it was going on the tag, and there was rather a blank patch in that area, and all the interest at the bottom made the card look a little unbalanced, so with a dark blue marker pen I drew some flying birds.

27 Card Front No Tag

Here is the finished card with the tag, and the ATC tucked in behind.

28 Card Front with Tag and ATC

I spritzed inside the card with water and sprayed some Dylusions spray ink along the top in three patches: London Blue, Fresh Lime and Vivid Turquoise. I spritzed it again with water and held the card up to let the ink run down, and then I blotted it with kitchen paper.

29a Card Inside Blurred

I was rather proud of myself that I didn’t get this ink all over the front of the card!! I am such a messy worker that I knew I was taking a huge risk by spraying all this liquid on the inside!

The sentiment was from my stash. It was cut with my Cougar cutting machine ages ago from American Crafts cardstock and I stuck down with Crafter’s Companion Stick & Stay spray adhesive. I wrote the message inside with a green marker pen.

I repeated the spray inking on the front of the envelope.

30 Envelope

Happy birthday my dear friend! – and to your lovely hubby too.


  1. I hope all went well with you today Shoshi.

    The card you have made for Shaz is breathtaking. It really is so beautiful and made with love. Very special indeed. Bless you. Barbxx

  2. Thank you Shoshi, it's absolutely gorgeous. And so much work went into it, its amazing. I'm sorry it's taken a few days for me to come and look at all the posts, we have a section of garden fencing that needs doing, as well as some retaining walls building. Dougs brother was planning on doing it while I was in hospital, but had some free time this weekend, and wants to get it done for us, so he came around and made a start. Much love to you both. Shaz xxxx


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