artfully distressed

pictures of what I create and the places, people and ideas which inspire my art.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

A challenge with embossing and masks

This week I thought I would challenge myself to enter the Studio L3 'Grungy Monday' challenge - episode 33. On this fab blog they challenge you to use a different Tim Holtz technique every week. What could be better than that?

This week its a cool technique using alcohol inks, fragments / memory glass or facets and archival ink. Check out Tim's instructions.

This is the card I made for my entry

Here is how I made it...this is a long post sorry - please stick with it if you can until you get to the mask technique, it will be worth it I promise...

Following Tim's instructions I applied alcohol ink to my fragments. The colours I used were cranberry and lettuce. I then selected my stamps which were the Small Sprig from Clarity stamps and the butterfly from the Nature 1 plate by Indigo Blu. I inked up the stamps with archival ink, pressed the fragments, alcohol ink side down, on to the stamps, removed and gently rubbed away the archival ink. This also removes the alcohol ink from the same areas so the stamped design is visible. Cool huh!

I then added a slight twist to my fragments by adding a layer of embossing powder on to the fragments. I took the fragment with the butterfly and used an embossing pen to go over the antenna and body and then applied WOW Silver super fine embossing powder. When I tapped the fragment it mainly stuck to the butterfly and I was able to remove the excess from the other areas using the edge of a tissue. This might have been pure fluke because when I did the same with the sprig fragment the powder stuck over the whole surface.

I was really happy with the results of both fragments once I had melted the embossing powder. The silver shines through and also gives a nice textured finish.

I did back my fragments with card by applying glossy accents which doesn't matter because they got stuck to the card anyway. I'll be trying this again though with just the embossing powder on the back, it gave a lovely finish and would be great if you were making these for jewellery.

Background design using a mask with embossing powder

Next I made the background to mount the fragments on. For this I used a butterfly mask (from The Crafters Workshop).

There are 2 ways you could use masks like this with embossing - you could lay the mask onto your card and apply embossing ink over the top - with the mask here the butterflies would not be embossed but the background would.

Or - you could do what I did and apply embossing ink to the mask itself.

I then carefully positioned it onto the card. To apply pressure over the top to transfer the embossing ink onto the card I used a brayer. After experimenting I found the best way to do this was to lay a sheet of paper over the top of the mask and brayer over the paper, holding the mask in place. This way no excess embossing powder can transfer to the brayer and ink up areas which you don't want embossed. Brayer gently in one direction not backwards and forwards so you don't move the mask.

 Remove the paper and mask, apply embossing powder (I used WOW Sherbert embossing powder), tap off the excess and return to the jar. Then gently heat your powder until it melts.

Ooh, the possibilities are endless! Check out my post on the WOW blog on the 29th where I will share some more examples using this cool technique as well as my 'manly' Valentines card. 

To finish the card I had to use a couple of bits of idealogy from my stash...

Here's some close ups of the finished card...

Hope you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment, your feedback is appreciated.

P.S. Thanks to my patient assistant for taking photos - did you spot both my hands in a couple of the pictures? 

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