Stamp layering nightmare

I watched a video tutorial by Jennifer McGuire yesterday morning where she showed how to make beautiful see through cards. She used a lot of stamp layering sets, then die cut the flower and leaf images. She placed the images so that they overlapped but left some empty spaces, then covered everything with PressNseal to keep it all in place. She glued the overlapping pieces together then trimmed the pieced panel to size for a card front. A little involved, but doable. So off I go to my craft room to create my masterpiece.

My aunt loves purple hydrangeas, as do I, so I decided to use the Altenew layering set called Garden Hydrangea. There are 4 images to layer for the flower and 3 for the leaf, the result is highly detailed and beautiful. Or it should be.

I knew I’d need to used my stamping platforms as I wanted several of each image and I’d never try to do any layering without a platform. My first 6 attempts to get all the little lines and details placed perfectly failed miserably. So I stopped, got on YouTube and found a video from Altenew that showed how to layer the set correctly. I need to add here that the lady in the video was just using an acrylic block! She did the darkest outline image first then used the solid lightest image, that was the only change I needed to make. Easy peezie. Off I go again. The first 2 images are no problem, I’ve got them placed in my Misti perfectly. The third image? Major fail! At this point I started stamping on copy paper to save my cardstock and after about 10 tries I had it “close enough”. On to the fourth and thankfully last image for the flower.

After several tries with the last image looking like a rabid raccoon on crack with an astigmatism and dirty bifocals stamped it, I stopped to phone a friend, share my frustration and calm down.

Finally, after spending most of the day on just the setup I was able to make one card. The technique Jennifer showed in her video went smoothly. I like the style of the card just don’t look too closely at the stamping.

Watercolor with Monica the Mouse by Tammy

The Housemouse stamps from Stampendous remain a favorite for practicing any type of coloring. The images are so detailed that the design illustrator has already done most of the shading, or at least given guidelines as to where to add darker tones.

For my cards today, I stamped Monica and Friend / Bird Feeder with versafine onyx black then embossed the image with clear embossing powder. The embossing forms a bit of a barrier to keep color from bleeding out where I don’t want it. I used Zig clean color Real Brush markers and a very small waterbrush to blend out the color.

Gelli Plate Printing

When inspiration escapes me, I start making backgrounds. I don’t have a clue as to what they will become but that’s the beauty of the Gelli plate. In the words of Forrest Gump, “… it’s like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.”

Magazine transfers are a fun way to start filling a blank page. A thin layer of black acrylic holds the image then a thin layer of various acrylic colors will allow the image to transfer onto paper. Eureka! I have created an interesting background.

Daffodil Bunch of love

The stamps by Stampendous are always on the list of my favorites and their Daffodil Bunch cling stamp is on my “go to” list also. It’s very versatile so easy to use. The flowers are large enough for easy shading and being that I am not a skilled realism artist that is a huge plus for me. The image also has enough detail that it is also stunning when simply heat embossed on a dramatic background.

For this card I stamped the image with archival ink then put blotchy watercolors in appropriate areas and splattered each color randomly. When that was dry, I added detail and shading with colored pencils then re-stamped the image to intensify the outline. I trimmed the Canson XL panel and embossed it with a We Are Memory Keepers embossing folder. The sentiment is stamped on vellum with versafine onyx black and clear heat embossed then wrapped around the panel. I mounted that on a black cardstock mat the attached everything to a 4 1/4 × 5 1/2 top folding note card.

I plan to send this card to a life-long friend who is going through a rough patch. She knows that I love her, I tell her every day when we talk on the phone, but sending this handmade card will be a little piece of my love she can hold in her hand.

To stage or not to stage

Lately I’ve been paying attention to the way the “pros” depict their creations or cards, art journals, mini books and other artsy crafty endeavors. Of course, the photos are promoting a product to increase sales.

I’m not trying to sell anything but I do like the pretty displays being photographed. In some cases I think the card looks even prettier placed on a delicate china plate and flanked by a silk rose.

I think I’ll try this staging business for a bit (heaven knows that I need something more to obsess over) I have pretty plates and some silk flowers. I may start to fancy myself a pro.