Hello, Altenew friends! Norine here back with you today to share an interesting technique that came about as a result of sitting and gazing upon an area rug in the home of some friends recently, and thinking to myself, “that design would be so cool on a card!” Unfortunately, it would have been inappropriate at the time, to pull out my camera and take a photo, but I made careful and specific observations and made mental notes to refer back to when I got home!
Put simply, the design of the rug was of graphic leafy branches reaching towards the center from each end, with the color of the leaves traveling from end to end, going from very light green to very dark and back again, then the background behind the leaves doing the opposite thing and traveling from dark to light to contrast the leaves. For example, where the leaves were light, the background was dark and where the leaves were dark, the background was light. I found this photo online, and while it's not exactly the same rug, it's similar enough to convey the idea of what I wanted to create.
For my cards today, I simplified the concept significantly in order to be able to execute it on paper. This would be better shown in a video, but I'm still not set up for that, so I'll try to demonstrate the technique with photos.
I began by laying out the two solid images from the Leaf Canopy Stamp and Die Set, on an A2-sized piece of white cardstock. I positioned them so that they could be stamped together and so that the paper could be turned 180 degrees to be stamped again without overlapping any of the images.
Using the 3 green inks from the Green Fields Oval Ink Set, I inked up the stamps starting with the lightest ink on the bottom and stamping that. Then, re-inking the middle section of the stamp, and using a cloth to dab away the ink that shows harsh edge lines when stamped, I stamped the leaves again, creating a darker middle section. I then flipped the cardstock around and stamped again blending mid-green and dark green towards the opposite end of the cardstock as shown in the photo above.
Yes, I could have done better with that patchy area where the mid-tone green fades into the lightest green, but ultimately it gets covered by the sentiment so it's all good. Once I was happy with the gradation of color from top to bottom, (or end to end), I stamped over the leaves again with embossing ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder to protect and seal the colored images below.
Once the entire stamped design was covered with a double embossed coating, I began ink blending. This is when the color families of the Altenew Inks really shine. For the green leaf card in the photos above, I chose the Cool Summer Night ink set and blended from light to dark, going over the inked design from dark to light.
With the finished inked panel, and weirdly blue fingers, (A friendly clerk at Michael's later that day told me my hands look like someone's who would shop at Michael's, lol!) I then inked up some more cardstock and die cut the letters for DAD using the Fine Alphabet Die Set, as well as some blue fun foam for dimension.
I stamped the sentiment on an oatmeal colored cardstock to match the blue/green plaid paper from my stash, using a stamp from the Cake Love Stamp Set. I trimmed the stamped/embossed card panel to allow the strip of patterned paper and a narrow strip of black accent paper to show. To allow the technique to keep all the attention, I left it there, with no further embellishments.
The next couple of cards are ones I made with the card panels that I ended up liking while I practiced this technique.
For this card, I stamped and inked the leaves exactly as I demonstrated above, using the Red Cosmos Oval Ink Set. It's interesting to see that little bit of white halo around on the side of the leaves. I'm guessing it happens (even though I used a stamp positioner and carefully made sure the cardstock didn't budge) because I stamped and heat embossed with clear embossing powder TWICE to produce a really smooth, glossy, but THICK layer of shine on the leaves. As a result, the second layer of embossing ink stamping “slides” a little to the side. I could have made my cards with only one layer of embossing but I don't hate that little halo effect. I think it adds a kind of accent to the stamped design. For the colored background on this card, I masked off the 4 sections to make the color gradation more obvious. I used the Cool Summer Night inks for this card as well.
For the sentiment on this card, I stamped the “miss you”/”you” from the Vintage Roses Add-On Stamp Set, onto a narrow strip of white cardstock, the same width as the card front. I heat embossed with some navy blue embossing powder in my stash and layered the strip over a band of vellum that I wrapped around the card panel. I used the Desert Night ink from the Cool Summer Night set to ombre blend some cardstock that I then die cut with the “love” die from the Script Words Die Set. I popped this word die-cut up with a layer of blue fun foam as well.
The last card was stamped with a combination of Red Cosmos inks for the leaves, and Lapis Lazuli for the background. This time, after the clear embossing step, I also stamped the outline stamps from the Leaf Canopy Stamp Set, using permanent black ink for slick surfaces.
Because I loved the background so much and didn't want to lose too much of it, despite it being so busy, I created an oval frame using the die from the Create A Wreath Die Set set and some vellum paper. I die cut 3 layers each of the oval frame and the “hugs” die-cut and stacked them up. Then I stamped the “sending you” sentiment from the Smiles and Hugs Stamp Set, onto a strip of white cardstock, trimmed it to fit overlapping the edge of the frame and adhered it with some foam tape behind. I used some liquid enamel drops to create black dots.
This is a long post, with a lot in it, so if you've made it to the end, YAY you! Thanks for stopping by, and please leave a comment if you have any questions and I'll be sure to answer in the comment section.