Reversed Ombre Inking and Blending Technique – Find Inspiration Everywhere

by May Sukyong Park

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!

Altenew LeafCluster May19DT3 9Put 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.
IMG 8742

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.

Altenew LeafCluster May19DT3 1I 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.

Altenew LeafCluster May19DT3 2Using 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.

Altenew LeafCluster May19DT3 3Yes, 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.

Altenew LeafCluster May19DT3 5Isn't that the yummiest looking photo??  Heat embossing.  It Never Gets Old.

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.

Altenew LeafCluster May19DT3 18With 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.

Altenew LeafCluster May19DT3 19I 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.

Altenew LeafCluster May19DT3 13For 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.

Altenew LeafCluster May19DT3 16For 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.

Altenew LeafCluster May19DT3 10The 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.

Altenew LeafCluster May19DT3 12Because 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.


Leaf Canopy Stamp Set
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Die Leaf 20Canopy 20Die 46bc847e 7c28 4a52 802f
Leaf Canopy Die Set
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SD 20Bundle 6x8 20Leaf 20Canopy b648b74c 3e00 4233 977a
Leaf Canopy Stamp & Die Bundle
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Oval Set Green Fields 8de6a2bf bcb6 4ab6 9932
Green Fields Oval Set
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96e1cd5e a467 4d5f ad7a b10fe224edb6 78e10c2d ca23 47e0 b9dc
Crystal Clear Crisp Embossing Powder
[ ALTN ]
Oval Set Cool Summer Night b064d607 06e6 4874 8ccf
Cool Summer Night Oval Set
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Die Fine 20Alphabet 20Die 943731a0 9455 428e ae69
Fine Alphabet Die Set
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Cake Love Stamp Set
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Red Cosmos Oval Set
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2x3 20Vintage 20Roses 20Add
Vintage Roses Add-On Stamp Set
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Oval Desert Night eb733503 6770 47c0 a333
Desert Night Crisp Dye Ink
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0a09e8fb 6415 4380 9737 d988a83fbde2
Script Words Die Set
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Lapis 20Lazuli 20Oval 20Set 68fc2b9d 0877 411a bd7f
Lapis Lazuli Oval Set
[ ALTN ]
772ec230 53d6 4a32 b1ef e90066a666ef 45171643 e796 4b32 abe7
Permanent Black Crisp Ink
[ ALTN ]
Create A Wreath 20Die 20Set d9473dce 8438 48ee b07e
Create-A-Wreath Die Set
[ ALTN ]
4x6 20Smiles 20and 20Hugs 20 308a6084 3d56 4a64 9316
Smiles and Hugs Stamp Set
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Linda S. May 30, 2019 - 10:29 AM

Very beautiful cards and I really liked them all. I too liked the white halo around the leaves. Your instructions were very clear. Thanks for taking the time to create this post.

Penny Pynnonen May 30, 2019 - 10:33 AM

The embossed green leaves are beautiful.

Greta H May 30, 2019 - 10:55 AM

I never remember to heat emboss & then add ink to the background–thanks so much for the wonderful reminder! Love how you were inspired & all the cards are beautiful, Norine! I love overstamping like you did on the last card, so I’m really drawn to that one!

Joy May 30, 2019 - 11:00 AM

Wow! I love this technique. Bold and graphic with lots of color. Thanks for your detailed tutorial and inspiration. These card designs are all lovely.

sbrussell May 30, 2019 - 11:51 AM

These are just too much! I love every example and can hardly wait to try this technique. I love working with the Leaf Canopy stamps and dies so this will be a double pleasure. thanks!

Laura P. May 30, 2019 - 12:23 PM

Hi Norine, Your cards are all wonderful! Love how you came up with this idea and especially how you executed it so beautifully! I actually love seeing the still photos instead of the video. You explained all the details so it was nice to be able to focus on each step. Thank you for sharing your awesome talent!

Tricia Podmore May 30, 2019 - 12:49 PM

Wow, love the technique. Just love Altenew!

Margaret R May 30, 2019 - 1:31 PM

Oh, can’t wait to try this one – such a beautiful effect! And you’re right – heat embossing never gets old!

memalagene May 30, 2019 - 5:38 PM

Awesome creation! I love this gradient blending!

StarSpry May 30, 2019 - 6:05 PM

These are beautiful cards! I love how the rug inspired you to create these. :) I will have to try heat embossing images so I can ink blend the background. Such a fun look!

Betty May 30, 2019 - 6:31 PM

love your cards, Norine – such a pretty technique!!

Nancy Penir May 30, 2019 - 9:11 PM

Just love this technique, and your cards are gorgeous. Love the color combos you used, and yes the embossing never gets old! Beautiful!

Helen May 30, 2019 - 10:24 PM

Norine, thanks for sharing this fabulous way to use this stamp set. The embossing over the stamped leaves is a wonderful way to allow a follow up of richly coloring the background.

Robin Kepler May 31, 2019 - 4:02 AM

What a wonderful way to use this stamp set. Thank you for sharing it. It is now in my wish list!

maria f. May 31, 2019 - 7:04 AM

Always love your creations, but really appreciate your inspiration for these. That’s me too. Suddently I sit there in the middle of a normal situation with a glazed look in my eyes as I’m contemplating some kind of card design! Love the addition of the outline images on the last card too.

Henriëtte June 2, 2019 - 7:44 AM

Awesome Norine, while reading your post my brain made overtime thinking of all the possibilities of this great technique.
Thank you so much for this great inspiration.

Kari D June 4, 2019 - 8:08 AM

These cards are amazing, Norine! Each one similar and yet so unique! NOW I want to go play! I HAVE the technology!
PS. You are so right! Heat embossing never gets old!

Jackie Huckabee June 6, 2019 - 4:38 PM

Love the cards, neat idea thanks for sharing!

llong932 June 28, 2019 - 9:43 AM

Thanks so much for sharing this technique! I was sad that there was no video until I read your description and saw each photo in your process. It was very clear, engaging, and informative! I will be using this technique for certain ?


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