Sunday, May 24, 2015

Technique of the Week: Foiling Diecuts

This post was also in the Art 'n Soul newsletter for the "Technique of the Week" article, and was co-written by Pam Nelson.  I love how our cards turned out, so I thought I would post it here also.  Here's one of the cards I made using these techniques.

Materials needed:  Laminator or craft iron, dies of choice, “black toner paper”, wax paper, foil sheets (we are using Deco foil, which we find to be of superior quality to some of the other foils on the market).

You can get a sheet of black "toner paper" by printing  large black rectangle, covering most of your paper. This must be printed on a laser printer. If you don't have a laser printer, you can print it on an ink jet printer, take the copy and some card stock to an office supply store and ask them to copy the black rectangle onto the card stock using the laser copier. Laser copiers and printers use toner, and, when heated, the toner reacts with the foil and bonds to the paper.

If you want to invest in a laminator, they can be found inexpensively at Amazon.

First turn on your laminator and allow it to heat up for at least 20 minutes.

In the meantime, cut your die cut out of the black part of the “toner paper”.

Cut a piece of foil the size of your die cut and place shiny/colored side up on the black side of the die cut (the matte silver side should be placed against the toner paper).

You can either run this directly through the laminator or place the layers between a folded sheet of wax paper and then run this 'package' through the laminator.

Gently lift the foil off the die cut to see if it adhered to your die cut.  You may need to run large pieces through the laminator twice. Pieces without much detail or loose edges can be run through the laminator without the wax paper carrier sheets.

It is very important that your laminator is hot for this process to work.

A few pro tips:
1) Don't run the same thing through too many times, especially with the same wax paper carrier sheet. At some point, it will simply fan-fold into the machine, and you will have to take it apart and pull it all out (it will be unusable at that point).
2) If you are sending through something pretty small, always use a wax paper carrier (we use the boxes of single sheets of wax paper that you can get at Costco - also desirable is they are not highly waxed).
3) If you are trying to use more than one color of foil on a piece, the piece at the bottom (against the toner paper) is what will stick. There is also a danger of the foil pieces slipping as they go through. If you get your piece back with places that the foil missed, try sending it through again with more foil and a new wax paper carrier sheet.
4) Some die cuts work better than others, but give them a try! There was a feather die that a customer had at play day that turned out stunningly - it had a slight embossed look in the center. Try any of your dies you may have and see what great looks you get.

If you don’t have a laminator you can also use a craft iron for this technique. Follow the process above but use the craft iron to iron the foil and then the back side of the die cut. You don’t have to use wax paper although we would recommend it if the die is detailed. It is easy to catch the edge of the iron on little pieces like leaves or stems. As you are ironing the pieces you can gently lift the foil to see if it adhering to your die cut. If it isn’t adhering, just apply more heat.

We had SO much fun playing with foil techniques at play day! I hope you will try it.

Magenta Stamp Used:
07.674.F Circle of Friends 3
Other Materials Used:
Memory Box Sketchy Rings Die 99149
Deco Rainbow Foil
Toner paper
Versamark Ink
Ranger Black Sparkle embossing powder

Friday, May 22, 2015

Still Smooshing!

Just a quick post, I wanted to show some more cards I did with the "Smooshing" technique. This is a great way to make a quick and beautiful background! After Smooshing, I stamped some of my new Magenta stamps over the backgrounds, and sprinkled on some enamel dots.

Magenta Stamps Used:
44.016.M Zen Star Flower

07.912.H Happiness is the path

Other Materials Used:
Distress Ink: Picked Raspberry, Mustard Seed
Various enamel dots
Tim Holtz watercolor paper
So Silk Pink Beauty paper
Perfect Pearls Pearl powder
Memory Box Stitched Rectangle Layers 30009

Magenta Stamps Used:
44.015.F Zen Square Flower 

07.939.G Kindness is

Other Materials Used:
Distress Ink: Picked Raspberry, Mustard Seed
Various enamel dots
Tim Holtz watercolor paper
Stardream Flame paper
Perfect Pearls Pearl powder
Memory Box Stitched Rectangle Layers 30009

Magenta Stamps Used:
44.017.L Zen Flower Burst
07.805.I Georgia O'Keefe Quote

Other Materials Used:
Distress Ink: Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers
Various enamel dots
Tim Holtz watercolor paper
So Silk Purple paper
Perfect Pearls Pearl powder
Memory Box Stitched Rectangle Layers 30009

Friday, May 8, 2015

Technique of the Week: Smooshing

In conjunction with the Art 'n Soul Technique of the Week newsletter article, I have a step by step tutorial for "smooshing."

Smooshing is a technique made popular by Laura Bassen, that uses ink and water to make a background. It's somewhat similar to the acrylic block stamping technique that I showed on my blog here, but it's a little less tidy.

I like both techniques.  All you need for smooshing is:

1) A good dye ink in a couple of colors (I prefer Distress because it reacts so well with water, and there are so many colors).
2) A piece of acetate. You can use a piece of packaging you have saved, or a piece cut off a sheet that you have left over.
3) A spritzer bottle with water. Those of you who know me, know that I will have Perfect Pearls powder in my spritzer bottle as well (1/4 tsp Perfect Pearls powder to 2 oz water).
4) Watercolor paper. I prefer 140# cold pressed; but I often use the Tim Holtz pre-cut paper, because I like that it's already a handy size, and also that it's white. If I'm going to cover the whole piece, then the color doesn't matter.

Apply ink in at least 2 colors, from the pad direct to the acetate.

Spray the acetate liberally with pearly water.

Place the acetate, ink side down, onto the watercolor paper.

This is where the "smooshing" takes place. Rub your fingers over the back of the acetate to let the color soak into the paper. 

Move the acetate around to put color in different places on the paper.

You can be finished at this point, and let it dry, or you can dry the paper, clean off the acetate and apply another color. 

Sprintz and smoosh again. (I never thought I'd be writing a sentence like that). The colors won't get "muddy" because you dried the first application of color.

Once you're happy with your background, stamp something you like on it, and make into a card. I chose to die cut my page using the Memory Box Stitched Rectangle Layers (largest die of the set)

I then stamped the panel with the Magenta Zen Butterfly (44.019.K) - One of my new stamp designs with Magenta! I also added one of my favorite zen sentiments "Happiness is the Path" (07.912.H).  I mounted the panel onto a piece of glossy black paper, and then onto a piece of craft foam that I cut slightly smaller than the panel. The panel was applied to a white base card, and the craft foam popped the panel up off the base card slightly.  A few enamel dots were sprinkled onto the piece at the end.

I hope you try this technique. It's a fun, fast way to make a beautiful background.

Magenta Stamps Used:
Zen Butterfly 44.019.K
Happiness is the Path 07.912.H
Distress Inks: Peacock Feathers; Mustard Seed; Picked Raspberry
Memory Box Stitched Rectangles Dies 30009
Perfect Pearls Powder
My Mind's Eye "Chalk Studios 2" Enamel Dots
Tim Holtz Watercolor cardstock
Black glossy cardstock
white craft foam