Monday, March 26, 2012

H2H Challenges: Embossing

This week's challenge at Heart 2 Heart this week is to create something using embossing....either kind....dry or heat.  Though I love the look that dry embossing adds to a project, I have to say I really LOVE heat embossing.  I've shared the story on my blog before, but I can still remember the first time I saw the magic happen before my eyes.  The awe and wonder.  I STILL get like that nearly 15 years later!  It just really is like magic.

Even though I used some traditional heat embossing on my card on the flowers, I used another couple of embossing techniques.  The first one, another widely used technique...embossing resist.  I stamped "sorry" using they Typeface alphabet set.  (I really messed up with a friend and this is the only word that kept coming to mind.  I think the inside sentiment could say something like, "...I'm such a lousy friend.")  Anyhoo...back to the card...after stamping the word in VersaMark, I embossed it with clear embossing powder.  I then trimmed the banner and simply sponged Crystal Blue ink all over the banner, wiping the residual ink off the letters with a  tissue.

Now for the third embossing technique....burned batik!  What is burned batik?  A very cool technique that I found over at Splitcoast Stampers where essentially, you heat the embossed image until there is no shine left.  You know what I'm talking about.  If you've ever embossed anything, you know that if you heat it too long, the powder actually melts into the paper and loses its shine.  Normally, we think of this as "messing up".  However, did you know that even after melting into the paper, it still resists ink?  But instead of having a shiny, raised surface, you get a more subtle resist like shown in the next picture. ( I've included a photo tutorial at the end of this post if you'd like to see how it is done.)
For this card, I used the color inspiration at last week's Play Date Cafe and the Viva la Verve Sketch Challenge.

CTMH Products Used

Other Products Used
ATG Adhesive (Scotch), Static Bag (Ranger)

Now it's your turn.  Why don't you give this technique a try?  Even if you don't give this particular technique a try, there are just so many things you can do with heat and dry embossing.  So I hope you will join us this week.  All you have to do is 1) follow the rules (use embossing and use mostly CTMH products) and 2) link your project back to Heart 2 Heart from your blog post or online gallery.  In order to be considered for the Top 10 award, you must link your project for this or any of this month's H2H challenges by 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 31st.

Don't have any CTMH products?  That's an easy fix!  Simply contact your local CTMH consultant (or go here to find one near you) or you can place an order by going to my website.

Everyone looks forward to seeing your creation, so get to embossing!  :)

Now for the photo tutorial....
Use a static bag or used clothes dryer sheet to help remove static and neutralize oils from your hands, so that the embossing powder doesn't stick where you don't want it.
Using VersaMark ink, random stamp your images onto your cardstock.  Bold images work well for this technique.  You have a little time to work, as VersaMark doesn't dry too quickly, but you don't want to take the dog for a walk or anything. ;)
After stamping your images, pour clear embossing powder over the ink.
Here you can see that the images have been covered in embossing powder.
Now the hard part.  Heat until all of the powder has melted and is no longer shiny.  Now this takes a while.  It took me probably a good 10 minutes of solid heating.  Just be sure to not get your heat tool too close to the paper, or to aim it onto one spot too long.  Otherwise, you will burn your paper.  I did several times...probably the reason for the technique's name, huh?.  At any rate, don't throw it away.  By the time you add ink, you'll never know you burned it.  Unless of course, you burned a hole smack dab through your project.  Yep...not thinking that would be fixable.  LOL
Here's what it looks like when you heat the powder the way it was intended.  You can see how shiny the images are.  You definitely could sponge over this and do the resist technique (like I did for the sentiment), but the contrast between the embossed image and the inked areas would be much stronger than with the burned batik technique.
Here is what my project looked like after heating the powder until it was no longer shiny.  Remember...this takes a while to do.  So be patient.
Here's a clue that it is working.  You will be able to see the images on the back of the paper and when it's all said and done, it will seem like you can see through it.  Cool, huh?
Unfortunately, what you can't really see me doing here, is using my spray pen to spray water onto the cardstock.  I sprayed water onto the cardstock to help lengthen the drying time for my dye inks.  It just helps them blend a little more.  Keep in mind though, you only want to mist a thin layer.  There is no need to saturate your cardstock.
Now just sponge your choice of inks onto the images.  I worked in circles, but you certainly could tap the sponges onto the paper.  
Something you can do to help with the blending is to spray a little water directly onto your sponge prior to adding ink.  The little bit of water on your ink pad won't hurt them.  At least, it's never hurt mine.
Pretty, huh?
Here, I just stamped a sentiment using grey wool ink onto the paper using both first and second generation stamping.  
I then used a towel to wipe away any excess ink.  In the piece that I did for my card, I  wiped  my card too soon after stamping the image and it actually smeared.  Fortunately though, I had wiped straight down, so it pulled the ink in one direction and I ended up actually liking it.  So if you want to achieve that look, just wipe as soon as you stamp the sentiment.
Now again, my spray pen is out of the scene, but I am spraying plain water on the cardstock.  Since the  inks are water-based, they will actually puddle and create water spots.  I even try to get larger water spots by slowly pressing the spray button, so that the water comes out more like drops, rather than a mist.
You can certainly let your paper dry naturally, but I prefer the impatient heat tool. :)  
I also recommend drying the back.  Besides dryiing the paper thoroughly, it will also help to "warp" your paper in the correct direction.  If that makes sense.
Here's the final result.  You may have wondered why I used such a large piece.  I did that for a few reasons. was easier for me to hold when I was heating.  Two...I knew that if I messed up in one spot, I would have a big enough of a piece to salvage from another area.  Three...I would have left overs. :)
Here again is the card.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. :)

Until next time....


  1. Tamytha, this card creation is just stunningly beeeeautiful! Your stamping and embossing techniques are out of this world.

  2. Great card! I especially love the resist background that you created. Blessings!

  3. VERY cool technique- and card! Thanks for sharing how to revive my mistakes. Any tips for when you scorch the paper while embossing? LOL

  4. Thanks ladies!

    The thing that worked best for me was to keep the heat tool at about 6 inches away from the paper, which allowed me to keep the heat tool in one area longer without burning. Whenever I would let my mind wonder, I'd find myself putting the heat tool too close and that's when it burned. The nice thing is that once you ink the paper, you can't tell that you scorched the paper. So don't let a few scorch marks discourage you. In fact, on my sample for the tutorial, I actually burned the paper in three different places. (You can kind of see it in the picture after I completed the embossing...a few yellow spots). I burned my card piece one time. Again, though, you can't tell after it was inked. HTH. :)

  5. Awesome tutorial Tamytha! i've also done a variation on this where I took my shiny image and place a scrap piece of cardstock overtop and then I ironed it, did the same thing and then I added the ink....your technique is faster and one step less! love the finished product...that card is super bright and happy even if it is a 'sorry' card :)

  6. Thank you for the helpful tutorial. I have never heard of this technique, but will definitely give it a try after seeing your beautiful results. I hope your friend forgives you:)

  7. WOW!!! What a fabulous card and excellent post! Thanks for playing along with us at The Play Date Cafe!

  8. What a great tutorial, fun technique, and gorgeous creation! TFS! And thanks so much for playing along with us this week at The Play Date Cafe!

  9. I am LOVE-ING this card! and that technique, I totally have to try it. Thank you for the tutorial. Thanks for joining us at The Play Date Cafe. Come again!

  10. Beautiful card and excellent tutorial! Thanks.

  11. I love the card! Could you tell me how you got the sign up for CTMH newsletter on your blog?

  12. Tamytha - You did a beautiful job! Thank you so much for the tutorial!


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