Card #33: Playing with Embossing

Everything seems to be vying for my attention: my phone, the crow cawing outside my window, “May It Be” playing on iTunes on my computer, my growling stomach, the large pile of dirty dishes in the sink, etc.  Time to focus and write a blog post (so I can go eat lunch!)!

I actually got around to playing with my embossing powders this week, which is what I had intended to do last week before I got completely sidetracked.  I made 3 cards because I wanted to try embossing on a couple different types of stamps.  I’ve never really been very good at using embossing powder and the heat gun.  The images always seemed to turn out bumpy with gaps in the lines.  Last time I tried it, I used the heat gun a bit longer and that seemed to help.  So my goal in this week’s attempt was to try using a stamp or two that had finer lines and a stamp or two that was a more solid design, just to see how they would turn out.

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I supposed I should explain the process of this for those who may not know.  Embossing powder is a colorized wax powder that melts with a heat gun like this:

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image from Donwei Machinery Industry

You stamp the image with a special embossing ink pad (though I believe you can also use a pigment ink pad), dump your powder on the image, shake off the excess back into the container, and melt the remaining powder with the gun.  You don’t want to hold the heat gun too close so it doesn’t blow the powder off the ink or so it doesn’t melt the wax too hot, but it does need to be close enough to actually melt the wax.  Sounds simple enough, right?

For the first and second cards, I rubbed the cardstock with a little powder bag from Stampin’ Up called an embossing buddy that helps remove static and moisture from the cardstock before I stamped the image and applied the embossing powder.  That helps remove the stray flecks of powder more easily.  On the last card, my first attempt at the embossed image turned out rather poorly, so I tried again and forgot to use the embossing buddy, so there are more flecks on the cardstock.

Here’s a close-up to show you what I’m talking about:

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It gives it a little more character, if that’s the look you’re going for.  I wasn’t really, but that’s how it turned out anyway, so we’ll just pretend I was, ok?

I’m still not really satisfied with my skills at embossing.  All the images are still kind of gap-py and not as crisp as I’ve seen done by other people.  I really wasn’t impressed with the green powder, as that one seemed to melt and blend the least.  Might have to give that color one more shot, then get rid of it if I can’t get it to look right.

As far as materials I used for this week’s projects, all the patterned cardstock came from a DCWV Glitter Mat Stack.  The embossing powders were various brands all purchased at garage sales, which is also where the “Smile Enclosed” stamp was from.  The stamp looks like it says it’s copyrighted by diand’s Gingerbread in Arlington, SD.  The “Best Wishes” stamp is a stray Stampin’ Up stamp I have, the “Joy” is from the Stampin’ Up set Small Scripts (which is probably my most-used sentiment set!), and the flower is from the Stampin’ Up set 2-Step Mini Messages.

Well, my dishes aren’t getting cleaned by themselves (someone should really invent self-cleaning dishes), and my stomach is still growling, so I should go spend some quality time in the kitchen.  Happy Saturday!

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