Monday, November 24, 2008

Itchy embossing in Nature's Garden (& frindge from embroidery thread)

Nope, not poison ivy...scratchin' embossing. Yup, migraines turn me into (even more of) a raving lunatic. Thank you all so much for your sweet well wishes. No need to worry though, the neurologist says they're just headaches... it runs in the family. It's been around so long that it's almost like a pet. Well, a really awfulbiteygrowlymean pet whom you'd like to give away, but you can't....heehee.

So anywho... I've been wanting for ages to to make a special card my sweet sweet Nana with this {Nature's Garden} set from Little Paper Shop. Gardening is one of my Nana's many passions. (She has the greenest thumb on the planet!) :O)

Today's techniques
are a coupla twists on 2 of the fun basics...embossing & sewing. First, a weird way to distress embossing. (Stamp in dark ink, emboss in silver e.p., & just scratch it like its itchy.) Second, a fringe made of nuthin but embroidery thread on sticky tape.

The Stampin'...

The Nature's Garden set has the cutest little wheelbarrow, and flowers, and a wee spade, and a wateringcan. I wanted to make the tools look like they were aged metal so here's how i doctored 'em up...

Distressed or Etched Embossing

Step 1) Stamp in a dark ink & a light metallic embossing powder
(This is Black Craft ink from SU & Silver ep by Ranger) But it looks really neat with turquoise ink & copper scratched too...

Step 2) Heat emboss the dark ink with metallic embossing powder

Step 3) Colour in with a Silver Zig Painty pen. (The texture of the watercolour paper kind of ends up looking like galvanized steel when you colour it silver, but also like the heft of watercolour paper for holding it's shape when you cut little details out.)

Step 4) The Zigpainty can easily be scratched to make a neato texture. You can use the tip of your scissors or a paper piercer... I like to draw on cross hatch lines...

Step 5) Now the itchy part: Scratch away areas of the embossing powder. You can use the side of your scissors or sanding block, but I like an exacto blade; I have one of those razor window scrappers painters use, for when I want to distress big areas of embossing....

You may get some smuding of colour on your paper, but we're cutting this one out.

Step 6) Cut the fiddly bits out first with an exact knife (hobby blade)

Step 7) Trim around with scissors

Step 8) You can get some interesting effects with Copic markers on embossing powder (they'll stay on it and tint it a little but the Zigpainty repels the marker so you get fine details without having to be too careful.)

Embroidery Thread Fringe:

Another cheap trick for you to try if you like...embroidery thread fringe. I was really excited about this one because it's tactile and soft looking with the sheen of the thread. It also looks more difficult that it is (maybe?) and I have a whack of embroidery thread. Also, I find ribbon hard to use in layouts, but I crave fabric-y-ness.

It's really easy & relatively quick. You could probably finish it in the time I've taken to blabber about it! ....and speakin' of blabbering... for some reason this fringe makes me wanna make a teensy tiny little hand woven area rug with fringe (i've had way too much advil, lol.) It'd also make cute grass (which contrary to what you might think, I do not partake of...even though I do live in BC, ROFL.)

Supplies: Embroidery thread, sharp scissors, good stick tape.

Step 1)
Start with a piece of cardstock and adhere a strip of really sticky double-sided tape on one edge of it. (This piece is a Basic Grey cardstock cut to 2 7/8 x 5 7/8 for this 6x6 gatefold card. It has a piece of Basic grey paper stuck on it & I pierced it & stitched it. I like that the fringe ends up looking like it comes from the stitches somehow... make the fringe...

Step 2)
Stick the end of embroidery thread down on the sticky tape (i stick it on with my left hand & tamp it down with the back of my thumbnail...)

Step 3) Trim the ends with a very sharp pair of scissors. (These actually cost me only 50cents at the dollar store (2-4-a buck) but they are still sharp since they are the only pair outta a gamillion that i never cut paper with, heehee) You can use the previous frindge to line up your cuts.

Step 4) Flip over occasionally to check if it is straight. I like the randomness, but you could also give your fringe a haircut with your scissors so it's nice n even.

Step 5)
To finish it, add a second strip of sticky tape & press well. Then stick your cardstock onto your project and the fringe will hold quite nicely. :O)

You can seethe two colours of fringe on either side of the gate that folds over the inside of this card:

It's kind of nifty 'cause the two fringes brush against each other when you open it. (Things no one every notices but us crazy cardmakers, huh?)

The sentiment is the sweet saying from {Make a Wish}: it says "May you have A day that is Perfect in Every way"

The Gate Fold:

I dunno about you, but I always have to remind myself to try a different fold out. This one is an easy one. To get it just...
  1. Cut a piece of 12x12 cardstock in half (you'll be left with a piece of cs that's 12x6 inches.)
  2. Lay it horizontally in your scor-pal & score it at 3 & 9 inch marks (or simply Score it 3 inches in from either side)
  3. Fold the two sides to the front & you have a 6x6 gatefold
  4. Stick your image & bits on whichever side you like

Other card details:

Image: Image Stamps are all from
{Nature's Garden} coloured using Faux Watercolour with Stampin' Up! markers & a Niji Waterbrush. Flowers embossed in silver & coloured with Almost Amethyst & Lovely Lilac, Yoyo Yellow, Certain Celery markers. They're knotted with matching embroidery threads. Sentiment stamp is from {Make a Wish}

Patterned Papers: Basic grey LilyKate line (Wisteria & Mia); SU Cardstock: Very vanilla (card) Basic Grey (Mats) Almost Amethyst (sentiment); Flowers: Small white paper flowers coloured with SU markers, Stamped with Silver encore ink Script stamp, Layered with 3 for You punched vellum flowers (that were outlined with a silver Zig Painty pen) & then fancy Swarovski crystals (from my WAY too generous M.I.L. Thanks Esther! XOX)

Thank You so much for taking time out of your busy day!

Check out the LPS design team peeps for some inspiration...
(thumbnails in the sidebar)-->

P.S. If you want the fringe extra fuzzy you can brush it. :O)

More examples of Fringe here:


(click the pics to go to those posts)


chelemom said...

This is truly a work of art!! Beautiful!!!

Becky said...

This is just soooo gorgeous. I must try this :).

the whimsical butterfly said...

Wow! Another gawgeous card and rockin' tutorial! You are too good to us!

Tonniece said...

GAWD woman, I'm just getting stuck on the gesso now I have to try these 2 new techniques.
Thanks for the great tutorial yet again.
Love your card, as always it's gorgeous.

Good to hear the headaches are nothing serious.
Take care my friend

Darlene L said...

Stunning! Absolutely beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing your talents with us! darlene

manicstamper said...

Loving everything you are posting lately Mel.

There is a little something for you over at my blog.


Bonnie (eggette) said...

Very Cool Mel! Fabulous tutorial!

southern fairy said...

award on my blog for u to say thanks for all the inspiration :)

Catherine said...

OMGosh, Mel! An amazing card and an awesome technique!

Kirsten said...

Wow!! This is completely stunning & thank you for the brilliant tutorial. Kirsten. PS There is something on my blog for you.

Pauline said...

What a brilliant idea the fringe is, must try it, I don't know how you think up such great things. Thanks for showing us how to do it.
Regards Pol

Mari said...

Well, 'serious' or not, there is NOTHING fun about nasty headaches (been there, done that!). Glad that you're feeling better!
As for these techniques... Dang it girl! I don't have enough time to keep up with you! :) But, ooooh, I have a gungola of floss from ages ago - and I need to do *something* with it!
Shoot, I'm still back on magic pattern (although I am easily distracted, think that's a problem? LOL) and messing with gesso. How will I ever catch up?! :D

Janine said...


Anonymous said...

Smokin' Joe!!! That is fabulous. Your grass made me LOL being from BC and all, eh?? hehheheh!!!!
What a gorgeous creation, I love the floss frindge. Trying to keep up with you gives me a heady ache!
Love your work! TFS
Beth Greco

Curt in Carmel said...

Gorgeous card with all of its detail! I love the fringe and how easy you make it! Hope you are feeling better! Best, Curt

Etha said...

wow this card is a little masterpiece!! I love the illusion that the fringe comes from the stitches, that is amazing LOL, how DO you come up with these things!! and the hatching of the EP, ugh, divine ;)
Say did my ATCs ever arrive??

Elena said...

That is gorgeous! Love your new creative ideas! Fringe looks so cute! And itching gives a very interesting effect to the card!

Jami {sgtStamper} said...

I always take away so much from your tutorials...that fringe is really fun!! Gorgeous card!!
hugs, Jami

Annapurna said...

Honestly, you have to tell me if there are 48hrs in a day in Canada or are you very organized?

This is superb. Loooove the colors and all the details. I am sure grandma will treasure this one for a long time. I can't get over how beautiful all those colors go together. Reminds me of a sari I used to own.

Shirley said...

I love gatefolds and yours is unique in design, oh so really pretty, and it opens the opposite of the ones I have done. Either way yours is gorgeous!