Monday, October 18, 2010

Stampin' Up! Christmas Cards

Still riding the steam engine of Christmas cards, I recently attended a Stampin’ Up! class to make 3 heat-embossed Christmas Cards.  One of my goals to improve my card-making skills has been to learn stamping.  I had a class back in January 2010 and then in May, I learned that my cousin’s wife, Jodi, is a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator.  So, we made it in to a little family vacation.  My cousin, his wife and their two kids (7 and 4) came for the weekend and we had another stamping class.

I thought it might be easier if we focused on just one stamping technique this time around.  Rubber stamping has been around for hundreds of years.  It is a well-developed craft that can be used to embellish many different things (even clothing).  Naturally, with a history-rich craft, there are a lot of techniques and products to learn.  Stamping seems simple: image, ink, paper, right?  At its most basic, sure that’s all you need.  However, there are actually many gizmos that go with today’s stamping craft and it can be overwhelming.

So, embossing was the technique du jour!  We started with a plain embossing exercise.  My favourite kind of embossing is dry embossing or texture embossing.  This first card shows both textured embossing and a heat embossed stamped image.  I am impressed by the quality of the Stampin’ Up! diamond rhinestones.  They are really shiny without that visible metal-painted plastic rim that other rhinestones have.

The next card we did was an emboss-resist.  The name of it sounds really daunting.  I was so thrilled with the ease of this one.  It turned out to be my favourite.  The medallion stamp was stamped on patterned paper and clear embossed.  The embossed area will resist any ink we dab on to the paper.  So, we dabbed ink over the rest of the patterned paper.  The exposed paper absorbed the ink but the embossed part was preserved.  What an amazing effect!

 We started late and took a long break after the second card, so we only got to do three cards of the four designs that were planned.  The third card went one step farther again by both inking and embossing the stamped image and then doing the resist on top of that.  When I saw the sample, I thought this would be my favourite but I actually loved just the bare effect of the resist on the middle card more.  It was simpler to do with the same WOW.

I think our class was very productive.  Each of Jodi’s designs added one more thing to the last.  Layering the lessons helped us get the hang of it better.  Finally – I successfully learned a bit of stamping!

I really like Jodi’s style.  It is elegant, uncluttered and soft.  If you would like to see more of her work, visit her blog: Come Stamp with Me.

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