I absolutely love the Nordic Knit dies that Linda used on her third tag.... and thus they became my theme. I don't know why, but her tag reminded me of reclining under the Christmas tree, looking upward at this wonderful piece of nature in our home, laden with lights and ornaments, marveling at all of the color and detail.... just like I now do in Blog Land with all of your projects. And ok, I confess, I was also checking out the presents, lol!
So I was set on using this theme, imagining an ornament among pine branches. I had all of the supplies, so this should be no worries, straightforward, right! Well, there is a reason this blog is named "Experiments in Paper"! And this little tag provided yet another example of why, lol!
But first to the tag base. I used, as I have thus far, the size ten tag Linda carries in her shop. Using Lindy's Stamp Gang's beautiful Ponderosa Pines spray, I added a wonderful color with a little glimmer.
This gorgeous deep green tone has a gold sheen to it, as you can see in the detail shot.
Then to the greens of the "tree".... I used four Distress Sprays: Bundled Sage, Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn and Forest Moss, and sprayed a bunch of white card stock with these sprays in combination, with spritzes of water to keep it all fluid.
Then I used all the wafer dies I own that have an "evergreen" needles feel, mostly from Sizzix with a few from other companies. I cut a pile of green foliage, and also cut two pinecones from Kraft Distress Core paper in a dark brown, using the Tim Holtz original Tattered Pinecone steel rule die.
Next, I stamped the base tag with Archival Ink in Library Green, so there would be some mention of pine needles and branches in whatever gaps existed once I placed the die cut greens on top.
Onto the ornament. I sprayed some white cardstock with Dylusions PostBox Red spray, let dry and sprayed again, for a deep, rich color. This shows the large tag all curled up from the moisture in the spray....but it flattens as it dries, and you can hurry it along with your heat tool as needed. I love that red!
For the ornament itself, I used a Spellbinders Nestabilities die set in an ornament shape, using the second-biggest die for my project. Looking good so far!
Since Linda had used them, I then turned to the Nordic Knit dies, which as Linda explains, consist of five linear dies, each with a different design. I especially love the one with the little reindeer, so started with that one. I decided to cut all of them, though, so I could audition them on my little red ornament.
And then things got a bit dicey. I value honesty, and thus must report here that I had a lot of trouble cutting these dies, even with the Precision Plate and shims in my Big Shot Plus.
I did finally get a decent cut from the one I was really interested in, though. And I have since noticed that my Big Shot Plus does not always cut detailed wafer dies well, even with the Precision Plate and shims, and breaking out a new set of cutting plates. Could be my machine; I have not looked online to see if this is a general pattern. Luckily, I still have my regular BigShot, and although again with the precision plate I had to send them through several times with a thin paper shim, I did get a good cut. Maybe it is my set of dies....who knows?!
Anyway, once both ornament and the deer "Nordic" stripe were cut, I centered the deer piece on my ornament, securing it with repositionable tape, and masking anything I did not want captured in the stamping. I taped it up well on the back also, to prevent as much "bouncing" when I applied the Versamark ink through the die cut.
After applying the Versamark, I sprinkled on fine detailed gold embossing powder.... and this seemed to work well....
until I heat embossed the powder..... I lost a lot of detail despite using a fine gold powder. I think this is because I had to stamp the thick sticky Versamark ink through a relatively thick "stencil" of the card stock, which is not ideal for such a finely detailed image.
So, after mulling about it overnight, I went with using the Holiday Knit stencil. It doesn't have the sweet little deer, but at this point, it would do! And although I would again have the potential bulk problem, I could control things a bit more by using paint instead of embossing ink. I knew I could apply the paint very thinly with a make-up sponge, rather than embossing ink (which is thick) and embossing powder (creating even more bulk on this delicate image).
I carefully positioned the stencil, to maximize my new focus on the snowflakes, and to center everything as best I could. I also masked off the tip with artist's tape (sticks well but removes readily without residue), and used the same tape to keep the stencil as stable as possible. Using very little paint (a teardrop's worth), and keeping my makeup sponge as "dry" as possible by off-stamping it on my paint palette before pouncing, I gulped and put paint to stencil.
I knew I needed a sentiment and given all the detailed dimension on this card, a label I could rest among all of that would be best. So I painted a remnant of the pinecone kraft yardstick with the same Lumiere paint that I stamped with. I wasn't too careful, as I wanted a vintage, old look....
and cut it with a wonderfully detailed label. I stamped this label with the small and simple "Create Magic" sentiment from a Finnabair set, using black StaysOn ink (so it would adhere to the metallic paint.)
I made my pinecones, using the toothpick technique Tim demonstrates here. As I reviewed this tutorial after I had cut and removed my die cuts from the dies, I did not sand as he recommends....but will try to remember this for the future! I am also not as graceful as he is with a glue gun.... so I ended up spraying both little cones with Ground Expresso... and then applied Prima's (Finnabair's) Snowflake Paste, which has a lovely sparkle once dry. This looked lovely, until the paste began to absorb the deep brown from the spray.... so I touched up with some plain acrylic white paint. Live and learn!
I added a "cap" to the ornament (where the hook would fit through) with a gold Sharpie pen, and began to arrange everything on my background.
Once the card was assembled by adhering the greens, ornament, pinecones, and sentiment label, I placed a fluffy red bow made from white seam binding sprayed with the same Dylusions Post Box Red as I had used for the ornament.
And here is the result:
Thank you so much for stopping by, and if you've time, please do leave a comment - I always love to hear from you!
I am entering this into Linda's 3rd tag of her annual Twelve Tags of Christmas, as well as the Emerald Creek Dares Bringing Bits of Cheer challenge.