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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Year of the Monkey

I made this card for a Paper Wishes Message Board Swap.  We were to make a card that had and oriental flavor, metal, and a monkey.  I immediately thought of my bamboo embossing folder (Darice) and knew I wanted to use embossing ink on the folder and add gold that way.  I also immediately thought of this "Cute Monkey" Small Stamp from HOTP.  I was eager to get started, but I'll admit that along the way I ran into some difficulties. First, let's talk about what I did - and then the challenges I faced.

Background: I inked up one side of the embossing folder with VersaMark ink.  I had expected to add gold embossing powder and heat emboss it, but I really like the color I get with my perfect pearls, so decided to go with that.  Because it was such a large area, I used a larger brush and more powder than usual when I added my perfect pearls.  This is probably why it turned out the way it did.  While the gold was certainly darker in the debossed areas where the ink was, there was also a light coating on the raised areas - which I hadn't wanted.   And it didn't seem to want to come off either.  Still, it looked gold so fulfilled the "metal" part of the card requirement.  I moved on to make the monkey. 

Monkey: This I stamped in VersaMark ink on white cardstock and again added color with my gold perfect pearls.  This time I used the small brush to apply the perfect pearls and nothing stuck where I didn't want it.  I had done some reading on the web and many sites seemed to agree that 2016 was the year of the "red monkey" so I decided to add a bit of red to my monkey.  I did this with a fine-line watercolor pen.  I decided to color in the monkey's leaves the same way using a dark green.  A tiny dot of black permanent marker helped his eyes stand out more.  I fussy cut around the monkey leaving a bit of white all around it.

Greeting: Using a die from Spellbinder's Labels Twenty die set, I cut out the shape I would to frame my greeting.  Then I inked up a matching JustRite die (Thank You Labels Twenty) and stamped with VersaMark ink and colored with Perfect Pearls as before.  Then I stamped "Best Wishes" (stamp from HOTP "Stamp & Punch") in the center with VersaMark & colored it with perfect pearls.


Now for the challenges - As I was working with the monkey, I saw that some of the gold powder was starting to smear off!  That wouldn't do, so I tried to figure out what to do to make it more permanent.  My first thought was to heat it and see if that would make a difference.  That MAYBE helped, but not enough.  So, I decided to cover the whole thing with VersaMark ink and heat emboss it with clear embossing powder.  That seemed to work okay for the monkey, but when I tried the same with the greeting, I realized I had a problem.  Heating the clear embossing powder made the cardstock turn more creamy translucent instead of staying white.  This meant less distinction between the background and the gold and made the greeting hard to see.

So, I cut a circle shape from white card stock and re-did the greeting to go on top of the "frame".  But how to make it permanent?  I decided to spray it with hairspray, and that definitely seemed to help.  So I glued my greeting to it's frame.  I decided I wanted to mat everything in black.  For the frame, I traced around the cutting die and fussy cut it.  For the monkey, I free-hand drew the same size border on the back of black paper (turned the monkey upside down so I didn't have to worry about my pencil marks showing) and fussy cut it out.  I glued the monkey directly to the black mat & the background. I used foam tape to attach the greeting/frame to the black mat which was already attached to the card.  Finally, I added a red embroidery thread with bow at the top before attaching the card front to the card itself.


By the time I got to the inside of the card, I had done a little more on-line research - this time about how to make perfect pearls permanent!  I wish I had done that first as it is so easy!  Just use a very fine misting bottle with water in it and mist the image after you have your perfect pearls applied.  AFTER I read that I remembered - oh yeah, the perfect pearls package SAID that water made it permanent.  Duh.  :(

Anyway, As you can see, I matted narrow strips of the same background and added a partial monkey for the inside (the monkey was added with foam tape).  Because I knew I wanted a partial monkey, I used a sticky note to mask a narrow edge of the card stock before I stamped my image.  This meant that I could have a white frame around the whole by carefully cutting all around the stamped image (instead of having one side without a white edge like would have happened without the mask).

I like the way this turned out - but I bet it would have been even better if I had used black card stock to create my background & focals instead of white!

2 comments:

Daria said...


I am the fortunate recipient of this card and I love the way it turned out. Makes me appreciate it even more knowing how much work went into it. Thanks for a wonderful card!


Becca Sadler said...

I wish I could participate again in the message board swaps! Maybe next summer?!?! This card is moxie-fabulous!

Amazing card creation!