On UK Stampers the theme for the June ATC swap is “Royalty”. I decided to try something digital, as I didn’t have any suitable stamps at all. I wanted to do something based on the Lion and the Unicorn, or crown, orb and sceptre, but all the images I found on the internet were hopeless, so I was completely stuck. Then I treated myself to a day out at Sunrise Crafts, to cheer myself up, and ……..
I found this Tim Holtz stamp! Sorted!!!!!!
The stamp is perfectly sized for ATCs, so I only had to make a nice background for it. I stamped it onto a rubbish ATC, cut away the areas around the crown and the lion, then used the remains as a mask. I dabbed Mustard Seed distress ink onto the crown area and Spiced Marmalade onto the lion area. Then I took the mask away and dabbed Barn Door over the rest of the ATC. I spritzed with water to blend the colours, then dried with my heat tool. Easier said than done, as my ready-cut ATCs are made of a rather weird card that tends to dry in uneven patches!! At this stage I thought the colours looked a bit garish, so I swiped over lightly with Picket Fence distress stain and dried again. I stamped with black Archival, then spritzed lightly and splatted with Heirloom Gold pearl mist, and finally zapped it all thoroughly with my heat tool. So far, so good!
I wanted to add crown charms, but I couldn’t find any at Sunrise Crafts, and it was far too late to buy any on the internet. I decided instead to diecut some grungeboard crowns, using the Tim Holtz Heart Wings die. I tried dabbing the first one with a gold paint dabber, then immediately zapping it with my heat tool (which pops the bubbles in the paint and leaves a lovely orange-peel texture, that looks great when antiqued with black paint!). Unfortunately, the paint hadn’t covered the edges, so the crown just looked a mess! I tried adding some paint with a brush, but it still didn’t look right. Time for drastic action!! * I squeezed the dabber bottle really hard, so the paint flooded over the diecut, then I swished it around in the puddle with my pokey tool, until it was all covered, then balanced the whole mess on the pokey tool so I could zap it without it sticking to the mat. The paint bubbled beautifully, but it filled up the holes in the shape! Grrrrhh!!!! I managed to squish the paint back against the shape while it was hot, but this idiot forgot that the pokey tool was also rather hot! Ouch!!! Then it was time to get the dried paint off my craft mat. Thank goodness for wet wipes! By this stage I had splashes of gold paint everywhere, and every time I moved it got worse, so I had to go and clean myself up. Then I had to repeat from * twice more. Groan!!! I left everything to dry and had a well-earned (?) rest for a few hours, then came back expecting to find the paint had gone hard. No such luck! I could still move the bubbles about and squish them. I had wanted to do some antiquing with black paint, but I thought it was likely that the gold paint would rub off in the process, so I decided against it. I just hope the paint will stand up to the post and being handled! Finally I gave each crown a slight curve with my fingers, then I stuck them on with Pinflair glue gel (fabulous stuff!!).
I like to make envelopes for my swap ATCs, using the free downloadable template from the Craft Stamper magazine and a suitable digital image. However, this time I decided to have a play! I had finally bought myself some Craft Glassine in the form of little envelopes, while I was at Sunrise Crafts. I had high hopes of it, because of the lovely things I had seen on the telly and the internet, but my first effort was simply a mess! I tried stamping in an embossing folder, then embossing the Glassine. The ink didn’t show up properly, it wouldn’t dry and the stamping smudged. I couldn’t think of a way of improving it, so that envelope went in the bin! For my second attempt I just embossed the Glassine with the Victoria folder (think Royalty, think Queen, think Victoria??), then inked over the embossing with Black Soot ink. Ooh, messy!! I finally managed to zap the ink dry with my heat tool, but it seemed to melt the surface of the Glassine, which was a little alarming!! How on earth do people make the lovely things I’ve seen? I must be doing something wrong!?! The final insult came when the diecut mirri board crown and letter “R” wouldn’t stick properly to the Glassine! I had put them through my Xyron X, which has always worked in the past but not this time.
It was a relief to get everything packed up and sent away to Vonny! I just hope the ATCs and envelopes survive the swap, and that the eventual recipients will like them!!