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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

{Spotlight Project} Shirley Experiments with White Embossing

For the Caffeinated Christmas stamp release hop + comment to win, click here.

I wanted to create a card with white embossing and Distress Ink wash background, and I couldn't decide whether to emboss first or lay the wash down first, so I thought I'd try both methods side by side to see which was more effective.

I stamped and white-embossed my images on one card panel using the Artsy Border Maker set by Shery, and on a separate card panel laid down a colour wash:

Then I stamped and embossed the images to the pre-washed panel, and added a wash to the pre-stamped panel:

You can see that on the pre-stamped panel that had the colour added later (on the left), the white embossing is vibrant and better defined than on the pre-washed panel (on the right). I think it's because the layer of colour wash had changed the panel's absorbent properties slightly, allowing the Versamark ink to soak in more easily, and therefore hold less embossing powder. So the moral of the story for me is to emboss before colour washing.

Incidentally, I used Shari Carroll's Distress Ink recipe cards (available as downloads) for my colour palette. I find them really useful, because quite often I reach for the same Distress Ink colours and ignore some of the others, so these cards push me to use colour combinations I wouldn't normally think of. I printed out my recipe cards, mounted them onto black card and put them on an O ring for easy reference.

I stamped a couple of images from The Bee's Knees WorldBirthdayCakes onto spare card, coloured them with the same palette, then added them to the panels, which I'd trimmed and mounted onto white card. Here's a closer look at each card. The first one is using the pre-stamped panel:

This second one is using the pre-washed panel:

You can see towards the right that the embossing isn't as well defined (but it doesn't look as bad as that in real life).

Stamps Shirley used in today's project:


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  1. Thanks for sharing your experiment and your lovely cards with us. Thanks also for pointing me to Shari's recipe cards. I somehow missed that post on the SSS blog.

  2. Thanks for testing this and sharing your results. I love the colours you used, that background is gorgeous!

  3. Who would have thought that the towers look so fabulous in pastels?!

  4. I just love the pastel background you created! Great job on you Spotlight project!

  5. I just love the pastel background you created! Great job on you Spotlight project!

  6. Both pastel backgrounds look fabulous! I learn something new everyday, that’s why I love viewing fun creative blogs as yours. I still need to try some embossing it looks really fun. Thanks for sharing your project.

  7. Fun to play around and experiment. Thanks for doing that for us. LOL

  8. wow this is so beautiful to look at and Thank you so much for doing a comparison...very striking!!
    Dr Sonia

  9. Great way to figure out what works best - love the soft colour palette and the fabulous use of the border stamps in creating these cards Shirley.

  10. Lovely bg ! I was always confused if to add color or emboss first Thank you for doing the comparison now I know What to do first !

  11. Love the white embossing with the DI wash..Both cards look beautiful!
    Thanks for sharing the comparison results...so helpful!

  12. Love the colour combination you have used on this card. Thanks for sharing your experiment with us.

  13. That was so good of you to explain the differences, such a great tip, thank you very much. Loved the colours and stamps you've used and such gorgeous cards, thanks x

  14. Love these cards, fabulous backgrounds! Thank you for highlighting the differences and for the link to the ink recipe cards too, brilliant! xxx

  15. I've sometimes wondered if it makes a difference, so thanks for doing a real science experiment to find out for sure. Your mix of colors is lovely.

  16. Love this! The colors you used are so pretty ... I don't often use pastels, this makes me want to give it a try... so pretty... did I say pretty? I'm also loving the white embossing and am never sure which order..lol....

  17. Thanks for the insight into pre-washed embossing panels and embossed panels which are then color washed!

  18. What a beautiful idea!! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  19. Love the cards and new stamps... a "Leaning Tower of Pisa" cake, how cool! And what a fab tip about mounting the color palettes and putting them on a ring. Thanks for the great post, Shirley! :-)

  20. Beauuuutiful! Love the way you created the background, pretty soft colors.


We love hearing from fellow crafters. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us :o)