Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Leather and metal

Before we start, I would like to say a big thank you to the staff and customers of Pink Tulip in Warwickshire, not far from Stratford-upon-Avon, I had a wicked day demonstrating all things Sizzix and we had a bit of a giggle too. It is a fabulous shop, full to the brim with all the latest craft goodies so if your ever in the area its well worth a little excursion.

NOW! from the title of this post you could be excused for thinking that I am writing an Iron Maiden fanzine and thankfully for both of us you would be wrong.

I have always been fascinated with combining different textures and materials to create amazing effects with die-cutting and embossing, sometimes the simplest combination of materials can yield some very surprising results. 

I think it is so important to keep exploring the endless possibilities of our chosen medium otherwise we get stuck in a creative rut which would drive me nuts!!!

All this brings us back full circle to leather, metal....... and embossing!

Metal is too tough and leather is too soft for embossing (although there are ways!!) so I need to look for ways to create the illusion of both materials.

metal is easy, but this is a great technique because it is very simple to do and the results can be incredible. I decided to apply the embossed effects to a couple of picture frames.

I am using the new PLUS embossing folders. Excuse the capital letters but they are huge! The folders themselves are A4 in size which opens up so many more creative avenues to explore. The folders that I am using today are Field of Diamonds and Botanical Swirls

I started by attaching a sheet of craft metal to a sheet of heavy weight card, this makes the metal sheet more rigid and less prone to damage when applied to your creation. Next, I used the empty picture frame as a template to mark out the size. It's always good to make it about 5mm longer than needed to allow for shrinkage after passing through the machine, you can always trim off any excess.

I cut the metal/card to size with a Stanley knife and placed it into the folder before running through my Big Shot Plus machine 

I used Black Soot Distress Paint moving quickly over the entire embossed area (any acrylic paint will work for this technique) the Distress Paint is just easier and less messy to apply. Before the paint starts to dry I took a piece of kitchen roll and wiped most of it away. I accelerated the drying time using my heat tool before using a kitchen scouring pad to remove much of the paint from the raised surface using circular motions, this also polishes the metal to bring back the shine.

All that is left to do is to mount the metal onto the frame and insert your chosen photo. Hard to believe this little monster is 18 years old....where does it go!

Let's move onto leather. This is a technique I developed after looking at some beautiful spanish leather wall coverings at a place called Plas Newydd in my home town of Llangollen. I wanted to mimic that rich, deep emboss using paper and this is the nearest I have come so far.

I started by taking a piece of kraft card slightly larger than my chosen frame before scrunching it into a ball repeatedly until it was covered in cracks and creases much like a piece of leather would appear. Next, I used my picture frame as a template to mark out my area before cutting to size using a craft knife.
The next stage was the inking of the folder, I used a StazOn Timber Brown ink pad because for this technique, I prefer the way that solvent ink pads transfer from the folder but feel free to explore other alternatives. I placed the card frame against the clean side of the folder and closed it carefully before passing through the Big Shot Plus debossing and transferring the ink at the same time.

The surface of the leather that I was using for reference is a rich mixture of tones but I didn't want to overdo it so I restricted myself to Wild Honey Distress Ink to add a little warmth. I used my sponge applicator in a random fashion brushing gently over the surface. Next, I used Vintage Photo Distress Ink applied with a tiny piece of Cut-n-Dry foam. I worked around the embossed detail to enhance the effect.

Before mounting onto the frame with double sided tape I used a little Walnut Stain Distress Ink around the perimeter. Be very careful with the darker colours and apply gently to begin, building up the depth gradually. The little monster is magically transformed into a little angel for this picture, funny how they are either one or the other with no grey area in between?

See you all next week!

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