Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Making An Impression

I haven't forgotten about you, dear readers...I've just been working on pulling things together for the Great Lakes Mega Meet in Michigan this week. But before I go to the airport this evening, I wanted to show you more of the Spellbinders Impressabilities templates. Beate from Splitcoast did a great tutorial on it, but I wanted to make my own version with a few additional notes. (Update on 11/23/09: Sorry, we no longer have this product in stock.)

The Impressabilities are 4 1/2" x 5 3/4" thin steel templates that can be run through most die-cutting machines to create a pretty embossed pattern on paper or cardstock:

They are similar to the Cuttlebug A2 Embossing Folders in some ways and unique in others. For example, I've found that I need to add a fairly thick shim when embossing onto cardstock (i.e., a sheet or two of thin cardstock or at least 4 sheets of cardstock). The Impressabilities are thinner than the Cuttlebug folders, so the pattern they leave on cardstock is a bit "softer" than on text weight paper (which is shown above on white):

A cool thing to try with the Impressabilities is a techinque called Letterpress Embossing. Start by inking up the template with a pigment pad, such as Brilliance Moonlight White:

Place the Impressabilities with the inked side down in your "sandwich":

Stacking from the bottom up, this is the order:

A Plate
B Plate
Tan Embossing Mat
Impressabilities Template (Inked Side Down)
Thin Cardboard Shim (or 3 Pieces Scrap Cardstock)
B Plate

The sandwich I made above is for the Cuttlebug. If you're using another machine, follow the same recipe you'd use for embossing with the Nestabilities.

After running it through the Cuttlebug, here's what it looks like:

Cool, huh? But you don't have to stop there...you can also set the template back over the embossed design and sponge dye ink on top:

The pretty duotones really set off the white pigment ink:

And it makes an impressive background for a card (ha ha, sorry about the bad pun), shown here with 10102J Live Dance Laugh:

You can also do the Letterpress Embossing technique with dye ink. Originally I was concerned that the waterbased formula would bead up on the metal surface of the Impressabilities and create a spotty print, but it worked just fine:

By this time, my fingers were already inky so I decided to go whole hog! Using the Impressabilities as a stencil again, I sponged Brilliance Planet Platinum over it. Then I dabbed some deep blue dye ink on top. This made for a dramatic look:

I wondered how the shimmer chalks would look, too, so I tried those:

It turned out okay (but took a while to apply the chalk with my pom pom applicator):

I think my personal preference is for using inks, either pigment or dye, to sponge on top...but you might want to experiment and see what you think.

The Spellbinders folks also say you can snip apart the Impressabilities with fine-tipped scissors and emboss selected portions of the template, as you wish, such as a frame or a corner. Or stretch it out to create a border. There are lots of possibilities, so I'm eager to play with them again another day!


Debbie Fisher (debbiedee) said...

WOW! I love what you did with the pink panel! That sentiment is perfect.

Chelsea said...

Love the look of those cards! Brilliant!

Savor the Journey said...

Well, well, WELL!
Me thinks I need to see you do this one-on-one!!! heh heh hehhhhhh
I would suggest timing in June! What say you?!


Dawn said...

mmmm, beautiful Jackie! one more thing to save my pennies for!!

Jackie Lewis said...

I say for sure, Tex! I'll be showing it this weekend in Ocean City, too. Debbie, Chelsea & Dawn: Thanks for your kind comments. :-) You're very sweet!

Mel M. M. McCarthy said...

Stunning! I love the Brilliance Planet Platinum holy guacamole that is gorgeous and ingenious! Thanks so much for sharing your AWEsome results and clever pointers! :O)

Jackie said...

Jackie these are so pretty, love the dark blue
one, I was having trouble with my sandwich recipe, so glad you put that in!!!!
The Brilliance ink just pops I love that look!
Take good care!
Jackie Cole

PBrown9624 said...

Very pretty. I especially like the blue one! Thanks for the great examples!
Pam Brown