Hello there!  Today’s post is a reminder for the technique challenge that’s currently running at Christmas Card Throwdown.  It’s one that was new to me – Embossed Impressions.  Although the original challenge writeup at CCT says entries can have either heat or dry embossed techniques, “embossed impressions” is a technique all to itself.  Since I hadn’t tried it before, I Googled it and found a few different videos on YouTube to guide me along.  The idea is to use VersaMark ink to ink up a die, then run it through your die cutting/embossing machine with an embossing mat so that the die leaves an inked impression in the cardstock.  Then you sprinkle the impression with embossing powder and heat emboss the design.

I have to say that this did not turn out as well for me as I had hoped.   It seemed easy enough based on the videos, so I tried it with a snowflake die.  My results were pretty disastrous.  My first attempt, I had the wrong “sandwich” of materials and they were too thick to go through my Big Kick, so I had to abort that try.  My second go at it, I was interrupted mid-process by a telephone call and the ink dried before I could add the embossing powder.  I hoped that the third time would be the proverbial charm, but no.  I thought I had tapped the ink on the die very gently, but the embossing powder stuck all around the edges of the die and on some of the solid areas.  Even though I was able to clean off some of the excess powder before I heated it, it still looked like a huge mess.  So I thought about what other dies I could use.  I decided to try it with my “happy” die, thinking I’d add in the word “holidays” with a stamp.  This worked somewhat better.  Still messy, but not as bad.  I added the “holidays” with gold ink and heat embossed it… but then the “holidays” showed up much brighter than the “happy” because of the gold ink.  That prompted a lightbulb moment.  I tried it once again, but used gold ink on the die instead of VersaMark.  That gave me a brighter, bolder result with the embossing of the impression.  I do think it’s downright near impossible to get a good clean image with this technique, though.

Anyway… now that my fifth attempt resulted in a somewhat decent looking embossed impressed sentiment, the gold on the red background seemed a little too simple.  I figured since I already had the embossing powder out, I’d add some embossing to the edge of the red panel.  In retrospect I probably got a little too heavy handed with that.  But as they say, the show must go on, so I went ahead and put the panel on a white card base.  It’s definitely not the best card I’ve made. And sadly, it’s one of the worst ones I’ve made as a CCT Design Team member. But at least it’s an honest attempt at the technique.

52CCT 08-19-2017

Goodbyes are rarely easy.  It’s with a bittersweet note that this is the last card I’m making as a Design Team member for Christmas Card Throwdown.  I’ve been a part of the team there since March 2013, and while I’ve enjoyed my time there, four and a half years is long enough and it’s time for me to step down from the team.  I hate that this card that I really don’t like is my last one for the team.  I guess I’ll just have to play along as a participant in a future challenge and see if I can come up with something better.

Thanks for stopping by today!  If you’d like to give our challenge a try, you have until 7:00 p.m. Eastern time Friday, September 1 to submit your card at the CCT site.

Stamp: So Happy (Avery Elle)
Cardstock: Real Red (Stampin’ Up); Solar White (Neenah)
Ink: gold (ClearSnap)
Other: Simply Said Happy die (Avery Elle); gold embossing powder (Ranger); corner rounder punch (EK Success)

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