Friday, February 25, 2011

Embossing Q & A

These tutorials/ reviews are a product of extensive reading, researching and lots of time spent on making them. Please do not copy, or share on your page (for promoting the  items in your shop) unless I give you permission to do so. Please ask nicely....I won't say no...but you need to ask.... You can link it on your blogs if you have used these tutorials...please share the link with me when you do use these tutorials...I would love to stop by and see what you have done! 

There are still many questions coming in the email and I thought I better answer them here. I've linked up wherever I can.

Q :First question is about embossing gun or heat tool..which one is better?
A: There is no good or bad. Each comes with its pro's and con's. Its a matter of personal preference. I own a Marvy Uchida heat tool and I like it. But again, the fact that the on/off button is way far from where I hold it, I can't have a free hand while I'm using it. Plus its a has a bit more blast of air to it.
The Ranger Heat Tool on the other hand, is less noisy, silent, has a low blast of air (which means it will take a few seconds more to heat up and melt the powder) and the on/off button is located where you grip it. The only downside is, its a bit pricier. Had I known these differences before buying, I would have opted for the ranger heat tool, used a damned discount coupon.

Q : My heat gun burned. 
A : So did mine.. Reason, India uses a 220 volts power supply. USA uses 110V. Of course, your heating coil will burn. It will work for the first few minutes or seconds, but it will burn up. Solution? Use a STEP DOWN converter, a 220-110V converter. You'll get it at any electrical shop for around 200 bucks.
US appliances have wattage ratings marked on them and should be checked before using so that you can get the right converter. 

This is what my converter looks like. The brand name may vary, but they're not big bulky things,  nor do they cost more than 350 bucks. What have you all been buying for 1500 bucks?

ETA 20/04/2013 - This post is 2 yrs old. Now you have the European Versions of the Heat tools, that do not need any converter. Go for those. 

Q : What about embossing powders? Which is the best?
A : Again, there is nothing good or bad. Personal preference. I love American Crafts Zing Embossing powders for their Clear powder. I also have the Ranger Superfine detail which I don't like, but may work with detailed images. If its bold images, Zing works better.

I don't own any colored embossing powders, just basics, Gold, Silver, White and Clear and those are all I ever need. Gold and Silver I purchased from Ranger.

ETA 30/4/2013 - There are a lot more companies in the market now, especially WOW powders, you do not need to use an anti-static tool with these powders. They come with some anti-static powder included in these..cheaper on the wallet too...just saying.

Q : What about local heat guns?
A : I think you might get China made heat guns in the local market. You have to hound your local shops, especially the hardware stores for it. It's called the hot air gun and looks something like this, and should cost you around 400-500 bucks.
(Thanks Shalini/Juhi for this info)
ETA 30/4/2013 - These are easily available, usually found in sweet shops (they won't sell you but might tell you where to get it from) or in any mobile laminating shops. These are used to laminate the mobiles, laptops etc...but they are think wisely.

Q : What kind of inks to use with embossing powder?
A:   Any ink that is slow drying. By that I mean you can use versamark, your pigment inks- Brilliance inks (the ones from hobby ideas are pigment inks), distress inks. Dye based inks will dry too fast for the powder to stick on it.

If you don't have any of this, simple glycerin will do. Yes, glycerin. Versamark is glycerin. Find a flat sponge, pour glycerin and stamp. You've got your own versamark. If its too thick, you can use some rubbing alcohol to thin it down.

Q : What if I don't get a hot air gun/ heat embossing tool, can I emboss?
A : Believe it or not, you still can, provided you got a good wet ink, some embossing powder. And don't you dare laugh at me for the following funny ways of embossing I'm about to tell you. They do work (and us IndianStamper's live and breathe the mantra "Make the best use of what you have"

  1. Use your toaster- Use your watermark ink to stamp the image, pour the powder. Then turn on your toaster, let it heat up (push the plunger to start the toaster) and hold the paper over the toaster. As it heats up, keep moving your paper to melt the powder. The stamped side will face up, towards you. Thanks Smita for this info.
  2. Use 60W bulb. Switch on the bulb, let it heat up. Stamp your image, pour the powder and hold it over the Bulb (2-4 cms up)  With the heat of the bulb, it should melt the embossing powder.
  3. Iron. I used to use an iron when I'd burnt my heat tool. But its not easy to get the back side of the paper to touch the iron and not burn your fingers. Use a tweezer and a wooden stick to get the paper to actually touch the iron.

4. On Stove : From Juhi - She has used a low heat of a gas stove to heat the embossing powder over the image.
This is my method - Put your flat Dosa tawa, heat it on high for 5-6 mins, switch off the gas, and put your paper on the tawa. Take a wooden skewer and press down the soon as you see the powder is melted, lift the paper off .

Q : Any additional tips?
A : Use an embossing buddy before stamping. If you don't have an embossing buddy, use dryer sheets (anti-static sheets available in USA), I got half used box from my friend and one sheet goes a long way.

Of course, before you ask me, I have another version. Find one of your old unwanted socks. Fill it with talcum powder/cornstarch.  Close the end, and your anti-static bag is ready. Just pounce on your sheet before embossing.
Once you've used your anti-static method, avoid touching it with your fingers. The oils in your fingers will pick up the embossing powders. Use tweezers if necessary.

And some tips, I read on PaperFriendly's blog.

1. Keep your powder dry! Store powder in tightly closed containers or zip- plastic bags; place one or two silica packets from either vitamin bottles or shoe boxes in the container or bag.

2. Keep your paper dry! Paper is like a sponge and soaks up any moisture in the air (humidity, cooking, showers, etc.). Store paper in closed containers (drawers, plastic boxes, etc.) with some of those silica packets.

3. Keep your fingers off the paper! Handle paper by the edges as much as possible. Every finger or palm print is a powder-grabber thanks to the oil in your skin.

4. Inks containing either glycol or glycerin (pigment, embossing, etc.) dry slowly and are best used when thermal embossing.

5. After sprinkling the powder over the image, dump off the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper that has a creased fold line. Tap the excess powder into the fold, then into the storage container or bag.

6. Turn the paper with the image sideways, and give the paper a good snap (third finger/thumb) on the back to get rid of any lingering EP. If you have a reasonably well-inked pad, and the image was evenly inked, there'll be plenty of EP on the image.

7.  Turn on the gun and let it heat up for a few seconds before aiming it at an area of embossing powder.  Hold the gun four to six inches above the paper; DO NOT move the nozzle of the gun until the powder in that area has melted.  Slowly move the nozzle to an adjoining area,melting that powder.  Repeat until all powder is melted.

8. Don't overheat the powder. EP melts between 260 - 280 degrees;  If the powder doesn't melt the way it should, chance are good that moisture, not the powder, is the culprit. Heat both sides of paper with a heat gun before stamping if you're having moisture problems.

Phew, that took me a whole day to do it.Any more questions, ask away!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Source of Inspiration and Jan ATC's.

A very quick post to show the card I made with all the hearts that I showed. This is my second post for today..first post has one sentence tip, that I stretched into a long post (no wonder I was the best in writing long essays..see here I go winding again)

 Here are those shiny embosses hearts on my card..

Very simple card, nothing much to talk about. Submitting this card for the Wee memories challenge- Source of Inspiration. And my hangout for inspriation is my Flickr Gallery. Love seeing all the cards in the galleries.
This is a card inspired by Sally Sherfield.

 Then I'm showing off the AMAZING ATC's I got for the January Swap..These are the prettiest one's I got so far...Thank you Anita and Rachna
Love the colors, the punches and ribbons..Its almost like a valentine's card from Anita to me.

This is from Rachna..can't begin to describe the card..just simply superb!
And here is my card..paper pieced cupcake, along with some glittery cut-outs.

If you want to know any of the supplies I've used, just ask me in the comments. I'll get back to you ASAP.

And (it doesn't seem like a short post anymore) on another note, a big shout out to the girls for cheering me up on Sunday evening. I was really smiling from ear to ear..Thanks Asha (the stand up comic for the day), Mansi, Kavitha, Piyu, Pranky, Sudha. I am soo looking forward to the next sunday! 

Embossing tip

I'll be back with the card later on in the day..but just had to share this embossing tip with you. In one of my previous posts, I had mentioned that the powder keeps flying off when trying to heat it up. And it happened again when I tried to emboss.Here is the really grainy texture that I got after embossing. Not happy. So I read and read on forums, checked videos and blogs.

This is a really bad texture, unless I was going for texture but I wanted smooth finish. And from my researches, I came to know that the Ranger Heat it tool is the better has a low blast of air, and is not noisy. Hmmm.. so those of you who are planning to put in a purchase, go for the Ranger Heat It tool.
And what about those that already have the other embossing tools?
You do what I did, heat the paper from underneath. It make sure that the powder doesn't fly everywhere. Just don't burn your fingers. (I did)

And now see the result. Flawless...I had to sit for a minute to admire the perfectness of this. Isn't this pretty?

So here's the comparison, on the left is the ruined version. It was on the Fabriano CS. Thinking that it might be because of the texture on the CS, I used the smooth Ivory sheets. The bottom pink heart on right is the same result. And the top two are the ones I heated from below.So there you long experminets with my embossing gun and powder.

Hope this long post is of some use to at least someone. If there are any more questions, feel free to ask. I'll do all I can to help.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Secret Sweetheat Swap

Thanks to Asha, we finally had one of the sweetest swaps ever in India. The "Secret Sweetheart" swap. My Secret Sweetheart was Shalini. She is one who got the card with which I've been teasing you for the past few days...Now that she got it and posted it on her blog,  I can post that card here. I wanted her to post it first.

Girlie, I could hear your squeal all the way to Ahmedabad. So glad you liked it..

This card is a CASE of Heather's card..I had saved the templates from Hero arts blog last year..and had been itching to try this card..with no butterfly punch around..cutting 50 way!! Now that I have punch, I'm pleased as a punch (pun intended) to make this card..

I'm submitting this card for Crafty JC's Hearts and hugs 
And to the Lawnscaping Challenge - All about love.. (I don't own any Lawn fawn, but boy my wish list for their stamps is pretty long)

If you haven't seen my previous post on how I made this card, do drop by and have a peek. Also this is my second post in two days. Scroll down to see the Valentine's card I made for my hubby! Would love your feedback on that..

And here is the card I received in the Secret Sweetheart Swap. I was the SS for Priyanka Bokadia. Super super cute card, loved the rosettes, the butterflies..Thank you so much for this pretty card Priyanka.

It was a wonderful Valentine's day..I also got my Echo park papers..yummmy...Hubby was laughing at me when I said that the papers were so pretty, I could just sit and hug them all day and not use it at all..What do they know!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Hey there, Wishing every one of you a very happy Valentine's day! I finally did make a card for my Hubs..And there's a cute story why he got this particular card..but for those who just want to see the it is..


This idea of using donuts and that sentiment has been rolling in my head for quite a long while..The image was a freebie from Tiddly Inks, resized it, colored it..added some dot sparkles from Itsy bitsy, loads and loads of  glue and gloss..That's all there is to this card..

This is the sentiment that is on the inside..its a sentiment from the Hero arts set, but I just printed it out..This particular sentiment applies to all of you my friends..all of you who take time to comment and leave loads of love for me...This card is dedicated to you all...I'm entering this card for the Wee Memories Scrappy Saturday Challenge- Live Laugh Love. This is all 3 for me!
And this is the card that Hubs gave me..yeah, its Extra-extra large..just look at my card and his...I wasn't expecting it from him..I thought he'd just get me a bunch of roses! It just plain cute!!

So here goes the big story..It was almost our first anniversary(couple of days before) and I was craving donuts. The ones that we get in Ahd aren't the kinds I used to love..especially after having tasted donuts from Mad Over don't like any other..
He was headed to Mumbai the next day..he flew in at 5 am and was back at 11pm, but he brought me a dozen dounuts on his way back. I was stunned! He carried them in his hand, it never left his lap through the whole flight and from the airport to home. I was so touched by his sweet gesture. They say, marriage is falling in love with the same person over and over again. That was one of those days when I fell  in love with him all over again. ( i know it too mush, but its Valentine's day..!!)

These were the ones he got the inspiration for the card came directly from these photos! So now, have I made anyone hungry?
Thanks for all your wonderful really makes me smile! 

P.S.I'm still waiting on my Secret Sweetheart's confirmation that she got the card..I'll post my mystery card and the card I received very soon!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Teaser no.2

I have no idea why I'm in such a mood to tease you all, but I'm still not posting my card (hint-It is a card). Simply coz I want it to reach the person it should reach, and then show it to you all..So my dear, when it reaches your hands, let me know..I'll do a full reveal of the card...Till then, I've got some fun techniques to show you..

I've seen this technique a hundred times on various blogs,but decided to apply it only now. It was after watching this tutorial, it really made me want to do it. And this is the result of that tutorial..

 For those who want this in a nut-shell, I used my Derwent Inktense pencils, just scribbled it across a watercolor paper scrap..and then generously gave a water wash..You could use watercolor paints as shown in the tutorial. And if you see the middle scrap, it has salt on it..yup..sea salt, that was a technique I saw on Art attack..I love watching that show!! here's a link to that project. I just dripped some color on to the salt give a super texture..

 Just some more pics..I love the swatch of color on this..

After the paints have dried, brush off the salt to reveal a beautiful texture underneath.. and then what did I do with all those scraps of watercolored paper? I used my Martha Stewart Royal butterfly punch on it. There are around 50 butterflies on that card. : D

Isn't this a gorgeous sight to see? I was uber happy and after glittering them and putting tiny rhinestones! even more happy!!

Just a day's wait and the card should be where it will be, and then I'll post it!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Coming Soon!

Woo-hooo! This is post no.200!! And I'm approaching one year of returning back to that calls for some candy! So I'm collecting certain things and I'm calling my candy, "Bling to blind you" Candy.
Hope you guessed it..its going to be a lot of bling..tell me what kind of bling you want...and I'll try to find some to add to the loot..I'll post in March. So you have a lot of time to figure out what you want to be included in the candy!

Also a sneak peek of my next post..I'll post it in a day or two..

 It looks like madness doesn't it. That's what my DH said..he said Isn't that tooo many butterflies...and I said, Butterflies are never enough!

So till then, I'll be waiting on your suggestions for Bling candy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Playing with patterned paper

I've been busy making scrapbook for a friend. But sadly my creativity, inspiration, it whatever you want has gone out the window..maybe I over did the albums, 4 albums in less than 6 months and all baby albums..someone tell me to make something else..anything else..

 I had made a page, with a paper that didn't seem to fit in..And somewhere along, I saw a post on Juhi's blog about stamping on PP. And that clicked a bulb in my brain. I headed over to Yvonne's blog for Dana's post. And wow! what a post..I kicked myself for not following Yvonne's blog..I had been missing out on tons of inspiration. Better late than never..

This is what my pre-made page looked like..pretty pale and I just didn't like the colors..

And here is the after-page, after I stamped like crazy with my newest baby stamps. (I wouldn't recommend this company at all. Royal and but not the greatest impressions.)

I know that most of this stamping will be covered by the photograph later on, but right now, this page looks playful..not my greatest effort, but better than the bland page before.

Thanks Dana for this wonderful challenge and inspiration.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stylish blogger Award

Wow! I am honored girls..Thanks so much for tagging me with this award..I've been tagged with this award from Karuna, Rachna, Anita and Priya. Thank you so much..

 As per the rules, I have to tag more people and tell you 8 things about myself..The amount of blabbering I do on  my blog, there isn't much left to know, but still will attempt somethings..
1. I love reading..and re-reading my favorite books..I've read Harry Potter and the Twilight series more than  20 times....EACH!! 
2. I and Hubs love eating out. I love trying new places, new menus. 
3. I love good perfumes, and if you're wearing a good perfume, chances are I'll love you even before I talk to you. My favorites so far at Ralph Lauren's Romance, Hugo Boss, Gucci-Me, Davidoff Echo, Bur-berry weekend. Recommend some of your favorite to me..would love to try some more.
4. I can become the ice queen if pissed off..I can go for days without talking to the person I'm angry at, even if we're in the same house.
5. I hate watching English movies dubbed in Hindi. Eeew!! Calling a dinosaur in Jurrasic Park, a "chhipkali"!! Eew!
6. I hope to have a scrapbooking/cardmaking store of my own some day.
7. I love having warm brownies with chocolate sauce and ice-cream. Whenever I'm upset, this is what calms me down.
8. I miss having a girl-friend to sit and talk and just have a good time. Ever since I moved cities, finding girl-friends that I can relate to is a big problem. I do have girl-friends, but not someone I can call at 4 am and bug her life out.

Most of you already have this award, So I'll try to pick a few that don't have it yet,
Yenni Natalia (hop over for some amazing sweetness)
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