When things don’t turn out the way you hope…in cardmaking

Sometimes you have a card design in mind or a technique you’ve been itching to try and you gather up your supplies and go for it, but the outcome isn’t at all what you hoped for. We don’t always like to admit it, but we cardmakers go through this a lot. I know we want to show the world the best looking cards where nothing goes wrong but that’s just not always possible in the case of these two cards I’m sharing today.

If you follow me closely, you know I spend a LOT of time on YT. It’s part of my Art School curriculum. You can read my post, “I Started my Own Art School“. Part of my schooling is spending a number of hours per week watching videos on YT or taking online classes on Scrapbook.com or Vimeo. I had been wanting to try out Jennifer’s video, “Iron-Off Embossed Resist Techniques – 2-For-1 Cards” for awhile but I didn’t have all the supplies yet. So, I kept watching the video off and on and taking notes to be ready once the items arrived.

Well, I made a little boo boo…I didn’t order clear fine embossing powder as her video suggested because I thought since I had clear chunky embossing powder, it would work the same, right? WRONG! Note to thyself: “when certain supplies are suggested for a technique, it’s for a reason so buy those supplies if you don’t have them if you want the same/similar results.”

Anyway, I started out with Canson watercolor paper which I really love because I don’t have curling problems even when it’s spritzed heavily with water. I stamped my image (Simon Says Stamp “Tumbling Shells” clink stamp) with Versamark ink after treating the paper with my anti-static powder bag. Then, I covered it with the chunky embossing powder and heat set it. First thing I noticed was even though I preheated my gun, it still took a LONG time to melt the powder. That was my first indication that I had made a mistake. But, I went with it.

Next, I used my “Stormy Sky”, “Tumbled Glass”, “Chipped Sapphire” and “Peacock Feathers” distress inks and rubbed them over the image and sprayed them generously with a mix of “Perfect Pearls” and water. I could see my problem very clearly now, the chunky embossing powder didn’t show the image as clearly as I was hoping hence the word “chunky”! I think the reason for recommending using fine embossing powder is that it would show the whole image with all the details of the stamped image. Chunky embossing powder wouldn’t do that, it’s best used when you want to add texture to an image as in mimicking water or sand like on a beach and thinking back…that was why I bought it in the first place! And, to make matters worse, I looked through my stash and I had NO clear fine embossing powder at all! Ugghhhh…. and the story continues…

So, I put my two very inky, very wet panels aside to dry. And, I figured that was the end of this project. But after a couple of hours, I looked at the pieces again and they started to look really pretty despite my mistake. The pearly shine was so beautiful especially when I looked at it under the light. I was so happy, stunned, amazed, relieved…I went through a plethora of emotions! I can actually turn these into cards!

NOTE: I stopped at the point right before using an iron (as in JM’s video) to smooth out the embossing powder because since I couldn’t see the stamped image, I just figured I’d skip that part for now.

When things don't turn out the way you hope...in cardmaking
When things don't turn out the way you hope...in cardmaking

Good thing I just got some word phrase builder dies from Pinkfresh Studio cause I decided to turn these into cheery, bright cards since I was so happy my mistake didn’t force me to throw them away! I die cut the “Smiles” die shadow 3 times on white 130 lb. cardstock and once on vellum. Then I cut the letters on blue glitter paper for some sparkle. I stacked the 3 shadows and glued them together and then glued the vellum on top of that. Next, I glued down the letters. This gave the word great dimension and then I looked through my Happy reverse sentiment strips from Simon and chose “Always be Happy” which was just the right secondary sentiment.

When things don't turn out the way you hope...in cardmaking
When things don't turn out the way you hope...in cardmaking

I forgot to mention that I took my panels and glued them to heavyweight cardstock rather than double foam tape for dimension but better stability. Then I glued to my card bases. Finally, topped them with some clear enamel dots from Honey Bee Stamps and I had 2 new cards that I ended up loving!

Jennifer has said (a lot) in her previous videos that if a background doesn’t look good at first to just let it dry and come back to it later. Trouble is, I’m impatient and want to see good results right off the bat.

And the moral to this story is…

  1. Doing arts and crafting, patience is key.
  2. Don’t give up so quickly.
  3. Mistakes don’t have to a negative. Actually, they teach us lessons like what doesn’t work and why.
  4. Just because a product doesn’t work for a technique doesn’t mean it’s a bad product. It just means certain tools are best for certain jobs. Like a hammer is best to press into a nail than using a screwdriver.
  5. Handmaking isn’t supposed to be perfect 24/7, that’s what makes handmade gifts charming.

I do plan to revisit this technique and try it again cause…I ordered that clear fine embossing powder. LOL, it should be here next week…

List of Supplies:

Below are links to the products I used and some of them are affiliate links meaning if you purchase through them, I’ll earn a small commission and it is no extra cost to you. Your purchasing helps support our small business and we appreciate that so much! – Kim

When things don't turn out the way you hope...in cardmaking