Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Favorite Friendship Day

LX7001 damask/LG672 lock and key PCP tutorial I love V-Day! When I was growing up Valentine's Day was one of my favorite holidays. At school red construction paper, Elmer's glue, pink crepe paper streamers and all sorts of candies, cookies and PTA mayhem made for awesome memories. Perhaps it was the beginning of my love of paper arts. How do these things get started? ...personal history is an interesting phenomenon and sometimes I just give up trying to remember how it all fits together and just enjoy those early memories as FUN stuff.

By the time you read this I will have landed at London Heathrow and be spending V-Day in London. So if you are joining our Friendship and Love Challenge this month and don't have your own blog to post on be sure to email your creation to and she will post it on my site for you. Click HERE to find out more about this month's challenge and what you could win and if you have a blog you can link your creation to mr. linky.

Today I am doing a tutorial on a printing technique that some people refer to as "letterpress", but in a nutshell it is done with any of the personal embossing machines and ink. I have the Cuttlebug, the Big Shot and the Tim Holtz Vagabond. Today I am using the manual Big Shot machine in my pictures. The "sandwich" or stacking method is pretty much the same for all three of these machines. Just remember to not "FORCE" the stack through your machine. You don't want to ruin your stencil or break the machine. You will need white 80# cardstock and for ink I will be showing how to use the Memories Mists sprays, because I love their vibrancy, but you could also add color to the stencil by tapping it with a wet ink pad. 

To prepare the Big Shot embossing machine I place the thick white plate on the machine with TAB 1 and 2 hanging down. (With this white plate those Tabs are attached as extra shims and sometimes you don't need the extra thickness, so they will just follow through as you crank your stack through the machine.) Then use a piece of copy paper on top of this plate to help keep it clean.

I always test my sprays in the corner of my cardboard spray box, holding the bottle as upright as I can so the atomizer can pump the spray from the bottom. For best results remember this TIP: Push the atomizer down hard and quick to avoid big droplet and drips. This first color of Memories Mists is Blue Martini (MM21).

Next place the stencil face down (I consider the "face" of the stencil the side with the stencil code and copyright on it ) onto a paper towel in the box and holding the bottle 9-12 inches away spray the stencil until it is covered with ink. You can spray it with several different colors. I added a bit of metallic gold Memories Mist (MM25) as well.

Now place the inked stencil gently onto the scrap paper with the inked side facing up for the printing process.

Carefully place the cardstock to be printed  onto the inked stencil's surface, being cautious not to shift or move the paper as you work. This will ensure that the print doesn't smear.

I hold the cardstock firmly with my left hand while I gently position the thick "Stamping Details" mat (REM) onto the cardstock...then carefully remove my hand from under the mat. If you only have a thin rubber mat you may need to use a few pieces of cardstock on top of your mat to "shim" the stack.

There are two acrylic plates for the Big Shot, (with the Cuttlebug these are referred to as "B" plates). Position these carefully onto the rubber mat.

Now crank the handle of the machine to roll the stencil sandwich you have made through the machine. This will finish the printing and also embossing process. Remember that the Tab 1 and 2 are not being used, but rather being rolled through the machine following behind the thick white plate.

To add more interest I have made the lock and key that is now embossed a metallic copperish color. To do this I repositioned the stencil onto the embossed image and place it back into the cardboard spray box.

Spray the image with the copper shimmer Memories Mist (MM27). Remember to fully press the atomizer down all the way with a quick plunge for the best results.  If the paper is a bit warped I hold it down with my left hand for better coverage of ink. 

This portion of the card is ready to trim and mount, but set it aside to dry for now.

Now repeat the process with the damask/tapestry stencil (LX7001) on a square piece of the same 80# weight cardstock. This picture shows how it looks after it is embossed and printed through the machine and the finished card above shows it with the design stenciled with the copper shimmer spray.

Below are two other cards that are just done with different colorways. Here's hoping you have a great Valentine's Day making turquoise and purple and yellow and green valentine's. Which brings up one more thing...Valentine's can be made and sent at any time of the year! Let's share the love and send a card to those we care about.

Background stencil is LX7001 Key stencil is LG672
I had fun embellishing these cards with metal keys and ribbons that I found at my local rubber stamp art store in Claremont Calif. 

Stamp Your Heart Out is a great place to spend an afternoon doing a make 'n take or watching a demo or taking a stenciling class. Whenever possible I encourage people to visit and support their local retailers. It keeps the industry on it's toes and fresh and innovative creativity alive as well. Go to and click on the tab "where to buy" to find a store near you.

For another opportunity to win a stencil. Click HERE to leave a comment about your favorite stencil on this exact same technique shown on the Paper Craft Planet blog. (The winner is chosen randomly from the comments.)

Here's hoping you take sometime today and visit the blogs of our design team to see what they have been designing this week...they are a very talented group:


Louise said...

Ooo...aaaah! I just love this technique, it has such a touch of elegance with the embossing. Have a wonderful trip!

Anonymous said...

Lovely as always, have a great show in the UK!

Scrappychick said...

These are just gorgeous Lynell!

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