The Details

Where did it come from

Creative Stamping Issue 49

When did I get it

9th October 2017

When did I try it

4th November 2017

First quick impression

There is an abundance of stamps in this set that can be coloured into the most traditional of images so I am very much in my comfort zone. At the same time, some of the stamps look like they would work very well in colour combinations like lilac and aqua, colours that I love but wouldn’t usually use for Christmas myself. The other thing I noticed is how well they work with previous sets. When I saw the stocking hanging on a string I straight away thought how good these would look hanging above the fireplace that came with the Away in a Manger set from last month. Let’s get playing and see how this turns out.

Stamping and Colouring

As always I stamped the images using my Tim Holtz Tonic Stamping Platform (you can read my review of it here), ironically because the stamps I have all been behaving so well recently I decided not to stamp them all out first as a test. I did get clean images from these stamps eventually but the fireplace took about five attempts at inking and pressing down HARD to get the image. Even using my brayer across the platform wasn’t helping. If you have strength or dexterity problems you may struggle with this stamp, but of course, the fireplace came with last months set so this won’t be taken into account in my ratings. It is only fair to point out that I also used the Nuvo Hybrid Inkpad rather than my regular Ranger Archival Ink because I had not decided at that point how I was going to colour the images. When it came to colouring the image I decided I wanted a softer look so I used my Spectrum Colourblend pencils for the majority of the picture. I am so sorry I didn’t record which colour numbers I used but there were pencils used from each set except for nature. I simply laid down colour and blended it using Paper Stumps and the Spectrum Noir Blending Solution. I am certainly no expert colourist but I was happy with the finished result. To give a slight contrast I coloured the baubles using my gel pens. I have this basic set from Amazon. I have to say since I bought these there has been a flurry of gel pens at affordable prices arriving on Amazon and eBay. I have no complaints with mine they certainly do the job but if I was to purchase a set now I would probably get these Sakura Gelly Pens from Amazon as I have one of these and they are amazing. Here is the coloured image:
Christmas Sparkle Coloured

Adding more Sparkle

The next thing I decided to do was to use the Holly Leaf cluster in the two top corners. I actually used a new technique for me, I stamped them with Versa Mark Ink then patted Green Cosmic Shimmer Mica Powder over this with a paintbrush. I brushed the excess off with a stiff clean paintbrush then used one of my baby wipes from a pack that had dried out to wipe the area clean. (Naturally, I tried this out on some spare paper first before adding it to the actual project). I have tried to capture the sparkle in this image:
Christmas Sparkle Cosmic Shimmer

Creating a Card

The next step was really simple, I just cut a piece of Linda’s Black Card (Creative Crafting World from Create and Craft) to measure 0.5 cm larger in both directions than the image. I fastened the image to the black card and then the black card to an A5 card blank (Craft UK) using Collall All Purpose Glue from Crafter’s Companion. I felt that the card needed a little bit more though so I set out on a labour of love that took probably the longest time of the whole project.

Adding a Christmas Tree

I decided to add the Christmas tree to the scene, well part of it anyway. I started by stamping the tree on the same basic smooth paper using Ranger Archival Ink.  I coloured all of the tree in using Spectrum Sparkle alternating between Holly Green and Emerald Green for the layers. I then coloured the decorations and the presents underneath with my gel pens (except for the part of the teddy bear you can see which was coloured with a Le Plume marker) I have had them for years but found they were just right for this purpose. It just goes to show that as long as something is still working it can come in handy! Once the left-hand side of the tree was coloured and all dry I used my ScanNCut to cut it out with a 1 mm border and then used a paper trimmer to cut it in half up to the coloured section. I used my Tonic Flower Forming Tools to give the tree some shape then fastened it to the card with some Collall Coll Kit 3D Decoupage Gel and a cocktail stick. I have included a close-up image to show the sparkle:
Christmas Sparkle Tree

The Complete Christmas Sparkle Card

Here is the completed card:
Christmas Sparkle Complete Card
I hope I have given you some inspiration in terms of composition that is possible with these stamps. Although I have used some “alternative” colours on the stockings most of my card does use the traditional colours. Looking through the magazine afterwards though there are suggestions on page 44 – 46 that do use the lilac colour scheme I was thinking about.

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