Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Focus: Small Step, Big Impact

I am going to show you a very SIMPLE step, but for a few seconds of work, your card will have much more depth and dimension. 

The step: Rub ink on the edges of each of your layers! 

Your card will appear to have even more layers and each layer will appear slightly popped.

Here's a simple example:



(I feel a little bit like those cheesy weightloss infomercials.  I have the most unflattering photo possible for the BEFORE!  I haven't glued anything down in the BEFORE so I can take it apart and ink the edges so I have to photo it just laying there flat!)

I know that it is very subtle. If you just saw the AFTER, you might not even notice it.  It's so simple, I just rubbed each panel across the ink pad.

I particularly like it on a card like this that has a black stamped image and sentiment but no other dark colors.  I always feel like the black stands out too much.  By rubbing a little black on the edges, I have balanced the black image and added shadows.  I wouldn't have wanted to add black mats - that would be too much - just this very small touch of ink!

Here's another example:


AFTER is VERY subtle.  I inked each of the edges in a dark brown (Early Espresso).  In particular look at the blue layer - I could have added a mat behind that layer, but I wanted to keep it more subtle.  I wanted the focus on the very simple lighthouse - too many dark layers behind it would be distracting.  Also see the sentiment layer.  I could have matted it - but it would have been too big. 

The curves on the sentiment layer make it hard to rub on an ink pad so in this case, I just rubbed it on a marker.

Another example:



I did the green and the patterned paper layers as indicated earlier by rubbing across an ink pad.  But simple rubbing didn't give the image enough contrast.  So in this case I used a cotton ball.

Tap a cotton ball on a brown pad.

Start away from your layer.

Pull the ink onto your layer.

You have TOTAL control!
If you stop right at the edge, you
get a small amount of brown.
If you pull the cotton ball onto
the layer, you get a lot of brown. doing it in this way, the
darkest part will always be at
the EDGE of the panel - just
where you want it!

A last example:

This is a card that I have previously published, but I took pictures when I made it and I am reprinting it here because I think it is a rather startling difference.

Look between the pink & green.
It's plain, too little contrast and the
brown mat on the flower looks lonely.

Just a quick rub of chocolate
and you appear to have
another brown mat!
(Details on this card can be found here.)

I do want to thank Kris (parkerquilter on SplitCoast) or at Nostalgic Collage.  I hang out in her craft room a couple of times a month and I watch her rub all of her edges with ink!

YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE (Set 277 - Furnished with Love)
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Furnished with Love
  • Ink: Staz-On Black, So Saffron and Bashful Blue Stampin' Up Markers
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Pumpkin, Washington Apple dsp
  • Accessories: Gold Glimmer Mist (a circle spritzed around the lamp), misc orange rhinestone, orange stickles on the fringe
  • Challenges: Layout from Techno Stamper

THINKING OF YOU with LIGHTHOUSE (Set 278 - Uncharted Territory)
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Uncharted Territory, Three Little Words (sentiment)
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Marina Mist and Early Espresso markers (Espresso only to ink the edges)
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Marina Mist
  • Accessories: Stampin' Up Linen Thread, Modern Label Punch, Tim Holtz embossing folder, Creative Impressions brads
  • Challenges: Layout from the sweetest thing (turned sideways)

ETRUSCAN CHRISTMAS (Set 279 - Etruscan)
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Etruscan
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Garden Green and Soft Suede markers, Soft Suede pad for edges
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Cherry Cobbler, Garden Green, Hobby Lobby Heartwarming Holiday Christmas pad
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart border punch, ribbons from Joann, misc circle and scalloped circle punches
  • Challenges: SplitCoast Stampers Friday Free 4 All to do a Christmas card "on the fly", i.e. in under 15 minutes and the layout from Card Patterns.


  1. Your take at the CP sketch is very beautiful! Thanks for playing with us this week!

  2. Wow, great cards and great ideas. I so agree I go around almost all of my layers with a marker to make them look like more layers. Been doing that for quite some time now, although my customers don't always like it because they think it is hard, lol. Maybe they should try the rubbing on the edge instead. Thanks so much for playing along with my sketch challenge this week.


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