The Merry Monday Challenge Blog is having a "Red and White" challenge this week. I decided to go for an elegant look, and combined an intricate die cut with dry embossing for my card.
I began by inking a piece of white cardstock in an ombre pattern, using Distress inks in Worn Lipstick, Festive Berries, Barn Door, and Aged Mahogany. After letting that dry a bit, I die cut my tree, using one of the Spellbinders/Heartfelt Creations "Banner and Trees" dies. I first backed my inked cardstock with a piece of Stick It double-sided adhesive, then ran it through my Grand Calibur machine. I decided to try using a dryer sheet, to help the die cut pop out of the die more easily. This is a technique I've seen demonstrated on YouTube. And it worked--well, kind of. The die cut did pop out, but the Stick It backing paper stuck to the dryer sheet, and I had a devil of a time pulling the die cut off the sheet! I think, in future, if I use Stick It for die cutting, I'll put a piece of waxed paper between the die and cardstock. This helps it release as well. The only real difference with the dryer sheet is the negative pieces stick to that too, so you don't have to mess with poking them out.
After I had extracted my tree (VERY carefully!), I adhered it to a piece of white cardstock that I'd cut to 4.25x5.5". The abundance of plain "white space" around the tree really bothered me, though, so I decided to dry emboss it. I made my own diffuser out of matboard. I cut a piece to the same size as my cardstock, then used the negative piece from the tree die cut to trace, in the center of the matboard, where I did NOT want the embossing. I then cut out this center portion. I placed my cardstock in the "A2 Tiny Polka Dot" embossing folder by The Paper Studio, taped my matboard diffuser (outer portion) to the top, and ran it through my Grand Calibur. The matboard allowed pressure only around the outside, so the embossing didn't go over on the tree.
For the greeting, I used the "Build a Banner" stamp set, with the coordinating dies, by Avery Elle. I stamped one of the banners on a piece of white cardstock, in Hero Arts' Red Royal ink. Then, with that piece in my MISTI, I positioned my greeting stamps, from Simon Says Stamp, on the banner. After picking them up with the door of the MISTI, I curved them to follow the curve of the banner. (One of the joys of clear stamps!) I stamped the greeting in Versafine Onyx Black ink. I first stamped it on a clear grid sheet, laid over my banner piece, just to make sure the greeting was placed/curved correctly. Once I had that right, I stamped it on the banner itself. Then I cut the banner with the die. I popped that up over the tree with foam tape.
Because the embossed dots didn't extend quite to the edges of my panel, I ended up cutting off 1/8" from each side. I then mounted that to a white A2 card base. As a finishing touch, I added "ornaments" with Silver Pearl Liquid Pearls to the tree.
I'm also entering my card in Virginia's View Challenge #15: "Ombre/Monochromatic."