Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Steampunk Hummingbird Card
Sin City Scraps has a great plate of rubber stamps called Clocks & Birds. It has nine stamps for only $19. There are six birds and three clocks, and I am using one of the birds today. The stamp is also part of the Bird Trio, available for $8. You can get Sin City stamps unmounted, cling mounted or wood mounted. The beauty of unmounted stamps is you can get more stamps for your money and store them in a smaller space.
Then you just keep an assortment of acrylic blocks for stamping. It helps to stamp on a piece of foam when you use this method. I use a sheet of thin craft foam.
Here is my Steampunk Hummingbird stamp, temporarily mounted with double sided tape on an acrylic block:
I thought it would look great with metallic embossing powder, and I wanted to create a scene in which the hummingbird is visiting a flower. But what kind of flower does a Steampunk bird like? A Steampunk flower, of course. So I made my flowers from metal gears and foil!
Steampunk envisions the future from the perspective of the past. Usually, the point of view is that of the Victorians, who lived through the Age of Steam. So there are lots of gears involved! There are folks who have restrictive ideas about what should be called Steampunk, so if you feel uncomfortable about it, you can call this Industrial Hummingbird or Clockwork Hummingbird.
Here’s how I made the card.
First, I folded a sheet of 8 ½ x 11” natural cardstock in half to make my card. Then I cut a sheet of black cardstock into two 8” x 5” pieces. I wanted a black background because I thought it would contrast well with the metallic embossing powder. But the black was too stark for me, so I sprayed it with Perfect Pearls Mist in Heirloom Gold. This softened the look, but made the paper curl and wrinkle:
Here is a tip: I iron my paper when it curls like that. I set the iron on low, put something on the ironing board to protect my ironing board cover, lay down the paper blank side up, put something on top to protect the iron and the paper from each other, and then iron it lightly. Then I hold it flat until it cools. It may still curl, but now it will curl in the same direction and you will be able to glue it flat. If you have time, you can let the paper sit between two heavy books for a while instead. But I find the ironing gets wrinkles out better. Don’t iron your heat embossed pieces, though.
Once the black paper was dry and fairly flat, I saved one piece for my background, stamped my hummingbird on the other with embossing ink (I used the VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad) and heat embossed with Recollections Copper embossing powder. When the image had cooled, I cut it out. You could stamp right onto the background, too, but I was afraid of not getting the hummingbird in the position I wanted it, so I prepared the image separately. Tip: Use scissors with a fine tip and move the paper, not the scissors.
I inked the outer edges of the background piece and the outer edges of the card with ColorBox Pigment Ink in Copper, and adhered the black background to the front of the card:
I made the flower stems and leaves with aluminum foil tape. It’s not duct tape, but it is made for repairing HVAC ducts. It’s really just a roll of metal foil with adhesive, and it’s great for lots of projects. I have bought it in the hardware section of WalMart and from Amazon.com. Here is what it looks like:
I adhered a strip of the foil to a piece of black cardstock:
I gave the foil a little texture with a tool designed for working with metal foil:
If you don’t have these tools, you can use a stylus, the end of a bone folder, the tip or end of a knitting needle, a fork from your kitchen, or basically anything else. You can put the foil/cardstock stack on a texture plate and rub over it or run it through your diecut machine with an embossing folder.
Then I dripped on a few drops of Adirondack Alcohol Ink (rust). Since I was creating metal flowers for my mechanical hummingbird, I only wanted to use metallic colors, but you could
choose any colors you like.
You want to apply the alcohol ink in drops, and then daub it with felt. If you try to spread it around by wiping it over the surface, you end up with very little ink on your project. If you sort of pounce your felt up and down, you get better coverage. I make a little dauber from a square of felt, held together with a rubber band:
The ink dries right away. I cut 1/8” strips of the foil/cardstock using my rotary paper trimmer. The lengths are approximately 3”, 2 ¾” and 2 ½”. Then I diecut three hearts out of the foil/cardstock using the Sizzlits hearts die. I cut one of the largest heart and two of the medium heart:
Then I made leaves for my flower stems by cutting each heart in half. Here are my stems and leaves, ready to be attached to my background:
You can also draw leaves and cut them out or cut leaves with another die. If you don’t have aluminum foil tape, you can use another craft foil or cardstock. Or you can draw the stems and leaves with metallic ink.
I made the flowers with gears by Bead Landing; I got them at Michaels. They are made for crafting, and are thinner and lighter than real gears. You could use gears from the hardware store or diecut gears. I chose three small and three large gears to make three flowers:
Then I prepared the stems, leaves and gears with adhesive:
This would be a good place for Miracle Tape, but I had Glue Lines by Glue Dots, so that’s what I used. I cut the little rectangles into pieces small enough that they would not be visible behind my pieces, then did a mockup of my layout, leaving the protective layer of plastic in place on my adhesive:
Then I removed the protective layer of plastic from my adhesive. I put the leaves down first, then the stems, and finally the flowers. I put some Glue Lines on my hummingbird and attached it to my card (You can see that I started out with a gold hummingbird in my mockup, but I switched it for the copper one).
If you don’t have the gears, you can make the flowers lots of other ways. You can draw or paint them, stamp them, or diecut them. You can use buttons, real or diecut. Here is a sample of some alternate flowers you could use. The watch faces and clockworks are real, but you could stamp them or use diecuts. The gears were cut from metallic paper using the Spellbinders Sprightly Sprockets die set:
And you can use a different kind of metal – soda cans! You rinse the empty cans out and cut them apart with metal shears. Then you can put them through your diecut machine and color them with alcohol inks. This flower was made with the Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die:
The Clocks & Birds plate also includes a Steampunk bird at rest and a Steampunk bird in flight, as well as a similar trio with a floral/butterfly pattern. And I haven’t even gotten to the three clocks yet! So there is no end to the projects you can make with this set!
SUPPLIES for the Sin City Scraps Steampunk Hummingbird Card:
Sin City Scraps Hummingbird stamp from Clocks & Birds plate
Cardstock – two 8 ½ x 11” sheets (one black, one natural)
Perfect Pearls Mist in Heirloom Gold
Aluminum foil tape
Alcohol ink (I used Adirondack rust)
Copper ink pad or marker (I used ColorBox pigment copper)
Embossing ink pad (I used Versamark Watermark Stamp Pad)
Embossing powder (I used Recollections Copper)
Please let me know if you have any questions about this project!