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GOOD TIMES - I've used a metal die to cut the shape after doing all the artwork, then kept the die in place to add extra shading at the edges, which results in a lighter border. I rather like this effect!
Men's cards are always a major headache, so I thought you might enjoy seeing some Retiform cards I've made.
GOOD TIMES - detail of corner, with satin ribbon.
 I just finished these samples last night, ready for my class at Blade Rubber on 5th October.

Closeup
The binoculars have a heavy layer of Ranger's Crackle Glaze, which I rather like. I watercoloured the face and hands to add a very light tint.
I love the way the colours blend together, making new shades.
The main images are stamped in Ranger's Archival Ink in black, and the actual Retiform shading is all done with Distress inks.
Images by Paper Artsy, swirl by Stampington
I've cut the die shape first (from vintage sheet music) then worked on that, stamping the main images with Archival ink in black. The numbers and phrase are in Archival ink in plum.
I love these brads - they look like screws!
This technique has been around for a while: a simplified version is the Grid technique. I think this is just as easy to do, but the results are much more sophisticated - and unpredictable. You never know what you're going to get, which is half the fun.

BOY - I created the artwork first, on dark red card. I die cut it, then ran it through an embossing folder.
This one's a bit different in that I used bleach on the boy's face (the card is dark red) and highlighted the embossed text with gilt cream. I also used some red lace on the left-hand edge.

Detail of the little bottles and the lace
I added tiny glass bottles, encased them with a strip of torn, stamped and inked paper (using plenty of silicon glue) as an extra element.

Detail of the soldered glass slide holding a vintage photo

In the Old Days, we used to scuff the actual pad along to create the shading. All I can say is, God bless Tim Holtz, Ranger Inks and their wonderful Blending Tool! You can use it (or a piece of Cut'N'Dry) with vitually any ink, and it really makes the job a pleasure rather than a chore. I used to get cramped hands trying to guide full sized ink pads.

This one I did around a year ago
Having looked at a couple of my old cards, I'd say my style has certainly changed. And I think you'll agree the shading on the new ones is way superior to the dragged ink pad effect of this older one!

I'd forgotten how much fun this technique is - I'll certainly be doing more - I'm addicted now.

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