Friday, January 6, 2012

I am Not A Mused - The Latest Challenge

This week's A Muse Studio challenge is all about heat embossing.  Here is my card for that challenge.
Hey, this photo looks better today than it did last night.  I thought the pre-printed background had gotten washed out by the flash, so I took a no-flash photo as well.  Here 'tis:
I heat embossed the coral, the greeting, and the seahorse.  The sea star is embossed too but it was on the card already.  If you are here for the A Muse Studio challenge, that's it for this post.  If you really want to know how I feel about heat embossing, read on.  BUT!  You've been warned!

The Fine Print: pre-printed card from Michael's dollar bin, coral and seahorse by A Muse, Divine by Komodo Inc, Desert Rose embossing powder by Stampa Mania.

I hate heat embossing. I HATE IT.  My first introduction to it was at a hardware and hobby store in Alamogordo, New Mexico.  They had many, many samples of it and I was impressed.  They sold little embossing kits that included a Top Boss inkpad and some powders.  I asked a lady about it and she was mildly helpful, explaining that you stamped your image with that special ink, sprinkled the powder on and heated it to melt it.  Voila: heat embossing.  She said she preferred it on solid images.  I already had developed a dislike of solid images so I wasn't convinced.  Plus, what was this heating all about?  She gave several examples of heat sources: a toaster oven, a toaster, an oven, a candle flame, and a hair dryer.   Okay, those of you in the know can see where this is already headed for disaster!

I nixed the candle idea before ever trying it.  There was no toaster oven to try and the hair dryer didn't do diddly.  I turned on the oven and held the stamped and powdered image inside the oven.  I succeeded in turning my arm red.  Finally I turned on the broiler and when the element turned red hot I held the paper up to them and...  the powder melted.  So did my mother's patience.  What are you doing?! Get out of my oven!  It's too hot!  You'll singe your hair!

That seemed like an awful lot of work for the results.  Later I was introduced to a heat tool and attempted all sorts of embossing.  I learned a lot of reasons to hate heat embossing really quickly.   The powder doesn't stick when you expect it to.  It sticks to places you don't want it to.  It sinks into the paper. It flakes off.  It cracks off.  It brushes off.  It looks melted and it isn't.  It discolors the powder. The paper buckles. You can singe paper with it.  You can singe yourself with it.
The paper buckles
Heat & Stick powder that doesn't do as advertised and proof if you want a glitter heart, punch it out of glitter paper.

I've heard it all too.  Your heat tool is too close.  Your heat tool is too far.  Your inkpad is too wet.  Too dry.  Your powder is too humid (in southern Arizona?).  Your powder is too dry.  Pat lightly with a dryer sheet.  Rug vigorously with a dryer sheet.  Spray anti-static spray on it.  Blot it with this pouch of talc. Heat the paper from the bottom.  Heat the paper from the top straight down.  Heat the paper at an angle. Blow the excess powder off (results in me spitting on it).  Gently wipe the excess powder off with a paintbrush (not a good suggestion if you're twitchy).  Gently thump the excess powder off (no change).  Heavily thump the excess powder off (all the powder comes off).  Use a foil wrapped backing to trap the heat.  Use a silicon sheet to trap the heat.  Do it in the air so heat dissipates.  Brand X powders work best.  All powders all the same. Use only on glossy paper.  Use only on matte paper.  Brand X ink works the best.  All inks are the same (whoa).  You need to heat it in a box.  You need to heat it with a fox.  Don't heat it if you have the pox.  Heat it when wearing socks. After heating, suck on some lollipops (where did you think that was going?)

Anyway, I did notice I got better results at other places using other's tools. At that point I got a different brand heat tool and ditched the original brand of embossing powder I tried.  My life was somewhat better.  I still have failure and frustration a lot more often than I have success.  I recently have come to suspect that my Milwaukee Heat Tool might be dying, and for sure, my inkpad needs reinking.

Don't worry, my life isn't a complete downer.  Sometimes there is this:
Dopey Black Cat


Lori Barnett said...

O.M.G.!!! I think I need a drink now! BWAHAHAHAHA. SOME people just are not cut out for Heat Embossing...and I think you are one of those peeps! IS you! LOL! And I totally SUCK at decorating my THERE! Embossing is soooo freakin' easy it's not even funny! And Heat & stick powder works wonderful too. BUT...not all things work perfect...nor as always doing you hair. Nuff said? HA! But I do give you a thumbs up for giving it a go and joining us for the challenge. THAT is worth a (((hug))) :)

Create With Joy said...

I could not help but laugh when I read your post. I am so glad to hear that I am not the only heat-embossing-challenged stamper out there! While I LO?VE the looks of heat-embossed projects, anything that requires heat does not agree with me. I am the woman who once set herself on fire (or came close to it - I burt my fingernail) - trying to use a lighter once!

Here's to glitter paper for those who can't handle the heat in the kitchen! :-)