I don't know about you, but masculine cards always seem to be a challenge. I find that with the right colors (neutral or jewel toned) and geometric embellishments (here, star brads) you can hardly go wrong!
This card was inspired by something I saw on SplitCoastStampers, but I ended up taking it in a different direction. It started with an embossing folder designed by Tim Holz ("Patchwork"), and I took the opportunity to play around with applying ink directly to the embossing folder.
I used Stampin' Up! Very Vanilla cardstock, and ran it through my Big Shot with the Patchwork embossing folder. (See below for more ideas on how to use ink during this process!) The image was trimmed, mounted on Basic Black, and then on a card base that is Early Espresso. The ribbon is 5?8" grosgrain in Early Espresso, and the copper colored star brads were from my stash.
The sentiment is from SU (All Year Cheer II -retired), stamped with Early Espresso on Very Vanilla, and then "antiqued" with Soft Suede and a sponge. I cut a piece of Soft Suede slightly larger than I needed, tore the edges, and then sponged them with som Early Espresso. I did the same with the Basic Black matte, but instead of inking, I gave it a little spritz with Vanilla Shimmer Smooch Spritz.
And then I added the little gold crown from my stash. Just a little teeny bit of bling!
I found that I liked this card so much, I made another one right away to give to a good friend of mine.
The playtime associated with this card consisted of trying out different ways of applying ink to the embossed image. Three examples are below.
This look was created by sponging on Early Espresso ink, with a light hand, after embossing. See how the edges of the raised portions are darker? Plus it's somewhat uneven. Not right or wrong, or bad or good, it's just what you get.
This one was created by applying Soft Suede ink with a sponge directly to teh embossing folder itself, prior to embossing the cardstock. Why hadn't I thought of that before?!? The folder is plastic, so it is easily rinsed under running water when you are done. In this case, the ink is applied much more evenly, and the edges of the images are not darker.
And this one, not surprisingly!, is a combination of the two techniques. I inked the embossing folder, then embossed, and then used a sponge to wipe on a darker ink. This is the piece that I used for the card itself.
So, have fun with it!! Try multiple colors, try applying it evenly, or unevenly. Just play!!