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Hello! Happy period-between-Christmas-and-New-Year! This time is always a bit of a blur for me; I never remember what day it is, I rarely do anything before midday, I have trifle for breakfast every morning…in short, it’s proper holiday time!

It also means I have time to post – I meant to do this last week but it got sucked into the Christmas vortex.

The current challenge over at Hatter’s Hope is sparkle (why don’t you give it a go?). For this one I got out my embossing powders, which I haven’t used for a while. So I thought I’d show you how I use them!

These are my embossing powders. I’ve got sparkly ones, black ones, and metallic ones. The black powder is best used with stamping rubber stamps on an embossing ink pad; the finished result gives you raised lines you can colour inside and a shiny outline to your image. The metallic ones are good for outlines, or having solid blocks of gold or silver. The glitter ones are good for things like this sparkle challenge!

So first of all I coloured up Sammi’s Fairy Set. The digi has her fairies, LilyRose and Charlotte Rose, in two sizes, so I did the bigger ones in foresty greens and purples, and the little one in a red dress – like a forest berry perhaps?

Then I coloured in their wings and the little one’s red dress with the clear embossing ink. I have a pen for this purpose – looks a little Copic-like with the double ends. I wondered whether the ink would change the colours of the Copics I’d used, but it didn’t change too drastically.

You only need a tiny amount of powder to cover the image, but it’s hard to be precise. So the best way of doing it is to pour the powder over the whole image, then tip the excess onto a card and pour it back into the container. I’ve used these powders a lot in the past and haven’t had to buy refills yet – they go a long way! Once I’ve shaken the excess off, I brush over the parts of the image I don’t want to be embossed with a small, soft paintbrush, just to loosen any stray particles and give the embossed bits a clean edge.

Lastly, you heat up the paper to melt the powder, which sticks it onto the page and gives it a shiny finish. You can use any heat source that won’t burn the paper; I used to use a toaster to heat it from underneath, which was quite effective. I do have this heat tool, which blows very hot air but a bit more directed than a hair dryer. You have to be careful if using something like a hair dryer, that the powder doesn’t come unstuck and blow off the page. That would leave you with a very blotchy result.

And this is how they look after their heat setting!

Much less messy than using glitter and glue, as the glitter doesn’t fall off once it’s been heat set.

Then I put the card together, with the fairies sitting in a tree, daydreaming. I used some cloud stickers and sentiment from a kikki.K sticker book. Now I have it sitting on my bookshelf and I feel quite pleased when I see it as I come down the hall to my room!