I stamped each background using Versamark Ink and Simon Says Stamp Fine Detail Clear Embossing Powder. I really like the Simon Says Stamp brand as it's a larger sized container than some other brands and melts very well. I had previously cut my Canson XL 140# Cold Pressed Water Color Paper into 4.25 x 5.5 inch panels. This size is perfect and allows me to die cut them with a scalloped rectangle or stitched rectangle with a minimum of waste. You need a stamp that has quite a bit of surface area for this technique to work well. Two of the background stamps I used here are Just Rite Cling Stamps and one is the Leafy Vines from Hero Arts that I used for my Grandson's Wedding Card. For all of the backgrounds I used a Ranger Mini Ink Blending Tool to apply one or two colors of ink in a circular motion for a smooth blend although I don't think it really matters since I'm spritzing them with a solution of water and Perfect Pearls to get the softly colored backgrounds you see in these photos.
I love the magic that comes from doing techniques and watercolor is my very favorite technique of all. Heat Embossing is my 2nd favorite and this technique combines both of them which is a win-win for me. Most of the ink pads that I have are Stampin' Up! and that is what I used for these backgrounds. The colors I used are Pacific Point, Garden Green, Blackberry Bliss, Melon Mambo, Calypso Coral, Daffodil Delight and Smoky Slate.
Once I had inked up these panels, I spritzed several short bursts (7-8) of the Perfect Pearls Pigment Powder & Water solution. I did them one at a time rather than all at once so I could (sort of) control the outcome (a.k.a. sopping up any excess water with a tissue). As each of the panels dried, I took them to my ironing board with a sheet of plain printer paper. I turned my iron on to a no steam, high setting for cotton. Laying the printer paper on the top so that it can absorb the embossing powder that you are ironing off, I went over each panel with a clean sheet of paper. After I went over it very well one time I would fold the paper in half and do it again just in case there was any area that I had missed. This results in a clean, matte finish design wherever there was previously embossing powder. The soft watercolor background is a lovely look and not one that could be easily obtained with regular white card stock. It would be hard to get enough water on it to really blend the ink.
After I was done experimenting, I used the Mama Elephant Birthday Wishes Stamp Set to stamp my greeting on some more watercolor paper that I had heavily ink blended with the same inks as I used for my background panel. I couldn't decide between WOW! Rich Pale Gold or WOW! Metallic Gold Sparkle Embossing Powder so I stamped one of each to choose. As you see, Gold Sparkle won out. I'll save the other one for a different card. I also inked up a strip of watercolor card stock in the Blackberry Bliss ink and put WOW! Clear Sparkle Embossing Powder on it to be able to cut the darker hearts for my card. After I cut them out, I put some Wink of Stella Clear Shimmer on them and topped them with Glossy Accents once my card was assembled. I used the Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles to cut my water color panel. I used a slightly smaller one for the "Happy Birthday" panel repositioning it once after my initial cut to get a different size than intended. My square die wasn't quite large enough so I just altered the rectangle die by lining up the stitch marks and cutting it again where I needed it to be. I hope that makes sense! Be sure to use a bit of Post-It or masking tape to keep the die in position while cutting that second time through.
As I always do when I am experimenting with a new (to me) technique, I'll save these other backgrounds and the sentiment for another time when I need to pull a card together quickly. Single layer cards go through the mail easily even though the hearts have a bit of dimension on them and my goal is for it to always get there!
I will be entering this card in the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge which is "anything goes". Thanks for stopping by today! I'll be back with another project very soon.