March 29, 2014


Are you familiar with the technique called Black Magic?

BLACK MAGIC: On a dark-colored cardstock, stamp a solid image -- as opposed to an outline imaged -- in White Craft Ink. With your Heat Tool, make sure the white ink is completely dry, no shiny spots remaining. Once it is dry, use colored pencils to color the image, covering the white ink completely. After coloring, further decorate your design with white dots and lines. 

Simple enough, right?

I have tried this technique a handful of time over the years. I never got results I was proud of and wanted to use in a finished piece.

When I ran across mention of this technique recently, I thought I would give it ONE. MORE. TRY. 

I chose black as my dark-colored background, and stamped the lovely images from Fabulous Florets (page 93 of the Big Catalog) in White Craft Ink. Once the images were dry, I went to work coloring it with Stampin' Up!'s retired metallic colored pencils. I thought that would add some other-wordly elegance. 

After coloring, I added dots and dashes with the White Stampin' Chalk Marker (page 37 of the current Celebrate the Everyday catalog). That worked really well. 

Eh. It was okay. Just okay. 

Now, what to do with it. I pulled out the various Framelits I had. When I reached the Window Frames Collection (page 186 of the Big Catalog), the image fit perfectly. So I went with that, matting it against an Old Olive piece cut with the next larger Framelit from the same collection. 

I added this to a white card front. Yuk. Too stark. And no class whatsoever. So I grabbed Rich Razzleberry, which proved to be just the ticket. 

At this point, I walked away from the card for a day. I was sick of it, and not crazy about it. 

The next day when I came back to it, I knew pretty much how to proceed. I grabbed the birthday sentiment from Blooming With Kindness (page 65 of the Big Catalog), lavishly rubbed a piece of Rich Razzleberry cardstock with my Embossing Buddy, stamped it in VersaMark and heat embossed it with White Embossing Powder. 

Well, you can see how I finished it off with Whisper White 1/4" Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon and some Basic Pearls. 

Since the card turned out to be an odd size -- 5" x 5" -- I grabbed my Envelope Punch Board and made a custom envelope with some of the Rich Razzleberry Polka Dot Parade DSP (page 154 of the Big Catalog). Cute!

Now, here's where YOU come in. I really am not happy with so many aspects of this card. 

Help Wanted: I would like to start a conversation of improvements/changes 
I could make to my design to help it become a more successful card. 

Please leave comments with your ideas. Be as brutal and honest as you want. I will take all "improvements" into consideration. With what you feed me, I will remake the card, and re-present it to you for your inspection within the near future.

So, please, please, please put your creative thinking caps on and harvest some of those Paper Seedlings and HELP ME!

I really look forward to your comments on ways you think I could improve this lovely mess!



  1. Linda...I think you are being way too hard on yourself!! The colors are beautiful. The distraction for me is the number of white dots. The ones on the flowers and leaves are fine. Perhaps paper piercing around the edges would be less busy. Hope you find the clue to make you happy with this card.

  2. I agree, it's such a pretty card. Maybe popping flowers or layers up a little might do. Don't know if I'd want to try one.

  3. Linda, this is a good card! Your idea to use the metallic pencils for color was brilliant and you did a super job with them, so I know there’s shimmer that the photos didn’t pick up. You made great color choices, I love the combination of square angles and round edges, and the dots really make it POP! It’s a fun layout, and your use of the Window Frames framelits works well. This is a card that you can be proud of!

    I know you’re as much of a perfectionist as I am, though (well, maybe even more so!), so I know you’re determined to make this card even better. I had to really put on my thinking cap to come up with some suggestions, and here they are for your consideration:
    (1) The only design element that seems missing is texture, so one thought is that you could run the Old Olive layer through your Big Shot with an embossing folder, maybe the Square Lattice or Perfect Polka Dots or anything that doesn’t detract from the flowers.
    (2) I would be tempted to add a little more depth by sponging around the banner and maybe the outer edge of the card with Raspberry Ripple.
    (3) While I like the bold look of the chalk marker dots, I think it somewhat detracts from the soft floral feel of this particular card. I wonder if white gel pen would be more subtle and less distracting. Also, as a personal preference, I would keep the dots on the border of the black layer symmetrical and leave some “breathing room” between them and the jots and dots on the flowers to make the flow less confusing to the eye. Another thought would be to paper pierce the border and use the white dots just on the flowers.
    (4) I can’t quite tell which corner punch you used on the two lower corners, but they look more angular than rounded in the photo. (It could just be the picture?) I would simply round the corners to subtly finish off the card.

    Whether or not you decide to use any of my suggestions or suggestions by others, I look forward to seeing what you do next!

  4. You always come up with the most amazing designs!!!
    I love the colors on this birthday card..... This would be terrific on my blog hop. Would you please come join the party?
    Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop
    Thanks much!! :)
    “hugs” Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

  5. So cute...I just love what you do...thanks for sharing another great idea on the Thursday Blog Hop!

  6. I like the colors you picked out! They work very well with the black. I love it!

  7. I think your card looks great. I don't think I could even make something that looks half way decent.

  8. I think your card is great!! better than anything that I cold have made

  9. It was so fun to see this linked up at our party. I pinned!! Thanks much!! :)
    “hugs” Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

  10. Prettier then any card I have ever made. Thanks for sharing at the Anything Goes linky at Bacon Time. Hope to see you again tomorrow.

  11. Замечательно получилось! Спасибо за участие в проекте Рукодельное кафе!