I've admitted to falling instantly in love with the Secret Garden stamp set and matching framelits. You can see why, I'm sure, from the cards I've posted. Those framelits cut around the stamped images as closely as if done with little scissors---with so very much less work. But this post isn't about them.
Another stamp set caught my eye when I was going through the Spring catalogue: By The Tide. Yes, there is an ocean themed stamp set in the Annual Catalogue. It, too, is a striking set which I bought, but hesitantly. I wasn't entirely certain that I liked the stylistic appearance of the stamps in that set. They've since grown on me. Still, the attention to detail and the artistry of the stamps in the By The Tide set just won me over the moment I opened that page.
With Chistmas over, I'm turning my attention to all the little goodies that have arrived. By The Tide came in my first pre-order from the Spring Catalogue. I was so anxious to try the stamp set when the box arrived that I almost---and please note that I did stop myself---I almost tried a Christmas card using the fish wearing a Santa hat. Thank goodness I came to my senses in time!
I really wanted my first card to give a 3-dimensional effect. To that end, I used some cardstock vellum and stamped it with the coral aptly using Calypso Coral. The nice thing about stamping on the vellum is that the ink dries very, very slowly. This makes it perfect for using clear embossing powder on the coloured ink, which I did. The embossed coral looks wonderful. The photo doesn't do it justice. To give some dimension to the scene, I stamped two sea horses on the reverse side of the vellum, one fully behind the coral and one half-exposed. Once they were coloured, they looked as if they were really swimming behind the coral plant.
I wanted to add the fish to the scene but didn't think that simply stamping it on the front of the vellum would be all that effective, so I stamped it on some Brushed Silver cardstock using Staz-On. Once dry it was easy to colour the fish using my Stampin' Markers. The brushed silver finish of the cardstock made the fish glisten as if it had scales. I loved it! I cut that out with my little snips, thinking framelits would have been a logical product. Unfortunately, however, By The Tide does not have matching framelits. Mounted on dimensionals, the fish looked as if it was hovering above the coral and sea-horses.
I tried a couple of coloured cardstocks under the vellum but found the results were overall discouraging. So I turned to Whisper White, which made the images on the vellum "pop". To get a bit of a water effect, I stamped the poem included in the stamp set repeatedly on the Whisper White using Pool Party ink. Once the pieces were assembled, the poem was still reasonably visible through the vellum and gave the effect of ripples of water.
I also used the Woodgrain embossing folder on the Island Indigo cardstock and think that, since it's been used sideways, it looks almost like ripples of water as well.
What do you think of the By The Tide stamp set? I'm sure I'll be making quite a few more cards using it.