Birthdays are a feather in the wing of time…

Birthdays are a feather in the wing of time…

It’s Saturday, so it’s something new. To me? To you? To who? This is an old card which I did years ago, but you can bet your bottom dollar, there will be several who have never used parchment, or stamped on parchment, let alone embossed parchment!
It’s a fabulous technique, and it is very, very easy. All you need is:
Mouse pad from a computer (or an embossing mat)
Crochet hook (or an embossing tool)

We are going to look at Heat embossing versus Paper embossing.

Stamp the Feather and the Verse in Black Archival on Parchment.
Sprinkle with Detail clear powder.
Dust of excess speckles.
Heat emboss with a Heat gun. This will seal and raise the line art.

Which is not a bad thing on Parchment, because the ink takes ages to dry otherwise!

So how to get the white detail? Turn the paper over and work from behind with a crochet hook or an embossing tool. You need a softer surface than a craft mat for this kind of embossing, so a mouse pad is ideal.
You just have to stick to the same side of every letter with the verse, so that you throw a shadow, so to speak.

With the feather, you can add superb depth and contrast. Work gently and build up the whiteness gradually. 
Always work from behind.
The background paper is simply a larger panel of parchment stamped all over with the matrix feather. 
You can choose to heat emboss with powder, 
or paper emboss with a tool, 
or do as I did, 
which was ink, blot plot! 
Just using second generation ink, randomly stamping the feather onto the parchment, produced a quick and lovely background layer.

But if you just layer the artwork onto white card, guess what? Yep. You lose the whiteness you have created on the parchment.
Which is why I loaded it onto a black layer, to make the white pop.

Look at the difference here, between heat embossed and then paper-embossed, too. What a difference!

This is well worth trying. And black and white is always very classy, don’t you think? Have fun!
love from

50 thoughts on “Birthdays are a feather in the wing of time…

  1. Love the feathers, very native american which I love.. Thank you for this tutorial, another one to have a go at…just not today…have decorated candles, conquered the acetone transfer (put my dad on my mums card..his face from their wedding..she loved it), made cards, just finished wrapping presents, have an 80th party to go to later, but now need to go to Tesco!!! Tick, Tick and Tick xxxx

  2. Love this card. Parchment embossing was how I originally got into card making more than 30 years ago and still love the effect today. Although my joints won't allow to do as much of it these days.

  3. I love this technique, as you say so simple but really classy and will work with quite a wide variety of stamps. I love this feather stamp, it makes a lovely background and I use it for many different cards. Thank you so much for your blog, it starts my day with a smile and inspiration. Have a super Christmas and I look forward to all you will be bringing us in the new year. Mrs Andy Day

  4. Mouse mat… Now there's a plan… Oh you are a clever lady! Funny enough I embossed on to coloured parchment yesterday… Keep an eye out on the January TV samples… Although, I hadn't thought about adding a shaddow! Next time! Thank you Barbara xx

  5. I think this was one of my first clarity sets I love doing it and will have it out again once get the next few days out the way and start the birthday card thanks again xxx

  6. Hi Barb,
    I adore this stamp. I bought this set of stamps years ago when you first brought it to C&C and absolutely love it. It looks fabulous in any colour and is brilliant for those pesky male cards! However,I've never been brave enough to try it on parchment as I'm generally so heavy handed that I'm terrified that I'll just go straight through the paper! Still you have inspired me to get out the parchment and dust off the stamps and give it a go! Can I also say that the new robin looks fabulous coloured in and covered with Glossy Accents – co cute!

  7. All I need is some parchment and some time! Have these stamps and use them such a lot for many different effects, so this is another to add to my box of tricks. Thanks Barbara.

  8. Beautiful card , have tried parchment before but must be a bit heavy handed as I always seem to create holes ! Still will keep trying and might succeed one of these days x

    1. Hi Isobel, I work with parchment all the time. A little tip…the higher up you hold the tool you use means the lighter the touch. When embossing all you have to do after you have smooched your work with a tumble dryer sheet or soap bar (it helps the tool glide). Go over each line 3 times. You do have to make sure that the mat you are working on is not too firm and has no holes or dents. The thicker the Parchment or Vellum the easier it is to do 'White Work' . I hope you keep trying with it. xxxxxxx

  9. H yes, done it again! I was going to ask ' is there no end to your talent?' However, what's the point because the answer is already out there……No, there is no end to it! Fabulous yet again Mrs Barb. Have a good one, love Shirley xxxxx

  10. Wonderful project, I have used the feather stamps so much, forgot about the shadowing on the letters. It makes such a difference. Great blog Barbara XX.

    1. Hi Barbara
      Now I've found another stamp I need/want/must have ……beautiful!

      I phoned yesterday as I was having trouble leaving a comment on your blog, my technically competent family arrived last night and sorted me out! For anyone else trying to comment from an ipad it won't work for me, it needs to be the computer.

      Anyway a lovely chap called Dave very kindly tried to help but we decided it was beyond us both to figure out what to do (not sure if its the 'everyone needs a Dave' but thanks very much anyway.

      I also passed on my thanks by phone that which I have been trying to do on your blog for 3 days but will repeat here.
      I am so impressed with your service but especially this week, I ordered a Christmas present for my self (one of quite a few) !! your very beautiful victorian alphabet stamps which I ordered on the 16th December they arrived on the 18th and were wrapped in red ribbon:) They look AMAZING and I can t wait to get my hands on them. I shall leave a review once I've used them but I can tell they are going to be something very special…..thanks Barbara for your great blog, its compulsory reading, and to all your team.

      Hope you all have a great Christmas, 2 daughters have arrived and the third + my very precious grandsons arrive very soon 🙂 enjoy your Children's visit.

  11. Hello Barb
    Love reading this blog every morning!
    I bought the feather stamp and forgot about it…. so you have inspired me to get it out… once Christmas is over! I can bring my stash back into the room lol!
    Love Marg

  12. Morning Barbara…cuppa and blog read time…Another fabulous project and the white just makes the feather pop off the page…and is relaxing to do….have a good family day,, I am off to tick more jobs off my list…hugs…x

  13. I think this whole card is very classy. that feather has so much detail in it, it is awesome. You know Barbara i tend to agree with your mum and the older stamps…..they are so beautifully detailed. they really set you apart from the rest as they are so lifelike which is what i love and appreciate about your stamps. take care…..xx

  14. Love this card but have never done any heat embossing as I haven't got the tools. Fingers crossed this might be something Father Christmas is bringing me. If he does I am looking forward to trying some new techniques. Still need to do Mum and Dad's card so I better put my thinking cap on and come up with an idea.

  15. So Barbara! Once again my two favourite things!! A Clarity Stamp and Parchment. Because of the quality that you ensure your stamps provide, they are actually the best stamps on the market for adapting to parchment work…it's the line art. I just love it! This feather is so lovely but sadly I have not got it in my collection as yet….oh don't worry I will be amending that very soon.
    Brilliant Blog once again. Love from an old 'Parcher' xxxxx

  16. lovely Barbara, hope you all have a great Christmas, I'm off to London to spend it with my daughter so looking forward to the Boxing day sales!!!!!!!

  17. How lovely, I have used parchment in the traditional way but going to have to give this a try. You are so right black and white always looks good. Right now I have to make a card for my lovely granddaughter , she will be 10 tomorrow. Thanks for the ideas and lessons Lynne xx

  18. I agree black and white is so classic and classy and the difference between the two types of embossing is striking. Although I've used parchment before I have never thought to dry emboss like this before, really must have a go now though, thank you for the great inspiration. x

  19. this is lovely Barbara – parchment is one of the first things I got into in papercraft many years ago now – so its so nice to see it being done here – gets the old memories pinging! Hugs Rachel xx

  20. I am so late visiting but it was well worth the wait. I love these stamps and followed what you did in the telly originally. The effect on parchment is so lovely. I did mine with a sepia ink, but I did not heat emboss it, just waited patiently (or impatiently) till the ink dried, before embossing the parchment. xxx Maggie

  21. Haven't got the feathers but will try with the leaves perhaps? Can't wait to finish on Mon and then hope to use some of the holiday to try out a few of the projects and read the blogs again! Xx

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