Well back on February 27th I posted a blog titled GRACEFUL ENVELOPE and I shared some envelopes that I had entered in that contest.  It’s an annual contest and I have entered almost every year since about 97 or 98…I had a winner in 99 and then I have since had two honorable mentions .  This is a rather bad photo of the envelope I entered this year.  

It’s a bad photo because It was done with colored pencils and charcoal pens ( white) on Brown Kraft paper and that doesn’t photo copy well….the theme this year anything beginning with the letter D.. hence my daisy postage which was purchased from zazzle.com a company which makes legal postage using photos. I know you can send them your photo and have your own postage made so like a photo of new baby , wedding pictures or engagement picture etc, and they have a huge collection of all kinds of images so I fell in love with this Daisy and thought I can match it on my envelope.  Well l don’t draw all that well and my daisy doesn’t really do the postage justice but this was my entry and the deadline was April 30th.

 And this is the very nice letter you receive if you don’t win or get honorable mention.  Mine arrived Saturday.  I was disappointed but must tell you that I love entering just for the challenge of coming up with a design and executing it.  I have given the link to the web GRACEFUL ENVELOPE web site before but here it is again.  You can look at all the previous winners and honorable mentions and on or after August 8th this years winners will be posted and I must tell you that I can hardly wait to see them.  So if you are looking for eye candy do check them out. As I mentioned, I don’t enter this every year thinking I”ll win I enter for the challenge of dealing with a small space and finding a way to make the postage work with the design.


I don’t know if you know it or not but the standard craft stores all carry a variety of thicknesses of both copper and while they call it silver that is really a designation of the color not the metal..in any case the lighter weights work very well for punching and embossing.  The lighter weight works better than the really heavy for both the punching an the embossing.  I have had no trouble punching the copper I have but I did find that I could not actually use the die cut /cuttlebug to CUT with it does emboss just fine.   You need to know that unlike paper which actually stretches its fibers when embossed and once embossed can not really be un embossed, metal can’t really be made totally smooth again but embossing can be pressed out so if you send it thru the mail you will want to use bubble wrap or some type of foam to protect the image.  You also need to know that when  you are choosing a punch to use you don’t want something that is too detailed..a simple image works best..stars, hearts, flowers, that said I had not trouble punching out the moose… I used it on a card saying I moose you very much.

Well you can see its hard to show the color change but you can see that you will get both a very nice positive and negative image out of the copper.  Ok think that covers the punching stuff lets move on to the embossing.

Ok the piece on the top left is embossed in a bamboo pattern.  Then you can also see the moose and the butterfly both of them have a nice positive and a nice negative image.  Then the next thing I hope you can see is that due to heating the copper you can also see a change in the color.  This is why I love the copper because it can be altered in color by heating it with a cigar lighter or a cigarette lighter.  The cigar lighter is hotter flame and works more quickly to make a variegated effect on the copper but the cigarette lighter will work just takes a little longer.  In either case I strongly recommend you use tweezers to hold the copper so that you can get the effect with out burning the crud out of yourself. And then when you are finished don’t lay it down on anything that can melt or burn as the copper will be very HOT and it can catch paper on fire ( but I am not admitting that I did that) and it will melt plastic …not admitting to doing that either…lol.

I use a MEGA POCKET TORCH..that I got several years ago when I saw a demo of both stamping , embossing and cutting the copper as well as heating it…they had these great little torches for sale very cheap about 6 bucks and no I am not a fire bug just really liked the look and fell of this ..my “go to” AMAZON is out of stock so I have linked you to the only place I did find it .  If however, that turns out to be out of stock also I did find a regular torch lighter that is refillable and makes a torch flame so that it will heat faster and give more color more quickly at AMAZON. Actually I found so many at AMAZON that I linked you to the page with all of them… some are cheap some are pricey.  I have none of them to recommend as I have not used any of them but as long as they have a hot torch flame they should work just fine. I would recommend that you purchase one that is refillable so that you an continue to use it.  Mine was laying around for over 3 years unused in all that time and it still had a little bit of fuel in it still so I went out got a new can of butane fuel and added more fuel and well you can see the results. As I said do be careful with this…if you get one of the torches and you have small children around most of these do not appear to have childproof anything… so don’t leave them laying around! Keep them out of reach.

Now getting the Copper.... well 5mil is good a good thickness and it will punch and cut with scissors as well as emboss.  Here is a site that sells it in various sizes but you might want to try at Michael’s and/or JoAnn’s just to see if they have some old packages as it might be cheaper we all know that copper has gotten much more expensive.

Ok so while the Copper is fun to play with you can also cut up aluminum cans like cokes or 7 up cans or whatever color you might want them to be to work with your design.  Need a red star.. just using tin snipes cut the top and bottom off a coke can and VIOLA you have red tin to punch stars out of…

So this is a tiny star but you can see that you can punch with it and while you could use a bigger piece and emboss with it I have to say that to do that you would probably want to put it on silver side not the side with all the writing.

Now one last photo … remember I told you I took my BFF calligraphy buddy to the one day event at the CALLIGRAPHY CONFERENCE NORTHWEST 2012…well be both have met a lot of Calligraphers from Oregon and we were lucky enough to run into two that are both very fond of …EDIE ROBERTS and PENNY WHITE…. what a treat neither of us had seen them in years and we had a great if short visit… then Edie graced my mailbox with this delight photo of myself, Penny and Marn… what  a treat … THANKS EDIE…

actually think that what looks like Penny’s red hat is actually something hanging from the ceiling in the room…lol…. YOU can see by our smiles we were loving it…

Ok that’s it for this week… AS ALWAYS THANKS FOR STOPPIN BY …the wire headed cybertoad…aka kath

PS… just got this from Michaels… all the punches EXCEPT Martha Stewart are on sale 40% off… check this out that I bought a jack o lantern like the butterfly and its very cool so think butterfly would be great too …haven’t seen it before…


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