Forever Fern

I’m going to start today’s post not with ferns but garlic!  We’ve been harvesting the first of our garlic and using it ‘wet’, which only means using it straight away and not leaving it out to dry.  The first bulbs I dug up were a new variety to us called Lyubasha, which is originally from the Ukraine and is quite a spicy garlic.  Aside from being very tasty in itself, it’s a hardneck variety which produces flower spikes called scapes – a bonus crop if you know what to do with them.

The very pretty Lyubasha garlic bulb and the curly scapes.

After a quick google search, I discovered that you can make pesto with these weird curly things, using the scapes in place of basil leaves.  The result was some delicious, uber-garlicky pesto.  I just love bonus crops!

Garlic scapes, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, S&P and olive oil…..mmm

My card this week uses the newly released Stampin’ Up! Forever Fern stamps and the coordinating Forever Flourishing dies.  Rather than standard leafy green colours, I decided on Pretty Peacock and Mint Macaron for my colour scheme.   First, to make a DSP style background, I randomly stamped the various leaves onto my card using both inks and then finished with the dotty images into any gaps.  I left a gap in the centre as that was where I was going to mount the focal image.

The next step was to stamp the greeting and cut out some of the foliage pieces using copper foil paper and some velum.

I arranged them behind the sentiment, cutting some of the pieces so that I could spread out the arrangement, and once I was happy, glued all the bits in place.

After mounting the background panel on a Pretty Peacock layer and Mint Macaron card base, I then added the sentiment piece on using dimensionals, adding smaller sections of dimensionals to support the leaf areas.

 

 

 

Images © 2020 Stampin’ Up!

 

Faux Torn Technique

This week, I learned that a technique that I’ve been using for years actually has a name!  It’s called the Faux Torn technique, as the finished card looks like it has a torn strip of patterned paper stuck to the card when it’s actually an inked panel.  It’s very simple to do and a change of the inked colours or stamped images completely alters the look.

To begin, I tore the edges off the sticky edge of a post-it note although torn copier paper will do just fine too.

Next, I blended two or three complementary colours into the torn gap, followed by some simple stamping.

Lastly, I added a greeting and mounted the card on layers to match the blended colours.

Pool Party, Bermuda Bay and Pretty Peacock inks, Lakeside stamp set, mounted on Pretty Peacock and Bermuda Bay card.

This is another version done in different colours and stamp.

So Saffron and Poppy Parade inks and cardstock and Painted Poppies stamp set.

For this card, rather than just simple stamping, I heat embossed the design and then used the Subtle embossing folder for some texture.

Bermuda Bay, Pretty Peacock and Night of Navy inks, Botanical Bliss stamps,  and silver heat embossing and Subtle embossing folder.

My last card was a card for my in-laws’ 40th wedding anniversary.  I repeated the torn panel to cover more of the card background.

Cherry Cobbler and Blackberry Bliss inks and cardstock and Forever Lovely stamps for a ruby wedding anniversary card.

Four cards, each with a completely different look!

 

 

Images © 2020 Stampin’ Up!

A Week of Firsts

Here we are at the end of the 4th week of lockdown in the UK and it’s presented me with a few firsts.  My first new experience was to cut Mr L’s hair! Now, I’ve never cut anyone’s hair before but I’ve watched our hairdresser cut Mr L’s hair many times.  She makes it look so easy.  It isn’t!  It took me a while but we got there in the end and Mr L still has both ears!

#covidhaircut

My second ‘first’ was to attempt to make naan breads.  I’d made my favourite dhal recipe when I noticed a naan bread recipe in the same book and, since we had all the ingredients, I though I’d have a bash.  They were not quite like the restaurant ones but were delicious nonetheless.

My third ‘first’ was an introduction to a technique called Inlaid Embossing.  Amanda (from Inspiring Inkin’) showed this on her Facebook crafting group this week and it looked interesting.

To begin, I used the ½”, ¾” and 1” circle punches to cut a mix of circles in 3 coordinating colours.

These were glued randomly onto my mat layer and any overhanging edges trimmed off.

I then put the pieces into embossing folders and ran them through the Big Shot to create a textured background.

I didn’t want to overwhelm the background as that was the main feature so I used some polka dot ribbon and a butterfly from Stampin’ Up! Butterfly Gala.

My second card featured burlap ribbon and a tree from Rooted in Nature.

 

 

 

Images © 2020 Stampin’ Up!

Pretty Piano

Whilst surfing around on Pinterest the other day, I saw a really cool easel card in the shape of a grand piano.  I was looking for ideas for an anniversary card for Mr L and was planning on using Stampin’ Up! Music From The Heart so this fancy fold was the perfect match.  Most grand pianos I’ve seen are black but I made mine cream, well Vanilla actually!

After I’d cut out my card base and a 5½” square piece for the piano lid, I set to work making the keyboard.  I cut 10 pieces of Whisper White card ½” wide for the white keys and 7 pieces of Basic Black card ¼” wide for the black keys  I glued the white keys onto a piece of black card and then fixed the black notes on with foam strips as these would form the ‘stopper’ for my easel.

Next, I repeat stamped the wavy keyboard image onto the top of the front section of my easel card base.  This would only really be visible when the card was closed.

I stamped the treble clef, stave and some notes on a scrap of Very Vanilla and backed this with a piece of gold glimmer paper to make the music stand.  To make it more decorative, I added a section punched from the Pretty Label punch at the top.

Now for the piano lid.  To make an approximation of the lid shape, I punched a circle with my 2¼” punch from the top right corner and then used scissors to straighten out the edges.  Next, I stamped my sentiment added a red enamel heart.  I didn’t think the piano was looking particularly grand so I die cut two flourishes (from the Detailed Deer) from gold card and glued them in place.

Finally, to assemble, I glued the lid onto the bottom half of the front of the card base and glued the music stand in place.  This is what the card looks like when it’s closed.

Inside, I layered Basic Black and Real Red and added my decorated inner.  The envelope was also stamped with various images from the set.

Here’s my finished pretty piano card.

 

 

Images © 2020 Stampin’ Up!

 

Floral Frame

Well, it doesn’t seem like a year since I was creating an anniversary card for my parents’ golden wedding but clearly it is, so it’s also time to create another one!   I had in my mind a floral frame featuring dandelion silhouettes with some lettering on top.  It was clearly a job for the Cricut.

I started in Design Space by adding various dandelion, floral and leaf elements and arranging and rearranging them into a square to create my background floral frame.

Next, I added two cut out sections so that my letters would stand out more and then added the text.  I went for a bouncy alignment as this allowed the words to be cut as whole pieces (more or less!).  I then cut out the frame and two white versions of the sentiments.

I also cut a purple version of the sentiment for the top layer.

The reason for the white layers was to build up dimension so the sentiment stood proud of the frame.  I glued the two white sentiments onto the frame and then stuck the purple one on top.  This was the fiddliest job of the lot!

To add some extra glitz, I went over the lettering with some sparkly glue and left it to dry.  This gave some shine and a bit of sparkle whilst not overpowering the look of the card.  Some rhinestones and enamel hearts finished the card and I added some dandelions and hearts cut from leftover vinyl to the envelope.