Simple Silhouettes

I do love a silhouette! Trees, plants, buildings, birds, people to name but a few – they all make great silhouettes that are super to use for card making.  Create a background by using your preferred method – sponging, brayering, watercolour, stamping, embossing – and put your silhouette over the top.  When I spotted the Friendly Silhouette Dies in the new Stampin’ Up! annual catalogue, they were immediately put on my wish list.   I mistakenly thought that there were 3 silhouette border dies in the set, and there are – sort of! More on that later though.

For two of my cards, I sponged a sunrise and a sunset.  What I like about inking sky backgrounds is that you can’t actually go wrong! For example, if you look at a sunset there are so many colours, shapes and patterns, many of which you’d think were unrealistic if you saw them in a painting but there they are in real life.  That’s one of the beauties of nature, it’s sheer randomness!

I began by sticking post-it notes along the card to make the horizon (1).  Then I decided whether or not to have a sun.  I had a sun in these so punched a circular mask from a post-it note and used both the negative (1) and positive pieces (3) at different stages.  After I’d sponged the sun, I removed the negative mask (2) and then placed the sun mask over the sun (3) whilst I sponged the sky.  I used Crushed Curry, Rococo Rose and Seaside Spray for my sunrise sky. I removed the masks and then coloured below the horizon using a Basic Black marker (4).

I cut out the floral border from Basic Black card and simply glued the border over the sunrise.  At this stage, I didn’t like the black horizon I’d drawn in so I just covered it up with the border die.

Floral border at sunrise

For the second card, I used an ink ‘smooshing’ technique.  I got my largest block and pressed my Blackberry Bliss ink pad directly onto the bottom third of the block, transferring plenty of ink.  I repeated this with Bermuda Bay on the top third of the block.  For the bit in between, I applied Night of Navy using sponge daubers.

Once the block was covered, I spritzed it with plenty of water and then placed the card onto the block, pressed well, then removed and left to dry.  The great thing about these types of background is that they are fun to make and are completely unique!

The bull rush border (my favourite!) was used for this card and I cut out an additional border from vellum and stuck it behind the black card, offset slightly to give some extra visual interest.

Bull rushes border in black card and vellum

So that bring us to the last die.  Now I thought that this was a palm tree border so image my horror when this is what was left when I’d cut out my border!  I even contacted demo support to check that the thing wasn’t faulty!!

Definitely not a palm tree!

Anyway, another demonstrator in Amanda’s team guessed (correctly) that it is designed so that you use the negative space instead of the cut out.  So, you ink up your background scene, then cut out the trees and put your background on top of a black card base to give you the silhouetted look.  Now call me picky but I think a background should be, well…you know, in the background and the thing that’s making the silhouette should be in the foreground.  Maybe I’m thinking about this too scientifically! Anyhow, this is how it looks behind my inked sunset.

Palm tree ‘border’ at sunset

I’ve left all my cards without sentiments so I can use them for whatever occasion demands in the future.

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Beautiful Bokeh Backgrounds

In case you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘bokeh’, it’s a photographic term for an aesthetically pleasing blur you get when the background is out of focus.  Bokeh is from the Japanese word ‘boke’ meaning ‘blur’ or ‘haze’ and as far as I can ascertain, it is pronounced “bo-kay”.  However, I may be wrong but, irrespective of how you pronounce it, it’s a fun technique to try out.

To begin, choose 3 complimentary ink colours and, using sponge daubers or sponge pieces, smoosh ink onto cardstock in random places gradually blending the colours together at the edges.  Leave to dry.

Next, you’ll need to make a bokeh stencil.  Cut a selection of circle sizes out of a sheet of acetate or glossy card.  You will need a pigment ink for the circles so that they show up on the coloured background.

Using a clean sponge dauber, apply the white ink in circles, moving the holes around the background and overlapping other circles in places.  Leave to dry.

The last part is to use your unique background to create a beautiful card.  I used gold embossing powder and the hot air balloons from the recently retired Lift Me Up set to finish my card.

I enjoyed the inking process so I decided to try out another in purples and yellow.  What I discovered in making this one into a card is that you can’t stamp silhouettes on it with Memento ink as it dries to a dirty grey colour.  Black Stazon works though, as you can see from my little experiment; S=Stazon, M=Memento.

As this inking disaster had ruined my bokeh panel, I cut off the offending half and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with silver embossed dandelions on the remaining half of the panel.

If you can’t be bothered with any of the above, you can use the Bokeh Dots background stamp.  These stamps are a little tricky to ink as if there’s too much ink on the stamp, it loses the effect. Applying the ink using a brayer worked better for me.

Whilst I had the stamp set out, I decided to use the other stamp in the set too, which is a starburst/firework kind of effect.

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Marvellous Metallics

Last week I used foil sheets and embossing folders to provide interesting focal panels.  This week, I’m still embossing but using metallic embossing powder and heat.  I love using the metallic powders on dark card stock, especially the heating part – watching the powder melt and transform from matt granules to glorious shine!  Line style stamps work best for this technique so I decided an outing for the floral elements of Tea Together was in order.

I began by generously applying the Embossing Buddy over my Basic Black card front to remove static and oils from my fingers which would attract the embossing powder.  Next, I random stamped the various images using Versamark, rotating them and stamping off the edge too.  I also stamped another small flower on a scrap of black card, the sentiment and the large rose onto the liner.  I then applied gold embossing powder to the stamping and heat set it.

For my mat layer, I didn’t have enough gold foil sheet so I manufactured a bit using embossing powder.  This is a handy tip to employ too if your embossing powder doesn’t quite match your foil sheets.  To do this, I simply pressed the edges of the card onto the Versamark pad and then applied the powder.  It wasn’t completely uniform, more of a ‘hammered’ finish but I liked it.  If you wanted it to be smooth, you can apply another layer over the top.

My sentiment was embossed onto velum, which is not very forgiving when it comes to adhesive as the adhesive shows through.  I applied a large blob that I knew would be covered by my small flower decal and some teeny tiny dots behind the letters.

The last stage was to add the liner to the inside and then assemble the layers and top it off with the flower decal on some foam dimensionals.

My second card used the same stamps on Basic Grey card and silver embossing powder.  For the mat layer, I used plain velum for an understated look.

The third card features Night of Navy card and copper embossing powder with a copper foil sheet mat layer.

My last card used Basic Grey and silver embossing powder and the small flower.  After heat setting the powder, I used the Chalk Marker to add three small lines to each petal for some added interest.  The background looked a little bare still so I also added little groups of three dots.  (I was introduced to the “power of the dot” when I did my cake decorating course in prep for making my wedding cake).  Small but very effective!

Four cards using the same stamps and technique but with quite different results!

 

 

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Farewell Dragonfly Dreams

This week’s post says goodbye to the Dragonfly Dreams stamps and matching Detailed Dragonflies as they are one of the many items that has not made the cut to be included in the new catalogue, launching on 4th June.  I’m sad to see them go although they will not be leaving my personal collection any time soon as they are one of my most frequently used sets and are so versatile.  I’ve made anniversary, birthday, sympathy and thank you cards and I’ve even been able to use them to make those tricky masculine cards too.   The stamps have been used to make lovely wrapping paper using brown ink on brown parcel paper, topped off with a fabulous tag sporting a die cut dragonfly.

I saw the design for this card on Pinterest and thought it looked really stylish.  The key to this is using foil card in embossing folders, it gives a really stunning effect. For this card, I used the copper foil card and the planks embossing folder.

The dragonfly topper was cut from black glitter paper.  I’ve found a useful tip when using detailed dies like this is to use some waxed paper between the die and the card, it helps to release the card from the die.

I usually stamp the inside of the card and the envelope to coordinate with the card front but this time I used the embossing folder to decorate these elements.

The result is a simple but stylish card.

The different coloured foils really change the feel of the card.  Lovely Lipstick foil, Layered Leaves embossing folder and silver glimmer paper make this card.

Silver foil paper and black glimmer paper feature on this card.

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

 

Multi-Layered Stamping

When I first started card making, I was completely flummoxed as to how these kinds of cards were created!  Little did I know that it’s actually quite straight forward and just requires some precise cutting of layers but looks super impressive.

I started off cutting my layers, mats and card base as follows:

The next job is to use temporary adhesive to stack up the layers to be stamped.  I used a tiny bit of snail adhesive that I patted on my clothes a few times to reduce the stickiness as the layers will need to be taken apart again later without damaging them.

I stamped the greeting onto the front panel and then used an All Adorned stamp (from Sale-A-Bration) and Sahara Sand ink for background interest.  As I wanted a light background pattern, I used second generation stamping by stamping off first onto scrap paper and then stamping onto the card layer.  I found it necessary to press a little harder that usual to get down the ‘drops’ at the edge of the layers.  There was a slight break in the stamping but this would be covered by the mat layers so no need to panic!

The next step was to add the coloured focal element.  I used the rose from Forever Lovely and Lovely Lipstick ink.  Once this stage was complete, the layers were pulled apart again ready for mounting onto the mats.

A good point to remember is to ensure you don’t inadvertently turn a piece the wrong way up! The images should line up either side of the mat layers. I stuck the largest layer onto the card base, then mounted the top and second layers onto their respective mats.

The top piece was adhered to the centre of the second layer and I added a contrasting ribbon for some added interest.  This layer was then mounted onto the card base using dimensional foam pieces.

This card features the large rose from Frosted Bouquet and Bermuda Bay ink.

The card liner was also stamped with the same design for a coordinated look.

Another version of Frosted Bouquet and Lovely Lipstick on Smoky Slate.

 

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!