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!

Splendid Sunflowers

Summer is a great time to be out in the garden: there’s a wealth of colour, flowers, birds and insects to feast your eyes on.  I particularly enjoy growing plants that are beneficial for both me and the wildlife and one of those essentials is sunflowers.  I don’t grow the 10ft monsters for a few reasons; they require too much faffing around with, you only get a solitary flower on them, albeit huge, and our garden is very windy so it would likely get broken.  My favourite sunflower to grow is ‘Vanilla Ice’.  It’s a multi-branched variety, so lots of flowers for the vase and the wildlife, it’s really easy to grow and it flowers for months.

A little bee on my ‘Vanilla Ice’ sunflower

The Painted Harvest stamp set features a great water-coloured sunflower image and is also easy to create stunning cards with.  It’s a multi layered stamp and I usually use a second-generation image for the back layer by stamping off onto scrap paper first but with the yellow ink, it’s not necessary so I just inked up and stamped straight onto the card.

Layer 1 with Crushed Curry

The second layer has more detailed petals.  I don’t think there’s a match to the first layer – not that I’ve found anyway! – so that makes it dead easy to just stamp right over the top of the first.

Crushed Curry layer 2

The sunflower centre is created with a graduated tone from a single stamp.

I wanted the leaves to look like they were peeking out from beneath the flower but the stamp has a section of stalk on it.  There are several ways to overcome this: ink up only the section you want to stamp; make a mask to protect the flower; or cut the stamp (gulp!).  I used a mask made from a post-it note.  (I keep the masks I make with the stamp set for future use.) The leaves are also made up with 2 stamps for a textured look.

A well used post-it note mask!

A Crushed Curry mat and sentiment from the Butterfly Gala complete the single sunflower card.

For this multi sunflower card, I put the sentiment stamp where I was going to stamp it and then stamped my sunflowers around and off the page. Again, I use the mask to protect the flower whilst I stamped the leaves.

I heat embossed the sentiment using gold embossing powder and then mounted on a Sahara Sand card base.

Although not technically sunflowers, the stamp works equally well when used with colours other than yellow.  Here’s a presentation folder I created for my watch’s retirement gift for a work colleague.

If you really want to go off-piste, stamp the image in different greens and use it as a wreath for a Christmas card. I heat embossed some gold dots and added some red rhinestones for some festive bling!

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Waterfront Whiz

I’ve been meaning to have a go with the Waterfront stamp set for a while since it gives the illusion of a water-coloured image with just some simple stamping – handy for those of us (like me) that can’t paint for toffee!

There are some great images of mountains, land masses, water and trees which can be combined to create romantic, relaxing or vibrant scenes, depending on your chosen colour palette.

My first card was inspired by the beautiful weather we’ve had on the South coast of the UK the past few days.  All along the seafront where we live are loads of beach huts and there’s a cute little beach hut stamp in the set which I stamped in Pretty Peacock, Real Red and Mint Macaron for a fun look.

I went over the sea with clear Wink Of Stella to give that sparkle of the sun reflecting off the waves.  A Pretty Peacock layer on a Crushed Curry cardbase finishes the beachy, sunny card.

My second card was inspired by Amanda Bates from the Craft Spa and her ‘out of the frame’ style card.  I first stamped the mountains using Smoky Slate together with some Blackberry Bliss dabbed on with a sponge dauber.  I could have done with a paler purple, like Highland Heather, but I don’t have one so I had to think of another way to get the purpley hue.  The mountains in the background were stamped with 2nd and 3rd generation Smoky Slate.  I made a definite land mass by inking up half the land stamp along the edge of the Blackberry Bliss stamp pad, to give me a straight horizon.

I stamped the water and then filled in any gaps along the shoreline with some ink and the Wink of Stella brush.

The tree stamp is too large to use whole for this kind of scene so the trick is to just ink up the top sections of the trees.

I die cut the centre section of the scene using the Stitched Rectangles Framelits…

…and then cut the centre section down further to create a border within the stamped border.

I think it’s really cool that by using different colour palettes with the same stamp set can create a card with a completely different mood.

 

 

 

 

 

Images ©2019 Stampin’ Up!

 

 

Who can resist?

Mr L and I recently returned from a fabulous holiday to Bangkok where I purchased this beautiful scarf.  I had walked past it twice, admiring it from a distance, but on the third time I could resist no longer and bought it – because I loved it and you can never have too many scarves!

Something about the scarf made me wonder if I could recreate the colours and effects on the scarf for a card and the only way I could think to achieve this was to use the emboss-resist technique and some ink blending.

I began by doing some simple emboss-resist by repeat stamping images on white card using Versamark ink and then applying clear embossing powder.

Once heat set, I blended pastel inks over the card.  The embossing powder ‘resists’ the ink so the card gets coloured and the images stay white although sometimes a quick wipe with a tissue is needed to clean off any ink from the embossed images.

Round one was a success so I decided to try for the recreation of the scarf.  This required ink blending first and then stamping with Versamark and applying clear embossing powder once the ink was dry.

Once the embossing powder was heat set, I sponged black ink over the card, adding layers until I had the depth of colour I wanted.  Again, a tissue was needed at the end just to remove any black ink residue from the embossed images.  I tried both pastel and bright inks and I think the brights are more suited to this technique.

I’m quite happy with the brights background and I think it looks quite similar to the scarf so mission accomplished!

The pastel under black doesn’t have quite the same contrast but still looks pretty.

I thought the two white and pastel cards were suitable for Easter cards as, whilst they don’t have the standard bunnies/chicks/eggs design, they are quite spring like.

I think it’s important when you’ve spent time making the background for that to be the focal point of the card so I only added small greetings so that the background could still shine through.  A lovely little sprig of blackthorn flowers helps set the scene.

 

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

A Big Jar of Love for my Mum

Back in November, my Mum reached a milestone birthday which warranted an extra special card.  For some time, I’ve been meaning to try out an easel card and also to create a floral wreath using the Jar of Love so I decided to combine the two.

For this project, I used:

Stampin’ Up! Jar of Love stamp set

SU! Everyday Jars framelits

SU! Large Letters Framelits & Letters For You stamps

SU! Number of Years and Large Numbers framelits (sadly retired)

11½” x 5¾” Blackberry Bliss card scored at 5¾” and again at 2⅞” on one half

5¾” x 5¾” Blackberry Bliss card

5¼” x 5¼” Whisper White card

5½” x 5½” and 5” x 2” pieces of Always Artichoke (retired but I love it!)

A couple of pieces of Smoky Slate card

Silver embossing powder

SU! Inks in Blackberry Bliss, Blushing Bride, Old Olive, Garden Green

A 5½” x 2⅝” strip of DSP (I used one of the Frosted Florals pack)

A scrap of silver glimmer paper

Layered Leaves Embossing folder

I started off by stamping ‘MUM’ in Blackberry Bliss ink and cutting the letters out with the matching framelits.  For the backgrounds to the letters and numbers, I cut out a couple of scalloped ovals from Smoky Slate card and ran them through the Bigshot in the Layered Leaves embossing folder to give some texture.

Next, I set to work stamping the flowers, leaves and bow for the wreath.  I used Blackberry Bliss and Blushing Bride for the flowers using 2nd generation stamping to get some colour variation.  The leaves were stamped in Old Olive and Garden Green.  All these were cut out using the Everyday Jars framelits.  I also cut out some small hearts from silver glimmer paper.

I drew around the scalloped oval onto the white card to give me a guide for stamping the sprigs of small leaves for the background layer of foliage. I stamped these using Old Olive and Garden Green inks in a random pattern around the oval.

The MUM letters were stuck onto the grey oval using dimensionals and then the oval was adhered to the white piece over the stamped leaf sprigs.  I played around with the flowers, leaves and hearts to get the placement right and then glued them on with a mix of glue and dimensionals, tucking some under the oval and some under the letters to add interest.  The white card was then adhered to the Always Artichoke panel and then onto the Blackberry Bliss panel.  This forms the card front.

To make the front of the card, apply strong adhesive tape to the outer half of the scored panel only.

Then stick the card front onto this adhesive.

To make the ‘stop’ for the easel, I layered up the strip of always artichoke with the DSP and the grey oval, added a stamped and heat embossed “Happy TH Birthday” strip and then stuck the numbers cut from silver glimmer paper on top using dimensionals and then stuck the whole panel on using dimensionals to raise it up to form the stopping element.

I really like the sentiment in the number set so on the strip of Always Artichoke, I stamped that and ‘70’ in Versamark and silver embossing powder and heat set it.  I stuck this onto the reverse side of the easel.

I found some great little stickers on Pinterest to stick to the back of the card to show how to display an easel card – handy for the uninitiated!

https://pin.it/klsim4jtb2ft5n

I was really happy with the finished card but more importantly, my Mum loved it.

 

 

 

© 2018 Stampin’ Up!