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.
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!
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.
My challenge to myself this week was to make a masculine card. I used the skeleton leaves from Stampin’ Up! Rooted In Nature for my background design but didn’t fancy the trees as the focal image. Instead I opted to make the sentiment the focal image and add interest with texture with heat and dry embossing.
First, I random stamped the skeleton leaves with Versamark, added copper whisperembossing powder and heat set. Texture 1 complete!
The second texture was created by using copper glimmer paper and the hammered metal 3D embossing folder. The third was Old Olive paper and the Subtle embossing folder.
Many of the Stampin’ Up! sentiments are quite scripty and not necessarily what I would use for a bloke’s card; I prefer thick brush script or block lettering. Instead, I used an Avery Elle set which always makes me smile. I stamped with Early Espresso ink and then applied clear embossing powder over the top to give some extra oomph since it was the focal element.
The last job was to assemble, using lots of wet glue to glue those textures together. I added a small strip from the Old Olive layer and popped the sentiment up on dimensionals.
One of the new releases that caught my eye in the new Annual catalogue was the Royal Peacock bundle. I really like the two-stage stamp for the peacock, although just the base stamp looks great on its own too. Previously Sizzix used to make dies for Stampin’ Up! but the detailed peacock dies are made by a new company and I have to say I’m impressed. Usually detailed dies like these are a complete pain when trying to get the card out of the die and I usually add a layer of wax paper to help with the release. No such problem with these dies. They cut cleanly with a single pass through the Big Shot and the cut shape literally fell out of the die!
My first card this week features the stamped peacock and an embossed background. I began by stamping the peacock with Pretty Peacock ink and then stamped the second layer with Versamark and applied copper embossing powder.
The background uses the Layered Leaves embossing folder (retired) which I edged with strips of copper foil.
I used a sentiment from the Beauty Abounds set.
My second card is a die cutting extravaganza! I started by die cutting a bunch of the peacock tail feathers from Very Vanilla card and sticking them onto my Very Vanilla top layer. This gives some texture and a faux embossed look.
The detailed peacock die also embosses the image and I stamped the ‘Proud’ sentiment from the same stamp set and cut it out with the Everyday Label punch.
I added a piece of the Old Olive/Pretty Peacock ribbon and an Old Olive mat layer.