Patient Puss

Like me, my sister is a big fan of cats so, when it came to making a card for her birthday, it called for another outing for Mooch (Lavinia stamps). I’d recently bought a gel press plate for making backgrounds using mixed media so this was a first outing for that – and for me using it!

To begin, I brayered some Distress Oxide inks in Weathered Wood and Duck Egg onto the gel plate, spritzed with a little water, then pressed my card onto the plate.  This would colour the moon.  Next, I applied a selection of pink and purple Oxides onto the gel plate, added an acetate circle to mask the area for the moon, spritzed with water again and then pressed the card onto the plate.

I wanted the cat to be highlighted by the moon so decided to have him sitting on a wall, made using a brickwork stencil, and then stamped Mooch on top.

The final stage was framing the scene which I did with Dandelion and Thistle silhouette stamps, also from Lavinia.  I then used the Feather Leaf stencil to add a little texture to the sky area.  To finish, I added some glitter around the moon and some stars and added some black Nuvo drops onto the silhouettes for subtle reflection from the moon.

To finish the card, I used an 8” x 8” card base and added a black mat to both my topper and the decorative layer beneath.  This was just a piece of white card that I blended the same purple and pink Oxide inks onto and then added the Feather Leaf stencil to coordinate with the topper.

The other thing I made for my sister was a cat themed cake.  I saw this idea on Facebook ages ago and though I know just the person I can make that for.  It made everyone laugh and nobody refused a slice, despite the subject matter!

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!

Team Training with Inspiring Inkin’

To be a demonstrator with Stampin’ Up!, you have to join another demonstrator’s team.  You can join any team you fancy within your worldwide geographical area but I joined a local demonstrator, Amanda Fowler of Inspiring Inkin’ (http://www.inspiringinkin.com) as I’d enjoyed many of Amanda’s videos on YouTube and I like to support local businesses where I can.

We have online training once a month via Facebook Live but there are a few in person training days where you get to meet other members of the team, get new ideas and try out new products, chat, eat cake and craft together, which makes a nice change as crafting tends to be a solitary occupation.

A common, but optional, activity at this kind of event is Team Swaps.  This involves making a card front to swap with other demonstrators, thereby getting new ideas for a stamp set you own or seeing a new set that may have escaped your notice!  I decided to repeat my old favourite of the ombre sunset and Dandelion Wishes card front and, whilst watching the Masters snooker, spent a very pleasant couple of hours ink blending 25 card fronts.  I then stamped the image together with the sentiment, then heat embossed them with clear powder.  The Stamparatus is invaluable for this kind of mass production.  A sticker with the ‘recipe’ is put on the back should anyone want to CASE (Copy And Share Everything) your design.  Here are my swaps.  Can you spot the slight oops moment? I inked the panel upside down – I have no idea how I managed it!!

These are the swaps I received from my fellow demonstrators – such a talented bunch!

Amanda also had a Demonstrator’s Choice competition whereby you make any project using anything, but if SU! sell it (like ribbon, card etc.) you have to use it but anything they don’t sell can also be used.  I decided to make a Lighted Bethlehem 3D frame as I’d made a few of these for Christmas presents and they had all been well received.  I was chuffed to bits to be voted the winner especially as there was very strong competition.  Here’s my frame with lights off…

….and lights on.

For this, I won a stamp set and was also lucky enough to win another one in the raffle too.

Whilst the day is called a training day, that is a rather formal term and it’s actually a lot of fun.  Amanda provides a number of projects for the team to complete although I didn’t get to finish all of them.  Here’s what I did complete.

We also had a couple of demonstrations of techniques and new product lines and a very interesting presentation on bullet journaling, or Bujo as it’s apparently known!  This really piqued my interest and I’m going to investigate this further, particularly as I may be able to combine it with my challenge to myself for this year, to learn hand/brush lettering – so that I’m not totally dependent on stamp sets for my sentiments!!

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!