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!

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!

 

Could this ‘bee’ spring?

What a lovely few days of glorious weather we’ve enjoyed this week.  18°C in February is unseasonably warm but the sunshine was a welcome change from the gloomy grey cloud that’s been around for most of the winter.  The lovely weather inspired us to get outside and do some gardening and I ended up doing quite a lot of weeding.  Whilst this is a tedious occupation, I do like that you can see what you’ve achieved at the end! It was whilst I was on my hands and knees in the middle of the border that I saw my first bee of the year.  I love bees and find it fascinating watching them buzzing around collecting pollen.  It was a white-tailed bumble bee which flew past me to explore the camelia bush and it inspired my crafting this week.

I used the bees from the Stampin’ Up! Dragonfly Dreams and Detailed Dragonfly thinlits.

For my first cards, I die cut a couple of banners and stamped the bee and coloured it in using the Wink of Stella brush and some Gold Glimmer Paint.  The first banner was mounted on some Gingham Gala DSP on a black card base and finished with some yellow organdie ribbon and black twine.

The second card used a similar banner decorated with Crushed Curry satin ribbon and some linen thread.  This banner was mounted onto the card base which had been stamped with a repeating bee pattern.

For the third card, I used a hexagon embossing folder as the background as I thought it went with the bee theme, looking like honeycomb. I used a couple of stitched rectangle frames to back the sentiment (from the Part Of My Story set) and punched the sentiment out using the Pretty Label punch.

The bee was cut out using the die and black card which I then inlaid with some sparkle and gold glimmer paper. (For the inlaid technique, see the Dragonflies and Dandelions post from Oct 4th 2018.)

The final card uses another inlaid bee, this time using the Country Florals embossing folder.  I used Crushed Curry card and added a little matching ink mixed with some gold glimmer paint to add a little more contrast.

The embossing folder is incredibly detailed, as you can see from this angle.

Unfortunately, Storm Freya is hitting our shores this weekend so it seems that spring is not here yet after all.

 

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!