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!

Eclipse Card and Minion Trousers

This week, we have been celebrating Mr. L’s birthday.  It wasn’t a big one but still a birthday so warrants some celebrating!  Amongst his presents were two pairs of homemade house trousers.  I don’t know what other people call them but they’re the comfy trousers you put on to doss around in and they’re known as House Trousers in our house. He had asked for some for Christmas but I ran out of time so he got them for his birthday instead.  Now I had never made trousers before so I was a bit concerned but, since the pattern was a simple pyjama style, they ended up being quite straight forward to construct.  His request for trousers was “the more outrageous the better!” and he loves the Minions so that’s what he got!  Here he is sporting the two designs….

For his card I used my newly acquired Winter Woods stamp.  The bare winter trees are great for Christmas cards but can also be handy for those tricky male cards.  This card is a variation of my ombre sunset card (blog post from Sept 2018) but the inked panel is horizontal instead of vertical.  I’m also currently in love with eclipse cards and Mr. L has been coveting the ones I’ve made for others so I made one for him too.

I began by tearing some Post-It notes along the sticky edge and positioning them to make the area to be inked.  I made it just narrower than the height of the trees as I wanted them to go into the white areas at the top and bottom of the panel.  Using sponge daubers, I blended Crushed Curry, Pumpkin Pie, Cajun Craze and Cherry Cobbler to give the sunset look.

I stamped the bare trees image using Memento Tuxedo Black repeatedly across the panel and then flicked a bit of (retired) shimmer paint in copper and gold over the panel to give a bit of added interest.

Using the large letter dies, I lined the word ‘HUBBY’ up on my grid paper (I had to sub in a P to keep the space for my other B!) and taped the dies together with Post-It tape.  After much trial and error, I’ve found this is the easiest way to keep them lined up!

I ran it through the Big Shot and then positioned the second B and cut that out too.  I then stuck down the panel onto a Basic Black backing and adhered the negative spaces from the Bs.

The SU! Foam Adhesive Strips are brilliant for eclipse cards as the strips are narrow so fit easily on the back of the die cut letters.  After applying the adhesive strips, I stuck the letters into their appropriate positions and mounted the card on a card base of Pumpkin Pie, since orange is Mr. L’s favourite colour!  For the sentiment, I heat embossed some gold powder onto a strip of Basic Black and mounted using dimensionals.  I used some Whisper White card for inside liner and just stamped the tops of the trees along the bottom edge in Smoky Slate ink.  Here’s the finished card.

 

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!