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!

Fabulous Frosted Florals

This Sunday in the UK is Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day, so my cards this week are the ones I made for my Mum and Mum-in-law.  I’ve had the Frosted Florals set together with the matching Frosted Bouquet framelits but hadn’t got around to playing with them so I made them the star turn for this card.  I also used the Jar of Love set and matching Everyday Jars framelits.    Whilst this is a Mother’s Day card, it could easily be adapted for birthday, anniversary, thank you or get well card – indeed anything for which you’d send a bunch of flowers!  I made a birthday card earlier in the year using Lovely Lipstick, Smoky Slate and Mint Macaron and I really like these colours together so I used that colour palette here too.

Firstly, I stamped the card liner and the envelope with same designs.  I really like the thistle/teasel image (that was my reason for buying this set actually!) so that was my main focus.  I made it dual coloured by using sponge daubers to apply the ink.

Next, I stamped and die cut a bunch of flowers and foliage.  I also stamped a jar onto some velum and added some clear embossing powder to give it a ‘glassy’ look.  The great thing about velum is that you don’t need to use Versamark ink to heat emboss as regular ink stays wet for about 2½ weeks (more or less!) on velum so there’s plenty of time to get the embossing powder on there.

I die cut another jar in white card and held it in position with some temporary adhesive whilst I stamped the background foliage.  This is stamped directly onto the card front to provide some dimension and contrast to the other layers added later.

The next stage was to arrange the die cut foliage, cutting off the stems that went below the top of the jar.

The focal images of roses and thistles were added to complete arrangement.  The jar didn’t look quite right ‘floating’ in mid-air so I partially stamped the Buffalo Check to sort of resemble a tablecloth.

I put a couple of silver glitter hearts on the jar back, coloured the back of the velum jar with an alcohol marker to make the water, and then glued the velum jar top onto the white back.  A little Mint Macaron twine around the jar neck and bow completed the jar which I attached to the card with Dimensionals, ensuring the top of the jar covered over the cut edges of the stems.  The card top was mounted on Lovely Lipstick Foil and then glued to a Mint Macaron card base.  A small stitched oval stamped with the sentiment from the Tea Together completed the card.

Two cards, the same but different!

 

 

 

 

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!

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!

 

 

Embossed Snowflake Tree

My snowflake love affair continues this week with a Christmas tree made up of snowflakes.  How cool is that?!  I decided on heat embossing as this stamp lends itself very well to that technique and tried out gold, silver and white embossing powders on a Christmassy red background. I can’t even decide on a favourite – I love them all!

For this project I used:

11½” x 4⅛” Real Red card base, scored at 5¾”

5⅝” x 4” Whisper White mat layer

5½” x 3⅞” Real Red top layer

5½” x 3⅞” Whisper White card for the liner

Stampin’ Up! Snow Is Glistening stamp set

Stampin’ Up! Ink in Real Red

Versamark Ink

Embossing powder

Rhinestones

First, stamp the liner and envelope with the large snowflakes using Real Red ink and leave to dry.

Use the embossing buddy liberally all over the card top and then stamp the snowflake tree image and greeting using Versamark ink.  Fill in some of the gaps by stamping the large snowflake using Versamark.  Apply your preferred embossing powder and set with the heat gun.  Apply rhinestones to the centre of the large snowflakes.

Adhere the top layer onto the white mat layer and then stick this onto the card base.  Adhere the liner to the inside and you’re all finished.

Super quick and super classy!

 

 

 

Images © 2018 Stampin’ Up!