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!

Paper Piecing & Tea Together

This is a technique I was introduced to at the Stampin’ Up! team training last month. It uses outline stamps that you would usually colour in but patterned paper is used instead.  It requires some fussy cutting but the finished look is really quite effective.

The demonstration used the Beautiful You stamp set which looked great but I don’t have that so I used the Tea Together set as it was the only suitable set I have that would work with the technique.  I also used some blue Gingham Gala DSP and a Balmy Blue card base.

First, I stamped the cup image and then stamped it again on a Post-it Note to create a mask and fussy cut around the right-hand side of the image.  This is because I wanted to create some perspective by stamping the teapot so that it looks like it’s placed behind the cup.

Sorry! This pic is a bit blurred.

Once this was done, I stamped both images onto the gingham paper.

I decided which parts of the images I wanted to have the gingham pattern and fussy cut them (I later decided against the teapot lid).

All that was left to do was to glue the patterned paper into the appropriate positions and then mounted the piece onto the card base.  I finished the card with some flower shaped sequins.

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!