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!

Peacock Two Ways!

One of the new releases that caught my eye in the new Annual catalogue was the Royal Peacock bundle.  I really like the two-stage stamp for the peacock, although just the base stamp looks great on its own too.  Previously Sizzix used to make dies for Stampin’ Up! but the detailed peacock dies are made by a new company and I have to say I’m impressed.  Usually detailed dies like these are a complete pain when trying to get the card out of the die and I usually add a layer of wax paper to help with the release. No such problem with these dies.  They cut cleanly with a single pass through the Big Shot and the cut shape literally fell out of the die!

My first card this week features the stamped peacock and an embossed background.  I began by stamping the peacock with Pretty Peacock ink and then stamped the second layer  with Versamark and applied copper embossing powder.

The background uses the Layered Leaves embossing folder (retired) which I edged with strips of copper foil.

I used a sentiment from the Beauty Abounds set.

 

My second card is a die cutting extravaganza!  I started by die cutting a bunch of the peacock tail feathers from Very Vanilla card and sticking them onto my Very Vanilla top layer.  This gives some texture and a faux embossed look.

The detailed peacock die also embosses the image and I stamped the ‘Proud’ sentiment from the same stamp set and cut it out with the Everyday Label punch.

I added a piece of the Old Olive/Pretty Peacock ribbon and an Old Olive mat layer.

 

 

 

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!

 

 

Festive Foliage Tags

The Christmas Traditions Punch Box comes in a gorgeous tin with 6 festive stamps, a coordinating punch, 2 ink spots and an acrylic block.  The tags are quite small so I wanted to pop them up as a feature on a larger tag so set to work making a background.  When I buy a new stamp set, I tend to use the main images and the smaller images don’t often get a look in so I thought I’d try making this background using only the small stamps from the Mistletoe Season stamp set.  I’m really happy with the way the festive foliage background turned out.

For this project I used:

A4 piece of thick white cardstock

Scraps of green and red glimmer paper (from Joyous Noel glimmer paper pack)

Gold foil paper

A strip of white card for the sentiments

Stampin’ Up! Mistletoe Season stamp set

Stampin’ Up! Christmas Traditions Punch Box

Stampin’ Up! inks in Shaded Spruce Ink, Old Olive and Real Red

Gold Ink pad

Foliage dies

Scalloped Tag Topper Punch

2m ribbon

I started off randomly stamping the whole A4 sheet with the pine boughs in Shaded Spruce and Old Olive.  I then filled in the gaps with the sprig of berries stamped in Real Red and the 3 dots in gold.

The sheet was cut down into 2” strips to fit in the tag topper punch and then cut in half to make ten 2” x 4⅛” rectangles.  This left a narrow strip which I scored at 4⅛” and folded to make an additional tag.

The Sending Christmas Wishes stamp was stamped in Shaded Spruce and Real Red ink and then punched out.

I cut out 11 circles from the gold foil paper and a bunch of foliage and berries from the green and red glimmer paper.  This was the longest job.

The tags were punched with the tag topper punch to give the lovely scalloped shape and then I used the envelope punch board to round the other two corners, stuck on a gold circle, a couple of pieces of foliage and berries and topped off with the sentiment tag mounted on dimensionals.

A 20cm length of ribbon finished off each tag.

 

 

 

 

Images © 2018 Stampin’ Up!