To be a demonstrator with Stampin’ Up!, you have to join another demonstrator’s team. You can join any team you fancy within your worldwide geographical area but I joined a local demonstrator, Amanda Fowler of Inspiring Inkin’ (http://www.inspiringinkin.com) as I’d enjoyed many of Amanda’s videos on YouTube and I like to support local businesses where I can.
We have online training once a month via Facebook Live but there are a few in person training days where you get to meet other members of the team, get new ideas and try out new products, chat, eat cake and craft together, which makes a nice change as crafting tends to be a solitary occupation.
A common, but optional, activity at this kind of event is Team Swaps. This involves making a card front to swap with other demonstrators, thereby getting new ideas for a stamp set you own or seeing a new set that may have escaped your notice! I decided to repeat my old favourite of the ombre sunset and Dandelion Wishes card front and, whilst watching the Masters snooker, spent a very pleasant couple of hours ink blending 25 card fronts. I then stamped the image together with the sentiment, then heat embossed them with clear powder. The Stamparatus is invaluable for this kind of mass production. A sticker with the ‘recipe’ is put on the back should anyone want to CASE (Copy And Share Everything) your design. Here are my swaps. Can you spot the slight oops moment? I inked the panel upside down – I have no idea how I managed it!!
These are the swaps I received from my fellow demonstrators – such a talented bunch!
Amanda also had a Demonstrator’s Choice competition whereby you make any project using anything, but if SU! sell it (like ribbon, card etc.) you have to use it but anything they don’t sell can also be used. I decided to make a Lighted Bethlehem 3D frame as I’d made a few of these for Christmas presents and they had all been well received. I was chuffed to bits to be voted the winner especially as there was very strong competition. Here’s my frame with lights off…
….and lights on.
For this, I won a stamp set and was also lucky enough to win another one in the raffle too.
Whilst the day is called a training day, that is a rather formal term and it’s actually a lot of fun. Amanda provides a number of projects for the team to complete although I didn’t get to finish all of them. Here’s what I did complete.
We also had a couple of demonstrations of techniques and new product lines and a very interesting presentation on bullet journaling, or Bujo as it’s apparently known! This really piqued my interest and I’m going to investigate this further, particularly as I may be able to combine it with my challenge to myself for this year, to learn hand/brush lettering – so that I’m not totally dependent on stamp sets for my sentiments!!
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.
This idea came to me one evening as I was gazing out of my craft room window at the sunset. It was a beautiful sunset, with very rich pink, orange and yellow colours but only a strip of it was showing. It was obscured at each side by huge cloud banks which framed the sunset. It was stunning! As the colours intensified, the trees in the foreground became silhouetted which made the whole scene look even more spectacular. As such, I was inspired to create this card. As you’ve no doubt gathered, I’m a bit in love with the Dandelion Wishes stamp which works really well for this card, but any stamp which has a good silhouette image will do the business too – have fun trying out different images! I find that a black mat layer or just a black card base (if you’re not matting it) frames this card the best.
A piece of sponge or a sponge dauber for each different ink colour
Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Versamark Ink Pad
Clear Embossing Powder
Scratch paper for working on – it will get a bit messy!
Using small pencil marks, mark on your white topper layer where you want your coloured panel to be. I did 1” and 2½” from the left-hand side. Tear a narrow piece from the sticky edge of the post-it note, ensuring there’s still some sticky area left.
Apply the post-it masks to the topper, roughly in line with your pencil marks and press down well. Erase the pencil marks if you can still see them. Put this onto a piece of scratch paper as you’ll be sponging off the edge of the card.
Stage 1, going up! Using Crushed Curry first, dab the sponge onto the ink pad and apply the ink using small circular movements and ALWAYS starting on the post-it note, start at the bottom of the card and work onto the card. Work the sponge across the card making a small section of yellow. You will be going over this again so don’t worry if it looks a bit patchy. Next, use the Pumpkin Pie ink and using the same technique, sponge a small section of orange just above the yellow, overlapping slightly. Repeat this until you’ve used all your colours and are at the top of the card. You’ll probably still have some light sections between the coloured bands. This is fine, they’ll get blended out in stage 2.
Stage 2, coming down! Continuing with the Blackberry Bliss, start working your way back down the panel. This time when you start a new colour, start in the colour above and work your way down to the bottom of your current colour section but not into the lighter colour below. You always want to start your lighter colours on top of the darker coloured section above as this is how you’ll get the blended ombre look. Continue blending until you’ve reached the Crushed Curry layer again.
Once you’re happy with the effect, carefully remove the masks and leave to dry a little.
Using the Stampin’ Up! Stamparatus, position your card front and anchor with the magnet. Position the triple dandelion image in the inked panel so that the stalks are just off the bottom of the page. Position your sentiment on the white section to the right then pick up the stamps with the flap of the Stamparatus. (If your stamps are a mixture of photopolymer and foam mounted rubber, position one stamp on one door and the other stamp on the reverse side or on the other door as you’ll need to remove the foam mat for the rubber stamps.) Stamp the image and sentiment using black ink. I like Memento Tuxedo Black as it produces a fine image. Leave your stamps in place. Give the ink a minute or so to dry and then pounce (a crafting term for making little dabbing motions to make a bit of powder come out of the bag!) your Embossing Buddy over the surface of the card.
Side Note: Embossing powder is super fine and will cling to any static or oils from your fingertips and then you have the arduous job of trying to brush it off with a paintbrush without disturbing your image. Trust me, an Embossing Buddy is indeed a good friend to have!
Ink up your stamps again this time using Versamark Ink (which is stickier that normal inks and takes longer to dry) and then remove from the Stamparatus and add the embossing powder. Pour off the excess, give the card a tap, I like to give it a couple of flicks on the reverse too and then carefully put it down whilst you get your Heat Tool warmed up (30 seconds or so). This just helps the embossing powder to melt quicker to minimise the warping of the card. Once hot, hold the Heat Tool over the embossed areas and watch the magic happen! You will see the powder melt and go from opaque to shiny. Don’t hold the Heat Tool too close to the card, you could scorch the card (or even set it on fire!!) and move on as soon as one section has melted as you don’t want to overheat the powder, it will lose the shine and texture. If your card has warped, gently heat the reverse side as this can help straighten it out again.
Layer up the card. Adhere the topper to the coloured mat layer (if using) and then adhere to the card base. The card front will be warped slightly due to the embossing so it’s best to use some form of wet glue like Tombow. This is a strong adhesive and will help the card front regain its flatness (is that even a word??) which will then be further helped when sticking it onto the card base. This is why I generally add a mat layer if I’ve heat embossed. Adhere the liner to the inside.
You’re all done!
Optional: If you want even more shininess, add one of each size of rhinestones to the centre of the dandelions!