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!

Tone-on-Tone Dandelion Wishes

If you are new to card making, it can be overwhelming, not to mention expensive, choosing which items of kit to buy as there are so many things which people deem to be indispensable.  It doesn’t have to be like that though.  Choose one or maybe two stamp sets that you love and can immediately imagine what you’d make with them, add a couple of ink pads in your favourite colours plus a black one, some white card stock and you’re off to a good start.  You can easily build on this foundation purchase once you develop your style and preferred mediums and colours.

So, my first card project to share with you is a tone-on-tone card using the Stampin’ Up! Dandelion Wishes stamp set – an absolute favourite of mine, I can’t ever imagine getting bored of it!  It involves a bit of sponging, some stamping and a single colour of ink and cardstock.  The great thing about Stampin’ Up! is that there is matching cardstock for each ink colour, with the addition of coordinating embellishments like ribbon, twine and rhinestones.  It takes away the guesswork and ensures your projects have a coordinated look.

For this card, I used:

  • White card base: 11.5” x 4⅛”, scored at 5¾”
  • Rich Razzleberry mat layer: 5½” x 3⅞”
  • White inner layer: 5½” x 3⅞”
  • White topper layer: 5¼” x 3⅝”
  • Two 5” x 3” post-it notes
  • Stampin’ Up! Dandelion Wishes stamp set
  • Stampin’ Up! Rich Razzleberry Ink Pad
  •  A piece of sponge or a sponge dauber
  • Scratch paper for working on – it can get a bit messy
  • Stampin’ Up! Basic Rhinestones (optional)

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.  Or alternatively you can leave the edge straight if you prefer that look.

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.

Dab the sponge onto the ink pad and apply the ink using small circular movements starting on the post-it note at the top of the card and working onto the card.  Slowly work the sponge down the card as the amount of ink reduces so that you get a graduated effect with the top of the card being darker than the bottom.  Once you’re happy with the effect, carefully remove the masks and leave to dry a little.

Using Rich Razzleberry ink, stamp the triple dandelion image so that the stalks are just off the bottom of the page.  Position it centrally in the lighter section of the inked panel. (A stamp positioner like the Stampin’ Up! Stamparatus is really handy and I found it improved the quality of my stamping no end.  But it’s not essential; you may well be a championship stamper using blocks or woodmount stamps.   I wasn’t!)  Stamp your sentiment in the same colour.

Holding the inner liner (make sure your fingers are clean!) lightly go over the edges of the liner with your sponge without inking it up again.  Stamp the other dandelion image in the bottom left corner, going off the edge and stamp the seed in the top right corner.

Stamp some images onto your envelope too.

Layer up the card.  Adhere the topper to the coloured mat layer and then adhere to the card base.  Add the liner to the inside.

Optional: Add one of each size of rhinestones to the centre of the dandelions for a bit of extra zing!

You’re all done!

Variations

If you use a stamp positioner, like the Stamparatus, you could emboss the dandelions after you’ve stamped them using Versamark ink and clear embossing powder to add a little extra shine.

Change up the look by using coloured card for the topper and emboss the image and sentiment using Versamark ink and silver embossing powder.  I also added some second generation stamping along the bottom edge, lightly sponged the edges with the matching ink and stamped the seed images around the edge of the mat layer.

Another option, if you have more ink pads, is to create an ombre effect by blending one colour into the next to make a seamless transition – another post to follow with this technique.

Whichever method you try, you’re sure to produce a stylist result!

Images ©Stampin’ Up!