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!

Waterfront Whiz

I’ve been meaning to have a go with the Waterfront stamp set for a while since it gives the illusion of a water-coloured image with just some simple stamping – handy for those of us (like me) that can’t paint for toffee!

There are some great images of mountains, land masses, water and trees which can be combined to create romantic, relaxing or vibrant scenes, depending on your chosen colour palette.

My first card was inspired by the beautiful weather we’ve had on the South coast of the UK the past few days.  All along the seafront where we live are loads of beach huts and there’s a cute little beach hut stamp in the set which I stamped in Pretty Peacock, Real Red and Mint Macaron for a fun look.

I went over the sea with clear Wink Of Stella to give that sparkle of the sun reflecting off the waves.  A Pretty Peacock layer on a Crushed Curry cardbase finishes the beachy, sunny card.

My second card was inspired by Amanda Bates from the Craft Spa and her ‘out of the frame’ style card.  I first stamped the mountains using Smoky Slate together with some Blackberry Bliss dabbed on with a sponge dauber.  I could have done with a paler purple, like Highland Heather, but I don’t have one so I had to think of another way to get the purpley hue.  The mountains in the background were stamped with 2nd and 3rd generation Smoky Slate.  I made a definite land mass by inking up half the land stamp along the edge of the Blackberry Bliss stamp pad, to give me a straight horizon.

I stamped the water and then filled in any gaps along the shoreline with some ink and the Wink of Stella brush.

The tree stamp is too large to use whole for this kind of scene so the trick is to just ink up the top sections of the trees.

I die cut the centre section of the scene using the Stitched Rectangles Framelits…

…and then cut the centre section down further to create a border within the stamped border.

I think it’s really cool that by using different colour palettes with the same stamp set can create a card with a completely different mood.

 

 

 

 

 

Images ©2019 Stampin’ Up!

 

 

Who can resist?

Mr L and I recently returned from a fabulous holiday to Bangkok where I purchased this beautiful scarf.  I had walked past it twice, admiring it from a distance, but on the third time I could resist no longer and bought it – because I loved it and you can never have too many scarves!

Something about the scarf made me wonder if I could recreate the colours and effects on the scarf for a card and the only way I could think to achieve this was to use the emboss-resist technique and some ink blending.

I began by doing some simple emboss-resist by repeat stamping images on white card using Versamark ink and then applying clear embossing powder.

Once heat set, I blended pastel inks over the card.  The embossing powder ‘resists’ the ink so the card gets coloured and the images stay white although sometimes a quick wipe with a tissue is needed to clean off any ink from the embossed images.

Round one was a success so I decided to try for the recreation of the scarf.  This required ink blending first and then stamping with Versamark and applying clear embossing powder once the ink was dry.

Once the embossing powder was heat set, I sponged black ink over the card, adding layers until I had the depth of colour I wanted.  Again, a tissue was needed at the end just to remove any black ink residue from the embossed images.  I tried both pastel and bright inks and I think the brights are more suited to this technique.

I’m quite happy with the brights background and I think it looks quite similar to the scarf so mission accomplished!

The pastel under black doesn’t have quite the same contrast but still looks pretty.

I thought the two white and pastel cards were suitable for Easter cards as, whilst they don’t have the standard bunnies/chicks/eggs design, they are quite spring like.

I think it’s important when you’ve spent time making the background for that to be the focal point of the card so I only added small greetings so that the background could still shine through.  A lovely little sprig of blackthorn flowers helps set the scene.

 

 

 

 

Images © 2019 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!

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!