Baby Bear

I loved making this week’s card for our friend that had her first baby recently.  I don’t have a lot of use for stamps aimed at making children’s cards but I bought the Baby Bear set as you’re never too old for a teddy bear!  This is a retired stamp set but I’ve kept mine as I really like that bear and how he comes to life with the three layers of ink.  I’ve also got a couple of handy tips on repeat stamping and extending the use of dies.

This was a bigger card than usual as I wanted it to be a square Z-fold card.  I fancied a gingham style background but didn’t have anything in my stash that was pink so used the Buffalo Check background stamp and some Rococo Rose ink.  The stamp was a little small for my background so I used the Stamparatus to do some repeat stamping.  I first stamped the check background and marked an arrow on my grid paper where the edge of the stamp came to.  Next, I moved the card so that the left-hand edge of the stamped image lined up with the arrow (1) and then stamped again (2).   This then gave me a bigger stamped image to centre my cut out.

Next, I stamped the three bear images in 1. Sahara Sand, 2. Crumb Cake and 3. Early Espresso.

To add a bit of extra dimension to him, I applied some fine-tipped glue to his nose and eyes and set aside to dry.  This gave his eyes and nose a shiny finish.

I used the sentiments from the set and a stitched rectangle die.  This worked fine for the first sentiment but was too short for the second.  However, a way to get more from your dies is to only partially cut the die by lining up the top cutting plate before the end of the die.  The Big Shot won’t cut where there’s no top plate leaving a partially cut shape.  Then simply move the die to the end of the sentiment and repeat the process on the other end of the die.

I mounted the pieces on a Rococo Rose base layer, the gingham layer and the bear on top, adorned with a pink bow.

The inside was layered the same way.  Here’s the bird’s eye view of the finished Z-fold.

 

 

 

Images © 2020 Stampin’ Up!

 

 

 

This Little Piggy

It was Valentine’s Day on Friday and whilst we don’t buy big presents or go out and get fleeced for a distinctly average meal, I do enjoy making a card for Mr L.  He generally gets his crafting on and asks for access to my craft room to make me a card too – which I LOVE! I don’t get many handmade cards.  I’ve just got the This Little Piggy set and thought it would be perfect to use for my card using the mirror stamping technique.  I wrote a blog post last March on how to do this technique, it’s linked at the end if you’d like a refresh.

To begin, I mirror stamped my pigs.

Next, I coloured them in using some alcohol markers and also drew in some more grass in the gap in the middle to unite the two images.

I then stamped the pig on the front and back of a post-it note and cut around them to create two masks. Note: The ink stamped on the adhesive on the back of the note stayed wet for a long time so I repeatedly pressed the adhesive part on scrap paper.

Using the bunch of hearts from Forever Lovely, I second generation stamped using Rococo Rose and Lovely Lipstick inks.  I also stamped the trio of smaller hearts from the same set and then removed the masks.

I wanted a fun, pig-based sentiment for my card so I hand lettered one.

Lastly, I mounted the piece on Lovely Lipstick and Basic Black mat layers and then onto a Real Red cardbase.  I finished by adding some epoxy heart droplets over some of the stamped hearts for some dimension and a couple of pink hearts to frame the sentiment.

 

 

Here’s the link to the mirror stamping technique:

https://craftyasl.co.uk/birthday/a-couple-of-kitty-cards/

 

 

Images © 2020 Stampin’ Up!

Dearly Dashing Deer

Yes, I know it’s only August and your eyes are not deceiving you – this is a Christmas card! If you’re making all of your own cards for the festive season, it’s better to get started early rather than be frantically crafting in the middle of December to meet the Post Office’s last posting dates.  Ask me how I know this!

The Dashing Deer stamp set and matching Detailed Deer Thinlits are the perfect set for creating quick but stunning cards.  I really enjoyed getting busy with the glitter again too!!

The original

The first step was to stamp each of the deer using Night of Navy ink and cut them out with the matching dies.

I made a ‘snowbank’ by ripping a strip of Whisper White card and then ran a thin line of glue along the torn edge and applied glitter.  I stamped the greeting in navy on the bottom of the snowbank.

Next I embossed a piece of Smoky Slate using the Woodland embossing folder.  I glued right-hand half the snowbank to the background.

I wanted the solid deer to be in the background behind the snowbank, but I didn’t want the head of the one eating to disappear.  Attaching half the snowbank allowed me to glue the deer into the correct spot. Once they were in position, the remaining section of snowbank was stuck down.

Lastly, the background was adhered to a Night of Navy card base and the patterned deer, mounted on Dimensionals, was placed just above the greeting.  I love how the solid deer seems to be looking in awe the patterned guy – he is magnificent though!

The Same But Different

I was really pleased with how this card turned out so I thought I’d try recreating it in various other colour schemes and using slightly different backgrounds.  This is another one in the original style, this time using Rococo Rose, a rather non-traditional Christmas colour (unless you’re in Next! 😉).

Rococo Rose & Night of Navy

Vellum works really well in embossing folders so makes for great backgrounds. The challenge is getting it adhered successfully as the glue shows through.  You need to either have a pattern on it to glue behind or add a decorative element on top to cover the glue.

For the background for these two, I used some snowflake printed vellum that I’ve had in my stash for donkey’s years!  I put lots of glue behind the snow bank and deer and then tiny dots in the centre of the snowflakes, which wasn’t entirely successful but just about looks OK.

Seaside Spray & Mint Macaron

My next two feature my own printed vellum.  I used White Stazon ink and the tiny snowflakes from last year’s Snow is Glistening limited release set.  This vellum is thicker so the glue isn’t as obvious.

Pacific Point & Pretty Peacock

For the last pair, I eschewed the embossing folder and instead used the silver birch tree trunks stamp from Winter Woods.  When using this stamp, a deeper snow bank is required to cover up the bottom edge of the trunks as it looks a bit weird otherwise.  The card on the bottom has no separate snow bank: I just ran the glue along the bottom edge of the trunks and added glitter. It was more difficult to get the deer to be in the background with this one; I had to chop off their feet! 😮

Cherry Cobbler & Blackberry Bliss

I really like trying out these ‘same but different’ ideas.  Sometimes they work, sometimes not, but you can inadvertently discover a stunning combination when playing around like this.  I really like all of them and can’t choose a favourite.  Which one’s your favourite?

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Simple Silhouettes

I do love a silhouette! Trees, plants, buildings, birds, people to name but a few – they all make great silhouettes that are super to use for card making.  Create a background by using your preferred method – sponging, brayering, watercolour, stamping, embossing – and put your silhouette over the top.  When I spotted the Friendly Silhouette Dies in the new Stampin’ Up! annual catalogue, they were immediately put on my wish list.   I mistakenly thought that there were 3 silhouette border dies in the set, and there are – sort of! More on that later though.

For two of my cards, I sponged a sunrise and a sunset.  What I like about inking sky backgrounds is that you can’t actually go wrong! For example, if you look at a sunset there are so many colours, shapes and patterns, many of which you’d think were unrealistic if you saw them in a painting but there they are in real life.  That’s one of the beauties of nature, it’s sheer randomness!

I began by sticking post-it notes along the card to make the horizon (1).  Then I decided whether or not to have a sun.  I had a sun in these so punched a circular mask from a post-it note and used both the negative (1) and positive pieces (3) at different stages.  After I’d sponged the sun, I removed the negative mask (2) and then placed the sun mask over the sun (3) whilst I sponged the sky.  I used Crushed Curry, Rococo Rose and Seaside Spray for my sunrise sky. I removed the masks and then coloured below the horizon using a Basic Black marker (4).

I cut out the floral border from Basic Black card and simply glued the border over the sunrise.  At this stage, I didn’t like the black horizon I’d drawn in so I just covered it up with the border die.

Floral border at sunrise

For the second card, I used an ink ‘smooshing’ technique.  I got my largest block and pressed my Blackberry Bliss ink pad directly onto the bottom third of the block, transferring plenty of ink.  I repeated this with Bermuda Bay on the top third of the block.  For the bit in between, I applied Night of Navy using sponge daubers.

Once the block was covered, I spritzed it with plenty of water and then placed the card onto the block, pressed well, then removed and left to dry.  The great thing about these types of background is that they are fun to make and are completely unique!

The bull rush border (my favourite!) was used for this card and I cut out an additional border from vellum and stuck it behind the black card, offset slightly to give some extra visual interest.

Bull rushes border in black card and vellum

So that bring us to the last die.  Now I thought that this was a palm tree border so image my horror when this is what was left when I’d cut out my border!  I even contacted demo support to check that the thing wasn’t faulty!!

Definitely not a palm tree!

Anyway, another demonstrator in Amanda’s team guessed (correctly) that it is designed so that you use the negative space instead of the cut out.  So, you ink up your background scene, then cut out the trees and put your background on top of a black card base to give you the silhouetted look.  Now call me picky but I think a background should be, well…you know, in the background and the thing that’s making the silhouette should be in the foreground.  Maybe I’m thinking about this too scientifically! Anyhow, this is how it looks behind my inked sunset.

Palm tree ‘border’ at sunset

I’ve left all my cards without sentiments so I can use them for whatever occasion demands in the future.

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!