Beautiful Bokeh Backgrounds

In case you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘bokeh’, it’s a photographic term for an aesthetically pleasing blur you get when the background is out of focus.  Bokeh is from the Japanese word ‘boke’ meaning ‘blur’ or ‘haze’ and as far as I can ascertain, it is pronounced “bo-kay”.  However, I may be wrong but, irrespective of how you pronounce it, it’s a fun technique to try out.

To begin, choose 3 complimentary ink colours and, using sponge daubers or sponge pieces, smoosh ink onto cardstock in random places gradually blending the colours together at the edges.  Leave to dry.

Next, you’ll need to make a bokeh stencil.  Cut a selection of circle sizes out of a sheet of acetate or glossy card.  You will need a pigment ink for the circles so that they show up on the coloured background.

Using a clean sponge dauber, apply the white ink in circles, moving the holes around the background and overlapping other circles in places.  Leave to dry.

The last part is to use your unique background to create a beautiful card.  I used gold embossing powder and the hot air balloons from the recently retired Lift Me Up set to finish my card.

I enjoyed the inking process so I decided to try out another in purples and yellow.  What I discovered in making this one into a card is that you can’t stamp silhouettes on it with Memento ink as it dries to a dirty grey colour.  Black Stazon works though, as you can see from my little experiment; S=Stazon, M=Memento.

As this inking disaster had ruined my bokeh panel, I cut off the offending half and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with silver embossed dandelions on the remaining half of the panel.

If you can’t be bothered with any of the above, you can use the Bokeh Dots background stamp.  These stamps are a little tricky to ink as if there’s too much ink on the stamp, it loses the effect. Applying the ink using a brayer worked better for me.

Whilst I had the stamp set out, I decided to use the other stamp in the set too, which is a starburst/firework kind of effect.

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Multi-Layered Stamping

When I first started card making, I was completely flummoxed as to how these kinds of cards were created!  Little did I know that it’s actually quite straight forward and just requires some precise cutting of layers but looks super impressive.

I started off cutting my layers, mats and card base as follows:

The next job is to use temporary adhesive to stack up the layers to be stamped.  I used a tiny bit of snail adhesive that I patted on my clothes a few times to reduce the stickiness as the layers will need to be taken apart again later without damaging them.

I stamped the greeting onto the front panel and then used an All Adorned stamp (from Sale-A-Bration) and Sahara Sand ink for background interest.  As I wanted a light background pattern, I used second generation stamping by stamping off first onto scrap paper and then stamping onto the card layer.  I found it necessary to press a little harder that usual to get down the ‘drops’ at the edge of the layers.  There was a slight break in the stamping but this would be covered by the mat layers so no need to panic!

The next step was to add the coloured focal element.  I used the rose from Forever Lovely and Lovely Lipstick ink.  Once this stage was complete, the layers were pulled apart again ready for mounting onto the mats.

A good point to remember is to ensure you don’t inadvertently turn a piece the wrong way up! The images should line up either side of the mat layers. I stuck the largest layer onto the card base, then mounted the top and second layers onto their respective mats.

The top piece was adhered to the centre of the second layer and I added a contrasting ribbon for some added interest.  This layer was then mounted onto the card base using dimensional foam pieces.

This card features the large rose from Frosted Bouquet and Bermuda Bay ink.

The card liner was also stamped with the same design for a coordinated look.

Another version of Frosted Bouquet and Lovely Lipstick on Smoky Slate.

 

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

 

Fabulous Frosted Florals

This Sunday in the UK is Mothering Sunday or Mother’s Day, so my cards this week are the ones I made for my Mum and Mum-in-law.  I’ve had the Frosted Florals set together with the matching Frosted Bouquet framelits but hadn’t got around to playing with them so I made them the star turn for this card.  I also used the Jar of Love set and matching Everyday Jars framelits.    Whilst this is a Mother’s Day card, it could easily be adapted for birthday, anniversary, thank you or get well card – indeed anything for which you’d send a bunch of flowers!  I made a birthday card earlier in the year using Lovely Lipstick, Smoky Slate and Mint Macaron and I really like these colours together so I used that colour palette here too.

Firstly, I stamped the card liner and the envelope with same designs.  I really like the thistle/teasel image (that was my reason for buying this set actually!) so that was my main focus.  I made it dual coloured by using sponge daubers to apply the ink.

Next, I stamped and die cut a bunch of flowers and foliage.  I also stamped a jar onto some velum and added some clear embossing powder to give it a ‘glassy’ look.  The great thing about velum is that you don’t need to use Versamark ink to heat emboss as regular ink stays wet for about 2½ weeks (more or less!) on velum so there’s plenty of time to get the embossing powder on there.

I die cut another jar in white card and held it in position with some temporary adhesive whilst I stamped the background foliage.  This is stamped directly onto the card front to provide some dimension and contrast to the other layers added later.

The next stage was to arrange the die cut foliage, cutting off the stems that went below the top of the jar.

The focal images of roses and thistles were added to complete arrangement.  The jar didn’t look quite right ‘floating’ in mid-air so I partially stamped the Buffalo Check to sort of resemble a tablecloth.

I put a couple of silver glitter hearts on the jar back, coloured the back of the velum jar with an alcohol marker to make the water, and then glued the velum jar top onto the white back.  A little Mint Macaron twine around the jar neck and bow completed the jar which I attached to the card with Dimensionals, ensuring the top of the jar covered over the cut edges of the stems.  The card top was mounted on Lovely Lipstick Foil and then glued to a Mint Macaron card base.  A small stitched oval stamped with the sentiment from the Tea Together completed the card.

Two cards, the same but different!

 

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

 

Could this ‘bee’ spring?

What a lovely few days of glorious weather we’ve enjoyed this week.  18°C in February is unseasonably warm but the sunshine was a welcome change from the gloomy grey cloud that’s been around for most of the winter.  The lovely weather inspired us to get outside and do some gardening and I ended up doing quite a lot of weeding.  Whilst this is a tedious occupation, I do like that you can see what you’ve achieved at the end! It was whilst I was on my hands and knees in the middle of the border that I saw my first bee of the year.  I love bees and find it fascinating watching them buzzing around collecting pollen.  It was a white-tailed bumble bee which flew past me to explore the camelia bush and it inspired my crafting this week.

I used the bees from the Stampin’ Up! Dragonfly Dreams and Detailed Dragonfly thinlits.

For my first cards, I die cut a couple of banners and stamped the bee and coloured it in using the Wink of Stella brush and some Gold Glimmer Paint.  The first banner was mounted on some Gingham Gala DSP on a black card base and finished with some yellow organdie ribbon and black twine.

The second card used a similar banner decorated with Crushed Curry satin ribbon and some linen thread.  This banner was mounted onto the card base which had been stamped with a repeating bee pattern.

For the third card, I used a hexagon embossing folder as the background as I thought it went with the bee theme, looking like honeycomb. I used a couple of stitched rectangle frames to back the sentiment (from the Part Of My Story set) and punched the sentiment out using the Pretty Label punch.

The bee was cut out using the die and black card which I then inlaid with some sparkle and gold glimmer paper. (For the inlaid technique, see the Dragonflies and Dandelions post from Oct 4th 2018.)

The final card uses another inlaid bee, this time using the Country Florals embossing folder.  I used Crushed Curry card and added a little matching ink mixed with some gold glimmer paint to add a little more contrast.

The embossing folder is incredibly detailed, as you can see from this angle.

Unfortunately, Storm Freya is hitting our shores this weekend so it seems that spring is not here yet after all.

 

 

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

Crochet, Cards and….Christmas!

This week has involved a veritable feast of crafts!

Firstly, it was my Mum-in-Law’s birthday.   Despite her saying that she didn’t need anything, you can’t not get anything for your nearest and dearest.  I crocheted a blanket for her from a pattern called Rosslyn by Helen Shrimpton….

….and made her a set of birthday cards.

Next was her actual birthday card which was inspired by another SU! demonstrator from Mituso Crafts who kindly shared a YouTube video on how to make a pop-up wiper card without using any dies for the mechanism.

After making a mock-up of the mechanism to check I could make it work(!) I set to work stamping and colouring in frogs.  At this stage, I didn’t really have a design as such in mind, but I knew I’d need a few frogs!

The front gives nothing away about what’s inside.

This is the inside once it’s opened.

And this is the card in action!

Second this week was the start of the new series of The Great British Sewing Bee.  I LOVE watching this programme.  I’m not sure that having a limited time restriction would make the creating quite as enjoyable for me. I like to get started, shilly-shally about a bit, get distracted doing something else entirely, and then go back to what I was doing in the first place!  Anyway, it’s very apparent there’s a very talented bunch on the programme this year and I look forward to seeing what they create in the coming weeks. So, it got me thinking about sewing and whilst it’s not clothing, it is a sewing project that I’d planned to create this year in time for Christmas.  The project is hand embroidered ornaments depicting the song ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ and I figure I’ve got 9 months to get them all done – now that’s my kind of timescale!!  There are 15 decorations as it’s only one per day plus a few extras (like the pear), not 12 lords a-leaping etc. as I’m certain that making 78 would put me well into my ‘I’ve had enough of this project’ zone!  The patterns are by Larissa Holland and are not cheap but they are comprehensive, very well written and the designs are beautiful.   A full blog post will be forthcoming later in the year but for now I have completed the First Day: the partridge and the pear.

The reverse side is not patterned but does have the day number embroidered in a lovely font.

The third thing this week was, of course, Valentine’s Day.  Mr. L Loves Valentine’s Day and had requested a few hours’ access to my craft room and some supplies.  He made a really cool pop-up card, with a design which he cut out with a craft knife, and bought me a lovely bottle of fizz.  I stamped a card for him using the Baby Bear set and pyrographed a fun little sign for his man cave.

 

 

 

Links:

Helen Shrimpton: https://crystalsandcrochet.com/

Mitosu Crafts:http://mitosustampin.blogspot.com/

Mmmcrafts: https://mmmcrafts.blogspot.com/

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!