A Week of Firsts

Here we are at the end of the 4th week of lockdown in the UK and it’s presented me with a few firsts.  My first new experience was to cut Mr L’s hair! Now, I’ve never cut anyone’s hair before but I’ve watched our hairdresser cut Mr L’s hair many times.  She makes it look so easy.  It isn’t!  It took me a while but we got there in the end and Mr L still has both ears!

#covidhaircut

My second ‘first’ was to attempt to make naan breads.  I’d made my favourite dhal recipe when I noticed a naan bread recipe in the same book and, since we had all the ingredients, I though I’d have a bash.  They were not quite like the restaurant ones but were delicious nonetheless.

My third ‘first’ was an introduction to a technique called Inlaid Embossing.  Amanda (from Inspiring Inkin’) showed this on her Facebook crafting group this week and it looked interesting.

To begin, I used the ½”, ¾” and 1” circle punches to cut a mix of circles in 3 coordinating colours.

These were glued randomly onto my mat layer and any overhanging edges trimmed off.

I then put the pieces into embossing folders and ran them through the Big Shot to create a textured background.

I didn’t want to overwhelm the background as that was the main feature so I used some polka dot ribbon and a butterfly from Stampin’ Up! Butterfly Gala.

My second card featured burlap ribbon and a tree from Rooted in Nature.

 

 

 

Images © 2020 Stampin’ Up!

Dedicated To Dads

Sadly, two of my friends have lost their Dads in the past couple of weeks, one of those being due to Covid-19.  The casualty figures are harrowing but it really brings it home when it affects people you care for.  So, my post this week is dedicated to Dads, wherever they may be.

The love and thought that goes into any handmade card is magnified in a condolence card.  I find them difficult to design but soothing to make.  For this week’s card, I used Rooted in Nature and the ever-useful Peaceful Moments for the sentiment.

To begin, I used masks and sponge daubers to create a sun and mountains for my background on Very Vanilla.

I stamped the tall tree several times using my Stamparatus to ensure a solid impression.  The tree needed grounding so, using another mask, I sponge daubed Early Espresso at the base of the tree.  The panel was cut out using one of the stitched rectangle dies.

One of my favourite stamps in the set, the skeleton leaf, was used for decorating the liner and envelope.

The card was finished by mounting the focal image on a Crumb Cake mat and then onto a base layer embossed with the Woodland folder (retired).

I finished my week crocheting a rainbow to hang in my window in support of our NHS workers.

 

 

 

Images © 2020 Stampin’ Up!

Pretty Piano

Whilst surfing around on Pinterest the other day, I saw a really cool easel card in the shape of a grand piano.  I was looking for ideas for an anniversary card for Mr L and was planning on using Stampin’ Up! Music From The Heart so this fancy fold was the perfect match.  Most grand pianos I’ve seen are black but I made mine cream, well Vanilla actually!

After I’d cut out my card base and a 5½” square piece for the piano lid, I set to work making the keyboard.  I cut 10 pieces of Whisper White card ½” wide for the white keys and 7 pieces of Basic Black card ¼” wide for the black keys  I glued the white keys onto a piece of black card and then fixed the black notes on with foam strips as these would form the ‘stopper’ for my easel.

Next, I repeat stamped the wavy keyboard image onto the top of the front section of my easel card base.  This would only really be visible when the card was closed.

I stamped the treble clef, stave and some notes on a scrap of Very Vanilla and backed this with a piece of gold glimmer paper to make the music stand.  To make it more decorative, I added a section punched from the Pretty Label punch at the top.

Now for the piano lid.  To make an approximation of the lid shape, I punched a circle with my 2¼” punch from the top right corner and then used scissors to straighten out the edges.  Next, I stamped my sentiment added a red enamel heart.  I didn’t think the piano was looking particularly grand so I die cut two flourishes (from the Detailed Deer) from gold card and glued them in place.

Finally, to assemble, I glued the lid onto the bottom half of the front of the card base and glued the music stand in place.  This is what the card looks like when it’s closed.

Inside, I layered Basic Black and Real Red and added my decorated inner.  The envelope was also stamped with various images from the set.

Here’s my finished pretty piano card.

 

 

Images © 2020 Stampin’ Up!

 

Music Maestro!

I am a big music fan, both playing it and listening to it.  I believe my music playing has given rise to my very eclectic music tastes; from Beethoven to Bon Jovi!  When I spotted the Music From The Heart set in the new mini-catalogue, it was a no-brainer to add it to my collection.

I wanted to make a card for my friend’s birthday.  We met when in a choir so what better stamp set to use than a musical one?!  I used Blushing Bride and Very Vanilla cardstock.

I randomly stamped the various musical notes and the treble clef using Blushing Bride ink and also heat embossed a few with copper embossing powder. 

The musical symbols were also stamped onto the liner and envelope.

There’s a lovely Happy Birthday sentiment in the set which was mounted on a small piece of Copper Foil paper.

After making this ladies’ version of the card, I wanted to try out a colour scheme for a masculine version. Pretty Peacock and Old Olive, together with a bit of copper, fitted the bill perfectly.

 

 

Images © 2020 Stampin’ Up!

 

Botanical Bliss Tags

Still no real improvement in my arm this week so, yet again, no crafting but here’s a little project I did a few weeks ago. 

Romantic themes aren’t usually my crafting style but I seem to have inadvertently gone all romantic with these tags this week! The Botanical Bliss tags dies consist of 3 tag toppers, 2 edge cutters and a leafy branch.  There’s also a coordinating stamp set which has some useful sentiments.  I was immediately drawn to the birds, thinking they’d look great silhouetted against an inked sky.  However, since I’ve done a lot of silhouettes lately, I decided to challenge myself with the flower instead.

Rather than a straight forward strung tag, I wanted to try a folded tag.  The dies are designed to be used on 2” wide strips of card for tags or bookmarks.  As I wanted my card to fold, I needed the card to extend either side of the die so my card was 3” x 5½” in Bushing Bride.  I marked a pencil line at 2¾” and also marked the edges of the cutting lines on the die.  The lines on the die were lined up with the pencil line and the whole thing was run through the Big Shot.

I scored along the pencil line to the edge of the cut out and then erased the pencil line.

The card was then folded at the edges, making the cut area stand up.

I wanted the flower to stand out and also have a little more strength so I cut another flower from Very Vanilla.  The bottom edge of this flower was then cut out using one of the edge dies in the set.

My cutting plates had marked the card quite badly so I ran it through the Scripty EF before sticking the VV flower on the front.

I decorated the front with a sentiment, some hessian ribbon and a branch cut from gold glimmer paper.

This is how the back looks, with the cut out.  I used an old background stamp for the writing on the right-hand tag.  I think this one would make lovely place name settings for a wedding or party.  You could write guest’s menu choices on the inside.

For my second design with this flower die, I thought I’d just do a normal strung tag.  I cut the design out of a 2” strip of Crumb Cake card and then drew around the top on a piece of Very Vanilla and fussy cut the shape.  I marked in pencil where the edges of the flower and leaves were and added a little colour with sponge daubers.

The tag was finished by using the Scripty EF again, some gold branches and Old Olive ribbon.

Lastly, I wondered how the flower would look with inlaid pieces.  The flower was cut out of Blushing Bride, inlaid with Very Vanilla petals and Old Olive leaves and mounted on Crumb Cake folded tag base.  Gold branches and hessian ribbon complete the look.

So there you have it –  3 different looks from one die.  My next challenge will be to use this die to make some cards.  Watch this space!

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!