Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Magical Mermaids

As soon as I saw the Magical Mermaid stamp set I knew I had to have it. I have a friend whose daughter Grace is a qualified free diver and has her own business as a professional mermaid. I thought of Grace the minute I saw this stamp set in the Annual catalogue that was released in June 2017.

I know many crafters will be in the midst of Christmas preparations so wanted to get away from that for a little while.

First of all I stamped the larger mermaid onto Shimmery white cardstock, twice. I coloured the tails and hair using water colour pencils. You don't have to be neat at all as the colour will move with the use of a blender pen.

The mermaid's skin was water coloured using a mix of Crumb Cake and Blushing Bride ink. Once dry, I went over the tail with clear Wink of Stella so that it was really sparkly. It's not so easy to see in the picture but it really glimmers and looks like scales.

The mermaids were then fussy cut and put to one side while I worked on the background. Again I used Shimmery white card stock and spritzed it with water before using an aqua painter to add a wash of ink. I started with my lightest colour first and got progressively darker as I went along. I wanted to create an impression of being in the sea. Once completed, I dabbed the card with kitchen roll to remove excess water, left it to almost dry and then placed under a heavy weight to flatten out. Using Mint Macaron I stamped foliage along the bottom before adhering to a base card in Bermuda Bay.

I took my sentiment from Colourful Seasons, stamping it in Smoky Slate - black would have looked too harsh in my opinion. That was then die cut using the largest oval from the Stitched Shape Framelits. I looped both the silver and gold metallic thread several times and secured behind the oval.

The mermaids were placed around the sentiment, using dimensionals to raise them from the card. I had curved the tail slightly so they weren't too flat. I really hope you like it.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Snow time

Hello, you may have noticed, if you've see any of my recent posts, how much I like like the Colourful Seasons bundle. There really is something for every season; if you're just starting out this set will cover so many occasions.

I'd noticed that several of my Christmas sets have been retired. At the time of writing this in early August I've yet to place my Autumn/Winter order so took a look at the snowflake dies.

I had a scrap of vellum left over from my Autumn card so decided to experiment with heat embossing in colour using Stampin' Up inks. First of all I covered the vellum in Versamark followed by the Soft Sky ink pad. I then sprinkled a holographic embossing powder over it and heated up until it had melted. This particular embossing powder isn't made by Stampin' Up but they do make a clear one which would have almost the same effect. Once cooled down, I die cut  a couple of snowflakes.

I also die cut more snowflakes in both glimmer card and silver foil. My sentiment was stamped in Smoky Slate  onto Whisper White and heat embossed before die cutting with a square Stitched Shape Framelit.

I don't often use embossed backgrounds, however, this one called Softly Falling fitted perfectly with the theme. I added a strip of ribbon before adhering the sentiment using dimensionals to raise it slightly. My handy tip today is when using a speciality paper such as the silver foil as a layer, cut out the centre as it won't be seen. I scattered the snowflakes loosely around the sentiment, adding a few rhinestones for a touch more bling.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The Joy of Sets Design Challenge 7 (Letter W) - Wild about Flowers

Goodness, we’ve already got to the 7th challenge, time is flying by. If you haven't already looked, I suggest clicking on the link to take a peek at the fabulous designs on the Joy Of Sets Challenge Blog

I was in the craft room about to reach over for the Wild about Flowers stamp set when my notifications pinged to let me know that for this challenge we would be using a set with the letter “W” in the title. The timing was impeccable; I couldn’t have made it up!

After so much rain, it certainly shows what a difference a bit of sun makes, today's colours are much lighter and brighter than in previous days where black seemed to play a prominent part.

First of all I cut a piece of Whisper White card stock a ¼” smaller than the folded base card which is also white. As you can see, I masked the edges of the piece of card with scrap paper, torn edges towards the centre to give a soft edge. I also used a circle to mask what would be the sun. Using a dauber, I sponged Soft Sky onto the card working from the edges inwards so the ink didn’t get behind my mask. I then used Pear Pizzazz to create the ground, again working in from the edges and using more torn paper to create “edges” to look like the ground was uneven. Once I was happy with that, I took the circle away and used the paper the circle was cut from so I could colour the sun without the ink merging with the sky.

When I was happy with the background effect, I removed the side masks so that my focal image could fall over the edge of the sponged area. I left the masks top and bottom though. Calypso Coral for the flower heads added a bit of zing.

I used dimensionals to mount this panel onto the base card. The sentiment was stamped in Smoky Slate (black would have been too harsh) and using the smallest oval from the Stitched Shape thinlits die cut it out before adhering with dimensionals once again.

I hope you like this card as much as I do. It's one that came out exactly as planned, I love white on white and simple designs. I'm now off to see what other stamp sets I can use in this way!

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Autumns on the way with Colourful Seasons

Hello, well I'm a bit late posting this but as a demonstrator for Stampin' Up, I'm part of a group of ladies called the Stampin' STYlettes. Every month we have a challenge we can join in with if we choose to. For August the challenge was "Nature"  using a current SU stamp and/or die set; we had to include ribbon/trim somewhere on the project too.

I knew I wanted to use Colourful Seasons - sorry as a Brit, I have to add the "u". The thought of Autumn around the corner made me think of rich colours, falling leaves and bright crisp mornings. It was while I was thinking about the design and how to incorporate a strip of vellum that I happened to stumble on a gorgeous card by Sharon Hashimoto Burkert which I used as my starting point.

I stamped the leaves onto vellum in a range of Autumnal colours, stamping off the base leaf before stamping the veins at full strength. I still can't believe I mounted the vellum onto copper foil before adhering to my base card! Normally, I'm very frugal with speciality card stock, particularly when it's hidden behind another layer. The sentiment was heat embossed in copper directly onto the base card. Solid leaves were die cut in colours to match the stamped vellum, whilst the skeleton leaf die was cut from copper foil. The leaves were shaped and curled slightly for added interest and stuck onto the card with dimensionals. Copper metallic thread was added both behind the leaves and also tied into a bow on one of the stems.

As always, I added an insert, stamped with leaves down one side which matched the envelope.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Birthday Blooms in the Spotlight

Hello, a while ago I showcased the spotlight technique, using the gorgeous stamp set, Lovely as a Tree. At the time I also made this card using the same technique but in a slightly different way.

If you've seen many of my blog posts, you'll already be aware just how much I like Birthday Blooms - and how much it features in my cards.

Now normally I love colouring this large stamp in, however this card only needed a hint of colour - in the area spotlighted!

I stamped my image on both Daffodil Delight and Whisper White card. Next I die cut a circle out of the image on the yellow card and put to one side for a moment. Using my watercolour pencils and a blender pen, I coloured in the corresponding area on the white card. The white card was placed behind the yellow, carefully matching the image up, using dimensionals for depth. This was then mounted onto a slightly deeper piece of Old Olive card to create a border top and bottom.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Spreading the Love

Hello, a while ago my friend, Christine, came over with Tiegan, her 14 year old daughter for a crafty session. Chris was really impressed at how tidy my craft room was as I have a habit of ignoring housework but everything was tidy and in place which meant that Tiegan could look around to see what took her fancy.

I think at first it still might have been a little daunting even though I haven't much in comparison to many crafters. Anyway, after finding that she had a friend with a birthday coming up. we selected some suitable stamp sets. As soon as she saw From the Herd, it was obvious that it would be a perfect choice. The next decision was did she want to colour the animals in or use a different technique. Once that was decided, how did she want to colour? Using ink or watercolour pencils with aquapainters or blender pens? How about Promarkers? I showed Tiegan the different effects she could get from the products. She liked the idea of trying water colouring so out came the Shimmery White card stock which is perfect for the job.

I think she made an amazing job of this and even tidied up as she went along! I normally end up finishing my card in the smallest possible space left on the table because I have so much out. We then needed to decide what the finished card would look like. Tiegan liked one I'd made for my grandaughter, where the animals looked like they were peeking through holes in a shed so that meant using the hardwood stamp. Handy tip; when using a large stamp, place it on a level workspace, ink it up and place your card on top and press down. So much easier than trying to wield a large stamp block especially if like me you have small hands.

So now we were getting clearer on how the finished card should look. Tiegan was growing in confidence and came up with some great ideas. She suggested creating "barn doors" so a gate fold it had to be. Both Tiegan and Chris were a little surprised when I started calculating sizes and where score lines needed to be placed. It perhaps didn't help that I was using inches, going down to ⅛" - I find it easier to add and subtract in ⅛" for some strange reason. I mean, we're crafting, right, how come we need maths! If you want to create a landscape oriented gatefold card, here are the basic instructions for the card base. I cut my A4 cardstock in half length wise and trimmed it to 11". It was scored at 2¾” and 8¼" along the long side.

I wish I had a good photo of the finished card. Unfortunately although I took a couple, they were too blurred to use. I really loved the ideas Tiegan had and CASE'd her card, just adding my own slight twist to it. Also instead of using ink and water colouring the farm animals, I chose to use Promarkers, which give a richer, more solid colour.  I hope you like it.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

One for the (baby) boys...

Hello, I was having a sort out of my cards recently and realised I had a very limited selection to congratulate someone on the birth of their baby. I seem to get one made and then need it; the joy of having worked with a great group of youngsters.

I already had a spare card to hand for a baby girl, so thought I'd better have one for a little boy on stand-by! The main stamp set I used is called Made with Love, another set that had been languishing on my shelf for a while. It's also another of my retired sets.

As I've been working with masks recently, I thought I'd extend it slightly. I took my inspiration from a card on Pinterest, I really struggled to find the original post but think it is from an idea attributed to Barbara Grey.

First I created my own mask by die cutting various sized holes on a piece of scrap paper. I then laid it over some Shimmery White card stock cut to size before stamping my images; this ensured they were in the right place. I then masked them off so that they didn't get coloured as I was inking the background.

Using circular movements, I sponged my colours trying to blend the colours together. I have to admit some seem to blend better than others.

Same design, different colours

You might have noticed I haven't included the text with the stamped images of the kitten and fawn. My handy tip today is to place sellotape over any part of a stamp you don't want in your finished image. Ink up the stamp as usual and then remove the tape.

The images were coloured using Promarkers - I don't often use them but sometimes they really come into their own. I've noticed that I even have a few that match my Stampin' Up ink colours which is handy.

I added just a little loop of ribbon and silver metallic thread behind the sentiment, which was raised using dimensionals. I hope you like it.