Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Everything's Coming Up Roses!

Following on from my last blog, here's another card I made using the same All Over Roses background stamp from My Favourite Things. I love this stamp - it offers so much scope; so many different ways you could use it.

So, basic white card blank with a gold mat adhered. This was to connect with the elaborate fancy gold label made with a Spellbinders die. I'm really enjoying trying to combine these intricate dies with more modern components.

I stamped a square of white card with the All Over Roses stamp using Versamark and then heat embossed it with Stampin' Up! White embossing powder.

Next step was to start tinting the card with Pink Pirouette ink. As it was not a large area, I just used a sponge dauber and used the ink straight from the pad. I worked from the left hand corner upwards with a pale first layer, then kept adding layers to intensify the colour but creating an 'ombré ' shaded effect so that the bottom left hand corner was a true pink and the top right hand corner remained white. Add gradually - you can always add more but you can't take it away!

I used double sided tape to fix this patterned mat over the gold mat. I cut the label die from Stampin' Up! Gold paper/card. I must add that I usually use a cheaper brand of gold card but I found the Stampin' Up! Card to be far superior - it was such a marvellously dense gold foil, super lush and well worth the money as it really added something extra to the card

The Spellbinders label die includes the corresponding oval shape, which I cut with Pink Pirouette card and glued to the gold label with a small patch of fun foam between. I printed and gold foiled the sentiment using my Minc machine and Heidi Swapp gold foil and hand cut it to size and trimmed the ends, then threaded it through the label  - the foam gave it a nice lift.

Nearly finished. I then just cut more fun foam and, using double sided tape, I attached it to the back of the label and then onto the card. I only use the little foam pads for sticking flowers or small elements on. I much prefer the effect that a larger piece of fun foam gives. It's more robust for postage and when viewed from the side, looks so much neater.

If you don't have a foiling machine, you could easily stamp or emboss any sentiment on this card - in fact I plan to make it in various colours and make it up to the last stage when I can add any sentiment as appropriate for times when I need a card in a hurry.

I love this card. It's elegant and fancy without being horribly fussy and I hope you like it too.

Thanks for dropping by.


Non SU products

Roses All Over background stamp from My Favourite Things
Spellbinders label dies
Heidi Swapp Minc machine and gold foil

SU Product List

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Grey, but pretty!

My crafting friend Junie hit a milestone birthday last week and I made a little card to congratulate her.  In fact I made three cards, trying to decide which style would suit her! This is the one I eventually sent but I will show the other two in the next couple of blogs.

This is a marriage of Stampin' Up! products and products from other companies but it does demonstrate how you can combine your supplies to achieve the right look.

I used smoky slate SU card for the cardbase but assembled everything else before sticking it down onto this card. I like to try and minimise the opportunities for me to mess things up - as I'm rather prone to do! I try to get the individual elements ready and then build it.

The mat is made using pirouette pink SU cardstock, which I heat embossed with white embossing powder using a super new background stamp I've bought from My Favourite Things.  I can see so much potential for this lovely stamp and you will be seeing my various attempts to use it over the next week or two.

I used a 1" wide strip of white satin ribbon to back the fancy die cuts - I just anchored it with sticky tape on the back - and put it to one side.

The two frilly edged squares were cut with a lovely Spellbinders die. I cut one in silver pearlescent card  and the other in very pale pink pearlescent card - both from the Paperbox Company. I love this card -  it makes anything look special.  I used ordinary Tombow adhesive to attach the pink square to
the silver one and cut a square of fun foam to size and stuck it to the back of the silver shape with double sided tape. I also added double sided tape to the back of these two, but didn't attach it to the base card at this point.

Next, I die cut the word "congrats" using a Stampin' Up! die and smoky slate card and painted over it with a generous amount of Clear Wink of Stella. So pretty. I gently curved the word and fitted it to the fancy squares.

As I hadn't had any of my usual mishaps, I was ready to layer up the card!  The finishing touch was to punch out several little flowers with an old SU punch, but you could use any die that was similar, using the gorgeous Dazzling Diamonds Glimmer card from SU. This is lovely as it has pink and blue glints when it sparkles. I added tiny pale pink pearls to the centre of the flowers to tie everything together.

Sounds long winded but it didn't take too long -  making my mind up is the worst part!

Hope you like this little card and thanks for dropping by.


Products used
My Favourite Things Roses All Over background stamp
Spellbinders dies
Pearlescent card from the Paperboy Company
Pink Pearls from Crafts U Love

Product List for Stampin' Up! products

Monday, 13 February 2017

Razzle Dazzle Tassels

Tassels are enjoying a revival at the moment and I watched a really good video by Lorrie Nunemaker showing how to make paper tassels using a special die to cut the paper.  

I wanted to try my hand at making them and, being the impatient sort, I wanted to make them right away. Unfortunately I didn't have the special die and wasn't even sure if it was worth buying one, after all, it could be a five minute wonder.

I know you can use those special multi bladed scissors too, but again I didn't have any and I wanted to make my tassels there and then.

So using only tools that most of us have to hand, I came up with the following:

I cut strips of card 5" long by 1 3/8th" wide and using a ruler, I drew a pencil line along the long edge, 1" in from the edge. This was to give me a guide mark.

Then I used my score board to make score lines every 1/8th" along the length, up to the pencil line with the thinner end of the scoring tool. It sound laborious but doesn't take long. You could also use the scoring tool on the SU trimmer if you didn't have the score board.

Using a small pair of snips, cut up each scored line to the pencil mark.

To help curl the card into a tight roll, run a bone folder along the uncut edge of the cut card a few times.

Curl the beginning of the strip round the end of a thin paintbrush handle or an orange stick to begin with and then you will find you can roll it up tightly with just your fingers, making sure it is even, and use a dab of tombow or similar glue to fasten it at the end.

You can cover the end with a strip of foiled card, but I used a piece of of gold washi tape to bind the end and trimmed off the excess. 

Then I covered a strip of card with the same washi tape and cut a short length to make the ring. Curl it with a bone folder first, make a loop and put a dab of glue on the ends and push them down the hole at the top of the tassel. You can use a needle tool to press inside to make sure it's stuck. Just fan the end of the tassels slightly to make them flare.

The bag was made using the gift bag board and one of the Fruit Stand DSP papers, which has some very pretty reverse sides.

Tassels are made with Peekaboo Peach and Flirty Flamingo, wrapped with gold foil washi tape, but any tape would do or use gold foil paper.

Tags are made with Tip Top Taupe overprinted with a stamp from Timeless Textures and vellum white embossed with the World of Thanks stamp.

Flirty Flamingo Swirly Scribble die cut was used to link to the colour of the tassel.

I love them and I hope you do.  Thanks for stopping by.


Product List

Friday, 10 February 2017

Hearts and Flowers

Hello and a belated happy New Year! I've taken time off over Christmas to recharge my batteries and take stock and change direction slightly.

Although I am very happy to be a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, I have been playing with some new toys and new products made by other companies.  I like to incorporate these new ideas and techniques with my SU supplies to make my projects just a little bit different from every other SU demonstrator.

Among the new things I have been trying out are the Heidi Swapp Minc Foiling Machine, the Silhouette Portrait Cutting Machine, Spellbinders intricate dies, Hero Arts and Simon Says Stamp polymer stamps. So watch out for these to be used in future projects.


Well Valentines Day is looming and so have been playing with hearts and flowers.

My first card is very striking but really quite easy to achieve.  I used a black card base and heat embossed a pattern using clear embossing powder and a Stampin' Up! background stamp called Playful Backgrounds.  When heated, this clear powder looked like black patent stripes - very textural and smart.  I'm definitely going to be using this technique again as it totally transformed the plain card and I have a feeling that Super Shiny is going to be big this coming year.  Shiny accents like gel nail polish.

Next, I die cut the word "love" from some silver glitter card supplied by Paperbox and a few tiny hearts from their stunning fuchsia pink pearlescent card stock.  The little hearts are from a die by Simon Says Stamp, details below.

I arranged the die cuts into a pleasing pattern and stuck them down and added a strip of plain black card heat embossed in silver with the phrase "You have my heart", and added a bright pink heart for good measure!

I love this card, it looks sassy and modern and not over sentimental.


The next card could not be more different as it has the full hearts and flowers treatment.

This card was one of my first forays into using watercolour and it was surprisingly easy and enjoyable!

I first cut a rectangle of thick watercolour paper and using Versamark I stamped a stylised rose pattern from Simon Says Stamp twice so that the pattern stretched from one corner to the other. I added a couple of extra roses and leaves to balance the design, but you have to act quickly before the versa mark gets too dry!

I then heat embossed this pattern using white embossing powder and in real life, you can easily see the shiny white tracing of the pattern, which is subtle and pretty.  It also makes it very much easier to colour  in  as the embossing resists the watercolour.

Next, using low tack artists tape, I taped the card onto a piece of board so that all side edges were covered and I washed over the blank card with plain water, trying not to soak it too much. The tape prevents the card from stretching/shrinking.

You could use inks but I just used a couple of colours from an old watercolour paint box of mine - Crimson Alizarin and Sap Green - and carefully filled in the shapes.  Start by watering the colour down until it is very pale. Once all the shapes have their first colour applied, use your heat embossing tool on its low setting to carefully dry the card.

Now mix a little more colour into the first and just add little "dabs" (you can tell I'm no artist and forgive me for stating the obvious, but lots of people haven't painted like this since they were children) around the edges of the flowers and leaves.  This won't over wet the paper so you won't need to dry it again.  Then add a little more colour and again pick out little parts of the flower.  You are really just trying to break the shape up to give it depth  and movement.  It doesn't have to be perfect. In fact I quite like it to run over the white embossing in places. If you apply too much paint, just dab it with a little piece of kitchen roll and it will almost disappear.

You can stop there if you want, but I had a new paint box of fabulous metallic watercolours and I was determined to use them! I mixed the gold with a little water and just added accents to the edges of the roses and leaves to give them a lovely rich glow and then flicked some of the gold paint across the design because I like that effect.

Nearly finished.  While the card was drying, I stamped a large heart from the same stamp set in versamark on a scrap of watercolour paper and heat embossed it with gold embossing powder and using the  Crimson Alizarin a lot stronger, roughly filled the shape in, deliberately leaving it a little 'rough'.  I also painted a small square of paper the same colour and die cut a couple of tiny hearts with the heart die mentioned above from Simon Says Stamp. When dry, I cut the heart out easily by hand and glued it to the front of the card.

I cut a slip of vellum and heat embossed the sentiment in gold and tucked it just behind part of the heart and put a tiny dab of glue at the top right hand corner which was easily disguised by sticking the little pink heart over it.  If you don't do this, you will see an unsightly glue mark through the vellum which spoils the effect.

I mounted the card on a mat of Melon Mambo card which perfectly matched the pink heart and then adhered it to black card base.


I'm aware that my instructions are long winded but I'm learning as I go along and hoping that other beginners will be able to follow with me.  Old hands will just take one look and know how it was achieved.

Valentines cards are so pretty to make, I might make some more. Thanks for dropping by.



Non SU supplies used in these projects

Silver non-shedding glitter card and pearlescent card from The Paperbox Limited

Mini hearts Set Craft Die from Simon Says Stamp

Roses for You stamp set from Simon Says Stamp

Prima Metallic Accents Semi-Watercolour Paint set

All other products from Stampin' Up! as follows

Product List