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

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