Photo challenge

I have been having another play with layering stamps. Yet again. Trying to get my layers right, trying to get the colours right. Deciding if I want to use all the layers available, or only some of them. Do use black as an outline? Do I use a stronger toning colour? All the choices – which is probably why I struggle with them so much.

For this card, the inspiration was from another challenge blog. This one is called ‘Just Us Girls’ challenge 382. A photo challenge, with a gorgeous growth of red tulips, snow, and some green grass.

I decided to use my Altenew Lotus stamp set and matching die set. I used the die to cut some masking shapes so I could stamp the leaves as though they were coming out from under the flower. I only used two of the layers, when there are three for the two variations of the lotus, as I couldn’t match the reds so well with all three layers. The base colour is from Altenew ‘Red Cosmos’ collection, with the second deeper red is actually from Catherine Pooler inks – ‘Rocking Red’. Even though the flower isn’t a strong deep red, it certainly is stronger in real life than the photos depict.

The main flower I stamped and cut out separately, and layered it onto the small smaller flowers with 3D glue, inserting some of the leaves underneath it. I like the layered effect, though the card is still quite simple.

The sentiment is from another of my Altenew stamp sets, and I am certainly liking the painted effect these word stamps give, and I added a few sequins for some added effect, but did resist using my Spectrum sparkle pen this time!!

The card itself didn’t take long to make, but it did take me at least an hour to play with different colours, the different red inks I have, and having a search on YouTube and Pinterest – and I went my own way in the end. I get frustrated quite easily with layering stamps if I don’t manage to crack to code I mentioned on a previous blog post – and yet I carry on, and on, and on……

 

JUGS Blinkie

Adore you and smile

After a fairly decent day at work, I wanted to craft and play with some of my starry and shiny water colours.

Once again I have turned to the Altenew stamp set ‘I Adore you’ for a variation on a background. Again I stamped one image several times in Ranger Perfect Medium, and embossed the outline of the flowers with a copper embossing powder. I felt this particular flower had a lot of detail in it, and I liked the way it looked when stamped in different directions.

I also stamped some of the smaller flower/bud images in a couple of places where I felt it needed something extra, or there was too much white space. The flowers themselves I coloured in my Gansai Tambi starry colours to add some depth and sheen, using the white gold shade for  a lighter look which didn’t detract from the copper embossing on the flowers. I decided to change from colouring the background, and instead wanted the flowers themselves to be the centre of attention.

The sentiment is Altenew ‘Half Tone Smile’, stamped and embossed in copper, and cut out using the matching die, and added some sequins which seemed to match the colour tone, and one black jewel for the dot above the ‘i’.

I seem to be enjoying stamping and embossing at the moment, especially creating my own backgrounds, with a simple sentiment. Sometimes a card doesn’t have to say a lot to mean a lot. If you know what I mean.

I’ll be entering this card into the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge, with a theme of Anything Goes.

Hunkydory Layering Flowers

I am a great fan of layering stamps, but it takes me a lot of time to think of which colours, and which tones to use with them. I try to search through You Tube and Pinterest, but my efforts never seem to be anywhere near as good as anyone else seems to be able to do. I use the same stamps, the same inks, try water colour card, try stamping card – never turns out brilliant – only ‘OK’. And yet I persevere…………or is that being obstinate? Pig headed? Stubborn? I think it’s that I will one day crack the code. Until that time, I use the images in a variety of different ways.

This card came from a Hunkydory stamp set a bought a few weeks ago. It’s called ‘Layering Flowers’. The set comprises of two different size of flowers, with three layers for each flower, along with some leaves, and ferns. A lovely set from the ‘For the love of…stamps’ range.

I started by stamping the smaller outline to cover most of the background, and instead of using all three layers for the flowers, I used a very light ink from Altenew, called Buttercream on the base layer only. My thought on this card was for a very simple card, not many layers, and only a hint of colour.

I then looked for ways to fill-in the white spaces, and looked for smaller shapes I could insert quite easily, and therefore turning to my Catherine Pooler sets. She has quite a few stamp sets, and many of them have a lot of smaller elements, ideal for filling spaces in with. I chose this little flower, and stamped it all over the white spaces in the same Buttercream shade. I didn’t want them to show up, really, but just wanted them to add something extra.

For an additional point of interest for the flowers – yes, you guessed it – I used my clear Spectrum sparkly pen. I ‘found’ them again, and now I can’t put them down! The sentiment was stamped onto a piece of white card, and then attached to the card base, and I also added a few small gems in a toning colour.

I like the apparent simplicity of this card, even though there is a lot of detail when it is broken down into the steps taken to make it, and may make a bunch of similar cards for Neurocare, as they have asked me recently for more everyday cards to sell.

 

Painted jellyfish colour challenge

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Another part of my delivery which included quite a few Altenew products. I particularly liked these jellyfish stamps, which come with the two dies. I was searching through the ‘Paper Playful‘ web site looking for a challenge to use this set. Paper Playful is a web site of the current challenges around, and whilst I may not always enter the challenges, they do give quite a few ideas and inspiration. I sometimes go off on my own little tangent, which means I can’t enter challenges as the rules are usually quite clear, but it does mean I get to play with my crafty goodies.

The challenge for this card came from the ‘Just add ink‘ challenge blog. The challenge is to use just the four colours listed – Mint Macaron, Pear Pizzazz, Perfect Plum, and Rose Red. These are all colours within the Stampin Up range. I have two of the colours in ink pads, and two of the colours are in my Stampin Up pens.

I used water colour card, wet it down fairly liberally, then added the Mint Macaron and Pear Pizzazz colours in a wash effect, creating a mellow background which I wanted to look like the sea. The jellyfish are several layers which you add on top of each other to create the effect, and using different colours works out quite nicely. (I know, I’m trying layering stamps again!!)

I stamped the outline of the two jellyfish on some normal white card, using my Perfect Plum pen, and then stamped the outline again in Rose Red for a deeper and more varied outline. The next couple of layers I used the two green colours, also mixing them up, and again mixing the red and plum together on one layer to get a deeper colour.

The overall effect is nothing like the colours listed in the challenge – but they are the only colours I used, despite them coming out different as I mixed them up a little.

I stamped some fronds/sea weed from another stamp set by Hero Arts – Layering Goldfish – in the plum colour, wanting it quite distressed looking, which I think I achieved. The sentiment is from the jellyfish stamp set. And yet again I used my Spectrum sparkle clear pen on the jellyfish – I may do a card with it it at some point……….and used green card as a card base.

I did think about adding some bubbles, or clear dots, or sequins – but I left it alone for a change.

 

Altenew ‘Amazing You’

I had a delivery yesterday day from ‘Seven Hills Crafts’ which included a lot of Altenew stamp and die sets. Immediately – which do I use first, how do I decide, what am I going to make…..? All those questions, and I found it very difficult to decide. I started by using Pinterest and YouTube to search for images, when I should have really gone straight to the Altenew web site. Really, I should have, would have saved me a load of time!

On the Altenew web site, they have challenges, and it made me decide, and answered all my questions. The February inspiration challenge is from a beautiful picture taken by the host Aga – lovely colours, bright and cheerful. There we have it – it certainly inspired me.

I started by using the ‘Amazing You’ stamp set, and stamped three of the flowers and stems onto a smooth white base. Once I had stamped them in black, I was also spoilt for choice on how to colour them. I knew I wanted to use the bright pink and the green – but which pens, or water colours, or inks to use…..?

Whilst I was looking round my craft room at all my choices, my eyes lit upon my Spectrum Sparkle pens – and a sparkle certainly lit in my eyes. Sparkly pink for the flowers, and sparkly green for the leaves. Sorted. Then, another conundrum. (Will these never end?) How do I decorate it? Which sentiment do I use? My goodness, I was again spoilt for choice.

I ended up using the sentiment which came from the stamp set, and I thought it was quite fitting. ‘Hello Beautiful’. Lovely. Then I decided to add more sparkle by splashing my pink Spectrum Noir sparkle pen at the picture, and added even more sparkle by splashing my clear sparkle pen at the picture.

The photograph which shows the sparkle is taken at an angle to try to show how really, really, sparkly these pens are, so forgive the amateur photography. I will be entering this card into the Altenew February challenge, as the picture inspired me so quickly, and Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge.

As I mentioned earlier, I have had quite a delivery today, so hopefully I can play to my heart’s content in the next few days. I hope you like what I come up with.

Thinking about you

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I finally managed to upload the cards I made yesterday so I could add them here. Seemed to take forever…..

These little notelets are from a pack I bought from a craft show near me recently. By using these packs, I don’t have to worry about making envelopes to fit them, and so they end up being quite cheap to make. I will be giving the set – I made 16 of them altogether – to the charity for them to sell.

They are generic, and can be used for all sorts of occasions, or even just because you can. The stamp set is from Stampin Up called ‘Avant Garden’, and it includes a few flowers, some leaves. This stamp set was free as part of an order I had made. I love that the stamping looks as though you have water coloured it, leaving the effect quite sketchy.

I didn’t use any layers – apart from the sentiment – and stamped straight onto the card base itself. The colours are from some Stampin Up inks I have, and the card in the top left corner has been stamped off, giving the effect of using two different colours.

I thought the sentiments were lovely. The ‘lift me up’ sentiment is from another Stampin Up set of the same name, and ‘you’re in my thoughts’ is from yet another stamp set.

I added a few sequins – because I could! No other particular reason, they just added something extra which I thought was missing.

I am really having fun creating my own backgrounds, and have a few stamp and die sets from a recent order from Stampin Up (Shell Bower being my local independent demonstrator) Shell has also hosted a couple of craft days for me and my friends. 6 of us getting together to make cards, a Christmas cracker, a box – loads of fun and laughter throughout the few hours she was with us. Even the none crafty people found it interesting to know what we did.

I have a few spare evenings this week, so I am planning a few more cards using my recent new purchases, and I look forward to sharing them with you.

I Adore You

This weekend I have playing with my Altenew stamp set ‘I Adore You’. This is full of flowers of different sizes and shapes, and have found that I enjoy stamping this to create my own background. I have used a variety of colours with a variety of techniques over the weekend.

Some of the cards I have stamped and embossed the flowers, and some – like the card above – just stamped in my Versafine black ink. I tried using normal card to stamp and colour on, but if I want to watercolour the card – then of course I really need to use watercolouring card/paper. Doh!! Of course!! It certainly does spread the ink better, as expected. I don’t really know why I try watercolouring on normal card – except to say you learn by your mistakes.

I smooshed Altenew ink onto my craft sheet, and used a water brush to water it down, then colour the background in. I found the Crafters Companion water colour card is lovely, and I also like the way you can sometimes see the grain on the card, as it all adds to the look and feel, I think. I don’t wet the card before colouring, just take it straight from the craft mat with my brush, and away I go.

Anyway, from the different colour backgrounds, I like the red better, a less vibrant look achieved when watercolouring, which is what I wanted. Quite a muted red, but lets the flowers themselves stand out. As the flowers were in black, I added the sentiment in black also, just to tie things in together. I like the look of the stitched panel, as I didn’t want to add another layer to the card, wanting to keep it quite simple.

I added some clear beads to the front of the card – actually I couldn’t stop adding them. You may think there are too many, but I like the added dimension they give. Looking now at the first picture, I think a little glitter got into the card background – yet another form of dimension I wasn’t planning on. Well, it is hand made, after all.

I may have more time for crafting this week, and you may find there will be more cards here – that’s if my blinking Wi-Fi will play and work even remotely quickly. It’s currently stuck downloading my pictures for the cards from today into my dropbox…..whirly blue wheel going round and round and round…….bear with me for the next installment.