Last night after dinner I was sitting on the sofa and wondering when my free stamp sets were going to be delivered. Naturally, I grabbed my iPad and checked on the package to find out that they had been delivered 8 hours previously. Of course I hurried out to the mailbox to get them. How did I get free stamp sets? When I signed up as a demonstrator, I discovered that if I sold (which includes my own purchases) $300 per month for 3 months, I’d earn 2 free stamp sets. Good deal. :) And not hard to do.

I started with my favourite flower from Mixed bunch and some rose red ink. I decided to fill the card apart from a gap for the sentiment. Of course, in my haste, I neglected to actually select the sentiment first and couldn’t find an appropriate Happy Birthday to fit. So I grabbed “You’re in my thoughts” from a the Dozen Thoughts stamp set and used that. It was okay but there was something not quite right. My brother pointed out that it was just not bold enough to stand up to the flowers. So this morning, I did it the right way round – I stamped the sentiment FIRST! Here’s what I ended up with:

rose red mixed bunch hb

Base: 8.5″ by 5.5″ rose red

Top layer: 4″ by 5.25″ very vanilla

Stamp sets: Sassy Salutations, Mixed bunch

Ink: Rose red

As long as you stamp the sentiment first so that it has room to breathe, you can’t go far wrong constructing this card. I stamped the complete right hand side flower first and worked my way to the bottom left hand corner and then filled in the edges. I finished this off with a rose red liner for the envelope from the backgrounds DSP stack in regals.

I really like this card. It’s happy and bright and cheerful and perfect for a birthday. And the sentiment isn’t overwhelmed by the flowers. I think it would work well as a thank you card too. I see lots of possibilities for this stamp. Stay tuned!

It is amazing to me that I am having so much fun with colour. I would describe myself as colour challenged. Or I would have until I started making cards. I think it’s fair to say that Stampin’ Up! has changed my view of myself. When I started making cards 3.5 months ago I was very much into monochromatic cards – don’t get me wrong, I still love them. But I was having to challenge myself to have two colours on a card and then three. I still find DSP challenging (although I love it as envelope liners) but I’m working on that too! It is enormously helpful having the families of colours – a safety net if you will.

Having said all that, I’m showing cards of only one colour each today!

I also love texture and have completely fallen for the Northern Flurry embossing folder. Once I’d realised that I liked the design as a landscape card and that there was a handy place to add heat embossing, I was sold. And then I started trying the effects of other colour card stock and embossing colours. I find it absolutely fascinating the effects of the different colours.

White embossing powder on night of navy

DSC_0137adj

Silver embossing powder on rich razzleberry

northern flurry rich razzleberry

I accidentally cut the cardstock a quarter inch too small and decide to add an extra layer of very vanilla (or whisper white in the case of the melon mambo) to compensate. I’ve decided that I prefer the extra framing effect this gives but I’m still at a loss to decide which colour I like best.

Silver embossing powder on melon mambo

northern flurry melon mambo

Gold embossing powder on garden green

northern flurry garden green

Gold embossing powder on real red

northern flurry real red

It’s lucky that I don’t need to have a favourite!

 

It was my brother in law’s birthday a few months back and I knew what I wanted to do for his card. I planned to use the Happy Hours set and it worked out pretty well – a row of 5 different shaped glasses in lost lagoon and hello honey. Until the day after I made the card and I was using Blackberry bliss. My sister, Caro, had warned me about this colour telling me that it is hard to get off the stamps so as not to contaminate the Stampin’ Scrub and then shortly after, have all your “cleaned” stamps have a slight pink tinge. So I had a brainwave and squirted Stampin’ Mist onto the stamp itself to get most of the ink off (after I’d stamped and stamped and stamped and got off as much as possible). This worked really well apart from the magenta freckles that appeared on my arm. Oh. And on Ben’s card. One dot right above a stamped glass. All I could think to do was to add a blackberry bliss cocktail umbrella right over the dot and a second one and an olive. And it worked! And made me realise that this little pop of blackberry bliss improved the card. And it looked as if I’d meant to do it in the first place!

I liked the effect so much that I grabbed more blackberry bliss and lost lagoon and did more glasses. I know olives aren’t purple, but I like the look. This card evolved as it went along – the whisper white cardstock is actually matted on blackberry bliss which is matted on the moonlight DSP stack. Including the copyright on the moonlight paper which I didn’t notice at the time! I decided that I didn’t like the extra DSP at the sides and cut that down so it now looks as if there are just 2 little strips of DSP above and below.

bb cheers 4 glasses

Base: Blackberry bliss 8.5″ by 5.5″

DSP: 3 1/8″ by 4.25″

Blackberry bliss mat: 2.25″ by 4.25″

Top layer: 2″ by 4.25″

Stamp set: Happy Hour

Inks: Lost lagoon, blackberry bliss

 

After making this one, I decided to simplify things and made it again, this time in hello honey and blackberry bliss. At least the strawberry is closer to the proper colour!

bb cheers 4 glasses yellow

Base: Blackberry bliss 8.5″ by 5.5″

DSP: Moonlight stack: 2 strips of 3/8″ by 4.25″

Top layer: 2.25″ by 4.25″

Stamp set: Happy Hour

Inks: Hello honey, blackberry bliss

This time instead of all the matting, I merely adhered 2 small strips of DSP above and below of the white cardstock. Easier, just as effective and the card doesn’t weigh a ton!

 

It’s rather warm here today, so perhaps this card isn’t appropriate, but I wanted to post it fairly soon after the other cards using this stamp set. Earlier I did a masculine “Sending good thoughts” card stamped in always artichoke and then more recently a Happy Birthday card in night of navy on pistachio pudding coloured painter’s tape. Here’s another take on the same stamp.

Night of navy trees twice

Base: Night of navy cardstock 8.5″ by 5.5″

Top layer: Whisper white 4.75″ by 3″

Stamp set: Lovely as a tree

Ink: Night of navy

This is a very simple and yet effective technique. In case you haven’t noticed, I like simple techniques that give more than you’d expect. I merely stamped the image in night of navy ink and then, without re-inking, stamped it again having moved the stamp up and to the right. I had to try it out a few times to get the trees to sit right and in fact, the stamp-a-ma-jig is very useful here.

 

The colours make for a rather soothing card, I feel. I decided that it was best without a sentiment on the front and left it blank inside so that I could add an appropriate sentiment when needed.

 

I’m still hooked on making Christmas cards; I’m having so much fun playing with bright colours and sparkly gold glimmer paper and heat embossing as you may have noticed. Today my new order was delivered so I can use garden green and cherry cobbler now to my heart’s delight. But before I get to that – here’s another in non-traditional colours – although it does have gold glimmer paper!

embossed trees noel pear pizzazz

Base: 5.5″ by 8.5″ Pear pizzazz folded in half

Mat: 5.25″ by 4″ very vanilla

Top layer: 5″ by 3.75″ pear pizzazz

No ink!

This is very easy to put together. First run the pear pizzazz through the big shot in the On Point embossing folder. Then get out your wax paper and put it between the noel die (from the Wondrous Wreaths framelit set) and some wax paper. This makes it much easier to get the Noel off the die, but it does take a little patience. It helps to poke something through the holes in the die. Just adhere the Noel to the embossed layer and then that layer to the mat and it all to the card. Done!

I tried this without the very vanilla mat but in old olive (because I ran out of pear pizzazz!); I’ll put that in a later post so that you can see whether you prefer it with the mat.