I was struggling to come up with a card design after a friend texted and asked for some valentines, and it didn’t help that it’s just a couple of days from now! I have a lot of stamps in my creative stash and sometimes that becomes more of a hindrance than a solution. I haven’t used this heart stamp in quite a while so I decided to play around with it and include a sentiment that wasn’t strictly “happy valentine’s day” so that the card can be given to someone on any day. It’s a good example of how you can take one stamp and combine it with multiple ink pads to create a very simple card design.
I’m sure that there must be a gazillion Christmas themed stamp sets, so how do you choose one? One aspect that I look for when it comes to buying new products is versatility. Can I use it in more than one way? How can I get the most use out of it? And when it comes to stamp sets, I try to think of how many designs I may be able to come up with. I had the opportunity to try the “Ready for Christmas” photopolymer stamp and die cut set by Stampin’ Up! and enjoyed creating different scenes with it.
Doesn’t it look like I stamped half a million flowers and leaves on this card design?
If you’re a crafty stamper too, you may have picked up on this trend of “layered stamping” because I feel like it’s everywhere. When I first began using stamp sets that came in multiple pieces (the layers), I’ll admit that I found it daunting. I’m supposed to line up what to what now? How do I know where this one goes compared to that one? You get the idea. It took some practice (and patience!) to figure out some of the unique qualities behind layered stamping, and I think the “Home Life” stamp set from Stampin’ Up! is a great way to ease your way through the use of this fun technique.
A while ago, Stampin’ Up! came out with alcohol-based markers to use along with their stamp sets. Unfortunately they were only on the market for a short time as they discovered an issue with the manufacturer. Alas, they’ve come up with a new line of them and I had the opportunity to try some of them out. These dual-tip markers are being offered in 12 different colors and 2 shades (a light and a dark) within each color, plus a color lifter marker. They’re a great way to color in stamped images where you want to see some use of shading. I’ve paired them up with the “Floral Statements” stamp set to try them out.
We’ve become one of those households that loves celebrating Halloween. It has also become a good reason for me to whip out some of my old stamps and embellishments, and I love that our 5-year-old enjoys crafting as much as I do!
I think I owe my fondness of orchids to our mother: she has this incredible knack of being able to keep them alive in her house, and they continue to bloom year after year. She must have at least a dozen at a time, and each time I see an orchid flower or plant I think of her. Stampin’ Up! has this stamp set called “Climbing Orchid” and it has matching dies so that you can cut out the stamped images too. We had a couple of yucky rainy days recently so it was perfect for staying in to craft. Here are a few card designs to illustrate ways you can use the stamps.
There’s a great stamp set by Stampin’ Up! called “oh so succulent” that comes with a matching die set. The stamp set follows the new trend of two-step stamping where the outline and the filled in part are two different stamps. I played around with different ink and paper colors, and mostly just used the stamps by themselves (they are not the easiest to line up correctly because of all the different points on a succulent plant, plus I’m just not that great at it!). It became quite meditative to stamp and cut them out without actually thinking about what to do with them later. But I knew eventually they would come together to make some sort of card.
One thing that I’ve been appreciating more these days is the ability to use crafting supplies in multiple ways. Take for example, a stamp set and coordinating dies. Manufacturers have made it much easier to create stamped images and then cut them out by using detailed dies (with the help of cutting tools and machines) for paper crafting. But today, I decided to try them out on felt instead and managed to create a fun little playing board for our 5-year-old to play with. In this particular example I used the “Basket Bunch” photopolymer stamps and coordinating dies from Stampin’ Up.
I have to admit that sometimes I don’t like all of the stamps that are included in a stamp set. If I’m lucky there’ll be a couple of components that stand out to me enough to make it worth buying the entire set, and in this case it was the little flowers and banner that caught my eye. I used the flowers to do another one of my favorite techniques: creating a stamped background image on a card.