Friday, 24 September 2010

A Pheasant Stroll

I fell in love with Stampin' Up's Autumn Days and its majestic pheasant stamp the minute I laid eyes on the set and bought it at my first opportunity. I was quite gleeful when it arrived, and I spent many a day virtually drooling all over the box. However, I just couldn't figure out how to best use the stamps in a card design. This stamp set remained unused for a full year!

As I'm preparing to teach a Rubber Stamping Class in mid-October, I decided that it was well and truly time to dust off this poor neglected, yet loved, stamp set and create an autumnal card. I went to Split Coast Stampers Stampin' Up galleries for inspiration.

As I scrolled through hundreds and hundreds of cards using Autumn Days, I realized then that others must have struggled with capturing the pure beauty of the pheasant stamp, too. Other stamps in the set, such as the harvest wheat and winter pine cones, had been used to unmistakable grandeur. But the pheasant stamp had rarely been featured or shone in the best artistic light.

So . . . you can imagine my elation when I finally stumbled across Barbara Howell's creation, which you can see by clicking here. I took her card design and changed it a bit to result in my cards that you see pictured.

One of the best aspects of the pheasant stamp is that it is perfect for using markers to achieve a range of harmonic colors. I used five different shades of Stampin' Up markers. Use the lighter shades first and begin coloring the rubber stamp. Try not to cover over colors. Right before stamping the colored image on your cardstock, huff/breathe on the rubber stamp to moisten the inks.

To make the background, I used Stampin' Up's brand new designer paper, Newsprint. The technique to create the background is very easy. The berry branch stamp from Autumn Days was inked in Cherry Cobbler and stamped onto the Newsprint cardstock. Then the paper was crumbled into a ball. As I flattened out the paper, I antiqued and distressed the creased folds and edges with Soft Suede and Crumb Cake inks.

Mounting cardstock used included black, Not Quite Navy and Cajun Craze. The happy birthday stamp is a brand new Stampin' Up set called Perfect Punches, and it works wonderfully to nestle under the arch of the pheasant tale!

This card is perfect to give as an autumn card or a year-round masculine birthday card. I seem to always have way too many floral cards, and this makes a great change. Thank you, Barbara, for your inspiration!

This card will be among two other designs that I will teach on Oct. 13.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Mama-Razzi Mini Album

If you are wondering why it's been so long since my last posting, I spent the summer in Colorado away from my crafting supplies. While I had a FABULOUS time in Colorado, it is nice to be home in England -- and reunited with my 'toys.'

Now that I've returned to my creative studio, the first thing I made was this BoBunny Mama-Razzi mini album, which I plan to give as a gift.

I brought six of these BoBunny albums back in my luggage from the US, and I plan to teach this class kit to some of my crafty friends here in England.

The kit comes with instructions, but I didn't always follow them -- as usual! I needed to make the album a bit more masculine because it is a gift for my son's summer fishing coach and friend.

The original instructions include flowers and slightly different embellishments and layout. The kit contains so much extra stuff that it's very easy to alter the album to your personal tastes. I had enough left over materials that I could almost make another mini album!

By the way, the class kit contained:

•Mama-razzi Paper Collection

•Mama-razzi Cut Outs and Combo Sticker Sheet

•6" x 6" Inserts

•Assorted ribbon, flowers, buttons and bling, and metal binder rings

•Full page color instructions

•Text Sheet