Throwback Thursday Texture Tips and Techniques

Fortunate to Know You Birthday Card

Fortunate to Know You fun fold card with stamping techniques to create visual interest and tips on creating your own DSP and card layouts.

This stamp set, Fortunate to Know You, is an oldie but a goodie. The layout is one I’ve used before— get the details here. I’m sharing this card to showcase a couple of techniques or tips for you to try with your stamp sets.

The Stamping

The first thing is the color combo. It’s a little more interesting than a traditional monochromatic card because I’ve paired Real Red, a bold color, with neutrals like Crumb Cake, Smokey Slate, and wood grain in the chopsticks.

Next, I used tone on tone stamping to create my own DSP or visual texture with the fortune cookie stamp. A couple of tips when you do this. Rotate the stamp so you don’t get a row of identical images in the same direction. Also, stamp off the edge of your paper. This cuts the image off and adds interest. The eye reads it as part of a larger sheet of stamped paper, and it becomes wallpaper instead of stamped images that require the viewer’s eye to focus, which means texture instead of a focal point. You don’t want the background to compete with your focal point.

The third thing I’d invite you to try is stamping on your DSP. For the chopsticks, I stamped the image on woodgrain DSP and cut them out with scissors (fussy cut). The stamp is just an outline image, so by stamping on something that has a pattern, I made it more interesting with zero work. For the take-out box, I added interest by coloring in select spots with Stampin’ Blends. I used Smokey Slate for the handle, a little bit of Ivory for the shadows on the corners, and Real Red for the Heart.

The Layout

The last thing is the arrangement of the focal point. The chopsticks, sentiment, and red rhinestones are laid out in a triangle. This draws the eye around the card. The viewer takes in the DSP’s texture, the stamped pieces, but their eye is focused on the main images. Also, notice that the pieces are connected. The chopsticks are laid across the box in line with the handle. And the sentiment is tucked under the box and touched by the chopsticks. That keeps the layout from feeling busy or disjoint. These pieces connect to form one focal point.

I hope you enjoyed these tips and techniques and you try it with your stamp sets. Happy crafting!

Stencil Alternates for the Here’s To You Paper Pumpkin

Here's To You March 2021 Paper Pumpkin cards by Stampin' Up! made as designed. The kit included bonus stencils, but they aren't used for these samples.

Paper Pumpkin celebrated another anniversary in March. This means that subscribers got a gorgeous custom box, fantastic project designs (as always), and a bonus stencil set with a sponge. These are the two cards the kit made, including custom envelope liners. I love the outdoor theme—we all need a little more fresh air. The stamping was super simple, so the cards came together very easily.

The alternatives I have for you this month focus on using stencils. Stampin’ Up! has a full-sized set of stencils in the annual catalog and is coming out with a second set in the new catalog in May. Maybe you haven’t tried to use stencils in your crafting. If not, this kit was a great inspiration to jump in!

Sunburst Stencil Card

Alternate card using the sunburst stencil from the Here's To You Paper Pumpkin kit.

Before starting this card, I cut my sponge into four pieces. It’s easier to hold and makes stenciling more manageable. I started with the back cut from one of the Petal Pink cards in the kit. I taped down the lower corners with old Washi tape on my workspace, which I covered with scrap paper. Stenciling is an inky endeavor. Then I taped the sunburst stencil toward the top of the card stock. The cool part was that I could get a little messy because I trimmed the card at the end to get “perfect edges.”

I started by inking my sponge, tapping it once on my scrap paper, and then, using a combination of pouncing, dapping, gentle rubbing, I filled in the image. This one is a little tricky because the spokes want to lift. But slowing down and taking my time allowed me to get a good image. In fact, I like the variation in the coverage because it looks more like a sunbeam.

After I finished with the stenciling part, I trimmed my card stock to 3-1/2″ x 4-3/4″. I used the bottom of one of the envelope liners cut to 1-1/4″ x 3-1/2″ to place at the bottom and hide any over-inking. Before I added the card to the base of Bumblebee, I added some of the linen thread in the kit at the seam of the DSP and the card. Lastly, I stamped some birds on the pre-punched pieces and put them at the top of the card on Dimensionals. Happy Birthday is stamped in Pretty Peacock.

The Slimline Artistic Alternate

A slimline style alternative for the Here's to You Paper Pumpkin it that uses the clouds stencil.

This card uses a couple of interesting stamping techniques as well as the cloud stencil from the kit. I decided to go with a slimline layout to have plenty of room for my trees. The card’s base is Calypso Coral cut at 8-1/2″x7″ scored on the 7″ side at 3-1/2″. I used Basic White card stock for the stamped layer cut to 3-1/4″ x 8-1/4″.

To begin, I stamped the trees in Pretty Peacock about an inch in from the edge. Without re-inking, I stamped to the left and right and left to fill in a forest-like space. I repeated that at the other end of the card. I frequently use second-generation stamping to control the intensity of the image, but this was a good way to give a sense of depth to the collection of trees.

Next, using Bumblebee ink, I used just the top of the flower stamp in the kit to create a meadow effect between and under the trees.

The Stenciling

For the clouds, I just held the stencil in place, starting at the top of the card, and with the stencil off the edge, I sponged Seaside Spray along the edge of the stencil opening, just along the round parts. The trick with clouds is that you’re inking in the negative space to define the white areas to give the impression of big fluffy white clouds. I moved the stencil over and then down, repeating the process so I had about three rows of clouds. Stagger them so they aren’t all lined up, and watch the straight edges of the stencil to avoid having harsh lines.

After I finished all my inking, I cut the pre-printed image from the front of the card I used in the Sunburst card. I layered that on over a couple of boo-boos. I added the pre-punched trees on Dimensionals. To fill in a big white space to the left of the image, I added some of the birds in Smokey Slate. Lastly, I stamped one of the sentiments and layered it on a scrap of the Petal Pink card. To lift that piece, I put it on Dimensionals.

Stencils are a lot of fun. They can be used with ink, with embossing paste, a cutting guide if you’re brave, even heat embossing. I hope I’ve inspired you to give them a try. Happy crafting

Dragonfly Dreams

You know you love crafting when you dream about the cards you can make. This is one of those cards. I had been experimenting with using ink on my acrylic blocks to make interesting backgrounds. Starting with a couple of drops of Bumblebee, I smeared it on my big block using an aqua painter. I “stamped” it onto white card stock. I repeated the process with So Saffron, trying to fill the gaps in the original transfer. Then I left it overnight.

And had a dream.

The next morning, I sponged Soft Suede on the edges and over the blank spaces of the paper. Then I stamped the flowers from the Dragonfly Garden stamp set. Next, I added that to a layer of Soft Suede paper along with some faux suede trim and some Antique embellishments: the buckle and the four corners. For the base, I used Very Vanilla.

The Dragonfly

The dragonfly received special treatment. Using the Stamparatus, I stamped the image in Soft Suede. Then I stamped over it with Versamark only on the wings. To perfectly line up the second stamping, you must use a stamp positioning tool like the Stamparatus. Instead of embossing powder, I sprinkled the image with Heat n’ Stick powder and melted it with my heat tool. Lastly, I added gold leafing. If you zoom in, you will see how the fine lines in the wings are lightly gilded. I punched this image out using the dual dragonfly punch included in the bundle.

The sentiment is from the Art Gallery stamp set.

I hope I’ve inspired you to experiment with your craft supplies and create something you’ve dreamed of. Happy crafting.