One Layer Masculine Birthday

Hi there

The card I have for you today uses the reverse masking technique.  This is a very simple and effective technique to create a sponged background that works beautifully with silhouette stamps.  I have turned my piece into a one layer masculine birthday card. It has dimension (the layer is sitting on foam pads), a pop of colour and some texture with the linen thread detail, but nothing too fussy.

I used the Squares Collection framelits to create the rectangle for my sponging. You die cut the square as normal and then pop the framelit back into the die cut space and extend over the card stock to the height that you want. Run it through the Big Shot again and you have your rectangle. You can use the negative space of any shape such as a circle, heart or the myriad of other die shapes to create the mask. You can use Stampin' Sponges or sponge daubers to add the colour to your negative space. I find daubers give a softer looking finish.

The colours I have used for the sponging are Pool Party, Bermuda Bay and Night of Navy at the top.  The tree image is from the 'In the Meadow' stamp set and the greeting is from the new Sale-a-bration stamp set 'Party Pants'. The Basic Black Archival ink gives a strong true black for the silhouette image.  Unfortunately I couldn't get the photos to do justice to the beautiful bright Bermuda Bay of the base card or the sponged panel. It looks more like Island Indigo in the photo. You will have to take my word that it pops in real life!


Stampin' Up! Reverse Masking with In the Meadow and Party Pants

For the inside I have a mat of Night of Navy card stock and the writing panel has the smaller tree stamped on the left and grounded by a strip of Bermuda Bay washi tape from the 'Bohemian' set. 


If you haven't used this technique before, then I hope you will give it a try. 

Project Details
Stamps In the Meadow, Party Pants (2016 Saleabration)
Card stock & Papers     Bermuda Bay, Whisper White, Night of Navy
 Ink Basic Black Archival, Pool Party, Bermuda Bay, Night of Navy
Accessories Linen Thread, Basic Metal Buttons, Bohemian Washi tape
Tools     Squares Collection Framelits, Big Shot, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Sponge Daubers, Dimensionals

Thanks for looking!

Elegant Toile


One of the great things about Convention is the demonstration of techniques old and new that get the inspiration and creativity flowing.  This year, the bleach technique was demonstrated on the main image from the 'Elements of Style' stamp set.   This a great design for this technique, so I decided to give it a go myself.  The last time I tried bleaching was here, way back in 2009 with the purpose of recolouring the image.  This time I've left it white, as it is a very detailed design.


Here is a close up of part of the flower panel.  I've really like the soft look and slight variations in colour, rather than being totally white.


Project Details
Stamps Elements of Style, You're a Gem
Card stock & Papers Soft Suede (Textured), Rose Red, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White
Ink Versamark, Soft Suede
Accessories White Taffeta Ribbon, 1mm Pearls (not SU)
Tools Beautiful Wings Die, Swiss Dots Embossing Folder, Big Shot, Oval Punches,  Scallop Border Punch, Dimensionals, Clear embossing powder, Heat gun, Aqua Painter, Bleach

This time, I used the 'Bella Toile' background stamp  on Marina Mist cardstock and it gives a slightly less white look. This reminds me of the toile fabric that I bought in Auxerre, France a few years ago.   Apologies for the lighting on this photo, as I took it at night with artificial light.


Project Details
Stamps Bella Toile, Teeny Tiny Sentiments
Card stock & Papers Very Vanilla (Textured), Early Espresso, Marina Mist
Ink Versamark, Early Espresso
Accessories Very Vanilla Taffeta Ribbon, Basic Pearls, 1mm Pearls (not SU)
Tools Scallop Trim border punch, Word Window punch, Butterfly punch (not SU), Clear embossing powder, Heat gun, Aqua Painter, Bleach

My tips for this technique are:

  • Set aside an Aqua painter specifically for bleach and mark it clearly.
  • Put a small amount of bleach in the barrel of the aqua painter and empty it out when finished. The bleach loses its efficacy after a while and you will need to replace it anyway.
  • Keep the brush tip fairly dry (blot on a tissue first) so that you can control the amount of bleach and prevent it from going outside (or under) the lines of the design.
  • Try out the bleach first on a scrap, as different coloured cardstock will yield a different result.
  • Use a light touch with the brush as you can go over it again if necessary.
  • If you are going to recolour the bleached area,  make sure your piece is totally dry first.
  • Like all techniques, practice makes perfect!

 Happy stamping (and bleaching)!


Blog Hop - Watercolour Technique


Welcome to another of our casual monthly Blog Hops, this month focussing on various techniques to use with your stamps. I've chosen watercolour effects, which I really like.

There are a number of different ways of creating a watercolour effect. The one I often use is Stampin' Up! Watercolour Wonder crayons or ink pads to colour outline images with an Aquapainter. Your outline image needs to be stamped first onto watercolour paper using a waterproof ink such as Stazon or the Stampin' Up! colours Basic Gray and Basic Black. You can see examples of both of these in some recent posts here and here.

This time I thought I would show you the effects that you can achieve by inking up a solid (silhouette) stamp with either markers or ink pads and then lightly spritzing with water before stamping onto watercolour paper. To prevent the colours from running together too much, hold the inked stamp horizontally when spritzing with water. For a fine mist spray, hold the bottle about 30cm from the stamp. Depending on the amount of water you spritz onto the stamp, you will get a varying degree of 'impressionist' style image. Here are 2 examples.

I've used more water on this second panel and you can see the image is less defined.


Here is the card I made with the first panel:


The details are as follows:


Card Details

Stamps Inspired by Nature, Afterthoughts (Level 1 Hostess)
Card stock & Papers Pear Pizzazz, Rose Red, Watercolour paper
Ink Pear Pizzazz, Rose Red


Rose Red 1” Grosgrain ribbon (retired), pink adhesive rhinestones (not SU)
Tools Scallop Trim Border punch, Stampin' Write markers (Old Olive, Rose Red, More Mustard), Wide Oval punch, Sponge Daubers, Dimensionals, Water spritzer

The next stop on this blog hop is the effervescent Nikki Sadler and below is the list of other lovely Stampin' Up! Demonstrators participating today.

Christine Blain

Amy Buchanan

Tina Gillespie

Have a lovely weekend.

Waxing Lyrical

Hi there

You will have to pardon the pun in the title of this post, but I couldn't help myself! Yesterday I had a great time stamping with some of the girls from the Art with Heart team (waving to Claire, Erica, Fiona, Rachel, Ros and Di) and learning a couple of new techniques.  The cards I have to share with you were designed by Claire and incorporate the 'Wax Paper Resist' and 'Baby Wipe' techniques. I'm happy to say both are really easy and produce great results. 

You can find the Wax Paper Resist technique described here and there are a few video tutorials on the Web as well. We used a variation on what is shown in the tutorial by brayering a light colour (Baja Breeze) onto the glossy white card stock first and then ironing on the wax paper and brayering the darker colour (Not Quite Navy) over the top.  If you are using wax paper that is waxy on both sides, you can create 2 pieces of background at the same time by sandwiching the wax paper between 2 pieces of glossy card stock. 

I love the resulting effect on the Top Note background on the first card below. We used the Ocean Commotion stamp set for the images and I went for a 'Nemo' style colouring on the fish created using the 'Baby Wipe' technique.  This is really a custom ink pad created on a folded baby wipe using a few drops of your desired reinker colours. You will get the best effect from the colouring using stamps with a fairly solid pattern and you can stamp quite a few images from your temporary ink pad to get value out it. The fish were cut out and then matted on Basic Black for definition and then cut out again - a bit fiddly, but worth it I think. The seaweed has been white embossed and provides a great contrast to the blue background.  This is a bright fun card and would be great for a childs birthday. The details of the colours used are below.



Card Details


Ocean Commotion, Family Phrases

Cardstock & Papers

Tangerine Tango, Glossy White, Whisper White, Basic Black


Baja Breeze, Not Quite Navy, Tangerine Tango, Versamark



Reinkers (Only Orange, Summer Sun, Ruby Red), Baby Wipe, Top Note Die, Big Shot, Word Window Punch, White Embossing Powder, Dimensionals, Wax Paper

The second card uses the same techniques and the colouring is much more my normal style. I love the green background under the butterflies using Certainly Celery and Always Artichoke with the Wax Paper Resist. The matting on the Curly Label Punch is created by turning the matting label sideways as it is rectangular rather than square - really simple, but effective. Thanks for that tip Claire!


Card Details


Flight of the Butterfly, Heard from the Heart

Cardstock & Papers

Rose Red, Pretty in Pink, Glossy White


Certainly Celery, Always Artichoke, Versamark, Stazon Black


Pretty in Pink Taffeta ribbon


Reinkers (Rich Razzleberry, Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink), Baby Wipe, Curly label Punch, Butterfly Punch, White Embossing Powder, Dimensionals, Wax Paper

I hope I've inspired you to give these techniques a go.

Getting Relaxed!

Hi Everyone

I hope your Christmas celebrations were everything you hoped for. Mine was relaxing and low key, no stress and no mountain of leftovers to consume, thankfully! I'm fortunate enough to be relaxing for a few days before another year commences.  I can't believe it is the start of a new decade already - life hurtles along with or without us, so taking some time to smell the roses is essential to recharge the batteries. I can't say I've accomplished very much apart from some gardening, reading 'The Lost Symbol' novel that my husband got for Christmas and tidying up my craft room.

We went into the post Christmas sale melee to purchase my combined birthday/Christmas present - an air conditioner for my craft room.  I could do with it right now, as it is 37C in Melbourne at the moment and I've had to retreat to the bedroom to keep cool.  I need to organise the installation, but that will probably take a few weeks with so many people away on holiday.

Anyway, today I decided to try a technique that I read about recently in the Australian Cardmaking Stamping & Papercraft magazine. It involves bleaching coloured cardstock that has been stamped and then colouring it again with watercolour pencils or crayons. I experimented with Stampin' Up! cardstock and it is not suitable for this technique because the colour is solid all the way through. You will need to experiment with your supplies to find something suitable, but you only need to test a very small patch to know as it should remove the colour quite quickly.

I have used Stazon 'Timber Brown' on the Soft Summer stamp from the last Spring Mini and then clear embossed it on pink cardstock. I like this colour for outline images because it is softer than black.  I added a small amount of household bleach to my second Aqua painter and painted the image. The embossed edge helps, but you need to apply it carefully and not too close to the edges as it does spread. Make sure it is completely dry before attempting to re-colour the image. I used my Watercolour Wonder Crayons for this.  

The rest of the card is pretty simple, but I have used one of the new Sale-a-bration stamp sets called Vintage Labels for the sentiment. This is one of 4 great stamp sets that you can choose for FREE from 25 January 2010 when you make a purchase of Stampin' Up! products over $100 (excl. postage). Each of the label stamps in the Vintage Labels set matches existing Stampin' Up! punches and also includes 3 versatile sentiments. I have stamped the sentiment and then punched it out with a 7/8" circle punch (not SU), sponged the edge and popped it up on a dimensional in the centre of the label, which matches the scallop circle punch. The full detail of products used is at the bottom.


Card Details


Soft Summer (retired), Vintage Labels

Cardstock & Papers

Close to Cocoa, Whisper White, Regal Rose, Pink Linen (not SU)


Stazon Timber Brown, Close to Cocoa, Regal Rose, Versamark


Mellow Moss taffeta ribbon, Chocolate adhesive flat back pearls


‘Victoria’ embossing folder, Cuttlebug, 7/8”  Circle punch (not SU), Scallop circle punch, Scallop edge punch, Watercolour Crayons, Dimensionals, Aqua painter, Bleach, Clear embossing powder.

I'll be back in the New Year, stay safe and enjoy.


Faux Silk & Soft Summer


It has been a busy time with a quick trip to Perth last week to visit my Mum who is in hospital for 6 weeks. It was a nice surprise for her and I also able to catch up with some dear friends who had me to stay at short notice (waving to Karen, Glenn, Ryan, Kate & Grace).

The card I have for you today is for my Mum and uses the Soft Summer stamp set from the Spring Mini Catalogue. I decided to give the Faux Silk technique a try after seeing Sue Madex demonstrate it at the Stampin' Up! Regional training day.  It is really easy and gives a unique finish to the centre panel. Here is a link to a tutorial on SplitCoast if you want to give it a go. Interestingly I only had a newsagency type glue stick available to stick the tissue paper to the cardstock and I've noticed that the colours have changed on the image in the last couple of days. I'll be purchasing a Stampin' Up! acid-free Anywhere Glue Stick for my next try at this technique.  Not having a suitable sentiment to fit the circle, I used my computer to create one and punched it out. Here it is and the details are below.


Card Details


Soft Summer

Cardstock & Papers

Pink Pirouette, Pretty in Pink, Close to Cocoa, Very Vanilla, Candy Lane DSP, Tissue Paper


Stazon Timber Brown, Regal Rose, Rose Red, Close to Cocoa, Mellow Moss, More Mustard Stampin’ Write Marker


Regal Rose grosgrain ribbon, Chocolate brads (not SU)


Circle punches, Scallop circle punch, Dimensionals, Paper piercer & Mat Pack, Victoria Embossing folder and Cuttlebug


I would also like to show you the gorgeous cards my stamping buddies Claire, Christine  and Leanne gave me for my birthday. It is such a joy to receive a handmade card. I think it is a pleasure to make them and to give them to others but it is nice to be reminded how lovely it is to receive one as well. Thank you all!


I hope you are enjoying your weekend.