First quick impression

I was quite excited about this free gift it includes a stamp set, embossing folder and a paper pack so there are plenty of options whatever type of crafter you are. There is something really happy about sunflowers and this gift is a perfect idea for June crafting. As soon as I received it I wanted to try it out straight away so it was added to the top of the pile which is why it replaced the set I was going to blog about today. Let’s see how I get on with these then!

Sunflower Dreams Stamped

Trying out the Stamps

If you are new around here I always test out new magazine gift stamps with Ranger Archival Ink. I have had too many sets that are not able to stamp properly with water-based ink as this just pools. It remains to be seen if they can be used with water-based ink after first beeing used with Archival Ink. I think I will be finding this out today. Apologies if you have spotted the deliberate fault, my silly Fibro hands got dropsies and I dropped the ink pad. Luckily it only made a small mark as I wasn’t up to redo it all again! A bit more info if you are new I always test new stamps using my Stamping Platform and a brayer to roll over the top as this is my best way of ensuring I stamp evenly due to having dodgy Fibro hands. Speaking of Fibro hands I have noticed that the majority of stamps that come as free gifts with the majority of magazines are really hard to peel off the backing sheet. The larger images literally hurt my hands. This doesn’t tend to ever happen with the stamps I purchase so it probably comes down to the material they are made of.

The stamp set contains some fantastic sentiments that stamp crystal clear. The majority of images also stamp very well, the plant pot is fantastically shaded and the sunflower seeds look quite 3D. I am not 100% sure if the two main sunflowers are meant to be a bit patchy or the stamps are not as good. On the packaging, they are much clearer so maybe it is the stamps. I’ll wait and see how they stamp on a project.

Sunflower Dreams Embossing

Testing the Embossing Folder

This is definitely one of those embossing folders where I didn’t appreciate the design until I embossed with it. I used some mirror card from my of cuts collection that I felt would work with the completed card and get this I not only embossed the panel but I lined it up on each side and created a longer panel. I know this is not a new technique but it is the first time I have done it and it worked out really well, you can barely see the join. As always I used my Gemini to do the die cutting. I’ll be honest it is the only full sized machine I can use since I have had Fibro, you can see more about that on my post about the Gemini.

Creating the Card with the Sunflower Dreams Kit

So, this is the bit you really wanted to know, isn’t it? What did I make with it? Let me talk you through it then. I decided to use an ivory 8″ x 8″ card blank for this card, while I still have many card blanks I will no doubt use them up and then make my own with my scoreboard – well that is the current plan anyway… I chose a backing paper from the included paper pack and cut this to 19″ square. Then I got another sheet of the green mirror card that I used for the embossed panel (a pastel set from Create and Craft’s own brand I think?) and cut this to 19.5″ square to be a matting layer and fastened them together with collall All Purpose Glue. (No I didn’t gut it again, no doubt when I have a smaller quantity of cardstock I will be more frugal with my use) I used my Crop-a-dile Big Bite to cut four small holes in the corners of the embossed panel, using one of my perfect layers to get these in the right places. I fastened copper coloured brads through these holes to give the appearance of rivets. Then fastened the panel to the card front with Collall All Purpose Glue. The seed packet paper came with the kit, I cut it out and folded it with my Hunkydory Adorable Score Board and fastened it together at the back with Crafter’s Companion Extra strong Glue Tape Pen. I stamped the front of the packet with the packet frame, sentiment, sunflower head and seeds all in Memento Rich Cocoa Ink with the Stamping Platform. The Cop-a-dile Big Bite was again used to punch a hole in the top of the seed packet and I threaded some light brown paper ribbon through to turn resemble a tag. This was then fastened to the card front with some thin foam pads. I stamped the main sunflower image with Memento inks and then coloured it roughly with Spectrum Aqua Pens, I wanted a more textured appearance rather than a smoothly blended ink look. My ScanNCut was used to cut out the sunflower, I decided to leave a 2mm border around the image and not cut out the landlocked white spaces out. The sunflower was then shaped with Tonic Flower Shaping Tools and fastened to the front of the card with Collall Coll Kit 3D Glue Gel. So here is the completed card:
Sunflower Dreams Card

Now for an Insert

Well, I could have used the stamps to create an insert and done some second and third generation stamping. However, I found it easier to turn to Serif Craft Artist to do this job. All it really needed was some sunflowers at about 80% opacity a basic black outline square which I often use for inserts as I think it gives a nice framed finish. The simple verse of “Thank you for being such a great friend” works well with the front and leaves it wide open for many occasions.

Sunflower Dreams Insert

The Verdict

I really enjoyed using this set, although the sunflower images did not stamp perfectly it was very easy to cover that up when colouring them. Obviously, as a consumable, the paper pack will be used up but the stamps and embossing folder have earnt their place in my craft stash. You can read all about my decluttering project on this post. I do believe I may have other sunflower stamps in my bought stamp sets however the seed packet is I am sure an original stamp I do not have anywhere else so there is a good chance this set will earn a permanent home in my reduced craft stash.

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