Monday, October 4, 2010

Buds and Vases Tip Sheet

"Buds and Vases", the companion to one of your your favorite floral sets, is here! You won't find containers more perfectly suited for the style and scale of all the images in "A Year of Flowers" anywhere else!

Three containers have been provided to hold all the buds in this set and your favorite assortment of blooms from "A Year of Flowers": an elegant vase for sophisticated cards, a pot for earthier creations, and a glass jar, like you just snipped some blossoms from your garden and put them in water on your window sill, for a sweet and casual, country feel! See above and below for some CAS designs using all the containers and flowers in the new set in a just a few easy combinations.

Two new flower clusters plus a trio of stems have been provided, for adding to your containers, leaves and all, no masking necessary!

I've also added additional bud and leaf elements from these same new flowers which have been separated to allow for creating single blooms, stamping matching floral background papers or borders, filling out your arrangements, etc.

Use the flowers without the containers to embellish other cards, as a focal point or enhance your mats, greetings, tags etc.

The clear containers can be used two ways: ink them up as they are and the images appear like they are made of glass, but ink up just the outline, omitting the reflecting areas in the middle and after stamping onto white colored cardstock you have opaque containers, like glazed pottery. More containers and bang for your buck! Just add color!

Paper piece the containers to look like patterned china or a printed glazed pots.

Use masks of the new flowers to stamp them into large full arrangements or to create long border and vines for your card, inside and out. Don't forget to decorate that envelope with a cluster of flowers.

Make reverse masks by stamping out the images and then cutting out the inside. Now you can place the mask over your stamped image and sponge color into the space or stamp your favorite decorative elements. When you remove the mask, the container will be perfectly shaded or patterned.

The flowering vine is clematis (here is one site for coloring inspiration), but their flowers look like SO many others in the plant kingdom, so they can be almost anything you like! Have fun coloring them any shade of the rainbow! Many step by step coloring tutorials will be provided. The simplest way to color is the color the entire blossom a light shade, then take a darker color and swipe out form the middle in quick strokes. Blend them for a softer, shaded look or leave a hard edge to give a striped petal look.

You can create the appearance of a smooth flat petal with uniform color, or a more gathered, petal by taking a darker marker and starting from the outer edge of the petal making quick small strokes in toward the center of the flower which suggest folds and frills, see sample below.

The clematis can be stamped at the top of the stems, or stamped lower and masked several times to cascade down the side. be sure to turn the stamp often, the cluster looks very different rotated 90 or 180 degrees, but every way is gorgeous! Stamping them in different directions on the same card will look like a natural random arrangement of different flowers, rather than the same static image being repeated over and over, see below, stamped twice in this sample.

Add bling to the flower centers: pearls, rhinestones, glitter, Stickles, flock, Flower Soft, tiny buttons etc.

Trace the flowers and leaves with glitter pens for extra sparkle.

Each container can be cropped from the top or bottom to make a shorter or different shaped container. If you trim off the top or bottom, just make the cut curving parallel to the curve above or below it, then run a marker along the edge in the same color that you stamped the image in. Now it will look like that edge was drawn to match the rest of the image.

Coloring the vase and jar: use pale grays or aqua to make a clear container that will stand out just a bit from your white or ivory background. Don't forget to go bolder sometimes and make the glass a beautiful color, green, blue etc, colored glass sparkles like a jewel!

Give the glass a shiny, realistic look and feel by adding a layer of Crystal Lacquer or embossing with clear EP.
Use the cracked glass technique with Versamrk and Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel to create a crackle glass vase.
Stamp the containers onto specialty papers like glossy cardstock, vellum, acetate, foil etc. These will give some amazing shine and texture or the translucence of real clear of frosted glass!
The solid colored papers in your Basic Grey packs are perfect for piecing the stamped pot, givign it a beautifully weathered, painted look.

Add a little glue to the bottom of the vase and add some tiny rocks or clear beads like those gorgeous decorator floral arrangements you see in magazines!

A jar is a very versatile stamp to have in your collection! Have fun picking through your other images to see what your jar holds: how about some shells from "Gifts from the Sea"? baked treats from "Have a Cookie"? A caterpillar from "A Year of Leaves"? Maybe a little fish? The list goes on, I'd love to hear which other sets or what else you'd stamp in the jar in the comment sections below! :) Be sure to stamp the vase first, then add your other images.

Add some real buttons to the jar with glue dots. What about pebbles, twigs, beans? Get creative!

Create a shaker card from the jar by stamping the jar on cardstock and cutting out the middle of the image, stamp the jar again on acetate and line up behind the window you cut. Add whatever you like sand, beads etc before surrounding the back edge with foam squares and adhere cardstock to the back. So, what's in your jar? ;)

The label (plus the small sentiments in "Labelled with Love" and "Lovely Labels 2" that fits the labels 14 dies is the perfect size to add to your jar and give it a homespun look! Perfect for making matching tags and cards when you are giving homemade jellies, bath stuff or any other fun treats in a jar! The simplest way to add the label is to ink up the outline of the jar only, then stamp the label over it. You can now cut off the sides if you want to cut the whole jar out or simply mask both straight sides of the jar with paper or Post it notes and then stamp the label. You can also stamp the entire jar, then stamp the label onto white or colored cardstock if you don't want to color,and cut out out adhere over the edges.

Color the top and mouth of the jar with a grayish silver or gold and it will look like it has a lid.

If your flowers and leave will be draping over the pot or container, stamp the flowers first, then cover them with a mask and stamp the container below.
When adding the stems in an opaque container, a great way is to cut a slit in the top of the stamped container and thread cut and colored stems through. OR, create a mask of the pot or vase but cut out the very top of the mask image which would be the inside of the container opening. Ink up the stamp in the same way, omitting the top back rim and stamp. Place the mask over it, then stamp stems and flowers.

If you are adding the stems (or pencils or some other tall stamped image) to the clear vase or jar, you DO want to see the lines of the rim going over the image in the front but NOT in the back, SO ink up the jar or vase omitting that top rounded curve which would be behind the stems, and stamp. Now stamp the stems over it. Then take a pen and fill in the missing curve in between where the stems are (will show step by step of this on the blog) You may not even need to fill in that line if your flowers drape over the edge.
Add dimension by cutting out the flowers and then popping them up over the top of one of the containers.

Stamp some flowers to leave outside of the container for a more casual still life, as if the arrangement it still a work in progress.

Stamp the small greetings onto a scrap of paper and trim to or die cut to make cut tag, then tie with some raffia, floss, help or narrow ribbon around the top of the vase. You could also tie a tag to the little bunch of roses.

Add a pretty bow below the rim of the pot to make it look more festive and suit the occasion, think metallic for Christmas, pastel ginghams for baby cards, etc. Adhere the ribbon with glue, Scor-Tap or cut a narow slip on either side of the pot and thread the ribbon through so it actually looks wrapped aroud the container.

Stamp the greeting directly onto the pot or container.
Add your own favorite tip here! I am excited to continue working with this set and bring you new ideas and "how to's"! :)


  1. Wow Melanie, what a great selection of ideas for your new and old stamp sets:) I just LOVE the year of flowers and look forward to getting this new set too!

  2. Ok Melanie, all I can say is WOW! I now need to run off and get the stamps, since seeing all your different ideas. Your samples are so beautiful.

  3. Wow, Melanie than you for all of the fabulous ideas, now my head is spinning with all of the possibilities that I hadn't thought of yet. My set shipped yesterday and i can't wait. I am so looking forward to playing with the set with some of my other favorite sets.

  4. You are truly and inspiration...whenever I need a little boost I come and look at all your wonderful are a very gifted artist Melanie...thanks for your inspiration and I love your stamp sets.....keep em coming..:)


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