Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Grocery Bag Flowers

We have a weed along the trail that I take for my regular walks, that I think is absolutely gorgeous.  It looks like a soft, crumpled paper.

I have a bag of jelly beans in a grocery bag stashed under my desk.  The bag is getting very wrinkled as I pile stuff on it to hide it (my family has figured out that I often have a stash of sweets).  As I was digging in the bag this morning, I realized that that crumpled grocery bag could work for this flower (and for The Paper Players challenge challenge to recycle!!)

Since this idea occurred to me while I was pulling stuff out to do the Splitcoast Color Challenge of Poppy, Baja and Pear - I didn't do my imagined earth-toned card reminiscent of a field of weeds - but I like how the brighter colors offset my white flower.

To get the flowers, I used my flower dies to cut two large white flowers, then I layered on three large grocery bag flowers and then three small grocery bag flowers.

Apparently I was not at my most creative this morning, because this card actually uses a sketch challenge too.  (Usually I try to have something of my own on each card - but this card uses somebody else's sketch, colors, and recycling idea!!??)  The sketch is from Mojo Monday.

For those of you that like to shop after doing your blog-reading (or is that just me??) - I have to highly recommend the sentiment set from this card.  It's called Big Wish by Verve Stamps.  It is definitely one of my go-to sets as it includes a wide variety of small to mid-size birthday sentiments.  They are all very unique, but some use basic fonts, some have a cute frill and some are very elegant.

Verve Stamps are very high quality clear stamps.  (I did a rant recently about cheap clear stamps.  Cheap stamps are "squishy" and it's really difficult to get a image.)  I had a conversation recently with someone who does NOT like clear stamps and it occurred to me that I should share two tips with you (just in case any of you feel the same.) 

1. Be sure you have some sort of pad when you are stamping.  Picture a basic wood-mount stamp - there is the wood, then some foam, then the rubber.  I actually unmount all of my wood stamps, right down to the rubber, so I have no foam.  I need to have it somewhere, so I place a piece of foam under the paper on which I am stamping.  The same concept applies to acrylic stamps - you need foam for that little bit of "give" that allows you to get a good image.

I use Darice's Rubber Stamp Pad - it's a large red foam pad that I have found at Joann's and at Michael's.  FYI: I cut mine in half.  A cheap piece of fun foam works the same way.  If you have ever used Close To My Heart's acrylic stamps, they come packaged with a piece of foam and, if you read the instructions, it tells you to put the foam under the paper!

2. If your image comes out mottled - not crisp and clear - the stamp you are using may have a factory coating on it that is messing with the ink.  Some people recommend that you do the following steps for every clear stamp, but I find that very few need it.  To get rid of the factory coating, you can either:

     a. Rub the stamp with a good quality white eraser.
     b. Ink, stamp on scratch paper, clean stamp
               - repeat once or twice until you get a good crisp image.

I think that if you keep these two things in mind, you will find that you are more willing to work with clear stamps!
  • Stamps: Verve Big Wish
  • Ink: black
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Poppy Parade CS and dsp, Pear Pizzazz CS and dsp, Baja Breeze CS
  • Accessories: Martha Stewart French Scroll border punch, Stampin' Up oval and modern label punches, Papertrey Ink Beautiful Blooms II #3 flower dies, Michaels gems, Stampin' Up Baja seam binding, Nesties circle and scalloped circle, grocery bags!

I recently discovered The Paper Players blog and challenges and did a post on why I like them so much.  Imagine my delight, when my card was named "A Cut Above".  Details on this card on the same post.


  1. What a pretty 'weed', and I love how you used it as inspiration for your flower, which is really beautiful.
    Caroline xxx

  2. Love that you used grocery bags for your card's flower...and what a pretty "weed" indeed!

  3. Fabulous recycling job and I love the bright colours of the card. Thanks for the stamp tips - I hadn't heard of the eraser trick and will have to try it. :)

  4. I've got loads of white grocery bags and never once did it occur to me to turn them into flowers! Fabulous idea! And I love the bling in the center of the flower!

  5. Kim, this is so pretty---I love that you shared your inspiration for your recycled flower. What a gorgeous photo, too! Thanks for playing with the Paper Players this week! You always make us smile with your creations!

  6. ...and bring a smile with your stories! Love your inspiration and the aha moment of the grocery bag flowers! Just lovely. So glad you could join us this week again!

  7. Fabulous card! I love the classy layout you selected. Of course, the "recycled" flower is gorgeous! Thanks for playing with The Paper Players this week!

  8. Gorgeous card,I love the bright colours of the card.I really inspire of your recycled flower...
    Plastic Cards Printing

  9. Kim, LOVE this flower. The bright colors really do work to offset your beautiful flower. I do love that you shared the inspiration photograph. The grocery bag flowers really add a softness and translucency to the flower. Just love it!
    So glad you joined the Paper Players again this week. I always look forward to seeing what you have created.

  10. Kim, thanks to you, I will be looking at those grocery bags in a new light! What a great technique for soft layering on a punched flower! Eeek! Ypuor color combo is fabby, too! Thanks for playing along with The Paper Players this week! (and your "Cut Above" last week, too!) :)

  11. Brilliant idea Kim - love your soft flower & your beautiful inspiration shot. Great card. :)


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