Hello paper people! Today I have a card using a product I’ve been playing with, and thinking about, for a while. I used the Simon Hurley heart shaped stamping foam. As I’ve said before, I’m not a huge fan of heart shapes, but I really liked this set. For one, it is bigger than the regular rectangular Simon Hurley foam. I liked how I was able to use the large piece to cover the whole front of my card. Also, when you add texture and then stamp the two pieces together, either at the same time or separately, you get a tiny bit of white space around the heart. This automatically gives you the illusion of depth. So even with a single layer card, it looks like there’s more detail, and the heart becomes the focal point. You get two sets (heart and rectangle) of the foam in a package. You can use both sides of the foam, and you can reuse the foam, probably many times. If you’re using dye inks, you can clean the foam after use with water and a lint free cloth.
Simon Hurley has a bunch of Youtube videos demonstrating how to use the foam. It’s super easy to use, and the foam gives you a ton of flexibility to create different patterns for your cardmaking. You can use it to stamp images, like a stamp, or stamp a pattern, like you might have otherwise used a stencil. It can also add the illusion of texture that you would get with an embossing folder, but you have the freedom to cheese your own design! I encourage you to watch his videos, as he has a ton of great ideas! I’m not quite set up yet to make my own videos, however I will describe to you my process! Hopefully you’ll see how unique this product is, how easily you can pull a card together, and it will inspire you to try it yourself. I do have another idea I want to play with soon… I don’t have a lot of masculine stuff… like stamps or dies. So when I have to make a card for a guy, I’m often stumped. My guy relatives and friends get often get flowers on their birthday cards, because… I like flowers! I’m going to play around with using the foam with some tiny tools, like the little throwaway wrench you might get with something you have to assemble yourself, and the wire snips I use to cut apart my dies. Maybe washers, nuts, nails… I’ll have to raid the garage and see what I can come up with!
For this project, I started looking around my house to find something to use to create a pattern with the foam. I had this really cool cut glass dish from my mother, which probably came from my grandmother, or even further back up the family tree. We call it the cranberry dish, because it was what we always put the cranberry sauce in for holidays. I was thinking that I needed something that had a lot of depth in the design to make an impression in the foam, but that’s not the case. I ended up using a bamboo table runner to make the pattern for the background. I imagine lace or anything woven would work just fine as well.
Here’s the bamboo table runner that I used for the background, along with the two pieces of stamping foam. The pattern on the table runner is very fine, and I wasn’t expecting the foam to pick it up, but it did. I did have to apply a bit of pressure to it after I heated the foam. I used a large acrylic block, like Simon suggests, and pressed down while standing up at my work surface. I used Neenah Classic Crest, Solar White, 110 lb cardstock, and Hickory Smoke Distress Ink.
Here’s the cranberry dish! Isn’t it lovely? For this, I left the foam on my work surface after heating it up, and pressed the dish into the foam. The sides of the dish have that pretty circular pattern. After I made this card, I used the side of the dish to get that circle pattern. You can make an impression on the foam with something that is not flat – you just have to roll it onto the foam, but you only get one shot, as I found it was too hard to line it up again to make a second pass. Good thing is if you mess up, you just heat up the foam again, it restores to a flat surface, and you can try again.
Not to get all gloomy, but sometimes cardmaking and life are not all butterflies and rainbows. I was working on this card right after finding out my dog has cancer. I was trying to craft to distract myself from the bad news. Staring at the stupid heart, all I could think was that my heart was blue… I’m heartbroken at her diagnosis. That goes with the cut glass I guess. I picked some of my favorite blue distress oxides to color my heart (Salvaged Patina and Prize Ribbon). I just tapped the ink pads on the foam, gave it a teeny tiny mist of water, and stamped it on my background. It was very easy to line up and get it in the right spot in the middle. I wouId usually stamp onto another piece of paper, fussy cut it out, and add foam tape for dimension. But frankly, I was being lazy. To my surprise, I really like how it came out! It looks to me that there’s a little gap of white space around the heart, and that gives it a little better definition. One other way to stamp the heart in the right place would be to lay a clean piece of the rectangular foam onto the stamped background, and just pop the inked up heart into the hole in the center. That way you would know you’re lining it up perfectly. I’ll try that next time.
To finish off the card I used a label tape sentiment from Tim Holtz, and stamped part of a sentiment from the Stamper’s Anonymous Tim Holtz Noteworthy set. I just wanted to use the “you are” part, so I only inked up those words on the stamp. The Noteworthy set is a great set. I find it’s my “goto” set now for sentiments on A2 sized cards. I added a couple silver confetti sequins, and layered it onto a black background. I like this design, because it’s a single layeer design, so it won’t require extra postage, and will go through the mail just fine. You can of course use any color combination, and any textures you can find laying around your house. I would love to see what you create! Please add a photo in the comments! I will definitely be using this come Valentine’s Day, but I also can see using it for sympathy cards and birthdays. I might also try to come up with a Christmas card, because it goes together so quickly, and I make and send a lot of cards for Christmas! Get yourself over to scrappyshak.com and pick up some Simon Hurley stamping foam to play with!