Saturday, October 24, 2015

Card 1 of the 2015 Christmas Card Series: Colorbursting with Joy!

Welcome! I'm so excited to kick off my first ever series at my absolute favorite time of year, Christmas!  This card design has 4 layers altogether, which gives it a lot of depth and dimension.  The wooden stars add a natural element which brings the whimsy and outdoors together perfectly.

Let's start with the background.  On a piece of Distress Watercolor card stock, stamp the snowflakes randomly in VersaMark, starting with the largest.  It can be hard to see where you've stamped when using VersaMark because it's clear, so coat with embossing powder as you go.  I used WOW embossing powder in Silent Night, which is a gorgeous sparkly dark silver.  Fill in the empty spaces between the largest snowflakes with the medium snowflake and then repeat the process, finishing with the small snowflake.

The next step is to add violet Colorburst powder sparingly on the snowflake covered paper.  This is why we started with watercolor paper; Colorburst is a powdered watercolor pigment and the paper is designed to work with water and accept saturation without falling apart.
Start with a little powder, spritz with water and see what you get.  You can add color, but it's harder to take it away.  As you can see in the photo, it will buckle a bit when its wet, but it dries back flat.  This is one of my favorite techniques.  If it's too dark, blot it with paper towel or add more water.  Keep in mind that it will dry back to be a few shades lighter.

I love the variations in color as well as the blue and pink spots.  I don't recommend heat drying watercolor when you've heat embossed images on your base; it's difficult to control hot spots which can ruin any embossing and can lead to warping.  I always let my watercolor pieces air dry overnight.  It prevents warping and flat paper is easier to adhere to your card base.  If it feels cool to the touch, it's not completely dry.  When my piece was dry, I added Dreamweavers Pearlescent embossing paste over the Falling Snow stencil by Simon Says Stamp and let dry.  I love the look of falling snow in a dusky sky.  Mount the dry piece on a standard 4.25x 5.5 inch card base with strong adhesive; I used half inch Scor-tape.

The deer is from the Party Animals stamp and die set and the rest of the images are from the Joy to the Woods stamp and die set. All the images were stamped in Momento Tuxedo Black and colored with Spectrum Noir markers as follows: Deer: TN 3,4,5, PP1, EB8, BT5, and PL 1,2; Cardinal: DR5 and OR1; Holly: DR5 and JG6; Birdhouse: TN 3,4,5; Trees: BG 1,2,4 and IG 1,2,3.

The snowdrifts are made with Neenah Solar White 110 lb cardstock and Stitched Hillside border die by Lawn Fawn.  I cut three and layered them with the trees.  I started with a single tree adhered with tape runner, followed by a snow drift and so on.  I placed the trees so that they leaned the way they would look if you were outside.  I popped up the birdhouse, cardinal,and deer on black foam squares by 3M.  For the wood stars, I placed them without attaching first and masked off the areas I didn't want any ink, then stamped the string for the stars to hang from.  Using Golden Sparkle Twine from Lawn Fawn, I cut a 3 inch piece and coated it in matte medium to make it stiff.  After it was dry, I attached it with Zots bling glue dots and frayed the ends a bit.  The letters are die cut using Quinns ABC's from White Sugar-Coated glitter cardstock by Doodlebug and attached with foam squares. 
You can simplify the design by using fewer trees and/or fewer snowbank layers.  Give it a try and don't be afraid to give it your own spin.  Thanks for spending some time with me. Please let me know what you think and I'll do my best to answer any questions!

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