Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Partridge in a Bare Tree

Here's a Christmas card I finished up tonight. I've been plugging away at my Christmas cards. At this rate, I will be done in good time for Easter!
I fell in love with this image when I saw it at my LSS and I inked the tree with a dark brown marker and added colour to the bird with a couple of shades of twinkling h20 so it has a lovely shimmer. I added a tiny dot of marker for an eye, and swishled in some grey at the bottom to ground the image. I didn't know what to do with it, but I really loved the white space (actually off-white space) and it sat on my desk for a while, long enough to get a bit of an aged look and some smudges on the nice off-white space (sigh). Still, the smudges aren't fatal to the overall look, and tonight I decided it was time to make it into a card. I won't describe all the dead-ends, other than mention I have a fantastic border made of Glitter-ritz and pears. It's gorgeous, but didn't fit here. It will get turned into something lovely. I am totally enamoured with my new Glitter-ritz glitter! I also have a bunch of SU glitter, so I am going to see if it works with similar techniques because I know my club ladies would love that!
Anyway, back to this card. I spend quite a lot of time on the red background, and was a little dismayed that it is almost all covered up, but am coming to terms with it. I started by stamping the solid pear in gold on chili cardstock, heat set, then felt it needed some texture so I pulled out my marble effect cube. Boy is that thing ever cool! It is going to be my new go-to stamp for a nondescript texture background. I used artprint brown and soft suede for the stamping. Then I dithered for quite some time on the middle layer. I had a sheet of the perfect colour of Bazzill, but it's my last one and I don't know what colour it is and it is the perfect colour for every single card I am making (probably the reason it is my last one) and I couldn't bear to cut into it. That's when I discovered that the bluey-grey piece was, in fact, even more perfect. I dithered another while on what size and shape to make it and the stamping force drew me to my Christmas stamp drawer and this greeting leaped into my hand and it really worked. That layer needed a bit of something so I stamped the leaf & berry down one side in a medium blue chalk ink (Aegean blue). The greeting is stamped in chocolate chip craft ink and embossed with chocolate brown ep. I think chestnut ep would have been really good too, but my LSS was closed this evening so I couldn't do an emergency embossing powder run. You may be admiring the grunge effect I achieved on the greeting. It's very subtle, but not hard to do. First, ink your stamp with craft ink, and stamp. Realize you didn't ink/press hard enough and there is no way on God's green earth that the embossing powder will stick to that feeble attempt. Consider the folly of trying to re-position, but figure, what have you got to lose - it's not working as it is. Carefully reposition stamp and press harder this time, intently channeling the universe's stamping force. Lift away and presto, only misaligned on the bottom. Looks like something you'd pay money for in the grunge stamp aisle, so emboss it anyway. This is why I like edging everything in Artprint Brown - it gives that grungy distressed look to everything that disguises smudges on vanilla and ghosty greetings. It all looks like it was meant to be there.
Then I toyed for a long time with a vanilla taffeta ribbon and I eventually tied the perfect bow. I was very pleased with myself. The bow looked fantastic, but when I lifted my head up away from where I was hunched in obsessive concentration, I realized the bow looked terrible on the card and ruined the whole effect of the simplicity of the bird. Off it went. I am going to have to go to ribbon university. Or sell all my ribbon. Maybe sell all my ribbon to pay for ribbon university. Hmm.
So that's this card! I really like it. I think what I like is the interesting and very textural bottom layer, the medium amount of texture on the middle layer and the very simple top layer. I should add that there is a subtle linen texture to the vanilla paper that really adds a lot of interest. And in real life the shimmery bird draws your eye right in.
I love stamping. It's been a long week at work (is it only Wednesday???) where I've been dealing with one thing an another, with only logistic regression analyses to cheer me up between the one things and the anothers. So these evenings of stamping with my radio tuned to Studio 93 (awesome 80s new wave and the fabulous DJ Vinnie White of the Whites of Brighton) are intensely and gratifyingly therapeutic.
Now I must figure out what that sheet of Bazzill is so I can re-stock. It's sort of reddish brown, but it looks like it's two-tone red with brown flecks. It's not a solid colour. It came in a darks multipack if anyone has any suggestions.
Thanks for stopping by! And if you are reading to this point, well done! Reward yourself with a trip to the Quietfire Designs blog hop if you like beautiful calligraphy and stamps!

1 comment:

  1. I'll believe the bow story when I see it (lol). Have you ever tried the Bow Ease? I love love love this card. We have a grouse who feeds off our iron wood trees. He/she works her/his way out the branch and the branch slowly bends under his/her weight. It's funny to watch but very beautiful too. Your bird reminds me so much of her. It's such a perfect winter story. Your pears are lovely. I would never have thought of marbling them like that. I just am not deep enough! I'll continue to study at your feet (blog) and hope I can absorb some stamping wisdom via cyberspace. Thanks for the post, Karen. I'm still grinning - Nimmy