At this time of year any Christmas card making I’m doing has to be pretty simple and straightforward. But that doesn’t mean it can’t still be elegant or eye catching. I paired metallic embossing with richly coloured papers for these three nativity cards.
These papers from Alexandra Renke are solid colour but with the variation of a watercolour wash. They have enough interest to look like a sky but not fight with the detail of the picture stamps from Penny Black.
I always have a bit of a task matching a gold cardstock with gold embossing powder. On the top card the gold embossing powder on the dark red appeared to be an ‘old gold’ so I matted with a dark gold. On the last card I used a light gold card with the same embossing powder. The middle card features platinum embossing and a platinum mat around the deep green paper.
I hope you are further along than I with your Christmas card sending but as I say most years, December 25 is the first day of Christmas, there are twelve in total so I still have time to get my cards sent!
Stamps: lighting the way, peaceful season, three kings (PB)
Paper: Alexandra Renke dark green, red and scarlet papers
Cardstock: neenah natural white, platinum shimmer, gold shimmer, pale gold shimmer
Ink: versamark ink
Embossing powder: gold metallic rich, platinum
It’s all soft and subtle on the blog today. I have two projects featuring the beautiful Alexandra Renke cardstock the Foiled Fox recently started carrying in their store. The weight of the cardstock is somewhere between a good quality printer paper and a piece of cardstock. There is definitely enough weight to die cut nicely.
I chose the elegant ‘whirl wreath’ by Penny Black and cut one out of ‘pink dots’ cardstock. I attached it around the centre circle with adhesive but left the branches unattached ( so I will be careful putting it in a envelope) The background is ‘rose stripes’ which matches the pink dots perfectly. I cut the bow out of a piece of cardstock from my stash and layered a few together to give it some extra weight. I blended around the edge of the striped panel with tattered rose distress ink and attached everything to a cream cardbase.
I chose to add a natural twine bow to the die cut bow then had to co-ordinate the sentiment with antique linen distress ink.
For my little neighbourhood card I use three patterns of Alexandra Renke cardstock, the rose stripes, gray stripes and medium mud watercolour. I know it is hard to see the details of the die cuts in my photo but in real life the pink striped neighbourhood is clear against two lines of gray striped trees in front of a gray mud starry sky.
I have been wanting to try a white on white layered die cut scene and I probably still will but chose to try it with these pretty papers first. The neighbourhood is layered over two layers of trees cut with the ‘trees and hills’ dies which are layered over a gray piece cut with the starry sky night die attached directly to a white card base.
I featured some of the subtle colours and patterns from Alexandra Renke today but I do have some bold patterns and solids to share another day.
Have a great weekend.
Stamps: Christmas sentiments, winter days (PB)
Dies: whirl wreath, neighbourhood border, starry night die, trees & hills die set (PB)
Cardstock: Alexandra Renke medium mud watercolor, gray stripes, rose stripes & Neenah solar white, cream, pink
Inks: tattered rose, antique linen distress ink, smokey gray versafine ink
Also: hemp twine
I was surprised how much fun I had colouring this stocking stamp. I worked on it on Saturday afternoon when it was wet and dreary outside; I lit a fire in my fireplace and brought colouring supplies up from my workroom so I could have a comfy cosy afternoon of colouring inspired by Kathy Racoosin’s 30 day colouring challenge.
Before colouring I’d used a stamp positioner to stamp the holly sprig stamp first in pine needles, mowed lawn and festive berries distress ink. I blended the leaves with a wet brush and let them dry. I cut a mask to cover the holly branch then stamped the stocking over the top in worn lipstick distress ink. Other than painting the leaves straight after they were stamped, all the other stamping was a base for watercolour pencil colouring.
Because my base stamping was pink I decided to stay with a red and white colour scheme. I used a couple of red watercolour pencils and a paint brush to do half the stripes and the decorative top of the stocking. Rather than colour with the pencils straight on the watercolour panel, I picked up pigment from the pencils with a wet brush and painted over the stamping. I toyed with the idea of red and purple stripes but I’m glad I chose a very pale earth green which blended with the pink ink to look pale pink. I messed up a stripe at the top but I’m hoping the recipient won’t notice that!
For the berries I used darker red pencils and the bells a mustard and a rusty brown pencil. I added a background by ruling a few lines in medium grey watercolour pencil then blending and painting more grey below each line. I painted a grey shadow to the left of the stocking and leaves.
As usual I gave no thought to a sentiment until all my painting was completed and then of course I wasn’t sure where to put a sentiment or whether to have one at all. I hadn’t really paid attention to the size of my panel either so I had to do some creative matting to turn it into a card that would fit into the size of envelope I had. So as you can see, no, I don’t plan all the details of my cards in advance!
Stamps: elf stocking, Christmas sentiments
Paper: Neenah cream, hot pressed watercolour, red, Alexandra Renke mud
Inks: pine needles, mowed lawn, worn lipstick distress inks, festive berries distress marker & smokey gray versafine ink
Pencils: Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils
Today’s cards show two different looks from the Penny Black ‘Chrismtas poinsettia’ stamp. The first is simple distress ink colouring popped up on a fun polka dot background and the second is a bit more elegant with bold colouring inside a gold embossed image. I stamped this first poinsettia in festive berries and shabby shutters distress inks on hot pressed watercolour paper then blended the ink with water to fill the petals. If I needed extra ink for shadows and depth I picked it up from my glass mat which acted as a palette.
When I inked the stamp I wiped off the festive berries ink from the centre of the stamp so I could add peeled paint ink with a distress marker. After I had done all the blending I coloured the circles in the centre of the flower with a gold gel pen. My favourite part of the card though is the polka dot paper; it is so pretty. It is just one of a series of papers by Alexandra Renke. The Foiled Fox sent me some Alexandra Renke papers to try out and they are lovely. I will share more of them with you in the coming weeks. The weight is between paper and cardstock so it die cuts well but doesn’t add too much bulk when you layer it.
I cut my poinsettias out with the co-ordinating die but they wouldn’t be too hard to cut by hand, especially if you have fussy cutting skills (which I don’t). I matted the polka dot panel in red and added a sentiment from ‘festive snippets’ in versafine crimson red.
I embossed my second poinsettia in gold powder then coloured with zig clean color real brush markers. As I often do I used two reds and two greens, colouring first with the light marker then adding the darker colour at one end before blending with water to fill the petals.
I applied adhesive to a strip of gold cardstock then trimmed it even narrower to position behind the popped up poinsettia. I embossed a sentiment in the same gold embossing powder used for the flower.
I am continuing to participate in Kathy Racoosin’s 30 Day colouring challenge. If you want some colouring inspiration pop over to her blog and check out her tutorials and link up. Let me know if you are participating.
Stamps: Christmas poinsettia, festive snippets (PB)
Dies: xmas poinsettia cut out (PB)
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, Alexandra Renke pink dots, gold shimmer, red cardstock
Ink: festive berries, shabby shutters distress inks, , versamark, versafine crimson red
Markers: clean color real brush markers, peeled paint distress marker
Also: metallic gold rich embossing powder, glass mat