This post was sponsored by Simon Says Stamp. Thanks, Simon!
Hi friends! We have another snow day for my kiddos today, so I am snatching a few moments while my kiddos are occupied to share a pair of cards with a completely appropriate theme for the current weather outside! I used to shy away from the more “cutesy” critter illustrations, but after seeing Debby Hughes’s masterful coloring on things I would previously have not considered to work well with my coloring style, I decided that I could still apply my own preferred coloring techniques and mediums no matter the illustrative style! I love these sweet birds from Simon Says Stamp’s Season’s Tweetings; we have a cardinal pair that live in the trees outside of my house, and it never fails to cheer me when I hear their precious little cheeps. I paired the Season’s Tweetings set with my colored pencils and some Kraft cardstock to create these unique winter projects. Let’s get started with the details!
I love the look of colored pencil on colored cardstock, and pencil images pop so magnificently on Kraft cardstock. I find that I forget about Kraft cardstock in favor of the rainbow of vivid colorful cardstock in my stash, but when I use it I am always astonished at how much I like the finished look! I recently found a wintry card that I made a long time ago using colored pencils on Kraft with crisp white snowflakes created with white pigment ink, and thought how darling it would be recreated with these sweet birds from Season’s Tweetings. I also wanted to show that these birds don’t have to just be used for Christmas cards, as well!
For my first card, I stamped the cardinal from Season’s Tweetings onto Kraft cardstock using white pigment ink and used colored pencils to color him in, creating the vibrant ruby red feathers that are such a welcome sight in the bleak winter landscape and adding a vivid turquoise scarf to protect him from the chill. I die cut the finished bird with the coordinating die and began work on my background.
White pigment ink shows up so beautifully on Kraft cardstock, so I created a wintry backdrop for my bright feathered friend using the Layering Snowflakes Stencil and white pigment ink. I have a blending brush dedicated just to white pigment ink, which is great to have in your toolbox for several different techniques. I blended the snowflakes, then used the blending brush to blend more white pigment ink around the edges of the card to create the feel of a frosted windowpane. To top it off, I splattered the background with some white gouache, as well, adding further texture.
After I had created the background, I heat embossed a couple of sentiments from Don’t Flurry Be Happy onto some vellum using white embossing powder. I used sharp scissors to fussy cut the greetings, then used foam squares to adhere the cardinal and clear dimensional adhesive to adhere the greetings on my snowy card front. To accent the die cuts, I cut the individual snowflakes from the Snowflake Frame die set from plain white cardstock and tucked them in around the cardinal and greeting. I love how the white cardstock pops on the Kraft background! Finally, I scattered a few white gems for one more addition of texture.
For my second card, I colored a sweet bluebird from Season’s Tweetings on more Kraft cardstock using colored pencils. I stamped him first using white pigment ink, then used the pencils to add vibrant jewel-bright colors to make him pop from the brown background. I find that white pigment ink is my favorite for use with colored pencils on colored cardstock; it doesn’t quite absorb fully into the cardstock, but becomes part of the pencil layer, allowing a super smooth image with crisp edges. After I’d finished coloring, I used the coordinating die to cut my little birdie out.
For the background, rather than create an all-over pattern, I decided to create a small highlighted area in the center of my Kraft card front, first by blending white pigment ink in the center of the card, then stamping snowflakes from Season’s Tweetings with white pigment ink. I also added a few snowy dots amongst the stamped snowflakes with a white gel pen. I find that adding different gradients of white can be a great way to add extra interest and texture to a snowy background. I popped up the bird and a white embossed sentiment strip, also from Don’t Flurry Be Happy, using foam squares, then tucked a few more white die cut snowflakes around the main focal point. Don’t you just love how that bright blue bird just pops off of the background??
Well, that’s all for my projects today! I hope this will inspire you to take a second look at stamp sets that you didn’t think would vibe with your personal style, because taking stamp sets and fitting them into my own vision and aesthetic is one of the best things about this hobby. Thanks so much for stopping by today, and have a marvelous day!