Crafting an elegant birthday card

When I sit down to design a Birthday card I always ask my self a couple of questions first, like: Is the person I am making this card for in love with a certain color, theme, and go from there. Is there anything that has inspired me to help make the card special for the person that I am making the card for? What season is the birthday in, do I want it to be seasonal?
These cards above showed the simple use of color and what it can do for a card, I wanted Purple to stand out, so I used spun sugar and shaded lilacs for a monochrome card. 

Pictured to the left, I stamped the Birthday wishes sentiment. Then I used one small butterfly stamp to add visual interest from an old but classic butterfly stamp. I used second and third generation stamping to add dimension along with using shaded lilac and wilted violet distress inks. Then when I thought I was done, I went around the edges of this stamped panel and inked the edges with shaded lilac. 

  I love designing in seasons if I can add a feeling to a season I try to do it. This card looks elegant because of the colors and the stencil I used. The stencil and the Birthday sentiment stand out because I used the rules of thirds to make the card look elegant.

So my first design tip: stamp the sentiment it the right place first and you will be on the right track for a beautiful card. 

I start with the Birthday Sentiments, then a stencil, this one makes me think of lace, so I positioned the stencil with the rule of thirds in mind at the top of the card panel, then rubbed it with some fossilized Amber Distress Inks with the ink blender tool, then did the same on the bottom of the card.  Then inked the edges, it took me like five minutes to make this card, and yet the feeling of wow is what was needed.
 This Fall Card was done in the same way, I positioned the stencil on the edge of all four corners, but used a Fossilized Amber, Worn Lip Stick, and Walnut Stain Distress Ink, then inked the edges with Walnut Stain with a blending tool.
This is with a resist and Distress ink, The main Idea is that to stamp a Birthday Sentiment you can "spotlight" it while keeping the panel to one layer. Just keep some simple rules while stamping your sentiment:

1. use Design sense and composition rules when stamping.
2 Use colors that feel right to you, keep with a color theme to make more than just one card, that way you have extras for others.
3. Keep it simple and use other small stamps or stencils to jazz up a card!

Do you have a favorite way to use sentiments? I would love to hear about them!

Happy Stamping!

I don't want to brag too much but the Birthday sentiments on the cards, Best Wishes and Birthday Wishes are my designs (I created them) and you can get those stamps at Blue Knight Stamps, I am super proud to share these with you!

Distress Ink: 3 ways 1 resist stamp

I love when I can have endless options to create with one tool, one stamp, one color, it makes me happy! so when I saw this Penny Black Stamp I had to have it, I knew that I could do a lot of fun things with it. During an afternoon I was able to make about a dozen cards with this one stamp, I started with stamping and embossing white and black, with about 4 of each color. I like to stamp ahead because I mess up a lot and if I don't' have extra then it's more work in the long run. 

My First card was to watercolor with distress ink, I like the way that the Distress Inks are water-soluble, and they do a great job blending like watercolor.

With an acrylic block, I put some distress ink on, I used Mustard Seed, Worn Lipstick, and Fire Brick Red. With those 3 colors, I was able to get a Vibrant orange. I used a water brush to paint on the ink knowing that I wanted all the colors to blend and chose accordingly to what I thought would work, (not much thinking process with these Analogous colors.)

For the sentiment I used some watercolor paper inked the paper with the red and mustard seed ink and then sprayed the paper and let the colors blend, then I cut out the dovetails and stamped a sentiment, backed it onto black cardstock and was done, I did this three more times, (didn't want to have to redo this step if I messed up on down the line.)  I like this card because, with the extra bit of work it took to paint the butterflies, it was really a fun card to create!

This one was a super easy 5 min, card to make (my favorite when you need a fast card.) I used the same colors as above, but really any friendly colors will work together! I inked the embossed card panel, and then inked the card in a diagonal line, then got my spray bottle out and sprayed it and let it dry, that's all, then  I adhered a sentiment I had left over.

The last one was also a simple and easy way to make a beautiful card, I made this for a gal that loves all things blueish purple, and I thought that Faded Denim and a darker blue ink (from CTMH) I used a cosmetic sponge to blend the colors to create this background. It was done, I didn' t want to overwork the color. A simple scrap of periwinkle blue paper and a white embossed sentiment worked perfectly to complete the card!

To learn more about watercolor cards take an Online Class with Angela Fehr, (who inspired this card.) Here is a 20% off coupon for the class. Totally worth the time and money!

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