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Monday, January 25, 2016

More Peonies? Seriously?

Yes, more peonies. Sorry, not sorry, but they're quite the addiction for me.

I've been trying to challenge myself to utilize my beloved, yet under-utilized supplies that I've been (ahem) collecting over the last year or two. One of the products about which I was most excited, but haven't really done a whole lot with, was the Peony cover plate from Papertrey Ink. PTI was my first stamping love, and their products regularly come home to live with me, sometimes lying in wait for the perfect project. The Lasting Hearts Card Drive was one such project, which you can read about in more detail HERE

For today's post, I created a trio of cards using the same basic concept and card design, but (slightly) switching up the techniques and colors used on each card. To start, I die cut three of the peony cover plates from the Canson watercolor paper that I discussed in my last post. I've been in an ink blending mood the last few weeks... I just love the soft results that you get with the technique. 

For all of the cards, I used the same basic "shading" idea that I used for my Sunflower card: choose two shades of the same color (all from the Distress Ink line), cover the entirety of the flower with the lighter shade, then add some of the darker shade towards the center of the flower to indicate shadows and depth. For this orange card (which I think might be my favorite of the three), I chose Scattered Straw and Wild Honey Distress Inks for this lovely peony image. I did remember this time to tape down the edges of the cover plate die cut with washi tape so that my edges would be nice and crisp. The leaves were done with Crushed Olive. Now, this next step might be extremely subtle, but I think it packs quite a punch: blending on the card base. I've been using this technique quite a lot lately, and I seriously just adore this orange card base. I started with a Summer Sunrise (from PTI) card base, then blended Spiced Marmalade from the edge toward the center, following with Ripe Persimmon just towards the edge. It creates a beautiful halo effect, leaving the center the lightest shade, which also helps to emphasize the shading on the die cut. 

This next card has such a soft, pretty look to it, quite different from the bold oranges and yellows of the previous card. I started with my pinks: Worn Lipstick and Picked Raspberry. The leaves were done with Cracked Pistachio, which I think is just the perfect shade of mint, especially when paired with pink. (swoon!) After I finished the blending and lifted the die cut, the resulting blending of the negative space on my scrap paper inspired me to make the blending on the card base a bit different: I used the peony die cut as a guide to mimic the blending found on the die cut, so as to create one continuous picture, instead of just allowing the outline to be the main attraction. I think this gives it a much more ethereal look. It almost reminds me of the chalk paintings in Mary Poppins. I added a bit of Tumbled Glass blending into the corners, as well. 

This last card is the simplest of the three. I used Shaded Lilac and Wilted Violet on the peony itself, Shabby Shutters for the leaves. I did a bit of blending around the edge of the card base using The Ton's Violet Fringe ink. After drying, the blending sort of faded into the card base, which is a shame. If I had been a little more patient, I would have waited to glue the die cut to the card base, but my children's naptime has been curtailed recently, so I was on a time crunch. 

The final element was to add the greeting to all three cards. I truly think that "sending hugs" is such an appropriate greeting for this particular cause, as you don't know who they will be going to, nor will you know their religious affiliations, etc. I die cut the "Hugs" from PTI's Big Hugs dies using Bazzill gold mirror card stock, then stamped and fussy cut the sentiment from the coordinating stamp set. All three cards were accented with Sequins mixes from Lucy Abrams

I am really pleased with how this card set came out, and I'm thinking I might have to make another set just to have on hand. I hope you're being inspired to participate in this worthy cause, and if not, I hope you're enjoying my offerings! Have a wonderful week, friends! 

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