Thursday, April 10, 2014

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining

The current challenge at A Blog Named Hero is "Build a Background." I've really struggled with just coming up with ideas on how to build a background. This card is one outcome of that struggle.

I found the greeting in Hero Arts' "You're a Rainbow" stamp set that I recently got. I envisioned a landscape-type scene with puffy clouds in the sky. To find a design, I looked through my binder with Operation Write Home sketches, and found this one, which seemed to fit my vision:

I decided to leave the vertical strip behind the circle off, and use an oval instead of a circle for the greeting. But other than those slight changes, I stuck to the sketch.

My first idea for the landscape background was to die cut clouds and "line" them with silver embossing powder. But when I did that and looked at them, it just seemed a little too cliche and cheesy. So I scrapped that idea. So while I pondered what to do for clouds, I worked on the rest of the background.

I cut a piece of watercolor paper to 4.25x5.5". I used Inktense pencils in 2 shades of blue to color the sky, blending the colors directly on the paper. I did the same with two green pencils for the grassy area. The color in the sky didn't seem intense enough, so I also blended Broken China Distress Ink over it with my Tim Holtz mini ink blending tool.

For the clouds, I ended up die-cutting 3 clouds from this die set by Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps. I used the negatives of the die cuts as stencils, and sponged Hero Arts Unicorn ink over them with a sponge dauber to create the clouds, The white ink picked up some of the Broken China ink in the sky, which softened the cloud color. I did pounce a little more white ink to intensify the color a little in spots. I liked that effect much more than the "silver-lined" die-cut clouds!

While I felt the background was coming along well overall, I still was not totally happy with it. I felt the sharp line between the sky and ground was too stark. So I ended up taking a darker green Inktense pencil, and creating a bit of a tree line between the two areas. I think that gives it a more "natural" appearance.

I decided to pull in the silver with the greeting. I stamped it in Versamark ink on navy-blue cardstock, then heat-embossed it with Ranger Silver embossing powder. I die cut & dry-embossed that piece with a Spellbinders Classic Oval die, then went around the outer "band" formed by the dry embossing with an embossing marker. I used the same silver embossing powder around the oval. I glued that panel to the background, and then adhered the card front to a standard A2 card base.

I'm entering this card in A Blog Named Hero's Challenge #41: "Build a Background."


  1. Andrea, your background scene paired with that sentiment is beautiful. It makes you think! Very well done. Thanks for joining us at A Blog Named Hero :)

  2. For someone who struggled I can tell you it doesn't show. Your card is gorgeous!!! Love your background! Thanks so much for playing with us over at a Blog Named Hero! :)

  3. Beautiful background! Thanks for sharing your card in our "Create a Background" challenge at A Blog Named Hero :)


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