Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Happy Happy Bears

Challenge #46 at A Blog Named Hero is to use a bokeh effect on a project. According to this article on Wikipedia, bokeh is  "'the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.'" Basically, with this effect, lights in the background of a photo are blurred. So, the challenge is to recreate that look, without using light of course.

For this card, I began by looking through my collection of stencils, and found this stencil by Donna Downey. I figured it would be perfect for this technique. Next, I went through my binder full of Operation Write Home sketches, looking for one with a large background panel to do my stenciling on. I also wanted a place for my greeting and somewhere for the bears to stand. This one seemed to fit the bill perfectly:

I chose my greeting from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps' "Happy Happy" set, & paired it with the bears from Hero Arts' "Li'l Hoot" set. (I've had the "Li'l Hoot set for quite some time, and have sadly not used it that often. I will definitely have to remedy that, because it is a fun set, and perfect for cards to send to kids.) I stamped the bears first on watercolor paper using Ranger Archival Jet Black ink. I needed a waterproof ink because I would be coloring them with my Inktense pencils & water. This particular ink holds up well; doesn't bleed; and cleans off even clear stamps fairly well, though it does stain them slightly.

I cut strips of patterned papers using scraps from My Mind's Eye "Chevron" and Graphic45's "Botanical Tea" 6x6" pads. I heat embossed my greeting on the flip side of the brown dot patterned paper, using Recollections "Snow" embossing powder. I die cut that with a Spellbinders Classic Circle die. Then I set those pieces aside while I worked on my bokeh background.

I taped the stencil over a piece of white cardstock, and used Tumbled Glass, Broken China, and Peacock Feathers Distress inks with my ink blending tool. I started by blending the Tumbled Glass over the stencil; then shifted the stencil slightly so the dots were offset from the first ones, went over the stencil again with Broken China; and finished the same way with Peacock Feathers.

I cut a piece of kraft cardstock to 4.25x5.5" and glued it to an A2-size card. I adhered my background piece over that, then positioned & glued my paper strips and greeting. After fussy-cutting the bears and going around the edges with a black brush tip marker to hide the white paper, I glued them down, tucking the baby bear slightly under the greeting piece to ground the pair further. My last step was to use a Sakura white gel pen to do some faux stitching around the greeting circle.

I hope some hero overseas will use this card to write home to his/her son or daughter.

I'm also entering this card in the following challenges:

Simon Says Stamp's Monday "I Ought to Use this More"
Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps "All About Animals"


  1. So cute. Great take on bokeh. Thanks for playing along at A Blog Named Hero.

  2. What a cute and cuddly card, Andrea! Love the Bokeh effect! Thanks so much for joining the Friday Feature Animal challenge at SNSS this week! We look forward to seeing your creations!

  3. What a cute card! Love the dotted background. Thank you so much for joining us at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. Hugs, Sandra


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