Sunday, March 22, 2015

Tweet. Chirp.

Day 2 of Online Card Classes' "Stretch Your Dies" class focused on flower dies. Yana Smakula created a couple of cards using a technique she called "Negative Die Cut Background." Basically, you die cut several images out of a piece of cardstock or paper and use the negative--what's left over--for your background. I took the inspiration for this card from her lesson.

I knew I wanted to use one of the "Scribbly Birds" stamps by Dina Wakley on my card. I've had this set for some months now, & I think I've only used any of the images one time! So today I picked out this little fellow and the "Tweet. Chirp." greeting, and built my card design around them.

After cutting a piece of 110 lb. white cardstock to 4.25x5.5", I positioned my stamps, to gauge placement of the dies. I then placed several of the "Floral Flourishes" dies by Spellbinders around the stamps. After taping the dies in place, I ran the piece through my die cutting machine. I die cut the little flower a couple more times, just to fill out the design. Then I stamped the bird & greeting using Hero Arts' Charcoal mid-tone shadow ink.

For the background, I cut a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper to slightly larger than my cardstock panel. I taped it to my cutting board that I use for watercoloring, and painted it using my watercolors, going in rainbow order. When I had the color intensity I wanted, I dried it with my heat tool. Finally, I removed the tape, and used the A2 die from Avery Elle's "Custom Panels" die set to cut the background piece.

At this point came the fun part--attaching teensy weensy pieces of foam tape to the back of the panel! I did attach large pieces to the part that wasn't really die cut, but I cut up little slivers to go behind the more detailed parts of the die cut portions. I didn't want anything sagging on this card! I think cutting & applying the foam tape, and then taking off ALL the little release papers took longer than the rest of the process to create this card.

Once I'd removed all the release papers, I adhered the cardstock panel to my watercolored background. I wasn't sure about whether to color the bird or leave him plain, so I asked my mom for a second opinion. She recommended I color him, because the colors peeking through the die cut openings took attention away from the bird. So I got my colored pencils and colored him like a bluebird. I decided not to use Gamsol to blend the pencil strokes this time. I felt the sketchy lines went along with the sketchy look of the stamped image.

Finally, I adhered my completed card front to a white A2-size card base. I will be sending this on to Send a Smile 4 Kids, so it will hopefully brighten the day of a hospitalized child!

I'm entering this card in Simon Says Stamp's Monday "Lions & Lambs, oh my!" challenge.


  1. Love the negative die cut background, Andrea! This is a great card! Thanks for joining the Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge!

    Simon Says Stamp

  2. Wow so nice of you to make cards for others such as kids and OWH. Your bird is really cute. I hear you on the bunch of tiny pieces of foam tape on the back. I took the class and that was time consuming!

    1. Thanks, Karen! Nice to "see" a fellow OCC student!


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