Today’s card was inspired by the pair of small birds that come to nest in the spring wreath we hang on our porch each year, but modified for a winter theme.
We’ll start by custom coloring some cardstock using Distress Ink in the beautiful shade aptly named Evergreen Bough. I’m not worried about a smooth, even finish; in fact, I want some variation, as I’ll be using this to die-cut juniper-like branches using a die from the Sizzix “Holiday Greens” die set.
Next, we’ll use Hero Arts Shadow Ink in Red Royal to color some bird wood veneer shapes–these were from Recollections–using a finger dauber to get color on the sides.
From gold cardstock, we’ll cut the circular swirl from the Sizzix Scribbles & Splat die set, and the word “joy” from the Tim Holtz “Holiday Words, Script” die set. Subsequently, we’ll cut out three of the juniper branches mentioned earlier. The intricate dies weren’t cutting all the way through, but adding in a metal shim fixed that.
This being a holiday card, I decide I want some sparkle, and in the same Evergreen Bough color. Since I don’t have that color in a Distress Glitter, I’m going to heat emboss a strip along the top and bottom of my card panel using the Distress Ink and Wow Clear Sparkle Embossing Glitter. While most dye-based inks dry too quickly to allow for heat embossing, Distress Inks stay wet just long enough–if you move quickly, and have your heat gun preheated.
The gold circular die cut that will serve as the base of our nest is really lovely; now I need to choose a background paper that will resemble a wall or a door. I turn to the 6×6 Wood Cardstock Pad from My Mind’s Eye, and find a rustic-looking wood-grain that works with the feel of our project. Applying it to the base panel with Scotch Quick-Dry glue, I weight it down with an acrylic block to help it catch against the glittered surface.
Working on building the nest follows. Trimming the branches into smaller pieces, I weave them in and out of the swirled circle, trying to find a nice balance that still looks organic.
I decide that the sentiment needs some grounding and look at a few options. Another Tim Holtz die set to the rescue–Labels, this time. I choose a shape that echoes that of the nest and also fits the sentiment nicely and use it to cut a piece of cardstock I’d colored in the same Red Royal ink, just to give me some embellishment choices. Mounting the label across a strip of the gold adds balance, and prevents it from looking random.
So, all that time adjusting the branches of the nest, do I now have a tiger by the tail? I can’t just pick it up and glue it; not with all those pieces. Glue dots picked up on a fingertip craft knife can be folded over on themselves to be very small and inserted under the slender branches at strategic points. Beyond that, I’ll be using Ranger Multi Medium in Matte finish to adhere the birds, and with a QuickStik, some flat-back pearls to represent eggs in the nest, and some of another color to decorate the wreath. Those branches aren’t going anywhere!
Some more adhesive to adhere the card panel to a base, and that finishes today’s card.
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