Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Handmade Garden Desert Card and A Sneaky Supervisor

Partial image of my handmade garden desert card.
Peek at My Handmade Garden Desert Card
Okay, I admit it. I'm on a Southwestern kick. Maybe it has something to do with the record setting lack of rain over the past 2 months. Whatever it is, I have another Southwestern themed handmade card to share. Since it's springtime and I'm antsy to start planting my garden, I thought I would add a gardening flavor to this desert card. I know that's kind of strange, but that is the nice thing about card making, you can do what you want and I wanted to garden in the desert (kind of like what I feel like I'm doing here on the home front right now). As I was envisioning my card I also thought about my Mom. Now she has what I would call a miraculous green thumb. I believe that she could even get things to grow in the desert, so this card is also a tribute to my Mom's green thumb. 

I used a combination of colors for this card that remind me of the Southwest and was lucky enough to find a striped paper in my stash that fell right within my color scheme. Like my Southwestern Desert card that I shared on a previous post, I've created a desert scene for this handmade card.

The World Around Me

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of my card, I have a quick story to share. My cat Bingo is a sweet cat that is as nosy as can be. The problem though is that he is also a scaredy cat. I don't know what happened to him before we rescued him from the humane society, but the littlest thing has him running for the hills. He's been with us for several years, but he still has this little idiosyncrasy.

Anyway, his curiosity has him running to various doors and windows when he hears unusual sounds outside. Last week we had the town tree crew cutting down some trees across the street from us due to extensive storm damage. Bingo spent hours over the three days they were working going from window to window watching their every move. He spent so much of his day time supervising the crew that he would collapse at night into a deep sleep.

This morning we had a tree crew in our front yard very near the front door removing a storm damaged tree that had become a danger to our house. Here is a picture of Bingo I was able to capture while he was supervising our crew.

Image of Bingo the cat watching out a glass door.
Supervising the Tree Cutting Crew

Unfortunately, he was off like a shot when the first large branch hit the ground. I guess the tree crew was just too close to the door for his comfort. He spent the remainder of the morning hunkered down in his blue comfort blanket.

My Love of Papercrafting Challenges

I follow many challenge blogs and my handmade Garden Desert Card reflects the following challenges:
  • Prairie Fairy Fridays challenge this week was for anything with flowers. I think my handmade garden desert card meets this criterion because of the lady gardener holding a flower in her hand.
  • Stampin' for the Weekend challenged the use of sparkle and shine. My handmade garden desert card has a trio of rhinestones that shine.
  • Crafty Catz Challenge was an anything goes this week and my handmade garden desert card meets that requirement.
  • My Time to Craft challenged us to create cards with a garden theme. My handmade garden desert card meets that challenge since my scene is a woman planting flowers around the base of a saguaro cactus.

Handcrafting My Garden Desert Card

Card Statistics

  • Final Card Size: 5.5" tall x 4.25" wide
  • Tools: cactus stamp, woman stamp, scoring board, paper cutter, scissors, ruler, blending stumps, sponge pieces, computer, non stick craft mat
  • Materials: cardstock, scrapbook paper, inks, colored pencils, gamsol, cover stock, adhesive, artists tape, spray sealer, rhinestones, post-it notes
  • Card can be Purchased in My Polished Moxie Etsy Shop: Handmade Garden Desert Card.

Front View Of My Handmade Garden Desert Card

Image of the front of my handmade garden desert card.
My Handmade Garden Desert Card

To start my card I created the card base from olive green cardstock that I scored at the top so that it opens vertically from the bottom. I layered the top of my handmade card with a reddish terra cotta cardstock panel. To add a little interest to the card I popped a vertical panel of my striped paper matted with butterscotch cardstock along the left hand side of the card. This panel is slightly off the face of the card to give it some dimension.

Creating My Desert Scene Background

For the focal point of my card I decided to create a unique Southwestern desert scene using a variety of techniques. The first thing I did was determine what size I wanted my image panel to be and then used Photoshop Elements to lay out and size the digital stamps I was going to use in my scene. In this case those elements included the saguaro cactus and the woman gardener. Once my layout was completed, I printed it out on my white cardstock.

Before creating my background I needed to mask my digital images on my image panel. To achieve this goal I covered my image panel with artists tape and ran it back through my printer and printed my layout on it. I pulled the artists tape off of my image panel and fussy cut out the two images (saguaro cactus and lady gardener). I placed these artists tape images back over their respective images on my image panel and burnished them in place. This created masks for each of the digitally stamped images on my panel so that they are protected when I create my background.

To start my background I placed a post-it over the top part of the image panel slightly above the half way point to mask it. I created my horizon and desert floor by first sponging tan ink on the lower portion of the panel and then adding a sprinkle of darker browns to give the desert some depth. I removed the post-it mask and allowed the ink to dry. Once the ink was dry I placed a post-it over the lower inked desert portion of my image panel with just a snippet of the tan ink showing above it. You need a little bit of the ink showing above the mask so that when you sponge above it you don't leave a white line between the two sponged areas. I didn't sponge in the sky at this point because I needed to create my desert mountains first.

To create my desert mountains I needed another two masks. I took another post-it and cut the profile of my mountains out of it. See the picture below as an example of what I'm talking about. Pretend that it is a square post-it and I cut along the red line. With this cut I create two masks: one for the profile of my desert mountains and one for the sky above the mountains.

Example of using a post-it to create two separate background masks.
Example of Creating Sky and Mountain Masks from a Post-It

I used the upper portion of this post-it (the sky mask) to cover the top portion of my image panel. I left a gap between it and the post-it already in place covering the previously inked lower portion of the image panel. The gap left between the two post-it note masks is the same shape as the mask for the profile of my mountains that I use later in this process. See the example below for my post-it mask placements.

Example showing placement of two separate post-it background masks to create area for sponging in mountains.
Placement of desert floor and sky masks on image panel

With the horizon mask and the sky mask in place, I sponged a dark peach ink in the gap between them to create my desert mountains. I removed the two post-it masks from my image panel to allow the ink to dry.

After the ink dried I placed the post-it mask for my mountain profile (the portion below my red line in the first mask picture above) over my inked mountains. Again, I left a snippet of the mountain ink showing above the mask to prevent a white line. See my example below.

Example showing placement of background mountains mask to create area for sponging in sky.
Placement of Mountain Mask on Image Panel

Now I sponged in my sky starting with my sun in the upper right corner. From there I sponged in a little lavender ink along the mountain tops and then completed the sky by sponging on several shades of blue ink. I removed the post-it from my mountains and allowed the ink to dry. This created my basic background in which I added details and shading.

Coloring my Images and Adding Detail to My Background

Once all of my background inks were dry, I removed the artists tape masks from my cactus and lady gardener images. Using gamsol and colored pencils I colored both images. I layered several shades of color on the cactus and the plants at its base. I did the same for the woman's skin tone. To complete the desert floor I drew in some green desert plants and added a path through the foreground beneath the gardener.

For the desert mountains I added depth to them with several shades of color from terra cotta to chocolate. Again, I used gamsol and colored pencils to achieve this effect. I also added some subtle shading to the sky with my colored pencils.

Once my image was completed I matted it with butterscotch cardstock and popped it slightly from the surface of the front card panel. As a finishing touch for my card I affixed three amber rhinestones in the lower right corner.

Angle Views of My Handmade Garden Desert Card

Image of my handmade garden desert card at a left angle to show its dimensional elements.
Angle Left - Handmade Garden Desert Card

Image of my handmade garden desert card at a right angle to show its dimensional elements.
Angle Right - Handmade Garden Desert Card

These angled views of my card give you an idea as to the dimension of the popped panels and the trio of rhinestones.

Inside Panel of My Handmade Garden Desert Card

Image of the inside panel of my handmade garden desert card.
Inside Panel - Handmade Garden Desert Card

For the inside panel of my card I matted cream cardstock with reddish terra cotta cardstock and decorated it with a strip of the striped paper. I decided to leave the remainder of the panel blank.

I also constructed a handmade envelope from heavy cover stock. So the envelope coordinated with my card, I printed the same saguaro cactus I used on my card along the lower left edge of my envelope. I used gamsol and colored pencils to color it. To protect the image on the envelope should it travel through the mail I sprayed it with matte sealer.

Final Handmade Garden Desert Card and Handmade Envelope Set

Image of my handmade garden desert card and its coordinating handmade envelope.
My Handmade Garden Desert Card and Coordinating Handmade Envelope

Here's my final set. Looking at it now it almost has a Tuscan feel to it because of the colors I used.

One tip I would add is that I find it works out much better to color my images after I have created the background. That way, if there is any white halo around my images I can eliminate it when coloring the image. 

This card set is available in my Polished Moxie Etsy Shop: Handmade Garden Desert Card.

Card Recipe Specifics for Handmade Garden Desert Card

  • Cardstock: The Paper Company, Wausau
  • Cover Stock: Staples
  • Scrapbook Paper: K and Company
  • Rhinestones: Studio G
  • Digital Stamps: saguaro cactus from Digi Doodle Shop and lady gardener from Stitchy Bear Stamps
  • Inks: all inks from Colorbox
  • Prismacolor Pencils: yellow chartreuse, chocolate, terracotta, pale sage, limepeel, kelp green, kelly green, spanish orange, chestnut, pink rose, light peach, seashell pink, dark umber, burnt ochre, crimson lake, denim blue, blue slate, greyed lavender
  • Tools: scoring board, paper cutter, scissors, ruler, blending stumps, sponge pieces, computer, non stick craft mat
  • Misc Materials: artists tape, adhesives, spray sealer, gamsol, post-it notes
  • Techniques Used: gamsol, sponging, masking, digital stamping, making a scene

So ends another jaunt along my handcrafting card journey with my handmade garden desert card. A unique card fit for any gardener with a miraculous green thumb. Thank you for visiting my blog and allowing me to share my handmade card and photography with you. I hope you enjoyed your visit and will come back soon! 

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1 comment:

  1. Great project! Thanks for joining My Time To Craft! Hugs, Julia


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