Leaves Cover – The Stamp Market

It’s 2021 finally! Happy New Year, crafty friends! I appreciate the new year because it’s a time to reflect, be thankful, and make peace with the year that’s passed so you can confidently move forward. 2020 has been incredibly challenging on so many levels, but the new year is full of hope and possibilities. It’s a reminder that it’s never too late to be who you want to be. I saw a quote once that said “Don’t do the same thing for 80 years and call it a life.” My wish for you (and for myself), is to live a full life that you can be proud of. So whatever a full life looks like for you, I hope you make the most of it in 2021. Let’s dive into my card.

I recently purchased this Leaves cover die and have not had a chance to play with it yet so I thought I would try to create a fun design for #manuarycards. #Manuarycards was started by my friend, Crystal, with the goal to make more “masculine” cards in the month of January. Honestly, I do not send many cards to my male friends, so I’m going to push myself to make more unisex cards. It’s a great way to stretch my supplies and think creatively about my designs. It’s really casual and open to everyone, so please feel free to play along and use the hashtag #manuarycards so we can see what you make!

Leaves cover. To create the leaves cover, I die cut the cover plate die four times – from Strathmore Mixed Media paper, and green, blue, and yellow cardstock from The Stamp Market. Before adhering all of the layers together, I watercolored the top layer with a variety of Karin brushmarkers. Of all the paper I have currently, I’ve found that the Strathmore paper works best with these markers. My watercolor style is loose and more artistic. I usually lay down a light wash of color first and let it completely dry before adding additional layers. I like the harsh lines that I create when layering wet paint on top of dry paint. After painting all of the leaves, I darkened the stems and added yellow highlights by applying the marker directly to the paper. I also splattered dark blue paint over the leaves. Once dry, I used liquid glue to adhere all of the layers together.

Pro tip: Don’t like harsh lines? Make sure you are using enough water to reactivate and blend the watercolors when you add additional layers. Learning how to control the amount of water in your brush, on your palette, and on your paper are keys to successful watercoloring. It is something I am still working on. A couple watercolor artists that I learn so much from are The Mint Gardener and This Writing Desk.

Background. I struggled with what I wanted to do in the background. I could have left it plain white, but I thought some texture would be nice. I remembered I bought my first embossing folders during Black Friday and they would add my desired texture. It was my very first time using an embossing folder and the result was so pretty! I received much better results than when I try to dry emboss a stencil. Be sure to check your die cutting machine’s guidance on the correct sandwich for embossing folders.

Sentiment and finishing touches. After embossing the background panel, I glued the stacked leaves to the background, and then glued everything to an A2, side folding card base. I splattered the card with gold watercolor from my favorite metallic watercolor palette, Starry Colors. The sentiment is from The Greetery and was gold heat embossed. With the sentiment’s matching die, I die cut two layers of dark blue cardstock and stacked it behind the sentiment for dimension. I offset the last layer so a peek of blue was showing. Lastly, I adhered the sentiment directly to the leaves. No additional dimension was necessary.

Pro Tip: Adding dimension to sentiments by stacking layers of cardstock is a great alternative to using foam tape. Foam tape can sometimes get squished in the mail, so adding dimension with cardstock helps build a more sturdy foundation. It is also more economical and a way to use up cardstock scraps.

Hope you liked my take on a more “masculine” card for #manuarycards. If you’re inspired by my design, please tag me on IG, I’d love to see what you create! Stay tuned to my blog and IG this year; I will be guest designing for a couple great companies! I can’t wait to stretch my creativity and inspire you. Thank you for all the love and support during my first 9 months of cardmaking! If there is ever anything I can help with, please DM me on IG. Onward my friends!