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Oh So Merry

 Hello again! It's Allison, and I'm back with a fun holiday card this week. I have really enjoyed stretching my standard size stamps into images that can be used for slimline cards, and this adorable penguin set from Mama Elephant is perfect for that. The matching die set not only cuts out the image, but it also comes with a fantastic word die, which is what I used for my card today. Both of these can be found in the Butterfly Reflections shop, along with the adorable new Mama Elephant anniversary release!

I was really in the mood for a relaxing watercolor session, so I cut a piece of watercolor paper using the Slim Card Basics die set from Mama Elephant. To extend the stamp across the panel, all you need is a stamp platform, like the Misti, and some masking paper. If you're way more talented than me, and you have a large acrylic block, then you could do this without a stamp platform. But, I was not going to attempt that feat! 

First, I positioned the stamp so that it lined up along the left edge of my panel. Because I was going to watercolor, I used black pigment ink. I stamped it a few times in order to get a good impression - remember watercolor paper has a lot of texture! I also stamped the column of penguins that are on the right side of the stamp onto the masking paper (this is where the fishbowls are). I cut the shape of the penguins and fish bowls out of the masking paper, making sure to cut right along the line. I then removed the backing of the masking paper and covered the corresponding penguins and fishbowls. I repositioned the stamp so that it just slightly overlapped the masking paper, and then stamped several times again. Removing the masking paper is the magical moment when the resulting image is revealed - Presto!

After letting the ink dry for a bit, I pulled out my distress inks. I love using Waffle Flower's media mat when I watercolor with distress inks. I can just smoosh them onto the mat and then take a paintbrush and mix the water into the inks. Because it's white, it lets me see the colors really well, especially when I mix colors together. This "relaxing" watercolor session was supposed to be quick. I am, by no means, a watercolor expert. I intended on just doing a light wash of color and not do any shading. And I did do that, and it was pretty quick. But then, on impulse, I attempted to shade one of the penguins. And then another. And of course, you can't stop with just one or two penguins! Sigh. 

After I had an entire panel full of semi-shaded penguins, I didn't really know what I was going to do for a sentiment. I thought about stamping a sweet little sentiment on black paper, but I wasn't feeling it. I didn't really want to cover up most of the image, but it is an awful lot of penguins, right?! I decided to use the word die that came with the set because I felt like there was enough space between the letters to let some of the penguins peek through. I cut it out of the same watercolor paper, and then I took a blending tool and swiped some distress ink along the edges of the letters in an effort to make it stand out from the background. I also cut a couple layers of grey paper with the die and stacked those behind to make it stand out further.

Maybe the hardest part of the card was deciding on what color card base to use! It looked good with pink, blue, green and grey. But I chose the green - I think it looks really cheerful...and OH SO MERRY!

Thanks for joining me again. Wishing you all a crafty day!



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