Monday, December 10, 2018

sending warm winter wishes

Hello everyone,
 I first would like to say thank you, so very much, for the wonderful comments and supportive words about my Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge project last week. I am grateful for the outpouring of love and kindness, it means the world to me.

I hope that you enjoy what I have created for this week's challenge "warm winter wishes." 

As the holidays are getting closer, it provides a perfect opportunity to send warm wishes to our family and friends near and far. This week I am sharing a few Christmas cards I created using some of my favorite Tim Holtz products.
It was love at first sight when I laid eyes on the Tim Holtz wise men thinlits dies from Sizzix. Faith plays a huge role in my life and, to me, this die is so perfectly Christmas. I knew that I wanted to share its beauty and meaning with many. The die is made without a distinct framed edge, which allows you to locate the piece anywhere within your surface area and easily accommodate whatever size card you are making. I have chosen to use the die in a horizontal card design, by elongating the front and rear edge to create the look of a sand dune; this creates an appearance that the magi are set quite a distance away from the star which they are following.
My initial idea for the cards was to create a white on white card with gold accents. In order for the white outline of the wise men to be clearly defined, I layer four die cuts onto each other. I place a metallic gold die cut between this layered piece and the base. The shadow line allows you to visualize the full design. Although the card is beautiful, it wasn't what I had hoped. I knew I would need some contrast.
The next card design in my process incorporates the same horizontal design with the die; I love the way it appears as if the magi are indeed following a star. To create the contrast, I exchanged the white base card for back. I also exchange the gold metallic piece for silver. Monochromatic cards seem to be extremely popular. This card, in my opinion, although nice, seems cold. Not exactly what I am hoping to convey-warm wishes.
I decide to try for a navy blue base and return to the gold metallic accents. This card is beautiful; however, I know it could be so much more. Perhaps I am more of a color person than I realize.
The next step in my process is to bring inks onto the design. I love working with inks as much as I enjoy manipulating paper.
 Working with distress oxides, I create background panels. Each panel uses a specific palette and is created by smooshing the ink onto my craft mat, spritzing with water, and then tapping the bristol paper into the ink. I use a heat gun to dry between the different layers, adding depth to the color. When I am satisfied with the look, I add chipped sapphire distress ink along all the edges, and throughout the oxide area. When the panel is completely dry, I add splatters of either tarnished brass or brushed pewter distress paint (depending on which color of metallic kraft is being used) to the sky to create a sprinkling of stars. Some of the panels also have a sprinkling of distress mica spray amongst the splatter stars. The die cut star of Bethlehem and the wisemen are attached to the panel.
The first cards I assembled with the inked backgrounds use the white die cut wise men. Then, I thought it would be interesting to see what the cards would look like if I use navy blue cardstock for the wisemen keeping with the inked background panel.
These are some of my favorite cards, and I am so excited to share them with friends and family this holiday season, sending warm winter wishes.
 I love the Simon Says Stamp Tiny Words Christmas stamps. There are so many wonderful sentiments to choose from. The text is sized perfectly to fit along the bottom edge of my extended sand dune. The sentiments are embossed on each card with Ranger extra fine embossing powder in gold or silver (also dependent on the color of metallic kraft that is used on that particular card.)
I am often amazed at how easy it is for some people to create multiples of the exact same card; for me this seems to be a nearly impossible task. Once I get started, I am always tweaking or adjusting or trying a new take on the design I have in mind. I love that each handmade card someone receives is unique. I hope that they enjoy the cards as much as I enjoyed making them.
Wishing you a blessed holiday season.

Maybe you have been inspired to create something for this week's challenge. I do hope that you join the fun, we love seeing your take on the themes. There is a $50 gift voucher to SIMON Says Stamp for one lucky participant, but you can only win it if you are in it!
Thanks so much for stopping by to visit my blog, please leave a comment or question, it's always a treat when you share your thoughts. I have included a list below with all of the supplies I used to create my cards. Any of the products that are available from Simon Says Stamp are listed below with links. 
Supplies used:
Distress Ink: chipped sapphire
aged mahogany, black soot, blueprint sketch, faded jeans, hickory smoke, 
seedless preserves, stormy sky, tattered rose, wilted violet  
Distress paint: brushed pewter, tarnished brass 
Ranger embossing powder: gold, silver
Ranger heat tool
Scor-Pal Scor-Tape: 1 1/2" wide
Simon Says Stamp: tiny words christmas
Sizzix: Big Shot
Strathmore: Bristol
Tim Holtz Idea-ology: metallic kraft stock
Tim Holtz / Sizzix: wise men thinlits
Heavyweight black card stock
Heavyweight navy blue card stock
Heavyweight white card stock


Lorraine A said...

Oh my goodness Ann! I love the wise men silhouette design! what a gorgeous set of cards!! all of them are gorgeous but my fave is the one with the stunning night sky background, the colours and splatters are fabulous! the sunrise effect is awesome!! So beautifully done :-)

Hope you have a great week!
Lols x x x

Maura said...

I love how your wise men look illuminated by the star in your final card, Ann - just gorgeous!! I really enjoyed hearing about and seeing the evolution of your card, and each one along the way turned out beautifully. warm wishes, Maura

Stacy said...

These are absolutely GORGEOUS!!!! I love them all and every background paper you created is fantastic and adds to the scene so beautifully. Bravo, Ann!!!! You are so talented and I am so happy that you are the guest this month at SSS. Can’t wait to see next week! Hugs my friend! Stacy ❤️

butterfly said...

The depth of colour in the main sky is gorgeous, and I love the offset highlighting of the wise men. Beautiful cards.
Alison x

Kath Stewart said...

such a stunning card Ann, love the beautiful night sky and how you created a gorgeous drop shadow highlighting the three wise men, hugs kath xxx

sarascloset said...

Each of these is beautifully and lovingly made, Ann! You have made some lovely backgrounds to show the beauty of these dies and I love that each is different. I particularly am drawn to the ones with purple in them with the illumination from that wonderful Star. Love, love, LOVE these creations! You are amazing and it is such a treat to see you as GDT at SSS this month! Sending warm hugs!

ann barnes said...

Thank you so much Lols! This was such a process for me, often I have an idea and from concept creation it is full circle, this idea kept becoming something different. I was so happy I just let the creativity guide me. xxx

ann barnes said...

Thanks Maura, I knew that the brightness of the guiding star would create a beautiful glow so instead of a shadow I displayed the reflection. So happy that you stopped by! Thank you for your kindness. xx

ann barnes said...

Thank you so much Kath, so glad that you like my cards, it means a lot to me. xxx

ann barnes said...

You are the sweetest Stacy! Thank you so much for your kindness and encouragement, and also for taking the time to stop by the blog, it is truly appreciated! xxx

ann barnes said...

Thank you Alison, I love using inks, and the oxides are able to be layered so nicely, it was thrilled with the night skies. Thanks for stopping by! xx

ann barnes said...

Sara Emily, your comments always add a bright spot to my day, thank you! I was excited to create the perfect backdrop for the magi to invoke the warmth and brightness of that special star. Thank you!!! xxx

Jackie PN said...

Oh Ann! these are just gorgeous cards! I love that you layered the die cuts!
sending hugs,Jackie xx

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

It is my new favorite die too! I LOVE your sky...gorgeous! Beautiful card.

Joy said...

Thank you very much for this post. These cards are absolutely beautiful.
Shamelessly I am going to copy your ideas with my own colours for this year's (2019) Christmas cards.
I love the small text too but for my rigidly non-Christian recipients I am going to write a young child's mispronunciation during a Nativity play or a comment on the adoration of the Magi and the gifts the wise men brought.
Thanks for the inspiration,

snowbear said...

I absolutely LOVE this card!! You have provided such inspiration! Thank you.. fantastic job!