Freehand Florals". Last year, during Jennifer McGuire's Kindness Campaign, Dawn had hand illustrated a set of note cards that were auctioned off to raise a bit of money for the campaign which is an organization that works to stop bullying. If you were online or on Instagram at that time, you saw them. This stamp set is based on a similar style design but keeps the integrity of Dawn's hand drawn set unique.
|Freehand Florals by Yana Smakula|
If you've been around the Papercrafting world much, then you have seen Dawn's work and know that she is an incredible artist. The first video of her I ever saw was one using her "Unforgettable" Stamp Set and she was showing how you could watercolor it. That one little YouTube video spawned my whole desire to learn how to do enough watercolor to not be ashamed of the cards I sent in that style. Dawn also creates Fine Art Watercolor Paintings that she sells and did a fantastic class on Watercolor Techniques over at Online Card Classes. To say that I admire her work would be an understatement. I'm actually in awe of her awesome talent but the thing that most impresses me about her is that she shares her techniques with other paper crafters and makes them seem achievable. I doubt that I will ever be successful at freehand watercolor, but I can sure do a watercolor look thanks to her.
Then last month, my friend Yana Smakula, created a card using this same set that was absolutely stunning. You can see that video here. After that, my ship was sunk until I was able to get this set. I've played with it a little, but yesterday I sat and devoted my entire day to attempting to make my card look as nice as Dawn's and Yana's. I started by stamping the base layer of the roses and larger leaves onto Stamper's Select White #110 Cardstock and die cutting them. I watched Dawn's video several times to make sure I knew how to stamp each layer in the proper place and continued with my stamping. A lot of the time, layering stamp sets are as much about the selection of ink colors for the various layers of one bloom as it is about knowing how to stamp it correctly. When I got my first layering set this year, I sat and played with color combinations to find some that really work for me, so I already had this part figured out and had stamped roses in several color families the day before.
It was the background stamping that Dawn had shown in her video that really made me nervous. I had never done that before. I have a couple of Dawn's Floral sets and she always gives you filler flowers to use for this purpose. Freehand Florals is no exception but it is the first time I've attempted to actually use some of them. I should probably remind you all that I only started thinking of myself as a stamper in the last 6 months or so. Before that, I was a card maker but I pretty much used only die cuts. I still love die cuts, but stamps (like watercolor) have won my heart!
It's always a little scary to stamp directly onto a panel that will be showing on the front of your card and I wasn't happy with my first two attempts but truly, once I tried to do it for real, it couldn't have been any easier and I wonder what took me so long. Finding a balance is important and I felt my first two tries had too much filler in them but I wanted to get a feel for what I could accomplish with those stamps that seemed similar to what Dawn created so I kept stamping on those to perfect my skill using such small stamps and let me tell you, they are tiny! I never dreamed I could do so much with them. So on my last try, I scaled it way back and had a good idea of what I'd add and how much when I started stamping on that panel. I feel my balance is perfect. There is more texture without filling up all of the white space and I'm thrilled with how my card turned out. I'm anxious to try again with some pink roses.
The colors I used here are Papertrey Ink's Lemon Tart, Harvest Gold and Bright Buttercup for the blooms; Rose Quartz from Altenew and Berry Sorbet from Papertrey Ink for the Rose Buds, Puffy Heart and Cosmic Berry Inks (from the Altenew Rose Petal Collection) for the pink filler flowers, Vintage Jadeite and New Leaf for all the larger leaves, and Aqua Mist for the smaller vines of leaves all from Papertrey Ink. I LOVE Altenew's new colors, the Rose Petal Collection in particular. I love Pinks with a blue undertone and these fit the bill perfectly. For my card Base, I used Lemon Tart Cardstock from Papertrey Ink. To finish my card I stamped the greeting onto the Tag Sale Quilted Banner Die and heat set it, then mounted it on Thin 3D Foam Squares.
As I said, I'll be entering this card over at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog. I will also be sharing this over at Word Art Wednesday where the theme is always Anything Goes. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today. I truly cherish those kind and encouraging comments you leave for me. Have a great Sunday!