This week the cold came to town in St. Louis. We haven’t had snow yet, but I am thinking it is only a matter of time. The days have been pretty overcast and dreary which led me to day dream about sunshine. I am not a big fan of winter, but one of the things I do delight in, is catching glimpses of the family of cardinals that live in the tree outside my kitchen window. There is nothing like seeing their bright red color when the tree is covered in snow. I made this little decorative piece to remind me of that joy.
Begin by cutting a piece of manila cardstock to fit the area of the Vintage Cabinet Card die. Apply an iCraft adhesive sheet to the manila cardstock. Other types of adhesive could be used in place of the sheet, but I particularly like that this one will give strong and complete coverage on the back of my cardstock. To apply the adhesive, peel away one corner of the backing sheet. Match the corner of the sheet to the corner of the cardstock. Slowly peel away the backing as you smooth the sheet onto the cardstock. After applying the adhesive, die cut one Vintage Cabinet card from the manila cardstock.
Die cut a second Vintage Cabinet Card from grungeboard. Set the grungeboard piece aside.
Place the cardstock on a craft sheet manila side up. Place a stencil (The Crafters Workshop Mini Fraq Flower 6×6) over the cardstock. I chose this stencil because it reminded me of a sunburst. Place the center of the circle where you would like the center of your sunburst to be. Lightly mist the cardstock with Lemon Zest Dylusions Ink Spray, focusing your mist toward the center of the sunburst.
Carefully remove the stencil. Use a dry cloth to blot away any excess mist. Dry with a heat tool.
Die cut two Christmas Cardinals from grungeboard. Cut off the branch with leaves on the right as shown.
Lightly apply Sticky Dot or temporary adhesive to the back side of the cardinal and branch. Trim the small branch as needed so that it can be placed on top of the main branch on the left.
The cardinal and branch will be used like a mask in the next few steps. For this project I wanted to mask the background to create a highlight behind the finished bird. Masking film could be used, but since it is thin, any inking over the film would result in a very precise and crisp outline. I wanted a softer edge for the highlight so I chose a thicker material. The thicker material will make inking up to the edge less likely therefore creating a softer masked edge.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Tumbled Glass Distress Ink to the card, inking over the bird and branch. Focus the blue ink mostly on the upper card to create a blue sky above and around the bird.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Peeled Paint Distress Ink the card, again, inking over the branch. Focus the green ink mostly around the branch and leaves.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Faded Jeans Distress Ink around the edges of the card to darken the sky.
Mist the sky area with Forever Blue Perfect Pearls Mist. Use a dry cloth to blot away any excess mist.
Carefully remove the bird and branch from the card. Notice how soft the edges of the masked design is?
Use a heat tool to dry the card.
Remove the backing sheet from the back of the manila card. Adhere the manila card to the matching grungeboard cabinet card. Use an ink blending tool to apply Vintage Photo Distress Ink to the edges of the assembled cabinet card.
Use an ink blending tool to apply Vintage Photo Distress Ink to the legs of bird that was used as a mask.
On the second grungeboard bird, cut the branch off as before and cut away the bird.
Ink the branch pieces generously with Gathered Twigs Distress Stain. For rich color, allow the stain to sit for a minute or so to soak in.
Blot away the excess stain with a dry cloth. Dry with a heat tool.
Adhere the two branch pieces with liquid glue to the bird and branch that was used as a mask (with the brown legs).
Die cut two birds from white wool felt. Apply yellow ink to the beak of one bird. (I used Distress Ink that was already on my yellow blending foam, so no specific color to mention here.)
Place a piece of tape over the yellow beak to mask it.
Mist the two birds generously with Postbox Red Dylusions Ink Spray. Allow the ink to set a minute to soak in.
Please note, I am using WOOL felt which has natural fibers that accept dies and inks nicely. I have not tried this ink on acrylic felt so I can not say if it is an appropriate substitute. You will find wool felt in fabric stores sold on a bolt. Acrylic felts are usually pre-cut and very inexpensive. Wool felt is more expensive but the quality and ability to be dyed makes it worth the extra I think. If you have an assortment of spray inks, buy white and use your inks to color it making it a great staple item in your craft stash.
Use a dry cloth to blot away excess ink. Air dry or dry gently with a heat tool. Wool felt can shrink so avoid overheating while drying.
Use scissors to cut a wing shape from the second felt bird.
Use an ink blending tool and Vintage Photo Distress Ink to add some shading as desired. (I darkened the edge of the wings and the belly of the bird.)
A Distress Ink Marker can be used to add more color to the beak if needed.
Use liquid glue to adhere the bird with the beak to the grungeboard bird. Apply liquid glue to the straight edge of the wing.
Adhere the wing to the bird along the back.
Use a black Glaze pen to add an eye to the bird. The ink will soak in and not be very shiny. A second or third coat of the ink after the first is dry will be more shiny.
Die cut two leaves from the scraps of manila cardstock (with the adhesive sheet applied).
Use an ink blending tool to apply Pine Needles Distress Ink to the two leaf pieces. Add Vintage Photo Distress Ink to the tips and edges of the leaves.
Adhere the leaves to the corresponding parts of the branches.
Apply strips of adhesive foam to the back of bird and branches.
Adhere the bird and the branch piece to the front of the card, matching the piece to the masked design.
Apply Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles to the tops of the branches and leaves. Set aside to dry.
Cut one piece of manila (with adhesive sheet applied to the back) and one piece of grungeboard to 5 3/4″ x 4 1/4″.
Place the manila cardstock piece in the Woodgrain Texture Fade and emboss. Adhere the embossed cardstock to the grungeboard piece. Use an ink blending tool to apply Vintage Photo Distress Ink to the embossed design.
Spread a coat of Clear Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint over the surface of the embossed piece.
Use a soft edged tool (I use a Pampered Chef Handy Scraper- link below in supplies) to skim the surface of the embossed piece. This leaves the paint in the recessed areas and removes it from the raised areas.
I refer to this technique as the Frosty De-boss. You can find the post where I first shared it here: https://www.tammytutterow.com/2011/11/tuesday-tutorial-frosty-deboss/.
This next step is a moment I am going to call a Bob Ross moment… if you ever watched Bob Ross on PBS back in the 80s you may know what I mean. I remember watching Bob Ross paint. I would follow along thinking how great the painting looked. At some point it would look done to me, but not to Bob, he would keep adding more “happy little trees”. I would always think, “Whoa Bob, that was one happy tree too many, you should have stopped!” I have moments in my crafting where I add one happy tree too many. This project was fine as it was, but I had that moment of over thinking where I added one more tree… this is that moment… I wanted more snow.
To create snow that would be thicker on the branches, I put a glob of Clear Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint on my craft sheet and then sprinkled in Clear Rock Candy Stickles Dry Glitter into it until I had a really thick almost paste.
I used the mixing stick to place globs of the mixture onto the branches. At this point all is well and I am feeling pretty proud of my discovery… we’ll come back to the “happy trees” part in a moment…
Die cut a second Cabinet Card from grungeboard.
Adhere the second piece of grungeboard to the back of the first. Use an ink blending tool to ink the sides of the two pieces.
When the frosty de-boss is dry, use adhesive foam squares to adhere the assembled cabinet card to the assembled woodgrain background.
If you put the thick snow mixture on, let it dry before assembling, or wait to apply it until after the cabinet card is adhered to the woodgrain background. It will take a long time to dry and you WILL stick your fingers in it if you assemble it while the snow is wet… trust me! 😉
Die cut a small easel from chipboard. Place adhesive on the straight section.
Adhere the easel to the back of the assembled piece.
Now… back to the snow… I photograph these tutorial as I make them up so if I have a craft fail, you get to see it. That is what this photo is, a Bob Ross moment that turned into a craft fail. I went to bed with lovely clear glittery snow and woke up with yellow snow. Yes, yellow snow. It seems that as my snow creation dried it soaked up some color from my background or from the stain on the branch.
One of my jars of Rock Candy Crackle Paint was really thick so I added water to it. It was while I was stirring in the water that I started thinking about adding glitter to it. I think that because I had added water to the paint and then put the paint on top of Distress Inks (which react with water) color wicked into the “snow”. I haven’t had a chance to re-test the snow mixture using non-watered down paint, so if you decide to make chunky snow with Rock Candy Crackle Paint and Rock Candy Dry Glitter, do so first on a scrap piece of paper and not your project. I am fairly certain that it was the added water that caused my problem and that if created with non-watered down paint, the result would have been a nice dimensional clear glittery snow.
Thankfully, the project was not lost. I dabbed Pearl Paint Dabber onto my craft sheet and used a paint brush to apply the paint onto the snow. It covered the yellow easily with a nice pearly white finish.
While I am calling it a project fail, it really isn’t. I still ended up with a dimensional “snow” with a nice texture which adds a nice touch to the project. It didn’t turn out like I imagined it, but it is still cool!
I love how the masking added a nice glow shadow behind the elements. I think it is a really neat touch that helps accent all the dimension in the project.
I have used the Frosty De-boss technique several times on projects since I first shared it. I never get tired of it! It adds such an interesting effect that really makes embossed designs stand out. And look at the subtle sparkle of blue in the sky.
Could this little felt bird be any cuter? I simply adore the way it looks in felt!
There you have it, today’s tutorial with the good, the bad, and the ugly yellow snow. I guess that is the lesson in making art, it is okay to experiment with the unknown and to try out some “what ifs”, but maybe on scratch paper first!