Thank goodness for the design team inspiration, as I was completely stumped - Christmas just isn't orange, is it? Don't get me wrong, I love the colour, but it's sunny or Autumnal, not Wintery or festive, to me.
Turns out this was a really fun challenge, as I had to start something without really knowing how it would end up.
I decided to have a session making backgrounds in orange, and see where that went.
I started with clingfilm backgrounds. I used Stamps Away stamp and colour card, a coated card, and brayered distress ink over it. I used spiced marmalade, ripe persimmon and a bit of mustard seed and fired brick.
Then sprayed a length of cling film with water and placed it over, crumpling it a little. I had quite the production line going.
The top of the fish tank is great for drying things, as it's nice and warm. Both tanks were covered!
I also tried a few salt backgrounds. I used watercolour card for these, then spritzed them directly with water and sprinkled salt onto them. Worked out quickly that these don't go on the fish tank - they need to dry naturally to work. Rub off the salt once dry to reveal the dappled pattern.
So now I have a great set for my stash, but which to use? After playing around a bit, I went for one of the salt backgrounds, cut down to just under A6 size. But I wanted to add more to the pattern, so I got out the Clarity snowflake stamps I got for Christmas. I stamped in watermark ink, then added micaboss and heated with a heat gun. I then added white mica powder.
The snowflakes aren't perfect as the salty card doesn't take the stamp very well, but for a background they're pretty.
It still needed more texture though, so I stamped again using spiced marmalade distress ink. Far too dark! I tried adding more white mica to tone it down, and really liked the effect.
If you look at the right angle the ink snowflakes shimmer like the mica boss ones.
That's a very pretty orange background made! Now how to make a card with it?
I pulled out another Christmas present, a Merry Christmas Tattered Lace die, and some Tattered Lace snowflake dies. I cut them in silver Centura Pearl card, and laid them over the background.
Originally I'd planned to use the mica boss, ink stamps and die cuts as separate effects on different cards, but it turns out that in this case less is not more, and the different textures all together work beautifully.
I edged the background in spiced marmalade, then with brushed corduroy to tone it down to more of a burnt orange. A Centura Pearl layer underneath, edged in orange sharpie and brushed corduroy, forms a frame and mount for the orange layer, and it all goes onto a 5 x 7 card.
I love the result, and I have been convinced that orange can be Christmassy. In addition, I have a lot of background papers for other projects - I already have plans for some of them.
I also really like my new die. I think this is one to cut several times in different colours and finishes, and have ready to use as it'll work on so many different cards.