Friday, 27 May 2016

Festive Feathery Friends

Christmas card with red and green birds, holly border

The 52 Christmas Card Throwdown Challenge for the week is Little Christmas Critters.

52 CCT theme challenge Little Christmas Critters

The only specifically Christmassy animals I have are reindeer, which aren't little, and I have one elf stamp, but I thought he'd be lonely on his own. I do however have lots of birds, so I decided that they could be given a festive makeover.

I used a Hobby Art stamp, birds on a wire, but split the three birds up by masking the parts of the stamp I didn't want to use. I used archival black ink (yes, it's arrived!) on Clarity 7x7 stencil card.

Three birds, stamped in black, partially masked

This took a bit of planning to get them in the right place - this was planned out on copy paper first. It still wasn't quite right, but close enough for the next step, putting in the ClarityStamp Merry Christmas ribbon writing. I masked parts of the birds, using pebeo drawing fluid, where the writing would go over them.

This is where the clear stamp really comes into its own for lining up, although it's still hard to figure out exactly where it's going to come out. Having the archival ink, which doesn't dry as quickly as the stazon, was definitely a bonus for this.

Merry Christmas ribbon writing with birds, stamped in black

I was pretty pleased with this, and we can address the slight mismatches.

I had planned to make the birds robins, but I realised that only one breast was showing, and I didn't want brown birds (very dull and not very Christmassy). So I decided they would be Christmas colours. I used distress inks, fired brick and pine needles, with a touch of water on a brush, to colour them.

Merry Christmas ribbon writing with red and green birds

The next step was to colour the writing. I wanted a different colour but still festive, so went for seedless preserves, a rich plum.

Merry Christmas plum ribbon writing with red and green birds

At this point I cut the card (7x7 Clarity stencil card) down to fit the image more closely.

I could then stamp my frame. I used an old rubber holly stamp - I've had this for many years, but it's a favourite. I stamped off the edge to form the frame.

Christmas image with red and green birds, stamped holly border

I quite like the black and white look, although it's not right for this card.

Can you also spot the solid holly leaf I stamped under the top bird? It was floating a little, so I gave it something to stand on.

I coloured in the holly with distress inks as before, using mowed lawn and fired brick.

Christmas image with red and green birds, holly border, shimmery writing

As I showed more of the stamp at the corners, this is where the berries show, giving little touches of red there - this wasn't planned but I like the way it works, tying in with the birds.

See the sheen on the writing? I thought it needed a bit of a lift, so I painted over with gold mica powder, mixed with water.

The bottom right corner was looking a bit empty and needed something to add a bit of interest. I recently got a little star cluster stamp from Lavinia's stamps, so I thought I'd use that, as a subtle addition that wouldn't detract from the main design. I stamped with versamark ink (yes, that arrived too!) in the top left and bottom right corners, and dusted with a white glitter mica powder.

Close up of star pattern with white mica powder

It's low key but just adds a bit of background. I could probably have added a few more of these.

To finish off, I edged the card with dark green sharpie pen. The plain white card base (7x7) looked a little flat, so I covered the edges with versa mark pen and added the white mica powder to that too, before mounting the main design  onto it.

Christmas card with red and green birds, holly border

Christmas card with red and green birds, holly border

Three feathery Christmas Critters.

I think my favourite part of this card is the frame. I'll have to remember this to try again - it's pretty easy but (in my humble opinion) very effective, it gives a real festive feel.


  1. I think this is beautiful! I really like the birds on the sentiment and the lovely holly border. Great tutorial too. Thanks so much for playing along with 52CCT this week. Deborah, DT.

    1. Thanks Deborah. My Christmas card collection is looking very healthy this year!

  2. ta carte est absolument charmante Lucinda, les oiseaux sont magnifiques et la bordure de houx donne la parfaite touche finale, merci de jouer avec nous chez 52CCT, biz

    1. Merci Fabiola, il est assez simple, mais je pense que très festive


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