It's the first week of the month, so we have a sketch from the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown challenge.
I used a die from a nesting set for my "squares" - a bit of a more interesting shape.
For the two on the outside, I die cut and embossed the shapes (from Clarity stencil card, as is the whole card except the card base), and left them in the die while I coloured them. This created the white border. I used antique linen distress ink through a music stencil from That Special Touch first. This is a stencil I've had for ages and not used before - I'm trying to use things like this from my crafty stash, rather than the same few things all the time. I then stamped parts of a music background stamp, using brushed corduroy. I didn't used a mount, just pressed areas onto the card with my fingers. Finally, I blended brushed corduroy around the edge, which really brought them together.
For the central shape, I cut and embossed with the same die, and again added ink while it was still in the die. I use the brushed corduroy and aged mahogany.
For the foreground, I used a circular scene die. I carefully kept all the dots from the sky part of the die - I missed a few but got most of them.
I glued this onto the background, then fitted it back into the die and re-cut it, to trim off the excess and re-establish the embossed border.
The scene was a little too white, so I brushed antique linen distress ink into the centre, and with a Faber Castell pencil very lightly added some details to the houses and trees, so they were less cartoon-like.
I wanted a narrow border for this square, narrower than the next die in the set would give. So I drew around the outside of the die and careful cut it out with scissors. I coloured it with aged mahogany, then toned it down with brushed corduroy.
The background is an idea I copied straight from one of the Clarity Design Team cards from the telly last weekend.
I brushed antique linen onto card, to tone down the base, then stamped the words "Merry", "Christmas" and "Noel" from the word chain stamps, all over, using aged mahogany and brushed corduroy again, and second and third generation stamping. I then went back with the same stamps and antique linen, and stamped over, filling in any blank areas. I really like the effect this gives, and it's a bit different from a single sentiment. The example from the telly had Merry Christmas stamped in black over the top once. I quite like how I've ended up with a red Merry Christmas at the bottom of the card - luck rather than judgement! I completely forgot to take photos from this point!
I cut a mount and blended the same colours around the edge, and then a narrow strip of card to go across, to ground the squares a little.
I put it together on a 5x7 card base, then decided that it needed a little something else on the corners. I tried a few things, and settled on a tattered lace corner die, coloured with aged mahogany and brushed corduroy again.
I'm pleased with how the card has come together. Just using three ink colours throughout has given it a nice co-ordinated feel, and these colours are warm and Christmassy.
For me it's the backgrounds that make this card - I'm really pleased with both the musical pattern on the side squares, and the random word background. I'm already thinking how I could use this elsewhere!