The subject of this post is a project that I worked on over several days, finally just completing it yesterday. Normally I can get a card designed in about an hour and a half. But, this one took considerably longer than that.
I really wanted to make something that represented the essence of fall in Wisconsin. The leaves in our area -- unless the weather has other ideas -- are exquisite.
I had discovered a set of dies (not Stampin' Up!; I apologize) that consisted of three types of leaves in a few sizes. The oak leaves to me were especially precious. They were what convinced me to purchase the set. The smallest leaf that I used on this card measures about 7/8" long, while the longest, the large oak leaf, is about 1 1/2" long.
Initially I used these dies along with an assortment of fallish scraps of Designer Series Papers I had on hand. Yay! to using up some more scraps! I had such fun making piles of leaves. I'm just glad I didn't have to rake them!
In throwing away all these little diecut scraps of DSP, I noticed the darling little negative shapes they leaves left. That made my mind wander to another possibility.
I cut a piece of cream colored cardstock to 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". It was a lot of in and out of the die cutting machine, but I love the end result.
I only had eight of these leaf dies, so I had to make lots of die cutting runs. Each time I replaced the dies on the piece of cardstock, trying to fill up the entire sheet with leaf-shaped holes.
In the photo below, you can see that this is the last time running it through the die cutting machine. Notice that a few of the dies are extending beyond the edge of the cardstock.
The next photo shows my completed 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" diecut sheet of ivory cardstock. Can you see where I'm going with this?
Yes! You guessed it! I had just created my very own autumn leaf stencil!
I knew I wanted to have autumn colored leaves atop the stenciled piece, so I went with a neutral color for my stenciling. I chose Gray Granite cardstock along with Gray Granite ink to do my stenciling.
Have you noticed the awesome Blending Brushes on page 129 in the Annual Catalog? They work so well! I used one of these brushes to do my stenciling. I simply held the stencil in place and did one leaf at a time until the whole sheet was transferred to the Gray Granite cardstock.
In the photo below, you can see the stenciled sheet, the used stencil and the Blending Brush I utilized. Pretty slick, eh?
At first, I threw away all the little ivory leaves I removed as I was die cutting my stencil. But then I realized I had a realllllly good use for them, instead of garbaging them. So I dug them back out of the wastebasket.
This is the part that took quite a lot of time. I chose three ink colors, Merry Merlot, Mango Melody and Granny Apple Green, to do a little sponging. One by one I added these three colors to each of these little leaves.
When I came back down to my Creation Station the next day, I felt the sponged leaves were simply too light and wimpy looking for my taste. So, I went to work with the blending brush again, this time adding some real elbow grease to get the colors as saturated as I could. I do think that if I had done the leaves on white cardstock, the colors would have been a little more vivid looking than the subdued look they have now, having been done on cream cardstock.
Now, the moment of truth had arrived. Time to put together a card.
My first step was to trim my stenciled leaf piece down to 4" x 5 1/4", the normal size to add to an A2 size card front. By extending some of the leaves over the edges, it gave the stenciled piece a more realistic look, not as if the leaves were simply confined to the 4" x 5 1/4" space.
I added my colored leaves over the stenciled leaves, using Stampin' Dimensionals on a few of them to give the look a bit of dimension. Otherwise everything else is completely flat.
Although I was happy with just the leafy piece, I thought a beautiful saying would be a nice addition to it.
I cut a strip of Gray Granite cardstock that measured 3/4" x 4" and upon it I stamped the words also in Gray Granite. I liked the effect of one of the leaves touching the strip to sort of integrate the whole thing.
Mounted onto a Gray Granite card base, I think it gives the effect of a dull autumn day colored only by the lovely leaves falling down.