Let Us Sit Together

My card today is my first experiment into using the Bokeh technique. My first reaction when I heard about this was, “Huh? What’s that?”

Bokeh is based on a photography technique that is slightly out of focus and shows lights as blurry blobs. Sometimes only the background is blurry and the focal point is in focus. Other times the entire photo is blurry. Cool fact, the word comes from the Japanese word for “haze”. Here’s an example in photography:

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Photography Credit: Top Design Mag

Now that I know this effect exists, I also see it all the time in television shows. We’re watching Person of Interest currently and it seems like it is in almost every scene!

To create this effect in ink and paper, I started with a watercolor wash of Crushed Curry and Old Olive. While that was drying, I created a stencil by using circle dies to make some different sized circular holes in a piece of vellum. I inked up a sponge using a Whisper White Craft Stampin’ Pad and placed my vellum stencil over my watercolor washed paper. I used circular rubbing motions to apply the ink. I varied the amount of ink added; some circles had just a tiny bit of white added and some had more. I found it was easy to go overboard on the white! Bokeh effect, achieved!

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Let Us Sit Together 2

Next, I embossed my paper using a grass embossing folder by Darice. I was rather impatient, so my paper was still a tiny bit wet still at this point. This was actually helpful with embossing, because this was extra thick watercolor paper! A little bit of water goes a long way in making the paper slightly more flexible for deep textured embossing folders or extra thick papers. Once I had my grass embossed, I used another sponge to add some additional Crushed Curry to the grass so it would stand out.

My sentiment comes from the Balloon Celebration stamp set from Stampin’ Up! I think it is kind of wistful, which is a perfect match for this bokeh grass scene.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Let Us Sit Together 3

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

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Materials:

Cardstock: Wild Wasabi, Very Vanilla (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: watercolor paper

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, Whisper White Craft, Old Olive, Crushed Curry (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Balloon Celebration stamp set (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: sponge, vellum, circle dies, grass embossing folder by Darice

Cute Little Stinker

This card corresponds with two challenges. The first is What Will You Stamp Challenge #75!

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The Second is Can You Case It Challenge #131!

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When I first sat down to make this card I was feeling really uninspired. It had been a long day, we finally got our son to sleep, and we had about an hour before bed. I also hadn’t been sleeping well. I was tired, too tired even for stamping, or so I thought. My husband gave me a look and said, “You were going to make cards tonight. You would probably sleep better if you made something.”

So I went down to my office and whipped something up. Once I got working, everything came together easily. And you know what? I slept like a log afterwards.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Skunk Card 2

I combined soft yellows with bold blacks in my designer series papers from Stampin’ Up! The Daffodil Delight polka dots are from the Fruit Stand collection and the black zigzags are from the Pop of Pink collection.

The little skunk is, of course, built using the Fox Builder Punch and the Foxy Friends stamps set, both from Stampin’ Up! For the most part, my little skunk isn’t very different from the standard way many people have been creating skunks with this punch set… until you get to his tail. For my tail, I actually punched 3 tail shapes, two in black and one in white. I layered all three together, adhered them together, and trimmed the tip a bit so it was a little pointier. The result is a little wider tail with a little thinner white stripe.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Skunk Card 3

For a card I didn’t feel like making at first, this turned out pretty stinkin’ cute! My husband deserves at least half the credit for this card’s existence. It’s amazing to have such a supportive person in my life. Thanks, hubby!

Thank you readers, as well, for stopping by, reading my story and admiring my card! Happy stamping!

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Materials:

Cardstock: Basic Black, Whisper White, Smokey Slate (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: Fruit Stand, Pop of Pink Designer Series Papers (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black

Stamps: Foxy Friends stamp set (c) Stampin’ Up!

Punch: Fox Builder (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: Oval cut using Cricut Explore Air

For the Birds

These cards were inspired by CAS(E) This Sketch Challenge #183!

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I created this card using watercolors and two bird images cut out using my Cricut Explore Air. If you have a die cutting machine, these birds are called “Flourish Bird” and “Blue Bird”.  I cut these out as one of the very first things I ever cut on the Cricut, but I didn’t make them into cards until now. I somehow knew that the perfect opportunity was on it’s way!

Both birds are cut out of paper that is very close to Island Indigo… or maybe Pacific Point… with a white background. (I sadly didn’t own very much Stampin’ Up! paper back then).

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Indigo Birds 5

Both cards were created using the same watercolor technique called either the “watercolor wash” or the “wet into wet” technique.

First, I taped down the watercolor paper using washi tape; this prevents warping. Then. I painted three stripes of clear water on the card. Next, I added ink from my ink pads by squeezing the pads while the lid was shut then picking up the excess ink from the lid after I opened it. The ink colors were Watermelon Wonder, Blushing Bride, and Daffodil Delight.

I love how watercolor never turns out the same twice in a row. I did the exact same thing for both these cards and the watercolor areas still look different from each other!

I stamped my sentiments onto vellum shapes with Staz-On black ink, then adhered them to the card using glue dots carefully concealed behind the words in the sentiment.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Indigo Birds 4

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

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Materials:

Cardstock: Island Indigo, Whisper White (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: watercolor paper

Ink: Staz-On Black, Daffodil Delight, Blushing Bride, Watermelon Wonder (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Sprinkles of Life stamp set (c) Stampin’ Up!

Dies and punches: circles, Tree Builder Punch (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: paintbrush or Aquapainter, Cricut Explore Air, vellum

 

 

Just Peachy

This card was inspired by Freshly Made Sketches Challenge #247!

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For this lovely sketch, I decided to give this peachy paper from Stampin’ Up!’s Fruit Stand Designer Series Paper a try. For patterned papers. I normally stick to stripes and polka dots and other types of patterns that work well as backgrounds. Patterns with big images on them leave me a little unsure of what to do with them.. but they are so pretty! For today’s card I decided to go outside my comfort zone and try something new!

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Just Peachy 2

I decided to keep the layers simple for the main panel of the card. It’s a tangerine tango card base with the Fruit Stand paper on top. I resisted the urge to layer several different border colors, because there is already so much going on with the paper.

I did add a few little layers to the circular area of the sketch to make it a focal point. I had to do something to draw the eye over here, with all that busy background! I have a layer of Tangerine Tango, a layer of Whisper White, and a loopy layer of leaves in Wild Wasabi. This leafy layer was created using the Swirly Scribbles Thinlit Dies, but I cut out the center of the shape so it would be open. I stamped the sentiment from the Hello stamp set (Stampin’ Up! Sale-a-bration 2016) onto vellum and fussy cut it out. I always worry that I’m going to tear vellum by accident when I’m cutting it, but I managed without incident!

 

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Just Peachy 3

The final touch was to add a small section of a doily as an accent. This is another area where I am trying to stretch myself and go outside my comfort zone. I have never used doilies before; this is only my second card where I used one! (The first was here.) I really like the look of doilies on other people’s cards, so I’ve been trying to incorporate them into my designs. This is probably the tenth card I’ve made that I tried to use a doily, but the first eight or so looked silly and I ended up removing the doilies before gluing everything together. I guess the ninth and tenth time are the charm!

I have to admit, this is not my favorite card I’ve ever made, but I have learned a lot making it and so it was definitely worth the effort!

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

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Materials:

Cardstock: Wild Wasabi, Tangerine Tango, Whisper White (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: Fruit Stand Designer Series Paper (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black

Stamps: Hello stamp set (c) Stampin’ Up!

Dies: Circles, Swirly Scribbles Thinlit Dies (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: doily, dimensionals

 

Dinosaur Love

Today’s card was created for Stamp Ink Paper challenge #58!

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I clearly took some liberties with this sketch. I used a dinosaur shape instead of a rectangle and my sentiment doesn’t actually have any words and got moved up. The point of the challenge is to be inspired, though, and I definitely was!

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Dinosaur Love 2

This is a pretty wild color combination. It has lots of bright colors and lots of contrast. With dinosaurs as a focal point and a sentiment that requires zero ability to read, this is the perfect card for a kid birthday, valentine, or a just-because-I-love-you card!

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This type of color scheme has a couple different names including “split complementary” and “compound harmony” color schemes. It is similar to a complementary color scheme, which has two colors on completely opposite sides of the color wheel, such as blue and orange, but trades out one of the colors for the two colors on either side of it, such as yellow orange and red orange. The layout of colors looks a little like a fork, with a handle on one side and two or three tines on the other side.

If I had followed this color scheme type really strictly, I probably would have picked Tempting Turquoise instead of Night of Navy. As you can see, my fork shape got a little crooked.

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I love this bright and bold color scheme! This image was created with one of my favorite color tools on the internet: Adobe Color CC.  This tool allows you to input your own color codes (such as official Stampin’ Up hex values) and see how they work together. You can also select different types of color schemes and move one of the colors to watch all the colors move in relation to each other. This is a great tool for finding colors that work well together! Try it out!

This color scheme is so active that the rest of the card can be very simple, which makes it easy to make.  If you want to try making this card for for your favorite dinosaur loving person, here’s how. All products mentioned are from Stampin’ Up!

  1. Cut a standard sized card (5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ OR 4-1/4″ x 11″) in Watermelon Wonder, crease, and fold in half.
  2. Cut a Whisper White panel at 5-1/4″ x 4″.
  3. Cut a piece of Pumpkin Pie colored Fiesta Birthday Designer Series Paper at 5-1/8″ x 3 7/8″.
  4. Cut a piece of polka dot patterned Floral Boutique Designer Series Paper at 1-3/4″ x 3-7/8″.
  5. Stamp a dinosaur from the No Bones About It stamp set in Real Red. Fussy cut with a thin white border.
  6. Stamp a heart filled word bubble from the Foxy Friends stamp set in Watermelon Wonder. Outline with a Night of Navy Stampin’ Write Marker. Fussy cut out with a thin white border.
  7. Assemble using your favorite adhesive. Add dimensionals behind the dinosaur and word bubble.

Homemade Card By Natalie Lapakko Dinosaur Love 3

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!

Materials:

Cardstock: Watermelon Wonder, Whisper White (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: Fiesta Birthday, Floral Boutique Designer Series Papers (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Watermelon Wonder, Real Red (c) Stampin’ Up!

Markers: Night of Navy Stampin’ Write Marker (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: dimensionals