Presents and Pinecones… and a Puppy!

Christmas card with Presents and Pinecones DSP and a puppy made using the Fox Builder Punch from Stampin' Up! Design by Natalie Lapakko.

Presents and Pinecones… and a Puppy!

This is my favorite pattern from Stampin’ Up!’s Presents and Pinecones Designer Series Paper. I’ve been wanting to use it for something really special, and when this challenge appeared at the Global Design Project, I knew it was the perfect time.  Brian King style layers are a great way to show off beautifully patterned papers like this one.

Challenge Inspiration

This card was inspired by Global Design Project Challenge #60!


This challenge is somewhat nostalgic for me because my first post ever was a CASE of a similar card Brian made, complete with a Bear Hugs bear, also with his feet cut off. Brian was the first person ever to leave me a comment on my blog and he was so nice. I was over the moon excited.

When it came to CASEing this challenge card, my first thought was to substitute the penguin stamp from the Snow Place stamp set for the bear. Then I scrolled down to the design team cards and saw that Brian himself already used that idea. I couldn’t just do the same thing! I decided to use the Fox Builder Punch instead and came up with this:

Christmas card with Fox Builder Punch and Presents and Pinecones DSP from Stampin' Up! Design by Natalie Lapakko.

I was thinking of a fox at first, but orange or coral colors would have been all wrong with this DSP. I decided on making a puppy so I could use Delightful Dijon and match the colors from the Presents and Pinecones paper.

I was also super excited when I realized that the presents in the DSP were wrapped in Mint Macaron polka dot paper… that exactly matched the In Color Designer Series Paper polka dots! Such geeky delight was had by all in my craft room. There may have been some squealing and dancing, but I wouldn’t know anything about that.

Puppy made using the Fox Builder Punch from Stampin' Up! Designed by Natalie Lapakko.

Lessons Learned

Now that I am looking at this card in fresh light, I realize that the balance is a little off. Each element of a card has a perceived visual weight. The color, size, shape, and position of an element all contribute to an object’s weightiness. Even white space has some weight (though not much). The goal is to have a card that has the same weight on each side, as if the card was a perfectly level seesaw.

If you have the exact same stuff on each side of the card and the card is symmetrical, that’s easy. If you have different elements on each side, you’ve got asymmetrical balance and it’s a little more difficult. The leading experts suggest squinting at a card to check the balance before gluing everything together. I do this for every card (and owe someone a lot of nickles).

This infographic shows how different art elements can be balanced in an asymmetrical design. By Natalie Lapakko

This particular card is a little right-side heavy. It looked fine before I glued it, but then I decided at the last minute to add the cute little bow on the puppy’s head and it apparently threw everything off.

Some things I could have done to fix this would be:

  • to rearrange the sentiment slightly
  • take something off the right side of the card, like the bow
  • add something small to the left side of the card, like an ornament hanging from the sentiment

Here’s what that could look like:

This infographic shows how to fix an image that is unblanaced. The featured card, by Natalie Lapakko uses Presents and Pinecones DSP and other Stampin' Up products.

Tips to Make a Puppy with the Fox Builder Punch

  1. The puppy’s head is the fox head, but turned upside down with the ears removed.
  2. The face uses the the eye stamps from Foxy Friends, but I added my own mouth and freckles using a Basic Black Stampin’ Write Marker.
  3. Use the tail from the fox builder punch to make puppy ears. Just fold over the tip, trim the base a little thinner, and glue down!
  4. The tail is another fox tail shape, with just a slim sliver cut off the edge to make the tail.

Modern Christmas Color Combination

This color combination comes straight from the designer series paper. It has a hint of tradition with red and green represented by Emerald Envy and Cherry Cobbler, but it adds a sparkle of yellow with Delightful Dijon and a splash of cool blue with Mint Macaron.

Color Combination: Cherry Cobbler, Emerald Envy, Mint Macaron, Delightful Dijon

Thanks for visiting and happy stamping!


Cardstock: Emerald Envy, Whisper White, Delightful Dijon (c) Stampin’ Up!

Paper: Presents and Pinecones Designer Series Paper, 2015-2017 In Color Designer Series Paper (c) Stampin’ Up!

Ink: Cherry Cobbler (c) Stampin’ Up!

Stamps: Christmas Pines (c) Stampin’ Up!

Punch: Fox Builder Punch (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other: Cherry Cobbler Baker’s Twine (from the Baker’s Twine Trio pack), Basic Black Stampin’ Write Marker (c) Stampin’ Up!

Other Cards You Might Enjoy

Click on a card to view the post about that individual card.

Christmas card with Fox Builder Punch and Pretty Pines thinlit dies from Stampin' Up! Design by Natalie Lapakko.

Christmas card by Natalie LApakko featuring Bear Hugs stamp set and Warmth and Cheer DSP.

Homemade card with banner shaped front with Presents and Pinecones DSP and Pretty Pines Thinlits. Design by Natalie Lapakko.

0 thoughts on “Presents and Pinecones… and a Puppy!”

  1. Oh, Natalie! This is ADORABLE! The puppy is so sweet, and I appreciate your kind words about my work. I’m honored to be able to inspire you – your work is pretty amazing. Thanks for playing along with my CASE the Designer Challenge at Global Design Project!

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