I Couldn’t Have Wished For A Better Friend Card

When I saw the ‘Wishing You’ stamp set by WPlus9, I instantly knew that it would be the perfect basis for a card for a very dear friend of mine.  I purchased the main stamp set, as well as the matching die and sentiment stamp.  I did use all 3 of these in this card, which I was quite pleased about.

I started off by working on the rabbits.  I stamped them in Tsukineko Memento Tuxedo Black ink, on 300gsm white card.  I used the Memento ink because when it is dry, it is water resistant, and I hadn’t made my mind up at that point whether I was going to water-colour or Copic-colour the bunnies.  I did use my MISTI tool (review coming soon) for stamping the bunnies – in this case simply to have practise at using it.

Stamped Uncoloured Bunnies

Image Description: The stamped image is of 2 bunnies facing away from you, one with their arm around the other. The bunny on the right has one slightly droopy ear.

Next was the colouring.  I did try this in watercolours (on watercolour paper) but wasn’t happy with how it turned out, so decided Copics would give me a better look.  The colours I chose were: E21; E50; E51; B60, BV31; and, BV02.  I started off by colouring each bunny in with the lightest colours across the whole bunny (E50 and B60), then in areas where I wanted some shading, I added some of my medium shade (E51 and BV31), then coloured over the whole bunny with the lighter shade to blend those 2 colours together.  In areas that were VERY dark (like where the blue bunny has his droopy ear) I added just a tiny amount of my darkest colour (E51 and BV02), then again used the lightest colour to blend out the colours.  I didn’t do a perfect job of things, and went outside the lines a little, but I am generally very happy with the result as this was my first ever go at using Copics like this.

Bunnies Coloured In

Image Description: The stamped bunnies, coloured in, the left one is coloured in orange-brown shades, the right one in blues.

When I first saw this stamp set (before I knew there was a co-ordinating die set), I was pretty confident that I could fussy cut the bunnies if it really came to it.  However, I DID find the dies to match, so cutting out the design was SO much easier.  Especially the bit between the 2 binnies ears, where I could never have got my scissors.

Bunnies With Die On Top

Image Description: Coloured in bunny image with the co-ordinating die lined up on top of it.

I used a piece of washi tape to hold the die in place while I cut the design out on my die-cutting machine.

Bunny With Die Held On With Washi Tape

Image Description: Bunny image with co-ordinating die on top, held into place with a strip of green washi tape.

I am really happy with how the design ended up looking.  I know there are a few spots wher my colouring was not brilliant, but I have to make peace with the fact that I have very poor vision and taking that into account, I did rather well I think.

Die Cut Bunnies

Image Description: The bunny design, all cut out with the co-ordinating die, which leaves a small white border around the design.

I have been looking for a good use of a die I have had for a little while now, by Lawn Fawn which cuts a grassy border.

Grass Cutting Die

Image Description: A metal cutting die close up.

I ran this die through my die cutter on the other half of the 300gsm sheet of A4 I used to create my A6 card base.  I originally thought, since I’d used such thick card for this, that I could use the top half of the cut piece as a mask for a future card to maybe add some Distress Ink to card.  I ended up not doing this as I needed scrap card for the sentiment and ended up using more of the top section for that than I’d planned.

Grass Cut Card

Image Description: White card that has been cut using the ‘grassy border’ die from Lawn Fawn

I tried to be a bit fancy and do a ‘custom’ coloured piece for the grass and sky (hence the white card), and had to hastily change plans as it was NOT working.  I did learn a lesson though: Copic colouring of large areas is not an easy option in any way.  The sky I coloured (a blue-grey colour) was incredibly streaky, and I tried and tried to fix it, but it was not having it.  So, I chose to scrap that part of it.

While the grass colouring was also streaky, I think it wasn’t quite as bad as the sky.  I at least thought I could use it.  I used 2 Copic markers for the grass – BG09 and BG 49 – I first put down a layer of the BG49 (my lighter colour), then on the tips of the grass I put little bits of BG09, then went back to BG49 to blend out the tips of grass.  It was at this point I realised things were looking streaky.  So, I used the darker Copic to make little V-shapes throughout the grass, and I’m hoping that the combination of the V-shapes and the streakiness results in a ‘textured’ looking grass.  I am glad I tried it as I learnt not to do it again, but think it is a reasonable finish to the grass.

Grass Border Coloured In With Sky Panel

Image Description: Grass border coloured in with Copics on the bottom half of the screen, and a piece of paper from Dovecraft on the top (which became my sky).

I forgot to photograph the step where I attached the grass to the sky layer.  I did this with my Scotch ATG gun.

I then used the washi tape technique (click here for more information) to adhere the sky-grass layer to the card base.  I had cut the sky-grass layer to that there was a 2mm border around the entire card.

Washi Tape Layers

Image Description: Using washi tape to hold 2 layers together so I can then hinge them to add adhesive on the top layer.

Image Description: The layers are now adhered together thanks to the washi tape.

Image Description: The layers are now adhered together thanks to the washi tape.

I made a tiny bit of a mistake in the top left of the sky-grass layer, not quite getting adhesive all the way to the edge, and tried to fix it with wet glue (I know!), which just made my paper go funny.  So, in the spirit of Bob Ross and ‘happy accidents’ I free hand cut out a moon shape to fit in the corner, and it became my light source for the card.  I cut it from white card, and coloured it with pigment ink from HobbyCraft (colour Peach, but it is VERY yellow).  Luckily, I had already coloured the bunnies with the light coming from the left.

Happy Accdient

Image Description: A close up view of the wet-glue error. It has faded the paper and made it wrinkly.

Image Description: A view of the entire card, with the 'fix' in the top left corner, of a moon. The moon is only partially showing, so is cut into the shape of a quarter of a circle.

Image Description: A view of the entire card, with the ‘fix’ in the top left corner, of a moon. The moon is only partially showing, so is cut into the shape of a quarter of a circle.

For the sentiment I used the left over card from die-cutting the grass layer.  I used 2 different stamp sets to make the sentiment.  The word ‘friend’ came from a stamp set I have had for a very long time, Dovecraft’s ‘Family Tree’, while the ‘I Couldn’t Have Wished For A Better’ stamp came from the ‘Wishing You Sentiment’ set.

I used my MISTI to line up the second stamp where I wanted it.  This is the first time I have used the MISTI in this way, and it made life so much easier.  I was able to really take my time about laying the second clear stamp on the card above the word ‘friend’ (as seen in the picture below), then lay the lid down on the MISTI, which I was then able to ink up and use as I would an acrylic block.

Sentiment

Image Description: The word ‘friend’ stamped, with the phrase ‘I couldn’t have wished for a better’ stamp in place ready to be stamped.

Once stamped, I used my paper trimmer to cut the sentiment down to a rectangle, then cut a triangle out of the left side (just to the left of the words) to create a ‘fish tail’ banner for the card.  I did re-do this later, as I wasn’t happy with the overall look and proportions.  I originally planned to have just one shooting star in the sky, but as I lay down the little star and ‘whoosh’ stamp, I thought it looked completely lost as I wasn’t including a huge amount of fussiness to the card.  So, I decided I’d make a night sky.  I used temporary adhesive to place the rabbits and sentiment to the card so I knew where the spaces that needed to be filled were.

This is where the MISTI came into its own.  I was able to place the star and whoosh, as well as another star and a separate cluster of stars stamps onto the card, where I wanted to have them.  I closed the hinged lid of the MISTI, which picked up the stamps I had put onto the card.  When I lifted the lid, I was able to ink up the stamp with Tsukineko Versa Mark ink, close the lid and when I lifted the lid again, the clear ink was stamped exactly where I wanted it..  I then added a layer of Wow Embossing Powder to the colour Metallic Silver Sparkle.  Finally, I heat set the embossing powder with my heat tool, which melted the powder and gave a wonderful silver sparkly effect to the stars I had stamped.

First Placing Start

Image Description: View of entire card, with a cluster of star stamps in the top right of the card.

Next, I moved the stamps to new positions on the card, and repeated the stamp-emboss-heat routine three more times.  On the final pass, I noticed that the embossing powder was sticking in places I didn’t want it to so I used my powder tool, which removes static from the paper, which fixed the issue.

Stamping Stars

Image Description: Second pass at adding stars to the card.

Stamping Stars

Image Description: Third pass at adding stars to the card.

Stamping Stars

Image Description: Fourth pass at adding stars to the card. In this photo, the lid of the MISTI is down.

Next, it was time to put foam tape on the back of the bunnies.  This will raise them up a bit from the card base, and create a bit of visual interest.  I went a bit nuts with the foam tape as I wanted to make sure that the image was well supported.  I have to admit that I had a bit of trouble taking off the backing from the foam tape as I would take the release paper off, then instantly put my fingers onto it while trying to take off the next piece of release paper.  I think that’s just a case of experience.  I’ll get there!

Foam Tape

Image Description: Foam tape being attached to the back of the bunnies.

It was at this point, that I decided that I didn’t like the sentiment.  I thought it looked a little bit lost on the card.  So, I decided to re-do the sentiment.  I used the MISTI again, and I am very pleased I did as I didn’t ink the stamp up very well.  Normally I would have to re-stamp the whole image as there is no way that I would be able to get the stamp in the same position again.  However, now all I needed to do was re-ink the stamp and close the MISTI lid again.

Bad Stamping

Image Description: The word ‘friend’, which I did not stamp well so it has bits of the word missing.

Second Stamping

Image Description: Second attempt at stamping the word ‘friend’ using my MISTI. The image is stamped much more clearly this time.

I then stamped the ‘I couldn’t have wished for a better’ sentiment, and added a small heart stamp just to the right of the words.  I again cut the sentiment into a fish-tail banner.  I think I achieved a better spacing of the sentiment stamps, and the heart shaped stamp balances the sentiment.  The wider size of the banner helps to achieve a better overall balance to the card.

I then added a very small amount Copic marker BV23 to the tails of the bunnies to add a bit of shading.

Finally, I added a tiny bit of Wink Of Stella to the tails of the bunnies and the heart on the banner.  This added just a touch of sparkle to the tail and heart.

Final Layout

Image Description: View of the finished card.

Overall, I am very happy with the card.  I have learnt a few things along the way, too.  I hope you enjoyed reading how I put this card together, and do let me know if you try a similar card.  I would love to see your creations.

 

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