This card is one I went into with a plan, but that ended up not quite how I expected. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Four challenges inspired the making of this card. The layout comes from My Favorite Things. Alphabet Challenge and Tuesday Throwdown both asked for exotic/jungle animals, and CASology requested chevrons. I have also decided to enter this card to Pixie’s Snippets Playground – I used so many snippets in the making of this card that it would be rude not to!
My starting point was the elephant, which is It’s a Party from Itty Bitty by Unity. It’s the only stamp I have that would fall into the exotic or jungle animal category. Plus he’s been a bit neglected recently so I thought it was about time I used him! Initially I stamped him onto a piece of textured card in preparation to colour with coloured pencils. Unfortunately the ink bled, so I had to rethink. I found a snippet of smooth white card stock that was about that right size and stamped him onto that.
Next I began colouring. The colouring pencils I had to hand are a bit pale – I should have dug out my better ones! I tried layering up the colour but it didn’t make a lot of difference, and it was very difficult to add any shading. I did find it a bit frustrating when I was colouring the elephant himself, but once I’d added colour to all the other components – basing the colour on that of my snippet of chevron patterned paper – I decided that actually I quite like the understated, subtle colours.
When I finished colouring I decided to add a little pompom to the top of the elephant’s party hat. This was mostly because the ink had started bleeding again, and looked particularly bad at that spot. (Perhaps I’d overinked? Not sure why else it would be bleeding so much… I didn’t have that problem when I used this stamp before!) I dug through my collection of pompoms, which I’d conveniently tidied earlier in the day, and found the little sparkly white one that I used. I attached it with a little Tombow Multi Mono Liquid glue and then rested my acrylic block on it for a little while to add weight whilst it dried.
At this point I trimmed the stamped panel down to the size I wanted. (I should have done this before adding the pompom. I did a lot of things in the wrong order on this card!) I wanted to round the corners, as is called for in the sketch, but it took me a little while to work out how. I have ordered a corner chomper and it is awaiting me at my dad’s in England to pick up when we go there in a couple of weeks. As I was considering the best course of action I spotted my wedding ring and decided to use that as a guide for making the corners. I drew around it at each corner, then cut it out with my scissors. It worked surprisingly well!
I was about to start sorting the banners when I realised I wanted to add a sentiment to the blank space in the top right corner of the image panel. Again, adding the pompom already came back to bite me. I only have one acrylic block and it’s rather large, so adding a tiny sentiment to a tiny space was very tricky! I managed to stamp the happy birthday (from Altenew’s Super Script), but as I’d put the birthday a bit too far left I wanted to add an exclamation mark. Which of course is the moment that everything went horribly wrong. It kind of squished sideways as I pressed it down, and smudged horribly.
Not wanting to give up after all the effort I’d put in so far I went ahead and restamped the sentiment onto a snippet of the card that I’d cut off from the image panel. I managed to line it up better this second time so didn’t need to add the exclamation mark anyway. I used the same method with drawing around my ring to round the corners on the little sentiment panel, then added a bit of definition to the edges by running it along my silver ink pad. I considered mounting it on foam tape but decided to just add it directly to the image panel with the tape runner, covering up my original, ruined sentiment in the process.
Next I needed to make the banner. This is where I bought in my chevron paper. The soft, muted peachy pink colour is what had inspired the colours I’d chosen for the elephant. I cut a strip of the patterned paper making sure that the chevron showed clearly on it. Cutting the tails of the banner was very simple – I cheated a bit and just cut out the lowest chevron! The snippet I’d used was actually a bit too short so I snipped it in half and adhered the halves onto the back of the image panel with a slight gap between them to give the illusion of it being longer.
I considered using a cream or peach coloured strip to make the second banner but decided on silver as it would tie in the grey shades on the elephant. I cut the banner tails into that, worked out where it needed to be on the card, then used my tape runner to adhere it in place.
Before adhering the image panel I ran around the edges with my silver ink, as I had with the sentiment panel. I should have done it before attaching the chevron banner, but never mind. The line that was left is so subtle it doesn’t really show up in the pictures, but I do think it made a difference and is better for having it. I then adhered the image panel and its attached chevron banner to a white panel using foam tape. The panel was then attached to a white, top-fold cardbase (I probably could have just stuck the whole design directly to that, and skipped the white panel, but never mind!) using my tape runner.
I’m actually really happy with how this turned out, surprisingly enough. There were a lot of things that didn’t go to plan, and a number of places that I could improve, but this is definitely a card that I’d be happy to remake. Though of course, I would hopefully learn from my mistakes and approach it slightly differently! I also think it could be really cute to add a little balloon or something that maybe looks like he is holding it in his trunk.