CIC 524 | Celebratory Cuties | Balloons

We’re into the second week of our balloon themed challenge at Cupcake Inspirations. Have you played along yet? As long as there are balloons as a feature on your project, you can join in. We are also sponsored for this challenge. We have a new-to-us sponsor, Laurie Furnell Ink. One lucky winner who plays along with the challenge will win two digital sets of their choice from Laurie Furnell Ink.

I decided to use all the animals from the Balloon Animals Digital Stamps set for my card. I sized and positioned them in Word, flipping the hedgehog as I felt the design was better balanced that way, then printed directly onto my card base.

Mouse – IG6, BG4, GG2, AP1, IG2

Mouse, Bowtie – GB4, CT4, CT1

Mouse, Flower Leaf- LG4

Mouse, Waistcoat- DP3, HB2, HB1

Rabbit – IG2, blender, AP1, AP3

Rabbit, Waistcoat – TB5, TB3, TB1

Rabbit, Bowtie and Pocket – BT7, BT5, GT1

Rabbit, Button – GB4, CT3

Hedgehog, Belly – EB4, RB2, RB1, FS8, FS7

Hedgehog, Nose – IG10, IG8, IG6

Hedgehog, Spines – EB7, EB4, EB1

Fox – TN8, GB9, GB7, GB4, GY2, BO1

Balloon, Blue Green – BT9, BT7, BT5, GT1

Balloon, Blue – BGR4, TB5, TB3, TB2, TB1

Balloon, Blue Purple – DP3, LV3, DP1, HB1, TB1

Balloon, Purple – DP3, LV3, PV3, HB2, DP1, HB1

Balloon, Red Purple – PL4, PL3, PV3, MG3, MG1, HB1, LV1

Balloon, Pinky Red – TN9, TN8, TN7, RB2, CR11, MG1, PP2

Balloon, Red  – TN9, TN8, CR11, MG3

Balloon, Red Orange – GB7, CR11, BO3, BO2, BO1, MG1

Balloon, Orange – GB7, CR11, BO3, BO2, OR3, BO1

Balloon, Orange Yellow – GB7, GB4, BO3, BO1, GY2, CT1

Balloon, Yellow – GB9, GB7, GY2, CT4, CT3

Balloon, Yellow Green – YG2, LG4, LG3, LG2, LG1

With it printed out I used my Spectrum Noir Illustrator markers to do the colouring. And there was a fair amount of colouring! As I’ve started doing lately, the colours used are listed to the left. It’s a very long list.

I started by colouring the critters. I would have done both the mouse and the rabbit white, but for that I would have needed them spaced differently, so instead I decided to colour the mouse grey. I kind of played with a random colour combination, which is actually the case for a lot of the elements on this die. I just used my swatch sheet to help me pick out colour that I thought would work together. For the rabbit, that I wanted to leave white, I simply added some shading onto the areas that would be darker.

For the hedgehog I used the same colour combination that I had used on my first card for this challenge, which had featured just the hedgehog. The shading is the opposite side though, as the hedgehog on this card is flipped whereas on the first it wasn’t.

The fox was another experiment with colour combinations. I actually went back and forth through the layers a couple of times, making some minor tweaks, until I felt happy with it. For the shading on the white areas I just used the IG2 as I had on the white rabbit.

Next I moved on to the balloons. I wanted to create a rainbow of balloons, and wrote out the colour plan first to try and work out which colours I would need. Somehow I missed green, between the blue green and yellow green, so I ended up with slightly more of the warm colours, but I think it worked out well enough.

Once I knew the colour order I started on the colouring. Rather than starting my rainbow at red, I started with the blues. This is because the first critter is the orange fox, and I felt the reds and oranges wouldn’t look right with him, and blues are complementary to orange which seemed a better choice.

Again, a lot of the balloons were experimental colour combinations, simply using my swatch sheet to get ideas of what colours might work together. With each balloon I started by placing a line of the darkest shade just set in from the left hand side, plus any areas that they were overlapped by other balloons. I would then blend that out with the next darkest, and continue working my way through the colours.

A midtone both brought the colour to the edge on the shaded side, and created an inset line on the bright side as well for dimension. Continuing through to the lightest shade, I made sure to always add the colour in a curved manner to enhance the shape of the balloons. Once I reached the lightest colour I was careful to leave some white space for a strong highlight.

Some of the balloons I really like, others not so much. The purples gave me a lot of trouble. From what I understand, purple colour combinations can be difficult anyway, and I don’t have very many purples so that made it even more difficult.

I still had some colouring left to do. The accessories on the mouse and rabbit. Here again I kind of wish I’d spaced them differently so that the dressed animals wouldn’t have been right next to each other, but never mind! I considered the colours of balloons that they were each holding, then chose the colours for their outfits accordingly, whilst also keeping in mind the balancing of the design.

As a final touch of the colouring I added a soft outline to all of my images with a very light blue. I didn’t write it down, but I think it was IB2. The idea with this is to give the impression that they are all floating in the sky. My husband thinks it makes them look like they’re glowing.

For my sentiment I white heat embossed “Let’s Celebrate”, from a retired stamp set by Clearly Besotted, onto a panel of black. I trimmed it down, then popped it up with some dimension, overlapping the balloons I was least happy with in order to hide them a little. And that completed the card.

I hope this inspires you to come and join in with our challenge. You can find further inspiration from the rest of the Design Team on the challenge site or directly at their blogs via the links below.


Charlotte E (Lady Joyful)


*Affiliate links may have been used in this post. For more details on affiliate links as well as other ways to support me, visit this page.*

Challenges included:

Cupcake Inspiration Challenge – Balloons

Polkadoodles Craft Challenge – Anything Goes

Seize The Birthday – Birthday and Optional: Travel (does travel by balloons count?)

SheepSki Designs – Let’s Be Cute

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday – Anything Goes

Check out what the rest of the DT made:



Charlotte (that’s me!)






Sue T.

10 thoughts on “CIC 524 | Celebratory Cuties | Balloons

  1. This card exudes fun! I am so in love with it! What coloring skills you have! Thrilled to see this amazing card in our gallery at Seize the Birthday! Thanks for joining us!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How sweet! The cute critters are fabulously colored ! I love the light blue halo surrounding them! Thank you so much for playing along at Seize the Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fantastic card, I love your coloring and shading, nicely done, awesome images, and a nice card. Have a great day!

    Leanne fellow CIC/DT Member

    Liked by 1 person

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