Nature Inspired Cards

Okay, this blog theme is maybe a stretch. I had no idea how to link these three cards… The first two are arguably nature inspired – the first has flowers, the second a leaf. The third card is a bit of a stretch with its cartoon fox. But I really wasn’t sure what else I could call this post. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

Card 1 – Floral Coffee

I struggled with this card. My plan was to do create a faux watercolour background, maybe do the eclipse technique for the sentiment. So I started out by stamping flowers from from MFT’s Plentiful Petals, which is retired but there are some other great MFT florals to consider. I used Spun Sugar and Milled Lavender Distress inks on the stamps, and spritzed them with a little water to get the ink moving and give the faux waterolour look. I then placed the coordinating flower centres and stamped them with the same inks, but swapping so that the Spun Sugar flowers had Milled Lavender centres, and vice versa.

The flowers were a little blotchy so I decided to paint over them with very watered down inks of slightly darker shades. In this case I used Victorian Velvet and Seedless Preserves. I started with the Seedless Preserves on one of the larger flowers, and tried actually painting the flower rather than just smoothing out the colour. And I really didn’t like it. I swapped to smoothing out the colour on the others, and decided that I would trim the panel down to smaller pieces rather than using it as a full background.

Having finished the panel I trimmed it down into a strip a little over an inch, and a square a little over three inches. I then tried to work out how to arrange them on a card base. I tried a kraft card base, a purple card base, a pink card base. I considered matting the panels on grey, purple, pink. I didn’t like any of it.

New plan. Cut the panel down with my MFT coffee cup die. (The dies I have are no longer available, but MFT has these ones as an alternative.)  And I kinda like that. It looks cute. But I still don’t know what to do with it…

I decided the pink card base would be best, but I didn’t like the die cut directly against it. On previous cards I’ve sometimes used a panel of vellum to mute the background without bringing in a new colour, and I thought that would work here. So that’s what I did. (After several minutes hunting for the vellum, because my craft area is a major mess.)

I still wanted to use the strip of watercolour panel that I’d cut. That took some more playing around, but eventually I decided that diagonal looked good. I adhered it with double sided tape, trimmed off the overhanging edges, and decided to adhere them to the corners to imply a continuing pattern, and also give me another place I could hide adhesive.

I adhered the assembled coffee cup onto the strip, then used hidden behind the adhered elements to attach the panel to the card base and finally the card was done.


Die Cut Divas – Die Cutting And Watercolor

Global Design Project – Flower Power

MFT Camp Create Day 2 – Wonderful Watercolor

Card 2 – Sorry You’re Leafing

Card number two was definitely the least stressful of the three. (Except for the part where I couldn’t find the stamp set again for doing the photo… Remember how I mentioned a mess? I need to do something about that.)

I started by stamping the monstera leaf (or swiss cheese plant leaf, that’s what I know the plant as) from Love From Lizi’s Totally Tropical stamp set. I stamped it with Bundled Sage Distress ink. I then positioned the coordinating stencil over the top and ink blended with the Bundled Sage, Crushed Olive, Peeled Paint, and finally Mowed Lawn. I wanted some variation in the colour of the leaf to give it some dimension and realism.

When I was happy with the ink coverage I removed the stencil and bought in some colouring pencils. I used a black to add a drop shadow to my leaf, then a dark green and a white to add some more shadows and highlights onto the leaf itself.

Finally I added my sentiment, from the same stamp set, stamped with Versafine Onyx Black ink.


A Perfect Time To Craft – Anything Goes

Aud Sentiments Challenge – Anything Goes with a Sentiment

Classic Design Challenge – Anything Goes

Krafty Chicks Challenge – Anything Goes

Lil Patch of Crafty Friends – Anything Goes

STAMPlorations Summer Break Challenge – Anything Goes

Try It On Tuesday – Keep It Simple

Watercooler Wednesday Challenge – All Things Masculine

Card 3 – You’re Cute

My final card caused me so much trouble… I really wasn’t happy with it when I was done, but actually when looking at the pictures I don’t hate it quite so much, which is good! I had planned to share it anyway as an example of things not always going right (which I talked about a bit in my Fixing Card Mistakes post.) But now that I don’t hate it as much I suppose it deserves to be here in its own right.

I started off by masking the bottom and left side of my card with washi tape. I later realised I should have used a narrower one, but never mind. I then also die cut a circle from scrap paper and placed the negative (the paper with the circle hole) onto my card base, holding it in place with more washi.

I ink blended Broken China Distress Ink into the circle using a stencil brush. It wouldn’t have been my first choice of brush to use for this purpose, because it too easily goes under the edge of the loosely tacked down paper, but all my usual brending bushes were drying after I’d used them for the Monstera leaf…

Part way through my ink blending I realised I hadn’t stamped and masked my focal image, but I figured I’d be able to just colour over the soft blue ink. I put the card base into my MISTI and stamped the fox  from Mama Elephant’s Three Amigos with Altenew Jet Black ink. This was another mistake. The colour palette I was being inspired by includes grey, and I’d been planning to do the raccoon, or even the cat, to incorporate the grey… But I’d been thinking about how orange goes nicely with blue, and the fox was the result.

As orange isn’t actually part of the colour scheme I wanted to use, I tried to go a bit more neutral brown-orange, rather than orange-orange. If that makes sense… I used my Spectrum Noir Illustrator markers and started with my shadow areas, though where I usually put the shadows on one side (directional lighting) this time I put the shadows around the edges (ambient lighting).

Fox – TN8, TN7, BO1, GY2, CT1

Fox, White Areas – GB2, Blender

Shadow – IG6, IG2, Blender

The white areas of the fox were a little problematic because, like I said, I hadn’t masked where he would be, so there was blue in those areas. I do like using creamy shades for whites on animals, so I used Caramel for my shadows, blending it across by doing tip to tip with the blender and the Caramel. This allowed me to get a full coverage over the blue without it appearing too intensely coloured.

The other colour I needed for the colour scheme was purple. My first plan was to colour the board purple with my markers, but I do not have a good selection of purples, and struggle with getting good blends with them. Instead I masked off the areas around the board with scraps of washi tape, and ink blended it purple with Seedless Preserves. I kept the colour concentrated around the outside, then faded it to be brighter in the centre.

Having completed the colouring I removed the masks and restamped the image Versafine Onyx Black ink for crisper lines. Then promptly smudged it… I was able to clean it up with my Tombow Sand Eraser thankfully. I then stamped my chosen sentiment onto the board.

I decided I wanted to define the lines at the edges of the card more, where they had been masked off. I figured I could bring the grey in with this. My plan was to use Love From Lizi Peel-Offs, but apparently I don’t own any in grey. Nor in silver. I dug through my mess trying to see if I have any hiding in old kits that I forget to take out, but no luck. Eventually I found this silver chain-like ones which I don’t believe are Lizi’s, but I also have no idea where they’re from. In any case, they worked for what I wanted to do, and I created a frame of sorts on the two sides of my cards, using my craft knife to cut away pieces to make it look as though they go behind the fox.

I still wasn’t happy, and felt I needed to bring in more of the grey. After much agonising over what on earth to do, I ended up placing the scrap paper circle over by blue circle, washi tape masking the edges again, and ink blending with any grey inks I could find. And then it was… Okay. I wasn’t happy with it, but like I said, looking at the photos it doesn’t look as bad as I felt it was when I frustratedly finished with it. Sometimes a bit of emotional distance helps!


CAS Colours & Sketches – Colour Palette

Crafty Animals – Include An Animal

Fusion – Sketch

Polkadoodles Craft Challenge – Anything Goes

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday – Anything Goes

And that completes my post on vaguely nature inspired cards. Which do you like best? My favourite by far is the leaf card, which may be somewhat influenced by the fact that it was the least frustrating and actually went to plan unlike the others.

I go back to work tomorrow, though I still have this awful cough. It’ll be nice to be back, but I’m not sure how I’m going to fit in making all the cards I want to make!


Charlotte E (Lady Joyful)


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22 thoughts on “Nature Inspired Cards

  1. I think you are being far too harsh on yourself, I love all the cards, but card 3 is my fave, the unexpected cuteness of the Fox with the darker background made me very happy. Thanks for joining us at Fusion Card Challenge this time. Claire DT

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great cards. I really like the leaf card with that punny sentiment. Thanks for joining us in our ATG challenge at Krafty Chicks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A wonderful selection of cards. Thank you for linking card No2 with us at Try it on Tuesdays, is a lovely leaf image and design for our theme at Try it on Tuesdays.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Three more gorgeous cards Charlotte.
    Thanks so much for joining us for our Lil Patch of Crafty Friends Challenge #163 sponsored by Sheepski Designs.
    We hope to see you again soon,
    Lou DT xoJemLou Productions

    Liked by 1 person

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