Winter Cardinal

Hi Everyone and thanks for stopping by today. I’ve decided that it’s time to share some of the techniques I’ve been working on behind the scenes. Hopefully I can offer some of you a few new ideas while I throw my name in the hat for the Simon Says Stamp search to find three new designers for their Monday blog challenge. Wish me luck! I know I’m pretty new at this, but you never know. Maybe SSS will take a chance on me, but we’ll have fun no matter what. Right? Let me know if you decide to join in the challenge fun too! And, as always, I’ll take any advice or feedback you’ve got.


The first step in designing this card was to use a Lawn Fawn stitched hillside die as a guide to tear Canson 90 lb. watercolor paper.


Next I sprayed a Tim Holtz watercolor panel with water, and then lightly painted faded jeans and broken china Distress Stain on the cardstock to create a winter sky background. After drying with the heat gun, I used my fingertips to dribble water on the panel, and then blotted off with a paper towel. Finally, I used tumbled glass Distress Ink and brushed pewter Distress Spray Stain to stamp color onto the craft table, mixed with water, and then used a paintbrush to flick onto the sky.


After the watercolor sky dried, I glued the upper snowdrift onto the panel, and then used foam tape to add the top snowbank. Next, I used a spackling knife to add a thick, uneven layer of Ranger Transparent Gloss Texture Paste to each snowbank. This takes a loooooong time to dry. Be patient! Set it aside and find some other things to do … For several hours.

While I waited on the paste to finish drying, I stamped a branch from Altenew Vintage Flowers on watercolor paper using ground espresso DI and cut out with the matching die. I then lightly painted with water to soften the ink lines.

Next I used Altenew’s layered Winter Cardinal stamp using candied apple, barn door, and black soot Distress Inks. Actually, I stamped/painted this bird twice. After finishing the entire panel, I decided that the bird didn’t look quite right. So I pulled him up, and started over.

This bird (the lower one) is the first attempt. Didn’t like this one!
This is the second attempt. Much better!

Here’s how I finished the second (and, I think, better Cardinal): I used candied apple red on the base stamp, and used the second generation stamp for his body. Before stamping, I wiped the red from his beak so that I could  add ripe persimmon with a distress marker later. I lightly painted over his body with water. Next I added the second layer with fired brick, and gave that a light wash. This didn’t look “filled enough” so I re-stamped and washed this layer. For the last layer, I used a light touch with black soot with no watercoloring after stamping. Finally, I stamped the fine facial details, added white gel pen on his eye, and fussy cut the Cardinal.

When the texture paste was dry, I used more tumbled glass watercolor to add a soft blue to the bottom of the snowbanks. Then I added picket fence Distress Paint over the snowy hillside, and sprinkled white glitter for shimmer to the top. Foam tape added to the back of the tree branch gives dimension. Before adding the Cardinal with foam dots, I stamped his feet onto the card panel with black soot.


I used a light touch with hickory smoke and a blending tool to add a “grayish” look to the winter sky. I used the first Cardinal as a mask, and  flicked Pickett fence DP onto the sky for a little more interest. Next, I cut the sentiment “as if no one is listening” into two sections, and stamped all three with black VersaFine ink. After cutting these out, I used the hickory smoke blender for a little color, and then outlined with a black soot Distress Marker. The next step was to use foam dots and add these to the panel. Finally, I glued this onto gray cardstock from the January Simon Says Stamp kit.


Whew! What do you think? I am so excited to begin sharing more of these mixed media projects with you. I know it’s a little different than many of the cards I’ve shared, but this kind of art and crafting is my favorite! Thanks again for stopping by. Love and artsy hugs!


3 thoughts on “Winter Cardinal

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