Friday, October 21, 2016

Primary Trees

Experimenting to solve a problem can yield great results. It can also be a total bust. As Adam Savage of Mythbusters says, failure is always an option.

But we've discussed how there really is no failure in papercrafting. There are opportunities for embellishment and learning experiences. It is, after all, only paper.

This time, my experiment worked. As I mentioned yesterday, the tree in Hero Arts' Color Layering Fall Tree set is just a bit too big and also a bit too small for a single image to work on a standard 4.25" x 5.5" one-layer card. It's perfectly sized for layering, though, which is--let's be honest--what most card makers do. Being who I am, however, I'm always looking for the simplest minimalist design that works, and this set wasn't working for me with a standard one-layer card.

By downsizing the card base to 3 3/8" x 4 7/8", I was able to get much better proportions, and the results let me play around with primary colors and bling in ways that make my heart happy!

These three cards are also proof of my hypothesis that you can never have too many shades of ink.


Inks: Hero Arts fresh peach, pale tomato, red royal;
Archival coffee

Inks: Hero Arts soft vanilla, lemon yellow, butter bar;
Archival saffron, coffee

Inks: Hero Arts charcoal, soft sky, dusty blue;
Memento Danube blue

Each card stamped all five layers of leaves, although there were only three shades of red, four of yellow, and three of blue. I duplicated colors as I layered to make up the difference. The darkest layer was always the stamp at the bottom of the set. Clearly, however, I need more ink so I can have five shades of every color.

Because that would be fabulous.

The image also looks good with different colors on a single tree, but definitely experiment before stamping on a project. I found that some color combos looked chaotic rather than harmonious if there was too little or too much of one color. Find the right balance on cheap scrap paper first, and you won't regret it.

Since bling makes everything better, I added two shades and two sizes of bling to each card. The effect is lovely, don't you think?

To arrange the bling, I put three medium rhinestones in an irregular triangle and added tiny rhinestones in two irregular on each side of the tree. The results look random but are in fact carefully planned. As you do this, try not to let three rhinestones line up perfectly, at least for the majority of them. There's one trio in the yellow card that's actually pretty lined up, but the middle one is larger than the two ends so it doesn't throw off the random feel. Even just a tiny deviation in spacing and angles keeps it random-looking.

The bottom corners looked too pointy given the curves of the tree, so I rounded them.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Have an amazing weekend. We're getting pumpkins and apple fritters tomorrow. It's finally feeling like fall in Ohio. YAY!!!

stamps: Hero Arts Color Layering Fall Trees, Wplus9 Silver Bells (sentiment on holiday card)
ink: see captions
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: rhinestones, corner rounder


  1. The trees are perfect in proportion to the smaller card size. Thanks for the lesson. Your colors are fabulous. How many inks do you have? I'm just curious.

    1. Sheila, I'm not counting. It's too embarrassing. LOTS.

  2. Of course you need more inks. T'is a sad thing that you had to double up on inks on a couple of these cards. That tree has five layers (oh my!) so you need five of each color immediately. There, have I enabled you well enough now?

    Also, awesome cards! No doubt about that.

  3. These are great tree cards, I really like that nothing else takes away from the main attraction.

  4. Susan I am moved to thank you for your posts which are both inspirational and educational. Of all the sites I have visited yours is the one I that I take something from every time I visit. Your minimalist approach in a very over crowded world is soothing! Best wishes from the wet and windy UK!


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!