Good friends recently had me over for a delightful dinner, and I thought I would make a seasonal card to thank them. As their home overlooks a beautiful lake, and the surrounding forest glowed with rich autumnal colors all round, some leaves I had made last year from this Tim Holtz die and matching embossing folder came to mind.
I came across this great tutorial from Tammy Tutterow while noodling around the web for ideas for my background..... and as I happened to have the Ranger Specialty paper, the requisite stains, and even the right stamp, off I went, with the PaperArtsy Triptych challenge in mind, thinking I would make a vertical triptych.
As Tammy explains, specialty paper is coated, so holds up a bit more to wet media.... it is also great for highly detailed stamping, though that is not what I am doing here!
I started by cutting tags out of the Specialty paper, using this Bigz large tag die, which cuts a larger tag than the Tim Holtz Tag and Bookplate die. This was a great idea to accommodate my leaves, but what was I thinking that this would be a card?!
Well, let's just say I forgot about that in the heat of design fever.... but actually, it is because I don't know how to make cards!
But to get back to this step out..... I followed Tammy's instructions by dabbing my tags with generous amounts of Antique Linen Distress Stain (after first cutting off the hole).
I then applied Walnut Stain (again as a Distress Stain). I did not want the grey color Tammy created for this particular background, so used a darker color.
Once again, I dried it, spritzed with some water and dried again. And, meh. Like it, don't love it.
So, I applied Ground Expresso Distress Stain and some spritzed water.... I got a bit generous with the water, actually.
Again, I dried with the heat tool, and dabbed with my towel.... and here is the result.
Not exactly without I was expecting, but looking a lot like stone (as one would find in the forests around here). So I let go of the wood grain stamping idea, and embraced the concept of stone...still keeping the vertical triptych motif in my mind.
Here are some closeups that I hope convey why I was thinking about stone.
I distressed each edge with Faded Jeans Distress Ink, which further enhanced the stone look - it appears almost opaline when you see it in person.
Ok, now to the actual triptych.... I arranged the panels vertically, per my initial thought. I had planned to make this a double-sided piece, with some sort of strong connector in-between the panels. The only product I had was some lovely hemp string in gorgeous stone colors, but it looked so puny against all of this that I immediately abandoned that idea!
Alas, I had no good ideas for a replacement - and thus I have been muddling for the past 4 days about how to put this triptych together. I auditioned some absolutely gorgeous Sari remnants - but they proved to be too "stringy" - lots of loose threads I did not want. I thought about connecting the panels with some eyelets and rings....but that also seemed anemic against the dynamic stone and leaves.
While "cleaning" my art space this evening, I came across some fabulous mulberry paper.... although not stone-like - it nonetheless spoke to me when I put my triptych backgrounds against it.
And then I saw how the leaves could tumble down....
and this put me in mind of Haiku poetry, which contains three lines, each with a certain short rhythm. I don't mimic the rhythm here, but I do think my panels suggest the evocative nature of Haiku. And as one of my dinner hosts is a poet, it seemed even more fitting (despite the fact that this little "card" was no longer that!)
The last puzzle piece was how to hang this sucker, which is now rather long. Thinking of leaves, I went outside this evening to look for branches from my lovely Birch tree, which is quite messy this time of year because it discards branches willy-nilly.
And here is the final make - I made a little sleeve out of the same mulberry paper to enclose the branch. And in doing so, I greatly increased the width of the piece.... and it is obviously no longer a card. But I like it nonetheless. I've emailed my friends the image of their "card" and promised a physical replacement soon!
Thank you so much for stopping by, and for making it through this marathon post (and absolutely ok if you skipped along through the pictures, or even just peeked at the end!)
I am entering this into the current Paper Artsy Triptych challenge, as well as the "Topsy-Turvy" challenge at Our Creative Corner. If you've time, please do leave a comment - I love hearing from you!!