Bear Hugs & Kisses: Revisited

During Wednesday’s Pal Blog Hop, I shared a Bear Hugs & Kisses card I made with several items in Stampin’ Up!’s 2015 Holiday Catalog.  In case you missed it, you can read the entire post here.  Here’s the card I shared with you during the hop:

Thankful Forest Friends, Snow Place Bundle, Six Sayings, Home for Christmas Designer Series Paper, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

Here’s what you didn’t know earlier this week – once I glued down all the elements of this card, I was not happy with it.  The balance didn’t seem to be working when I squinted, and the images weren’t popping like I wanted.  Instead of just “going with it” I reworked the whole thing – so much happier with the finished product.  Today, I’m sharing a couple of design tips to show the changes I made and why.

Tips, Tricks and Reminders

  • Reworking the Layout.  In the Landscape layout of this card, I wasn’t finding the balance I needed, so I made a couple of changes.  Here are the two cards, side-by-side:  Thankful Forest Friends, Snow Place Bundle, Six Sayings, Home for Christmas Designer Series Paper, Stampin' Up!, Brian KingThe one on the left just wasn’t working for me – it doesn’t look so bad here, but you can see that it’s a bit off-balance.  And here are the changes I made to the card between the two versions:Thankful Forest Friends, Snow Place Bundle, Six Sayings, Home for Christmas Designer Series Paper, Stampin' Up!, Brian King
  • Red Foil Sheets – what a Difference!  In the first version, the hearts weren’t popping – they were just there.  I switched out the Real Red strip for a strip of Red Foil Sheets.  They still weren’t popping like I wanted, so I cropped the hearts with the Red Foil Sheets and glued them into the places where they had originally been cut from the Early Espresso strip.  Ahhh!  That’s what I wanted.Thankful Forest Friends, Snow Place Bundle, Six Sayings, Home for Christmas Designer Series Paper, Stampin' Up!, Brian King
  • Warm Color Combination.  I kinda fell into this color combination – showcasing this candy cane striped paper and the brown bear, but I love the warmth of it.  I tried Chocolate Chip (it has a lot of red in it), but I like the pure brown in Early Espresso so much more.  If you also like this color combination, please feel free to save this:Stampin' Up! Color Inspiration: Early Espresso, Real Red, Very Vanilla

Stamp Sets:  Thankful Forest Friends, Six Sayings, Snow Place  Papers:  Home for Christmas Designer Series Paper, Early Espresso, Real Red, Very Vanilla, Red Foil Sheets  Inks:  Real Red, Early Espresso  Accessories:  Snow Friends Framelits, Mini Treat Bag Thinlits, Ovals Collection Framelits, Stampin’ Dimensionals

Thankful Forest Friends, Snow Place Bundle, Six Sayings, Home for Christmas Designer Series Paper, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

Thanks for stopping by today!


Shop Now button







SHARE THIS: Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone


  1. Hi Brian, The card looks great. Good discussion of the card. I see your point, although we all know you are very critical of your own cards. Have a great Saturday.

  2. LOVE >>>>LOVE !
    Not only do I love this bear ,but I love (yes love ) how you went about changing the design of the card . This is the fun of creating cards to me . This is what wakes me up in the middle of the night with a nudge then a jolt to get out of bed and DO IT ! Big bear hug to you !

  3. Yes! This is exactly what I asked for several months ago–that you would show us the evolution of a card from just OK (in your opinion) to “Ah, that’s much better!” Sometimes we know a card needs improvement and we can’t see where. Usually because, in my case, I’ve been laboring over the silly thing until it’s become a chore and not a creation. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  4. Great post and a fabulous explanation of the “why’s” and I agree with you….they both are AMAZING cards but I adore the one you rolled with because of the white space and the red foil hearts!!! As always, you are the KING!!!! Thanks for your inspiration!

  5. I have to agree with you, your final card does look better. And, your patented squint technique will never let you down. LOL! Great job.

  6. Well Brian, I like both versions but, the landscape one is my favorite because you can see more of those sweet shiny hearts.

  7. Great blog post today! The red foil hearts do add the “pop” … and I think setting them into the punched out space of the Early Espresso was perfect!

  8. Smart move to switch from portrait to landscape and I LOVE the decision on the red foil hearts! Good morning!

  9. The red foil hearts were a great idea but I’m guessing not as great an idea as putting the popped out hearts back where they belong! Love that idea. I’ll be sure to use it some time soon (and give you credit!)

  10. Thank you for the very clear explanation of the changes you made – I love the inlaid foil hearts! That will come in handy for Valentines:-). Great card! Have a wonderful weekend!

  11. Really like the improved version and find it very interesting with all the small changes and the big impact they made on the final card! The colors are really impressive and very likeable. Thanks for all the tips and tricks!!

  12. I love your clean style and more importantly for me I enjoy your explanation of color choices and balancing. I have learned a lot about layouts from you. Thanks for sharing your talent.

  13. What a difference a few changes make! This was a great post to show that a few changes can makes a good card great. TFS!

  14. I love the finished card. I like how you showed the changes and especially the pic with all the items used. I sure hope you do this more often. I pin all your cards but this idea is great!!

  15. To me, THIS was a wonderful teaching blog post! Don’t misunderstand, I enjoy all of your posts, but this one gave me insight as to how you think as you design cards. I often struggle with balance and “pop”. Thank you for sharing your thought process along with the card that just wasn’t quite what you wanted. Seeing it with the perfected card is so helpful! Now, I’ll rework some of MY not-quite-right cards. Thank you, Brian!

  16. I love the changes! It’s great to see how you made a few simple changes to improve the overall card.

    I also LOVE the picture with the tags to product used. What a great idea!

  17. I still just want to bear hug this card….love seeing the decision making process…thanks for sharing it with us

  18. I LOVE the new one!!!! You are SOOOOO right! (and talented, of course!)

  19. Thanks for the explanation of the changes. It really made a big difference in the cards. Nothing really wrong with the first but the second one really gets the attention it wants! Beary good post for a great card!

  20. The landscape direction was the better choice I think too. Your squint technique works every time! Have a great weekend!!

  21. Really like the way you showed the changes you did between the 2 cards. That is exactly what happens to me sometimes!! The card just doesn’t “feel” right & you just can’t figure out exactly what it needs. Great job of showing the different “tweeks” that you did…..sometimes the smallest detail makes a huge difference. Thanks for the “tweeking process”… the FINAL card!!

  22. What a clever guy you are. Would anyone else think of putting a bow tie on a bear? Shades of BooBoo Bear. This is just the cutest thing ever. Great job Brian.

  23. This particular card was definitely worth another looksy!!! Great job on tweaking it which led to an even better masterpiece!! Love the bonus add of the red foil hearts to push it over the top! 🙂

  24. I really enjoyed your card critique and how you took a good card to great! I also find it so helpful for my own card making. Little details make such big improvements – such as the thin red border and making the oval frames smaller by moving the sentiment. Thank you for this post.

  25. Love having coffee every morning and learning from you Brian! Love this card!

  26. Small changes go a long way here. All your refinements just brought me from like to love.

  27. Beautiful and CUTE! Would work for a birthday card, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, anniversary…

  28. Boy oh boy that squint money is paying off…LOL

  29. That’s why you’re King–because you sure know how to make a card go from nice to awesome!
    I look forward to your posts every day; it’s the first email I look for and open. Like I told you before–“each post you make is a Christmas present”. Thank you for all the presents (and presence) you give us.

  30. You are so right!! I liked the 1st card (although I don’t go big for critters). But 2nd card just tops it by a mile. Love what you do and love your power of squinting.

  31. The transformation was amazing! I especially appreciate your explaining your thinking process. Thank you!!

  32. Great changes, now that you point them out! Keep up the great work, squinting and rethinking. Learn lots of you BK.

  33. should be FROM YOU BK!

  34. Oh so sweet , love Brian, love the bow tie
    Lol , tfs, your bear :))
    Hugs Frenchie

  35. I love both!! I agree with Flo, each email is a Christmas present! xo

  36. Adorable….great idea for many ocassions!

  37. So adorable! I liked the previous version too, but I LOVE this one! The new layout, the shiny hearts, and the Real Red thin boarder – I love everything about this card.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *