Swallowtail for FabFri77

This week’s Fab Friday Color Challenge is filled with great colors:  Cajun Craze, Blackberry Bliss and Hello Honey.  Individually or together, these colors are great colors for Fall.  When I played around with the colors, though, my mind kept telling me that these colors would be powerful on a sympathy card.  We tend to go “dark” for sympathy cards, but I believe yellow can be such an uplifting color – and isn’t that point of a sympathy card?  After playing around with a couple of stamp set images, I landed on the Swallowtail stamp – just what I wanted.  Here’s my card:

Swallowtail, An Open Heart, Stampin' Up!, Brian King, FabFri77, sympathy card

And here are the colors that that inspired my card:

FabFri77 - November 13

Tips, Tricks and Reminders

  • Dry Watercoloring.  I stamped this huge butterfly with Archival Basic Black on Thick Whisper White.  As I was painting this Swallowtail, it occurred to me that I kept pulling all the water off the tip of my Aqua Painter.  Because I wasn’t painting on Watercolor Paper, I wanted to make sure the water didn’t warp the paper, so I kept dabbing the tip of my Aqua Painter with a paper towel.  The effect was the my colors were less wet and less runny.  I could layer on additional colors (like the Blackberry Bliss over the Hello Honey) without worrying that the colors would bleed too much.Swallowtail, An Open Heart, Stampin' Up!, Brian King, FabFri77, sympathy card
  • Cropped Panel.  This Swallowtail stamp is GORGEOUS.  Let’s be honest, though – we don’t always want to see the entire image on our projects.  Before I started coloring him, though, I cropped him into a thin, long shape at an angle that allowed me to show off his beauty at the same time.  I considered stamping him underneath the panel to create an additional layer of the butterfly, but I decided that this approach gave me just the right amount of Swallowtail.
  • An Open Heart.  I love the bird and branch in An Open Heart, but I’ve yet to successfully use them.  Still, the sentiments in this set are so beautiful that I keep coming back for more.  The font is simple, and the sentiments are sweet and assuring.

    An Open Heart stamp set, Stampin' Up!

    An Open Heart stamp set, Stampin’ Up!

Stamp Sets:  Swallowtail, An Open Heart  Papers:  Hello Honey, Blackberry Bliss, Whisper White, Thick Whisper White  Inks:  Cajun Craze, Blackberry Bliss, Hello Honey, Archival Basic Black  Accessories:  Aqua Painter, Stampin’ Dimensionals

I hope you’ll pop over to the Fab Friday challenge blog to see the cards by the design team members and to play along with this week’s challenge.

Thanks for stopping by today!


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  1. Beautiful card, Brian!

    Diane Gil

  2. May have to have that stamp now. Beautiful card – love how you “edited” the butterfly! 🙂

  3. I have not purchased the Swallowtail, mainly b/c the size overwhelmed me. Your card shows how beautiful it can be when only using a portion of it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Good to see the swallowtail come out of hiding.

  5. Beautiful card

  6. Absolutely gorgeous, Brian. I live the Swallowtail stamp.

  7. Total wow factor…….just gorgeous!

  8. Brian this is just beautiful. What a nice way to express sympathy. Love the swallowtail


  9. Stunning color combo and I love how you sectioned off the swallowtail.

  10. Really beautiful!

  11. This is absolutely gorgeous! This may be my favorite of all the great cards you’ve made!!

  12. Beautiful card. Your coloring technique is fabulous. Great aqua painter tip too!

  13. Lovely sympathy card, Brian. I bought the An Open Heart stamp set solely for that perfect sentiment; sometimes there just aren’t words for an untimely or especially tragic death.

  14. This is absolutely beautiful, Brian!

  15. Stunning. The colors and way you cropped the butterfly are amazing!

  16. A really spectacular card!

  17. Chris R. from Iowa

    Oh how gorgeous! I love seeing the sectioned off part. Such beautiful coloring. Thanks for the tip about the “dry” watercoloring. I love that sentiment you used and really had not noticed it in the set. I remembered the bird though. This needs to be framed and hung for everyone to enjoy. Simply gorgeous!

  18. Good Morning Brian:
    Today’s card took my breath away! It’s been a while since I’ve seen anyone using this amazing butterfly on a card so it was definitely refreshing to see it “on stage” once again. AND that particular saying just strikes a note in my heart. So beautiful, so simple and yet it conveys so very much. This card is touching, beautiful and effective.

  19. Great tips about the dry watercoloring. Might work on regular card stock too. (I admit I sometimes forget to use the Watercolor paper! Oh, shame on me.) Beautiful use of Swallowtail. I’m always overwhelmed by it but the way you used just a section, very smart.

  20. I love the colors. I never thought of cutting the card like that. Great idea.

  21. Absolutely stunning Brian. Like Grace, this card took my breath away.

  22. Brian, I’ve stayed away from this stamp, mainly because it’s BIG!! but this card you made just tells me that, you really don’t need to use the entire image to make a stunning card.
    This is simply gorgeous and it will definitely lift the spirits of the recipient, whatever the occasion.
    Thank you so much for sharing, I think I will end up getting this stamp.

  23. Love the cropped butterfly. Very smart. Great job with the color interpretation too!

  24. The beauty of your butterfly is stunning, and paired with that sentiment, a real heart-soother.
    I love how you share your tips so generously, preventing others from experiencing similar situations.
    Thank you for all you do; you are my daily present.

  25. Beautiful card Brian! I absolutely love how you colored that butterfly!

  26. Well, this is a beauty ! I love this stamp ,but have not used it much because it is overwhelming ….but look at you !!
    Such a thoughtful card yet not somber ! This is a treasure to keep.

  27. Another terrific card Brian. I love how you cropped the butterfly!

  28. I love that greeting. It’s perfect for so many occasions. Beautiful card too. I like that you kept just a portion of the butterfly. Clever!

  29. Amazing use of a large image! Love the color combo and how you used it.

  30. Stunning!

  31. This is so pretty! I love it. It’s hard to figure out what to do with such a big stamp. Great idea – I’ll be doing more of this with my Swallowtail!

  32. Brian, your watercoloring is amazing, with beautiful depth of color. I like to dab the tip of my Aqua Painter too when watercoloring. And using just a horizontal portion of the butterfly was a brilliant design choice! One of my favorite cards you’ve made!

  33. Love the color challenge…..but not as much as your card!

  34. Brian, I love everything about this card. The colors really resonate, the layout is terrific, the coloring is beautiful and the sentiment is wonderful. Fabulous.

  35. Absolutely stunning in every aspect!

  36. What a beautiful card

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