A Card Fit for a King & Queen

Now that the anxiety of the Build-a-Card posts over the last two days has passed (you know you secretly liked it more than you’ll ever admit), I’m happy to share my submission for the Pals Paper Arts Color Challenge – a simple card designed with three colors selected by a panel of designers. Every other week, the Pals challenge us with colors and sketches. Anyone can participate, and I encourage you to give it a try.

You’ve heard me talk about challenges that are challenging – novel concept, huh? Well, this one is probably the most challenging color combination I’ve encountered to date: Pool Party, Summer Starfruit and Lucky Limeade. Say what?! I pulled out three sheets of card stock (one of each color) and placed the side-by-side on my desk. Yikes! I was hard-pressed to see how these colors could ever work together. One is soft and light; one is bright and bold; one is rich and deep. How could I ever pull this off? After playing around with these colors for a bit, I came up with this card:You Rule!, PPA158,Stampin' Up!, stampwithbrian.com

And here’s the challenge banner:

Tips, Tricks and Reminders:

  • Face the color challenge. The challenge is to create a card that is composed of all three of these colors. There’s no rule that says you have to maintain an equal balance of the colors. I couldn’t see how the colors fit together, so I made the background of my card with mostly Pool Party paper. I also reduced the impact from Summer Starfruit and Lucky Limeade by embossing the crowns in white embossing powder (white and black are typically “allowed” by most color challenges). The colors are definitely there, but their impact is muted by the white embossing.
  • Find unique ways to use your stamps. OK, so I didn’t exactly turn these crowns into something other than crowns, but I think I successfully changed the images from childish and playful to sophisticated and beautiful. I’ve had this set since the Spring Catalog was released (I bought it because it has my last name in it – how silly is that?). I have tried to incorporate it over and over. I’ve not seen one with pearls (they are showcased with rhinestones in the catalog), so I thought it would be cool to make one of each to represent the king and queen. Also, part of what I’ve never liked about the set is that the opening at the base of the crown is stamped the same color as the other parts. It looks silly to me (this won’t make sense to you, but somewhere along the way, I started to feel like the base of the crown looks like frog lips). Changing the color sent the frog lips packing.
  • Add texture. I absolutely love the texture created with the Core’dinations card stock. After I embossed it with the Chevron Textured Embossing Folder, I ran my sanding tool over the surface to break away some of the Pool Party card stock, revealing the filament underneath. Very cool!

Stamp Sets: You Rule!, Ciao Baby! Inks: Summer Starfruit, Lucky Limeade, VersaMark Papers: Pool Party, Lucky Limeade, Summer Starfruit, Pool Party Core’dinations Accessories: Embossing Powders (Pool Party, white and clear), 1/2″ Circle punch, 3″ Circle Originals, 1″ Circle punch, 1-1/4 Circle punch, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Pearl Basic Jewels, Large Pearl Basic Jewels, Large Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Stampin’ Dimensionals

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Please check out the other cards (and maybe submit one yourself by clicking here.


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  1. Michelle Gleeson

    Awesome use of the crowns! I have not bought this stamp set because I too thought it childish looking. You have transformed the crowns. Absolutely stunning Brian. You ARE a rising star!

  2. Omg, I can totally see the frog lips! Love the use of the crowns. Great card Brian.

  3. WOW ! I really like what you did with everything ….colors, embossing, images . …. This is a jaw dropper ! What a cute card for a for a wedding ! Love the giant gems !

  4. It’s beautiful Brian and you deserve the crown. Just one though because you made us wait for yesterday’s completed card. lol Seriously, great use of SU, they need you on their team to make samples for the catty! You go above and beyond!

  5. Brian, did you fuzzy cut this crowns????? or is there a coordinating punch that I missed????? WOW, I am amazed at your creativity, this crowns look ROYAL and ELEGANT!! Everything about this card is gorgeous, thank you so much for sharing it with us. In your details about it, you didn’t mentioned how you cut the crowns so, maybe I missed that part? I’ve read this post 3 times already, each line so, did you use scissors?

    • Maria – Yes. I cut the crowns out with my paper snips. No punch or framelit available for that. Just my good ole’ fingers and some scissors. šŸ™‚

      • Well my dear, you are a GENIOUS with scissors!!!!! A punch couldn’t have done this better!!!!! The way you trimmed around the points it’s amazing, thanks again for a really wonderful creation.

  6. Your card is AMAZING! I love how you utilized Rhinestones and the Large Pearls for the King & Queen distinction of the crowns. I absolutely LOVE how you did the crowns!!

    The one thing I don’t understand and I went back and reread your post three times and I’ve studied your card but for the life of me I’m stumped. . . . how did you do the crowns? I get that you white embossed but did you use Stampin’ Markers as well and then clear embossed the colored parts? Or did you use your versa mark pad and stamped on colored CS?

    • Hey, Tonya! Thanks for your compliments and question. With white embossing powder, I embossed a crown on Lucky Limeade and a crown on Summer Starfruit. With Pool Party embossing powder, I embossed a crown on Summer Starfruit and trimmed the top piece of the queen crown. With Clear embossing powder, I embossed a crown on Summer Starfruit and snipped the base of the queen crown and the top piece of the king crown. Also with Clear embossing powder, I embossed a crown on Lucky Limeade and snipped out the hole at the base of the king crown. All-in-all, I embossed five crowns (or portions of the crowns for the pieces I needed). Does that help?

      • WOW! You are just so talented Brian! Thanks for the break down of the process of how you did the crowns!! Yes, your explanation helps tremendously. šŸ™‚

  7. Well Brian – you have done it AGAIN …took a stamp set that many (including me) are not particularly fond of and turned it into a masterpiece!! This card is soooo impressive! Lots of “how to” questions here …do I sense a tutorial on the horizon?

  8. I think you did a great job sending those frog lips hopping off to parts unknown! Really great use of those crowns. I love how you used the pearls & rhinestones, perfect touch! Wonderful job with this week’s color challenge!

  9. This color combo reminds me of Food Network’s “Chopped” challenges – foods that should never be seen on the same plate, but somehow the chefs cook something spectacular. You did the same thing with your card – spectacular!
    ps – now, if I can just get the “frog lips” image out of my mind šŸ˜‰

    • Carol Carriveau

      Oh hahaha…I have to agree with each of your comments, most especially the last one…..lol! Great job, Brian!

  10. LOL…frogs lips!!! You just crack me up, Brian, but I see where you’re coming from with that one! I really love this card, although it must have taken quite some time to do all that snipping. It was well worth it for the beautiful effect you got! You da “KING”!!

  11. Frogs Lips – you’re crackin’ me up Brian! I love that you help me start the day with a smile every day! LOL I can’t imagine how long it took you to make that card. If I did all that snippin’ I’d have to be doing some tippin’ ( of the tea cup, not the bottle of course)!

  12. Awesome crowns, Brian. You must be very patient with all the embossing and fussy cutting, This set never appealed to me but you managed to turn the crowns into something fabulous and adult.

  13. Simply beautiful. Such creativity.

  14. If Stampin Up needs a King, then you have made your case and deserve the Crown! Beautiful card and genius use if those colors. Who wouldn’t love this card for a wedding? You bring soooo much talent to us on a daily basis. I hope SU recognizes and rewards you for your creations KING BRAIN!!!

  15. Wow, this card is beautiful! Look at you using bling and shimmer and shine. Way to go Brian, you are The King!

  16. FROG LIPS?? YOU CRACK ME UP! This is a great card and you have inspired me yet again. I love these colors together and your take on the challenge is spot on. King man! šŸ™‚

  17. Card perfection, Brian!

  18. I agree with Ann’s comment. As much as I love the card, I don’t know if I would have the patience for all the embossing and snippy snip. You know what they say…. patience, patience patience! Mind runs short at times. As always, job well done Brian! Ribbitt Ribbitt

  19. You really did a FANTASTIC job with this card, Brian! I looked at the three colors and couldn’t imagine what you would come up with. Not a combination I’d want to tackle!
    You’ve truly knocked this one out of the park!
    Such detail in making the crowns so gorgeous! Just AMAZING, Brian!

  20. That’s a lot of fabulous embossing! The crowns look terrific!

  21. Amazing card. Everything is brilliantly thought out and beautifully done. Thanks for sharing your creativity!

  22. Frog lips? Really? This is why I read you everyday, Brian–for your unique perspective. Thanx for the great laugh!

  23. I love this card. One of my favorites. You are truly creative and an out of the box thinker. Your blog is one of the first ones I look at every day.

  24. Wow! I could not figure out where you got those fabulous crowns. You’ve turned them into something completely different, and, well, regal! Awesome card. Fabulous job with some really challenging colors! Thanks for sharing with us at Pals Paper Arts this week!

  25. WOW! This card is AWESOME, I Love it! I really like how you used both the diamonds and the pearls to differentiate the otherwise exact crowns, I like how the crowns are differently colored (different-but-the-same; LOL) and love how you created your sentiment! Love, love it all! What a great card; TFS! šŸ™‚

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