Soft and Sweet Simple Stems for the Pixel Maven

My very good friend Nicole Watt hosts a blog challenge on her blog, Pixel Maven’s Retreat.  As Nicole specialized in My Digital Studio, Stampin’ Up!’s amazing digital solution, the challenge blog started as a digital challenge blog, but she has opened it up to traditional designs, as well.  I was so inspired by the color selection that I couldn’t stay away from this week’s challenge.  Here’s my card:

Simple Stems, Perfect Pennants, Stampin Up!, PMDC-039And here’s the challenge banner for the Pixel Maven’s Digi-Challenge:

Tips, Tricks and Reminders

This card is all about the gorgeous textures, so my three tips, tricks and reminders are going to focus on the elements of texture I used to create it.

  • A Subtle Texture with Hexagon Hive.  I have seen a lot of great projects with the Hexagon Hives Thinlit Dies – there are so many ways to make these hexagons pop with contrasting colors or background patterns.  I wanted to create a texture with the hexagons, but I wanted the flowers to be the focus of this card, so I layered Pool Party hexagons on Pool Party paper.  Voila!
  • Added Contrast with Core’dinations.  I didn’t just use Pool Party card stock for this card – I used Pool Party Core’dinations card stock.  Wooo!  Before I cropped the top layer, I sanded it with my Stampin’ Sanding Block.  This gives the hive cutouts a slight contrast between layers but nothing jarring to the eye.Stampin' Up!, Brian King, using Hexagon Hive for a subtle contrast
  • A Smooth Pattern Creates a Faux Texture.  As I have mentioned before, I like to feel satisfied with all components of a card before I glue anything down.  I want to make sure there’s no room for regret once I’ve started gluing down the components of the card.  When I was about to start gluing, I had cropped a couple of leaves with Pear Pizzazz card stock, but I wasn’t happy.  I decided to crop the leaves from the beautifully patterned Gingham Garden DSP.  The faux texture in this pattern adds the perfect pop to these leaves.  “Woo hoo!” for not gluing as we go.Stampin' Up!, Brian King, use patterned paper to create faux textureStamp Sets:  Simple Stems, Perfect Pennants  Papers:  Pear Pizzazz, Whisper White, Pool Party, Subtles Core’dinations (Pool Party)  Inks:  Crisp Cantaloupe, Pear Pizzazz  Accessories:  Hexagon Hive Thinlits Die, Secret Garden Framelits, 2-1/2″ Circle punch, Circles Collection Framelits, Pool Party Stampin’ Emboss Powder, Stampin’ Dimensionals

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!


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  1. Gorgeous!! Love the soft colors of the challenge, you have used them to perfection!

  2. oh damn! Look at that card! That color combination is beautiful! Something I would decorate with! Now, not a fan of this hexagon die at all but sure appreciate it tone on tone! Very very lovely Brian!

  3. Laurie Burns Gachewicz

    You are so right Anne and Patti!!! Beautiful perfection Brian!!!!! I love what you did with the tone-on-tone lightly textured Pool Party and the Hexagon Hive Thinlet… and those Gingham Garden DSP leaves are so complimentary to the Crisp Cantaloupe flowers!!! 🙂

  4. Beautiful…your cards this week were top notch!

  5. I love all of this Spring cards you are sharing Brian, we all know how much we are anxiously waiting for Winter to bid us goodbye for a looooong while.
    The hexagon die looks amazing in this card, a really beautiful background for those beautiful flowers. Love the colors in this challenge and you used them to perfection.

  6. Just found your blog accidently. Love your work….I ,too, am a Stampin’ Up! demo….only since Sept of last year!!! I live in Franklin, GA…..its about 45 mins from Atlanta.

  7. Great card, Brian! I love the pool party on pool party hexagon background, and great idea to cut the leaves out of green patterned paper. Love it!

  8. This is really pretty! Everytime I decide not to get that Hexagon die ….somebody changes my mind again ! Now,you have done it ! I have to add something else to my Wish List ! Loves these colors for this ….such a treat for Sunday ! You are a master of card detail !

  9. Brian your attention to detail is amazing. This is a WOW card!

  10. I have seen a lot of cards using this die – but THIS one is my all time favorite! Love it!!

  11. Way to go Brian!! This is the most stunning card I have seen with the hexagons!! It makes me want to go stamp right now.

  12. Brian, you out did yourself with this one, it is beautiful and the little bit of Green around the edge is just perfect. Thanks for sharing with us.

  13. Gorgeous card- the textures are perfect and really make the tone on tone work. I agree that this is the best use of the Hexagon Hive that I have seen. Color combos are spot on too! Thanks Brain!

  14. I LOVE the leaves best on this project! They remind me of the patterns you see inside of security envelopes. Ever made a project using those?

  15. Gorgeous! You card “makes me happy”!! Have a Super Sunday! 🙂

  16. OMG , OMG Brian , love , love it ,
    If you ever decide to send me a card …..
    Please send me this one , I soooo
    Love it , your the KING !!!!
    Lots of love and hugs
    This one took my breath away !!!!
    Honest !!!!!!

  17. Hi Brian:

    I have the Hex die but haven’t used it yet. I keep looking at it but somehow looking at it without touching it doesn’t seem to get a card made! LOL Anyway, this card is the most beautiful use I’ve seen of this thinlit die. Never would I have thought to layer it over the same color but the result is so striking. Thank you for the motivation to take the die out of the package and actually use it.

  18. Beautiful,but how did you get the perfectly thin accent around the frame. It looks like gold on my system but I’m sure it is the pear pizzazz.

    • I simply measured the cropped thinlit and then cut a piece of Pear Pizzazz paper to be slightly larger. I centered the thinlit on top of the Pear Pizzazz piece. Simple. Just adds a little pop. Glad you liked it!

  19. Über cool card, Brian. I will reiterate the comment of “best use of this die” that I have ever seen. Love the tone on tone, texture on texture. So beautiful to look at. Ahhhhhh……

  20. Wow. This card is fabulous. Now I must have this thin lets die! Thanks for sharing.

  21. Gasp! You have taken my breath away! That says it all.

  22. Wow. Such a balanced card in every aspect. There are so many things to look at here but they all come together spectacularly!

  23. I couldn’t stay away from this color combo either! Yours is stunning!

  24. Absolutely gorgeous! Wonderful card, Brian!

  25. I’m a little behind on my commenting … this is a beautiful card! The layering of the hexagon die-cut is gorgeous! And sanding the one layer was a great idea …
    And now, I am forced to add the thinlits die to my list as well!

  26. This is such a beautiful creation! I have this die but have yet to use it…. I guess there’s no time like the present! Thanks for playing along at Pixel Maven’s DigiChallenge – I hope to see you there more often!


  27. You rock, Mr. King! xo

  28. What did you use to cut out these lovely leaves?

    • I used the Secret Garden Framelits, paired with Gingham Garden Designer Series Paper. I posted the framelits as Backyard Basics framelits. Ooops.

  29. Dangit, Brian! Another die is going on my wishlist. This card is amazing!!!

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