A Single Layer Card for PP200

The Paper Players are celebrating their 200th challenge.  Woo hoo!  I’ve been actively participating in challenges with The Paper Players since 2012 and served as a Guest Designer for six months in 2013.  What a fun and talented group!  To celebrate their 200th, each designer selected a past challenge and created a new card for that challenge.  That’s SIX challenges for us to choose from this week.  Yippee Doodle Dee!

I chose to accept Ann Schach’s challenge this week and made a one-layer card.  I do love the challenge of a one-layer card.  Here’s my card:

World of Dreams, A Dozen Thoughts, Stampin' Up!, Brian King, PP200, single-layer cardAnd here’s the challenge banner for Ann’s challenge at The Paper Players:

Tips, Tricks and Reminders

  • Birds.  What is it about birds in a nest?  We have an immediate emotional reaction to them, don’t they?  Birds in a nest take me to a safe place – make me think of home.  Some people love and collect birds, while others are petrified of the flying animals.  Some (and you know who you are) only like images of birds if they can see their feet, while others can’t put enough birds in their card creations.
  • Masking to Create Layers.   To create this look, I cropped a bunch of ovals with the Ovals Collection Framelits.  I used the cropped ovals and the negative images to sponge blues all over the card front.  After I completed the sponging, I stamped the central image and sentiments, using my Stamp-a-ma-jig to line it all up properly.  Sponging creates a beautiful look, but it doesn’t always photograph well.  So that you can see how beautiful this looks in person, I’m going to mail it to you – take a look, and then mail it back.  One-by-one, I’ll mail this to everyone so you can all see it in person.  The things I do for my friends.World of Dreams, A Dozen Thoughts, Stampin' Up!, Brian King, PP200, single-layer card
  • Balancing it All Out.  When you look at the front of a card, your brain wants everything to balance.  Color, texture and white space all play into the balance of the card front.  In order to balance the weight of the birds and trees, I stamped the sentiment just outside the center oval – the sentiment crosses into the Soft Sky border.  The things we do for our art.

Stamp Sets:  World of Dreams, A Dozen Thoughts  Papers:  Very Vanilla  Inks:  Soft Sky, Night of Navy  Accessories:  Ovals Collection Framelits, Stampin’ Sponges

Thanks for stopping by today!


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TOMORROW.  Just wanted to give you a heads up – I was so inspired by the challenges at The Paper Players this week that I’ve made TWO cards for this week’s challenge – one for the Single Layer card challenge, and one for another challenge.  Please come back tomorrow to see what I made for the other challenge.  🙂


  1. What a wonderful one later card. The sponged ovals add depth. Can’t wait to see it in person. 😉

  2. Amazing! When I first saw it, I thought- that’s not 1 layer!! Love the oval framelit masks!!!!

  3. Brian,
    Could I possibly see this in person?? I am amazed to read this is one layer card front. I really don’t want to display my addy though, can you email me back please.

  4. Lovely card you’ve done it again Brian!

  5. I really like these adorable birds in their nest . I have this set on my list to get . I am in awe over your ability to make this one layer fool me . Your choice of colors goes with this sweet image (of course you would choose Soft Sky….it goes with birds ) I like these birds because you don`t see their feet ! Oh, and I am waiting by my mailbox !!!

  6. Wow! I love this card. It’s hard to believe that it’s only one layer! Bravo!

  7. Love the sponging technique you did. Again, you make everything look so easy. The colors look great and I love ovals. 🙂

  8. Beautiful!!

  9. Love the look. Awesome
    one layer card

  10. Oh my, how beautiful! I am going to make another cup of coffee to help me figure out how you sponged the ovals so perfectly. And thank you for pointing out why you placed the sentiment where you did for balance. I do try to always remember that, but I don’t know if I always follow through.

  11. Maria Rodriguez

    WOW!! one layer card that really looks like 3!!! awesome optical illusion Brian. The little birds look so sweet but I’m at a loss as to how exactly did you sponged the ovals to achieve this multi layer effect. Perhaps a video tutorial, Mr. King? 😉 by what I read, it seems to me that you layered all the ovals and then removed every other one?? Am I on the right track?
    Anyway, great card for this sketch from the PP.

  12. You sure were up for the challenge Brian. Beautiful!

  13. I send out many cards in a week’s time and am always endeavoring to create lovely cards that do not require extra postage. Very challenging. What a practical and effective illusion this idea is and with framelits, probably not too time-intensive or difficult. Super idea.

  14. Cindie McDuffee

    Thanks for these great ideas, Brian! I’m always looking for ideas for 1 layer, light cards, as I mail most of my cards, not hand deliver.

  15. Absolutely beautiful! Wonderful masking technique!

  16. Jennifer Spiller

    You know address….thought, I’m warning you it’s not returning (is sorry for everyone else ) I will be frameing and hanging on my wall…today’s creation is just that gorgeous…Awesome job at WOWING us Again, Brian!

  17. Wowee, Brian! You rocked the one layer challenge once again! You always so expertly give the illusion of layers where there are none by your masking and sponging. A beautiful card! Thanks for joining us for our 200th challenge this week at The Paper Players, and for being such a devoted participant! Inky hugs!

  18. Have I told you lately what a great teacher you are? Well, you are and you’ve solved a problem I had. Brian this card is lovely and that you were able to add such dimension just by sponging, great use of the technique. Awesome job

  19. i really like this look!

  20. Fab, fab, fabulous card Brian. When I first looked at it I thought the ovals were actually layered. The thought that they were negative images sponged really kind of blew me away. I had to go back and take repetitive looks at the gorgeous card before I could convince myself it was all a single layer. You are something else Brian – just brilliant Mr. Wonderful – LOL Thank you for once again enlightening us all to another way to create. With this method, think of all the card stock we could save.

  21. Love this card! Just curious, did you sponge the inner oval first or the outer? Or did you find it didn’t matter which was first?

  22. Simply delightful. Thank you Brian for this one layer wonder!

  23. Beautiful card, but I am a little confused, can you explain more on how you did the sponging with the ovals, I would really appreciate that, as I would love to try and make this card. Thanks!

    • Debbie – I will make a video and share it this weekend or early next week. It’s really very simple but difficult to explain. Thanks!

  24. WOW!! JUST WOW!! I am soooo excited to see this in my mail box… maybe you should make more, just in case… lol…
    I really would love to see how you did the layering…. this is very intriguing… I guess it is time to make a video tutorial… (hint, hint) lol…
    love this one layered card… I always seem to make my cards so heavy with layers… but I love my layers…. I would love to try this pseudo layering…

  25. Don’t expect the card back for a very long time. I will inspect it thoroughly. ;0 Very cleverly done. Anxiously waiting for the video.

  26. Wonderfull Card, Brian. I love how you did the coloured layers.

  27. wow, I am so impressed! I can’t wait to see the video of the technique so I can try it out!

  28. Awesome card, love the layers, very simple but elegant

  29. Ok, now. I am confused. How is this awesome card a one layer card?
    I’m crazy about that bird nest. Adding to my list again!

  30. I love this card. It is just perfect with its two coloured ovals. It says a lot without being over done.


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  32. Absolutely awesome! You are a master of masking!

  33. Another awesome work of art! Just like you!

  34. Brian, this is just pure stamping genius. I really had to look to see that it was a one-layer card. Love the way you sponged the ovals! Just gorgeous…thank you for joining in our 200th challenge at The Paper Players!

  35. Hi again Brian,

    You’ll probably look at the date of this post and think “she’s just now commenting on this card?” Well, since Stampin’ Up! has become less of a business and more of a hobby to me as of late, I spend one day a month looking at all my favorite stampers blogs. You’re the first one today!

    Anyhow, I want to say I really like how this card came out and I’m glad I read all your details. At first I wouldn’t have realized you had used Night of Navy based on my monitors rendition of the colors. Very nice design, one I’ll certainly want to share with the Senior Citizens class that I sponsor and teach! You will receive ALL the credit, of course!

    Thanks for sharing your great ideas!
    Joni <

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