Picking the Tree for Freshly Made Sketches

When I was really young, my family packed into our bright green Volkswagen Van and traveled to a big Christmas tree farm to select our tree each year.  It was always a fun for us children – possibly because we weren’t responsible for paying and didn’t have to do any of the heavy-lifting.  Oh, the nostalgia!  I haven’t had a live Christmas tree in several years, but this year, I’ll be checking out the tree sales, using my hard-earned cash on a tree and strapping a tree to the roof of my car.  Here’s a fun card I made to honor this annual ritual that’s just around the corner:

White Christmas, Holiday Home, Stampin' Up!, Brian King, FMS159And here’s Jen Mitchell’s Freshly Made Sketches challenge that inspired my card: Tips, Tricks and Reminders:

  • Heating it Up. You already know that I adore White Stampin’ Emboss Powder.  You also know that I love to snip out tiny images.  Right?  If you didn’t, then now you do.  With this project, I combined two of my loves an embossed this card on Real Red and Basic Gray and the tree on Garden Green.  I snipped them all out and pieced them together.  What fun!
    White Christmas, Holiday Home, Stampin' Up!, Brian King, FMS159
  • Cooling it Down.  I love the white spots on this Garden Green piece of Nordic Noel Designer Series Paper.  While the green background is not blue or black (as would be a typical color for a snowy skyline), I think it’s beautiful and is still reminiscent of  a snowy sky.  So guess what I did?  I made it fit as a snowy sky.  Yay!
  • Icing it Over.  To add a special effect to the windows of the tree-toting car, I simply colored them in with my Stampin’ Chalk Marker.  I considered lots of options – cropping out the windows, adding white paper over the windows.  The marker, though, gave me the effect I wanted.  Woo hoo!

White Christmas, Holiday Home, Stampin' Up!, Brian King, FMS159Stamp Sets:  White Christmas, Holiday Home  Papers: Garden Green, Real Red, Basic Gray, Whisper White, Nordic Noel Designers Series Paper  Inks:  Garden Green  Accessories:  White Stampin’ Emboss Powder, 2-1/2″ Circle punch, Circles Collection Framelits, Starburst Framelits, Stampin’ Dimensionals

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  1. Hi Brian,
    I am a very new Australian Stampin Up demonstrator and I read all of your Blogs plus most of your old Blogs – do you buy every stamp set and every colour ink and paper.
    I am struggling to know where to start. Every beautiful card I see on your Blog or Mary Fish’s blog or Susan Intell’s blog – I always have some component missing!!! Maybe the stamp, the paper, the ink …
    What would be your advice to get underway?
    All I am doing at the moment is scrolling on a computer or spending hours pinning cards on Pinterest, not actually making anything!
    Thanking you in anticipation,
    Robin Anne

    • Robin, you are following an excellent blogger. The “only” one I read on a daily basis. Brian make cards in the style I like. They are usually very simple, minus all the layering. My suggestions: if you cannot have all the colors in ink and paper, at least have all in a color family because they work so well together. Look at the sketches and then substitute stamps, colors and inks that you have. Select sketches on the simpler side until you build your confidence. If you don’t have a designer paper then try making your own with some sort of background stamp or a combination of images. Look at one sheet wonders where people make their own papers. As your collection of product grows then following others examples will be easier. Another rule about product for me is that I have to like the stamp image that I am buying plus it must have lots of examples on splitcoast stampers. If there are not a lot of examples it is usually because it is a more difficult stamp to use. I own several of those. 🙂

      Please all you wonderful followers of Brian, offer Robin suggestions. After all, she has come to the best place to ask.

      • Welcome to the world of papercrafting Robin! Leah made some excellent suggestions – I agree, choose a few colours for the same colour family to start off with, and maybe look at a DSP stack as these are great for card makers, give you lots of pattern and colour variety and are great value for money. With fewer supplies, you almost need to be more creative – if you see a sample that you love but don’t have the exact same tools/supplies, consider how you could make it work with what you’ve got – you may be pleasantly surprised at the results. Good luck!

      • Thank you all for your wonderful advice. I am going to set my self a personal challenge to make one card each day, I will stop trying to produce a perfect card and just have fun. Many thanks again.
        Like Leah I like the simplicity of the cards Brian makes.
        Thanks again.

    • Hi Robin,
      I will assume you are striving to be an active demonstrator rather than a hobbyist, so I agree with Leah. Start with one color family of ink and then try to pick the designer series papers that most go with the family, but also make sure they are the papers you really like. You might try adding an ink color family each quarter.
      For stamps, again, start with buying just the stamps you really like and can see using in multiple ways. You will always need birthday, thank you, and thinking of you (which can be used for get well, sympathy, hard times). And even though I’m not a fan floral designs, you can make floral stamps work with just about any occasion too, except those very masculine birthdays 🙂 .
      And now for the tough love. Stop looking and start stamping. Challenge yourself to use what you have, and you will feel accomplished when you make things work that you didn’t think you could. You will also discover your own style, and start to determine what you do and don’t want to purchase next. Keep your first cards simple, and look at the http://www.palspaperarts.com/ site for simple inspiration. Sometimes Pinterest is overwhelming, and the Pals site is a good place to get ideas, looking at a blank design where you can use what you have.
      Finally, keep following Brian. He keeps it fun and inspiring. He finds ways to make what he has work, like making candy dots in any color using cardstock, a punch and crystal effects, or converting a box into a window card, and so can you. Welcome to the SU family, and good luck!

    • Robin, The best advice has already been given – just get started. Start making cards, and you’ll figure out a way to work around the things you don’t have. I firmly believe you can be a successful demonstrator with just a handful of stamps and a couple of ink pads. You just have to pick the ones that inspire you. You’ll need to have more than that to create new projects every day – you just have to get started with what you’ve got. All the best!

  2. What a perfect scene ! I have a couple of retired SU sets that portray this same event . LOVE IT ! You did a great job with those icy windows . I have that marker and Holiday Home set …think I will putter with those . And oh the smell of a real Xmas tree !!!!!

  3. Will there be a video or at least a snapshot or two of bringing home the tree?
    Great card!

  4. Another great card Brian – I love the green DSP with your car and tree image – it works perfectly!

  5. This reminds me of “the old days”. As kids, we used to pick our tree, and when we got home, it went into a big metal bucket. Every year, we had to go out into the yard to find giant rocks that would hold the base in place. Don’t ask me why we didn’t save those in one place. We never even had a tree stand until our teen years. I bet we weren’t the only ones. Thanks for the memory.

  6. Awww, that a nice story BRIAN, those were the good old days ha , and your card says it all , love it friend !
    Hugs Frenchie ,

  7. Great card as usual, Brian! Love the cut-out items. I enjoy doing that too!
    I’ll be anxious to hear about your tree gathering experience, and I’m with Dianne–perhaps a few photos would be appropriate! Good for you in supporting your local tree-growing farmers!

  8. I love this stamp set so much, you can mix this cute little images and create your own snowy scene. Great idea on how to add “frost” to the windows, brr!!

  9. The DSP instantly reminded me of snow. The iced windows are priceless. Great idea.

  10. Super cute. Dr. McSnips is back in the house!

  11. What an adorable image – and embossed in white really makes it pop! Great card! Thanks so much for joining us at Freshly Made Sketches.

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