A Festive Fireplace Makeover

On Thursday I shared a warm and friendly card I made with Stampin’ Up!’s Festive Fireplace stamp set.  The card was for this week’s Pals Paper Arts Color Challenge, so I wanted it to be exactly what I wanted it to be.  That made sense, right?  Here’s the card I shared with you on Thursday (you can click on the picture to see the original post):

Festive Fireplace, Stampin' Up!, Brian King, PPA275

What you might not have known at the time is that this card was a partial makeover of another card I designed a couple days before.  I like both cards, but I felt that this one was a better representation of the warmth of these colors and showcased the stamps better.  Today I’m going to show you the other card and explain what I changed and why.

Here’s the first version of this card:

Festive Fireplace, Stampin' Up!, Brian King, PPA275I was going for a modern, deconstructed version of a fireplace.  In some sense, I accomplished that, right?  While I really liked this card, I knew it was missing the warm wishes the sentiment described.  I love white space, but this card felt like it was overwhelmed with emptiness.  I was so happy with they way I painted the fire and logs that I didn’t dare remake that.  Instead, I disassembled the card cut the watercolor paper piece and cropped it with my guillotine paper cutter.

Design Changes: Festive Fireplace Makeover, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

And here is a quick rundown of the “why” behind my changes:

  • I added an accent panel of Sweet Li’l Things Designer Series Paper.  My funky, modern fireplace was missing something – the warmth of color you’d expect from a fire.  The Tangelo Twist paper added color AND the little pops you’d expect from a flickering fire – just look at those little circles.
  • I reduced the size of the Watercolor Paper layer.  The panel was just too big.  I shared the first picture with a couple of friends who all agreed I needed to add something – maybe add sparks or watercolor splashes, maybe add a mantel above the fire to cut out all the white space?  I agreed but wasn’t willing to ruin the fire I had watercolored.  As such, I cropped down the image and relayered it.  The image in the second card still has a panel of Blackberry Bliss glued behind it – both layers are glued to the frame of Blackberry Bliss.
  • I moved the sentiment right a bit to balance the card.  When the fire panel was perfectly balanced in the center of the card, the long, slender sentiment needed to also be centered.  When I moved the fire to the left, though, the sentiment needed to move right to balance everything out.  If you squint, you’ll see that the large, white panel on the left balances against the orange band and sentiment on the right.  Now, please send me a nickel.  Thanks.  🙂
  • I slightly increased the size of the Crumb Cake panel.  I suppose this change wasn’t 100% necessary, but I increased the size of the Crumb Cake base when I added another element to the card (the large band of Designer Series Paper).  The change wasn’t huge, but it’s something to consider when constructing a card.

Stamp Sets:  Festive Fireplace  Papers:  Sweet Li’l Things Designer Series Paper, Crumb Cake, Blackberry Bliss, Watercolor Paper  Inks:  Archival Basic Black, Hello Honey, Tangelo Twist, Crumb Cake  Accessories:  AquaPainter, Stampin’ Dimensionals

I don’t always re-work a card – sometimes it’s just done when I’m done.  I knew I could make this one better, though, so I captured the photo and then started over (kinda).  I hope you found this comparison helpful.

Thanks for stopping by today!


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  1. That beautiful Tangelo Twist makes the flames pop. Perfect balance, as always. Love it!

  2. Love the pop of designer series paper! It’s still modern but gets warmed up!

  3. Thank you, Brian, for the tutorial. This is what I asked for earlier this year and it is SO helpful! Sometimes I know something isn’t quite right with a card but I can’t figure it out. And I especially appreciate your comments on the cards themselves so I don’t have to keep reading the narrative and referring back to the photos. Great job, as usual!

  4. What a difference, Brian! No comparison! The first one does not look like your work. 2nd one is so cozy and warm! Thanks for details, great!

  5. Although I think adding something to the first card, like sparks for instance, would have made a lovely card, adding that DSP really brought it to life. It made everything pop and truly took this card from nice to beautiful. You are sooooooooooo good!

  6. Snow falling on a beautiful wood fire! Beautiful!

  7. We all belabor how our final card looks, and kind of sense when it’s not the perfect look. So the critical eye that you gave the first card paid off, because your card was kicked up several notches doing the things you did to it.
    Love your share.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your thought process. Seeing the difference is one thing, but having you explain the “why” is what means the most to me. This is why I read every word of your blog, including the comments your friends make.

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