I normally make a selection of different cards and spend ages designing them, but I was running short of time and although I knew that these would not be Clean and Simple (CAS) cards to make, I decided that I would use the same basic design for all of them this year. I started by stamping the birdie wreath onto smooth white card using Memento Tuxedo Black ink, so that the ink would not bleed when coloured. With a bit of careful positioning I managed to get eleven wreaths onto each A4 sheet of card ... and so the production line began!
I used the coloured image on the die packet as a starting point and selected Copic Ciao markers in similar colours to the pears and assorted foliage. In the UK we don't have red Cardinals, but Robins are a very popular little bird and are a traditional image on Christmas cards, so I adapted my birdie to become a robin. I also decided to change the small pink bell shaped flowers into bluebells (although these are usually a spring flower) and I made the little blue and purple star shaped flowers a bright Christmas red colour so that they looked more festive.
I coloured all the wreaths using the ten Copic Ciao markers shown above, plus a blending pen. The pears and some of the leaves were multicoloured, so where the colours met I softened the edges with the blending pen to get a more natural look. I calculated that I needed a total of 90 Christmas cards this year so you can imagine how long it took me to colour all those wreaths! I also stamped and coloured an additional birdie for each card as I wanted to decoupage them to add a bit of dimension. So that was 180 Robins, 360 Pears, 2,250 bluebell flowers, 4,320 little red star flowers and 5,760 leaves (and a partridge in a pear tree)! No wonder it took me most of December to make them all!
Once I had coloured them all, I used the two part die to cut out each wreath (first cutting the outside, then the inner piece). I kept the dies in place whilst I cut them by using a little low tack masking tape, which stopped the dies from moving about as I ran them through my Grand Calibur.
I started off using 6" square white card blanks and added layers cut from Green foiled card and red textured card using Spellbinders Marvellous Squares dies and a layer of waxed paper to make removing the die - cuts easier http://www.spellbinderspaperarts.com/products/p-811-marvelous-squares.aspx - these were then adhered to the card using double sided tape. The wreath and the extra robin were then added with foam pads for dimension.
I ran out of green foiled cardstock after I'd made 40 cards and had to switch to using a paler green card, which I chose to tone in with the lighter coloured leaves on the wreath. If you click on the photo below you can see the detail of the red textured card layer and the coloured wreath.
Here are a couple of smaller (A6) cards which I made using gold patterned card as the backing layer.
I also ran out of white square card blanks after I'd made about 65 cards, so I then switched to using rectangular card blanks with scalloped edges. The gap at the bottom needed something extra, so I added this lovely stamped Christmas verse (from Waltzingmouse stamps).
I was really pleased with how all my cards turned out this year and I'd like to say a huge thank you to Poppy Stamps for making it all possible!