Some of my all time favorite images are from retired Stampin' Up! sets and are ones that I will always keep in my collection. Some I love for the wonderful traditional images and others for representing children and animals so perfectly with sweet faces and for the accompanying accessory images. To name a few of my favorites: Long-Time Friend, Bow Wow, Meow Meow, Garden Pleasures, Little Boys, and Friendship Grows. There are many others that I could name as well.  The set I used for my project today is Feathered Hope. I adore the birds in this set paired with the pine branch and berries.  It is the perfect old fashioned Christmas image and reminds me of the cards my parents used to receive. The little bits of embossed snow on the sprigs and berries make it a wonderful and meaningful reminder of times past..

KC Feathered Hope 8

I stamped the pine sprig branch and then masked and stamped the birds. I added several additional sprigs of pine and berries with my artist pen to fill in and make the birds appear nestled and cozy. I also sketched the sprigs and berries around the sentiment. I watercolored the images with reinkers and sponged pale yellow around the scene to create highlight. I used a tiny brush to add white craft ink for touches of snow and embossed with white embossing powder.

Close If you look closely you will notice that the pine sprig is popped up in front of the birds in the photo. That is because I made what I call a "happy mistake" and smeared the red berry ink when I sponged the yellow. My MistakeI had worked too hard creating the beautiful pine bough to let this project go in the trash so I cut it out to pop up.  I stamped the birds again on another piece of watercolor paper, hand sketched more pine sprigs and berries around them, watercolored the image, sponged the yellow background and "then" painted the berries LAST.  Here are a couple of hints for you from lessons that I seem to have trouble learning myself or at least remembering.

1. Distress Inks dry much slower than most water based ink. Heat to dry well before sponging or embossing

2. Sponging a light colored ink over dark ink that is not dry "does not" create a lovely background highlight. 

3.    a) Heat dry the ink on all painted images before you apply craft ink and embossing powder to your project. This will eliminate having the embossing powder from sticking where you don't want it.

       b) An "Embossing Buddy" is your friend. Use it on your dried and painted images before you apply craft ink and embossing powder. It removes static from your paper and will eliminate having the embossing powder from sticking where you don't want it

I popped up the cut out pine bough with dimensionals and created a frame with a Nestabilities oval die.  I popped the complete framed image up with mounting tape on the blue layer. I tried to draw attention away from my mistake by adding the sentiment oval tag to the project and by using a big bow.  The background on the red layers were stamped with images from the Rubbernecker Pine Sprig set found in the Winter Holiday Collection.

Stamps:  Retired Stampin' Up! sets- Feathered Hope and All Year Cheer I, Rubbernecker Pine Sprig Set

Paper:  Real Red, Buckaroo Blue, Watercolor

Ink:  Black Craft, White Craft, Distress Peeled Paint, Vintage Photo, Adirondack Red Pepper, SU Barely Banana, Bashful Blue

Accessories:  Grosgrain, Oval Punch, Deckle Scissors, Brushes, Inkssentials Ink Blending Tool, White Embossing Powder, Faber-Castell Pit Artist Pens, Nestabilities, Watercolor Brushes