The Splitcoaststampers Featured Stamper Challenge featured Barbara Schram aka Stampfilled Dreams, and her gallery filled with gorgeous work. It is always fun to browse through someone else's gallery to find inspiration and Barb's is definitely a treasure trove.  I was instantly drawn to a darling card created on the cut out word Dad and titled Kindred Spirits for Dad. Barb's card had several darling vignettes of a dad doing fun things with his kids and the coloring was so light and airy and every image was perfect.

I challenged myself to come up with a word card to do a matching theme scene on.  I quickly found it is not easy to come up with words that can be cut out and leave enough card front to work on.  My original plan was to do the word FUN but I couldn't figure out how to make those letters work together on a cut out. By using Barb's example I created the word DOG and used the darling retired Stampin" Up! set Bow Wow and a couple of accessory pieces from Anna Wight's Good Dog set.

KC Bow Wow 14   I created my template with a scrap piece of cardstock and then lightly traced all the cut lines on my folded card front. I used my craft knife to make all the cuts through both layers of the cardstock at the same time and it was much easier than I expected.

It took me a few minutes to figure out how to place my images to show well around the holes. I stamped and masked images as necessary to create the scene. I used an artist pen to sketch in the little fence and tree trunk. I normally do not like to color on plan cardstock as the colors usually do not dry as vibrantly as they do on watercolor paper but I was not willing to try my hand at cutting through two layers of folded heavy watercolor paper.  I painted all the images and created the grass and leaves with images from my Kittie Kits "Cause a Scene" Outdoor Master. I was ready to create my sky and as I reached for the blue ink pad I noticed that my finger had smudged a big blob of red ink up in the left hand corner of the sky.  Ugh!  I decided I could fix the problem by using a darker color blue for the sky and that created even a bigger problem.  I am used to sponging color on watercolor paper and being able to control how the ink goes down. The white cardstock is no where near as forgiving and I ended up with a big blue blob over my red blob. I was getting frustrated but would not give up on this darling little project. I finally used my leaf image to create a tree branch coming from the side of the scene.  It sort of fixed the problem but all the blue sky was so dark that it looked like a night time scene. I decided I could add some yellow ink to create a moonlight effect from under that new branch but all I ended up with was a dark green sky area.  And to boot the yellow created a vibrancy on the sky and trees that made the dog images look dull.  Well….I had to try to bring the colors of the scene all together so I sponged yellow totally over the fence, doghouse and dogs.  This did allow the whole scene to have continuity. I cut out an additional dog food bowl full of little bones, the baseball and a big bone to pop up in the scene. The finished project was nothing like I had envisioned with a sunny sky and a big tree shading the doggy yard.  But I am pleased that I could over come the "red" blob and finish a fun scene despite it.  My motto "Never Give Up" seemed to be really tested on this project.

Stamps:  Stampin' Up (retired) Bow Wow, Anna Wight's Good Dog, Kittie Kits Outdoor Master

Paper:  Plain White 

Ink:  Distress Fired Brick, Vintage Photo, Peeled Paint, Shabby Shutters, Faded Jeans, Going Gray, Black Stazon, Adirondack Latte, Butterscotch

Accessories:  Inkssentials Ink Blending Tool, Brushes, Copic Marker