Welcome to my blog. Over the years that I have been stamping and paper crafting, I have so often been inspired by the ideas on other sites and blogs. I hope I can pay that back in some measure with my own. (In between laughs -- or cackles as my son calls it!)

September 2, 2012

Pine Tree and Misty Hills

Sometimes you see a stamp image and you know exactly how you are going to use it.  When I saw this great asymmetrical pine tree from Sheena's A Little Bit Scenic Pinescapes set, I knew I was going to make a hilly background.  You see, at my old job, there was a conference room that maybe twenty years ago was an executive conference room, but over the years had turned in to an "anybody can reserve it" room.  The decor was dated from its glory days in the 80's, but I always loved a fiber wall hanging of misty layered hills that was on the wall.  Time after time I said to myself, "That would make a great card!".  Well, I've since retired from there and now work at another company (yup, I know -- a very short lived retirement), but finally I used the inspiration from the fiber wall hanging to make a card.  And I am just thrilled with the result!

This is nothing more than using torn paper as a mask and stippling color on.  (You could also sponge -- it would be faster but I think you get less control and I usually get those pesky fingernail blotches when I sponge.)  The tip is to use the darkest color in the foreground and gradually lighten it with each successive layer of hill in the background. 

I used mostly Tim Holtz' Distress inks, and used black soot in the foreground, but not so very black as to obliterate the black pine tree, and then faded through shades of brown (walnut stain and vintage photo).  Another tip is to use clean torn paper for each layer, so you don't get stray ink residue.  I tell you this because that happened to me.  A gum eraser removed most of it -- can you find the spot? ;-) .  I did a reverse circle mask for the moon with a post it note, and used the lightest ink color (Stampin' Up's River Rock) and a smaller stipple brush to darken the edges so you get the illusion of the moon.

It was matted on to a black layer, and then on to a 6x8 invitation card with a gold band (a no-fold panel).  I think they are really meant for do-it-yourself wedding invitations but it worked great for this.  I added absolutely no embellishment, not even glitter on the moon.  It was hard to restrain myself, but I wanted it to be stark and unadorned, like the pine image itself.

A torn paper mask is one of the simplest techniques, and can give great results.  Enjoy!


  1. Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the inspiration and the how-to on this one.

  2. Ooooh! I'm going to have to try that, thank you for sharing the techniques. :D Lovely card!

  3. Lovely Marge!

    Take care and STAY POSITIVE!

  4. That is gorgeous. A very "Marge" card.

  5. I can't tell you how inspiring your art work is! I'm SO afraid of "backgrounds". Thanks so much for breaking down the steps. I'm going to get brave and try this one of these days. Thanks for sharing!!!

  6. Beautiful, Marge. Great tips on torn paper, too! Thanks!

  7. Fabulous job, Marge! I love this!

  8. Wow, Marge! This is gorgeous!!!!