Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Card Gone Haiku

Good friends recently had me over for a delightful dinner, and I thought I would make a seasonal card to thank them.  As their home overlooks a beautiful lake, and the surrounding forest glowed with rich autumnal colors all round, some leaves I had made last year from this Tim Holtz die and matching embossing folder came to mind.

I came across this great tutorial from Tammy Tutterow while noodling around the web for ideas for my background..... and as I happened to have the Ranger Specialty paper, the requisite stains, and even the right stamp, off I went, with the PaperArtsy Triptych challenge in mind, thinking I would make a vertical triptych.

As Tammy explains, specialty paper is coated, so holds up a bit more to wet media.... it is also great for highly detailed stamping, though that is not what I am doing here!

I started by cutting tags out of the Specialty paper, using this Bigz large tag die, which cuts a larger tag than the Tim Holtz Tag and Bookplate die.  This was a great idea to accommodate my leaves, but what was I thinking that this would be a card?!

Well, let's just say I forgot about that in the heat of design fever.... but actually, it is because I don't know how to make cards!

But to get back to this step out..... I followed Tammy's instructions by dabbing my tags with generous amounts of Antique Linen Distress Stain (after first cutting off the hole).

 I dried these with my heat tool, knowing they would continue to react with water (as only Distress Paints do not react with water once dry).

I then applied Walnut Stain (again as a Distress Stain).  I did not want the grey color Tammy created for this particular background, so used a darker color.

Once again, I dried it, spritzed with some water and dried again.  And, meh.  Like it, don't love it.

So, I applied Ground Expresso Distress Stain and some spritzed water.... I got a bit generous with the water, actually.

Again, I dried with the heat tool, and dabbed with my towel.... and here is the result.

Not exactly without I was expecting, but looking a lot like stone (as one would find in the forests around here).  So I let go of the wood grain stamping idea, and embraced the concept of stone...still keeping the vertical triptych motif in my mind.

Here are some closeups that I hope convey why I was thinking about stone.

I distressed each edge with Faded Jeans Distress Ink, which further enhanced the stone look - it appears almost opaline when you see it in person.

Ok, now to the actual triptych.... I arranged the panels vertically, per my initial thought.  I had planned to make this a double-sided piece, with some sort of strong connector in-between the panels.  The only product I had was some lovely hemp string in gorgeous stone colors, but it looked so puny against all of this that I immediately abandoned that idea!

Alas, I had no good ideas for a replacement - and thus I have been muddling for the past 4 days about how to put this triptych together.  I auditioned some absolutely gorgeous Sari remnants - but they proved to be too "stringy" - lots of loose threads I did not want.  I thought about connecting the panels with some eyelets and rings....but that also seemed anemic against the dynamic stone and leaves.

While "cleaning" my art space this evening, I came across some fabulous mulberry paper.... although not stone-like - it nonetheless spoke to me when I put my triptych backgrounds against it.

And then I saw how the leaves could tumble down....

and this put me in mind of Haiku poetry, which contains three lines, each with a certain short rhythm.  I don't mimic the rhythm here, but I do think my panels suggest the evocative nature of Haiku. And as one of my dinner hosts is a poet, it seemed even more fitting (despite the fact that this little "card" was no longer that!)

The last puzzle piece was how to hang this sucker, which is now rather long.  Thinking of leaves, I went outside this evening to look for branches from my lovely Birch tree, which is quite messy this time of year because it discards branches willy-nilly.

And here is the final make - I made a little sleeve out of the same mulberry paper to enclose the branch. And in doing so, I greatly increased the width of the piece.... and it is obviously no longer a card.  But I like it nonetheless.  I've emailed my friends the image of their "card" and promised a physical replacement soon!

Thank you so much for stopping by, and for making it through this marathon post (and absolutely ok if you skipped along through the pictures, or even just peeked at the end!)

I am entering this into the current Paper Artsy Triptych challenge, as well as the "Topsy-Turvy" challenge at Our Creative Corner.  If you've time, please do leave a comment - I love hearing from you!!

xx Lynn


  1. Gorgeous autumn project Lynn! I love watching your process, it's like being a fly on the wall of your craft room. The leaves turned out fabulous, what vibrant colours and they just pop on that background! hugs :)

  2. So beautiful, Lynn - it really does have the simplicity and elegance of a haiku, and like that compressed form it packs a huge punch in terms of emotional power. Wonderful!
    Alison xx

  3. Its beautiful! Love everything about it. The tags really look like stone and work wondefully with the leaves cascading down. Just love it.

  4. What a stunning entry to the PaperArtsy Challenge Lynn! You certainly found the perfect background for your three pieces of 'rock' with the gently falling leaves which, by the way, are stunning in themselves.

    Lesley Xx

  5. Lynn, This is incredibly beautiful and definitely speaks of nature, the falling of the leaves and the beautiful cardstock you prepared which certainly mimics the appearance of gorgeous stone, worn by time. The mulberry paper almost looks like a fabric panel.
    Thank you so much for your visit, greatly appreciated.

  6. I can only think of one word to describe this - Exquisite! I wish I could create a haiku to express how its beauty speaks to me too. Fabulous evocation of nature's beauty. xx

  7. I can see the stone... and yes totally right to go with it rather than fight against the flow! Been there, done that and threw away the result. But your project ends up beautiful all the way, from the stony background and gorgeous colourful leaves to the mulberry backing. Love the unfussy look too.

  8. Haha! Loved reading this post. The best laid plans and all. You sure made use of what you had and designed a stunning piece, better than a card. I am with you on that one-cards are hard for me! Your leaves are gorgeous and the stone background is awesome sauce! So clever and earthy. :) Hugz. ~Niki

  9. Love this, I am a sucker for things on twigs... and wow the colour of the leaves just pops.

  10. What a beautiful journey I made with you here! I love how your card turned in a new creation, and what a fantastic texture leaves! Thanks for joining us at Our Creative Corner!

  11. Lynn, I loved walking through your process with seems we create in a similar fashion, letting our project go where it takes us. I call that creativity! You had me at your background papers! they are stunning, and the perfect color for your vibrant leaves! This is just one amazingly beautiful project, and I'm having to go back to it over and over again, to take in it's beauty! What a lovely nod to nature! Well done! Hugs!

  12. Incredibly beautiful work Lynn - the paint technique on the backgrounds is stunning on it's own, and I love the tranquility and style of the finished piece - such amazing work - I love it!

  13. Absolutely stunning Lynn. The smokey blues background and those pops of fall leaves makes for an unusual and gorgeous triptych. Amazing! Ruth xx

  14. So pretty, Lynn! I feel like those Autumn leaves, swirling topsy turvy with the cool Fall air! Such a delicate piece--your friends are going to love this!! Thank you so much for bringing this stunning creation to our Topsy Turvy challenge this month at Our Creative Corner! XOXO-Shari OCC DT


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