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Fall Foliage on Cards!

In many parts of the world nature transforms in the fall and the colors are absolutely stunning! As the foliage turns from green to vibrant golds and oranges and rich reds, the views are simply breathtaking. This issue is inspired by the beauty of this season that we call fall or autumn. In this issue of CardMaker update we will explore the use of foliage on cards to create some beautiful effects. So let's get started!

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Projects by Sharon M. Reinhart

Fall-foliage cards are wonderful for most occasions but work very well for use in "thinking of you" and sympathy cards and for a slightly more masculine feel on any sort of card. We often adorn our cards with flowers as the focal point, but the leaves and stems or branches take second place. Let's try putting foliage in first place to create some wonderful cards!

There are a variety of ways to create foliage effects on your cards. Below is a small sampling:

  • Punches
  • Die templates
  • Embossing folders
  • Stamps
  • Artificial flowers
  • Real leaf prints
  • Printed papers

Color is obviously a key point when designing this style of card. If you wish to stay true to nature, choose papers in green, gold, orange, red, burgundy and brown tones. Take your cue from Mother Nature herself. That's not to say that you can't get really creative and work with other colors -- go for it!

One of the quickest and easiest methods of creating foliage effects is to use printed papers. Project 1 makes use of some beautiful washi paper to create a background of gilded foliage. A few layers, a simple die-cut sentiment and tree image are the finishing touches.

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Project 1

Punches and die templates are also quick and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and designs. Project 2 makes use of die templates in order to create this wonderful bouquet of leaves and berry stems. Staying true to fall colors, the delicate leaf stems have been cut from pearlized gold, brown and wine cardstocks. The delicate berry stems are a wonderful addition. If you wish to add a bit of sparkle, apply wide double-sided adhesive tape such as Sookwang tape (often found as Scor-Tape and Be Creative tape) to the cardstock prior to cutting. Once the tape is cut, remove the liner and apply glitter, burnishing the glitter with your finger in a circular motion. Another option to dress up the die-cut piece is to accent with metallic or glitter pens such as the Zig Wink of Stella pen -- one of my favorites. Or pull out those thermal embossing powders and give your foliage some color and accents.

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Project 2

Embossing folders are one more way to adorn your cards with foliage. Project 2 is a great example of this. The card front has been pressure embossed using a leaf embossing folder. Try embossing only a portion of the card front to create a different effect. A popular technique with embossing folders is to apply ink to the folder and then place the cardstock into the folder and run through a die-cutting system. This creates a whole different effect by applying not only an embossed design but also a colored one. Or create a gilded effect by inking the folder with embossing ink, pressure embossing the cardstock, and then immediately applying metallic embossing powder to the cardstock and heating with a heat tool in order to complete thermal embossing.

While we are on the topic of embossing, you may wish to use those same die templates to pressure-emboss the design onto the card front instead of cutting by using an embossing mat. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your specific system. Or emboss some solid die-cut leaves to create a beautiful texture on the leaf.

Our final project, but definitely not the end of all the possibilities, is Project 3. Rubber stamps and chalk ink, have been used to create this colorful card. The leaf image has been stamped multiple times onto glossy white cardstock with several fall colors of ink to create a beautiful background of fall foliage. Don't forget to wash your stamp between the applications of the different inks! The finishing accents are some ribbon, a die-cut sentiment and a floral stem.

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Project 3

Another effect similar to this is to use real leaves to create leaf prints. It's the perfect time of year to gather some leaves. Apply ink to the leaf using a sponge, and then press the inked leaf onto the cardstock. Sometimes, more texture is created by inking the back of the leaf where the veins are more prominent. Voila! It's as simple as that. Leaves can be used as masks as well. Arrange them on cardstock and then spray with color sprays; let dry and then remove the leaves. Color sprays also work beautifully with stencils.

As you can see, the sky is the limit when creating the look of fall foliage. I hope you will give it a try and be inspired to add some of the beauty of autumn to your cards!