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DIE-namite Thank you card

More DIE-namic cards are here "March-ing" along! We're celebrating the fact that Close to My Heart has a fab sale on their Thin Cuts dies during the month of march. Thin Cuts are usually priced reasonably normally, so having a sale on them in addition is amazing!

This Thank you card is cute and uses one of the most overlooked thin cuts - I really like the leaf die - and it's only $7.45 (CTMH has Thin cuts on sale for 25% off for the month of March or until supplies last).

The leaf thin cut is really versatile - I used it on some autumn themed cards last fall, and this morning I was checking out our yard and noticing all the new leaves and it clicked that you could use it for spring, too!

Whenever you are using water for an effect on a card, it's better to use watercolor paper instead of regular paper. So for this card, I used Willow and Sweet Leaf inks to "watercolor" - first I taped down the paper (which is cut larger than I need it to be) to the craft mat with some old washi tape, then I used a water mister to wet the paper down.

I used my ink pads and pressed them upside down on the top of the craft mat, then I did a small mist of water again, and used the water brush to pick up some of the lighter color first. I used the waterbrush and spread the lighter Sweet Leaf color over the top of the card and down the left side of it. I wanted a nice splash of color for the base of the second color, and this technique is great if you want the watercolor look without having to be too picky about how it looks. So I took a little break and let the color air dry for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then I came back to add in the Willow color.

The thing is remember when you are doing this technique - or really any technique where you are using ink and water - is that the color will always concentrate on the edge of pool of water. I knew I wanted a bunch of different overlapping splotches, so I used my craft heat gun to quickly dry the pools of water. Anything that pooled in a bigger pool, I just chased around the paper with the heat gun and it would eventually heat the rest of the paper and dry the edge.

I was aiming for my green splotch to look like a hedgerow or bushes or something like that, so the more layers the better and the more splotches the best. Eventually I got it to where I liked it, and then I let the page dry for about 5 minutes and untaped it from the craft mat and took out my die cutting machine.

I always use washi tape to secure the die in place especially if it's for a card where the placement is important. I've got a magnetic base for my cuttlebug so normally I can just place the die down, but watercolor paper is a little thicker and after you've worked hard on getting the look, it's better to just tape it so you know the die won't move when you put the plate down on it.

Next I pulled out the outside piece of the watercolored paper and since I knew that I was going to do the Jennifer McGuire inlay method, so I set that aside to use on another card, and cut a scrap piece of paper. I pressed it into the versamark ink pad and embossed it. First I embossed it in gold, and then to make the embossing look smooth, I embossed it a second time. That makes it look pretty neat, but when I compared the gold to the green for the card, I thought that black would really stand out nicely, any color really would work, but since I was using a black polka-dot frame, I knew that I wanted to use black embossing powder instead. Although gold looks really nice, too. :)

The "Thanks" sentiment is an older thin cut that sadly isn't on sale - it's out of stock, but it was a great purchase! I got a ton of 2" glitter tape and I cut the sentiment out of that and just peeled the backing off and stuck it on the card.

So then it was just a matter of cutting down the black polka dot paper to 4.25" x 5.5" (the size of an A2 card), trimming down the watercolor paper to just around the edges of the watercolor, gluing that down to the polka-dot page, peeling the backing off of the leaf outline and sticking it in the hole, and then peeling the backs off of the tiny little inserts that go in. There are so many tiny pieces, I was really glad I washi taped the back because the pieces tend to go all over if you aren't careful.

This card looks simple, but I couldn't believe it took as long as it did to make - but it was fun and it's a perfect card for the recipient! I hope you picked up a couple of great tips!

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