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I am back this week to share with you the inside of last week’s card blog post.

As I stated last week, a family member had reached the “Big 7-0 Birthday” and I wanted to create a special card that reflected and honored him. He is a retired sheriff (front of card) and an avid fisherman (inside of card). This card was split into two blogs to cut down on it’s length. For those who are just joining this adventure, you will find a link at the end of the post for Part One. So let’s jump right in and get started.


(Products highlighted in teal are active links to the shop.)

I stamped multiple images, from the Bill The Bear Stamp Set, onto Tim Holtz Watercolor Cardstock, using Ranger Black Archival Ink. There are so many fun pieces in this set…I wanted to use them all! When I don’t know where to start I find it easiest to stamp and watercolor multiple images and then figure out the layout. Leftover pieces can always be used on another card. All the images were watercolored using Distress Inks and a DaVinci Cosmotop Spin watercolor brush. They were die cut, using the coordinating Bill The Bear Die Set, and my favorite Purple Tape. I am so thankful for the dies. I would not have wanted to fussy cut all those pieces!!

I watercolored Bill…the bear…using Scattered Straw, Fossilized Amber, Wild Honey, Vintage Photo, Brushed Corduroy, and Walnut Stain Distress Inks. I used a Black Sakura Gel Pen to fill in and enlarge his eyes and nose. In later pictures you can see where I went back in and gave him a mouth as well. A White Sakura Gel Pen added a little twinkle to his eyes.

I laid the pieces out on an A2 card panel to start setting up the scene. I needed to figure out how to incorporate more pieces onto the card front. While I was contemplating the layout, I cut out the “70” from a scrap of cardstock, using the Bee Bold Numeric Die Set. I stamped the plaid pattern, from the Bitty Patterns Stamp Set, with Peeled Paint Distress Ink.  I went over it lightly, with a Tim Holtz Distress Brush and Bundled Sage Distress Ink, for a two tone plaid.

After two days of pushing the pieces around on my desk I remembered shadow box cards. They aren’t new, but Jennifer McGuire has several videos featuring them and has brought them back into the spotlight! You can check them out here and here.

To make a shadow box card foundation:

1. Cut an 8.5” X 11” piece of #110 Neenah cardstock in half, leaving you with two 8.5” X 5.5” pieces.
2. Score and fold one piece at 4.25”
3. Cut off a .5” from one side. (top pic, right side)
4. Score and fold the second piece at .5”, 4.25”, and 4.75”
5. Cut a sliver off on the side with the first fold (looking at the pic, the bottom left)
6. Create a window using any shape die. I used a large rectangle.

I cut a small scrap of cardstock using the Cloud Borders Die Set. The top piece became my clouds and sky using Tumbled Glass Distress Ink and a Distress Brush. The bottom piece became water using Salty Ocean Distress Ink.

I attached the sky to the inside of the box panel. I roughly added some greens and browns to the bottom front of the panel. Most of this will be covered with the water and die cut images.

Open the box up to create the inside background. I lightly blended on some green and brown Distress Ink colors with a Distress Brush. Again, I really didn’t worry about it too much. Most of it will get covered. My goal was to get rid of the white and give a hint of a background.

To assemble the card:

1. Lay some strong adhesive along the back of the card. I used 1/4” Scor Tape. This would be the piece that you had cut .5” off the edge. (see earlier pic – top piece, right side.)
2. Lay the background piece on top. Line up inside fold line.
3. Fold piece flat. Add more Scor Tape along edge.

At this point I added the water to the bottom front edge. I also added the tree stump and tackle box to the inside. I realized that it needed something more, so I grabbed some random Copic markers and scribbled in some trees and shrubs along the horizon.

4. While holding the box frame flat, close the front of the card.
5. You can see (bottom right pic) that this now forms a shadow box inside your card.

I added the cattails, fronds, and mushrooms to the sides and positioned the Bear. He is secure because he is attached on the bottom, behind his arm on the left side, at the fishing pole on the top, and with the “0” on the right side. I find it easiest to use wet glue. It gives you more time to wiggle things into position. I added some ripple lines around the fish with a blue Copic marker.

Several thoughts about this card:

1. I thought that I would gain more real estate in making this card, giving me more room for all those small images. I actually ended up with less. You lose a half inch on each side. What you gain is much more depth, without having to add dimensional tape. The card still lays relatively flat when folded shut and will mail easily.

2. There is a lot going on in this card…don’t let it overwhelm you. This stamp set is amazing and offers many choices for card making and scrapbooking. I know that I will use it many times on future cards, but on a much smaller scale. I could have created 3-4 regular cards with all of these images! I call complex cards like this “One and Done.” (LOL) Choose the parts of this card that work for you.

3. Consider the TRASH FACTOR when making a card like this. This is something that Kathy Racoosin (30 Day Coloring Challenge) often reminds us of. Will the recipient look at it, thank you, then throw it in the trash…or will it be treasured and saved? I know that this will be proudly displayed on a bookshelf, along with the other special cards that I have made for him.

If you want to see how the card front was created click here or on the picture below.

As always, thank you for sharing a bit of your time with me today on another creative journey. You can find me on Instagram at jadanchik or on my blog at jadanchik.com.

Joyfully, Jo Ann

Supplies used:
The additional products used are listed below for your convenience:


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One response to “Creative Sundays With Jo Ann: Birthday Bear – Part Two”

  1. renee milner says:

    What a fun card with so many great details!