This was the first card that the South Burlington stamp club created earlier this month. I hadn’t yet shown them the true wonder of the Blending Brushes that Stampin’ Up! offers, and I decided it was about danged time that I addressed that gap! For my card sample I created a Retirement card, but all of the club members decided to go with a birthday card instead. The great thing is that the sentiments in this set accommodate both! I was bummed that one of our distant members couldn’t join us because I was thinking of her when I designed the card. Not because she’s retiring, but because she has moved to South Carolina and she visits the local beaches all the time, and shares pictures of the palm trees and the sunsets.

I am in love with the Blending Brushes and I’m so glad that we have them. I find that I can create a wonderful shaded background with these brushes so much better than I could with the sponge daubers. It’s still possible to put down too much ink in one spot when you first put the brush down, but with some pre-rubbing on scrap paper it is easy to avoid that problem. And the shading and blending that you get as colors transition into each other is absolutely stunning. I definitely find it is best to apply a little color with several rounds of ink, pre-rub and then apply to the art piece. It’s always easy to add more ink to darken an area, but it’s impossible to remove ink once you’ve been too heavy-handed. For this card we used some big Post-It notes to mask the side so we could apply ink in a vertical section and have clean lines. I wanted to give the impression of a beach-y sunset with the blended colors, and I really like how this card turned out.

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