Before this week draws to a close, we will have ushered in the official start of spring. A new season looms and its presence is inspiring many of us in myriad ways.
Winter is still holding on for dear life here in our woodland corner of British Columbia, but even with the lingering mountains of snow and nights that dip below freezing, it is nearly impossible not to sense spring’s return and to beam like the very sun itself over that fact.
The first two months of 2020 were heavy ones for our household and family. So much so, that in some respects, it feels like we’ve lived two years since the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve and the first year of the new decade sprang into being.
Amongst the thorns and uncertainties, challenges and obstacles of life, there have been numerous positives too, however, and I am wholeheartedly grateful for each of them.
Spring began to gently stir back around Imbolc and while it has yet to awake fully yet here, I know that we’re not too far away from that point.
As much as I adore the darker half of the year that houses fall and winter, I’m quick to usher in springtime all the same – even if it often feels as though it only lasts for about 5.74 seconds here in Canada. 😃
This year, I’m getting a head start on my seasonal paper crafting projects and am delighted to share the first one of 2020 here with you today.
Shabby chic Be Amazing Springtime bird’s nest card
In for a penny, in for a pound, I’m keen on saying and that motto often applies with my seasonal paper crafting projects.
Once the creative springtime ball got rolling, there was no stopping me with this card. Flowers, leaves, whimsical little toadstools, butterfly ephemera pieces, soft hues paired with earthy kraft brown, tiny birds, and the piece de resistance (to my mind at least), the die cut bird’s nest.
I had the upcoming sabbat of Ostara in mind as I was creating this card, but did not include direct mention of either it or Easter, as I wanted this to be a card that I could send to a wide number of possible recipients (not all of whom observe one or both of those special days).
Yet by the same token, this design is 100% suitable for either occasion and the sentiment I stamp or write inside can easily be tailored to suit Ostara or Easter.
There’s nothing to say this card couldn’t be used for Beltane, too – especially if you live in a part of the world where spring doesn’t tend to appear in full force until around the start of May.
Or, perhaps with a different sentiment on the front, for Mother’s Day as well. (Adjust the colours if needed to reflect your mom or grandma’s personal favourites.)
Stop and smell the roses while you craft
Fun fact, like most of the cards I make, this one took several hours to complete. I am a methodical crafter and will often spread the creation of a single project out over the course of multiple days (especially since it isn’t always feasible for me to craft for extended periods of time in one go).
I delight in the process. In mixing and matching possible products to include, in how I arrange the end results, in seeing something tangible materialize before my eyes.
This card was no exception and while it was completed in a single day (a rarity, I assure you!), the journey from bringing my (plastic) bone folder down on the kraft cardstock base to the very last embellishment was a soothing, wonderful pleasure.
There is no right or wrong speed to craft at, of course. Some people seem to have an almost superhuman ability to create multiple detailed projects in a single day, others, like myself, work at a slower pace and may spread their work out across multiple crafting sessions. Plenty fall squarely in the middle.
Whatever speed or pace you tend to craft at, I encourage you to actively remember to savour the act of creating. Try to ensure that crafting continues to feel like you’re making artwork (which you are!), not simply working at breakneck speed on one project before plowing straight on to the next without taking time to delight in the creative process and the end result that you’ve spun into being with your own hands.
With spring’s return looming in the Western Hemisphere, now seems like an especially apt time to stop and smell the roses as we delve into a new season of crafting and enjoying the fabulous passion that is paper crafting.
Putting this beautiful springtime card together
A base of classic kraft cardstock – a perineal favourite of many a paper crafter the world over – kicked things off for this card.
Next, I layered a piece of cream/ivory cardstock slightly smaller than the size of the kraft base atop the base itself. This was followed by, once again, a slightly smaller layer. In this instance, a piece of cheerful green and cream polka dot print paper.
I then cut three equal-sized elongated rectangles of the same kraft cardstock that I used for my base (note that the third rectangle is largely obscured by the embellishment on the left-hand side of this card), each of which I topped with equal-sized rectangles of a sweet, springtime perfect floral print paper. The edges of both layers were lightly inked to help them stand out all the more.
Next, I cut another (longer) strip of kraft cardstock, which I inked the edges of and topped with a piece of the same green and cream polka dot paper that I used before. Before attaching this strip, I dug through my stash for some pretty pink trim, which I tucked beneath this horizontal strip.
With what I like to call my “base components” in place, I set to work die cutting up a storm, selecting premade die cut ephemera pieces, choosing embellishments, and arranging the layout of my final design.
The nest/wreath was cut from the same cream cardstock that I used for the second base layer and is comprised of two layers of the same die cut, to give greater depth to the bare branches that comprise its classic shape.
While similar in tone, I did not repeat the same kraft cardstock again the branches or leaves, opting instead for a very pale milk chocolate tone coupled with some branches cut from a dark brown woodgrain print paper.
For the die cut leaves and some of the vines, I used both a medium green cardstock that teeters on olive and a tone-on-tone green print paper.
As soon as I settled on the use of a wreath meets nest component for this card, I knew that birds were going to be involved. Two cute little avian friends appear here, both die cut from the same kraft cardstock and lightly inked just on the edges to add subtle depth and to make them stand out a bit more from their surroundings.
In the center of the nest/wreath area, I placed a simple die cut circle of the same floral print paper that I used on the three background strips.
I then placed these components on a piece of woodgrain paper (the same one that I used for some of the die cut branches) that I die cut a mini hole circle from.
After all of my manual die cutting was complete, I created a bow from olive green seam binding, selected the pre-made die cut shapes I’d be using, plucked some lovely little white dimensional flowers from my stash, determined what I’d be using for my sentiment here, added some super cute teal and white faux toadstools along with some pale pink faceted bling, and that was that! 😊
While this card may, at first glance, look a bit fiddly or difficult to make, IMO, it really isn’t. Plus, so much of the fun of designs like lies in building up the layers and playing around with the arrangement of your design elements until you hit on a winning composition.
Card making tips and ideas from this project
-Layer or otherwise combined two (or more) of the same die cut shape in both a light and a darker tone to help give a greater sense of dimension as well as a potential sense of shadows.
-Base your cardstock colour choices off of the colours in the patterned papers that you plan to use (or vice versa) for added cohesiveness throughout your finished project.
-Use dies that are intended to be wreathes to make nests and vice versa. This die was designed to be a wreath, but it works like a charm as a nest, too (you could also cut more layers and curve them upwards on the edges to add to the sense of the dimensional quality of most real life nests).
–Not everything has to match perfectly, just stick with similar tonal ranges and colour families, striving for a general sense of harmony throughout each of the colours used on your projects.
-While I was fortunate to have some olive green seam binding to hand, it’s worth keeping in mind that seam binding, twill tape, and certain other kinds of trims and ribbons can often be dyed with various mediums such as spray inks or ink pads to match or coordinate with the colours of your projects. Just make sure they’re dry as a bone before using them on your makes.
-Going “off card”, especially with foliage related elements, is a stellar way to not only increase the overall size of your project, but to help create a more dynamic and visually appealing design.
-As upbeat and springtime-y as many of the colours that I used here are, we’re currently in the early throes of the season and so I wanted to ground a more Ostara/Easter appropriate palette with earth tones. This was chiefly accomplished via the cream, olive green, and browns.
If this was a summertime card, I might have opted for brighter or starker colours, such as white, aqua, yellow, or larger swaths of upbeat shades of blue.
Come fall time, this same design could be gorgeous with rusty oranges, dusty peach or rose, teal blue or forest green, and a dark brown cardstock base.
And for winter, shades of icy blue, white, grey and silver would no doubt turn heads!
-If you didn’t want to use birds here, you could make opt for any number of other critters instead from bunnies (perfect for both Ostara and Easter) to ladybugs – or simply forego animals/insects altogether.
–Use dies to create shapes or designs other than what they’re intended for. Here a wreath die helps to create a nest, but that is just one of an endless number of examples of when a die could do double (or triple, etc) duty in terms of the shapes and images it may be able to help you create.
-Blend nature themed and vintage inspired pieces together. The pair is a winning combo that has strong visual appeal and which helps each of these different components to highlight and enhance the presence of the other.
–Opt for uneven numbers of embellishments for greater visual interest. In this instance, I used five white flowers, three teal mushrooms, and two kraft birds partnered with a single nest. These elements themselves then become an uneven number of three groups of standout embellishments.
-Don’t be afraid to arrange your design elements – including your sentiment – at an angle. Doing so is often eye-catching, engaging, and one of those awesome paper crafting tricks that can help take your makes to the next level.
Products to help you recreate this Be Amazing Springtime bird’s nest card
-Kraft, cream, green, and light brown cardstock
-White and blue floral print paper and green + cream polka dot print paper – both are from the Garden Party 12×12 inch pad from Pebbles (6×6 inch version available here)
-Dark brown wood print paper and green tone-on-tone patterned paper – both are from the Cider Woods 6×6 inch Mat Stack from DCWV
-Various small leaf and branch dies (included in the ones I used here are the Tim Holtz Alterations Small Tattered Florals Thinlits Dies from Sizzix)
-Circle die or punch
-Teal and brown ink – Tsukineko Memento Dew Drop Ink in Peanut Brittle and Teal Zeal
-Assorted vintage style ephemera die cuts – Simple Vintage Botanical Die Cut Ephemera from Simple Stories
-Small white paper or cream paper flowers (premade or store-bought; foam flowers can be used as well)
-Teal or other coloured miniature toadstools (check hobby shops, eBay, Etsy, craft stores, and shops that specialize in dollhouse supplies to find these kinds of tiny ‘shrooms)
-Pink trim – Lost and Found Christmas trims from My Mind’s Eye
-Olive green seam binding – Lost and Found Christmas trims from My Mind’s Eye
-Springtime sentiment sticker – Spring Fling Element Stickers from Echo Park
-Light pink stick-on gem embellishments – Pretty Pale Say It In Crystals from Prima
-Dimensional foam, pop dots, or similar to elevate some of your layers
-Adhesive, such as a tape runner, of your choice (I often use my Scotch Tape Glider)
Here’s to an amazing spring!
As rocky and curveball filled as the first couple months of this year have been on certain fronts, I’m sincerely grateful for each moment they housed and am really looking forward to everything that I sense spring holds in store for us.
I generally celebrate Ostara on the Spring Equinox (which, for those north of the equator, falls on March 19th this year,) with the season of this sabbat extending for multiple days on both sides of that beautiful date.
Gradually, much like the returning season itself, elements of Ostara are weaving their way into my life, my witchy workings, and my paper crafting alike, so be sure to stay tuned here for more festive springtime makes between now and the Summer Solstice.
With all my heart, I hope that spring is a time of warmth, renewal, abundance, optimism, positive happenings, fresh starts and beloved longstanding favourites alike for each of us.
And, may it bring all of my fellow paper crafters and creative folks of kinds ample time to create a garden’s worth of exciting new projects!
Pin the image below – or any other in this post – to Pinterest, pop it into your Instagram Stories, post in on Twitter or Facebook, or share it anywhere else you wish to help yourself find it again and to inspire others at the same time.
If you make a project based on or inspired by this card – or want to share any of your other handmade crafts with me – please use the hashtags #WitchcraftedLife and #WitchcraftedLifeMakes on social media so that I see can your beautiful creations.
Wow! I really admire the way you have put this card together. I SO want to be able to do layers but I just can’t seem to make them look good. This is so fun with so many different things to catch the eye. The mushrooms are amazing! My friend and I were talking just this morning about how even a CAS card can take us all day so I can see how this might take several! Hugs!
You are tremendously kind, dear Angie. Thank you very much for your blush-inducingly sweet comment.
Absolutely! I know that there are some paper crafters that can produce work at near superhuman speeds, but I am definitely not one of those folks and I doubt that all that many of us are. It can be such a fabulous joy to spend multiple hours, or even days, on a single project. We are, after all, creating art, and should savour and really enjoy the artistic process whenever possible and applicable to a given project.
I really appreciate your visit and compliments. May you have a sunny, safe (during these globally uncertain times), and joy filled start of spring!
This is a wonderful card. I love all the layers and it certainly captures the hope of Spring. With the threat of Covid 19 around every corner it seems, many of my past times are on the naughty list.
I am enjoying gardening again, contemplating growing some veggies and herbs and hunkering down with some crafting forays.
What part of BC are you in. I currently live in Langley, but have lived in the Kottenays and in the Okanagan at various stages of my life!
Hi Maureen, thank you very much for your beautifully kind compliments and for sharing that you’re a fellow BC dwelling crafter. That’s awesome! 🙌🏻
While I’ve lived in a good many places throughout the province (and further afield, too) throughout my lifetime, my husband and I have been calling charming little Armstrong home for just over two years now.
I know Langley and the Coast in general well, having been born a stone’s throw from Vancouver and then raised in the Lower Mainland until shortly before my 9th birthday. While very few of my relatives still live down that way, each visit to the Coast always feels rather like “coming home” to me and I delight in getting down that way whenever possible.
How fantastic that you’ve lived both in the Okanagan and Kootenays as well! I’ve not (yet?) lived in the latter, but it is another part of the province I delight in visiting and really hope to get back to again in the coming years.
May you be safe, healthy, well and able to enjoy ample crafting time during these truly difficult and uncertain days.
Thank you again for your visit. It’s a pleasure to “meet” and chat with you! 😃
This is gorgeous, lots of lovely details – I love all of the super layers and pretty spring colours, this is such a beautiful card.
Pauline – Crafting with Cotnob
Your comments are always blush-inducingly sweet and supportive (of my work), dear Pauline. Thank you SO MUCH!!! 🙏
I hope that you’re doing as positively as can be given the current global crisis and that this first week of spring is bringing plenty of sunshine and loveliness your way. 🌷
WOW absolutely amazing creation love all the layers and beautiful dies -great idea for the bids nest and I love wonky angles you can tell just by looking how much you have put into making this creation-I say creation because it’s more than just”a card”-love it
Sweet Carol, what an immensely lovely and moving comment. Thank you for brightening my day (week!) with your thoughtful compliments about my card creations. I really can’t begin to fully convey just how much your kindness means to me.
Big hugs & endless wishes for a positive (in spite of everything the world is currently dealing with) springtime coming your way!
This is absolutely gorgeous!! I love every bit of it! I got a real good spring feeling despite the fact that we still have plenty of snow here!!
I love all the beautiful layers, birds nest, the muchrooms, the butterfly – EVERYTHING!!!
Hugs from the artic
What a lovely comment, Mariann. Thank you so much for warming up my week with your sweetness and hugs from the arctic. They are sincerely appreciated and returned to you in kind from the woody wilds of British Columbia, Canada.
May spring reach your area soon, linger well into the year, and bring oodles of seasonal cheer your way. 🌷
I absolutely love the colours in this one, Autumn! The pinks, greens and teals just shout spring. Add polka dots and toadstools – well, total perfection in my books.
We still have a ton of snow on the ground here, and more to come over the next few days. But I’ve definitely noticed I can take off my wool sweater while I’m sitting in a sunny window sewing these days … a sure sign spring is getting closer! 🖤
Thank you very much, lovely Lynne. You’re making me blush more than the springtime pinks used on this card. 😊
While it has been a few days now since the last snowfall here (further flakes had been predicted for the coming week, but as of the last time I checked the forecast, that had been changed to overcast days instead), ample snow remains on the ground – our backyard included.
Subtle signs of the new season are emerging on our end as well, but it will likely be anywhere from 2 – 4+ weeks still before winter takes its last and final bow this time around.
Thank you again, my friend. May you have a serene, beautiful, and extremely safe + healthy spring from start to finish.
This is so adorable! I absolutely love the little blue mushrooms. You are so talented Autumn. I am envious!
And you, lovely Willow, are sweeter than a whole spring’s worth of carrot cakes, berry pies, and chocolate eggs. Thank you very much for your wonderfully kind compliments.
Please don’t be envious, dear heart. I’m certain that you are seriously talented on the crafting front. We have a real tendency to be our own harshest critics (goodness knows I’m often mine!) and to think that most other people’s work is better/prettier/more talented than our own, when such may very not be the case at all (or is so subjective, that quantifying such parameters might border on impossible).
And even, for the sake of argument, if it was, that doesn’t invalidate or take anything away from what we create, how crafting makes us feel, and the originality that we unleash into the universe with each new project.
Thank you again very much. May you have a serene (as much as is realistically possible during these extremely challenging times), lovely first week of spring.
You really have a way with layering and clustering in your card. This is really beautiful. Happy Spring!
What a wonderfully sweet and supportive comment, Heidi. Thank you immensely!
Layers are a perpetual favourite of mine, be it with cards, tags, LOs – you name it! I almost get physically antsy if I try to create a piece with just one or two layers to it, lol! 😄 (But, and I really cannot stress this point enough, often adore and find oodles of inspiration in other peoples’ less layered projects).
Anyhoo, enough about me and my adoration for layers. Thank you again for your lovely compliment, as well as for visiting my blog.
Wishing you as safe, serene and beautiful spring as is realistically possible these days,
What a stunning design! I love all of the wonderful little details of Spring that you’ve captured in this beauty!! Fantastic layers and colors and really loving that bird nest! Thanks for stopping by to say hello! 🙂
You’re blush inducingly kind, Vicki. Thank you so much for your awesomely sweet compliments.
This was one of the most fun papercrafts that I’ve made in a long time. Each layer and embellie I added brought more and more joy my way as I was creating. I have more of these wee ‘shrooms, both on this same colour and in a few others, too, and am already envisioning summer and fall time projects with them. 🍄
You’re very welcome for the visit. It’s my pleasure! Your blog and gorgeous creations are a new discovery for me and what a wonderful one at that! 🥰
Each time I see a new card from you, I think that I love it most and that you could never top it… and then you do. This is fabulous- Ostara, Easter, Spring- I love them all.
This is amazing and the layers are my favorite part! You’re an incredibly talented lady!
😊 😊 😊 Awwww, beautiful Debi, that is one of the absolutely nicest and most heart-touching compliments I have been paid in longer than I can recall.
Thank you tremendously for your sweet, supportive words and for being a fan of my paper crafting projects. I wish I could give you a giant hug and tell you in person just how incredibly much that means to me. 🙏🤗🙏
Truly beautiful, Autumn. Love the colours, and so many details to feast the eye on. Have a lovely day, dear. 🙂
Thank you so much, my dear friend. You’re all kinds of sweet! Aren’t these wee toadstools adorable? I have a few more left in this punchy shade of teal-y turquoise, plus a handful of them in different colours as well. I’m envisioning numerous summer and fall projects where could work a treat as well. 🍄
You are in my thoughts (big time!) and wished a serene, incredibly safe and healthy April around the clock.
Wow! What a breath-taking creation…I could stare for hours and still not be able to take in all the majestic details…This is truly stunning, friend! I love the happy, Spring colors, too!
I swear, your radiant kindness makes me blush, dear Ivana. Thank your for your awesomely kind and supportive comment.
This card was a true delight to make and the process of its creation really helped me to feel spring’s return stirring weeks before many visual signs of such had taken hold outside. I kinda totally want to make a fall version of it now, too! 😊
Huge hugs & an abundance of thanks again,