Peony Bloom Stackable Dies
By Dave Brethauer

Hello everyone and welcome! I am sharing a video today that features the Peony Bloom Stackable Dies – this set is so versatile and the layers create a beautiful three dimensional effect.

I am showing a basic card using different shades and textures of cardstock – and then taking it to the next level in the video by using Peerless Watercolors to shade each layer and create a completely different look. You’ll love the results!

(To watch the video in HD click here)

There are three layers in the Peony Bloom Set – Layers A,B and C – and they are designed to work together. When I was working with them, I liked to use the lightest shade of paper on Layer A (this is the top layer) and then work my way towards darker shades as the layers went down.

Here is a look at Layer A by itself – this could be used on its own to make a striking card. Just add a sentiment and it is ready to go!

And here is what the layers look like when used together! I used three shades of pink and three shades of green cardstock to make this look – and I really wanted to use texture on the card so that there was a lot to look at visually. Positioning the leaves is fun  -it seems like there isn’t a bad place to put them!

The layers create a raised appearance that is quite striking – very sculptural and it makes you want to run your fingers over it. I loved the pink and green together, but I wanted to try another color combination in a more subdued palette.

This stunning combination of greens and browns gives the card a completely different feel! I used lots of texture again – for a rich look. Notice that the lighter colors are on top and then it gets deeper towards the bottom – you might try the opposite. There are no rules here!

I love how the shapes overlap so well – here are some dramatic close-ups of the blooms. The way the light catches the cutouts and adds extra shadow makes it look even better!

Oh, did I mention how versatile these are? You don’t have to keep the flowers in the frame! Just assemble the layers, cut the peony blooms off of the frame and they can be used to embellish a card on their own!

Here I placed the blooms onto some notecards and stamped some phrases from the Make A Statement Clear Stamp Set. I just used my MISTI to stamp and emboss the phrases with some white embossing powder – and then tucked those beautiful blooms into the corners!

Here’s a plain version where I stamped directly onto the paper…

…and here is an updated version where I embossed the sentiment separately and then die cut it with the matching Make A Statement die set. I like both – but that extra pop you get by cutting out the words with the die set is probably my favorite!

I stuck to the original pink and green color scheme and then just arranged the leaves so that they would border the card and leave plenty of space for the sentiment.

I tried a simpler idea too – no leaves and just some gentle sponging with Distress Oxide Ink in Worn Lipstick and Peeled Paint. The sponged ink makes the white “hello” stand out and I used black dye ink for the “sending a happy”. This was pretty quick and I am going to give a set of these to a friend for a gift!

I had so much fun looking at the cards when I was done – and then got to thinking that it would be really cool if I could get shading on the petals. So I die cut the layers using 140 lb. hot press watercolor paper and got out my Peerless Watercolors and got to painting!

I painted the bottom layer and top layer as evenly as possible (check out the video for some tips on how to do this) and then concentrated my shading on the middle layer. The Peerless Watercolors have 40 colors in the pack, so I had plenty of shades to work from. The colors I used for the bloom were:

Layer A Chrome Yellow

Layer B Chrome Orange

Layer C Scarlet Vermillion

I wanted the color scheme to be really intense – so I painted several layers of color to really build up the bottom shades.

You can see how the middle color changes on the petals from light to dark, enhancing the dimensional quality of the layers. It was so wonderful watching the flower come to life!

For the leaves, the colors I used were:

Chrome Yellow

Grass Green

Chrome Green

I loved how it turned out, but then couldn’t wait to try a pastel version!

So I used the following colors of watercolor to create something softer looking:


Alizarine Red


Leaves and Background

Myrtle Green

Hunter Green

The main tip here is to use lots of water!

For Layer C (the bottom layer) I used lots of water and just a little Alizarine Red – this gave me a nice pink base to wrk with.

Then when I painted Layer B, I used lots of water and just a little Alizarine Red – and then I barely added some amethyst along the edges of the petals. I wasn’t too careful when adding them – I wanted there to be light areas and dark areas, just like you might see in the folds of the petal.

Layer A was just plain – no paint added at all so that there is a nice bright outline on top!

I painted the background with a soft wash of green – and then when it was dry I simply splattered it with some of the green paint.

I think you’ll love both techniques – if you decide to use cardstock the project will go quickly (the hardest part will be deciding what colors of cardstock to try!). Watercolor takes some time but it is really worth it – you’ll want to frame your creation when you are done!

Hope you enjoyed the techniques!




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