Masculine Thank You with Wetlands

Here we are, at our 199th sketch at Freshly Made Sketches!  Our fabulous Karren Johnson has the honor of presenting her sketch design this week and I’m pretty sure you’re going to love this one.  I know it’s going in my stash of favorites.

Sometimes when there’s wide-open spaces on a card sketch, I see it as a canvas.  I think it comes from my very early years of drawing and then the later years of painting.  Isn’t that one of the great things about making cards?  You can use all of your favorite crafting skills to make something really special.  I’m still working on replenishing my Man Card stash, so this week is a masculine thank you card using the Wetlands stamp set.


I did something on this card that I’ve never tried before.  I wanted to do a watercolor background, but I still haven’t mastered that yet.  I have a round stiff-bristle paint brush that lives in my desktop storage carousel.  I think I originally bought it for stippling, but it now mainly serves as a brush to get the glitter off of my work space.  For some reason, that brush caught my eye and suddenly I thought of using it to color the background.  Because it’s not flat on the end, not all the bristles touch the surface, so it creates a lot of fine lines.  Hmmm.  Worked out pretty well.  🙂  The best part was that I was able to color the water background (Pool Party) with horizontal lines and the ground and reed portion (Tip Top Taupe) with vertical lines.  It was so easy and I like it way better than my water coloring!


After doing the background and stamping the reeds, I stamped my duck with VersaMark and heat embossed with Early Espresso and then colored him with a blender pen and Tip Top Taupe.  No masking necessary!  Don’t you just love it when things come together?

FMS199 Karren


I hope you were inspired by my card and are ready to go over to Freshly Made Sketches and check out my team members awesome creations.  Use Karren’s fabulous sketch to play along this week and to get for next week’s big party for our 200th Sketch Challenge!


You won’t want to miss this celebration!  We’ve got lots of awesome stamping companies sponsoring us, so if you don’t have a blog, make sure you have a Pinterest or Splitcoast Stampers account ready to go so you can upload your card and link to our challenge!

Happy, happy stamping!


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  1. Vivian

    I just love this set. Beautiful card.

  2. Narelle Farrugia

    Oh look at this fabulous masculine card! I love every detail on it Cindy!

  3. Jen Timko

    What a beautiful idea…and so glad you shared the process to get to this pretty background! Such a lovely card.

  4. Jen Brum

    This is such a gorgeous card Cindy! You are so creative! That paint brush did an amazing job! What an amazing manly card!

  5. KarrenJ

    Your background looks amazing, Cindy! This is one fabulous masculine card! I’ve got one of those round stippling brushes that I bought for stippling many years ago and never used 🙂

  6. Vivian

    Your cards are beautiful. You really inspire me. Thanks for sharing them

  7. Bette S

    How clever to use a brush for the background! I love the results! Thanks for sharing, I will have to try this.

  8. Lisa Peronto

    Your card is gorgeous.

  9. Amy O'Neill

    This background is amazing! You’ve created a beautiful canvas and work of art with this card, Cindy!

  10. Linda Callahan

    Beautiful scene! You are a true artist! Love the background……great idea to use that brush!

  11. Jen Mitchell

    I like your stippled version too Cindy! The background has a wonderful textural look to it and goes so well with the burlap ribbon. You are my card-making hero when it comes to man-cards. You always know exactly what colors and images to use for maximum impact!

  12. Bobbi Miller

    Cindy, this is outstanding! I love the texture that brush made. Very cool. I love to water color and I’m sure yours is great too, but this gives the card a completely different look. And it goes so well with the texture of that burlap ribbon. I also have one of those brushes on my desk; I am now going to try your technique. Thanks for sharing this great card today! And for the inspiration! Hugs my friend.

  13. Cindie

    I love it when a plan comes together and unused craft items get used so successfully!
    This is a very sweet little card, Cindy, I love the soft blending of the colors and the burlap. I’m going to go try using my brushes for backgrounds, too, and increase my manly card stash! Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. JoAnn B.

    Very pretty. Love the background you created. Nice color combo. The burlap strip is a nice touch. TFS

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