Birthday Bike Ride

Stamps: SU Bike Ride, Lift Me Up
Paper: SU Garden Green, Whisper White, Whisper White Thick Cardstock, Smokey Slate
Paper Size: Business Envelope Sized
Ink: SU Melon Mambo, Smokey Slate, Early Espresso, Crumb Cake, Wild Wasabi, Old Olive, Soft Sky, Marina Mist
Accessories: SU Build A Bike Framelit Dies, Stamping Sponge, Scalloped Circle Die, Tombow Multi Liquid Glue, Adhesive Foam Strips, Big Shot, MISTI
Techniques: Sponging, Die Cutting, Dry Embossing

This card was made for the Try Stampin' on Tuesday February Technique Challenge - Sponging:

Sponging is such a great technique when doing backgrounds, and my mind is turning to Spring after a marathon of making holiday cards these past few months. So a bicycle ride down a cobbled path seemed perfect!

I started by cutting a card base (8-1/2"x 8") from Stampin' Up! Garden Green cardstock. I folded this to form a card 8-1/2" wide, and 4" tall to accommodate the wide path I had in mind with plenty of room for the bike and birthday sentiment.

The bicycle was stamped using SU Melon Mambo and Smokey Slate onto Whisper White thick cardstock (to give the bike substance so it wouldn't warp or bend very easily). I used my MISTI for each of the parts to ensure a nice solid stamped image. I used the matching "Build A Bike" dies to cut out all the pieces and glued them together with Tombow. The basket was not stamped, but die-cut from Smokey Slate cardstock. 

I built the bike first so I would know where I wanted it positioned, so I could create the background around it. I then set this aside, and started on the background.

The sky was created by die-cutting a scalloped circle and using it as a mask to sponge the Soft Sky clouds in the upper half of the card. Just rotate the scalloped circle at irregular intervals, and sponge around its edge. A good tutorial on this can be found at: (remember to click on the translate button).

The cobbled path was created by first running the cobble die UNDERNEATH the card front multiple times through my Big Shot. I found that I had to add a cardstock shim to give a deeper impression. This created impressions of cobbles across the bottom of the card to form a bike path. I then used Crumb Cake ink and a sponge to gently color the cobble tops and edges.

Next, I sponged the "blobs" for bushes, and the lower grass along the path using Wild Wasabi and Old Olive inks. I then used the "leaves" stamp from the "Bike Ride" stamp set with Wild Wasabi ink to give structure to the green sponged bushes. I also added a few leaves along the grassy area near the path edge.

Now was the time to add the bike to the card. It was attached using multiple pieces of adhesive foam strips behind all portions of the bike and dog to raise them off the card front for depth to the scene.

Finally, I stamped the birthday sentiment up in the clouds using Marina Mist ink. I thought placement in the clouds was appropriate, and the location balanced the scene nicely with the bike.

Since the challenge was to use sponging, I did it three different ways (sky with a mask, vegetation with stamped leaves overlay, and on top of impressions to make them stand out). I'm rating the difficulty level for this card as a "4" out of "5" because of the work required to create the bike and cobbled pathway. The sponging itself was the EASY part!