Bokeh for CC&S challenge

Today is an exciting day. It’s the first challenge of the year over at CAS Colours & Sketches. That would always be a good thing, but this year, my sister and I have joined the Design Team! This is both exciting and a little intimidating – now I have to produce a card for every challenge and although I’ve been improving, I sometimes find sketch challenges tricky. But pushing myself out of my comfort zone is going to be good for me. I’m sure. So I eagerly waited for the colour palette for the first challenge only to find that it has grey in it. As I think I’ve mentioned before, after 7 years at school having to wear grey, I can’t stand the colour. Admittedly that’s over 30 years ago now, but I haven’t got over it. So I’m rather surprised with the card that I ended up with – in fact, I had to call my sister to tell her to sit down when looking at the photo I’d just sent her. She was stunned. So much grey!

Stampin' Up! Greetings Thinlits dies

Here’s the banner which inspired the card:

I was playing with watercolouring and produced a card with these colours, but it was just okay and didn’t wow me. And then, when I left the card on my kitchen table overnight, the skylight leaked and splashed some water onto the card. Definitely not fated to be the card for the design team. So since my pack of watercolour paper was out, I grabbed the reinkers and dotted a clear block with the three colours. After spraying the block with water, I pressed it onto the watercolour paper. And then left it overnight to dry.

I have a piece of clear plastic already cut with different sizes of circles that I use when I want to do the bokeh technique. It’s as simple as using a sponge dauber and the white craft ink and putting circles wherever you want. But then comes the tricky part. The colours have been altered a little by the interaction with the others and so matting this on pool party doesn’t work. Marina mist doesn’t look quite right either. So I contemplated black which worked but seemed a trifle overpowering. This of course led me to the smoky slate and with a black mat I think it worked well.

As I was thinking about placement, I realised that I just didn’t want to plop it in the middle. Too boring. And I was scared to stamp on the watercolour paper because I finished this card yesterday and I didn’t have time to redo it and have the watercolour paper dry in the middle. This led me to the Greetings Thinlits dies and the idea of having the word falling off the edge of the pattern. In order to stop the tail of the hello waving in the wind – or being bent to the cardbase, I cut the end of hello twice more, once out of watercolour paper and once out of basic black so that I could glue them underneath the tail.

I finished off the envelope using the neutrals designer series paper stack and the envelope liners framelits.

I really had to struggle with this card and I love how it came out. I also have another piece of bokeh-ed watercolour paper in the same colours but looking totally different. I’m looking forward to playing with that.

I hope that you’ll stop by the challenge blog and see what the rest of the team has produced and that you’ll have a go at entering a card yourself.

See you tomorrow,



  1. Beautiful bokeh BG stamping, the challenge colours work perfectly for it. Looking forward to working with you on the CC&S DT and getting to know you. Hugs Bev x

  2. You have designed some great cards for our challenges in the past and I’m really looking forward to working with you on the CC&S DT. In the last year I have been presented with some colour palettes and a few sketches that really pushed me outside my comfort zone which is really good now and again. And occasionally some of these cards turned out to be some of my favourites from across the year! Your bokeh is beautiful, I love the white misty edges. You have clearly put a lot of thought and effort into your card. Stef x

    1. Thank you Stef. And yes you’re right, I’ve found the same thing when I’ve struggled with a card as I did with this one. I am certain it’s going to be one of my favourites of the year already. Looking forward to working with you on the CC&S DT – it’s fun already. Liz x

  3. Love the bokeh effect on your card and the panel looks perfect on the grey background and most of all I love the eye catching black sentiment. It’s placed perfectly, in my opinion. Super card to star the year off with, looking forward to ‘working’ with you
    Louise xx

    1. Thanks Louise – it was my third card! I decided that I needed something good to start with and am happy that it was successful. Looking forward to the year ahead. Liz x

    1. Thanks Deborah – it’s a huge honour. And thanks for taking the time to comment, it was just the thing that I needed on the day that I started the cold or whatever is going around. Liz x

    1. Thanks Karen. I love this technique – I think I’ll have to be careful not to do it too often! Looking forward to being on the CC&S DT with you. Liz x

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