Monday, January 22, 2024

Watercolor Peony Birthday Card

One of my sons bought me the entire collection of  Altenew's watercolor brush markers for Christmas (wasn't that a wonderful gift?!), and I finally broke them out to play with them this weekend! Like everything else I've used by Altenew, they did NOT disappoint! 

My mother-in-law is turning 80 at the end of the month, so I wanted to create a special card for her. She loves flowers of all kinds and has a very green thumb. I'm hoping she will enjoy this floral-themed card when we have her birthday dinner at our house next weekend.

Before starting this card, I searched "watercolor" on Altenew's blog, and one of the posts that came up included a tutorial on using salt to add texture to watercolor backgrounds. If you'd like to read the original post with the instructions, here's the link: Dramatic Watercolor Background with Salt feat. Calla Lilies ( I had never tried the salt technique before, but it looked fun, so I chose a couple watercolor brushes and set about brushing some color onto a watercolor panel die cut for an A2 card. Then I sprinkled a liberal amount of salt on the panel and let it dry. The results weren't as dramatic as I had thought they would be, but when I tried the same technique using a deep blue distress ink, I found the salt added a lot more texture. Maybe the texture just shows up better with dark colors, but I still liked the way my background turned out for this card. 

The flower and leaves were die cut using Altenew's Peony Dream die set. I also used my watercolor markers to color the layers for the flower and leaves, and then I adhered the layers together with Art Glitter glue and used foam tape to pop up the flower on the background panel. I attached the background panel to a green A2 card base. Then I stamped the "hope your birthday is lovely" sentiment using a stamp from Altenew's Craft-Your-Life: Casual Bouquets kit. It was risky to stamp the sentiment after adhering the flower, but I used my Sizzix Stencil and Stamp platform, and the sticky mat works great for keeping my paper in place to stamp multiple times. I forgot to condition the stamp before stamping it, so I did need to stamp it 3 times before getting a good impression on all the words. 

A look at the panel while it was still wet. You can see how it faded into much softer colors once it dried:

Challenges I'm entering:  

Inspiration Challenge January 2024 | Start the Year Right! ( Inspiration photo: The flowers in the front part of the photo are yellow with green leaves, so I hope my flowers match that well enough.

Word Art Wednesday: ATG (4/5 for the week; 4/10 for the challenge; ends 1/31/23) 

613 Avenue Create ( ATG or New Beginnings (The peony die set is new, and the watercolor brush markers are also new) (5/8; ends at the end of the month) Let's have some fun! (4/5; ends 1/24/24)

The Paper Funday Challenges: Let's Celebrate (2/4; ends at the end of the month)

A Place To Start ( Gatefold or ATG (ends at the end of the month) Rising Star Pick January 22-31, 2024

Beautiful Blossoms Challenge: Birthday (unlimited entries for this special challenge)


  1. The watercolored background with your new markers is such a gorgeous compliment to the floral die cuts. Thanks for sharing your card with us at The Paper Funday and Beautiful Blossoms Challenges. We look forward to seeing more of your lovely designs soon.
    Donna xx
    Paper Funday Challenges
    Beautiful Blossoms Challenge
    Inspiration Station Challenges

  2. Beautiful card and watercolored background! Well done! Thanks so much for joining us at The Beautiful Blossoms Happy Birthday Challenge this month.

  3. Beautiful card and watercolor wash background. Thanks for joining us this week at Pammie's Inky Pinkies. Hope to see you again.

  4. This is quite beautiful! I love the salt technique, even though I haven't used it in years, your card is a reminder of how it can level up a design!

    Thanks for a fabulous response to our challenge at A Place to Start!
    Hugz, Chana Malkah, Owner

  5. Beautiful background and colours.

    Thanks for joining us at the Beautiful Blossoms Challenge.

    Helen x

  6. Your background sets off that lovely bloom so well!
    Thanks a bunch for celebrating our first birthday with us at Beautiful Blossoms Challenge!
    xoxo, Aimeslee DT

    1. Thanks so much, Aimeslee! And happy birthday!