I saw a picture recently of trees silhouetted against a sunset sky. My mind was swirling with possibilities. Beauty of Friendship stamp set has the perfect bare branch trees and my quest began.

And now for my philosophical pondering. After the leaves are gone from the trees leaving them bare but beautiful, do you see their structure? The smaller branches are like hair. They stick out in all directions uncombed and wild. And in that perfect light just before the sun sets they are in their glory silhouetted against the orange, yellow, and gray sky. It was this vision that I was hoping to capture in my card. Did I capture the beauty of the bare tree? And more importantly, are you going to make this card?

bare Autumn trees against a watercolor sunset background


    • Thick Basic White or Very Vanilla cardstock: 8-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ scored at 4-1/4″
    • Fluid 100 Watercolor Paper: 3-1/2″ x 4-3/4″
    • Cajum Craze cardstock: 3-5/8″ x 4-7/8″
    • Soft Suede cardstock: 3-7/8″ x 5-1/8″
    • Very Vanilla Cardstock: 3-3/4″ x 5″ (for messages insert)
    • Beauty of Friendship
    • Mountain Air
    • Ink Pads: Gray Granite, Cajun Craze, Pumpkin Pie, Early Espresso
    • OPTIONAL: Reinkers: Gray Granite, Cajun Craze, Pumpkin Pie
    • Stampin’ Markers: Early Espresso, Soft Suede, Cajun Craze
    • Multipurpose Liquid Glue
    • Clear Acrylic Blocks TIP: Use blocks1/2″ larger than your stamped image so that you can see the entire image clearly without distortion from the curved edge of the block.
    • Water Painters
    • Stampin’ Spritzer
    • Paper Trimmer
    • Bone Folder
    • Ruler


Wet the Fluid 100 Watercolor Paper with the Stampin’ Spritzer. Add layers of Gray Granite, Cajun Craze, and Pumpkin Pie ink. Let it dry between layers.

TIP: Create a watercolor palette with reinkers or by squeezing the ink pad between the base of your hand and squeezing. I create a palette both ways. If I am working on several watercolor panels, I use the reinkers and create my palette on the largest clear block.

After the last layer of watercolor wash is dry, Flick some ink over your panel. TIP: Use the brush tip of the marker against the cap to flick ink or dip a thin paintbrush into reinker and tap against your index finger (like a karate chop).


Use a piece of scrap paper to mask off the bottom 1/2″ of your watercolor-washed panel. Stamp the trees from Beauty in Friendship stamp set using Early Espresso ink.

Draw in small branches as shown. My Early Espresso Stampin’ Marker started to run out of ink so I switched to Soft Suede. I guess 8 years of use will do that. Time to place markers on my shopping list.

Use your ruler and the Early Espresso Stampin’ Marker to draw in a ground line.

Then add a 2nd generation (stamped off) tree trunk at an angle from the darker main tree trunk. I dragged a little of the Early Espresso along the ground edge of the darker trees to make it look like a tree root flare.

Stamp birds from the Mountain Air stamp set using the Early Espresso. Draw in some falling leaves with the Cajun Craze and Soft Suede markers.

detail of little branches added to the bare trees


Layer up the layers. I did not feel the need to add any embellishment. Did I succeed in capturing at least some of the bare tree beauty?

Add a stamped tree on the front of the envelope and some birds on the message insert and you have a completed card.


A fellow demonstrator introduced me to a silicone glue bottle with a fine-tip. And this has been a game-changer. I am very good at laying down a thin line of Multipurpose Liquid Glue but it is not easy and I know quite a few who have difficulty controlling the glue flow. This glue bottle is FOOL-PROOF. I have tried to squeeze hard to get but globs of glue. No can do. To use the glue bottle you just need to decant your Multipurpose Liquid Glue into the bottle.

Here is my offer. For every order over $75 in product (not including shipping or tax), I will send you a Multipurpose Liquid Glue, the new fine-tip glue bottle to fill, and a handmade thank you note from me. You don’t need to do anything else. Just use the HOST CODE SBZXQVKY, and I will send out your BONUS in November.

Thank you for stopping by to see my creation using the Beauty of Friendship stamp set. I hope you have a wonderful creative day.