How beautiful are birds? They are so unique in the animal kingdom in that they live on the ground, treetops, and air! Although this set doesn’t focus on flight (birds always evoke the freedom their wings equip them with)at rest they are in poses of gathering, nesting or singing, all of which will be lovely representing, love, community, ready for a new addition to a family, friendship, etc.
Two birds in this set were drawn to resemble chickadees and bluebirds, but the other (or all, really!) you can change up depending on the colors you use to stamp them or the colors you use to accent their heads, chest, wing and tail markings. An online search of common backyard birds will show how similar the profile of head wings and tail look for a robin, nightingale, bunting, warbler, etc. A little like a cat stamp will lend itself to all sorts of colors and patterns, so have fun! Another way is to use the color you'd like your bird to be to match your ink, cardstock or mood as your search term and go from there. “Pink bird” Will bring up stunning images of a bright pink robin you'll be certain was Photoshopped (it’s not!)
Ideas for how to put your birds together in a scene you only need look out your window or go for a walk or ride for inspiration!
Birds can fit sitting on the eggs or perched on the edge of the nest. They can also snuggle on the branch. Use the single branch image to build out scenes with branches keeping out your card mat for the left or right to create full treetops and interesting backgrounds for your birds.
Contouring and detail in the illustration make these birds extremely easy to color! Markers, pencils or brushed with ink or paint, you’ll want to pet their little feathers when finished.
The squiggly line with the space in between is made for the birds to hold in their mouths, the beak fills the gap! The space may be a little wider when you are using the smaller birds or depending on the position than you want to stamp it. Fill in any gaps with a pen or by touching a blending brush to the ink pad you stamped it with and connect it to the beak as you would use a pen or marker. Depending on the color you stamp or action you are trying to create, this can be a little worm, a twig for lining the nest, or a stem when you add the little flower to one end as a gift for its friend or mate. A busy bird is a beautiful bird!
Add dimension to your scenes by using the coordinating dies and popping up the bird or elements that are closest to the viewer. Pop up the bird to perch on the eggs or nest edge, or die cut the nest and pop it up over the stamped branch.
Stamp or pop up a die cut bird perched on top of a large stamped or die cut word or greeting.
Position the bird to look like it’s pecking at or pulling the end of a scripty sentiment! Positions 2 birds, one on either side of a sentiment, to make it look like they are holding it up like a banner.
It is easy to extend the branch the singing bird is sitting on in several ways! Die cut and flip to put on the other side, stamp the single branch that face the opposite way at the top corner of the set on the other side. Trim the singing bird off to add the nest or other birds in the set.
Stamp birds of the same size to look like friends or a mated pair. Stamp a large and a small one to look like a parent and child. Color 2 of the same bird image in different colors, one in brights and other in earthly camouflage to look like a male and female.
Use blending brushes or sponges to make sunny skies or serene sunrises and sunsets.
Fill out your new bird scene with other silhouette branches or tiny birds in the background, which will add a lot of variety and interest to your scenes, and coordinate with the realistic bird shapes!
Add texture and embellishment by gluing on a bit of string, hemp or bakers twine in their beaks.
There is a little “highlight” built into the illustration of each bird’s eye. This is important in bringing it to life! If you find you’ve lost this highlight because of your coloring or a juicy pad after stamping, keep a white gel pen handy to add it back in after all your coloring is done. Refer to the image sheet to see where this goes, just a dot! This is the last thing I do on my bird cards. You can also use it to add just a few touches to the top of the head or breast, which will look like the sun has picked up a few wispy feathers to add some nice light and texture. If you find you’ve added too much white or don’t like the look of it, just go back over those parts with the same coloring media you used previously.
A white gel pen is also excellent for adding in those little white feathers on the edges of wings or other features that may be characteristic of your bird but different from the illustration. For example, the bird you want to represent may have an orange beak, but the beak looks dark because you stamped the illustration in black, brown or some other dark ink. Color in the beak with white, wait for it to dry, then add your orange coloring on top.
Adding a white highlight when you stamp on colored cardstock will make a huge difference, since we don’t always stamp on white. While the bird will look nice stamped in black on Kraft, you will not see a highlight of light hitting that eye unless you add a white dot. That dot will make the eye sparkle! On the tips of wings and the tail, white will really pop.
Stamp the large or small black capped chickadee in yellow ink and then fill in the open areas of the with a similar yellow to make an Easter chick! Add just a bit of orange for the beak and go over the eye with a black pen. Add the white dot last for a highlight. Chicks don’t really have a tail so stamp them with the tail going off your mat for a nice crop, omit inking the tail portion before you stamp, OR stamp the whole bird and either trim off the tail if you are fussycutting or snip it off your die cut. Refer to an image of a chick to round it off appropriately.
Stamping the birds with no coloring at all will create a very botanical look. Stamped in bright colors give a very graphic contemporary look. Embossed birds will look very elegant!
Most birds have a black or dark brown eye, but you'll need to add this back in if you stamp in any other color. For example, if you want your bird to be mostly gray, let your ink pad do the work and stamp it in gray, but fill in the eye with black so it pops if you want a more defined or realistic look. These birds look fabulous in any color!
Experiment stamping the nest in different shades to look like different materials they might build with: brown for twigs gray for moss, pale green for long reeds, bright green or pink for artificial Easter grass! Although the illustration already has shadows with the darker, more tightly woven part near the ground and more open, light part at the top, you can accent this further by rolling the bottom edge of the next in slightly darker color than what you inked up the whole nest with and stamping, boom, instant shadow! You can also take some different colored pencils, pens or markers and gently doodle, scribble through a few lines over the next material to look like other materials in the next for added realism.
You can leave the eggs uncolored, or really fun to dot with a fine tip marker or pencil for some speckles. If you look at the illustration, you can see bits of each egg peeking through the edge of the nest that is just below them, since the nest walls are not solid, they have some space to view the eggs behind them. Be sure to add a few speckles or the color you used to color them so it doesn’t look like one color above and “white eggs” below.
Use a piece of acetate to create a reflection of a bird looking in the water reading for a bath or to get a drink.
Add some whimsy to your card by going through your stamp collection and add elements like hats for birthdays, scarves for winter or props they can hold, like a flag in their beak! Even though the set is drawn in a classic, realistic style, your fun is only limited by your imagination, or creations by your fellow stampers!
Use these birds with other bush or tree flowers and branches for my Stately Flowers series, or other florals and plants in my or other illustrators in the Gina K. Designs catalog. Birds and flowers go together!
So do birds and butterflies and bees! Try stamping them all together for gorgeous botanical or vintage looking collage backgrounds and focal points.
Three of these sentiments can be found in The Bible, but are often heard written and spoken elsewhere. A” blessed nest” is a home filled with love and abundance, whether that be the arrival of new children, moving to a new home, or starting a new season or chapter.
“I will sing a new song” is all about hope! Turning a page or choosing joy, (good or better) feelings follow our actions and intentions. Lift yourself and someone else with this singing bird!
Use “rest in the lord” (or simple “rest” with the omission technique) along with one of the seated birds. This posture creates a sense of calm waiting, a lovely reminder to live in the moment or lay down a burden, very appropriate for someone who has earned some healing restorative time or is living through, or finishing, a hard season of life.
“…Shelter under his wings” can be used literally or metaphorically as care and protection. Trim along the lower edge of one of the large bird’s wings and slide another cut bird underneath. Instant shelter!
Placing a bird nestle behind a larger arrangement of flowers adds even more life to your cards.
Put a pair of birds together after a large stamped or die cut “Love”. Instant LOVE BIRDS!
Omit or snip off the “birth” from a die cut “birthday” and add a bird image before "day" = happy bird day!! Pun stuff!!
Make different shaped die cut holes in your card fronts with birds stamped inside for the birds to peep through. Cut the card base top into a v to make a roof and stamp with my Perfect Pallet boards with a die cut hole in the middle round or heart for an adorable shaped birdhouse card!
The end bits on the branches can be all leaves or are drawn to look like new flowers budding at the tips. Keep this in mind to add more color to your cards than just greens for the leaves, and have them match or be in coordinating shades as the opened flowers you choose to add from the set by stamping or with the die cut images.
Put the die cut birds on small wooden clothespins or clips and perch on window blinds holding up photos or on a string nailed or tacked to a wall or inside an open frame for charming easy decor!
The size and realistic details of the birds lend themselves to other crafts like jewelry, painting etc! Stamp with Stazon on to leather and trim for a necklace or earrings. Stamp onto a canvas or wood and paint with acrylics, oils or watercolor.
Great Gina K. Designs sets to pair with Beautiful birds images: greetings from Winter Birds and Welcome Home.
More tips to come, plus videos from me demonstrating the ideas, tips and techniques above.
Please share your ideas, whether they be card samples or things you've learned through experience with our wonderful online community of stampers and crafters! Thank you in advance!