Friday, May 1, 2015

House of Cards May 2015 Challenge - Bokeh Effect

Please click here if you are looking for my ColourArte post today!
Hello everyone, and welcome back to a new monthly challenge here at House of Cards.  I so enjoy seeing all the creations each month, not only from the design team, but also from you, the challenge participants.

This month's challenge is ...

MAY 2015
Technique Challenge: Bokeh Effect

  1. So, what exactly is bokeh? According to Wikipedia:
    In photography, bokeh (Originally /ˈboʊkɛ/, /ˈboʊkeɪ/ BOH-kay — also sometimes pronounced as /ˈboʊkə/ BOH-kə, Japanese: [boke]) is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. Bokeh has been defined as "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light".
  1. I have to admit that I had never heard of bokeh, but now that I know what it is, I am excited to share this fun technique with you.  Once you see how easy it is, I think you are going to enjoy it as much as I have.
    Sponge at least three colors onto watercolor paper.
Make a stencil by punching three different circle sizes into which card.
Sponge Brilliance Moonlight White ink through stencil, moving stencil around to get depth.  Some cirlces will appear in front, while some will appear behind.
Here is a picture of how it starts to look.
Keep stenciling until you like the appearance.
Fold 8-1/2" x 11" yellow card stock in half to make 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" card base.  Punch right edge with Garden Trellis punch.  Cut lilac card stock to 1-1/4" x 11".  Fold in half and glue to inside along right edge.
Trim bokeh layer to 4-7/8" x 6-7/8" and edge with Hydrangea ink.  Adhere to card front.

Stamp flower bouquet postcard image onto Lilac card stock with VersaFine Onyx Black ink.  

(TIP: VersaFine is a fast drying oil-based pigment ink.  It works extremely well for finely detailed images, but I use it on brand new stamps, both clear and rubber,  because it will stick to the stamp, rather than bead up like water drops on a flower petal, if you know what I mean.)

Color the image with the same archival inks using a cotton swab to apply the ink.
Add Diamond Stickles to the butterfly and flower centers.
Stamp "Thinking of You" onto 1-1/4" x 7" strip of gold vellum with Hydrangea ink.  Adhere stamped image to card front over vellum strip.
To finish off the card, stamp some butterflies with Hydrangea ink in upper right open area.  The largest butterfly was stamped again onto scrap of lavender card stock and fussy cut out before adhering over stamped image.  (See finished photo above)

Supplies used:

90lb water color paper
Card stock:  Yellow, Lilac, Gold Metallic, Gold Vellum
Wendy Vecchi Archival Ink: Leaf Green, Dandelion, Hydrangea
Brilliance Ink:  Moonlight White
VersaFine Onyx Black ink pad
HOTP 1141-Postcards clear stamp set; HOTP 1085-Heartfelt Greetings clear stamp set
Makeup sponge
Index card
Various sizes of circle punches from (1", 3/4", 1/2")
Diamond Stickles

Here is a fun video tutorial on how to make your own Bokeh background.

Now didn't that look like fun?  I hope you enjoyed my card this month and that I have been able to inspire and entice you to play along with us in this month's challenge, which can be seen by clicking here.
Thanks for stopping by, and please come back on Monday for MORE inspiration from this very talented Design Team!  We hope you join in the fun, too--please check out our House Rules HERE before linking up!  I can't wait to see your creations!

Barbara xo


  1. Hi Barbara. Lovely card here and I love that vintage styled stamp you have used. Nice to take the round and see what you other girls have made.

    Ma (✿*‿*) HOC DT

  2. Absolutely gorgeous, like the colors, the tutorial and the fabulous design of your card! Donna HOC DT

  3. OMG! This came out beautiful. Brilliant technique with the punches. Thanks for sharing your work with us!

  4. Fantastic! Why did it not occur to me to create a circle stencil. Thanks for the inspiration!

    HOC DT Teamie

  5. Awesome - you even made a tutorial! Your Bokeh is perfect! Love your second card, too!

  6. This is absolutely beautiful! I love the pretty effect! Very pretty cards!
    take care!
    HOC DT teamie

  7. I love your Bokeh effect Barbara
    and I love to read your tutorial
    woow great post and i love the way you colored the Image too
    that postage Image is perfect with your bokeh BG
    adorable Card Barbara I love this
    HOC DT Teamie

  8. Oh this is beautiful! And a great idea to create your own stencil - I find I have more than I thought to try. Thank you!!! xx

  9. Barbara, this is STUNNING! I LOVE the gorgeous colors you used and the fabulous stencil you created! Beautiful, friend! HUGS! :) Mynn xx

  10. Love the vintage touch of your beautiful bokeh card!
    Rosi x

  11. Hi Barbara! I love the blue/gold color combo you used for your Bokeh! Such a gorgeous vintage card! Have a great day!

  12. A vintage card and bokeh, awesome!!

  13. Beautiful Bokeh background! Simply gorgeous! Thank you for sharing at STB!

  14. This technique is soooo stunning! I'll have to try this soon, I love your card design. :) Thank you so much for joining in on TPE's Anything Goes challenge this week!
    ~*Joni TPE DT

  15. Your bokeh effect is fantastic!
    Thanks for joining in at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge this week.
    Caryn xxx

  16. Stunning background! Thanks for the tutorial. Thanks for playing along with Seize the Birthday.

  17. Lovely card Barbara, the background is fab, love the colour combo!
    Lorry :o) xx

  18. Wow! You rocked this technique! I love the post card too! Thank you for sharing how you made the bokeh technique also! :) Big Hugs-Katy HOC Teammate

  19. Wow! You rocked this technique! I love the post card too! Thank you for sharing how you made the bokeh technique also! :) Big Hugs-Katy HOC Teammate

  20. This is gorgeous Barbara! I love your inking background and that fab post card stamp!!
    Hugs, Tammy

  21. Like you, prior to the House of Cards Challenge, I had not heard of the Bokeh Effect. This technique came out clearly and beautifully on your card.