Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Ken Oliver Tree of Life Cards

I just realised that I made these cards a few months ago now and totally forgot to post about them! I saw this Ken Oliver Tree of Life Die and Stamp Set on the cover of Simply Cards & Papercraft Issue 160 back in February and loved it.

At the time I couldn't find it in the UK so I ordered it from Amazon via a USA supplier and waited patiently for it to arrive.

When it did I couldn't wait to get started, I stamped the first image on to white card stock and coloured it in with my Zig Real Color Brush Markers and added a little sparkle with Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen and finished the centre of the flowers off with some Nuvo Drops.

The beauty of the die set is it not only cuts the fine detail of the tree, it also cuts the shaped background panel, and its really easy to line up so you cut it accurately. I folded a piece of white card and used the die to create a card blank by over shooting the fold of the card with the die. See this step by step Papercraft Inspirations video on How to Die Cut A Shaped Aperture Card if you're unsure how to do it.

Once I'd cut the card blank I used Mowed Lawn and Broken China Distress inks to colour the background and added the tree to the base with small foam pads.
I decided to experiment with a different medium on black card stock, my inner would be Goth seems to favour black card to white when making cards, in everyday life I tend to go for black, purple, dark blues and browns, my 'invisible' colours.

I made another shaped card blank to attach the finished tree to using black card and coloured that with a layer of Broken China Oxide Ink which gave the card base a look of a black board which I loved.

This time instead of stamping in black ink, I elected to stamp in Versamark ink and heat emboss the image with some WOW Rich Gold embossing powder. I then coloured the tree with some Metallic Gel Sticks which are primarily aimed at children and are a little cheaper than a set of Metallic Gelatos.

Both products are made by Faber Castell and I have both sets but when using the metallics, I actually prefer the kids Gel Sticks because they seem to have more pigment in them and thus give a richer, more vibrant colour. If you're on a budget, the Gel Sticks also offer better value for money in that although they are about £1 more than the Gelatos, you get 6 Gel Sticks, the same colours as the Gelatos, plus a gold and silver gel stick.

Once I finished the darker tree of life card, I added a gold and black sentiment using the Avery Elle Hugs Elle-Ments dies, in my head there was a reference to tree hugging but it didn't translate as well on the card lol! I love this stamp and die set so much, I've been working on some seasonal versions.

If I could change the set in anyway I would have left off the flowers and added more leaves. Whilst the flowers are pretty it would have been nice to colour just leaves for an autumn tree of life.


  1. Hi Debs your cards are stunning the stamp and dies are gorgeous. Well worth the wait I should think. Ken is a very talented man. Take care. Hugs Jackie

  2. It looks a really nice set, you've made 2 gorgeous cards with them.

  3. Stunning creations Debs - I love using stamps with different mediums and colours and getting varied results, just as you have! I admire Ken's work a great deal. Shabneez x

  4. Beautiful unusual cards, lovely stamp/die set. Emma

  5. Two stunning cards....gorgeous die and colours together....Joolsx


Thanks for your comments on my cards and posts, they are very much appreciated, I'll get back to you as soon as I can if a reply is required. Hugs - Debs x