Today's color challenge at SplitCoast Stampers is a combination of neutral colors - sand, black, and vanilla, which is the palest of pale creams. What a fabulous combination of colors! I love neutrals because they work so well with vintage themes, which I adore.
For this card, I used the Cricut Expression to cut a vintage style hanging sign and used platinum ink to edge it and "antique" it. The wooden placard is touched up with black watercolor paint. Simply draw the lines faintly with black watercolor pencil and streak them with a wet brush. I actually used a Sharpie marker (use a very light touch if you don't have a fine point marker handy) to make the nails.
The image I used is one of four that come together as a set from Crafty Individuals by Magenta. I think they're delightful and can't wait to use them on some other cards. They are about an inch square and would be perfect for "inchie" projects.
I used a tree stamp for the background for this card but wanted a subdued background - I didn't want to detract from the sign post and especially from the image, which would have had to compete with darkly stamped trees. So I "stamped off", that is, I stamped the inked stamp several times onto scrap paper until I got the image to a degree of lightness that was still quite clear but still had enough contrast to show detail. Then I sponged platinum ink over the background.
When stamping off, ink the stamp and then stamp the image repeatedly without re-inking to find the image that has the "right" depth of color and contrast for your project. Then, each time you ink the stamp, stamp off to that point and then stamp your card. I found that I could stamp three times between inking and get satisfactory images, so it's not a lot of extra work to do this.