Next school year, I will really have to make all my cards ahead of time (like this summer). I keep a calendar of occasions on my bulletin board, but some weeks, I was too busy with homework to even look at it.
So, this birthday card for my oldest nephew is a couple of weeks late. Starting at the base, I used a wood-grain embossing folder in my Big Shot. The fun technique to create the background color is just some brushes of watercolor. That panel was layered over black cardstock after I stamped the sentiment and punched a little branch in one corner.