Falling Leaves

Falling Leaves is a new transparent set from Penny Black, part of the ‘Autumn Extraordinaire’ release. I made a random pattern with most of the little leaf stamps by embossing them on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper. I taped the edges of my panel before I started and was able to keep a clean frame around the patterned area.

I arranged the leaves on the panel and embossed with versamark and potting soil powder. To add colour I started with just two brusho powders, gamboge and olive green sprinkled sparingly here and there over the leaves. After spritzing with water the colours started to move and fill the leaves and surrounding area but the gamboge diluted to pale orange and yellow so I added some brilliant red brusho to create a few more pops of colour. Most of the colour placement was random but I did move some around with a paintbrush.

Once the design was complete I dried it, removed the tape and cut the panel with a rectangle die. I stamped the lovely sentiment from ‘golden wreath on a banner die cut then looked at my cardstocks to choose a base colour. I ended up with a lovely metallic brown wood textured piece which worked exactly how I thought it would. Then I wondered, did I make a very similar autumn card with this cardstock last year? Yes, yes I did.

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Pumpkin Season

This lovely blue wheelbarrow filled with pumpkins is one of the new autumn products from Penny Black. It’s called ‘pumpkin season’ and I paired it with an older PB scenic stamp, ‘homeward’.

I worked on the wheelbarrow first while keeping it in my stamp positioner. I stamped the barrow in faded jeans archival ink, the base in hickory smoke archival and the pumpkins in fossilized amber archival. That gave me a base print to add to with distress inks which I could blend with water and a paintbrush. Still with the stamp in the positioner I inked different section with distress ink cubes and markers to build up the colours bit by bit. Once I was sure I didn’t have to stamp any more on the barrow I removed the panel, stamped the barrow on masking paper and masked the barrow in order to finish my scene.

With the panel back in the positioner and the barrow masked I stamped the ‘homeward’ scenic stamp over the top with ground espresso, spiced marmalade, barn door , peeled paint and wild honey inks. I blended the grass area immediately after stamping so I could extend the ground with peeled paint ink to fill the space around the wheel and base of the barrow.

I built up the colour of the tree with repeat stampings spritzed with water. Once the stamping and blending was complete I painted some shadows under the barrow with peeled paint ink and added some extra definition to the pumpkins with watercolour pencils. I blended the sky around the tree with stormy sky ink and a blending brush.

We harvested most of our tomatoes yesterday even though they are still green so now I am looking up green tomatoes recipes. The fried ones sound appealing (just like in the Fanny Flagg book) and a zucchini and green tomato relish could be good too.

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The Good Life with pumpkins

Even though I am in denial about summer ending my card making would disagree. I have seen leaves changing colour and there is a nip in the air. I’m not against autumn; I know everyone loves it, I just don’t like to see summer go! This little autumn scene combines the Penny Black stamps, ‘the good life’ and ‘pumpkin patch’.

I worked in the stamp positioner for this one and there was masking involved too. I lightly stamped just the barn first, cut a mask for the roof then stamped an extra tree behind the barn. I also painted the back field in peeled paint and wild honey before returning to the trees and barn. I used the ink, stamp & blend process to build up the scene. I made sure I didn’t stamp the fence or track leading to the barn as I was planning to stamp something in the foreground. It turned out to be pumpkins which also needed to be masked before I added the fence and track.

If you know your distress inks you could probably make some pretty accurate guesses as to the line up used on this panel. I added a bit of pencil colouring to the pumpkins and some little leaves along side them.

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Pencil Florals

These sweet and quirky flowers are from the My Favorite Things set, ‘fine line floral’. I’m sharing this card and process over on the Foiled Fox blog today and hope you will join me there.

There is a lot of fine line detail (as the name suggests) in the flower heads so they look good stamped with a detail ink. I decided to do some pencil colouring first but was able to add detail over the top with some stamping after all the colouring was done.

All three flowers are part of one stamp so I stamped in antique linen ink on kraft cardstock to do some no-line pencil colouring. I used inktense pencils which are water-soluble but can be used without water too. All the petals are coloured with a mix of white and a colour, blending the two with white to soften the transitions. I kept the panel in my stamp positioner the whole time I was colouring which made it possible to stamp the fine detail over the top. To add the fine detail I used distress markers and just shaded lightly on the stamp towards the base of the petals and at the top. I was pleasantly surprised to see how the detailed lines popped with just that extra bit of stamping.  

I did some shading around the flowers to lift them a little and then added a sentiment from the MFT ‘Anything but basic friendship’ set with some twine to match the stems.

All the bits and pieces to create this card are available in the delightful Foiled Fox online store and their blog is overflowing with inspiration. See you over there!

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Fields of Gold

This card was inspired by @jenny_illustrations a watercolour artist I follow on instagram. She painted her scene but I used a selection of Darkroom Door stamps and some wet into wet techniques.

I worked on a panel of hot pressed watercolour paper splattered with liquid frisket. I wasn’t necessarily wanting the look of snow, more the interest or vintage look of little dots over the panel. It could be snow, an early snow or a first snow but that is not something I am thinking about right now. Not for a minute am I wishing summer away, I would never do that. Summer is definitely my favourite season and it is still officially summer for another 18 days!

But back to the card. I taped it down to my glass mat which I also used as a palette where I squished my distress inks to provide me with ink to paint with. I spritzed the whole panel with water then painted weathered wood and faded jeans distress ink in the sky then tea dye and gathered twigs distress ink in the foreground. It was not meant to be gathered twigs; the lid said ‘fossilized amber’! The lid was wrong but the colour, surprisingly worked maybe even better than amber would have giving me a gradation from light to dark brown.

While the whole panel was wet I stamped the large mountain stamp from DD ‘majestic mountains’ in faded jeans ink then, after a pause, the small trees from the same set in ‘hickory smoke’ then. after a longer pause, in ‘black soot’ ink. I used a small floral stamp from DD ‘wildflowers vol 1’ to stamp and restamp flowers in the foreground, first in ‘tea dye’ then in ‘gathered twigs’. I dried the panel rather than wait and finished it off with tea dye and gathered twigs splatter.

I was pleased to see my taping sealed the edges well resulting in no leaks. I am trying a different painter’s tape so it scored points on this project. I’m not sure why but this panel needed to be a side fold card. It has a little sentiment from DD ‘nature walk’ that says ‘ walk through the wildflowers’; you might not be able to read it but the recipient will.

I’ve done very few scenic cards lately so I enjoyed the process and result. I am pondering my next online class… scenic cards or Christmas cards? Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts.

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No-line watercolour Magnolias -video

This is a card which changed shape and style several times before it turned into the design you see above. The watercoloured flowers and the green stamped flowers are from the same MFT ‘magnolia blossoms’ set.

I almost didn’t keep making the video as I made mistakes and alterations but the point of the video was the no-line colouring not the card layout so I kept going. I used Gina K’s ‘barely there’ amalgam ink to stamp the flowers; the ink is a pale peach colour which almost disappeared with both the purple and the green watercolouring. I used Derwent Inktense pencils for the no-line watercolour shading an area lightly and minimally before blending the ink to fill the petal or leaf.

My initial layout for the painted panel involved both stamps from the set but you see in the video a series of unfortunate events caused me to slice up the first panel, add another flower and come up with the layout you see below.

One thing I didn’t initially plan was the simple green stamping behind the coloured panel but I’m glad I tried it. These stamps are definitely stunning when left uncoloured in their simple outline beauty.

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Double Embossed

At the risk of losing you I have to begin this post by directing you to the beautiful inspiration for this card. Just pop over to the wonderful blog of Anna-Karin Evalddson to see her double embossing. There is so much texture in her card. When I first saw it I was sure it was heat embossed and then dry embossed because the surface looked so 3D. Anna-Karin did a video of her process, which I watched then immediately went and made the card above. I often see cards which inspire me and I save or tag or pin them for another time; rarely do I immediately act on the inspiration.

I didn’t achieve the 3D effect that Anna-Karin did but I like the play of double embossing and the unusual combination of colours and embossing powders. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper, embossing the ‘dotted fusion’ stamp from PB first in a mix of ‘sandcastle’ & ‘potting soil’. (supplies linked below). I moved the panel a little to one side then embossed again in a cream embossing powder.

To colour the panel I pulled out my distress stains, not the sprays, (but they would work) the daubers. I hardly ever reach for them now as they are no longer available so I don’t want to taunt you with something you can’t have. I still really like the daubers for applying a strong liquid ink in a confined space. In this case I dabbed them on the glass mat, spritzed some water and swiped the embossed panel through the colours (aged mahogany, peeled paint and old paper). Anna-Karin just used distress inkpads and her results were amazing.

To keep with the circle/dotty theme I stamped a word from PB ‘huggable’ set on a circle, matted on a circle and put the card together. Oh and there is splatter too, no surprises there.

that’s a booster colour scheme btw, if you do my online class you will hear about that! 😉

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Gel Print Leaves video

Last week I posted a card featuring gel printed leaves from herbs I grew. I tried to explain my process but a few of you wished for a video so I picked some more leaves and had some fun printing them.

I used two different methods in the video, the leaf printed in yellow at the top of the page uses a two step method. The blue + green leaf above uses three steps and has one technique layered over the other technique.

I think the part of gel printing that gives me most inconsistent results is the way I apply ink. I’m getting better but I still get unwanted lines from the edge of the brayer. That wasn’t so evident on these prints as I was working on little gel plates called ‘petites’ from Gel Press.

I did a bunch of prints for this video on the square and the circle ‘petite’ plates as shown on the top cards. For the ‘slimline’ card I used three of the square prints but die-cut them smaller so I could fit them side by side on a 8¾” x 3¾” card.

I hope you give this a try, it’s quite satisfying and addicting once you get going!

….And did I mention I now have an online class called COLOUR CLUES?…

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Magnolia Blossoms

I have teamed up with the Foiled Fox again to bring you these pretty purple blooms made with My Favorite Things, ‘magnolia blossoms’ stamp set. The set contains two stamps; I have used one, stamped three times. To hide one bloom behind another I stamped a mask first on masking paper. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper, stamped in versafine clair nocturne and embossed in clear powder.

I painted both the sky and the flowers with Dr Ph Martin’s Hydrus watercolour paints. They are highly pigmented so I added a droplet of each colour to a palette then added water. I describe the whole process on the Foiled Fox blog today so pop over there to learn more and take a look around.

The sentiment is also from a MFT set, ‘brushstroke expressions’ stamped in nocturne and embossed in clear for a little shine. See that little pop of yellow in the centre of the blooms, it’s what I call a booster in my new ‘Colour Clues’ class. If you want to know more, click here.

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Ink and doodle journal page

I’ve had oxide inks out on my desk the last few days so I put them to use on a journal page.

I taped the edges of the pages with painter’s tape which gave me a border and held the pages flattish while I worked and painted the page area inside the tape with absorbent ground so I could add water to the inks and move them around a little.

Because the journal pages do not lie flat any more I was only able to pick up sections of ink from my glass mat. To get more coverage I squished ink on a piece of acetate, spritzed it and dragged it across the pages spreading ink as I went.

I added visual texture with two stencils from Darkroom Door then stamped feathers from the DD ‘feathers’ stamp set in black and then in the oxide inks. When it came to doodling on the page I used black and gold gel pens and wrote the verse with the same pens. I finished it off with gold and black splatters then removed the tapes to reveal an uneven but quite artistic border.

This was an unplanned experimental page as many of my pages are. I was inspired mainly by what was on my desk and a desire to doodle some of the design and not just stamp.

I am rather frustrated by the paper in this journal. It is good paper but not made to handle wet media so I am limited in creating the kind of blends and wet into wet designs I love to do. The question is do I persevere and learn some new techniques that don’t rely so much on watercolour (gasp) or do I buy a good watercolour journal?

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