Woodsy Autumn

This new set, ‘Woodsy’ from Penny Black will be fabulous for winter scenes but before I put it to work in the snow I decided to create an autumn vista with the three trees.

Hoping to create the colour mass I see when the trees are at their best I pulled out a few brusho powders. I didn’t come close to the beauty outside right now but the brusho powders did not disappoint. If you have used brusho you will know they are unpredictable. I had a scene in mind and hoped the brusho would play its part.

First I stamped the three trees in ‘fallen leaves’ versafine clair ink and embossed in clear powder on hot pressed watercolour paper. To preserve the white tree trunks I used a clear embossing marker to cover the length of each trunk and embossed in clear powder again. With distress inks and blending brushes I blended speckled egg ink in the sky area and fossilized amber and brushed corduroy on the ground. I used simple post-it note masks to suggest hills and horizon.

Before sprinkling brusho over the panel I lay a paper mask over the sky at the top of the panel and ground at the bottom of the panel. I sprinkled sandstone brusho over the middle area then spritzed from 10″ inches above. I watched and waited as the colours began to appear and spread then added a little more brusho and water. I dried it with a heat tool before repeating the process. You have to be patient with brusho; if you add too much water too soon you will not have spots and dots of colour. Sandstone brusho is made up of several colours so I saw yellow, red, orange and brown appear, even a few blue dots too.

Once I had some nice patterns appearing I added a bit of yellow brusho and a tiny sprinkle of terracotta then left the panel alone while I ate lunch. After drying the panel thoroughly I blended more ink with the same post-it masks I had used at the beginning.

When I stopped I couldn’t decide if the scene was artsy or just messy. I set it aside and tried a few other approaches for a brusho autumn scene but kept coming back to this one, the messy, artsy, woodsy one!

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Creating a Swatch Book – Video

Recently I received a 6″x9″ Mixed Media Journal from Grafix and decided to turn it into a swatch book. It’s maybe not the most artistic use for the new mixed media journals but I am hoping it will be useful for me as I create projects and teach classes using alcohol inks and non-permeable surfaces.

As you can see from the top photo the journal is disc bound which means I can add new pages as I buy more products! I filmed my swatching process so you can see how I am using my mixed media journal.

So far I have swatched alcohol inks, including mixatives and alloys. In doing so I realised how many were almost empty, which means of course I can get a few new ones!

I’ve also swatched alcohol markers and paint markers. I’m not swatching all my markers on the craft plastics and dura-lar pages as many of my markers are made for paper. (that’s another swatch book waiting to happen)

I work with the paint markers on craft plastic and glass so I swatched on black craft plastic and clear dura-lar.

The mixed media journals also come in 6″x6″ and are a new product so I can’t tell you exactly where to find them right now but I do know DeSerres, Crop A While and Foiled Fox all carry Grafix products as do most art stores so you could ask them to get one in for you.

I am excited to keep adding to mine and to use it when ever I’m working on plastic surfaces.

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Checkered Bookmarks

For a change and because I’ve seen a few beautiful stamped and painted bookmarks lately, I decided to make a few of my own. My preference is always a very flat bookmark. I have had fancier bookmarks over the years with layers and lace but I like the book to close nice and flat over the bookmark. These ones are one layer of hot press watercolour paper without even the raised surface of embossing.

I taped a piece of watercolour paper to my glass mat using washi tape and the grid on the mat to keep the tapes even as they divided the panel into three strips. I blended distress inks through the Darkroom Door small checkered stencil onto the panel, two colours for each strip then blended more ink to fill the spaces. I chose a different theme for each bookmark but used reading quotes from the Darkroom Door ‘Bookworm’ set for each one. (all the stamps and inks are listed below)

After painting over all the images with distress ink I used a black pen to darken the edges and a white gel pen to add highlights and dots.

I am always keen to hear book recommendations so feel free to leave them in the comments. Last time I asked several readers suggested authors who were new to me that I ended up reading and enjoying.

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Autumn in the mountains

Outdoors is pretty ‘speccy’ right now. We don’t have too much of the deep red yet but I have seen it here and there. I have got into the habit of going for a walk or run soon after breakfast so I’ve seen the increase in autumn colours over the last few weeks. Yesterday there was fog when I set out so everything was a bit more muted but by the time I headed home the sun was burning off the fog and the golden tones were shining.

The first step in creating this scene was to stamp the top half of the mountain stamp (PB picturesque) in faded jeans and speckled egg distress inks on hot pressed watercolour paper. I painted below the mountains with water softening the colours at the bottom so there was no distinct line where the mountains ended. I then painted over the top of the mountains with water and dropped some spiced marmalade, forest moss and ground espresso ink into the wet area to add colour.

I dried the panel before starting on the trees using the PB arbors stamp. I stamped with ground espresso, fossilized amber, spiced marmalade and crackling campfire, not all at once, a couple of colours at a time to build up the coverage. I spritzed the stamp before stamping but didn’t spritz the paper.

When I was satisfied with the trees I painted ground underneath them and dried the panel again before blending speckled egg ink in the sky and below the branches. To finish I splattered both water and fossilized amber ink to break up the expanses of blue.

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2021 BuJo – October theme

I had no trouble choosing a theme for October in my bullet journal, would it be leaves, leaves or leaves? I die-cut a surround circle mask to protect most of the page, a technique I used in August, April and January. I cut leaf masks from post-it notes using the ‘autumn jewels’ dies from Penny Black.

The same mix of inks carries through on all the pages blending yellows, brown, green and red over the masks with blending brushes.

I added hand lettered titles with a brown papermate flair pen and some shimmer with a nuvo gold shimmer pen.

When I cut the leaf masks I had both the negative space mask used on the pages above and the leaf itself which I used on the calendar page below.

There is a bit of shimmer on the title letters of October but it doesn’t really show up in the photos. It will make me happy each time I turn to the page. Have a lovely October.

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Blended Autumn Bouquet

Today’s card is a second look with the Penny Black ‘autumn bouquet’ stamp. I blended distress inks over a panel of hot pressed watercolour paper before doing any stamping. The colours are listed below.

After blending I stamped the autumn bouquet stamp twice on the panel with brushed corduroy distress ink then painted inside all the leaves, berries and wheat stalks with water. As I painted I also dabbed away water leaving the insides of the images lighter than the outside. I picked up some smooshed ink and dropped it back into the round berries and the wheat berries.

I splattered some water over the panel, let it sit then dabbed it away with paper towel leaving a random pattern of watermarks here and there. The embossed sentiment is from the PB ‘million thanks’ set stamped in fallen leaves versafine clair ink.

Thank you for dropping by. I am indeed grateful for all your support and kindness.

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Big Leafy Hugs

No need to guess where my current inspiration is coming from. I went for three walks last week through the same woods and could see the colours spread over just five days. These leaves are all stamped by one stamp in the Darkroom Door ‘leaves’ set on Fabriano hot pressed watercolour paper. For each impression I inked with a combination of wild honey, old paper and barn door distress inks. After stamping I blended over the image with a pearlescent water mix.

Once I had filled the panel with coloured leaves I stamped over them with the same stamp but just old paper ink which filled the remaining white area with pale leaves. I added more texture with some script, some scratches (both DD background stamps listed below) and some gathered twigs splatter.

Once the panel was dry I sewed around the edges then made a couple of tags featuring a sentiment from the DD ‘warm wishes’ set and a small leaf from the DD ‘leaves’ set. I hope you see some delightful colours outside this week whether they are autumnal or springy!

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Windswept

Today is officially the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere and the leaves are flying here on the blog. I am featuring another new stamp from Penny Black, aptly named windswept. It is a simple rubber cling stamp depicting a branch and loose leaves. On my card the leaves are flying across the whole front and back of the card.

I taped the hot pressed watercolour panel to my glass mat as I planned to spray the panel with both water and ink. I sprayed quickly and lightly with spiced marmalade, scattered straw, rusty hinge, wild honey, vintage photo and stormy sky distress sprays. I sprayed some water over the top to blend some of the inks then dried with a heat tool creating some watermarks as I did so.

Once the panel was dry I stamped the branch across the panel starting on the left hand side (which ended up being the back of the card) then overlapping as I moved across to the right. I used distress inks in the same colours as the sprays to ink the branch a couple of colours at a time.

Once the panel was completely dry I decided to add some more leaves but with gilding flakes. It is a while since I used gilding flakes so I did a quick youtube search and tried two different methods. I preferred the second method which was to stamp with the Tsukineko essential glue pad then press the flakes onto the image. Gilding flakes travel far and wide if you are not careful so I had the vacuum cleaner at my side. I used the Cosmic Shimmer ‘red blaze‘ gilding flakes which are a beautiful mix of red, golds, bronze and brown metallic flakes, perfect for autumn. I finished off the card with a sentiment from the PB ‘ever thanks’ set.

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Gilded Wheat

This beautiful wheat stalk, ‘gilded wheat’ is new from Penny Black. You know that feeling when you think maybe a project is complete but you’re not sure so you keep going? I had that feeling after I had finished stamping, painting and highlighting the wheat stalks. I just wasn’t sure whether to add a background or not.

I stamped the wheat in scattered straw and wild honey distress inks then blended with a paint brush. To add shadow to the sides of the leaves and the base of the wheat berries I used iced spruce ink. After painting I switched to watercolour pencils and added more shadow with a similar grey-green spruce colour.

I could have stopped there and not added the background painting which is kind of patchy but I liked the contrast of the gold colours and the grey so I kept going. Before putting the card together I stamped a sentiment from the PB ‘choose happy’ set and ran the panel through the die cutting machine in the SU ‘subtle’ embossing folder. Sometimes people ask me how I settle on my colour combos; this one was inspired by the small leaves at the top of the previous card. Who knew grey and gold would be so happy together?

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Autumn Bouquet

Are the leaves changing where you are? I noticed this morning a few patches of colour on the predominately green trees. The mornings are quite fresh too and the sunsets are amazing. Today’s card features a new Penny Black stamp ‘autumn bouquet’ teamed up with a couple of favourite filler stamps, ‘fresh fern’ and ‘fragile beauty’.

I kept the autumn bouquet stamp in the positioner so I could stamp each element one at a time. There are three types of leaves plus the wheat and the berries. All were done with a combination of inks. Often I ink the image using markers then smoosh the corresponding ink pad on my glass mat to give me ink for painting inside the stamped image.

I used partial stamping to add the fern fronds and twigs. I usually ink the bit furtherest from the existing stamping then fill more in each time I stamp so as to avoid stamping over the top of other elements. This is because I am often too lazy to mask the stamping I’ve already done.

After painting and blending inside all the stamped images I used blending brushes to add iced spruce to two edges and splattered some over the panel. I trimmed and popped up the panel on a white luxe card base.

Have a wonderful weekend, thanks for dropping by.

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