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Grateful for everything

This gratitude themed card heralds the beginning of a gratitude focus on my blog for the coming week. Starting next Monday I will be collaborating with the Foiled Fox crew to celebrate gratitude. Before I dive into that collaboration though I thought I would share this card and issue an invitation to you, my wonderful readers. I am very thankful for those of you who pop in to see what I have been creating. Some of you have been visiting for years, others are new around here; some of you leave me a little encouragement from time to time in the comments section and others contact me with questions and feedback; I love hearing from you.

With gratitude as my focus over the next week and in fact next two weeks leading up to our Canadian Thanksgiving, I thought I would send out some cards to you, my readers. Thing is though, I’ll need to you supply an address if you would like to receive a card in the mail. Please don’t leave your address in the comment section, instead use the Contact Me button at the top of the page.

This lovely spray of flowers is from Concord & 9th; I have embossed it on hot pressed watercolour paper with clear powder. The bold colour is from Dr Ph Martin’s Hydrus inks. They are liquid watercolour inks and are very saturated. You don’t need much ink to get wonderful depth of colour; a little goes a long way and they mix beautifully to create new colours. I only used four colours to paint this panel but with a little mixing or diluting I was able to create an olive green and a pale green, a  yellow and a couple of oranges as well as use the brown and red straight from the bottle.

To create a strip of co-ordinating plaid paper I used the plaid background stamped in memento dandelion ink for the yellow then added green and red ruled lines with distress markers. To divide the busy plaid strip from the busy floral panel I added a very thin strip of red cardstock.  As usual I switched to versafine ink for the sentiment because it stamps fine lines so well. Isn’t that a sweet and thoughtful sentiment? I’m looking forward to sending it out to friends; maybe it will end up in your mail box.

See you next week for more gratitudinal fun! (is that a real word?)

Supplies

Stamps: grateful for everything, plaid background (C & 9)
 
Inks: versamark, versafine vintage sepia, dandelion memento ink & candied apple distress marker, peeled paint distress marker
  
Paint: Dr Ph Martins deep red rose, phthalo green, gamboge, Venetian brown
 
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, neenah cream, red cardstock
 
Also: T-ruler, glass mat, clear embossing powder, cutterpillar paper trimmer
  

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Many Mandalas

To be honest, I originally chose the ‘many mandalas’ stamp set for the range of sentiments rather than the mandalas. After taking a closer look I got inspired to stamp with the intricate circular designs and had a happy time creating a panel which I now want to turn into fabric! The stamps in this set are made of very fine lines so you can make very intricate designs with them. The set also has a guide for putting all the separate stamps together to make the intricate mandala you see in the centre of my card. That’s not one stamp; oh no; that is made from five separate stamps one inside another. Yes it is tricky to get them lined up (the guide helps with this) but having them as separate stamps means you can create an unending number of patterns. You can see from my card I have single or double patterns surrounding the central intricate design. Trust me; these stamps are fun.

I stamped my design in versamark but I probably should have gone for a coloured ink (duh!) as I was embossing in gunmetal powder anyway. I stamped the individual mandala circle stamps one at a time on hot pressed watercolour paper and embossed after each stamping. If I had used a coloured pigment ink to see where I had stamped I probably could have stamped several before stopping to emboss with the gunmetal powder. After I’d done all my embossing I sprinkled tangerine, violet and fuchsia colorburst powders over the panel and spritzed with water. I try not to sprinkle too much the first time so I can see where each colour has fallen and then decide if I want to feature a colour in a particular place. You can see from the close up that I did concentrate some areas as violet, some as tangerine and others as a blend. To keep a section as one colour I started moving and adding colour with a paintbrush instead of sprinkling it from the bottle. I used my glass mat as a palette and mixed some of each colour on the mat so I could then paint it into sections on the panel. Once all the painting was done I dried the panel and painted diamond glaze over several of the mandalas. You can probably see a reflective shine on parts of the top two photos, that’s the glaze.

To complete the card I decided to slice the panel into three pieces and pop them up on foam on a white card base. I stamped the sentiment on white too in some versafine clair glamorous ink. Now if there was a way to turn this small panel into a nice big piece of fabric I think I would be making myself something to wear.

Supplies

Stamps: many mandalas (C&9th)

Inks: versamark, glamorous versafine clair
 
Paint: violet, tangerine, fuchsia colorburst powders
  
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, neenah solar white
 
Also: gunmetal embossing powder, glossy accents


Painting with painted prints

When I was working with the painted prints set a few weeks back I kept experimenting and came up with a process that uses only one of the stamps in each co-ordinated set of 2 or 3 layered stamps. The stamps are designed to work in 2’s or 3’s; you usually stamp the larger stamp first then the smaller ones over the top.

Instead for these cards I worked with the second stamp of each layering combo. I stamped in distress ink and used a brush and water to blend the stamping into a fuller shape. This gave me light and darker shading on each flower. I stamped and restamped the leaves and stems to get dark, medium and light green tones. A little spritz of water over the leaves made the colour bleed into the paper a bit more then I finished it off with some green splatter. The inks used in the card above were worn lipstick, aged mahogany, forest moss and shabby shutters.

This second rose card I completed the same way but didn’t fling quite so much water around. The inks were tea dye for the stamping of the rose (the second layer stamp) and abandoned coral for blending over the top. Once again the leaves and stems were forest moss and shabby shutters. To make it just that little bit fancier I matted with a dark gold cardstock and embossed the sentiment with gold powder.

The technique described here is the one I used for the tulips in the previous post. Layering stamps are very clever but I am happy to also have worked out a loose looking un-layered technique to try with them; you know I like blending everything with water!

Supplies

Stamps: painted prints, fluttering friends (MFT)

Inks: worn lipstick, aged mahogany, shabby shutters, forest moss, mowed lawn, tea dye, abandoned coral, versamark
  
Paper: cold pressed watercolour paper, shimmer antique gold cardstock, pale green cardstock, burgandy cardstock,
 
Also: metallic gold rich embossing powder


Painted tulips

My Favorite Things is having a competition to find some Card Design Superstars so I thought I would throw a card into the ring. This one is created with stamps from the ‘Painted Prints’ stamp set. I have another post coming on Monday which explains my process using the rose stamps from the same set. I pulled this card out of that post so I could enter it in the ‘Clean & Simple’ category of the competition.

I used distress inks for all the flowers, leaves and stems then switched to versafine for the delightful sentiment from the ‘All About You’ set.

Supplies

Stamps: painted prints, all about you (MFT)

Inks: dusty concord, milled lavender, forest moss, mowed lawn, abandoned coral, picked raspberry distress inks, shady lane versafine clair
    
Paper: cold pressed watercolour paper, olive green cardstock


Christmas berries

I’m hanging out on the Foiled Fox blog today, one of my favourite places to be. They have a bunch of lovely new stamps & dies from Penny Black; if you haven’t had a chance to browse their new arrivals, you really should. Christmas berries is one of the new rubber cling stamps and I have filled out my panel with extra branches from a handy set called ‘winter branches‘.

I used a stamp positioner so I could work on berries separately from leaves and twigs. I stamped the berries in ‘festive berries’ ink (imagine that) and blended on the paper with a paint brush. I let the ink dry before painting some ‘aged mahogany’ onto the shadowed areas of the berries.

I inked the leaves with pine needles distress ink at one end and peeled paint at the other. After stamping I blended the two colours together with a damp brush. I stamped all the branch and twiggy bits with ground espresso distress ink which is a nice dark brown and used the same colour to paint details onto the berries. I used the ‘Winter Branches’ stamps to fill out the design but first I stamped the Christmas berries stamp on post-it notes so I could cut some masks to cover the berries while I stamped the branches over the top in the ground espresso ink.

I switched to versafine vintage sepia ink for the sentiment because it prints fine detail so well. To make the colour closer to the depth of ground espresso I just stamped several times in the stamp positioner.

Supplies

Stamps: Christmas berries 40-626(PB), winter branches 40-637, Joyful wishes 30-434
 
Inks: pine needles, peeled paint, festive berries, aged mahogany, ground espresso distress inks & vintage sepia versafine ink
     
Paper: hot pressed watercolour

Also: stamping platform


Peaceful

This simple card utilises only two stamps and three inks but I think it manages to convey an impression of a big winter sky. I splattered masking fluid on hot pressed watercolour paper then, after it had dried I sprayed water, stormy sky and forest moss stains over the panel. I did it fairly randomly but tilted the paper to keep one corner pale while the rest of the panel filled with colour.

When the sky was partially dry I stamped the trees with forest moss distress ink. With the trees in place I added more drops of stormy sky stain and scattered straw stain while tilting the panel upside down to make the colours bleed up into the sky like the northern lights. I blended forest moss stain into the stamped trees then let the panel dry before removing the masking fluid.

I trimmed the panel to cover the whole card front and added a sentiment from the PB ‘Christmas and love’ set. I had forgotten how much I like the look of masking fluid splatter. I use it more as snow in wintry scenes than anything else but it adds a little something to other designs also. Now I want to go and splatter masking fluid on all my watercolour paper…

Supplies

Stamps: peaceful 30-511(PB), Christmas and love 30-508(PB)

Inks: forest moss distress stain, stormy sky distress stain, scattered straw distress stain olympia green versafine
     
Paper: hot pressed watercolour

Also: masking fluid


Christmas arrangement

I have another Christmas card for you today; in fact it is going to be ‘Christmassy’ all week here on my blog. If you haven’t watched Michael McIntyre talk about feeling Christmassy you should check it out; I’m sure you’ll smile. I’m not actually feeling Christmassy myself; I love summer too much to wish it away right now but I have started creating with Christmas stamps as well as wintry images. This PB stamp is called ‘Christmas arrangement’. I embossed it in platinum embossing powder, which is such a lovely not gold/not silver but still shiny colour. All the watercolouring was done with zig clean colour real brush markers. If I didn’t have exactly the colour I wanted I did some blending to get it. You can see in the close up that I did not take all that much care with my colouring but the overall effect is still vibrant with the pop of red against both dark and muted greens.

The sentiment is from the ‘peaceful season’ set and the whole panel is matted in red to make those berries pop even more.

Now if you are in Australia or elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere you would realise that preparing for Christmas does not herald the coming of winter, far from it. The Christmasses I enjoyed for the first part of my life were often hot and sunny. We headed off to the Christmas tree farm in t-shirts, played cricket in my grandparents back yard after Christmas dinner and often headed off for some time at the beach after Boxing Day.

Supplies

Stamps: Christmas arrangement 40-646(PB), peaceful season 30-498(PB)
 
Ink: versamark

Markers: zig clean color real brush markers

Paper: hot pressed watercolour, red

Also: platinum embossing powder