Just one more chapter

Just one more bookish card? Of course not; there will always be more bookish cards, especially as Darkroom Door keeps creating more bookish stamps! Today’s card, which of course can be sent to a fellow reader on any occasion, features the new ‘reading’ sentiment strip as a background wallpaper and as the sentiment. Darkroom Door has a range of sentiment strips each containing 9-10 sentiments. I could cut them up into individual stamps but I have kept them all as strips so I can stamp them all at once if I want to. I did so on today’s card to create a background in rusty hinge distress ink on watercolour paper. I painted water over the top of the stamping to blur it but you can still read most of the bookish mantras.

I also used the DD stamp ‘book spines’ to create my line up of books. I stamped it on three different gel prints and embossed each one in a different metallic ink. I cut up all the prints then rearranged the books to have green, blue, yellow and brown books across the shelf. Even though I chose random gel prints I love the way the texture of plastic lids and packaging has become aged leather on the book spines.

After attaching my books to the background I stamped just one phrase from the sentiment strip by masking above and below the words then added it to the card. A little shading along the top of the books give a bit of dimension.

This turned out to be the perfect card for today because I have been part of the Coptic Challenge at ‘The Handmade Book Club‘ this week. Today is the last day of instruction which covers sewing the book together. When I have completed my book I will post it on the blog. It is the second time I have participated in the five day challenge; both experiences have been very enjoyable and the instruction is fabulous.

So, read one more chapter and have a great weekend.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp)


Merry Berries

As I was stamping and painting this panel it hadn’t occurred to me that these berries are mistletoe and maybe shouldn’t have been red! The stamp is called Merry Berries from Penny Black and it’s stamped three times. I picked a red and a purple for the berries and a couple of greens for the leaves. I used both distress inks and distress markers to get everything inked.

With this many small leaves and berries I work in a stamp positioner and sometimes ink the stamp with one ink pad and then remove ink where I don’t want it. I stamp that first colour or in the case of the leaves, the mix of forest moss and mowed lawn and, because I had wiped ink off the berries, they will be unstamped (ideally!). I switched to markers to ink the berries, stamping a couple of times to build up shadow and depth. Once all the leaves and berries are inked I blend with a paintbrush and water to fill the shapes.

The little white dots on the leaves are the result of splattered masking fluid on the hot pressed watercolour paper. I splatter the masking fluid on several panels of watercolour paper ahead of time and let them dry so I can grab one when I need one. When all the stamping and painting is completed and dry I rub the masking fluid off with my fingers or with adhesive eraser. To finish the card I stamped a sentiment from the PB ‘promise of hope’ set.

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Let’s Skate

Don’t let that blog post title trick you. I won’t ever be the one saying, “Let’s Skate”! I will happily say, “Let’s make cute cards with skates on them.” My less than stellar skating experience ended when my children became proficient and I realised I didn’t have to get out on the ice and wobble around any more.

These lovely skate dies are from Penny Black and I was thrilled when I saw them. I have been using them in the Christmas card class I’ve been teaching but decided to make a few vintage looking pairs with various pieced layers. Quite unusual for me to piece layers but I do like how they turned out. On card above I filled them with die-cut foliage.

Both pairs of skates are popped up on snowflake backgrounds printed then foiled from my daughter’s snowflake designs available in her Etsy store. I printed the file on kraft paper on my laser printer then foiled in white on the piece above and Brutus Monroe silver foil on the design below.

The vintage style cream colour I used for the boot is a gel print, black cardstock for the heel, silver for the blade and some burgandy for the trim. Fiddly but worth it in the end.

These skates look really cute cut from patterned or collaged paper too. Not cute enough to make me want to skate though!

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp & Ecstasy Crafts)

Christmas Elegance

You might recognise the type of background I used for today’s card. It is one of my gel printing clean up sheets. I think this one looks a bit like plaid. I used the Penny Black ‘Christmas elegance’ die to cut the tree from the panel and splattered with gold paint.

I attached the die cut panel to an embossed piece of white cardstock, also plaid. The sentiment is a little tricky to see; I think it might have been better to stamp it in navy ink rather than emboss those tiny words. All in all the card is simple and elegant and I like that combination!

By the way I have updated the classes page with my final in-person class for the year. I wish I could tell you the new online class is also ready! I’m working on it!

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp)


Stay Cosy

Today is the perfect day for a ‘stay cosy’ message. Overnight the snow started falling and the world is white once more. I guess that lovely long autumn wasn’t going to last forever!

This card came together quite easily as I had some of the elements left over from other projects. The background is made from a digital stamp designed by my daughter (Echidna Studios on Etsy). I printed the snowflakes on kraft paper with my laser printer then foiled with white white foil. I love how delicate and pretty they are.

The sleds, skis and cosy winter clothes were left over from previous years and I had stored them with the dies just in case. They are all cut from painted watercolour paper. I hand cut the snow drifts from linen textured paper and added the sentiment from the PB ‘jolly snippets’ set.

Hope you stay cosy today!

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp and Ecstasy Crafts)


Snowfield

I have teamed up with the Foiled Fox today to bring you this snowy scene. It’s all one big beautiful Penny Black stamp called snowfield. The PB scenic stamps are fun to combine with each other or just add a few elements to but I generally stamp them first all by themselves. I like to get to know the stamp because a scenic stamp often has foreground, middle ground and background elements. In order to use watercolour techniques with them I need to work out what part of the stamp I should ink first.

In a snowscape it is also important to think about which parts of the panel need to stay untouched by ink or paint so they can look like fresh white snow! If you pop over to the Foiled Fox blog you will find my step by step process described. I used both water soluble (distress inks) and waterproof (archival inks) on this scene. I blended several colours on the fence posts so those were stamped with distress inks. The details on the trees are very fine so I used archival inks for a solid print along with some distress which I could blend over the larger trunk and branches to fill the silhouette shape. Of course the sky and snow is all done with distress inks because I wanted to add water so I could blend and dilute.

When painting shadows around snowy areas it is sometimes hard to keep all the white areas white; that is where a paint pen, gel pen or some white paint can come in handy for touching up at the end. You can even add paint splatter at the end rather than masking fluid at the beginning if you like.

I hope you take some time to visit the Foiled Fox blog; they have a world of inspiration waiting for you.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox)


Winter Berry Beauty

A few weeks back I inked this stamp in autumn colours which reflected what I was seeing outside my window. I promised to do a more wintry version and here it is. Once again I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper with masking fluid splatters over it. I kept the panel in the stamp positioner so I could work on the red berries and green leaves separately avoiding too much bleeding of green into red and vice versa.

I used fired brick, barn door and aged mahogany to get variety in the berries. I inked, stamped then blended with a damp paintbrush. The leaves are a mix of forest moss and peeled paint. When I had finished stamping and painting the leaves and berries I noticed how much ‘masking fluid’ splatter was not covered in ink. If I don’t paint or stamp over it there is less of the falling snow effect on the finished panel. Rather than paint around the berries I used blending brushes to add shabby shutters distress ink on the left and broken china on the right. I also stamped a bit of music background in peeled paint.

The sentiment is from the PB Christmas feeling set and the finished card is a little larger than my usual at 6.25″ x 4.5″. I did a count of completed Christmas cards the other day and found I am further ahead than I thought. How are you progressing. What is your goal? Just curious…I’m aiming for around 100 and the Australia bound ones need to get in the mail soonish!

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp and Ecstasy Crafts)


Can’t wait to see you

Time to show off a new Darkroom Door beauty today. Darkroom Door’s latest release is now available and I chose the ‘clocks’ texture stamp for a vintage style card. Darkroom Door is always coming out with fresh new ideas and sometimes expand older themes and collections. The clocks are also available as a full background stamp. Having a smaller texture stamp featuring clocks is going to be wonderful for journal pages. I paired it with another DD stamp, pocket watch.

I used the texture stamp to fill my background by stamping it four times on a hot pressed watercolour panel. The panel was splattered with masking fluid because that is the mode I am in right now. I inked the clock stamp with a mix of yellow and browns initially, spritzed on the stamp and blended after stamping on the paper. I added the blue and rust a second time round because I needed more contrast.

I used the same mix of colours to fill and surround the embossed pocket watch and also embossed a partial sentiment from the ‘long distance’ sentiment set. When I had trimmed and arranged the two layers I decided to add a bit of script over the top using a stamp from the DD correspondence set. I enjoyed working with these images and colours so much you might see them expanded to fill a journal page.

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Snowy Panorama

As I post yet another winter scene I can tell you there is still no sign of winter round here. We’ve been having mild fall days. It is weird for it to be so warm with the trees almost bare! To create today’s card I used Penny Black’s ‘panorama’ stamp. I stamped the horizon line first in broken china distress ink. This is a step I often do if I want to paint the sky with the wet on wet technique. By stamping the edge where the snow meets the trees I was able to paint water on the whole panel from the horizon up then add in broken china and uncharted mariner to get a varied blue sky. I did get blue ink on the white tree trunks but I had already decided I would touch them up with white paint at the end of the process.

While the sky was still drying (in the stamp postioner) I inked the distant trees with forest moss and pine needles and stamped. The ink soaked into the damp paper creating the soft focus effect you see above. I dried the panel then switched to an archival ink to stamp the three foreground trees. I also stamped them in black soot distress ink and the lines in the snow with uncharted mariner. I blended a bit with a paint brush but also spritzed lightly to get the inks to feather out a little.

You can probably tell I started with splattered masking fluid on the watercolour panel. I tend to do a few panels at a time so they are ready later when I want to stamp a winter scene. If you don’t want to bother with masking fluid you can always splatter with white paint when you have finished your scene.

Thank you to all who left me a kind message on my Rivulet card post. Many of your guesses were close; like me you picked a brown and a blue. The two inks were uncharted mariner and ground espresso; I love the range of hues I got when those two mixed.

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Rivulet

I love it when I find a stamp that looks like somewhere I’ve been. I couldn’t tell you exactly where this is but I have experienced scenery like this. I’ve said it before but winter here in the dark cold north is very beautiful. This gorgeous PB stamp is called ‘rivulet’ and I used only two inks! I am going to let you guess the inks. I’ll update the links below in a few days but I’d really like to see your guesses. (hint: they are distress inks)

I worked on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper splattered with masking fluid. I used the splatter brush I have used in the past. It gives a fine splatter. If I want bigger spots masked I will use an old paint brush. I worked in a stamp positioner, stamping first in one ink colour, then partially inking the stamp with the second colour before stamping again. I used a fine tip paint brush to blend the ink to fill the tree trunks and rivulet. I smooshed the inks on my glass mat so I could pick up extra ink if needed to fill some areas.

The panel is larger than my usual 4.25″x 5.5″ but I didn’t want to trim it so I left a little extra space at the bottom of a larger card base for the sentiment from PB set ‘jolly snippets. I have already made a second card with this stamp, changing ink colours to suggest a different time of day. Don’t forget to leave your ink colour guesses for this card in the comments below!

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