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Beautiful branches

I’m over on the Foiled Fox blog today sharing these lovely stamps and vibrant Catherine Pooler inks. This set is definitely a set for all seasons!

The beautiful branches set from Concord & 9th has been sitting un-inked for months. It really shouldn’t have been; there is so much I can do with it. I decided to start with just two ideas; a fall card and a winter one but there are little flowers in the set so spring would be easy to put together too. The stamp set includes a bare branch then a bunch of different shaped leaves, berries, flowers and sweet sentiments. For both cards I stamped the bare branch in versafine vintage sepia ink which is waterproof. Even though I was planning to blend the leaves with water I didn’t want the branch to blend or bleed at all.

For the leaves I used Catherine Pooler inks, spruce, shea butter and green tea. I inked a roundish leaf with either shea butter and green tea or green tea and shea butter. I inked the whole leaf in the lighter colour first then rolled the edge of the leaf over the darker colour. I spritzed the stamp lightly then stamped over one of the little twig ends on the branch, gradually filling the branch with round leaves. After stamping each leaf I blended it with a paintbrush and water. I also stamped some second generation leaf images and blended them with water to create very pale leaves.

I dried the panel before adding the berries in CP juniper mist ink and blended them with water also. To finish the design I splattered some green tea and juniper mist inks over the panel but then noticed a leaf vein stamp in the set, designed to go with the round leaf. I didn’t want the veins to dominate the design  so I stamped them in green tea and re-stamped without re-inking to get even paler impressions. The last thing I did was add a sentiment from the same set in versafine majestic blue ink.

I decided to use the same technique for my winter branch but didn’t have a red CP ink so I pulled in festive berries distress ink which also blends nicely with water. I chose a longer thinner leaf stamp and inked it with spruce and juniper mist which, when blended made a deep bluey green. Once again I blended with water on the paper after stamping. The darker leaves are all first generation stamping and the others second and third generation. I started, as in the fall card, with a cold pressed watercolour panel splattered with masking fluid. I finished by splattering with juniper mist ink, dried it, then splattered embossing fluid and sprinkled silver powder over the top. My sentiment, from the C&9 Very Merry Sentiments set is stamped in Juniper Mist.

I was so happy with the possibilities of this set and the juicy goodness of the CP inks I almost went on to make the summer and spring cards right away but I do have more pressing projects so I’ll leave that for another day.

Let me know if you’ve found a stamp set that spans the seasons like this one.

Supplies

Stamps: beautiful branches, very merry sentiments (C&9)
 
Inks: Catherine Pooler spruce, shea butter, green tea, juniper mist & Versafine vintage sepia, majestic blue & festive berries distress ink
   
Paper: cold pressed watercolour paper, neenah natural white, red cardstock

Also: emboss it dabber, masking fluid, emboss it dabber, silver embossing powder, cutterpillar crop, cutterpillar glass mat

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Birches

Oh look another tree stamp! I created a wintry scene with the new ‘birches’ stamp and older ‘peaceful winter’ set from Penny Black. I began by stamping the birches stamp in black and embossing it in clear powder. I die cut a circle from frisket film to mask the moon and pressed it down firmly in the top right corner then splattered masking fluid over the panel. Frisket film and masking fluid (sometimes called liquid frisket) are used to mask areas when watercolouring; the film is plastic with an adhesive back and the fluid is gummy when it dries. You should be able to remove them easily after all your painting is dry.

I placed some masking tape across the birch trunks then stamped the distant trees stamp from the ‘peaceful winter’ set in nocturne ink. The distant trees gave me a horizon line above which I painted my distress ink sky. I pressed both wilted violet and blueprint sketch inks onto my glass mat, added a little water and painted the sky. By letting the ink dry slightly between applications I was able to get some darker ‘dried’ lines in the sky. Once the sky dried I removed the moon mask.

I decided to add some shadow to the birch trunks by painting diluted black soot ink here and there. I used the same colours but more diluted to add some shadow in the foreground snow. Once the ink dried I removed the masking fluid, added a sentiment from the ‘smile all season’ set and immediately thought of someone who would like this colour scheme.

Supplies:

Stamps: birches, peaceful winter, smile all season (all PB)

Inks: nocturne versafine clair, wilted violet, blueprint sketch, black soot distress inks

Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper

Also: glass mat, clear embossing powder, masking fluid, frisket film


When a plan goes awry

Today’s card was the result of a thought I had after making a Christmas themed card featuring the berries seen on this one. The Penny Black berry stamp is called ‘Christmas berries’ so it is hardly surprising that I made a Christmas card with them but I wanted to see if I could put them to use in a non-Christmas card too.

I started by stamping the dancing daisies in blue, purple, green and yellow (they were all distress inks and I will make a guess at them in the list below but once again I didn’t write them down). After stamping I blended the petals  and leaves with water and a paint brush. I masked the daisies as I had saved masks from a previous project, stamped the berries in pinky, purply colours so they wouldn’t look Christmassy and blended again with water.

Finally I added some ‘winter branches’ in brown ink. This is where my plan started to unravel. I didn’t want to mask all those berries and flowers to put the winter branches in the background so I stamped them over the top and blended them with a paintbrush also. With the blending they became more prominent than I wanted; without the blending they looked badly stamped because I was working on textured cold pressed watercolour paper.

I finished off the panel with some dark brown splatter then moved onto another project undecided whether to turn this one into a card or not. When I came back to this panel later I decided to break up the dominance of the brown winter branches with a sentiment panel. I used a die from the gift card pocket set to cut a decorative shape from hot pressed watercolour paper and adhesive backed foam then stamped a sentiment from the banner sentiments set. I ended up liking the idea and the colours of this card but it’s not my best layout.

Supplies

Stamps: dancing daisies, Christmas berries, winter branches, banner sentiments (all PB)

Inks: blueprint sketch, dusty concord, fossilized amber, forest moss, festive berries, gathered twigs distress inks & monarch versafine clair

Paper: cold pressed watercolour paper, hot pressed watercolour paper

Die: gift card pocket (PB)

Tools: adhesive backed foam, Misti


Brusho Floral Medley video

I have been asked a few times for a video showing how I use brusho for emboss resist panels. It is definitely one of my favourite techniques. I have used it with picture stamps and patterns, with one colour of paint powder or several; the principles are the same. I have added a list of emboss resist cards made with paint powders at the end of this post.

One key point to remember when using brusho over embossing is not to overdo the powder or the water. A little at a time means you can see what patterns and depth of colour are developing before you add anything more. In the video I show my method for moving colour around; I often pick up paint from an area with too much pigment and paint it somewhere else.

Obviously you if you sprinkle paint powder on a panel and then spritz with water it will not stay inside all the lines but that is part of the beauty of this technique. If this is a bit too loose and artsy for you try the same technique over an embossed pattern stamp.

Other cards featuring emboss resist with paint powders
happy cacti, embossed grevillea, roses in bloom, black brusho grid, shimmery summer glow, roses all over, flower garden, happy canada day, felicity, falling florals

Thank you for dropping by today; I hope the technique in the video is something you try one day. Let me know if you do; I’d love to hear or see how it went.

Supplies

Stamps: floral medley, banner sentiments

Die: thankful heart
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Inks: versamark, versafine clair monarch

Paper: hot pressed watercolour, purple cardstock

Paint: terracotta, leaf green, violet brusho

Also: clear embossing powder, double sided adhesive, misti


An apple a day

Today’s card cannot guarantee you the health benefits of an actual apple but I hope it brings a smile. I stamped and painted it with distress inks and I’m sorry to say I didn’t record the colours. I was attending an all day crop and teaching a few mini classes during the day. My table was set up with inks and stamps and watercolour paper and I came and went from classroom to table resuming my card panels whenever I returned to my table. My best guess would be festive berries, mowed lawn, vintage photo, forest moss, gathered twigs and squeezed lemonade. Maybe I should tell you my process instead because apples come in a range of colours; there is no wrong answer! I used my stamp positioner and worked one colour at a time. I inked the apples in red and wiped any red ink off the leaves before stamping then I used water and a paintbrush to blend all the stamped ink to cover the apple skin. While the area was wet I dropped in some green ink to create some variation and shadow. I dried the red before inking all the leaves in the two greens, stamped and blended them with a paint brush also. I inked the stems in brown and stamped them over the leaves. Once the leaves were dry I also used some brown or maybe forest moss ink to paint the veins back on the leaves. I stamped the centre of the cut apple with brown ink and painted some onto the shadow at the bottom of the apple also. The flesh of the apple looked a bit too stark so I painted some yellow and blended a bit of the red from the edge into the white area as well.

You’ve probably noticed my apple looks like it is in a snow storm. I worked on cold pressed watercolour paper splattered with masking fluid, probably not entirely necessary for a close up apple image but I’m claiming artist’s licence. I had splattered masking fluid over a batch of cold pressed panels in preparation for the all day crop as I was planning to work mainly on snow scenes. When I went to assemble the card I thought the apple needed a bit of shadow to ground it so I painted some diluted festive berries and chipped sapphire ink because they were in reach on my desk. As is often the case for me, I left any thoughts of a sentiment until the end. After a search through my sentiment dies I settled on ‘you’re sweet’ then matted the panel in the same green cardstock.

Do you have an apple a day? I usually do but sometimes there are peaches or mangoes or nectarines that distract me from the humble apple.

Supplies

Stamps: apples

Die: you’re sweet

Inks: festive berries, mowed lawn, vintage photo, forest moss, gathered twigs, squeezed lemonade distress inks

Paper: cold pressed watercolour paper, green cardstock

Tools: stamp positioner, masking fluid

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Alcohol lift ink and a collage stamp

I have done some experimenting with alcohol lift ink in the past month and learnt a few things along the way. There are a couple of variables that can affect the process and results. The main thing I learnt is that it does not hurt to let things dry longer than you think might be necessary. Let me give you some examples. So far I have done all my experimentation on yupo paper with one or two colours of ink and some rubbing alcohol to help move the ink around and create colour variation. When you create an abstract background on yupo paper let it dry for at least 10 minutes but preferably longer; if it is humid weather it will need to be longer. Sometimes I have so much fun creating pretty background panels with alcohol ink I end up with a lot of ink on the yupo; the process will work best if I give all that ink plenty of time to dry.

Once the coloured panel is dry it is time to use the alcohol lift ink. The ink takes out some colour but not all the colour. You can see in the two panels below it went from dark to light. Even with a light panel the lift ink will still remove some colour but the contrast will be less and the effect more subtle. This Darkroom Door collage stamp was perfect for the technique and shows you that solid stamping and fine detail stamping both work with the alcohol lift technique. I positioned the stamp  in my stamp positioner, inked it with alcohol lift ink and pressed it down onto the coloured panel. After a few seconds I lifted the stamp, removed the panel and set it aside for more waiting. While I was waiting I pressed an envelope down onto the stamp which was now covered with the ‘lifted ink’. I pressed the edge of the envelope onto one side of the stamp because I did not want the whole stamp image. You could put a piece of cardstock into the stamp positioner and stamp the whole lifted image.

After at least ten minutes of drying time I returned to my alcohol ink panel and started dabbing the lift ink off with a paper towel. Each dab picks up some colour so I kept rearranging my paper towel so I would not be dabbing colour back onto my panel. When there was no more evidence of ‘shiny’ lift ink on the panel I gently buffed the panel with a clean area of paper towel. If all the ink is dry at this point the stamped image will get clearer as you polish. If there is any wet alcohol ink or lift ink the image will blur or spread. This is why it is worth giving the panel plenty of drying time and dabbing time.

The card on the left was made with just ranger pitch black alcohol ink and rubbing alcohol; I ended up with black, pale blue and burgandy areas on the panel. The card on the right was made with ranger indigo alcohol ink and I think some cloudy blue as well but I didn’t write them down so I’m not sure. The stamp has its own frame so I just trimmed my panel close to that and attached it to a white card base.

It is worth watching a couple of alcohol lift ink videos before you try the technique. After completing a few panels I found myself wondering which stamps I would try next.

Supplies

Stamps: butterfly garden, happy birthday sentiment stamp (DD)
 
Inks: pitch black , indigo ranger alcohol inks, ranger alcohol lift ink, distress chipped sapphire, versafine clair nocturne
 
Paper: yupo heavy white, neenah solar white

Tools: stamp positioner


Thankful for you giveaway winners

The Foiled Fox and I are excited to announce three winners who participated in our gratitude week by telling us what they were thankful for. Each winner receives a $25 gift voucher for the Foiled Fox online store. Thank you to everyone who participated; it is great to be part of this kind, generous and thankful crafting community.