Lilac & Fern

I don’t think I am alone in calling this stamp set a favourite. The two lilac stalks are pretty alone but with a sprig or two of fern they are delightful. I stamped this panel a while ago so the exact process is no longer firm in my memory but I do remember a crucial step which I will share with you.

I inked then stamped the lilacs with a mix of distress inks and Karin markers and the ferns with peeled paint distress ink. It looked ok but not the soft blended bunch I was after. I did like the combo of lilacs and ferns though so I thought I would dilute it all and see what happened. I didn’t spritz it; I drowned it. I dipped the whole panel in a bucket of water (the laundry is right beside my workroom) and watched a lot but not all of the colour drain away. The brightness of the peeled paint ink washed out but the olive stain remained. The lilacs washed out to a paler version of themselves and it was rather nice.

I re-inked the lilac stamps with the royal blue, lush green, henna and gold markers and stamped darker more distinct lilacs over the top. I have a friend who has had many successes with what she calls the ‘drowning’ method. It’s worth a try if your panel is not going in quite the direction you wanted; what have you got to lose? It’s only paper!

Although it is not quite ready yet my new online class, Floral Faves, is getting closer every day and I will be teaching techniques using your floral stamps to create card sized art works like the one above. I can’t wait to open the class and of course I will let you know as soon as it happens. Stay tuned!

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Patina peacock pattern

After creating a very colourful panel with the dancing peacock embossing folder I was happy to come up with a more muted and aged looking panel. Like most crafters I am always pleased to use my supplies in many different ways.

Once again I worked with hot pressed watercolour paper in case I wanted to add water but as it turned out I other than a small spritz to stop the paper from tearing in the folder I didn’t use water. This card turned out to be very much a ‘limited supplies’ card as the green ink (bundled sage) was applied in the embossing folder and then more with a blending brush after embossing. The gold ink (delicata golden glitz) was applied direct to paper so it just landed on the raised sections. Simple but effective definitely describes this technique.

I played with a sentiment strip but ended up embellishing with only green embroidery thread and two brass toned butterflies given to me by a friend quite some crafty time ago. I am hoping for another day of simple but effective creating today!

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Pathway

I’ve taken a moody path for today’s card using the new PB ‘trailing’ stamp for some overhead foliage and the scenic PB stamp ‘pathway’ for the background image.

I inked both stamps with Karin brushmarkers, a brown, a green and a blue. I added a spritz of water before stamping both images and then did more blending with a brush of the pathway image on the panel. To add some background colour I blended stormy sky distress ink with a blending brush.

To complete the card I stamped the scripty thank you from PB ‘million thanks’ and a separate phrase from the PB ‘ever thanks’ both in versafine acorn ink.

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Simple Delight

The colour scheme you see above is one of my favourites; I love pinks and blues and combinations of pink and blue. I also like green way more than I used to especially when paired with blue. I am talking about more than art and cardmaking; the clothes in my closet are blue, pink, burgandy, navy, white and combinations of the above!

I used Karin brushmarkers to both stamp and colour this panel featuring the PB ‘delight’ stamp; it’s a technique I often use and one that I teach in my new online class, Floral Faves. At the risk of boring you I am going to keep talking about my new class because I am very excited about it and very busy getting ready to launch it.

I used the following markers; magenta, lush green, henna, lilac, black, royal blue varying the greens with the help of the ‘henna’ marker to add more yellow tone. The stamp is a large one but I extended the edge of the ground even more with a few dots and dashes of green marker blended underneath with water. I kept this card design very clean with plenty of white space, the only added texture being the subtle border of the painted panel over a slightly larger card base in the same colour. I just felt the pretty colours were enough. To see a different look with the same stamp check out this card.

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2021 BuJo – May title page & to-do list

Each month I plan to post the theme for the next month just before the month starts. I even managed to finish this page a week before May 1st but didn’t get it photographed until this morning! Last month blossom was my theme and I am yet to see blossom in my garden, tulips however, have appeared. I only have one tulip that has survived the critters, it is a yellow-red mix and it is blooming at the moment.

To create my tulip panel I masked above and below with large post-it notes then die cut the tulips from masking paper using the PB ‘promise me 2’ die. Like my own tulip these ones are a mix of red and yellow.

I blended distress inks with blending brushes and got better at protecting the leaves while blending the flowers by the time I did the wish/to-do list page. I drew little stems in green then used the brush tip end of the staedtler brush pen to make the yellow tulip petals.

Just for interest I looked back over my Jan-April wish/to do lists to see how if I am managing to get things done. Most months I check off more than I don’t but never all. I have had my next online class as an item on every list this year and some months I made progress, others I didn’t due to how I was feeling and what other commitments I had. But great progress has been made in April and May so ‘FLORAL FAVES’ is coming!

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Tropical florescence

This is the second appearance of the beautiful hibiscus stamp from Penny Black (it’s called Florescence and it’s a stunner) and I’ve been working with it behind the scenes as I complete my next online class. To create this tropical look I smooshed worn lipstick and wild honey inks on my glass mat and spritzed water over them until they ran together then took a piece of hot pressed watercolor paper and swiped it through the diluted inks. To get good coverage and blends I tilted and spritzed more water on the panel then left it to dry.
With the panel in a stamp positioner I inked the large hibiscus and buds with worn lipstick ink stamped then inked the rest of the stamp with antique linen so I could see the whole image for some no-line watercolour. I painted one petal at a time with worn lipstick ink adding more towards the center of the flower. For the buds I used a mix of worn lipstick and wild honey.

For the leaves I stamped and painted with rustic wilderness distress and sometimes added worn lipstick to the blend so I’d have variation in the leaf colours.

That little sentiment seemed to lend itself to the tropical, surf shop vibe so I stamped once in worn lipstick, then moved the panel ever so slightly down so I could stamp again in white to create a drop shadow look. I definitely dried it and used an anti static tool before sprinkling the white embossing powder over the words otherwise it could have all ended up white.

I’m so excited to have another online class in the works; the projects are all filmed so it’s editing time, supply list creating time and intro filming time. I’ll have more details, dates and sneak peaks for you soon!

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Puppy’s Quilt

I created this sweet dog card for a friend to give her grand-daughter. You know it is unusual to see animals on my cards but this stamp had the perfect mix of watercolourable-quilt and not-too-difficult-to-paint dog. The colour scheme is all my own choice, no surprises there, but some of the technique was provided by the talented and prolific Sandy Allnock. When she created with this stamp she used the opportunity to teach how to paint a bold shadow. I decided not to add a bold shadow but just watching her paint the image was helpful. It made me realise there was absolutely no need to add more than one colour to each quilt square even though the fabric included patterns.

I stamped the image on hot pressed watercolour paper in versafine clair morning mist, a pigment ink which would not move when I added water and watercolour paint over the top. I used Sennelier watercolours for all the painting and to create a custom watercolour mat to frame the image also. I watched Sandy’s video more than once to help me paint the dog taking care to leave some areas bright white while the sections closer to the quilt were shadowy and grey.

The sentiment is from the Taylored Expressions ‘simple strips’ set stamped in versafine deep lagoon and cut with the co-ordinating simple strips die. If you haven’t seen the simple strips series from TE they are very clever; you get one large stamp with 18 different sentiments and one die that cuts them all into banner style strips. Very handy to have a bunch of strips on hand to add to cards. It isn’t noticeable in the photos but the blue watercoloured mat has some texture as I embossed it with the weathered embossing folder, also from Taylored Expressions.

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Garden fresh

Inspiration for today’s card came from a watercolour artist I saw on Instagram. Her name is Garima Srivastava and she paints loads of florals sometimes in cute little jars and vases. I saw one of her paintings then pulled out the new Penny Black ‘garden fresh’ clear set to create my own little trio.

I stamped on hot press watercolour paper with Papertrey soft stone ink, a pale grey that works well for no line watercolour. To paint inside the outline images I used a mix of distress inks and markers, sometimes picking up smooshed ink off my glass mat, other times inking the stamp with a marker to add some definition.

To finish the panel I stamped a sentiment from the new PB ‘ever thanks’ set in versafine clair morning mist ink then popped it up over the embossed mat made with one of my new embossing folders. (SU ‘scripty’). I’m looking forward to filling jars and jugs with flowers. Right now the daffodils are making a fine effort but a little too sparse to cut any for indoors.

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Dancing Peacock

Today is another fun day on my blog because the Foiled Fox and I have teamed up to share this amazing embossing folder with you and to announce the winner of our recent giveaway. In a shared post earlier in April we asked you to tell us what is on your wish list. I really enjoyed reading your answers and share some of your wishes. Today’s card is a result of a wish list longing I’ve satisfied recently. I kept seeing cards with beautiful backgrounds achieved by using an embossing folder. I ordered a few and the Foiled Fox sent me a couple of lovely ones from Altenew including the ‘dancing peacock’ one you see here.

To create this dramatic panel I used hot pressed watercolour paper knowing that I would be spritzing the panel with water to make the inks blend. A spritz of water on the cardstock can also keep the panel from tearing when it is inside the folder going through the die-cutting machine. As I wanted the pattern to be raised on my card front I inked the non-raised side of the embossing folder with four peacock tones from Papertrey ink. I gave the folder a light spritz of water to get the inks blending.

The inks and the very detailed embossing folder did exactly what I’d hoped and created a blended textured panel. The inks didn’t cover the whole area so I used a paintbrush and some water to spread the inks to the edges and let the panel dry. I waited for it to air dry but I think it would have been fine to use the heat tool. Once dry I placed it back into the embossing folder and ran it through the machine again to sharpen the edges of the design.

To complete the card I trimmed the embossed panel to 4⅛” x 5⅜” so it would be framed with a narrow white frame. I cut the letters of the word ‘celebrate’ with Pinkfresh Studio’s ‘Heather lowercase’ die set and snuggled them together to fit along the lower edge of the card front. To overlap the letters neatly I attached some directly to the panel and popped others up on foam tape.

And now what you’ve all been waiting for, the winner of gift certificate to spend in the Foiled Fox store. Congratulations, Jo Anna! The Foiled Fox will be in touch.

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. Among the list of crafty items people are wishing for there were several mentions of new PB floral and sentiment stamps – no surprises there! A few people are wishing for markers, both Karin and distress – again I totally understand. Some of you are after inks, including the new distress colours; did you see the newest one released over the weekend, ‘salvaged patina’? Well, I now know I need some salvaged patina in my life! At the risk of sounding like I want ‘all the things’ I will stop here and once again thank the Foiled Fox for collaborating with me and supporting my blog and creativity, something I love sharing with you.

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Bird’s eye view

This cute bird on a branch stamp is new from Penny Black and is called ‘bird’s eye view’. We recently installed a new bird feeder in our backyard. It is on a shepherd’s hook metal pole to discourage the squirrels. The feeder itself has the anti-squirrel spring mechanism which closes access to the seed when something as heavy as a squirrel lands on it. You can probably guess what I’m going to say next; squirrels are wily creatures as are chipmunks! I can say that no adult squirrels have successfully fed directly from the feeder, they hang around underneath and eat what falls to the ground. We have seen a smaller squirrel climb the pole and lean over to take seed from the feeder without putting weight on it and a chipmunk that is light enough to sit on the feeder and stuff it’s face happily!

I know from experience you win some and lose some with feeders and I am enjoying the cardinal couple, the chickadees and the sparrows that are popping in. I think we’ve seen a finch or two but not certain.

To create this vintage themed card I limited myself to a brown and blue colour scheme. The browns are tea dye, antique linen and vintage photo distress inks; the blues are speckled egg distress ink plus the arctic blue and cyan Karin brushmarkers. First I smooshed tea dye and speckled egg inks on a glass mat, diluted them with water then swiped a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper through the inks. Once the background was dry I stamped the ‘bird’s eye view’ image on the panel with antique linen and kept the panel in the stamp positioner while I added darker ink by applying distress marker to the stamp where I needed darker browns and black.

I painted the leaves in both tea dye and speckled egg inks and did the same with the bird before adding vintage photo ink to the wing, tail and legs. Once the bird was finished I felt the speckled egg blue was not deep enough so I used the blue Karin markers to add ink directly to the paper then blended with a paintbrush.

To add to the vintage look I blended around the edge of the panel with vintage photo ink then dropped splats of water here and there to create watermarks. I also stamped the PB script stamp which never fails to add some vintage charm. I hunted through my dies to find a pretty foliage die that mimics the shape of leaves and cut both bronze and cream pieces to attach to the left of the panel. Continuing the vintage theme I stamped a partial sentiment on a little tag and tied it to the panel with twine. Yes, of course there is also some ink splatter.

Let me know if you have successfully deterred squirrels from you backyard bird feeders; I’d love to hear your techniques.

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