Work & Relax

Are you surprised to see another critter post? Regular programming will resume I promise but first let’s enjoy Scooter and her friends working from home and pampering themselves!

Once again I stamped the images with Papertrey ink’s soft stone. It is great for no-line watercolour. I used Peerless watercolours to paint the little scenes concentrating on a few main colours for each card. For the hedgehog I switched to brown distress markers, easier for getting all those spikes!

If you didn’t read it in my earlier post, Penny Black is donating some of the proceeds from the Scooter release to Muttville a rescue program for senior dogs.

Hope you get to ‘paws & relax’ this weekend. It’s a long weekend here in Ontario!

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Hot Diggity

I have another cute Scooter card for you today. Once again I watercoloured, this time with distress inks. I think this is my favourite set from the release; what’s not to like about a canine mariachi band?

I stamped some images with soft stone ink then painted with distress inks. Other images, including the hedgehog I stamped in brown distress inks and blended them to fill the image. I painted the background with distress inks smooshed and diluted on my glass mat.

The second card I stamped in antique linen distress inks and stamped on masking paper also so I could create the scene with cacti in the background and one musician behind another.

I painted with peerless watercolour paints and added gold details with a gel pen. I used the masks a second time so I could blend ink over the background.

These Scooter scenes were definitely a departure from my nature (and book) themed projects but as a friend said to my yesterday, ‘always good to step out of your comfort zone!’

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Scooter

If you have visited the Penny Black blog lately you will have met Scooter; that’s her on the right. The Scooter release features a pup and her friends. The real life Scooter was part of the Penny Black family and now there is a range of stamps featuring her real and imagined activities. Penny Black is donating a portion of the proceeds from Scooter stamp set sales to Muttville a senior dog rescue program.

Unaccustomed to painting cute critters like Scooter it took me a while to get in the groove. For this little scene featuring stamps from the Puptastic set I stamped the outline images in papertrey soft stone ink then watercoloured with Karin brushmarkers. The sky and grass is also diluted ink from the Karin markers.

To complete the card I stamped the sentiment from the same set on a label cut with a tag from the PB ‘gift card pocket’ die set, tied it with twine and popped it up on dimensional tape.

Thank you for all your kind words about my garden pics. It really has become a relaxing pastime for me. I think because it is finally under control I can enjoy working on a patch for a short time or strolling around trimming off deadheads. It is no longer just about weeding!

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Out the back door

Floral inspiration today but not the stamped and painted kind. I thought I would give you a glimpse of my backyard garden. I am not a knowledgeable or careful gardener but after years of working and learning the half circle garden is thriving and blooming.

I am not the only one who has put time into this garden. For the last couple of years my daughter has spurred me on by spending hours weeding and mulching. During past visits my dad has done plenty of digging and weeding also.

Several friends with expertise have guided me along the way.

It’s not fancy but it is pretty. My mother, an avid gardener would be surprised but pleased so see how much time I spend on this pastime.


Vintage Style Bookshelf + Video

This isn’t my first time stamping books with Darkroom Door stamps. This time I filmed the process so you could see how I made them look all old and vintagey!

The fun thing about the Darkroom Door ‘bookshelf’ stamp is its length (just under 12″) so I decided to wrap it around my cards for maximum effect. I worked on two cards at the same time giving them slightly different paint jobs and background finishing touches. Watch the video to see my process.

Because I inked the bookshelf stamp randomly the colours moved where they willed and left me with a mix of blues and browns. This second card has some extra scratches from the DD stamp of the same name.

The insides of the cards have random paint splotches here and there so I added paper inserts for a clean place to write a note. Now that I have made a wraparound card with this border stamp I might have to try it with the other DD one I own, ‘butterfly garden‘.

Thank you so much for your interest and discussion about the gel printing I shared last week. I really enjoyed the gel printing session which resulted in my last two videos and turning a few of the prints into cards and a journal page was very satisfying. Several of you mentioned wanting to get your gel plate out to try the techniques; I hope you do. I also hope you try this brown and blue vintage style on some of your own stamped projects. If you do be sure to let me know.

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Enjoy the Journey Journal page

This week I have shared a gel plate video and a series of cards made with prints and leftovers from that gel printing session. If you look closely at this journal page you will see a couple more prints put to use.

The Darkroom Door set, Nomad, recently arrived in my mailbox and the main reason I chose it was the pile of suitcases. I own one old suitcase which belonged to my grandmother; it houses the ‘dress up’ collection. It is not unlike the third one in the left hand stack. The stamp set also has a single suitcase, some passport stamps and two sentiments, one included on this page.

To add even more vintage-ness to the vintage suitcases I stamped them on a grid and striped prints from the gel printing session. I used corrugated cardboard to make the patterns on the gel plate originally. I stamped the suitcases in archival inks then added extra colour with distress inks and gel pens. To create the background I smooshed blueprint sketch distress inks on a piece of acetate, spritzed water over the ink then transferred it to the masked journal pages. With the blue protected I blended a brown base, also with distress inks. Over the top of the inking I added some impressions with the DD world map and scratches background stamps. To balance the suitcases I added the vintage car and sentiment on the right hand side.

Maybe these pages came from my longing to be out and about seeing new and old places, or a longing to be poking around antique and thrift stores. The latter will probably happen before the former.

Are you longing for a trip somewhere? Are you thinking near or far?

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Landscapes from leftovers

In my recent gel printing video I kept a piece of heavy weight paper off to the side for cleaning my brayer. I turned it around half way through the printing session so it ended up browns on one side and blue/grey/yellow on the other.

The colour and texture was too yummy to waste so I cut two rectangles which both spanned the centre or ‘horizon’ line of the large sheet. Because the panel above has a dark sky I punched a circle moon from another area and made it a night scene with the addition of black silhouette trees die-cut with the PB ‘into the woods’ die.

Not only is there plenty of visual texture in these panels the brayered paper is also very rough to touch. There is no trick to making these papers; I definitely don’t keep the clean up sheets every time but I find if I work with the same colours for a while and flip the sheet around when it has plenty of paint on it the combination of colour and texture can be beautiful.

The second card is more of a late afternoon scene. The colour of the sun is similar to what we saw two days ago when the sky was hazy due to bushfires in northwestern Ontario.

The trees blend into the landscape somewhat as there is not a lot of contrast between the die cuts and the base. I used the PB ‘tall trees’ dies and cut them from the left over edges of the panel.

This is not the first time I’ve used scraps and scratch paper for cards and journal pages. This cityscape is made from gel printing masks and two of these cards are from a clean up sheet. Today I glued a large ‘clean up’ sheet into my art journal as a background for a future page. I don’t know what to do with it yet but I liked it too much to toss it away.

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Gel print backgrounds – stripes and grid

Yesterday I posted a gel printing video where I used both an egg carton and a piece of corrugated cardboard to add texture to my prints. I used a couple of the corrugated cardboard prints to make today’s cards.

You can see how I printed this panel in the video. To turn it into a card I used a couple of new stamps from Penny Black. I stamped the mountain stamp five times in browns and blue then inked the rushes with a brown and a blue ink. I love the way it looks like a sunset or sunrise because of the background print. It wasn’t something I tried to create but a possibility I saw when looking at the prints.

The print below was made with the same piece of corrugated cardboard pressed down on the gel press twice to create a grid pattern. You can see the process in yesterday’s video. I decided to stamp flowers on it as an experiment. I knew it might be too much pattern but I wanted to try. I stamped and embossed the Penny Black ‘companions’ stamp in versafine clair nocturne ink and it looked bold just as an outline.

By painting inside the flowers I was able to separate them from the background enough to make them a feature not a competitor with the very busy grid pattern. I used a couple of layers of pearlescent paint on the flowers but quite diluted pearlescent black on the leaves and jug.

Tell me what ‘recycled’ items you have used for gel printing. I am keen to print with ‘all the things’! To be honest gel printing is top of my list of techniques right now. I hope you enjoyed the two recent gel printing videos. I will definitely make more. Tomorrow I have a couple of cards made from the piece of cardstock I used to clean my brayer. I showed a glimpse of it at the end of the video.

See you soon.

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Gel Printing with recycled cardboard

I posted a video last week featuring gel prints with stencils. In today’s technique video I use cardboard found at home. One piece was the packaging for eggs and the other a piece of corrugated cardboard.

The huge snowballs falling in the card above were printed using the large circles on the egg carton. I could have done more on the gel plate with extra colour or texture but I kept it simple which works well behind the more intricate sleigh. You can see my process in the video below.

The card below also features a gel print background made with an egg carton but I pulled two prints on the one panel both with green and white paint and egg carton circles.

The card below also features a gel print background made with an egg carton but I pulled two prints on the one panel both with green and white paint and egg carton circles. I stamped leaves from the Darkroom Door stamp set, ‘carved leaves vol 1’ over the bokeh-like circle background. To get the right tones of green in the stamping I used both shady lane and rain forest versafine clair inks one over the top of the other. The sentiment is from the ‘happy birthday’ sentiment strip.

In the video I also made prints with a piece of corrugated cardboard pressing it down on the gel press once for a striped pattern and twice for a grid pattern. I’ve turned a couple of those prints into cards which will be on the blog tomorrow. I hope you try gel printing with some recycling you find at your place. See you soon.

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Fine Flowers

I put some new inks and stamps to work on this card. The flower is from the Darkroom Door set, Fine Flowers vol 2 designed by my friend Godelieve (Stamping Matilda). There are six flowers in the set so this is just the beginning of the fun.

The background colour is a newish ink, speckled egg distress. I splattered masking fluid on a piece of water colour paper, smooshed speckled egg on a glass mat then added water before pressing the watercolour panel into the ink to create soft blurry blue smudges. The flowers are stamped with another new distress ink, crackling campfire. It stamps as a warm red but dilutes to more of an orange as you can see on the petals. I stamped the flowers one at a time and blended the stamped ink to fill the petals. I inked the centres with a black soot marker which blurred into the orange. To make the centres more prominent I drew dots and squiggles with a black embossing pen then embossed in black powder.

Before adding the embossed sentiment from DD ‘you are everything’ set I splattered speckled egg ink and also some water. At the risk of over dotting I also added white and black with gel pens. The stamp has its own little dots around it so adding a few more seemed fitting.

This watercolour technique is one featured in my Floral Faves online class and the colour choice is covered in my Colour Clues class. Both classes are self paced and filled with instructional videos and photo inspiration.

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