Feathers, CAS & calm

I finally got my act together enough to enter a challenge and not even in the last few minutes it was open! I just hosted a challenge with the Foiled Fox and we will be announcing winners in the next few days. I enjoyed visiting all the entries and was inspired by each card. Today’s card was inspired by the ‘Ombre’ challenge at CAS Mix Up and I will be entering it in the ‘Calm’ challenge at Casology as well.

Before I talk about this calm and clean and simple and ombre card I just want to thank those who joined the conversation on Monday about ‘bunchies’. I posted a photo on Monday of myself, aged 6, with my hair in ‘bunchies’ and asked what others called the two ponytail style. I was surprised to read they were known as ‘dog ears’ and ‘dust mops’ as well as the more common ‘pigtails’. One reader called them ‘bunches’ which is practically the same as me so I was not alone with that tag.

Back to the feather, I used the solid feather stamp from the C&9 Feathered set and Catherine Pooler inks to create the watercolour ombre look. The coverage and blending is just what I was after. Like some dye inks the colours continue to soak in and smooth out after stamping with the CP inks which is exactly what I needed for this look. I inked the whole stamp in ‘shea butter’ ink, stamped then inked two thirds in ‘bellini’ ink, spritzed and stamped, then finished by inking the tip in ‘rockin red’ ink, spritzed and stamped. The little spritz over the ink spread the ink on the stamp so there were no hard lines where one ink stopped or started.

I dry embossed the whole panel with the snowfall/speckles texture fade folder for a bit more visual interest and popped up the sentiment from the same stamp set. Did you know embossing folders are enjoying a rise in popularity these days? I don’t know if that is true or not, I just know they are around here! The CAS mix up challenge required ombre + stamping + my choice (embossing),  so all boxes checked! There are a few metallic ombre looks featured on the challenge blog; I’ve never thought of metallic ombre but it is pretty fancy so I might have to give it a try.

My second card is not entering any challenges; it was made because I love pairing sectioned stamps with sprinkled brusho. I embossed the sectioned feather from the same C&9 set in gold three times on hot pressed watercolour paper, sprinkled sandstone and terracotta brusho powder over the top then spritzed water gently to activate the brusho. I added more brusho and spritzing several times and then moved some paint around with a paintbrush, not much just a few places so there would be a few more solid sections. I die cut the feathers then popped them up on a different dry embossed background, ‘weathered’ by Taylored Expressions. The sentiment is from the Altenew set, ‘leaf canopy’.

Click on the badges below to see what’s happening in the challenges I’m entering.

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Three colour leaf canopy – challenge reminder

I have been bombarding you with three colour projects lately partly because I have a challenge running with the Foiled Fox but also because I love the simplicity of working with only three colours. Today I’m sharing here and on the Foiled Fox blog. I picked an analogous colour scheme which means the colours are all side by side on the colour wheel. The result is harmonious rather than bold and contrasting. I used stamps from the Altenew set ‘leaf canopy’ for both cards. Before I started stamping I pressed three distress ink pads face down on my glass mat and spritzed water over the inks until they started to run together. I swiped my panel of hot pressed watercolour paper through the colours, chipped sapphire, stormy sky and shabby shutters creating a soft blended background. I dried the panel completely before putting it in my stamp positioner. I inked the solid leaf stamps with the same three colours, spritzed them so the colours bled into each other on the stamp then closed the MISTI lid onto my panel and kept it down for 5-10 seconds. When I lifted it I had soft blurry leaf images. Any areas with excess ink pooling on them were easily fixed with the corner of a paper towel to sop them up. Again I dried the panel with a heat tool before stamping the outline leaves in chipped sapphire ink. I used my favourite sentiment from the same set and embossed it in white on navy cardstock. I used the Avery Elle simple sentiment dies again to cut it out – I can’t stop using them, I guess you have realised that by now!

For my second card I switched one ink colour, instead of stormy sky I used shaded lilac so there are more purple tones in this one. I made the background the same way and did the stamping the same way but then took a bit of time adding water droplets strategically not in a splattery way. I wanted them to look random so I took care to place each one with a drop on the end of a paintbrush! I let them sit then absorbed the water with a paper towel leaving a pale circular watermark on the panel.

I kept this panel soft and dreamy and added a small sentiment in cobalt archival ink.

I hope this simple technique inspires you to play with three colours of ink and come up with a colourful panel of your own for the ‘Color Trio Challenge‘ on the Foiled Fox blog. There are some lovely cards linked there already, check them out then add your own.

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Loose watercolour florals video

I have a video for you today showing my process in making this simple floral card with a loose watercolour look. The foliage is from the Altenew set ‘leaf canopy’ and the flowers are from the Concord & 9th set ‘fine line florals’ (the same set I featured in a journal page last week). The flower stamp is very detailed with fine lines covering the whole stamp. Because I wanted a loose watercolour look I spritzed water on the inked stamp which meant I lost most of thefine lines. I do like the way a few of them remained giving the petals a slightly transparent look.


I tried the ink, spritz and stamp method a few times before creating this panel because it was easy to add too much water and end up with a splodge rather than a flower. The experiments only took a little time and a few pieces of watercolour paper so definitely not a waste.

In this close up you can see some of the texture of the cold pressed watercolour paper. Although I often use hot pressed I still reach for cold pressed at times because the rough texture adds interest particularly when using solid or semi solid stamps like these ones.

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Angelique

These pretty blooms represent my first experiment with an Altenew layering floral stamp set; this one is called ‘Angelique’. I clearly remember my Stampin’ Up days with the 2-step stamping but I haven’t done any in a while. I don’t think the layering sets are necessarily designed for watercolour styles but you know that’s how I like to do things. I experimented with a few processes, stamping then spritzing and spritzing then stamping, spritzing the paper not the stamp, the stamp not the paper and spritzing everything!

I think, but I’m not exactly sure, I mainly spritzed the stamp for this panel with maybe a tiny spritz after stamping on that left hand flower. I started by stamping the largest layer in spun sugar distress stain. Next layer I stamped in worn lipstick distress ink with a spritz of water to dilute it, the final detail layer I stamped in festive berries distress ink. Because I started with stain and spritzed the ink before stamping the image was wet enough to soften and blend a bit. I did a bit with a paint brush too but I didn’t want to lose the detailed layers.

The leaves I did in a similar manner with bundled sage, mowed lawn and forest moss.  The sentiment from Altenew’s Leaf Canopy set is embossed in white on a red cardstock strip and popped up on dimensional foam tape.


The second panel was stamped with less spritzing during the stamping process, just a little in fact on layer number two. Instead I waited until all the stamping was done and spritzed in one direction to make the petals feather out then the other direction to balance things. This time I used abandoned coral, fired brick and aged mahogany inks for the roses, milled lavender and dusty concord for the little flowers and old paper, shabby shutters and peeled paint for the leaves. Even though it looks like black, I matted the panel with purple cardstock and added an embossed sentiment also on purple and cut it out with the Avery Elle sentiment dies that are making me neat and happy right now.

You might be wondering why I don’t just stamp these very pretty floral stamps with out adding any spritzes of water?? Sorry I just don’t think I can do it…

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