2020’s favourite posts

I looked through the stats for 2020 to see which posts were viewed the most. It is not necessarily an accurate indicator of favourites but it is fun to look back and see what appealed. I’ve included a link to the original post next to every photo. I’m featuring only cards I made and posted this year. Here they are in no particular order.

Back in January I used Darkroom Door stencils as a guide to paint watercolour backgrounds for silhouette stamping with DD stamps.

In February as I was preparing to teach a class using pearlescent paints on black watercolour paper I created this embossed and painted card. The class didn’t happen but the plan is still in my mind for either an online or in-person class hopefully some time in 2021.

This card and the next favourite feature the same Penny Black stamp and no-line watercolour technique. I used distress inks and markers for the watercolouring on this one.

Same stamp as shown above, Unforgettable from Penny Black but this time watercoloured with Arteza real brush pens.

This lilac card along with three other colour schemes featured the ‘lovely lilacs‘ stamp from Penny Black and there is a video tutorial as well.

Another video post once again with Arteza watercolour brush pens this time with Penny Black’s nature’s glory stamp.

Now this one is a little different, pencil colouring on kraft cardstock, again with a video. 2020 has definitely seen me create the most videos!

This one is also one of my favourites so it is nice to see it as a reader favourite too. It is the second post in the top ten to feature the lovely lilacs stamp from PB.

I’m happy to see one of my hand painted pieces in the favourites. This is a brusho & cling wrap painting I did after watching a CeeCee Creations video.

Another video post made the top ten, this one featuring die cut distress oxide painted leaves. This is the only one not featuring flowers.

This one just missed out on the top ten so I’m adding it here at the end because I think it might be my favourite of the year. It’s a brusho and cling wrap panels that made me think of hydrangeas so I turned the random patterns into massed flowers.

Thank you for dropping it to read my posts this year. I love sharing the details of my cards, journal pages and creative adventures. In a year when face to face interactions have been limited I have been encouraged over and over by the comments and conversations here on my blog.

It has been my best year ever for producing you tube videos and also the year I fulfilled a long time dream of producing online classes. Again thank you for your support in those endeavours.

I’m looking forward to sharing more creative pursuits on the blog with you in 2021, there will be watercolour and stamping (of course!) but also alcohol ink art, gel printing, lettering and journaling. I hope you are safe and well where you are and pray that 2021 will be a year of health and happiness for you.


Daisy & Dahlia

This bunch of flowers is a single large stamp from the Colorado Craft Company and I’m over on the Foiled Fox blog today describing how it inspired me. It’s called ‘daisy & dahlia’ and it is from the ‘big and bold’ collection.

For this square card I chose autumn tones, because despite that sprinkle of snow we had last week it is definitely still autumn. I used Papertrey ink cubes which are very juicy and blend well with water after they’re stamped on watercolour paper.

I used one of the inks from the floral panel to stamp a bold birthday square with one of the stamps from Concord & 9th’s ‘all the birthdays’ set.

On my second card I used a similar colour scheme but threw in the contrast of purple paint. I embossed the stamp on a rectangular panel with platinum embossing powder then sprinkled four different colours of brusho powder strategically on the panel.

If you have used brusho powders at all you will know you can’t really be very strategic; it goes where ere it will! I still ended up with a red flower, an orange flower and a purple flower but my favourite bits are the ends of the petals that ended up multicoloured.

Once again I chose stamps from the C&9 ‘all the birthdays’ set to create a purple sentiment band trimmed in quartz shimmer cardstock.

An idea I have yet to try with this big beauty is to stamp it in one colour to highlight the detail of the design. Make sure you pop over to The Foiled Fox for more details and tips on these cards and techniques.

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Falling Leaves

Falling Leaves is a new transparent set from Penny Black, part of the ‘Autumn Extraordinaire’ release. I made a random pattern with most of the little leaf stamps by embossing them on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper. I taped the edges of my panel before I started and was able to keep a clean frame around the patterned area.

I arranged the leaves on the panel and embossed with versamark and potting soil powder. To add colour I started with just two brusho powders, gamboge and olive green sprinkled sparingly here and there over the leaves. After spritzing with water the colours started to move and fill the leaves and surrounding area but the gamboge diluted to pale orange and yellow so I added some brilliant red brusho to create a few more pops of colour. Most of the colour placement was random but I did move some around with a paintbrush.

Once the design was complete I dried it, removed the tape and cut the panel with a rectangle die. I stamped the lovely sentiment from ‘golden wreath on a banner die cut then looked at my cardstocks to choose a base colour. I ended up with a lovely metallic brown wood textured piece which worked exactly how I thought it would. Then I wondered, did I make a very similar autumn card with this cardstock last year? Yes, yes I did.

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Painting atmosphere

I’ve done some more playing with watercolours and clingwrap. Quite a lot of playing actually; it’s addictive. I don’t even remember if the panel above was painted initially with brusho powders or pan watercolours or both. I do know I started with a large piece of cold pressed watercolour paper taped to a glass mat. I wet the panel then added the paint and let it move around and blend a little before I placed the cling wrap on top. I did remember to take a photo of the panel after it had dried and I’d removed the cling wrap. The card above which looks a bit like some hydrangea flowers was painted on the bottom right corner below.

The butterfly card below was made from the top left corner of the large panel and the flower card was made from the top right corner. I did work on the bottom left corner but didn’t end up liking what I’d made.

For the butterfly card I used a stamp from Darkroom Door ‘wings’ set and stamped it on the panel in blueprint sketch distress ink. After stamping I blended the ink plus some pearlescent paint from a finetec palette to fill the butterfly’s wings. It’s not obvious in the photo but the wings shimmer.

Once the butterfly was dry I did some water stamping using a fern stamp from the DD ‘leaves ‘ set.

The flowers are from the DD ‘tall flowers’ set and were stamped in festive berries, mowed lawn and wild honey distress inks. I also added gold paint to the flower centre. You can see some more water stamped ferns and some second generation stamping with the flowers also. The little circles on all three cards were made just by adding some droplets of water, letting them sit on the panel then dabbing them up with a paper towel.

The card above with the purple flowers doesn’t feature any stamping, the patterns made by the cling wrap made me think of a hydrangea flower head so I painted a bunch of little flowers using a purple watercolour pencil to draw centres then a paintbrush and water to blend the pencil into petals. While the petals were still wet I used the pencil again to add some darker areas in the centres.

The red shape on the left hand side looked a bit like a flower so again I used a watercolour pencil to add a bit more colour and followed the lines left by the cling wrap.

Whether painting or stamping over the panel, I love the patterns and play of light and dark in the background; I think it creates atmosphere. Have I finished with this technique now I hear you ask? No, definitely not. Have you tried it?

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Brusho & cling wrap

Before we talk about the freestyle, abstract floral above I want to direct you to CeeCee, the inspiration for today’s post. Her website is CreationsCeeCee and I’ll link to her youtube further down in this post.

As the title suggests this panel was created with brusho paints and cling wrap plus a few pencils and pens in the second half of the process.

This painting was inspired by a beautiful painting CeeCee Creations did recently. I watched her video which you can see here. She used watercolour paints and cling wrap to create a pattern then used coloured pencils to add shading. I loved her process and end result and have been playing with the technique for the last couple of days.

I taped some watercolour paper to my glass mat, wet the whole panel then scattered brusho over it. I just used two colours of brusho, olive green and violet and I tried to keep them a bit separate. I spritzed the panel lightly to keep the paint moving then lay a piece of cling wrap over the panel and scrunched it over the whole area. The wet paint sticks to the clink wrap creating coloured areas. Where the cling wrap is raised and bunched together there are gaps in the paint. It’s hard to explain but CeeCee’s video gives you the idea. The covered panel takes a long time to dry but once it has you remove the cling wrap to reveal intersecting lines and spaces. I studied my panel and instead of the purple flowers with green leaves I was hoping to see I saw the suggestions of green flowers and purple ‘things’. The idea is to enhance the lines and patterns made by the cling wrap rather than draw whole new patterns. I wish I had taken a photo before I did any colouring that would have given you a better idea.

I used watercolour pencils to turn some of the cling wrap patterns into flowers and shapes and then blended the pencil with water. (CeeCee used polychromos pencils so my shading ended up looking slightly different to hers.) I used a purple and two green Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils then once my shading and shaping was done I highlighted the centres of the green ‘flowers’ with white and black gel pens.

I’m not sure which way is up so I’ve posted photos of both a portrait and a landscape orientation. What do you think? Does it matter?

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Ferns & friendship

It is a long time since I had my gel plate out for monoprinting; I’m definitely keen, but for the last few months my time has been taken up by an exciting new project I’ll be sharing with you soon. I decided to go through prints from previous gel print adventures to make a few cards with Darkroom Door stamps.

Most often I use acrylic paints on my gel plate but to make this natural coloured background I used water colour powders. I can’t remember which paint colours I used, possibly only one like sandstone which can give a range of browny orange tones. To turn the monoprints into cards I used stamps from DD sets ‘leaves’, ‘butterflies’ and ‘global postmarks’. I also used the small ‘mesh’ texture stamp.

I stamped in ‘vintage sepia’ versafine ink, brushed corduroy and rusty hinge distress inks. Initially I stamped the sentiments from the ‘friendship’ sentiment strips on watercolour paper scraps but they looked too stark and clean so I splattered and swiped some ink on them so they blended into the background a bit more.

I also added some linen thread which worked with the natural tones and the postal images. I popped up the panels with a couple of cardstock layers on white luxe textured card bases.

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Three colour brusho video

A while back I posted three cards all painted with the same three brusho paint colours and my Welsh friend, Karen requested a video. Well this is it, a different stamp and three different colours (Brusho sunburst lemon, prussian blue, rose red) but the same technique. Here is the one that prompted the video request.

As with the card above I embossed the outline stamp, ‘flutterby’ in gold powder then swiped up a brusho background by sprinkling brusho on my glass mat then spritzing water over it to activate the powders and turn them into liquid watercolour paint. From there I moved onto painting petals and leaves with individual colours and secondary colours. Take a look at the video and you will see what I mean.

 

After all the painting was done I added some extra shading in shadow areas with Faber-Castell polychromos pencils and some gold thread detail. The sentiment is from PB ‘banner sentiments’ gold embossed and die cut with a die from the PB ‘tagged’ set.

One of the things I like about this technique is the way the background works with the painted images even though the are painted right over the top of a multicoloured panel. The colours work because they are the same colours and because the background is not too bold. You can see in the tulip on the left what the true colour of the rose red brusho is, but the ones that are painted over the blue background still look red, just a deeper red perhaps in shadow not full sun.

Happy Easter my friends. Stay home, stay healthy, stay hopeful and maybe try a new art or craft technique!

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Three colours – Poppy time

This is the last of the three colour panels I did with sandstone, lemon and ost blue brusho.  I think this one might be my favourite because of the sky behind the poppy. Of course I was not really responsible for that pretty sky, it was the magic of brusho! I embossed the PB ‘poppy time’ stamp in gold powder on hot pressed watercolour paper first. Next I sprinkled the three colours of brusho on craft mat and spritzed it with water. I didn’t sprinkle too much powder; it is easier to add more colour than to take it away. I swiped the panel through the wet activated brusho and set it flat to dry. I can’t remember if I dabbed colour away or moved some with a paintbrush (I made this card a while ago)

With the background taken care of I mixed some green from the sandstone & ost blue and painted the bud, stems and seed pod. I the petals with sandstone and lemon from a palette then sprinkled salt on top to get some texture.

Once again I used a sentiment from MFT ‘fluttering friends’; I really like the clean lines of the font and the size too. The sentiments fit perfectly in strips cut with the Avery Elle simple sentiment strips.

Thanks for joining me in this mini series on using a limited palette. I have enjoyed reading your comments and hope you are trying it yourself. Please let me know if you do.  If you just joined me today here are the other two cards made with this simple colour scheme.

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Three colours – Bouquet Ballet

Above is the second of my three colour cards painted with only ost blue, sandstone and lemon brusho. The first card displayed some of the texture and blending which is easily achieved with brusho, in this card it is easier to see the three basic colours plus a couple of the colours I mixed myself. As with the first card I mixed the brusho powders with water in a palette but for this card didn’t sprinkle any brusho directly on the watercolour panel.

The PB bouquet ballet stamp is stamped in black ink on cold pressed watercolour paper; I used a stamp positioner as cold pressed watercolour paper has texture which prevents me from getting a perfect impression first go. The small poppy is painted in lemon brusho, the large flower with sandstone and the multi-headed flower in ost blue. On each one I dropped in more colour for extra depth. The small trumpet shaped flowers to the right are also painted in ost blue but a diluted coat. The stems and leaves are painted in a mix of blue and lemon. The centre of the flowers I painted in brown which was a mix of blue and sandstone brusho. I did use a black marker to colour the little flower centre thingies, but we are not going to count black as a fourth colour!

Happily I found a blue cardstock in my stash to create a sentiment strip and a frame. I embossed the sentiment from MFT fluttering friends in gold powder and popped it up over the panel. The frame is cut using PB square frames and glued on using on point glue because of the tiny tip on the glue bottle. I have one more card to show you in this miniseries and I think it might be my favourite. Check back soon.

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Three colours – Sweet Perfume

I’ve talked about limited palettes on the blog before; today’s card is a good example of why I like to work with a limited palette of colours. I used only three brusho colours to paint this card, ost blue, sandstone, lemon brusho. The panel began with the PB sweet perfume stamp embossed in gold on hot pressed watercolour paper.

I sprinkled each of the three brusho colours into wells of a palette leaving empty wells between the colours where I could mix new colours. I used mainly sandstone for the large flower, lemon for the smaller flowers and added depth by adding more sandstone for tan shadows or orange shadows. I was able to create a few different greens by mixing  blue with sandstone and blue with lemon. As sandstone is a brownish orange it was perfect for darkening the centres of the flowers. I love the texture in the centre of the large flower which I achieved by sprinkling some brusho directly on the panel then blending it with water.

To mat the panel I chose a dark blue cardstock that co-ordinated with the dark bluey green paint. To finish the card I added an MFT sentiment also embossed in gold.

I have another couple of cards made with the same limited palette, so check back soon.

 

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