Carved flower sunset

I tried out a few new products yesterday and ended up with these two cards featuring the Darkroom Door carved flower set. I coloured both cards with distress oxide inks. For this first one I smushed the oxide inks on my glass mat, added some water then painted a graduated wash going from yellow to brown. Oxide inks are designed to react with water so the diluted wash I painted on the card had a muted looked to it when it dried. I wanted to add a pale sun and some stenciled diamonds so I used my new ‘Wendy Vecchi Stay-tion’. It is a magnetic surface which is well suited to stenciling. There are four magnets to hold the stencil firmly over the paper while adding a medium through the stencil. I used it first to hold the DD circle stencil over the panel while I diluted the exposed circle with water and dabbed colour away with a paper towel. I then used the magnets and board to hold the diamond stencil while I sponged some oxide ink onto the background. I splattered some water over the panel then stamped the carved flowers and carved leaves in black archival ink.

Instead of painting a wash with diluted oxide ink for the second card I blended oxide inks over the whole panel which I had added a circle mask to before I started. Once again I used the magnets and board to keep the panel in place while I blended the inks and while I dabbed out some colour through the diamond stencil. Even though the two cards look similar the techniques were a bit different; you can see the oxide ink applied with a blending brush is smoother than the painted panel. Oxides really do blend well. I used the make up blending brushes my children gave me for mothers’ day. They are not life changing but they did do a very good job ūüėČ

Once again I stamped carved flowers and wildflowers in jet black archival ink using the misti.

In keeping with the solid black flowers I chose to emboss sentiments on black cardstock in rose gold powder hoping it would look a bit coppery like the sunset. It did. The sentiments are from the DD ‘thank you’ sentiment strip stamped then cut out with the Avery Elle sentiment strip dies and popped up on black foam tape. The black tape is handy when the card base or element needing the tape is black or a dark colour.

It was my first time trying the Wendy Vecchi ‘stay-tion’ and I found it very useful. The magnets held the stencils and paper in place and it cleaned up easily. I am sure I will be using it often.

Don’t forget to check out the ‘Color Trio Challenge’ I am hosting with the Foiled Fox. I would love to see your three colour cards and give you the chance to win a shopping spree at the Foiled Fox store!

Supplies

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Gelli plate feathers

I spent a delightful day learning how to use my gelli plate last week. I have had it for years and only used it once or twice so everything my friends showed me was new and exciting.

I was so happy with these feather prints, I couldn’t believe the detail using real feathers. If you want to see how it’s done check out this video on the gelli arts youtube channel.

I did a few with navy and shimmery gold paint as well as some with burgandy and gold. Half of them got sentiments but only small ones as I didn’t want to cover up the lovely detail. I had a MFT sentiment already stamped and die cut which matched the panel below. I haven’t listed or linked any of the paints¬† because I don’t remember what brands I used or colour names. If I continue with my gelli plate (and I’m pretty sure I will!) I will let you know what paints I buy.

My favourite panel is the one at the top of the post which also has the texture of the new ‘diamonds’ stencil from Darkroom Door in the background. As I was learning and experimenting I used computer paper for most prints, not the weight of cardstock I would usually use for panels on my cards. To make sure I didn’t tear or buckle the panels with glue or narrow adhesive I covered the back of all the panels with double sided adhesive sheets.

These last two narrow panels were done on watercolour paper strips. I decided to add sentiments from the new Darkroom Door sentiment strip ‘Sympathy’

Have you used a gelli plate? I love to hear what your favourite techniques are.

Supplies


Darkroom Door wedding cards

I’ve been creating with the tall flowers and nature walk stamps from Darkroom Door again, this time with a wedding theme in mind. Darkroom Door now has eight different sentiment stamps collections in list format, each one has a different theme. For two of today’s cards I isolated one sentiment by masking either side but on the second card I used a large chunk of the stamp as a feature over a soft blurry floral background. I am over on the Darkroom Door blog sharing these cards so make sure to pop over there for more details on my process.

This first wedding card made me think of a country style-decorate the barn type of wedding. I did a bit of masking to get the look of three daisies against a timber background and used twine to keep things natural and not too fancy. I inked the daisy from ‘Tall Flowers‘ set in worn lipstick, abandoned coral, forest moss and peeled paint distress ink, spritzed lightly with water and stamped in centre of a hot pressed watercolour paper panel, then used masks to stamp another on each side. I masked all three daisies so I could stamp the ¬†Woodgrain Background Stamp in weathered wood and frayed burlap distress inks.

My second card features the ‘wet on wet’ watercolour technique. The watercolour panel was very wet before I stamped the daisy stamp in wild honey and forest moss distress inks. I restamped to get paler images then dried the panel before wrapping a vellum strip with gold embossed wedding sentiments over the stamped flowers.

The very blurry style is not for everyone but in real life it does have a soft romantic look to it.

My final card features wildflower silhouettes in blueprint sketch and milled lavender ink stamped repeatedly to get first, second and third generation images as well as silver embossed flowers and sentiments with some very sparkly silver ribbon.

Working with sentiment strips that have fifteen different sentiments gives me plenty of options, some of the ‘wedding’ sentiments are totally appropriate for other events too.

I enjoyed the process of creating wedding cards in three different styles and I know I could have gone even fancier. What’s the fanciest card you have ever made?

Supplies


Steps journal page

Are you a wee bit surprised to see a journal page here?¬† I’m surprised myself, surprised but pleased. I really enjoyed dreaming it up and making it. It didn’t end up looking as I imagined but that is the way with journal pages is it not?

This art journal is a Fabriano journal; the paper is nice and thick but not watercolour paper so I painted over it with absorbent ground first. Then I grabbed a bunch of stamps from Darkroom Door along with three light coloured oxide inks and stamped mesh, stone and woodgrain texture stamps over the background. I spritzed it with water to soften the edges of the stamped images and dabbed some out too to make it subtler. Even after adding some water it was still bolder than I wanted so I painted another thin layer of absorbent ground over it.

I filled the bottom of the page with repeat stampings of flowers from the Darkroom Door ‘tall flowers‘ set in distress inks then blended some of the big flowers with water. They don’t blend as well as they do on watercolour paper but the effect is still nice.

I added grass and flowers from the DD ‘ nature walk‘ set, also in distress ink then a border with the mesh texture stamp in black soot oxide ink. It was a bit bolder than I wanted so I spritzed then dabbed with a paper towel ( as you can see I’m a fan of the ‘spritz and dab’ ). I splattered wild honey, forest moss and dusty concord diluted ink over the whole spread and it ended up looking like confetti. To boost a few of the flowers I outlined them with fine tipped black markers.

I wrote psalm 18:36 with a brush pen leaving a space to stamp the word ‘steps’ with the DD alphabet medley stamps.¬† I find choosing words for a journal page tricky, which words and how to add them. But the beauty of a journal page is the experimental nature of it. If I don’t like something on this page, I’ll try something different on another. Once the ink had dried I sealed the large flowers and the lettering with distress micro glaze.

Do you have any art journallers you would recommend for inspiration? I already follow Rachel Greig from Darkroom Door, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Vicky Papaioannou and Maremi SmallArt who all have different styles and inspiring journal pages.

I’m hoping to create in my journals more often and will share pages here if possible. Even if you are not an art journal person the designs can usually be converted to a card and sometimes start out as cards anyway!

Art Supplies (all Darkroom Door stamps are linked in description)


Tall Flowers

I am excited to feature some new stamps from Darkroom Door today. The tall flowers are from the new ‘Tall Flowers’ set and the background flowers are from the delightful ‘Nature Walk’ set.¬† I am a guest over on the Darkroom Door blog today, if you haven’t visited you definitely should check out all the inspiration shared there.

My first card features a cold pressed watercolour panel filled with one of the stamps from ‘nature walk’ set inked in iced spruce and stormy sky distress inks. I diluted the ink with a spritz of water and stamped first, second and third generation impressions. Over the top I stamped the tall daisy from ‘tall flowers’ four times with wilted violet, blueprint sketch and forest moss distress inks. Because the stems are long and thin I was able to orient them in different directions. I used a mask a couple of times to overlap the daisies. Once stamped I blended the colours with a paintbrush and water.

I used a similar process to create the orange toned daisy card but this time I did the background foliage after the foreground flowers by using stamped and cut out masks. The daisies are stamped in¬†peeled paint and fossilized amber distress inks. I added extra colours one at a time with¬†spiced marmalade marker, rusty hinge marker close to flower centre and finally ground espresso marker on the centre of the flower. I blended the inks with water then after it was dry stamped the centres again to add some texture back in. The background stamping is another stamp from the DD ‘nature walk’ set stamped with¬†weathered wood and tea dye distress inks. I added some splatter because, well, why not!

On both the daisy cards I decided to add the sentiment on a vellum strip. I liked the floral scenes too much to stamp words over them so the vellum seemed like a subtle way to do it. The recipient could even snip the sentiment off and have a picture to display if they wanted to. For this tall thin panel I used the kraft card base to frame it on two sides.

The last card is a little different; I used the small flower from ‘tall flowers’ and some little leaves from ‘leaves’ set to make a wreath.

To guide my stamping I traced a circle onto my watercolour panel. I sponged¬†fossilized amber distress ink around circle then erased the pencil line. With the sponging as a guide, I stamped the small flower heads from ‘Tall Flowers’ set round the circle in carved pumpkin ink, holding the stamp so only flower(not stem) was inked and stamped. I repeated the¬†process with small leaves and ferns from ‘Leaves’ set in¬† fossilized amber, peeled paint, forest moss and tea dye distress inks. You know I splattered forest moss ink over wreath because that’s what I do then matted the panel in orange cardstock, attached to a kraft card base and added a raffia bow.

I loved creating with these beautiful tall flower stamps and couldn’t help myself from using the ‘nature walk’ stamps again because they work so well together!

Supplies

Stamps: tall flowers, nature walk, leaves

Inks: stormy sky, iced spruce, blueprint sketch, wilted violet, forest moss (purple flower card)

fossilized amber, peeled paint, weathered wood, tea dye & distress markers: spiced marmalade, rusty hinge, forest moss, ground espresso (orange flowers)

fossilized amber, peeled paint, carved pumpkin, forest moss, tea dye (flower wreath)

Papers: hot pressed watercolour, cold pressed watercolour, vellum, kraft

Also: stamp positioner, raffia


Nature walk portraits

I have mentioned before how beautiful these Darkroom Door ‘nature walk’ images are but have I mentioned how easy it is to create pretty cards with them. Each card today features just one image, stamped twice over a quick watercolour background.

I created the backgrounds with my glass mat and some distress inks. I squished the ink pads down on the mat side by side (three or four colours at a time), spritzed with water then swiped my hot pressed watercolour panel through the diluted ink a few times until there was good coverage on the panel. I dried the panel with a heat tool before sponging one or two of the distress inks through a section of stencil then added splots of water for some added texture. The panels were all different, all pretty and done within minutes.

I used the MISTI for stamping because the texture of the watercolour paper makes it necessary to stamp a few times to get a solid image. I used versafine clair nocturne ink which always gives me a crisp print. Once the ink was dry I splattered gold paint from the gansai tambi starry colours palette. The gold splatter might just be my favourite part of these cards; unfortunately it’s not very obvious in the photos.

To draw more attention to the gold splatter I matted with gold and stamped the sentiments either on gold cardstock or with embossed in gold powder. The sentiments are from Darkroom Door’s new sentiment strips. The sentiments are in list format and I have kept the stamp uncut. I stamp on a cardstock panel and cut out the sentiment I want. I now have a handy die set from the Foiled Fox which neatly cuts out the smaller fonts and I always love sentiments in small fonts! The set is called ‘simple sentiments’ and it has ten lengths of sentiment strip dies.

In putting together the cards I used one more happy new product. I am always searching for textured white cardstock. Today’s cards feature a linen texture with enough depth to be seen by the camera. It is in 8¬Ĺ “x11” sheets so one sheet did four card fronts, no waste. This is the first time I’ve used it so there will be more testing to come with dies, inks etc but so far, so good.

Thanks for listening to me prattle on about this and that. I hope you are enjoying some ‘nature walks’ even if they are of the snowy variety! While we have been experiencing extreme cold followed by loads of snow, friends and family on the other side of the world are experiencing extreme heat and flooding!

Supplies

Stamps: nature walk,  (DD)

Stencils: mesh, boxes 12 up

Dies: Simple Sentiment (Avery Elle)

Distress inks: crushed olive, pine needles, blue print sketch, milled lavender, stormy sky, mermaid lagoon, wilted violet, worn lipstick
.
Inks: versamark, nocturne versafine clair,

Paint: gansai tambi starry colours

Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, snowbound textured white cardstock, gold cardstock, neenah solar white

Also: Cutterpillar glass mat, MISTI, gold embossing powder


Crisp or misty

I pulled out the wonderful new trees from Darkroom Door’s ‘majestic mountains’ set to create today’s cards. I wanted to create two forest scenes, one on a crisp cold night, the other on a misty day. There are some similarities in the techniques and inks as well as differences which enabled me to create both looks. I began both times with cold pressed watercolour paper splattered with masking fluid. I like to have a few circles cut from frisket film on hand to mask a moon so I positioned one in the top right corner then tore a post-it note and positioned it diagonally across the panel. I stamped the two larger trees in versafine clair inks along the edge of the post-it mask so the trunks did not show and used one green for the largest tree and another green for the smaller.

Next I removed the post-it mask and painted water along the lower edge of the stamping and upwards to fill the sky. Then while the paper was wet I added weathered wood, faded jeans and old paper distress stains to fill the sky. Once I had the sky blended I used the post-it mask again as an edge to stamp more trees including one of the smaller ones from the ‘majestic mountains’ set. Again after removing the post-it mask I painted water and blended some of the three stains into the water to create shadows behind the trees and snowbanks. To finish it off I dried the panel, removed the frisket film and masking fluid then added a sentiment from the DD ‘pine cones’ set.

Although the colours and stamps are very similar I worked very much ‘wet into wet’ to create the second card. I painted water and diluted stain over most of the panel adding stripes of faded jeans, weathered wood and old paper. While it was wet I stamped the trees repeatedly with memento northern pine ink making first and second generation impressions to get dark foreground and lighter background images. Each time I inked the stamp I wiped ink off the trunk so it would not stamp, that way the trees all looked like they were in deep snow.

Believe it or not both panels started out the same size but a blot here and a mistake there meant this second one underwent some downsizing.

You might have noticed a stamped envelope in the first photo. I am going to try hard to stamp an envelope and my name on the back of the card as soon as I complete it. I have never been good at this but it makes a lot of sense to do it!

Supplies

Stamps:majestic mountains, pine cones (Darkroom Door)


Inks: northern pine memento, shady lane & rain forest versafine clair

Stains: faded jeans, weathered wood, old paper

Paper: cold pressed watercolour paper, neenah natural white, dark green

Also: masking fluid, glass mat