Crossword

Darkroom Door added four new background stamps to their line up recently and I’ve shown you ‘handwoven‘ and ‘daisy delight‘ in previous posts. Today I have three very different cards featuring the ‘crossword’ background stamp.

On this first floral card I have used the crossword stamp as a background. I stamped it on scrap first with versafine clair morning mist ink then on a panel of watercolour paper to get a pale grey image adding interest behind the silhouette flowers stamped in different distress inks. I used the same grey ink to stamp words from the ‘you are everything’ set to pop up along the bottom of the panel.

In this second card the stamp functions as both a background and a crossword (of sorts). Although the stamped image is a solvable crossword which comes with printed clues in the packet I have populated it with coffee themed words to work on my coffee themed card. I feel like coffee and the crossword is not an uncommon past time. I stamped the background with fallen leaves versafine clair ink and stamped the sentiment and coffee cup in the same ink on a gel printed panel. I added some blending and ink splatter in both brown and gold before popping up the coffee and sentiment over some gold cord.

Although it took some time to stamp the background and foreground images the hardest part of the coffee card was definitely finding and arranging coffee themed words in the crossword!

My last card reminds me of the riddle, “what is black and white and red all over?” A newspaper!

Get it?

“Read all over!”

On both the second and third cards I used bristol cardstock for sharper stamped images as I wasn’t adding any water or waterbased inks. I stamped a strip of three different DD background stamps, blended the edges and attached them to a red panel then used the ‘alphabet medley’ set to stamp the words in versafine satin red ink. I’m thinking I can use this card for any exciting occasion and stamp another sentiment inside which is more specific.

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Vintage layers

Today’s cards developed bit by bit over a week or so. I worked on flower panels one day, middle layers another day, let them sit a few days, searched for ribbon another day and finally a week later put them together still adding stamping, splattering and blending right up until I called them finished!

I featured the silhouette floral stamps from the new Darkroom Door ‘you are everything’ set. There are four floral stamps along with eighteen word stamps I mentioned in a previous post. The flowers above are stamped on cold press watercolour paper with papertrey inks. I used pale peony and pure poppy on the petals and olive twist on the stems. I spritzed lightly before stamping then blended further with a paintbrush on the paper. I used the same technique on the purple flowers in the second card but worked on hot pressed watercolour paper.

For the vintage and collage details on the card I above I used olive twist and fine linen inks to add painted areas, stamped text, splatter and blending with a brush.

The flowers above are stamped in pale peony, royal velvet and olive twist and I stuck with fine linen and royal velvet as the inks on the layered areas also.

I’ve listed all the stamps I used to add texture and interest to the floral panel and the layers underneath. You can see some of my favourite ‘filler’ stamps including French script and global postmarks. I also splattered water and white paint for some watermarks and subtle blots!

To finish both cards I punched a couple of holes in the top to thread some fabric through. I didn’t have a cream silk or sheer ribbon so I ripped some strips of what might be silk but I can’t remember. The ripped edge worked fine with my vintage layered look.

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Delighted with Daisies

This is the second card I’ve created with the new Darkroom Door background stamp ‘daisy delight‘. Once again I ended up using the whole stamp because it is just so happy and bright. At some stage I must try cutting a strip or some squares because I’m sure that would look pretty too.

Using the stamp in a positioner with hot pressed watercolour paper I first inked the centres of the daisies with an orange ink cube. I wasn’t careful to ink only the circles; I just gave each daisy a twist of orange ink then stamped. I cleaned the stamp and inked sections with raspberry fizz ink then stamped and finally inked remaining sections with bright buttercup ink. I gave it a spritz of water to help the inks blend before stamping the last time.

To fill the petals I smooshed the same three inks on my glass mat then used a paintbrush and water to paint loosely inside the petals and centres. I also mixed new blends with the pink, orange and yellow inks.

To put the card together I die cut a rectangle from the centre of the panel, popped in up on three layers of cardstock and wrapped some white and silver twine around it before attaching it to the card base. The sentiments are from the DD ‘Christmas bush’ set and they are perfect for many occasions; possibly a birthday this time.

Did you know Darkroom Door has a blog where they post oodles of inspiration for using their huge range of stamps and stencils? They also have a newsletter so you can receive emails full of inspiration.

Thanks for joining me today, see you again soon.

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Handwoven

Today’s cards feature the new ‘handwoven’ background stamp from Darkroom Door it two quite different ways.

To create this first card I inked the handwoven stamp with blue and green papertrey ink cubes, spritzed the stamp then pressed it on hot pressed watercolour paper. The result was some green areas, some blue areas and some pretty blended areas where the inks overlap. The blue-green background created a pretty pattern as it was and I could have just added a sentiment and called it complete but I decided to take the risk of adding some flowers. I would understand if you wish I had left it flower free because it is a busy panel but I like the look of a patterned geometric roof or canopy over the flowers.

The flowers are from the new DD set ‘you are everything’ as are the words. The words in this set are great; there are eighteen negative space words that can be stamped and cut out to make countless sentiments. I embossed both the flowers and the words to give them more prominence over the busy background.

The second card I am planning to use as an Easter card. Filling the spaces of the handwoven pattern with pearlescent paint reminded me of a stain glass window so I looked through my sentiments and found this one in the DD ‘Christmas bush’ set and decided it works for many occasions, including Easter. I stamped the handwoven stamp on black watercolour paper in versamark then embossed in clear powder before painting all the little spaces with Coliro paints and a fine point brush. It did take a while and I didn’t do it in one sitting as the fiddliness factor was high!

I matted both the patterned circle and the sentiment in gold shimmer cardstock and embossed the front of the card base using the ‘subtle’ embossing folder from SU.

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Under the same sky

After pairing the cool new ‘long distance’ sentiments from Darkroom Door with a map stamp I took another look at the strip of sentiments (there are eleven) and picked out a couple that would work with planes and a sunset sky. I must admit my matchy-matchy side was pretty happy these two sentiments are in the same font and the three on my map card were also in the same font.

I taped a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper to my glass mat and painted six colours from top to bottom of the panel with plenty of water to dilute and mix the colours as I went. I used the Dr Ph Martin’s Hydrus watercolours for the sky and the colours are linked below. I put only a drop of each in wells of the palette then added three or four drops of water. Considering the paint brush was also dipped in water before picking up paint you can see these liquid watercolours are highly pigmented. I painted the whole panel twice starting with the phthalo blue each time and finishing with the gamboge. While the panel was still wet I scrunched up a tissue and dabbed paint off. You can see the tissue takes out a lot of colour bringing the dabbed area almost back to white.

Once the panel was totally dry I trimmed it and stamped two planes from DD vintage planes and two sentiments in versafine clair nocturne before embossing over the black ink in clear powder.

I was thinking about a comment my dad left on the long distance + map card about the recipient being able to return the same message to the sender on receipt of the card and I wondered about a ‘send it on’ idea. It is a bit different to what my dad suggested but instead of writing in the card I will write on a piece of loose paper inside the card and suggest the recipient remove my note and add one of their own before sending the card on to another person. For fun the senders and recipients could note their names on the back of the card. Hmmmm, perhaps I should try it with the map card and maybe this one too.

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Daisy Delight

When I have a new line-art background stamp my first choice is usually to try emboss resist with brusho paint powders. This new background stamp from Darkroom Door is called ‘daisy delight’ and has plenty of loops and lines for trapping brusho.

I embossed the stamp in clear powder on hot pressed watercolour paper. With scrap paper spread under the panel I sprinkled brusho powder over the panel, both turquoise and sea green. I spritzed water over the brusho and sat back to watch the magic happen. As the brusho diluted I saw pockets of colour appear which were exactly what I wanted. You can see different shades of blue and green as well as a few pops of yellow. There were a few blank or pale sections so I sprinkled more brusho, spritzed more water and then waited again to see what happened. Once the paint was really soaking in I took a small brush and started filling some of the petals where the colour hadn’t reached all the edges. In a few places I took bold colour from a petal and used it to fill a petal somewhere else.

I dried the panel with a heat tool then trimmed it and did a test on a trimmed scrap to see if I would like black background in amongst the flowers. I went with it and coloured in the few areas that are not part of the flowers with a black Karin brushmarker. To finish the card I wrapped white/silver twine around it and popped up some embossed words from the new DD ‘you are everything’ set.

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Long Distance

Many of us are separated from family and friends these days so when I saw this new set of sentiments from Darkroom Door I knew immediately that I could put them to good use. The set is called ‘long distance’ and is a long strip of sentiments one under the other, eleven in total. I have several sentiment strips from Darkroom Door and have not cut any of them into individual strips. Instead I tend to stamp the whole strip or a section of the strip and then snip off or die-cut the ones I want to use.

As many of you know I am originally from Australia and all my family still lives there while my husband, children and I live in Canada and have done for twenty years. When I designed this card featuring the DD ‘world map’ stamp I did so with my Australian family and friends in mind so I had to make sure both countries were still on display after I added the sentiments. I stamped the map on hot pressed watercolour paper in tea dye distress ink and acorn versafine clair, dried the inks then started painting colours over the map. I smooshed tea dye, carved pumpkin, abandoned coral, broken china and mowed lawn distress inks on my glass mat and painted loosely with no major concern for borders or accuracy. I searched ‘antique map’ for an inspiration photo to guide me.

I cie-cut the map panel with a Waffle Flower A2 additional layer die then applied vintage photo ink around the edge of the map and the sentiments with a blending brush. It’s a subtle addition but I also stamped pale postmarks on the sentiments using the DD ‘global postmarks’ stamps. I will be showing you more of the new stamps from Darkroom Door over the next few weeks but there are already several blog posts on the Darkroom Door blog featuring the new beauties so make sure you pop over there to take a look.

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Vintage collage card

A friend commissioned me to make a ‘vintage’ themed card recently and I happily pulled out a bunch of Darkroom Door stamps to do so. You can see the pocket watch stamp managed to feature three times but the French script, global postmarks, and gerberas also contributed. I stamped, blended and painted with two brown tones of distress ink, two blues and a black. (all the supplies are listed below)

To begin I smooshed some speckled egg and antique linen distress inks on a glass mat, added water swiped the panel through the diluted ink. After that the gerbera background stamp became part of the base layer in speckled egg distress ink. I layered the other stamps over the top in tea dye and antique linen inks and blended some speckled egg ink through the DD diamonds stencil. Of course there is splatter, watermarks and extra blending to darken the edges. To add a dimensional feature I die cut several stems of flowers with the Penny Black ‘shall we dance’ die, some are from watercolour paper, some from tan cardstock and a few from paper painted with salty ocean ink and stamped with the DD gazette stamp.

Almost finished, I added a strand of twine around the base and tied some tiny tags on with stamped PB sentiments on them and some little wooden stars I found. I was pretty happy with all this vintageness but decided to risk some gold paint. I splattered and added it to the tiny stars and heart, the flower centres. Where it worked best though was unevenly painted along the edges of the square panel. You probably can’t even see it clearly but it ended up being one of my favourite parts of the card.

By the way there are yummy new stamps on the Darkroom Door website. You will see them here soon, a few are winging their way here as you read this! Have a great day.

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Stockings are hung

When I was making knitted panel cards a few weeks back I thought I should create a knitted stocking card at the same time. I also decided to try and make at least one, but hopefully more than one Christmas card each month. Usually I don’t feel like making Christmas cards after Christmas but I’m happy to right now so I made this little stocking and hung it by the chimney with care.

I stamped the Darkroom Door knitting pattern in versafine clair ‘glamorous’ ink, embossed in clear powder then painted over it with festive berries distress ink. I cut out a stocking with one of the Penny Black Christmas Stocking dies. To fill the stocking I cut foliage from watercolour paper using the PB layered wreath set then coloured the die-cuts with festive berries, pine needles and ground espresso distress inks. The stocking needed a bit more trim so I cut out a white cloud shape to and blended some brown ink around the edges.

To create a chimney I used a stencil and a stamp from Darkroom Door, the woodgrain stamp for the mantle and brick wall stencil for the bricks. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper for both so I could blend distress inks and add watermarks. I stamped the wood with ground espresso archival ink so it wouldn’t blend then painted and blended ground espresso, black soot and rusty hinge distress inks over the top. I blended the same three distress inks through the stencil then spritzed some water over it before lifting the stencil. I blended some of the bricks with a paintbrush and added some black soot splatter.

The mortar around the bricks looked too white so I blended antique linen ink over the whole panel and used some to blend above the mantel too. To finish of the card I added a gold bow and a sentiment from the DD Christmas sentiment strip stamp.

So that’s one Christmas card done so far in 2021! Do you make Christmas cards all year?

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A Day at a Time journal page

This page is in one of my Fabriano art journals. I’ve mentioned before that I have a love/hate relationship with these journals as the pages are not really meant for watercolour and I always want to do watercolour. I can’t bear to quit though because there are quite a few completed pages in the journals and I want to get to the end.

I began this spread with some inspiration pages open on my Pinterest ‘journal‘ board but no real plan; I was after a look but didn’t have a theme. I rarely use my distress stain sprays as sprays; I usually paint with them but this time I taped the edges of the pages then put the book in my recycle paper box and sprayed with vintage photo, faded jeans and wild honey spray stains. I then sprayed some water but as I mentioned, this paper doesn’t act like watercolour paper so the stains didn’t blend and move.

Next I added some texture with modelling paste through the Darkroom Door diamonds & handwritten script stencils. Once that dried I blended round the edges of the pages with faded jeans, vintage photo, wild honey and black soot distress inks which highlighted the added texture. I was happy with my chosen colours but still didn’t know what the focus should be. I coloured some strips of sheet music and added Darkroom Door ‘plaid’ and ‘sheet music’ stamping here and there.

Initially I wanted to use the pocket watch and the teacups so I stamped them in vintage photo and swiped them through diluted inks to pick up colour as well as adding colour with a paint brush. Once they were painted and cut out I clear embossed the clock face three times with high gloss embossing powder to look like glass and used normal clear embossing powder for the cups.

To brighten up the centre of the double page I ended up spreading white absorbent ground over the strips of sheet music and out towards the edges. Then began the longish process of turning the page into a composition. After much rearranging I realised that the tower of teacups and the pocket watch need a third element so I tried a floral piece then just a single shelf (stamped with DD woodgrain background stamp) and finally realised the ‘book spines’ stamp would probably work again. Honestly I’m not trying to put that stamp in every single journal page. Even with the books it still took a while to balance the layout and come up with some words. I finally decided on ‘one day at a time’ stamped on the shelf with the DD alphabet medley stamps. As Vicky Papaioannou often does on her amazing art journal pages, I finished with both black and white splatter then removed the masking tape before gluing down my elements.

It’s nothing like my initial inspiration photos on Pinterest but it did give me some good practice at adding texture and layers to my art journal, two things I don’t find easy. I only have one of my art journal pages on youtube as there is so much humming and ha-ing as I work out what I want. If I cut out the pondering parts is an art journal page process something you’d like to see in a video?

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