Gerberas

This pretty bunch of gerberas is one of the newest stamps from Darkroom Door. I would have shown it to you sooner but it arrived from Australia two days after I left to go to Australia! The inspiration for this colour scheme once again came from a simple web search. A photo popped up with pink, red, apricot and orange gerberas massed together. So that’s what I did.

I stamped in black ink and embossed in clear powder on hot pressed watercolour paper then used zig clean color real brush markers for colouring. I started each flower by colouring around the centre with the marker then blended out the colour with a brush and water. I was able to add more with the markers as needed. To give the flowers even more pizaazz I gave them all a layer of clear wink of stella. (the red and pink ones then got a coat of micro glaze because I kept touching them and getting pink and red stains on things that were not meant to be pink or red!) I wanted to mount the flowers on a background but didn’t want it to fight with the focal panel. The DD mesh stamp worked beautifully and reminds me of the decorative mesh that is sometimes wrapped around cut flowers.

I stamped a sentiment from the large DD ‘thank you’ set and threaded some sparkly black thread through the tag and round the panel. A friend gave me a stash of metallic threads recently and they are coming in handy for a little subtle sparkle.

For the second card I went with a more country style look. All the gerberas feature the same fossilized amber, vintage photo and rusty hinge colour scheme with the two brown inks used also to create a background. I stamped the whole gerbera stamp in fossilized amber  distress ink first then inked the centres in rusty hinge. I blended each petal with water and did the same with the centres then inked one side of the flower centres in vintage photo to add some dimension.

I tried a woodgrain background but it was too dark. By choosing to stamp the ‘thank you’ sentiment strip several times more of the cream background showed through. I inked the sentiment strip in vintage photo and rusty hinge distress inks and spritzed it lightly before each print. The result was blended and sometimes smudgy words. I gave both the flower panel and the background the splatter treatment then popped the gerberas up on a foam rectangle.

Gerberas are pretty classy flowers I think, they always seem to stand out in a bouquet.

Supplies

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Lake Wanaka

I have been creating with the new ‘Lake Wanaka‘ stamp from Darkroom Door. When I first saw this stamp I searched ‘Lake Wanaka tree’ and up came a range of inspiring images. Then I waited for the stamp to arrive so I could try to recreate some of the seasonal shots of this lake and tree in New Zealand.

For this first summer scene I worked with a hot pressed watercolour panel in my stamp positioner because I knew I was going to add inks step by step. I started by inking the lower (lake) portion of the stamp with stormy sky distress ink and the top portion of the stamp with tea dye distress ink. Next I worked with  forest moss marker and ground espresso distress markers to add colour to the tree. This took a little while as the tree is made up of fine detail so I was only transferring a little ink at a time. Once the tree was defined I painted the lake with stormy sky and weathered wood ink. (smooshed onto my glass mat – I know you’ve probably got that step by now!) I switched to earth tones to paint the mountains and followed some of the definition of the stamp with rusty hinge, frayed burlap, vintage photo and tea dye inks. I painted a little stand of trees in the left corner with forest moss ink and added some reflections in the water. Once the mountains were dry I painted the sky with weathered wood, stormy sky and faded jeans ink.

For the sunset look below I used did less painting and worked with a base of one colour ink. I used faded jeans archival ink to stamp the whole image then painted more faded jeans distress ink into the shadows of the mountains, black soot ink over the foreground hills and faded jeans and spun sugar inks over the lake.

I used forest moss and ground espresso markers to ink the tree and stamp over the initial print and painted over the trunk also with ground espresso ink to make it bolder against the background. The sky is a mix of worn lipstick and spun sugar inks.

I decided to make a co-ordinating background panel by painting some worn lipstick, spun sugar and faded jeans distress stains onto my glass mat then swiping a piece of watercolour paper through it. I popped my stamped panel up on some dimensional tape.

My autumn Lake Wanaka panel features the main tree and stand of trees in fossilized amber ink. I inked most of the stamp with a stormy sky marker but avoided the tree so I could use a fossilized amber marker to ink the foliage. I wanted to leave snow on the mountain tops so I did very little to that area but painted stormy sky and chipped sapphire shadows further down the mountains. Once again I painted the foothills in black soot ink. I used diluted stormy sky ink for the lake and chipped sapphire for a bold sky. When I was stamping the tree I spritzed the stamp to help the fossilized amber ink spread further.

I finished the card off with white and navy mats and a little sentiment strip. I think you can probably guess why the sentiment is positioned right there. You’ve done the same I’m sure to cover a little bit that didn’t go the way you wanted it to!

Thank you for joining me today. I hope to be back before too long with more Lake Wanaka interpretations. Make sure you visit the Darkroom Door blog to see other creations featuring this stamp.

 Supplies


Ocean escape

I have another scenic card to share featuring the new PB stamp ‘Escape‘. As you can imagine I was very happy to see these scenic stamps in the recent Penny Black release; I love to stamp and paint scenes. It does help to have a technique that enables you to work on the background separately from the foreground. I have used the same technique in the two cards already shared, plus this card and two more to come. It is very similar to a technique Jill Foster often uses and had demonstrated in numerous videos. I use a stamp positioner, I work on the foreground and middle ground images such as trees, grass, and canoes first and when they are completed I emboss over them with clear powder so I can paint the remaining spaces, usually sky, sea, sand or snow with inks or watercolour paints.

Once I am back in my workroom and reunited with my supplies I will try other techniques but I am happy with the way these scenes have worked out. For this particular card I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper and inked the grass and tree foliage with old paper distress ink then stamped. To build up depth and variety I added extra applications of old paper ink to the tree foliage and wild honey ink to the grass and scrubby areas. For the rocky outcrop and tree trunk and branches I used gathered twigs, rusty hinge and ground espresso inks and markers.  The stamp includes a narrow line along the horizon which I inked with a stormy sky marker. Once all the stamping was done and dry I inked the whole stamp with versamark and embossed in clear. This step ‘seals’ the previous coloured stamping enabling me to paint or blend over the images without affecting the colours at all.

I painted the sky after adding masking tape along the horizon to protect the sea and land area. I wet the whole sky then painted salty ocean around the edges and scattered straw and wild honey ink in the centre. While the ink was still wet I blotted some colour out with a paper towel or thirsty brush to leave the bright, white sun. Once the sky dried I moved the masking tape an painted the sea in a mix of stormy sky and salty ocean ink then dropped a little wild honey ink under the ‘sun’. To finish I smooshed the tea dye and rusty hinge inks onto my glass mat so I could mix some sand colours to paint the ground. The stamp from ‘destination sentiments‘ set fitted the scene so I added it with ranger archival ground espresso ink.

I took a few photos of a ‘Bonny Hills’ sunrise last week when visiting my brother and sister-in-law so I’ll leave you with one of those. My sister-in-law gets up every morning and takes the dog for a walk on the beach before she goes to work or starts her day. Two mornings I was there I slept way past sunrise and she showed me her beautiful photos later (kind but cruel!) Another morning I woke up ready to go and it was raining. The final morning I was there I joined her for her walk and enjoyed a lovely sunrise.

Supplies

Stamps: Escape (PB), Destination sentiments (PB)


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 😉

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


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)