This card was inspired by @jenny_illustrations a watercolour artist I follow on instagram. She painted her scene but I used a selection of Darkroom Door stamps and some wet into wet techniques.
I worked on a panel of hot pressed watercolour paper splattered with liquid frisket. I wasn’t necessarily wanting the look of snow, more the interest or vintage look of little dots over the panel. It could be snow, an early snow or a first snow but that is not something I am thinking about right now. Not for a minute am I wishing summer away, I would never do that. Summer is definitely my favourite season and it is still officially summer for another 18 days!
But back to the card. I taped it down to my glass mat which I also used as a palette where I squished my distress inks to provide me with ink to paint with. I spritzed the whole panel with water then painted weathered wood and faded jeans distress ink in the sky then tea dye and gathered twigs distress ink in the foreground. It was not meant to be gathered twigs; the lid said ‘fossilized amber’! The lid was wrong but the colour, surprisingly worked maybe even better than amber would have giving me a gradation from light to dark brown.
While the whole panel was wet I stamped the large mountain stamp from DD ‘majestic mountains’ in faded jeans ink then, after a pause, the small trees from the same set in ‘hickory smoke’ then. after a longer pause, in ‘black soot’ ink. I used a small floral stamp from DD ‘wildflowers vol 1’ to stamp and restamp flowers in the foreground, first in ‘tea dye’ then in ‘gathered twigs’. I dried the panel rather than wait and finished it off with tea dye and gathered twigs splatter.
I was pleased to see my taping sealed the edges well resulting in no leaks. I am trying a different painter’s tape so it scored points on this project. I’m not sure why but this panel needed to be a side fold card. It has a little sentiment from DD ‘nature walk’ that says ‘ walk through the wildflowers’; you might not be able to read it but the recipient will.
I’ve done very few scenic cards lately so I enjoyed the process and result. I am pondering my next online class… scenic cards or Christmas cards? Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts.
Last week I posted a card featuring gel printed leaves from herbs I grew. I tried to explain my process but a few of you wished for a video so I picked some more leaves and had some fun printing them.
I used two different methods in the video, the leaf printed in yellow at the top of the page uses a two step method. The blue + green leaf above uses three steps and has one technique layered over the other technique.
I think the part of gel printing that gives me most inconsistent results is the way I apply ink. I’m getting better but I still get unwanted lines from the edge of the brayer. That wasn’t so evident on these prints as I was working on little gel plates called ‘petites’ from Gel Press.
I did a bunch of prints for this video on the square and the circle ‘petite’ plates as shown on the top cards. For the ‘slimline’ card I used three of the square prints but die-cut them smaller so I could fit them side by side on a 8¾” x 3¾” card.
I hope you give this a try, it’s quite satisfying and addicting once you get going!
Are you wondering if I’m repeating myself? Didn’t I post this a few days ago? Indeed, I posted something similar on Monday, a card featuring the new ‘warm wishes’ set from Darkroom Door. At the end of the post I mentioned that I’d like to transform the design into a journal page…so I did!
I kept my colour scheme with the addition of more green and added a few extra stamp images and a bit of texture. I used a Fabriano ‘Venezia’ art journal, with drawing paper not watercolour paper. The weight of the paper is decent but if I’m going to be spritzing and adding water and ink I paint a layer of absorbant ground on both pages first.
I began by inking up the clover stamps with worn lipstick, aged mahogany and peeled paint markers, spritzed them so the ink started blending on the stamp then stamped randomly across the pages. I spritzed the images lightly so the ink moved and softened and also dabbed colour and water away with a paper towel. I inked the number/account book stamp from ‘number medley’ set with stormy sky distress stain and stamped it randomly around the pages. After stamping I spritzed the images so the ink spread, diluted and ran across the page. I dabbed some of it dry but left other bits to make watermarks. I also splattered the stain around with a paintbrush. Once the first layer of stamping was dry I switched to stormy sky distress ink and a blending brush to add colour to all the page edges. Also on the dry page I added a bit of texture by applying modeling paste through the DD stencil, ‘crackle’. The crackle was not very obvious but showed up a bit more after I added more stamping.
At this point I considered the background complete and started on the more distinct stamping. As I was working in the journal I couldn’t place it in the MISTI so I placed my ‘staytion’ magnetic board under the left hand page and added some acrylic blocks underneath the board to balance the left side of the journal with the right. I used an acrylic block to stamp all the clover and positioned a stampa-ma-jig against the block a couple of times just in case I didn’t have a complete image. I was able to do touch ups with a paintbrush and extra ink if the stamping was too pale.
I wanted some clover-ish leaves to stamp around the flowers so I grabbed a stamp from the DD ‘wildflowers vol 2’ and stamped foliage all around in peeled paint and forest moss inks. I added some green splatter too because journal pages always need splatter! At this point I was almost finished but I wanted a little more blue on the page. Rather than add more of the number stamp I used a very delicate floral stamp from ‘nature walk’ in faded jeans archival ink so I would have fine detailed lines that wouldn’t blend or blur. To balance mass of colour at the base of the pages I added more blue across the top edges. The blending brush was going to take too long so I swiped the ink pad over the edges and some water droplets also.
My journal is nowhere near full but it has become bulky with uneven pages because some have been glued to each other, others have been collaged. When I started the journal I glued pages together for sturdiness because that was what Vicky Papaioannou did and Vicky is an art journal wizard! She doesn’t always do that any more and neither do I because some of the pages just don’t want to be joined to each other, it makes it difficult to open them or flatten them. If you are an art journaller I would love to know if you prep your pages in some way so they can take a bit of water and liquid ink.
I hope you enjoyed seeing how a card inspired a double page spread; I definitely enjoyed working on the large scale with less pressure to keep things neat and contained!
Hot off the presses and ironically cold out of my mail box here are some brand new stamps from Darkroom Door. Rachel Greig creates incredibly artistic stamps and these new flowers are no exception. The feature image and sentiment on today’s card are from the new set, ‘Warm Wishes’ which contains five flower stamps and eight sentiments.
I decided not to watercolour them this time (but you know I will), instead I chose a crisp pigment ink so you would see the incredible detail of the flower head. I created a background by stamping some fave florals from DD ‘nature walk’ and ‘wildflowers vol 1’ in memento London fog ink. It is a light enough grey to show up but not take over. On the card above I stamped the feature flower from ‘warm wishes’ in versafine clair ‘shady lane’ ink and added the sentiment in the same colour.
Both the stamped panel and the card base are neenah solar white cardstock and the panel is popped up on a piece of foam to create some subtle framing.
Make sure you pop over to the Darkroom Door blog for more inspiration with the new ‘warm wishes’ set. And check back here too because I’ll be giving these stamps the watercolour treatment very soon!
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.
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?
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)
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!
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
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 8½ “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!
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
I am over on the Darkroom Door blog today sharing cards made with the gorgeous new ‘Nature Walk‘ set. The flowers and foliage in this set have incredible detail; the first time I stamped them I was blown away by how delicate the images were. For their debut on my blog I wanted to make them as artsy as possible but I will be back showing them off in all their delicate simplicity another day. This first one is my favourite of the three in this post; it reminds me a little of trees in some of Sydney Long’s paintings.
To begin I splattered some masking fluid over hot pressed watercolour paper and let that dry. Next I wet most of the panel with water and repeatedly stamped the round topped wildflowers in bundled sage and iced spruce distress stain. Distress stain is a liquid so it doesn’t stamp a sharp detailed image; stamping it onto partially wet paper resulted in soft background colour with a few shadowy flower heads appearing. I let the panel dry then inked the stamp with chipped sapphire, seedless preserves and dusty concord stains then stamped it several times across the panel. When the panel dried I rubbed off the masking fluid, added a sentiment embossed in white on co-ordinating cardstock and attached the panel to a white card base.
Stamps: nature walk (DD)
Stains: bundled sage, iced spruce, chipped sapphire, dusty concord, seedless preserves (card 1)
crushed olive, rusty hinge, forest moss (card 2)
antique linen, aged mahogany, victorian velvet (card 3)
Inks: versamark & shady lane, chianti, golden meadows versafine clair,
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, neenah natural cardstock, burgandy cardstock, rust cardstock
Also: Cutterpillar glass mat, white embossing fluid, masking fluid, twine,