See you soon

Just popping in with a couple of cards carrying a couple of messages for you. I hope your new year is off to a good start; I am still enjoying the beauty of an array of Christmas cards sent from around the world, thank you my creative friends for brightening up the midwinter days.

I made today’s cards from a gel printed panel done several months ago. I can’t remember the paints but you can see there was definitely orange, aqua and black. The panel I cut up is shown below, most of it included distinct or faint stars made with the Darkroom Door small starry night stencil. Along one edge there were two very distinct feather prints made with real feathers.

I ended up cutting a square which included one feather, leaving me one for another project. I also cut a rectangle covered in colour and texture which became the base for die cut letters and stars. I chose gold cardstock and gold embossing powder to add some brightness and shimmer on top of the dark background featuring a ‘scripted bold sentiments’ stamp from Pinkfresh Studio, alphabet dies from MFT and nesting star dies from We R Memory Keepers. I popped up the letters and the stars on black foam which kind of makes them appear to be floating.

I wanted to let you know I am taking a short blogging break so I can devote some time to planning and prep. I will be working on projects to share with you over the coming months. Ideally I would have done this before I stopped for Christmas but that didn’t happen so I’m doing it over the next week or so. I have lovely ideas and projects floating round in my head, I have a little stash of stencils and stamps that haven’t been out of their packets and some new release products from Penny Black on the way.

It has been a while since I devoted time to gel printing, alcohol inks, stenciling and lettering so that’s on the list along with some more hand painting. I will be making some videos to share here on my blog and youtube channel. I have a new online class in the works also. So you see while it’s quiet on the blog it will be busy behind the scenes.

As always I am happy to answer questions and I’m open to requests or suggestions for new projects and videos. If you feel like diving into one of my online classes just click on COLOUR CLUES or WINTER WONDER to learn more. (Here is a discount code for COLOUR CLUES which will take 20% of the price until January 15, 2021 HTNY21 )

So take care everyone, I’m looking forward to sharing techniques and experiments, cards, journal pages, paintings and more here on the blog during 2021. See you soon…

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Reading Year journal page

I know 2020 was a very different year from what any of us imagined but I hope you are able to look back on it and see some new habits or achievements that please and encourage you. I’ve always been a reader but I have to admit I spent more time immersed in stories this year. I read physical books, listened to many audio books as I worked on art and in the last week read e-books on my new e-reader. I was hoping to reach 100 books but fell a little short with a total of 93 and three currently on the go.

It is highly possible that I had years as a child when I read more than 93 but I don’t know; I didn’t keep a record. I have this year’s books written in a bullet journal but I decided to record them on an art journal page as well. This is the second book filled spread in my art journal and who knows, there may be more.

I love the book spines stamp from Darkroom Door and this time stamped it across the pages instead of in piles. After I had coloured all the book spines with watercolour markers and pearlescent paints I drew a shelf underneath and then stamped the DD woodgrain stamp above and below the shelf of books in grey and brown distress inks. I added a few titles to book spines with gel pens then used a scribbly script to fill the surrounding area with all the rest of the books. It soon became apparent that there would not be room for author names so I just did book titles. Once I had filled the space I had to squeeze the last few in between lines. I splattered some black soot distress ink over the page before removing the masking tape and adding the hand lettered title.

I read mysteries, war novels, crime novels, literary fiction, comedy, romance, historical fiction and a thriller. There were books I didn’t care to finish so they are not on the list and there were a handful I read twice. I read several series; I do like a good series and I took pains to try and have them arrive in my library holds in the right order or close to it.

The book club I belong to did manage to meet this year, once indoors before the pandemic started then two more times, outdoors around a picnic table then, in late October, around a bonfire. We discussed ‘Where the Crawdad’s Sing’, ‘Small Great Things’, ‘The Lager Queen of Minnesota’ and ‘The River’. If you know of some good ‘book club books’ please let me know in the comments below. I have received helpful recommendations from you before which I’m looking forward to reading in 2021.

Happy New Year!

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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.


Vintage Car

The new vintage car stamp pairs perfectly with one of the ladies from the classy 1920’s chic stamp set, both from Darkroom Door. I made two slimline cards and went with a rainbow colour scheme.

To position the car behind the woman I stamped her first, masked her with a post-it note mask I had cut out and then stamped the vintage car over the top. As both were stamped in nocturne versafine clair pigment ink I was able to emboss in clear powder to make it easier to paint a multicoloured background. I used distress inks smooshed on my glass mat but painted water around the images first so I could drop colour in and blend one colour with the next. On the card below I stamped the car three times in Memento London fog ink and once in a rainbow of distress inks. I applied the rainbow with a marker and spritzed the stamp before stamping so the colours began to blend before hitting the watercolour paper panel.

I stuck with London fog ink for the first two sentiments from DD classic cars vol 1 and switched back to the markers when stamping the birthday sentiment from DD happy birthday set. In keeping with the rainbow car I blended the same inks over the card base with blending brushes. The sentiment on the first card is from the DD classic motorcycles set

Speaking of dresses, but none quite so chic as the stamped one, I am continuing to wear dressed every day during December as I fundraise for the Dressember campaign which fights against human trafficking. My fundraising total has reached $795. If you would like to contribute just click over to my Dressember page. Thank you, thank you to those who have already done so.

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Shells

Let’s take a break from the snowy scenes I’ve been serving up lately and instead spend some time at the beach. If only I could! I’ve always been a shell collector, even last year when I was walking along Soldiers Beach on the NSW Central Coast with my dad I collected shells for the fun of it. I didn’t end up bringing them home but it was fun to look along the sand and in the rockpools. This card features shells from the Darkroom Door Seashells set and a background stamped with the new DD filmstrip stamp seashells.

I stamped the large shells first making a mask for each one out of a post it note so I could before stamping a second or third shell and mask all three when I stamped the repeated filmstrip background. The large shells I stamped first in archival ink then over the top in distress ink which I blended to fill and add shading to the shells. The background I stamped in tea dye distress ink using the MISTI to keep the stamp in place and move the watercolour paper panel. After stamping the background I blended over the top with a paintbrush and water and dabbed away liquid to halt the blurring so I could still see the shell images.

Once I’d trimmed the panel to size I blended vintage photo ink around the edges with a blending brush and painted shadows under the large shells with dark browns and black. As usual the supplies are all listed below.

Have a great day even if you can’t collect seashells and definitely if you can!

Supplies

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Winter Wonder Online Class

I’m excited! I have a new online class which will be available on Friday, November 20 and registration is open now! My new class is full of snowy scenes, winter skies, frosty leaves and berries. I’ve created the class to provide step by step instruction for some of my favourite techniques along with plenty of inspiration for you to make your own winter wonder cards.

I think it might be best if you watch the promo below; you will get glimpses of all the projects and you’ll see the delightful animation my son and I made with Penny Black dies and Pink Fresh Studio alphabet dies.

If you would like to join me in creating winter themed cards for Christmas, New Year, Thank You or Birthday cards then click over to the course site to register or learn more. WINTER WONDER

I will be giving away a registration here on my blog. To enter you need to leave a comment below telling me your favourite thing about winter! (If you win but have already registered I’ll refund your registration fee) I will randomly draw a winner on Sunday evening (Nov 22) so you have a few days to enter.

I will also do two random draws from the first 50 registrations for gift cards from either Foiled Fox or Crop A While.


Books & Tea

Ever since I created a ‘what should I read next?‘ art journal page I’ve been wanting to do a similar design on a card featuring the Darkroom Door ‘mini book’ and ‘book spines’ stamps. This time a teacup joined the party.

What is more delightful than a cup of tea and a good book? Maybe a cup of tea with another book lover?

I stamped the book spines stamp three times in hickory smoke archival ink on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper (which had been splattered with masking fluid). I set out both my Sennelier watercolour paint palette and a Finetec pearlescent set to paint the books. I mainly used the Sennelier paints but added drops and swipes of pearlescent paints here and there for interest.

Once the paints dried I used a handful of gel pens to add decoration to the book spines. I decided not to add titles (there is other pressing work to be done after all) just patterns. I removed the masking fluid, blended tea dye and vintage photo ink around the edges then splattered some vintage photo ink over the panel.

The mini book is stamped in versafine vintage sepia and then stamped with a script stamp from the DD ‘correspondence’ set and a sentiment stamp from DD ‘classic motorcycles’. The teacup from DD ‘cup of tea’ set is embossed in gold powder then painted a pale rose. I fussy cut both the book and the cup (I know – I’m surprised too). The book panel is matted in cream then attached to a grey luxe card base. I attached the mini book and teacup to hang over the edges of the panel ever so slightly.

Right now I would love to curl up on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea but I am editing my next online class! I am very excited to get it finished for you as it has a seasonal theme which might interest you right about now.

Supplies


Seashells Filmstrip

Before you wonder why a seashell card has popped up right after a snow covered bell card remember that not everyone is heading into winter right now. I can wistfully look at these seashells and wish I was entering an Australian summer and that wistfulness would not just be about the weather! Speaking of Australia, this stamp is from Darkroom Door and is one of their new filmstrip stamps.

I used a stamp positioner to stamp the filmstrip edge to edge moving my panel up or down each time to feature a different portion of the stamp. I used five different inks to ink the stamp fairly randomly then spritzed it before stamping so the inks were already moving. I continued blending the colours with a paintbrush on the watercolour paper panel.

You can see some shells are more sharply defined than others which corresponds to how much water I added before and after stamping. I stamped a sentiment from the DD sentiment strip – friendship stamp. I have kept the stamp as one long strip (I think many people have done so), so I can stamp them all at once or stamp a section and cut out the one I want. In this case I stamped a section, cut out the sentiment I was after then ripped one edge and coloured the tear with wild honey distress ink.

I have a shell collection which sits untouched in a box for years at a time and then an occasion like this arises and I open the box and remember how delighted I always am when walking on a beach looking for shells.

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Bloom Art Journal page

After making a Christmas card with the new Darkroom Door Christmas Bush stamp set I was keen to use the silhouette stamps for a different project. I decided to fill a journal page spread with them and chose a different colour scheme to do so. I think they look a bit like violets.

I taped the edges of the pages which frames the layout, keeps the pages flat and protects any pages underneath which are poking out. I painted absorbant ground over the whole area as a base before stamping and painting.

I wanted to have layers of flowers and so I tore a ripped edge on some masking paper and attached it across both pages. I used blending brushes to apply colour over the torn edge then did generational stamping in blueprint sketch, shaded lilac and peeled paint distress inks. Once the top section was completed I masked again, further down the page this time and repeated the process twice.

For highlights and details I used markers and gold paint to add details to the petals and centres to the flowers. I also used gold embossing to make a print border and title with the Darkroom Door ‘torn text’ and ‘sketched alphabet’ stamps. The Christmas Bush stamps proved to be very versatile as I thought they would when I first saw them.

Supplies


Art de Fleur

This card is the cardmaking version of going down a rabbit hole. I know how easy that is on the interwebs, but apparently it is possible with a card as well. What started out as a vintage style two layer card became a little more than that. I just kept thinking of stamps and papers and techniques I wanted to add.

I decided an insert would be nice; I don’t usually put anything on the inside of my cards so an insert is quite the departure. An insert turned into two inserts which is more like a little book when you count both sides of the pages!

The front panel, which was initially going to be the whole deal features several Darkroom Door stamps: scratches background stamp, sheet music background stamp, global postmarks, art de fleur vol 1.

For the whole card I stuck with four Papertrey ink cubes (listed below); I used them for stamping, watercolouring, splattering and blending with a blending brush.

The inside pages are not watercolour paper but handmade paper from a Hanji gifts in Toronto. It is handmade paper with rose petals embedded in it. It was very white straight out of the packet so I smooshed some brown and pink inks on my glass mat, diluted with water then swiped the paper through the ink. This resulted in the colour I wanted but removed the sizing and wrinkled the paper. I ironed it, which did the trick then added little bits of stamping on every page. I used a couple of sentiments and some quote stamps, all from Darkroom Door and reused the same background stamps plus the floral stamps from the Art de Fleur set.

To join it all together I poked holes and used some fine twine for a little ‘book binding’. With all the ‘vintaging’ I did on the front panel and pages the card base itself looked very stark so I swiped that through some smooshed ink too so everything would co-ordinate.

I was so deep down the rabbit hole by this point I realised an ordinary envelope was just not an option so I pulled out another sheet of the handmade rose petal paper, inked it, ironed it and used my envelope punch board to create an custom envelope, which I failed to photograph. All in all a very satisfying but surprising creative project. Now, back to work!

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