Banner Blooms

Recently I blended through a stencil to create square grid backgrounds for some floral silhouette stamping. Today’s card uses a similar technique but I wanted the squares to be less neat, a little imperfect but still recognisable as squares. I guess I could have freestyled them entirely but I wanted them to be evenly spaced and I didn’t trust myself to do that without the stencil as a guide. To achieve this look I once again taped a grid stencil (DD boxes 6 up) to a piece of cold pressed watercolour paper but instead of blending the squares then painting over them I just painted squares inside the stencil squares. I didn’t paint right up to the edges of the stencil because then liquid would have seeped underneath and made a mess. I used the stencil as my placement guide and painted a square inside each space.

I used Sennelier watercolour paints but you could use any watercolour paints or inks. I started each square with a stroke or two of mustard yellow then added some blue, red or orange and blended it with the mustard. After it dried I flattened it in my minc then transferred it to the stamp positioner to stamp five different images from the PB banner blooms set in versafine clair nocturne ink. Simple but quite effective. I chose a sentiment from the PB ‘strength’ set for the last square.

I really like the simple ‘shadow frame’ created by popping up the panel on a piece of foam; that’s why you keep seeing it!

Supplies


Stencils & watercolour

Some recent art from Kathy Racoosin inspired me to use my stencils a little differently. I used four stencils from Darkroom Door and my ever useful distress inks.

All these cards are one layer; I often attach a one layer panel to a card base and keep the layers minimal that way but this time I cut card bases from cold pressed watercolour paper and did all the stenciling and painting on directly on the card base. I taped the stencil to the card base using the grid on my glass mat to make sure the stencil sides and card sides were parallel. I used a large blending brush to transfer antique linen to the watercolour paper. Whatever ink you use through your stencil will lend some colour to the final images as it will mix with the ink painted on later.

On the twelve square background I painted peeled paint and pine needles ink using the blended antique linen as my guide. On the card below I used wilted violet, abandoned coral and blueprint sketch inks to fill the six blended squares.

After both cards had dried I used a stamp positioner to stamp the flowers in versafine clair nocturne ink. There is texture in the cold pressed watercolour bases so I stamped and restamped a few times. After stamping a couple of sentiments also from Darkroom Door I embossed all the stamping with clear powder. (I’ve listed and linked all the stamp sets and stencils at the end of this post.) I used one or two of the same distress inks  to stamp matching envelopes.

For the next two cards I used the same ‘blend then paint’ method. Once again I blended antique linen ink through the stencil then for the ferns painted a section at a time switching between cracked pistachio, peeled paint and pine needles inks.

I smooshed the ink pads on my glass mat and added a little gold shimmer with a few drops of Ken Oliver’s ‘yellow gold’ liquid metals. The shimmer isn’t very obvious in the photos but in real life it adds a little pizazz!

On the cone flowers I also added shimmer and used peeled paint for the stem, and fossilized amber with abandoned coral for the flower and petals.

Techniques like this make me take a second look at my stencils. I want to try it with a different base colour next time. Take a look at Kathy’s video to see her step by step technique.

Supplies

 

 


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 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!

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
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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