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.


Shimmer trees

The pearlescent paints and black watercolour paper are still on my work table so I’ve continued to experiment with them. To create this little scene I taped all four sides of a square panel with painter’s tape to mask off the area in the centre. The surface of the black watercolour paper is very soft and likely to lift when tape is removed so I press the tape against my clothing before using it so it is less tacky and when it comes to removal I heat it with a heat tool as I slowly peel it off.

I painted the snowy ground and circle moon first with silver pearl from the Finetec Artist Mica set of 12, then the foliage of the trees with blue green, moss green and midnight blue from the Coliro Ocean set of 6. The tree trunks are chocolate from the Coliro Earth set. I finished by dotting stars over the sky with Sakura gelly roll pens then wrote the words ‘thank you’ with a very fine nib and the same moss green pearlescent paint.

I hope you are having a relaxing few days as the year winds down. We are back in lockdown in Ontario so life is very quiet; I’m continuing to get the word out about the Dressember Campaign. My fundraising total has grown to $1962.10 and tomorrow, December 29 is a matching day, so if you’d like to donate, tomorrow is a great day to do it. Donations in Canada will be matched up to $50, 000 starting at 9am PT on Tuesday Dec 29.

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Pearlescent wreath

I remembered after watching Kristina Werner’s final holiday card series video that I hadn’t done anything Christmassy with my black watercolour paper and pearlescent paints. Also it’s been a while since I hand painted anything.

This simple wreath was painted with pearlescent paints from two Coliro sets, ‘earth’ and ‘ocean’. I began by tracing round the inside of a roll of tape with a white pencil to give myself a circle guide. I painted leaf shapes in bluegreen, Tibet gold, bronze and red from the two sets then drew tiny stems and berries with a gold gel pen.

I had some red pearlescent cardstock from Crop A While which matched the paint exactly and I’m also going to paint some leaves on a black envelope before I send this card out to a Dressember donor. Thank you for keeping the fundraising total growing. The total is now passed my original goal of $1500 and I am hoping to get to $2000! We did a little more magic editing earlier this week to keep the campaign interesting! Check it out on IG or pinterest

God bless you all this Christmas and thank you for your support and kindness through this year. Connecting with you here on the blog has been a highlight for me when most interactions have not been possible. Take care everyone.

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Shimmer on grey

I saw a beautiful card by Dawn Wolesagle featuring shimmer paint on a dark grey base and decided to try my own. I know mine do not have the impact of Dawn’s card but I like the simplicity of design and colour on these one layer cards. I’m going to try the technique again with an even darker background.

I used the textured grey luxe cardstock from the Foiled Fox and combined outline stamps from the Penny Black set {heart Christmas} to make a design with versafine clair nocturne ink.

I painted the leaves in moss green pearlescent paint from the Coliro ocean set and the flowers with rose from the vintage set then switched to gel pens to fill the berries with gold and dot white around the designs.

The sentiments are both from the Penny Black merry up set stamped in Brutus Monroe alabaster ink and embossed in alabaster powder.

The fundraising total on my Dressember campaign page continues to grow thanks to friends near and far including many blog readers and class participants. Thank you so much for getting involved in the fight against human trafficking. To learn more about the work being done visit the Dressember blog

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Christmas Colours

I’ve started thinking about colours I’ll use to decorate this year. I pick a different colour scheme every year. Not wildly different, usually there will be gold or silver along with a colour or white. I don’t buy new decorations every year; I have a selection of wide ribbons plus a few boxes of coloured balls and a range of unique decorations we’ve collected, made or been given over the years.

One year I did a rustic, natural sort of theme with burlap ribbon and wood ornaments with some white and gold similar to the colours in this card. This year I am thinking of black and gold. I’m not thinking of black in a sad and dark way more of a rich velvet with tartan ribbon kind of way. Just before and after Christmas last year I bought quite a few of the same decoration, heavily discounted, in preparation for a class I planned to teach this month. Well that’s not happening but I am hoping to use some of my stash and share them here. And there will be black and tartan in the mix.

I stamped the heart from PB {heart} Christmas set in versamark and embossed in white powder on kraft cardstock then used a blending brush to blend frayed burlap distress ink over the stamping to give it a shadow. I know the effect I was after with the blending but not sure that I’ve achieved it here.

I used polychromos pencils and Coliro pearlescent paints to colour in the outline stamping. I embossed in white a sentiment from the PB merry up set and used a white gel pen to add a stitching line around the edge of the panel.

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Birdhouse Blessings

This delightful scene is called ‘birdhouse blessings’ and it makes me want to have birdhouses and bird feeders scattered across my backyard. A few days ago my husband and I were doing what may well be our final outdoor workout of the year and watched chickadees and a cardinal flit back and forth from tree to hedge.

I worked on a hot pressed watercolour panel which I’d splattered with masking fluid (as per usual). I only just got my hands on some speckled egg distress ink and stain so that’s what I used for the background colour. It is a lovely colour and I’m very happy with the inky background. I smooshed ink on my glass mat, diluted it then swiped the panel through it to pick up colour.

I stamped the large stamp in antique linen then did some no-line watercolour with Sennelier watercolour paints. While painting those little leaves and berries I did wonder if I should have chosen watercolour markers instead of paint brush and paints but I was already committed, so me and my very small paint brush kept on painting. When I finished painting all the elements I used speckled egg distress stain to darken the edges of the panel and frame the little scene. When I removed the masking fluid there were pretty little snowflakes over the whole panel.

I painted the little star in gold and debated whether I would add a gold frame as well. Decided in the end I liked it just the way it was. (psst a little bird wants to tell you ‘Winter Wonder’ is coming!)

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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.

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Wreath & Wings

I’ve combined a new PB stamp, ‘wreath & wings’ with a new PB die, ‘mirthful’ for simple elegant style Christmas card.

I used distress inks and markers to ink the wreath elements and birds, keeping the stamp in the positioner so I could work a bit at a time. I inked the stamp, stamped the image then did a bit of blending with a paintbrush to fill the leaves, berries and birds.

I used a gold gel pen to colour some of the berries then continued the gold highlights in the die cut word. The die has decorative diamond cut outs so I cut gold ones to add to the burgandy letters and framed the panel in the same burgandy cardstock.

For the second card I decided to use the curve of the wreath as a hanging garland. Using a centering ruler to help me with positioning I stamped half the wreath on the centre top edge of the watercolour panel, then stamped another part loop either side.

Once again I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper so I could blend the ink on the leaves. I used ocean coliro pearlescent paint on some of the leaves and berries for a little shimmer.

I wrote the sentiment for this one using the darkest blue marker from the Staedtler watercolour 36 brush pen set and matted the panel in a dark blue cardstock.

Even though I don’t like to over do my designs I’m wondering if the blue card is a bit sparsely decorated. What do you think?

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Bell & Berries

Over the summer I kept reaching for the blues and greens; they were refreshing in the hot weather. It appears that my fascination with them is continuing into the winter! I created this wintry panel with the Penny Black ‘bell & berries stamp and the versatile PB ‘fragile beauty’ set.

When I started this panel by stamping only the branch section of the stamp at the very top I chose only blue, grey and green inks. Choosing green over red for the berries helped to create a fresh frosty look. After stamping only the top branch I repositioned the stamp and stamped the whole image then finally a bit more branch on the right hand side. The extra twigs were added in dark blue.

I inked the leaves with papertrey ‘enchanted evening’, a dark blue and ‘stormy sea’, a grey blue. I used the olive toned ‘prairie grass’ for the berries. When I spritzed the stamp before stamping on the hot pressed watercolour paper the inks began to blend. I did further blending on the paper with a paint brush and water but didn’t blend every part of the image, some leaves and berries I kept unblended to show the texture of the paper and stamp.

The paper had spots of masking fluid splattered over it before I began which caused the white dots you see in the finished panel.

I stamped the bell in a mix of stormy sea and true black ink and also added ‘blue silver’ pearlescent paint from the Coliro ‘ocean’ set so there is a shimmer to it in real life.

I used a piece of dark blue cardstock for a card base then stamped the ‘bell & berries’ on both an insert panel and the envelope.

I woke up to the frosty look of fresh snow on autumn leaves this morning; it’s pretty but it can go now!

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Blue Dragon

I’ve had this Pink Ink Designs dragon stamp for a quite a while and even started a couple of watercoloured panels with it but I was inspired to finally complete a card for an eight year old I know.

I did the stamping and embossing ages ago so I can’t remember if it is platinum or silver embossing powder. I used a mix of watercolour markers and finetec shimmer paint to colour the dragon then some distress ink to add shading and swirls to the edges. The wing is made from two stamps, the main body of the dragon plus an extra extension of wing. I have attached the extension with a little blue brad so it can fold in when the card fits goes in an envelope. I framed the design with a piece of dark blue metallic cardstock I bought from Crop A While along with matching envelopes.

I first saw this stamp at Crop A While, my local scrapbooking store and fell in love with it straight away. I remember my friend and store owner, Carole being quite surprised that I would even take a second glance at a dragon stamp and then from the same brand, a sea turtle stamp. I admit it is a bit out of character for me. The initial appeal of this dragon stamp set was to make an art journal page with it. It hasn’t happened yet but the design has been simmering in my mind for a while now.

Crop A While has an online store, curbside pick up and in-store shopping available right now and the owners, Tom and Carole are happy to help you with orders, just phone or email them.

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