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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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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Loosely lined florals on black

Today’s card and video feature two products made for each other: black watercolour paper and pearlescent paint. The black background makes the already beautiful shimmery paint even more vibrant.

I chose the MFT ‘loosely line flowers’ background stamp to fill a large black square of black coldpressed watercolour paper. The paper has some texture to it but that didn’t cause any problems when I stamped and embossed this very detailed stamp.

The video shows my process making this multicoloured card using the Coliro ‘earth’ and ‘ocean’ sets of pearlescent paints. The Foiled Fox introduced me to the Coliro sets and sent some my way and I’m so glad they did. The colours are beautiful and the combinations in the sets make me happy.

When I was planning the card and video tutorial I tried the technique with only colours from the ‘ocean’ set first. The result is in the card above. I think it’s lovely but I find the contrasts in the first card are even more eye catching. If you have some black watercolour paper be sure to try it with some pearlescent or metallic paints, powders or markers. Similarly if you have some metallic or pearlescent products you are wondering what to do with, get some black watercolour paper and have some fun.

Can you believe this is my twelfth video this year? That is definitely a record for me and the year isn’t even over yet. Hope you enjoy this one.

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Painting atmosphere

I’ve done some more playing with watercolours and clingwrap. Quite a lot of playing actually; it’s addictive. I don’t even remember if the panel above was painted initially with brusho powders or pan watercolours or both. I do know I started with a large piece of cold pressed watercolour paper taped to a glass mat. I wet the panel then added the paint and let it move around and blend a little before I placed the cling wrap on top. I did remember to take a photo of the panel after it had dried and I’d removed the cling wrap. The card above which looks a bit like some hydrangea flowers was painted on the bottom right corner below.

The butterfly card below was made from the top left corner of the large panel and the flower card was made from the top right corner. I did work on the bottom left corner but didn’t end up liking what I’d made.

For the butterfly card I used a stamp from Darkroom Door ‘wings’ set and stamped it on the panel in blueprint sketch distress ink. After stamping I blended the ink plus some pearlescent paint from a finetec palette to fill the butterfly’s wings. It’s not obvious in the photo but the wings shimmer.

Once the butterfly was dry I did some water stamping using a fern stamp from the DD ‘leaves ‘ set.

The flowers are from the DD ‘tall flowers’ set and were stamped in festive berries, mowed lawn and wild honey distress inks. I also added gold paint to the flower centre. You can see some more water stamped ferns and some second generation stamping with the flowers also. The little circles on all three cards were made just by adding some droplets of water, letting them sit on the panel then dabbing them up with a paper towel.

The card above with the purple flowers doesn’t feature any stamping, the patterns made by the cling wrap made me think of a hydrangea flower head so I painted a bunch of little flowers using a purple watercolour pencil to draw centres then a paintbrush and water to blend the pencil into petals. While the petals were still wet I used the pencil again to add some darker areas in the centres.

The red shape on the left hand side looked a bit like a flower so again I used a watercolour pencil to add a bit more colour and followed the lines left by the cling wrap.

Whether painting or stamping over the panel, I love the patterns and play of light and dark in the background; I think it creates atmosphere. Have I finished with this technique now I hear you ask? No, definitely not. Have you tried it?

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New Black Craft Plastic

Introductions are necessary, I have a new crafting surface to share with you. Opaque black craft plastic has just been released by Grafix and I found it to be a perfect base for pearlescent paint. It was tricky to photograph but I think you can see the shimmer in the both the paint and the gold card base. Here is a video of my process.

The craft plastic also comes in white which I’ve used successfully with alcohol inks. I can’t wait to try the new Ranger Alloy inks on the black.

Grafix gave me the opportunity to try the black craft plastic and I had fun with the alcohol inks and paint markers as well as the pearlescent paints shown here. I’ll be sharing more projects in the future and I will be asking my favourite stores if they can carry this new product.

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Shimmer floral

The fun continues around here with pearlescent paints and black watercolour paper. I just wish the photos would show better how pretty the shimmery paints are.  The Foiled Fox sent me some yummy new paints from Coliro, I used the ‘ocean’ and the ‘vintage’ sets for this card. I also tried out the ‘penny’ embossing powder from Brutus Monroe. It is a copper colour which worked nicely with the paints I chose. I embossed part of the Penny Black ‘floral medley’ stamp in one corner of my black watercolour paper panel then flipped the panel and moved the stamp around a little before stamping more flowers on the other corner. I paired up a couple of stamps from the PB ‘strength’ sentiment set to emboss a sentiment in between the florals.

Coliro (or Finetec) paints are full of shimmer and look amazing on dark paper but can also be used on light or white paper for more subtle effects. I have painted them on neenah black cardstock before, the colours looked great but I like the way watercolour paper gives me more flexibility with blending from dark to light. When attempting light and dark areas on black paper I have to think about the direction of my blending. On white watercolour paper I paint strong colour then blend it with water to decrease the intensity and so end up with a lighter area. On dark paper I paint an area in bright pearlescent paint and then dilute it with water to get a darker or shadow area. Shading isn’t really necessary of course, the colours look great painted as solid sections without shading.

To finish off the card I die-cut a frame from copper coloured shimmer paper. I have two frame dies from the PB ‘square frames’ set still linked together so I get a plain frame when I run the two decorative dies through the machine together.

I am teaching a ‘Watercolour on Black’ workshop in Ottawa at the end of March where we will be playing with these lovely shimmer paints and creating stamped and painted panels that really shine. Click over to my upcoming classes page for more details.

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