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?

Burgandy Card Supplies

Blue Card Supplies

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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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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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Hand painted grasses

I painted a simple scene recently featuring mainly grasses along with some berries and golden flowers. Unlike some of my other paintings where I have tried to make them look like a particular flower or vegetable, these plants are whimsical doodles.

I was inspired by CeeCee of Creations CeeCee; she does beautiful paintings in lovely natural colour palettes and often includes some gold or silver. I painted on cold pressed watercolour paper with Sennelier watercolours plus some gold from a Finetec pearlescent set.

As you can probably tell I began with the green leafy grasses but painted with the panel upside down. My intention was a weeping willow type of look but when I turned it around I decided to continue painting plants reaching for the sky instead. I finished it off with some fine gold splatter.

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Shimmer ride

What better subject for shimmer on black than a shiny little scooter. ‘The Ride’ is a PB rubber stamp. Once again I had trouble catching the real shine on camera but there is shimmer and shine in real life when the light catches it. I embossed with alabaster embossing powder from Brutus Monroe and made sure I kept the heat tool moving while I embossed so as to not buckle the craft plastic.

I used the new black craft plastic from Grafix to show off the little scooter and painted with pearlescent paints from the Finetec Artist Mica Watercolor Pearlescent paint set.

Painting on the craft plastic is very smooth and particularly straightforward with an embossed image. I also did some detail on the tires and black sections with a grey pencil but it was hard to capture that in my photo.

I wanted to highlight the little orange flowers so cut a mat and a sentiment strip from orange cardstock. The words are from the MFT ‘All About You’ set.

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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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