Hydrangeas

When I tried a bit of hydrangea painting the other day it got me thinking about hydrangea stamps and I’m not sure if I have ever inked this PB one before. As you know I tend to go for the blues and purples (like my mother before me) but I decided to go more for the pinky red you can find in some hydrangeas. As you can see I didn’t end up with pinky red; I have orangy red which I have never seen on a hydrangea! My mother always wanted her hydrangeas to be blue, purple or pink so she and my dad added something to the soil to make that happen.

Before I began stamping I scribbled rouge pink and punch pink Arteza real brush pens on my glass mat, spritzed it with water then swiped my hot pressed watercolour panel through it. I dried the panel before beginning the stamping. In the stamp positioner I inked the hydrangea first with Papertrey ‘pale peony’ ink then dabbed the arteza pens on the stamp as well to get a variegated print. I spritzed then stamped and repeated the process to get three hydrangeas. To colour inside the petals I used three arteza pens (rouge pink, punch pink, apricot) to dab a little colour then blended to fill the petals with a paintbrush and water.

I decided to try a fancy drop shadow greeting and it kind of worked; don’t look too closely. I stamped first in versafine clair tulip red, dried that, powdered it with the anti-static-thingy, dried it again and powdered it again and then moved the panel ever so slightly left before stamping with versamark and embossing with gold. Despite all my efforts gold powder still stuck to the supposedly dry tulip red ink. As a fix I used a red marker to make the shadow to the left a little more prominent. Then in another fit of fanciness I cut the panel with a dainty dashes die. I don’t know what came over me! Maybe it’s because it’s Friday or maybe it’s because I am getting increasingly excited about opening my online class on Monday.

Thank you to all of you who have signed up already; I am thrilled by the response so far. If you don’t know what I am talking about pop over here and find out!

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Nature’s glory background

The nature’s glory stamp from Penny Black is a current fave of mine so I decided to try it with a different colour scheme. (previous cards here and here)

I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper with papertrey ink cubes then distress markers for some smaller details. The spray of flowers has a curve to it so I was able to move it around and stamp it four times in order to fill the 4¼” x 6″ panel.

I used a Papertrey ink royal velvet ink cube to ink the flowers and wiped any stray purple ink off the stamp before inking the leaves with green parakeet and the berries with bright buttercup. I spritzed the stamp before stamping so the inks would move a little. Before stamping again I added spiced marmalade distress ink to the berries and pine needles distress ink to the leaves with markers, gave the stamp another light spritz and stamped again.

I switched to a paintbrush to blend some of the leaves, berries and petals. When the ink dried I used the spiced marmalade marker again to add orange centres to the purple flowers.

I stamped a sentiment from PB ‘happy snippets’ on a banner die cut and popped it up over the panel. Oh and I splattered too…you probably noticed that.

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Oh Baby

I’m not sure if I have ever posted a baby card on my blog; if I have it was so long ago I can’t remember! This one is a commission for a friend; she asked me months ago and I totally forgot. When she texted the other day to see if it was ready I admitted it was not but I would make sure it was by the next day! I was happy to have thought up a concept all those months ago and my idea came together without hiccoughs.

I painted pink, yellow and orange paint on watercolour paper, added water then let it blend and bleed together. Once it was dry I used the Penny Black ‘Balloons!’ die set to cut three balloons then cut the strings and bows from unpainted watercolour paper. I added stick-it adhesive to the back of some peach coloured cardstock then cut two sets of letters to stack for the words using the C&9 ‘simple serif alphabet’ dies.

To create the cloudy sky I cut post-it masks using the cloud die from C&9 ‘city stacks’ die set then blended over the edges on a background panel and an envelope using Papertrey ink cubes in ‘sweet blush’ and ‘lovely lady’. I cut a very narrow mat of pale rose cardstock to frame the panel and attached everything to a cream card base.

I wondered about cutting more balloons to put inside but instead painted some of the same pink, yellow and orange paint on my glass mat, spritzed it generously to dilute it then placed an extra panel of watercolour paper on top to pick up a pale wishy-washy print.

Seeing that I rarely make baby cards this might become my design of choice when I do need one; I’ll just change the colour scheme to keep things interesting.

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Planting time

We’ve had all kinds of weather around here lately as we wait for the May long weekend before which outdoor planting is considered very risky!  My daughter has been starting seeds inside so we have quite a few little plants ready for the great outdoors as well as an order of seedlings to come.

These plants are looking pretty healthy, probably because they are not relying on me remembering to water them! I used papertrey ink cubes to colour left over pieces of hot pressed watercolour paper. I swiped the ink cubes across the paper in colour groups, they are juicy little inkpads so they work well direct to paper. I did a panel of two browns, also some greens, another with purples and one with orange, yellow, green. After inking the paper I spritzed water onto it until the ink moved and blended a bit, covering more of the panel and making some light and dark areas.

Once all the panels dried I used several die sets from Penny Black featuring little plants, pots and tools (they’re all linked below). I also cut out the cute little bench die to be part of my scene. I could have cut all the elements from coloured cardstock but I love the variation of colour and depth achieved with watercolour.

I created two backdrops on hot pressed watercolour paper by swiping the spring rain ink cube back and forth to create a solid blue patch. Over the blue I arranged and rearranged my tiny die cuts until I had two little scenes. I used a jewel picker and liquid glue to attach all the elements, making a few errors in the process resulting in some more painting and die-cutting to make replacement pieces. Once everything was attached I hunted through my cardstock to find a matching blue for card bases and added a couple of sentiments from PB ‘banner sentiments’ set.

As I write this the long weekend is drawing to a close and I can report some planting has been done. A couple of readers shared on my last post their planting plans and routines; I’d love to know more plus any clues for keeping the critters away!

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Secret Garden

Before I chit chat about today’s cards I just want to thank you for your feedback on my wreath card. I loved reading your kind words and thoughts on the sentiment question. In the end I left the front of the card sentiment free (I really didn’t want to mess it up!) and made a envelope out of watercolour paper onto which I will add roses and hand-lettering. When I do another wreath I will hand letter the sentiment first then proceed with the flowers, that way I won’t be afraid of messing up a finished wreath with a wonky letter. Now, back to our scheduled programming.

Last week I created a couple of abstract watercolour background panels to create coffee themed cards; I used the same approach for today’s floral cards. My method for creating the background was the same, I smooshed three colours of dye ink on my glass mat then spritzed them generously with water to make them move and blend a little. I had a large panel of hot pressed watercolour paper ready with some masking fluid already dotted over it. The colours I used were papertrey ink cubes lemon tart, enchanted evening and stormy sea (yellow, blue and grey).

I cut the panel into four and chose to work with stamps from the PB ‘secret garden’ clear set. My plan was to stamp the flowers in the same colours I used for the background, maybe use all three colours or just one or two. After fiddling around with some stamping I decided I liked just the flowers in the blue, stamped and restamped for paler impressions. I guess you’re not surprised I settled on blue, the lemon is very pretty but too pale to stand out and the grey was, well, not quite pretty enough.

Both floral stamps I chose had long skinny stems that I was able to rearrange on the lid of the MISTI to go in the directions I wanted. I did some water stamping too which just means misting the stamp with water and pressing it down on an inked area (the darker the better) and holding it there for a little longer than normal to let the water soak in then dabbing away the water to reveal a stamped ‘watermark’.

Once I had the flowers all stamped the panels still didn’t look quite finished so I turned to two elements I like to add when a card needs a little something. I used the PB ‘script’ stamp down the side of both panels in blue, grey and watermark then ran the panels through my diecutting machine with a rather cool embossing folder from Sizzix (sold by SU) called ‘subtle’. It gave the panels a canvas look. To add sentiments I used the ever useful ‘million thanks’ set and the lovely ‘SHE builder’ set both from Penny Black.

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Petal Profiles

Even though I would never choose yellow as a favourite colour, the inks for these big bright flowers are definitely a happy sight. I have a complete (gasp…I know, very lucky) set of papertrey ink cubes now so of course I have to try them all out. Featured here are bright buttercup, canyon clay, aqua mist and tropical teal.

The sentiment is cut from teal cardstock even though it looks like it could be black. I inked the large flowers from Penny Black’s ‘petal profiles’ acrylic set in buttercup then dabbed some canyon clay in the centre before spritzing and stamping. I then used a paintbrush to blend all the petals because I tend to like them blended rather than see the texture of the paper. Not always but often. I inked the smaller flowers with aqua mist, spritzed then stamped and while the ink was still damp on the paper I dropped a dot of tropical teal ink in the centre of each flower. The longer foliage from PB ‘secret garden’ set is also stamped in tropical teal and the splatter is the same. To pick up ink for centres and splatter I just smooshed the inkcube face down on my glass mat and added a drop of water.

I cut a strip of vellum and wrapped it round the stamped panel so I could add the die cut sentiment on top. The background is busy so a vellum separator helps it stand out enough to be readable. I used ‘stick it’ on the back of the sentiment from PB ‘wishes’. The base is a lovely cream cardstock with some texture which matches my watercolour panels nicely, I was very happy when the Foiled Fox sent some my way. It’s called ‘luxe white textured’ and it pleases my matchy-matchy heart.

Blooming in my garden now are several violets and star flowers along with one happy daffodil. I’m thinking perhaps the snow is gone for good…

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Sending Love

I love it when sets can work for multiple seasons; today’s card features a new Ink to Paper set, ‘bold blooms’ paired up with a set I used many times for Christmas cards, ITP ‘floral Christmas’. I used flower stamps and a large leaf from the bold blooms set and some little twiggy stamps from the floral Christmas set. I taped all four edges of a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper before I started stamping so I would have a masked ‘frame’ for the floral pattern.

All the stamping was done with Papertrey ink cubes, some solid colour and some combined on the stamps. I think the technique was once called ‘rock and roll’ when you inked a stamp with one colour then rolled the edge along another ink pad to pick up a border of another colour. You can see the flowers have two colours and some of the leaves. I have linked all the colours I used in the supply list below. The stamps that were’rolled also got a spritz of water before I printed them so there was a little blending happening before they hit the watercolour paper. I added splatter in ‘autumn rose’ ink and then once that was dry water splatter which I then dabbed with a paper towel to get washed out dots on some of the stamping. It looks a little like spring flowers caught in the rain. Not that I have seen any spring flowers just yet, I have however seen rain, snow and hail this week and it was all in the one day!

I removed the tape to reveal lovely straight edges and wanted to add a sentiment that didn’t cover too much of the pattern. The background was too busy for just the die cut words but adding the shadow for each word cut from vellum created enough separation to make the words ‘sending love’ readable. The dies are from Pink Fresh Studio and the set is called ‘Phrase Builder – Sending’; unfortunately it isn’t linked below because I could not find it available anywhere. I bought it a few months back for a class that was originally scheduled for March…

I am in the process of planning my first online class and I’m wondering what techniques you would like to see me teach in online classes. Here are a few ideas I’m considering: no-line watercolour, watercolour powder techniques, stamped scenes, masking, gel printing. Let me know what you think.

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Bold Blooms

How are you my friends? I am sharing here and over on the Foiled Fox blog today. If you are dealing with isolation or quarantine right now as most of us are you might be looking for some artsy craftsy ideas. The Foiled Fox not only features lovely projects by the owner, Shauna Todd, but also projects by many talented guest bloggers. Make sure you pop over to the Foiled Fox blog for some beauty and inspiration.

I’ve been doing some flower arranging, with stamps that is. The arrangements on today’s cards were made with Ink to Paper’s ‘bold blooms‘ stamps and co-ordinating dies. The card above was all stamped on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper. The second card is a combination of stamped die cuts and stamping on a base panel.

When arranging elements on a panel like this I always stamp the largest images first so I inked the large round flowers in ‘harvest gold’ ink (all the coloured inks are Papertrey ink cubes) and rolled some ‘scarlet jewel’ ink around the edges. Before stamping I spritzed the stamp lightly, that’s what softens the blend between yellow and red ink.

To add leaves and small flowers I masked the three centre flowers with a post-it note and stamped stems and leaves to look like they were poking out from behind the yellow flowers. The leaves and stems are stamped in ‘ocean tide’ and ‘pinefeather’, the small flowers in ‘winter wisteria’ and ‘scarlet jewel’. I spritzed before stamping each time so I would get a softened look. The sentiment is from the same set; the large word is stamped in nocturne and embossed in clear, the smaller words are embossed in white on black cardstock and popped up.

This second card has a very similar arrangement not purposely but maybe because I found it easy to balance all the elements when they are in this layout. My co-ordinating dies are still joined together so I began by cutting the whole panel three times to have a group of shapes to choose from. Once cut, I stamped them with the same colour scheme as for the first card. Before I did any attaching of dies I stamped some background stems and little flowers and did a little splattering too. It took me a little while to arrange the die-cuts to my satisfaction then attached them in three layers: directly on the base panel, popped up on a low profile foam tape then finally a few flowers popped up with a higher profile foam tape.

The sentiment for this one is from another Ink to Paper set ‘tagged’ once again embossed in white on black.

Take care friends, whether you are isolated at home or out and about continuing to work in one of the many essential fields. I hope you are able to connect with others either by phone, computer or even by post. As always I love connecting with you in the comments below. Let me know how you are and what you are up to.

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Nature’s glory

This artistic spray of flowers is a new brushstroke stamp from Penny Black called ‘nature’s glory’. As you can see it is big enough to fill a 4 ¼” x 5 ½” card front but you could use just a part of it for a smaller panel. I like the way it curves leaving me an obvious place for a sentiment. I think I’ve mentioned before I don’t always think about sentiment placement in advance so the shape of this stamp helped me out.

I stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper using a stamp positioner to enable me to build up colour and detail. I used a combination of Papertrey ink cubes and distress markers to ink sections of the stamp. I started with the harvest gold ink cube for the flowers, scarlet jewel for the berries and a few flowers and ocean tides for the leaves. I spritzed the stamp very lightly before stamping on the panel. Some of the leaves ended up with petal colours on them, some flowers ended up with a bit of blue-green and the red of the berries bled into the leaves also. To add a bit more definition to a few of the berries and flowers I switched to distress markers to ink brown centres in the flowers, green on a stem or two and orange on a couple of petals. Once again I spritzed the stamp lightly before stamping so the extra ink would blend on the stamp before hitting the paper.

The sentiment, from the new PB sentiment set ‘magical friendship’ is stamped in versafine clair ‘misty morning’ and the whole panel popped up on a piece of foam.

Thanks for dropping by.

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Winter Woodland

You know I love tree stamps so when this beauty from Penny Black appeared I had all sorts of plans for it. My first inking was to create these peaceful scenes to share here and on the Foiled Fox blog. The background stamp is called ‘winter woodland’ and the foreground stamp is from an older set ‘spread cheer’.

Both these cards were made on smooth bright white bristol cardstock which shows off the detail of the tree stamp beautifully. I made an improvement the second time I made this card so I will share my ‘better method’ with you here. I suggest stamping and embossing the child and sled first, that way any inking and blending done after will be resisted because of the embossing. When I tried just stamping in black after blending the sky there was a difference in the blackness of the child image because of the blended ink underneath.

After stamping the foreground image I positioned a torn post-it note mask over lower portion of the panel and stamped the winter woodland stamp in hickory smoke versafine ink.  I love the different trees in this image; it is so like the scenes around here. I punched a small circle from masking paper and positioned it over the trees to make a moon. I used Papertrey ink and blending brushes to do the sky and a trick I learned from Jennifer McGuire. Doing blending on a glass mat makes sense because the ink you waste by starting off the panel is on the glass mat and can be picked up by the brush and transferred to the panel. I started by blending a strip of scarlet jewel ink along the horizon of one panel and an even smaller section of harvest gold ink on the other panel. I kept the blending light around the moon in blueberry sky ink and darker around the edges.

After I removed the moon mask and then horizon mask I repositioned the torn edge lower down to add some more snow banks with a pale layer of ink still in the blending brush. I finished the cards with a sentiment from PB ‘merry up’ in hickory smoke ink. Make sure you click over to the Foiled Fox blog for more tips about this card plus a blog full of inspiration from other designers.

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