This wonderful new C&9 alphabet stamp set arrived a few days ago and, oh the possibilities! I had only a little time to play with it today so I pulled out the delightful ‘city stacks’ stamps, also from Concord & 9th. I stamped in versafine onyx black ink and watercoloured with my peerless watercolour paints. Versafine is a pigment ink so it won’t react with water when I start painting over it.
The sky and the road I blended onto the panel with makeup brushes which was quite a bit quicker than painting it. I used broken china, scattered straw and wild honey distress inks for a sunrise look.
When I laid out the letters in my stamp positioner I wondered how long it would take me to get them lined up. I got them right on the second attempt! I slipped in a piece of acetate to do a trial stamping, realigned the few that needed it and then the next attempt was just right. The serifs at the top and bottom of the letters make it easy to line them up on the grid of my stamp positioner lid. Yay! I used part of a stamp from the ‘city stacks’ set to finish the sentiment at the bottom of the panel.
You’ll be seeing these letters again, and again. Count on it. And there are dies too, I didn’t use them on this card but it won’t be long.
The second installment of my ‘stamping is for the birds‘ series features the Penny Black stamp ‘Winter lookout’ with a little bird on the outside looking in. I have seen a few other beautiful cards using this stamp and wish I had added a little foliage but there is always next time. Take a look at this gorgeous card by Susie Lessard.
I stamped in versafine clair nocturne ink and embossed in clear powder then painted the bird and all the wood with my peerless watercolours. To create variation in the wood I painted with several browns and some warm mustard yellow as well. Once I had finished the woodwork I had to decide how I would do the window. I chose frosty patterns like we often get on our windows in winter so I used the delicate snowflake stamp from the PB set, ‘A bright tomorrow’ to emboss in clear powder. When I painted pale blue into the window area it resisted the snowflake shapes.
I tried a second colour scheme embossed in versafine smokey grey, featuring greys and blues and stamped some pine branches inside the windows as if garlands were hanging there.
I finished both cards with co-ordinating mats and sentiments stamped on little tags from the ‘gift card pocket’ die set. I think I have only once made a gift card pocket but I often use the little tags and banner dies from the set. I added some finer details to both cards with black and brown markers once the painting was all finished as sometimes embossing does not preserve all the definition.
Stamps: winter lookout, a bright tomorrow, festive snippets, joy of peace (PB)
Die: gift card pocket (PB)
Ink: versamark, nocturne versafine clair, morning mist versafine clair, northern pine memento
Paper: hot pressed watercolour, neenah cream, neenah black, kraft, red, olive green
Paint: peerless watercolours
Also: clear embossing powder, brown marker, black marker, twine
This week my blog is all about the bird stamps! It is a bit of a departure for me but there are some sweet birds flitting around my workroom so I decided to paint a few. This one from Penny Black is called ‘cheerful Christmas‘ and I’ve painted it with a robin in mind. The image is stamped in black, embossed in clear then painted with peerless watercolour paints. I kept my colour scheme fairly simple, a couple of greens for the leaves, a couple of reds for the berries and bird, a grey for the bird and background then some pale blue. I die cut the red mat with the elegant stitching dies from Penny Black and added a sentiment from the festive snippets set.
Peerless paints come in a very convenient format and provide beautiful blendable colour. I tend to forget them for a while and then binge on them with one project after another. They will be back with another bird tomorrow. You can see how I set up my peerless palette here
This little bird reminds me of a Ladybird book I had as a child called ‘The Wise Robin‘. I just had a hunt for it on our bookshelves and found it. The pictures in the book are all paintings and quite lovely. Then I did an online search for it and found it was published in 1950, sold for 2/6 but is listed for $72.51! I flicked through the book to remind myself of the story; the robin ends up in the house on the Christmas tree and delights the family with a song. Of course my experience when a bird has come into the house has never been delightful but that need not get in the way of a cute story!
I am sharing floral cards this week here and on the Penny Black blog. This particular one makes me happy. It took me an age to complete but I think it’s bright and sunny. I’ve been wanting to create a card where the design continues across the back and front; my next challenge is one where the design covers back, front and inside!
I used the large floral stamp from the transparent set ‘radiant’; it’s part of the new Nature’s Art release from Penny Black. I used my stamping platform and antique linen ink to stamp three prints across the panel. I wanted them to fit nicely together but not look like a repeat pattern so I changed the direction each time. If I had been really diligent I would have masked the first before I stamped the next but I just let them overlap a little. When it came to adding colour I decided which petals or leaves would be in front and painted accordingly. You can’t tell now can you?
I used quite a few colours but I mixed and matched a bit. Basically I chose a yellow and orange for the large flowers, a peach and a pink for the medium flowers then did some smaller flowers with the orange and the pink (not new colours) I added a purple to the mix but shaded with the pink used earlier. On each flower I painted the lighter colour first then dropped in some of the darker one where I wanted shadow. I painted half the leaves with green and the other half with blue green then added shading to all with a darker green. When the same colour pops up in a few different mixes on your design it keeps things cohesive and visually appealing. Once all the painting was completed I used coloured pencils here and there to darken shadows and add more definition
The set includes solid centres in two sizes for the flowers so I stamped them in black and created my die cut stacked sentiment in black also. And I almost forgot to mention I stamped and painted a couple of flowers inside too.
I’ll be back with more bright and breezy florals tomorrow.
Stamps: radiant 30-481 (PB)
Die: congratulation 51-439 (PB)
Inks: antique linen distress ink, nocturne versafine clair
Paint: Peerless watercolours
Paper: hot pressed watercolour, neenah black
Pencils: Faber-Castell polychromos pencils
When creating die cut cards I sometimes paint the watercolour paper first, as I did for the brusho card posted a couple of days ago. Other times I do the die cutting and paint each element separately. For today’s card I cut three lilies ( a Penny Black die named ‘sunfire’) from hot pressed watercolour paper then painted them with peerless watercolours.
I chose a pink, a red and an orange paint and used at least two of them on each flower which gave me variety in the blooms but a cohesive look overall. I let the petals dry before using the red paint to add dots and the yellow paint for the stamen. I used a blue-ish green on the stems and leaves. Once all the paint was dry I used a glue pen to add a vein down the centre of the petals and also dabbed the ends of each stamen. I let the glue sit and dry partially then pressed gold foil over it .
To create a floral arrangement I cut a circle and some cherry blossom from unpainted watercolour paper and glued down all the elements. It took me a while to work out a layout that looked balanced. The die cut lilies are quite large so I trimmed bits off in order to fit them all on the card front. I finished it off with a gold foil die cut sentiment.
The colour scheme and style of today’s card is inspired by the amazingly talented and colour savvy Jill Foster. I painted the circle flowers in two blues and saw them sitting on the paper looking pale and weak. When I decided to mix things up with a yellow background they were happy again. I could imagine myself painting the flowers yellow and the sky blue but swapping things around was a bit of jump for me. Jill does these clever things all the time with beautiful results so maybe I will step out of my colour comfort zone more often.
I used Peerless watercolour paints to paint the birds and flowers, then, when it was dry and a bit sad, I decided to dive back in with some orange and yellow peerless paint to fill in the background. I kept things dark on one side and light on the other (like yesterday’s card) which suggests a light source. To complete the card I splattered some black ink and added a handlettered sentiment on a die cut banner.
What you can’t see because I forgot to photograph it (and believe it or not I cannot find this card right now) is the die-cut circle flower inside the card.
Hope your day is bright!
Stamps: Happy Bliss (PB)
Dies: Illuminate(inside the card), Triple Banner(PB)
Pens: Exclusive Calligraphy nib holder (Foiled Fox)
Paint: Peerless transparent watercolours
Papers: hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah epic black cardstock
Inks: versafine onyx black ink for stamping (Tsukineko) DrPh Martins bleedproof white for calligraphy
This cute little couple is a new stamp from Penny Black called ‘the rose’. I stamped it in vintage photo distress ink then watercoloured it with peerless watercolour paints. I like the muted look of the vintage photo ink combined with the paint from the peerless palette.
I kept the design pretty simple by adding only ground under their feet but no extra background images or colour. Instead I made my own patterned panel by stamping the ‘be mine’ sentiment along with a tiny heart repeatedly in vintage photo ink. The tiny heart is cut from a row of five included in the ‘from the heart’ set. It was ideal for filling in little gaps around the words.
Pop over to my youtube channel to see how I set up my peerless palette.