Pretty in pink

I’ve been playing with pretty paper again and have the Foiled Fox to thank for this lovely Alexandra Renke design. Make sure you pop over to the Foiled Fox blog where I’m sharing my process in making today’s cards. I believe I said it last time I worked with AR papers, the colours and patterns are so lovely I really don’t want to add much over the top.

For both cards I covered the whole front with AR ‘Autumn Plant Rose’ paper. The delicate floral design covers most of the paper so I didn’t want to add too much that would clash with the paper. I chose instead to die-cut cream flowers and birds as focal images, keeping them cream coloured and stacked made them stand out from the background pattern. The tall flower die is from Penny Black and is called ‘shall we dance’. I like the way the long thin stems mimic the thin lines of the paper’s design.

Adding the same die cut on the inside of the card was a must and simple to do after first adding stick it adhesive to the back of the patterned paper.

I used the same design idea and stacked three bird die-cuts for the second card and added a single patterned die-cut on the inside of the card. The die is called ‘the sweetest song’ and is another PB one.

I debated whether or not to add any sentiments and ended up deciding on one with and one without.

I will be doing more with this lovely paper and a pink abstract paper also by AR. I’ve linked the papers and supplies below and look forward to sharing more designs with you soon. Make sure you click over to the Foiled Fox and check out all the Alexandra Renke papers.

Supplies


Banner Blooms

Recently I blended through a stencil to create square grid backgrounds for some floral silhouette stamping. Today’s card uses a similar technique but I wanted the squares to be less neat, a little imperfect but still recognisable as squares. I guess I could have freestyled them entirely but I wanted them to be evenly spaced and I didn’t trust myself to do that without the stencil as a guide. To achieve this look I once again taped a grid stencil (DD boxes 6 up) to a piece of cold pressed watercolour paper but instead of blending the squares then painting over them I just painted squares inside the stencil squares. I didn’t paint right up to the edges of the stencil because then liquid would have seeped underneath and made a mess. I used the stencil as my placement guide and painted a square inside each space.

I used Sennelier watercolour paints but you could use any watercolour paints or inks. I started each square with a stroke or two of mustard yellow then added some blue, red or orange and blended it with the mustard. After it dried I flattened it in my minc then transferred it to the stamp positioner to stamp five different images from the PB banner blooms set in versafine clair nocturne ink. Simple but quite effective. I chose a sentiment from the PB ‘strength’ set for the last square.

I really like the simple ‘shadow frame’ created by popping up the panel on a piece of foam; that’s why you keep seeing it!

Supplies


Tenderness roses

I am on the Foiled Fox blog today, one of my favourite artsy craftsy places to be. If you want to read how I created today’s cards then pop over there right now! If you want to read some of my musings and wonderings about stamps, dies and paints keep reading here and then click over there.

These roses are from a sweet little Penny Black set called ‘tenderness’ and it has co-ordinating dies. I have come a little late to the co-ordinating die game but you know I don’t like to fussy cut so it’s no surprise that I opted for the die cutting route.  Another reason I haven’t used many co-ordinating dies is because I often stamp and paint directly on my panels with very few layers involved.

One of the questions with co-ordinating dies is how to deal with the white outline if you have a coloured background. I think I’m used to seeing it now so it doesn’t bug me as it once did. On the roses above I did paint outside the lines on a few of them so there is a mix of coloured edges and white edges. I don’t think it is too distracting either way.

Another thing you can do with co-ordinating dies is cut masks for layered stamping. The masks will be a bit bigger than the stamped image but it is easy to trim a little off or just position the masks to line up with the edge of the stamp that needs to be masked.

I did all the painting for these cards with peerless watercolours. Sometimes I forget about my peerless paints because they are an unassuming collection. If you haven’t heard of them before check out an earlier blog post I wrote about them. The colours blend beautifully, the range of colours is excellent and the price is pretty nice too.

I chose friendship sentiments again, one from PB ‘love language’ and one from ‘bear cuddle’. All the supplies are listed below and here’s the link to my process on the Foiled Fox blog.

Supplies


Winsome wreath

You might not recognise this stamp straight away but it is the ‘winsome wreath’ I used on a black card earlier in the week. It looks a bit different on the more traditional white watercolour paper. It also looks different because I have only used half of the stamp. I stamped the wreath on the edge of a hot pressed watercolour paper panel and once I’d finished painting it I added a few leaves under the orange rose as that space seemed a little empty.

I did the initial stamping in distress antique linen ink which is great for no-line colouring. While the panel was still in the stamp positioner I stamped the centre of the big rose in spiced marmalade ink. I did this because I find it hard to paint all those tiny petals separately and even find it hard to see them all when they are stamped in antique linen. As I was planning to paint the rose in spiced marmalade anyway it was helpful to have the centre of the rose outlined in that ink to begin with.

I dropped some spiced marmalade, seedless preserves and mowed lawn distress stain on my glass mat to use as a palette. I painted one petal at a time except for some of those tiny ones in the centre. As I painted a petal I would blend to the edges then drop in a bit more colour with my brush usually on the sections of the petals that might be shadowed by the petal adjacent. It isnt’ an exact science when I do it but I end up with some variation which adds to the realism. I also added a tiny bit of seedless preserves to some of the petals which gave them a slightly aged looked. The leaves are a mix of mowed lawn and spiced marmalade so without intending to I did another of my ‘limited palette’ cards, just three colours in the end.

I splattered some gold paint from the gansai tambi starry set over the panel and added a sentiment in gold embossing powder to match. Rather than add a coloured mat I created a subtle ‘shadow mat’ by popping up the panel on a piece of foam. Thanks for dropping by today; let me know if you can see the mistake I made with the rose but decided to just ignore because I definitely did not want to start again!

Supplies


Roses on black

Today’s cards are my first experiment with black watercolour paper. I have already learnt a few things I will take into consideration on my next projects. I could have waited until I had played with the paper more but I decided to jump right in with these rather unusual valentine/friendship cards. The card with purple flowers does have a valentine sentiment but the other two could be used anytime to send a friendly message. Unfortunately the photos don’t convey how shimmery the paint is and the colours are brighter in real life.

I’ve seen a few people on the interwebs using this new Stonehenge black cold press watercolour paper so I had to give it a try. As you can probably see I’ve paired it with pearlescent paints this time. I plan to try oxides next time. Because it is new to me I tried three different embossing powders wondering how much they would show up on black. On the card above I embossed PB ‘winsome wreath’with WOW silver pearl; it looks a bit silvery. On the card below I used WOW white pearl on PB ‘rose romance’: it also looks a bit silvery. On the final card I used Ranger gun metal with a wreath from PB ‘key to kindness’ set, it is a bit darker but still looks a bit silvery.

To paint the flowers I used both my Finetec pearlescent paints and pearl paints. I don’t find the two sets all that different but I think there might be a bit more shimmer in the pearlescent ones. I also have some Ken Oliver liquid metals so I used the verdi gris for the leaves above. I carried through the shimmer theme by cutting mats from  copper shimmer cardstock and I made card bases from black shimmer and quartz shimmer.

What do you think about predominantly black cards? I know some would find them too dark and sombre, some may be reminded of the painted velvet pictures from the 70’s but maybe you like the added drama. Will you try the black watercolour paper if you get a chance?

Supplies


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Flower heart

I have seen this stamp on quite a few cards lately, just pop over to the Penny Black blog if you want to see some other colour schemes and techniques. I have surprised myself with this colour scheme and also by choosing a large heart motif in the first place. I don’t usually make Valentine’s day cards so when I decided to ink this stamp it was always going to be for a versatile friendship card.

I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper in the stamp positioner and inked one flower at a time. It is easier to ink a single flower with a marker but when I don’t have the colour marker I need I use an inkpad and just wipe excess ink off the stamp. Each time I stamped a flower or leafy section I blended the ink with a paintbrush and added extra ink if necessary by picking it up off my glass mat. On some of the flowers blending the colour resulted in loss of definition so I restamped after all the colouring was done. That’s the beauty of keeping it in the stamp positioner.

The distress inks I used were carved pumpkin, barn door, mermaid lagoon and peeled paint; I’m pretty sure I’ve never used that combo before. I added centres to the flowers with a black marker.

I chose a die-cut sentiment that spans the heart and chose orange cardstock to stand out against the background. Even though the sentiment was over the top of mainly red and turquoise flowers it got a little lost so I cut a black layer as well and stacked two orange over a slightly offset black.

On my last post ‘Creating in Colors’ commented, ‘...I love it when you design cards for which I have the stamps and/or stencils! I’m inspired to try these.‘ I was so pleased to read that. It makes me happy when that happens; its always good to get a fresh idea for supplies we already have.

Supplies


Wintertide

As you can imagine, I was thrilled when I saw this stamp. Yes it is one stamp with all these beautiful trees in a snowy clearing! It’s called wintertide and it definitely portrays what I am seeing outside these days.

I worked on hot press watercolour paper because I did plan to add a little water as I worked but the stamp is very detailed so I didn’t want added water to blur the detail and lose all the snowy white areas. There are some white splatters in the sky made by splots of masking fluid splattered on the panel before I started stamping.

I kept the stamp in a stamp positioner so I could stamp one colour at a time starting with pine needles distress ink. I added other distress greens and blues bit by bit to give definition to the trees on the right and the bushy area in the foreground. I spritzed the stamp lightly with water after inking the area left of the big tree so the greens blended with each other. Once I had built up enough colour variation I dried the panel and added a frisket film circle mask before colouring the sky. I used blending brushes to apply tumbled glass and chipped sapphire distress inks to the sky and the snowy path.

This stamp is very detailed but that does not have to mean it is difficult to use. By stamping the whole image first in a light colour you are able to see where to change colours when adding ink with markers or ink pads. When I don’t use markers I add ink to a large area with an ink pad(often a cube) then wipe it off the areas I don’t want stamped. Jill Foster has a fabulous video tutorial for this stamp so check that out if you want some ideas.

Supplies