Pretty Paper Neighbourhood & a Wreath

It’s all soft and subtle on the blog today. I have two projects featuring the beautiful Alexandra Renke cardstock the Foiled Fox recently started carrying in their store. The weight of the cardstock is somewhere between a good quality printer paper and a piece of cardstock. There is definitely enough weight to die cut nicely.

I chose the elegant ‘whirl wreath’ by Penny Black and cut one out of ‘pink dots’ cardstock. I attached it around the centre circle with adhesive but left the branches unattached ( so I will be careful putting it in a envelope) The background is ‘rose stripes’ which matches the pink dots perfectly. I cut the bow out of a piece of cardstock from my stash and layered a few together to give it some extra weight. I blended around the edge of the striped panel with tattered rose distress ink and attached everything to a cream cardbase.

I chose to add a natural twine bow to the die cut bow then had to co-ordinate the sentiment with antique linen distress ink.

For my little neighbourhood card I use three patterns of Alexandra Renke cardstock, the rose stripes, gray stripes and medium mud watercolour. I know it is hard to see the details of the die cuts in my photo but in real life the pink striped neighbourhood is clear against two lines of gray striped trees in front of a gray mud starry sky.

I have been wanting to try a white on white layered die cut scene and I probably still will but chose to try it with these pretty papers first. The neighbourhood is layered over two layers of trees cut with the ‘trees and hills’ dies which are layered over a gray piece cut with the starry sky night die attached directly to a white card base.

I featured some of the subtle colours and patterns from Alexandra Renke today but I do have some bold patterns and solids to share another day.

Have a great weekend.

Supplies

Stamps: Christmas sentiments, winter days (PB)

Dies: whirl wreath, neighbourhood border, starry night die, trees & hills die set (PB)

Cardstock: Alexandra Renke medium mud watercolor, gray stripes, rose stripes & Neenah solar white, cream, pink

Inks: tattered rose, antique linen distress ink, smokey gray versafine ink

Also: hemp twine

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Mittens

I have mentioned Kathy Racoosin’s 30 day colouring challenge a few times lately. It is definitely a no stress, no fuss, no obligation challenge which I have participated in before. Kathy, would be the first one to tell you there is no preparation necessary and I agree. However, I am enjoying it more this time around because I did do a little stamping in advance. I sat down at my work table a few days before the challenge began and stamped a bunch of images. I embossed some, stamped some in waterbased dye ink and a few in waterproof black ink. I basically created a little stack of images I could reach for and colour when I had the chance. It has helped me to be more involved this time. Sometimes I work on a panel until it is finished, other times, as in the case of these mittens, I colour it bit by bit or mitt by mitt!

I stamped the red mittens on hot pressed watercolour paper in worn lipstick distress inks and the cord in rusty hinge distress ink. I painted over the stamping with water to blend the pink ink to a smoother colour and to soften the stark white of the stripes. I added shading and little lines on the edges of the mittens and texture to the cord with watercolour pencils.

I decided the red mittens would be hanging against a wall or fence outside so I stamped and cut a mask of the mittens, covered them and stamped the woodgrain stamp from the PB set ‘tall timbers’ first one way then again at right angles in weathered wood and frayed burlap distress inks. As with the mittens I blended over the stamping with water and added extra colour from watercolour pencils especially around one side of the mitts to look like shadow. To finish the panel I stamped some snowflakes on the mitts, a sentiment and also splattered some embossing fluid before embossing it all with white powder.

I followed a similar process with the blue mittens but stamped them initially in three blue distress inks (broken china, salty ocean and chipped sapphire). I blended the stamping with water then, when it was dry, added details with coloured pencils. I wanted them to look knitted so I drew a pattern to look like rib at the cuffs then some lines and shading on the rest of the mitts.

Once again I added a woodgrain background this time by masking the lower portion of the panel before stamping the woodgrain from the PB ‘inspiring’ set then more masking to stamp it horizontally across the card. The sentiments for both cards are from the PB ‘smile all season’ set.

Warm & cosy wishes everyone!

Supplies

Stamps: Christmas mittens, inspiring, tall timbers, smile all season

Paper: hot & cold pressed watercolour paper, neenah cream

Inks: worn lipstick, rusty hinge, broken china, salty ocean, chipped sapphire, frayed burlap, weathered wood, hickory smoke

Also: white embossing powder
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Pencils: Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils, Polychromos pencils (Faber Castell)
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Lantern

This little light of mine is the ‘lantern’ stamp from Penny Black paired with the ‘Xmas sprigs’ and ‘winter branches’ for added interest. I worked on this panel over several days leaving it in the MISTI the whole time so I could add a bit anytime I was waiting for something else to dry. I definitely made use of the MISTI to build up colour without loosing much detail from the stamp.

The panel is cold pressed watercolour paper; you can see a bit of texture in the yellow areas. I began by stamping the whole lantern in scattered straw distress ink. Next I stamped all but the very centre around the flame with wild honey ink, after than spiced marmalade ink and finally rusty hinge ink, each time leaving more of the centre of the stamp un-inked so the brightest ink was central and the darkest around the edges. At this point I hadn’t done any blending, it was all just stamped. I switched to a chipped sapphire marker and began stamping the details of the lantern and blending them with a wet paintbrush. Dark blue over all the orange tones looked almost black. I stuck with the chipped sapphire marker and kept adding detail, blending, then letting it dry before doing any more. I added detail and shadow to the lantern by painting with chipped sapphire ink then dried the panel before blending the warm tones inside the lantern.

I stamped some foliage around the lantern after positioning a mask over it. I stamped a leaf stamp from the Xmas sprigs set in mowed lawn and pine needles distress inks then dotted some small berries with a candied apple distress marker. I added some winter branches stamped in versafine black then coloured with a fine black micron pen.

I wasn’t sure whether to try adding background colour at this point; It can be a bit risky. I painted scattered straw stain around the lantern and chipped sapphire stain around the edge of the panel then blended some water in between the colours because I didn’t want the yellow and blue mixing to create a strange green light! And it worked better than expected. The final detail was a sentiment in dark blue from the ‘holy night’ set.

Thanks for dropping in today. Enjoy your weekend.

Supplies

Stamps: lantern, Xmas sprigs, winter branches, holy night (PB)

Inks: scattered straw, wild honey, spiced marmalade, rusty hinge, mowed lawn, pine needles, chipped sapphire distress inks & nocturne versafine clair, majestic blue versafine

Markers: chipped sapphire, candied apple distress markers, micron pen

Paper: cold pressed watercolour paper, neenah cream cardstock

Stains: chipped sapphire, scattered straw

Also: MISTI, masking paper


Oh What Fun!

I was surprised how much fun I had colouring this stocking stamp. I worked on it on Saturday afternoon when it was wet and dreary outside; I lit a fire in my fireplace and brought colouring supplies up from my workroom so I could have a comfy cosy afternoon of colouring inspired by Kathy Racoosin’s 30 day colouring challenge.

Before colouring I’d used a stamp positioner to stamp the holly sprig stamp first in pine needles, mowed lawn and festive berries distress ink. I blended the leaves with a wet brush and let them dry. I cut a mask to cover the holly branch then stamped the stocking over the top in worn lipstick distress ink. Other than painting the leaves straight after they were stamped, all the other stamping was a base for watercolour pencil colouring.

Because my base stamping was pink I decided to stay with a red and white colour scheme. I used a couple of red watercolour pencils and a paint brush to do half the stripes and the decorative top of the stocking. Rather than colour with the pencils straight on the watercolour panel, I picked up pigment from the pencils with a wet brush and painted over the stamping. I toyed with the idea of red and purple stripes but I’m glad I chose a very pale earth green which blended with the pink ink to look pale pink. I messed up a stripe at the top but I’m hoping the recipient won’t notice that!

For the berries I used darker red pencils and the bells a mustard and a rusty brown pencil. I added a background by ruling a few lines in medium grey watercolour pencil then blending and painting more grey below each line. I painted a grey shadow to the left of the stocking and leaves.

As usual I gave no thought to a sentiment until all my painting was completed and then of course I wasn’t sure where to put a sentiment or whether to have one at all. I hadn’t really paid attention to the size of my panel either so I had to do some creative matting to turn it into a card that would fit into the size of envelope I had. So as you can see, no, I don’t plan all the details of my cards in advance!

Supplies

Stamps: elf stocking, Christmas sentiments

Paper: Neenah cream, hot pressed watercolour, red, Alexandra Renke mud

Inks: pine needles, mowed lawn, worn lipstick distress inks, festive berries distress marker & smokey gray versafine ink

Pencils: Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils

Tools: MISTI, T-ruler, masking paper


Winter Joy

More poinsettias to share today. These ones are from the Penny Black transparent set ‘winter joy’. I embossed several poinsettias in gold and did some loose colouring with distress inks inside the poinsettias then decided to paint a warm antique linen background with a little red added in.

Distress inks are easy to use as watercolour paints. I just press my ink pads onto my glass mat or an acrylic block then pick up the ink with a paint brush. I can add water to make a paler colour or work with undiluted ink.

You can see in the close up how loose I kept the painting both inside and outside the petals. What you can’t see so well is the pretty shine of the gold embossing and the gold twine. I’d like to try painting a white poinsettia for a change; it is a bit more of a challenge though to work out how to add colour even though I want it to appear white. If I have success I’ll be showing you.

Supplies

Stamps: winter joy, Christmas sentiments

Inks: versamark, forest moss, antique linen, barn door, wild honey, tulip red versafine clair

Paper: hot pressed watercolour, neenah cream

Also: metallic gold rich embossing powder, glass mat, gold cord


Simple and elegant poinsettias

Today’s cards show two different looks from the Penny Black ‘Chrismtas poinsettia’ stamp. The first is simple distress ink colouring popped up on a fun polka dot background and the second is a bit more elegant with bold colouring inside a gold embossed image. I stamped this first poinsettia in festive berries and shabby shutters distress inks on hot pressed watercolour paper then blended the ink with water to fill the petals. If I needed extra ink for shadows and depth I picked it up from my glass mat which acted as a palette.

When I inked the stamp I wiped off the festive berries ink from the centre of the stamp so I could add peeled paint ink with a distress marker. After I had done all the blending I coloured the circles in the centre of the flower with a gold gel pen. My favourite part of the card though is the polka dot paper; it is so pretty. It is just one of a series of papers by Alexandra Renke. The Foiled Fox sent me some Alexandra Renke papers to try out and they are lovely. I will share more of them with you in the coming weeks. The weight is between paper and cardstock so it die cuts well but doesn’t add too much bulk when you layer it.

I cut my poinsettias out with the co-ordinating die but they wouldn’t be too hard to cut by hand, especially if you have fussy cutting skills (which I don’t). I matted the polka dot panel in red and added a sentiment from ‘festive snippets’ in versafine crimson red.

I embossed my second poinsettia in gold powder then coloured with zig clean color real brush markers. As I often do I used two reds and two greens, colouring first with the light marker then adding the darker colour at one end before blending with water to fill the petals.

I applied adhesive to a strip of gold cardstock then trimmed it even narrower to position behind the popped up poinsettia. I embossed a sentiment in the same gold embossing powder used for the flower.

I am continuing to participate in Kathy Racoosin’s 30 Day colouring challenge. If you want some colouring inspiration pop over to her blog and check out her tutorials and link up. Let me know if you are participating.

Supplies

Stamps: Christmas poinsettia, festive snippets (PB)

Dies: xmas poinsettia cut out (PB)

Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, Alexandra Renke pink dots, gold shimmer, red cardstock

Ink: festive berries, shabby shutters distress inks, , versamark, versafine crimson red

Markers: clean color real brush markers, peeled paint distress marker

Also: metallic gold rich embossing powder, glass mat


Stamping is for the birds part 3

I’m continuing my ‘stamping is for the birds’ theme with this sweet stamp from Penny Black, ‘robin’s Christmas’. I think this one might be my favourite but there will be one more tomorrow so you can reserve judgement if you like. I stamped in versafine clair nocturne ink on hot pressed watercolour paper then embossed in clear powder. I had my distress inks at hand so I decided to use them as watercolour paints pressing the ink pads face down on my glass mat as I needed them. I used a few browns plus black for the wood, two greens for the holly, bundled sage for the ivy, candied apple and festive berries for the berries, fossilized amber for the beak and just below the beak. I used browns and black for the bird diluting them to get grey and pale browns.

I took care to keep ink off the little spots of snow, painted the background sky in stormy sky ink then added some clear wink of stella to the snow for a little sparkle. I ended up going without a sentiment and popped the whole panel up on foam for a subtle shadow.

This is my first piece of colouring for Kathy Racoosin’s 30 day coloring challenge. Kathy is a colouring wizard who regularly runs colouring challenges on her blog and instagram. It is a no pressure, drop in when you can, as detailed or simple as you like type of challenge. The idea is to do some colouring each day for 30 days. Kathy provides tons of tips and inspiration sharing her incredible tips and techniques and giving away prizes along the way. Check out her blog for more details or her IG @kathyrac . I’ll be sharing my colouring here and on IG and hope to see some of yours along the way.

Supplies

Stamp: robin’s christmas

Inks: versafine clair nocturne, vintage photo, walnut stain, black soot, festive berries, candied apple, forest moss, pine needles, stormy sky, bundled sage, fossilized amber

Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper

Also: glass mat, clear embossing powder, white wink of stella pen