Bunches and bunches

I’ve got something bright and breezy for you today. Even though the flowers on the PB ‘together’ stamp look like agapanthus to me and even though agapanthus do not come in orange or yellow, I chose this colour scheme anyway. The grey days continue here so I’m stamping sunshine instead!

I worked in the stamp positioner so I could add a colour or two at a time and started by inking the centres of the flowers with festive berries, you could use the ink pads or the marker. I used the ink pad and wiped ink off any area where I didn’t want it. Around the festive berries I inked with ripe persimmon ink, spritzed the stamp and stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper. I wiped off the stamp then inked the outside petals in fossilized amber (my current fave yellow), spritzed and stamped again. Spritzing helps the colours blend and helps the ink give more solid coverage.

I inked the leaves in iced spruce because the time has come to hang out with other green inks; forest moss will always be special to me but there are other greens out there that need to be seen! I moved the panel and repeated the stamping to the left and to the right almost filling it with flowers. I added some orange and green splatter then die cut with the ‘PB stitched nested frames’ dies. The sentiment is inked in versafine clair misty morning ink because I thought the grey worked with the iced spruce leaves. The centre panel is popped up on a piece of foam for a bit of extra interest.

As I was choosing my sentiment with the words ‘bunches and bunches’ I was reminded of the word my mother used when she did my hair in two side ponytails. Up until grade 4 she did my hair every morning and it was usually ‘bunchies’! That was our name for the style shown below; I think we reserved the name ‘ponytail’ for just one. Did your mother do your hair in ‘bunchies’, if so what did you call them?

It’s quite the classic shot isn’t it? I guess the photographer told us to do that odd thing with our hands. I was six years old and my dress matched one my mother had.

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No-line summer glow

I’ve been doing quite a bit of no-line watercolour lately and this is one of my faves. I only wish that I had picked a different colour scheme; I’ve worked with this stamp before and used purple those times also. I have a rich burgandy giant iris in my garden (at least, I hope it is still in my garden) why didn’t I pick that colour scheme? I guess I will just have to do another one won’t I?

I used antique linen distress ink for my initial stamping and as you can see it has almost disappeared entirely. This technique is the focus of my next class here in Ottawa.

After stamping ‘summer glow’ on hot pressed watercolour paper I worked on one petal at a time and from the outside in with blueprint sketch and wilted violet around the edges and wild honey and spiced marmalade in the centres. I used peeled paint distress ink for the leaves. I used my glass mat as a palette for no-line watercolour and it works brilliantly; I pressed each inkpad face down on the glass and added a little water with a paintbrush. My mat is clear glass so I pop a piece of white paper underneath so I can see the inks’ true colours.  I popped up the panel with adhesive backed foam on an embossed panel the size of my card base.

My irises have emerged despite the fact that the sun seems to only shine one or two days a week!

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Blooming Tulips

I just can’t stop serving you up three colour panels. This one is made up of green, purple and blue. Once again I used distress inks because if you’re blending, distress inks are always a good choice. In my last post I mentioned how I used archival inks along with the distress inks to give me a base image to stamp and paint over. I used archival ink on this card also but in a different way. It is so convenient having some archival inks in distress colours.

I began with a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper and pressed both the peeled paint and the seedless preserves ink pads down on my glass mat. I then spritzed a generous amount of water over the inks to dilute and spread them out. I swiped my watercolour panel through the ink then dabbed with a paper towel and dried with a heat tool to make a soft background for my stamped image.

With my stamp in the MISTI I inked the leaves in peeled paint distress ink and the tulips in seedless preserves. I added dabs of salty ocean ink to both the leaves and flowers, spritzed the stamp and stamped on the panel. I then blended with a paint brush which resulted in some variation of colour in leaves and tulips where the blue ink mixed with the main colours. I love how easy it was to get some variation with the salty ocean ink. Blue is a base colour for making green and purple so I knew it would blend nicely with both inks. With the panel still in the MISTI I was able to ink the tulips with dusty concord archival and the leaves with peeled paint archival ink and stamp some of the detail over the top of the blended colour. I used a black soot distress marker to darken the centre of the open tulip. To fill out the design a bit I did some masking and some partial inking to add another leaf and flower on the left hand side of the panel.A little stamp surgery on the thank you stamp from the PB ‘grateful sentiments’ set made it possible to have one word above the other tucking around the flowers.

If you have a recent three colour card on hand pop over to the challenge on the Foiled Fox blog and link it up. I would love to see it!

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Love’s glow

Here’s another new beauty from Penny Black. This one is a large rubber cling stamp called ‘love’s glow’. I’ve stamped it with a mix of archival and distress inks then added some die-cut extras on the corner. I think I might have gone a little over board with the splatter at the end but not enough to make me give up on the floral. There is a lot of shaded detail in this stamp so it is very helpful to stamp it in a medium to dark colour first on a scrap of paper so you can have the image off to the side while adding colour to your project. Before I started stamping I splattered some masking fluid on the hot pressed watercolour panel so the finished design would have some white dots here and there. You could use white paint at the end to get a similar effect. I used my MISTI so I could work on the oranges and reds separate from the green.

I stamped the flower first in archival spiced marmalade ink, it is one of the colours Ranger has recently brought out in mini archival packs. I learnt this trick from Jill Foster, just one of many tricks I have learnt from her! By stamping the flower first in archival I have an image on my paper that I can watercolour over but it will not be diluted and lost as I add water. Because I was using similar colours in distress inks the initial archival ink does not stand out as different. When I inked the stamp initially with archival ink I wiped any of the spiced marmalade that ended up on the leaves. To achieve the blended red and orange tones in the petals I inked and stamped the flower again in wild honey and festive berries distress inks. I then used a damp brush to blend the colours in the petals using my reference photo to help me when necessary.

I followed the same process for the leaves stamping them first in archival peeled paint, then again in forest moss distress ink which I blended with water and a paint brush. I added definition to the centre with a black marker. Once the panel was dry I painted shabby shutters ink around the flower after first pressing my shabby shutters inkpad onto my glass mat and adding some water. I splattered with festive berries, forest moss and black soot ink. I trimmed the panel down to a square then die cut a square mat of olive green cardstock with the stitched square die.

To finish off the card I added some green die cut leaves; I think these leaves might be from the first die sets I ever received from Penny Black. I’ve used them over and over. I cut a sentiment banner with one of the ‘triple banners’ set and trimmed one end so it could align with the mat. The sentiment is from the Best Mom set but I did some partial stamping to get only half the words on my banner.

I hope you are having a great Monday. I just want to remind you there is a sale happening at Foiled Fox all the long weekend and a ‘Color Trio challenge’ continuing until May 30.

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Watercoloured florals

I’ve been doing some more watercolour with a limited colour palette. I am hosting a colour challenge with the Foiled Fox until the end of the month so I’ve been working with three colours whenever I get the chance. I’d love to see any three colour cards you’ve made added to our challenge link up. The card above was painted with only three colours, picked raspberry, fossilized amber and evergreen bough. The orange tones are a mix of pink and yellow, the blue/green leaves are evergreen bough, the other leaves are a mix of evergreen bough and fossilized amber.

I stamped PB ‘flower cascade’ in antique linen ink which is perfect for no-line watercolour. After I had finished the painting I splattered some antique linen oxide and some metallic green paint over the panel. I completed the card with some kraft and shimmer gold cardstock and added a gold embossed sentiment.

I want to let you know that The Foiled Fox is having a sale all weekend so if you are wanting to do a little arty crafty shopping pop on over there.

My second card is also a three colour image painted with bundled sage, worn lipstick and antique linen inks. I stamped the image in antique linen ink then smooshed the distress ink on my glass mat so I could dilute and paint with it. I painted one petal at a time so I could blend dark to light and let it dry before painting an adjacent petal.

Have a great weekend and maybe try a colour trio card!

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Flower fantasy blossoms

Blossoms are finally appearing in Ottawa! I even have a daffodil or two in my garden.

There are two blossom stamps on the PB ‘flower fantasy’ set and I paired them up to create this spring card. I used spun sugar distress ink to stamp the blossoms then painted the petals first with spun sugar ink then a second layer with worn lipstick ink. My painting is inside the lines for the first layer but I added the darker layer more loosely just wanting some extra depth in the flowers. I was working in my MISTI so I was able to ink the centres in rusty hinge ink and stamp them over the flowers once the painting was dry. This is an example of what is known as ‘no-line watercolouring’. Distress inks are great for this technique as you can stamp with them and then smoosh them on a glass mat or acrylic block and paint with the ink. The original stamped outline blends with the painting making the lines less obvious or disappear entirely. I often use antique linen distress ink for no-line watercolouring but the spun sugar did a good job for today’s panel.

To fill in the design I added some twigs using the ‘winter branches’ stamps and forest moss distress ink. I painted little dabs of shabby shutters and diluted forest moss ink around the twigs to look like leaves budding.

To add some subtle decoration I used the new stitched nested frames dies to cut the stamped panel and the sentiment strip. I stamped the sentiment in peeled paint archival ink; having archival inks in distress colours is a wonderful thing! The sentiment is from the ‘best mom’ stamp set and I think it is so nice to have a ‘we love you’ stamp as this card is going to a friend and will be from our whole family.

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Watercolour on coloured paper

I came across some interesting paper at Art Noise when I was in Kingston on the weekend. It is called canal paper and is made by Paperterie St. Armand in Montreal. The pad of paper I bought has six different colours, all made from cotton rag; the fibres are left from clothing company offcuts. There is no bleaching or dyeing, the colour of the papers is from the colour of the cotton fabrics.

The paper is not the only new thing I tried out on these cards. I also have some delicious new Sennelier watercolours. I was interested to see how they looked on the coloured paper and also how the paper held up to a watercolour wash.

These cards are one layer making use of the natural deckled edge on one edge of the paper pad. I scored the paper then taped it to my glass mat, lining up the frog tape with the grid on my mat to create a masked panel in the centre of the card front. I used three colours of paint on each card and matching envelopes. I was impressed that no paint seeped under the edge of the tape so I had crisp edges to my watercolour panels.

I stamped the new line art stamps from Penny Black with Ranger archival inks and was very happy with the crisp prints on the paper, I thought there might be a bit of bleed as the paper has quite a soft surface but the stamping was crisp and there was no bleed through with the watercolour washes. For the two cards above I simply stamped the image over the watercoloured section. On the card below I did the same then added some extra painting to the flowers using the same paint colours. The colour of the paper makes the paint colours more muted than they would be on white or cream but I liked the more rustic simple style on these cards. You could definitely use this technique with the traditional white watercolour paper and achieve much brighter results.

My cards measure 5″x 4¼” so I decided to make custom envelopes from the same paper. I used the We R Memory Keepers 1-2-3 punch board to make an envelope to fit and before I taped it together I masked a section of the front so I could watercolour in the same colours used for the cards.

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