Autumn lanterns

I have some dried Chinese lanterns in the corner of my workroom. They are lasting well, I’ve had them at least seven years, probably longer. A few have broken or fallen off the stems and the colour has faded so they are not the deep orange you see in the image on my card. I used Penny Black’s ‘flower lanterns’, ‘fragile beauty’ and ‘script background’ stamps to create this panel.

Just to mix things up a bit I pulled out memento inks for this project. There was a time when I used memento inks on every project and they are still within reach of my work table. The ‘Morocco’ browny orange is a beautiful colour so I started with that and used potter’s clay, olive grove, bamboo leaf and espresso truffle, some inkpads, some markers. I was very happy to see the ink pads are juicy as ever.

Memento inks don’t always blend once on the watercolour paper so I blend with a spritz of water to the stamp before stamping. I also smoosh some ink on my mat and pick it up with a brush if I want to add depth to a very specific area. I added some details with a gold gel pen after I had built up the lanterns and leaves with ink.

You can see some of my favourite ‘finishing touches’ on this panel: a script stamp, splatter and ink blended edges. I added two strips of co-ordinating cardstock as a half frame then balanced them with the sentiment from PB ‘banner sentiments’.

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Autumn Grove

As I mentioned last week; I’m a seasonal stamper which shows in today’s card. I’ve included some inspiration pics taken on a walk last weekend not far from where I live.

I stamped the PB ‘birches’ first in nocturne ink on hot pressed watercolour paper then embossed them in clear. I masked them with tape then, stamped PB ‘winter’s forest’ in Papertrey ‘cocoa bean’ and ‘dark chocolate’ ink then, while still in the stamp positioner stamped again with versamark ink so I could emboss in clear powder.

With all the trees embossed I started painting dabs of autumn toned inks around the trees and on the forest floor. The inks are listed below. Once I had the look of autumn leaves around the branches and scattered on the ground I used a white gel pen to draw back in the little birch branches I had accidentally painted over.

I stamped words from PB ‘family sentiments’ and cut them out with a speech balloon die which was exactly the right size. I matted the whole panel in brown then popped up the sentiment on a couple of pieces of cardstock.

The colours are lovely around here right now and there are still plenty of leaves on the trees. We had an enormous tree removed from our yard earlier in spring so it will be interesting to see if the leaf collecting is a little easier this year. We still have four big trees plus others over the fence daring to drop their leaves in our yard too!

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Oxide Leaves Video

There is no denying it anymore, autumn is in the air and on the trees and definitely in the cards. This week the weather has been lovely, the sun has shone and the frost warnings have gone. Can’t complain.

I really am a seasonal stamper; I’m inspired by what is going on outside in the world. With a few exceptions, like Christmas card prep, I like to stamp what I see in the garden and surrounds. The leaves on my trees are beginning to turn, nothing spectacular yet and nothing to rake (yay) but the signs are there. I chose oxide inks to blend several three coloured panels which I then cut up into leaves. The process and chit chat is all in the video below.

After the video was completed I looked at the wreath and decided it needed some brighter pops of colour and luckily I had some enamel dots which matched exactly. I added them before taking the photos below.

I really enjoy arranging all the elements on die cut cards like the two I’ve shared today but the gluing drives me a little crazy. Sometimes I use double sided adhesive but if the die cuts are not going to be sitting flat that doesn’t really work. If you have any suggestions for attaching fiddly little die cuts please leave them in the comments; I’d love to know. You might notice I try not to include much gluing in the video because it doesn’t make for very entertaining viewing.

I hope you are surrounded by some fall beauty where you are or perhaps enjoying some spring sunshine in the southern hemisphere.

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Gel print pumpkins

Despite what the title suggests this post isn’t about gel printing, it’s about using more dies on one card than I’ve ever done before. I tend to use dies sparingly, not because I don’t like them, but because they are usually called in to highlight or frame some watercolouring. This time the dies are the feature and I used some leftover pieces of gel printed paper for the pumpkins.

On the first card I built up a background for the gel print pumpkins with a row of die cut trees and then a die cut picket fence. Each pumpkin is two layer as the original cardstock used for printing was light weight. I tried to find prints in pumpkin colours and found a couple of blue/greens, some goldy browns and a pale orange; I didn’t have a strong orange in the pile. The fact that one of the prints had stars on it was definitely a bonus.

On the second card I stacked two leaf pattern die cut panels to create a textured background then layered the pumpkins on top of that. All the background die cutting and card bases are either luxe textured white cardstock or a cheap cold pressed watercolour paper that I thought was luxe textured white until I placed them side by side and had to rearrange things a bit.

All the dies are listed and linked below and I made two messages with the same ‘golden delight’ sentiment stamp. I know I have other sentiments for thanksgiving but I can’t go past this one. For the cute little sign by the pumpkin patch I stamped one word, masked, then next word, masked and then the last one and wonder of wonders, it worked first go!

The layering and adhering of dies was a labour of love because I am just not great at the whole fiddly nature of gluing die cuts. When I imagined the card in my head it was way more intricate than either of these but it’s important to know your own limits and sometimes quit while you’re ahead!

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Falling Leaves

Falling Leaves is a new transparent set from Penny Black, part of the ‘Autumn Extraordinaire’ release. I made a random pattern with most of the little leaf stamps by embossing them on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper. I taped the edges of my panel before I started and was able to keep a clean frame around the patterned area.

I arranged the leaves on the panel and embossed with versamark and potting soil powder. To add colour I started with just two brusho powders, gamboge and olive green sprinkled sparingly here and there over the leaves. After spritzing with water the colours started to move and fill the leaves and surrounding area but the gamboge diluted to pale orange and yellow so I added some brilliant red brusho to create a few more pops of colour. Most of the colour placement was random but I did move some around with a paintbrush.

Once the design was complete I dried it, removed the tape and cut the panel with a rectangle die. I stamped the lovely sentiment from ‘golden wreath on a banner die cut then looked at my cardstocks to choose a base colour. I ended up with a lovely metallic brown wood textured piece which worked exactly how I thought it would. Then I wondered, did I make a very similar autumn card with this cardstock last year? Yes, yes I did.

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Pumpkin Season

This lovely blue wheelbarrow filled with pumpkins is one of the new autumn products from Penny Black. It’s called ‘pumpkin season’ and I paired it with an older PB scenic stamp, ‘homeward’.

I worked on the wheelbarrow first while keeping it in my stamp positioner. I stamped the barrow in faded jeans archival ink, the base in hickory smoke archival and the pumpkins in fossilized amber archival. That gave me a base print to add to with distress inks which I could blend with water and a paintbrush. Still with the stamp in the positioner I inked different section with distress ink cubes and markers to build up the colours bit by bit. Once I was sure I didn’t have to stamp any more on the barrow I removed the panel, stamped the barrow on masking paper and masked the barrow in order to finish my scene.

With the panel back in the positioner and the barrow masked I stamped the ‘homeward’ scenic stamp over the top with ground espresso, spiced marmalade, barn door , peeled paint and wild honey inks. I blended the grass area immediately after stamping so I could extend the ground with peeled paint ink to fill the space around the wheel and base of the barrow.

I built up the colour of the tree with repeat stampings spritzed with water. Once the stamping and blending was complete I painted some shadows under the barrow with peeled paint ink and added some extra definition to the pumpkins with watercolour pencils. I blended the sky around the tree with stormy sky ink and a blending brush.

We harvested most of our tomatoes yesterday even though they are still green so now I am looking up green tomatoes recipes. The fried ones sound appealing (just like in the Fanny Flagg book) and a zucchini and green tomato relish could be good too.

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The Good Life with pumpkins

Even though I am in denial about summer ending my card making would disagree. I have seen leaves changing colour and there is a nip in the air. I’m not against autumn; I know everyone loves it, I just don’t like to see summer go! This little autumn scene combines the Penny Black stamps, ‘the good life’ and ‘pumpkin patch’.

I worked in the stamp positioner for this one and there was masking involved too. I lightly stamped just the barn first, cut a mask for the roof then stamped an extra tree behind the barn. I also painted the back field in peeled paint and wild honey before returning to the trees and barn. I used the ink, stamp & blend process to build up the scene. I made sure I didn’t stamp the fence or track leading to the barn as I was planning to stamp something in the foreground. It turned out to be pumpkins which also needed to be masked before I added the fence and track.

If you know your distress inks you could probably make some pretty accurate guesses as to the line up used on this panel. I added a bit of pencil colouring to the pumpkins and some little leaves along side them.

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Double Embossed

At the risk of losing you I have to begin this post by directing you to the beautiful inspiration for this card. Just pop over to the wonderful blog of Anna-Karin Evalddson to see her double embossing. There is so much texture in her card. When I first saw it I was sure it was heat embossed and then dry embossed because the surface looked so 3D. Anna-Karin did a video of her process, which I watched then immediately went and made the card above. I often see cards which inspire me and I save or tag or pin them for another time; rarely do I immediately act on the inspiration.

I didn’t achieve the 3D effect that Anna-Karin did but I like the play of double embossing and the unusual combination of colours and embossing powders. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper, embossing the ‘dotted fusion’ stamp from PB first in a mix of ‘sandcastle’ & ‘potting soil’. (supplies linked below). I moved the panel a little to one side then embossed again in a cream embossing powder.

To colour the panel I pulled out my distress stains, not the sprays, (but they would work) the daubers. I hardly ever reach for them now as they are no longer available so I don’t want to taunt you with something you can’t have. I still really like the daubers for applying a strong liquid ink in a confined space. In this case I dabbed them on the glass mat, spritzed some water and swiped the embossed panel through the colours (aged mahogany, peeled paint and old paper). Anna-Karin just used distress inkpads and her results were amazing.

To keep with the circle/dotty theme I stamped a word from PB ‘huggable’ set on a circle, matted on a circle and put the card together. Oh and there is splatter too, no surprises there.

that’s a booster colour scheme btw, if you do my online class you will hear about that! 😉

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Parsley, sage & mint

As I hoped I fitted in some gel printing the other day. I picked leaves from my garden and experimented to see which would give me a good print. It also took me some trial and error to get the amount of paint right too.

I brayered titanium white, ultamarine blue and hooker’s green onto my circle gel plate then lay down the back of the leaf on the paint. I lay white cardstock over the top and taped one edge of the cardstock to my table before lifting it to see the print. Without untaping the cardstock I removed the leaves and lay the cardstock back down to take another print, that which was left by the leaf.

I know some extra visuals, even a video might be more helpful than a description so I am working towards that goal. Gel printing can be rather hit and miss for me so I haven’t done any filming yet.

I decided to use all three prints on the one card so cut a piece of snowbound textured cardstock 10⅞ ” x 4¾” and scored it at 3⅝” and 7¼”. I die cut each print using a 3¼” square die and attached them directly to the textured card base. I stamped ‘Thank you’ from PB ‘million thanks’ set on white in peeled paint archival ink then embossed ‘for your help’ from the same set in white on green then cut it out with an oval punch to make a tab on the side of the card.

This card is for my daughter who has put hours or work and loads of enthusiasm into our garden this year. It’s looking good and we have high hopes for the tomatoes, brussel sprouts and cantaloupes still growing!

Join my online class COLOUR CLUES to create card sized works of art!

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Foiling without heat

I’m celebrating the opening of my online class today. All the lessons and projects are now available so if you haven’t heard click here to see what it’s all about.

What’s a celebration without balloons and shiny things? I know you don’t see too much sparkle and shine around here but I was intrigued to see how this Brutus Monroe deco foil would look with some watercoloured balloons.

Once I had created a foiled sentiment and some bows I flipped the arrangement and paired foiled balloons with a blended sentiment. As you can see in the photos below I allowed some of the foil to be over exposed in the photo so you could see how it pretty the pattern is as it picks up the light.

I did my foiling without heat by attaching double sided adhesive (stick-it) to cardstock then removing the backing so I could lay the ‘silver sketch’ transfer foil’ directly on the adhesive. I pressed it down with my fingers carefully to avoid air bubbles then die cut the balloons, strings and sentiment from the foiled cardstock. Once cut I removed the foil top layer to reveal beautifully foiled die cuts. Rather than attaching the balloons to plain black or white card stock I ran the panels through my die cutter inside the ‘snowfall/speckles embossing folder, then flipped the panel around to emboss speckles on both ends.

You can see all that pretty reflective pattern on the foil even better in this close up. Thank you Foiled Fox for sending pretty shiny things my way!

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