Grid & Floral mix

It was fun to pull out a floral and a background stamp for a new card design. I was planning to stamp the PB ‘rosa’ stamp a few times across the panel but ended up putting it snugly on the right hand side leaving room for the grid patterned ‘contemporary’ stamp on the other side.

Before any stamping I smooshed some salty ocean, scattered straw and mowed lawn inks on my glass mat, spritzed water then swiped watercolour paper through the mix of colour. I let the colours dry for a while then dropped water on top and then absorbed it with a paper towel leaving pale water marks all over the panel.

I stamped the flowers in a mix of canyon clay and raspberry fizz inks (Papertrey ink) and the leaves and stems in rustic wilderness and bundled sage. I added copper pearlescent paint to the centres of the flowers as well as splattering some on the panel. I also added some black to the centres to define the flowers a wee bit more.

I added the PB ‘contemporary’ stamp to complete the panel along with the ‘THANKS’ die-cut from copper cardstock. You can see the fall colours are easing their way in but the summer colours are not leaving just yet!

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Gel print backgrounds

I have had my gel plate out recently and I am addicted. It is what happens when I get it out. Gel printing can be frustrating because some of the prints are a whole lot of nothing much while others are full of pattern, texture and colour. I never know whether the next print will be the former or the latter so I keep on printing. I have a stack of prints sitting around and I decided it was time to cut a few up to make cards. I added some stamping and die-cuts.

This first card is my favourite but I must be honest with you, it isn’t a gel print. It is the scrap paper I cleaned the brayer on! I love how pretty the colours and blends are but I’m a bit miffed that my clean up page was prettier than many of my prints!

To turn it into a card I stamped and embossed the PB ‘contemporary’ stamp in white and added the hello, cut with the PB ‘thanks & hello’

Same deal with this background but embossed with gold and adorned with the PB ‘jumbo joy’ die.

I’m glad to add another card to my very small Christmas card stack. My resolution to add to it every month seems to be a bit off and on.

This background is a recent print and includes a fun thread printing technique I saw on Birgit Koopsen’s instagram. She recently completed a challenge gel printing every day in May. She generously shared all the techniques she tried.

I added flowers from the PB ‘perfumed’ set and a sentiment in white embossing powder.

I guess the title of this post was a bit inaccurate as only one of these cards features a gel print background! Watching beauty emerge when gel printing is so much fun. To glance over at my brayer clean up sheet and realise I have to save it because it looks like a pastel check table cloth is a bonus. To see the pale ghosts of stencils turn up on third or fourth prints also amazes me.

I did not participate in Birgit’s recent challenge as I was busy busy launching the new online Floral Faves class but now the gel plate is out I am challenging myself to post something gel-print related every day this week. See you tomorrow.

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Bird’s eye view

This cute bird on a branch stamp is new from Penny Black and is called ‘bird’s eye view’. We recently installed a new bird feeder in our backyard. It is on a shepherd’s hook metal pole to discourage the squirrels. The feeder itself has the anti-squirrel spring mechanism which closes access to the seed when something as heavy as a squirrel lands on it. You can probably guess what I’m going to say next; squirrels are wily creatures as are chipmunks! I can say that no adult squirrels have successfully fed directly from the feeder, they hang around underneath and eat what falls to the ground. We have seen a smaller squirrel climb the pole and lean over to take seed from the feeder without putting weight on it and a chipmunk that is light enough to sit on the feeder and stuff it’s face happily!

I know from experience you win some and lose some with feeders and I am enjoying the cardinal couple, the chickadees and the sparrows that are popping in. I think we’ve seen a finch or two but not certain.

To create this vintage themed card I limited myself to a brown and blue colour scheme. The browns are tea dye, antique linen and vintage photo distress inks; the blues are speckled egg distress ink plus the arctic blue and cyan Karin brushmarkers. First I smooshed tea dye and speckled egg inks on a glass mat, diluted them with water then swiped a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper through the inks. Once the background was dry I stamped the ‘bird’s eye view’ image on the panel with antique linen and kept the panel in the stamp positioner while I added darker ink by applying distress marker to the stamp where I needed darker browns and black.

I painted the leaves in both tea dye and speckled egg inks and did the same with the bird before adding vintage photo ink to the wing, tail and legs. Once the bird was finished I felt the speckled egg blue was not deep enough so I used the blue Karin markers to add ink directly to the paper then blended with a paintbrush.

To add to the vintage look I blended around the edge of the panel with vintage photo ink then dropped splats of water here and there to create watermarks. I also stamped the PB script stamp which never fails to add some vintage charm. I hunted through my dies to find a pretty foliage die that mimics the shape of leaves and cut both bronze and cream pieces to attach to the left of the panel. Continuing the vintage theme I stamped a partial sentiment on a little tag and tied it to the panel with twine. Yes, of course there is also some ink splatter.

Let me know if you have successfully deterred squirrels from you backyard bird feeders; I’d love to hear your techniques.

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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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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! šŸ˜‰

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Refreshing winners

I want to thank everyone who participated in the ‘Refreshing’ giveaway I hosted with the Foiled Fox. I enjoyed reading your preferred ways to find refreshment and noticed many of you head to your garden during the cooler parts of the day, sit by the water if you have some nearby, or on your porch or patio. Some find doing something creative refreshing and there were quite a few mentions of drinks and good books. I would love to be sitting by the water these days but as that is not possible right now I am doing many of the things you are. Thanks so much for sharing those snapshots of your life. Without further ado, I would like to congratulate Martha and Kathy.

You have won a gift certificate to go shopping at the Foiled Fox online store. I am sure you can find some refreshment there! Shauna from the Foiled Fox will be in touch with more details.

Today’s card features a technique I’m going to call emboss resist masking. It involves embossing in order to resist the application of ink over the top but I wanted the finished project to look as though I masked the butterflies and flowers rather than have shiny raised images at the end. The trick is to iron off the embossing powder once the project is completed.

I know this isn’t a new technique but I was looking at some inspiration pics on pinterest and decided it was a good way to get the effect I wanted.

I stamped the PB ‘script’ background stamp in hickory smoke archival ink so the print would not attract embossing powder or be blurred when I added others inks or water. The archival ink is fast drying and permanent.

I used a stamp positioner to stamp a flower and some butterflies from the PB ‘soulful silhouettes’ set in versamark then I embossed in clear powder. To cover the panel with colour I chose four Catherine Pooler inks (listed below) and applied them with blending brushes. I gave the whole panel a couple of spritzes with water which resulted in the lovely pattern you see on the finished card. I didn’t dab it with paper towel or dry it with a heat tool. I was actually patient and let it air dry on the desk because the spritz looked like rain on a window.

Once it was dry I got some scrap paper and lay the panel face down on the scrap paper and ironed it without steam. I changed the scrap paper several times because the embossing powder transfers to the scrap. Eventually there is none left on the original panel. I chose a couple of sentiments from the million thanks set and stamped them in CP spruce ink.

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You are nothing short of amazing

I got together with some friends a while back for a crafting afternoon, seems like an age ago now! While there I stamped the two panels you see here. For a while they were forgotten as I was working on other projects then I fiddled around to create two quite different cards. The basic technique is the same for both panels and involves stamping and restamping without reinking in between impressions. The card above began as a vintage looking panel stamped in antique linen ink. I smooshed some antique linen distress ink on my glass mat, spritzed with water then swiped my panel through it to pick up inky stains. I dabbed some areas with paper towel which makes them dry a more yellowy colour. I partially inked the Penny Black script background stamp in antique linen and stamped on one side.

Once the background was dry I used the PB stamp, ‘exhilaration’ to stamp some coloured flowers. I inked the flowers with a Papertrey Americana ink cube and chipped sapphire distress ink then the stems with a gathered twigs distress marker. I wiped ink off the stamp in some areas so the image would be patchy on purpose, spritzed then stamped on the panel. I did both the left hand side and right top corner then, without cleaning the stamp spritzed it again and stamped paler images which immediately appear to be in the background. I stamped a sentiment on an ‘antiqued’ scrap in versafine vintage sepia ink, added a twine bow and popped it up on some foam tape.

Now that I have described my process for the first card you can probably see that I used the same technique for the blue card but only used one colour, Papertrey ink ‘blueberry sky’. I didn’t start by making a vintage style background, I just jumped right on in with the first stamping. I spritzedĀ  the stamp and did another print, then another and one more very pale one and that was it! I added some splatters but nothing more to this pretty blue panel. It was very quick and probably took longer to find a matching cardstock. Once I found a co-ordinating blue I stamped part of a sentiment from the PB ‘sentiment’ set and embossed in alabaster powder. I finished the sentiment by stacking three die cut ‘amazings’ from the PB OMG die set.

I love this technique for adding depth and dimension to flat stamped panels. I have a video coming next week demonstrating a similar process so stay tuned!

Thanks for visiting here today, I hope you are safe and well where you are and thanks again if you are on the front lines taking care of health, food and safety needs. You are nothing short of amazing!

Supplies


Dazzling postcard

I am sharing these tulip cards over on the Foiled Fox blog today. You know I like it over there, I enjoy the inspiration on their blog, the range of products in their store and the interaction with the Foiled Fox staff and their readers. Make sure you pop over there.

To create a vintage background I smooshed antique linen distress ink on a glass mat then spritzed water over the ink before swiping a hot pressed watercolour panel through the it. I dried the panel before repeating the step. Next I inked the ‘script’ background stamp in antique linen ink, spritzed it then stamped it on one side of the panel. I let everything dry before moving onto the tulips. The stamp is a new one from Penny Black called ‘dazzle’; it is large and features two tulips and two buds. Neither of today’s cards show you the whole stamp; I was after the look of patterned paper rather than a complete image. You will see the whole stamp on another card in the future.

I inked the stamp with scattered straw, wild honey and forest moss distress ink, spritzed it lightly then stamped over the edges of the panels. I also wiped ink off the stamp before pressing it down so the tulips would appear to be floating not anchored to the base of the panel. On the second card I blended over the stamped tulips with water to create a transparent look but on the card above I left them looking ‘lacey’. After the ink dried I splattered both panels with wild honey and forest moss inks.

To finish the card above I stamped part of the new ‘vintage postcard’ stamp in vintage photo archival ink. On the card below I added some hemp twine and a popped up sentiment panel also stamped on ‘aged-looking’ paper.

You have already seen this sentiment once this week; it does seem appropriate for the uncertain circumstances we are experiencing right now. I made both cards before the virus situation escalated in North America but I hope having these cards and those words end up on the blog this week is an encouragement to you.

In the close up above you can see clearly the variation of colour achieved by picking up diluted antique linen ink on my watercolour panel; there seems to be a purply tone in there! I love this kind of background and it is so easy to do. Thank you for dropping by today. I appreciate you all and am encouraged to hear that these posts are providing you with some inspiration during a difficult time.

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Dreams of love

I think you can guess where this sweet floral came from. Penny Black has a new release, ‘Full Bloom’ and this is just one of the beauties I have to show you. As I often do with brushstroke stamps I pulled out distress inks for my first play with this stamp. I used three purple inks, milled lavender, seedless preserves and dusty concord to create variegated petals on this large flower. For the leaves I used a mix of peeled paint, forest moss and bundled sage. I would understand if you wondered whether I ever use any of the other greens, those three are definitely the first ones I reach for!

I used a stamp positioner and hot pressed watercolour paper and started by stamping the whole flower (but not the leaves) in milled lavender distress ink. On a stamp like this one it is sometimes hard to differentiate between petals and leaves when looking at the red rubber side of the stamp. I find it helpful to stamp it on scrap paper in a medium to dark ink as a reference. When doing partial inking as I did for this card, I ink all the petals then wipe off any ink that ended up on the leaves with a cloth or wet wipe. After stamping in milled lavender I inked the petals again, this time in seedless preserves ink and I did not cover all the petals. I gave the stamp a light spritz of water so the ink would blend when it layered over the previous stamping. Finally I inked it again in dusty concord keeping the ink concentrated around the centre of the flower not the edges. I then used a paintbrush and some water to blend the colours on each petal one at a time. To further define the petals I pressed the ink pads onto my glass mat so I could pick up ink with my paintbrush and add it to the edges or any areas where I wanted a strong shadow. I dried the panel before carefully inking the anthers with a black marker, unlike the rest of the image I wanted them sharp and defined rather than soft and blended. I also added distress stain drops and water drops while the panel was dry.

With the petals all finished I switched to the leaves and inked them with peeled paint and forest moss ink then blended them with water after stamping. I added a few more leaves of the same style using a stamp from the ‘Xmas sprig’ stamp set. To add them in I cut a rough post it note mask and positioned it over the petal edge before stamping the sprig in bundled sage and peeled paint inks.

To finish the card I die-cut the panel using the square from the PB ‘stitched square & circles’ die set and clear embossed a sentiment from PB ‘special sentiments’ in black ink. I framed the floral panel with a script stamped panel which I embossed with Ranger weathered white embossing powder. I have not had success with this embossing powder until now, totally user error by the way, there is nothing wrong with the product! The embossing powder is called ‘weathered white’ for a reason, when you emboss with it the effect is not glossy and it is not even. It is, as the name suggests, weathered! For a large background area like this script panel it adds texture and subtle colour. The card is quite large and fits into a 6″ square envelope. I inked the stamp in milled lavender and bundled sage ink to stamp a pale image inside the card and used the same inks to stamp the ‘sprig’ on the envelope.

I’m looking forward to inking this stamp again with different colours schemes and maybe a looser watercolour look.

Supplies


Gelli butterflies and blossoms

Thank you for all your lovely comments about my recent art journal page. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I have a couple more pages in process in my journals which I look forward to showing you in the future. I would love to hear from other art journallers. What are some of your favourite mediums and techniques?

Today’s cards are made with my latest fave: the gelli plate! I am very much a beginner but learning as I go and watching the myriad of techniques shared on the Gelli Arts youtube channel. The panels in today’s cards were made by printing layer after layer while rearranging die cut paper butterflies and blossoms on top of each new layer of paint. The dies are Penny Black ‘monarch’ and cherry blossom’.

I wont’ try to describe my process because I don’t remember exactly what my order was or what paint colours I used. I know there was green, white, burgandy, gold and pink liquitex basic acrylics but there could have been more. Like many artistic techniques success with a layered gelli print can be knowing when to stop. Once I was happy with the one above I still had paint and pattern showing on the gelli plate so I added one more layer of paint then pulled a ghost print (I’m learning the lingo!) on patterned paper. The paper I chose was a woodgrain print from Alexandra Renke.

You can see the woodgrain print through the paint and pattern. I ended up matting both panels in burgandy cardstock then attaching them to a base panel of the same AR woodgrain paper.

It’s always hard to capture shimmer on camera but all three panels have gold shimmer on them so I added some gold accents to each one. On the top panel I stamped the PB script stamp, embossed in gold powder and matted the panel with gold cardstock. On the card above I added a gold embossed sentiment from the PB set happy snippets and stamped the same script stamp in chianti versafine clair. On the card below I stamped the script stamp in shady lane versafine clair ink and added a gold vellum die cut butterfly, the same butterfly used as a mask in the gel printing process.

I love all the texture from the gelli printing process, the paint which builds up after several layers of printing adds so much interest

I did another butterfly and blossom print in a different colour scheme but I’ll share that another day. Thanks for dropping in.

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