Blushing blooms

I have coloured this lovely flower a few times lately but I realised I hadn’t posted it all on my blog. I did some no-line colouring with the stamp which took a while due to the number of petals, but still produced a nice result which I’ll share at the end of this post. This weekend I decided to emboss the flower instead and paint it with peerless watercolours. I must say this technique was faster and less fiddly than the no-line petal by petal approach. I embossed two of them and painted them side by side with the same three paint colours. Peerless paint blends beautifully on the paper, in this case hot pressed watercolour paper, and I was able to add royal crimson over the top of flesh tint and vice versa until I was happy with the coverage and blending. The leaves were painted in olive green. I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love the quality, depth and blending of peerless watercolours.

I used the co-ordinating die to cut out both flowers then arranged them on top of a ‘snowfall/speckles’ embossing folder background. I snipped a few of the leaves off and rearranged them to balance the composition. I also glued some pieces directly to the background and popped other pieces up on dimensional foam. The sentiment is from the grateful sentiments set and is embossed and popped up also. Because my orange/pinkish combo is opposite green on the colour wheel this card is a match for the current CAS watercolour challenge, a challenge I love but rarely get my act together to enter!

Here is a similar design I completed as part of my no-line watercolour class. I stamped in antique linen distress ink and used a selection of distress inks as ‘paint’. The sentiment is from a clever Taylored Expressions stamp and die combo.

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Autumn wreaths

Much as I hate to admit it, things are beginning to feel distinctly autumnal. I don’t have any autumn wreaths to hang at home but if I did I think I would like one a bit like this, soft colours and delicate leaves.

I worked in my stamp positioner to create this panel on hot pressed watercolour paper but I think you could easily do it with the stamp on an acrylic block, it might even be faster. I started by tracing a circle on my panel with a pencil. Using the circle as I guide I positioned the branch stamp from Penny Black’s new ‘All Natural’ set so the base stems were on the circle. I inked with rusty hinge, stamped, moved the stamp around the circle a little, stamped in bundled sage, moved it again, stamped in frayed burlap and then repeated until I was all the way around the circle. I used a small watercolour brush to blend inside the leaves adding extra ink when necessary. I love the combination of colours; frayed burlap is new to my collection and I like the way it gets along with the other two inks. Once the blended ink was dry I stamped just a section of the berry stamp around the centre of the wreath in gathered twigs distress ink then blended it to fill the berries.

I used the same sentiment for both cards, it’s from another new and cute PB set called ‘golden delight’. I stamped both times on a little tag from the PB ‘a pocket full’ die set. To finish off the card I wrapped some twine around the panel, added a bow and popped the tag on top.

For the second card I grabbed another stamp from all natural and used the same process but needed a leaf mask cut from post-it note a couple of times where the leaves would have stamped over previous ones. This little stamp has both leaves and berries as well as a curved stem which just happened to conveniently match the curve of my traced circle. I used the same technique of blending the leaves and berries after stamping with forest moss and aged mahogany distress inks.

Both cards requested the splatter treatment and the second card wanted a olive green mat as well.

Hope the days are warm and sunny where you are.

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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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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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Little gardens

Today’s little garden cards contain unusually small die-cuts (for me) but I had fun arranging them and love the results. While I was putting these together I had Jill Foster’s video using the same die sets on pause in front of me so I could get inspiration from all her ideas. Make sure you check out Jill’s video; she includes plenty of tips and tricks and cool layouts.

There are three ‘little garden’ sets that co-ordinate well and between them there are oodles of leaves, flowers, pots, hanging baskets and fixtures to choose from. I chose a limited palette of black, kraft and a blue/green patterned panel for all four cards. My patterned panel was a shaving cream marbled panel so I was able to get variation in colour without having to change cardstock.

My garden box, a garden and hanging planters die sets are all still joined together so I cut everything from kraft, black and patterned then proceeded to create vignettes.

Once I had an arrangement that looked balanced I used my marvy jewel picker and lawn fawn glue tube to get everything attached to cream cardstock. The jewel picker saved my arthritic thumb joint; picking up little things is not good for it!

As you might imagine I still had plenty of little elements to spare after three cards and I remembered the ‘art deco window’ and ‘window treatment’ dies I had so I arranged another couple of pots inside the window and beside the patterned curtains.

I ruled some lines on the kraft card base to make it look like wood panels on the side of a house. The window frame dies cuts a window that opens on each side which is a cute touch.

This last simple scene is created with elements from the ‘garden box die set’ along with leftovers from ‘a garden’ and ‘hanging planters’ sets.

All the sentiments are stamped in versafine clair nocturne ink and taken from the ‘grateful sentiments’ and ‘sending thanks’ sets.

I had fun creating these little scenes despite the ‘fiddliness factor’ being a little higher than I am used to. I love the end result with the strong contrast between black, cream, kraft and blue/green pattern.

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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.

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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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