Pretty fantastic

Children’s cards are something of a rarity for me but this one ended up being so much fun I might try them more often. I’ve had this gold embossed giraffe image sitting round for a while. The stamp, from Pink Ink Designs is called ‘giraffe’, no surprises there! It’s a large stamp so I cropped a bit of the neck off so it would fit on a 6×6 card.

I used Staedtler watercolour markers and papertrey ink cubes to watercolour the giraffe and the amethyst ink cube for the blended background. I decided on the stencil background after I’d finished watercolouring the giraffe so I cut a giraffe shaped mask and positioned it over the giraffe while I used blending brushes and the Paper Rose studio ‘fragments’ stencil.

The giraffe stamp set comes with a pair of glasses stamp but I went bigger and sparklier with a die cut from Penny Black. I embossed the purple glasses in clear sparkle powder first then clear gloss ultra high to seal the sparkle and make them shiny. The sentiment is from the PB set ‘perspective’. Pink Ink Designs has some beautiful big animal and fantasy stamps. They totally captured my imagination when I saw them. I’ve already shared a card with the dragon stamp and have one with a sea turtle still to come. Not my usual themes that’s for sure.

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Frozen Vista

This lovely window stamp is from a Penny Black set, frozen vista which includes two arched window stamps. I stamped it on hot pressed watercolour paper in versamark then embossed in white powder. I used three distress inks to paint over the embossing, chipped sapphire in the sky, scattered straw at the horizon and stormy sky on the snowy ground.

To make a swag below the window I added double sided adhesive to some neenah solar white cardstock then die cut the PB juniper dies, holly from the layered Xmas set and pinecones from the winter lantern set.

Because of the subtle colours and abundance of white and offwhite I popped up the painted panel on a couple of layers of cardstock to give it a shadow frame on the same coloured card base.

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Winter Window

Sometimes I get inspired by the detailed and delicate foliage dies from Penny Black. The new ‘juniper’ die set got me started for this design along with a navy panel of cardstock splattered with white paint.

I gathered other dies to combine into a winter window scene. I could have chosen brighter reds and greens but I am in a muted vintage style phase right now so forest green and burgandy were my picks for the juniper and berries. All the dies are listed below; I picked from a few sets and added double sided adhesive to all the cardstock before die cutting. The window die is designed to open but I chose the adhesive backing so it would be stuck down firmly to keep the snow outside and the candle from blowing out!

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Wreath & Wings

I’ve combined a new PB stamp, ‘wreath & wings’ with a new PB die, ‘mirthful’ for simple elegant style Christmas card.

I used distress inks and markers to ink the wreath elements and birds, keeping the stamp in the positioner so I could work a bit at a time. I inked the stamp, stamped the image then did a bit of blending with a paintbrush to fill the leaves, berries and birds.

I used a gold gel pen to colour some of the berries then continued the gold highlights in the die cut word. The die has decorative diamond cut outs so I cut gold ones to add to the burgandy letters and framed the panel in the same burgandy cardstock.

For the second card I decided to use the curve of the wreath as a hanging garland. Using a centering ruler to help me with positioning I stamped half the wreath on the centre top edge of the watercolour panel, then stamped another part loop either side.

Once again I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper so I could blend the ink on the leaves. I used ocean coliro pearlescent paint on some of the leaves and berries for a little shimmer.

I wrote the sentiment for this one using the darkest blue marker from the Staedtler watercolour 36 brush pen set and matted the panel in a dark blue cardstock.

Even though I don’t like to over do my designs I’m wondering if the blue card is a bit sparsely decorated. What do you think?

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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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Nature’s glory background

The nature’s glory stamp from Penny Black is a current fave of mine so I decided to try it with a different colour scheme. (previous cards here and here)

I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper with papertrey ink cubes then distress markers for some smaller details. The spray of flowers has a curve to it so I was able to move it around and stamp it four times in order to fill the 4¼” x 6″ panel.

I used a Papertrey ink royal velvet ink cube to ink the flowers and wiped any stray purple ink off the stamp before inking the leaves with green parakeet and the berries with bright buttercup. I spritzed the stamp before stamping so the inks would move a little. Before stamping again I added spiced marmalade distress ink to the berries and pine needles distress ink to the leaves with markers, gave the stamp another light spritz and stamped again.

I switched to a paintbrush to blend some of the leaves, berries and petals. When the ink dried I used the spiced marmalade marker again to add orange centres to the purple flowers.

I stamped a sentiment from PB ‘happy snippets’ on a banner die cut and popped it up over the panel. Oh and I splattered too…you probably noticed that.

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Birthday birdhouses

I hope your garden is full of birds and blooms right now, mine is getting there slowly. If  you are having a birthday during this season, it’s possibly a little different to past celebrations. My birthday is in the dead of winter but I do remember fondly when it was in the height of summer when birds, blooms and strawberries were in abundance!

To create this bright happy card I did some no line watercolour with distress inks. I stamped the PB ‘good neighbors’ outline stamp in antique linen then did all the painting with distress inks smooshed on my glass mat. For fine lines and tiny spaces I used distress markers.

I used cold pressed watercolour paper for this one; I switch back and forth between hot pressed and cold pressed, often choosing hot pressed for the ease of stamping detailed stamps. Once I was finished I decided to pop up the panel on a piece of foam but first I cut the panel with the new love of my card making life, Waffle Flowers ‘additional A2 layers’ dies. I love both their A2 layers dies and additional layers dies the same, no favouritism, in fact the reason I love them is because there are two sets making it possible to mat panels with a ⅛” border. I’m not demonstrating that feature on this card but I will be on future projects. I also love the fact that my rectangle is even and perfect first go. My cutter still does a great job just not sure if my steady hand and eye do the stellar job they once did.

I finished off the card by cutting two banners with one of Penny Black’s triple banner dies, two so it was raised up just a bit, not as much as foam tape would raise it. I stamped a sentiment from banner sentiments on the banner but if you know this set you might realise the stamp doesn’t actually curve that way; let me tell you it does when you snip it in two and arrange it on the door of your misti.

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Planting time

We’ve had all kinds of weather around here lately as we wait for the May long weekend before which outdoor planting is considered very risky!  My daughter has been starting seeds inside so we have quite a few little plants ready for the great outdoors as well as an order of seedlings to come.

These plants are looking pretty healthy, probably because they are not relying on me remembering to water them! I used papertrey ink cubes to colour left over pieces of hot pressed watercolour paper. I swiped the ink cubes across the paper in colour groups, they are juicy little inkpads so they work well direct to paper. I did a panel of two browns, also some greens, another with purples and one with orange, yellow, green. After inking the paper I spritzed water onto it until the ink moved and blended a bit, covering more of the panel and making some light and dark areas.

Once all the panels dried I used several die sets from Penny Black featuring little plants, pots and tools (they’re all linked below). I also cut out the cute little bench die to be part of my scene. I could have cut all the elements from coloured cardstock but I love the variation of colour and depth achieved with watercolour.

I created two backdrops on hot pressed watercolour paper by swiping the spring rain ink cube back and forth to create a solid blue patch. Over the blue I arranged and rearranged my tiny die cuts until I had two little scenes. I used a jewel picker and liquid glue to attach all the elements, making a few errors in the process resulting in some more painting and die-cutting to make replacement pieces. Once everything was attached I hunted through my cardstock to find a matching blue for card bases and added a couple of sentiments from PB ‘banner sentiments’ set.

As I write this the long weekend is drawing to a close and I can report some planting has been done. A couple of readers shared on my last post their planting plans and routines; I’d love to know more plus any clues for keeping the critters away!

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