If you have visited the Penny Black blog lately you will have met Scooter; that’s her on the right. The Scooter release features a pup and her friends. The real life Scooter was part of the Penny Black family and now there is a range of stamps featuring her real and imagined activities. Penny Black is donating a portion of the proceeds from Scooter stamp set sales to Muttville a senior dog rescue program.
Unaccustomed to painting cute critters like Scooter it took me a while to get in the groove. For this little scene featuring stamps from the Puptastic set I stamped the outline images in papertrey soft stone ink then watercoloured with Karin brushmarkers. The sky and grass is also diluted ink from the Karin markers.
To complete the card I stamped the sentiment from the same set on a label cut with a tag from the PB ‘gift card pocket’ die set, tied it with twine and popped it up on dimensional tape.
Thank you for all your kind words about my garden pics. It really has become a relaxing pastime for me. I think because it is finally under control I can enjoy working on a patch for a short time or strolling around trimming off deadheads. It is no longer just about weeding!
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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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A friend commissioned me to make a ‘vintage’ themed card recently and I happily pulled out a bunch of Darkroom Door stamps to do so. You can see the pocket watch stamp managed to feature three times but the French script, global postmarks, and gerberas also contributed. I stamped, blended and painted with two brown tones of distress ink, two blues and a black. (all the supplies are listed below)
To begin I smooshed some speckled egg and antique linen distress inks on a glass mat, added water swiped the panel through the diluted ink. After that the gerbera background stamp became part of the base layer in speckled egg distress ink. I layered the other stamps over the top in tea dye and antique linen inks and blended some speckled egg ink through the DD diamonds stencil. Of course there is splatter, watermarks and extra blending to darken the edges. To add a dimensional feature I die cut several stems of flowers with the Penny Black ‘shall we dance’ die, some are from watercolour paper, some from tan cardstock and a few from paper painted with salty ocean ink and stamped with the DD gazette stamp.
Almost finished, I added a strand of twine around the base and tied some tiny tags on with stamped PB sentiments on them and some little wooden stars I found. I was pretty happy with all this vintageness but decided to risk some gold paint. I splattered and added it to the tiny stars and heart, the flower centres. Where it worked best though was unevenly painted along the edges of the square panel. You probably can’t even see it clearly but it ended up being one of my favourite parts of the card.
By the way there are yummy new stamps on the Darkroom Door website. You will see them here soon, a few are winging their way here as you read this! Have a great day.
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The second installment of my ‘stamping is for the birds‘ series features the Penny Black stamp ‘Winter lookout’ with a little bird on the outside looking in. I have seen a few other beautiful cards using this stamp and wish I had added a little foliage but there is always next time. Take a look at this gorgeous card by Susie Lessard.
I stamped in versafine clair nocturne ink and embossed in clear powder then painted the bird and all the wood with my peerless watercolours. To create variation in the wood I painted with several browns and some warm mustard yellow as well. Once I had finished the woodwork I had to decide how I would do the window. I chose frosty patterns like we often get on our windows in winter so I used the delicate snowflake stamp from the PB set, ‘A bright tomorrow’ to emboss in clear powder. When I painted pale blue into the window area it resisted the snowflake shapes.
I tried a second colour scheme embossed in versafine smokey grey, featuring greys and blues and stamped some pine branches inside the windows as if garlands were hanging there.
I finished both cards with co-ordinating mats and sentiments stamped on little tags from the ‘gift card pocket’ die set. I think I have only once made a gift card pocket but I often use the little tags and banner dies from the set. I added some finer details to both cards with black and brown markers once the painting was all finished as sometimes embossing does not preserve all the definition.
Stamps: winter lookout, a bright tomorrow, festive snippets, joy of peace (PB)
Die: gift card pocket (PB)
Ink: versamark, nocturne versafine clair, morning mist versafine clair, northern pine memento
Paper: hot pressed watercolour, neenah cream, neenah black, kraft, red, olive green
Paint: peerless watercolours
Also: clear embossing powder, brown marker, black marker, twine
Today’s card was the result of a thought I had after making a Christmas themed card featuring the berries seen on this one. The Penny Black berry stamp is called ‘Christmas berries’ so it is hardly surprising that I made a Christmas card with them but I wanted to see if I could put them to use in a non-Christmas card too.
I started by stamping the dancing daisies in blue, purple, green and yellow (they were all distress inks and I will make a guess at them in the list below but once again I didn’t write them down). After stamping I blended the petals and leaves with water and a paint brush. I masked the daisies as I had saved masks from a previous project, stamped the berries in pinky, purply colours so they wouldn’t look Christmassy and blended again with water.
Finally I added some ‘winter branches’ in brown ink. This is where my plan started to unravel. I didn’t want to mask all those berries and flowers to put the winter branches in the background so I stamped them over the top and blended them with a paintbrush also. With the blending they became more prominent than I wanted; without the blending they looked badly stamped because I was working on textured cold pressed watercolour paper.
I finished off the panel with some dark brown splatter then moved onto another project undecided whether to turn this one into a card or not. When I came back to this panel later I decided to break up the dominance of the brown winter branches with a sentiment panel. I used a die from the gift card pocket set to cut a decorative shape from hot pressed watercolour paper and adhesive backed foam then stamped a sentiment from the banner sentiments set. I ended up liking the idea and the colours of this card but it’s not my best layout.
Stamps: dancing daisies, Christmas berries, winter branches, banner sentiments (all PB)
Inks: blueprint sketch, dusty concord, fossilized amber, forest moss, festive berries, gathered twigs distress inks & monarch versafine clair
Paper: cold pressed watercolour paper, hot pressed watercolour paper
Die: gift card pocket (PB)
Tools: adhesive backed foam, Misti
I have planted quite a few tulips in our garden over the years and over 100 daffodils. Sadly I do not get to see that many when spring rolls around. I believe the squirrels dine out on the tulips; I’m not sure if they eat the daffodils too. I do get a few red tulips each year which have been blooming ever since we moved here so I can’t take any credit for keeping them alive!
I stamped this lovely outline stamp on hot pressed watercolour paper and coloured it with peerless watercolour paints. The deckled edge is left when I cut up the large sheets of watercolour paper I buy. Sometimes it makes a nice design detail.
I used a hand lettered sentiment tied on with some hemp twine and framed it all in red to make the tulips pop.
Stamps: Tulip Queue (PB)
Dies: gift card pocket set (PB)
Inks: versafine onyx black (Tsukineko) Dr Ph Martins bleedproof white
Cardstock: fabriano hot pressed watercolour paper, red and black cardstock
As you might know I use hot pressed watercolour paper 90% of the time because it is smooth and takes stamping so well, giving me a complete images. Occasionally, however, I like to pull out some cold pressed or even more occasionally some rough watercolour paper because the texture gives a whole different look. The labels hot, cold and rough, when attached to watercolour papers refer to the way the paper is pressed. Hot is flattened with heat and pressure making it the smoothest of all three. Cold is flattened with pressure but not heat and rough is flattened with less pressure than cold, making it the most textured of the three types.
I stamped the ‘snowy grove’ stamp on cold pressed paper in vintage photo ink. I then used the image as a starting point for painting some of the trees more distinctly. In some cases I joined a few trunks together with extra ink to create wider trees. I painted some foliage plus the forest floor with crushed olive and peeled paint distress stains and spritzed with water to blend and blur both the ground and the canopy. I cut the ‘serenity’ die from brown cardstock to add some framing and give the impression of looking into a grove of trees. The tiny tag is cut with the ‘gift card pocket’ die.
The trees around here still have plenty of green on them but we are beginning to see gorgeous colour too. Have a great weekend and Happy Thanksgiving Canadians!
Stamps: Snowy Grove, Snippets (PB)
Dies: Serenity, gift card pocket
Inks: vintage photo, crushed olive, peeled paint distress inks & stains(Ranger)
Cardstock: Cold pressed watercolour paper, brown cardstock, green textured cardstock
Today’s card is a contrast to the sparkly bright poinsettias earlier in the week. I returned to a style I have featured on the blog several times this year, a vintage appearance. To achieve the aged look I stamp first in vintage photo distress ink then blend the stamped ink with watercolour pencils. I worked one petal at a time and used a wet paintbrush to pick up colour from the pencils. I chose a couple of reds, and a light green for the petals and a dark brown for the berries. Once the whole image was painted I coloured around the edge with a grey pencil to help ‘lift’ it off the page a little.
I matted the panel with textured burgandy cardstock and added a sentiment on one of the handy tags from the gift card pocket die (a set that gives you way more than just a gift card pocket; its full of tabs, tags, flowers, scalloped shapes…).
As I finished editing this post it occurred to me that the vintage look on my poinsettia does give it a bit of a ‘dried up ‘cos I didn’t get watered look’. Now, how would I know that look I wonder?
Stamps: Scarlet Majesty, Holiday Snippets (PB)
Dies: Gift Card Pocket
Inks: Versafine Crimson Red ink (Tsukineko) vintage photo distress ink(Ranger)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Burgandy textured cardstock
Also: Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils, Gold cord
The Poppy Gems return today but in a more traditional colour scheme than last week’s card. I stamped with liquid watercolour paint on this panel, a technique not unlike what I often do with the distress stains. I used a paintbrush to apply the paint to the stamp then, after stamping, used water to blend the colour into the petals and leaves. In the centres and shadows on the flowers I layered colour to increase the intensity. The paints are Dr Ph Martin Hydrus watercolours which dry permanent. This feature was helpful when I decided to add a background weeks after completing the flowers. There was no chance I would make the pinks and greens bleed into the sky when I added blue with a watercolour pencil and waterbrush.
The little tag is a cut with the new die from Penny Black, ‘gift card pocket’ which comes with so much more than just the pocket die.
Thank you for dropping by today; I will be back soon with more alcohol ink adventure as well as another couple of cards made with the ‘Poppy Gems’ stamp. I hope you have a great weekend.
Stamps: Poppy gems, Perfect Pairing (PB)
Dies: gift card pocket (PB)
Inks: Versafine Onyx Black (Ranger)
Pencil: Albrecht Durer watercolour pencil sky blue 147(Faber-Castell)
Paints: Dr Ph Martin Hydrus Liquid Watercolours – Set 1
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, pink cardstock
Also: linen thread
Over the next week or so you are likely to see the new ‘Poppy gems’ stamp a few times. I have already stamped it in four different colour schemes and varied the mediums and styles. This one is by far the ‘busiest’ and is quite the contrast to the clean and simple stamping I have been sharing lately.
I created this earth toned panel initially with just brown and black but after doing most of the blending with water I decided to add a bit of red to the petals over the brown. I stamped with distress stain and pulled it into the petals and leaves with a paint brush. I added black with the elegant writer pen which bleeds pink and green tones when wet. I decided to add the text details after the flowers were finished keeping it loose and watery with the addition of water to both the stamp and panel. I stamped the text upside down the first time so I had to make it blurred so my error would not be less noticeable!
I die cut a few flourishes with the new ‘flourish and butterflies’ die and attached them to the base for a tone on tone detail; you can just make it out in the photo below. The sentiment is stamped on a tag from the new ‘ gift card pocket’ die.
Thanks for dropping by; I hope you are enjoying a relaxing weekend.
Stamps: Poppy gems, footnotes, snippets (PB)
Dies: flourish & butterflies, gift card pocket
Inks: festive berries, mustard seed, vintage photo distress stains & ink (Ranger) black elegant writer pen (Speedball)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, brown cardstock