Autumn Berry Beauty

As I mentioned in my last post, the colours are beautiful around here at the moment. At certain times of day there seems to be warm golden light coming through a few of our windows. When I look closer it is sunlight hitting orange and yellow leaves and reflecting into the room. It’s a little bit magical. Even though this new Penny Black ‘berry beauty’ stamp was probably designed with winter in mind I decided to put it to work on an autumn card first. I was hoping to create a little golden magic.

If you look closely you can see some white spots; I worked on a panel splattered with masking fluid. I kept the stamp in a postioner and inked the leaves and berries with fossilized amber distress ink, the stems and parts of each leaf with a pine needles distress marker and sections of the berries with spiced marmalade ink. I did the leaves first, spritzing the stamp lightly before stamping and blending the yellow and green with a paintbrush after stamping. I worked on the berries in the same way picking up extra orange ink to darken some berries to create depth and shadow.

To create the golden glowy background I blended some fossilized amber ink into the spaces with a blending brush then painted over it with water to blend it further. Once the background was dry I splattered some spiced marmalade ink and removed the masking fluid to reveal the white dots and splots. The sentiment from PB ‘always thankful’ set is stamped in rustic wilderness archival ink.

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Holly Flourish 2 for 1

This isn’t the first 2 for 1 card combo I have posted. A few weeks back I did a similar thing with a striped watercolour background. Today’s cards are cut from gel printing clean up sheets. When gel printing I have a heavy weight art paper to the right of my gel plate where I roll off excess paint from the brayer. I cut this yellow, red and blue panel from one of those sheets.

The pretty Penny Black die is called ‘holly flourish’ and, as you can see fills a card front nicely. I have used the cut out below and splattered both negative and positive panels with gold paint. The cardstock is Neenah solar white and I added a gold cord detail to the card above.

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Garland Wreath

Today’s card combines stamps from Penny Black’s ‘nature’s garlands’ stamp set and die cut foliage from the PB ‘stocking stuffers’ and ‘joy of giving’ sets. I stamped the foliage stamps on white cardstock, pine in green and wispy branch in blue.

I die cut the foliage from pale blue, pale peach and burgandy cardstock and glued them over the circle of stamped foliage. The sentiment is from the PB ‘jolly snippets’ set and is popped up over the messy centre.

I feature other designs like this one in my Wreaths – Stamped & Painted online class.

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Loose winter watercolour

A few weeks back I posted a very neat and carefully painted card with this pretty ‘scarlet’ stamp from Penny Black. For that one I stamped in a pale ink so I could do some no-line watercolour. For this card I worked in a much looser style. Some have called in my wishy-washy style.

I enjoy working in this style because I can end up with some very organic and serendipitous blends. Sometimes I end up with muddy unappealing blends also but on a big enough design those sections can be cropped away.

To create this panel I splattere masking fluid on hot pressed watercolour paper. Once the masking fluid was dry I worked in a stamp positioner while applying distress inks to sections of the stamp. I did the red petals first, blended the stamping with a brush and water then once the petals were dry moved onto the leaves and berries. There is a little ink blending from the red into the green but not so much as to create brown areas.

I painted around the petals, leaves and berries with Payne’s grey watercolour paint then when it was almost dry stamped the pine needles in weathered wood distress ink. The sentiment in stamped in hickory smoke archival ink.

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Beautiful Birch – three blues

This bluer than blue sky looks different in person than on my computer screen. I am sure it will look different wherever you view it too. Let me tell you though that I used three pretty blue distress inks to paint around the Penny Black ‘beautiful birch’ stamp.

I stamped the tree stamp in archival black ink so it wouldn’t bleed once I started painting diluted blue inks all around it. I splattered masking fluid on the watercolour paper to represent snow and added a circle mask cut from masking tape. You add the mask after you have stamped the tree.

I did all the blue painting with the inks listed below and let the panel dry before adding shading and shadow on the tree trunks with weathered wood, hickory smoke and black soot distress inks. I decided against a sentiment because I didn’t want to cover the blues but I can always add one later or just inside the card.

Hope your skies are blue today!

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Watercolour decorations

There are some delightful new Christmas themed dies from Penny Black and sneak peaks have started of more to come. I love the ‘stocking stuffers‘ die set which features the stocking, trim and various bits of foliage. I used one watercolour panel to create this stocking card and the decorated bauble below uses jumbo bauble and foliage from stocking stuffers.

As you can probably tell from the mottled look of the watercolour panel I sprinkled salt over a wet panel coloured with distress inks. When you sprinkle salt over a wet panel you can achieve different results depending on how coarse the salt is.

The trimmings for both the bauble and the stocking were cut from shimmer cardstock in silver and quartz. The stamped message on the bauble is from the PB shine God’s glory set using versafine clair paradise ink.

The card bases and embossed panels are Neenah solar white cardstock embossed with TE sheet music and Spellbinders plaid company. All the links are below.

Today’s cards are similar to the cards we will be making in my October Collage Christmas card workshops in Ottawa. Click over to the Classes page to learn more and register.

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Bulb Basket

This sweet basket of Christmas balls not only makes a pretty card, it’s inspiration for a decorative arrangement in a few months time. The stamp is ‘bulb basket’ from Penny Black. I stamped it on hot pressed watercolour paper first in soft stone papertrey ink and then section by section with distress inks.

It is not clear in the photos but I used pearlescent paints to colour the balls so each one has a shimmer to it. The rest of the design is painted with a mix of distress inks and Sennelier watercolour paints. Once the painting was dry I added metallic tops to the Christmas balls with a gold gel pen. If you have this stamp or are planning to get it you might notice that there is a ribbon on the basket handle but no bow. The stamp features a bow but for the size of card I decided it was better to leave the bow loops unstamped.

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Collage behind Hibiscus and Bluebird

One of my favourite techniques when art journaling is to create a collage background from gel prints, patterned papers, stamping, stencilled texture and paint. Sometimes I know what focal elements I will add over the top, other times I wait to be inspired by the completed collage.

When creating this collage spread in the 6″x 6″ art journal I used gel prints and patterned papers in neutral tones: pale green, beige and browns. I did some stamping with Darkroom Door and Penny Black stamps on kraft paper and over the top of the collage. The focal point is an image from the front of a greeting card. As is sometimes the case, the back of the card featured a smaller version of the same art. I used both on my pages along with some handmade printed paper from a friend. I was very happy with the way the colours worked together and was happy to save and use a card sent by a dear friend. ( I cut the artist’s name from the card and added it to my page.)

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Two for One

Recently I had some fun making simple watercolour backgrounds to turn into cards. I worked on watercolour paper as large or larger than my basic card fronts so I would have the option of using the whole panel or a section of it. Today’s cards are a 2-for-1 combo because the negative panel is just as pretty as the floral piece.

You can see on the negative panel I painted loose stripes of colour, picking up distress inks from a glass mat with a wide brush. Some blending of colour occurred adding interest to the simple stripes.

I also embossed the card base above with the ‘weathered’ embossing folder from Taylored Expressions. Very simple cards but handy to have for any occasion.

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Poinsettia corners

Penny Black does not disappoint when it comes to floral stamps – spring, summer, fall and winter. This winter poinsettia arrangement is a new one from the recent winter release. In order to create a balanced no-line watercolour design I stamped on the top left and lower right hand corners in soft stone ink. I used a combination of distress inks and Sennelier watercolour paints to add colour to the outline stamp.

I used one red paint for the petals, painting a soft layer then adding depth and shading by adding more of the same colour. For the berries I used the same red but added some purple so there would be variation but still in the same ‘family’.

I thought about adding some background shading but was so happy with the clean design I decided not to risk it. Instead I found a sentiment to fit neatly into the space between the floral sprays and stamped in green ink to co-ordinate.

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