Golden Delight

I decided to let the colorburst paint powders do the colouring for me on this cute little wreath from Penny Black. I embossed the wreath in gold on hot pressed watercolour paper and embossed the sentiment at the same time.

I sprinkled four colours of Ken Oliver’s colorburst powders over the embossing then spritzed with water and watched the colours emerge and spread. I helped them out a little with a paintbrush so paint filled every nook and cranny. Once the panel was dry I die cut the wreath and trimmed the sentiment to the right size then cut a wreath from adhesive backed foam also to pop up the watercoloured one. Before I attached the wreath to the card base I looped some gold embroidery thread back and forth around the wreath letting the adhesive hold it in place.

The woodgrained card base not only has texture it also has a little bronze shimmer to it. I bought it from my local scrapbooking store but you could get the same effect with a woodgrain embossing folder.

Feeling grateful, thankful and blessed to be part of this encouraging and inspiring community.

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I’ve been playing with the alcohol inks again!

Last weekend I spent Saturday creating with alcohol inks while learning from Kathryn Kanadian who was in Ottawa teaching a couple of classes. Kathryn is a wonderful teacher and I now have a few new tricks to try and techniques to practice. This lavender panel was created with dots of ink on an applicator; I used passion purple, rich gold (Pinata) and  juniper (Ranger) along with some blending solution or isopropyl alcohol. I dabbed the applicator all over the craft plastic for quite a while and added blending solution and more ink when needed. The gold ink didn’t move much but the other two colours created a lot of pattern. These delicate flowers which look a little like lavender are cut with PB ‘tall flowers’ dies. The sentiment from the PB ‘special sentiments’ set I stamped with dusty concord archival ink. I had a section of the patterned panel left over so I was able to die cut some more flowers to pop inside the card. You can be sure I put stick-it adhesive on those panels before I cut such skinny flowers out.

The panel of browns and gold below came together as Kathryn was encouraging us to experiment with blending solution to move the ink. I used more than I usually would and was delighted with all the variation of colour I achieved, the dotted patterns and the splotches of gold here and there. I used ginger, espresso (Ranger) and rich gold (Pinata). Kathryn had samples of her wonderful work including a coffee themed card that inspired this one.

I used the Concord & 9 ‘simple serif’ alphabet dies to cut the letters from antique gold cardstock and framed the panel in antique gold also.

The daisy panel was a bit of a breakthrough for me as I had only made landscapes with alcohol inks by accident or trial and error in the past. With the introduction of a stylus and alcohol ink brushes I was able to paint some daisies and splatter a rain shower over the top of them.

I began by creating a green background with the help of some isopropyl alcohol and green ink (not sure if it was meadow or pesto??)  I used a stylus to dot the centres of the flowers in copper and pitch alcohol inks (Ranger) then I used a brush to paint petals around the centres and stems and grass at the base. The splatters of isopropyl alcohol pulled the composition together.

Although it looks black the cardstock framing the panel is actually dark green. I embossed a little sentiment from the PB ‘family sentiments’ set in white powder.

I created a few more panels during the class which hopefully I will turn into cards soon. Thanks Kathryn for a wonderful class.

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Autumn Bliss

This card is one of those rare ones where the end result is very close to the dreamed up idea.

I started by masking a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper with tape. I taped it into the stamp positioner using the grid lines as guides to get it straight and, wonder of wonders, it actually ended up straight. I stamped the pumpkins from the PB ‘autumn bliss’ set in Gina K’s jet black amalgam ink. I bought the amalgam so I could compare it to my current fave black, versafine clair nocturne. The amalgam stamped well and dried quickly but I didn’t find it superior to the versafine clair.

I wanted bold bright colours and wondered which of my watercolour mediums would give me that result. I settled on my Dr Ph Martin’s Hydrus liquid watercolours. They are definitely bold and bright! Of course they can be diluted for a softer look but I was happy to make the most of their vibrancy. Even though I put barely a drop of each colour on my palette I still ended up with more than I needed. I tried to limit my colour scheme by mixing some of my own colours. I started with gamboge and brilliant cad red for the middle pumpkin and painted all but the flowers. I then mixed the gamboge with the brilliant cad red for the left hand pumpkin and again painted all but the leaves. It was very tricky avoiding the leaves especially before I realised that I had my reading glasses on instead of my stronger ‘art glasses’. Sadly my art glasses are becoming my reading glasses so in the new year I am hoping to get some new ‘art glasses’ to help me see and paint all the fiddly bits. The right hand pumpkin is brill cad red and Venetian brown.

With my art glasses on I painted all the leaves and stalks with a green made by mixing gamboge with ultramarine. The flowers on the middle pumpkin I painted in a diluted deep red rose/ultramarine mix. I added little dots of gold to the right hand pumpkin using finetec pearlescent ink then used a rosy colour from the same set to add shimmer to the flowers. If I did the pumpkins again I think I would paint them one solid colour first with a little shadow and shading then use the pearlescent inks over the top to add all the flowers and leaves. The pearlescent inks are opaque and would not have let the underneath colour show through.

After all the pumpkin decorating, I painted the background with ultramarine. If you have masked with tape before you will know how satisfying it can be to peel back the tape to reveal crisp straight edges and also how frustrating when some paint has seeped underneath. Well, again, wonder of wonders, no seepage! Now, the last wonder of wonders is really the biggest. I occasionally do my own calligraphy sentiments, more often than not it does not end up straight, neat or the right size so I end up cutting the painted panel off and attaching it to a whole new panel in order to get rid of the messed up sentiment. This time I ruled my pencil lines, practiced the sentiment on a scrap, wrote it in pencil on the panel and finally wrote it with pointed pen in a mix of ultramarine and pearlescent ink. The next step was key; I have messed it up in the past. I left the room and went and had my lunch, that way I was not tempted to erase the pencil before the writing was dry, dry dry! I used one of those nifty battery operated erasers to gently erase all the pencil and then did a happy dance!

I hope you don’t think I am overdoing it in my satisfaction with this card, I know it’s nothing out of the ordinary, it’s just that it could have gone wrong in quite a few places but happily it didn’t.

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Homespun blessing

This beautiful wreath is part of the PB ‘Merry & Joy’ release. I know it is perfect for Christmas but I am putting it to use as a thanksgiving wreath first. I inked the wreath with two brown and two green distress inks both in marker and ink pad form. I inked the branch area in vintage photo and ground espresso inks and stamped a couple of times for good coverage on hot pressed watercolour paper.  I inked the foliage area in forest moss and lucky clover inks then after stamping once it was easier to see on the stamp where the pine cones were so I could ink the pine cones in ground espresso ink and stamp again.

After the stamped image was complete I painted some water onto the stamp and stamped again (I kept the stamp in the MISTI the whole time) The amount of water transferred by the stamp was just enough to fill and darken parts of the image. I also coloured some of the pinecones in with a marker.  One word from the PB ‘golden delight’ sentiment fitted on a tiny tag cut with a die from the PB ‘gift card pocket’ set. I rarely make gift card pockets but I use the different tag and label dies from this set often. To complete the wreath I added some hemp twine and popped up the tiny tag.

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Filigree thank you

This leaf is from a PB stamp set called ‘filligree foliage. I haven’t used it for a few years but it is perfect for creating some autumn leaves. As the name suggests each leaf has a filigree pattern on it but you can’t see it on this card because I am using the stamp for its shape not its pattern. To see cards I’ve made in the past with this set click over here, here and here

I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper and moved the stamp around each time I stamped it. I used abandoned coral and frayed burlap distress inks, an odd combo, but one which seemed to work and even gave me a some purply blue in a few places. After stamping the leaf I immediately blended the ink with a paintbrush and water until I had filled the entire shape diluting all the stamped ink as I did so.

I added a double stacked sentiment die cut from olive green cardstock then ruled a thin brown frame around the edge with the help of the ‘staytion’ magnetic board and ruler. I know the ‘staytion’ was designed with stenciling in mind but it makes lining up die cut words and letters easy as well as ruling lines.

Can you believe I have another card for the current CAS watercolour challenge?

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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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