Alcohol Ink & Trees

I have another alcohol ink sky to show you today paired with a very sparkly tree. I don’t own the tree die or the sparkly silver paper but this tree was a leftover from a class I attended and it looks so pretty against the blue sky. It is hard to capture on camera but there are lines and dots of silver foil on the alcohol ink background.

When playing with alcohol inks on yupo or craft plastic you sometimes end up with areas of thick sticky ink. You can dilute and move it with isopropyl alcohol or you can press foil on it while it is still a bit tacky. Once again I cut a snowy hill by hand and added a Penny Black sentiment.

On this second card the tree is the coloured instead of the sky. I cut the tree from white craft plastic and added alcohol inks (both original and pearl formula) to another piece of craft plastic so I could then press the tree onto the alcohol inks to make a pattern and pick up the ink.

I attached the tree to an embossed background and added a Taylored Expressions sentiment. There are a few more alcohol ink Christmas cards still coming. I am happy to have inspired a few of you to look at your stash of panels to see what you might be able to turn into backgrounds and skies.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox & Scrap n Stamp)


Alcohol Ink Winter Skies

It is unusual for me to be making Christmas cards in January but the supplies are still handy and I will be happy to see the cards in October! I have a small stash of alcohol ink panels in my pile of possibility so the next few blog posts will feature those backgrounds paired with wintry scenery and Christmas greetings.

I’m sorry I can’t tell you exactly what techniques I used for these panels but it looks like I added blue and green inks to white craft plastic, added a generous amount of isopropyl alcohol then blew the liquids around the panel with a hand held air blower. I love the frilly ribbon look on the sky above.

I chose the wonderful ‘tall trees’ dies from Penny Black and hand cut some snowy hills from white cardstock. The sentiments are once again from Taylored Expression because they are so handy and neat!

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox & Scrap n Stamp)


Autumn Harvest Scene

This delightful scene was designed by my daughter and is available as a digital download for cardmaking or other harvest themed crafting or decorating. Her etsy shop is called Digitalis Designs and is launching with a selection of harvest and halloween designs. I have been giving her suggestions for future releases!

This is the first time I have created with a digital stamp so it’s just the beginning. I printed the ‘autumn harvest scene’ on kraft cardstock then coloured with polychromos pencils. I printed the scene to fit on an A2 card but the beauty of digital stamps is you can print them any size on many things!

I have had the cool chicken wire embossing folder from Taylored Expressions for a while waiting for a suitable time to use it. What could be better than a farm scene?

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox & Scrap n Stamp)


Die-cut gel print florals

If you are thinking that’s an unusual choice of colours, patterns and textures, you’re right, but it actually makes me quite happy. This is the only layered flower die cut I have of the this type; I don’t generally do layered die cuts. It’s from Penny Black and it appealed to me because of the little buds rather than the complex flower. I know the idea of these dies is to layer in shades of the same colour going from light to dark in the layers. Instead I grabbed one of my gel printing clean up sheets which was covered in black, blue, green, pink, red and purple sections. The texture is from the brayer which I clean off on a thick sheet of paper when I’m gel printing.

In keeping with the combination of colours and texture I decided to go for an unusual background also and attached the flower and buds to a card-base embossed with the a Taylored Expressions chicken wire pattern. I won’t be surprised if you find it a bit odd but I just can’t help reaching for gel prints and this odd scrappy combo makes me smile. By the way, those little black dots in the centre, I added them myself; they aren’t part of the original die.

This second card has a bit more elegance. I used the PB ‘whisper’ die to cut flowers from a gel printed text transfer. The text is from a recipe page in a magazine so you might be able to pick out the word cinnamon if you look closely. The dark mat looks black but is actually dark blue to co-ordinate with the gel print. I’ve used the same die to cut both blooms but used only a portion on the right hand side.

Do you use layered dies? Do you blend the cardstock with inks or pick co-ordinating cardstock? Or perhaps you go for random colour combos like I did!

By the way, Foiled Fox is having a Penny Black sale, so pop over and have a browse.

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Blue Florals

I spent a little while painting florals the other day. My watercolour paints were on my table so I painted two precut card panels with a few blues. I started the flowers on both cards by putting five little dabs of paint in a circle then blending them out with a wet paint brush. After blending I added dots to the centres with black and yellow markers.

Both the bold and the soft florals looked ok but the leaves I’d added didn’t work. I set the panels aside, happy that I had practised but not planning to use either pieces. When I came back to them a day or so later I did some extreme cropping which took out the leaves I didn’t like and left me with some nice blends and a configuration which had some balance.

Even if I had not cropped them and put them on cards the exercise was worthwhile. Even after years of making, practising and learning I still have the niggling feeling that everything I work on should ‘work out’! I know it is unrealistic and I am getting better at spending time practising and playing just to grow and enjoy.

The pale blue ‘washy-er’ panel is my favourite but I love the colours in both. After cropping them I added them to an embossed panel (SU scripty) and popped up some Taylored Expressions sentiments over the top.

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Brilliance and Joy

Today’s cards are similar to a recent collection I posted stamped with the delicate pines stamp. I created eight cards this time and repeated some designs because I’m getting down to the wire with these last cards.

I stamped the ‘brilliance’ foliage stamp on a large 11″x14″ cold press watercolour panel in rustic wilderness and peeled paint inks. I blended the leaves with water and with a gold wink of stella pen so some have some shine.

I played around with a few options for colouring the berries but ended up leaving them green. Red paint pen was not bad but not better and vanilla sparkle embossing powder didn’t work either, so green and natural they stayed. I used a few dies from Penny Black and a sentiment strip from Taylored Expressions and eight more cards were completed. Some were sent straight away and didn’t even make it to the photo shoot!

I have received some lovely cards this week from across the city, country and world. Thank you so much for brightening my day and inspiring my creativity.

By the way, we have added another Art Journal Adventure workshop at Crop A While on Saturday January 22. Click here for more information

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Rustic Wreath

When I am designing classes, both online and in-person it can take many days and many samples before I settle on a collection of projects. This card is one that did not end up in a class but I love the rustic textured look of it.

I used two circle dies to cut a kraft ring as the base of my wreath. I stamped the background with the Darkroom Door ‘woodgrain’ stamp and a few brown inks. To create the holly leaves and berries I painted a few strips of watercolour paper with greens and also a strip of red then hand cut the leaves and punched out the berries. To fill out the wreath I used some Penny Black die cut twigs and berries in brown and gold.

The sentiment is from Taylored Expressions; I used the very handy stamp and die sentiment strips combo. My daughter joined me on Monday afternoon and we had fun decking the tree and living area. I now have a decorated wreath hanging over my fire place and greenery hanging either side of the front door.

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Christmas baubles

Here are a few more cards made from patterned panels I had sitting around. The panels were very pretty experiments using brusho, paint poring and alcohol inks but at the time I made them I didn’t have a plan for them. Last week they came into their own when paired with Penny Black dies and a few of my favourite embossing folders.

The background above is from an acrylic paint pouring day I had with a friend. The result looked like peacock feathers but works well as a northern night sky too.

The purple panels above and below right were brusho & cling wrap on photo paper another technique taught to me by a friend.

The blue background below is alcohol ink; you probably recognise the patterns made possible with just one or two colours plus some isopropyl alcohol.

The dies are listed below and the embossing folders are a mix of currrent and retired. Above is ‘weathered’ from Taylored Expressions. The tiny squares folder is a retired Spellbinders one (SEL 006), the woodgrain is Tim Holtz/Sizzix also retired but there are plenty of new options around. The Tim Holtz/Sizzix Snowfall fade folder at the top of the page is still available and I often reach for it.

I enjoyed using some scraps and samples that were too pretty to throw away to make simple but unique Christmas cards. I think I almost have enough for this year so I will start next year’s stack early!

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2021 BuJo – December theme

I didn’t have a lot of time to spend setting up my December pages; I can’t even believe it is December honestly. It’s a busy week but I had a snowflake idea for the theme and a bit of a plan which you can see did not happen at all. But that is ok because I can save my snowflake plan for January or February or March or Ap…….

After creating the large panel for my recent stack of PB ‘delicate pines’ Christmas cards the stamp set was still on my table along with its buddy the PB ‘brilliance’ stamp set. I decided to use them together for some festive foliage. I used a mix of distress greens and blue along with a red marker for the berries and a white gel pen for the frost.

I reused a frisket film mask which I saved after creating October’s title page and stamped foliage from both PB ‘brilliance’ and ‘delicate pines’ sets. I blended over the stamping with prize ribbon distress ink then dotted white around the circle and on top of the red berries.

The to-do page and the calendar page have simple foliage stamping and some lettering with Pentel Flair pens.

I have used masking in quite a few of my pages this year; I might need to come up with a new favourite technique for next year. I hope your December is off to a good start. Because I can’t believe it is December I have a discount code for the Floral Faves classWinter Wonder class and the Colour Clues class. If you use HTDEC you will get 20% off. If you are interested in giving an online class as a gift please get in touch so I can help you make it happen.

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Delicate Pines – 9 Ways!

Welcome to a long post with quite a few photos!

When I last counted up the names on my Christmas card list and the number of cards I have completed the two numbers were not close to matching. I decided a quick way to grow the stack of cards would be to stamp a big panel then slice it up to make several cards.

Turns out this idea was not all that quick. It took a while to make these cards because although they are from the same stamped panel, they are still all different. The photo above shows the original panel stamped with Penny Black’s new ‘delicate pines’ set of 3 stamps and two Catherine Pooler inks. After the stamping I added ink splatter then gold paint splatter.

I kept the deckle edge on the 11″x14″ cold pressed watercolour panel and sliced up the panel lengthwise first. A,B & C are all 4¼” wide, D,E & F are all 4″ wide which left G,H & I all 2¾” wide. Below are all the finished cards. I used some pale gold, Bazzill avocado green and kraft cardstocks for the die cuts and framing. I used versafine clair rainforest ink to add sentiments and some linen twine here and there. All the cards are shown below with the size of the stamped panel portion included underneath (all the finished cards are 4¼”x 5½”)

A. 4¼ x 4½

B. 4¼ x 5½

C. 4¼ x 4⅛

D. 4 x 5¼

E. 4 x 5¼

F. 4 x 3½

G. 2¾ x 4¼

H. 2¾ x 4¼

I. 2¾ x 5½

The finished cards above are in the places that correspond to the labelled photo up at the beginning of the post. I had them laid out on a cutting mat on the floor beside me as I put them all together so I didn’t get them mixed up. I wanted you to see how I used each size in a different way.

I hope you find some inspiration from these cards. Remember that three of my online classes are on sale until the end of November. Use the code HTNOV to get a 25% discount on the Floral Faves classWinter Wonder class and the Colour Clues class.

The stores I have affiliate links with are also having sales right now (isn’t everyone?) I have put the links in the right hand side bar of the blog for easy access. Just click on the store name and start shopping!

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