We’ve been told since our first spring in Ottawa almost 20 years ago not to plant outside before the May long weekend. We had snow less than two weeks ago so you can see how that might be good advice. The long weekend has arrived, the weather is looking pretty good in the forecast and we’re getting ready to plant flowers, herbs and vegetables in our garden and pots.
Maybe you recognise the phrase ‘a time to plant’ from the 1960’s song Turn, Turn, Turn but it is much older than that. The phrase comes from a section of poetry in the book of Ecclesiastes. My brother David has been posting short talks from Ecclesiastes on his youtube channel and I would like to invite you to check them out. I have included below the one where he discusses the idea that that there is a time for everything. If you are like me you might be a stickler for starting series at the beginning whether it be books, tv shows or videos. The video below is not the first in the series but if you head to David’s youtube channel you will find them all there.
Life is very different right now isn’t it? I thought I would do something different here on the blog too and talk about one of the ways my life is different during quarantine. I’ve been sitting on the couch for church the last three weeks as it has been live streamed or filmed in advance to be viewed via the internet. If you’d like to attend church from your home I’ve provided a few links below. If you are feeling like it’s not a very good Friday this year, please watch this short message from my brother reminding us why it still is.
Alta Vista Baptist Church in Ottawa is connecting via recorded messages on their website.
Resurrection Church in Ottawa is livestreaming on Sunday mornings and then making services available on their website afterwards.
On the other side of the world Salt Community Church is meeting live on line as well as making video and audio recordings available.
I mention these three as I have a connection with each one but there are many others. Easter looks different in many ways this year but God has not changed and neither has His love for us or the hope He provides.
The appearance of sunny skies and warmer temperatures over the weekend have been a pleasant change; maybe spring has sprung. Life seems to have changed a little since I was posting on Friday! Events have been cancelled, churches, schools, libraries and recreation centres have closed for the next three weeks at least and store shelves have some significant gaps. Here in Ottawa the number of people infected with the virus is still low but growing each day.
This simple card is stamped with a new brushstroke stamp from Penny Black called ‘Exhilaration’. It is a spray of flowers which curves in a ‘s’ shape. I stamped it once from the top left corner then just a partial image crossing the bottom left corner.
You probably won’t be surprised by any of the process today as I used the same technique I often for brushstroke stamps. I did the stamping on hot pressed watercolour paper in the stamp positioner using distress markers to ink the stamp. I was pleasantly surprised how well the colours worked and how nice the blends were after minimal inking and spritzing.
The colours I used were festive berries and dusty concord on the flowers and peeled paint, crushed olive and forest moss on the leaves and stems. I did spritz the stamps a little before stamping so the inks would blend. Using three greens worked well giving the simple leaf shapes more interest. The criss-crossing of stems gave me an indent which worked perfectly for a sentiment. I stamped the sentiment from the ‘blooming sentiments’ set in Spanish moss versafine ink.
Take care, I’ll be back with more in a few days.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
These were taken this Thanksgiving weekend during a walk with my husband not too far from our home. God’s artistry inspires and amazes me.
I have some more scenic stamping to share and without meaning to I have used an autumn colour scheme. Fall is going to come too soon as it is I didn’t mean to hurry it along!
When creating my previous scenic cards I stamped and painted the trees and scenery first, clear embossed them and added the ground, sea and sky last. For this scene I painted the sky first then stamped over it. I used weathered wood, stormy sky, and fossilized amber inks to fill the panel and create the look of sunset or sunrise in the background. I kept the colour very pale and diluted at the bottom of the panel as I knew stamping would cover the foreground anyway.
I dried the panel before putting it in a stamp positioner to create the scene. I inked the base of the stamp with fossilized amber and along the horizon with rusty hinge distress ink. The tree trunk, branches and the fence I inked with ground espresso and black soot markers. The foliage is a mix of vintage photo and rusty hinge ink. I used rusty hinge to paint a foreground rise also.
Believe it or not there I still have more stamped scenes to show you. I will probably toss a floral into the mix here and there too as I did this week. I’m not quite ready to be showing you Christmas cards yet but it won’t be long!
I’ve been enjoying some pencil colouring lately, especially on ‘Stardream’ shimmer paper. (this background is stardream lapis lazuli) Working on a dark background requires a different approach but the results can be quite eye catching. I stamped a few of the ‘wonderland’ poppies from Altenew on blue shimmer cardstock with antique linen distress oxide ink. The oxide ink ends up looking almost white on such a bold background.
My pencils are Faber Castell Polychromos but you could use whatever coloured pencils you have on hand. With a dark background it helps to lay down a light base of white before adding colours over the top. I chose two pink pencils plus a white to colour the petals and blended from white on the petal edges to dark pink at the petal base. I preserved the stamped lines where I could but occasionally coloured over them and did what repairs I could with my white pencil. I used a bright green pencil for the stems and sepals and a tiny spot of yellow in the centre of the lowest poppy.
As always it is hard to capture the shimmer of the paper on camera but I think you can see a bit of it in each photo. I stamped and embossed the sentiment on the panel but made a patchy job of it so I stamped it on cream cardstock and cut it out with the avery elle sentiment dies that are never far from my side these days! I popped the sentiment up on dimensional tape and added the panel to a cream card base.
I love that sentiment and hope you all stay awesome today, my friends!
This little bouquet is one of my favourites from the recent Penny Black release. With its combination of flowers I thought it was perfect for wrapping up my current giveaway with the Foiled Fox. All you have to do to enter is visit my earlier post or The Foiled Fox post and leave us a comment telling use your favourite flower. We will close the comments on Sunday night and announce two winners next Tuesday.
I’m not absolutely sure what the flowers are in this bouquet, perhaps a hydrangea, a couple of poppies and some little bell shaped flowers. Once again I embossed the outline stamp with platinum powder; it’s so classy, I just keep choosing it. I stamped off the edge twice to get a border design and used Inktense pencils for the watercolouring.
I built up colour on the pink flowers and leaves in layers letting each one dry before adding another. On the blue flower I painted it all pale blue then added dots of the same blue pencil to the centres. I painted around the outside of the bouquets with a mustard pencil and blended it out to nothing with water. I added some fine splatter over the flowers using the same pencils.
Inspired by a beautiful hand lettered sentiment on of Shauna’s recent cards I used a dip pen and wrote the sentiment in gold ink on a strip of co-ordinating cardstock. I splattered some of the same champagne gold gansai tambi ink over the panel before putting the card together with a gold mat and a burgandy card base.