All the Birthdays

I made a short stack of birthday cards yesterday with a new Concord & 9th set, ‘All the Birthdays’. I pulled out several prints from earlier gel printing sessions and chose some which would work as panels for birthday cards.

On the card above I used ranger blue embossing powder and the card below versafine tulip red was the perfect match for my printed background.

Some were printed using the petite set A gel presses so they were already shaped as squares. Others I cut from larger prints. I used stencils and lace to make the prints and a range of acrylic paints.

One of the stamp combinations from the C&9 ‘all the birthdays’ is a pair of stamps that overlap to spell ‘happy birthday’; there are outline stamps that frame the solid letters also. That is what I used on the card below with gold and brown inks then clear embossing powder.

I also added some texture to a few of the card bases or mats with embossing folders and stencils.

The printed panel below included such pretty blues and purples I wanted to match them in the sentiment so I stamped with archival dusty concord and faded jeans then, before the ink dried embossed in clear powder.

The card below features rose gold embossing powder; it looks a little darker than expected on this panel, maybe because of the depth of colour in the print.

I really enjoyed pairing sentiments from the C&9 set with my leftover gel prints. I did have some embossing challenges though; I’m just not an embossing champion. Stray powder, over heating, underheating, even when I use a powder tool and preheat the heat tool I still make mistakes. This lot took me all afternoon but I am very happy with them and I’m pleased to have boosted my birthday card stash. Now if I can just remember to send them…

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Hand painted lilacs

I squeezed in a little painting the other day using Sennelier watercolours on cold pressed watercolour paper. I used only three colours, a purple, a green and a pinky purple.

I have a few lilac stamps in my stash which I really enjoy using but I wanted to try my hand at painting them myself. I painted with the stalks pointing up to start with, then at some point turned the panel around to finish it off.

The little sentiment strip is from Taylored Expressions; she has a range of sentiment stamps where you stamp all the phrases in one print then cut them into strips with her co-ordinating die. It is a clever idea. I like the fact that I then have a pile of sentiments to choose from.

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Apricot watercoloured flowers

I have another hand painted watercolour today paired with a sweet little stamp from the new Penny Black set ‘trust me builder’. I used my Sennelier half pan watercolours on Fabraino cold pressed watercolour paper. I am still learning how to arrange elements in my paintings but I know for a random pattern (is that an oxymoron?) it is best to do the largest elements first, then the next biggest and so on, in this panel ending with the small splatters and dots.

Unless you are after a symmetrical design odd numbers of elements are usually more pleasing to the eye so I have three large flowers then three medium sized flowers but I slipped up on the berry clusters, there are four not five and I can see where I should have painted another!

I painted this design on a larger panel and then cropped it to make it look more balanced. I used a rectangle die to choose the part of the panel I wanted but you can do the same with two pieces of ‘L’ shaped cardstock held on opposite sides of a panel and moved to ‘frame’ the design. I popped up my painted panel on foam and my stamped sentiment on one extra piece of cardstock.

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Birthday birdhouses

I hope your garden is full of birds and blooms right now, mine is getting there slowly. If  you are having a birthday during this season, it’s possibly a little different to past celebrations. My birthday is in the dead of winter but I do remember fondly when it was in the height of summer when birds, blooms and strawberries were in abundance!

To create this bright happy card I did some no line watercolour with distress inks. I stamped the PB ‘good neighbors’ outline stamp in antique linen then did all the painting with distress inks smooshed on my glass mat. For fine lines and tiny spaces I used distress markers.

I used cold pressed watercolour paper for this one; I switch back and forth between hot pressed and cold pressed, often choosing hot pressed for the ease of stamping detailed stamps. Once I was finished I decided to pop up the panel on a piece of foam but first I cut the panel with the new love of my card making life, Waffle Flowers ‘additional A2 layers’ dies. I love both their A2 layers dies and additional layers dies the same, no favouritism, in fact the reason I love them is because there are two sets making it possible to mat panels with a ⅛” border. I’m not demonstrating that feature on this card but I will be on future projects. I also love the fact that my rectangle is even and perfect first go. My cutter still does a great job just not sure if my steady hand and eye do the stellar job they once did.

I finished off the card by cutting two banners with one of Penny Black’s triple banner dies, two so it was raised up just a bit, not as much as foam tape would raise it. I stamped a sentiment from banner sentiments on the banner but if you know this set you might realise the stamp doesn’t actually curve that way; let me tell you it does when you snip it in two and arrange it on the door of your misti.

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