Lemon Lush – pencil on kraft

I have a second card featuring the pretty ‘lemon lush’ stamp from Pinkfresh Studio. Last time I used peerless watercolours for a bold, bright look. Today’s white on kraft combo is softer and subtler.

I stamped the large 6″ x 6″ stamp on kraft cardstock in Brutus Monroe alabaster ink then embossed in alabaster powder. I used polychromos pencils to colour all the elements. The whole lemons needed a few shades of yellow and orange but the rest of the design was completed with pairs of inks, two greens, two pinks or two yellows with sometimes the addition of white to soften or brighten.

The sentiment is from the Pinkfresh set ‘floral notes’ embossed in white then cut and framed with the help of my ever-useful Waffle Flower A2 layer dies.

Wishing you a bright and happy day!

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Flower truck…is coming

Not my usual style, you know I don’t often take the cute route (pun intended) but this little truck really appealed to me. As I worked on this card and looked through my dies for flowers I realised I could also turn it into an icecream truck or a pumpkin truck and maybe a postal delivery truck.

My initial plan was to die cut everything from kraft cardstock except for the flowers but once I’d done the truck and flowers I decided to add more colour with a picket fence and some clouds on a bright blue background. I used a blending brush to add ‘brushed corduroy’ distress ink around all the pieces of the truck and ‘mermaid lagoon’ around the blue panel. I’ve listed all the dies below; as you can imagine the fiddliness factor on this card was high but I persevered and the satisfaction factor is also high.

I haven’t added a sentiment but feel that it could be good for many occasions so I will wait and see. I’d be happy to see a truck bursting with flowers in my driveway right about now when everything is covered in snow.

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Moving Alcohol Inks with Air – Video

I’ve had the alcohol inks out recently and spent some time trying to get soft wavy patterns on craft plastic. I have seen several artists who do this technique beautifully but I am very much still a beginner with it. I have a few cards to share today along with a video showing my process for two of the panels. I worked on white craft plastic from Grafix which is heavyweight and totally opaque. For most of the panels featured today I used only two alcohol inks plus plenty of 99% rubbing alcohol; each panel was created with a metallic and a non-metallic ink.

This first panel was made with turquoise AI and gilded alloy AI; I love the range of blues when diluted with rubbing alcohol. The ‘for you’ Penny Black die cut is two layers of turquoise cardstock topped with one layer of pale gold.

This warm toned card was made with honeycomb AI and mined alloy AI then die cut with a WaffleFlower square nesting die. I used the WaffleFlower additional square dies to cut a larger copper square then added the PB ‘light as a feather’ die cut and a PB birthday sentiment embossed in Brutus Monroe penny embossing powder.

You can see the process for both cards above in the video below.

As I am working on alcohol ink panels I am evaluating my process and working out what I want to try next. I just bought a cheap lazy susan to work on the blown flowers and I’m pretty sure I don’t need to use as much coloured ink when I make the initial drops. You can be sure I will let you know what I discover.

I have a couple more cards made off camera using the same technique shown in the video. The card above features juniper AI and statue alloy AI with the PB ‘many thanks’ die cut from antique gold cardstock and stacked twice.

When this panel was finished it reminded me of photos of the artic and far north where the icebergs and glaciers are made up of beautiful shades of blue. It’s kind of a cross section perspective where we can see below and above the ice the bears are walking on. I did use two blue inks plus a silver for this one, ranger turquoise and stream with pinata silver. The bear die is ‘polar bears’ from Penny Black.

We’ve been watching Cecilia Blomdahl’s youtube channel about her life on Svalbard, an island off the north coast of Norway. She lives in the world’s northern most town. Polar bears are definitely around so you don’t wander outside the village without your weapon!

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Woolly Wishes

This is the first knitting project I have done in years! I keep meaning to pull out some needles and wool to see if it hurts my hands to knit. I have a little stash of wool and plenty of different sized needles and I used to knit while watching tv. My last project was never finished then my hands became quite sore so I haven’t tried again.

When I first saw this Darkroom Door knitting stamp I couldn’t believe how realistic it looked when stamped and coloured. I stamped with versamark and embossed in clear powder on hot pressed watercolour paper for both cards. On the panel above I used Karin brushmarkers (amber, lilac, violet blue, magenta) to colour random shapes over the panel just like you get when you knit multicoloured yarn. I spritzed lighlly over the panel with water to get the colours to blend just a little.

I knew just the dies to use to complete the card. Penny Black has a set of looped frame dies which look a little like knitting stitches and the PB warmest wishes die is made of small curly letters that look like loops of wool. I cut both from purple cardstock with double sided adhesive on the back.

The second card features a simple pattern painted over the embossing with nautical blue and cottage ivy memento inks smooshed on my glass mat. I wanted to do a fancy snowflake pattern but decided I should start with something simple. Just as well as I missed a whole line of the pattern I was trying to do. This time I matted the panel with dark blue cardstock and stacked three layers of the ‘hello’ from the Penny Black ‘doodles’ die set which also looks a bit like yarn.

I had to make the knitting panel smaller to fit on the matching piece of blue cardstock so I re-cut it with the WaffleFlower A2 layer dies and saved the slim outline to glue inside the card. I will definitely be playing with the DD knitting stamp again because I want to colour a fancy fairisle type pattern. It will also show up in a small role on a card coming up later in the month.

I am happy to be back blogging again after my short break; I’ve missed chatting with you. I wish I could say I achieved all my planning and preparation goals but that is far from the truth. I think maybe my expectations were set a bit too high! Today’s cards feature the knitting stamp that had been sitting waiting patiently for some ink for months. I could have continued to stamp and play this image for days but I limited myself to one day so I could move onto other things. Is your year off to a good start, have you had some creative time already?

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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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