Floral Background

I don’t know how many of you follow Laura Bassen’s blog or youtube channel but if you do you will know where today’s inspiration came from. Nine times out of ten you will find her blending, stamping, painting or piecing a rainbow on her cards. I rarely include the whole spectrum on my cards; I’ll blend from pink to blue or blue to green or yellow to pink but not too many rainbows. I decided this full background stamp from The Stamp Market was a good place to start.

I embossed the whole design on hot pressed watercolour paper using my misti and a sticky grid. Sticky grids are so useful with a large stamp and panel. The grid kept the watercolour paper in place while I stamped with versamark three times. The stamp is large and detailed so I wanted to make sure I got a really good impression, hence the three applications of versamark. I embossed in clear then taped the panel to my glass mat and swiped distress stains across the panel in rainbow order, light to darkest. I still have quite a few distress stain daubers so I used them but you could paint distress stain or reinker across your panel with a paint brush instead of using daubers. I spritzed the panel after I’d applied all the colours and used a paintbrush to blend between colours in a few places. I decided not to dry it with a heat tool because I didn’t want to push any of the stain around the panel, instead I let it air dry and polished stain off the embossing later with a paper towel.

While I had the stamp and stains out I did the negative of the first card and swiped the stains across the stamp before spritzing a little water to start the blending process. I used the MISTI to press the stamp down on my hot pressed watercolour paper and could see through the transparent stamp where the blending was happening.

Another technique I haven’t used before is the layered shadow die sentiment. I haven’t had any shadow dies but the Foiled Fox sent me this one and I did a black on white and a white on black to make the sentiments stand out on both colourful backgrounds. I added double sided adhesive sheets to both black and white cardstocks before die cutting to make it easier to attach the sentiments to the cards.

Hope you are having a colourful day!

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Dreams of love

I think you can guess where this sweet floral came from. Penny Black has a new release, ‘Full Bloom’ and this is just one of the beauties I have to show you. As I often do with brushstroke stamps I pulled out distress inks for my first play with this stamp. I used three purple inks, milled lavender, seedless preserves and dusty concord to create variegated petals on this large flower. For the leaves I used a mix of peeled paint, forest moss and bundled sage. I would understand if you wondered whether I ever use any of the other greens, those three are definitely the first ones I reach for!

I used a stamp positioner and hot pressed watercolour paper and started by stamping the whole flower (but not the leaves) in milled lavender distress ink. On a stamp like this one it is sometimes hard to differentiate between petals and leaves when looking at the red rubber side of the stamp. I find it helpful to stamp it on scrap paper in a medium to dark ink as a reference. When doing partial inking as I did for this card, I ink all the petals then wipe off any ink that ended up on the leaves with a cloth or wet wipe. After stamping in milled lavender I inked the petals again, this time in seedless preserves ink and I did not cover all the petals. I gave the stamp a light spritz of water so the ink would blend when it layered over the previous stamping. Finally I inked it again in dusty concord keeping the ink concentrated around the centre of the flower not the edges. I then used a paintbrush and some water to blend the colours on each petal one at a time. To further define the petals I pressed the ink pads onto my glass mat so I could pick up ink with my paintbrush and add it to the edges or any areas where I wanted a strong shadow. I dried the panel before carefully inking the anthers with a black marker, unlike the rest of the image I wanted them sharp and defined rather than soft and blended. I also added distress stain drops and water drops while the panel was dry.

With the petals all finished I switched to the leaves and inked them with peeled paint and forest moss ink then blended them with water after stamping. I added a few more leaves of the same style using a stamp from the ‘Xmas sprig’ stamp set. To add them in I cut a rough post it note mask and positioned it over the petal edge before stamping the sprig in bundled sage and peeled paint inks.

To finish the card I die-cut the panel using the square from the PB ‘stitched square & circles’ die set and clear embossed a sentiment from PB ‘special sentiments’ in black ink. I framed the floral panel with a script stamped panel which I embossed with Ranger weathered white embossing powder. I have not had success with this embossing powder until now, totally user error by the way, there is nothing wrong with the product! The embossing powder is called ‘weathered white’ for a reason, when you emboss with it the effect is not glossy and it is not even. It is, as the name suggests, weathered! For a large background area like this script panel it adds texture and subtle colour. The card is quite large and fits into a 6″ square envelope. I inked the stamp in milled lavender and bundled sage ink to stamp a pale image inside the card and used the same inks to stamp the ‘sprig’ on the envelope.

I’m looking forward to inking this stamp again with different colours schemes and maybe a looser watercolour look.

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Shimmer poppies

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!

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Loose watercolour florals video

I have a video for you today showing my process in making this simple floral card with a loose watercolour look. The foliage is from the Altenew set ‘leaf canopy’ and the flowers are from the Concord & 9th set ‘fine line florals’ (the same set I featured in a journal page last week). The flower stamp is very detailed with fine lines covering the whole stamp. Because I wanted a loose watercolour look I spritzed water on the inked stamp which meant I lost most of thefine lines. I do like the way a few of them remained giving the petals a slightly transparent look.


I tried the ink, spritz and stamp method a few times before creating this panel because it was easy to add too much water and end up with a splodge rather than a flower. The experiments only took a little time and a few pieces of watercolour paper so definitely not a waste.

In this close up you can see some of the texture of the cold pressed watercolour paper. Although I often use hot pressed I still reach for cold pressed at times because the rough texture adds interest particularly when using solid or semi solid stamps like these ones.

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Unfolding

Like many card makers I have numerous boards on Pinterest filled with inspiration for future art and cards. I opened one such board yesterday looking for inspiration and decided to have all my flowers and foliage along the top of the card hanging down, then empty space below. I did all the painting with the flowers upside down but when I had finished it didn’t make sense to have the flowers upside down at all so here they are right side up.

Working on cold pressed watercolour paper I stamped the PB ‘unfolding’ stamp twice which involved masking a flower head in the middle of the panel so I could overlap the flowers. I inked the flowers with wilted violet and seedless preserves distress inks and the stems in bundled sage then blended all the stamping with a little water and a small paintbrush. I wanted extra colour in the petals so I pressed all three stamp pads on my glass mat so I could pick up ink for painting.

Once I had painted all the flowers I realised I would need a mask for each one so I could stamp background foliage. It didn’t take too much time to stamp and cut masks of the flower heads, I didn’t worry about masking the leaves. The foliage is PB ‘trees in bud’ stamped in iced spruce distress ink and the splatter is bundled sage. To finish the card I add a sentiment from the handy PB set, ‘banner sentiments’ in versafine clair morning mist and popped up the whole panel on foam over a hot pressed watercolour paper card base. Sometimes I want a frame around a panel but nothing as bold as a coloured mat would be so I pop the panel up creating what I call a ‘shadow frame’ simply because the small distance between panel and card base casts a subtle shadow.

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Fine floral journal page

I’ve been experimenting in my journal again featuring some new and old stamps from Concord & 9th. Once again I had an idea in my head and although this does not look like my original idea, I’m very happy with the vibrant look of the massed flowers. I haven’t put any words on this page yet and possibly wont. Now if you are not an art journal type of person, hang in there, I have cards made with the new ‘fine line florals’ set coming over the next few weeks.

As I mentioned last time a couple of my journals do not have watercolour pages, this one is drawing paper. Sometimes I paint my pages with gesso or absorbant ground before I start or glue other papers to the page. I’ve also glued two pages together a few times to make sure liquids don’t soak through the page. The glued pages are very bulky and bumpy though so I don’t think I’ll keep that up. With this page I wanted to see if I could add watercolouring to an untreated page without it soaking through, breaking down the page or seeping outside the stamped images. Even though I love watercolouring with distress inks or stains I thought they might be too wet. I decided instead to used inktense pencils as I hoped to get vibrant colour with limited water.  I tried picking up colour from the pencil lead with a wet brush and painting it into my stamped images as well as colouring the image with the pencil then adding the water over the top. I preferred the look of the former method. When I coloured directly on the page it was more likely that I would end up with shading lines or the colour would seep outside the stamping once I added water. I did get some paint soaking through the next page of the journal so I’ll cover that up with my next spread.

The big flowers are part of a large multiflower stamp from the new C&9 set, fine line florals. I stamped it three times on my journal double page but the page doesn’t sit flat so I was not able to get perfect prints. I was using the fiskars stamp press on the flatter right hand page but used my hand to press the stamp on the bumpy left hand page and tried to do the stamping across the centre of the two pages in two steps while masking the left then right. I kept going even with my patchy stamping and used micron pens to add in missing lines and trace over the pale stamping. I wondered whether the lines I added would be obvious but once all the colour was added it was hard to tell the difference between the stamped and the hand drawn outlines.

The other stamps in my floral explosion are a feather from the C&9 ‘feathered’ set and leaves, flowers and little sprays from the C&9 ‘songbird’ set. I did several layers of colour on the large flowers, letting it dry after each one but just one layer on the leaves, little flowers and feathers. The dots were distress inks sponged through a homemade die cut vellum stencil made with C&9 ‘dots and hearts’ die.

I also did quite a bit of splattering by flicking a wet brush across the lead of the inktense pencils. I added black outlines as I did the watercolouring but when all the painting was finished I went over the centre of the flowers drawing little circle centres with the micron pens and adding little white dots here and there with a white gel pen. To frame the spread I drew a squiggly frame with in black then added some black soot distress stain splatter here and there.

I had fun with this spread and learnt a few things along the way. Hope you are having a great day; thanks for spending some of it here on my blog.

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He is risen

 

He is risen indeed. Jesus came to earth; he gave his life and he rose from the dead. It was because of his great love for us.

Although much snow has disappeared this week there are not many signs of life in my garden, definitely no tulips yet. I will look forward to the real ones while I create gardens with the stamped ones! Here in Ottawa we enjoy the Tulip Festival each May and in Canberra where I lived for many years, Floriade is held each September. Both festivals feature massed flowers some in blocks of colour, others mixed like confetti. It was the blocks of coloured tulips that inspired this card. I’ve added a photo from each festival below.

I began by taping hot pressed watercolour paper to my glass mat and spritzing water over the whole panel. First I stamped the yellow tulips from MFT’s ‘painted prints’ set in Catherine Pooler’s shea butter ink. Because the paper was wet the ink bled into the surrounding area but still hinted at tulips shapes especially when I stamped the second layer of the tulip in the same colour. I chose a different tulip and stamped a row in CP bellini ink underneath and finally CP ‘rockin robin’ ink for the foreground row. The paper was slowly drying as I did this so the foreground tulips, stems and leaves were more distinct than the background (first) ones.

I die cut my words from the painted panel and popped them up on three layers of die-cut white cardstock letters. I put stick-it adhesive on the back of the cardstock before I cut all my little letters but forgot to put it on the back of the painted panel so I used a Lawn Fawn glue pen. The marvy jewel picker also came in handy as did some teeny tweezers; fiddly jobs like small stacked die cut letters tend to take me a while but I am finding it easier using tools rather than fumbling with my fingers. Jennifer McGuire did a fabulous video with stacked letters a couple of weeks ago and referred to this technique as the ‘eclipse’ technique. I think that sounds rather classy and clever so I will now use that terminology too.

Here is the real thing, above in Canberra, below in Ottawa.

Hope you have a blessed Easter.

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