Birdhouse Blessings

This delightful scene is called ‘birdhouse blessings’ and it makes me want to have birdhouses and bird feeders scattered across my backyard. A few days ago my husband and I were doing what may well be our final outdoor workout of the year and watched chickadees and a cardinal flit back and forth from tree to hedge.

I worked on a hot pressed watercolour panel which I’d splattered with masking fluid (as per usual). I only just got my hands on some speckled egg distress ink and stain so that’s what I used for the background colour. It is a lovely colour and I’m very happy with the inky background. I smooshed ink on my glass mat, diluted it then swiped the panel through it to pick up colour.

I stamped the large stamp in antique linen then did some no-line watercolour with Sennelier watercolour paints. While painting those little leaves and berries I did wonder if I should have chosen watercolour markers instead of paint brush and paints but I was already committed, so me and my very small paint brush kept on painting. When I finished painting all the elements I used speckled egg distress stain to darken the edges of the panel and frame the little scene. When I removed the masking fluid there were pretty little snowflakes over the whole panel.

I painted the little star in gold and debated whether I would add a gold frame as well. Decided in the end I liked it just the way it was. (psst a little bird wants to tell you ‘Winter Wonder’ is coming!)

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Books & Tea

Ever since I created a ‘what should I read next?‘ art journal page I’ve been wanting to do a similar design on a card featuring the Darkroom Door ‘mini book’ and ‘book spines’ stamps. This time a teacup joined the party.

What is more delightful than a cup of tea and a good book? Maybe a cup of tea with another book lover?

I stamped the book spines stamp three times in hickory smoke archival ink on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper (which had been splattered with masking fluid). I set out both my Sennelier watercolour paint palette and a Finetec pearlescent set to paint the books. I mainly used the Sennelier paints but added drops and swipes of pearlescent paints here and there for interest.

Once the paints dried I used a handful of gel pens to add decoration to the book spines. I decided not to add titles (there is other pressing work to be done after all) just patterns. I removed the masking fluid, blended tea dye and vintage photo ink around the edges then splattered some vintage photo ink over the panel.

The mini book is stamped in versafine vintage sepia and then stamped with a script stamp from the DD ‘correspondence’ set and a sentiment stamp from DD ‘classic motorcycles’. The teacup from DD ‘cup of tea’ set is embossed in gold powder then painted a pale rose. I fussy cut both the book and the cup (I know – I’m surprised too). The book panel is matted in cream then attached to a grey luxe card base. I attached the mini book and teacup to hang over the edges of the panel ever so slightly.

Right now I would love to curl up on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea but I am editing my next online class! I am very excited to get it finished for you as it has a seasonal theme which might interest you right about now.

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Cozy Cabin video

This cute cabib is another new stamp from Penny Black; the set is called ‘Cozy Cabin’ and it includes this tree shadowed cabin plus an extra tree not shown on this card. Once again I enjoyed bringing this scene to life with splattered masking fluid and distress inks.

I used a stamp, paint, stamp, paint process to build up the colour and definition of the cabin. I had my glass mat at hand so I could smoosh inks then pick up colour with a paintbrush.

When we go cross country skiing in Gatineau Park we come across cabins that look a little like this. There are several scattered across the park for the use of skiers, complete with a wood stove, tables and benches so we can warm up, eat our snacks, and rest a little before heading back out in the snow.

I’m in no hurry for the snow to come but I do have new skis and boots after years of hand-me-downs so the pressure will be on this year to make good use of them!

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Winter Window

Sometimes I get inspired by the detailed and delicate foliage dies from Penny Black. The new ‘juniper’ die set got me started for this design along with a navy panel of cardstock splattered with white paint.

I gathered other dies to combine into a winter window scene. I could have chosen brighter reds and greens but I am in a muted vintage style phase right now so forest green and burgandy were my picks for the juniper and berries. All the dies are listed below; I picked from a few sets and added double sided adhesive to all the cardstock before die cutting. The window die is designed to open but I chose the adhesive backing so it would be stuck down firmly to keep the snow outside and the candle from blowing out!

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Masked Snowscape

I teamed up with Grafix to create some videos this year. My first project was very definitely a summer scene, but this one, as you can see is not! We have had a few snowfalls already but currently are enjoying a reprieve and a few really nice mild days. Grafix makes a wide range of art plastics and films; I used their extra tack frisket film to mask the snowbanks and moon on this card and splattered Grafix liquid frisket to create the falling snow.

I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper and painted the sky and shadows with Sennelier watercolours. The trees and deer are stamped with the ever useful versafine clair nocturne ink. The video below shows my whole process.

If you are keen to create cards featuring the beauty of a northern winter I am working very hard on a new project that might interest you. Can’t wait to share more soon.

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Wreath & Wings

I’ve combined a new PB stamp, ‘wreath & wings’ with a new PB die, ‘mirthful’ for simple elegant style Christmas card.

I used distress inks and markers to ink the wreath elements and birds, keeping the stamp in the positioner so I could work a bit at a time. I inked the stamp, stamped the image then did a bit of blending with a paintbrush to fill the leaves, berries and birds.

I used a gold gel pen to colour some of the berries then continued the gold highlights in the die cut word. The die has decorative diamond cut outs so I cut gold ones to add to the burgandy letters and framed the panel in the same burgandy cardstock.

For the second card I decided to use the curve of the wreath as a hanging garland. Using a centering ruler to help me with positioning I stamped half the wreath on the centre top edge of the watercolour panel, then stamped another part loop either side.

Once again I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper so I could blend the ink on the leaves. I used ocean coliro pearlescent paint on some of the leaves and berries for a little shimmer.

I wrote the sentiment for this one using the darkest blue marker from the Staedtler watercolour 36 brush pen set and matted the panel in a dark blue cardstock.

Even though I don’t like to over do my designs I’m wondering if the blue card is a bit sparsely decorated. What do you think?

Burgandy Card Supplies

Blue Card Supplies

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Season’s Tweetings video

This sweet bird on a branch is a single stamp from the new Penny Black release ‘Season of Hope’. The stamp is called ‘season’s tweetings’ and I used it here to create both the bokeh background and the foreground watercoloured image. I filmed my process so you’ll see how I use the same blending technique to build up colour on the leaves and just a few tones to paint the little bird. (the video might look familiar to you if you have a membership with Penny Black)

We have a few centimetres of snow on the ground this morning so this sort of scene is becoming way more likely!

Thanks for dropping by today, I will be back with more of the PB new release over the coming weeks.

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Daisy & Dahlia

This bunch of flowers is a single large stamp from the Colorado Craft Company and I’m over on the Foiled Fox blog today describing how it inspired me. It’s called ‘daisy & dahlia’ and it is from the ‘big and bold’ collection.

For this square card I chose autumn tones, because despite that sprinkle of snow we had last week it is definitely still autumn. I used Papertrey ink cubes which are very juicy and blend well with water after they’re stamped on watercolour paper.

I used one of the inks from the floral panel to stamp a bold birthday square with one of the stamps from Concord & 9th’s ‘all the birthdays’ set.

On my second card I used a similar colour scheme but threw in the contrast of purple paint. I embossed the stamp on a rectangular panel with platinum embossing powder then sprinkled four different colours of brusho powder strategically on the panel.

If you have used brusho powders at all you will know you can’t really be very strategic; it goes where ere it will! I still ended up with a red flower, an orange flower and a purple flower but my favourite bits are the ends of the petals that ended up multicoloured.

Once again I chose stamps from the C&9 ‘all the birthdays’ set to create a purple sentiment band trimmed in quartz shimmer cardstock.

An idea I have yet to try with this big beauty is to stamp it in one colour to highlight the detail of the design. Make sure you pop over to The Foiled Fox for more details and tips on these cards and techniques.

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Seashells Filmstrip

Before you wonder why a seashell card has popped up right after a snow covered bell card remember that not everyone is heading into winter right now. I can wistfully look at these seashells and wish I was entering an Australian summer and that wistfulness would not just be about the weather! Speaking of Australia, this stamp is from Darkroom Door and is one of their new filmstrip stamps.

I used a stamp positioner to stamp the filmstrip edge to edge moving my panel up or down each time to feature a different portion of the stamp. I used five different inks to ink the stamp fairly randomly then spritzed it before stamping so the inks were already moving. I continued blending the colours with a paintbrush on the watercolour paper panel.

You can see some shells are more sharply defined than others which corresponds to how much water I added before and after stamping. I stamped a sentiment from the DD sentiment strip – friendship stamp. I have kept the stamp as one long strip (I think many people have done so), so I can stamp them all at once or stamp a section and cut out the one I want. In this case I stamped a section, cut out the sentiment I was after then ripped one edge and coloured the tear with wild honey distress ink.

I have a shell collection which sits untouched in a box for years at a time and then an occasion like this arises and I open the box and remember how delighted I always am when walking on a beach looking for shells.

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Bell & Berries

Over the summer I kept reaching for the blues and greens; they were refreshing in the hot weather. It appears that my fascination with them is continuing into the winter! I created this wintry panel with the Penny Black ‘bell & berries stamp and the versatile PB ‘fragile beauty’ set.

When I started this panel by stamping only the branch section of the stamp at the very top I chose only blue, grey and green inks. Choosing green over red for the berries helped to create a fresh frosty look. After stamping only the top branch I repositioned the stamp and stamped the whole image then finally a bit more branch on the right hand side. The extra twigs were added in dark blue.

I inked the leaves with papertrey ‘enchanted evening’, a dark blue and ‘stormy sea’, a grey blue. I used the olive toned ‘prairie grass’ for the berries. When I spritzed the stamp before stamping on the hot pressed watercolour paper the inks began to blend. I did further blending on the paper with a paint brush and water but didn’t blend every part of the image, some leaves and berries I kept unblended to show the texture of the paper and stamp.

The paper had spots of masking fluid splattered over it before I began which caused the white dots you see in the finished panel.

I stamped the bell in a mix of stormy sea and true black ink and also added ‘blue silver’ pearlescent paint from the Coliro ‘ocean’ set so there is a shimmer to it in real life.

I used a piece of dark blue cardstock for a card base then stamped the ‘bell & berries’ on both an insert panel and the envelope.

I woke up to the frosty look of fresh snow on autumn leaves this morning; it’s pretty but it can go now!

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