Rustic Wreath

When I am designing classes, both online and in-person it can take many days and many samples before I settle on a collection of projects. This card is one that did not end up in a class but I love the rustic textured look of it.

I used two circle dies to cut a kraft ring as the base of my wreath. I stamped the background with the Darkroom Door ‘woodgrain’ stamp and a few brown inks. To create the holly leaves and berries I painted a few strips of watercolour paper with greens and also a strip of red then hand cut the leaves and punched out the berries. To fill out the wreath I used some Penny Black die cut twigs and berries in brown and gold.

The sentiment is from Taylored Expressions; I used the very handy stamp and die sentiment strips combo. My daughter joined me on Monday afternoon and we had fun decking the tree and living area. I now have a decorated wreath hanging over my fire place and greenery hanging either side of the front door.

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Christmas baubles

Here are a few more cards made from patterned panels I had sitting around. The panels were very pretty experiments using brusho, paint poring and alcohol inks but at the time I made them I didn’t have a plan for them. Last week they came into their own when paired with Penny Black dies and a few of my favourite embossing folders.

The background above is from an acrylic paint pouring day I had with a friend. The result looked like peacock feathers but works well as a northern night sky too.

The purple panels above and below right were brusho & cling wrap on photo paper another technique taught to me by a friend.

The blue background below is alcohol ink; you probably recognise the patterns made possible with just one or two colours plus some isopropyl alcohol.

The dies are listed below and the embossing folders are a mix of currrent and retired. Above is ‘weathered’ from Taylored Expressions. The tiny squares folder is a retired Spellbinders one (SEL 006), the woodgrain is Tim Holtz/Sizzix also retired but there are plenty of new options around. The Tim Holtz/Sizzix Snowfall fade folder at the top of the page is still available and I often reach for it.

I enjoyed using some scraps and samples that were too pretty to throw away to make simple but unique Christmas cards. I think I almost have enough for this year so I will start next year’s stack early!

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Nestled in Winter

Although I see the beautiful contrast of foliage and snow outside I am not seeing many birds on the feeder right now. Instead I have placed a very cute robin in amongst the wintery Christmas foliage of an art journal page.

This isn’t just any art journal page; this spread is in a new journal I have been using for the last few months as I schemed and dreamed up a new in-person class for 2022. It isn’t just a class it’s an Art Journal Adventure.

To create this double page spread in the Dina Wakley 6″x6″ mixed media journal I used acrylic paints, distress spray and some ‘easy to find around the home’ texture tools. All the die cuts are from Penny Black and are listed below.

To keep things within an acceptable level of fiddliness I die cut all the foliage from coloured cardstock and painted only the the little bird. To see more of my ideas in a promo for the upcoming class watch the video below.

I know this is an in-person (in Ottawa) class which excludes quite a few of you but if you are interested in seeing something like this in an online version please let me know in the comments.

If you have hints for attracting birds in winter please let me know. I imagine it has a bit to do with being consistent in keeping the feeder stocked before winter and maybe something to do with keeping the chipmunks and squirrels off it too!

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Trees on Alcohol Ink backgrounds

Today’s additions to the Christmas card stack are on alcohol ink backgrounds. If you have been visiting my blog for a while you will have seen the backgrounds before. I posted the panels back in June and asked you all for your thoughts on how to use them. Some of you suggested adding a quote or verse, others thought they would be good as backgrounds for cards. I liked both ideas but have chosen to cut up two of the panels for cards.

The backgrounds on the three cards above are all from one panel; I popped them up on the card base and added trees. As there was gilded alloy alcohol ink on the original design I cut the centre of the modern trees from gold shimmer cardstock.

The backgrounds on the two cards below are cut from another panel. You can see where they joined up originally.

All the die-cut elements are neenah solar white cardstock (and the shimmer gold) and the card bases are also neenah solar white. This is as close to mass production as I get, same basic design but some variety within the backgrounds and added elements.

I thought about adding sentiments, just little ones below the panels but decided I liked them plain and simple. I’ll add a sentiment inside and hopefully they’ll be written and posted this week!

There are a few more alcohol ink pieces plus some paint pour scraps that have become backgrounds for die-cuts. They are still in process on my work table so you’ll see them soon.

Have a great day!

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Watercolour Whale

I don’t make many cards for children so I’m sometimes at a loss for the right theme. The whimsical and beautiful animal stamps from Pink Ink Designs have helped me out several times, and not just for children. This one, simply titled ‘whale’ from their nautical series is lovely to paint or colour. Last time I used it I coloured with Faber-Castell polychromos pencils on kraft cardstock.

For this card I embossed with Brutus Monroe sterling embossing powder on hot pressed watercolour paper then painted with Sennelier watercolour paints. I painted the water first with a mix of blues, then the whale with my darkest blue mixed with some Paynes grey to darken it even further.

I’ve only seen whales up close once and that was not very close. My family went on a whale watching boat off the coast of Grand Manan Island and saw only a few whales but a beautiful sunset. My brother and sister-in-law see them regularly from their balcony!

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2021 BuJo – December theme

I didn’t have a lot of time to spend setting up my December pages; I can’t even believe it is December honestly. It’s a busy week but I had a snowflake idea for the theme and a bit of a plan which you can see did not happen at all. But that is ok because I can save my snowflake plan for January or February or March or Ap…….

After creating the large panel for my recent stack of PB ‘delicate pines’ Christmas cards the stamp set was still on my table along with its buddy the PB ‘brilliance’ stamp set. I decided to use them together for some festive foliage. I used a mix of distress greens and blue along with a red marker for the berries and a white gel pen for the frost.

I reused a frisket film mask which I saved after creating October’s title page and stamped foliage from both PB ‘brilliance’ and ‘delicate pines’ sets. I blended over the stamping with prize ribbon distress ink then dotted white around the circle and on top of the red berries.

The to-do page and the calendar page have simple foliage stamping and some lettering with Pentel Flair pens.

I have used masking in quite a few of my pages this year; I might need to come up with a new favourite technique for next year. I hope your December is off to a good start. Because I can’t believe it is December I have a discount code for the Floral Faves classWinter Wonder class and the Colour Clues class. If you use HTDEC you will get 20% off. If you are interested in giving an online class as a gift please get in touch so I can help you make it happen.

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Delicate Pines – 9 Ways!

Welcome to a long post with quite a few photos!

When I last counted up the names on my Christmas card list and the number of cards I have completed the two numbers were not close to matching. I decided a quick way to grow the stack of cards would be to stamp a big panel then slice it up to make several cards.

Turns out this idea was not all that quick. It took a while to make these cards because although they are from the same stamped panel, they are still all different. The photo above shows the original panel stamped with Penny Black’s new ‘delicate pines’ set of 3 stamps and two Catherine Pooler inks. After the stamping I added ink splatter then gold paint splatter.

I kept the deckle edge on the 11″x14″ cold pressed watercolour panel and sliced up the panel lengthwise first. A,B & C are all 4¼” wide, D,E & F are all 4″ wide which left G,H & I all 2¾” wide. Below are all the finished cards. I used some pale gold, Bazzill avocado green and kraft cardstocks for the die cuts and framing. I used versafine clair rainforest ink to add sentiments and some linen twine here and there. All the cards are shown below with the size of the stamped panel portion included underneath (all the finished cards are 4¼”x 5½”)

A. 4¼ x 4½

B. 4¼ x 5½

C. 4¼ x 4⅛

D. 4 x 5¼

E. 4 x 5¼

F. 4 x 3½

G. 2¾ x 4¼

H. 2¾ x 4¼

I. 2¾ x 5½

The finished cards above are in the places that correspond to the labelled photo up at the beginning of the post. I had them laid out on a cutting mat on the floor beside me as I put them all together so I didn’t get them mixed up. I wanted you to see how I used each size in a different way.

I hope you find some inspiration from these cards. Remember that three of my online classes are on sale until the end of November. Use the code HTNOV to get a 25% discount on the Floral Faves classWinter Wonder class and the Colour Clues class.

The stores I have affiliate links with are also having sales right now (isn’t everyone?) I have put the links in the right hand side bar of the blog for easy access. Just click on the store name and start shopping!

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Winter Blooms

I am happy to be a guest on the Foiled Fox blog today so I hope you will pop over there and check out all the inspiration they share. I am also happy to tell you they are having a Friday – Monday sale, all the more reason to visit!

This lovely new floral arrangement from Penny Black is called ‘winter blooms’. I think the blooms are Helleborus; when I looked them up I discovered they come in many colours including pinks, reds and purples. I chose to stamp with juicy Catherine Pooler inks then blend the ink to fill the petals and leaves.

I inked all the elements except the dark centres before doing any stamping. To ink the petals and the leaves without getting ink in the wrong places I press the ink pad on the stamp then wipe the areas that don’t need that colour then do the next colour. Occasionally I end up with colours mixing or spaces with no ink. Neither of those issues cause a problem because when I spritz the stamp the inks move and dilute a little.

Once I had stamped I used water and sometimes extra ink to fill all the elements. I dried the panel before stamping the centres with dark brown ink (applied with a distress marker). I dried the panel again before blending ink over a post-it note mask to create a background and ground the vase. I added a sentiment from PB ‘festive snippets’ set stamped in both shady lane and rainforest versafine clair inks; sometimes I stamp one ink over another to match a colour in my design. As I look at these photos I notice I did not paint a shadow underneath the vase. I think I meant to…

Make sure you visit The Foiled Fox blog and store and use the code JOY2021 for a 15% discount at check out.

Three of my online classes are also on sale until the end of November. Use the code HTNOV to get a 25% discount on the Floral Faves classWinter Wonder class and the Colour Clues class. Have a delightful weekend.

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Quick inky sky

I’ve made many of these snowy scenes over the years but this was one of the quickest because the scene is all in one stamp. I already had a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper splattered with masking fluid, so that also cut out some time.

I stamped the PB ‘gorgeous grove’ stamp in versafine clair morning mist ink which I think I like better than black when the sky is not very dark. After stamping I added a frisket film circle mask which I did not seal perfectly but that’s ok; there’s a bit of cloud cover creeping over the moon.

I didn’t want to spend too much time choosing colours so I just pulled out three of the newest distress inks. I’m still experimenting with the new colours so I started by painting salvaged patina around the moon then blending it with water to fill the top half of the panel above the horizon. Next I added prize ribbon ink just about everywhere and then some dabs of kitsch flamingo. I would not normally use these three colours together but it worked as distress blends often do. Once the sky was painted I dried the panel before using the same inks to paint shadows in the foreground and behind the snowy hill. The words are from PB ‘Christmas sentiments’ set stamped in morning mist to match the trees.

By the way I have a little sale going on over at my online classes site. If you use the code HTNOV you can get a 25% discount on the Floral Faves class, Winter Wonder class and the Colour Clues class.

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Let Heaven and Nature Sing

This sweet bird is one of four in the Penny Black set ‘Nature Sings’. It is my plan to make a similar card with all four birds. I returned to a very clean and simple style for this one utilising some masking, blending and watercolour.

I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper because I knew I would watercolour the bird. Before stamping I tore a post-it note mask and lay it across the panel then blended speckled egg ink above it. I stamped the bird in soft stone papertrey ink then watercoloured with a few distress inks. The colours are listed below. The bird was floating in mid air so I drew a branch with a watercolour pencil then painted it with distress inks so he would have somewhere to perch. At this point I added a second area of masked blending to the background.

To finish off I stamped one of the sentiments from the same set in fallen leaves versafine clair ink. It just so happens that the CAS Christmas Card challenge this month is Christmas Critters so I am in!

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