Carved flower sunset

I tried out a few new products yesterday and ended up with these two cards featuring the Darkroom Door carved flower set. I coloured both cards with distress oxide inks. For this first one I smushed the oxide inks on my glass mat, added some water then painted a graduated wash going from yellow to brown. Oxide inks are designed to react with water so the diluted wash I painted on the card had a muted looked to it when it dried. I wanted to add a pale sun and some stenciled diamonds so I used my new ‘Wendy Vecchi Stay-tion’. It is a magnetic surface which is well suited to stenciling. There are four magnets to hold the stencil firmly over the paper while adding a medium through the stencil. I used it first to hold the DD circle stencil over the panel while I diluted the exposed circle with water and dabbed colour away with a paper towel. I then used the magnets and board to hold the diamond stencil while I sponged some oxide ink onto the background. I splattered some water over the panel then stamped the carved flowers and carved leaves in black archival ink.

Instead of painting a wash with diluted oxide ink for the second card I blended oxide inks over the whole panel which I had added a circle mask to before I started. Once again I used the magnets and board to keep the panel in place while I blended the inks and while I dabbed out some colour through the diamond stencil. Even though the two cards look similar the techniques were a bit different; you can see the oxide ink applied with a blending brush is smoother than the painted panel. Oxides really do blend well. I used the make up blending brushes my children gave me for mothers’ day. They are not life changing but they did do a very good job 😉

Once again I stamped carved flowers and wildflowers in jet black archival ink using the misti.

In keeping with the solid black flowers I chose to emboss sentiments on black cardstock in rose gold powder hoping it would look a bit coppery like the sunset. It did. The sentiments are from the DD ‘thank you’ sentiment strip stamped then cut out with the Avery Elle sentiment strip dies and popped up on black foam tape. The black tape is handy when the card base or element needing the tape is black or a dark colour.

It was my first time trying the Wendy Vecchi ‘stay-tion’ and I found it very useful. The magnets held the stencils and paper in place and it cleaned up easily. I am sure I will be using it often.

Don’t forget to check out the ‘Color Trio Challenge’ I am hosting with the Foiled Fox. I would love to see your three colour cards and give you the chance to win a shopping spree at the Foiled Fox store!

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Watercolour on coloured paper

I came across some interesting paper at Art Noise when I was in Kingston on the weekend. It is called canal paper and is made by Paperterie St. Armand in Montreal. The pad of paper I bought has six different colours, all made from cotton rag; the fibres are left from clothing company offcuts. There is no bleaching or dyeing, the colour of the papers is from the colour of the cotton fabrics.

The paper is not the only new thing I tried out on these cards. I also have some delicious new Sennelier watercolours. I was interested to see how they looked on the coloured paper and also how the paper held up to a watercolour wash.

These cards are one layer making use of the natural deckled edge on one edge of the paper pad. I scored the paper then taped it to my glass mat, lining up the frog tape with the grid on my mat to create a masked panel in the centre of the card front. I used three colours of paint on each card and matching envelopes. I was impressed that no paint seeped under the edge of the tape so I had crisp edges to my watercolour panels.

I stamped the new line art stamps from Penny Black with Ranger archival inks and was very happy with the crisp prints on the paper, I thought there might be a bit of bleed as the paper has quite a soft surface but the stamping was crisp and there was no bleed through with the watercolour washes. For the two cards above I simply stamped the image over the watercoloured section. On the card below I did the same then added some extra painting to the flowers using the same paint colours. The colour of the paper makes the paint colours more muted than they would be on white or cream but I liked the more rustic simple style on these cards. You could definitely use this technique with the traditional white watercolour paper and achieve much brighter results.

My cards measure 5″x 4¼” so I decided to make custom envelopes from the same paper. I used the We R Memory Keepers 1-2-3 punch board to make an envelope to fit and before I taped it together I masked a section of the front so I could watercolour in the same colours used for the cards.

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Fine line florals with distress inks video

I have another video featuring the fine line florals set from Concord & 9th. I am using a similar technique as in my previous video but I’ve created a patterned panel that covers the whole card front this time.  The single flower stamps from this set are made up of very fine radiating lines which look like transparent petals whether  blended with water or not. I like the way part of each flower is still lined where as other sections are a soft blend of pink and purple ink. I’m using hot pressed watercolour paper which captures more of the fine lines than cold pressed does.

The Foiled Fox and I have a three-colour challenge happening during May and today’s card is features a simple pink, purple and green colour scheme which packs plenty of punch with its soft pinks through to dark purple. The stamp set includes flower centres and little splattery dots but no leaves so I pulled out a little spray of leaves from the C&9 turnaround leaves set.

You can see all my process in the video. I hope you get inspired to try this technique or try a three-colour card for our challenge.

These fabulous big letters are from the C&9 ‘big thanks’ set and I love the font.

Thanks for dropping in today. Hope you have a creative day!

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Colour Trio Challenge

I love playing with colour and over the years I have come to the conclusion that often less is more when adding colours to a project. It is not a hard and fast rule but I like to use three colours and mix more from the original three. With that idea in mind I have collaborated with the Foiled Fox to host a card challenge. We invite you to join us in creating cards of only three colours (along with white or black if needed), post them in the link up below and be in the running for a shopping spree at the Foiled Fox store

To create today’s cards I used distress oxides: twisted citron, dusty concord and chipped sapphire. I would call this a complementary colour scheme because although purple and dark blue are right next to each other on the colour wheel, opposite them is yellow.

Two of the feathers above are stamped using the solid feather from the Concord & 9th ‘feathered’ stamp set. I inked the centre feather with dusty concord then stamped the outline over the top in twisted citron. The feather on the right was inked in all three colours with a spritz of water to get them blending. Once the ink dried I added spots and lines using the decorative stamps from the same set. After the stamping dried I cut them out using a co-ordinating die.  I also smushed some oxide ink on my glass mat, added a spritz of water then swiped some watercolour paper through it. I used another feather die to cut the feather on the left. For some added texture the feathers are layered on canvas textured cardstock, the middle and right hand ones popped up on foam tape.

For this second card I die cut three feathers from the textured cardstock and used blending tools to apply the three colours of oxide ink. I splattered a little water over them, waited then dabbed it away with a paper towel which gave me the little light dots on each feather. Once again the feathers are layered on the same canvas textured cardstock with a sentiment from the same ‘feathered’ set.

We would love to see the colour trios you come up with. Please use the link up below to link directly to your card on whatever social media platform you use. You have until May 30 to play along. I can’t wait to see all the colour combos; I am ready for new inspiration!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

https://fresh.inlinkz.com/js/widget/load.js?id=76159bd4ca438d83f080

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Little gardens

Today’s little garden cards contain unusually small die-cuts (for me) but I had fun arranging them and love the results. While I was putting these together I had Jill Foster’s video using the same die sets on pause in front of me so I could get inspiration from all her ideas. Make sure you check out Jill’s video; she includes plenty of tips and tricks and cool layouts.

There are three ‘little garden’ sets that co-ordinate well and between them there are oodles of leaves, flowers, pots, hanging baskets and fixtures to choose from. I chose a limited palette of black, kraft and a blue/green patterned panel for all four cards. My patterned panel was a shaving cream marbled panel so I was able to get variation in colour without having to change cardstock.

My garden box, a garden and hanging planters die sets are all still joined together so I cut everything from kraft, black and patterned then proceeded to create vignettes.

Once I had an arrangement that looked balanced I used my marvy jewel picker and lawn fawn glue tube to get everything attached to cream cardstock. The jewel picker saved my arthritic thumb joint; picking up little things is not good for it!

As you might imagine I still had plenty of little elements to spare after three cards and I remembered the ‘art deco window’ and ‘window treatment’ dies I had so I arranged another couple of pots inside the window and beside the patterned curtains.

I ruled some lines on the kraft card base to make it look like wood panels on the side of a house. The window frame dies cuts a window that opens on each side which is a cute touch.

This last simple scene is created with elements from the ‘garden box die set’ along with leftovers from ‘a garden’ and ‘hanging planters’ sets.

All the sentiments are stamped in versafine clair nocturne ink and taken from the ‘grateful sentiments’ and ‘sending thanks’ sets.

I had fun creating these little scenes despite the ‘fiddliness factor’ being a little higher than I am used to. I love the end result with the strong contrast between black, cream, kraft and blue/green pattern.

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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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