Fresh Pansies

Pansies seem to be a happy flower don’t you think? This is the new ‘pansies’ stamp from Penny Black stamped twice on cold press watercolour paper.

In my previous post I asked what colour suggestions you had for irises. Jan in Oregon sent me some beautiful photos she has taken over the years featuring some stunning irises, so the inspiration file has definitely been topped up. She also sent a few photos of pansies, tulips and daffodils as they are the next flowers to be featured here on the blog. The photo below was my inspiration for today’s card. I ended up with more purple petals than white as I didn’t have time for negative painting but I was still inspired and delighted by Jan’s photo.

I stamped with distress inks then filled the petals with brusho watercolours using the same method I used recently for the irises. I used shaded lilac, mowed lawn and fossilized amber to stamp the outline then violet brusho and a mix of leaf green and moss green for the leaves and stems.

I used a purple marker to draw the lines coming out from the centre of the flowers, blended some mowed lawn around the stems and finished with a sentiment from the PB ‘love big’ set.

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Iris Elegance

This is the second iris card I’ve painted but it probably won’t be the last. Iris Elegance from Penny Black is such a bold beautiful stamp.

I worked on hot press watercolour paper in a stamp positioner to stamp the outline stamp in chipped sapphire, peeled paint and wild honey distress inks. I blended ink into the petals from the stamped outline but also used brusho paints to fill the petals with blends of colour. I had violet, ultramarine and moss green brusho mixed in a palette beside me so I could dip my brush and add paint to the petals.

To fill out the design I stamped just leaves to the left and the right of the main image. Let me know if you have irises blooming already or suggest some petal colours to me. The yard is covered in snow again here so the irises best keep on sleeping for now!

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Irises

The new ‘iris elegance’ stamp from Penny Black is a delight to work with. The design is large so there is plenty of space in the petals for pretty watercolour blends. I inked the stamp with distress inks then blended the stamped ink with water to fill the flowers using some co-ordinating colours of brusho for extra depth and variation. I have been flipping back and forth between hot and cold pressed watercolour paper lately; this one is hot pressed.

I have purple irises that come up in my garden each year but they don’t have the yellow centres I’ve featured on these ones. Yellow tends to be a pigment that pushes other pigments away which worked well on the petals. I painted the purples and then while the paint was still wet added yellow paint which spread and pushed the purple without making too much brown.

I don’t always add background but I did this time by painting water around the flowers then adding some Payne’s grey paint and a little diluted purple. Once again I chose the sweet little birthday stamp from the new ‘how sweet’ stamp set. Speaking of backgrounds, thank you so much to everyone who left me a message saying nothing more was needed on the recent poppy card. I am so encouraged by you, my kind and generous readers!

The warm weather and rain of the last few days has melted quite a lot of snow and now I see some green tips emerging. I have also spied a cardinal and a blue jay on the feeder. Spring is definitely in the air.

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Farm Fresh Lavender

I am hoping I can fill a couple of jugs with lavender this summer. A couple of years back a friend split her lavender and gave me two plants which were coming along well last year and I hope will be even stronger and more full this year. When I have flowers in the garden I am always torn when deciding whether to cut them and bring some inside or just enjoy them outside where they will probably last longer.

To create this little scene I used two stamps from the new Penny Black ‘farm fresh’ set and the ‘brick wall’ background stamp. I worked in a stamp positioner to create this panel. I stamped the jugs first with wild honey and tea dye distress inks. After blending the ink with water I added shadow with walnut stain ink. I used both bundled sage and rustic wilderness for the stems and a mix of milled lavender (of course) and dusty concord for the flowers.

Because I had done the jugs first I stamped and cut little masks from post-it notes to make it easier to stamp a brick wall behind them. I used tea dye to stamp the brick wall then started blending the tea dye ink to fill the bricks. I sprinkled a very small amount of sandstone brusho over the wall and started blending it in random bricks. This resulted in the warm orange bricks you see. I also added walnut stain ink to a few bricks for a darker look.

I blended antique linen and walnut ink in the foreground and painted pale shadows below the jugs. The card is finished with a sentiment from the new PB ‘love big’ stamp set.

Just in case you wondered at me thinking about cutting flowers from my garden, I’m just dreaming; it is definitely still covered in snow!

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Trilling Duo

A couple of weeks back I created a card with the cardinal stamp from the PB set ‘trilling trio‘ and promised to be back with the other birds before too long. The set is called trilling trio because there are three bird stamps. I have paired up the other two for this panel and used brusho watercolour powder to add colour to the images. I love brusho powders but have not had them out much lately.

To stamp these two sweet birds I used neutral inks, water and the powders. I worked in a stamp positioner so I could stamp multiple times adding a little this or that each time. I used antique linen and hickory smoke inks for the first impression. Antique linen is pale and hickory smoke is grey so I put them where I wanted the light and dark areas to be but neither colour was so strong it couldn’t be diluted. The second time I stamped I spritzed the stamp with water so it was transferring ink and water. While the image was still wet I sprinkled some brusho very sparingly. If you haven’t used black brusho before you should; it is the absolute bomb because it is made up of other colours. The cute bird on the right is sprinkled with black brusho which resulted in spots of black, red, blue and grey. I also sprinkled some brown brusho.

On the left hand bird I used some black brusho as well as some sandstone on the lower front feathers. I blended the stamping a little with a paint brush but not much as I wanted to see the magic speckles where the brusho lands and dilutes. I drew and painted the little branch with watercolour pencils and some black soot ink then added the ‘thank you’ from PB ‘ever thanks’ set. I just realised as I stare at the bird on the left that it appears to have three legs! That’s a twig on the far left just in case you were wondering!!

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Gingerbread Journal page

Six years ago I was given a delightful and incredibly thoughtful gift. Four friends I met through teaching card making classes gave me an art journal. It’s a large Dylusions 9″x11″, a very generous gift in itself.

The journal was just part of the gift. What amazed and touched me deeply was that these friends worked on individual pages in this journal far enough in advance to have completed four different spreads before they gave it to me. Each person completed a 2 or 3 page spread describing Christmas traditions they were familiar with.

I have in my journal pages about Polish and German Christmas traditions along with a description and illustration of Mummering in Newfoundland and a depiction of the carol, ‘I Saw Three Ships’. The depiction is set in Bass Strait with a view of a King Island lighthouse, a nod to my birthplace! I was speechless when I opened the gift and it still brings me joy whenever I look at it.

After Christmas that year I began two different spreads in the journal having decided it was to be filled with Christmas themed art journalling. Although I began soon after receiving the journal I didn’t finish a page until last week. I am embarrassed to have let it sit so long but in the interim I have completed many journal pages in other books and have ideas aplenty dancing around in my head – like sugarplums!

Gingerbread baking and decorating is a tradition for me and a fitting choice for my first Christmas spread. I started making gingerbread in Australia in 1995 after hearing a radio interview with Jill Dupleix whose recipe I use to this day, more often than not with gluten free flour now. This year I made several batches, a couple with friends on a Sunday afternoon where much mixing, cutting and decorating was enjoyed.

I used my own cookie cutters to trace the shapes onto watercolour paper painted with dark brown and light brown brusho. The background ‘check tablecloth’ I painted with a mix of Dr Ph Martin’s deep red rose and hansa yellow. The gingerbread shapes sat for years with pale white patterns on them and it was only this year after trying quite a few white paints and pens that I was able to make the patterns bolder with a posca paint pen.

I finally added the recipe, glued the cookies down and added a title using MFT little lowercase letters (I think they are retired now but they worked to look like little gingerbread letters).

So that is the story of a wonderful journal, four kind and generous friends and an adventure started in 2015 which I am happily continuing even though I made a very slow start.

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Woodsy Autumn

This new set, ‘Woodsy’ from Penny Black will be fabulous for winter scenes but before I put it to work in the snow I decided to create an autumn vista with the three trees.

Hoping to create the colour mass I see when the trees are at their best I pulled out a few brusho powders. I didn’t come close to the beauty outside right now but the brusho powders did not disappoint. If you have used brusho you will know they are unpredictable. I had a scene in mind and hoped the brusho would play its part.

First I stamped the three trees in ‘fallen leaves’ versafine clair ink and embossed in clear powder on hot pressed watercolour paper. To preserve the white tree trunks I used a clear embossing marker to cover the length of each trunk and embossed in clear powder again. With distress inks and blending brushes I blended speckled egg ink in the sky area and fossilized amber and brushed corduroy on the ground. I used simple post-it note masks to suggest hills and horizon.

Before sprinkling brusho over the panel I lay a paper mask over the sky at the top of the panel and ground at the bottom of the panel. I sprinkled sandstone brusho over the middle area then spritzed from 10″ inches above. I watched and waited as the colours began to appear and spread then added a little more brusho and water. I dried it with a heat tool before repeating the process. You have to be patient with brusho; if you add too much water too soon you will not have spots and dots of colour. Sandstone brusho is made up of several colours so I saw yellow, red, orange and brown appear, even a few blue dots too.

Once I had some nice patterns appearing I added a bit of yellow brusho and a tiny sprinkle of terracotta then left the panel alone while I ate lunch. After drying the panel thoroughly I blended more ink with the same post-it masks I had used at the beginning.

When I stopped I couldn’t decide if the scene was artsy or just messy. I set it aside and tried a few other approaches for a brusho autumn scene but kept coming back to this one, the messy, artsy, woodsy one!

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Daisy Delight

When I have a new line-art background stamp my first choice is usually to try emboss resist with brusho paint powders. This new background stamp from Darkroom Door is called ‘daisy delight’ and has plenty of loops and lines for trapping brusho.

I embossed the stamp in clear powder on hot pressed watercolour paper. With scrap paper spread under the panel I sprinkled brusho powder over the panel, both turquoise and sea green. I spritzed water over the brusho and sat back to watch the magic happen. As the brusho diluted I saw pockets of colour appear which were exactly what I wanted. You can see different shades of blue and green as well as a few pops of yellow. There were a few blank or pale sections so I sprinkled more brusho, spritzed more water and then waited again to see what happened. Once the paint was really soaking in I took a small brush and started filling some of the petals where the colour hadn’t reached all the edges. In a few places I took bold colour from a petal and used it to fill a petal somewhere else.

I dried the panel with a heat tool then trimmed it and did a test on a trimmed scrap to see if I would like black background in amongst the flowers. I went with it and coloured in the few areas that are not part of the flowers with a black Karin brushmarker. To finish the card I wrapped white/silver twine around it and popped up some embossed words from the new DD ‘you are everything’ set.

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Fern Border

I was looking through my pile of possibilities recently and found some lovely brusho panels I made quite a while back at a class taught by my friend The Crafty Cigale. Instead of using brusho watercolour powders on watercolour paper we worked on photo paper. I remember the process being so much fun that I kept on making panel after panel.

I’ve chosen two of the panels as borders for today’s cards. Initially I thought I would cut into the brusho panel using the Penny Black fern border die and I tried, but using the patterned print as a background showed it off better while still featuring the delicate shape of the fern fronds.

Before die-cutting the fern border I applied double sided adhesive to the back of the card front so once cut I could easily attach it to the patterned panel. The sentiments from the banner sentiments mimicked the curve of the border die so they were an obvious choice in two versafine brown inks

The card bases are Luxe White cardstock from Foiled Fox, which is a creamy colour with a soft pebbly texture. I’ll be back tomorrow with some more birch themed pages from my bullet journal. Thanks for dropping by.

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Winter Wonder art journal page

After my son and I finished filming the stop animation intro for my Winter Wonder online class I didn’t know what to do with the painted background and all the die cuts we’d used. They lay on a tray still in their snowy formation for a few months gathering dust until I realised I could keep the scene if I transferred it to my art journal.

The initial spread was bigger than art journal page so I cut down the watercoloured background panel, cut new snowdrifts out of lighter weight cardstock and added ink blending to help them stand out. I saved the trees, sled, skis, mitts, snowflakes and bird all cut using the Penny Black dies listed below and glued them on. Yes the gluing almost finished me but I persevered and even glued the outline letters from Pink Fresh studio. I found that I do have a glue pen that works if you are patient and take note that enough glue if coming out.

If you haven’t scene the stop motion animation it is part of the promo for my WINTER WONDER class which teaches my methods for making cards with a northern winter theme. I’ll include the promo below just for fun and in case you’re new around here.

The scene shown in the journal page is mirrored outside right now; we have plenty of snow, we’ve been skiing and enjoying winter wonder all around us. Back in October-November when we filmed the class there was little to no snow!

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