Blossom birthday

Even as my flowers fade and disappear I am still inspired to make floral cards. I’ve teamed up with the Foiled Fox today to share a blog post here and over there. If you are looking for all the creative process details pop over to the Foiled Fox blog. Today’s card features the C&9 ‘all the birthdays’ set again. It has only been in my house a week or so and already it has helped me out several times. Having one set with at least ten different ways to stamp happy birthday is a winner. There are probably more than 20 combinations when you look at all the separate word stamps and single letters in the set.

I wanted to combine a background image with a sentiment and ended creating my own background by repeat stamping with two stamps from the Concord & 9th ‘meadow blossoms’ set. Before heating the panel I stamped the word HAPPY from the new C&9 ‘all the birthdays’ set. I embossed with copper powder then coloured with ink from Papertrey ink cubes. The ink cubes are very juicy so I often smoosh them on my glass mat then pick up ink with a paint brush.

I filled the background with a grey zig clean color real brush pen and blended it with water. To complete the card I matted with with the dark blue cardstock I keep reaching for and finished the sentiment on a strip of the same blue. Having this new birthday set has got my birthday card production back on track. I have no excuses for not sending out birthday cards. Thank you Foiled Fox!

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All the Birthdays

I made a short stack of birthday cards yesterday with a new Concord & 9th set, ‘All the Birthdays’. I pulled out several prints from earlier gel printing sessions and chose some which would work as panels for birthday cards.

On the card above I used ranger blue embossing powder and the card below versafine tulip red was the perfect match for my printed background.

Some were printed using the petite set A gel presses so they were already shaped as squares. Others I cut from larger prints. I used stencils and lace to make the prints and a range of acrylic paints.

One of the stamp combinations from the C&9 ‘all the birthdays’ is a pair of stamps that overlap to spell ‘happy birthday’; there are outline stamps that frame the solid letters also. That is what I used on the card below with gold and brown inks then clear embossing powder.

I also added some texture to a few of the card bases or mats with embossing folders and stencils.

The printed panel below included such pretty blues and purples I wanted to match them in the sentiment so I stamped with archival dusty concord and faded jeans then, before the ink dried embossed in clear powder.

The card below features rose gold embossing powder; it looks a little darker than expected on this panel, maybe because of the depth of colour in the print.

I really enjoyed pairing sentiments from the C&9 set with my leftover gel prints. I did have some embossing challenges though; I’m just not an embossing champion. Stray powder, over heating, underheating, even when I use a powder tool and preheat the heat tool I still make mistakes. This lot took me all afternoon but I am very happy with them and I’m pleased to have boosted my birthday card stash. Now if I can just remember to send them…

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Stencils and oxides

This is the first time I’ve used this beautiful stencil. I ordered it from a Canadian artist, Designs by Ryn. I love how delicate the maidenhair fern design is.

It was also the first time I have used pixie spray which is designed to keep stencils from moving on your paper while you apply ink or another medium. I followed the instructions on the spray bottle and then blended through the stencil onto hot pressed watercolour paper with oxide inks. It worked brilliantly. I used Ranger blending tools for this card but switched to blending brushes for the next card.

For both cards I used salty ocean, bundled sage and faded jeans distress oxide inks. When blending on the panel above I moved the stencil several times and the adhesive from the pixie spray continued to hold it. I didn’t clean the brush between colours which gave me a range of teal tones as I moved from bundled sage to the blue inks. This one might look a bit messy but I love all the layering of pattern and colour.

I blended faded jeans oxide ink on a piece of watercolour paper so I could cut letters from an exact match of blue then popped up the ones above on a layer of white letters. The letters are die cut with C&9 ‘simple serif alphabet dies’ and the words are from the C&9 set ‘meadow blossoms’. The little circles are watermarks made by adding a drop of water, leaving it for a minute then dabbing it up with a paper towel.

I also tried a journal page using similar techniques but took it a step too far! I will try again though, because the potential was there for a pretty spread. I made one more panel while I had the oxides and stencil out but I have another plan in mind for that one.

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Quote & floral journal page

I completed another page in my art journal a few days ago; not the one that inspired a recent card, that one is still to come. This one I started, stopped and restarted again.

You can see there are some shadowy flowers in the background. They are the first flowers I stamped and painted straight on the journal page. The journal isn’t watercolour paper so diluting and painting with ink didn’t work well. I tried to fix it by drawing black outlines and then white gel pen highlights but that didn’t look good either. I like to think of the art journal as a place I can try techniques but sometimes those experiments don’t end up looking pretty.

When I’ve wanted to paint on other pages I have prepped the pages with absorbent ground first; it makes the surface more conducive to ink and water blending. Adding one layer of absorbent ground covered the surface but not the images underneath. When it dried though, I liked the misty images in the background and decided not to do another layer. Instead I proceeded to stamp again with the same inks (listed below) and this time blending the inks with water was more successful. To stamp on the uneven book pages I used acrylic blocks and the Wendy Vecchi ‘perfect stamp positioner’.

Once I finished stamping and painting the PB floral stamps ‘unfolding’ and ‘dainty whispers’ I stamped the delicate ‘a little secret’ stamp repeatedly in old paper distress ink to fill in some grass. I blended broken china ink directly onto the pages to fill the sky area and splattered water over it to break up the flat blue expanse.

Finally I chose the quote from a favourite author, C.S. Lewis and used the C&9 ‘simple serif’ alphabet stamps and some tiny stamps I bought long ago at Hanji gifts in Toronto. I’ve since found out C.S. Lewis did not say this; I guess I should have done a fact check before stamping it all in my journal.

I do like the effect of coloured images under a layer of white. I might do it on purpose next time!

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Oh Baby

I’m not sure if I have ever posted a baby card on my blog; if I have it was so long ago I can’t remember! This one is a commission for a friend; she asked me months ago and I totally forgot. When she texted the other day to see if it was ready I admitted it was not but I would make sure it was by the next day! I was happy to have thought up a concept all those months ago and my idea came together without hiccoughs.

I painted pink, yellow and orange paint on watercolour paper, added water then let it blend and bleed together. Once it was dry I used the Penny Black ‘Balloons!’ die set to cut three balloons then cut the strings and bows from unpainted watercolour paper. I added stick-it adhesive to the back of some peach coloured cardstock then cut two sets of letters to stack for the words using the C&9 ‘simple serif alphabet’ dies.

To create the cloudy sky I cut post-it masks using the cloud die from C&9 ‘city stacks’ die set then blended over the edges on a background panel and an envelope using Papertrey ink cubes in ‘sweet blush’ and ‘lovely lady’. I cut a very narrow mat of pale rose cardstock to frame the panel and attached everything to a cream card base.

I wondered about cutting more balloons to put inside but instead painted some of the same pink, yellow and orange paint on my glass mat, spritzed it generously to dilute it then placed an extra panel of watercolour paper on top to pick up a pale wishy-washy print.

Seeing that I rarely make baby cards this might become my design of choice when I do need one; I’ll just change the colour scheme to keep things interesting.

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Meadow Blossoms with Inktense

I’ve coloured these pretty ‘meadow blossoms’ from Concord & 9th a few times now, this time cutting them out with the co-ordinating die. I stamped the large spray of flowers in Gina K’s skeleton amalgam ink which is beige. I used inktense pencils for the watercolouring including the back panel of stripes. Inktense pencils are watersoluble but unlike some watercolour pencils they are permanent once dry. Many other watercolour pencils are not permanent meaning they will continue to move and dilute whenever liquid is added. One type is not better than another but they need to be used differently.

I used hot pressed watercolour paper for both layers and, although hot pressed is quite smooth it still has texture so you can see some of the pencil shading on the flowers where I first coloured with the pencils on dry paper. The pencil lines diluted once I painted over the top with water but not completely becoming part of the detail of the design. As the inktense are permanent once dry I decided to layer colour on the petals. Some I started with purple, the large one I did the base colour in red. To paint the leaves I coloured only a small amount, painted with water to fill the leaf or just picked up colour from one leaf to complete another one. I did switch to a black fineliner to do the flower centres and add some black dots. I used white paint to add some white dots.

I decided to create my own striped background for the die cut using the fuchsia pencil. Rather than drawing on the background panel directly I pulled colour from the pencil tip onto my glass mat with a wet brush and painted loose stripes on a piece of watercolour pencil using a t-ruler to keep them parallel. As sometimes happens on my work table there seemed to be some stray brusho floating around so I ended up with some random blue spots! Popping up the floral panel seemed like a good idea so I used a technique Jennifer McGuire recently suggested in one of her videos. Rather than pop up a panel on foam tape or a foam cut out just die cut a few extra layers of cardstock and stack them up. I cut two extra die-cuts each with stick-it adhesive on the back and layered them under the painted one. I played with the idea of popping up part of the sentiment but ended up stamping in two different inks instead.

The inktense pencils used: chilli red 500, leaf green 1600, red violet 610, ink black 2200, fuchsia 700

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Meadow blossoms

I attended a class not too long ago taught by my clever friend, Liane, where we used paint chips to make cards. Some paint chips have colours from the same family displayed but others have colour combinations that are suggestions when painting and decorating a room. I used one such card to choose the colours for this blue floral card. The paint chip featured colours called nautica, blizzard and tahini. I found similar colours on my peerless watercolour palette and did some no-line watercolour.

I started by stamping C&9 ‘meadow blossoms’ floral stamp in Gina K ‘whisper’ ink. The ink is a pale beige/grey dye ink which disappeared nicely as I painted with peerless watercolour paint over the top. I worked on non adjacent petals so the paint and water would not bleed from one area to the next. On the largest flowers I painted a dab of ‘Alice blue’ paint then blended it with water to fill the petal.

On the smaller flowers I switched the order and painted each petal with water first then dabbed in some blue paint. The second method resulted in slightly paler flowers. I painted all the leaves and stems in ‘warm sepia’ and the flower centres in ‘pearl grey’. Once all the paint was dry I used two inktense pencils to add veins and shading to the leaves and petals. I painted black dots in the flower centres then drew tiny stems to the dots with a very fine tip black pen. The black thank you die cut is from the PB ‘many thanks’ die set cut from black cardstock and stacked for extra dimension. I think it works well either side of the cute phrase from the PB ‘million thanks’ set which is stamped in nocturne black on a strip cut with the Taylored Expressions ‘simple strips’ die.

If you are stuck for a colour combo try some paint chip inspiration; I don’t think I would have thought up the blue, brown, grey combo without the inspiration on the chip. And call your bestie!

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Meadow blossoms gone tropical

I am over on the Foiled Fox blog today sharing these pretty flowers from Concord & 9th and some no-line watercolour. Make sure you head over there for more details, then take a little stroll through the inspiration on their blog.

It wasn’t my intention to create a tropical looking card but that is absolutely what happened wouldn’t you agree? I chose three colours, geranium pink and alizarine pink from my set of Peerless watercolours and sea blue from my Inktense pencil set. All three colours ended up being bolder than I expected. I stamped flowers from the C&9th ‘meadow blossoms’ set in Gina K’s amalgam ink, ‘barely there’ which is a pale buttery colour, great for no-line watercolour.

There are various methods for no-line watercolour; here I  painted water on each petal first then dropped in a little geranium pink at one end of the petal and alizarine pink at the other then blended the two. The leaves I did by colouring one end of each leaf with the inktense pencil before blending blue into the whole leaf. I also used an inktense yellow, to fill the flower centres and a pink to add veins to the petals after painting. I added little black dots to the flowers with a fine tip pen

I embossed the sentiment from the same C&9 set and did some die cutting with nesting circles to add a little interest with a co-ordinating blue cardstock. I hope you enjoyed this little taste of the tropics; as I write this post it is snowing outside. Yep, a little April snow, just to keep us guessing.

As always I love connecting with you in the comments below or over on the Foiled Fox blog.

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New Year florals

Happy New Year everyone. After a busy but wonderful December full of family visiting from Australia I am getting back into the work groove. I have some lovely products to try out and tell you about in the coming months so thank you for dropping in today to see what I have been doing.

I have used this Fine Line florals stamp from Concord & 9th several times, it is fun to colour loosely, carefully or with co-ordinating stamps that fill the outline images. On this card I used mainly distress markers. I don’t often use my distress markers for colouring directly on the paper, usually I ink stamps with them and then blend the ink with a paintbrush once stamped.

To create this panel I stamped the large image with ranger archival ink on watercolour paper then added colour to the petals with distress markers. On each flower I coloured close to the centre with the marker and blended the colour out to the edges with water and a paintbrush. The first layer on each flower was the palest colour which I let dry before adding a darker colour again from the centre.

I don’t have all the distress markers so I did some colour with markers and some with distress ink smooshed on my glass mat; both techniques work but using the ink gives intense colour more quickly and depending on the colour can be easier to blend. For quick and accurate application the markers are handy. As I use distress markers, inks and stains fairly regularly I have sometimes wondered about doing a comparision of techniques with the different distress products. Is that something you would be interested in seeing?

I chose black as an accent colour to team up with the black outline stamping. I cut slim mats and coloured enamel dots with a black sharpie as I didn’t have any black dots on hand. The sentiment is from another C&9 set, ‘filled in florals , and is matted and popped up with black dimensional tape.

Enjoy your day!

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Snowy flight

This sweet little bird shivering on a branch is called ‘snowy flight’, it’s a recent stamp from Penny Black. I started by painting and stamping the whole stamp on a larger panel but ended up zooming in with a circle die. I have framed it with a tartan or plaid panel stamped with Concord & 9th’s ‘plaid’ stamp set. I was in two minds about the patterned framing but I like how warm and cozy the plaid looks, a bit of a contrast to the little bird I’m afraid!

Both the bird and the plaid I stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper that I had splattered with masking fluid earlier. Before stamping the bird I splashed and splotched some diluted ‘chipped sapphire’ distress ink over the panel to create a bit of sky. I added more at the end when I had finished painting the bird, branches and berries. I kept the stamp and panel in the stamp positioner so I could ink the stamp with distress markers, stamp it then blend with a paintbrush. The branches are ground espresso or gathered twigs, the berries and bird’s breast are ‘festive berries’ and the rest of the bird is hickory smoke and black soot.

To create the plaid background (does anybody else call it ‘tartan’?) I stamped the large stamp in hickory smoke ink then blended over it with water to soften the look and cover any white areas. Once that was dry I added the red lines with festive berries ink. I definitely did this one in the stamp positioner so I could move the panel and keep the line stamp in one place. Removing the masking fluid is always very satisfying, it revealed tiny white flecks on the plaid and bigger ‘snowflakes’ on the bird panel.

Thank you for dropping by today, you will find all the supplies linked below and if you look closely you will see I provide two options for some products. If you purchase through my links to either the Foiled Fox in the US or Scrap n Stamp in Canada I receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my creative endeavours in this way.

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