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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I’ve been playing with the alcohol inks again!

Last weekend I spent Saturday creating with alcohol inks while learning from Kathryn Kanadian who was in Ottawa teaching a couple of classes. Kathryn is a wonderful teacher and I now have a few new tricks to try and techniques to practice. This lavender panel was created with dots of ink on an applicator; I used passion purple, rich gold (Pinata) and  juniper (Ranger) along with some blending solution or isopropyl alcohol. I dabbed the applicator all over the craft plastic for quite a while and added blending solution and more ink when needed. The gold ink didn’t move much but the other two colours created a lot of pattern. These delicate flowers which look a little like lavender are cut with PB ‘tall flowers’ dies. The sentiment from the PB ‘special sentiments’ set I stamped with dusty concord archival ink. I had a section of the patterned panel left over so I was able to die cut some more flowers to pop inside the card. You can be sure I put stick-it adhesive on those panels before I cut such skinny flowers out.

The panel of browns and gold below came together as Kathryn was encouraging us to experiment with blending solution to move the ink. I used more than I usually would and was delighted with all the variation of colour I achieved, the dotted patterns and the splotches of gold here and there. I used ginger, espresso (Ranger) and rich gold (Pinata). Kathryn had samples of her wonderful work including a coffee themed card that inspired this one.

I used the Concord & 9 ‘simple serif’ alphabet dies to cut the letters from antique gold cardstock and framed the panel in antique gold also.

The daisy panel was a bit of a breakthrough for me as I had only made landscapes with alcohol inks by accident or trial and error in the past. With the introduction of a stylus and alcohol ink brushes I was able to paint some daisies and splatter a rain shower over the top of them.

I began by creating a green background with the help of some isopropyl alcohol and green ink (not sure if it was meadow or pesto??)  I used a stylus to dot the centres of the flowers in copper and pitch alcohol inks (Ranger) then I used a brush to paint petals around the centres and stems and grass at the base. The splatters of isopropyl alcohol pulled the composition together.

Although it looks black the cardstock framing the panel is actually dark green. I embossed a little sentiment from the PB ‘family sentiments’ set in white powder.

I created a few more panels during the class which hopefully I will turn into cards soon. Thanks Kathryn for a wonderful class.

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Autumn songbird video

Hi there; it’s a special day! Not only am I hanging out on The Foiled Fox blog today, I also have a video to for you! I first used the Concord & 9th ‘songbird’ set last winter and incorporated the pine boughs, leaves and berries. This time I went for an autumn theme and used distress inks and distress stains as I seem to constantly be doing right now. I may need to mix things up a bit around here.

I have shared a few no-line colouring projects here lately where I stamped with antique linen ink; this project could also be considered no-line colouring but I stamped the outline images in brown, yellow or grey, colours I then used for painting. As the bird and leaves were not too fiddly I cut masks out so I could have leaves peeping out from behind things.

I worked once again with a fairly limited palette of fossilized amber, brushed corduroy, pumice stone, stormy sky and black soot, basically grey, blue and yellow tones.

When it came to the sentiment I decided to pull out the C&9 ‘grateful for everything’ set  because I love the words and that funky script. I added splatter and some sponging which filled the background a little making it appear lest stark.

I would love to know if you have some favourite ‘all year round’ stamps or sets. Here are a couple more all season options:

PB Nature’s gifts
PB Peaceful Moment

Thank you for joining me today, I’m looking forward to returning in October for some more fun with the Foiled Fox.

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Filling in the florals

I’ve been playing with Concord & 9th’s co-ordinating stamp sets ‘filled in florals’ and ‘fine line florals’. For this first card I stamped the large ‘fine line floral’ stamp twice in versamark then embossed in gold powder. To fill in the flowers I switched to the ‘filled in florals’ stamps. I inked the large flower in wild honey ink then added abandoned coral ink around the centre. I spritzed the stamp then pressed it over the matching embossed flower. Because I had spritzed before stamping I got a nice blend of colours which loosely filled the outline. I repeated this step with the blue flowers (blueprint sketch) and burgandy flowers (aged mahogany) I diluted some aged mahogany to paint inside the remaining flowers.

I stamped black soot ink in the centres and bundled sage for the little leafy bit below the petals. I stuck with the gold highlights when adding the sentiment, embossed ‘miss you’ in gold then popped the shimmer gold ‘simple serif’ die-cut letters with white foam. I thought it need just a little something more so added three gold half pearls. Usually I would add splatter but I guess I was feeling fancier!

The inspiration for the second card came as I was stamping off the ‘filled in floral’ stamps after I’d stamped the embossed areas. I grabbed another piece of watercolour paper then inked the flower stamps with the same colours used on the first card, spritzed the stamp then stamped one flower, spritzed again, a second flower, spritzed again and got a third paler flower. Once the panel was fairly full I switched to the leaf stamp, bundled sage and peeled paint ink and added some leaves. I used acrylic blocks for the stamping; there was no need for a stamp positioner with such a loose watery technique.

The watery technique did mean I lost much of the definition of the stamp so I drew some veins on the petals with a spiced marmalade marker once the ink dried. I used the simple serif stamps this time (they match the dies used on the other card) to stamp ‘thanks’ along with one of the sentiments from the C&9 ‘big thanks’ stamp set. This time I did want some black splatter but not all over the place so I chose the safe option of stamping black dots using two stamps from the fine line florals set then drew extra dots with a black marker. A black mat finished it off.

Are you a ‘stay inside the lines’ kind of painter or are you happy to be a bit loose and messy like I was with these cards?

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Filled in Florals

I’m on the Foiled Fox blog today showing off these lovely new stamps and dies from Concord & 9th. The stamps are from the ‘filled in florals‘ set and the dies from the simple serif alphabet set I love the size and shape of these letters and I am able to line them up neatly by using my new magnetic ‘staytion‘ so I won’t need to do the purposely wonky look every time!

I reached for some favourite distress stains to colour the big flower from the set. I used a stamp positioner but acrylic blocks would work fine too as precision is not key for this loose and watery look. As I’m still working with distress stain daubers I swiped the first colour across a third of the stamp, stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper then wiped off the stamp before inking with the next stain in the centre of the flower then repeating the process. I only spritzed the stamp lightly with water before I stamped the last colour on each flower as I didn’t want to flood the design but I did want to make sure the colours did a little blending with each other. I used a mix of blueprint sketch, salty ocean, seedless preserves and dusty concord stains on the flowers switching around the order and combo each time.  I stamped the flower centres with blueprint sketch and seedless preserves ink. Is there a more beautiful colour combination than those two stains? I don’t think so!

For the leaves I switched to an acrylic block and inked with bundled sage and iced spruce stains and a little spritz of water to make them soft and dreamy. I dried the whole panel before dropping water here and there all over, letting it sit and soak in then absorbing it with a paper towel to leave all those watermarks on the leaves and petals. Last but not least I added a splat or two in blueprint sketch and bundled sage.

Once all those flowers were done I thought about the sentiment. I know I should consider the sentiment earlier in the process but I rarely do. I didn’t want to cover up too much of the design so I went for the subtle stacked letter die look. I cut the letters b e s t out of the panel and three more of each from blank watercolour paper then stacked them up and attached them on the card. I did some stamp surgery to separate  ‘you’re the’ from one of the sentiment stamps in the ‘filled in florals’ set and stamped in versamark ink so I could emboss in white powder. The sentiment is fairly subtle when you look straight on but the recipient will be able to see and feel the texture of the raised letters.

Thank you for dropping in today, make sure you pop on over to the Foiled Fox for some extra details and to check out their lovely blog and store.

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You & Me

This wonderful new C&9 alphabet stamp set arrived a few days ago and, oh the possibilities! I had only a little time to play with it today so I pulled out the delightful ‘city stacks’ stamps, also from Concord & 9th. I stamped in versafine onyx black ink and watercoloured with my peerless watercolour paints. Versafine is a pigment ink so it won’t react with water when I start painting over it.

The sky and the road I blended onto the panel with makeup brushes which was quite a bit quicker than painting it. I used broken china, scattered straw and wild honey distress inks for a sunrise look.

When I laid out the letters in my stamp positioner I wondered how long it would take me to get them lined up. I got them right on the second attempt! I slipped in a piece of acetate to do a trial stamping, realigned the few that needed it and then the next attempt was just right. The serifs at the top and bottom of the letters make it easy to line them up on the grid of my stamp positioner lid. Yay! I used part of a stamp from the ‘city stacks’ set to finish the sentiment at the bottom of the panel.

You’ll be seeing these letters again, and again. Count on it. And there are dies too, I didn’t use them on this card but it won’t be long.

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Feathers, CAS & calm

I finally got my act together enough to enter a challenge and not even in the last few minutes it was open! I just hosted a challenge with the Foiled Fox and we will be announcing winners in the next few days. I enjoyed visiting all the entries and was inspired by each card. Today’s card was inspired by the ‘Ombre’ challenge at CAS Mix Up and I will be entering it in the ‘Calm’ challenge at Casology as well.

Before I talk about this calm and clean and simple and ombre card I just want to thank those who joined the conversation on Monday about ‘bunchies’. I posted a photo on Monday of myself, aged 6, with my hair in ‘bunchies’ and asked what others called the two ponytail style. I was surprised to read they were known as ‘dog ears’ and ‘dust mops’ as well as the more common ‘pigtails’. One reader called them ‘bunches’ which is practically the same as me so I was not alone with that tag.

Back to the feather, I used the solid feather stamp from the C&9 Feathered set and Catherine Pooler inks to create the watercolour ombre look. The coverage and blending is just what I was after. Like some dye inks the colours continue to soak in and smooth out after stamping with the CP inks which is exactly what I needed for this look. I inked the whole stamp in ‘shea butter’ ink, stamped then inked two thirds in ‘bellini’ ink, spritzed and stamped, then finished by inking the tip in ‘rockin red’ ink, spritzed and stamped. The little spritz over the ink spread the ink on the stamp so there were no hard lines where one ink stopped or started.

I dry embossed the whole panel with the snowfall/speckles texture fade folder for a bit more visual interest and popped up the sentiment from the same stamp set. Did you know embossing folders are enjoying a rise in popularity these days? I don’t know if that is true or not, I just know they are around here! The CAS mix up challenge required ombre + stamping + my choice (embossing),  so all boxes checked! There are a few metallic ombre looks featured on the challenge blog; I’ve never thought of metallic ombre but it is pretty fancy so I might have to give it a try.

My second card is not entering any challenges; it was made because I love pairing sectioned stamps with sprinkled brusho. I embossed the sectioned feather from the same C&9 set in gold three times on hot pressed watercolour paper, sprinkled sandstone and terracotta brusho powder over the top then spritzed water gently to activate the brusho. I added more brusho and spritzing several times and then moved some paint around with a paintbrush, not much just a few places so there would be a few more solid sections. I die cut the feathers then popped them up on a different dry embossed background, ‘weathered’ by Taylored Expressions. The sentiment is from the Altenew set, ‘leaf canopy’.

Click on the badges below to see what’s happening in the challenges I’m entering.

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