If you have a garden…

The rest of the quote says, ‘… and a library you have everything you need.’ My art journal is pretty much all book or flower related pages; I guess there is room for a new inspiration. Currently with a garden that is looking promising and an online course newly launched you could say flowers are on my mind.

The background for this page was created months ago when I was making subtle backgrounds for a few cards. Instead of swiping a whole panel through waterbased inks I was inking a piece of acetate then spritzing it and swiping it on a stamped panel. I opened a spread in the art journal and swiped the acetate across the pages a few times to leave some ink there. I don’t remember the exact colours but the smooshed ink covered the lower half of the pages in blue, green, yellow and pale orange. Last week I pulled it out again and turned the page into a messy garden.

As I said the lower half of the pages is smooshed ink. The upper half is broken china distress inks applied with a blending brush. The flowers are a mix of silhouette stamps from Darkroom Door’s ‘you are everything’ and ‘wildflowers vol 2’ sets. I inked with papertrey ink cubes, spritzed the stamp and stamped on the pages. Sometimes I blended the stamped ink, other times not. To make the blue flowers stand out a bit more I painted blue gouache paint over the stamping. The gouache works well on the journal pages so you will probably see more.

Once all the flowers were added I stamped the DD ‘scratches’ background stamp in black on the lower section of the page and added black and white splatter all over. I added the quote with a black gel pen. If you are in my Floral Faves online class you might this was inspired by one of the projects in lesson 3.

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Floral Faves – Online Class

After months of work behind the scenes and a few weeks of hints here on the blog I am happy to open registration to my new online class FLORAL FAVES. As the name suggests this one is all about flowers; stamping them, painting them, arranging them (on paper) and turning them into card sized works of art.

Once again my videographer son Ben has filmed and edited while I have designed, uploaded and scripted the content on the Coursecraft platform.

I hope you are inspired to join me in pairing your floral stamps to work with watercolour techniques. Every project is taught through video along with downloadable instructions, photos, tips and complete supply lists. We will work with different styles of stamps including background, outline, silhouette and brushstroke. We will pair all the favourite stamps with all the favourite mediums; dye inks, watercolour markers and watercolour paints .

As summer unfolds I’m sure you will be spending plenty of time outdoors, maybe in your garden, but when you need a quiet creative hour or two I hope you will join me in creating some bright and beautiful floral cards.

Registration is open now. Once registered you will have access to the introduction and supply pages. All the lesson content will be accessible on Wednesday May 26.

If you haven’t entered the giveaway yet click over to yesterday’s post.

Click here to register or find out more about FLORAL FAVES


Mixed Media-ish

I have in my workroom a few new items to try but with one thing and another I haven’t had a chance. I recently bought two new pads of paper, one is rice paper and the other is mixed media paper from Fabriano, that’s the one I used for today’s cards. I’m very taken with Fabriano 100% cotton watercolour paper so I wanted to see what I thought of the mixed media.

It is quite a while since I’ve done anything with my oxide inks so I pulled them out to make a blended background. After blending I did some water-stamping with both the DD ‘daisy delight’ background stamp and the floral silhouettes from the DD ‘you are everything’ set. The paper worked brilliantly for both steps. After drying the panels I stamped again with versafine clair inks and, as I hadn’t moved the stamps, the inked images landed inside the watermark images.

I dried all the stamping with a heat tool before adding background stamps over the top for added texture. I used white ink for both the DD ‘French script’ stamp and the DD ‘scratches’ stamp. The daisy stamp ended up with a double dose of script when I embossed a white base layer with the SU ‘scripty embossing folder.

I gave both cards a little birthday label and pronounced the mixed media paper a success. Of course I will put it through it’s paces with gel printing and a few other processes but so far so good.

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Crossword

Darkroom Door added four new background stamps to their line up recently and I’ve shown you ‘handwoven‘ and ‘daisy delight‘ in previous posts. Today I have three very different cards featuring the ‘crossword’ background stamp.

On this first floral card I have used the crossword stamp as a background. I stamped it on scrap first with versafine clair morning mist ink then on a panel of watercolour paper to get a pale grey image adding interest behind the silhouette flowers stamped in different distress inks. I used the same grey ink to stamp words from the ‘you are everything’ set to pop up along the bottom of the panel.

In this second card the stamp functions as both a background and a crossword (of sorts). Although the stamped image is a solvable crossword which comes with printed clues in the packet I have populated it with coffee themed words to work on my coffee themed card. I feel like coffee and the crossword is not an uncommon past time. I stamped the background with fallen leaves versafine clair ink and stamped the sentiment and coffee cup in the same ink on a gel printed panel. I added some blending and ink splatter in both brown and gold before popping up the coffee and sentiment over some gold cord.

Although it took some time to stamp the background and foreground images the hardest part of the coffee card was definitely finding and arranging coffee themed words in the crossword!

My last card reminds me of the riddle, “what is black and white and red all over?” A newspaper!

Get it?

“Read all over!”

On both the second and third cards I used bristol cardstock for sharper stamped images as I wasn’t adding any water or waterbased inks. I stamped a strip of three different DD background stamps, blended the edges and attached them to a red panel then used the ‘alphabet medley’ set to stamp the words in versafine satin red ink. I’m thinking I can use this card for any exciting occasion and stamp another sentiment inside which is more specific.

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Vintage layers

Today’s cards developed bit by bit over a week or so. I worked on flower panels one day, middle layers another day, let them sit a few days, searched for ribbon another day and finally a week later put them together still adding stamping, splattering and blending right up until I called them finished!

I featured the silhouette floral stamps from the new Darkroom Door ‘you are everything’ set. There are four floral stamps along with eighteen word stamps I mentioned in a previous post. The flowers above are stamped on cold press watercolour paper with papertrey inks. I used pale peony and pure poppy on the petals and olive twist on the stems. I spritzed lightly before stamping then blended further with a paintbrush on the paper. I used the same technique on the purple flowers in the second card but worked on hot pressed watercolour paper.

For the vintage and collage details on the card I above I used olive twist and fine linen inks to add painted areas, stamped text, splatter and blending with a brush.

The flowers above are stamped in pale peony, royal velvet and olive twist and I stuck with fine linen and royal velvet as the inks on the layered areas also.

I’ve listed all the stamps I used to add texture and interest to the floral panel and the layers underneath. You can see some of my favourite ‘filler’ stamps including French script and global postmarks. I also splattered water and white paint for some watermarks and subtle blots!

To finish both cards I punched a couple of holes in the top to thread some fabric through. I didn’t have a cream silk or sheer ribbon so I ripped some strips of what might be silk but I can’t remember. The ripped edge worked fine with my vintage layered look.

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Delighted with Daisies

This is the second card I’ve created with the new Darkroom Door background stamp ‘daisy delight‘. Once again I ended up using the whole stamp because it is just so happy and bright. At some stage I must try cutting a strip or some squares because I’m sure that would look pretty too.

Using the stamp in a positioner with hot pressed watercolour paper I first inked the centres of the daisies with an orange ink cube. I wasn’t careful to ink only the circles; I just gave each daisy a twist of orange ink then stamped. I cleaned the stamp and inked sections with raspberry fizz ink then stamped and finally inked remaining sections with bright buttercup ink. I gave it a spritz of water to help the inks blend before stamping the last time.

To fill the petals I smooshed the same three inks on my glass mat then used a paintbrush and water to paint loosely inside the petals and centres. I also mixed new blends with the pink, orange and yellow inks.

To put the card together I die cut a rectangle from the centre of the panel, popped in up on three layers of cardstock and wrapped some white and silver twine around it before attaching it to the card base. The sentiments are from the DD ‘Christmas bush’ set and they are perfect for many occasions; possibly a birthday this time.

Did you know Darkroom Door has a blog where they post oodles of inspiration for using their huge range of stamps and stencils? They also have a newsletter so you can receive emails full of inspiration.

Thanks for joining me today, see you again soon.

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Handwoven

Today’s cards feature the new ‘handwoven’ background stamp from Darkroom Door it two quite different ways.

To create this first card I inked the handwoven stamp with blue and green papertrey ink cubes, spritzed the stamp then pressed it on hot pressed watercolour paper. The result was some green areas, some blue areas and some pretty blended areas where the inks overlap. The blue-green background created a pretty pattern as it was and I could have just added a sentiment and called it complete but I decided to take the risk of adding some flowers. I would understand if you wish I had left it flower free because it is a busy panel but I like the look of a patterned geometric roof or canopy over the flowers.

The flowers are from the new DD set ‘you are everything’ as are the words. The words in this set are great; there are eighteen negative space words that can be stamped and cut out to make countless sentiments. I embossed both the flowers and the words to give them more prominence over the busy background.

The second card I am planning to use as an Easter card. Filling the spaces of the handwoven pattern with pearlescent paint reminded me of a stain glass window so I looked through my sentiments and found this one in the DD ‘Christmas bush’ set and decided it works for many occasions, including Easter. I stamped the handwoven stamp on black watercolour paper in versamark then embossed in clear powder before painting all the little spaces with Coliro paints and a fine point brush. It did take a while and I didn’t do it in one sitting as the fiddliness factor was high!

I matted both the patterned circle and the sentiment in gold shimmer cardstock and embossed the front of the card base using the ‘subtle’ embossing folder from SU.

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Under the same sky

After pairing the cool new ‘long distance’ sentiments from Darkroom Door with a map stamp I took another look at the strip of sentiments (there are eleven) and picked out a couple that would work with planes and a sunset sky. I must admit my matchy-matchy side was pretty happy these two sentiments are in the same font and the three on my map card were also in the same font.

I taped a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper to my glass mat and painted six colours from top to bottom of the panel with plenty of water to dilute and mix the colours as I went. I used the Dr Ph Martin’s Hydrus watercolours for the sky and the colours are linked below. I put only a drop of each in wells of the palette then added three or four drops of water. Considering the paint brush was also dipped in water before picking up paint you can see these liquid watercolours are highly pigmented. I painted the whole panel twice starting with the phthalo blue each time and finishing with the gamboge. While the panel was still wet I scrunched up a tissue and dabbed paint off. You can see the tissue takes out a lot of colour bringing the dabbed area almost back to white.

Once the panel was totally dry I trimmed it and stamped two planes from DD vintage planes and two sentiments in versafine clair nocturne before embossing over the black ink in clear powder.

I was thinking about a comment my dad left on the long distance + map card about the recipient being able to return the same message to the sender on receipt of the card and I wondered about a ‘send it on’ idea. It is a bit different to what my dad suggested but instead of writing in the card I will write on a piece of loose paper inside the card and suggest the recipient remove my note and add one of their own before sending the card on to another person. For fun the senders and recipients could note their names on the back of the card. Hmmmm, perhaps I should try it with the map card and maybe this one too.

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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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Long Distance

Many of us are separated from family and friends these days so when I saw this new set of sentiments from Darkroom Door I knew immediately that I could put them to good use. The set is called ‘long distance’ and is a long strip of sentiments one under the other, eleven in total. I have several sentiment strips from Darkroom Door and have not cut any of them into individual strips. Instead I tend to stamp the whole strip or a section of the strip and then snip off or die-cut the ones I want to use.

As many of you know I am originally from Australia and all my family still lives there while my husband, children and I live in Canada and have done for twenty years. When I designed this card featuring the DD ‘world map’ stamp I did so with my Australian family and friends in mind so I had to make sure both countries were still on display after I added the sentiments. I stamped the map on hot pressed watercolour paper in tea dye distress ink and acorn versafine clair, dried the inks then started painting colours over the map. I smooshed tea dye, carved pumpkin, abandoned coral, broken china and mowed lawn distress inks on my glass mat and painted loosely with no major concern for borders or accuracy. I searched ‘antique map’ for an inspiration photo to guide me.

I cie-cut the map panel with a Waffle Flower A2 additional layer die then applied vintage photo ink around the edge of the map and the sentiments with a blending brush. It’s a subtle addition but I also stamped pale postmarks on the sentiments using the DD ‘global postmarks’ stamps. I will be showing you more of the new stamps from Darkroom Door over the next few weeks but there are already several blog posts on the Darkroom Door blog featuring the new beauties so make sure you pop over there to take a look.

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