Coffee with a friend

Are you missing the coffee shops? I’m sure you are missing your friends and perhaps you are missing coffee with friends. This one is for a friend of mine who loves her coffee!

I began with a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper and splattered a few drops of masking fluid over the whole thing. Once the masking fluid was dry I sprinkled sandstone brusho on my glass mat, spritzed the brusho with water and swiped this panel through it. It took a few swipes before I had an orange and brown abstract background. I added some dark brown brusho on one side and spritzed that to make it blend and spread a bit. Once I’d dried that I blended through the new Darkroom Door ‘handwritten script’ stencil with rusty hinge oxide ink.

At this point the panel was very much just an abstract background so I stamped the cup from DD ‘coffee time’ in gathered twigs distress ink and blended the stamping with some water and extra ink. The set also has a coffee cup stain stamp so I added that here and there, spritzing it to make it blurry. I stamped some postmarks from the ‘global postmarks’ set because I can’t help myself.

Unfortunately the coffee cup did not stand out enough from the background and the background itself looked incomplete. DD world map stamp and blueprint sketch distress ink came to the rescue. I stamped the world map several times on the panel in gathered twigs ink and then, to break up the orange and brown monopoly, I added some blueprint sketch ink in just a few places. I found some blue cardstock that matched the blue and stamped ‘friendship’ and ‘you’re the best’ from the DD ‘friendship’ strip of sentiments to finish the card. Oh, and I added a thin strip of brown cardstock separating the blue from the patterned panel.

I’m glad I didn’t give up on this panel; it is just the thing for my friend who I will enjoy a coffee with again one day.

Supplies


Classic motorcycle

Recently I posted a classic car card and both my brother and father responded that it was time for a classic motorcycle card. It is my dad’s birthday tomorrow so here is a motorcycle themed birthday card. Unfortunately it won’t arrive in his mail box anytime soon but we will chat via the interwebs. Happy Birthday, Dad!

To create the card I pulled out the distress oxide inks; I haven’t used them lately and had forgotten the cool effects I can get when I layer them. I started by smooshing three colours on my glass mat then spritzing them with water. The three inks were dusty concord, frayed burlap and fossilized amber. The dusty concord looks more pink than purple when it’s wet, the amber gives a nice bright pop of colour and the burlap is a neutral that works with both. Before I swiped my watercolour panel through the spritzed ink I had splattered some masking fluid on it and let that dry. The little white spots here and there on the finished card are the results of using masking fluid before adding any ink. I know they are a subtle effect but I like the contrast of a few white spots.

I ended up swiping the panel through the inks several times, letting it dry between swipes so the colours would layer rather than turn to mud. Once all the layering was finished I used the new Darkroom Door small brick wall stencil to blend some bricks over the panel with frayed burlap and fossilized amber inks. I stamped the motorcycle from DD ‘classic motorcycles’ set in versafine clair nocturne then added some collage numbers and letters using stamps from  DD ‘alphabet medley’ and ‘number medley’ sets in black soot and dusty concord oxide ink.

I stamped and embossed sentiments from both ‘happy birthday’ and ‘classic cars vol 1’ and die cut them so I could pop them up down the side of the card. The embossing powder is Ranger ‘weathered wood’ to fit with the slightly grungy style of the card.

I have no idea what kind of motorcycle this is but maybe my brother can fill me in on that. About six months ago he became a Harley owner; that’s him and his lovely wife out for their first ride on the new bike. It is certainly not his first bike so maybe he will recognise some distinctive feature of the one on my card.

Thank you for getting in touch on my last post about online church and hope at this time of isolation. I am happy to hear it was an encouragement to so many of you.

Supplies


Wanderlust

Wanderlust is the perfect name for this stamp; I would love to be walking down that lane in Provence! I have a friend with a house in Provence so I am curious to hear whether if I’ve managed to capture the look. To create this lavender themed panel I started by painting the watercolour paper in pale distress stains. I wet the whole panel then painted the bottom half in mustard seed stain. I was way too heavy handed and the result was bright yellow! I quickly whisked the panel to the sink and rinsed it off which resulted the pale yellow you see in the centre of the road. With the panel still wet I painted the sky area in broken china distress stain. I dried the panel and placed it in a stamp positioner to do all the stamping. There was a certain amount of back and forth with my stamping, blending, over-stamping etc but I will try and give you the gist of it. All the stamping is done with oxide inks on this panel so I would have more of an oil or acrylic painting look (something like this beauty by Maria Bertan). I stamped the trees and roadside grasses in peeled paint and forest moss distress oxide ink, wiping off the tips of the grasses on the right hand corner so I could ink with dusty concord oxide ink.

As I built up colour on the trees it was sometimes easiest to ink a large area with the oxide ink then wipe ink off the stamp where I didn’t want that colour. I also pressed the oxide ink pads down on my glass mat so I could pick up colour with a paint brush and apply it to the panel that way. As oxide inks are part dye ink and part pigment I was able to clear emboss over the stamping part way through the process to ‘lock’ in the colour on the foreground trees, grass and background trees. The ‘lavender field’ area is blank when stamped so I painted the rows of lavender with dusty concord and some spots of peeled paint oxide ink, the far fields in crushed olive and the road edges in diluted vintage photo. I loved the pops of purple so much I brought them into my second version also but not in the same way.

The second card is a looser watercolour look done with no oxides just the original distress inks and markers. I stamped the trees and grasses with forest moss, peeled paint and candied apple (roadside poppies). I was able to get some variety on the trees and grass by blending with a paint brush and re-stamping over the top.

The adjacent field is painted in wild honey distress ink then there is a dusty concord field further back. To get the blended effect I also spritzed my stamp not the panel so water was transferred from the stamp to the paper in certain areas not over the whole scene. While the inks were still damp I painted a tumbled glass and dusty concord sky around the tree tops and down to the hill edges. Some of the green ink bled into the sky but not too much. Finally I painted the road with vintage photo distress ink.

Have you been to Provence? Does it look a bit like this? Or, like me, do you want to go there now?

Supplies


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!

Supplies


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

Supplies

 


Shimmer poppies

I’ve been enjoying some pencil colouring lately, especially on ‘Stardream’ shimmer paper. (this background is stardream lapis lazuli) Working on a  dark background requires a different approach but the results can be quite eye catching. I stamped a few of the ‘wonderland’ poppies from Altenew on blue shimmer cardstock with antique linen distress oxide ink. The oxide ink ends up looking almost white on such a bold background.

My pencils are Faber Castell Polychromos but you could use whatever coloured pencils you have on hand. With a dark background it helps to lay down a light base of white before adding colours over the top. I chose two pink pencils plus a white to colour the petals and blended from white on the petal edges to dark pink at the petal base. I preserved the stamped lines where I could but occasionally coloured over them and did what repairs I could with my white pencil. I used a bright green pencil for the stems and sepals and a tiny spot of yellow in the centre of the lowest poppy.

As always it is hard to capture the shimmer of the paper on camera but I think you can see a bit of it in each photo. I stamped and embossed the sentiment on the panel but made a patchy job of it so I stamped it on cream cardstock and cut it out with the avery elle sentiment dies that are never far from my side these days! I popped the sentiment up on dimensional tape and added the panel to a cream card base.

I love that sentiment and hope you all stay awesome today, my friends!

Supplies


Steps journal page

Are you a wee bit surprised to see a journal page here?  I’m surprised myself, surprised but pleased. I really enjoyed dreaming it up and making it. It didn’t end up looking as I imagined but that is the way with journal pages is it not?

This art journal is a Fabriano journal; the paper is nice and thick but not watercolour paper so I painted over it with absorbent ground first. Then I grabbed a bunch of stamps from Darkroom Door along with three light coloured oxide inks and stamped mesh, stone and woodgrain texture stamps over the background. I spritzed it with water to soften the edges of the stamped images and dabbed some out too to make it subtler. Even after adding some water it was still bolder than I wanted so I painted another thin layer of absorbent ground over it.

I filled the bottom of the page with repeat stampings of flowers from the Darkroom Door ‘tall flowers‘ set in distress inks then blended some of the big flowers with water. They don’t blend as well as they do on watercolour paper but the effect is still nice.

I added grass and flowers from the DD ‘ nature walk‘ set, also in distress ink then a border with the mesh texture stamp in black soot oxide ink. It was a bit bolder than I wanted so I spritzed then dabbed with a paper towel ( as you can see I’m a fan of the ‘spritz and dab’ ). I splattered wild honey, forest moss and dusty concord diluted ink over the whole spread and it ended up looking like confetti. To boost a few of the flowers I outlined them with fine tipped black markers.

I wrote psalm 18:36 with a brush pen leaving a space to stamp the word ‘steps’ with the DD alphabet medley stamps.  I find choosing words for a journal page tricky, which words and how to add them. But the beauty of a journal page is the experimental nature of it. If I don’t like something on this page, I’ll try something different on another. Once the ink had dried I sealed the large flowers and the lettering with distress micro glaze.

Do you have any art journallers you would recommend for inspiration? I already follow Rachel Greig from Darkroom Door, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Vicky Papaioannou and Maremi SmallArt who all have different styles and inspiring journal pages.

I’m hoping to create in my journals more often and will share pages here if possible. Even if you are not an art journal person the designs can usually be converted to a card and sometimes start out as cards anyway!

Art Supplies (all Darkroom Door stamps are linked in description)


Sparkle stencil birthday

I know what you are thinking. What could have inspired me to create a sparkly pink and purple birthday card? A sweet five year old girl! She loves texture so I am hoping the raised glitter embossing, surprisingly silky sparkle ribbon and the raised sentiment will also appeal.

I used a beautiful quarter circle stencil by Alexandra Renke which I am looking forward to using on future projects. I blended four colours of distress oxide inks on neenah solar white cardstock first as I wanted to add the glittery embossing powder over the top. I made sure the ink was totally dry and also used a powder tool before pressing versamark ink through the stencil onto the panel. The embossing powder is WOW fairy dust which is very silvery and sparkly despite what my photos show.

I wrapped the panel with a bit of silky smooth glitter ribbon brought home from France by my partner in craft, embossed the MFT sentiment in silver powder and popped it up over the ribbon. All the product names are linked below. I realize this may not seem like a little girl card, after all there are no princesses, unicorns or cute animals. Since my children became grownups I haven’t really made many child cards. Do you make cards for children? What sets them apart from your other cards?

Supplies

Stencil: mandala (AR)

Stamp: birdie brown greetings galore

Inks: blueprint sketch, picked raspberry, dusty concord, seedless preserves distress oxide inks & versamark

Also: Ranger silver embossing powder, WOW fairy dust embossing powder, silver ribbon


Happy, happy, happy

I posted some cards a couple of weeks back made with stencils from My Favorite Things. Here is another using the geometric stars stencil. I sponged oxide inks through the stencil onto neenah solar white cardstock (colours listed below). For a bit of shimmer I spritzed the panel with my blue pearl-ex mix (made by mixing ‘interference blue’ pearl-ex with water).

I matted with purple cardstock and die-cut 4x h, a, p, p, y using the ‘little lower case letters also from MFT.  I stamped some words from the MFT Yay for you set to complete my enthusiastic sentiment.

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Supplies

Stamps:  Yay for you (MFT)

Stencils: geometric stars, (MFT)

Inks:  dusty concord, peacock feathers, blueprint sketch, faded jeans distress oxides & monarch versafine clair
   
Paper: neenah solar white cardstock, purple cardstock

Also: cutterpillar glow premium, mini ink blending tool, mini ink blending foams, interference blue pearl-ex powder
  


Stencils & Oxides

I have new MFT stencils and oxide inks in the house, a good combination for sure as the oxide inks blend so very nicely. The stencils are the focus on today’s cards but I’m sure I’ll have them providing subtle backgrounds on cards in the future. I’m over on the Foiled Fox blog today talking about these cards and my choices for each one. The first card features MFT  ‘geometric stars’ stencil. The next two cards are made with the MFT ‘Moroccan mosaic’ stencil.

I used mini ink blending tools and Neenah solar white cardstock to create all the cards.

I have some of the new oxide colours so I was keen to try them out. Above are all new stormy sky, spun sugar and dusty concord. (Ahh stormy sky, you are so perfect)

I paired the new crushed olive with the older forest moss. (There is also some antique linen in the middle there but it’s covered up by the HAPPY!) I had fun mixing and matching with some MFT sentiment sets to create all my messages and I love the way the stencilling underneath affects the stamping over the top.

For my final card it was again new oxides, tumbled glass and crushed olive. If you have never blended with oxide inks, you probably should; it’s very satisfying.

I was happy with these colour combos; I’d love to hear which oxides you like to put together.

Supplies

Stamps: Happy Birthday to you, Yay for you (MFT)

Stencils: geometric stars, Moroccan mosaic (MFT

Inks: spun sugar, stormy sky, dusty concord, crushed olive, forest moss, antique linen, tumbled glass oxide inks
     
Paper: neenah solar white cardstock

Also: cutterpillar glow premium, mini ink blending tool, mini ink blending foams