I looked through the stats for 2020 to see which posts were viewed the most. It is not necessarily an accurate indicator of favourites but it is fun to look back and see what appealed. I’ve included a link to the original post next to every photo. I’m featuring only cards I made and posted this year. Here they are in no particular order.
Back in January I used Darkroom Door stencils as a guide to paint watercolour backgrounds for silhouette stamping with DD stamps.
In February as I was preparing to teach a class using pearlescent paints on black watercolour paper I created this embossed and painted card. The class didn’t happen but the plan is still in my mind for either an online or in-person class hopefully some time in 2021.
This card and the next favourite feature the same Penny Black stamp and no-line watercolour technique. I used distress inks and markers for the watercolouring on this one.
Same stamp as shown above, Unforgettable from Penny Black but this time watercoloured with Arteza real brush pens.
This lilac card along with three other colour schemes featured the ‘lovely lilacs‘ stamp from Penny Black and there is a video tutorial as well.
Another video post once again with Arteza watercolour brush pens this time with Penny Black’s nature’s glory stamp.
Now this one is a little different, pencil colouring on kraft cardstock, again with a video. 2020 has definitely seen me create the most videos!
This one is also one of my favourites so it is nice to see it as a reader favourite too. It is the second post in the top ten to feature the lovely lilacs stamp from PB.
Another video post made the top ten, this one featuring die cut distress oxide painted leaves. This is the only one not featuring flowers.
This one just missed out on the top ten so I’m adding it here at the end because I think it might be my favourite of the year. It’s a brusho and cling wrap panels that made me think of hydrangeas so I turned the random patterns into massed flowers.
Thank you for dropping it to read my posts this year. I love sharing the details of my cards, journal pages and creative adventures. In a year when face to face interactions have been limited I have been encouraged over and over by the comments and conversations here on my blog.
It has been my best year ever for producing you tube videos and also the year I fulfilled a long time dream of producing online classes. Again thank you for your support in those endeavours.
I’m looking forward to sharing more creative pursuits on the blog with you in 2021, there will be watercolour and stamping (of course!) but also alcohol ink art, gel printing, lettering and journaling. I hope you are safe and well where you are and pray that 2021 will be a year of health and happiness for you.
There is no denying it anymore, autumn is in the air and on the trees and definitely in the cards. This week the weather has been lovely, the sun has shone and the frost warnings have gone. Can’t complain.
I really am a seasonal stamper; I’m inspired by what is going on outside in the world. With a few exceptions, like Christmas card prep, I like to stamp what I see in the garden and surrounds. The leaves on my trees are beginning to turn, nothing spectacular yet and nothing to rake (yay) but the signs are there. I chose oxide inks to blend several three coloured panels which I then cut up into leaves. The process and chit chat is all in the video below.
After the video was completed I looked at the wreath and decided it needed some brighter pops of colour and luckily I had some enamel dots which matched exactly. I added them before taking the photos below.
I really enjoy arranging all the elements on die cut cards like the two I’ve shared today but the gluing drives me a little crazy. Sometimes I use double sided adhesive but if the die cuts are not going to be sitting flat that doesn’t really work. If you have any suggestions for attaching fiddly little die cuts please leave them in the comments; I’d love to know. You might notice I try not to include much gluing in the video because it doesn’t make for very entertaining viewing.
I hope you are surrounded by some fall beauty where you are or perhaps enjoying some spring sunshine in the southern hemisphere.
I’ve dones some more experimenting in my art journal with Darkroom Door stencils and stamps. As with some of my previous pages I finished and wished I done a few things differently but on the whole I was happy with the bright, happy look.
I began by taping the edges of the double page with painter’s tape which helps keep the pages flattish and creates a clean frame for the design. I painted the pages with absorbant ground in case I wanted to do some watercolour techniques then, when it was dry I painted the top of the page with dylusions pure sunshine paint and the bottom of the page with a mix of dylusions lemon zest & blue lagoon.
I blended oxide inks through the new small sun stencil to make sunflowers, the small wildflowers stencil to make stems and extra flowers and the brick stencil to fill in background. I also traced inside the flower stencil with a black gel pen to make the flowers stand out a little more.
Although I worked mainly with stencils I filled the centre of the sunflowers with texture stamps, added extra leaves around the stems with a fern stamp from the ‘leaves’ set and stamped some script along the lower edge of the page. After adding all the different textures to the centre of the sunflowers, I wished I used the ticket one on all the flowers; it really does look the cutest.
I added splatters of black and white gessos over the panel and wrote the words of the ‘Irish Blessing’ along the sunflower stems. It was the line ‘may the sun shine warm upon your face’ that I thought fitted with the page but decided to include the whole blessing.
There is a collection of fabulous new stamps and stencils in the latest Darkroom Door release so pop over and check them out. You will be seeing more of them around here over the next few weeks.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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!
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!