Fresh Spring

Now that May has arrived I feel it is the right time to post tulip cards. My one tulip is blooming and the tulip festival is a week away. I have used the Penny Black ‘fresh spring’ stamp on hot press watercolour paper with distress inks.

Sometimes I stamp then blend with a paintbrush after stamping. This time the blends from a spritz of water on the inked stamp were almost enough without adding anything. I did a little blending on a few tulips and a few leaves but some of the blends just happened so I let them be.

I inked the tulips with wild honey distress ink and added festive berries over the base of the petals with a marker. Same with the leaves but using rustic wilderness with added forest moss for depth and variation. I know the distress markers are discontinued but they are so useful for adding ink selectively I will keep using them ’til they give up! The sentiment is from the PB set ‘special sentiments’.

My friend Jan recently sent me some more floral inspiration pics so I have added the inspiration for today’s card below. Thank you Jan.

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Watercoloured Ink Bottles

I’m sure the new ‘pen & ink’ stamp set from Darkroom Door will be a new favourite of mine. There are five different bottles, two pens, four nibs and some labels. You will see it on my cards, in my journals and on my gel prints.

I wanted to end up with a loose watercolour sketch of ink bottles. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper with distress inks as my ‘paints’. You will see in the video below I did not really plan my process at all and realised a few things about the stamps a little late but it turned out fine in the end.

Next time I play with these stamps I might try putting the pens in the inks, and creating different colours of ink in the bottles. Ahh, so many possibilities.

By the way there are a couple of new dates for upcoming classes; the details are on my Classes page

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Fresh Pansies

Pansies seem to be a happy flower don’t you think? This is the new ‘pansies’ stamp from Penny Black stamped twice on cold press watercolour paper.

In my previous post I asked what colour suggestions you had for irises. Jan in Oregon sent me some beautiful photos she has taken over the years featuring some stunning irises, so the inspiration file has definitely been topped up. She also sent a few photos of pansies, tulips and daffodils as they are the next flowers to be featured here on the blog. The photo below was my inspiration for today’s card. I ended up with more purple petals than white as I didn’t have time for negative painting but I was still inspired and delighted by Jan’s photo.

I stamped with distress inks then filled the petals with brusho watercolours using the same method I used recently for the irises. I used shaded lilac, mowed lawn and fossilized amber to stamp the outline then violet brusho and a mix of leaf green and moss green for the leaves and stems.

I used a purple marker to draw the lines coming out from the centre of the flowers, blended some mowed lawn around the stems and finished with a sentiment from the PB ‘love big’ set.

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Iris Elegance

This is the second iris card I’ve painted but it probably won’t be the last. Iris Elegance from Penny Black is such a bold beautiful stamp.

I worked on hot press watercolour paper in a stamp positioner to stamp the outline stamp in chipped sapphire, peeled paint and wild honey distress inks. I blended ink into the petals from the stamped outline but also used brusho paints to fill the petals with blends of colour. I had violet, ultramarine and moss green brusho mixed in a palette beside me so I could dip my brush and add paint to the petals.

To fill out the design I stamped just leaves to the left and the right of the main image. Let me know if you have irises blooming already or suggest some petal colours to me. The yard is covered in snow again here so the irises best keep on sleeping for now!

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Irises

The new ‘iris elegance’ stamp from Penny Black is a delight to work with. The design is large so there is plenty of space in the petals for pretty watercolour blends. I inked the stamp with distress inks then blended the stamped ink with water to fill the flowers using some co-ordinating colours of brusho for extra depth and variation. I have been flipping back and forth between hot and cold pressed watercolour paper lately; this one is hot pressed.

I have purple irises that come up in my garden each year but they don’t have the yellow centres I’ve featured on these ones. Yellow tends to be a pigment that pushes other pigments away which worked well on the petals. I painted the purples and then while the paint was still wet added yellow paint which spread and pushed the purple without making too much brown.

I don’t always add background but I did this time by painting water around the flowers then adding some Payne’s grey paint and a little diluted purple. Once again I chose the sweet little birthday stamp from the new ‘how sweet’ stamp set. Speaking of backgrounds, thank you so much to everyone who left me a message saying nothing more was needed on the recent poppy card. I am so encouraged by you, my kind and generous readers!

The warm weather and rain of the last few days has melted quite a lot of snow and now I see some green tips emerging. I have also spied a cardinal and a blue jay on the feeder. Spring is definitely in the air.

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Farm Fresh Lavender

I am hoping I can fill a couple of jugs with lavender this summer. A couple of years back a friend split her lavender and gave me two plants which were coming along well last year and I hope will be even stronger and more full this year. When I have flowers in the garden I am always torn when deciding whether to cut them and bring some inside or just enjoy them outside where they will probably last longer.

To create this little scene I used two stamps from the new Penny Black ‘farm fresh’ set and the ‘brick wall’ background stamp. I worked in a stamp positioner to create this panel. I stamped the jugs first with wild honey and tea dye distress inks. After blending the ink with water I added shadow with walnut stain ink. I used both bundled sage and rustic wilderness for the stems and a mix of milled lavender (of course) and dusty concord for the flowers.

Because I had done the jugs first I stamped and cut little masks from post-it notes to make it easier to stamp a brick wall behind them. I used tea dye to stamp the brick wall then started blending the tea dye ink to fill the bricks. I sprinkled a very small amount of sandstone brusho over the wall and started blending it in random bricks. This resulted in the warm orange bricks you see. I also added walnut stain ink to a few bricks for a darker look.

I blended antique linen and walnut ink in the foreground and painted pale shadows below the jugs. The card is finished with a sentiment from the new PB ‘love big’ stamp set.

Just in case you wondered at me thinking about cutting flowers from my garden, I’m just dreaming; it is definitely still covered in snow!

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New Penny Black Florals

It snowed all day yesterday but spring arrived anyway in a package from Penny Black! I have a nice little stack of PB florals to share with you in the days to come and I should manage a video or two as well.

This first card features four stamps from the new Springtime release. Those of you who have been PB fans for years might notice a re-release among them. I stamped the large and small flowers from the ‘modesty’ set over foliage from the ‘sweet sprouts’ set; both sets include two large cling stamps. I used milled lavender and aged mahogany distress inks for the flowers and a mix of three distress greens for the leaves and stems. All the supplies are linked below.

The washy blended look in the petals was achieved by spritzing the stamp before stamping along with some paint brush blending afterwards. I stamped a border of script in weathered wood with the ‘letter background stamp’ and blended the same ink around the edges. I splattered water for some watermarks and a mix of the milled lavender and aged mahogany around the flowers.

The card is 6¼”x 4½” on cold pressed watercolour paper finished with a sentiment from the new ‘love big’ set. I love the snowy cards as you are aware but I am definitely excited to be stamping florals again!

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Wintertide Blue

This beautiful ‘wintertide’ stamp from Penny Black is a scene in itself and the first time I stamped with it I didn’t add to it at all. This time I painted extra trees in the background for a bit more depth and atmosphere.

I began by punching a little circle mask from masking tape and placing it on the hot pressed watercolour panel. I wet the panel then painted a mix of dark blues and grey paint over some areas, leaving a few white patches. While the paint was wet I painted trees in the background which ended up with soft edges because I was working wet into wet. I sprinkled salt over the sky area and let the paint dry.

Once the paint dried I removed the salt and used a stamp positioner to stamp the ‘wintertide’ image in black soot and faded jeans ink. The little trees to the right of the feature tree were too small in comparison to the painted background trees so I painted taller trees over the top. I did a little blending of ink here and there but the stamp is so detailed with its branches and white space I tried not to fiddle with it too much. This will be the last post for 2021, I look forward to sharing projects, ideas and conversation with you here on the blog in 2022. Happy New Year!

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Vintage Candlelight

It has been a while since I created a vintage style card but the pretty ‘candlelight’ stamp from Penny Black has worked well for this technique. I embossed the image on hot pressed watercolour paper in gold powder then used Karin brush markers to paint the candles and foliage before switching to distress inks for the background.

It probably wont surprise you that I used a limited palette for the colouring. I used a mix of red-209 and magenta red-170 to paint the candles, a mix of rosewood-272 and magenta red for the candle sticks, a mix of rosewood and lush green-228 for the leaves and straight red for the berries.

As usual I had not planned my background before I started but the colours on the candlesticks already looked vintage so I blended antique linen around the edges of the panel first then blended right up to the stamping. I stamped the music stamp from the PB set ‘footnotes’ in vintage photo then added more blending and splatter with the same ink. The stamp is tall so the card is A6 (4½” x 6¼”).

As the days are so short right now I am enjoying lighting candles and sometimes the fire. Hope things are cosy where you are.

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Quick inky sky

I’ve made many of these snowy scenes over the years but this was one of the quickest because the scene is all in one stamp. I already had a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper splattered with masking fluid, so that also cut out some time.

I stamped the PB ‘gorgeous grove’ stamp in versafine clair morning mist ink which I think I like better than black when the sky is not very dark. After stamping I added a frisket film circle mask which I did not seal perfectly but that’s ok; there’s a bit of cloud cover creeping over the moon.

I didn’t want to spend too much time choosing colours so I just pulled out three of the newest distress inks. I’m still experimenting with the new colours so I started by painting salvaged patina around the moon then blending it with water to fill the top half of the panel above the horizon. Next I added prize ribbon ink just about everywhere and then some dabs of kitsch flamingo. I would not normally use these three colours together but it worked as distress blends often do. Once the sky was painted I dried the panel before using the same inks to paint shadows in the foreground and behind the snowy hill. The words are from PB ‘Christmas sentiments’ set stamped in morning mist to match the trees.

By the way I have a little sale going on over at my online classes site. If you use the code HTNOV you can get a 25% discount on the Floral Faves class, Winter Wonder class and the Colour Clues class.

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