Autumn Bouquet

Are the leaves changing where you are? I noticed this morning a few patches of colour on the predominately green trees. The mornings are quite fresh too and the sunsets are amazing. Today’s card features a new Penny Black stamp ‘autumn bouquet’ teamed up with a couple of favourite filler stamps, ‘fresh fern’ and ‘fragile beauty’.

I kept the autumn bouquet stamp in the positioner so I could stamp each element one at a time. There are three types of leaves plus the wheat and the berries. All were done with a combination of inks. Often I ink the image using markers then smoosh the corresponding ink pad on my glass mat to give me ink for painting inside the stamped image.

I used partial stamping to add the fern fronds and twigs. I usually ink the bit furtherest from the existing stamping then fill more in each time I stamp so as to avoid stamping over the top of other elements. This is because I am often too lazy to mask the stamping I’ve already done.

After painting and blending inside all the stamped images I used blending brushes to add iced spruce to two edges and splattered some over the panel. I trimmed and popped up the panel on a white luxe card base.

Have a wonderful weekend, thanks for dropping by.

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Combining scenic stamps

I’ve been playing with scenic stamps again, this time combining sections of two stamps to create a new scene. The Penny Black ‘farmland’ stamp forms the background scenery and the PB ‘homeward’ stamp makes up the foreground.

Out of habit (a successful one!) I used distress inks and markers to ink the stamps and add detail to the design. I kept the palette limited using two blues for the sky and several greens and browns for the rest of the scene. To see the process take a look at the video below.

I know some people find scenic stamps a bit daunting but the detail in the stamps themselves makes it possible to add a little or a lot of your own artistry. I hope you find the techniques shown in the video helpful.

You can see cards featuring the farmland stamp on its own here and to see the homeward stamp here.

I mentioned in the video that although I think the fields look authentic I have no idea what the crops might be. If you know of crops that would appear to be rust or olive coloured mention it below!

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Lakeside Wander

When I receive new scenic stamps from Penny Black I love creating a variety of scenes. I like to change mood and location first with colour and later with the addition of other scenic stamps. Both scenes in today’s post feature only one stamp, the new ‘wander’ cling stamp.

The stamp includes both the distant hills and the foreground with a tree. The space in between can be interpreted by the stamper to include whatever they wish. I have chosen to make it water in both my cards perhaps a river, a lake or ocean inlet.

To make both scenes I created a smooshed ink sky first. For the sunny sky and water above I smooshed salty ocean, scattered straw and mowed lawn on my glass mat then swiped the watercolour panel through the diluted ink. For the moodier panel below I smooshed faded jeans, mowed lawn and tea dye to create my background.

Once the sky dried I stamped the scenic stamp inking it with a mix of distress inkpads and markers. I add colours a bit at a time to build up dimension sometimes spritzing the stamp to move the inks and other times blending the stamped inks with a paint brush

To add reflections to the second scene I painted over the water with hmmm, water so I could drop ink into the wet area below the land and trees.

When I had finished the panel above I gave it some texture with the ‘subtle’ embossing folder so it looks like it has a canvas finish. The two cards definitely show different moods, the first being bright and sunny, the second darker but with drama in the water and sky. Which do you prefer?

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Country scene

Another stamped scene, this one a little closer to home than the desert in the previous post. I paired the PB ‘arbor’ and ‘snow fence’ stamps to create a pastoral scene. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper using distress inkpads and markers as my ‘watercolour paints’.

As the fence posts are in the foreground I stamped them first in a mix of browns, black and grey then blended on paper with water. Once the posts were dry I inked the trees in a few greens and brown avoiding the area behind the fence post. I should have masked the posts but I was feeling a bit lazy so I just inked and stamped several times getting closer each time to the post without stamping over it.

Once the trees were completed I painted a light wash of crushed olive and peeled paint inks over the ground area then used a fan brush which I’ve left untouched for years to paint grass in both forest moss and peeled paint. For a bit of interest I added blue dots to look like flowers under the trees. My stash of birthday cards is looking low so I added a partial sentiment from the birthday humor set. Are you a scenic stamper? What are your favourite techniques for bringing scenes to life.

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Desert Sky

After creating some gel printed landscapes I was inspired to return to another technique I enjoy: creating landscapes with scenic stamps. Sometimes I combine scenes to create a new landscape or stamp additional elements, other times I stamp a single complete landscape as shown in this ‘desert dreams’ stamp. It was released a few years back but this is the first time I’ve inked it. Before getting to the stamping I created the painted background which included a two tone blue sky and two toned desert floor. I smooshed distress inks on my glass mat, spritzed water over the ink and swiped the watercolour panel through to pick up colour.

Once the panel dried I did the stamping in a stamp positioner so I could build up the colour and picture bit by bit. I started by inking the cacti with crushed olive and peeled paint markers, the distant foliage with rusty hinge and the foreground foliage with peeled paint and forest moss. I spritzed the stamp but also used a paint brush and occasional spritz on the panel.

You can see my finished design doesn’t contain fine details but the overall feeling is a hot day in the desert day among some bold contrasting scenery. I finished the card with a sentiment from the PB ‘Faith.Hope.Love’ set.

To see more scenic stamping take a look at these posts: Arbors, Pumpkins, Fields of gold and Beloved view.

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Daisy Sunshine

Last week I asked what your favourite floral stamp was and several people mentioned PB ‘dancing daisies‘. That was all the motivation I needed to get it inked up. I used the same technique for today’s card as I did for a recent lilac card. I inked the stamp with three ink colours (listed below), spritzed and stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper. Without re-inking I spritzed the stamp again and stamped another print then another spritz, another pale watery print. I dried the panel a little then dipped it in a bucket of water. The result was the background you see in pale colours.

I made sure the panel was totally dry before putting it in a stamp positioner to do a bold focal print. I used the same colours berry sorbet for petals, orange zest for centre and prairie grass for leaves and stems. I stamped a second time adding aged mahogany shadows on the flower centre and abandoned coral definition on the petals. I did some blending with a paint brush but not on all the stamping.

I finished the panel with a sentiment from PB ‘thinking of you’ in acorn versafine clair ink. I’m glad to have been reminded about dancing daisies; it’s a lovely stamp which I’ve used a few times over the years.

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Captivating

This gorgeous stamp from Penny Black is called captivating; it’s a single large stamp which fills a card front and lives up to its name. Before painting I did a quick search on my phone and used a reference photo as inspiration. Fuchsias can be a single colour or two toned; I chose pink and white using Peerless watercolours and a few no-line watercolour techniques.

Peerless watercolour paints blend beautifully; they actually advertise as ‘self blending’ so the soft transitions from dark to light on the leaves and petals shine with this kind of paint. After stamping in papertrey soft stone ink I used a couple of greens for the leaves and a single red for the lower petals which I diluted as I blended to add depth and variation. The upper petals have a little yellow, green and pink but not much as I wanted them to appear white.

I posted yesterday about my new online class Floral Faves. I use the Captivating stamp in the no-line watercolour lesson covering the process from beginning to end. There’s a giveaway open for a place in the class, pop over to this post to enter.

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Cow’s it going?

How much do you love this big highland cow? I hope you don’t mind this departure from my usual subject matter but there is something about this cow (and some other beauties from Pink Ink Designs) that amuses and inspires me! When I saw this stamp I knew it would make the perfect birthday card for someone I know who finds highland cows adorable. Although confused by my behaviour, Crop A While here in Ottawa ordered it for me and I’m so glad.

This card is stamped and painted with dye inks, classic kraft papertrey ink as a base colour then four distress colours to highlight, shade and add personality to the beautiful face and hair-do. I worked in a stamp positioner so I could add the colours bit by bit to build up the image. I did some painting and blending with a paint brush but kept white areas also as they add so much to the design.

After I had completed the painting part I decided not to add anything more but instead ran the panel through the die cut machine inside the SU subtle embossing folder. If you look at the close up image you might just see the linen texture achieved. The ‘cow’s it going’ stamp set includes eleven smaller stamps along side this one including some distinctly Scottish ones so I’m looking forward to following that theme another time. My name is Heather after all, Heather McDonald originally!

Hope you are having a good hair day, like this cow obviously is!

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Lilac & Fern

I don’t think I am alone in calling this stamp set a favourite. The two lilac stalks are pretty alone but with a sprig or two of fern they are delightful. I stamped this panel a while ago so the exact process is no longer firm in my memory but I do remember a crucial step which I will share with you.

I inked then stamped the lilacs with a mix of distress inks and Karin markers and the ferns with peeled paint distress ink. It looked ok but not the soft blended bunch I was after. I did like the combo of lilacs and ferns though so I thought I would dilute it all and see what happened. I didn’t spritz it; I drowned it. I dipped the whole panel in a bucket of water (the laundry is right beside my workroom) and watched a lot but not all of the colour drain away. The brightness of the peeled paint ink washed out but the olive stain remained. The lilacs washed out to a paler version of themselves and it was rather nice.

I re-inked the lilac stamps with the royal blue, lush green, henna and gold markers and stamped darker more distinct lilacs over the top. I have a friend who has had many successes with what she calls the ‘drowning’ method. It’s worth a try if your panel is not going in quite the direction you wanted; what have you got to lose? It’s only paper!

Although it is not quite ready yet my new online class, Floral Faves, is getting closer every day and I will be teaching techniques using your floral stamps to create card sized art works like the one above. I can’t wait to open the class and of course I will let you know as soon as it happens. Stay tuned!

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Simple Delight

The colour scheme you see above is one of my favourites; I love pinks and blues and combinations of pink and blue. I also like green way more than I used to especially when paired with blue. I am talking about more than art and cardmaking; the clothes in my closet are blue, pink, burgandy, navy, white and combinations of the above!

I used Karin brushmarkers to both stamp and colour this panel featuring the PB ‘delight’ stamp; it’s a technique I often use and one that I teach in my new online class, Floral Faves. At the risk of boring you I am going to keep talking about my new class because I am very excited about it and very busy getting ready to launch it.

I used the following markers; magenta, lush green, henna, lilac, black, royal blue varying the greens with the help of the ‘henna’ marker to add more yellow tone. The stamp is a large one but I extended the edge of the ground even more with a few dots and dashes of green marker blended underneath with water. I kept this card design very clean with plenty of white space, the only added texture being the subtle border of the painted panel over a slightly larger card base in the same colour. I just felt the pretty colours were enough. To see a different look with the same stamp check out this card.

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