Art de Fleur

This card is the cardmaking version of going down a rabbit hole. I know how easy that is on the interwebs, but apparently it is possible with a card as well. What started out as a vintage style two layer card became a little more than that. I just kept thinking of stamps and papers and techniques I wanted to add.

I decided an insert would be nice; I don’t usually put anything on the inside of my cards so an insert is quite the departure. An insert turned into two inserts which is more like a little book when you count both sides of the pages!

The front panel, which was initially going to be the whole deal features several Darkroom Door stamps: scratches background stamp, sheet music background stamp, global postmarks, art de fleur vol 1.

For the whole card I stuck with four Papertrey ink cubes (listed below); I used them for stamping, watercolouring, splattering and blending with a blending brush.

The inside pages are not watercolour paper but handmade paper from a Hanji gifts in Toronto. It is handmade paper with rose petals embedded in it. It was very white straight out of the packet so I smooshed some brown and pink inks on my glass mat, diluted with water then swiped the paper through the ink. This resulted in the colour I wanted but removed the sizing and wrinkled the paper. I ironed it, which did the trick then added little bits of stamping on every page. I used a couple of sentiments and some quote stamps, all from Darkroom Door and reused the same background stamps plus the floral stamps from the Art de Fleur set.

To join it all together I poked holes and used some fine twine for a little ‘book binding’. With all the ‘vintaging’ I did on the front panel and pages the card base itself looked very stark so I swiped that through some smooshed ink too so everything would co-ordinate.

I was so deep down the rabbit hole by this point I realised an ordinary envelope was just not an option so I pulled out another sheet of the handmade rose petal paper, inked it, ironed it and used my envelope punch board to create an custom envelope, which I failed to photograph. All in all a very satisfying but surprising creative project. Now, back to work!

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Blossom birthday

Even as my flowers fade and disappear I am still inspired to make floral cards. I’ve teamed up with the Foiled Fox today to share a blog post here and over there. If you are looking for all the creative process details pop over to the Foiled Fox blog. Today’s card features the C&9 ‘all the birthdays’ set again. It has only been in my house a week or so and already it has helped me out several times. Having one set with at least ten different ways to stamp happy birthday is a winner. There are probably more than 20 combinations when you look at all the separate word stamps and single letters in the set.

I wanted to combine a background image with a sentiment and ended creating my own background by repeat stamping with two stamps from the Concord & 9th ‘meadow blossoms’ set. Before heating the panel I stamped the word HAPPY from the new C&9 ‘all the birthdays’ set. I embossed with copper powder then coloured with ink from Papertrey ink cubes. The ink cubes are very juicy so I often smoosh them on my glass mat then pick up ink with a paint brush.

I filled the background with a grey zig clean color real brush pen and blended it with water. To complete the card I matted with with the dark blue cardstock I keep reaching for and finished the sentiment on a strip of the same blue. Having this new birthday set has got my birthday card production back on track. I have no excuses for not sending out birthday cards. Thank you Foiled Fox!

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Autumn lanterns

I have some dried Chinese lanterns in the corner of my workroom. They are lasting well, I’ve had them at least seven years, probably longer. A few have broken or fallen off the stems and the colour has faded so they are not the deep orange you see in the image on my card. I used Penny Black’s ‘flower lanterns’, ‘fragile beauty’ and ‘script background’ stamps to create this panel.

Just to mix things up a bit I pulled out memento inks for this project. There was a time when I used memento inks on every project and they are still within reach of my work table. The ‘Morocco’ browny orange is a beautiful colour so I started with that and used potter’s clay, olive grove, bamboo leaf and espresso truffle, some inkpads, some markers. I was very happy to see the ink pads are juicy as ever.

Memento inks don’t always blend once on the watercolour paper so I blend with a spritz of water to the stamp before stamping. I also smoosh some ink on my mat and pick it up with a brush if I want to add depth to a very specific area. I added some details with a gold gel pen after I had built up the lanterns and leaves with ink.

You can see some of my favourite ‘finishing touches’ on this panel: a script stamp, splatter and ink blended edges. I added two strips of co-ordinating cardstock as a half frame then balanced them with the sentiment from PB ‘banner sentiments’.

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Autumn Grove

As I mentioned last week; I’m a seasonal stamper which shows in today’s card. I’ve included some inspiration pics taken on a walk last weekend not far from where I live.

I stamped the PB ‘birches’ first in nocturne ink on hot pressed watercolour paper then embossed them in clear. I masked them with tape then, stamped PB ‘winter’s forest’ in Papertrey ‘cocoa bean’ and ‘dark chocolate’ ink then, while still in the stamp positioner stamped again with versamark ink so I could emboss in clear powder.

With all the trees embossed I started painting dabs of autumn toned inks around the trees and on the forest floor. The inks are listed below. Once I had the look of autumn leaves around the branches and scattered on the ground I used a white gel pen to draw back in the little birch branches I had accidentally painted over.

I stamped words from PB ‘family sentiments’ and cut them out with a speech balloon die which was exactly the right size. I matted the whole panel in brown then popped up the sentiment on a couple of pieces of cardstock.

The colours are lovely around here right now and there are still plenty of leaves on the trees. We had an enormous tree removed from our yard earlier in spring so it will be interesting to see if the leaf collecting is a little easier this year. We still have four big trees plus others over the fence daring to drop their leaves in our yard too!

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Oxide Leaves Video

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.

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Falling Leaves

Falling Leaves is a new transparent set from Penny Black, part of the ‘Autumn Extraordinaire’ release. I made a random pattern with most of the little leaf stamps by embossing them on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper. I taped the edges of my panel before I started and was able to keep a clean frame around the patterned area.

I arranged the leaves on the panel and embossed with versamark and potting soil powder. To add colour I started with just two brusho powders, gamboge and olive green sprinkled sparingly here and there over the leaves. After spritzing with water the colours started to move and fill the leaves and surrounding area but the gamboge diluted to pale orange and yellow so I added some brilliant red brusho to create a few more pops of colour. Most of the colour placement was random but I did move some around with a paintbrush.

Once the design was complete I dried it, removed the tape and cut the panel with a rectangle die. I stamped the lovely sentiment from ‘golden wreath on a banner die cut then looked at my cardstocks to choose a base colour. I ended up with a lovely metallic brown wood textured piece which worked exactly how I thought it would. Then I wondered, did I make a very similar autumn card with this cardstock last year? Yes, yes I did.

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Pumpkin Season

This lovely blue wheelbarrow filled with pumpkins is one of the new autumn products from Penny Black. It’s called ‘pumpkin season’ and I paired it with an older PB scenic stamp, ‘homeward’.

I worked on the wheelbarrow first while keeping it in my stamp positioner. I stamped the barrow in faded jeans archival ink, the base in hickory smoke archival and the pumpkins in fossilized amber archival. That gave me a base print to add to with distress inks which I could blend with water and a paintbrush. Still with the stamp in the positioner I inked different section with distress ink cubes and markers to build up the colours bit by bit. Once I was sure I didn’t have to stamp any more on the barrow I removed the panel, stamped the barrow on masking paper and masked the barrow in order to finish my scene.

With the panel back in the positioner and the barrow masked I stamped the ‘homeward’ scenic stamp over the top with ground espresso, spiced marmalade, barn door , peeled paint and wild honey inks. I blended the grass area immediately after stamping so I could extend the ground with peeled paint ink to fill the space around the wheel and base of the barrow.

I built up the colour of the tree with repeat stampings spritzed with water. Once the stamping and blending was complete I painted some shadows under the barrow with peeled paint ink and added some extra definition to the pumpkins with watercolour pencils. I blended the sky around the tree with stormy sky ink and a blending brush.

We harvested most of our tomatoes yesterday even though they are still green so now I am looking up green tomatoes recipes. The fried ones sound appealing (just like in the Fanny Flagg book) and a zucchini and green tomato relish could be good too.

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Fields of Gold

This card was inspired by @jenny_illustrations a watercolour artist I follow on instagram. She painted her scene but I used a selection of Darkroom Door stamps and some wet into wet techniques.

I worked on a panel of hot pressed watercolour paper splattered with liquid frisket. I wasn’t necessarily wanting the look of snow, more the interest or vintage look of little dots over the panel. It could be snow, an early snow or a first snow but that is not something I am thinking about right now. Not for a minute am I wishing summer away, I would never do that. Summer is definitely my favourite season and it is still officially summer for another 18 days!

But back to the card. I taped it down to my glass mat which I also used as a palette where I squished my distress inks to provide me with ink to paint with. I spritzed the whole panel with water then painted weathered wood and faded jeans distress ink in the sky then tea dye and gathered twigs distress ink in the foreground. It was not meant to be gathered twigs; the lid said ‘fossilized amber’! The lid was wrong but the colour, surprisingly worked maybe even better than amber would have giving me a gradation from light to dark brown.

While the whole panel was wet I stamped the large mountain stamp from DD ‘majestic mountains’ in faded jeans ink then, after a pause, the small trees from the same set in ‘hickory smoke’ then. after a longer pause, in ‘black soot’ ink. I used a small floral stamp from DD ‘wildflowers vol 1’ to stamp and restamp flowers in the foreground, first in ‘tea dye’ then in ‘gathered twigs’. I dried the panel rather than wait and finished it off with tea dye and gathered twigs splatter.

I was pleased to see my taping sealed the edges well resulting in no leaks. I am trying a different painter’s tape so it scored points on this project. I’m not sure why but this panel needed to be a side fold card. It has a little sentiment from DD ‘nature walk’ that says ‘ walk through the wildflowers’; you might not be able to read it but the recipient will.

I’ve done very few scenic cards lately so I enjoyed the process and result. I am pondering my next online class… scenic cards or Christmas cards? Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts.

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Magnolia Blossoms

I have teamed up with the Foiled Fox again to bring you these pretty purple blooms made with My Favorite Things, ‘magnolia blossoms’ stamp set. The set contains two stamps; I have used one, stamped three times. To hide one bloom behind another I stamped a mask first on masking paper. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper, stamped in versafine clair nocturne and embossed in clear powder.

I painted both the sky and the flowers with Dr Ph Martin’s Hydrus watercolour paints. They are highly pigmented so I added a droplet of each colour to a palette then added water. I describe the whole process on the Foiled Fox blog today so pop over there to learn more and take a look around.

The sentiment is also from a MFT set, ‘brushstroke expressions’ stamped in nocturne and embossed in clear for a little shine. See that little pop of yellow in the centre of the blooms, it’s what I call a booster in my new ‘Colour Clues’ class. If you want to know more, click here.

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Nature’s glory background

The nature’s glory stamp from Penny Black is a current fave of mine so I decided to try it with a different colour scheme. (previous cards here and here)

I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper with papertrey ink cubes then distress markers for some smaller details. The spray of flowers has a curve to it so I was able to move it around and stamp it four times in order to fill the 4ΒΌ” x 6″ panel.

I used a Papertrey ink royal velvet ink cube to ink the flowers and wiped any stray purple ink off the stamp before inking the leaves with green parakeet and the berries with bright buttercup. I spritzed the stamp before stamping so the inks would move a little. Before stamping again I added spiced marmalade distress ink to the berries and pine needles distress ink to the leaves with markers, gave the stamp another light spritz and stamped again.

I switched to a paintbrush to blend some of the leaves, berries and petals. When the ink dried I used the spiced marmalade marker again to add orange centres to the purple flowers.

I stamped a sentiment from PB ‘happy snippets’ on a banner die cut and popped it up over the panel. Oh and I splattered too…you probably noticed that.

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