Just one more chapter

Just one more bookish card? Of course not; there will always be more bookish cards, especially as Darkroom Door keeps creating more bookish stamps! Today’s card, which of course can be sent to a fellow reader on any occasion, features the new ‘reading’ sentiment strip as a background wallpaper and as the sentiment. Darkroom Door has a range of sentiment strips each containing 9-10 sentiments. I could cut them up into individual stamps but I have kept them all as strips so I can stamp them all at once if I want to. I did so on today’s card to create a background in rusty hinge distress ink on watercolour paper. I painted water over the top of the stamping to blur it but you can still read most of the bookish mantras.

I also used the DD stamp ‘book spines’ to create my line up of books. I stamped it on three different gel prints and embossed each one in a different metallic ink. I cut up all the prints then rearranged the books to have green, blue, yellow and brown books across the shelf. Even though I chose random gel prints I love the way the texture of plastic lids and packaging has become aged leather on the book spines.

After attaching my books to the background I stamped just one phrase from the sentiment strip by masking above and below the words then added it to the card. A little shading along the top of the books give a bit of dimension.

This turned out to be the perfect card for today because I have been part of the Coptic Challenge at ‘The Handmade Book Club‘ this week. Today is the last day of instruction which covers sewing the book together. When I have completed my book I will post it on the blog. It is the second time I have participated in the five day challenge; both experiences have been very enjoyable and the instruction is fabulous.

So, read one more chapter and have a great weekend.

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Merry Berries

As I was stamping and painting this panel it hadn’t occurred to me that these berries are mistletoe and maybe shouldn’t have been red! The stamp is called Merry Berries from Penny Black and it’s stamped three times. I picked a red and a purple for the berries and a couple of greens for the leaves. I used both distress inks and distress markers to get everything inked.

With this many small leaves and berries I work in a stamp positioner and sometimes ink the stamp with one ink pad and then remove ink where I don’t want it. I stamp that first colour or in the case of the leaves, the mix of forest moss and mowed lawn and, because I had wiped ink off the berries, they will be unstamped (ideally!). I switched to markers to ink the berries, stamping a couple of times to build up shadow and depth. Once all the leaves and berries are inked I blend with a paintbrush and water to fill the shapes.

The little white dots on the leaves are the result of splattered masking fluid on the hot pressed watercolour paper. I splatter the masking fluid on several panels of watercolour paper ahead of time and let them dry so I can grab one when I need one. When all the stamping and painting is completed and dry I rub the masking fluid off with my fingers or with adhesive eraser. To finish the card I stamped a sentiment from the PB ‘promise of hope’ set.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp & Ecstasy Crafts)

Snowfield

I have teamed up with the Foiled Fox today to bring you this snowy scene. It’s all one big beautiful Penny Black stamp called snowfield. The PB scenic stamps are fun to combine with each other or just add a few elements to but I generally stamp them first all by themselves. I like to get to know the stamp because a scenic stamp often has foreground, middle ground and background elements. In order to use watercolour techniques with them I need to work out what part of the stamp I should ink first.

In a snowscape it is also important to think about which parts of the panel need to stay untouched by ink or paint so they can look like fresh white snow! If you pop over to the Foiled Fox blog you will find my step by step process described. I used both water soluble (distress inks) and waterproof (archival inks) on this scene. I blended several colours on the fence posts so those were stamped with distress inks. The details on the trees are very fine so I used archival inks for a solid print along with some distress which I could blend over the larger trunk and branches to fill the silhouette shape. Of course the sky and snow is all done with distress inks because I wanted to add water so I could blend and dilute.

When painting shadows around snowy areas it is sometimes hard to keep all the white areas white; that is where a paint pen, gel pen or some white paint can come in handy for touching up at the end. You can even add paint splatter at the end rather than masking fluid at the beginning if you like.

I hope you take some time to visit the Foiled Fox blog; they have a world of inspiration waiting for you.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox)


Winter Berry Beauty

A few weeks back I inked this stamp in autumn colours which reflected what I was seeing outside my window. I promised to do a more wintry version and here it is. Once again I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper with masking fluid splatters over it. I kept the panel in the stamp positioner so I could work on the red berries and green leaves separately avoiding too much bleeding of green into red and vice versa.

I used fired brick, barn door and aged mahogany to get variety in the berries. I inked, stamped then blended with a damp paintbrush. The leaves are a mix of forest moss and peeled paint. When I had finished stamping and painting the leaves and berries I noticed how much ‘masking fluid’ splatter was not covered in ink. If I don’t paint or stamp over it there is less of the falling snow effect on the finished panel. Rather than paint around the berries I used blending brushes to add shabby shutters distress ink on the left and broken china on the right. I also stamped a bit of music background in peeled paint.

The sentiment is from the PB Christmas feeling set and the finished card is a little larger than my usual at 6.25″ x 4.5″. I did a count of completed Christmas cards the other day and found I am further ahead than I thought. How are you progressing. What is your goal? Just curious…I’m aiming for around 100 and the Australia bound ones need to get in the mail soonish!

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp and Ecstasy Crafts)


Can’t wait to see you

Time to show off a new Darkroom Door beauty today. Darkroom Door’s latest release is now available and I chose the ‘clocks’ texture stamp for a vintage style card. Darkroom Door is always coming out with fresh new ideas and sometimes expand older themes and collections. The clocks are also available as a full background stamp. Having a smaller texture stamp featuring clocks is going to be wonderful for journal pages. I paired it with another DD stamp, pocket watch.

I used the texture stamp to fill my background by stamping it four times on a hot pressed watercolour panel. The panel was splattered with masking fluid because that is the mode I am in right now. I inked the clock stamp with a mix of yellow and browns initially, spritzed on the stamp and blended after stamping on the paper. I added the blue and rust a second time round because I needed more contrast.

I used the same mix of colours to fill and surround the embossed pocket watch and also embossed a partial sentiment from the ‘long distance’ sentiment set. When I had trimmed and arranged the two layers I decided to add a bit of script over the top using a stamp from the DD correspondence set. I enjoyed working with these images and colours so much you might see them expanded to fill a journal page.

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Snowy Panorama

As I post yet another winter scene I can tell you there is still no sign of winter round here. We’ve been having mild fall days. It is weird for it to be so warm with the trees almost bare! To create today’s card I used Penny Black’s ‘panorama’ stamp. I stamped the horizon line first in broken china distress ink. This is a step I often do if I want to paint the sky with the wet on wet technique. By stamping the edge where the snow meets the trees I was able to paint water on the whole panel from the horizon up then add in broken china and uncharted mariner to get a varied blue sky. I did get blue ink on the white tree trunks but I had already decided I would touch them up with white paint at the end of the process.

While the sky was still drying (in the stamp postioner) I inked the distant trees with forest moss and pine needles and stamped. The ink soaked into the damp paper creating the soft focus effect you see above. I dried the panel then switched to an archival ink to stamp the three foreground trees. I also stamped them in black soot distress ink and the lines in the snow with uncharted mariner. I blended a bit with a paint brush but also spritzed lightly to get the inks to feather out a little.

You can probably tell I started with splattered masking fluid on the watercolour panel. I tend to do a few panels at a time so they are ready later when I want to stamp a winter scene. If you don’t want to bother with masking fluid you can always splatter with white paint when you have finished your scene.

Thank you to all who left me a kind message on my Rivulet card post. Many of your guesses were close; like me you picked a brown and a blue. The two inks were uncharted mariner and ground espresso; I love the range of hues I got when those two mixed.

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Rivulet

I love it when I find a stamp that looks like somewhere I’ve been. I couldn’t tell you exactly where this is but I have experienced scenery like this. I’ve said it before but winter here in the dark cold north is very beautiful. This gorgeous PB stamp is called ‘rivulet’ and I used only two inks! I am going to let you guess the inks. I’ll update the links below in a few days but I’d really like to see your guesses. (hint: they are distress inks)

I worked on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper splattered with masking fluid. I used the splatter brush I have used in the past. It gives a fine splatter. If I want bigger spots masked I will use an old paint brush. I worked in a stamp positioner, stamping first in one ink colour, then partially inking the stamp with the second colour before stamping again. I used a fine tip paint brush to blend the ink to fill the tree trunks and rivulet. I smooshed the inks on my glass mat so I could pick up extra ink if needed to fill some areas.

The panel is larger than my usual 4.25″x 5.5″ but I didn’t want to trim it so I left a little extra space at the bottom of a larger card base for the sentiment from PB set ‘jolly snippets. I have already made a second card with this stamp, changing ink colours to suggest a different time of day. Don’t forget to leave your ink colour guesses for this card in the comments below!

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Treasured Pine

You are excused for thinking you have scene this card before. When I get a new pine branch stamp I often set it against a blue sky. I have a pine tree in my front yard and I think it is at its best under a blue sky after a fresh fall of snow. Most of the year said pine tree is just making a mess in our yard and driveway. This lovely stamp is from Penny Black and is called ‘treasured pine’.

I worked on hot pressed watercolour that had been splattered with masking fluid earlier. I smooshed both speckled egg and uncharted mariner distress inks on a glass mat, spritzed with water then swiped my watercolour panel through the ink several times. I also spritzed water on the panel to spread the ink further.

Once the background was dry I worked in a stamp positioner to stamp first the pinecone in a couple of brown inks then the pine needles in a couple of greens. I blended the ink on the pinecones with a brush to intensify the coverage and after the inks dried added white to the snow covered areas with a posca paint pen. I added a sentiment from the PB ‘feeling of Christmas’ set. To see a couple more pine themed designs click here and here

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Winter Barn

We’ve been having such warm pleasant weather lately this scene seems like a very distant prospect. The tide is turning though; it was rather chilly out today, not snow-covered-barn chilly but, could-have-worn-a-jacket chilly. This stamp is called winter barn and it’s new from Penny Black. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper in a stamp positioner and started by stamping the whole scene in soft stone ink, a pale grey which gives me the whole scene in a pale tone which won’t interfere with the colours I add over the top. I used barn door distress ink (of course) for the barn, black soot archival and distress ink for the trees, ground espresso distress for the fence and uncharted mariner for all the sky and shadows in the driveway.

I stamped the barn with just the red ink first then as I blended added brown shadows both by re-stamping and with a paint brush. I stamped the tree in archival ink and amalgam ink (both waterproof) so I could paint the sky over the stamping. I did paint carefully around the snow laden branches to leave some areas white. I stamped the fence in ground espresso but used black soot when blending the ink to give shadows to the fence posts. I blended some areas of the driveway but left some sections unblended which seemed to work well to suggest the ruts in the snow after it’s been driven on.

When I was happy with the scene I splattered on some white paint to look like snow.

Just a quick question for those of you with barns or experience with barns, do they often have chimneys? I would have thought the hay might be a fire risk…

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Autumn Berry Beauty

As I mentioned in my last post, the colours are beautiful around here at the moment. At certain times of day there seems to be warm golden light coming through a few of our windows. When I look closer it is sunlight hitting orange and yellow leaves and reflecting into the room. It’s a little bit magical. Even though this new Penny Black ‘berry beauty’ stamp was probably designed with winter in mind I decided to put it to work on an autumn card first. I was hoping to create a little golden magic.

If you look closely you can see some white spots; I worked on a panel splattered with masking fluid. I kept the stamp in a postioner and inked the leaves and berries with fossilized amber distress ink, the stems and parts of each leaf with a pine needles distress marker and sections of the berries with spiced marmalade ink. I did the leaves first, spritzing the stamp lightly before stamping and blending the yellow and green with a paintbrush after stamping. I worked on the berries in the same way picking up extra orange ink to darken some berries to create depth and shadow.

To create the golden glowy background I blended some fossilized amber ink into the spaces with a blending brush then painted over it with water to blend it further. Once the background was dry I splattered some spiced marmalade ink and removed the masking fluid to reveal the white dots and splots. The sentiment from PB ‘always thankful’ set is stamped in rustic wilderness archival ink.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp and Ecstasy Crafts)