Welcome Home

This sweet scene is called ‘Welcome Home’ and it is a new rubber cling stamp from Penny Black. Yes you can see little white flecks on the panel again, not snow, just textural interest, or perhaps rain. I used a panel of hot pressed watercolour paper splattered with masking fluid. As usual with a scenic stamp I kept the panel in a stamp positioner throughout the whole process.

I stamped first in antique linen so I could see the whole scene as I added colour bit by bit to the cottage, fence and trees. I used a mix of distress ink pads and markers. To blend the inks I sometimes spritz the stamp before stamping so the inks start moving or I use a paintbrush after stamping to move the inks to fill an area like the roof or walls of the cottage. If some details get lost in the blending I use a marker to add definition back to the scene eg. bricks, roof and chimney outlines.

I loosely painted the grass, sky and driveway with smooshed distress inks. I thought the wide sentiment worked well to balance the height of the tree and stamped it in dark brown. It’s another new one from PB’s ‘delightful day’ set.

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


Bud & Bloom

More flowers on the blog as we get more snow on the ground! The trio of flowers on the card above and the single bloom on the card further down the page are both digital stamps from the ‘bud and bloom‘ set available from Echidna Studios. I printed them on hot pressed watercolour paper then used Karin brushmarkers to add colour.

I haven’t used my Karin markers in a while but there are still as juicy as ever so a little ink goes a long way. I have seen the Karin markers used direct to paper, then blended with water and also scribbled onto a glass mat or palette then picked up with a brush. In the past I have tended to apply directly to my watercolour paper or directly on a stamp. This time I scribbled the markers onto my glass mat and blended colours before painting the flowers. I think this gave me more control over the blends. I worked with a yellow, a couple of oranges and a red to come up with the three mixes you see in the card above.

To add a green background to the card above I blended northern pine memento ink (the magic green ink) around the flowers then splattered water droplets over it and dabbed them up with a paper towel.

On the second card with the single bloom I added orange to the soft peach marker, once again picking up ink from a glass mat rather than applying it directly to the paper. While the ink was still wet on the paper I did touch the tip of the orange marker to the areas where I wanted deeper colour and shadow then immediately blended it out towards the ends of the petals. I added a little extra shading on both panels with coloured pencils, a trick I learnt from Kathy Racoosin a colouring wizard!

I used a warm grey marker from my set of 26 colours to add a background with a few spots of very diluted orange here and there. There are three greys in the set, a warm, a cool and a neutral grey. I tried each one on a scrap of watercolour paper before settling on the warm grey. I painted water onto the background then applied the grey ink onto the wet cardstock. I also added texture to this panel with the ‘subtle’ embossing folder which creates a canvas look.

The sentiments on both cards are from the new Penny Black set, ‘delightful day’. I’ve mentioned before one of the bonuses of a digital stamp is that you can print it out whatever size you like. I’ve already printed the trio of flowers image larger on watercolour paper so the flowers will fill the whole panel. I hope to have that one finished to share with you soon.

Hope you have a delightful day whether you are surrounded by snow or flowers!

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


Lovely

I have another lovely new stamp from Penny Black and it is aptly named ‘Lovely’! It is a brushstroke stamp, meaning that it is semi solid and made from a painted image to look like you painted it. I find that dye inks and water based markers are great for this type of stamp.

I worked on hot press watercolour paper which had some masking fluid splattered over it. I sometimes use masking fluid even when I am not creating a snowy scene because I like the slightly aged or ‘rainy’ look it gives my stamping and painting. I wanted to do the background before I stamped so I smooshed some speckled egg and mowed lawn distress inks on my glass mat, spritzed water to dilute it then swiped my watercolour panel through it. The result is very soft but enough to add subtle interest to the background.

I inked the flowers with a mix of tattered rose, abandoned coral and seedless preserves distress inks, spritzed the stamp with water then stamped. I used a paintbrush to blend the ink to fill the petals. You can see me use this technique in a video here. I inked the stems with mowed lawn and the tiny flowers with iced spruce. I do use a mix of large and small ink pads when I ink the stamp along with distress markers. I know distress markers are discontinued but I will keep using mine until the bitter end. I managed to reink a marker the other day following a video a friend told me about. The video maker used a distress stain but I had a re-inker in the required colour so I used the re-inker. I didn’t see any improvement until the next day after the ink had time to soak through the tube and into the brush tip.

Because I love the matchy-matchy I pulled out a Ciao Bella ink to stamp the sentiment from the new PB set ‘blessings’. My colour inspiration was from a photo Jan sent me last year. My colours are not as subtle as the ones in the photo but I still like the unusual mix of coral and purple. Thanks for the inspiration, Jan, I went to my file of your pics as soon as I started working with this stamp!

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


Prized

Penny Black has new stamps! And of course I am especially interested in new flowers and tree stamps. This rose, aptly named ‘prized’ is just one of the new stamps I will be sharing on the blog in the next few weeks.

My mother loved roses and she and my father grew them in every garden they made. My dad has several lovely ones out the front and the back of his retirement unit. I think he has one with peachy/yellow colouring a bit like this one.

To colour the ‘prized’ rose I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper and kept it in a stamp positioner. I inked the petals with both fossilized amber and abandoned coral distress inks. I spritzed the inked stamp before stamping which made the ink wetter and easier to blend into each petal shape. When using this technique I always smoosh the ink pad on my glass mat so I can pick up ink there as well.

While the petals dried I inked the leaves and stem with forest moss and a small amount of faded jeans distress inks then followed the same technique as above to paint the leaves. I went back to the petals and did a second round of stamping and blending adding candied apple ink to the centre of the rose to deepen the colour.

After I had completed the flower I used mix of diluted inks to paint around the rose. I added hickory smoke to the other four inks as I blended around the edges of the flower and feathered out to pale yellow or grey at the edges of the watercolour panel.

I chose the title sentiment from the PB set ‘delightful day’ and stamped it in peeled paint archival ink.

Hope you are having a delightful day!

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


Handmade Art Journal

A couple of weeks ago I posted photos and description of the handmade book with Coptic binding which I made as a participant in the November 5-Day challenge from the Handmade Book Club. I really like the construction and binding of this particular book so I made another one, this time with cold pressed watercolour pages and a gel printed cover.

The pages in this book are seven inches square so the covers are a little larger. When I went through my very large stash of gel prints I didn’t have two pieces large enough and matchy-matchy enough for my liking. Hard to believe I know, because my gel print collection now inhabits two large boxes. Knowing that I needed at least 9″ x 9″ prints I made a couple on rice paper especially for this journal. The pretty circle/tile pattern in the print is from a piece of embossed cardstock I have been holding onto for a very long time ‘just in case I needed it!’

I make my covers from the thick cardstock backs of watercolour paper pads. You can buy bookboard, but my stash of thick cardstock pieces is large and easily sturdy enough. I printed the cover patterns on rice paper which folds beautifully over the thick cardboard.

As you might have noticed from recent art journal posts, I’ve been creating in a 6″ x 6″ journal for my classes and at home. This one is just that little big bigger so I’m excited to get started in it.

Stay tuned to see what I put in this journal. I think it is safe to say some of the prints from those two big boxes will end up in here! Hope your day includes a book, in some shape or form.


Seedlings

If you are a plan ahead – plant ahead person then you might have some seedlings growing somewhere in your house or green house. These are the only seedlings I have at this point but I must say they are looking quite healthy.

This is a digital stamp designed by my daughter and available in her etsy store Echidna Studios. I printed it so that it just fitted on an A2 card front but I think it might be nice to print it larger and feature only one or two pots on a card front with the shoots and leaves coming off the edge of the panel.

I printed on hot pressed watercolour paper and used my Sennelier pan paints for all the colouring. I used a mix of greens for the greenery and a mix of blue and brown for the pots. I really like blue and brown combos these days, something that I wouldn’t have imagined a few years back.

The sentiment is from Simply Graphic’s ‘English Sentiments’ set; I like the handwritten look and the size of the words. I know I could be handwriting a few sentiments myself here and there but I always add the sentiment last and by that time I don’t want to mess up a otherwise completed card with a crooked or uneven sentiment. That being said I think I should try a few handwritten sentiments on upcoming cards…

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


Snowflake Cards

Apparently we are getting 10-20cm of snow tonight. So these cards are appropriate for late February! I teamed up with Grafix to complete these projects. I love using liquid frisket to create a scattering or a storm of snowflakes or stars across a watercolour background.

I splattered the liquid frisket on hot pressed watercolour, let the droplets dry then used dye inks to colour the panels. You can see the process in the video below.

I cut intricate snowflakes from lightweight white linen cardstock to add to the watercolour panels. All but the die-cut snowflakes on the final card are designs from Echidna Studios. I used snowflakes from the Snowflake Digital Stamp set. I have used them as stamps on previous cards but this time I cut them on a cricut.

Because the snowflakes are quite intricate gluing them on with artist tac was very straightforward. I also use artist tac when I am attaching individual letters to create a word or sentiment.

I used a few of the cards as thankyous and left a few blank.

I used smooshed distress inks to create the watercolour backgrounds but you could use watercolour paints or powders to make soft blended backgrounds.

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


Salt & Dandelions

Just in case you are wondering this isn’t a recipe, well not an edible one! I know you can eat several parts of a dandelion plant but I don’t know about the little seeds that blow everywhere to plant new dandelions. This card has been hiding out in a drawer with a few others cards that give the impression of light and shade.

I didn’t create the multicoloured background for the dandelion stamp; I just created it while experimenting with watercolour paints and salt crystals. You have probably done the same sort of thing yourself. If not, try sprinkling salt crystals of different sizes on wet watercolour paint or die ink. As it dries it creates fabulous patterns. The ones on this panel looked so much like dandelion seeds I had to find the right stamp and sentiment to finish the card. You can find a video demonstrating the salt sprinkling technique here. After the paint and panel has dried you can gently brush off the salt to reveal the patterns.

I used gansai tambi watercolour paints and a large PB stamp called ‘Dandee’. If I had wanted a background that looked like dandelion fluff blowing about I’m sure I couldn’t have created it. That’s why I play and experiment then see what I should make with the panels.

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


Streaming

As I write this a snow storm continues outside so there will be scenes like this one to enjoy in days to come. The whole scene is one of Penny Black’s beautiful scenic stamps; this one is called ‘streaming’. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper in a stamp positioner and had splattered masking fluid over the panel before I began.

I used a few different inks so I could blend in some areas and get sharp images in others. The first thing I stamped was the top of the stamp including the horizon in uncharted mariner distress ink. Once I could see the horizon I painted more of the same ink to fill the sky adding a little black soot to the blending at the top to darken the sky. I let the panel dry before stamping the stream also in uncharted mariner ink. I took my time blending the stream because I wanted a bit of variety in the depth of colour. You can probably see a few areas that look quite dark where I added black ink to create the look of shadow at the water’s edge.

I inked the trees in black archival ink and black starless sky ink (from Ciao Bella) I also used black and blue markers here and there to add ink to fiddly places. I painted some of my own shadowy snow drifts to fill out the scene.

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


Mini Tree

Another festive (digital) beauty from my daughter’s etsy store, Echidna Studios. Do you recognise the inspiration for this little tree? You probably see them in the grocery store; it’s a little pot of rosemary, shaped like a tree. The design is available already decorated or in a set with separate tree and decorations. It is only a few days before Christmas so of course I am featuring the already decorated one!

I printed the tree on hot pressed watercolour paper and painted the paper wrapping and tree with Sennelier watercolour paints. Several people asked me about printing on watercolour paper. Up until recently I had no success; I would manually feed it into the printer but the ink would smudge off. A friend told me about the preferences settings when clicking to print and now I choose ‘manual feed’ and ‘heavyweight paper’ and no more smudging!

I switched to Finetec pearlescent paints and a gold gel pen to do the decorations so they have a little shimmer and shine to them. I reached into my little box of pre-stamped, pre-cut sentiments and pulled out one to suit the colours and the recipient. It’s a tall skinny tree (a bit like our family) so the card isn’t my usual size. It’s a 6ΒΌ” x 4″ olive green card base.

My life size tree is also decorated in red and gold this year. I always pick a slightly different colour scheme so this year all the red baubles came out, the tartan ribbon and the individual decorations in red, gold or wood. Do you change your colours from year to year?

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