Maple Leaves

The colours around here are beautiful this year. Everywhere I go I see the gorgeous leaves that glow when the sun hits them and contrast with the wet tree trunks when it rains. This year’s colours seem to be some of the best I’ve seen but I think we say that every year.

This stunning stamp is from Darkroom Door and it is called ‘maple leaves’. I have two large maples in my yard so there are plenty of leaves to pick up but it is worth it for the weeks of splendor.

To create this card I put the stamp in a positioner to allow multiple pressings on the hot pressed watercolour paper. I randomly applied four different distress inks, gave the stamp a spritz of water then stamped. After one impression I could see where the stamp had no ink so I corrected and, bit by bit, made sure the whole leafy background was stamped.

I blended the inks with a paintbrush and water but didn’t blend every scrap of leaf. I used a light hand so as to make colour blend into colour but still leave the texture detail showing through here and there. Thanksgiving has come and gone here in Canada but there are autumn birthdays coming up so I used a stamp from the DD happy birthday set, stamped in vintage photo archival ink.

Hope the colours are beautiful out your window.

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Loose winter watercolour

A few weeks back I posted a very neat and carefully painted card with this pretty ‘scarlet’ stamp from Penny Black. For that one I stamped in a pale ink so I could do some no-line watercolour. For this card I worked in a much looser style. Some have called in my wishy-washy style.

I enjoy working in this style because I can end up with some very organic and serendipitous blends. Sometimes I end up with muddy unappealing blends also but on a big enough design those sections can be cropped away.

To create this panel I splattere masking fluid on hot pressed watercolour paper. Once the masking fluid was dry I worked in a stamp positioner while applying distress inks to sections of the stamp. I did the red petals first, blended the stamping with a brush and water then once the petals were dry moved onto the leaves and berries. There is a little ink blending from the red into the green but not so much as to create brown areas.

I painted around the petals, leaves and berries with Payne’s grey watercolour paint then when it was almost dry stamped the pine needles in weathered wood distress ink. The sentiment in stamped in hickory smoke archival ink.

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Watercolour decorations

There are some delightful new Christmas themed dies from Penny Black and sneak peaks have started of more to come. I love the ‘stocking stuffers‘ die set which features the stocking, trim and various bits of foliage. I used one watercolour panel to create this stocking card and the decorated bauble below uses jumbo bauble and foliage from stocking stuffers.

As you can probably tell from the mottled look of the watercolour panel I sprinkled salt over a wet panel coloured with distress inks. When you sprinkle salt over a wet panel you can achieve different results depending on how coarse the salt is.

The trimmings for both the bauble and the stocking were cut from shimmer cardstock in silver and quartz. The stamped message on the bauble is from the PB shine God’s glory set using versafine clair paradise ink.

The card bases and embossed panels are Neenah solar white cardstock embossed with TE sheet music and Spellbinders plaid company. All the links are below.

Today’s cards are similar to the cards we will be making in my October Collage Christmas card workshops in Ottawa. Click over to the Classes page to learn more and register.

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Bulb Basket

This sweet basket of Christmas balls not only makes a pretty card, it’s inspiration for a decorative arrangement in a few months time. The stamp is ‘bulb basket’ from Penny Black. I stamped it on hot pressed watercolour paper first in soft stone papertrey ink and then section by section with distress inks.

It is not clear in the photos but I used pearlescent paints to colour the balls so each one has a shimmer to it. The rest of the design is painted with a mix of distress inks and Sennelier watercolour paints. Once the painting was dry I added metallic tops to the Christmas balls with a gold gel pen. If you have this stamp or are planning to get it you might notice that there is a ribbon on the basket handle but no bow. The stamp features a bow but for the size of card I decided it was better to leave the bow loops unstamped.

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Snowy Settlements – one blue

You can find me and this study in blue on the Foiled Fox blog today. Recently I received the new uncharted mariner distress ink from the Foiled Fox and, as expected, I love the new blue. I decided to work with only the new ink for this card and see what tones I could get as I diluted the ink. You will probably see different depths of blue depending on the device with which you view this post but in real life the blues range from pale sky blue to deep teal blue.

This stamp is a lovely winter scene from Penny Black called ‘snowy settlement’. I stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper and painted the sky first with diluted uncharted mariner ink. While the ink was wet I sprinkled salt over the area which resulted in patterns once dry. When the sky was dry I painted over some of the village images with water so I could spread the ink a little and add variation to the trees and buildings. I finished the card with a sentiment from the PB ‘jolly snippets’ set also stamped in the same blue.

Make sure you pop over to the Foiled Fox to browse their inspiring blog and lovely store.

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Winter Gem

This lovely pinecone stamp is a new one from Penny Black called ‘winter gem’. The stamp has one pinecone plus groups of needles but I stamped it several times to fill my card front. The way I oriented the pine cones makes it look a little breezy with all the needles pointing to the left. I have a large and not very attractive pine tree in my front yard. It drops things all. year. round! There are always needles on the lawn, driveway and flower beds and most of the year there are pinecones too. It isn’t a tidy tree.

The one time the pine tree looks beautiful is after a fresh snowfall when all the snow is balancing on pinecones, needles and branches. For this panel I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper with masking fluid splattered over it before starting. I worked in a stamp positioner and inked the pinecone with three browns. I spritzed the stamp with water before stamping and spritzed again after before stamping a second generation image. I decided to stamp the pinecone a couple more times on the edges of the panel. I used a slightly wet paintbrush to blend the browns on the pinecones and touched up some of the pine needles also with a fine tip paintbrush.

Once the panel dried I blended speckled egg ink around the pinecones. Because there was masking fluid spots all over the panel little white dots of snow appeared after the masking fluid was removed.

Penny Black has come out with a few clever sentiment dies which pair a large word with a one sided outline. I cut the outline from the stamped panel but it looks fresh and snowy if you cut the outline from white cardstock and place it at the base of the your panel. My word is cut from dark green cardstock but looks black; it’s always the way with dark colours in my photos.

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It’s all about the sky

I recently returned to a favourite technique for a couple of card classes. We made a bunch of watercolour backgrounds ready to be turned into cards. This background is one of my favourites. I love the blends and the hint of a sun-kissed hill which just happened as I swiped my watercolour paper panel through smooshed ink.

The pale splats are from splattering water onto a distress ink background then dabbing it up with paper towels. The silhouette flowers are once again from the beautiful darkroom door set, wildflowers vol 1. Often I would use a larger panel or even cover the whole card front. I created this background on a larger panel but trimmed it down to use the best part. That’s why I usually work on watercolour panels larger than I need. By the way we have seen some beautiful skies lately, hope you are catching some too.

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Amaryllis Bundle

This sweet amaryllis bundle is another new stamp from Penny Black. I kept things simple using the same technique used on the pinecone poetry card.

Keeping the stamp and watercolour panel in the stamp positioner I inked the stamp with a mix of distress inks and distress markers to colour the petals, stems and twigs. I worked one colour at a time so I could wipe ink off the stamp where I didn’t want it before stamping. The petals and bow are stamped and painted with saltwater taffy ink. The stems are a mix of mowed lawn and pine needles and the twigs are vintage photo and gathered twigs.

The panel was very clean and bright when I finished it so I decided to balance the amaryllis blooms with a strip of matching cardstock on the other side and stamp the sentiment to match the twigs.

Have you ever grown amaryllis? I have received them as Christmas presents twice and I could not believe how beautiful and big they were when fully open. One appeared to have shimmery petals. One also became too top heavy to hold itself up which was a sad discovery one morning.

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Aromatic

Today’s card is a companion in style to my two previous Penny Black floral cards. All three feature PB cling stamps and some sort of background filler. For this one I used a text stamp from the PB clear set, ‘footnotes’.

I used both distress ink pads and markers to ink the ‘Aromatic’ stamp while in the stamp positioner. To fit the image on my panel of hot pressed watercolour paper I masked at the base to make the vase a little shorter. The foliage and little flowers are so delicate I did not add any water blending after stamping but I did blend the red flowers and the vase with a paintbrush and water.

The text is stamped in weathered wood distress ink, a nice bluey-grey and splattered with the same ink. The text is actually from Pride and Prejudice which I am re-reading at the moment. While we had no power I noticed I had a copy on my e-reader so I started reading it; no bedside lamp required! Even though I know it well I am enjoying the conversations. After all who can resist hearing, ‘I am all astonishment!’ Are you a re-reader?

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Thoughts and Prayers

These pretty orchids are another new stamp from Penny Black. This one is called ‘purity’ and it is tall and thin featuring three flowers and a bud. I stamped one flower a second time to fill and balance the left hand side of the panel.

I used the same method I described for a recent floral card inking the flowers with distress inks and markers, spritzing, then stamping on hot pressed watercolour paper. Instead of spritzing water over the stamped image I added dabs of gold paint then pressed the stamp down again to spread the gold into the petals.

To complete the panel I stamped a partial print of the letter background stamp in antique linen distress ink and added some splatter with the same ink. I switched to archival ink for the sentiment to get a bold sharp impression with words from the new PB ‘thoughts and prayers’ set. One of my favourite ways to complete a card or an art journal page is to ‘fill’ with a bit of text. Sometimes I add it at the beginning and stamp over it, other times I added it at the end. To you have some favourite finishing touches?

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