Gouache Hand Painted Wreath

I’ve been experimenting with gouache paint. I posted a few cards with gouache painted backgrounds early last month and now I have a painted wreath to share. The Foiled Fox kindly sent me the set of gouache and I have been practising colour mixing and painting very simple shapes and patterns. You can find me on the Foiled Fox blog today with more tips and tricks about this card.

Even though I am still a gouache newbie I decided to film the process for painting a simple wreath. I only used four different gouache colours, a green, a yellow, a red and white along with one pearlescent paint. In the video you will see the process and all the colours listed by name.

You certainly don’t have to use gouache on a black background but it does really pop! I think my next path of experimentation might be to use watercolour and gouache in the same project. On a slight side note, I don’t set out to do such tiny details; I can’t help myself. My art teachers in high school and college always told me to use bigger, bolder strokes!

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Vintage Style Bookshelf + Video

This isn’t my first time stamping books with Darkroom Door stamps. This time I filmed the process so you could see how I made them look all old and vintagey!

The fun thing about the Darkroom Door ‘bookshelf’ stamp is its length (just under 12″) so I decided to wrap it around my cards for maximum effect. I worked on two cards at the same time giving them slightly different paint jobs and background finishing touches. Watch the video to see my process.

Because I inked the bookshelf stamp randomly the colours moved where they willed and left me with a mix of blues and browns. This second card has some extra scratches from the DD stamp of the same name.

The insides of the cards have random paint splotches here and there so I added paper inserts for a clean place to write a note. Now that I have made a wraparound card with this border stamp I might have to try it with the other DD one I own, ‘butterfly garden‘.

Thank you so much for your interest and discussion about the gel printing I shared last week. I really enjoyed the gel printing session which resulted in my last two videos and turning a few of the prints into cards and a journal page was very satisfying. Several of you mentioned wanting to get your gel plate out to try the techniques; I hope you do. I also hope you try this brown and blue vintage style on some of your own stamped projects. If you do be sure to let me know.

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Vintage collage card

A friend commissioned me to make a ‘vintage’ themed card recently and I happily pulled out a bunch of Darkroom Door stamps to do so. You can see the pocket watch stamp managed to feature three times but the French script, global postmarks, and gerberas also contributed. I stamped, blended and painted with two brown tones of distress ink, two blues and a black. (all the supplies are listed below)

To begin I smooshed some speckled egg and antique linen distress inks on a glass mat, added water swiped the panel through the diluted ink. After that the gerbera background stamp became part of the base layer in speckled egg distress ink. I layered the other stamps over the top in tea dye and antique linen inks and blended some speckled egg ink through the DD diamonds stencil. Of course there is splatter, watermarks and extra blending to darken the edges. To add a dimensional feature I die cut several stems of flowers with the Penny Black ‘shall we dance’ die, some are from watercolour paper, some from tan cardstock and a few from paper painted with salty ocean ink and stamped with the DD gazette stamp.

Almost finished, I added a strand of twine around the base and tied some tiny tags on with stamped PB sentiments on them and some little wooden stars I found. I was pretty happy with all this vintageness but decided to risk some gold paint. I splattered and added it to the tiny stars and heart, the flower centres. Where it worked best though was unevenly painted along the edges of the square panel. You probably can’t even see it clearly but it ended up being one of my favourite parts of the card.

By the way there are yummy new stamps on the Darkroom Door website. You will see them here soon, a few are winging their way here as you read this! Have a great day.

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Rose Dance on black

Today’s rosy card features just a portion of the Penny Black rubber cling stamp, ‘rose dance’. I’ve been creating with this stamp for a couple of days, coming up with different ways to use it. It is quite a large stamp, 6″ x 4″ but you don’t need to use the whole stamp on a card. I used only a section to create an embossed white border on a square panel of black watercolour paper.

I painted the outline design with Finetec Mica Pearlescent watercolours; I didn’t spend much time being detailed or doing blending because the pearlescent on black is very pretty without too much fussing. I wish you could see the shimmer a little better in the photo but trust me it is there in real life.

I embossed a sentiment from the PB special sentiments set in Brutus Monroe alabaster ink and popped the panel up on two pieces of black cardstock to lift it above the card base. And you might have noticed I remembered to make a matching envelope this time.

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Sea Turtle

I’ve never been one to stamp or paint many animals so when I saw this stamp by Pink Ink Designs I surprised myself and the owner at Crop A While by snapping it up. I have to admit I’ve been intrigued by sea turtles over the last little while. There is a youtuber we watch pretty regularly who lives on the West Australian coast who often shares footage of sea turtles. They’re graceful in the water but pretty challenged when they make their way onto land to nest. And the baby turtles who have to fight their way to the ocean to survive, that is fascinating and nerve wracking to watch.

You will probably notice this sea turtle is rather unique with a patchwork shell. I have another one painted ready for a journal page where I ignored all the patchwork and tried to paint it more realistically. This one was fun however as I chose colours to fill all those little patterns.

The turtle is embossed in black on hot pressed watercolour paper. I added the background first by wetting the panel then sprinkling brusho over it. I can’t remember which brusho powder it was, maybe a blue and a green. I kept the strongest colour away from the turtle as much as I could with water and a paper towel but I didn’t need the turtle to be white; it was fine to paint over the brusho colour.

I used pearlescent paints to paint most of the turtle but there are areas just painted with brusho also. To co-ordinate with the pearlescent paint I matted with antique gold shimmer cardstock.

Hope your day is going swimmingly!

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2020’s favourite posts

I looked through the stats for 2020 to see which posts were viewed the most. It is not necessarily an accurate indicator of favourites but it is fun to look back and see what appealed. I’ve included a link to the original post next to every photo. I’m featuring only cards I made and posted this year. Here they are in no particular order.

Back in January I used Darkroom Door stencils as a guide to paint watercolour backgrounds for silhouette stamping with DD stamps.

In February as I was preparing to teach a class using pearlescent paints on black watercolour paper I created this embossed and painted card. The class didn’t happen but the plan is still in my mind for either an online or in-person class hopefully some time in 2021.

This card and the next favourite feature the same Penny Black stamp and no-line watercolour technique. I used distress inks and markers for the watercolouring on this one.

Same stamp as shown above, Unforgettable from Penny Black but this time watercoloured with Arteza real brush pens.

This lilac card along with three other colour schemes featured the ‘lovely lilacs‘ stamp from Penny Black and there is a video tutorial as well.

Another video post once again with Arteza watercolour brush pens this time with Penny Black’s nature’s glory stamp.

Now this one is a little different, pencil colouring on kraft cardstock, again with a video. 2020 has definitely seen me create the most videos!

This one is also one of my favourites so it is nice to see it as a reader favourite too. It is the second post in the top ten to feature the lovely lilacs stamp from PB.

I’m happy to see one of my hand painted pieces in the favourites. This is a brusho & cling wrap painting I did after watching a CeeCee Creations video.

Another video post made the top ten, this one featuring die cut distress oxide painted leaves. This is the only one not featuring flowers.

This one just missed out on the top ten so I’m adding it here at the end because I think it might be my favourite of the year. It’s a brusho and cling wrap panels that made me think of hydrangeas so I turned the random patterns into massed flowers.

Thank you for dropping it to read my posts this year. I love sharing the details of my cards, journal pages and creative adventures. In a year when face to face interactions have been limited I have been encouraged over and over by the comments and conversations here on my blog.

It has been my best year ever for producing you tube videos and also the year I fulfilled a long time dream of producing online classes. Again thank you for your support in those endeavours.

I’m looking forward to sharing more creative pursuits on the blog with you in 2021, there will be watercolour and stamping (of course!) but also alcohol ink art, gel printing, lettering and journaling. I hope you are safe and well where you are and pray that 2021 will be a year of health and happiness for you.


Shimmer trees

The pearlescent paints and black watercolour paper are still on my work table so I’ve continued to experiment with them. To create this little scene I taped all four sides of a square panel with painter’s tape to mask off the area in the centre. The surface of the black watercolour paper is very soft and likely to lift when tape is removed so I press the tape against my clothing before using it so it is less tacky and when it comes to removal I heat it with a heat tool as I slowly peel it off.

I painted the snowy ground and circle moon first with silver pearl from the Finetec Artist Mica set of 12, then the foliage of the trees with blue green, moss green and midnight blue from the Coliro Ocean set of 6. The tree trunks are chocolate from the Coliro Earth set. I finished by dotting stars over the sky with Sakura gelly roll pens then wrote the words ‘thank you’ with a very fine nib and the same moss green pearlescent paint.

I hope you are having a relaxing few days as the year winds down. We are back in lockdown in Ontario so life is very quiet; I’m continuing to get the word out about the Dressember Campaign. My fundraising total has grown to $1962.10 and tomorrow, December 29 is a matching day, so if you’d like to donate, tomorrow is a great day to do it. Donations in Canada will be matched up to $50, 000 starting at 9am PT on Tuesday Dec 29.

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Christmas Colours

I’ve started thinking about colours I’ll use to decorate this year. I pick a different colour scheme every year. Not wildly different, usually there will be gold or silver along with a colour or white. I don’t buy new decorations every year; I have a selection of wide ribbons plus a few boxes of coloured balls and a range of unique decorations we’ve collected, made or been given over the years.

One year I did a rustic, natural sort of theme with burlap ribbon and wood ornaments with some white and gold similar to the colours in this card. This year I am thinking of black and gold. I’m not thinking of black in a sad and dark way more of a rich velvet with tartan ribbon kind of way. Just before and after Christmas last year I bought quite a few of the same decoration, heavily discounted, in preparation for a class I planned to teach this month. Well that’s not happening but I am hoping to use some of my stash and share them here. And there will be black and tartan in the mix.

I stamped the heart from PB {heart} Christmas set in versamark and embossed in white powder on kraft cardstock then used a blending brush to blend frayed burlap distress ink over the stamping to give it a shadow. I know the effect I was after with the blending but not sure that I’ve achieved it here.

I used polychromos pencils and Coliro pearlescent paints to colour in the outline stamping. I embossed in white a sentiment from the PB merry up set and used a white gel pen to add a stitching line around the edge of the panel.

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Birdhouse Blessings

This delightful scene is called ‘birdhouse blessings’ and it makes me want to have birdhouses and bird feeders scattered across my backyard. A few days ago my husband and I were doing what may well be our final outdoor workout of the year and watched chickadees and a cardinal flit back and forth from tree to hedge.

I worked on a hot pressed watercolour panel which I’d splattered with masking fluid (as per usual). I only just got my hands on some speckled egg distress ink and stain so that’s what I used for the background colour. It is a lovely colour and I’m very happy with the inky background. I smooshed ink on my glass mat, diluted it then swiped the panel through it to pick up colour.

I stamped the large stamp in antique linen then did some no-line watercolour with Sennelier watercolour paints. While painting those little leaves and berries I did wonder if I should have chosen watercolour markers instead of paint brush and paints but I was already committed, so me and my very small paint brush kept on painting. When I finished painting all the elements I used speckled egg distress stain to darken the edges of the panel and frame the little scene. When I removed the masking fluid there were pretty little snowflakes over the whole panel.

I painted the little star in gold and debated whether I would add a gold frame as well. Decided in the end I liked it just the way it was. (psst a little bird wants to tell you ‘Winter Wonder’ is coming!)

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Books & Tea

Ever since I created a ‘what should I read next?‘ art journal page I’ve been wanting to do a similar design on a card featuring the Darkroom Door ‘mini book’ and ‘book spines’ stamps. This time a teacup joined the party.

What is more delightful than a cup of tea and a good book? Maybe a cup of tea with another book lover?

I stamped the book spines stamp three times in hickory smoke archival ink on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper (which had been splattered with masking fluid). I set out both my Sennelier watercolour paint palette and a Finetec pearlescent set to paint the books. I mainly used the Sennelier paints but added drops and swipes of pearlescent paints here and there for interest.

Once the paints dried I used a handful of gel pens to add decoration to the book spines. I decided not to add titles (there is other pressing work to be done after all) just patterns. I removed the masking fluid, blended tea dye and vintage photo ink around the edges then splattered some vintage photo ink over the panel.

The mini book is stamped in versafine vintage sepia and then stamped with a script stamp from the DD ‘correspondence’ set and a sentiment stamp from DD ‘classic motorcycles’. The teacup from DD ‘cup of tea’ set is embossed in gold powder then painted a pale rose. I fussy cut both the book and the cup (I know – I’m surprised too). The book panel is matted in cream then attached to a grey luxe card base. I attached the mini book and teacup to hang over the edges of the panel ever so slightly.

Right now I would love to curl up on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea but I am editing my next online class! I am very excited to get it finished for you as it has a seasonal theme which might interest you right about now.

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