Woolly Wishes

This is the first knitting project I have done in years! I keep meaning to pull out some needles and wool to see if it hurts my hands to knit. I have a little stash of wool and plenty of different sized needles and I used to knit while watching tv. My last project was never finished then my hands became quite sore so I haven’t tried again.

When I first saw this Darkroom Door knitting stamp I couldn’t believe how realistic it looked when stamped and coloured. I stamped with versamark and embossed in clear powder on hot pressed watercolour paper for both cards. On the panel above I used Karin brushmarkers (amber, lilac, violet blue, magenta) to colour random shapes over the panel just like you get when you knit multicoloured yarn. I spritzed lighlly over the panel with water to get the colours to blend just a little.

I knew just the dies to use to complete the card. Penny Black has a set of looped frame dies which look a little like knitting stitches and the PB warmest wishes die is made of small curly letters that look like loops of wool. I cut both from purple cardstock with double sided adhesive on the back.

The second card features a simple pattern painted over the embossing with nautical blue and cottage ivy memento inks smooshed on my glass mat. I wanted to do a fancy snowflake pattern but decided I should start with something simple. Just as well as I missed a whole line of the pattern I was trying to do. This time I matted the panel with dark blue cardstock and stacked three layers of the ‘hello’ from the Penny Black ‘doodles’ die set which also looks a bit like yarn.

I had to make the knitting panel smaller to fit on the matching piece of blue cardstock so I re-cut it with the WaffleFlower A2 layer dies and saved the slim outline to glue inside the card. I will definitely be playing with the DD knitting stamp again because I want to colour a fancy fairisle type pattern. It will also show up in a small role on a card coming up later in the month.

I am happy to be back blogging again after my short break; I’ve missed chatting with you. I wish I could say I achieved all my planning and preparation goals but that is far from the truth. I think maybe my expectations were set a bit too high! Today’s cards feature the knitting stamp that had been sitting waiting patiently for some ink for months. I could have continued to stamp and play this image for days but I limited myself to one day so I could move onto other things. Is your year off to a good start, have you had some creative time already?

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No-line Watercolour with Karin brushmarkers

I’m happy to be teaming up with the Foiled Fox again to bring you some more Karin brushmarker experimenting, this time I put them to work on no-line watercolour. I was pretty sure they would do a good job and I wasn’t disappointed. I also discovered that Papertrey Ink’s ‘soft stone‘ ink works well as a base stamping ink for no-line watercolour. To begin I stamped the same Penny Black poinsettia poem stamp on two pieces of hot pressed watercolour paper. On the design above I used only three Karin brush markers (red 209, teal 377 and henna 105) When colouring the leaves I inverted the red marker tip to tip with the teal before colouring to create the more browny green you see on the leaves.

I painted the petals one by one as is usually the case with no-line watercolour and I used the Red 209 marker. I used a slightly different methods for each card. On the above panel I barely touched the marker to the paper in each petal then blended the ink with water to fill the petal. On the panel below I painted a petal with water first then added a dot or two from the marker which flowed into the wet area. The effect is similar but the petals are paler where I applied water first and marker second.

On the second card I used magenta 170, lush green 228 and sepia 074. Once again I did a bit of tip to tip colour blending for the leaves and berries. It takes a bit of trial and error plus some scrap paper for testing to get the right mix of colour when doing the tip to tip blends. After adding ink to a marker tip the first strokes of colour will be the most intense and as you continue to apply ink to paper the intensity will decrease as the colour returns to its original tone. Make sure you visit the Foiled Fox blog where I provide even more detail about today’s projects.

I used a textured shimmer green cardstock to create a die-cut frame for the card at the top of the post. It is easy to cut a narrow frame by using two rectangle dies from the Waffleflower A2 layer dies. For the second card I used mulberry cardstock to create a co-ordinating mat and stamped with both versafine clair tulip red & chianti to stamp the sentiment in a matching colour. When I don’t have the exact ink colour for a sentiment I try a combination of two inks, something a stamp positioner makes quite straight forward. I stamped the sentiment on the first card with my beloved memento northern pine ink. The sentiments are from Penny Black sets, Christmas feeling and frozen vista.

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Bethlehem scenes with Karin brushmarkers

I’ve continued to experiment with the Karin brushmarkers from the Foiled Fox, this time using them for watercolour backgrounds. These three backgrounds feature combinations of rosewood 272, cyan 207, royal blue 045 and black 030.

I tried different methods of applying the marker to the hot pressed watercolour paper and found that to achieve smooth transitions from one colour to the next it was better to touch the markers to wet paper. It still worked applying the marker first then the water but I prefer the very soft blends made when the paper was already wet. I don’t think I will often use the markers for backgrounds as it probably uses up ink at a faster rate but little scenes like the one above did not require much application.

The tiny star was masked by die cutting a star (PB Xmas tree border set) from frog tape (painter’s tape for delicate surfaces) then positioning it firmly on the panel before painting. I stamped the manger above in versafine clair nocturne once the panel was totally dry.

To get a soft image of the Bethlehem stamp I stamped it in chipped sapphire distress ink while the background was still slightly wet. On the panel above I took a wet paint brush and painted a hill shape across the lower part of the panel waited then painted another one even lower down. I didn’t need to add any ink the paint brush just dragged ink from the Bethlehem image. I popped up each panel with two pieces of cardstock, attached it to a white luxe card base then added sentiments from the Ink to Paper Be Merry Mini set.

The current Christmas card designs are looking minimal for two reasons, I still need quite a few cards and I like simple and elegant!

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From our house to yours

I’m excited to tell you about today’s card. I teamed up with the Foiled Fox to do some experimenting with Karin brushmarkers and I’m so glad I did. The Foiled Fox sent me the pack of 26 and I plan to try them out on my favourite watercolour techniques. Make sure you visit the Foiled Fox blog today to read more about my thoughts and process.

I worked on Fabriano hot pressed watercolour paper in a stamp postioner to complete this inviting little scene. I thought I would stamp in a pale ink and colour with the markers but I decided instead to ink with the markers directly on the stamps. It worked brilliantly. The Karin brushmarkers are water-based, ink filled markers with a nylon brush-like tip. Water-based means they blend with water. They are made and inkfilled in such a way that you can see the ink in the barrel and right to the last drop the colours will have full intensity. Nylon brush tips tend to be stronger than felt tips so I was willing to try inking the stamps directly keeping in mind that I did not want to damage the tips. The inks are highly pigmented and flow generously from the tip so I did not need apply much pressure as I inked the stamps gently with the sides of the nylon tips.

After inking the PB birches in black and grey I blended them a little then covered them with masking tape before stamping the PB warm reception stamp bit by bit. I did the trees first, then the house, inking and blending to build up the whole scene. I explain the colours and technique in more detail over on the Foiled Fox blog. As I’d left it until the end to paint a sky I chose to clear emboss the warm reception stamp so it would resist ink when I added it all around the house and trees.

To finish it off I matted in a brownish red and added a little sentiment to look like it was tacked to the trees. Definitely stay tuned for more projects featuring the Karin markers.

Karin markers used: red 209, sepia 074, neutral grey 3 131, black 030, lush green, 228, arctic blue 264

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