I have another Christmas card for you today; in fact it is going to be ‘Christmassy’ all week here on my blog. If you haven’t watched Michael McIntyre talk about feeling Christmassy you should check it out; I’m sure you’ll smile. I’m not actually feeling Christmassy myself; I love summer too much to wish it away right now but I have started creating with Christmas stamps as well as wintry images. This PB stamp is called ‘Christmas arrangement’. I embossed it in platinum embossing powder, which is such a lovely not gold/not silver but still shiny colour. All the watercolouring was done with zig clean colour real brush markers. If I didn’t have exactly the colour I wanted I did some blending to get it. You can see in the close up that I did not take all that much care with my colouring but the overall effect is still vibrant with the pop of red against both dark and muted greens.
The sentiment is from the ‘peaceful season’ set and the whole panel is matted in red to make those berries pop even more.
Now if you are in Australia or elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere you would realise that preparing for Christmas does not herald the coming of winter, far from it. The Christmasses I enjoyed for the first part of my life were often hot and sunny. We headed off to the Christmas tree farm in t-shirts, played cricket in my grandparents back yard after Christmas dinner and often headed off for some time at the beach after Boxing Day.
Our family is in the midst of a season of graduations as all three of our children are awarded diplomas or degrees. We enjoyed one last week, another yesterday and will attend one more next week. I will share some photos next week after our son graduates from high school. Today’s card is the one I made for my older daughter who has just received her Master of Teaching. As you can imagine I am exceedingly proud of her; I think she is pretty fantastic!
This card is also my only participation so far in Kathy Racoosin’s current 30 day colouring challenge. This month’s festivities have left very little time for colouring. I embossed the flowers from Penny Black’s ‘happy together’ transparent set in silver powder on hot pressed watercolour paper. I used four zig real brush pens for the petals colouring with a deep colour (purple or blue) near the base of the flowers and with a light blue near the tips of the petals. I then blended the two or three colours with a paintbrush and water until I had soft blends covering the flowers. I added a bit of violet to a few flowers for some extra depth and variation. I used light green and light blue for the leaves and sepals. To make the flowers pop a bit more I coloured around all the edges with a grey zig maker, blended it with water and a few dabs of light green. I was inspired by a few of Susie Lessard’s recent cards. (here’s the link to one on IG)
I completed the card with a purple mat and sentiment from the PB ‘perspective’ set also in purple.
Stamps: happy together, perspective
I’m collaborating with the Foiled Fox team today so you can read more about these cards on their blog. These are my first cards created with Art Impressions ‘Watercolor’ stamps. The stamps are designed for creating scenes; there are a lot of little stamps depicting stems, branches, foliage and flowers. The stamper can combine them however they wish, use a water soluble ink then blend with a little water to turn all the stamping into ‘watercolor paintings’.
I used a combination of foliage and flower sets to decorate two cards featuring doors from the Art Impressions ‘Door’ set. It was fun to create little scenes around the doors. One ended up being a rustic cabin type door and the other a simple white door at the end of a garden path.
I chose frayed burlap distress ink to stamp one of the doors and grey zig clean color real brush marker to ink the other door. I also used the zig markers for the floral and foliage stamps. I learnt on the Art Impressions youtube channel that the best way to stamp the flowers and leaves is to ink them, then stamp several times just slightly offset each time. That way you create more volume and variety in colour. After you have done your stamping (with watersoluble inks like distress and zig clean color) you can blend all the images with a damp brush to create the watercolour look.
I added some elements with the zig markers and watercolour pencils to fill out the scenes. front path, bricks and planks around the doors and a hand drawn window. Pop over to the Foiled Fox blog to read about my method in more detail.
I really enjoyed playing with these stamps to create my own scenes. The stamps are tiny but you can fill a garden quickly by stamping a mass of flowers and foliage then blending it every so lightly with water. I would love to hear from you in the comments below if you have already done some creating with the Art Impressions watercolour stamps or if you are feeling inspired to give it a try. I will definitely be back with more scenes.
Art Impressions Stamps: WC Foliage set 3, WC Flower set 3, WC door set, WC Foliage set 1, Flower
MFT Stamps: Anything but Basic Friend set
Inks: frayed burlap distress ink, versafine sepia, versafine olympia green
Dies: Penny Black border edgers
Papers: cold pressed watercolour paper, neenah natural white, green cardstocks
Also: zig clean color real brush pens, watercolor pencils
The zigs & zags stencil has popped up again today as a background for this die cut and watercoloured flower. I applied deco transfer gel directly to my card base (neenah solar white 110lb) then ran it through my minc with white foil. The result is a subtle chevron background. I wanted my flower to match the white card base exactly so I used the same neenah solar white which meant I did not add much water at all when blending my zig pens after stamping. I used a mix of blue, pink and purple and a blue/green combo on the leaves and stem then just a damp brush to blend with water. I made sure the blending was dry before stamping the black centre several times then used the co-ordinating die to cut out the flower plus a white foam one to pop it up over the background.
The little black banner was die cut with one of the dies from the PB ‘pocket full’ die set. I have pulled out all my little label, banner and tag dies from different sets and grouped them together so I can quickly cut the right size for a sentiment. This sentiment from the handy ‘banner sentiments’ set is embossed in white powder.
Stamps: belle, banner sentiments
Die: belle cut out, a pocket full
Stencil: zigs & zags
Paper: neenah solar white, neenah epic black
Markers: kuretake zig clean color real brush pens pink, blue, violet, cobalt blue, green, black
Also: transfer gel, white foil, foam, minc, white embossing powder
Yes, I’ve got more flowers to share today from the new Penny Black release, ‘Nature’s Art‘. This one is a large rubber cling outline stamp. I decided to try a combination I’ve heard about numerous times but never attempted: zig clean color real brush pens on bristol paper. I work on watercolour paper a lot of the time as you know but I’ve heard that blending the zig pens is easier on bristol. Well, it is. I embossed the image with clear powder on bristol paper then used five different colours to fill in the flowers and leaves. I started with purple pen at one end of each petal and tea rose at the other end (in this case the end closest to the centre of the flower). I blended the two colours together with a damp brush then added orange dots down the centre of the petals. I added a small amount of brown to the centre of the flower also.
I coloured the leaves in green then added brown here and there before blending with a damp brush.
As a finishing touch I die cut the ‘scrolls half edger’ decorative piece out of purple cardstock which had double sided adhesive on the back. I matted the panel in the same purple then snipped pieces of the die-cut to lay over the base of the panel.
I’m looking forward to seeing irises pop up in my snow-free garden before too long; there is no snow on it now!
Stamps: summer glow 40-610 (PB)
Die: scrolls half edger 51-446
Markers: zig clean colour real brush pens (tea rose, brown, green, violet, orange)
Paper: bristol, neenah solar white, purple
Also: clear embossing powder, double sided adhesive sheet
There are an unusual amount of processes involved in today’s card and I will say there are definitely ways to cut corners and get the same effect. It’s a bit like my approach to cooking; if I look at a recipe and the list of ingredients is more than 10, I’m reluctant, if there are multiple processes then I’m not interested! I’m very much a fan of the ‘one pot dinner’. My husband, on the other hand, will create all manner of elements from scratch before even starting the main recipe.
In the case of this card you might happen to have some black and white chevron cardstock to add to the card front. I did not, so I made my own with the Penny Black zigs & zags stencil. My chevron does have the bonus features of texture and shine. I taped my stencil on watercolour paper ( the same type I used for the floral panel) and spread transfer gel over it. I let that dry then lay black foil over it and ran it through the minc. I also ran some adhesive tape over a strip of cardstock and added black foil to that too so I would have a bold strip to position between the chevron and flower panels.
To create my bright and breezy flower panel I put the Penny Black ‘flower field’ stamp in my stamping platform and worked one colour at a time with zig clean color real brush pens. (I remember last time I posted about these pens I hinted that I might just need a few more colours. When I was in Toronto a couple of weeks back I picked up a few more.) I coloured directly onto the flowers with the pens and was able to add colour over colour as the brush tips are easy to clean off by drawing on a piece of scrap paper. I did spritz the stamp a little before stamping on the hot pressed watercolour paper so the images would be soft and blended. I added some black to the centres while the panel was still damp but dried it before adding fine details with a pigma micron pen.
My little sentiment strip is embossed white on black to tie in with the zigs & zags.
Thank you for dropping in.
Stamps: flower field 40-594, radiant 30-481
Stencil: zigs & zags (PB)
Markers: kuretake zig clean color real brush pens (violet, pink, olive green, carmine red, green, yellow, black), black pigma micron .01
Paper: hot pressed watercolour, natural white, black
Also: transfer gel, black foil, white opaque embossing powder
Tools: minc, stamping platform
I have ‘Butterflies – Two Ways’ to serve up to you today. The butterflies in the both cards are from the Darkroom Door set, ‘Butterflies’. As the stamps from Darkroom Door arrive uncut I decided to stamp the whole sheet of butterflies a few times before I cut it into thirteen separate butterflies. I stamped it in versamark then embossed in clear powder on watercolour paper to make this card.
All the colour for this emboss resist design is from my beloved brusho paints. I mixed them in a palette rather than sprinkle and spritz and built up the colour with several layers. Working with prussian blue, yellow, rose red and orange brusho I was able to create some bold contrasts between the primary colours as well as with the white embossing. After completing the painting I dropped some water over the panel, let it sit then dabbed it up with a paper towel. The result is pale odd shaped watermarks. I also splattered some white gesso over the panel to break up the background colour a bit.
To finish the card I popped up a blue banner with a white embossed sentiment from the ‘Thank You’ set.
Then I went all minimal for my second card made once the set was cut into individual stamps. I have seen similar paintings and cards all over pinterest featuring three watercolour butterflies in a vertical arrangement. I decided to use zig clean color real brush pens to create the watercolour effect. The pens are pretty juicy so I had no trouble applying enough colour to blend nicely on the stamps and panel.
I limited my choice to light green, cobalt blue, blue and olive green, however as I write this post and look at the finished card I wonder if I actually used the light green. If I did I think it got overwhelmed by the darker colours. I applied the ink directly to the stamps, spritzed and stamped. That is it. I wanted the blending to occur on the stamp rather than spritzing the watercolour panel after stamping so the butterflies would keep their clean edges. I debated blending inside the butterflies but the white space in the wings looked pretty so I told myself I don’t need to blend everything.
I trimmed the panel so it was ¼” smaller than the card base and once again added an embossed sentiment on a popped up banner.
Which do you prefer, colour & paint everywhere or a simple neat little butterfly trio?
Paint: brusho prussian blue, yellow, rose red, orange (bold card)
Markers: light green, cobalt blue, blue, olive green Kuretake Zig clean color real brush markers (CAS card)
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, dark blue cardstock, green cardstock
Also: white ep, dimensional tape, MISTI