Planting time

We’ve had all kinds of weather around here lately as we wait for the May long weekend before which outdoor planting is considered very risky!  My daughter has been starting seeds inside so we have quite a few little plants ready for the great outdoors as well as an order of seedlings to come.

These plants are looking pretty healthy, probably because they are not relying on me remembering to water them! I used papertrey ink cubes to colour left over pieces of hot pressed watercolour paper. I swiped the ink cubes across the paper in colour groups, they are juicy little inkpads so they work well direct to paper. I did a panel of two browns, also some greens, another with purples and one with orange, yellow, green. After inking the paper I spritzed water onto it until the ink moved and blended a bit, covering more of the panel and making some light and dark areas.

Once all the panels dried I used several die sets from Penny Black featuring little plants, pots and tools (they’re all linked below). I also cut out the cute little bench die to be part of my scene. I could have cut all the elements from coloured cardstock but I love the variation of colour and depth achieved with watercolour.

I created two backdrops on hot pressed watercolour paper by swiping the spring rain ink cube back and forth to create a solid blue patch. Over the blue I arranged and rearranged my tiny die cuts until I had two little scenes. I used a jewel picker and liquid glue to attach all the elements, making a few errors in the process resulting in some more painting and die-cutting to make replacement pieces. Once everything was attached I hunted through my cardstock to find a matching blue for card bases and added a couple of sentiments from PB ‘banner sentiments’ set.

As I write this the long weekend is drawing to a close and I can report some planting has been done. A couple of readers shared on my last post their planting plans and routines; I’d love to know more plus any clues for keeping the critters away!

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Country Charisma

This rustic style card features a few stamps from the Penny Black ‘country charisma’ set. The clear set includes a jug, a watering can and four floral/foliage stamps to pop in the jug. I had a rough plan in my head as I started stamping but it didn’t work quite how I had hoped. I almost quit half way through but I remembered a tip I had heard from the talented Jenna Rainey in one of her recent videos where she recommended not stopping too soon. Sometimes a painting or card can look unappealing part way through but balanced and complete when more detail, colour or texture is added.

I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper with some masking fluid splattered on it. I stamped the jug first in papertrey ink cubes ‘smokey shadow’ and ‘cocoa bean’. I blended the inks to fill the jug, adding extra ink from my glass mat where necessary. I let the jug dry before adding flowers and foliage. The leaves and flowers I inked with bright buttercup and olive twist ink cubes. I spritzed them lightly with water before stamping and did minimal blending with a very small brush on the panel. At this point it looked a little ho-hum so I took a chance and stamped another flower in ‘royal velvet’ and ‘enchanted evening’. Can we take a second to wonder how these delightful ink names are chosen? I think I would have fun with that job!  The purple flowers definitely added some contrast but it was still a bit of a patchy design; it lacked depth. I ruled a line of black soot ink across the panel then blended the ink downwards adding cocoa bean and stormy sea inks I’d already used and a few drops of the buttercup and royal velvet.

With the jug grounded I felt I was almost there but the background needed a little something. Trying to watercolour around all those little leaves was not an option so I pulled out the blending brushes and blended some bright buttercup ink around the edges and a little bit over the flowers. It is possible to add a very pale layer with a blending brush which was exactly what I needed for this design. I removed the masking fluid to reveal the white blotches adding to the overall rustic look.

To finish off the card I added a very narrow mat in the purply blue colour and attached that to a new fave, ‘luxe grey cardstock’. I think I mentioned recently the lovely luxe white textured cardstock from the Foiled Fox; it’s a creamy colour that works well with my watercolour paper. The same textured cardstock comes in grey; I rarely use grey card bases but I think that might change with this lovely luxe grey.

Have a great weekend, friends.

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Secret Garden

Before I chit chat about today’s cards I just want to thank you for your feedback on my wreath card. I loved reading your kind words and thoughts on the sentiment question. In the end I left the front of the card sentiment free (I really didn’t want to mess it up!) and made a envelope out of watercolour paper onto which I will add roses and hand-lettering. When I do another wreath I will hand letter the sentiment first then proceed with the flowers, that way I won’t be afraid of messing up a finished wreath with a wonky letter. Now, back to our scheduled programming.

Last week I created a couple of abstract watercolour background panels to create coffee themed cards; I used the same approach for today’s floral cards. My method for creating the background was the same, I smooshed three colours of dye ink on my glass mat then spritzed them generously with water to make them move and blend a little. I had a large panel of hot pressed watercolour paper ready with some masking fluid already dotted over it. The colours I used were papertrey ink cubes lemon tart, enchanted evening and stormy sea (yellow, blue and grey).

I cut the panel into four and chose to work with stamps from the PB ‘secret garden’ clear set. My plan was to stamp the flowers in the same colours I used for the background, maybe use all three colours or just one or two. After fiddling around with some stamping I decided I liked just the flowers in the blue, stamped and restamped for paler impressions. I guess you’re not surprised I settled on blue, the lemon is very pretty but too pale to stand out and the grey was, well, not quite pretty enough.

Both floral stamps I chose had long skinny stems that I was able to rearrange on the lid of the MISTI to go in the directions I wanted. I did some water stamping too which just means misting the stamp with water and pressing it down on an inked area (the darker the better) and holding it there for a little longer than normal to let the water soak in then dabbing away the water to reveal a stamped ‘watermark’.

Once I had the flowers all stamped the panels still didn’t look quite finished so I turned to two elements I like to add when a card needs a little something. I used the PB ‘script’ stamp down the side of both panels in blue, grey and watermark then ran the panels through my diecutting machine with a rather cool embossing folder from Sizzix (sold by SU) called ‘subtle’. It gave the panels a canvas look. To add sentiments I used the ever useful ‘million thanks’ set and the lovely ‘SHE builder’ set both from Penny Black.

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Petal Profiles

Even though I would never choose yellow as a favourite colour, the inks for these big bright flowers are definitely a happy sight. I have a complete (gasp…I know, very lucky) set of papertrey ink cubes now so of course I have to try them all out. Featured here are bright buttercup, canyon clay, aqua mist and tropical teal.

The sentiment is cut from teal cardstock even though it looks like it could be black. I inked the large flowers from Penny Black’s ‘petal profiles’ acrylic set in buttercup then dabbed some canyon clay in the centre before spritzing and stamping. I then used a paintbrush to blend all the petals because I tend to like them blended rather than see the texture of the paper. Not always but often. I inked the smaller flowers with aqua mist, spritzed then stamped and while the ink was still damp on the paper I dropped a dot of tropical teal ink in the centre of each flower. The longer foliage from PB ‘secret garden’ set is also stamped in tropical teal and the splatter is the same. To pick up ink for centres and splatter I just smooshed the inkcube face down on my glass mat and added a drop of water.

I cut a strip of vellum and wrapped it round the stamped panel so I could add the die cut sentiment on top. The background is busy so a vellum separator helps it stand out enough to be readable. I used ‘stick it’ on the back of the sentiment from PB ‘wishes’. The base is a lovely cream cardstock with some texture which matches my watercolour panels nicely, I was very happy when the Foiled Fox sent some my way. It’s called ‘luxe white textured’ and it pleases my matchy-matchy heart.

Blooming in my garden now are several violets and star flowers along with one happy daffodil. I’m thinking perhaps the snow is gone for good…

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You are nothing short of amazing

I got together with some friends a while back for a crafting afternoon, seems like an age ago now! While there I stamped the two panels you see here. For a while they were forgotten as I was working on other projects then I fiddled around to create two quite different cards. The basic technique is the same for both panels and involves stamping and restamping without reinking in between impressions. The card above began as a vintage looking panel stamped in antique linen ink. I smooshed some antique linen distress ink on my glass mat, spritzed with water then swiped my panel through it to pick up inky stains. I dabbed some areas with paper towel which makes them dry a more yellowy colour. I partially inked the Penny Black script background stamp in antique linen and stamped on one side.

Once the background was dry I used the PB stamp, ‘exhilaration’ to stamp some coloured flowers. I inked the flowers with a Papertrey Americana ink cube and chipped sapphire distress ink then the stems with a gathered twigs distress marker. I wiped ink off the stamp in some areas so the image would be patchy on purpose, spritzed then stamped on the panel. I did both the left hand side and right top corner then, without cleaning the stamp spritzed it again and stamped paler images which immediately appear to be in the background. I stamped a sentiment on an ‘antiqued’ scrap in versafine vintage sepia ink, added a twine bow and popped it up on some foam tape.

Now that I have described my process for the first card you can probably see that I used the same technique for the blue card but only used one colour, Papertrey ink ‘blueberry sky’. I didn’t start by making a vintage style background, I just jumped right on in with the first stamping. I spritzed  the stamp and did another print, then another and one more very pale one and that was it! I added some splatters but nothing more to this pretty blue panel. It was very quick and probably took longer to find a matching cardstock. Once I found a co-ordinating blue I stamped part of a sentiment from the PB ‘sentiment’ set and embossed in alabaster powder. I finished the sentiment by stacking three die cut ‘amazings’ from the PB OMG die set.

I love this technique for adding depth and dimension to flat stamped panels. I have a video coming next week demonstrating a similar process so stay tuned!

Thanks for visiting here today, I hope you are safe and well where you are and thanks again if you are on the front lines taking care of health, food and safety needs. You are nothing short of amazing!

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Bold Blooms

How are you my friends? I am sharing here and over on the Foiled Fox blog today. If you are dealing with isolation or quarantine right now as most of us are you might be looking for some artsy craftsy ideas. The Foiled Fox not only features lovely projects by the owner, Shauna Todd, but also projects by many talented guest bloggers. Make sure you pop over to the Foiled Fox blog for some beauty and inspiration.

I’ve been doing some flower arranging, with stamps that is. The arrangements on today’s cards were made with Ink to Paper’s ‘bold blooms‘ stamps and co-ordinating dies. The card above was all stamped on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper. The second card is a combination of stamped die cuts and stamping on a base panel.

When arranging elements on a panel like this I always stamp the largest images first so I inked the large round flowers in ‘harvest gold’ ink (all the coloured inks are Papertrey ink cubes) and rolled some ‘scarlet jewel’ ink around the edges. Before stamping I spritzed the stamp lightly, that’s what softens the blend between yellow and red ink.

To add leaves and small flowers I masked the three centre flowers with a post-it note and stamped stems and leaves to look like they were poking out from behind the yellow flowers. The leaves and stems are stamped in ‘ocean tide’ and ‘pinefeather’, the small flowers in ‘winter wisteria’ and ‘scarlet jewel’. I spritzed before stamping each time so I would get a softened look. The sentiment is from the same set; the large word is stamped in nocturne and embossed in clear, the smaller words are embossed in white on black cardstock and popped up.

This second card has a very similar arrangement not purposely but maybe because I found it easy to balance all the elements when they are in this layout. My co-ordinating dies are still joined together so I began by cutting the whole panel three times to have a group of shapes to choose from. Once cut, I stamped them with the same colour scheme as for the first card. Before I did any attaching of dies I stamped some background stems and little flowers and did a little splattering too. It took me a little while to arrange the die-cuts to my satisfaction then attached them in three layers: directly on the base panel, popped up on a low profile foam tape then finally a few flowers popped up with a higher profile foam tape.

The sentiment for this one is from another Ink to Paper set ‘tagged’ once again embossed in white on black.

Take care friends, whether you are isolated at home or out and about continuing to work in one of the many essential fields. I hope you are able to connect with others either by phone, computer or even by post. As always I love connecting with you in the comments below. Let me know how you are and what you are up to.

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Nature’s glory

This artistic spray of flowers is a new brushstroke stamp from Penny Black called ‘nature’s glory’. As you can see it is big enough to fill a 4 ¼” x 5 ½” card front but you could use just a part of it for a smaller panel. I like the way it curves leaving me an obvious place for a sentiment. I think I’ve mentioned before I don’t always think about sentiment placement in advance so the shape of this stamp helped me out.

I stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper using a stamp positioner to enable me to build up colour and detail. I used a combination of Papertrey ink cubes and distress markers to ink sections of the stamp. I started with the harvest gold ink cube for the flowers, scarlet jewel for the berries and a few flowers and ocean tides for the leaves. I spritzed the stamp very lightly before stamping on the panel. Some of the leaves ended up with petal colours on them, some flowers ended up with a bit of blue-green and the red of the berries bled into the leaves also. To add a bit more definition to a few of the berries and flowers I switched to distress markers to ink brown centres in the flowers, green on a stem or two and orange on a couple of petals. Once again I spritzed the stamp lightly before stamping so the extra ink would blend on the stamp before hitting the paper.

The sentiment, from the new PB sentiment set ‘magical friendship’ is stamped in versafine clair ‘misty morning’ and the whole panel popped up on a piece of foam.

Thanks for dropping by.

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