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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(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp)

Two for One

Recently I had some fun making simple watercolour backgrounds to turn into cards. I worked on watercolour paper as large or larger than my basic card fronts so I would have the option of using the whole panel or a section of it. Today’s cards are a 2-for-1 combo because the negative panel is just as pretty as the floral piece.

You can see on the negative panel I painted loose stripes of colour, picking up distress inks from a glass mat with a wide brush. Some blending of colour occurred adding interest to the simple stripes.

I also embossed the card base above with the ‘weathered’ embossing folder from Taylored Expressions. Very simple cards but handy to have for any occasion.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp and Ecstasy Crafts)


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.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp and Ecstasy Crafts)

Holly Days

Today’s simple fresh card showcases some new dies from Penny Black. I chose solid colour cardstock, some shimmery, to create this little garland but I know I will use these dies again with gel prints or patterned papers.

It is a little hard to tell in the photo but I have red shimmer, quartz shimmer and silver shimmer cardstock along with matte green for the leaves. The dies are from three new PB sets, holly-days, stocking stuffers and jumbo bauble. The card design is clean and simple but I added texture to the background with a spellbinders plaid embossing folder.

I finished off the card with one of the new little sentiments from the PB ‘jolly sentiments’ set. I think I have mentioned before how much I like little sentiments so a whole new set of them is exciting.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp and Ecstasy Crafts)

Dancing on gel prints

I have a couple more cards incorporating gel prints today. This first one is made with a clean up sheet; maybe you can recognise the criss cross of brayer marks on the paper. When I stamped the PB ‘butterfly garden’ stamp over the background it was a bit too delicate to show up well. Highlighting petals and wings with a white gel pen worked to keep the design subtle but still noticeable.

I cut the gel print to fill the card front and added a sentiment from the Paper Rose Studio ‘so extra’ sentiment strips.

The gel print below has a delicate blue pattern over bronze made when the paint separates on the gel plate before you get a chance to take a print. I used a bronze print to pull the blue paint which had separated evenly over the whole plate. You can’t tell from the photo but the bronze has a metallic sheen to it.

I cut flowers from navy cardstock using the Penny Black ‘shall we dance’ die to complete a card I can use for any occasion.

The Penny Black sale continues at The Foiled Fox so if you have a wish list, take a look.

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Die-cut gel print florals

If you are thinking that’s an unusual choice of colours, patterns and textures, you’re right, but it actually makes me quite happy. This is the only layered flower die cut I have of the this type; I don’t generally do layered die cuts. It’s from Penny Black and it appealed to me because of the little buds rather than the complex flower. I know the idea of these dies is to layer in shades of the same colour going from light to dark in the layers. Instead I grabbed one of my gel printing clean up sheets which was covered in black, blue, green, pink, red and purple sections. The texture is from the brayer which I clean off on a thick sheet of paper when I’m gel printing.

In keeping with the combination of colours and texture I decided to go for an unusual background also and attached the flower and buds to a card-base embossed with the a Taylored Expressions chicken wire pattern. I won’t be surprised if you find it a bit odd but I just can’t help reaching for gel prints and this odd scrappy combo makes me smile. By the way, those little black dots in the centre, I added them myself; they aren’t part of the original die.

This second card has a bit more elegance. I used the PB ‘whisper’ die to cut flowers from a gel printed text transfer. The text is from a recipe page in a magazine so you might be able to pick out the word cinnamon if you look closely. The dark mat looks black but is actually dark blue to co-ordinate with the gel print. I’ve used the same die to cut both blooms but used only a portion on the right hand side.

Do you use layered dies? Do you blend the cardstock with inks or pick co-ordinating cardstock? Or perhaps you go for random colour combos like I did!

By the way, Foiled Fox is having a Penny Black sale, so pop over and have a browse.

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Blooming Blue Again

I’m still having fun with PB ‘blooming’ stamp. Once again I used blue inks but this time the combo was chipped sapphire and blueprint sketch. When blended I got blues and purples but not the pinks that seedless preserves provided. If you read my last post you might remember I unintentionally ended up with brown centres. This time I made sure I inked with fossilized amber and wild honey to create yellow centres.

I worked in the stamp positioner to make this panel and did all the green and blue inking and stamping first. I left the centres un-inked so I could add them after the petals were stamped, blended and dry. I don’t mind some blending but I didn’t want the blue and yellow to get too close and blendy because that would mean green centres. Once the yellow centres dried I used a black gel pen to add stamen.

I wanted to gussy this one up a little but still keep the clean look so I used a small piece of organza ribbon across the base of the panel then stamped on a banner die cut and tied it on with twine.

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Grape Hyacinths

My garden seems to have lost its grape hyacinths; I used to have quite a few that would pop up year after year but I only saw a couple this year.

We had three days above 30°C last week so there is plenty happening in the garden. The crab apple is blossoming and the last of the daffodils are hanging on. I bought some annuals and started filling pots yesterday.

The stamp featured is from the Darkroom Door set ‘fine flowers vol 2’ designed by Godelieve Tjiskens. I inked the petals with seedless preserves and blueprint sketch distress inks then blended with water after stamping. The stems are rustic wilderness distress and the sentiment rustic wilderness archival.

Hope you are enjoying some colour in the world around you; perhaps you’re seeing warm tones if you are in the southern hemisphere.

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Green Truck in the City

This little green truck card was made on request, and probably not a focal point I would have come up with myself. The end result however made me very happy and all but the kraft buildings and road sign were cut from gel prints.

I could have cut all the components from coloured cardstock but I chose instead to use gel prints and mixed the green and blue paints on the gel plate in order to match the green of the truck requested. I love the added texture a gel print gives. The sky is very textured because it was printed on my damaged gel plate. I use it mainly as a palette where I mix colours or roll off excess paint. I pull prints off it now and again during a session and the patchy blue and white print made a perfect sky. I don’t have a truck die but I did some mods to a van die-cut and ‘ta-da’ I had a little green truck on its way to graduation!

Would this be a good time to mention there are a couple of spaces left in next Friday’s gel printing workshop?

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Dragonfly on text

All the coloured sections of this pretty dragonfly are inlaid between the outlines of the cream die-cut! Does it look the same as if I had just glued the cream die-cut over the top? Yes, I’m afraid it does. Perhaps if gel print had been on cardstock the same thickness as the dragonfly it might have been more noticeable. Lesson learned.

One branch of my current gel printing obsession is image transfer. In the past I have tried it mainly with high contrast photos of people but it works with text as well so I added interest to this blue, gold and red print with some black magazine text. I notice now as I stare at the screen the random line across the panel makes it look a little like an ocean view.

While I was painstakingly inlayaing every little bit of dragonfly wing I was listening to the audio book version of The Salt Path, a memoir with many references to ocean views, cliffs, weather and unexpected encounters. The author and her husband hiked the South West Coast path in the UK in rather traumatic and totally unexpected circumstances. I found the whole account fascinating and heartrending in places. By the end I had google maps open so I could see where the path was taking them.

Once again the photos don’t show the shimmer of the finished project. The sand coloured foreground is actually gold paint so there is shimmer spreading half way up the panel. Can you see why I love gel printing?

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