Wish upon a star

Shaker cards are very very rare around here: I think I’ve only put one on the blog before today. I bought the nesting star dies recently on whim (I think they are discontinued but other companies make similar dies ). This card is for a little girl who turns five next week so I thought a little shimmer and shake might be fun.

I had the plan in my head with a starry sky watercolour panel for either the front of the shaker panel or the background then decided both would be best. I had pretty micro beads in six different colours so I thought it would be cool to co-ordinate the sequins, beads and inks.

Making the watercolour panels was very straightforward; I smooshed Papertrey ink cubes on the glass mat, spritzed shimmer spray (homemade water + gold pearlex powder) on the inks then swiped the panel through the ink several times until it was mostly covered. I finished the coverage using a paintbrush to add ink here and there. There was masking fluid already on the panel before I started so that added to the night sky look.

Once I started doing the ‘shaker card’ steps I remembered why I don’t make shaker cards. For me this one had an extreme fiddliness factor! I will happily spend hours no-line watercolouring an intricate flower but taping around all the points of five stars to seal the shaker area of each one was above and beyond! But then I put the micro beads, sequins and stars in each section, attached the watercoloured background, turned it over and…happy sigh, it was as cute as I’d hoped.

I won’t describe the process for making a shaker card; I think you would be better off watching a video from someone who has made more than two! I know there are many ways to build them up but my layers were: die-cut star watercolour layer, acetate layer, foam layer with star die-cuts then watercolour background layer. When I had all the layers stuck together I attached it to a square of shimmer blue cardstock and die cut the PB ‘make a wish’ sentiment from the same cardstock three times for stacking. I realise now I should have cut it from a brighter colour but the glue is stuck!

I’m happy with how it turned out and I love how it shakes (the micro beads move a lot while the sequins cling to the acetate) but I think it might be another five years before I make another one. How about you, do you whip up the occasional shaker card?

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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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Pretty fantastic

Children’s cards are something of a rarity for me but this one ended up being so much fun I might try them more often. I’ve had this gold embossed giraffe image sitting round for a while. The stamp, from Pink Ink Designs is called ‘giraffe’, no surprises there! It’s a large stamp so I cropped a bit of the neck off so it would fit on a 6×6 card.

I used Staedtler watercolour markers and papertrey ink cubes to watercolour the giraffe and the amethyst ink cube for the blended background. I decided on the stencil background after I’d finished watercolouring the giraffe so I cut a giraffe shaped mask and positioned it over the giraffe while I used blending brushes and the Paper Rose studio ‘fragments’ stencil.

The giraffe stamp set comes with a pair of glasses stamp but I went bigger and sparklier with a die cut from Penny Black. I embossed the purple glasses in clear sparkle powder first then clear gloss ultra high to seal the sparkle and make them shiny. The sentiment is from the PB set ‘perspective’. Pink Ink Designs has some beautiful big animal and fantasy stamps. They totally captured my imagination when I saw them. I’ve already shared a card with the dragon stamp and have one with a sea turtle still to come. Not my usual themes that’s for sure.

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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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Frozen Vista

This lovely window stamp is from a Penny Black set, frozen vista which includes two arched window stamps. I stamped it on hot pressed watercolour paper in versamark then embossed in white powder. I used three distress inks to paint over the embossing, chipped sapphire in the sky, scattered straw at the horizon and stormy sky on the snowy ground.

To make a swag below the window I added double sided adhesive to some neenah solar white cardstock then die cut the PB juniper dies, holly from the layered Xmas set and pinecones from the winter lantern set.

Because of the subtle colours and abundance of white and offwhite I popped up the painted panel on a couple of layers of cardstock to give it a shadow frame on the same coloured card base.

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Winter Window

Sometimes I get inspired by the detailed and delicate foliage dies from Penny Black. The new ‘juniper’ die set got me started for this design along with a navy panel of cardstock splattered with white paint.

I gathered other dies to combine into a winter window scene. I could have chosen brighter reds and greens but I am in a muted vintage style phase right now so forest green and burgandy were my picks for the juniper and berries. All the dies are listed below; I picked from a few sets and added double sided adhesive to all the cardstock before die cutting. The window die is designed to open but I chose the adhesive backing so it would be stuck down firmly to keep the snow outside and the candle from blowing out!

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Wreath & Wings

I’ve combined a new PB stamp, ‘wreath & wings’ with a new PB die, ‘mirthful’ for simple elegant style Christmas card.

I used distress inks and markers to ink the wreath elements and birds, keeping the stamp in the positioner so I could work a bit at a time. I inked the stamp, stamped the image then did a bit of blending with a paintbrush to fill the leaves, berries and birds.

I used a gold gel pen to colour some of the berries then continued the gold highlights in the die cut word. The die has decorative diamond cut outs so I cut gold ones to add to the burgandy letters and framed the panel in the same burgandy cardstock.

For the second card I decided to use the curve of the wreath as a hanging garland. Using a centering ruler to help me with positioning I stamped half the wreath on the centre top edge of the watercolour panel, then stamped another part loop either side.

Once again I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper so I could blend the ink on the leaves. I used ocean coliro pearlescent paint on some of the leaves and berries for a little shimmer.

I wrote the sentiment for this one using the darkest blue marker from the Staedtler watercolour 36 brush pen set and matted the panel in a dark blue cardstock.

Even though I don’t like to over do my designs I’m wondering if the blue card is a bit sparsely decorated. What do you think?

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Autumn Grove

As I mentioned last week; I’m a seasonal stamper which shows in today’s card. I’ve included some inspiration pics taken on a walk last weekend not far from where I live.

I stamped the PB ‘birches’ first in nocturne ink on hot pressed watercolour paper then embossed them in clear. I masked them with tape then, stamped PB ‘winter’s forest’ in Papertrey ‘cocoa bean’ and ‘dark chocolate’ ink then, while still in the stamp positioner stamped again with versamark ink so I could emboss in clear powder.

With all the trees embossed I started painting dabs of autumn toned inks around the trees and on the forest floor. The inks are listed below. Once I had the look of autumn leaves around the branches and scattered on the ground I used a white gel pen to draw back in the little birch branches I had accidentally painted over.

I stamped words from PB ‘family sentiments’ and cut them out with a speech balloon die which was exactly the right size. I matted the whole panel in brown then popped up the sentiment on a couple of pieces of cardstock.

The colours are lovely around here right now and there are still plenty of leaves on the trees. We had an enormous tree removed from our yard earlier in spring so it will be interesting to see if the leaf collecting is a little easier this year. We still have four big trees plus others over the fence daring to drop their leaves in our yard too!

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Oxide Leaves Video

There is no denying it anymore, autumn is in the air and on the trees and definitely in the cards. This week the weather has been lovely, the sun has shone and the frost warnings have gone. Can’t complain.

I really am a seasonal stamper; I’m inspired by what is going on outside in the world. With a few exceptions, like Christmas card prep, I like to stamp what I see in the garden and surrounds. The leaves on my trees are beginning to turn, nothing spectacular yet and nothing to rake (yay) but the signs are there. I chose oxide inks to blend several three coloured panels which I then cut up into leaves. The process and chit chat is all in the video below.

After the video was completed I looked at the wreath and decided it needed some brighter pops of colour and luckily I had some enamel dots which matched exactly. I added them before taking the photos below.

I really enjoy arranging all the elements on die cut cards like the two I’ve shared today but the gluing drives me a little crazy. Sometimes I use double sided adhesive but if the die cuts are not going to be sitting flat that doesn’t really work. If you have any suggestions for attaching fiddly little die cuts please leave them in the comments; I’d love to know. You might notice I try not to include much gluing in the video because it doesn’t make for very entertaining viewing.

I hope you are surrounded by some fall beauty where you are or perhaps enjoying some spring sunshine in the southern hemisphere.

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Gel print pumpkins

Despite what the title suggests this post isn’t about gel printing, it’s about using more dies on one card than I’ve ever done before. I tend to use dies sparingly, not because I don’t like them, but because they are usually called in to highlight or frame some watercolouring. This time the dies are the feature and I used some leftover pieces of gel printed paper for the pumpkins.

On the first card I built up a background for the gel print pumpkins with a row of die cut trees and then a die cut picket fence. Each pumpkin is two layer as the original cardstock used for printing was light weight. I tried to find prints in pumpkin colours and found a couple of blue/greens, some goldy browns and a pale orange; I didn’t have a strong orange in the pile. The fact that one of the prints had stars on it was definitely a bonus.

On the second card I stacked two leaf pattern die cut panels to create a textured background then layered the pumpkins on top of that. All the background die cutting and card bases are either luxe textured white cardstock or a cheap cold pressed watercolour paper that I thought was luxe textured white until I placed them side by side and had to rearrange things a bit.

All the dies are listed and linked below and I made two messages with the same ‘golden delight’ sentiment stamp. I know I have other sentiments for thanksgiving but I can’t go past this one. For the cute little sign by the pumpkin patch I stamped one word, masked, then next word, masked and then the last one and wonder of wonders, it worked first go!

The layering and adhering of dies was a labour of love because I am just not great at the whole fiddly nature of gluing die cuts. When I imagined the card in my head it was way more intricate than either of these but it’s important to know your own limits and sometimes quit while you’re ahead!

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