Birthday birdhouses

I hope your garden is full of birds and blooms right now, mine is getting there slowly. If  you are having a birthday during this season, it’s possibly a little different to past celebrations. My birthday is in the dead of winter but I do remember fondly when it was in the height of summer when birds, blooms and strawberries were in abundance!

To create this bright happy card I did some no line watercolour with distress inks. I stamped the PB ‘good neighbors’ outline stamp in antique linen then did all the painting with distress inks smooshed on my glass mat. For fine lines and tiny spaces I used distress markers.

I used cold pressed watercolour paper for this one; I switch back and forth between hot pressed and cold pressed, often choosing hot pressed for the ease of stamping detailed stamps. Once I was finished I decided to pop up the panel on a piece of foam but first I cut the panel with the new love of my card making life, Waffle Flowers ‘additional A2 layers’ dies. I love both their A2 layers dies and additional layers dies the same, no favouritism, in fact the reason I love them is because there are two sets making it possible to mat panels with a ⅛” border. I’m not demonstrating that feature on this card but I will be on future projects. I also love the fact that my rectangle is even and perfect first go. My cutter still does a great job just not sure if my steady hand and eye do the stellar job they once did.

I finished off the card by cutting two banners with one of Penny Black’s triple banner dies, two so it was raised up just a bit, not as much as foam tape would raise it. I stamped a sentiment from banner sentiments on the banner but if you know this set you might realise the stamp doesn’t actually curve that way; let me tell you it does when you snip it in two and arrange it on the door of your misti.

Supplies



Oh Baby

I’m not sure if I have ever posted a baby card on my blog; if I have it was so long ago I can’t remember! This one is a commission for a friend; she asked me months ago and I totally forgot. When she texted the other day to see if it was ready I admitted it was not but I would make sure it was by the next day! I was happy to have thought up a concept all those months ago and my idea came together without hiccoughs.

I painted pink, yellow and orange paint on watercolour paper, added water then let it blend and bleed together. Once it was dry I used the Penny Black ‘Balloons!’ die set to cut three balloons then cut the strings and bows from unpainted watercolour paper. I added stick-it adhesive to the back of some peach coloured cardstock then cut two sets of letters to stack for the words using the C&9 ‘simple serif alphabet’ dies.

To create the cloudy sky I cut post-it masks using the cloud die from C&9 ‘city stacks’ die set then blended over the edges on a background panel and an envelope using Papertrey ink cubes in ‘sweet blush’ and ‘lovely lady’. I cut a very narrow mat of pale rose cardstock to frame the panel and attached everything to a cream card base.

I wondered about cutting more balloons to put inside but instead painted some of the same pink, yellow and orange paint on my glass mat, spritzed it generously to dilute it then placed an extra panel of watercolour paper on top to pick up a pale wishy-washy print.

Seeing that I rarely make baby cards this might become my design of choice when I do need one; I’ll just change the colour scheme to keep things interesting.

Supplies



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!

Supplies


https://linkdeli.com/widget.js?id=f5e8378456858c916708


Pencil colouring on kraft paper

I’ve been doing some coloured pencil work, nothing too fancy but definitely satisfying to see it come together. I filmed as I coloured so you can see how I approached each flower as well as the glass vases.  I don’t often complete a whole card with coloured pencils, I’m more likely to bring them in at the end to add details and shading but this time they are took the starring role. I like the look of pencil on kraft paper too, I find it a bit less intimidating than bright white paper.

It took me a long time to finish the colouring so I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear I didn’t include every last second of footage. I sped it up and chopped it up so it wouldn’t be too long but I made sure to include my process for each element. I even did one part more than once!?! but I’ll tell you about that during the video. Towards the end of the video I referred to colouring wizard Kathy Racoosin, if you haven’t checked out her blog and wonderfully instructive youtube channel, make sure you do.

As you can see I stamped a print on a matching envelope and on the inside of the card too. It is always best to do this while the stamp and inks are still on the table, buy you already knew that didn’t you?

When I showed this one to my daughter she absolutely made my day by saying it reminded her of story books she would read and reread as a child because she enjoyed the illustrations so much!

 

Supplies


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…

Supplies


Meadow blossoms

I attended a class not too long ago taught by my clever friend, Liane, where we used paint chips to make cards. Some paint chips have colours from the same family displayed but others have colour combinations that are suggestions when painting and decorating a room. I used one such card to choose the colours for this blue floral card. The paint chip featured colours called nautica, blizzard and tahini. I found similar colours on my peerless watercolour palette and did some no-line watercolour.

I started by stamping C&9 ‘meadow blossoms’ floral stamp in Gina K ‘whisper’ ink. The ink is a pale beige/grey dye ink which disappeared nicely as I painted with peerless watercolour paint over the top. I worked on non adjacent petals so the paint and water would not bleed from one area to the next. On the largest flowers I painted a dab of ‘Alice blue’ paint then blended it with water to fill the petal.

On the smaller flowers I switched the order and painted each petal with water first then dabbed in some blue paint. The second method resulted in slightly paler flowers. I painted all the leaves and stems in ‘warm sepia’ and the flower centres in ‘pearl grey’. Once all the paint was dry I used two inktense pencils to add veins and shading to the leaves and petals. I painted black dots in the flower centres then drew tiny stems to the dots with a very fine tip black pen. The black thank you die cut is from the PB ‘many thanks’ die set cut from black cardstock and stacked for extra dimension. I think it works well either side of the cute phrase from the PB ‘million thanks’ set which is stamped in nocturne black on a strip cut with the Taylored Expressions ‘simple strips’ die.

If you are stuck for a colour combo try some paint chip inspiration; I don’t think I would have thought up the blue, brown, grey combo without the inspiration on the chip. And call your bestie!

Supplies


Three colour brusho video

A while back I posted three cards all painted with the same three brusho paint colours and my Welsh friend, Karen requested a video. Well this is it, a different stamp and three different colours (Brusho sunburst lemon, prussian blue, rose red) but the same technique. Here is the one that prompted the video request.

As with the card above I embossed the outline stamp, ‘flutterby’ in gold powder then swiped up a brusho background by sprinkling brusho on my glass mat then spritzing water over it to activate the powders and turn them into liquid watercolour paint. From there I moved onto painting petals and leaves with individual colours and secondary colours. Take a look at the video and you will see what I mean.

 

After all the painting was done I added some extra shading in shadow areas with Faber-Castell polychromos pencils and some gold thread detail. The sentiment is from PB ‘banner sentiments’ gold embossed and die cut with a die from the PB ‘tagged’ set.

One of the things I like about this technique is the way the background works with the painted images even though the are painted right over the top of a multicoloured panel. The colours work because they are the same colours and because the background is not too bold. You can see in the tulip on the left what the true colour of the rose red brusho is, but the ones that are painted over the blue background still look red, just a deeper red perhaps in shadow not full sun.

Happy Easter my friends. Stay home, stay healthy, stay hopeful and maybe try a new art or craft technique!

Supplies


https://linkdeli.com/widget.js?id=36e575d4b4503edd8f9a


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!

Supplies


Shimmer floral

The fun continues around here with pearlescent paints and black watercolour paper. I just wish the photos would show better how pretty the shimmery paints are.  The Foiled Fox sent me some yummy new paints from Coliro, I used the ‘ocean’ and the ‘vintage’ sets for this card. I also tried out the ‘penny’ embossing powder from Brutus Monroe. It is a copper colour which worked nicely with the paints I chose. I embossed part of the Penny Black ‘floral medley’ stamp in one corner of my black watercolour paper panel then flipped the panel and moved the stamp around a little before stamping more flowers on the other corner. I paired up a couple of stamps from the PB ‘strength’ sentiment set to emboss a sentiment in between the florals.

Coliro (or Finetec) paints are full of shimmer and look amazing on dark paper but can also be used on light or white paper for more subtle effects. I have painted them on neenah black cardstock before, the colours looked great but I like the way watercolour paper gives me more flexibility with blending from dark to light. When attempting light and dark areas on black paper I have to think about the direction of my blending. On white watercolour paper I paint strong colour then blend it with water to decrease the intensity and so end up with a lighter area. On dark paper I paint an area in bright pearlescent paint and then dilute it with water to get a darker or shadow area. Shading isn’t really necessary of course, the colours look great painted as solid sections without shading.

To finish off the card I die-cut a frame from copper coloured shimmer paper. I have two frame dies from the PB ‘square frames’ set still linked together so I get a plain frame when I run the two decorative dies through the machine together.

I am teaching a ‘Watercolour on Black’ workshop in Ottawa at the end of March where we will be playing with these lovely shimmer paints and creating stamped and painted panels that really shine. Click over to my upcoming classes page for more details.

Supplies


Pretty in pink

I’ve been playing with pretty paper again and have the Foiled Fox to thank for this lovely Alexandra Renke design. Make sure you pop over to the Foiled Fox blog where I’m sharing my process in making today’s cards. I believe I said it last time I worked with AR papers, the colours and patterns are so lovely I really don’t want to add much over the top.

For both cards I covered the whole front with AR ‘Autumn Plant Rose’ paper. The delicate floral design covers most of the paper so I didn’t want to add too much that would clash with the paper. I chose instead to die-cut cream flowers and birds as focal images, keeping them cream coloured and stacked made them stand out from the background pattern. The tall flower die is from Penny Black and is called ‘shall we dance’. I like the way the long thin stems mimic the thin lines of the paper’s design.

Adding the same die cut on the inside of the card was a must and simple to do after first adding stick it adhesive to the back of the patterned paper.

I used the same design idea and stacked three bird die-cuts for the second card and added a single patterned die-cut on the inside of the card. The die is called ‘the sweetest song’ and is another PB one.

I debated whether or not to add any sentiments and ended up deciding on one with and one without.

I will be doing more with this lovely paper and a pink abstract paper also by AR. I’ve linked the papers and supplies below and look forward to sharing more designs with you soon. Make sure you click over to the Foiled Fox and check out all the Alexandra Renke papers.

Supplies