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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Falling Leaves

Falling Leaves is a new transparent set from Penny Black, part of the ‘Autumn Extraordinaire’ release. I made a random pattern with most of the little leaf stamps by embossing them on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper. I taped the edges of my panel before I started and was able to keep a clean frame around the patterned area.

I arranged the leaves on the panel and embossed with versamark and potting soil powder. To add colour I started with just two brusho powders, gamboge and olive green sprinkled sparingly here and there over the leaves. After spritzing with water the colours started to move and fill the leaves and surrounding area but the gamboge diluted to pale orange and yellow so I added some brilliant red brusho to create a few more pops of colour. Most of the colour placement was random but I did move some around with a paintbrush.

Once the design was complete I dried it, removed the tape and cut the panel with a rectangle die. I stamped the lovely sentiment from ‘golden wreath on a banner die cut then looked at my cardstocks to choose a base colour. I ended up with a lovely metallic brown wood textured piece which worked exactly how I thought it would. Then I wondered, did I make a very similar autumn card with this cardstock last year? Yes, yes I did.

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Foiling without heat

I’m celebrating the opening of my online class today. All the lessons and projects are now available so if you haven’t heard click here to see what it’s all about.

What’s a celebration without balloons and shiny things? I know you don’t see too much sparkle and shine around here but I was intrigued to see how this Brutus Monroe deco foil would look with some watercoloured balloons.

Once I had created a foiled sentiment and some bows I flipped the arrangement and paired foiled balloons with a blended sentiment. As you can see in the photos below I allowed some of the foil to be over exposed in the photo so you could see how it pretty the pattern is as it picks up the light.

I did my foiling without heat by attaching double sided adhesive (stick-it) to cardstock then removing the backing so I could lay the ‘silver sketch’ transfer foil’ directly on the adhesive. I pressed it down with my fingers carefully to avoid air bubbles then die cut the balloons, strings and sentiment from the foiled cardstock. Once cut I removed the foil top layer to reveal beautifully foiled die cuts. Rather than attaching the balloons to plain black or white card stock I ran the panels through my die cutter inside the ‘snowfall/speckles embossing folder, then flipped the panel around to emboss speckles on both ends.

You can see all that pretty reflective pattern on the foil even better in this close up. Thank you Foiled Fox for sending pretty shiny things my way!

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Hydrangeas

When I tried a bit of hydrangea painting the other day it got me thinking about hydrangea stamps and I’m not sure if I have ever inked this PB one before. As you know I tend to go for the blues and purples (like my mother before me) but I decided to go more for the pinky red you can find in some hydrangeas. As you can see I didn’t end up with pinky red; I have orangy red which I have never seen on a hydrangea! My mother always wanted her hydrangeas to be blue, purple or pink so she and my dad added something to the soil to make that happen.

Before I began stamping I scribbled rouge pink and punch pink Arteza real brush pens on my glass mat, spritzed it with water then swiped my hot pressed watercolour panel through it. I dried the panel before beginning the stamping. In the stamp positioner I inked the hydrangea first with Papertrey ‘pale peony’ ink then dabbed the arteza pens on the stamp as well to get a variegated print. I spritzed then stamped and repeated the process to get three hydrangeas. To colour inside the petals I used three arteza pens (rouge pink, punch pink, apricot) to dab a little colour then blended to fill the petals with a paintbrush and water.

I decided to try a fancy drop shadow greeting and it kind of worked; don’t look too closely. I stamped first in versafine clair tulip red, dried that, powdered it with the anti-static-thingy, dried it again and powdered it again and then moved the panel ever so slightly left before stamping with versamark and embossing with gold. Despite all my efforts gold powder still stuck to the supposedly dry tulip red ink. As a fix I used a red marker to make the shadow to the left a little more prominent. Then in another fit of fanciness I cut the panel with a dainty dashes die. I don’t know what came over me! Maybe it’s because it’s Friday or maybe it’s because I am getting increasingly excited about opening my online class on Monday.

Thank you to all of you who have signed up already; I am thrilled by the response so far. If you don’t know what I am talking about pop over here and find out!

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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.

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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.

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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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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!

 

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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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