I’ve been playing with the alcohol inks again!

Last weekend I spent Saturday creating with alcohol inks while learning from Kathryn Kanadian who was in Ottawa teaching a couple of classes. Kathryn is a wonderful teacher and I now have a few new tricks to try and techniques to practice. This lavender panel was created with dots of ink on an applicator; I used passion purple, rich gold (Pinata) and  juniper (Ranger) along with some blending solution or isopropyl alcohol. I dabbed the applicator all over the craft plastic for quite a while and added blending solution and more ink when needed. The gold ink didn’t move much but the other two colours created a lot of pattern. These delicate flowers which look a little like lavender are cut with PB ‘tall flowers’ dies. The sentiment from the PB ‘special sentiments’ set I stamped with dusty concord archival ink. I had a section of the patterned panel left over so I was able to die cut some more flowers to pop inside the card. You can be sure I put stick-it adhesive on those panels before I cut such skinny flowers out.

The panel of browns and gold below came together as Kathryn was encouraging us to experiment with blending solution to move the ink. I used more than I usually would and was delighted with all the variation of colour I achieved, the dotted patterns and the splotches of gold here and there. I used ginger, espresso (Ranger) and rich gold (Pinata). Kathryn had samples of her wonderful work including a coffee themed card that inspired this one.

I used the Concord & 9 ‘simple serif’ alphabet dies to cut the letters from antique gold cardstock and framed the panel in antique gold also.

The daisy panel was a bit of a breakthrough for me as I had only made landscapes with alcohol inks by accident or trial and error in the past. With the introduction of a stylus and alcohol ink brushes I was able to paint some daisies and splatter a rain shower over the top of them.

I began by creating a green background with the help of some isopropyl alcohol and green ink (not sure if it was meadow or pesto??)  I used a stylus to dot the centres of the flowers in copper and pitch alcohol inks (Ranger) then I used a brush to paint petals around the centres and stems and grass at the base. The splatters of isopropyl alcohol pulled the composition together.

Although it looks black the cardstock framing the panel is actually dark green. I embossed a little sentiment from the PB ‘family sentiments’ set in white powder.

I created a few more panels during the class which hopefully I will turn into cards soon. Thanks Kathryn for a wonderful class.

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Filigree thank you

This leaf is from a PB stamp set called ‘filligree foliage. I haven’t used it for a few years but it is perfect for creating some autumn leaves. As the name suggests each leaf has a filigree pattern on it but you can’t see it on this card because I am using the stamp for its shape not its pattern. To see cards I’ve made in the past with this set click over here, here and here

I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper and moved the stamp around each time I stamped it. I used abandoned coral and frayed burlap distress inks, an odd combo, but one which seemed to work and even gave me a some purply blue in a few places. After stamping the leaf I immediately blended the ink with a paintbrush and water until I had filled the entire shape diluting all the stamped ink as I did so.

I added a double stacked sentiment die cut from olive green cardstock then ruled a thin brown frame around the edge with the help of the ‘staytion’ magnetic board and ruler. I know the ‘staytion’ was designed with stenciling in mind but it makes lining up die cut words and letters easy as well as ruling lines.

Can you believe I have another card for the current CAS watercolour challenge?

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Blushing blooms

I have coloured this lovely flower a few times lately but I realised I hadn’t posted it all on my blog. I did some no-line colouring with the stamp which took a while due to the number of petals, but still produced a nice result which I’ll share at the end of this post. This weekend I decided to emboss the flower instead and paint it with peerless watercolours. I must say this technique was faster and less fiddly than the no-line petal by petal approach. I embossed two of them and painted them side by side with the same three paint colours. Peerless paint blends beautifully on the paper, in this case hot pressed watercolour paper, and I was able to add royal crimson over the top of flesh tint and vice versa until I was happy with the coverage and blending. The leaves were painted in olive green. I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love the quality, depth and blending of peerless watercolours.

I used the co-ordinating die to cut out both flowers then arranged them on top of a ‘snowfall/speckles’ embossing folder background. I snipped a few of the leaves off and rearranged them to balance the composition. I also glued some pieces directly to the background and popped other pieces up on dimensional foam. The sentiment is from the grateful sentiments set and is embossed and popped up also. Because my orange/pinkish combo is opposite green on the colour wheel this card is a match for the current CAS watercolour challenge, a challenge I love but rarely get my act together to enter!

Here is a similar design I completed as part of my no-line watercolour class. I stamped in antique linen distress ink and used a selection of distress inks as ‘paint’. The sentiment is from a clever Taylored Expressions stamp and die combo.

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Autumn wreaths

Much as I hate to admit it, things are beginning to feel distinctly autumnal. I don’t have any autumn wreaths to hang at home but if I did I think I would like one a bit like this, soft colours and delicate leaves.

I worked in my stamp positioner to create this panel on hot pressed watercolour paper but I think you could easily do it with the stamp on an acrylic block, it might even be faster. I started by tracing a circle on my panel with a pencil. Using the circle as I guide I positioned the branch stamp from Penny Black’s new ‘All Natural’ set so the base stems were on the circle. I inked with rusty hinge, stamped, moved the stamp around the circle a little, stamped in bundled sage, moved it again, stamped in frayed burlap and then repeated until I was all the way around the circle. I used a small watercolour brush to blend inside the leaves adding extra ink when necessary. I love the combination of colours; frayed burlap is new to my collection and I like the way it gets along with the other two inks. Once the blended ink was dry I stamped just a section of the berry stamp around the centre of the wreath in gathered twigs distress ink then blended it to fill the berries.

I used the same sentiment for both cards, it’s from another new and cute PB set called ‘golden delight’. I stamped both times on a little tag from the PB ‘a pocket full’ die set. To finish off the card I wrapped some twine around the panel, added a bow and popped the tag on top.

For the second card I grabbed another stamp from all natural and used the same process but needed a leaf mask cut from post-it note a couple of times where the leaves would have stamped over previous ones. This little stamp has both leaves and berries as well as a curved stem which just happened to conveniently match the curve of my traced circle. I used the same technique of blending the leaves and berries after stamping with forest moss and aged mahogany distress inks.

Both cards requested the splatter treatment and the second card wanted a olive green mat as well.

Hope the days are warm and sunny where you are.

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Bunches and bunches

I’ve got something bright and breezy for you today. Even though the flowers on the PB ‘together’ stamp look like agapanthus to me and even though agapanthus do not come in orange or yellow, I chose this colour scheme anyway. The grey days continue here so I’m stamping sunshine instead!

I worked in the stamp positioner so I could add a colour or two at a time and started by inking the centres of the flowers with festive berries, you could use the ink pads or the marker. I used the ink pad and wiped ink off any area where I didn’t want it. Around the festive berries I inked with ripe persimmon ink, spritzed the stamp and stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper. I wiped off the stamp then inked the outside petals in fossilized amber (my current fave yellow), spritzed and stamped again. Spritzing helps the colours blend and helps the ink give more solid coverage.

I inked the leaves in iced spruce because the time has come to hang out with other green inks; forest moss will always be special to me but there are other greens out there that need to be seen! I moved the panel and repeated the stamping to the left and to the right almost filling it with flowers. I added some orange and green splatter then die cut with the ‘PB stitched nested frames’ dies. The sentiment is inked in versafine clair misty morning ink because I thought the grey worked with the iced spruce leaves. The centre panel is popped up on a piece of foam for a bit of extra interest.

As I was choosing my sentiment with the words ‘bunches and bunches’ I was reminded of the word my mother used when she did my hair in two side ponytails. Up until grade 4 she did my hair every morning and it was usually ‘bunchies’! That was our name for the style shown below; I think we reserved the name ‘ponytail’ for just one. Did your mother do your hair in ‘bunchies’, if so what did you call them?

It’s quite the classic shot isn’t it? I guess the photographer told us to do that odd thing with our hands. I was six years old and my dress matched one my mother had.

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Love’s glow

Here’s another new beauty from Penny Black. This one is a large rubber cling stamp called ‘love’s glow’. I’ve stamped it with a mix of archival and distress inks then added some die-cut extras on the corner. I think I might have gone a little over board with the splatter at the end but not enough to make me give up on the floral. There is a lot of shaded detail in this stamp so it is very helpful to stamp it in a medium to dark colour first on a scrap of paper so you can have the image off to the side while adding colour to your project. Before I started stamping I splattered some masking fluid on the hot pressed watercolour panel so the finished design would have some white dots here and there. You could use white paint at the end to get a similar effect. I used my MISTI so I could work on the oranges and reds separate from the green.

I stamped the flower first in archival spiced marmalade ink, it is one of the colours Ranger has recently brought out in mini archival packs. I learnt this trick from Jill Foster, just one of many tricks I have learnt from her! By stamping the flower first in archival I have an image on my paper that I can watercolour over but it will not be diluted and lost as I add water. Because I was using similar colours in distress inks the initial archival ink does not stand out as different. When I inked the stamp initially with archival ink I wiped any of the spiced marmalade that ended up on the leaves. To achieve the blended red and orange tones in the petals I inked and stamped the flower again in wild honey and festive berries distress inks. I then used a damp brush to blend the colours in the petals using my reference photo to help me when necessary.

I followed the same process for the leaves stamping them first in archival peeled paint, then again in forest moss distress ink which I blended with water and a paint brush. I added definition to the centre with a black marker. Once the panel was dry I painted shabby shutters ink around the flower after first pressing my shabby shutters inkpad onto my glass mat and adding some water. I splattered with festive berries, forest moss and black soot ink. I trimmed the panel down to a square then die cut a square mat of olive green cardstock with the stitched square die.

To finish off the card I added some green die cut leaves; I think these leaves might be from the first die sets I ever received from Penny Black. I’ve used them over and over. I cut a sentiment banner with one of the ‘triple banners’ set and trimmed one end so it could align with the mat. The sentiment is from the Best Mom set but I did some partial stamping to get only half the words on my banner.

I hope you are having a great Monday. I just want to remind you there is a sale happening at Foiled Fox all the long weekend and a ‘Color Trio challenge’ continuing until May 30.

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Flower fantasy blossoms

Blossoms are finally appearing in Ottawa! I even have a daffodil or two in my garden.

There are two blossom stamps on the PB ‘flower fantasy’ set and I paired them up to create this spring card. I used spun sugar distress ink to stamp the blossoms then painted the petals first with spun sugar ink then a second layer with worn lipstick ink. My painting is inside the lines for the first layer but I added the darker layer more loosely just wanting some extra depth in the flowers. I was working in my MISTI so I was able to ink the centres in rusty hinge ink and stamp them over the flowers once the painting was dry. This is an example of what is known as ‘no-line watercolouring’. Distress inks are great for this technique as you can stamp with them and then smoosh them on a glass mat or acrylic block and paint with the ink. The original stamped outline blends with the painting making the lines less obvious or disappear entirely. I often use antique linen distress ink for no-line watercolouring but the spun sugar did a good job for today’s panel.

To fill in the design I added some twigs using the ‘winter branches’ stamps and forest moss distress ink. I painted little dabs of shabby shutters and diluted forest moss ink around the twigs to look like leaves budding.

To add some subtle decoration I used the new stitched nested frames dies to cut the stamped panel and the sentiment strip. I stamped the sentiment in peeled paint archival ink; having archival inks in distress colours is a wonderful thing! The sentiment is from the ‘best mom’ stamp set and I think it is so nice to have a ‘we love you’ stamp as this card is going to a friend and will be from our whole family.

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