Dragonfly Blue

I don’t often use patterned paper on my projects but when I saw these Alexandra Renke designs from The Foiled Fox I wanted to make ALL THE THINGS and cover them with this paper! To be honest I just wanted to stick pieces of this ‘autumn dragonfly’ paper on the front of cards and call them done! The blue background is beautiful; the dragonflies are delicate and pretty and there are little gold lines here and there. What more do you need on a card front?

I did add a few of my own touches to the cards in the end but I might still make dragonfly paper card fronts which are simple and unadorned. Because of the little bits of gold here and there on the dragonfly wings I chose gold cardstock and embossing powder for my added elements. I swiped a versamark along edges of the dragonfly panels then embossed them with gold powder.

I used a co-ordinating Alexandra Renke paper on both card fronts. It’s called ‘autumn wild dark blue’ and it looks like a painted page. I popped up the dragonfly pieces on foam and added a gold embossed sentiment plus letters or words die cut from gold shimmer cardstock. I used the PB …birthday die paired with part of a sentiment from PB ‘good wishes’ set. I did all the lining up of panels with the help of the Wendy Vecchi art staytion. The board is metallic and has a magnetic ruler which can hold a panel in place while lined up with the grid lines on the board. It has saved me quite a bit of time and fidddling!

I think this paper would look good as a notebook cover and maybe as the background for an art journal page. What do you create with your prettiest papers?

Supplies


Wonderful

This lovely background stamp from MFT is brilliant for trapping colour. My first choice would be to colour it with paint powder like brusho or colourburst but a quicker and less messy technique is to rub distress ink cubes across the embossed panel randomly. I embossed ‘roses all over’ on hot pressed watercolour paper with silver embossing powder then randomly rubbed fossilized amber and candied apple distress inks over the panel. Because of the embossing the ink didn’t saturate the whole panel but it did leave some colour in all the sections.

Next I liberally spritzed the panel so the inks would dilute, blend and fill the petals. This technique is one a friend of mine affectionately calls ‘drowning’. The ink mixed pretty well by itself but I did use a paintbrush here and there to make sure the whole panel was coloured. I dried it, trimmed it and added a band of vellum so my sentiment strip and die-cut would not have to fight with the busy background.

I stamped part of a MFT ‘anything but basic’ sentiment on an Avery Elle simple sentiment strip. I use those sentiment strips all the time; I have a stash cut and ready on my desk for every third card! I cut the PB ‘wonderful’ twice from red cardstock (with ‘stick it double sided adhesive’ on the back) and stacked them on the vellum.

I enjoyed reading your comments about the black watercolour paper and I’m happy some of you are inspired to pull out your own to do a little experimenting. You’ll definitely be seeing it again here.

Supplies


Flower heart

I have seen this stamp on quite a few cards lately, just pop over to the Penny Black blog if you want to see some other colour schemes and techniques. I have surprised myself with this colour scheme and also by choosing a large heart motif in the first place. I don’t usually make Valentine’s day cards so when I decided to ink this stamp it was always going to be for a versatile friendship card.

I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper in the stamp positioner and inked one flower at a time. It is easier to ink a single flower with a marker but when I don’t have the colour marker I need I use an inkpad and just wipe excess ink off the stamp. Each time I stamped a flower or leafy section I blended the ink with a paintbrush and added extra ink if necessary by picking it up off my glass mat. On some of the flowers blending the colour resulted in loss of definition so I restamped after all the colouring was done. That’s the beauty of keeping it in the stamp positioner.

The distress inks I used were carved pumpkin, barn door, mermaid lagoon and peeled paint; I’m pretty sure I’ve never used that combo before. I added centres to the flowers with a black marker.

I chose a die-cut sentiment that spans the heart and chose orange cardstock to stand out against the background. Even though the sentiment was over the top of mainly red and turquoise flowers it got a little lost so I cut a black layer as well and stacked two orange over a slightly offset black.

On my last post ‘Creating in Colors’ commented, ‘...I love it when you design cards for which I have the stamps and/or stencils! I’m inspired to try these.‘ I was so pleased to read that. It makes me happy when that happens; its always good to get a fresh idea for supplies we already have.

Supplies


Three colours – Poppy time

This is the last of the three colour panels I did with sandstone, lemon and ost blue brusho.  I think this one might be my favourite because of the sky behind the poppy. Of course I was not really responsible for that pretty sky, it was the magic of brusho! I embossed the PB ‘poppy time’ stamp in gold powder on hot pressed watercolour paper first. Next I sprinkled the three colours of brusho on craft mat and spritzed it with water. I didn’t sprinkle too much powder; it is easier to add more colour than to take it away. I swiped the panel through the wet activated brusho and set it flat to dry. I can’t remember if I dabbed colour away or moved some with a paintbrush (I made this card a while ago)

With the background taken care of I mixed some green from the sandstone & ost blue and painted the bud, stems and seed pod. I the petals with sandstone and lemon from a palette then sprinkled salt on top to get some texture.

Once again I used a sentiment from MFT ‘fluttering friends’; I really like the clean lines of the font and the size too. The sentiments fit perfectly in strips cut with the Avery Elle simple sentiment strips.

Thanks for joining me in this mini series on using a limited palette. I have enjoyed reading your comments and hope you are trying it yourself. Please let me know if you do.  If you just joined me today here are the other two cards made with this simple colour scheme.

Supplies


Three colours – Bouquet Ballet

Above is the second of my three colour cards painted with only ost blue, sandstone and lemon brusho. The first card displayed some of the texture and blending which is easily achieved with brusho, in this card it is easier to see the three basic colours plus a couple of the colours I mixed myself. As with the first card I mixed the brusho powders with water in a palette but for this card didn’t sprinkle any brusho directly on the watercolour panel.

The PB bouquet ballet stamp is stamped in black ink on cold pressed watercolour paper; I used a stamp positioner as cold pressed watercolour paper has texture which prevents me from getting a perfect impression first go. The small poppy is painted in lemon brusho, the large flower with sandstone and the multi-headed flower in ost blue. On each one I dropped in more colour for extra depth. The small trumpet shaped flowers to the right are also painted in ost blue but a diluted coat. The stems and leaves are painted in a mix of blue and lemon. The centre of the flowers I painted in brown which was a mix of blue and sandstone brusho. I did use a black marker to colour the little flower centre thingies, but we are not going to count black as a fourth colour!

Happily I found a blue cardstock in my stash to create a sentiment strip and a frame. I embossed the sentiment from MFT fluttering friends in gold powder and popped it up over the panel. The frame is cut using PB square frames and glued on using on point glue because of the tiny tip on the glue bottle. I have one more card to show you in this miniseries and I think it might be my favourite. Check back soon.

Supplies


Pinecones & joy

The pine needles and pine cone stamps I used for this card are from Darkroom Door and I love how realistic they are. The stamps are quite large and there are several sizes and shapes of cones which makes for lovely feature images and fillers as well. I used one pine cone stamp but two of the pine needle stamps and worked on hot pressed watercolour paper which had been splattered with masking fluid. If you look at the close up below you can see large white dots as well as tiny ones; they’re all made by the masking fluid.

I stamped the pine cone three times using a stamp positioner and four different brown distress inks. A spritz of water started the browns blending and I did a little blending with a paint brush as well.

I stamped the green pine needles with forest moss and evergreen bough distress inks and the fine needles in the background with iced spruce. I added some green splatter then some gold splatter using one of the gansai tambi starry colours. I used the ‘jumbo joy’ die from Penny Black to cut out the word joy from the stamped panel and cut three layers from shimmer gold cardstock as well so I could stack them up just a little offset so the gold peeps out on the side.

I stamped the rest of the Christmas carol lyric using a stamp from Ink to Paper’s ‘season of joy’ set and some gold embossing powder. The overall pattern may be a little messy but it reminds me of what I see if I look up into the branches of the very messy pine tree in my front yard, which is currently covered with snow but not gold splatter!

I have been blessed to receive some beautiful handmade Christmas cards in the mail this week and I am enjoying them on my window ledge. I hate to say it but as yet I have not sent a single one! As I’ve said before there are twelve days of Christmas so I haven’t run out of time yet!

Supplies


Pink poinsettia poem

I have a less traditional colour scheme for you today featuring pink and purple on this pretty poinsettia stamp from Penny Black. I wasn’t set on being non-traditional when I started but it headed that way as I progressed. I started by smooshing tumbled glass and blueprint sketch distress stains on my glass mat, adding water then swiping a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper through it to create a soft background. Once it dried I used my stamp positioner to stamp and emboss the ‘poinsettia poem’ stamp in silver embossing powder.

I smooshed papertrey ink cubes onto my glass mat to use as watercolours and painted the flowers in scarlet jewel and royal velvet, the leaves in pine feather and the berries in winter wisteria. I used a gold gel pen to colour the centres. The card is not quite so bold as the photo suggests but even so I wanted some light and bright features alongside the painted panel so I framed it in silver and added some die cut holly to the white card base.

In keeping with my resolve I stamped inside the card and on the envelope with winter wisteria ink and add the sentiment in the same.

Supplies


Wreath & wreath

I have two more wreaths to share today; I don’t think I’ve ever made so many wreath cards. This year I did them in a class and I’ve done them here at home more than a few times with little stamps and big stamps. The fact that Penny Black came out with such beautiful wreaths this year kept the inspiration going.

The stamp above is called ‘conifer wreath’ and the stamp below ‘homespun’. I used the same technique for both. Working on hot pressed watercolour paper (psst Foiled Fox has Fabriano in stock now!!) I splattered masking fluid over the paper before I started stamping or painting so I would have dots of snow appear at the end. Once the masking fluid was dry I used my glass mat and spread some pine needles, evergreen bough and gathered twigs distress stain over the mat. I diluted it with water then swiped both panels through the stain to pick up pale green and brown blurry colour.

Once the background ink dried I used the stamp positioner to stamp the wreaths colour by colour using pine needles and forest moss distress inks for the foliage, gathered twigs and black soot for the twigs and pine cones and chipped sapphire for some added depth. I drew a few berries on the wreath below with a festive berries marker then painted over them with red from the finetec pearlescent paint set.

To add a little snow to the pine cones I used a white gel pen then splattered some green and brown ink around the wreaths. Once all the ink was dry I removed the masking fluid then added some texture to the panel with the clever SU embossing folder ‘subtle’.

To add a sentiment to the conifer wreath I die-cut a few ‘joy’ words with the PB die, ‘merry & joy’, stacked them and added them over the bottom of the wreath. Now what I really need to get done is a wreath to hang over my fireplace!

Supplies


Merry Misty Melody

I am thrilled to be over  on the Foiled Fox blog again, sharing these sweet little birds. They are from a new Penny Black set, ‘Misty Melody’ and I’ve paired them with one word from  the PB ‘…bright’ die for a wintry scene. By the way there happens to be a 15% discount sale happening until the end of Dec 2 so now is a good time to visit.

I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper as I planned to do a bit of blending on the birds. I made a mask for the birds on the branch by stamping it on some masking paper and cutting it out. For someone who dislikes fussy cutting I seem to have warmed to it a little. With the stamp in my positioner I stamped the birds on branch stamp on the watercolor paper in smokey gray versafine ink and on masking paper.

I chose the Papertrey ink cubes that I have been using over and over to stamp little wreaths and foliage patterns. To watercolour with them I squished dark chocolate, Americana and scarlet jewel onto the glass mat where I could add a drop of water and pick up colour with a paintbrush.  I found an image of a European Robin as my guide and painted the breast with the two red inks, the Americana was too brown, the scarlet jewel too pink but the mix was ideal.  For the wings and tales I used a mix of Americana and dark chocolate and the rest of the body I painted with distress hickory smoke. I went over the beak and eyes with a black micron pen and then painted the branches in a mix of dark chocolate and black soot. Once that dried I went over the birds’ feet with the micron pen.

With all the bird and branch painting done I had to decide whether to paint the background sky or blend it with blending brushes or sponges. As I had the mask ready to go I chose blending brushes and positioned the mask to protect the painted birds and branch. I splattered masking fluid over the whole panel and let it dry. To create snow banks in the foreground I tore the edge off a piece of post-it note to mask just under the birds.

I stuck with the Papertrey ink cubes for the blended sky using mainly ‘blueberry sky’ and a bit of ‘royal velvet’.  As I blended over the masking fluid I could see I was going to have a nice snowy sky. Once the sky color was a deep blue I repositioned the torn mask lower down three more times and blended over it for a soft ‘snowbank’ look. I didn’t have to pick up more ink as there was plenty still on the bristles of the blending brush.

Once all my painting and blending was complete I removed the masking fluid gently by rubbing it with my fingers; it is always very satisfying to see the snowy sky appear. To finish the card I cut two layers of the word MERRY from red cardstock backed with stick-it adhesive sheet and stuck them over the snowbanks. As you can see the letters come out of the die individually, I used the negative piece of cardstock and my magnetic ‘staytion’ and ruler to position them all correctly.

Thank you for dropping by today, all the supplies I used are linked below. I will be back here and on the Foiled Fox blog very soon.

Supplies



Snowflake garland

At the risk of boring you silly I will mention once again that I have a booth in an art market in four days! One of the items I wanted to make for the market was garlands. I thought the new ‘snowflake tag’ dies from Penny Black would be lovely with some sparkly beads and they are but it took me a lot longer than anticipated to put it all together. I almost left it at one but decided a pair might be nice; the second one was much quicker as I had thought it all through.

I used white cord with a silver thread through it, clear facet cut beads, a mix of shimmer silver and white cardstock and a spiderwebby silver fabric (from France).

I ended up with six snowflakes on each garland with clear beads grouped on the twine in between the snowflakes. Each snowflake is actually double sided so the twine is glued in between the two and for some I glued a contrasting snowflakes on each side.

The spiderwebby fabric is apparently interfacing for dress making but its silver colour makes it perfect for adding a little shimmer and shine to paper craft projects.

Despite being photographed in a tree the snowflake garland is a delicate thing and should not be used outdoors!

Supplies

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