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


Banner Blooms

Recently I blended through a stencil to create square grid backgrounds for some floral silhouette stamping. Today’s card uses a similar technique but I wanted the squares to be less neat, a little imperfect but still recognisable as squares. I guess I could have freestyled them entirely but I wanted them to be evenly spaced and I didn’t trust myself to do that without the stencil as a guide. To achieve this look I once again taped a grid stencil (DD boxes 6 up) to a piece of cold pressed watercolour paper but instead of blending the squares then painting over them I just painted squares inside the stencil squares. I didn’t paint right up to the edges of the stencil because then liquid would have seeped underneath and made a mess. I used the stencil as my placement guide and painted a square inside each space.

I used Sennelier watercolour paints but you could use any watercolour paints or inks. I started each square with a stroke or two of mustard yellow then added some blue, red or orange and blended it with the mustard. After it dried I flattened it in my minc then transferred it to the stamp positioner to stamp five different images from the PB banner blooms set in versafine clair nocturne ink. Simple but quite effective. I chose a sentiment from the PB ‘strength’ set for the last square.

I really like the simple ‘shadow frame’ created by popping up the panel on a piece of foam; that’s why you keep seeing it!

Supplies


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


Winsome wreath

You might not recognise this stamp straight away but it is the ‘winsome wreath’ I used on a black card earlier in the week. It looks a bit different on the more traditional white watercolour paper. It also looks different because I have only used half of the stamp. I stamped the wreath on the edge of a hot pressed watercolour paper panel and once I’d finished painting it I added a few leaves under the orange rose as that space seemed a little empty.

I did the initial stamping in distress antique linen ink which is great for no-line colouring. While the panel was still in the stamp positioner I stamped the centre of the big rose in spiced marmalade ink. I did this because I find it hard to paint all those tiny petals separately and even find it hard to see them all when they are stamped in antique linen. As I was planning to paint the rose in spiced marmalade anyway it was helpful to have the centre of the rose outlined in that ink to begin with.

I dropped some spiced marmalade, seedless preserves and mowed lawn distress stain on my glass mat to use as a palette. I painted one petal at a time except for some of those tiny ones in the centre. As I painted a petal I would blend to the edges then drop in a bit more colour with my brush usually on the sections of the petals that might be shadowed by the petal adjacent. It isnt’ an exact science when I do it but I end up with some variation which adds to the realism. I also added a tiny bit of seedless preserves to some of the petals which gave them a slightly aged looked. The leaves are a mix of mowed lawn and spiced marmalade so without intending to I did another of my ‘limited palette’ cards, just three colours in the end.

I splattered some gold paint from the gansai tambi starry set over the panel and added a sentiment in gold embossing powder to match. Rather than add a coloured mat I created a subtle ‘shadow mat’ by popping up the panel on a piece of foam. Thanks for dropping by today; let me know if you can see the mistake I made with the rose but decided to just ignore because I definitely did not want to start again!

Supplies


Roses on black

Today’s cards are my first experiment with black watercolour paper. I have already learnt a few things I will take into consideration on my next projects. I could have waited until I had played with the paper more but I decided to jump right in with these rather unusual valentine/friendship cards. The card with purple flowers does have a valentine sentiment but the other two could be used anytime to send a friendly message. Unfortunately the photos don’t convey how shimmery the paint is and the colours are brighter in real life.

I’ve seen a few people on the interwebs using this new Stonehenge black cold press watercolour paper so I had to give it a try. As you can probably see I’ve paired it with pearlescent paints this time. I plan to try oxides next time. Because it is new to me I tried three different embossing powders wondering how much they would show up on black. On the card above I embossed PB ‘winsome wreath’with WOW silver pearl; it looks a bit silvery. On the card below I used WOW white pearl on PB ‘rose romance’: it also looks a bit silvery. On the final card I used Ranger gun metal with a wreath from PB ‘key to kindness’ set, it is a bit darker but still looks a bit silvery.

To paint the flowers I used both my Finetec pearlescent paints and pearl paints. I don’t find the two sets all that different but I think there might be a bit more shimmer in the pearlescent ones. I also have some Ken Oliver liquid metals so I used the verdi gris for the leaves above. I carried through the shimmer theme by cutting mats from  copper shimmer cardstock and I made card bases from black shimmer and quartz shimmer.

What do you think about predominantly black cards? I know some would find them too dark and sombre, some may be reminded of the painted velvet pictures from the 70’s but maybe you like the added drama. Will you try the black watercolour paper if you get a chance?

Supplies


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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