Quietude video

This scenic stamp from Penny Black is called Quietude and I think it is aptly named don’t you? I would be happy to wander along the shore of this lake today. It is getting cold, just on the edge of beginning to freeze but not there yet. The plants have died off but they are goldy brown colour, so still eye catching against the steely blue water. Okay, that’s enough waxing poetic for me. I plan to stamp and paint this as a winter scene soon but I enjoyed turning it into a late fall scene first.

I used a combo of archival and distress inks to create the scene and made a video of the process. To give you a little glimpse behind the scenes I made one panel in these tones and liked it so much I decided to film it. It took four attempts before I got this one! Don’t let that put you off trying it. It just goes to show things don’t always go to plan!

Speaking of winter scenes, I happen to have a new online class available that is all about winter scenes: the night skies, the snowy landscapes, the frosty branches; it’s all in my new class WINTER WONDER. I would love you to join me.

Apparently we are in for a mild end to the year here in Ottawa. That is just fine with me. This lake can stay unfrozen and for as long as it likes.

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Just the birds

Recently I posted two cards featuring the Penny Black set, ‘wreath & wings‘, one including the birds and the other without. On today’s card it’s just the birds, no wreath. The set has three bird stamps so I stamped one flying then the other three birds waiting for him to arrive.

I stamped the birds in pumice stone distress ink then added some candied apple with a marker before blending the two colours to fill most of each bird. I use black soot for the beaks and eyes and sketched a little branch for the birds to sit on which I filled with gathered twigs ink (of course).

I added the sentiment from the PB set ‘Christmas feeling’ stamped in archival ground espresso ink. It’s such a simple panel I decided to pop it up on the card base but even then it got a little lost. I embossed it with the Taylored Expressions ‘weathered’ folder which gave it enough texture to make it stand out from the base. It’s been a while since I entered a challenge but this one is going to the CAS Christmas ‘Non-traditional Colours Challenge. Brown and grey are hardly traditional for Christmas but I think they worked pretty well especially with a touch of red!

The excitement continues for me today as my new online class, WINTER WONDER is now available. To find out more just click to my previous post where you can get a glimpse of the class content and enter a giveaway if you like. Speaking of giveaways, Penny Black has one right now to celebrate their new release; you can enter on their blog.

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Birdhouse Blessings

This delightful scene is called ‘birdhouse blessings’ and it makes me want to have birdhouses and bird feeders scattered across my backyard. A few days ago my husband and I were doing what may well be our final outdoor workout of the year and watched chickadees and a cardinal flit back and forth from tree to hedge.

I worked on a hot pressed watercolour panel which I’d splattered with masking fluid (as per usual). I only just got my hands on some speckled egg distress ink and stain so that’s what I used for the background colour. It is a lovely colour and I’m very happy with the inky background. I smooshed ink on my glass mat, diluted it then swiped the panel through it to pick up colour.

I stamped the large stamp in antique linen then did some no-line watercolour with Sennelier watercolour paints. While painting those little leaves and berries I did wonder if I should have chosen watercolour markers instead of paint brush and paints but I was already committed, so me and my very small paint brush kept on painting. When I finished painting all the elements I used speckled egg distress stain to darken the edges of the panel and frame the little scene. When I removed the masking fluid there were pretty little snowflakes over the whole panel.

I painted the little star in gold and debated whether I would add a gold frame as well. Decided in the end I liked it just the way it was. (psst a little bird wants to tell you ‘Winter Wonder’ is coming!)

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Cozy Cabin video

This cute cabib is another new stamp from Penny Black; the set is called ‘Cozy Cabin’ and it includes this tree shadowed cabin plus an extra tree not shown on this card. Once again I enjoyed bringing this scene to life with splattered masking fluid and distress inks.

I used a stamp, paint, stamp, paint process to build up the colour and definition of the cabin. I had my glass mat at hand so I could smoosh inks then pick up colour with a paintbrush.

When we go cross country skiing in Gatineau Park we come across cabins that look a little like this. There are several scattered across the park for the use of skiers, complete with a wood stove, tables and benches so we can warm up, eat our snacks, and rest a little before heading back out in the snow.

I’m in no hurry for the snow to come but I do have new skis and boots after years of hand-me-downs so the pressure will be on this year to make good use of them!

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Winter Window

Sometimes I get inspired by the detailed and delicate foliage dies from Penny Black. The new ‘juniper’ die set got me started for this design along with a navy panel of cardstock splattered with white paint.

I gathered other dies to combine into a winter window scene. I could have chosen brighter reds and greens but I am in a muted vintage style phase right now so forest green and burgandy were my picks for the juniper and berries. All the dies are listed below; I picked from a few sets and added double sided adhesive to all the cardstock before die cutting. The window die is designed to open but I chose the adhesive backing so it would be stuck down firmly to keep the snow outside and the candle from blowing out!

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Masked Snowscape

I teamed up with Grafix to create some videos this year. My first project was very definitely a summer scene, but this one, as you can see is not! We have had a few snowfalls already but currently are enjoying a reprieve and a few really nice mild days. Grafix makes a wide range of art plastics and films; I used their extra tack frisket film to mask the snowbanks and moon on this card and splattered Grafix liquid frisket to create the falling snow.

I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper and painted the sky and shadows with Sennelier watercolours. The trees and deer are stamped with the ever useful versafine clair nocturne ink. The video below shows my whole process.

If you are keen to create cards featuring the beauty of a northern winter I am working very hard on a new project that might interest you. Can’t wait to share more soon.

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Wreath & Wings

I’ve combined a new PB stamp, ‘wreath & wings’ with a new PB die, ‘mirthful’ for simple elegant style Christmas card.

I used distress inks and markers to ink the wreath elements and birds, keeping the stamp in the positioner so I could work a bit at a time. I inked the stamp, stamped the image then did a bit of blending with a paintbrush to fill the leaves, berries and birds.

I used a gold gel pen to colour some of the berries then continued the gold highlights in the die cut word. The die has decorative diamond cut outs so I cut gold ones to add to the burgandy letters and framed the panel in the same burgandy cardstock.

For the second card I decided to use the curve of the wreath as a hanging garland. Using a centering ruler to help me with positioning I stamped half the wreath on the centre top edge of the watercolour panel, then stamped another part loop either side.

Once again I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper so I could blend the ink on the leaves. I used ocean coliro pearlescent paint on some of the leaves and berries for a little shimmer.

I wrote the sentiment for this one using the darkest blue marker from the Staedtler watercolour 36 brush pen set and matted the panel in a dark blue cardstock.

Even though I don’t like to over do my designs I’m wondering if the blue card is a bit sparsely decorated. What do you think?

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Season’s Tweetings video

This sweet bird on a branch is a single stamp from the new Penny Black release ‘Season of Hope’. The stamp is called ‘season’s tweetings’ and I used it here to create both the bokeh background and the foreground watercoloured image. I filmed my process so you’ll see how I use the same blending technique to build up colour on the leaves and just a few tones to paint the little bird. (the video might look familiar to you if you have a membership with Penny Black)

We have a few centimetres of snow on the ground this morning so this sort of scene is becoming way more likely!

Thanks for dropping by today, I will be back with more of the PB new release over the coming weeks.

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Bell & Berries

Over the summer I kept reaching for the blues and greens; they were refreshing in the hot weather. It appears that my fascination with them is continuing into the winter! I created this wintry panel with the Penny Black ‘bell & berries stamp and the versatile PB ‘fragile beauty’ set.

When I started this panel by stamping only the branch section of the stamp at the very top I chose only blue, grey and green inks. Choosing green over red for the berries helped to create a fresh frosty look. After stamping only the top branch I repositioned the stamp and stamped the whole image then finally a bit more branch on the right hand side. The extra twigs were added in dark blue.

I inked the leaves with papertrey ‘enchanted evening’, a dark blue and ‘stormy sea’, a grey blue. I used the olive toned ‘prairie grass’ for the berries. When I spritzed the stamp before stamping on the hot pressed watercolour paper the inks began to blend. I did further blending on the paper with a paint brush and water but didn’t blend every part of the image, some leaves and berries I kept unblended to show the texture of the paper and stamp.

The paper had spots of masking fluid splattered over it before I began which caused the white dots you see in the finished panel.

I stamped the bell in a mix of stormy sea and true black ink and also added ‘blue silver’ pearlescent paint from the Coliro ‘ocean’ set so there is a shimmer to it in real life.

I used a piece of dark blue cardstock for a card base then stamped the ‘bell & berries’ on both an insert panel and the envelope.

I woke up to the frosty look of fresh snow on autumn leaves this morning; it’s pretty but it can go now!

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Autumn lanterns

I have some dried Chinese lanterns in the corner of my workroom. They are lasting well, I’ve had them at least seven years, probably longer. A few have broken or fallen off the stems and the colour has faded so they are not the deep orange you see in the image on my card. I used Penny Black’s ‘flower lanterns’, ‘fragile beauty’ and ‘script background’ stamps to create this panel.

Just to mix things up a bit I pulled out memento inks for this project. There was a time when I used memento inks on every project and they are still within reach of my work table. The ‘Morocco’ browny orange is a beautiful colour so I started with that and used potter’s clay, olive grove, bamboo leaf and espresso truffle, some inkpads, some markers. I was very happy to see the ink pads are juicy as ever.

Memento inks don’t always blend once on the watercolour paper so I blend with a spritz of water to the stamp before stamping. I also smoosh some ink on my mat and pick it up with a brush if I want to add depth to a very specific area. I added some details with a gold gel pen after I had built up the lanterns and leaves with ink.

You can see some of my favourite ‘finishing touches’ on this panel: a script stamp, splatter and ink blended edges. I added two strips of co-ordinating cardstock as a half frame then balanced them with the sentiment from PB ‘banner sentiments’.

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