Garden Variety

I’m enjoying having new flowers to arrange, stamp-wise, that is. Penny Black’s new ‘Daydream collection has some lovely floral stamps including the ‘garden variety’ I’ve used for today’s card alongside ‘fresh fern’, another new one. I used distress inks and markers to ink the stamps; I generally pick at least two colours for the flowers and two colours for the foliage then give the stamp a spritz so the inks begin to blend.

Once I’ve stamped the images I decide whether to blend further with a paint brush and water, for this card I kept it minimal but sometimes I do more blending for a looser watery look. I stamped the ferns after the flowers which required some partial stamping and as well as a little masking to make the ferns appear to be behind.

I finished the panel off with splatter then stamped a sentiment and stacked it up on three layers. I have an art journal page in process with the ‘garden variety’ stamp which I will hopefully finish and share with you next week.

Have a great day; thanks for spending some of it here on the blog with me.

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Christmas Stars

Last month I made a shaker card with five star cuts outs and sparkly sequins and beads inside to shake around. As the stars were cut out of a watercoloured panel I saved them for another project. My friend Stamping Matilda does this every weekend, her Sunday posts are called ‘Sunday Scraps’ and she features leftovers from that week in a new card or project. I don’t do that anywhere near as often but occasionally I have some scraps, like these stars, which inspire me to turn them into something new. I’m also committed to making a few Christmas cards every month so I don’t leave it all to the last few months of the year.

I used two of the cut out stars as backgrounds for some Christmas themed silhouette stamping, backed them with blue foam then mounted them on embossed backgrounds. On the card above I stamped the Bethlehem scene from the PB ‘lighting the way’ set along with a sentiment from PB ‘Christmas sentiments’. The embossed background was made with neenah solar white cardstock in the Tim Holtz ‘snowflakes – speckles’ embossing folder.

This smaller star was big enough to feature the dove from the PB ‘joy filled’ set and I added sentiment from the PB ‘holiday snippets’ set underneath in versafine clair purple delight ink. The embossed background was made with the ‘allegro’ embossing folder which has been sitting around since my cuttlebug days.

The star dies from We R Memory Keepers seem to be retired but I linked to some similar dies in the supply list below. The original shaker card these stars were cut from contained five stars but I deemed two too small to use. I did stamp the remaining star and it auditioned for a spot on a card but didn’t make the cut. You know it happens sometimes!

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Daydream Watercoloured Flowers -Video

Penny Black has a new release called ‘Daydream’ and it’s filled with spring goodness. I guess many of us start daydreaming about spring in February. The stamp featured in my card today is called ‘daydream’ and I’ve paired it up with a new die, ‘thanks & hello’.

I’m enjoying working with the Karin brushmarkers both for watercolouring line images and for inking stamps. In today’s video I ink the stamp with four markers but my technique is slightly different to my usual method and involves some ‘water stamping’

In the video below you can see why the juicy Karin markers are perfect for this technique. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, a little ink goes a long way. I’m looking forward to trying this technique again on a different stamp with even less ink for a paler more subtle look.

I chose to keep the panel simple on a white background but you could add a pale wash before starting or do some second generation stamping for background flowers. Maybe I’ll try that next.

This blue which has a hint of purple is my favourite blue. It reminds me of cornflowers which featured in my bridal bouquet and was the colour of my bridesmaid’s skirts.

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Faith & floral journal page

I know it is not spring yet, in fact it is still very winter where I am; we’ve had some of our coldest days and nights just in the last few days. Maybe because it’s so cold now is a nice time to muse about spring.

Sometimes I have a plan for a journal page, other times I work it out as I go along. To begin this one I painted absorbant ground on the journal double page. It is a base preparation a bit like gesso which makes the paper act a little more like watercolour paper. I should probably just switch to a journal with watercolour paper pages but I stubbornly want to keep adding to the this one.

Once the base dried I stamp the Penny Black ‘springtime sigh’ stamp in one corner then coloured with Arteza real brush pens. The colouring is not precise, the surface doesn’t react the same as watercolour paper but I found blending with very little water gave me the most control.

I stamped first with Gina K skeleton leaves amalgam ink which I have used for no-line watercolour in the past but it remained too distinct on the journal page so I switched to antique linen which worked a bit better. I restamped and coloured springtime sigh several times then decided I wanted fewer little flowers to colour! I switched to the new Penny Black ‘illustrious’ stamp which co-ordinated well. I don’t know for sure but I wonder if both stamps were drawn by the same artist, the scale and style is similar.

When stamping the ‘illustrious’ stamp I was able to ink most of the stamp with Arteza real brush pens which cut down on the colouring. I still used antique linen ink on the large open leaves then blended with a marker to shade the leaves. When I had almost framed the double page spread I switched to the PB ‘tranquil buds’ stamp to add some lavender.

Next came the tricky stage when I had to decide what was happening with the empty area of the journal page. Writing, stamping, hand lettering or empty space were all options. I decided a bit of ‘filler’ in the shape of a text stamp would be nice and instead of the large script one I often use I chose the smaller typed text stamp from the PB ‘footnotes’ set. I stamped it here, there and everywhere in old paper ink, often spritzing with water before stamping so it just stamped a blurry pattern. I also added splatter then chose a phrase from the new PB ‘inspirational sentiments’ set.

Is that cute notebook die-cut covering a failed stamping attempt? Yes it is but I’m quite happy with that because the notebook page looks sweet. I cut it with a die from the PB ‘a pocket full’ set. I love how this page turned out even though I had no idea at the beginning it would progress this way. That’s the beauty of a journal page.

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Freshly cut flowers

I’ve teamed up with the Foiled Fox again to share a post on their blog. If you pop over there you can read all the process details for this floral card featuring a stamp and a die from Penny Black.

This stamp is called Fresh Cut and it is a rubber cling stamp of five long stem roses. I did some masking and partial stamping to fill the corner of my panel with eleven orange roses. I guess I should have added one more to have a dozen!

You might recognise the background style on this card; it is inspired by some of Jill Foster’s amazing cards for Penny Black. Because all those roses make the panel a little busy I separated the stacked die-cut words from the roses with a piece of vellum, just to make it easier to read. Don’t forget to visit the Foiled Fox blog today for all the details and while you are there browse awhile for more inspiration.

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Rose Dance on black

Today’s rosy card features just a portion of the Penny Black rubber cling stamp, ‘rose dance’. I’ve been creating with this stamp for a couple of days, coming up with different ways to use it. It is quite a large stamp, 6″ x 4″ but you don’t need to use the whole stamp on a card. I used only a section to create an embossed white border on a square panel of black watercolour paper.

I painted the outline design with Finetec Mica Pearlescent watercolours; I didn’t spend much time being detailed or doing blending because the pearlescent on black is very pretty without too much fussing. I wish you could see the shimmer a little better in the photo but trust me it is there in real life.

I embossed a sentiment from the PB special sentiments set in Brutus Monroe alabaster ink and popped the panel up on two pieces of black cardstock to lift it above the card base. And you might have noticed I remembered to make a matching envelope this time.

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Rosa

This is ‘Rosa’ a new floral stamp from Penny Black. When I have a new brushstroke stamp I usually reach for the distress inks for the first test drive. That’s what I used for both cards in today’s post and I love the watercolour effects I was able to get.

The ‘rosa’ stamp is made up of round flowers and long leaves in an impressionistic style. For this orange and blue card I kept the stamp in the positioner while I worked on the hot pressed watercolour panel stamping the flowers first in fossilized amber and spiced marmalade, the leaves in faded jeans and forest moss and the flower centres in ground espresso.

Because I was experimenting with the new stamp I didn’t plan or paint a background for the panel. Once the flowers were finished I decided I wanted some colour around them. Rather than paint some pale washy colour I smooshed the faded jeans and forest moss mini distress cubes on a piece of acetate, spritzed it generously then pressed it onto the panel here and there to transfer ink around the flowers. I finished the card with some twine, blue leaf die cuts and a sentiment also stamped in blue. If you’re wondering why I chose to have blue leaves it’s not just because I love blue. Blue and orange are complementary colours, opposites on the colour wheel so when they are placed next to each other they provide a contrast that makes the other colour pop!

The second card features generational stamping stamping and plenty of spritzing to make the paler background flowers bleed into the surrounding area.

The flowers are stamped in abandoned coral and aged mahogany, the leaves are forest moss and the stems ground espresso. Because I added plenty of water when stamping this panel most of the definition in the flowers was lost so I drew some swirls on the flowers with a glue pen, let it dry to a tacky state then pressed gold foil on top. I added more gold details with an embossed sentiment, a gold cord and gold embossed edges round the panel.

Rosa is such a pretty stamp, I’m looking forward to playing with it again. I think it might make a pretty art journal page.

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Moving Alcohol Inks with Air – Video

I’ve had the alcohol inks out recently and spent some time trying to get soft wavy patterns on craft plastic. I have seen several artists who do this technique beautifully but I am very much still a beginner with it. I have a few cards to share today along with a video showing my process for two of the panels. I worked on white craft plastic from Grafix which is heavyweight and totally opaque. For most of the panels featured today I used only two alcohol inks plus plenty of 99% rubbing alcohol; each panel was created with a metallic and a non-metallic ink.

This first panel was made with turquoise AI and gilded alloy AI; I love the range of blues when diluted with rubbing alcohol. The ‘for you’ Penny Black die cut is two layers of turquoise cardstock topped with one layer of pale gold.

This warm toned card was made with honeycomb AI and mined alloy AI then die cut with a WaffleFlower square nesting die. I used the WaffleFlower additional square dies to cut a larger copper square then added the PB ‘light as a feather’ die cut and a PB birthday sentiment embossed in Brutus Monroe penny embossing powder.

You can see the process for both cards above in the video below.

As I am working on alcohol ink panels I am evaluating my process and working out what I want to try next. I just bought a cheap lazy susan to work on the blown flowers and I’m pretty sure I don’t need to use as much coloured ink when I make the initial drops. You can be sure I will let you know what I discover.

I have a couple more cards made off camera using the same technique shown in the video. The card above features juniper AI and statue alloy AI with the PB ‘many thanks’ die cut from antique gold cardstock and stacked twice.

When this panel was finished it reminded me of photos of the artic and far north where the icebergs and glaciers are made up of beautiful shades of blue. It’s kind of a cross section perspective where we can see below and above the ice the bears are walking on. I did use two blue inks plus a silver for this one, ranger turquoise and stream with pinata silver. The bear die is ‘polar bears’ from Penny Black.

We’ve been watching Cecilia Blomdahl’s youtube channel about her life on Svalbard, an island off the north coast of Norway. She lives in the world’s northern most town. Polar bears are definitely around so you don’t wander outside the village without your weapon!

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Marbled hearts

These hearts were cut from another alcohol inked panel, this one done with only pitch black ink from Ranger. The ink was diluted with rubbing alcohol and moved around on the panel with air and tilting. I also added some bubbles or circles by splattering some rubbing alcohol over the pattern.

I didn’t add foil straight away after completing the panel instead I came back to it days later and ran the panel through the minc with some red foil over the top. The red foil stuck to some nice fine lines as you can see as well as some chunkier sections. What you can’t see is an area where a large blob of foil attached itself. I avoided that area when cutting six hearts using a small heart die from the Penny Black set ‘all my hearts’. I cut six hearts from red foam to pop the hearts up on the card base.

I tried several times to take a photo which would show the dry embossed background behind the popped up hearts but I didn’t succeed. It seems you’re not going to see the shine of the foil and the dimension of the background in one photo. If you click on the photo above you might be able to see the texture a bit better. I used the embossing folder that came with the Gemini Junior, it’s called ‘Regency Swirls’ and it is one of those very detailed 3D folders. I am wanting to add to my embossing folder collection, I’d love to hear your suggestions for some subtle ones and some really fancy ones.

I completed the card with a sentiment from Penny Black’s ‘trust me’ set stamped in red ink and popped up on a narrow banner. Thanks for dropping in today; I will be back tomorrow with an alcohol ink tutorial video.

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Alcohol ink + foil

When I get the alcohol inks out I always have a stack of panels at the end of the session. Some sit around and never amount to much but others wait for inspiration to hit. This one was created on white craft plastic (Grafix dura-bright white) with ginger and burgandy Ranger alcohol inks and Pinata magenta. I added gold foil using the minc well after the inks had dried.

Sometimes it is possible to make the foil stick soon after finishing the inking. There is a sweet spot as far as letting the ink dry enough that it is not gooey but not so much that it is dry to touch. The sections that will hold the foil are the ‘seams’ between colours where the ink is thicker. If you press foil on these areas when they are a bit tacky you can get it to stick with just a bit of burnishing. If the panel has dried it sometimes possible to get foil to stick by running the panel through a minc or laminator using some heat. This can be risky as sometimes the foil sticks to more of the panel than you expected.

When I ran this panel through the minc I was happy with most of the foiling but there were a few sections that didn’t look great so I just used the part that looked good and covered the rest with this pretty poppy edger from Penny Black. I finished the card with a gold embossed sentiment from the PB ‘only you’ set.

This second panel amazes me because it was created with only black alcohol ink plus rubbing alcohol. The blue and burgandy tones appeared when the black ink was diluted. Cool huh? I pressed the blue foil onto this panel at just the right time to get it to stick when the seams were tacky. It is hard to get it to show in the photo but there are small sections of blue foil here and there across the sky.

The inking on both panels was pretty experimental, a drop here and there some rubbing alcohol and tilting and blowing the ink to make a random pattern. I cut the Penny Black metropolitan die from both black and blue cardstock then stacked blue on black without removing all the window cut outs. I ended up using spray adhesive on the back of the blue die cut because gluing is not my gifting.

The sentiment is from the Concord & 9 ‘all the birthdays set stamped in black and embossed in clear then stacked up on two layers of black cardstock. More alcohol inks next week; I’m having fun.

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