Winter Woodland

You know I love tree stamps so when this beauty from Penny Black appeared I had all sorts of plans for it. My first inking was to create these peaceful scenes to share here and on the Foiled Fox blog. The background stamp is called ‘winter woodland’ and the foreground stamp is from an older set ‘spread cheer’.

Both these cards were made on smooth bright white bristol cardstock which shows off the detail of the tree stamp beautifully. I made an improvement the second time I made this card so I will share my ‘better method’ with you here. I suggest stamping and embossing the child and sled first, that way any inking and blending done after will be resisted because of the embossing. When I tried just stamping in black after blending the sky there was a difference in the blackness of the child image because of the blended ink underneath.

After stamping the foreground image I positioned a torn post-it note mask over lower portion of the panel and stamped the winter woodland stamp in hickory smoke versafine ink.  I love the different trees in this image; it is so like the scenes around here. I punched a small circle from masking paper and positioned it over the trees to make a moon. I used Papertrey ink and blending brushes to do the sky and a trick I learned from Jennifer McGuire. Doing blending on a glass mat makes sense because the ink you waste by starting off the panel is on the glass mat and can be picked up by the brush and transferred to the panel. I started by blending a strip of scarlet jewel ink along the horizon of one panel and an even smaller section of harvest gold ink on the other panel. I kept the blending light around the moon in blueberry sky ink and darker around the edges.

After I removed the moon mask and then horizon mask I repositioned the torn edge lower down to add some more snow banks with a pale layer of ink still in the blending brush. I finished the cards with a sentiment from PB ‘merry up’ in hickory smoke ink. Make sure you click over to the Foiled Fox blog for more tips about this card plus a blog full of inspiration from other designers.

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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!

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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.

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A happy anniversary

What a treat it was to design and make this card at the request of a friend of mine. Her daughter, also a friend of mine celebrated the 20th anniversary of her adoption day yesterday so an extra special card was needed. Inspired once again by the beautiful round card made by Peet Roeven I chose the PB stamp ‘spontaneous joy’ and a red and gold colour scheme. I worked in a stamp positioner to add colour to the flowers gradually beginning with worn lipstick distress ink for the petals then candied apple distress ink for extra depth and shadow. I blended a little with a paintbrush and water but I didn’t want to lose the detail by blending over all the stamping.

I used mowed lawn and peeled paint distress ink for the stems and leaves; two greens adds interest even on those small areas. I added black dots to the centres of the flowers then some gold dots with finetec pearlescent paint. To finish it off I splattered some of the same gold paint. I have been pulling out my finetec paints quite often recently, not so much for the main elements but for details and finishing touches. I used the same gold and a pen & nib to write my own sentiment strip.

While all the inks were out I stamped a flower on a second panel of watercolour paper and on an envelope. I used a set of circle dies to cut the main panel and back panels into large circles and to cut a circle out of the centre of the front panel. I used a piece of embossed gold cardstock to cut extra circles and the number ’20’ using the PB ‘numbers’ die set.

To assemble the card I scored across the top of the the back circle, applied adhesive above the score line and attached the two panels together. Having the score line on the back panel means the front decorative panel doesn’t need to bend at all. I also sliced a very slim bit of the bottom of the back circle so the card will stand up and not roll away!

Thanks for dropping by today, I hope you have a lovely weekend.

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Snowy flight

This sweet little bird shivering on a branch is called ‘snowy flight’, it’s a recent stamp from Penny Black. I started by painting and stamping the whole stamp on a larger panel but ended up zooming in with a circle die. I have framed it with a tartan or plaid panel stamped with Concord & 9th’s ‘plaid’ stamp set. I was in two minds about the patterned framing but I like how warm and cozy the plaid looks, a bit of a contrast to the little bird I’m afraid!

Both the bird and the plaid I stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper that I had splattered with masking fluid earlier. Before stamping the bird I splashed and splotched some diluted ‘chipped sapphire’ distress ink over the panel to create a bit of sky. I added more at the end when I had finished painting the bird, branches and berries. I kept the stamp and panel in the stamp positioner so I could ink the stamp with distress markers, stamp it then blend with a paintbrush. The branches are ground espresso or gathered twigs, the berries and bird’s breast are ‘festive berries’ and the rest of the bird is hickory smoke and black soot.

To create the plaid background (does anybody else call it ‘tartan’?) I stamped the large stamp in hickory smoke ink then blended over it with water to soften the look and cover any white areas. Once that was dry I added the red lines with festive berries ink. I definitely did this one in the stamp positioner so I could move the panel and keep the line stamp in one place. Removing the masking fluid is always very satisfying, it revealed tiny white flecks on the plaid and bigger ‘snowflakes’ on the bird panel.

Thank you for dropping by today, you will find all the supplies linked below and if you look closely you will see I provide two options for some products. If you purchase through my links to either the Foiled Fox in the US or Scrap n Stamp in Canada I receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my creative endeavours in this way.

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Snow Blanket

This peaceful scene from Penny Black is called snow blanket and such scenery will be welcome in a month and a half but right now my back yard could aptly be named leaf blanket! I mowed less than a quarter of the leaves yesterday before the rain set in. The leaves have been incredibly vibrant this year; every where I’ve turned has been a treat for the eyes.

As you can imagine the stamp positioner was my friend for this scene, I worked on the tree first, then the fence and finally the background trees. I inked only the large tree to start with; I used a versafine clair nocturne ink for the centre and finished off the extremities with an embossing marker. I embossed in black powder then put the panel back in the corner of the stamp positioner so it would line up again for the rest of the inking. I stamped the whole scene with stormy sky ink so I could see all the elements and add colours over the top. With the tree complete it was time to add a mask for the moon; I used frisket film which is waterproof then I painted the whole sky in stormy sky, weathered wood and chipped sapphire distress stains. Once that was dry  I used ground espresso and black soot distress markers to stamp the fence and the same colour inks on my glass mat to paint over the stamping to get solid coverage and blended colour. Painting blue shadows over the snow was a little tricky but the stamped image has lines to show piles of snow on the fence so I used them as my guide and left the snow untouched. Finally I stamped the background trees in forest moss ink.

I decided against a sentiment but can add one on the inside if needed. I’ll be back tomorrow to chat about another Christmas tradition. Thanks for dropping by.

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Frosty

Before we talk about Frosty, I just want to say how much I am enjoying reading about your holiday traditions; thank you for commenting on my gingerbread post to tell me about them. Make sure you visit the Foiled Fox blog this week to read about some more holiday traditions and I will be sharing another tradition on Friday.

Now back to Frosty from the PB ‘Frosty’s Flakes set. I have not created a snowman card in a long, long time but after creating gingerbread on kraft cardstock and poinsettia cards on kraft cardstock (in a recent class) I thought why not try a snowman. I stamped in black this time which looks just as striking on kraft as white does. All the white elements are added with a white gel pen or white pencil.

I coloured the leaves in a green pencil, I used polychromos pencils but I imagine any dark green pencil will do. I did the berries, hat ribbon and scarf in red, nose in orange and hat in black. I was halfway through colouring the hat when I realised I needed a highlight strip to show the curve of the hat. I was able to leave a gap on one section but it looked odd where it didn’t continue across the whole hat. Sand eraser to the rescue! If you don’t have a sand eraser for sanding off little errors you should get one. It worked brilliantly on the coloured pencil but I have also used in on stray bits of ink or paint.

I finished all the pencil colouring without colouring the snowman at all. I decided to try some cross hatching with the white gel pen and I think it does the trick. White coloured pencil would probably work also. I protected Frosty with a post-it and splattered white gesso over the rest of the panel. I stamped a sentiment from the PB ‘thrill of hope’ set and die cut it with a tag die. The stitching around the card panel and tag is hand done with the white gel pen. I added a white pencil drop shadow on the sentiment, popped it up on dimensional tape with some twill tape to co-ordinate.

Making a snow man with the first snow might be a tradition for some but we have learned since coming to Canada that there are many types of snow and not all types are suitable for snowmen! In Australia if we had snow staying on the ground we would make a snowman however small and odd looking! I remember a time when I was a child my family drove up Mt Wellington in Hobart and there was snow at the top; we built a snow man on the bonnet (hood) of our car. It melted or fell off by the time we got back down the mountain.

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