Little gardens

Today’s little garden cards contain unusually small die-cuts (for me) but I had fun arranging them and love the results. While I was putting these together I had Jill Foster’s video using the same die sets on pause in front of me so I could get inspiration from all her ideas. Make sure you check out Jill’s video; she includes plenty of tips and tricks and cool layouts.

There are three ‘little garden’ sets that co-ordinate well and between them there are oodles of leaves, flowers, pots, hanging baskets and fixtures to choose from. I chose a limited palette of black, kraft and a blue/green patterned panel for all four cards. My patterned panel was a shaving cream marbled panel so I was able to get variation in colour without having to change cardstock.

My garden box, a garden and hanging planters die sets are all still joined together so I cut everything from kraft, black and patterned then proceeded to create vignettes.

Once I had an arrangement that looked balanced I used my marvy jewel picker and lawn fawn glue tube to get everything attached to cream cardstock. The jewel picker saved my arthritic thumb joint; picking up little things is not good for it!

As you might imagine I still had plenty of little elements to spare after three cards and I remembered the ‘art deco window’ and ‘window treatment’ dies I had so I arranged another couple of pots inside the window and beside the patterned curtains.

I ruled some lines on the kraft card base to make it look like wood panels on the side of a house. The window frame dies cuts a window that opens on each side which is a cute touch.

This last simple scene is created with elements from the ‘garden box die set’ along with leftovers from ‘a garden’ and ‘hanging planters’ sets.

All the sentiments are stamped in versafine clair nocturne ink and taken from the ‘grateful sentiments’ and ‘sending thanks’ sets.

I had fun creating these little scenes despite the ‘fiddliness factor’ being a little higher than I am used to. I love the end result with the strong contrast between black, cream, kraft and blue/green pattern.

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Dreams of love

I think you can guess where this sweet floral came from. Penny Black has a new release, ‘Full Bloom’ and this is just one of the beauties I have to show you. As I often do with brushstroke stamps I pulled out distress inks for my first play with this stamp. I used three purple inks, milled lavender, seedless preserves and dusty concord to create variegated petals on this large flower. For the leaves I used a mix of peeled paint, forest moss and bundled sage. I would understand if you wondered whether I ever use any of the other greens, those three are definitely the first ones I reach for!

I used a stamp positioner and hot pressed watercolour paper and started by stamping the whole flower (but not the leaves) in milled lavender distress ink. On a stamp like this one it is sometimes hard to differentiate between petals and leaves when looking at the red rubber side of the stamp. I find it helpful to stamp it on scrap paper in a medium to dark ink as a reference. When doing partial inking as I did for this card, I ink all the petals then wipe off any ink that ended up on the leaves with a cloth or wet wipe. After stamping in milled lavender I inked the petals again, this time in seedless preserves ink and I did not cover all the petals. I gave the stamp a light spritz of water so the ink would blend when it layered over the previous stamping. Finally I inked it again in dusty concord keeping the ink concentrated around the centre of the flower not the edges. I then used a paintbrush and some water to blend the colours on each petal one at a time. To further define the petals I pressed the ink pads onto my glass mat so I could pick up ink with my paintbrush and add it to the edges or any areas where I wanted a strong shadow. I dried the panel before carefully inking the anthers with a black marker, unlike the rest of the image I wanted them sharp and defined rather than soft and blended. I also added distress stain drops and water drops while the panel was dry.

With the petals all finished I switched to the leaves and inked them with peeled paint and forest moss ink then blended them with water after stamping. I added a few more leaves of the same style using a stamp from the ‘Xmas sprig’ stamp set. To add them in I cut a rough post it note mask and positioned it over the petal edge before stamping the sprig in bundled sage and peeled paint inks.

To finish the card I die-cut the panel using the square from the PB ‘stitched square & circles’ die set and clear embossed a sentiment from PB ‘special sentiments’ in black ink. I framed the floral panel with a script stamped panel which I embossed with Ranger weathered white embossing powder. I have not had success with this embossing powder until now, totally user error by the way, there is nothing wrong with the product! The embossing powder is called ‘weathered white’ for a reason, when you emboss with it the effect is not glossy and it is not even. It is, as the name suggests, weathered! For a large background area like this script panel it adds texture and subtle colour. The card is quite large and fits into a 6″ square envelope. I inked the stamp in milled lavender and bundled sage ink to stamp a pale image inside the card and used the same inks to stamp the ‘sprig’ on the envelope.

I’m looking forward to inking this stamp again with different colours schemes and maybe a looser watercolour look.

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Unfolding

Like many card makers I have numerous boards on Pinterest filled with inspiration for future art and cards. I opened one such board yesterday looking for inspiration and decided to have all my flowers and foliage along the top of the card hanging down, then empty space below. I did all the painting with the flowers upside down but when I had finished it didn’t make sense to have the flowers upside down at all so here they are right side up.

Working on cold pressed watercolour paper I stamped the PB ‘unfolding’ stamp twice which involved masking a flower head in the middle of the panel so I could overlap the flowers. I inked the flowers with wilted violet and seedless preserves distress inks and the stems in bundled sage then blended all the stamping with a little water and a small paintbrush. I wanted extra colour in the petals so I pressed all three stamp pads on my glass mat so I could pick up ink for painting.

Once I had painted all the flowers I realised I would need a mask for each one so I could stamp background foliage. It didn’t take too much time to stamp and cut masks of the flower heads, I didn’t worry about masking the leaves. The foliage is PB ‘trees in bud’ stamped in iced spruce distress ink and the splatter is bundled sage. To finish the card I add a sentiment from the handy PB set, ‘banner sentiments’ in versafine clair morning mist and popped up the whole panel on foam over a hot pressed watercolour paper card base. Sometimes I want a frame around a panel but nothing as bold as a coloured mat would be so I pop the panel up creating what I call a ‘shadow frame’ simply because the small distance between panel and card base casts a subtle shadow.

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Gelli butterflies and blossoms

Thank you for all your lovely comments about my recent art journal page. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I have a couple more pages in process in my journals which I look forward to showing you in the future. I would love to hear from other art journallers. What are some of your favourite mediums and techniques?

Today’s cards are made with my latest fave: the gelli plate! I am very much a beginner but learning as I go and watching the myriad of techniques shared on the Gelli Arts youtube channel. The panels in today’s cards were made by printing layer after layer while rearranging die cut paper butterflies and blossoms on top of each new layer of paint. The dies are Penny Black ‘monarch’ and cherry blossom’.

I wont’ try to describe my process because I don’t remember exactly what my order was or what paint colours I used. I know there was green, white, burgandy, gold and pink liquitex basic acrylics but there could have been more. Like many artistic techniques success with a layered gelli print can be knowing when to stop. Once I was happy with the one above I still had paint and pattern showing on the gelli plate so I added one more layer of paint then pulled a ghost print (I’m learning the lingo!) on patterned paper. The paper I chose was a woodgrain print from Alexandra Renke.

You can see the woodgrain print through the paint and pattern. I ended up matting both panels in burgandy cardstock then attaching them to a base panel of the same AR woodgrain paper.

It’s always hard to capture shimmer on camera but all three panels have gold shimmer on them so I added some gold accents to each one. On the top panel I stamped the PB script stamp, embossed in gold powder and matted the panel with gold cardstock. On the card above I added a gold embossed sentiment from the PB set happy snippets and stamped the same script stamp in chianti versafine clair. On the card below I stamped the script stamp in shady lane versafine clair ink and added a gold vellum die cut butterfly, the same butterfly used as a mask in the gel printing process.

I love all the texture from the gelli printing process, the paint which builds up after several layers of printing adds so much interest

I did another butterfly and blossom print in a different colour scheme but I’ll share that another day. Thanks for dropping in.

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Blooming journal page

I’m been working in one of my Fabriano Venezia art journals again experimenting with vintage style. I started by painting absorbant ground over the double page spread then stamped the PB ‘script’ stamp in tea dye and antique linen distress inks. I spritzed the inked stamp before pressing it onto the page so I would get blurred prints.

Once that dried I spread modeling paste through the PB hypnotic stencil and had to go and do something else so I wouldn’t mess it up before it was dry. Even so I still stuck my finger on it while it was wet and smudged some.

Once the paste dried I spritzed the ‘see ya latte’ shimmerz spray over the pages then wiped it off the stencilled area so it would darken the background. I am not an experienced art journaller but I am using one to try things out. On this page I was trying to create a vintage look. I stamped the ‘timeless’ rose stamp from Penny Black three times in brown distress inks then blended the ink into the petals. My journal is not watercolour paper so ink and paint don’t move on the page as easily. I didn’t like the roses enough to keep them all, instead I covered some with flowers cut from leftover Italian papers. I glued them on with matte medium and painted diluted gesso over them to decrease the contrast then added a bit of distress vintage medium for the aged tea stain look.

I did a smaller collage of flowers on the opposite corner then stamped PB winter branches over the pages with vintage photo and ground espresso distress inks. I added some pretty scroll stamping with the PB set ‘flourish borders’ in white ink and some more of the ‘script’ stamp in brown ink. Tattered rose distress stain matched the paper flowers so I splattered a decent amount of that over everything too! I mentioned on my previous journal page post how I struggle with adding words to a page. I chose a quote from Ruth Chou Simon’s book ‘Gracelaced‘ which encourages and challenges me every time I open it. I wanted to write the words with my nib pen but when I tried, the ink spread into the page and looked like a blob so I wrote on calligraphy paper, tore the words into strips and glued them over the blob. Some of the letters are blurred because I didn’t let it dry long enough. I need a bit more patience when working in my art journals…

Not exactly what I set out to create but as I said, the art journal is for playing with mediums and ideas. Have a great day

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Brusho emboss resist

Emboss resist with brusho makes me happy for several reasons. You never know quite what you will get but it is almost always pretty and sometimes amazing. I recently used the technique in a class I taught and realised I hadn’t used it on the blog for a while. There are several ways to do emboss resist panels with brusho and I have two methods for you today. You can watch another technique I’ve done in a video for that you can find here.

A single brusho colour (same with colorburst, bister and nuvo shimmer) is usually made up of a mix of pigment crystals which combine to give you one colour when activated with water. If you don’t mix the powder and water thoroughly you can see all the different pigments that make up the colour. I often sprinkle brusho on a panel, spritz it and wait to see where different colours appear. Lime green is made up of a mix of yellow and blue, more yellow than most other greens. When I sprinkle it on a panel there will be plenty of yellow powder that will activate when I add water. When I spritz the water over the powder and don’t move the paint around it will dry in different coloured patches especially on an embossed panel because the embossing traps the powder and water.

On this first panel I did what I have just described, I let the powders ‘fall where they may’ and did minimal blending with my paintbrush. I used only lime green brusho and sprinkled mainly where the embossing was then used the paintbrush a little to make sure paint filled every nook and cranny and to blend diluted colour to the right of the tree. The stamp is PB trees in bud embossed in clear powder on hot pressed watercolour paper. The stamp below is ‘a floral twist’ also from Penny Black.

On this second panel I started by using the same technique as above but did not get as much colour variation or ‘trapped colour’ so I blended my first colour ‘sandstone’ with a paintbrush, dried the panel with a paper towel then sprinkled ‘terracotta’ brusho over the embossed area, spritzed with water and did some more blending with the paintbrush before adding just a little burnt sienna brusho. The overall effect is smoother blends but still some spots of different colours here and there.

The technique I show in the video is even more controlled where I sprinkle different colours of brusho in specific parts of an embossed image.

I wanted the white frame effect on today’s panels so I taped them down firmly with frog tape before doing any painting. A little colour leaked under the corners on the second panel but that didnt worry me. I attached the panels to cream card bases and stamped the same image on cream envelopes. I decided not to add sentiments on the front this time; I can always add one inside.

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Butterfly Garden

Butterfly garden is a new transparent set from Penny Black with a nice mix of butterflies, leaves and flowers. I chose to watercolour the butterflies first then mask them before adding background foliage. I stamped the top butterfly in shabby shutters distress ink, the middle in broken china and the bottom one in dusty concord on hot pressed watercolour paper.

I used peerless watercolours to fill each butterfly with colour starting with a light green then blending to darker greens to fill the wings. I then added green first to the middle butterfly and blended into blue and a little bit of purple. The last one I blended from blue to purple. I stamped them again on masking paper, cut them out and covered the watercolouring before stamping leaves all over the panel in morning mist versafine clair ink. As I wanted to fill the panel with lots of stamping I used acrylic blocks so I could easily turn the stamps around to fit them in all the spaces. I drew little dots in grey marker to fill the background even more.

To finish the card I matted with purple cardstock, stamped a sentiment from the PB grateful sentiments set in monarch versafine clair, die cut it and popped it up with Gina K’s dimensional tape which adds just a little height without being too bulky.

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