Grape Hyacinths

My garden seems to have lost its grape hyacinths; I used to have quite a few that would pop up year after year but I only saw a couple this year.

We had three days above 30°C last week so there is plenty happening in the garden. The crab apple is blossoming and the last of the daffodils are hanging on. I bought some annuals and started filling pots yesterday.

The stamp featured is from the Darkroom Door set ‘fine flowers vol 2’ designed by Godelieve Tjiskens. I inked the petals with seedless preserves and blueprint sketch distress inks then blended with water after stamping. The stems are rustic wilderness distress and the sentiment rustic wilderness archival.

Hope you are enjoying some colour in the world around you; perhaps you’re seeing warm tones if you are in the southern hemisphere.

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Fresh Spring

Now that May has arrived I feel it is the right time to post tulip cards. My one tulip is blooming and the tulip festival is a week away. I have used the Penny Black ‘fresh spring’ stamp on hot press watercolour paper with distress inks.

Sometimes I stamp then blend with a paintbrush after stamping. This time the blends from a spritz of water on the inked stamp were almost enough without adding anything. I did a little blending on a few tulips and a few leaves but some of the blends just happened so I let them be.

I inked the tulips with wild honey distress ink and added festive berries over the base of the petals with a marker. Same with the leaves but using rustic wilderness with added forest moss for depth and variation. I know the distress markers are discontinued but they are so useful for adding ink selectively I will keep using them ’til they give up! The sentiment is from the PB set ‘special sentiments’.

My friend Jan recently sent me some more floral inspiration pics so I have added the inspiration for today’s card below. Thank you Jan.

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Watercoloured Ink Bottles

I’m sure the new ‘pen & ink’ stamp set from Darkroom Door will be a new favourite of mine. There are five different bottles, two pens, four nibs and some labels. You will see it on my cards, in my journals and on my gel prints.

I wanted to end up with a loose watercolour sketch of ink bottles. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper with distress inks as my ‘paints’. You will see in the video below I did not really plan my process at all and realised a few things about the stamps a little late but it turned out fine in the end.

Next time I play with these stamps I might try putting the pens in the inks, and creating different colours of ink in the bottles. Ahh, so many possibilities.

By the way there are a couple of new dates for upcoming classes; the details are on my Classes page

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Fresh Pansies

Pansies seem to be a happy flower don’t you think? This is the new ‘pansies’ stamp from Penny Black stamped twice on cold press watercolour paper.

In my previous post I asked what colour suggestions you had for irises. Jan in Oregon sent me some beautiful photos she has taken over the years featuring some stunning irises, so the inspiration file has definitely been topped up. She also sent a few photos of pansies, tulips and daffodils as they are the next flowers to be featured here on the blog. The photo below was my inspiration for today’s card. I ended up with more purple petals than white as I didn’t have time for negative painting but I was still inspired and delighted by Jan’s photo.

I stamped with distress inks then filled the petals with brusho watercolours using the same method I used recently for the irises. I used shaded lilac, mowed lawn and fossilized amber to stamp the outline then violet brusho and a mix of leaf green and moss green for the leaves and stems.

I used a purple marker to draw the lines coming out from the centre of the flowers, blended some mowed lawn around the stems and finished with a sentiment from the PB ‘love big’ set.

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Iris Elegance

This is the second iris card I’ve painted but it probably won’t be the last. Iris Elegance from Penny Black is such a bold beautiful stamp.

I worked on hot press watercolour paper in a stamp positioner to stamp the outline stamp in chipped sapphire, peeled paint and wild honey distress inks. I blended ink into the petals from the stamped outline but also used brusho paints to fill the petals with blends of colour. I had violet, ultramarine and moss green brusho mixed in a palette beside me so I could dip my brush and add paint to the petals.

To fill out the design I stamped just leaves to the left and the right of the main image. Let me know if you have irises blooming already or suggest some petal colours to me. The yard is covered in snow again here so the irises best keep on sleeping for now!

Supplies


Irises

The new ‘iris elegance’ stamp from Penny Black is a delight to work with. The design is large so there is plenty of space in the petals for pretty watercolour blends. I inked the stamp with distress inks then blended the stamped ink with water to fill the flowers using some co-ordinating colours of brusho for extra depth and variation. I have been flipping back and forth between hot and cold pressed watercolour paper lately; this one is hot pressed.

I have purple irises that come up in my garden each year but they don’t have the yellow centres I’ve featured on these ones. Yellow tends to be a pigment that pushes other pigments away which worked well on the petals. I painted the purples and then while the paint was still wet added yellow paint which spread and pushed the purple without making too much brown.

I don’t always add background but I did this time by painting water around the flowers then adding some Payne’s grey paint and a little diluted purple. Once again I chose the sweet little birthday stamp from the new ‘how sweet’ stamp set. Speaking of backgrounds, thank you so much to everyone who left me a message saying nothing more was needed on the recent poppy card. I am so encouraged by you, my kind and generous readers!

The warm weather and rain of the last few days has melted quite a lot of snow and now I see some green tips emerging. I have also spied a cardinal and a blue jay on the feeder. Spring is definitely in the air.

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Distinctive

I consider lupins one of my garden successes. It may be a stretch for me to take credit because they were here when we moved in and they are not gone yet so I feel like my part in the success has been just not killing them all! They start blooming not too long after the bulbs and I have them in white, purple, pink, purple/white and dark purple. Last year I took care to chop off all the dead heads and I still had some blooming in August! Some of the plants became aphid hotels so please let me know if you have a fix for that which doesn’t involve me picking them all off by hand!

The new lupin stamp from Penny Black is called ‘distinctive’ and it has two flower heads on one stem. I used shaded lilac, chipped sapphire and seedless preserves to ink the stamp so I could create lupins that are a close match to the ones that appear in my garden. The leaves and stems were inked with mowed lawn, forest moss and peeled paint distress inks. You can see in the close up that I have a mix of blended and unblended sections on the card. I used the misti, spritzed the stamp after inking and also did a bit of blending with a paintbrush after stamping. I think the mix of textures add to the appeal and adding some water helps the ink spread on the hot pressed watercolour paper.

The birthday sentiment is from the new PB set, ‘how sweet’. There are three little sentiments in the set along with a floral stamp. Oh, and of course there is splatter, but you probably noticed that already!

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Farm Fresh Lavender

I am hoping I can fill a couple of jugs with lavender this summer. A couple of years back a friend split her lavender and gave me two plants which were coming along well last year and I hope will be even stronger and more full this year. When I have flowers in the garden I am always torn when deciding whether to cut them and bring some inside or just enjoy them outside where they will probably last longer.

To create this little scene I used two stamps from the new Penny Black ‘farm fresh’ set and the ‘brick wall’ background stamp. I worked in a stamp positioner to create this panel. I stamped the jugs first with wild honey and tea dye distress inks. After blending the ink with water I added shadow with walnut stain ink. I used both bundled sage and rustic wilderness for the stems and a mix of milled lavender (of course) and dusty concord for the flowers.

Because I had done the jugs first I stamped and cut little masks from post-it notes to make it easier to stamp a brick wall behind them. I used tea dye to stamp the brick wall then started blending the tea dye ink to fill the bricks. I sprinkled a very small amount of sandstone brusho over the wall and started blending it in random bricks. This resulted in the warm orange bricks you see. I also added walnut stain ink to a few bricks for a darker look.

I blended antique linen and walnut ink in the foreground and painted pale shadows below the jugs. The card is finished with a sentiment from the new PB ‘love big’ stamp set.

Just in case you wondered at me thinking about cutting flowers from my garden, I’m just dreaming; it is definitely still covered in snow!

Supplies


2022 BuJo – March theme

Yes we are a third of the way through March but better late than never. I live in the north where March rarely means spring flowers; more often it means spring snow so my theme is still wintery!

I actually left my home and went away last weekend to the mountains and did a little skiing and relaxing so this theme seemed appropriate. Our accommodation looked nothing like my hand drawn cabin but was lovely just the same.

The trees on these pages were stamped with a Simply Graphic stamp, ‘pine forest‘ in rustic wilderness and iced spruce inks.

Simply Graphic is a French company with some very cool stamp and die designs. The Foiled Fox just started carrying more of their product and sent me a few stamps to try out. You will see more in tomorrow’s post.

I used post-its to mask, drew my own cabin with Staedtler markers then lightly watercoloured it with distress inks.

I made many mistakes on these pages because I was rushing but I managed to cover them up or work around them!

If you haven’t seen one of my bullet journal spreads before I am working in a ‘Dingbats’ notebook; it’s A5 and dotted and I think the quality is excellent.

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New Penny Black Florals

It snowed all day yesterday but spring arrived anyway in a package from Penny Black! I have a nice little stack of PB florals to share with you in the days to come and I should manage a video or two as well.

This first card features four stamps from the new Springtime release. Those of you who have been PB fans for years might notice a re-release among them. I stamped the large and small flowers from the ‘modesty’ set over foliage from the ‘sweet sprouts’ set; both sets include two large cling stamps. I used milled lavender and aged mahogany distress inks for the flowers and a mix of three distress greens for the leaves and stems. All the supplies are linked below.

The washy blended look in the petals was achieved by spritzing the stamp before stamping along with some paint brush blending afterwards. I stamped a border of script in weathered wood with the ‘letter background stamp’ and blended the same ink around the edges. I splattered water for some watermarks and a mix of the milled lavender and aged mahogany around the flowers.

The card is 6¼”x 4½” on cold pressed watercolour paper finished with a sentiment from the new ‘love big’ set. I love the snowy cards as you are aware but I am definitely excited to be stamping florals again!

Supplies