Nature walk portraits

I have mentioned before how beautiful these Darkroom Door ‘nature walk’ images are but have I mentioned how easy it is to create pretty cards with them. Each card today features just one image, stamped twice over a quick watercolour background.

I created the backgrounds with my glass mat and some distress inks. I squished the ink pads down on the mat side by side (three or four colours at a time), spritzed with water then swiped my hot pressed watercolour panel through the diluted ink a few times until there was good coverage on the panel. I dried the panel with a heat tool before sponging one or two of the distress inks through a section of stencil then added splots of water for some added texture. The panels were all different, all pretty and done within minutes.

I used the MISTI for stamping because the texture of the watercolour paper makes it necessary to stamp a few times to get a solid image. I used versafine clair nocturne ink which always gives me a crisp print. Once the ink was dry I splattered gold paint from the gansai tambi starry colours palette. The gold splatter might just be my favourite part of these cards; unfortunately it’s not very obvious in the photos.

To draw more attention to the gold splatter I matted with gold and stamped the sentiments either on gold cardstock or with embossed in gold powder. The sentiments are from Darkroom Door’s new sentiment strips. The sentiments are in list format and I have kept the stamp uncut. I stamp on a cardstock panel and cut out the sentiment I want. I now have a handy die set from the Foiled Fox which neatly cuts out the smaller fonts and I always love sentiments in small fonts! The set is called ‘simple sentiments’ and it has ten lengths of sentiment strip dies.

In putting together the cards I used one more happy new product. I am always searching for textured white cardstock. Today’s cards feature a linen texture with enough depth to be seen by the camera. It is in 8½ “x11” sheets so one sheet did four card fronts, no waste. This is the first time I’ve used it so there will be more testing to come with dies, inks etc but so far, so good.

Thanks for listening to me prattle on about this and that. I hope you are enjoying some ‘nature walks’ even if they are of the snowy variety! While we have been experiencing extreme cold followed by loads of snow, friends and family on the other side of the world are experiencing extreme heat and flooding!

Supplies

Stamps: nature walk,  (DD)

Stencils: mesh, boxes 12 up

Dies: Simple Sentiment (Avery Elle)

Distress inks: crushed olive, pine needles, blue print sketch, milled lavender, stormy sky, mermaid lagoon, wilted violet, worn lipstick
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Inks: versamark, nocturne versafine clair,

Paint: gansai tambi starry colours

Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, snowbound textured white cardstock, gold cardstock, neenah solar white

Also: Cutterpillar glass mat, MISTI, gold embossing powder

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Blissful blossoms

It is hard to believe I haven’t inked this pretty stamp before now. I made up for it by repeat stamping on a large panel to make into a set of cards. I put the 10″x 7″ hot pressed watercolour panel in my stamp positioning tool and ended up stamping PB ‘blissful blossoms’ four times.

Each time I stamped I followed the same order. First I inked the whole stamp in scattered straw distress ink and dabbed some wild honey and abandoned coral ink here and there on the flowers, spritzed it with water. After stamping I cleaned the stamp, then inked all the stems and leaves in peeled paint ink, spritzed and stamped again. I kept partially inking with markers, spritzing and stamping until the flowers were well coloured. Before moving the panel and stamp to do another print I blended over the stamping with a paint brush and water.

I repeated the process three more times to fill the panel. I was able to orient the stamp so the stems and flowers filled the space and looked like one big patterned panel.

Once the panel was done I had to decide how to divide it for different designs. I could have done four of the same card but no, I wanted to come up with a few options. I pulled out a pretty PB die, a PB sentiment set and some green cardstock to create a set of five cards.

The decorative die does not cut right across, it cuts out the scroll work but scores either side for folding. On several of the cards I cut on the score line for a border instead of a fold.

By double matting and popping up the panel even the last scrap became a card. All the sentiments are from the handy dandy ‘happy snippets’ set.

Supplies

Stamps: blissful blossoms, happy snippets (PB)

Dies: pop on a fold -royal swirl (PB)

Inks: scattered straw, dried marigold, abandoned coral, peeled paint, versamark, shady line versafine clair

Markers: peeled paint, dried marigold, abandoned coral, ground espresso

Cardstock: hot pressed watercolour, neenah cream, olive green

Also: Stamp positioner, white embossing powder, linen twine


Christmas red or white

Ever since I received this stamp way back when the weather was warm, I wanted to try it as a ‘white poinsettia’ rather than the traditional red. The first card I made with it was red and when I used it in my Christmas class we stamped it red but now as a Christmas thank you I’ve made it white, or to be precise a yellowish, greenish white! I am sharing it over on the Foiled Fox blog today also. Make sure you pop over there to see enjoy all the beautiful wintry cards they have shared lately. Scroll back to see three gorgeous poinsettia cards made by Shauna Todd posted during December.

To create my ‘white’ poinsettia I stamped the whole ‘Christmas Red’ stamp from Penny Black in shabby shutters distress ink on hot pressed watercolour paper (which I had splattered with masking fluid earlier). With the stamp in the MISTI I inked the outer leaves with mowed lawn distress ink and stamped again. Shabby shutters ink is a pale green to start with so when I diluted it by blending with water I was able to make it a little paler. I blended one petal at a time and dabbed it with a paper towel while it was wet to remove more colour. Before the petals dried I picked up some extra shabby shutters ink off my glass mat and added some shadow where the petals were overlapped by another. I blended the leaves with water also and when they were dry added some definition with a fine brush and mowed lawn ink. I stamped the centre with mowed lawn ink and added some gold with a wink of stella pen.

Once the flower was dry I painted around the edges with water then dropped in weathered wood distress stain and blended it to surround the whole image. I also dropped in some green ink here and there while the background painting was wet. When everything dried I removed the masking fluid and added clear wink of stella to all the petals to give them some shimmer. I stamped the ‘thank you’ from the PB ‘banner sentiments’ set in versafine clair shady lane ink. I am very happy to be making thank you cards as I have close to thirty donors to thank so far in my Dressember campaign raising money for the fight against human trafficking.

I am adding my pink and green poinsettia to the post just for interest and comparison. I used a similar process to the one described above but kept the background white as a base from some gold embossing. Thank you for dropping in today.

Supplies

Stamps: Christmas Red, banner sentiments (PB)

Inks: shabby shutters ,mowed lawn distress inks, versafine clair shady lane ink

Stain: weathered wood distress stain

Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, neenah natural white

Also: gold wink of stella, clear wink of stella, masking fluid

Tools: MISTI, glass mat


Pine cones

I just cracked open this set from Darkroom Door yesterday and I’m so happy with these lovely images. The set contains three pine cones, two pine needle stamps and six sentiments yet to be inked. I worked on cold pressed watercolour paper and used distress inks to stamp and paint.

I splattered masking fluid over this panel first then, when it was dry used my MISTI for the stamping. I stamped the pine cone first with vintage photo and ground espresso distress inks (not oxides). I stamped several impressions because of the texture of the paper then stamped the pine needle stamp around the pine cone in forest moss and pine needles ink. I didn’t use careful masking but did position a post it note over the pine cone while I stamped the needles that appear to be behind the cone. With all the stamping done I blended some of the pine cone with water and spritzed over the pine needles.

To fill the background I painted shabby shutters and pine needles ink with plenty of water to dilute and move it around. After removing the masking fluid I added a sentiment from the Yuletide greetings set in shady lane versafine ink.

For the second card I switched pine needle stamps but kept the same pine cone. I stamped the needles first in mowed lawn and pine needles distress ink. Again I didn’t want to cut some fiddly masks so I did partial inking instead to position the pine cones in amongst the needles. I blended them with a fine tip paint brush then splattered some green and brown inks over the panel. I wanted a splash of gold so I embossed a sentiment from Yuletide greetings in ultra high gold embossing powder which is chunkier than some.

I also splattered some embossing fluid on the panel and tipped the same powder on to the splatter and heated it. Some of my blobs of embossing fluid were a bit big so I ended up with squishy gold dots on the panel. (definitely one for hand delivery!)

Supplies

Stamps: pine cones, yuletide greetings (DD)

Inks: pine needles, forest moss, vintage photo, mowed lawn, shabby shutters & shady lane versafine clair ink

Markers:  gathered twigs, ground espresso

Paper: cold pressed watercolour paper

Also: masking fluid, embossing fluid, WOW metallic gold rich ultra high powder


Tree Trio

Today’s cards are made with a cute set from My Favorite Things and some oxide inks. I didn’t set out to make watercolour cards but it seems I just can’t help it! I stamped the little tree skeleton stamp in versamark then embossed in clear powder. Next I inked the triangle tree stamp in peeled paint and peacock feathers oxide inks and stamped over the top of the skeletons. Then, not willing to leave the trees,  I gave them a watercolour look by blending the two colours within the triangle with water.

I used the same two inks to create a blended sky over the embossed MFT Christmas background stamp. I painted the snow banks in amongst the trees by picking up ink off my glass mat.

I followed a similar process to create this blue card. I inked the triangles with blue print sketch and stormy sky distress oxide inks, blended them and stamped the tree skeleton over the top with blueprint sketch. The background is once again embossed then swiped through some diluted blue print sketch and stormy sky distress oxide ink on my glass mat.

The final card is a very simple design but again I started with two tone blended trees (a different tree stamp). This time my colours were bundled sage and lucky clover oxide inks. Once the trees were dry I stamped the dot stamp over the top with candied apple oxide ink and added a sentiment in the same ink.

I decided to make the sentiment shiny by embossing in clear powder, then restamped all the dots so I could emboss them too.

These cards are a bit different from my usual style but reminded me how much fun can be had with the oxide inks.

Supplies

Stamps:  Christmas background, trio of trees (MFT)

Inks: versamark & peeled paint, peacock feathers, stormy sky, blueprint sketch, bundled sage, lucky clover, candied apple distress oxide inks

Papers: hot pressed watercolour paper, red cardstock, olive cardstock, blue cardstock

Also: clear embossing powder, glass mat


Winter Tree

It is hard to believe I haven’t shared this beautiful tree stamp already. It is a large rubber cling stamp called winter tree and it looks snow laden when stamped. It is a very detailed tree but my treatment has it looking a little more impressionistic. To create the card above I lay the tree stamp on my cold pressed watercolour paper and positioned masking paper around the edges of the stamp. When I lifted the stamp there was a tree shaped space exposed.

I splattered masking fluid over the panel so there were lots of drops in the shape of a tree. When I removed the masking paper I splattered a few more drops of masking fluid around the tree. I placed the panel and stamp in my stamp positioner and dotted distress stain on the stamp. For this tree I used mustard seed, mermaid lagoon, pine needles and blueprint sketch. I stamped a couple of colours at a time until the tree was completely stamped albeit in a loose and watery way. To fill in the background I wanted the same colours but more diluted so I put stain on my glass mat so I could pick it up with a paint brush.

I painted around the tree with water touching the edges of the tree with the paintbrush so the colour would bleed into the sky. To fill the sky I picked up extra colour from my glass mat. When all the paint was dry I removed the masking fluid and added a die cut sentiment and a matching mat.

I followed the same process for the second card but used hot pressed watercolour paper and more colours of distress stain. I also stamped a few trees in the background using a tree from the ‘prancers‘ set and peacock feathers distress ink.

When snow completely covers our Christmas lights the colour does look a bit blurry shining through the snow. That’s what these cards remind me of.

Not that there are any Christmas trees or lights up around here yet. There are members of this family with strong feelings about Christmas decorations!

Supplies

Stamps: winter tree, prancers

Stains: mustard seed, blue print sketch, peacock feathers, pine needles

Die: merry Christmas (PB)

Paper: cold pressed watercolour paper, deep blue cardstock

Tools: MISTI, T ruler, stick-it adhesive, glass mat


Pretty Paper Neighbourhood & a Wreath

It’s all soft and subtle on the blog today. I have two projects featuring the beautiful Alexandra Renke cardstock the Foiled Fox recently started carrying in their store. The weight of the cardstock is somewhere between a good quality printer paper and a piece of cardstock. There is definitely enough weight to die cut nicely.

I chose the elegant ‘whirl wreath’ by Penny Black and cut one out of ‘pink dots’ cardstock. I attached it around the centre circle with adhesive but left the branches unattached ( so I will be careful putting it in a envelope) The background is ‘rose stripes’ which matches the pink dots perfectly. I cut the bow out of a piece of cardstock from my stash and layered a few together to give it some extra weight. I blended around the edge of the striped panel with tattered rose distress ink and attached everything to a cream cardbase.

I chose to add a natural twine bow to the die cut bow then had to co-ordinate the sentiment with antique linen distress ink.

For my little neighbourhood card I use three patterns of Alexandra Renke cardstock, the rose stripes, gray stripes and medium mud watercolour. I know it is hard to see the details of the die cuts in my photo but in real life the pink striped neighbourhood is clear against two lines of gray striped trees in front of a gray mud starry sky.

I have been wanting to try a white on white layered die cut scene and I probably still will but chose to try it with these pretty papers first. The neighbourhood is layered over two layers of trees cut with the ‘trees and hills’ dies which are layered over a gray piece cut with the starry sky night die attached directly to a white card base.

I featured some of the subtle colours and patterns from Alexandra Renke today but I do have some bold patterns and solids to share another day.

Have a great weekend.

Supplies

Stamps: Christmas sentiments, winter days (PB)

Dies: whirl wreath, neighbourhood border, starry night die, trees & hills die set (PB)

Cardstock: Alexandra Renke medium mud watercolor, gray stripes, rose stripes & Neenah solar white, cream, pink

Inks: tattered rose, antique linen distress ink, smokey gray versafine ink

Also: hemp twine