Rustic Birthday

I’ve been creating with Darkroom Door products over the weekend including the new ‘sketched alphabet’ set. I thought the sketched letters looked a bit like pieces of wood which set me thinking about branches and leaves, which made me think of the eucalyptus leaves in the DD ‘ leaves’ set which made me want to have the letters hidden among some leaves, which led to this card.

I can tell you it wasn’t a quick card to make. A fair amount of time was taken working out how I would make the concept work. On the back of this panel there is an unfinished attempt which helped me simplify my concept a bit. I stamped all the letters I was using on masking paper and cut them out. Then I stuck them out on the watercolour panel to get the spacing right. I removed a few of the masks and stamped some leaves in faded jeans and peeled paint distress inks, just a few which would appear to be in front of the letters. I stamped the leaves then, masked them and stamped and embossed the letters with versafine vintage sepia. Once the letters were embossed it wasn’t too hard to paint around them with bundled sage and stormy sky distress stains.

Once the background was dry I masked all the letters and leaves and stamped more leaves to fill the panel. I painted all the leaves in peeled paint, faded jeans and forest moss distress inks then added some splatter. After I removed the letter masks I decided to colour them in with a brown marker to make them stand out more. I blended some faded jeans around the edges of the panel to frame the design.

I was just about finished by this point but thought some gold splatter would be nice, which it was, but that led to gold edges on one side of all the letters. There were a couple more steps in there somewhere but you get the idea and I think I would be able to do it faster a second time!

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Pumpkin Season

This lovely blue wheelbarrow filled with pumpkins is one of the new autumn products from Penny Black. It’s called ‘pumpkin season’ and I paired it with an older PB scenic stamp, ‘homeward’.

I worked on the wheelbarrow first while keeping it in my stamp positioner. I stamped the barrow in faded jeans archival ink, the base in hickory smoke archival and the pumpkins in fossilized amber archival. That gave me a base print to add to with distress inks which I could blend with water and a paintbrush. Still with the stamp in the positioner I inked different section with distress ink cubes and markers to build up the colours bit by bit. Once I was sure I didn’t have to stamp any more on the barrow I removed the panel, stamped the barrow on masking paper and masked the barrow in order to finish my scene.

With the panel back in the positioner and the barrow masked I stamped the ‘homeward’ scenic stamp over the top with ground espresso, spiced marmalade, barn door , peeled paint and wild honey inks. I blended the grass area immediately after stamping so I could extend the ground with peeled paint ink to fill the space around the wheel and base of the barrow.

I built up the colour of the tree with repeat stampings spritzed with water. Once the stamping and blending was complete I painted some shadows under the barrow with peeled paint ink and added some extra definition to the pumpkins with watercolour pencils. I blended the sky around the tree with stormy sky ink and a blending brush.

We harvested most of our tomatoes yesterday even though they are still green so now I am looking up green tomatoes recipes. The fried ones sound appealing (just like in the Fanny Flagg book) and a zucchini and green tomato relish could be good too.

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The Good Life with pumpkins

Even though I am in denial about summer ending my card making would disagree. I have seen leaves changing colour and there is a nip in the air. I’m not against autumn; I know everyone loves it, I just don’t like to see summer go! This little autumn scene combines the Penny Black stamps, ‘the good life’ and ‘pumpkin patch’.

I worked in the stamp positioner for this one and there was masking involved too. I lightly stamped just the barn first, cut a mask for the roof then stamped an extra tree behind the barn. I also painted the back field in peeled paint and wild honey before returning to the trees and barn. I used the ink, stamp & blend process to build up the scene. I made sure I didn’t stamp the fence or track leading to the barn as I was planning to stamp something in the foreground. It turned out to be pumpkins which also needed to be masked before I added the fence and track.

If you know your distress inks you could probably make some pretty accurate guesses as to the line up used on this panel. I added a bit of pencil colouring to the pumpkins and some little leaves along side them.

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Fields of Gold

This card was inspired by @jenny_illustrations a watercolour artist I follow on instagram. She painted her scene but I used a selection of Darkroom Door stamps and some wet into wet techniques.

I worked on a panel of hot pressed watercolour paper splattered with liquid frisket. I wasn’t necessarily wanting the look of snow, more the interest or vintage look of little dots over the panel. It could be snow, an early snow or a first snow but that is not something I am thinking about right now. Not for a minute am I wishing summer away, I would never do that. Summer is definitely my favourite season and it is still officially summer for another 18 days!

But back to the card. I taped it down to my glass mat which I also used as a palette where I squished my distress inks to provide me with ink to paint with. I spritzed the whole panel with water then painted weathered wood and faded jeans distress ink in the sky then tea dye and gathered twigs distress ink in the foreground. It was not meant to be gathered twigs; the lid said ‘fossilized amber’! The lid was wrong but the colour, surprisingly worked maybe even better than amber would have giving me a gradation from light to dark brown.

While the whole panel was wet I stamped the large mountain stamp from DD ‘majestic mountains’ in faded jeans ink then, after a pause, the small trees from the same set in ‘hickory smoke’ then. after a longer pause, in ‘black soot’ ink. I used a small floral stamp from DD ‘wildflowers vol 1’ to stamp and restamp flowers in the foreground, first in ‘tea dye’ then in ‘gathered twigs’. I dried the panel rather than wait and finished it off with tea dye and gathered twigs splatter.

I was pleased to see my taping sealed the edges well resulting in no leaks. I am trying a different painter’s tape so it scored points on this project. I’m not sure why but this panel needed to be a side fold card. It has a little sentiment from DD ‘nature walk’ that says ‘ walk through the wildflowers’; you might not be able to read it but the recipient will.

I’ve done very few scenic cards lately so I enjoyed the process and result. I am pondering my next online class… scenic cards or Christmas cards? Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts.

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Soulful Silhouettes

There is a lovely new clear set of silhouette stamps in the latest Penny Black release. I’ve used it to create a set of co-ordinated cards in a simple clean style.

I chose some of my favourite distress inks to create slightly blended prints.

All the stamped images are from ‘soulful silhouettes’ and the sentiments are from the ‘trust me builder’ set.

I used hot pressed watercolour for all the stamped panels and white luxe textured cardstock for all the bases.

After inking the silhouette stamps for each design I gave the stamp a very light spritz of water, just enough so there would be blends and watermarks on the stamped image. I couldn’t predict how each would turn out so there are some dryer areas with no blending and some parts where ink has bled into the adjacent ink quite distinctly.

I often pop up my stamped or painted panels on pieces of foam but this time they are raised on just one piece of cardstsock cut a little smaller than the main panel.

The ‘trust me builder’ set is designed so we can make sentiments that begin with the words ‘trust me…’ then finish with one of seven different phrases. I kept the sentiments short using only the endings which are in a smaller simpler font.

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Barrel of Blooms

This washtub full of flowers is called ‘barrel of blooms’ and it’s a beauty from the new PB release. I worked on cold pressed watercolour paper in a stamp positioner so I could ink a section, stamp it, blend that section, wipe the stamp then ink another section.

I stamped colour by colour, inking with distress ink cubes and markers. Once I’ve stamped a section I blend it with a paintbrush pulling out the ink of the outline and adding extra where necessary. I used a couple of different green inks for the leaves, candied apple, spiced marmalade and dried marigold for the flowers then a mix of brown and grey for the barrel. All the inks are listed below. Because I do all the stamping and painting with the panel in the stamp positioner I am able to re-stamp a section after I’ve painted to add some of the detail back in.

To ground the image I painted some faded jeans and hickory smoke ink around the base and behind the barrel. I used a dark blue inktense pencil and the Wendy Vecchi stay-tion + ruler to add the look of wood wall behind then matted the panel with co-ordinating blue cardstock.

I don’t have a barrel tub like this one for my flowers but I have three old galvanised tin tubs filled with herbs and they are thriving in the current summer weather.

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Refreshing

I’m excited to show you some new summery plant goodness from Penny Black and it’s happening here and on the Foiled Fox blog! I used the new cling stamp ‘illustrious‘, a stamp from the clear set ‘soulful silhouettes‘ and a sentiment from the ‘just like you‘ mini set.

The new release is called ‘Refreshing’ so I have teamed up with Shauna from the Foiled Fox to provide a little refreshment through a giveaway!

All you need to do to enter is comment on this post telling me what you like to do for refreshment these days.

I used distress inks and cold pressed watercolour for this card. I definitely seem to be drawn to blues and greens right now; they’re a little cooler than my oft used pinks and orange combo. You can read more about my process on the Foiled Fox blog but let me say the MISTI was very helpful in creating this leafy panel. I worked on the large leaves first, inking them in mowed lawn then painting them with bundled sage. I moved onto the fern shaped plant which I inked with mowed lawn and faded jeans then did the tiny flowers last in candied apple and hickory smoke.

The illustrious stamp is stamped once on the left then partially stamped on the right and to fill the top edges I just inked and stamped the tip of the fern a few times. I used one stamp from the soulful silhouettes set as filler in bundled sage ink.

I would love to hear some of your most refreshing ideas or past times. Do you have a recipe, a book recommendation, a past time or favourite get away? We are still staying close to home here in Ottawa but I am enjoying my hammock in the backyard, oodles of audio books and the occasional iced coffee or tea.

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The Good Life

I am happy to have a stamped and painted scene to share today. I often create scenic cards and panels in winter but I used liquid frisket on this panel to create a summer vista seen through a frame of birches. I teamed up with Grafix , used their liquid frisket kit and filmed the process.

With a technique like this it would be easy to make a card for any season. The birches could frame a snow scene, autumn foliage or even some mountains in the distance.

Painting the sky was fun, you can see in the video I painted the whole sky area in blue then added all the clouds by dabbing colour away with a kleenex tissue.

You can see in the video I stamped the house and trees with archival ink first then built up colour, depth and shadow with distress inks for the watercolour look. Because the Dr Ph Martin inks used on the sky are permanent once dry I was able to stamp and blend over the house and trees without affecting the sky at all and of course over the masked trees too.

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All about you

More than once I have created cards that inspire me to make art journal pages. This time it was the other way around; I created an art journal page that inspired this card. Perhaps I should be showing you the journal page first but it contains as yet unreleased stamps so I have to keep it under wraps for a little while longer. (just in case you hadn’t seen them yet, Jill has been sharing some sneak peeks of new PB products over on the PB blog). The panel is stamped on cold pressed watercolour paper. I kept it in the stamp positioner so I could add some detail once all the paint was completed.

I stamped PB ‘Springtime Sigh’ in antique linen distress ink then painted the flowers with Sennelier watercolour paints. To keep the panel cohesive I used the same red and blue paints to create a variety of reds and burgandies for the four large flowers. The blue showed up in the purple flowers and the green stems. Once all the painting was finished I partially stamped the rose with ‘aged mahogany’ distress ink and added little details to the other flowers with a chipped sapphire distress marker and a black soot marker.

The combination of antique linen outline and faded burgandy petals gave the painted flowers a vintage look so I filled the rest of the panel with the same image stamped in antique linen, then chose crimson red versafine to stamp the sentiment from PB ‘special sentiments’.

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Birthday birdhouses

I hope your garden is full of birds and blooms right now, mine is getting there slowly. If  you are having a birthday during this season, it’s possibly a little different to past celebrations. My birthday is in the dead of winter but I do remember fondly when it was in the height of summer when birds, blooms and strawberries were in abundance!

To create this bright happy card I did some no line watercolour with distress inks. I stamped the PB ‘good neighbors’ outline stamp in antique linen then did all the painting with distress inks smooshed on my glass mat. For fine lines and tiny spaces I used distress markers.

I used cold pressed watercolour paper for this one; I switch back and forth between hot pressed and cold pressed, often choosing hot pressed for the ease of stamping detailed stamps. Once I was finished I decided to pop up the panel on a piece of foam but first I cut the panel with the new love of my card making life, Waffle Flowers ‘additional A2 layers’ dies. I love both their A2 layers dies and additional layers dies the same, no favouritism, in fact the reason I love them is because there are two sets making it possible to mat panels with a ⅛” border. I’m not demonstrating that feature on this card but I will be on future projects. I also love the fact that my rectangle is even and perfect first go. My cutter still does a great job just not sure if my steady hand and eye do the stellar job they once did.

I finished off the card by cutting two banners with one of Penny Black’s triple banner dies, two so it was raised up just a bit, not as much as foam tape would raise it. I stamped a sentiment from banner sentiments on the banner but if you know this set you might realise the stamp doesn’t actually curve that way; let me tell you it does when you snip it in two and arrange it on the door of your misti.

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