Pansy Gaze

Today’s little card features a sweet stamp from Penny Black. I did the stamping and painting on a thin strip of cardstock thinking I might make a bookmark but as I filled in the background decided to just make a smaller than usual card. This one is 3¾” x 4¾” cut to frame the pansy panel evenly.

I stamped the pansy stamp in weathered wood distress ink then painted the petals with seedless preserves and blueprint sketch ink which was smooshed on my glass mat for convenient pick-up. I painted the leaves with a mix of forest moss, lucky clover and peeled paint. I added wild honey and black soot to the centres after painting all the petals and wish I’d achieved a bit more of a pop with the yellow but continued anyway.

I smooshed the weathered wood ink pad on the glass mat several times to make plenty of the grey-blue ink available for painting a background and then proceeded to paint water first then ink as I went round the image. I was not after a seamless look (obviously!) but more of a rough sketchy look so there are some watermarks, hard edges and bleeds from the green ink. I ran the panel through the big kick with the ‘subtle’ embossing folder from SU for a canvas look; you can see it on the close up.

I saw the first flower in my garden today; it’s a little white star flower…happy sigh.

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Long Distance

Many of us are separated from family and friends these days so when I saw this new set of sentiments from Darkroom Door I knew immediately that I could put them to good use. The set is called ‘long distance’ and is a long strip of sentiments one under the other, eleven in total. I have several sentiment strips from Darkroom Door and have not cut any of them into individual strips. Instead I tend to stamp the whole strip or a section of the strip and then snip off or die-cut the ones I want to use.

As many of you know I am originally from Australia and all my family still lives there while my husband, children and I live in Canada and have done for twenty years. When I designed this card featuring the DD ‘world map’ stamp I did so with my Australian family and friends in mind so I had to make sure both countries were still on display after I added the sentiments. I stamped the map on hot pressed watercolour paper in tea dye distress ink and acorn versafine clair, dried the inks then started painting colours over the map. I smooshed tea dye, carved pumpkin, abandoned coral, broken china and mowed lawn distress inks on my glass mat and painted loosely with no major concern for borders or accuracy. I searched ‘antique map’ for an inspiration photo to guide me.

I cie-cut the map panel with a Waffle Flower A2 additional layer die then applied vintage photo ink around the edge of the map and the sentiments with a blending brush. It’s a subtle addition but I also stamped pale postmarks on the sentiments using the DD ‘global postmarks’ stamps. I will be showing you more of the new stamps from Darkroom Door over the next few weeks but there are already several blog posts on the Darkroom Door blog featuring the new beauties so make sure you pop over there to take a look.

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Arbors in green

I can’t believe I am only just getting this beautiful tree stamp inked, especially considering my mantra, ‘you can never have too many tree stamps!’ This new stamp from Penny Black is called Arbors and I’m sure I will put it to use often. For its first inking I decided on keeping things traditional and green. We are just beginning to see grass appear here and there as the snow melts but no leaves yet.

Before I started stamping I put some speckled egg and rustic wilderness stain on my glass mat and diluted it with a few spritzes of water. I swiped a piece of cold pressed watercolour paper through the stains, dried it and then repeated the process to fill my background with blue and green.

With the stamp and panel in a stamp positioner I inked the foliage of the trees with dabs of crushed olive, mowed lawn and rustic wilderness distress inks. I spritzed the stamp lightly before stamping to get the inks mingling with each other. It took several applications to build up the coverage. After applying quite a bit of green I inked the trunks and branches with a ground espresso distress marker leaving the base below the trunks uninked so I could paint some hills in and around the trunks. To do this I spread brown ink from the trunks left and right then added diluted rustic wilderness stain and painted hill shapes across the panel. I checked to see what I was short on in my stash and added a thank you from the banner sentiments set in acorn ink.

I can’t wait to ink this one up in autumn tones, but I guess a few trees in blossom might be timely first.

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Filled with daydreams

I’ve created with the Penny Black ‘daydream‘ stamp before but you might not recognise it as the same stamp used on today’s card. Last time I stamped the large rubber cling stamp once in blue. This time I’ve stamped it twice to almost fill the card front in pink and deep red. I’ve also added some filler foliage.

I kept the stamp in the stamp positiioner while I completed one print of the stamp then rearranged the panel and stamp to be able to stamp again in a slightly different direction to cover the lower third. I inked the stamp first with worn lipstick distress ink, added shading with an aged mahogany distress marker, stems with ground espresso and centres with black soot. I spritzed ever so lightly because I didn’t want to loose much definition but I did want the inks to blend a bit. After one impression I blended a few areas with a paintbrush and stamped more aged mahogany where needed to help define the petals. Once the ink and blending was dry I coloured around the black centres with a mustard seed marker.

To add filler around the red blooms I stamped the fronds from the PB ‘branches of love’ set in bundled sage ink then blended over them with a paintbrush and minimal water. I also used a blending brush to blend some bundled sage circles through the PB ‘dotlets’ stencil. I splattered some moss green pearlescent paint then popped up an embossed sentiment to finish the card.

Thanks for dropping by today; you do brighten my day!

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Vintage collage card

A friend commissioned me to make a ‘vintage’ themed card recently and I happily pulled out a bunch of Darkroom Door stamps to do so. You can see the pocket watch stamp managed to feature three times but the French script, global postmarks, and gerberas also contributed. I stamped, blended and painted with two brown tones of distress ink, two blues and a black. (all the supplies are listed below)

To begin I smooshed some speckled egg and antique linen distress inks on a glass mat, added water swiped the panel through the diluted ink. After that the gerbera background stamp became part of the base layer in speckled egg distress ink. I layered the other stamps over the top in tea dye and antique linen inks and blended some speckled egg ink through the DD diamonds stencil. Of course there is splatter, watermarks and extra blending to darken the edges. To add a dimensional feature I die cut several stems of flowers with the Penny Black ‘shall we dance’ die, some are from watercolour paper, some from tan cardstock and a few from paper painted with salty ocean ink and stamped with the DD gazette stamp.

Almost finished, I added a strand of twine around the base and tied some tiny tags on with stamped PB sentiments on them and some little wooden stars I found. I was pretty happy with all this vintageness but decided to risk some gold paint. I splattered and added it to the tiny stars and heart, the flower centres. Where it worked best though was unevenly painted along the edges of the square panel. You probably can’t even see it clearly but it ended up being one of my favourite parts of the card.

By the way there are yummy new stamps on the Darkroom Door website. You will see them here soon, a few are winging their way here as you read this! Have a great day.

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Ferns on ferns

After I had added some ferns to a recent floral card I knew the PB ‘fresh fern’ stamp wanted to be the star of its own card. I started by making this card and just kept on playing with the fern stamp and a variety of blue and green inks.

On the card above I stamped with forest moss, chipped sapphire and lucky clover then blended inside the fronds with a fine tip paintbrush and water. I overlapped some of the ferns and added some diluted ink around the ferns once I’d filled the panel. This one is finished with a sentiment from PB ‘family sentiments.’

I think this second card is my favourite; I know it is very diluted and abstract but the glimpses of fern appeal to me even more than whole fern images. I stuck with forest moss and chipped sapphire because they are always winners and added iced spruce. I stamped on partly wet watercolour paper and dabbed the stamping dry before repeating the process.

The hot pressed watercolour panel had masking fluid splattered on it before I started so that’s why there are white dots here and there. I finished this one off with a stamp from the PB ‘inspirational sentiments’ set.

I added even more water to this next panel. As with the previous one I had masking fluid dots on the watercolour paper and worked with chipped sapphire, forest moss and stormy sky ink. After each print I painted water over the whole panel which spread some ink over the background and left some staining the paper. On the last two prints I didn’t blend with a paint brush so the ferns just softened on the damp paper.

I finished this one off by stamping the sentiment from PB ‘pansy gaze’ in versafine clair shady lane ink. After completing this one I thought I should stop diluting everything and stay inside the lines, just to see how it looked.

Same three inks and a size 0 paintbrush were all I needed for this very clean print of the ‘fresh fern. I popped a sentiment from PB ‘million thanks’ up over the tip of the fern and kept it all very simple.

So tell me, which one suits you? Blended and blurry or crisp and clean?

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Garden Variety

I’m enjoying having new flowers to arrange, stamp-wise, that is. Penny Black’s new ‘Daydream collection has some lovely floral stamps including the ‘garden variety’ I’ve used for today’s card alongside ‘fresh fern’, another new one. I used distress inks and markers to ink the stamps; I generally pick at least two colours for the flowers and two colours for the foliage then give the stamp a spritz so the inks begin to blend.

Once I’ve stamped the images I decide whether to blend further with a paint brush and water, for this card I kept it minimal but sometimes I do more blending for a looser watery look. I stamped the ferns after the flowers which required some partial stamping and as well as a little masking to make the ferns appear to be behind.

I finished the panel off with splatter then stamped a sentiment and stacked it up on three layers. I have an art journal page in process with the ‘garden variety’ stamp which I will hopefully finish and share with you next week.

Have a great day; thanks for spending some of it here on the blog with me.

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Rosa

This is ‘Rosa’ a new floral stamp from Penny Black. When I have a new brushstroke stamp I usually reach for the distress inks for the first test drive. That’s what I used for both cards in today’s post and I love the watercolour effects I was able to get.

The ‘rosa’ stamp is made up of round flowers and long leaves in an impressionistic style. For this orange and blue card I kept the stamp in the positioner while I worked on the hot pressed watercolour panel stamping the flowers first in fossilized amber and spiced marmalade, the leaves in faded jeans and forest moss and the flower centres in ground espresso.

Because I was experimenting with the new stamp I didn’t plan or paint a background for the panel. Once the flowers were finished I decided I wanted some colour around them. Rather than paint some pale washy colour I smooshed the faded jeans and forest moss mini distress cubes on a piece of acetate, spritzed it generously then pressed it onto the panel here and there to transfer ink around the flowers. I finished the card with some twine, blue leaf die cuts and a sentiment also stamped in blue. If you’re wondering why I chose to have blue leaves it’s not just because I love blue. Blue and orange are complementary colours, opposites on the colour wheel so when they are placed next to each other they provide a contrast that makes the other colour pop!

The second card features generational stamping stamping and plenty of spritzing to make the paler background flowers bleed into the surrounding area.

The flowers are stamped in abandoned coral and aged mahogany, the leaves are forest moss and the stems ground espresso. Because I added plenty of water when stamping this panel most of the definition in the flowers was lost so I drew some swirls on the flowers with a glue pen, let it dry to a tacky state then pressed gold foil on top. I added more gold details with an embossed sentiment, a gold cord and gold embossed edges round the panel.

Rosa is such a pretty stamp, I’m looking forward to playing with it again. I think it might make a pretty art journal page.

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2021 BuJo – January pages

As I mentioned last weekend I have started a new journal or bullet journal or BuJo for short. This is the second one I’ve used and I am enjoying the process of working out what I need and don’t need to include. As you can imagine I am also enjoying making it pretty but in ways that don’t take all the time I should be spending on the ‘to do’ list I write in the journal!

This is my January title page; I know it’s almost February and I should be sharing the Feb page but I will catch up and start sharing ahead by March (I hope). I’m going to have a different theme for each month, otherwise I would get sick of them I’m sure. The January theme as you can see was mountains and trees. Start with what you know, right?

I die cut a 3¾” circle from a large post it then tore some more post-it edges to mask mountain tops while I blended a blue sky with chipped sapphire and stormy sky distress inks and blending brushes. Not too surprising that I would pick my favourite blue distress inks for my first theme. After blending the dark sky I turned the torn edge of the post it on its side to blend shadows on the mountain sides with stormy sky ink. I drew the trees with a Stabilo point 88 dark blue and a Papermate flair grey.

For the month double page spread I used the same products and method but added a circle mask for the moon before blending the sky. At present I don’t have activities outside the home other than groceries and exercise so I am recording those along with birthdays and the meals we make just so I remember what we’ve eaten lately and for ideas later when I don’t know what to cook.

During January I have also been using a habit tracking page for water consumption, vitamins and correspondence, a to-do list page and a project tracking page for design work, blogging and class planning. I’m still working the kinks out of the layouts and content but I used the same mountain and trees theme.

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Stockings are hung

When I was making knitted panel cards a few weeks back I thought I should create a knitted stocking card at the same time. I also decided to try and make at least one, but hopefully more than one Christmas card each month. Usually I don’t feel like making Christmas cards after Christmas but I’m happy to right now so I made this little stocking and hung it by the chimney with care.

I stamped the Darkroom Door knitting pattern in versafine clair ‘glamorous’ ink, embossed in clear powder then painted over it with festive berries distress ink. I cut out a stocking with one of the Penny Black Christmas Stocking dies. To fill the stocking I cut foliage from watercolour paper using the PB layered wreath set then coloured the die-cuts with festive berries, pine needles and ground espresso distress inks. The stocking needed a bit more trim so I cut out a white cloud shape to and blended some brown ink around the edges.

To create a chimney I used a stencil and a stamp from Darkroom Door, the woodgrain stamp for the mantle and brick wall stencil for the bricks. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper for both so I could blend distress inks and add watermarks. I stamped the wood with ground espresso archival ink so it wouldn’t blend then painted and blended ground espresso, black soot and rusty hinge distress inks over the top. I blended the same three distress inks through the stencil then spritzed some water over it before lifting the stencil. I blended some of the bricks with a paintbrush and added some black soot splatter.

The mortar around the bricks looked too white so I blended antique linen ink over the whole panel and used some to blend above the mantel too. To finish of the card I added a gold bow and a sentiment from the DD Christmas sentiment strip stamp.

So that’s one Christmas card done so far in 2021! Do you make Christmas cards all year?

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