Holiday Traditions – Gingerbread

Here in Canada Thanksgiving is behind us but in the US it is about a month away; Christmas is exactly two months away! With that in mind Shauna, from the Foiled Fox, and I have teamed up to host a ‘Holiday Traditions’ giveaway.

Like me you probably have some Thanksgiving or Christmas traditions, perhaps they were handed down to you or maybe something new you have recently come up with. Either way, we want to hear about them. For the next two weeks you can comment on a holiday tradition post on my blog or the Foiled Fox blog and be entered into a giveaway.

If you haven’t guessed already the first tradition I want to share with you is my gingerbread making tradition. We have been making gingerbread for years. It was not my mother’s Christmas baking tradition, she made yoyos (melting moments), Christmas cake and forcer biscuits (pressed butter cookies). I started making gingerbread when I lived in Australia and the recipe I use is from an Australian chef, Jill Dupleix. Now that we have three people in the family eating gluten free I make gf batches too, usually with a packet mix. I used to mix a gf gingerbread dough but the packet one saves me so much time which I can spend decorating instead. Decorating is the best part, well maybe equal best with eating!

We make stars, hearts, trees, snowflakes, bells, gingerbread men, women and children but we also have a  a set of Aussie animal cutters and, would you believe, a ‘gingerdead man’ which cuts out the person shape and then stamps a skeleton impression on the cookie! We have also made gingerbread houses and other structures over the years. If you click over to my other blog you can see gingerbread houses, a church and a tank from years gone by.

Making gingerbread cards was a bit quicker than the edible version. I used Neenah desert storm kraft cardstock and stamped on it in versamark then embossed with bright white opaque embossing powder. To create the snowy hill I cut a post-it note mask and sponged white delicata ink in a hill shape. The delicata was too delicate, not bold enough for a snow hill so I embossed with more white embossing powder.

After completing all the stamping and embossing I blended tea dye distress ink around the edges of the panels to give everything a nice baked not burnt look. Believe me I have burnt plenty of batches over the years!

The last step was a sprinkling of icing sugar aka splatter of white gesso to complete the snowy look. All the stamps are from Penny Black and are linked below along with the other supplies.

Now it’s your turn. I would love to hear about some of your holiday traditions. What do you do for Thanksgiving or Christmas? It doesn’t have to be something you make; it could be a place you visit, a story you read, songs you sing, food you eat. Let me know in the comments and you’ll be entered in the giveaway. Make sure you visit the Foiled Fox blog also as there will be holiday tradition posts on both of our blogs during the next two weeks.

Supplies


Forests

If you are new around here you might not know that I love tree stamps, tree scenes and wintry tree scenes in particular. ‘You can never have too many tree stamps’ are words I live by! So it will come as no surprise to see four different but similar tree cards today. All four are on hot pressed watercolour paper and all had masking fluid splattered on the panels before I began.

To create these first two cards I used the same method, stamping first, spritzing with water second. I stamped the PB ‘winter tree’ stamp in chipped saphpire, shabby shutters and pine needles distress inks then spritzed water generously over the panel so the colours bled into each other. Any where the ink and water was pooling too much I dabbed away with a paper towel. Once the panel was dry I stamped PB fragile branches around the edges to so it appeared that we were looking through to a clearing.

I used the same method for this card but used iced spruce, stormy sky and forest moss distress ink before spritzing with water. After the panel had dried a little but not totally I stamped a foreground tree in forest moss (or maybe a different ink, I’m not sure). After the panel was completely dry I added the fragile branches in black archival ink and in a stamp positioner so I could stamp a few times for a bold impression.

For these last two cards I used the same stamps but switched to a magic ink! Yes, it’s truly a magic ink; on the two cards below I used only one ink (other than the black for sentiment and fragile branches.) The dark green, pale blue, olive green and brown tones all come from the magic ‘northern pine’ memento ink from Tsukineko.

On the panel above I stamped the trees repeatedly in northern pine getting first, second and third generation images then I spritzed the panel so the ink would separate and bleed into the rest of the panel.

On the panel below I wet the panel first and then stamped the trees in northern pine memento ink. The result is blurrier images but beautiful blends of green, brown and blue.

Once the panel above was dry I stamped the tree again in northern pine ink in the right hand corner. One ink, one magic ink!

Once all the panels were totally dry I rubbed off the masking fluid to reveal the snow falling, you can use your fingers or an adhesive eraser. I added the sentiments from PB sets (linked below) in black archival ink.

Thanks for dropping by; make sure you come back tomorrow to see what the Foiled Fox and I have dreamed up for you.

Supplies


Ruby Trill

Let me introduce you to ‘ruby trill’ a cardinal stamp from PB; isn’t he a beauty? I wasn’t sure about my colour choices when I started painting these holly leaves but by the time I had finished the whole panel everything seemed to work together. I kept my colour range small as I often do. First I stamped the bird and branch with antique linen so I could do some no-line watercolour. Before painting I stamped some of the leaves with pine needles distress ink so that I could blend the green ink with water as well as add extra if needed. I worked one leaf at a time and also dropped in some blueprint sketch ink for added depth. This is where I doubted my choice; the blueprint sketch looked too blue and I wondered if I should start again. I decided to keep going and painted the berries in candy apple distress ink and the branch in gathered twigs.

It wasn’t until I started painting the cardinal that the colours looked like they would work. I used the same candy apple distress ink to paint the cardinal but added shadows with the blueprint sketch and the gathered twigs inks. I know I keep saying this but the limited palette really does work! I added the brown on the tail and behind the wing and blue along the back and crest. As I had kept the stamp and watercolour panel in the stamp positioner I was able to ink the black area around the eye and stamp it before blending it with water and extra ink.

I had reference photos of cardinals on hand to check the colour of the legs and beak. Once all the painting had dried I re-stamped the body of the cardinal in candied apple to darken the details on the back and wings. At this point I had to decide whether I was adding a background or not. In the past I’ve ruined several focal images by adding a background around them. I decided I wanted a grey snowy look so I painted around holly with water and dropped in weathered wood distress stain as I went along. It was fiddly getting in and around the legs and leaves but it’s a loose cloudy look so no fussing about precision. While the background was still wet I inked just a few holly leaves and berries and pressed them onto the wet panel in a few places to look soft and shadowy. I dried everything before splattering some white paint over the whole panel and some black soot in the corners. Even though the mats look black in the photo they are actually teal and the little patterned strip behind is a PB snowflake paper in just the right grey/green colour.

Supplies


Peaceful forest

Before I begin to chatter on about today’s card I want to thank all of you who left a comment under my Thanksgiving post. It was so lovely to hear from you; I really enjoyed your messages.

As I mentioned the other day every year I create new snowy forest scenes, often then include starry skies or the northern lights. This first card features a very easy way to make a ‘northern lights’ background for die cut trees, houses, reindeer, etc.

I picked three distress inks, the originals not the oxides but you could use the oxides for a slightly different look. I rubbed a cracked pistachio mini inkpad across a third of the hot pressed watercolour panel, then a blueprint sketch mini across another third (with some overlap) and finally a chipped sapphire mini across the remaining area. The panel looked like it had been roughly shaded with crayons or pencils. I then spritzed the whole panel so the colours would move and blend and used a paintbrush in a couple of places so the coverage was complete. I left the panel to dry leaning against a bottle so the ink drained down in patterns to give the look of the northern lights. The funky trees are cut using ‘peaceful forest’ dies from Ink to Paper. The snow banks I cut from a piece of cardstock with a craft knife in one continuous curvy stroke. I cut my curve with equal amounts of cardstock on each side so I could layer them and have a foreground and background snowy hill.

On the second card I began the same way and created my tricolour panel then die cut five trees from it and a little round moon. Once again I cut the hills by hand with a craft knife then layered them before tucking in the little trees all around.

Pretty easy-peasy wouldn’t you say. Just pick a few distress colours that would blend nicely, swipe them across your panel and add water!

The cute little sentiments are also from ‘Ink to Paper’ and there is a stamp set that co-ordinates with the tree dies but you will have to wait for another day to see that.

Supplies



Snowy saplings

Every year I make some snowy forest scenes, with stamps that are old favourites and with new ones destined to be favourites. These trees are from a new PB set called ‘saplings’ and they are so easy to work with!. I placed my hot pressed watercolour panel in the stamp positioner and placed a hill shaped frisket film mask across the base of the panel where I wanted to preserve white space for the snow. I could probably have used a couple of layers of masking paper as I didn’t end up getting the panel very wet.

I inked one or two trees at a time with different combinations of the following distress inks: chipped sapphire, broken china, mowed lawn, peeled paint. Before I stamped I lightly spritzed the stamp so the colours would blend nicely. I moved the panel a couple of times and moved the stamps so I could get a decent row of trees at different heights. I sponged a bit of broken china ink along the top of the mask to create a shadow behind the snow bank then moved the mask to stamp a tree in front. I then moved the mask twice sponging both times to get another couple of snowy hill shadows to appear behind the trees and a blue sky.

To create the ‘snow’ in the sky I gently splattered and strategically dropped some water on the distress sponging. The distress inks react with water so after the droplets had sat for 30 seconds I dabbed them with a paper towel which left white watermarks. To finish off I linked two stamps from the PB ‘Merry Builder’ and stamped them in majestic blue versafine ink.

Despite the appearance of a snowy scene on the blog today I am happy to report it has been sandals weather this week. Yay!

Supplies


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Autumn songbird video

Hi there; it’s a special day! Not only am I hanging out on The Foiled Fox blog today, I also have a video to for you! I first used the Concord & 9th ‘songbird’ set last winter and incorporated the pine boughs, leaves and berries. This time I went for an autumn theme and used distress inks and distress stains as I seem to constantly be doing right now. I may need to mix things up a bit around here.

I have shared a few no-line colouring projects here lately where I stamped with antique linen ink; this project could also be considered no-line colouring but I stamped the outline images in brown, yellow or grey, colours I then used for painting. As the bird and leaves were not too fiddly I cut masks out so I could have leaves peeping out from behind things.

I worked once again with a fairly limited palette of fossilized amber, brushed corduroy, pumice stone, stormy sky and black soot, basically grey, blue and yellow tones.

When it came to the sentiment I decided to pull out the C&9 ‘grateful for everything’ set  because I love the words and that funky script. I added splatter and some sponging which filled the background a little making it appear lest stark.

I would love to know if you have some favourite ‘all year round’ stamps or sets. Here are a couple more all season options:

PB Nature’s gifts
PB Peaceful Moment

Thank you for joining me today, I’m looking forward to returning in October for some more fun with the Foiled Fox.

Supplies


Homespun blessing

This beautiful wreath is part of the PB ‘Merry & Joy’ release. I know it is perfect for Christmas but I am putting it to use as a thanksgiving wreath first. I inked the wreath with two brown and two green distress inks both in marker and ink pad form. I inked the branch area in vintage photo and ground espresso inks and stamped a couple of times for good coverage on hot pressed watercolour paper.  I inked the foliage area in forest moss and lucky clover inks then after stamping once it was easier to see on the stamp where the pine cones were so I could ink the pine cones in ground espresso ink and stamp again.

After the stamped image was complete I painted some water onto the stamp and stamped again (I kept the stamp in the MISTI the whole time) The amount of water transferred by the stamp was just enough to fill and darken parts of the image. I also coloured some of the pinecones in with a marker.  One word from the PB ‘golden delight’ sentiment fitted on a tiny tag cut with a die from the PB ‘gift card pocket’ set. I rarely make gift card pockets but I use the different tag and label dies from this set often. To complete the wreath I added some hemp twine and popped up the tiny tag.

Supplies