Woodland Getaway (and a winner!)

Before I give you the details about this winter scene I want to announce the winner of a registration in my new online class, Winter Wonder. Congratulations Colett, who told us plenty of things she loves about winter.

Sledding with the grandkids. Skating. Skiing. The way sound is so clear and crisp on those very cold cold days. Crisp snow beneath my feet and the crunch it makes. Hoar frost on the trees. Chickadees and other birds sitting all puffed up on the feeder. Sitting by the crackling fire with a good cup of coffee. Lots to love about winter!

If you would like to learn with me as I create beautiful winter scenes, skies and foliage check out the new class!

This forest landscape is a new PB stamp called woodland getaway To turn it into a snowy scene I used hot pressed watercolour paper splattered with masking fluid. I began by creating a sky with chipped sapphire ink smooshed on a glass mat, I spritzed the ink with water and swiped the panel through it several times to pick up ink and fill the top half of the panel.

I dried the inky sky before moving the panel into the stamp positioner. I stamped the scene first in stormy sky distress ink, the lightest colour, painted over the distant hills and added a little chipped sapphire ink to the edges. I inked the trees in black arteza real brush pen, stamped and repeated to build up the forest area. I spritzed the stamp a little to move the ink.

To define the track and edges I stamped in chipped sapphire and blended with some water to get shadow. Did you notice I called it a track not a road? I’m trying to avoid the ‘deer in the headlights’ interpretation. That is not what I was going for; I prefer to think of it as a trail where the skiers or snowshoers (?) came over a rise and surprised a couple of deer crossing the track. The deer from PB nature’s friends are stamped in versafine clair nocturne ink.

Just in case you are planning a little shopping this weekend the Foiled Fox is having a sale, Friday through Monday. I thought you should know!

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Frozen Vista

This lovely window stamp is from a Penny Black set, frozen vista which includes two arched window stamps. I stamped it on hot pressed watercolour paper in versamark then embossed in white powder. I used three distress inks to paint over the embossing, chipped sapphire in the sky, scattered straw at the horizon and stormy sky on the snowy ground.

To make a swag below the window I added double sided adhesive to some neenah solar white cardstock then die cut the PB juniper dies, holly from the layered Xmas set and pinecones from the winter lantern set.

Because of the subtle colours and abundance of white and offwhite I popped up the painted panel on a couple of layers of cardstock to give it a shadow frame on the same coloured card base.

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Birdhouse Blessings

This delightful scene is called ‘birdhouse blessings’ and it makes me want to have birdhouses and bird feeders scattered across my backyard. A few days ago my husband and I were doing what may well be our final outdoor workout of the year and watched chickadees and a cardinal flit back and forth from tree to hedge.

I worked on a hot pressed watercolour panel which I’d splattered with masking fluid (as per usual). I only just got my hands on some speckled egg distress ink and stain so that’s what I used for the background colour. It is a lovely colour and I’m very happy with the inky background. I smooshed ink on my glass mat, diluted it then swiped the panel through it to pick up colour.

I stamped the large stamp in antique linen then did some no-line watercolour with Sennelier watercolour paints. While painting those little leaves and berries I did wonder if I should have chosen watercolour markers instead of paint brush and paints but I was already committed, so me and my very small paint brush kept on painting. When I finished painting all the elements I used speckled egg distress stain to darken the edges of the panel and frame the little scene. When I removed the masking fluid there were pretty little snowflakes over the whole panel.

I painted the little star in gold and debated whether I would add a gold frame as well. Decided in the end I liked it just the way it was. (psst a little bird wants to tell you ‘Winter Wonder’ is coming!)

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Wreath & Wings

I’ve combined a new PB stamp, ‘wreath & wings’ with a new PB die, ‘mirthful’ for simple elegant style Christmas card.

I used distress inks and markers to ink the wreath elements and birds, keeping the stamp in the positioner so I could work a bit at a time. I inked the stamp, stamped the image then did a bit of blending with a paintbrush to fill the leaves, berries and birds.

I used a gold gel pen to colour some of the berries then continued the gold highlights in the die cut word. The die has decorative diamond cut outs so I cut gold ones to add to the burgandy letters and framed the panel in the same burgandy cardstock.

For the second card I decided to use the curve of the wreath as a hanging garland. Using a centering ruler to help me with positioning I stamped half the wreath on the centre top edge of the watercolour panel, then stamped another part loop either side.

Once again I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper so I could blend the ink on the leaves. I used ocean coliro pearlescent paint on some of the leaves and berries for a little shimmer.

I wrote the sentiment for this one using the darkest blue marker from the Staedtler watercolour 36 brush pen set and matted the panel in a dark blue cardstock.

Even though I don’t like to over do my designs I’m wondering if the blue card is a bit sparsely decorated. What do you think?

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Season’s Tweetings video

This sweet bird on a branch is a single stamp from the new Penny Black release ‘Season of Hope’. The stamp is called ‘season’s tweetings’ and I used it here to create both the bokeh background and the foreground watercoloured image. I filmed my process so you’ll see how I use the same blending technique to build up colour on the leaves and just a few tones to paint the little bird. (the video might look familiar to you if you have a membership with Penny Black)

We have a few centimetres of snow on the ground this morning so this sort of scene is becoming way more likely!

Thanks for dropping by today, I will be back with more of the PB new release over the coming weeks.

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Seashells Filmstrip

Before you wonder why a seashell card has popped up right after a snow covered bell card remember that not everyone is heading into winter right now. I can wistfully look at these seashells and wish I was entering an Australian summer and that wistfulness would not just be about the weather! Speaking of Australia, this stamp is from Darkroom Door and is one of their new filmstrip stamps.

I used a stamp positioner to stamp the filmstrip edge to edge moving my panel up or down each time to feature a different portion of the stamp. I used five different inks to ink the stamp fairly randomly then spritzed it before stamping so the inks were already moving. I continued blending the colours with a paintbrush on the watercolour paper panel.

You can see some shells are more sharply defined than others which corresponds to how much water I added before and after stamping. I stamped a sentiment from the DD sentiment strip – friendship stamp. I have kept the stamp as one long strip (I think many people have done so), so I can stamp them all at once or stamp a section and cut out the one I want. In this case I stamped a section, cut out the sentiment I was after then ripped one edge and coloured the tear with wild honey distress ink.

I have a shell collection which sits untouched in a box for years at a time and then an occasion like this arises and I open the box and remember how delighted I always am when walking on a beach looking for shells.

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Christmas Bush

Christmas Bush is a both a plant that grows in Australia and a new stamp set from Darkroom Door. This is my first project featuring the set but there will be more. I’m not sure if my parents ever had a Christmas Bush in their garden; I don’t remember one in any of my own gardens. I have just read about the plant and apparently it has white flowers which are not that prominent but the sepals grow large and red and they provide the drama.

I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper that I’d splattered earlier with masking fluid. I wasn’t wanting the look of snow; I know the Christmas bush blooms in summer. I wanted the white splatter to add some texture and variation to the design. I started by stamping one of the large sprays of flowers on the panel with plenty of water spritzed on both paper and stamp so it diluted and bled into the surrounding area. Once the background dried I stamped the flowers several times in festive berries and peeled paint distress inks.

Rather than mat the panel I used two Waffleflower A2 layer dies taped together to cut a narrow frame from red cardstock then embossed a sentiment from the ‘Christmas Bush’ set on the same cardstock.

I must admit it was the floral silhouettes that first drew me to this stamp set not the plan of making Christmas cards. Now that I have made one with the bold contrast of red and green I will be designing some more. My dad usually asks me if I’m going to make some Australian Christmas cards because I tend to make many wintery looking ones. Here is my first one for 2020 and it has an Australian theme, so that’s a good start.

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Blue Dragon

I’ve had this Pink Ink Designs dragon stamp for a quite a while and even started a couple of watercoloured panels with it but I was inspired to finally complete a card for an eight year old I know.

I did the stamping and embossing ages ago so I can’t remember if it is platinum or silver embossing powder. I used a mix of watercolour markers and finetec shimmer paint to colour the dragon then some distress ink to add shading and swirls to the edges. The wing is made from two stamps, the main body of the dragon plus an extra extension of wing. I have attached the extension with a little blue brad so it can fold in when the card fits goes in an envelope. I framed the design with a piece of dark blue metallic cardstock I bought from Crop A While along with matching envelopes.

I first saw this stamp at Crop A While, my local scrapbooking store and fell in love with it straight away. I remember my friend and store owner, Carole being quite surprised that I would even take a second glance at a dragon stamp and then from the same brand, a sea turtle stamp. I admit it is a bit out of character for me. The initial appeal of this dragon stamp set was to make an art journal page with it. It hasn’t happened yet but the design has been simmering in my mind for a while now.

Crop A While has an online store, curbside pick up and in-store shopping available right now and the owners, Tom and Carole are happy to help you with orders, just phone or email them.

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Enjoy

I paired the new DD ‘sketched alphabet’ with leaves again, this time from the set ‘fine leaves’ which have a hand drawn sketch style of their own.

I had left over ink on my glass mat the other day after creating a dramatic sky in greys and blues. Rather than waste the ink I swiped a piece of watercolour paper through it picking up as much as possible and spritzing with water to move the ink around. The watercolour panel already had masking fluid splattered over it hence the white dots over the finished design.

I stamped the letters first in hickory smoke archival ink then covered a couple with masks I made for a previous card before stamping leaves from the fine leaves set in iced spruce and stormy sky. I filled most of the panel with leaves and painted them with both ink colours. I added some ink splatter and then coloured the letters with a blue watercolour marker to help them stand out a bit more. I stamped one of the sentiments from the DD ‘baby sentiment set’ to complete the card. I think this one could have several uses, maybe retirement, new house, new job or the like.

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What should I read next?

This book themed page has been in my mind for quite a while and that little open book stamp on the right side of the spread pushed me to make it happen. All the stamps are from Darkroom Door; I used ‘mini open book’ once, ‘book spines’ several times and the ‘scratches’ background stamp for the wall behind the books.

I have three art journals on the go and this one has a literary theme. I’ve done pages inspired by books and others inspired by quotes. I have a few started but not finished and several in my head.

I taped the edges of the double page spread before doing anything; it really helps keep the book open and stable while I work, it protects the other pages from paint and ink and I think it frames the finished design really nicely.

I embossed all the books on hot pressed watercolour paper in either gold or copper powder then coloured them with markers, distress stains and distress inks smooshed on my glass mat. I really just played with techniques until I had a good selection of colours and patterns. I stuck to jewel tones featuring dark green, bright blue, red and aqua. I’ve listed all the distress inks below. I also painted over the inking on a few books with Coliro pearlescent paints so they have a bit of shimmer.

I painted the background with ‘absorbant ground’ as I usually do when I want to work with liquid inks and water then I smooshed some ‘peacock feathers and ground espresso inks on a piece of acetate, spritzed it and dragged it across the page multiple times. That gave me some abstract colour but not enough so I used distress stain sprays in the same colours. After it dried I stamped the scratches background stamp a few times in ground espresso stain. When that dried I used a piece of tape to mask edges to sponge vertical lines across the pages.

Arranging the books on the page took a little while. I cut them all out first then cut some of the groups into smaller groups to play with the layout. Once I had it settled I glued them down and started adding titles and decoration with gel pens, embossing pens and embossing powder. I wrote quite a few of my favourites on the spines, nothing particularly new even though I have read some great new books lately. I guess they just haven’t stood my test of time yet. I have some empty spines left that I will probably fill another day.

I finished by balancing that open book on one of the piles and added the name of my favourite podcast, ‘What Should I Read Next?’ I get a large chunk of my book recommendations from Anne Bogel, the host of WSIRN. I could talk about books for several more paragraphs but if you’ve made it this far you’re a champion so I’ll save the book chat for another book themed project. I think there will be a spin off card from this journal page.

Oh, and one more thing, please feel free to leave book recommendations in the comments; I’d love to hear your favourites.

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