Christmas Blush

This pretty rose surrounded by leaves and needles is called ‘Christmas Blush’ and is another beauty from the Penny Black ‘Keeping Spirits Bright’ release. Even though it is part of a Christmas release I think I will use it year round. It’s quite a large stamp so I have made a 6¼” x 4½” card.

I used a technique similar to a favourite from a few years ago when I would ink my rubber stamps with distress stains. The distress stains first came in daubers which made it possible to ink a stamp with a very juicy amount of ink. To replicate that I inked with a stamp pad then spritzed generously before stamping.

I inked the rose first in wild honey and kitsch flamingo, cleaned off the surrounding area then inked the foliage with rustic wilderness and iced spruce. Next I spritzed the stamp with water and stamped in the stamp positioner. There was enough ink still on the stamp to spritz it again and stamp it on the other end of the watercolour paper panel. While the ink was still wet on the paper I blended with a wet paintbrush, adding extra ink where necessary. I often watercolour outline stamps this way, the difference this time being how wet the ink was hitting the paper. I was looking for excess ink so the painting would be loose rather than precise.

After blending ink inside all the leaves and petals I dried the image and used blending brushes to add both green inks around the edges of the card and a little wild honey in the centre. I splattered water over the panel several times before dabbing it off with a paper towel to leave watermarks in both the blended and stamped areas. I added some green splatter and a sentiment from the PB ‘Christmas feeling’ set stamped in morning mist versafine clair ink.

I like this loose watercolour look and also the fact that it didn’t take anywhere near the time a more precise no-line watercolouring approach would take. I’m sure I will take more time over this stamp another day with another colour scheme; it’s too pretty not to.

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Beautify – Video

Today I have a second Christmas card featuring new rubber cling stamps from the Penny Black ‘Keeping Spirits Bright’ release. This one, ‘Beautify‘ is a garland shape but instead of stamping it across the card from side to side I have used it to create festive foliage hanging down. I love being able to use my stamps in multiple ways, sometimes the changes are through colour but other times I use part of a stamp or repeat impressions with a stamp.

I filmed my process while creating this card so you can see the step-by-step in the video below. As the foliage is all quite small I used distress markers for the inking then blended some leaves after stamping. I upgraded the berries from distress ink to pearlescent paint to give them more prominence and a little shine.

I’m sure you will see this stamp again perhaps positioned in a more traditional garland orientation. Looking at this stamp makes me want to make my own fresh garlands but I’m not sure that’s going to happen. Have you made a fresh garland or wreath? Did it have a high fiddliness factor? I even borrowed a book from the library with the how-to.

Although I have not made any fresh wreaths yet I have been designing, stamping and painting wreaths for my new online card class. It is nearly ready to share so stay tuned for all the details.

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Alight

I’d like to introduce ‘Alight’ a lovely stamp from the new Penny Black release. I have teamed up with the Foiled Fox to share this pretty little bird so you can find me over there today too. Make sure you click over to see more of the new release in their shop and plenty of inspiration on their blog.

The new ‘Making Spirits Bright’ release includes some lovely wintry images, several easily large enough to fill a card front. This card is just under 6½” x 4¾”, larger than my usual size. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper with masking fluid splattered on it and painted the background first. By ‘painted’ I mean smooshed the ink on my glass mat, diluted it with a few spritzes of water and swiped the panel through the liquid. I was after some pale swooshy colours in the background and used inks that were going to feature in the stamped design.

I worked in the stamp positioner the whole time so I could add ink bit by bit. I completed the bird first inking the edges in fossilized amber, pumice stone and speckled egg. I inked and stamped a couple of times then added some water to blend and cover each section. I didn’t want each colour to blend too much with the one beside it so I didn’t drown either the stamp or the page with water.

I made sure the bird was dry before adding the beak, eye and legs so they would stay distinct and not blend into the rest of the bird. For the leaves and berries I just picked one green and one purple, unusual for me; I often blend two greens for leaves. To add light and shadow I blended over the forest moss and seedless preserves stamping with a bit of water keeping some areas dark and other diluted.

The sentiment is from the new PB ‘happy & bright’ set stamped in shady lane versafine clair ink. How are you going with your Christmas card making. At the beginning of this year I resolved to make at least one Christmas card each month. We are in the tenth month and I have managed to make six (including this one!) I do have a new online class coming soon though which is full of Christmas card designs so I will have more than six on hand! I also have an in-person class at the beginning of November, so samples from that one will also boost my supply.

Thanks for dropping by today.

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Autumn in the mountains

Outdoors is pretty ‘speccy’ right now. We don’t have too much of the deep red yet but I have seen it here and there. I have got into the habit of going for a walk or run soon after breakfast so I’ve seen the increase in autumn colours over the last few weeks. Yesterday there was fog when I set out so everything was a bit more muted but by the time I headed home the sun was burning off the fog and the golden tones were shining.

The first step in creating this scene was to stamp the top half of the mountain stamp (PB picturesque) in faded jeans and speckled egg distress inks on hot pressed watercolour paper. I painted below the mountains with water softening the colours at the bottom so there was no distinct line where the mountains ended. I then painted over the top of the mountains with water and dropped some spiced marmalade, forest moss and ground espresso ink into the wet area to add colour.

I dried the panel before starting on the trees using the PB arbors stamp. I stamped with ground espresso, fossilized amber, spiced marmalade and crackling campfire, not all at once, a couple of colours at a time to build up the coverage. I spritzed the stamp before stamping but didn’t spritz the paper.

When I was satisfied with the trees I painted ground underneath them and dried the panel again before blending speckled egg ink in the sky and below the branches. To finish I splattered both water and fossilized amber ink to break up the expanses of blue.

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2021 BuJo – October theme

I had no trouble choosing a theme for October in my bullet journal, would it be leaves, leaves or leaves? I die-cut a surround circle mask to protect most of the page, a technique I used in August, April and January. I cut leaf masks from post-it notes using the ‘autumn jewels’ dies from Penny Black.

The same mix of inks carries through on all the pages blending yellows, brown, green and red over the masks with blending brushes.

I added hand lettered titles with a brown papermate flair pen and some shimmer with a nuvo gold shimmer pen.

When I cut the leaf masks I had both the negative space mask used on the pages above and the leaf itself which I used on the calendar page below.

There is a bit of shimmer on the title letters of October but it doesn’t really show up in the photos. It will make me happy each time I turn to the page. Have a lovely October.

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Blended Autumn Bouquet

Today’s card is a second look with the Penny Black ‘autumn bouquet’ stamp. I blended distress inks over a panel of hot pressed watercolour paper before doing any stamping. The colours are listed below.

After blending I stamped the autumn bouquet stamp twice on the panel with brushed corduroy distress ink then painted inside all the leaves, berries and wheat stalks with water. As I painted I also dabbed away water leaving the insides of the images lighter than the outside. I picked up some smooshed ink and dropped it back into the round berries and the wheat berries.

I splattered some water over the panel, let it sit then dabbed it away with paper towel leaving a random pattern of watermarks here and there. The embossed sentiment is from the PB ‘million thanks’ set stamped in fallen leaves versafine clair ink.

Thank you for dropping by. I am indeed grateful for all your support and kindness.

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Big Leafy Hugs

No need to guess where my current inspiration is coming from. I went for three walks last week through the same woods and could see the colours spread over just five days. These leaves are all stamped by one stamp in the Darkroom Door ‘leaves’ set on Fabriano hot pressed watercolour paper. For each impression I inked with a combination of wild honey, old paper and barn door distress inks. After stamping I blended over the image with a pearlescent water mix.

Once I had filled the panel with coloured leaves I stamped over them with the same stamp but just old paper ink which filled the remaining white area with pale leaves. I added more texture with some script, some scratches (both DD background stamps listed below) and some gathered twigs splatter.

Once the panel was dry I sewed around the edges then made a couple of tags featuring a sentiment from the DD ‘warm wishes’ set and a small leaf from the DD ‘leaves’ set. I hope you see some delightful colours outside this week whether they are autumnal or springy!

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Windswept

Today is officially the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere and the leaves are flying here on the blog. I am featuring another new stamp from Penny Black, aptly named windswept. It is a simple rubber cling stamp depicting a branch and loose leaves. On my card the leaves are flying across the whole front and back of the card.

I taped the hot pressed watercolour panel to my glass mat as I planned to spray the panel with both water and ink. I sprayed quickly and lightly with spiced marmalade, scattered straw, rusty hinge, wild honey, vintage photo and stormy sky distress sprays. I sprayed some water over the top to blend some of the inks then dried with a heat tool creating some watermarks as I did so.

Once the panel was dry I stamped the branch across the panel starting on the left hand side (which ended up being the back of the card) then overlapping as I moved across to the right. I used distress inks in the same colours as the sprays to ink the branch a couple of colours at a time.

Once the panel was completely dry I decided to add some more leaves but with gilding flakes. It is a while since I used gilding flakes so I did a quick youtube search and tried two different methods. I preferred the second method which was to stamp with the Tsukineko essential glue pad then press the flakes onto the image. Gilding flakes travel far and wide if you are not careful so I had the vacuum cleaner at my side. I used the Cosmic Shimmer ‘red blaze‘ gilding flakes which are a beautiful mix of red, golds, bronze and brown metallic flakes, perfect for autumn. I finished off the card with a sentiment from the PB ‘ever thanks’ set.

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Gilded Wheat

This beautiful wheat stalk, ‘gilded wheat’ is new from Penny Black. You know that feeling when you think maybe a project is complete but you’re not sure so you keep going? I had that feeling after I had finished stamping, painting and highlighting the wheat stalks. I just wasn’t sure whether to add a background or not.

I stamped the wheat in scattered straw and wild honey distress inks then blended with a paint brush. To add shadow to the sides of the leaves and the base of the wheat berries I used iced spruce ink. After painting I switched to watercolour pencils and added more shadow with a similar grey-green spruce colour.

I could have stopped there and not added the background painting which is kind of patchy but I liked the contrast of the gold colours and the grey so I kept going. Before putting the card together I stamped a sentiment from the PB ‘choose happy’ set and ran the panel through the die cutting machine in the SU ‘subtle’ embossing folder. Sometimes people ask me how I settle on my colour combos; this one was inspired by the small leaves at the top of the previous card. Who knew grey and gold would be so happy together?

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Autumn Bouquet

Are the leaves changing where you are? I noticed this morning a few patches of colour on the predominately green trees. The mornings are quite fresh too and the sunsets are amazing. Today’s card features a new Penny Black stamp ‘autumn bouquet’ teamed up with a couple of favourite filler stamps, ‘fresh fern’ and ‘fragile beauty’.

I kept the autumn bouquet stamp in the positioner so I could stamp each element one at a time. There are three types of leaves plus the wheat and the berries. All were done with a combination of inks. Often I ink the image using markers then smoosh the corresponding ink pad on my glass mat to give me ink for painting inside the stamped image.

I used partial stamping to add the fern fronds and twigs. I usually ink the bit furtherest from the existing stamping then fill more in each time I stamp so as to avoid stamping over the top of other elements. This is because I am often too lazy to mask the stamping I’ve already done.

After painting and blending inside all the stamped images I used blending brushes to add iced spruce to two edges and splattered some over the panel. I trimmed and popped up the panel on a white luxe card base.

Have a wonderful weekend, thanks for dropping by.

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