Snow Blanket

This peaceful scene from Penny Black is called snow blanket and such scenery will be welcome in a month and a half but right now my back yard could aptly be named leaf blanket! I mowed less than a quarter of the leaves yesterday before the rain set in. The leaves have been incredibly vibrant this year; every where I’ve turned has been a treat for the eyes.

As you can imagine the stamp positioner was my friend for this scene, I worked on the tree first, then the fence and finally the background trees. I inked only the large tree to start with; I used a versafine clair nocturne ink for the centre and finished off the extremities with an embossing marker. I embossed in black powder then put the panel back in the corner of the stamp positioner so it would line up again for the rest of the inking. I stamped the whole scene with stormy sky ink so I could see all the elements and add colours over the top. With the tree complete it was time to add a mask for the moon; I used frisket film which is waterproof then I painted the whole sky in stormy sky, weathered wood and chipped sapphire distress stains. Once that was dry  I used ground espresso and black soot distress markers to stamp the fence and the same colour inks on my glass mat to paint over the stamping to get solid coverage and blended colour. Painting blue shadows over the snow was a little tricky but the stamped image has lines to show piles of snow on the fence so I used them as my guide and left the snow untouched. Finally I stamped the background trees in forest moss ink.

I decided against a sentiment but can add one on the inside if needed. I’ll be back tomorrow to chat about another Christmas tradition. Thanks for dropping by.

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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.

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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.

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Wanderlust

Wanderlust is the perfect name for this stamp; I would love to be walking down that lane in Provence! I have a friend with a house in Provence so I am curious to hear whether if I’ve managed to capture the look. To create this lavender themed panel I started by painting the watercolour paper in pale distress stains. I wet the whole panel then painted the bottom half in mustard seed stain. I was way too heavy handed and the result was bright yellow! I quickly whisked the panel to the sink and rinsed it off which resulted the pale yellow you see in the centre of the road. With the panel still wet I painted the sky area in broken china distress stain. I dried the panel and placed it in a stamp positioner to do all the stamping. There was a certain amount of back and forth with my stamping, blending, over-stamping etc but I will try and give you the gist of it. All the stamping is done with oxide inks on this panel so I would have more of an oil or acrylic painting look (something like this beauty by Maria Bertan). I stamped the trees and roadside grasses in peeled paint and forest moss distress oxide ink, wiping off the tips of the grasses on the right hand corner so I could ink with dusty concord oxide ink.

As I built up colour on the trees it was sometimes easiest to ink a large area with the oxide ink then wipe ink off the stamp where I didn’t want that colour. I also pressed the oxide ink pads down on my glass mat so I could pick up colour with a paint brush and apply it to the panel that way. As oxide inks are part dye ink and part pigment I was able to clear emboss over the stamping part way through the process to ‘lock’ in the colour on the foreground trees, grass and background trees. The ‘lavender field’ area is blank when stamped so I painted the rows of lavender with dusty concord and some spots of peeled paint oxide ink, the far fields in crushed olive and the road edges in diluted vintage photo. I loved the pops of purple so much I brought them into my second version also but not in the same way.

The second card is a looser watercolour look done with no oxides just the original distress inks and markers. I stamped the trees and grasses with forest moss, peeled paint and candied apple (roadside poppies). I was able to get some variety on the trees and grass by blending with a paint brush and re-stamping over the top.

The adjacent field is painted in wild honey distress ink then there is a dusty concord field further back. To get the blended effect I also spritzed my stamp not the panel so water was transferred from the stamp to the paper in certain areas not over the whole scene. While the inks were still damp I painted a tumbled glass and dusty concord sky around the tree tops and down to the hill edges. Some of the green ink bled into the sky but not too much. Finally I painted the road with vintage photo distress ink.

Have you been to Provence? Does it look a bit like this? Or, like me, do you want to go there now?

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Poppy Background split

While I was a way this lovely MFT poppy background stamp arrived. (Thank you Foiled Fox) It has lovely detail which I will try to paint more realistically later but I thought I’d start with some emboss resist loose colour.

I embossed the large stamp on hot pressed watercolour paper with versamark and clear embossing powder. Next I sprayed some tattered rose, scattered straw and spun sugar distress stains on my glass mat then spritzed some homemade gold shimmer spray (interference gold pearl-ex mixed with water) to blend the three colours. I swiped my panel through the stains and discovered the spun sugar was not showing so I added more tattered rose and swiped again. Once it dried I had a panel with patches of blended colour, some yellow some pink, some blends of the two.

I painted all the poppies and buds by picking up undiluted stain from my glass mat with a paint brush. I did a few layers letting them dry in between coats so I could see how dark they were. I used frayed burlap to paint the stems, buds and pods and splattered a few dots of tattered rose over the finished panel.

Rather than make a big square card I cut the panel in two pieces and paired them with some blush coloured cardstock and cream card bases. The sentiments are from an ‘Ink to Paper’ set called ‘tagged’. It is a sweet little set featuring several different fonts and nine sentiments. To make my sentiments match my watercoloured panel I stamped them first in versafine clair golden meadow but it was too yellow so I stamped over the top with tattered rose until it was a little more peachy. I think these new stamps are peachy don’t you?

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Filled in Florals

I’m on the Foiled Fox blog today showing off these lovely new stamps and dies from Concord & 9th. The stamps are from the ‘filled in florals‘ set and the dies from the simple serif alphabet set I love the size and shape of these letters and I am able to line them up neatly by using my new magnetic ‘staytion‘ so I won’t need to do the purposely wonky look every time!

I reached for some favourite distress stains to colour the big flower from the set. I used a stamp positioner but acrylic blocks would work fine too as precision is not key for this loose and watery look. As I’m still working with distress stain daubers I swiped the first colour across a third of the stamp, stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper then wiped off the stamp before inking with the next stain in the centre of the flower then repeating the process. I only spritzed the stamp lightly with water before I stamped the last colour on each flower as I didn’t want to flood the design but I did want to make sure the colours did a little blending with each other. I used a mix of blueprint sketch, salty ocean, seedless preserves and dusty concord stains on the flowers switching around the order and combo each time.  I stamped the flower centres with blueprint sketch and seedless preserves ink. Is there a more beautiful colour combination than those two stains? I don’t think so!

For the leaves I switched to an acrylic block and inked with bundled sage and iced spruce stains and a little spritz of water to make them soft and dreamy. I dried the whole panel before dropping water here and there all over, letting it sit and soak in then absorbing it with a paper towel to leave all those watermarks on the leaves and petals. Last but not least I added a splat or two in blueprint sketch and bundled sage.

Once all those flowers were done I thought about the sentiment. I know I should consider the sentiment earlier in the process but I rarely do. I didn’t want to cover up too much of the design so I went for the subtle stacked letter die look. I cut the letters b e s t out of the panel and three more of each from blank watercolour paper then stacked them up and attached them on the card. I did some stamp surgery to separate  ‘you’re the’ from one of the sentiment stamps in the ‘filled in florals’ set and stamped in versamark ink so I could emboss in white powder. The sentiment is fairly subtle when you look straight on but the recipient will be able to see and feel the texture of the raised letters.

Thank you for dropping in today, make sure you pop on over to the Foiled Fox for some extra details and to check out their lovely blog and store.

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Floral Background

I don’t know how many of you follow Laura Bassen’s blog or youtube channel but if you do you will know where today’s inspiration came from. Nine times out of ten you will find her blending, stamping, painting or piecing a rainbow on her cards. I rarely include the whole spectrum on my cards; I’ll blend from pink to blue or blue to green or yellow to pink but not too many rainbows. I decided this full background stamp from The Stamp Market was a good place to start.

I embossed the whole design on hot pressed watercolour paper using my misti and a sticky grid. Sticky grids are so useful with a large stamp and panel. The grid kept the watercolour paper in place while I stamped with versamark three times. The stamp is large and detailed so I wanted to make sure I got a really good impression, hence the three applications of versamark. I embossed in clear then taped the panel to my glass mat and swiped distress stains across the panel in rainbow order, light to darkest. I still have quite a few distress stain daubers so I used them but you could paint distress stain or reinker across your panel with a paint brush instead of using daubers. I spritzed the panel after I’d applied all the colours and used a paintbrush to blend between colours in a few places. I decided not to dry it with a heat tool because I didn’t want to push any of the stain around the panel, instead I let it air dry and polished stain off the embossing later with a paper towel.

While I had the stamp and stains out I did the negative of the first card and swiped the stains across the stamp before spritzing a little water to start the blending process. I used the MISTI to press the stamp down on my hot pressed watercolour paper and could see through the transparent stamp where the blending was happening.

Another technique I haven’t used before is the layered shadow die sentiment. I haven’t had any shadow dies but the Foiled Fox sent me this one and I did a black on white and a white on black to make the sentiments stand out on both colourful backgrounds. I added double sided adhesive sheets to both black and white cardstocks before die cutting to make it easier to attach the sentiments to the cards.

Hope you are having a colourful day!

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