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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Blooming journal page

I’m been working in one of my Fabriano Venezia art journals again experimenting with vintage style. I started by painting absorbant ground over the double page spread then stamped the PB ‘script’ stamp in tea dye and antique linen distress inks. I spritzed the inked stamp before pressing it onto the page so I would get blurred prints.

Once that dried I spread modeling paste through the PB hypnotic stencil and had to go and do something else so I wouldn’t mess it up before it was dry. Even so I still stuck my finger on it while it was wet and smudged some.

Once the paste dried I spritzed the ‘see ya latte’ shimmerz spray over the pages then wiped it off the stencilled area so it would darken the background. I am not an experienced art journaller but I am using one to try things out. On this page I was trying to create a vintage look. I stamped the ‘timeless’ rose stamp from Penny Black three times in brown distress inks then blended the ink into the petals. My journal is not watercolour paper so ink and paint don’t move on the page as easily. I didn’t like the roses enough to keep them all, instead I covered some with flowers cut from leftover Italian papers. I glued them on with matte medium and painted diluted gesso over them to decrease the contrast then added a bit of distress vintage medium for the aged tea stain look.

I did a smaller collage of flowers on the opposite corner then stamped PB winter branches over the pages with vintage photo and ground espresso distress inks. I added some pretty scroll stamping with the PB set ‘flourish borders’ in white ink and some more of the ‘script’ stamp in brown ink. Tattered rose distress stain matched the paper flowers so I splattered a decent amount of that over everything too! I mentioned on my previous journal page post how I struggle with adding words to a page. I chose a quote from Ruth Chou Simon’s book ‘Gracelaced‘ which encourages and challenges me every time I open it. I wanted to write the words with my nib pen but when I tried, the ink spread into the page and looked like a blob so I wrote on calligraphy paper, tore the words into strips and glued them over the blob. Some of the letters are blurred because I didn’t let it dry long enough. I need a bit more patience when working in my art journals…

Not exactly what I set out to create but as I said, the art journal is for playing with mediums and ideas. Have a great day

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What? More poppies!

Yes I have another poppy post for you. When I get new stamps I like to try a few different techniques with them if I have time. This large poppy from the Altenew ‘Wonderland’ set was crying out to be stamped and painted with distress stains.

There is a masking stencil that co-ordinates with this stamp set so I started with the large stencil full of poppy shapes and a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper. I painted water into the large poppy shape so I could drop colour into it and get very soft blends. I don’t know if you ever paint with water but you can probably imagine the main problem with doing so. That’s right, it’s hard to see what you’re doing, especially if you are wearing your everyday glasses not your ‘art glasses’ Once I dropped some worn lipstick stain into the puddle I was able to make out the poppy shape a little better. I moved the colour around gently with a brush and dropped some festive berries stain in the centre for extra depth and some forest moss stain at the base of the petals and down the stem. I painted my own leaves with the forest moss stain. Once the stain had dried a bit I used the large poppy stamp to stamp some detail over the top in festive berries and forest moss stain. The stamp outline doesn’t match the painted shape exactly but I like the artsy hand painted look.

My second poppy was done with just the stamp plus four distress stains. I painted mustard seed stain around the top of the petals, carved pumpkin across the middle and fired brick at the base. I painted mowed lawn on the stem and base of the flower. I spritzed the stamp then used the stamp positioner to stamp on hot pressed watercolour paper. The result was a very wet rainbow style image. I painted one strip of petal at a time starting at the yellow end and working toward the red so the blend would go from light to dark and not be taken over by the dark red stain. I worked on strips that were not adjacent to each other to give sections a chance to dry before I painted the one next door. Although the poppy was quite wet with stain and water I was able to keep subtle details on the petals.

The last card is my favourite, I like the depth of colour achieved with a seedless preserves/festive berries/peeled paint combo. I used the same method as for the previous card but blended larger sections which caused some of the petal detail to disappear. I also dried the poppies after blending the colour once then added more stain and water over the top which created some petal like watermarks.

When it came time to turn the panels into cards I just wanted to add a little texture or dimension.  I chose to pop up each panel on foam but before doing that I put my panels inside an embossing folder and ran them through my die cutting machine. The folder gives the panel the look of canvas. Subtle but cool.

I stamped the two Dr Seuss quotes from the same ‘Wonderland’ set on little scraps and added them to two of the cards with removable adhesive because I’m not convinced they are needed. What do you think? I like the quotes but I also like the way the poppies look like mini canvases…

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