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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Books & Tea

Ever since I created a ‘what should I read next?‘ art journal page I’ve been wanting to do a similar design on a card featuring the Darkroom Door ‘mini book’ and ‘book spines’ stamps. This time a teacup joined the party.

What is more delightful than a cup of tea and a good book? Maybe a cup of tea with another book lover?

I stamped the book spines stamp three times in hickory smoke archival ink on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper (which had been splattered with masking fluid). I set out both my Sennelier watercolour paint palette and a Finetec pearlescent set to paint the books. I mainly used the Sennelier paints but added drops and swipes of pearlescent paints here and there for interest.

Once the paints dried I used a handful of gel pens to add decoration to the book spines. I decided not to add titles (there is other pressing work to be done after all) just patterns. I removed the masking fluid, blended tea dye and vintage photo ink around the edges then splattered some vintage photo ink over the panel.

The mini book is stamped in versafine vintage sepia and then stamped with a script stamp from the DD ‘correspondence’ set and a sentiment stamp from DD ‘classic motorcycles’. The teacup from DD ‘cup of tea’ set is embossed in gold powder then painted a pale rose. I fussy cut both the book and the cup (I know – I’m surprised too). The book panel is matted in cream then attached to a grey luxe card base. I attached the mini book and teacup to hang over the edges of the panel ever so slightly.

Right now I would love to curl up on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea but I am editing my next online class! I am very excited to get it finished for you as it has a seasonal theme which might interest you right about now.

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Masked Snowscape

I teamed up with Grafix to create some videos this year. My first project was very definitely a summer scene, but this one, as you can see is not! We have had a few snowfalls already but currently are enjoying a reprieve and a few really nice mild days. Grafix makes a wide range of art plastics and films; I used their extra tack frisket film to mask the snowbanks and moon on this card and splattered Grafix liquid frisket to create the falling snow.

I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper and painted the sky and shadows with Sennelier watercolours. The trees and deer are stamped with the ever useful versafine clair nocturne ink. The video below shows my whole process.

If you are keen to create cards featuring the beauty of a northern winter I am working very hard on a new project that might interest you. Can’t wait to share more soon.

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Hand painted lilacs

I squeezed in a little painting the other day using Sennelier watercolours on cold pressed watercolour paper. I used only three colours, a purple, a green and a pinky purple.

I have a few lilac stamps in my stash which I really enjoy using but I wanted to try my hand at painting them myself. I painted with the stalks pointing up to start with, then at some point turned the panel around to finish it off.

The little sentiment strip is from Taylored Expressions; she has a range of sentiment stamps where you stamp all the phrases in one print then cut them into strips with her co-ordinating die. It is a clever idea. I like the fact that I then have a pile of sentiments to choose from.

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Apricot watercoloured flowers

I have another hand painted watercolour today paired with a sweet little stamp from the new Penny Black set ‘trust me builder’. I used my Sennelier half pan watercolours on Fabraino cold pressed watercolour paper. I am still learning how to arrange elements in my paintings but I know for a random pattern (is that an oxymoron?) it is best to do the largest elements first, then the next biggest and so on, in this panel ending with the small splatters and dots.

Unless you are after a symmetrical design odd numbers of elements are usually more pleasing to the eye so I have three large flowers then three medium sized flowers but I slipped up on the berry clusters, there are four not five and I can see where I should have painted another!

I painted this design on a larger panel and then cropped it to make it look more balanced. I used a rectangle die to choose the part of the panel I wanted but you can do the same with two pieces of ‘L’ shaped cardstock held on opposite sides of a panel and moved to ‘frame’ the design. I popped up my painted panel on foam and my stamped sentiment on one extra piece of cardstock.

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All about you

More than once I have created cards that inspire me to make art journal pages. This time it was the other way around; I created an art journal page that inspired this card. Perhaps I should be showing you the journal page first but it contains as yet unreleased stamps so I have to keep it under wraps for a little while longer. (just in case you hadn’t seen them yet, Jill has been sharing some sneak peeks of new PB products over on the PB blog). The panel is stamped on cold pressed watercolour paper. I kept it in the stamp positioner so I could add some detail once all the paint was completed.

I stamped PB ‘Springtime Sigh’ in antique linen distress ink then painted the flowers with Sennelier watercolour paints. To keep the panel cohesive I used the same red and blue paints to create a variety of reds and burgandies for the four large flowers. The blue showed up in the purple flowers and the green stems. Once all the painting was finished I partially stamped the rose with ‘aged mahogany’ distress ink and added little details to the other flowers with a chipped sapphire distress marker and a black soot marker.

The combination of antique linen outline and faded burgandy petals gave the painted flowers a vintage look so I filled the rest of the panel with the same image stamped in antique linen, then chose crimson red versafine to stamp the sentiment from PB ‘special sentiments’.

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Hand painted veggie card

I’ve been painting again but took a break from florals. I pictured this veggie panel in my head before I sat down to paint it and realised part way through I should have been working bigger. I did the carrots first and as they were the biggest vegetable I regretted making them so small. All the rest of the veggies had to be pretty tiny to make it work.

I used Fabriano cold pressed watercolour paper and Sennelier watercolour paints. The card is one layer so I folded the piece of watercolour paper then masked the edges before I started painting. I had watched some youtube tutorials to glean hints including Jenna Rainey’s ‘farmer’s market‘ and Laurie Tsou’s ‘drawing fruits and vegetables‘.

When I had filled the panel with carrots, broccoli, beets, chiles and mushrooms it still looked unfinished so I had to include the peas. I am not a fan of peas but as you can see they are the perfect filler, for a painting mind you, not a meal. When I was a child I was required to eat the number of peas that matched my age at the time and yes my family still brings that up and amuses themselves by asking if the required number of peas are on my plate! After I’d added the peas, with a stylus not a paintbrush, I still needed more definition on the masked edges so I blended some bamboo branch memento ink lightly over the tape. The sentiment is from Altenew’s ‘leaf canopy’ set.

Stay awesome my friends and eat your veggies. Or paint them if that’s more your style. Or better yet, grow them, paint them then eat them!

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Masked hand painted circle

A few weeks ago I posted a floral wreath I’d painted and asked your opinion on adding a sentiment. In the end I didn’t risk stamping or writing one because I didn’t want to spoil the finished wreath with an inky mistake. So….can you guess why I have a large sentiment strip stuck across this floral circle I painted?

To create the floral circle I drew a circle in pencil on cold pressed watercolour paper then painted liquid frisket (masking fluid) to a width of about half an inch around the outside of the circle. I used my Sennelier watercolours to paint three large roses first then moved onto other flowers, leaves and berries until the circle was fairly full. With a random design like this one whether it is painted or stamped it makes sense to start with the largest images to make sure you can fit them in then finish off will little leaves, dots or tiny flowers to fill any spaces at the end.

Once the painted circle was complete I practiced a ‘happy birthday’ greeting on scraps of watercolour paper with my nib pen and some black ink until I was happy with the size and style. I had only written 2½ letters before a large blob of black ink landed on the panel where the letter ‘p’ should have been! As you probably guessed that is the reason I have a large birthday banner obscuring some of my pretty flowers.

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Oh Baby

I’m not sure if I have ever posted a baby card on my blog; if I have it was so long ago I can’t remember! This one is a commission for a friend; she asked me months ago and I totally forgot. When she texted the other day to see if it was ready I admitted it was not but I would make sure it was by the next day! I was happy to have thought up a concept all those months ago and my idea came together without hiccoughs.

I painted pink, yellow and orange paint on watercolour paper, added water then let it blend and bleed together. Once it was dry I used the Penny Black ‘Balloons!’ die set to cut three balloons then cut the strings and bows from unpainted watercolour paper. I added stick-it adhesive to the back of some peach coloured cardstock then cut two sets of letters to stack for the words using the C&9 ‘simple serif alphabet’ dies.

To create the cloudy sky I cut post-it masks using the cloud die from C&9 ‘city stacks’ die set then blended over the edges on a background panel and an envelope using Papertrey ink cubes in ‘sweet blush’ and ‘lovely lady’. I cut a very narrow mat of pale rose cardstock to frame the panel and attached everything to a cream card base.

I wondered about cutting more balloons to put inside but instead painted some of the same pink, yellow and orange paint on my glass mat, spritzed it generously to dilute it then placed an extra panel of watercolour paper on top to pick up a pale wishy-washy print.

Seeing that I rarely make baby cards this might become my design of choice when I do need one; I’ll just change the colour scheme to keep things interesting.

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Hand painted floral square

I’ve been doing a bit more watercolour painting. When I started this one I didn’t intend to make all the elements so teeny tiny; it took a while to fill the square. I started by taping a square frame on a folded piece of cold pressed watercolour paper to make a one layer card.

I used my Sennelier watercolour paints and as you can imagine a fairly small round watercolour brush to fill the square with flowers and foliage. I kept the colour palette limited and added a few shimmer highlights at the end with some coliro pearlescent paint.

Peeling the tape off the paper to reveal a clean straight edge was very satisfying then I finished it off with a PB sentiment stamped on a co-ordinating green cardstock.

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