Die-cut gel print florals

If you are thinking that’s an unusual choice of colours, patterns and textures, you’re right, but it actually makes me quite happy. This is the only layered flower die cut I have of the this type; I don’t generally do layered die cuts. It’s from Penny Black and it appealed to me because of the little buds rather than the complex flower. I know the idea of these dies is to layer in shades of the same colour going from light to dark in the layers. Instead I grabbed one of my gel printing clean up sheets which was covered in black, blue, green, pink, red and purple sections. The texture is from the brayer which I clean off on a thick sheet of paper when I’m gel printing.

In keeping with the combination of colours and texture I decided to go for an unusual background also and attached the flower and buds to a card-base embossed with the a Taylored Expressions chicken wire pattern. I won’t be surprised if you find it a bit odd but I just can’t help reaching for gel prints and this odd scrappy combo makes me smile. By the way, those little black dots in the centre, I added them myself; they aren’t part of the original die.

This second card has a bit more elegance. I used the PB ‘whisper’ die to cut flowers from a gel printed text transfer. The text is from a recipe page in a magazine so you might be able to pick out the word cinnamon if you look closely. The dark mat looks black but is actually dark blue to co-ordinate with the gel print. I’ve used the same die to cut both blooms but used only a portion on the right hand side.

Do you use layered dies? Do you blend the cardstock with inks or pick co-ordinating cardstock? Or perhaps you go for random colour combos like I did!

By the way, Foiled Fox is having a Penny Black sale, so pop over and have a browse.

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Blue Florals

I spent a little while painting florals the other day. My watercolour paints were on my table so I painted two precut card panels with a few blues. I started the flowers on both cards by putting five little dabs of paint in a circle then blending them out with a wet paint brush. After blending I added dots to the centres with black and yellow markers.

Both the bold and the soft florals looked ok but the leaves I’d added didn’t work. I set the panels aside, happy that I had practised but not planning to use either pieces. When I came back to them a day or so later I did some extreme cropping which took out the leaves I didn’t like and left me with some nice blends and a configuration which had some balance.

Even if I had not cropped them and put them on cards the exercise was worthwhile. Even after years of making, practising and learning I still have the niggling feeling that everything I work on should ‘work out’! I know it is unrealistic and I am getting better at spending time practising and playing just to grow and enjoy.

The pale blue ‘washy-er’ panel is my favourite but I love the colours in both. After cropping them I added them to an embossed panel (SU scripty) and popped up some Taylored Expressions sentiments over the top.

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Brilliance and Joy

Today’s cards are similar to a recent collection I posted stamped with the delicate pines stamp. I created eight cards this time and repeated some designs because I’m getting down to the wire with these last cards.

I stamped the ‘brilliance’ foliage stamp on a large 11″x14″ cold press watercolour panel in rustic wilderness and peeled paint inks. I blended the leaves with water and with a gold wink of stella pen so some have some shine.

I played around with a few options for colouring the berries but ended up leaving them green. Red paint pen was not bad but not better and vanilla sparkle embossing powder didn’t work either, so green and natural they stayed. I used a few dies from Penny Black and a sentiment strip from Taylored Expressions and eight more cards were completed. Some were sent straight away and didn’t even make it to the photo shoot!

I have received some lovely cards this week from across the city, country and world. Thank you so much for brightening my day and inspiring my creativity.

By the way, we have added another Art Journal Adventure workshop at Crop A While on Saturday January 22. Click here for more information

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Rustic Wreath

When I am designing classes, both online and in-person it can take many days and many samples before I settle on a collection of projects. This card is one that did not end up in a class but I love the rustic textured look of it.

I used two circle dies to cut a kraft ring as the base of my wreath. I stamped the background with the Darkroom Door ‘woodgrain’ stamp and a few brown inks. To create the holly leaves and berries I painted a few strips of watercolour paper with greens and also a strip of red then hand cut the leaves and punched out the berries. To fill out the wreath I used some Penny Black die cut twigs and berries in brown and gold.

The sentiment is from Taylored Expressions; I used the very handy stamp and die sentiment strips combo. My daughter joined me on Monday afternoon and we had fun decking the tree and living area. I now have a decorated wreath hanging over my fire place and greenery hanging either side of the front door.

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Christmas baubles

Here are a few more cards made from patterned panels I had sitting around. The panels were very pretty experiments using brusho, paint poring and alcohol inks but at the time I made them I didn’t have a plan for them. Last week they came into their own when paired with Penny Black dies and a few of my favourite embossing folders.

The background above is from an acrylic paint pouring day I had with a friend. The result looked like peacock feathers but works well as a northern night sky too.

The purple panels above and below right were brusho & cling wrap on photo paper another technique taught to me by a friend.

The blue background below is alcohol ink; you probably recognise the patterns made possible with just one or two colours plus some isopropyl alcohol.

The dies are listed below and the embossing folders are a mix of currrent and retired. Above is ‘weathered’ from Taylored Expressions. The tiny squares folder is a retired Spellbinders one (SEL 006), the woodgrain is Tim Holtz/Sizzix also retired but there are plenty of new options around. The Tim Holtz/Sizzix Snowfall fade folder at the top of the page is still available and I often reach for it.

I enjoyed using some scraps and samples that were too pretty to throw away to make simple but unique Christmas cards. I think I almost have enough for this year so I will start next year’s stack early!

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2021 BuJo – December theme

I didn’t have a lot of time to spend setting up my December pages; I can’t even believe it is December honestly. It’s a busy week but I had a snowflake idea for the theme and a bit of a plan which you can see did not happen at all. But that is ok because I can save my snowflake plan for January or February or March or Ap…….

After creating the large panel for my recent stack of PB ‘delicate pines’ Christmas cards the stamp set was still on my table along with its buddy the PB ‘brilliance’ stamp set. I decided to use them together for some festive foliage. I used a mix of distress greens and blue along with a red marker for the berries and a white gel pen for the frost.

I reused a frisket film mask which I saved after creating October’s title page and stamped foliage from both PB ‘brilliance’ and ‘delicate pines’ sets. I blended over the stamping with prize ribbon distress ink then dotted white around the circle and on top of the red berries.

The to-do page and the calendar page have simple foliage stamping and some lettering with Pentel Flair pens.

I have used masking in quite a few of my pages this year; I might need to come up with a new favourite technique for next year. I hope your December is off to a good start. Because I can’t believe it is December I have a discount code for the Floral Faves classWinter Wonder class and the Colour Clues class. If you use HTDEC you will get 20% off. If you are interested in giving an online class as a gift please get in touch so I can help you make it happen.

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Delicate Pines – 9 Ways!

Welcome to a long post with quite a few photos!

When I last counted up the names on my Christmas card list and the number of cards I have completed the two numbers were not close to matching. I decided a quick way to grow the stack of cards would be to stamp a big panel then slice it up to make several cards.

Turns out this idea was not all that quick. It took a while to make these cards because although they are from the same stamped panel, they are still all different. The photo above shows the original panel stamped with Penny Black’s new ‘delicate pines’ set of 3 stamps and two Catherine Pooler inks. After the stamping I added ink splatter then gold paint splatter.

I kept the deckle edge on the 11″x14″ cold pressed watercolour panel and sliced up the panel lengthwise first. A,B & C are all 4¼” wide, D,E & F are all 4″ wide which left G,H & I all 2¾” wide. Below are all the finished cards. I used some pale gold, Bazzill avocado green and kraft cardstocks for the die cuts and framing. I used versafine clair rainforest ink to add sentiments and some linen twine here and there. All the cards are shown below with the size of the stamped panel portion included underneath (all the finished cards are 4¼”x 5½”)

A. 4¼ x 4½

B. 4¼ x 5½

C. 4¼ x 4⅛

D. 4 x 5¼

E. 4 x 5¼

F. 4 x 3½

G. 2¾ x 4¼

H. 2¾ x 4¼

I. 2¾ x 5½

The finished cards above are in the places that correspond to the labelled photo up at the beginning of the post. I had them laid out on a cutting mat on the floor beside me as I put them all together so I didn’t get them mixed up. I wanted you to see how I used each size in a different way.

I hope you find some inspiration from these cards. Remember that three of my online classes are on sale until the end of November. Use the code HTNOV to get a 25% discount on the Floral Faves classWinter Wonder class and the Colour Clues class.

The stores I have affiliate links with are also having sales right now (isn’t everyone?) I have put the links in the right hand side bar of the blog for easy access. Just click on the store name and start shopping!

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Puppy’s Quilt

I created this sweet dog card for a friend to give her grand-daughter. You know it is unusual to see animals on my cards but this stamp had the perfect mix of watercolourable-quilt and not-too-difficult-to-paint dog. The colour scheme is all my own choice, no surprises there, but some of the technique was provided by the talented and prolific Sandy Allnock. When she created with this stamp she used the opportunity to teach how to paint a bold shadow. I decided not to add a bold shadow but just watching her paint the image was helpful. It made me realise there was absolutely no need to add more than one colour to each quilt square even though the fabric included patterns.

I stamped the image on hot pressed watercolour paper in versafine clair morning mist, a pigment ink which would not move when I added water and watercolour paint over the top. I used Sennelier watercolours for all the painting and to create a custom watercolour mat to frame the image also. I watched Sandy’s video more than once to help me paint the dog taking care to leave some areas bright white while the sections closer to the quilt were shadowy and grey.

The sentiment is from the Taylored Expressions ‘simple strips’ set stamped in versafine deep lagoon and cut with the co-ordinating simple strips die. If you haven’t seen the simple strips series from TE they are very clever; you get one large stamp with 18 different sentiments and one die that cuts them all into banner style strips. Very handy to have a bunch of strips on hand to add to cards. It isn’t noticeable in the photos but the blue watercoloured mat has some texture as I embossed it with the weathered embossing folder, also from Taylored Expressions.

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Alcohol ink gel print

I tried a technique this week that I’ve seen demonstrated by gel printing wizards but never tried myself. In some ways it’s not that different from making abstract alcohol ink patterns on yupo or craft plastic but I found that I ended up with more of a distressed look which is rather nice.

I started with a not entirely clean gel plate and three or four alcohol inks, I’m not sure exactly which ones I used as I was very much in experimenting mode. Obviously there was a green and some blues in there and in real life you can see I also had a silver. I dropped dots of the different colours on the gel plate added rubbing alcohol and blew it all around with the air blower. It dried quite quickly so it took several additions of inks and rubbing alcohol before I was happy with the coverage. Once the AI had dried completely I brayered white acrylic paint over the painted area and took a print on some white cardstock. You can see the usual overlapping patterns of alcohol ink blobs but also some white patches and ‘grazes’ from the acrylic paint.

I trimmed the panel and added a three layer PB die cut sentiment along with an additional sentiment strip. I will definitely be trying this technique again.

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