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A Grevillea Challenge

My father lives not too far from Darkroom Door in NSW, Australia. When I knew he was coming to visit this summer I asked him to pick up some new stamps and bring them over. Not only did he bring what I’d ordered he also studied the stamps and came up with a challenge for me. I completed the challenge a while ago but the busyness of our summer has meant that I am only now getting this post written. Below you will see my dad’s words then I will wrap up at the end.

The Grevillea is a beautiful Australian Native Plant found across the continent and popular in many home gardens. There are many varieties from low ground hugging varieties to shrubs both small and large, sparse and thick. Their flowers are both small, individual and delicate as well as thickly clustered with the appearance of large flower heads. The bright colour of their flowers covers most of the spectrum, attracting many birds, particularly colourful parrots and lorikeets seeking nectar from their flowers and camouflage protection amongst their leaves and branches They tolerate hot seasons, have low water needs in comparison to many plants and have an extended floral season. They are very popular in home gardens as well as parks and their native bushland settings. The grevillea is frequently portrayed on Australian greeting cards and seems to be popular in all seasons. The beautiful range of colour and form seems to relate to a range of sentiments for both personal and seasonal occasions.

The sentiment stamps from Darkroom Door demonstrate that a message, be it seasonal or personal, happy or sad, celebrating or apologizing, or much more, can be expressed in a great variety of ways.
My suggestion to Heather, or was it a stampers’ challenge, was that, before she cuts either of the new stamps into individual stamps, she design a card using at least two of the grevillea images and at least half the sentiment expressions from one of her new stamps. She has agreed to the suggestion and I am confident she will rise to the challenge. What follows is Heather’s response to her dad and her explanatory notes for you, her fellow stampers.

For this first card I based my colour choices on the grevillea juniperina sulphurea . I used distress inks and markers to ink first the flowers then the tips in scattered straw, wild honey and spiced marmalade. I stamped the main image and, without re-inking, stamped pale images behind. The leaves and stem are stamped in peeled paint, again first and second generation stamping. As stated in the challenge I kept the sentiment stamps together (they still are) and stamped the strip three times across the card base in memento desert sand ink. To finish I splattered some spiced marmalade stain, matted with a mustard cardstock and added some linen twine.

The colour scheme for this second grevillea card is based on the grevillea superb. This time I aimed to keep the tips of the petals yellow while the rest was red. I inked the whole flower in love letter and rhubarb stalk ink to fill the centre of the flowers with colour. Then, to preserve  the tips I wiped ink off the ends of the petals and stamped. To finish the flower I added dandelion ink to the tips of the petals and stamped again. To get background images I spritzed the stamp and got a second generation image behind. For this one the leaves and stems were stamped in memento olive grove ink.

To make one sentiment stand out from the strip I first stamped the whole strip in dandelion ink then placed tape either side of the target words on the panel. I inked again with olive grove ink on the smaller section and stamped over the yellow.

I chose an olive cardstock to frame the panel and finish the card.

I hope you enjoyed my response to my dad’s challenge. If you have kept stamps together for projects rather than separate them I would love to hear about or see your designs. I am also interested to see more colour schemes for the grevilleas. I’ve taken inspiration from a few different grevillea so far and have another couple of approaches to share later in the week!

Supplies

Stamps: grevilleas, happy birthday (DD)

Card 1 Inks: scattered straw, peeled paint, wild honey, spiced marmalade distress inks & markers, desert sand memento ink
      
Card 2 Inks: dandelion, love letter, rhubarb stalk, olive grove memento inks &  markers
    
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, neenah natural white cardstock, green cardstock, mustard cardstock

Also: stamping platform, linen twine

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Summer Dream

Penny Black has a selection of magnolia stamps including ‘Summer Dream’, featured on today’s card. I used a memento inkpad and distress markers to colour it, making use of a stamp positioning tool to let me add colour little by little.

I inked the whole stamp with memento angel pink ink and stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper. Angel pink is a very pale ink so it is good for layering over.  I used worn lipstick, picked raspberry and aged mahogany distress markers to build up detail and shading on the flowers then peeled paint and forest moss markers to create two toned leaves. I finished off the flowers by drawing the stamen with a black marker. I added gathered twigs and black soot marker to the twigs and stems to complete the image. When I ink with dye based markers I spritz the stamp lightly before stamping so the colour begins to blend on the stamp. I sometimes use a damp brush to blend on the paper also.

The sentiment from ‘Smile today!’ is stamped in versafine clair nocturne and the panel popped up on foam over a natural coloured card base.

Supplies:

Stamps: summer dream, smile today

Distress markers: worn lipstick, picked raspberry, aged mahogany, gathered twigs, peeled paint, forest moss, black soot

Ink: angel pink memento, nocturne versafine clair

Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper

Also: white foam


Spontaneous joy

I am happy to share another video with you today. I know…that’s three this year and it’s only April. The future is looking promising. So far the three I have posted were all filmed on the same day but rest assured there are three more in process now. The stamp on today’s card is another pretty brushstroke stamp from Penny Black. I have a few techniques I use with brushstroke stamps ranging from very detailed to very loose and watery. This card has quite a loose look but it’s still clear we are looking at poppies!

I used a combination of mememto ink pads and markers and worked in a stamp positioner so I could build the colour up step by step. Check out the video to see my whole process.

Thank you for the encouraging comments left here and on youtube about my videos. I am so happy to provide them and thrilled to hear the techniques are making sense and inspiring you to try them yourself.

Supplies

Stamps: spontaneous joy, just believe

Inks: versafine onyx black, memento dandelion ink, memento tangelo, potter’s clay, espresso truffle, northern pine, olive grove markers

Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper

Also: MISTI


Graceful whisper

This branch has been waiting patiently for some ink so I went rather non-traditional and pulled out some purples to create this card. I splattered a few panels of hot pressed watercolour paper with masking fluid yesterday so I would have them on hand for future projects. The effect is subtle on this one but you can see little white dots in the sky and foliage if you look closely.

I used a couple of teardrop memento inks and a marker to ink the stamp. With the teardrops it is possible to apply ink somewhat strategically. I started with the lighter grape jelly ink and dabbed it here and there over the stamp. My panel was in my stamping platform so I was able to do grape jelly ink first, then add some dabs of the darker elderberry ink second. I went back and forth with the two inks and occasionally a spritz of water until I was happy with the image. I coloured the stems with a memento tuxedo black marker, stamped to complete the image then moved the panel to stamp a second branch the same way.

Once all the stamping dried I used mustard seed and salty ocean distress stain to paint the sky. I kept it fairly diluted and dabbed with a paper towel if I had too much water or stain. To finish it off I stamped the sentiment from the PB ‘sentiment collection’ set in versafine onyx black ink then matted the panel with black and attached it to a white card base.

Supplies

Stamps: graceful whisper, sentiment collection

Inks: grape jelly, elderberry, tuxedo black marker

Stains: salty ocean, mustard seed

Paper: hot pressed watercolour, neenah epic black, neenah solar white
 
Also: masking fluid


Winter sky

It’s taking me a while to get back into gear here on the blog but I have been busy planning my next class. Living as I do surrounded by winter beauty I often look a the sky or the landscape and wonder how I can turn it into a card. This is one such attempt. I looked at the sky one afternoon, because the sun sets in the afternoon around here, there is no waiting for evening! There was a pale pink glow above the horizon, a little blue then grey reaching up. I was managing to create some subtlety with this scene right up until the brusho shook out of the bottle rather more generously than intended! No matter, a lot of water and paper towel calmed things down again.

I started with a panel of hot pressed watercolour paper splattered with masking fluid. I painted some water across the panel where the horizon would be then sprinkled a little ost. red brusho above and blended it in with a paintbrush. Next I added grey brusho and blended that to fill the sky and finally some ost. blue brusho for some blue tones. I kept adding, blending and diluting until I was happy with the soft gradation of colour. While the sky was still damp I pressed just the small tree part of a landscape stamp out of the PB peaceful winter set repeatedly across the horizon inked with memento London fog ink.

I used the stamping platform to stamp and restamp the trees on the right from the PB snowy village set in black soot distress ink. As distress ink is water soluble I was able to paint over the stamping with water to make the image bolder and darker. I added a little blue brusho as I painted to give the tree some light and shadow. I dried the panel before painting another line of water, this time across the panel in line with the base of the tree trunk. Again I added the same brusho colours but got a bit more blue than I’d bargained for.

After drying that section I stamped just the left hand trees from the PB dressed in snow stamp again in black soot ink. I used a paintbrush to darken the stamped image and extend the trees a little more on the right. To finish I rubbed off the masking fluid and mounted the panel onto a white card base. All the supplies are linked below. I hope you have had a great week.

Supplies

Stamps:

Inks: black soot distress, London fog memento

Paint: brusho

Paper: hot pressed watercolour, neenah solar white

Also: masking fluid


Crisp & cold

This seems an appropriate card to post right now while the weather is oh. so. cold. For this one I used a stamp postioner to stamp one colour at a time with the ‘dressed in snow’ scenic stamp. I used memento markers to ink the evergreens in northern pine, the deciduous in tuxedo black and the fence in rich cocoa inks. After I had stamped all the elements I added a mask for the moon and then painted a tumbled glass distress stain sky.

I spritzed the trees on the left very lightly to blend the colour and painted some tiny background trees on the horizon. Winter is very beautiful where I live but currently it is also rather bleak. Please forgive me the rather brief description; I created this one a while ago and the details are a little sketchy in my memory.

Supplies

Stamps: dressed in snow

Memento markers: northern pine, tuxedo black, rich cocoa
Distress stain: tumbled glass

Paper: hot pressed watercolour, olive green cardstock

Also: stamp positioner, frisket film


Peaceful Winter

This week I am sharing some winter landscapes here and on the Penny Black blog. I created this wintry scene by combining two stamps from the ‘peaceful winter’ transparent set. I made use of my stamp positioning tool as I wanted to stamp in colour then over the top with versamark. (Jill has created several videos demonstrating this technique. You can find them on the Penny Black youtube channel)

I began by stamping the trees on the left hand side of a piece of watercolour paper in memento northern pine and London fog ink. I spritzed some water over the stamping which made the colours separate into brown, blue and green. I dried the stamping then stamped over the whole image in versamark before embossing it in clear powder to make it waterproof. Next I used the smaller landscape stamp from the same set to add the background trees and used the same technique and inks to stamp a coloured image then emboss it to make it waterproof.

With all the scenic stamping done and embossed I moved on to the watercolouring. I cut a circle of frisket film (clear adhesive film for masking) and stuck it firmly over the top of the left hand trees. I then painted water over the section of sky above the horizon. I pressed both my northern pine ink pad and a memento nautical blue ink pad onto an acrylic block to create a palette of two inks. I built up the sky colour by painting first with nautical blue then creating cloud effects with more blue or northern pine ink. Once the sky dried I removed the moon mask.

I used some diluted northern pine ink to give the foreground snow a bit of colour and shadow then dried the panel. I finished off the card with a sentiment from the ‘love & peace’ set stamped in versafine olympia green and a dark green mat before attaching the panel to a natural white card base.

Thanks for dropping by; I’ll be back tomorrow with another chilly scene.

Supplies

Stamps: love & peace, peaceful winter

Inks: memento northern pine & london fog, nautical blue inks, versamark
 
Paper:  Neenah solar white cardstockhot pressed watercolour paper

Also: stamping platform, frisket film, WOW clear gloss superfine embossing powder