All the Birthdays

I made a short stack of birthday cards yesterday with a new Concord & 9th set, ‘All the Birthdays’. I pulled out several prints from earlier gel printing sessions and chose some which would work as panels for birthday cards.

On the card above I used ranger blue embossing powder and the card below versafine tulip red was the perfect match for my printed background.

Some were printed using the petite set A gel presses so they were already shaped as squares. Others I cut from larger prints. I used stencils and lace to make the prints and a range of acrylic paints.

One of the stamp combinations from the C&9 ‘all the birthdays’ is a pair of stamps that overlap to spell ‘happy birthday’; there are outline stamps that frame the solid letters also. That is what I used on the card below with gold and brown inks then clear embossing powder.

I also added some texture to a few of the card bases or mats with embossing folders and stencils.

The printed panel below included such pretty blues and purples I wanted to match them in the sentiment so I stamped with archival dusty concord and faded jeans then, before the ink dried embossed in clear powder.

The card below features rose gold embossing powder; it looks a little darker than expected on this panel, maybe because of the depth of colour in the print.

I really enjoyed pairing sentiments from the C&9 set with my leftover gel prints. I did have some embossing challenges though; I’m just not an embossing champion. Stray powder, over heating, underheating, even when I use a powder tool and preheat the heat tool I still make mistakes. This lot took me all afternoon but I am very happy with them and I’m pleased to have boosted my birthday card stash. Now if I can just remember to send them…

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Autumn Grove

As I mentioned last week; I’m a seasonal stamper which shows in today’s card. I’ve included some inspiration pics taken on a walk last weekend not far from where I live.

I stamped the PB ‘birches’ first in nocturne ink on hot pressed watercolour paper then embossed them in clear. I masked them with tape then, stamped PB ‘winter’s forest’ in Papertrey ‘cocoa bean’ and ‘dark chocolate’ ink then, while still in the stamp positioner stamped again with versamark ink so I could emboss in clear powder.

With all the trees embossed I started painting dabs of autumn toned inks around the trees and on the forest floor. The inks are listed below. Once I had the look of autumn leaves around the branches and scattered on the ground I used a white gel pen to draw back in the little birch branches I had accidentally painted over.

I stamped words from PB ‘family sentiments’ and cut them out with a speech balloon die which was exactly the right size. I matted the whole panel in brown then popped up the sentiment on a couple of pieces of cardstock.

The colours are lovely around here right now and there are still plenty of leaves on the trees. We had an enormous tree removed from our yard earlier in spring so it will be interesting to see if the leaf collecting is a little easier this year. We still have four big trees plus others over the fence daring to drop their leaves in our yard too!

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No-line watercolour Magnolias -video

This is a card which changed shape and style several times before it turned into the design you see above. The watercoloured flowers and the green stamped flowers are from the same MFT ‘magnolia blossoms’ set.

I almost didn’t keep making the video as I made mistakes and alterations but the point of the video was the no-line colouring not the card layout so I kept going. I used Gina K’s ‘barely there’ amalgam ink to stamp the flowers; the ink is a pale peach colour which almost disappeared with both the purple and the green watercolouring. I used Derwent Inktense pencils for the no-line watercolour shading an area lightly and minimally before blending the ink to fill the petal or leaf.

My initial layout for the painted panel involved both stamps from the set but you see in the video a series of unfortunate events caused me to slice up the first panel, add another flower and come up with the layout you see below.

One thing I didn’t initially plan was the simple green stamping behind the coloured panel but I’m glad I tried it. These stamps are definitely stunning when left uncoloured in their simple outline beauty.

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Magnolia Blossoms

I have teamed up with the Foiled Fox again to bring you these pretty purple blooms made with My Favorite Things, ‘magnolia blossoms’ stamp set. The set contains two stamps; I have used one, stamped three times. To hide one bloom behind another I stamped a mask first on masking paper. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper, stamped in versafine clair nocturne and embossed in clear powder.

I painted both the sky and the flowers with Dr Ph Martin’s Hydrus watercolour paints. They are highly pigmented so I added a droplet of each colour to a palette then added water. I describe the whole process on the Foiled Fox blog today so pop over there to learn more and take a look around.

The sentiment is also from a MFT set, ‘brushstroke expressions’ stamped in nocturne and embossed in clear for a little shine. See that little pop of yellow in the centre of the blooms, it’s what I call a booster in my new ‘Colour Clues’ class. If you want to know more, click here.

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Soulful Silhouettes

There is a lovely new clear set of silhouette stamps in the latest Penny Black release. I’ve used it to create a set of co-ordinated cards in a simple clean style.

I chose some of my favourite distress inks to create slightly blended prints.

All the stamped images are from ‘soulful silhouettes’ and the sentiments are from the ‘trust me builder’ set.

I used hot pressed watercolour for all the stamped panels and white luxe textured cardstock for all the bases.

After inking the silhouette stamps for each design I gave the stamp a very light spritz of water, just enough so there would be blends and watermarks on the stamped image. I couldn’t predict how each would turn out so there are some dryer areas with no blending and some parts where ink has bled into the adjacent ink quite distinctly.

I often pop up my stamped or painted panels on pieces of foam but this time they are raised on just one piece of cardstsock cut a little smaller than the main panel.

The ‘trust me builder’ set is designed so we can make sentiments that begin with the words ‘trust me…’ then finish with one of seven different phrases. I kept the sentiments short using only the endings which are in a smaller simpler font.

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Groovy Greenery

Groovy greenery is the name of this set; it’s full of cute plants and pots, seven of each that you can mix and match.

I stamped all the plants and containers with Papertrey ink cubes. I mixed and matched with four different greens making sure I used a combination of two greens in each plant. I stamped the greenery in one ink then blended the inside of the leaves with the stamping ink plus one other. I did some basic masking with post it notes so I could have leaves overlap the leaves of the plant beside and some leaves overlap the pots.

The pots are all narrower at one end than the other so they are designed to be tall not wide but I decided to have some looking a little wonky and wide, kind of like I might have made them myself.

The sentiment is from the new PB ‘trust me builder’ set. There is a large ‘trust me’ stamp and seven phrases to finish the sentence. I just used one of the phrases. I stamped the sentiment in dark green and matted the panel to match.

Just a reminder to enter the giveaway I am hosting with Foiled Fox right now. You need to go back to Monday’s blog post and leave a comment letting me know what you are doing for refreshment these days. Thank you everyone who already let me know, I enjoyed reading all your refreshing tips and past times, some of them are exactly the same as mine and there are a few involving sitting by the water that I wish were mine!

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Disappearing lilacs

I keep returning to these lovely stamps because they handle watercolour effects so well. My other examples are more defined than this one but I like both techniques. I worked on cold pressed watercolour paper for this one and started by wetting the panel so I could stamp a pale washy background. I used only three distress inks, shaded lilac, blueprint sketch and mowed lawn. I inked the stamp with mostly shaded lilac and mowed lawn, spritzed it with water then stamped on the wet panel. The result is the pale disappearing images you see in the background.

I dried the panel before doing another impression with the lilac stamp, this time I added a few drops of water onto the panel and a spritz of water to the stamp. The ink blended on the stamp and pooled a little on the panel. My last impression was the more defined print on the right hand side. For this one the panel was dry but the stamp still got a spritz of water to move the ink.

I chose an area of stamping with very little definition as the spot for my sentiment stamped in versafine imperial purple.

Are your lilacs blooming? Mine are along with the first iris and some lupins so the blues and pinks are currently well represented in my garden. Yay!

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Bold Blooms

How are you my friends? I am sharing here and over on the Foiled Fox blog today. If you are dealing with isolation or quarantine right now as most of us are you might be looking for some artsy craftsy ideas. The Foiled Fox not only features lovely projects by the owner, Shauna Todd, but also projects by many talented guest bloggers. Make sure you pop over to the Foiled Fox blog for some beauty and inspiration.

I’ve been doing some flower arranging, with stamps that is. The arrangements on today’s cards were made with Ink to Paper’s ‘bold blooms‘ stamps and co-ordinating dies. The card above was all stamped on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper. The second card is a combination of stamped die cuts and stamping on a base panel.

When arranging elements on a panel like this I always stamp the largest images first so I inked the large round flowers in ‘harvest gold’ ink (all the coloured inks are Papertrey ink cubes) and rolled some ‘scarlet jewel’ ink around the edges. Before stamping I spritzed the stamp lightly, that’s what softens the blend between yellow and red ink.

To add leaves and small flowers I masked the three centre flowers with a post-it note and stamped stems and leaves to look like they were poking out from behind the yellow flowers. The leaves and stems are stamped in ‘ocean tide’ and ‘pinefeather’, the small flowers in ‘winter wisteria’ and ‘scarlet jewel’. I spritzed before stamping each time so I would get a softened look. The sentiment is from the same set; the large word is stamped in nocturne and embossed in clear, the smaller words are embossed in white on black cardstock and popped up.

This second card has a very similar arrangement not purposely but maybe because I found it easy to balance all the elements when they are in this layout. My co-ordinating dies are still joined together so I began by cutting the whole panel three times to have a group of shapes to choose from. Once cut, I stamped them with the same colour scheme as for the first card. Before I did any attaching of dies I stamped some background stems and little flowers and did a little splattering too. It took me a little while to arrange the die-cuts to my satisfaction then attached them in three layers: directly on the base panel, popped up on a low profile foam tape then finally a few flowers popped up with a higher profile foam tape.

The sentiment for this one is from another Ink to Paper set ‘tagged’ once again embossed in white on black.

Take care friends, whether you are isolated at home or out and about continuing to work in one of the many essential fields. I hope you are able to connect with others either by phone, computer or even by post. As always I love connecting with you in the comments below. Let me know how you are and what you are up to.

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Unforgettable

Today’s card features a large outline stamp from Penny Black called ‘unforgettable’. When I read the stamp name I can’t help but start singing the Nat King Cole song, even if only in my head. I positioned the stamp to cover half the card front but if used on a landscape oriented card it would almost fill the whole front. I used one of my tried and true techniques to watercolour the image with distress inks.

I worked with a panel of hot pressed watercolour paper in the stamp positioner and inked components of the design with distress inks and markers. I ink the outlines as accurately as possible with the ink colour I’m going to paint that section with. I inked some of the flowers with seedless preserves and others with wild honey. The leaves are bundled sage with some forest moss ink. When painting the petals I blended ink from the outline, and when that wasn’t enough picked up some from my glass mat where I smoosh the inkpad.

I enjoy doing no-line watercolour with a pale ink like antique linen distress but I also like this method. It can be fiddly inking each flower and leaf in different colours but if you use a mix of markers and ink cubes you can pretty good coverage. I always have a wipe or sponge on hand to wipe ink off the stamp if it’s gone out of bounds.

The sentiment is from the new ‘million thanks’ set which features two large versions of ‘thank you’ and two of ‘thanks’. The rest of the set is phrases to be paired with ‘thank you’.  I have much to be thankful for right now as I am safe at home with most of my family knowing my eldest is safe at home elsewhere. We have what we need and know that isn’t the case for everyone. I hope you are staying healthy, hopeful and home!

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Petal Poetry

Introducing ‘petal poetry’ from Penny Black, another floral beauty from the new release ‘Secret Garden’. This one is a brushstroke stamp which means the image is taken from a painted image. I like to stamp each brushstroke stamp I receive in a single colour, just a medium tone, nothing too light or dark, to see all the detail before I start creating with it. Having a monotone print of the image beside me when I work is very helpful. I always use a stamp positioner for this type of image so I can work on a bit at a time and I don’t feel any pressure to ink every bit in the right colour first go.

To create this panel I started by inking the flowers with shaded lilac distress ink and the leaves with peeled paint distress ink, then stamped without any spritzing. With the pale image of the peonies on my hot pressed watercolour panel I inked the edges of the petals in wilted violet distress ink and added forest moss ink to the leaves with a marker then stamped again. From this point on I added ink to the stamp with distress markers to define the petals, I had shaded lilac and dusty concord markers to help show edges and shadows. I did some spritzing of ink on the stamp but also blended the colour on the panel with a paintbrush. To see the sort of process I used check out a couple of my videos with similar stamps (blossom branch and spontaneous joy)

 

I kept on adding dabs of colour and blending with water until I was happy with the result. With this one I know I stopped myself from spritzing too much so the petals would still have some definition. And I didn’t even splatter! Such restraint! Once it was dry I added the centre of the flowers with a black soot distress marker and stamped a sentiment from ‘million thanks’ in versafine clair nocturne ink.

I hope you are enjoying the new floral stamps from Penny Black; there are indeed other images in the new release and I will eventually tear myself away from the florals to share some with you.

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