Little gardens

Today’s little garden cards contain unusually small die-cuts (for me) but I had fun arranging them and love the results. While I was putting these together I had Jill Foster’s video using the same die sets on pause in front of me so I could get inspiration from all her ideas. Make sure you check out Jill’s video; she includes plenty of tips and tricks and cool layouts.

There are three ‘little garden’ sets that co-ordinate well and between them there are oodles of leaves, flowers, pots, hanging baskets and fixtures to choose from. I chose a limited palette of black, kraft and a blue/green patterned panel for all four cards. My patterned panel was a shaving cream marbled panel so I was able to get variation in colour without having to change cardstock.

My garden box, a garden and hanging planters die sets are all still joined together so I cut everything from kraft, black and patterned then proceeded to create vignettes.

Once I had an arrangement that looked balanced I used my marvy jewel picker and lawn fawn glue tube to get everything attached to cream cardstock. The jewel picker saved my arthritic thumb joint; picking up little things is not good for it!

As you might imagine I still had plenty of little elements to spare after three cards and I remembered the ‘art deco window’ and ‘window treatment’ dies I had so I arranged another couple of pots inside the window and beside the patterned curtains.

I ruled some lines on the kraft card base to make it look like wood panels on the side of a house. The window frame dies cuts a window that opens on each side which is a cute touch.

This last simple scene is created with elements from the ‘garden box die set’ along with leftovers from ‘a garden’ and ‘hanging planters’ sets.

All the sentiments are stamped in versafine clair nocturne ink and taken from the ‘grateful sentiments’ and ‘sending thanks’ sets.

I had fun creating these little scenes despite the ‘fiddliness factor’ being a little higher than I am used to. I love the end result with the strong contrast between black, cream, kraft and blue/green pattern.

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Shimmer poppies

I’ve been enjoying some pencil colouring lately, especially on ‘Stardream’ shimmer paper. (this background is stardream lapis lazuli) Working on a  dark background requires a different approach but the results can be quite eye catching. I stamped a few of the ‘wonderland’ poppies from Altenew on blue shimmer cardstock with antique linen distress oxide ink. The oxide ink ends up looking almost white on such a bold background.

My pencils are Faber Castell Polychromos but you could use whatever coloured pencils you have on hand. With a dark background it helps to lay down a light base of white before adding colours over the top. I chose two pink pencils plus a white to colour the petals and blended from white on the petal edges to dark pink at the petal base. I preserved the stamped lines where I could but occasionally coloured over them and did what repairs I could with my white pencil. I used a bright green pencil for the stems and sepals and a tiny spot of yellow in the centre of the lowest poppy.

As always it is hard to capture the shimmer of the paper on camera but I think you can see a bit of it in each photo. I stamped and embossed the sentiment on the panel but made a patchy job of it so I stamped it on cream cardstock and cut it out with the avery elle sentiment dies that are never far from my side these days! I popped the sentiment up on dimensional tape and added the panel to a cream card base.

I love that sentiment and hope you all stay awesome today, my friends!

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Loose watercolour florals video

I have a video for you today showing my process in making this simple floral card with a loose watercolour look. The foliage is from the Altenew set ‘leaf canopy’ and the flowers are from the Concord & 9th set ‘fine line florals’ (the same set I featured in a journal page last week). The flower stamp is very detailed with fine lines covering the whole stamp. Because I wanted a loose watercolour look I spritzed water on the inked stamp which meant I lost most of thefine lines. I do like the way a few of them remained giving the petals a slightly transparent look.


I tried the ink, spritz and stamp method a few times before creating this panel because it was easy to add too much water and end up with a splodge rather than a flower. The experiments only took a little time and a few pieces of watercolour paper so definitely not a waste.

In this close up you can see some of the texture of the cold pressed watercolour paper. Although I often use hot pressed I still reach for cold pressed at times because the rough texture adds interest particularly when using solid or semi solid stamps like these ones.

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Unfolding

Like many card makers I have numerous boards on Pinterest filled with inspiration for future art and cards. I opened one such board yesterday looking for inspiration and decided to have all my flowers and foliage along the top of the card hanging down, then empty space below. I did all the painting with the flowers upside down but when I had finished it didn’t make sense to have the flowers upside down at all so here they are right side up.

Working on cold pressed watercolour paper I stamped the PB ‘unfolding’ stamp twice which involved masking a flower head in the middle of the panel so I could overlap the flowers. I inked the flowers with wilted violet and seedless preserves distress inks and the stems in bundled sage then blended all the stamping with a little water and a small paintbrush. I wanted extra colour in the petals so I pressed all three stamp pads on my glass mat so I could pick up ink for painting.

Once I had painted all the flowers I realised I would need a mask for each one so I could stamp background foliage. It didn’t take too much time to stamp and cut masks of the flower heads, I didn’t worry about masking the leaves. The foliage is PB ‘trees in bud’ stamped in iced spruce distress ink and the splatter is bundled sage. To finish the card I add a sentiment from the handy PB set, ‘banner sentiments’ in versafine clair morning mist and popped up the whole panel on foam over a hot pressed watercolour paper card base. Sometimes I want a frame around a panel but nothing as bold as a coloured mat would be so I pop the panel up creating what I call a ‘shadow frame’ simply because the small distance between panel and card base casts a subtle shadow.

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Dotty thanks

Polka dots are make happy patterns in my opinion. Add rainbow colours and it’s a double happy. I created this simple card with the Concord & 9th ‘dotted fill-in stamp set’. I inked the background stamp with a rainbow of distress inks, spritzed the stamp with water to blend the overlapping colours a little then stamped on watercolour paper.

I thought a bold black sentiment would stand out so I arranged the letters from the C&9 ‘big thanks’ set across the panel and stamped in versafine clair nocturne ink. The only embellishments are little gold circles die cut with the ‘dots and hearts’ die from gold foiled cardstock and popped up over a few of the polkadots.

So simple. So dotty. So happy.

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Gelli butterflies and blossoms

Thank you for all your lovely comments about my recent art journal page. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I have a couple more pages in process in my journals which I look forward to showing you in the future. I would love to hear from other art journallers. What are some of your favourite mediums and techniques?

Today’s cards are made with my latest fave: the gelli plate! I am very much a beginner but learning as I go and watching the myriad of techniques shared on the Gelli Arts youtube channel. The panels in today’s cards were made by printing layer after layer while rearranging die cut paper butterflies and blossoms on top of each new layer of paint. The dies are Penny Black ‘monarch’ and cherry blossom’.

I wont’ try to describe my process because I don’t remember exactly what my order was or what paint colours I used. I know there was green, white, burgandy, gold and pink liquitex basic acrylics but there could have been more. Like many artistic techniques success with a layered gelli print can be knowing when to stop. Once I was happy with the one above I still had paint and pattern showing on the gelli plate so I added one more layer of paint then pulled a ghost print (I’m learning the lingo!) on patterned paper. The paper I chose was a woodgrain print from Alexandra Renke.

You can see the woodgrain print through the paint and pattern. I ended up matting both panels in burgandy cardstock then attaching them to a base panel of the same AR woodgrain paper.

It’s always hard to capture shimmer on camera but all three panels have gold shimmer on them so I added some gold accents to each one. On the top panel I stamped the PB script stamp, embossed in gold powder and matted the panel with gold cardstock. On the card above I added a gold embossed sentiment from the PB set happy snippets and stamped the same script stamp in chianti versafine clair. On the card below I stamped the script stamp in shady lane versafine clair ink and added a gold vellum die cut butterfly, the same butterfly used as a mask in the gel printing process.

I love all the texture from the gelli printing process, the paint which builds up after several layers of printing adds so much interest

I did another butterfly and blossom print in a different colour scheme but I’ll share that another day. Thanks for dropping in.

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Butterfly Garden

Butterfly garden is a new transparent set from Penny Black with a nice mix of butterflies, leaves and flowers. I chose to watercolour the butterflies first then mask them before adding background foliage. I stamped the top butterfly in shabby shutters distress ink, the middle in broken china and the bottom one in dusty concord on hot pressed watercolour paper.

I used peerless watercolours to fill each butterfly with colour starting with a light green then blending to darker greens to fill the wings. I then added green first to the middle butterfly and blended into blue and a little bit of purple. The last one I blended from blue to purple. I stamped them again on masking paper, cut them out and covered the watercolouring before stamping leaves all over the panel in morning mist versafine clair ink. As I wanted to fill the panel with lots of stamping I used acrylic blocks so I could easily turn the stamps around to fit them in all the spaces. I drew little dots in grey marker to fill the background even more.

To finish the card I matted with purple cardstock, stamped a sentiment from the PB grateful sentiments set in monarch versafine clair, die cut it and popped it up with Gina K’s dimensional tape which adds just a little height without being too bulky.

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