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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Nature’s glory

This artistic spray of flowers is a new brushstroke stamp from Penny Black called ‘nature’s glory’. As you can see it is big enough to fill a 4 ¼” x 5 ½” card front but you could use just a part of it for a smaller panel. I like the way it curves leaving me an obvious place for a sentiment. I think I’ve mentioned before I don’t always think about sentiment placement in advance so the shape of this stamp helped me out.

I stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper using a stamp positioner to enable me to build up colour and detail. I used a combination of Papertrey ink cubes and distress markers to ink sections of the stamp. I started with the harvest gold ink cube for the flowers, scarlet jewel for the berries and a few flowers and ocean tides for the leaves. I spritzed the stamp very lightly before stamping on the panel. Some of the leaves ended up with petal colours on them, some flowers ended up with a bit of blue-green and the red of the berries bled into the leaves also. To add a bit more definition to a few of the berries and flowers I switched to distress markers to ink brown centres in the flowers, green on a stem or two and orange on a couple of petals. Once again I spritzed the stamp lightly before stamping so the extra ink would blend on the stamp before hitting the paper.

The sentiment, from the new PB sentiment set ‘magical friendship’ is stamped in versafine clair ‘misty morning’ and the whole panel popped up on a piece of foam.

Thanks for dropping by.

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Banner Blooms

Recently I blended through a stencil to create square grid backgrounds for some floral silhouette stamping. Today’s card uses a similar technique but I wanted the squares to be less neat, a little imperfect but still recognisable as squares. I guess I could have freestyled them entirely but I wanted them to be evenly spaced and I didn’t trust myself to do that without the stencil as a guide. To achieve this look I once again taped a grid stencil (DD boxes 6 up) to a piece of cold pressed watercolour paper but instead of blending the squares then painting over them I just painted squares inside the stencil squares. I didn’t paint right up to the edges of the stencil because then liquid would have seeped underneath and made a mess. I used the stencil as my placement guide and painted a square inside each space.

I used Sennelier watercolour paints but you could use any watercolour paints or inks. I started each square with a stroke or two of mustard yellow then added some blue, red or orange and blended it with the mustard. After it dried I flattened it in my minc then transferred it to the stamp positioner to stamp five different images from the PB banner blooms set in versafine clair nocturne ink. Simple but quite effective. I chose a sentiment from the PB ‘strength’ set for the last square.

I really like the simple ‘shadow frame’ created by popping up the panel on a piece of foam; that’s why you keep seeing it!

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Warm Wishes

Hot off the presses and ironically cold out of my mail box here are some brand new stamps from Darkroom Door. Rachel Greig creates incredibly artistic stamps and these new flowers are no exception. The feature image and sentiment on today’s card are from the new set, ‘Warm Wishes’ which contains five flower stamps and eight sentiments.

I decided not to watercolour them this time (but you know I will), instead I chose a crisp pigment ink so you would see the incredible detail of the flower head. I created a background by stamping some fave florals from DD ‘nature walk’ and ‘wildflowers vol 1’ in memento London fog ink. It is a light enough grey to show up but not take over. On the card above I stamped the feature flower from ‘warm wishes’ in versafine clair ‘shady lane’ ink and added the sentiment in the same colour.

Both the stamped panel and the card base are neenah solar white cardstock and the panel is popped up on a piece of foam to create some subtle framing.

Make sure you pop over to the Darkroom Door blog for more inspiration with the new ‘warm wishes’ set. And check back here too because I’ll be giving these stamps the watercolour treatment very soon!

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On the seventh day of Christmas

That’s right I have a Christmas card for you. I totally subscribe to the twelve days of Christmas deal; I am in no hurry to take down decorations or make resolutions. When I look at this card though, I realize it could definitely work for the new year. We woke up to a very merry & bright scene as the world is once again covered in white! Both these stamps are favourites of mine as they will be useful year round and of course, they feature trees!

No watercolour paints or techniques were used in this card, I know, it’s a bit of a departure but I love the crisp images I was able to get stamping on bristol cardstock. I stamped the winter woodland stamp with memento London fog ink on bristol then switched to versafine clair rainforest ink to stamp the ‘before the snow’ tree  and the sentiment in the foreground. I matted with a co-ordinating green cardstock then a white cardbase.

I made a couple of these cards but might make a few more in preparation for next Christmas or even change the foreground image to make them suitable for year round. It’s a quick but effective design inspired by the beautiful work of Julia of Derkleineklecks blog.

Happy New Year! Thank you for spending time here on the blog with me this year; I look forward to sharing more projects in 2020. How about the neatness of that 2020; I like it!

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Winter Woodland

You know I love tree stamps so when this beauty from Penny Black appeared I had all sorts of plans for it. My first inking was to create these peaceful scenes to share here and on the Foiled Fox blog. The background stamp is called ‘winter woodland’ and the foreground stamp is from an older set ‘spread cheer’.

Both these cards were made on smooth bright white bristol cardstock which shows off the detail of the tree stamp beautifully. I made an improvement the second time I made this card so I will share my ‘better method’ with you here. I suggest stamping and embossing the child and sled first, that way any inking and blending done after will be resisted because of the embossing. When I tried just stamping in black after blending the sky there was a difference in the blackness of the child image because of the blended ink underneath.

After stamping the foreground image I positioned a torn post-it note mask over lower portion of the panel and stamped the winter woodland stamp in hickory smoke versafine ink.  I love the different trees in this image; it is so like the scenes around here. I punched a small circle from masking paper and positioned it over the trees to make a moon. I used Papertrey ink and blending brushes to do the sky and a trick I learned from Jennifer McGuire. Doing blending on a glass mat makes sense because the ink you waste by starting off the panel is on the glass mat and can be picked up by the brush and transferred to the panel. I started by blending a strip of scarlet jewel ink along the horizon of one panel and an even smaller section of harvest gold ink on the other panel. I kept the blending light around the moon in blueberry sky ink and darker around the edges.

After I removed the moon mask and then horizon mask I repositioned the torn edge lower down to add some more snow banks with a pale layer of ink still in the blending brush. I finished the cards with a sentiment from PB ‘merry up’ in hickory smoke ink. Make sure you click over to the Foiled Fox blog for more tips about this card plus a blog full of inspiration from other designers.

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Snowy saplings

Every year I make some snowy forest scenes, with stamps that are old favourites and with new ones destined to be favourites. These trees are from a new PB set called ‘saplings’ and they are so easy to work with!. I placed my hot pressed watercolour panel in the stamp positioner and placed a hill shaped frisket film mask across the base of the panel where I wanted to preserve white space for the snow. I could probably have used a couple of layers of masking paper as I didn’t end up getting the panel very wet.

I inked one or two trees at a time with different combinations of the following distress inks: chipped sapphire, broken china, mowed lawn, peeled paint. Before I stamped I lightly spritzed the stamp so the colours would blend nicely. I moved the panel a couple of times and moved the stamps so I could get a decent row of trees at different heights. I sponged a bit of broken china ink along the top of the mask to create a shadow behind the snow bank then moved the mask to stamp a tree in front. I then moved the mask twice sponging both times to get another couple of snowy hill shadows to appear behind the trees and a blue sky.

To create the ‘snow’ in the sky I gently splattered and strategically dropped some water on the distress sponging. The distress inks react with water so after the droplets had sat for 30 seconds I dabbed them with a paper towel which left white watermarks. To finish off I linked two stamps from the PB ‘Merry Builder’ and stamped them in majestic blue versafine ink.

Despite the appearance of a snowy scene on the blog today I am happy to report it has been sandals weather this week. Yay!

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