Arbors in green

I can’t believe I am only just getting this beautiful tree stamp inked, especially considering my mantra, ‘you can never have too many tree stamps!’ This new stamp from Penny Black is called Arbors and I’m sure I will put it to use often. For its first inking I decided on keeping things traditional and green. We are just beginning to see grass appear here and there as the snow melts but no leaves yet.

Before I started stamping I put some speckled egg and rustic wilderness stain on my glass mat and diluted it with a few spritzes of water. I swiped a piece of cold pressed watercolour paper through the stains, dried it and then repeated the process to fill my background with blue and green.

With the stamp and panel in a stamp positioner I inked the foliage of the trees with dabs of crushed olive, mowed lawn and rustic wilderness distress inks. I spritzed the stamp lightly before stamping to get the inks mingling with each other. It took several applications to build up the coverage. After applying quite a bit of green I inked the trunks and branches with a ground espresso distress marker leaving the base below the trunks uninked so I could paint some hills in and around the trunks. To do this I spread brown ink from the trunks left and right then added diluted rustic wilderness stain and painted hill shapes across the panel. I checked to see what I was short on in my stash and added a thank you from the banner sentiments set in acorn ink.

I can’t wait to ink this one up in autumn tones, but I guess a few trees in blossom might be timely first.

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Lemon Lush

It’s a collaboration day with The Foiled Fox, so I am over on their blog and sharing here at home too. Make sure you pop over there to learn more about today’s card process and products.

Isn’t this a bright happy image? I know it’s partly the colours I chose but I think it is also the mix of lemons, leaves and flowers. It’s a glimpse of summer and that is definitely welcome! The stamp is called ‘lemon lush’ and it is a large 6″x6″ from Pinkfresh Studio. I’ve used two thirds of it for this rectangle card but I’ll be showing you the whole square image on another card soon.

I stamped the rubber stamp on hot pressed watercolour paper in raven black ink and embossed in raven powder (both from Brutus Monroe). For the watercolouring I used Peerless watercolours. I watercolour with quite a few different products so sometimes the Peerless paints sit on the shelf feeling forgotten. Once I bring them out however, I remember just how beautifully they blend and what gorgeous colours are available. If you haven’t heard of Peerless watercolours paints they are an old, old company and the paint is in pieces of thick paper. I use a wet brush to pick up paint to use on my project.

When painting the cut lemons I used a yellow and a light orange paint, for the whole lemons I used the same plus darker orange tones to get depth and shadow. I used two greens for the leaves, a blue for the tiny flowers and violet for the large flowers. To fill in the berries I switched to a purple Karin brushmarker. The sentiment is from Pinkfresh Studio’s ‘floral notes’ set stamped in monarch versafine clair. I stamped the flap of my envelope too with memento dandelion ink. If you take a close look at the second photo you will see some clear dots glued to the lemon halves, those droplets of juice might just be my favourite part of the card! Thanks for joining me today and thank you Foiled Fox for sending me this stunning stamp to create with.

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Fern Border

I was looking through my pile of possibilities recently and found some lovely brusho panels I made quite a while back at a class taught by my friend The Crafty Cigale. Instead of using brusho watercolour powders on watercolour paper we worked on photo paper. I remember the process being so much fun that I kept on making panel after panel.

I’ve chosen two of the panels as borders for today’s cards. Initially I thought I would cut into the brusho panel using the Penny Black fern border die and I tried, but using the patterned print as a background showed it off better while still featuring the delicate shape of the fern fronds.

Before die-cutting the fern border I applied double sided adhesive to the back of the card front so once cut I could easily attach it to the patterned panel. The sentiments from the banner sentiments mimicked the curve of the border die so they were an obvious choice in two versafine brown inks

The card bases are Luxe White cardstock from Foiled Fox, which is a creamy colour with a soft pebbly texture. I’ll be back tomorrow with some more birch themed pages from my bullet journal. Thanks for dropping by.

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Fern and floral art journal page

Recently when I was making a card with the new Penny Black stamps, ‘garden variety’ and ‘fresh fern’ I also began an art journal page. I really need to be braver with my art journal, I tend to reach for the same mediums that I use all the time in my cards. Today’s journal page was not particularly adventurous but I did pull out my box of pastes, gels and mixed mediums only to find several of them had dried up completely in their containers while others that used to be thick had turned to liquid. Those ones got tossed but a jar of distress collage medium came in handy along with some modelling paste. I think they might have both done the same job in the end.

I’m still working in my Fabriano art journals made up of drawing paper so I’m trying not to rely on my watercolour habits and techniques. I began as usual by taping the edges of the pages both to keep the book open and to create an attractive frame.

I inked the garden variety stamp with tangelo, northern pine and rosebud memento inks, spritzed it and stamped on the pages multiple times. I did first and second generation stamping to get both bold and pale prints. Then, feeling all brave and mixed media-ish I coloured some modelling paste with peanut brittle memento ink and applied it around the edges with a little plastic applicator (an old bank/library card would do). This step didn’t really yield the results I wanted but it was all in the spirit of experimentation so on I went.

I hadn’t used tissue paper in a while so I scrounged through our wrapping paper box and found some white, stamped the fresh fern in rich cocoa memento ink then tore it into sections before gluing it on the journal pages with collage medium. The tissue became almost transparent which gave the flowers behind a soft pearly look. I stamped the verse from 1 Corinthians on tissue too and glued it down in the same way replacing the first word, ‘love’ with a die cut.

I would love to know if you have an art journaller you admire. I am a big fan of Vicky Papaioannou and have watched many if not all her art journaling videos. I am interested to know what gels, pastes and mediums people use for what purposes. Which are best for resist effects, which are great for gluing, etc. Please share any recommendations you have.

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No-line Watercolour with Karin brushmarkers

I’m happy to be teaming up with the Foiled Fox again to bring you some more Karin brushmarker experimenting, this time I put them to work on no-line watercolour. I was pretty sure they would do a good job and I wasn’t disappointed. I also discovered that Papertrey Ink’s ‘soft stone‘ ink works well as a base stamping ink for no-line watercolour. To begin I stamped the same Penny Black poinsettia poem stamp on two pieces of hot pressed watercolour paper. On the design above I used only three Karin brush markers (red 209, teal 377 and henna 105) When colouring the leaves I inverted the red marker tip to tip with the teal before colouring to create the more browny green you see on the leaves.

I painted the petals one by one as is usually the case with no-line watercolour and I used the Red 209 marker. I used a slightly different methods for each card. On the above panel I barely touched the marker to the paper in each petal then blended the ink with water to fill the petal. On the panel below I painted a petal with water first then added a dot or two from the marker which flowed into the wet area. The effect is similar but the petals are paler where I applied water first and marker second.

On the second card I used magenta 170, lush green 228 and sepia 074. Once again I did a bit of tip to tip colour blending for the leaves and berries. It takes a bit of trial and error plus some scrap paper for testing to get the right mix of colour when doing the tip to tip blends. After adding ink to a marker tip the first strokes of colour will be the most intense and as you continue to apply ink to paper the intensity will decrease as the colour returns to its original tone. Make sure you visit the Foiled Fox blog where I provide even more detail about today’s projects.

I used a textured shimmer green cardstock to create a die-cut frame for the card at the top of the post. It is easy to cut a narrow frame by using two rectangle dies from the Waffleflower A2 layer dies. For the second card I used mulberry cardstock to create a co-ordinating mat and stamped with both versafine clair tulip red & chianti to stamp the sentiment in a matching colour. When I don’t have the exact ink colour for a sentiment I try a combination of two inks, something a stamp positioner makes quite straight forward. I stamped the sentiment on the first card with my beloved memento northern pine ink. The sentiments are from Penny Black sets, Christmas feeling and frozen vista.

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Shimmer on grey

I saw a beautiful card by Dawn Wolesagle featuring shimmer paint on a dark grey base and decided to try my own. I know mine do not have the impact of Dawn’s card but I like the simplicity of design and colour on these one layer cards. I’m going to try the technique again with an even darker background.

I used the textured grey luxe cardstock from the Foiled Fox and combined outline stamps from the Penny Black set {heart Christmas} to make a design with versafine clair nocturne ink.

I painted the leaves in moss green pearlescent paint from the Coliro ocean set and the flowers with rose from the vintage set then switched to gel pens to fill the berries with gold and dot white around the designs.

The sentiments are both from the Penny Black merry up set stamped in Brutus Monroe alabaster ink and embossed in alabaster powder.

The fundraising total on my Dressember campaign page continues to grow thanks to friends near and far including many blog readers and class participants. Thank you so much for getting involved in the fight against human trafficking. To learn more about the work being done visit the Dressember blog

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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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