Floral medley

Sweet Spring has arrived, on the Penny Black blog that is! Sweet Spring is Penny Black’s brand new release and as you can imagine it’s full of flowers. I’ve been having fun using some of my favourite techniques to colour those flowers so let’s take a look at today’s blooms. This big stamp is called ‘flower medley’ and I’ve paired it with a new sentiment from the ‘grateful heart’ set. (list and links below)

I embossed the flower medley stamp on hot pressed watercolour paper with white powder then used my watercolour pencils to paint in and around all the leaves and flowers. The embossing keeps everything contained so I was able to pick up colour from my pencils with a waterbrush, paint a petal or leaf then drop in more of the same colour for some depth or a different colour to create some blended areas. Once all the flowers and leaves were coloured I painted around them all with a grey watercolour pencil.

Next I used a trick I occasionally employ to flatten my watercoloured panels. I turned on my minc, popped the panel inside a folded piece of computer paper and ran it through the minc on a low heat setting. It ironed my panel nicely but also melted and removed some of the embossing. If I had used an embossing powder with some colour or shine then I wouldn’t have wanted it to disappear but clear or white embossing just masks the white paper underneath so melting it off didn’t change my design at all. The panel ended up very smooth so I was able to overlap the floral design with a sentiment stamped in versafine smokey gray ink. I matted the panel with co-ordinating pink cardstock and then added it to a square cream card base.

Now click on over to the Penny Black blog for the full reveal and a giveaway!



Inks: versamark, versafine smokey gray

Pencils: Faber-Castell Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils

Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, pink cardstock

Also: opaque white embossing powder, minc foil applicator


In my heart

This stamp is called ‘tree-heart’ but I always think of it as a family tree. After all what better to have on a family tree but a whole bunch of hearts? I stamped the tree in versamark and embossed with clear powder on hot pressed watercolor paper. Next I painted water over the top section of panel and added pink and blue watercolour paints. Keeping it loose I painted a heart shape over tree with both pink and blue. I filled in the heart leaves with more intense pink and blue paint then painted diluted pink over base area.

I grabbed a scrap of watercolour paper, painted diluted blue over it and stamped a sentiment from ‘happy hearts’ in versafine majestic blue ink. I die cut a banner to contain the sentiment and painted shadows on the ends of banner with blue paint.

To finish I attached the banner to the tree panel with very low profile adhesive dots and matted the panel in blue cardstock before attaching to a white cardbase.


Stamps:  tree-heart, happy hearts
Die: triple banner
Inks:  versamark, versafine majestic blue
Paint:  gansai tambi paint colors #36, #64
Paper: hot pressed watercolor paper, white cardstock, blue cardstock
Also: clear embossing powder

Another flower garden

The ‘flower garden’ stamp from Darkroom Door performed so well with the random application of colorburst paint I tried it with a more controlled colouring method. I embossed this panel in gold then used Koi colouring brush pens. I decided to colour only the leaves and flowers and leave the  tiny circle pattern filler uncoloured. Adding colour to gold embossing like this reminds me very much of Cloisonné which I saw on little trinkets as well as substantial, beautiful vases in China. I used two greens, a pink and a red to colour the design and kept blending with water to create soft gradation of colour.

I matted the panel in pink and embossed a sentiment from the Darkroom Door ‘happy birthday’ set which includes sixteen ‘happy birthdays’ in different fonts and sizes! You might have noticed with both the flower garden cards I managed to add a stamped envelope too. I’m trying to get into the habit of creating a matching envelope while I have all the supplies out rather than thinking about it later but being too lazy to do it…


stamps: flower garden, happy birthday

Ink: versamark

Paper: hot pressed watercolour, neenah natural white, pink cardstock

Markers: Koi coloring brush pens yellowgreen, green, red, pink

Also: WOW metallic rich gold embossing powder

Flower garden

I was excited to see this stamp at Darkroom Door when I visited last year; I don’t remember ever noticing it before. It appealed at once and I’m happy to say this panel made me very happy. I embossed the large background stamp, ‘flower garden’ on hot pressed watercolour paper with platinum embossing powder (my current fave) then sprinkled two colours of colorburst paint powders lightly over the panel. A little goes a long way with colorburst and considering how much embossing there is I didn’t need much powder.

I spritzed the panel with water and watched it be magical. The two colours were indigo and alizarin crimson; the indigo gave me all the blues along with a tiny spot of green. The alizarin crimson gave me all the pinks and reds and the purples were a mix. I did do some blending with a paint brush just to make sure colour filled all the spaces. I diluted a few areas with water and pulled out some colour with a ‘thirsty brush’ to create some pale areas.

I tried a few different mat colours before picking blue then decided the white card base was a bit stark. To create a platinum border on the card base I ran my tape runner around the edges of the card front then embossed with the same platinum powder. I decided to write my own sentiment but the silver gel pen did not match the platinum embossing powder. I discovered that I could emboss the gel pen writing if I was really quick with the powder and didn’t let the ink dry for even a second.  It might not surprise you to know today’s colours happen to be my favourites.


stamps: flower garden

Ink: versamark

WOW metallic platinum superfine

Paint: Colorburst alizarin crimson & indigo

Paper: hot pressed watercolour, neenah solar white, blue cardstock

A blessed gift

On the ninth day of Christmas I am returning to the blog. I’ve been enjoying some time with family and friends, relaxing, reading but I have not been creating cards! This panel started out as a practice for another project but I ended up turning it into a card anyway. I began with a panel of hot pressed watercolour paper with masking fluid splattered over it. I used a stamp positioner to stamp the different coloured elements of the berry branch in distress inks then embossed over the image with embossing powder. Unfortunately when you put embossing powder over masking fluid it sticks so the panel became very textured and very speckled with ‘snow’. I painted weathered wood distress stain over the background added a sentiment but was not able to remove much of the masking fluid as I had ‘glued’ it there with heat embossing!

As this was a practice panel I changed my order of operations when I made the next card, stamping and embossing first then splattering masking fluid second. I hope your 2018 is off to a great start. I have been busy keeping up with Dressember details which I will post more about later but I’ll just add a quick thank you here to all who have donated to this worthy cause; you have really encouraged me.



Stamps: berry speckled, peace & love

Inks: versamark, crimson red versamark, weathered wood distress stain

Distress Markers: festive berries, gathered twigbarn door, forest moss

Paper:  Neenah solar white cardstock, hot pressed watercolour paper, neenah red pepper cardstock

Also: stamping platformmasking fluid, WOW clear gloss superfine embossing powder

Berry bramble


Sometimes it is fun to rediscover and incorporate some techniques you haven’t used for a while. I love to splatter masking fluid over watercolour paper to create the look of falling snow but sometimes I don’t think about it in advance or just don’t want to wait long enough for the masking fluid to dry. Salt to the rescue! While salt does not create bright white dots it does make lighter areas and pretty patterns that look a little like snow or fairy lights.

You can see some pale pink and brown pattern in the background of the scene; to create this I wet the whole panel, inked the stamp with festive berries and ground espresso distress markers and stamped it onto the damp paper. I dabbed at the inky impression immediately with a paper towel so I would have soft shapes that would not overpower the foreground image.After drying the panel completely I put it in my stamping platform for all the berry work. First I inked and stamped the whole stamp with festive berries distress ink.

Next I switched to markers and added shading to the berries and darker colours to the twigs and calyx. (yes, of course I had to look that up!) I used barn door and aged mahogany to add depth and shadow to the berries. I used chipped sapphire and ground espresso to darken the stems and calyx. After I had added colour I used a small paint brush and water to blend the stamped colour.  Once the panel dried I embossed the berries with versamark and clear powder which gave them a frosty, shiny look. The embossing made them waterproof so I was able to add weathered wood stain to the panel without diluting the berries. I kept the stain dark on the left and diluted it with water on the right then sprinkled salt to created the speckled effect. I decided not to add a sentiment yet as I think this one might be a winter birthday card not a Christmas card. I popped up the whole panel on some foam and added it to a natural white card base.


Stamps: berry bramble

Inks: festive berries distress ink, versamark

Distress markers: barn door, chipped sapphire, aged mahogany, ground espresso

Distress stain: stormy sky

Hot pressed watercolour paper

Also: Tonic stamping platform, WOW clear gloss superfine embossing powder, salt

Fine baubles

Today I have three pretty baubles out of the ‘Fine Baubles’ set  from Darkroom Door. I stamped them on hot pressed watercolour paper in versamark and drew a cord from the top of each one with an embossing pen. I embossed in gold powder then coloured with zig clean color real brush markers. The ink in these markers is so vibrant you need very little on your paper; it is possible to blend it easily with water, or as I did, with a clear wink of stella marker for some sparkle. I used blue, turquoise and green markers for each bauble.

After colouring and blending the baubles I roughly coloured the background with a yellow and an olive green marker. I didn’t need to cover the whole area, rough shading with plenty of gaps was enough. I blended the shading with water to fill the whole background then sprinkled salt over the wet ink to create patterns.

To finish off the card I matched the blue of the baubles with a narrow blue mat and attached to a white card base. I think I’ll be pulling out my tree and baubles any day now.


Stamps: Fine baubles (Darkroom Door)

Ink: versamark, versamarker

Paper: hot pressed watercolour, neenah solar white, blue card

Markers: zig clean color real brush markers, clear wink of stella

Also: WOW metallic gold rich embossing powder, salt