Here in Canada Thanksgiving is behind us but in the US it is about a month away; Christmas is exactly two months away! With that in mind Shauna, from the Foiled Fox, and I have teamed up to host a ‘Holiday Traditions’ giveaway.
Like me you probably have some Thanksgiving or Christmas traditions, perhaps they were handed down to you or maybe something new you have recently come up with. Either way, we want to hear about them. For the next two weeks you can comment on a holiday tradition post on my blog or the Foiled Fox blog and be entered into a giveaway.
If you haven’t guessed already the first tradition I want to share with you is my gingerbread making tradition. We have been making gingerbread for years. It was not my mother’s Christmas baking tradition, she made yoyos (melting moments), Christmas cake and forcer biscuits (pressed butter cookies). I started making gingerbread when I lived in Australia and the recipe I use is from an Australian chef, Jill Dupleix. Now that we have three people in the family eating gluten free I make gf batches too, usually with a packet mix. I used to mix a gf gingerbread dough but the packet one saves me so much time which I can spend decorating instead. Decorating is the best part, well maybe equal best with eating!
We make stars, hearts, trees, snowflakes, bells, gingerbread men, women and children but we also have a a set of Aussie animal cutters and, would you believe, a ‘gingerdead man’ which cuts out the person shape and then stamps a skeleton impression on the cookie! We have also made gingerbread houses and other structures over the years. If you click over to my other blog you can see gingerbread houses, a church and a tank from years gone by.
Making gingerbread cards was a bit quicker than the edible version. I used Neenah desert storm kraft cardstock and stamped on it in versamark then embossed with bright white opaque embossing powder. To create the snowy hill I cut a post-it note mask and sponged white delicata ink in a hill shape. The delicata was too delicate, not bold enough for a snow hill so I embossed with more white embossing powder.
After completing all the stamping and embossing I blended tea dye distress ink around the edges of the panels to give everything a nice baked not burnt look. Believe me I have burnt plenty of batches over the years!
The last step was a sprinkling of icing sugar aka splatter of white gesso to complete the snowy look. All the stamps are from Penny Black and are linked below along with the other supplies.
Now it’s your turn. I would love to hear about some of your holiday traditions. What do you do for Thanksgiving or Christmas? It doesn’t have to be something you make; it could be a place you visit, a story you read, songs you sing, food you eat. Let me know in the comments and you’ll be entered in the giveaway. Make sure you visit the Foiled Fox blog also as there will be holiday tradition posts on both of our blogs during the next two weeks.
I’m on the Foiled Fox blog today showing off these lovely new stamps and dies from Concord & 9th. The stamps are from the ‘filled in florals‘ set and the dies from the simple serif alphabet set I love the size and shape of these letters and I am able to line them up neatly by using my new magnetic ‘staytion‘ so I won’t need to do the purposely wonky look every time!
I reached for some favourite distress stains to colour the big flower from the set. I used a stamp positioner but acrylic blocks would work fine too as precision is not key for this loose and watery look. As I’m still working with distress stain daubers I swiped the first colour across a third of the stamp, stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper then wiped off the stamp before inking with the next stain in the centre of the flower then repeating the process. I only spritzed the stamp lightly with water before I stamped the last colour on each flower as I didn’t want to flood the design but I did want to make sure the colours did a little blending with each other. I used a mix of blueprint sketch, salty ocean, seedless preserves and dusty concord stains on the flowers switching around the order and combo each time. I stamped the flower centres with blueprint sketch and seedless preserves ink. Is there a more beautiful colour combination than those two stains? I don’t think so!
For the leaves I switched to an acrylic block and inked with bundled sage and iced spruce stains and a little spritz of water to make them soft and dreamy. I dried the whole panel before dropping water here and there all over, letting it sit and soak in then absorbing it with a paper towel to leave all those watermarks on the leaves and petals. Last but not least I added a splat or two in blueprint sketch and bundled sage.
Once all those flowers were done I thought about the sentiment. I know I should consider the sentiment earlier in the process but I rarely do. I didn’t want to cover up too much of the design so I went for the subtle stacked letter die look. I cut the letters b e s t out of the panel and three more of each from blank watercolour paper then stacked them up and attached them on the card. I did some stamp surgery to separate ‘you’re the’ from one of the sentiment stamps in the ‘filled in florals’ set and stamped in versamark ink so I could emboss in white powder. The sentiment is fairly subtle when you look straight on but the recipient will be able to see and feel the texture of the raised letters.
Thank you for dropping in today, make sure you pop on over to the Foiled Fox for some extra details and to check out their lovely blog and store.
I’ve been creating with the tall flowers and nature walk stamps from Darkroom Door again, this time with a wedding theme in mind. Darkroom Door now has eight different sentiment stamps collections in list format, each one has a different theme. For two of today’s cards I isolated one sentiment by masking either side but on the second card I used a large chunk of the stamp as a feature over a soft blurry floral background. I am over on the Darkroom Door blog sharing these cards so make sure to pop over there for more details on my process.
This first wedding card made me think of a country style-decorate the barn type of wedding. I did a bit of masking to get the look of three daisies against a timber background and used twine to keep things natural and not too fancy. I inked the daisy from ‘Tall Flowers‘ set in worn lipstick, abandoned coral, forest moss and peeled paint distress ink, spritzed lightly with water and stamped in centre of a hot pressed watercolour paper panel, then used masks to stamp another on each side. I masked all three daisies so I could stamp the Woodgrain Background Stamp in weathered wood and frayed burlap distress inks.
My second card features the ‘wet on wet’ watercolour technique. The watercolour panel was very wet before I stamped the daisy stamp in wild honey and forest moss distress inks. I restamped to get paler images then dried the panel before wrapping a vellum strip with gold embossed wedding sentiments over the stamped flowers.
The very blurry style is not for everyone but in real life it does have a soft romantic look to it.
My final card features wildflower silhouettes in blueprint sketch and milled lavender ink stamped repeatedly to get first, second and third generation images as well as silver embossed flowers and sentiments with some very sparkly silver ribbon.
Working with sentiment strips that have fifteen different sentiments gives me plenty of options, some of the ‘wedding’ sentiments are totally appropriate for other events too.
I enjoyed the process of creating wedding cards in three different styles and I know I could have gone even fancier. What’s the fanciest card you have ever made?
Appropriately my final card for the year is a thank you card. Thank you readers for dropping in here so regularly. Thank you for leaving me encouragement in the comments or by contacting me privately. Thank you to those who used my affiliate links to the Foiled Fox online store. Thank you to those who recommended my blog to a friend. Thank you to everyone who clicked over to the classes page and signed up for one of my classes in Ottawa or Toronto; creating with you is such a treat. I have made wonderful friends through classes and through this blog.
I will be making thank you card for a few weeks yet. Donations have continued to come in for the Dressember campaign against modern day slavery and my fundraising page stays active until the end of January. I am less than $300 away from my goal!
I used Catherine Pooler inks on the ‘tweet wreath’ from Penny Black. In the stamp positioner I dabbed a green ink on the wreath, spritzed it lightly with water, stamped then dabbed a different green in random places and repeated until the wreath was all green. I dried the watercolour panel and cleaned the stamp before inking the outline leaves and berries with a versamark pen. I stamped again and embossed the versamarked lines with gold embossing powder.
I pressed the CP inks onto my glass mat so I could pick up colour with a paint brush to paint inside the outline leaves and berries. The berries are CP peppermint scrub ink. To finish off the card I added double sided adhesive sheet to the back of some shimmery red cardstock then cut out the PB ‘so many thanks’ die. The large four word die looked too much inside the wreath so I trimmed off the lower half and just used two words. To add some shimmer to the berries I coloured over them with clear wink of stella pen. I matted the panel with the same shimmery red cardstock and, because it needed a little something, I added a gold cord bow.
Happy New Year!
At this time of year any Christmas card making I’m doing has to be pretty simple and straightforward. But that doesn’t mean it can’t still be elegant or eye catching. I paired metallic embossing with richly coloured papers for these three nativity cards.
These papers from Alexandra Renke are solid colour but with the variation of a watercolour wash. They have enough interest to look like a sky but not fight with the detail of the picture stamps from Penny Black.
I always have a bit of a task matching a gold cardstock with gold embossing powder. On the top card the gold embossing powder on the dark red appeared to be an ‘old gold’ so I matted with a dark gold. On the last card I used a light gold card with the same embossing powder. The middle card features platinum embossing and a platinum mat around the deep green paper.
I hope you are further along than I with your Christmas card sending but as I say most years, December 25 is the first day of Christmas, there are twelve in total so I still have time to get my cards sent!
Stamps: lighting the way, peaceful season, three kings (PB)
Paper: Alexandra Renke dark green, red and scarlet papers
Cardstock: neenah natural white, platinum shimmer, gold shimmer, pale gold shimmer
Ink: versamark ink
Embossing powder: gold metallic rich, platinum
I know what you are thinking. What could have inspired me to create a sparkly pink and purple birthday card? A sweet five year old girl! She loves texture so I am hoping the raised glitter embossing, surprisingly silky sparkle ribbon and the raised sentiment will also appeal.
I used a beautiful quarter circle stencil by Alexandra Renke which I am looking forward to using on future projects. I blended four colours of distress oxide inks on neenah solar white cardstock first as I wanted to add the glittery embossing powder over the top. I made sure the ink was totally dry and also used a powder tool before pressing versamark ink through the stencil onto the panel. The embossing powder is WOW fairy dust which is very silvery and sparkly despite what my photos show.
I wrapped the panel with a bit of silky smooth glitter ribbon brought home from France by my partner in craft, embossed the MFT sentiment in silver powder and popped it up over the ribbon. All the product names are linked below. I realize this may not seem like a little girl card, after all there are no princesses, unicorns or cute animals. Since my children became grownups I haven’t really made many child cards. Do you make cards for children? What sets them apart from your other cards?
Stencil: mandala (AR)
Stamp: birdie brown greetings galore
Inks: blueprint sketch, picked raspberry, dusty concord, seedless preserves distress oxide inks & versamark
Also: Ranger silver embossing powder, WOW fairy dust embossing powder, silver ribbon
I’m on the Foiled Fox blog today, sharing these fun and festive cards made with the Concord & 9th ‘Deck the Halls’ turnabout stamp.
It is a cool trick to create a multicoloured background by turning your stamp 90 degrees each time but that is not the coolest thing I learnt in creating these cards. It was a happy accident resulting in an unexpected colour scheme that please me most.
The beauty of the turnabout stamp is not so much the full background you create because you can do that with a background stamp. The turnabout stamp allows you to ink a different colour each turn and have four different colours even distributed across your finished panel. For the first card I was traditional in my colour choices and stamped with versamark so I could emboss in gold then the rest of my turns were versafine clair glamorous, shady lane and rainforest. The gold gives the panel a lovely pop and I ended up embossing my die cut sentiment with the same gold as I didn’t have cardstock that matched exactly. I popped up my sentiment on some red foam but you could get the same effect with a couple of layers of red cardstock. To frame the stamped panel I swiped the glamorous ink pad around the perimeter and attached the panel to a cream card base.
The second card features gold, platinum, white and black embossing. The white doesn’t show up in the photos but in real life it’s very pretty. I would never have chosen black as the fourth colour in this mix but I accidentally inked the stamp with my black nocturne stamp pad thinking I had picked up my versamark. I think the effect is bold and modern. I also added black foam under the gold sentiment to pop it up a bit.
I often use black for silhouette stamping on a Christmas card but I think this might be the first time I have stamped little decorative motifs in black. What do you think? Would you include black in a multicolour Christmas panel?
Make sure you pop over to the Foiled Fox blog for extra tips and details.
Stamps: deck the halls turnabout (Concord & 9th)
Dies: jingle bells, wreath noel (Penny Black)
Paper: hot pressed watercolour, neenah cream, shimmer gold
Inks: versamark, versafine clair glamorous, shady lane, rain forest, nocturne
Embossing powder: gold metallic rich, platinum, clear, white
Also: black foam sheet, red foam sheet
I have mentioned Kathy Racoosin’s 30 day colouring challenge a few times lately. It is definitely a no stress, no fuss, no obligation challenge which I have participated in before. Kathy, would be the first one to tell you there is no preparation necessary and I agree. However, I am enjoying it more this time around because I did do a little stamping in advance. I sat down at my work table a few days before the challenge began and stamped a bunch of images. I embossed some, stamped some in waterbased dye ink and a few in waterproof black ink. I basically created a little stack of images I could reach for and colour when I had the chance. It has helped me to be more involved this time. Sometimes I work on a panel until it is finished, other times, as in the case of these mittens, I colour it bit by bit or mitt by mitt!
I stamped the red mittens on hot pressed watercolour paper in worn lipstick distress inks and the cord in rusty hinge distress ink. I painted over the stamping with water to blend the pink ink to a smoother colour and to soften the stark white of the stripes. I added shading and little lines on the edges of the mittens and texture to the cord with watercolour pencils.
I decided the red mittens would be hanging against a wall or fence outside so I stamped and cut a mask of the mittens, covered them and stamped the woodgrain stamp from the PB set ‘tall timbers’ first one way then again at right angles in weathered wood and frayed burlap distress inks. As with the mittens I blended over the stamping with water and added extra colour from watercolour pencils especially around one side of the mitts to look like shadow. To finish the panel I stamped some snowflakes on the mitts, a sentiment and also splattered some embossing fluid before embossing it all with white powder.
I followed a similar process with the blue mittens but stamped them initially in three blue distress inks (broken china, salty ocean and chipped sapphire). I blended the stamping with water then, when it was dry, added details with coloured pencils. I wanted them to look knitted so I drew a pattern to look like rib at the cuffs then some lines and shading on the rest of the mitts.
Once again I added a woodgrain background this time by masking the lower portion of the panel before stamping the woodgrain from the PB ‘inspiring’ set then more masking to stamp it horizontally across the card. The sentiments for both cards are from the PB ‘smile all season’ set.
Warm & cosy wishes everyone!
Stamps: Christmas mittens, inspiring, tall timbers, smile all season
Paper: hot & cold pressed watercolour paper, neenah cream
Inks: worn lipstick, rusty hinge, broken china, salty ocean, chipped sapphire, frayed burlap, weathered wood, hickory smoke
Also: white embossing powder
Pencils: Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils, Polychromos pencils (Faber Castell)
More poinsettias to share today. These ones are from the Penny Black transparent set ‘winter joy’. I embossed several poinsettias in gold and did some loose colouring with distress inks inside the poinsettias then decided to paint a warm antique linen background with a little red added in.
Distress inks are easy to use as watercolour paints. I just press my ink pads onto my glass mat or an acrylic block then pick up the ink with a paint brush. I can add water to make a paler colour or work with undiluted ink.
You can see in the close up how loose I kept the painting both inside and outside the petals. What you can’t see so well is the pretty shine of the gold embossing and the gold twine. I’d like to try painting a white poinsettia for a change; it is a bit more of a challenge though to work out how to add colour even though I want it to appear white. If I have success I’ll be showing you.
Stamps: winter joy, Christmas sentiments
Inks: versamark, forest moss, antique linen, barn door, wild honey, tulip red versafine clair
Paper: hot pressed watercolour, neenah cream
Also: metallic gold rich embossing powder, glass mat, gold cord
Today’s cards show two different looks from the Penny Black ‘Chrismtas poinsettia’ stamp. The first is simple distress ink colouring popped up on a fun polka dot background and the second is a bit more elegant with bold colouring inside a gold embossed image. I stamped this first poinsettia in festive berries and shabby shutters distress inks on hot pressed watercolour paper then blended the ink with water to fill the petals. If I needed extra ink for shadows and depth I picked it up from my glass mat which acted as a palette.
When I inked the stamp I wiped off the festive berries ink from the centre of the stamp so I could add peeled paint ink with a distress marker. After I had done all the blending I coloured the circles in the centre of the flower with a gold gel pen. My favourite part of the card though is the polka dot paper; it is so pretty. It is just one of a series of papers by Alexandra Renke. The Foiled Fox sent me some Alexandra Renke papers to try out and they are lovely. I will share more of them with you in the coming weeks. The weight is between paper and cardstock so it die cuts well but doesn’t add too much bulk when you layer it.
I cut my poinsettias out with the co-ordinating die but they wouldn’t be too hard to cut by hand, especially if you have fussy cutting skills (which I don’t). I matted the polka dot panel in red and added a sentiment from ‘festive snippets’ in versafine crimson red.
I embossed my second poinsettia in gold powder then coloured with zig clean color real brush markers. As I often do I used two reds and two greens, colouring first with the light marker then adding the darker colour at one end before blending with water to fill the petals.
I applied adhesive to a strip of gold cardstock then trimmed it even narrower to position behind the popped up poinsettia. I embossed a sentiment in the same gold embossing powder used for the flower.
I am continuing to participate in Kathy Racoosin’s 30 Day colouring challenge. If you want some colouring inspiration pop over to her blog and check out her tutorials and link up. Let me know if you are participating.
Stamps: Christmas poinsettia, festive snippets (PB)
Dies: xmas poinsettia cut out (PB)
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, Alexandra Renke pink dots, gold shimmer, red cardstock
Ink: festive berries, shabby shutters distress inks, , versamark, versafine crimson red
Markers: clean color real brush markers, peeled paint distress marker
Also: metallic gold rich embossing powder, glass mat