Friday, June 19, 2015

Watercolor Background

I have had the hardest time making the beautiful watercolor backgrounds that I've been seeing on blogs an Pinterest lately!  They looked so simple but would turn into a muddy mess when I put brush to paper!  I searched on line and googled but I couldn't find anyplace that explained this in steps. Maybe it's too simple to bother explaining but I needed help!  Thanks to some help from my friend, Carolyn, I am doing much better. She took me through the steps and helped to make sense of it for me.  I even made a card that I'm not ashamed to post!






































It seems, I was using too much paint, too much water and not giving the watercolors the patience necessary to let them do their thing!  Also...I wasn't taping the paper down to keep it flat which is a very important step!  I'll start at the beginning.  Here is the board I'm using to tape my watercolor to.  It is the thick cardboard backing from a pad of Strathmore watercolor paper.  I covered it with clear contact paper so the tape comes off easier once my pieces are dry.  


Once the watercolor paper is taped down nice and neat, you use your brush to lay down a water base.  Don't soak the paper, just coat it with water.  Have a paper towel nearby to blot your brush.  Next with some water in your brush, you pick up some color and touch it to the paper.  With the water from your brush and the water on the paper, the color should move...tipping the board this way and that will help.  Let it do it's thing.  





































When you are happy with the first color, clean your brush and choose another color.  Keep repeating these steps until you have a colorful pleasing background and then LEAVE IT ALONE and let it dry. I did notice a graininess to the Koi paints as they dried, but I like the texture it adds.  The graininess is less pronounced if you use less paint.







































Carolyn told me that if the paper feels cold to the touch it isn't completely dry.  When it is completely dry, it will lay nice and flat and will be ready to use on a card.  The nice thing about this type of backgrounds is that they make up into beautiful cards without a lot of fuss.  The watercolor is so striking that just a sentiment and a flower or butterfly finishes the card nicely







































Once you get this to work, it's addictive and you want to make more, more, more!  Don't say I didn't warn you!  Thanks for stopping by.  Have a nice day :)

Janet

Supplies Used:
Cardstock:  Strathmore 300 Series cold press watercolor paper 140 lb, Stampin' Up DSP, Cougar Opaque 80 lb
Paints: Koi Watercolors set of 24
Dies:  Tim Holtz Thinlits: Friends & Celebrate sets, MFT Butterfly and Lacy Butterfly dies

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Kim's Brusho Card

Hi Everyone,

Today I have a card that my friend, Kim, made.  Thanks Kim!!  I've been looking at and been curious about a product that I've heard about called Brushos.  You can get these on line from Dick Blick.  Kathy from Happy Little Stampers told me about them a while ago and I did some research and really liked them, but didn't buy any.  Last month at Violette's I saw a similar product by Ken Oliver called Color Burst.  Again I didn't buy any.  I convinced myself I didn't need them because of all of the other coloring mediums I have!!  Can you relate?  Then Kim sent me a card.  Oh boy, now I'm thinking that I need these and I need them soon!  Here's Kim's card...






































Isn't it GORGEOUS?!!  All that color is the perfect backdrop for this little fairy! I like the big splotches of color and the tiny ones!  I'm so happy Kim gave me permission to share her card with you.  I know there are some Brushos or Color Bursts in my future!!  If you are a fan of these I'd love to hear about what you are doing with them.  Please leave a comment and let me know...or leave a link so I can visit and see how you are using them!

Thanks for visiting and keep stamping!!
Janet 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

12 Tags of 2015 - June




I have to be honest, I didn't like the 2015 June tag.  I'm not exactly sure why, because I like coffee and everything related to it.  Maybe it was the green color of the background, I can't put my finger on why, but I didn't want to make this tag.  So instead, I looked back at the prior years and decided to make the June 2014 tag instead.  I like the technique to make the background and had fun trying that out.  I used an MFT flower stencil that I had and I like the outcome.  I have the large distress ink pads so it was a bit of a challenge to get the ink onto the stencil without messing up my ink pads.  I ended up using the rectangular sponges from inking tools and that worked just fine.  It's always a surprise to pull the stencil off and see what you have!!  I wish that I had stamped my sentiment a little more to the left so I didn't end up with an empty space between the words and the butterflies, but some vintage sequins from my friend, Kim, helped.  



Thanks for stopping by :)
Janet 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Penguin Birthday Card

I LOVED the June release from My Favorite Things!!  I look forward to their new releases every month, but this one was so much fun.  There were so many stamp sets and dies that I liked it was really difficult to decide on what to buy!  I had some time this afternoon so I played with the Penguins in Paradise set.  I was drawn to the little guy with a beverage in his hand, he is so cute...but I wondered if I could make him look like he was holding something else.  I noticed that there was a balloon in the Happy Pandas set and decided to see if I could make that work.  I stamped the penguin on watercolor paper and used Peerless Watercolors to color him.  When I stamped the balloons I was really pleased to note that I could move the balloon string on my acrylic block so I could stamp it to look like a bunch of balloons!!  WooHoo...I'm going to be using that balloon a lot!  Here's how my card came out...






































I made the background a few days ago using a technique I saw on Pinterest.  First you use a background stamp with Versamark Ink to make a pattern on watercolor paper (I used Canson Aquarelle) and emboss it with white EP.  Next you put Distress ink on your craft mat, spritz it with a little water and then rub your embossed piece into it...changing colors as you go until you are happy with how it looks!  The background stamp is Simply Circles from MFT.

Here is a close up...There was so much color in the background that I wanted to add more color to the main image so I stamped out 3 balloons on a separate piece of watercolor paper and added the little hibiscus flower randomly on each balloon.  When the card was finished I put Crystal Lacquer on the balloons to make them shiny.






































I was having so much fun that I did a little scene for the inside of the card, too!





































Here's one more pic.  I took it so I'm including it!!!







































Thanks so much for visiting!  
Janet

Supplies Used:
Stamps: MFT Penguins in Paradise, Happy Pandas, Simply Circles Background
Cardstock: Canson Aquarelle Watercolor paper, Cougar Opaque White 80 lb, Stampin' Up     Pacific Point
Inks: Versafine Black, Distress Inks: Picked Raspberry, Squeezed Lemonade & Salty Ocean, Versamark Ink
Miscellaneous:  White embossing powder, embossing buddy, Heat gun, Peerless Watercolors, water brush, round paint brush, Crystal Lacquer 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

It's the Smallish Things

I cased this card from one I saw on Pinterest.  Isn't it the cutest new baby card ever??!!  I used a retired Stampin Up set called Baby Firsts.  I've had it a long time and I still like it just as much as I did when I bought it!  


I needed one baby boy card and one baby girl card but I decided to make some to have on hand so I went kind of crazy trying all different colors.  Now I can't decide which one I like the best.  I used Viva Pearl Pens to add texture.



Here's a close up of the babies...they do make me laugh.


And just one more!


Thanks for stopping by!
Janet

Supplies Used:
Stamps:  Stampin' Up Baby Firsts (retired)
Cardstock: Cougar Opaque white 80 lb.  Assorted Stampin' Up card stock for base cards
Ink:  Momento Tuxedo Black
Copics:  Skin: E11, E00 & E50; Blue baby: B21, B23 & B26; Pink baby: RV00, RV02 & RV04; Green baby: G00, YG41 & G02; Yellow baby: Y02, Y06 & Y08
I used my computer and printer to put the words on the front of the card.















Saturday, May 23, 2015

CAS Retirement Card

Here is a quick retirement card.  This idea could be used for all kinds of things...all you need is a short word that fits the occasion...thanks, congrats, wish, cheers, baby...you could even use someone's name if it isn't too long!!  All you have to do is cut the word out twice, once with white or whatever color you are using for your background card and then with a coordinating color or small print, for my card I used a small multicolor stripe pattern.  The dies that I used are a set from My Favorite Things.  I didn't keep the name of the set so I'm not exactly sure which one it is, but they have lots that would work.  Here's my card...


Sequins were perfect to add a little pizzaz!  I used some that I got from Stampin Up.  It's a great assortment of sequins, hearts and stars in lots of pretty colors! They are on sale right now for 50% off so if you act quick you can get a great deal!!  Here's a close -up...


If you make this card, I'd love to see what you came up with so leave a comment and a link for me.  Thanks for visiting :)  

Janet


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Cracked Crazy Birds

I find making masculine cards a challenge.  I tend to buy cute or pretty stamps and they don't work on "guy" cards.  This week, I needed two thank you cards for men that I don't know very well.  I had been thinking about a technique using my Crazy Bird stamps and Pan Pastels and I had one of those "Aha"moments...I realized that the Crazy Bird stamps would be perfect for the thank you cards!!  Everyone loves them and they are definitely not feminine!!  The technique I wanted to try was to use Versamark Ink and Pan Pastels to add some texture to the birds while coloring them. I got out a bunch of texture stamps...crackle, numbers, swirls, harlequin, chicken wire and a word stamp.  First, I stamped the birds with Ranger Archival black ink, then I masked the eyes and beaks and stamped a pattern/texture onto each bird with Versamark Ink.  I took my brightest Pan Pastels and colored the birds.  When you color over Versamark with Pan Pastels, the stamped areas get much darker so the patterns although subtle, looked great!  Here are the two cards that I made.


I didn't want the sentiment too mushy because like I said, they are guys and I don't know them very well so the outside says, "Life is tough..." and on the inside, it says, ...Kindness matters.  Thank you".  Short and to the point!  You can see the crackle texture on the blue bird much better than on the red bird but it is on both of them.  Here's a close up of the red bird card.  You can see the crackle a little better here...






































I wanted to make a little scene for the bird to stand in, so I used the new MFT die-namics called Rolling Hills.  I love how you cut the fence and then cut another fence out of green and use the waste for the grass to glue below the fence!  It is so cool.  I know I'll be using this die a lot!


I used Pan Pastels to color the sky.  I used Pthalo Blue Tint and Violet Tint.  The leaves are another one of MFT's Die-namics called Wild Greenery.   Here are some of the texture stamps I used.  I found that I got the best results when using stamps with smaller less dense textures...although I really like how the bird with the numbers came out.  Here is a sampling of the texture stamps...







I put Crystal Laquer on the birds eyes to make them shiny.  I love how the shiny eyes catch the light...I just love these birds, they make me laugh!






































I hope my cards inspire you to get out your stamps and play!  
Thanks for stopping by to take a look :)
Janet