Soft Pink Iris

Susan Robinson
September 24, 2021

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There are times we all feel the need for a little softness in our lives.

I was attempting a shabby chic look with this one. The background I have had lying around for ages. It was an experimental piece, where I stamped out a background wording, painted over it with white acrylic paint, then wiped the paint partly off with a wet wipe before it dried. The idea being that the wording would partially show through. I wasn’t that impressed with my result, so put it aside. When looking for a background for my iris, I spotted it and wondered what it would look like embossed. More of the paint peeled off after that, but I liked it much better. It was actually a stationary divider, so quite thick card. I cut the tab off and used it for the thank you wording.

stamp: Single Iris CRP327 by Stampendous

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Nature Fairy

Susan Robinson
September 21, 2021

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I have some little fairies in my garden! They are metal ones that dance around in one of the palm pots. I think they’re secretly looking after the garden at night, because sometimes in the morning, I notice that the hedges have been trimmed, or the weeds pulled up. (Or maybe it’s just my husband? He tends to get up earlier than me and potter about outside for a bit whilst I’m still snoozing. If I make any comments on the garden, he says, yes, the fairies have been busy again, haha).

When I first stamped out the fairy and realised she wasn’t dark enough (as you can still see a hazy image of the green fern through her), I was going to re-do, but then I thought – ‘Hey, fairies are supposed to be invisible aren’t they?’ So I reasoned it was okay to leave it as it was. Applying logic to support my laziness:) Anyway, it’s time all the fairies disappeared, as I move onto some flower cards.

stamps: fairy by Lavinia stamps; cricket by PSX; rest from ‘Nature Sketchbook 2’ set ICO375 by Graphic 45

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Hope Fairy

Susan Robinson
September 18, 2021

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Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.

‘HOPE’ is one of my most favourite words! What would life be, if we didn’t have it?

stamps: ‘Effulgence’ 40-374 by Penny Black; ‘Hope’ by Stamp-it; ladybug by All Night Media; fairy (unknown)

Below are a few more backgrounds I created at the same time – by just sponging Distress inks ‘Shabby Shutters’ and ‘Evergreen Bough’ over white card, then stamping out various solid flower designs in black. The background for my card sample above was created using “Shabby Shutters” and “Weathered Wood”.

I was going to move onto more botanical style cards, but have changed direction again. I will circle back to these later. Just 2 more fairy mushroom cards to show you.

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Blue Moon

Susan Robinson
September 6, 2021

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For some reason I really struggle making simple cards with white backgrounds. I love the white on white look, with just a touch of colour, but seem unable to achieve it myself. I started off okay (see below), quite happy with where it was going, but then I just kept adding to it. When there was no more room, I decided my card was done, so matted it onto my backing card.

But then… the more I looked at it, I felt the white was just too stark. Soooo, I decided to add a moon and sponge the background blue. More atmospheric. Not my best sponging effort however.

To colour the moon, I cut out a circle from Clear Film. I placed the circle where I wanted to position the moon (being clear, this makes it easy). This will act as a mask and keep underneath white. I then sponged the background with ‘Stormy Sky’ Distress ink.

After removing the circle, and replaced it with the clear film I had cut the circle out of. This allowed me to colour in the moon, without any colour going outside that circular space. I used chalks to shade the moon, starting with a line of orange around the lower and left edge, then dark yellow, then light yellow, leaving the top right where the spider sits, white. I blended the chalks with my finger.

I got a bit of blue ink on my mushroom when sponging, so applied touches of ‘White Opal’ Liquid Pearls over it. I Glossy Accented the bug and fairy wings, sprinkling some fine crystal glitter over the wings whilst wet. Then I drew some fine lines over some of the spider web with a glue pen. When dry (or tacky), I pressed Silver Fab Foil over. I didn’t do the whole web, just the areas where I thought the moonlight might catch it.

stamps: ‘Rory’ (fairy) & mushroom by Lavinia stamps; Fairy Tale Spider Web FTCS024 by Nellie’s Choice; Fern E1114 by Amazing Creations; wording from ‘Evidence of Art’ set LCS055 by Wendy Vecchi/Stampers Anonymous

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Pink Leaf

Susan Robinson
September 4, 2021

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This is my last card in this Leaf series. I will be moving on to mushrooms and fairies next.

After creating your background (as shown in pictures), stamp Leaf with clear pigment ink and emboss with Copper embossing powder. Colour with same Distress inks as used for background. Cut out leaf and Magic Mount onto plain cream card. Matt with dark brown and copper papers.

Gold emboss wording across bottom half of card. I shadowed the letters with a dark brown texter to make them stand out better. Assemble card layers, adding a slither of copper card to top left corner.

stamps: ‘Leaf Detail’ E1998 by Hero Arts; ‘Blips’ 40-382 by Penny Black; ‘All the Best’ wording by Stamp-it

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Red Leaf

Susan Robinson
September 1, 2021

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Kept thinking of my Mum while making this card. She suffers from dementia, and is not going so well these days. I am hoping that all her memories are still locked inside of her somewhere. She sometimes gets a far off look in her eye and a little smile on her face, so maybe she’s looking through her memories then.

I struggle to conform to standard size cards, so this one I was determined to put onto a C6 folded card. That didn’t leave me any room to matt it though, so I ran a clear embossing ink pad along each edge and embossed it with gold embossing powder instead.

The background for this card, started off the same as the one I used for my recent ‘Wooden Boat’ post. I wished later that I had gold embossed my ‘Falling Leaves’ stamp instead of stamping it in black, as it is so fine. I painted the little leaves in gold.

stamps: Memories Hope Love 4777E by Stamp-it; Falling Leaves G3229 by PSX

dies: Red Leaf by Bo Bunny (set of 3); Autumn Gatherings siz657454 by Tim Holtz; oak punch

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Creative Leaf

Susan Robinson
August 26, 2021

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As in my previous post, I cut the same leaf shape out of the ‘Tattered Leaves’ die from a piece of clear film I had coloured with various green alcohol inks. I used a brown Spectrum Noir pen (on the back) to darken the stalk and draw the leaf spine. I chose a script stamp for added pattern, that wouldn’t matter whether it could be read or not, as that also had to be stamped onto the back, with a brown StazOn pad.

Clear film is plastic – sooo, it warps when heated. This is not something you’d normally do with film, but this characteristic can be used to advantage. I sometimes use it on butterfly wings to create the allusion of movement. I used it on my coloured leaf to mold it into shape. Just quickly flash the heat gun over until it starts going limp (stop long before it starts to melt!!), then while still warm, bend it into your desired shape. The film will hold it’s shape once it cools. Be careful you don’t burn yourself! I usually put a teflon mat inside a metal baking tray for these experiments. I wouldn’t recommend gloves (especially not plastic ones!) as they are too clumsy, just wait a moment until the film is touchable, but not so cool as it’s started to reset. It’s a bit hard to see the dimension of this leaf in the above photos, but scroll down to the one at bottom of post.

For the background, I sponged ‘Scattered Straw, Spiced Marmalade & Evergreen Bough’ Distress inks over a white card.

Then laid a stencil (‘Cable Knit Sweater’ 18204 by Paper Rose, except I thought it looked like tiny leaves) over and spritzed with water. Lifted the stencil and dabbed dry with paper towel. I relaid the stencil, (aligning as best I could) and sponged ‘Worn Lipstick and Mowed Lawn’ inks through randomly.

I dry brushed some ‘Sour Apple’ Perfect Pearl powders over in a few areas to create a bit of shimmer. Dry with a heat gun.

I glued my leaf onto a piece of plain cream card, that I’d edged with sepia ink, and matted onto coordinating card. I positioned it towards right side of base card. Assembled card layers.

Cut out the word ‘create’ in gold foil board, and glue along left side of leaf design.

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Small Things

Susan Robinson
August 24, 2021

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I am just a tiny cog in the huge wheels of society, but what little I do, I do with much love.

Returning to play with Alcohol inks, this time on transparent film.

Alcohol inks on clear film: I wiped the film with Alcohol Blending solution first, then squeezed droplets of ‘Butterscotch, Ginger, Espresso & Gold’ inks onto it, allowing them to pool outwards and overlap. You need to work quickly as the inks dry fast.

Cut out 2 leaves from the now coloured film using Tim Holtz ‘Tattered Leaves’ siz656927 die. Cut out 2 more in plain cream cardstock.

Flip the coloured leaves over and stamp one of the script wordings (there are 3 in the set) from Stamper’s Anonymous ‘Reflections’ CMS111 set. These are mirror image stamps, so when you flip the leaves over the correct way, the wording will be legible. StazOn are the only inks that are effective stamping onto clear film, but you can’t stamp onto the same side as your alcohol inks as they will react together and cause bleeding. I used a dark brown Spectrum Noir pen (or you can use Copic) to darken the leaf stems.

Glue each of the coloured leaves onto a cream leaf, correct way up. Glue onto top half of plain cream folded card. [Note: as I ended up putting these leaves onto a plain cream backing card, this step wasn’t really necessary, but at the time, I was still playing around with different background options, so they needed the plain cream behind them to appreciate the colours and wording on them].

Stamp out wording (by PSX) and mat with darker brown card. Glue onto bottom half of card.

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Men about Town

Susan Robinson
August 12, 2021

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With Father’s Day next month I thought I should turn my mind to some more masculine cards. It was a bit hard to read the writing on the first card, so I stamped it inside as well. Backgrounds done with Distress Stain sprays.

stamps: ‘Time Travelers’ set CMS157 & ‘The Creative’ P4-1432, both by Tim Holtz/Stampers Anonymous; ‘Cityscape’ by Character Constructions; ‘Welcome Home’ set 125 by darkroom door.

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Wooden Boat

Susan Robinson
August 9, 2021

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Very happy with the way this card turned out! I love the combination of rust and teal together.

If you’d like to emulate this card, the steps are as follows:

  1. using a sponging block, cover white card with Vintage Photo Distress ink
  2. stamp the ‘Sand,Sun,Summer’ 3590E (from Stamp-it) in Coffee Archival ink at top right
  3. lay Chevron stencil over card and sponge Walnut Stain Distress ink through narrow chevron pattern. Then sponge water through the wider chevrons. Lift off and dab dry. Splash a few droplets of water to right of card. Dab dry.
  4. brush small amount of Turquoise Perfect Pearl powder over center area of card. The water will have bleached the ink from the card, (leaving behind the shape of the stencil pattern), but the Pearls will stick to the Distress ink left on the card, around the patterns. Cool hey? Though they may feel dry to the touch, Distress inks actually stay wet for quite a while.
  5. stamp ‘Beached’ 2724E boat (from Stamp-it) across bottom of card, and again onto some white scrap card. Colour in with watercolour pencils. Apply Distress clear ‘Crackle Paint’ over the top. Set aside to dry.
  6. when crackle varnish is dry, run a sponge with Vintage Distress ink over it. The darker ink will sit into the cracks. Wipe with a soft tissue to remove any ink sitting on the surface. Cut out boat and Magic Mount it over same image on card.
  7. rub some mustard chalk over bottom of card. Apply smudges of glue, sprinkling real sand over (make sure it’s white sand of a fine texture). Set aside to dry.
  8. sponge Sepia ink around card edges and adhere card layers.
  9. apply Glossy Accents to major swirls in ‘S’ symbol of stamp to highlight. Set aside to dry.

I loved this card so much, I tried to replicate it myself, using different stamps and softer colours. If you’re having a go yourself, keep in mind these 2 things:

  • the darker the ink, the more contrast you’ll see with the water effect.
  • the paper you use will make all the difference to the end result. So if your first attempt isn’t satisfactory, try it again using a different paper.
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