Sunday, May 20, 2018

Growing in Unity Spring Blog Hop

Welcome to the Spring Growing in Unity Spring Blog Hop!

Today I am participating in a little blog hop with several of the other Unity Stamps Growing in Unity Gals, who have each had a to be a Unity Stamp Company guest designer for a week.  My week as a GIU Girl began April 16th.  If you would care to check out my five April guest posts, they begin HERE.

Today I have a watercolored card using the May 2018 SMAK Kit, Gratitude & Joy to share with you.

I had hoped to have a short, edited video for this project.  I had one; or so I thought.  But when I went to edit it, I found there was a large problem:  apparently I had some operator error with the record/stop recording button about midway through my day, so I was for quite a time, recording drying time rather than recording the actual painting time.  And literally watching paint dry?  I think we will skip that.  

So let me tell you about this project instead:

My card began with a piece of 300# Arches cold press watercolor paper.  (I buy the Arches in 9x12" blocks, and then cut the sheets to 4.5x6" for cardmaking.)  I used my Original MISTI to stamp the butterfly image onto my watercolor paper using Inkon3's new Fade Out No Line Coloring Ink.  I left the stamp in place in my MISTI so I could re-stamp later.

I used my Fineline Masking Fluid Pen and a cheap flat paint brush to put down a thin layer of the making fluid which covered the butterfly entirely.  (Make sure you clean your brush immediately!)  I let the mask dry overnight.  The next morning, I began watercoloring with my Sennelier L'Aquarelle watercolors and my new Escoda Reserva Travel brushes that I was spoiled with on Mother's Day.  They are amazing quality, and are so pretty.  They are just as beautiful as they feel, and the paint fabulously.  I wet the background with clean water, then put a layer of a light violet.  Then let it dry.  I added a second layer of slightly deeper violet.  Then let it dry...  and so on.

Watercoloring is definitely an exercise in patience.  When I watercolor, the actual process often takes all day, so I often will have several paintings in process, or I'll watercolor on the day I do laundry.  Then my project can dry while I go fold and switch out loads of clothes.  Depending on the amount of water, each layer can take from 15-60 minutes to dry.  Today's project took all day.  But truly, if it weren't for dry time?  I probably only actually painted or stamped for 60-70 minutes, I just did  5-10 minute increments at a time.

With each thin layer, the color is built up gradually and you can have a certain luminosity in your colors that you can't always get with a single darker layer of watercolor.  Once I was satisfied with my background color, I went back to my MISTI to re-stamp.  I placed my paper in the exact same corner of my MISTI and stamped the image, this time using Wilted Violet Distress Oxide ink.  I had to stamp 3 times, using light pressure on the lid to make sure the ink was dark enough, and that I had gotten enough ink into the textured surface of the paper.  I didn't want to force the ink to the paper with hard pressure, or I would smash the stamp and lose the crispness of the image and script.  The liquid mask was still protecting my butterfly, so I was only stamping the background.  Again, I left my stamp in place in my MISTI for later.

I wanted to create a bit of a mottled background, so I added some Wilted Violet ink with a foam blender to add a bit more color to my paper, then spritzed it with water droplets, let it sit a minute or two, then gently picked up the water, and the color it had lifted, with a paper towel.   When my panel was fully dry, I added some tiny spatters of slightly watered-down white acrylic paint for more interest.  

My next step was to remove the mask.  Making sure my panel was VERY dry, so I wouldn't tear or damage the surface of the watercolor paper, I used a rubber adhesive remover eraser to very gently lift and peel off the masking fluid coating.  This left my butterfly rather starkly white, with only my faint Fade Out Ink image.  Much like as I painted the background, I painted the butterfly in several very pale layers, letting it dry between layers, and colors, building up the color very slowly.  I also added a cast shadow, tentatively sketching it in first with plain water, then painting layers of a blue/Payne's Gray mixture.  When I was happy with it, and it was dry, I once again went back to my MISTI.  I very carefully, selectively inked small portions of the butterfly at a time with Distress ink cubes and stamped the details back over the butterfly.  I used Black Soot on the body and antennae, and Broken China over the wings. 

Next I trimmed my panel down to 4.25x5.5" and stamped my sentiment in embossing ink, and heat embossed with white.  I also spritzed the entire panel with Sheer Shimmer: Sparkle to give it some extra shine and sparkle.  When this was completely dry, I mounted my panel to an A2 top-fold card base with liquid glue, and weighted it down well with a heavy box so it would dry very flat.

Thanks for stopping by today!    I hope you enjoy today's hop!  Your next stop should be Avra's blog, but before you go, leave a comment here on this blog post, and on the other five stops along the hop to be entered to win one of two prize packs of Unity Stamps!  

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

My Sweet Petunia and Technique Tuesday Collaboration Blog Hop

Welcome to the My Sweet Petunia and Technique Tuesday Collaboration Blog Hop!

Today the teams from Technique Tuesday and MISTI are celebrating with a special bloghop giveaway, and are sharing many projects created using the MISTI and the fabulous stamps and dies from Technique Tuesday.  

Hopefully you have arrived here from Amy's blog.  If not, and you would like to start the hop at the very beginning, please click HERE.

Today I am sharing religious gift set of 6 cards that I have created using my Original MISTI and the Faith Opens the Door stamp set, which is just one of the many religious themed stamp sets and products from Technique Tuesday.  

I started my project by using my Original MISTI to stamp several of the many faith-themed sentiments from Faith Opens the Door in Blackout Hybrid ink onto panels of layering weight white cardstock.  I chose to use six sentiments to create a versatile six card, blank-inside notecard gift set.  The sentiments from this stamp set are versatile enough that they can be used for many occasions, from a thinking of you or get well card, or can be tailored with the interior note to be used for a new baby, a baptism or confirmation or even a wedding shower or anniversary card.   This simple, yet classic black and white design gives a bit of understated elegance, and yet are very simple to mass produce for gifts. 

I dry embossed the stamped panel using my Big Shot and the Circle Interlock embossing folder by Darice.  I then centered a rectangle die over the embossed pattern, and taped my die down with a bit of Therm O Web Purple Tape, and die cut with my Big Shot.

I then die cut all the pieces needed to assemble six cards.  I used my tiny little Sizzix Sidekick to cut six of the bibles from Black and Soft Stone cardstock.  I also used tiny scraps of silver glitter paper to cut six crosses using just the interior of the bible die from the Amen Crafting Dies.  I also cut layering mats from white and black cardstock as well as prepared six side-fold A2 white card bases.

All that was left was to assemble the cards.  I layered the white and black layers with the stamped and embossed panel, then assembled the pieces using liquid craft glue to create the bible.

Now that my set of six cards were assembled,  I needed some simple packaging.  I placed the cards and envelopes into a clear A2 card box, and used a strip of 12x12 bitty dot paper to create a band at the top of the box.  I chose to use the Faith die, also from the Amen Crafting Dies set to decorate the band.  I used Therm O Web sticky dots to adhere the delicate word die cut to my small rectangle label.  I placed the die cut first onto the sheet Sticky Dots.  When I removed it from the sheet, it was well coated on the back side with dots of wonderfully sticky adhesive.  I only had to transfer it to my small label and it was well adhered!  

My gift set is ready to be gifted!

  In celebration of today's hop, Technique Tuesday and My Sweet Petunia are giving two fabulous blog hop prizes.  Two lucky winners will win both a $50 shopping spree from My Sweet Petunia and a $50 shopping spree at Technique Tuesday!  To be entered, please leave a comment on the today's hop posts.  Comments must be entered before Monday, May 28, 11:59 p.m. central time. Winners will be announced Tuesday, May 29th, on both the My Sweet Petunia and Technique Tuesday blogs.  

Thanks for joining me for today's collaboration hop!  Your next stop on the hop should be Dana Joy. The complete list of hop participants is listed below.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Mother's Day: MISTI and Alexandra Renke

 I'm likely a bit late getting my own card off in the mail, hopefully it will arrive on time, but if not, I DID did get it made prior to Sunday (and I delivered lunch and flowers last weekend)!

I chose to make a very soft, simple Mother's Day card for my mom, using some of the gorgeous Alexandra Renke products that I fell head over heels in love with at Creativation this past January.  Her beautiful watercolored papers make such stunning cards.  And she has already done all the hard work!

I die cut both the Magic Butterfly and Heart Ribbon from Artistico Cold Press watercolor paper and used yellows and orange Distress Inks and a waterbrush to paint them. I simply shmooshed some of the ink directly onto my MISTI Mouse Pad, and used the waterbrush to pick up the ink and paint. The bright butterfly was a fun contrast to the soft Rose pastels of the Baby's Breath paper.

I used my MISTI to stamp the tiny FOR YOU greeting in Altenew Moon Rock ink and assembled my card with Brutus Monroe craft glue, using the Heart Ribbon die cut as a flight trail.  I adhered my assembled panel to a Gina K. Designs Moonlit Fog top fold A2 card base.

Thanks for stopping in today!  Have a fabulous Mother's Day weekend.  

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Testing Inkon3's Fade Out Ink for the VLVStamps April Challenge

Hello!  Happy weekend to you all.

Last night I finally got a chance to test out the new Fade Out ink from Inkon3 with watercolors.  I'd had a few minutes earlier in the week to tested it with Copic markers, and thought it worked well with those, but I'd not found the time to get out some watercolors.

I decided to use one of the "grab bag" stamps that'd I'd gotten from VivaLasVegasStamps and attempt to create something suitable for the VLVStamps April Challenge.  I'd been at VLVStamps last July and purchased a "pound of rubber"; which is their version of a grab bag.  This scene stamp was one of likely 150+ stamps that were included in my pound of unmounted bare red rubber and was perfect for the April challenge: finding inspiration from nature.  

Here is their inspiration photo:

And here's my card:

I stamped the image with the Fade Out ink onto Bristol Smooth paper using my Original MISTI.  The smooth paper gave a nice crisp, pale-gray image on the first stamping.  The ink was dry almost immediately and was ready to paint. 
I decided to use my Caran d'Ache Museum watercolor pencils for this panel since the image was quite small and detailed.  In some areas I colored with pencil, then added water with my Faber Castell waterbrush.  In larger areas like the sky and water, I picked up color from the tip of my pencils with the waterbrush and brought it to the paper that way.

All in all, I thought the Fade Out ink from Inkon3 worked well.  It dried quickly, stayed visible enough to easily work from, and virtually disappeared once color was added.  

I trimmed my completely dried panel to 4.5" x 5.25", then added a sentiment and compass from a retired Papertrey Ink set with Kraft ink, stamping off once before stamping on my card panel.   Then adhered it with Brutus Monroe liquid glue to a top fold ivory card base. 

Thanks for visiting!  Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 27, 2018

My Sweet Petunia and Visible Image Collaboration Blog Hop

Good morning everyone!  
Thanks for joining me today.

Today the teams from My Sweet Petunia and Visible Image are sharing lots of amazing inspiration with a Collaboration Blog Hop.    Hopefully you have arrived from Josephine's blog, but if not and you'd like to start at the beginning of today's blog hop, please click HERE.  We are thrilled to share projects created using the unique and versatile stamps from the U.K. based company Visible Image and the MISTI from My Sweet Petunia.

Visible Image has many high quality stamps that can be mixed and matched to create projects for cards, home decor, as well as scrapbooks and journals.  For my project today, I have used stamps from several sets to create this mixed media card and video.

My card begins with a 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" piece of Artistico Hot Press watercolor paper.  I stamped the door from Ahead Of Our Time in Versafine Black Onyx ink, then without reinking, also stamped onto a piece of 2" Post-It tape to create a mask.

I added the trimmed out mask to my stamped panel and used Distress Oxide inks to begin creating an inked background.  I realized after starting that I wanted the door opening to be trimmed out as well, so I removed the mask and used a Pen Blade and metal ruler to trim out the interior then replaced it onto my panel and continued.  I used Black Soot, Forest Moss,  Frayed Burlap and Broken China inks to create a graduated background.  I decided to add some faint clouds to the "sky", so I used Gina K. Designs White Pigment ink to stamp several of the two cloud stamps from the Believe In Unicorns set.

I also used E43, E44 and E49 Copic markers to carefully color in the door and door frame.  Since I was using watercolor paper, which is a bit more absorbent, I colored very cautiously, not coloring to the image lines, so as to leave a bit of room for the Copic ink to spread.

I needed to let my inked background and pigment ink dry, so I left my panel at this point for about 30 minutes.

When I returned, I was able to heat emboss.  I used a anti-static bag to "dust" my 
panel before arranging my stamps onto my card front.  I used the large butterfly from Live Life Now, and the greetings from Creativity.  Since I was heat embossing them all in gold.  I was able to stamp them all at the same time with Wow! embossing ink using my Original Misti. 

Once I had embossed, I trimmed the panel down to 4 3/4" x 6 3/4" and added it to a 5" x 7" Kraft side fold card base.

The video of this card creation is here:

Now, before you hop on over to Jane's blog, please leave a comment to be entered to win one of two amazing blog hop prizes.  Two lucky winners from today's hop will win both at $50 shopping spree at My Sweet Petunia and a $50 shopping spree at Visible image!  Comments must be left prior to Monday, April 30th, at 11:59 PM Central time and winners will be announced on Tuesday May 1st, on the Visible Image and My Sweet Petunia blogs.

Here is the list of all of today's Collaboration Hop participants.  Happy hopping!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Growing in Unity week winners!

Hello everyone!

I'm just popping back in to let you know the two lucky winners from my Growing in Unity week series of posts.  

Unity Stamp Company has graciously donated two prize packs of fabulously random stamps for me to give away to two of the commenters on my blog posts.

I have drawn the winners from the many very kind comments left during the week, and the are:

Vicki and Nancy, please message me through Facebook, and once I have received your mailing addresses,  your prizes will soon be on their way to you from Unity Stamp Company!

Thank you all for such a fun week of blog posts!
Have a fantastic day!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Last one! Growing in Unity Day Five

Today is my fifth and final day as a 2018 Unity Stamp Company Growing in Unity girl.  This has been a wonderful experience to be able to share some of my projects with you.  I'm so happy for this opportunity to participate in this program for a second year.  Thanks Unity!

Today I have a card and video which shows a unique and fun way of using your ink pads to color your images and backgrounds.  This technique uses brushes or foam pads to apply dye inks to gloss-coated cardstock.

I am using the lighthouse image from the January 2017 SMAK kit, The Ocean is Calling.

I used my Original MISTI and Stazon ink to selectively stamp just the lighthouse portion of the stamp, onto glossy coated paper.  The paper I used here is called Digital Gloss Coat paper from Marco's Paper.  I also stamped and trimmed out a mask for the lighthouse.  Leaving my stamp in place in my MISTI, I cleaned it with Ultraclean, and set my MISTI aside to use again later.

I covered the stamped lighthouse image with my Post-it tape mask, and also added a mask to create a horizon line with the 2" Post-it tape.  I left the tape long enough to secure it to my MISTI mouse pad.  Now I can create my stormy sky with Distress Ink.  You can use most any dye ink on glossy paper for this technique, but you'll want to make sure you have a good archival ink to stamp your images first.

You can use brushes, or makeup sponges, or foam daubers to pick up the ink from for ink pads then use them to apply it to your card with a dragging/sweeping motion.  The glossy paper helps the ink move across.  Regular cardstock will now work well for this technique.  My preference is using the Colorbox stylus with small oval foam tips.  I find them easy, convenient and comfortable to use, but other tools and or sponges will definitely work.

I used many ink colors to create the swirly, stormy sky before removing the horizon mask and replacing it above the horizon line to protect that sky.  I used several of the same ink colors to create the ocean, leaving the water darkest in the distance and working lighter, even leaving some areas white for waves near the shoreline.

I had to create a landform to ground my lighthouse and did so with distress inks as well.  I removed all masks and used small brushes to work small details into my lighthouse with Weathered Wood and Black Soot Distress Inks.

I went back to my MISTI and inked up some, but not all, of the water spray adding it to my card panel with Gina K. Designs White Pigment ink.  I knew I wanted more spray, so I painted more in using my tiny Elf makeup brush and the white pigment ink.  

My sentiment, from the Layers of Life April 2017 kit, Within Each Of Us was carefully heat embossed with Gina K. Designs white embossing powder.

The video of making this card is available here:

It's definitely a fun technique!  Thanks for watching.

And thank you so much for all the comments and encouragement this week!  I appreciate you all so much.  Hopefully the tips and videos I've shared may inspire you to use your stamps and tools in new ways!

Today is the last day to comment, for the chance to win one of two fabulous prize packs donated by Unity Stamp Company.  Notification of the two winners will shared on this blog, and on the Unity Show and Tell and Growing in Unity Facebook pages in the next two weeks.  Those lucky winners will receive 25 random Unity Stamps to play with and hopefully try some of these techniques I've shared this week.

Thanks so much for this opportunity, Unity Stamps!  And thank you all for joining me!

Have a fantastic weekend!