Fast Florals Hybrid Card

Monday, May 26, 2014

Hi! I'm sharing a floral hybrid card today. I had fun mixing some watercolor techniques with some digital elements to make this pretty floral card! I didn't use watercolor card because I wanted the surface to be nice and smooth (when scanning), so I used some 110lb Premium White Cardstock from Core'dinations. The peach cardstock I used in the background is from the Graphic45 Signature Series Lights also from Core'dinations and I lightly sanded the edges. The fab ribbon is from May Arts. Read on to see how I created the watercolor background.

Here's how it all started out! I did some quick sketches of some flowers from my garden, colored them with watercolors and added some outlining with Distress Markers. I tried not to spend too long at it because I wanted it to be just an impression. Once it was dry, I scanned it and lightened the colors in Photoshop and added the sentiment. I used my favorite font right now Bombshell Pro, I love the calligraphy feel to it.

I really enjoyed the process of this card and it really was quick. I forgot how much fun it was to make hybrid cards and the versatility that it offers too! Thanks for stopping by today! : )

Watercolor effect

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I've been busy, busy working on magazine commissions, it's that time of year when we're creating for those special Christmas issues! In between deadlines, I managed to whip up a quick card focusing on the watercolor technique, that seems to be everywhere right now!! I had some of the stamped elements left over from one of my Core'dinations projects. I used some of their fabulous 110lb Premium White Cardstock on this card.

The gorgeous flower and butterfly stamps are from Cling Jumbo Lovely Garden and Cling Jumbo Hydrangea Garden both from Stampendous. I stamped each element onto some 110lb Premium White Cardstock from Core'dinations using VersaMark and heat embossed in a soft white. Then I added touches of color to these using Distress Markers (Squeezed Lemonade, Tattered Rose, Spun Sugar, Shabby Shutters, Crushed Olive, Tumbled Glass and Broken China), then using a wet paintbrush I spread the color to create the watercolor look. For the background I cut another rectangle of 110lb Premium White Cardstock from Core'dinations, wet sections of it using a wet paintbrush then I added drops of color in the form of Distress Stains (Spun Sugar, Tumbled Glass and Peeled Paint), I also flicked some color from the brush directly onto the card.

I love how it turned out, the white heat embossing really goes well with the watercolor look, it keeps the whole effect light and fresh! For the sentiment I used a stamp from Vintage Typewriter from Stampendous stamped in Memento London Fog, which is a nice soft grey, black would have overpowered the card I think. The twill ribbon is from May Arts.

I've another Art Journalling post in the works, this time focusing on using grids on your pages. It's a great way to divide up the space. Thanks for dropping by, have a great day! : )

Big Blooms and Chalkboard

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Yes, I love big flowers. I finally had a chance to experiment making some of the flowers in a handmade flower book I bought a while ago called Paper to Petal, most of the flowers in the book are made using crepe paper or tissue paper and there is a lot of information on techniques in the book.

There's also templates at the back of the book for each of the flowers. Once you learn the basic techniques you can come up with different types of flowers of your own. The centre of the flower I made using some fringed Core'dinations cardstock. I did use a color wash on the crepe paper and left it to dry but I also added some dry brush hints of acrylic paint afterwards once I had assembled the flower. The leaves are made from more Core'dinations cardstock that I shaped and sanded.

The background is some black Core'dinations cardstock embossed using Poppy Anna Griffin embossing folder, which I heat embossed clear then sanded to leave a shine in the debossed parts. I revisited the chalkboard technique on this little tag, I practiced a little hand-lettering using a white pen, then added the shadow and border detail using a white pastel pencil. The white stamped leaves are a little stamp I hand-carved, more on that in a later post!

I know the flower is pretty big but after I made it I couldn't resist adding it to a card, it would also make a fabulous gift topper. I also made a lemon peony, I'd love a bouquet of these but that would take ages to make!

I'm glad I finally tried some of the flowers in this book, it was actually my first time using crepe paper, I've always been a bit nervous of using it but it makes really delicate, realistic flowers, you just have to be a bit careful not to tear it when working with it. That's all for now, have a great day! : )

Art Journaling - Making a start!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Ok, so for quite a while now I've been intrigued by the whole art journaling phenomenon. I really liked the idea of keeping one but I had absolutely no clue where to start and to be honest I was a little scared. The more I looked into it, the more I could see the benefits and reasons for creating an art journal, it is a powerful creative tool. Most significantly I realized there is no right or wrong way to do it, it's totally personal to you. The reason I'm sharing my experience of art journaling here on my blog (which is a bit scary, stepping outside my comfort zone!) is in case anyone else 'out there' might want to start an art journal too and if I can help or inspire anyone, in any way, then it's worth sharing here.

The first thing I did was create a new board specifically for art journaling on Pinterest, so I could gather some initial inspiration of the types of art journals I liked and the styles I was drawn to. Pretty much so I could figure out what my own style is. It was inspiring to see the range and variety of styles and techniques used by different people.

Then I asked myself an important question - What do I want from my art journal? It's really important to be authentic here, the reasons for keeping an art journal will be different for everyone. For me, I wanted to explore other aspects of my creativity. So I would see my art journal as a place to practice creativity, that would include - sketching, painting, learning how to create hand-lettering, maybe I might add some hand carved stamping. If you don't draw or paint you could include photos, mementos, add some stamping, collage, whatever you like really!

The content. What do I want to put in it? Anything that inspires me. Anything that I'm interested in. So, there's probably going to be a lot of nature, flowers, birds etc in mine but it won't strictly speaking be a nature journal. I like to gather inspirational quotations so I'll probably include them, you could add poems, even lyrics from songs. I'm sure other themes and subjects will emerge in my art journal over time as it evolves. I see it as an intuitive process and I usually follow my instincts about what I want to focus on next. All the drawings and paintings in my art journal will be either from life or from photographs that I have taken, I think this is important to really capture your own authentic vision for your journal.

Making a start. I found this pretty difficult because I tend to procrastinate when I'm a bit nervous about something. So my brand new, hardback, 8x8 art journal was in the general vicinity of my desk for a few weeks there, next to my desk, on the floor next to my desk, then it actually made it on my desk but I still didn't open it! So when I did make a start I skipped the first couple of pages because I want to make the first page like a title page and look pretty special, so when I'm ready I'll go back and make that page.

I think there is quite a bit of info out there online to get you started but I usually always seek out a couple of books when I start something new. I found a really good one (geared towards people who like to sketch and paint) called Artist's Journal Workshop - creating your life in words and pictures by Cathy Johnson. There are lots of other books on the subject and I'm sure you'll find one that speaks to you. The other book I bought was Creative Lettering by Jenny Doh. This is a great place to start if you want to improve you hand-lettering skills and the book includes lots of different styles and sample alphabets that you can use in your art journal. Ok, so on to what I actually did in my art journal. Here are my first two pages, I did the one on the right first.

Yes, there is a lot going on here. On the page on the right the first thing I added was the forget-me-not like flowers, they're not actually forget-me-nots, they're Brunnera Macrophylla, very similar flowers but they're perennial and prefer shade. I have them in the garden, so I took some photos and worked from those, sketched in pencil, then colored using watercolors and I added some extra detail using Distress Markers!

I really wanted a soft look so I added some splatters of watercolor paint here and there. Then I added a text border, the spring lettering and a quotation. My handwriting isn't that fancy so I attempted a cursive style using one of the alphabets in the Creative Lettering book, I used pencil first then went over it with the fine tipped side of a Distress Marker, finally I have a use for the fine tip side!! : ) I took a few photos as I was creating the second page, I always like to see the process of how other creative people work so I thought I'd share mine.

Again I took some photos in my garden, this time I captured the apple blossoms in bud on one of our apple trees. So first I sketched it in pencil, then added a watercolor wash to the background, I'm not that patient so I dried it with my hair dryer!

Then I switched to a smaller (well used) watercolor brush and blocked in the leaves, branches and stems. I didn't have the right color pink in watercolor paints so I used some acrylic paint mixed to a milky consistency, it's a really vibrant pink (process magenta I think).

So I just kept on adding layers of paint, filling in more details. At this point, once the paint was dry I switched to my Distress Markers, I love using these over watercolor paints, they really make the colors pop. You can see I've a color chart made out, so I can see at a glance which markers I need.

I still felt there was a little something missing (that's the perfectionist in me!) so I added some highlights using some white acrylic paint.

Once that was finished, it was time to add my text. I love the look of flowing text around an image so I drew a rough pencil line to follow. Again I used a cursive style lettering, rendered in pencil first and then using Distress Marker, I have to say the muted colors of Distress Markers work really well in an art journal.

Once I was happy with it, I added some smaller text, again following the same flowing shape and I used a lighter color Distress Marker for a softer look.

There felt like there was something missing at the top right corner of the page, so I added a butterfly, one of the most common butterflies that I see here in the garden, the Small White.

Oh and I did add some more splashes and drops of pink watercolor paint to draw the eye over to the next page and create a flow. I have to say I love how this page turned out, it has a nice rhythm to it.

That was a lot more writing that I usually do here! I hope if you're interested in starting an art journal that I gave you a couple of ideas or at least something to think about! This will be a regular little feature on my blog by the way, I'll share my progress and any hints and tips that I gather along the way! For those of you not interested in art journaling don't worry I'll still be creating and posting cards and other paper-crafted projects here as usual! : ) Thanks for dropping by today for something a bit different than normal!

The SRM Challenge - Guest Designer (May)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Hi! I've a fun card to share today using SRM Stickers. I was delighted when Susan asked me to be a guest designer over at The SRM Challenge (A monthly challenge to inspire you to use your fabulous SRM Stickers!) for the month of May! As you may have guessed the theme for the May challenge is 'Birthdays'!

I used some of my favorite SRM Stickers to make this card! I just love, love, love the border stickers range!! So I used a combo of border stickers to create a diagonal background. I used We've Got Your Border - BirthdayPastelValentine and Baby Boy. To add some texture to the background I used Maraschino and Peapod baker's twine.

I love that you can create a custom background using any combo of border stickers, there are so many possibilities! To add some dimension I used some of the cupcake stickers from We've Got Your Stickers Plus - Birthday, I popped them on some cardstock, fussy cut them and added them to my card with some silicone glue.

So, if you have some SRM Stickers in your stash (if you don't, you're definitely are missing out!) whip up a fabulous birthday card and link up your entry on The SRM Challenge blog to be in with a chance of winning a PRIZE from SRM Stickers! That's all for now, have a great weekend! : )