Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Art of Life

I must admit that I have a hard time putting down my Copic alcohol markers when coloring in stamped images. However, I do also love my Stampin' Up Watercolor crayons, which I've had for about five years. There are some stamps that naturally lend themselves to watercoloring, especially floral stamps.

One of my favorite stamp sets is an old Stampin' Up Hostess Set called Art of Life. It was one of the first stamp sets I acquired, and I still love using it. To provide more stamping accuracy and flexibility, I've taken the stamps off their original wooden mounts, and use them with acrylic block handles. I've even cut the flowers away from the stems, and this enables me to color the two parts differently.

I began by stamping a watercolored image of the stems, first using a paler shade of green and then having the central, focal stem in a darker green. The flowers were stamped similarly with the background flowers slightly lighter, and the central flower a darker pink.

There are a couple of ways to use the watercolor crayons. I prefer using a sponge to lightly dampen the rubber stamp. Then I rub the chosen color or colors over the rubber. You can use more than one crayon color to provide two tones or shading/highlights. Or, you can stamp the image a second time with a different shade. The watercolor crayons are so versatile, and every image you stamp comes out slightly different. The amount of water used also will affect your results, so play around!

As usual, I'm never happy designing just one layout, so I've made several different cards. In almost all of them, I used the SU watercolor vine wheel with Mellow Moss ink.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Father's Day Card

I used the Stampin' Up Loads of Love stamp set to create this year's Father's Day card for my dad in Texas. I also made a similar card for dear hubby.

The wide open images of this stamp set lend well to shading and coloring with alcohol markers.

I also made a more general card with a tag, Loads of Love. I liked the way the DCWV patterned paper sort of looks like a highway with another piece resembling the trees!

These were fun cards to make, and I sure hope the Father's Day card arrives in Texas in time! Love ya, Dad :-)

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

A Quiet Life

Let's face it . . . I need another stamp like I need a hole in the head! However, being addicted to stamps, this set of four English cottages by Crafty Individuals was more than I could resist.

After an idyllic visit to Shere in Surrey, just a stone's throw away from our home, I came away with lots of inspiration on making these cards. Shere, which has been used for a handful of film sets (including The Holiday), feels like a village stuck in time with charming cottages, traditional pubs and tea rooms, and majestic old church.

I cobbled together a few elements to make these cards, including the Crafty Individuals stamp set and a gorgeous Stampin' Up stamp called Very Vintage, which is sold as a stamp wheel. I also remembered in my vast stamp collection a Stampin' Up set called A Quiet Life, which has the perfect sentiment: 'What sweet delights a quiet life affords.' - William Drummond

I began by stamping the cottage stamps onto Whisper White card stock and then coloring with alcohol markers. The look was still too stark for this nostalgic design, so I put the cottages onto thin cardboard, gluing them down and then glazing them with an antique decoupage finish.

The cards were enhanced with shimmery brown ribbon. But the crowning glory were some vintage buttons, which I procured from a fellow artisan (Creative Crucible) selling her wares in Shere at a village fair. I love buttons, and I find each one a treasure that has its own story and can complete a craft project that is otherwise lacking.