Bright Wishes: 1 NEW Stamp Set, 2 Different Watercolor Techniques

We’re only TEN days away from the launch of the 2017-2018 catalog where you will see some gorgeous new products like the wishing well set called Bright Wishes which I am sharing a sneak peek of today.

Bright Wishes contains a beautiful large line-drawn well stamp which lends itself well to all types of coloring techniques.  For those who know me, they know I LOVE to color stamped images!

While my preference for coloring is using a great set of colored pencils (Yes, you can imagine my excitement when SU! brought back watercolor pencils!), the images from the Bright Wishes set above are both stamped onto watercolor paper and colored with markers and an Aqua Painter for a watercolor look.

One of the images took THREE TIMES longer than the other to color.  Can you guess which one?    Read on for the answer.

The card on the left was created by first stamping the Bright Wishes well in Sahara Sand.  This light color was chosen because it would essentially disappear and allow the image to take on a more free-handed watercolor appearance once the marker/aqua painter watercolor was added. Because it is necessary to color up to the lines and extra care added to adjusting/overlaying colors, there is a lot of moving to dry areas and waiting for the adjacent area to dry so that you can add more color. In other words- If you don’t wait for the well stones to dry and watercolor the greenery you’d have green bleed into the well’s stones.  It isn’t easy to remove watercolor bleed!  You must have dry surfaces when you watercolor in adjacent areas or add color over areas.  This is why the PINK card on the left took 3x longer than the BLUE one on the right.

The BLUE card on the right was inked by applying marker ink to each area using different colors. I colored the roses Real Red, the greenery Old Olive, the well stones Crumb Cake, the wood Sahara Sand, etc.  Once the whole stamp had ink, I huffed on it (adding moisture from my breath back to any area which may have dried) and stamped the image.  I then used an Aqua Painter where the brush was just damp enough to move the color around within the leaves, flowers, stones, wood, etc.  This creates a watercolor look, however it also takes all definition of the stamp away.  Once the image dries, ink the stamp with Chocolate Chip and using a Stamp positioner like the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig, stamp the details over the image. Your watercolor blobs of color will have definition once again.

Did you know which one took longer?

Do you have a preference in the results?  Just because a technique takes longer doesn’t mean everyone would prefer the results over the less time consuming result.

However you decide to color the Bright Wishes stamp set, I believe if you like to color it is a great set to add to your collection. You can do that starting June 1, 2017 by shopping with me HERE.

Until next time…

-Joanne

Jar of Love: How to fill with water

A while back I got a request from Elaine (Hi Elaine!) in my comments asking how I create a water look in my jars.  Since I had already pre-planned and prepped most of my April blog posts early and I needed ample time to create samples of various water-filled jars, take photos, then write up this blog…well, I’m finally getting around to posting the many ways that I have created water in the Jar of Love stamps.

By far the easiest way to create the water filled jar is to use the water stamp which comes in the Jar of Love bundle and your preferred blue ink.  Even if doing this, you still have the option to alter the stamped image as I have done in image 2 above.

It is important to note that when choosing how to color water in your jars, the paper you choose will dictate choices which you have to work your inked images.

Stampin’ UP! Whisper White cardstock will pill very easily if it gets too wet. This paper is best used with direct stamping, blender pen use, watercolor pencils without water or VERY light water blending.

Stampin’ UP! Whisper White Notecards & Whisper White Thick cardstock  will hold up slightly better than the regular Whisper White, but still can not tolerate much water.

Stampin’ UP! Shimmery cardstock will allow for moderate water, but many beginners will find this also is easily overworked and pills with a heavy hand.  Once you get more comfortable watercoloring, you should easily be able to use this as a paper source for watercolor pencils + Aqua painters or a brush. Plus, stamped images are crisper on a smooth surface.

I love the effects of traditional watercoloring techniques seen above on the Shimmery White cardstock.  Both Shimmery white cardstock and Watercolor paper can get the results seen above with these basic techniques.  As stated earlier, Whisper White will not hold up well to the water wash primer with additional water application without pilling.

Stampin’ UP! watercolor paper is a very heavy watercolor paper which will hold up well to water washes, ink washes, dripping water, and puddles of water.  I purposely overworked watercolor paper to show how, if working too quickly with an aqua painter or rough brush, pilling can still occur.

Not all watercolor paper is created like the Stampin’ UP! watercolor paper.  Yes, I own other brands and many are cheaper.  Yes, the quality & results are easily recognizable. I prefer the heavier SU! paper over the box-store versions hands down!  The old saying you get what you pay for holds true here. Generally speaking, a good heavy weight cold-press watercolor paper gives the best results.

Make the choices which work for you and allow you to get comfortable with the techniques. Many people tell me that it is impossible to watercolor on regular Whisper White cardstock.  Yet, once you learn how to control the water, that is only partially true.  You will never get the same results or be able to do all of the watercolor techniques because it won’t hold up to heavy water use, but you can use watercolor pencils and watercolor images on this paper–It just takes a lot of practice.

I prefer, when using Stampin’ UP! products alone, to go with the Shimmer White cardstock.  I like the shimmery appearance of the background and the smooth surface of this paper which takes stamps well.  The more water you wish to use and ink bleed you want from your watercoloring, the more need there is for a good watercolor paper. The results you see above in the Shimmer White could easily be achieved in the watercolor paper, but the wash on the last (overworked) image of the watercolor paper would have been a trashed sample on Shimmer White long before I got to this point. Just remember the rule of water: more water needs better, thicker paper.  Since some techniques require more water, you have to choose accordingly.

One last tip: Need a palette for your ink?  Tap your ink pad, scribble your marker, add reinker, or use your watercolor pencil & aqua painter to create a puddle of color on one of your acrylic stamp blocks.  Then you can grab color from the block and ‘paint’.  Clean up is simple-just wash & dry the block when you are done.

Of course there are a multitude of other ways to create the look of water in a jar.  This just touches on a few basic ink to paper techniques, with just one other medium thrown in a sample (the fine tip glue). I hope this gives you a starting point to getting inky.

Until next time…

-Joanne

 

 

Mediterranean Moments: A Blooms & Bliss layout

For three weeks we have started a double page layout by starting with one 12″x12″ sheet of designer series paper (DSP) and cutting it to span the to pages on a double page scrapbook layout.  This week we will be using this same idea, however our orientation of the DSP will change.

*My apologies for the week delay in posting-technical difficulties & a busy week left no time to fix them until now…thanks for bearing with me…On to the layout:

The 5″x12″ DSP on this layout will be applied flush with the outer sides of each layout page, with the 12″x1/2″ Silver Foil strip against it .

Since we’ve flipped the orientation of the DSP to the sides, we’re including small banner strips (1″x11″ & 1/2″x10″) to ground the large (9 3/8″x8.5″) Rich Razzleberry mats which contain the smaller Whisper White photo mats (6″x4″ and 3″x4″).

The stamps used on the 2.5″x1″ banner piece are from the Project Life Hello Lovely Accessories.  The same Hello Lovely accessories stamp set was used for the flower on the journal card.

I really love the Mediterranean Moments cafe scene stamp and chose to add it on a 3″x3″ piece of Whisper White cardstock and used the wonderful watercolor pencils and blender pens to color the image.  I later matted in on 3.25″ square of Sweet Sugarplum and added to one of the 6″x4″ photo mat areas where I used Blooms & Bliss DSP and centered a 6″x1.25″ strip of Rich Razzleberry cardstock under the stamped image.

Having the Rich Razzleberry watercolor pencil really helps the color flow with this Blooms & Bliss cardstock.  I love the color coordination with Stampin’ UP! products!

For my beginning scrapbookers: Remember that this same layout design can be created with different designer series papers & stamps to fit your photo needs.

I do not add titles to all of my scrapbook pages, and instead rely heavily on a journal card to tell the reader the information behind the photos.  However, if you prefer having titles, try adding smaller ones along the sides or longer titles across the bottom of this layout.

I hope you enjoyed these 4 weeks of beginning scrapbook design layouts. My apologies again for those who were waiting a whole week longer on this last post in the 4 week series.  Thank you for your patience.

May is National Scrapbook Month.  What better time to get scrapping!

Until next time…

-Joanne

Blooms & Bliss DSP: At the Aquarium Scrapbook Layout

I recently sat down with the Blooms & Bliss Designer Series Paper (DSP) to create a few double page scrapbook layouts which any beginning scrapbooker could recreate and still happily show-off with pride.   All of this month’s layouts have one thing in common: they all start with 1 piece of 12″x12″ DSP which I used as the focal paper for the double page spread.  How I cut and used that DSP and the other papers I added changed only slightly.  However, the photo orientation and matting is what changes the layout designs.

This Aquarium themed layout starts with 1 sheet of  the 12″x12″ blue speckled paper in the Blooms & Bliss DSP pack.  As you see in the final double page spread below, the chosen DSP will be cut and be used on both the left and right pages of the layout.

Island Indigo & Mint Macaron, the main colors in the DSP,  were pulled as I chose the color scheme for this aquarium layout.  In addition to these two colors, I added Whisper White cardstock to brighten and provide a nice stamp background for the images. Plus, since I’m now mainly working with photos printed from my Selphy printer, I like to double mat my photos (I’ve always preferred double mats and with the postcard size prints from the Selphy, it is easier to trim a smidgen off one side and double mat.)

I have more (small) photos I’d like to use and decided to add them to the area with the jellyfish.  During my thought/creative process I thought that would be a great place for title placement using the Brushwork Alphabet stamps to stamp, “At the Aquarium”, but have since decided the photos & journal block (lower left, right page) will speak for themselves and I would rather have the added photos on the page.  Since you, my readers, might also have the same dilemma, I thought I’d pencil in the sizes for these small photos and you could decide if you stamped your title here or added additional small photos as I have chosen to do.

Because I knew I would be using the watercolor pencils and aqua painter pens to color in my images, I chose Archival Grey Ink as my stamping ink. It handles the water (always distilled) well.

If you are very new to watercoloring, you may wish to use watercolor paper only.  Until you learn to control the water content, it is very hard not to overwork Whisper White cardstock (it pills easily).  I used watercolor paper to create the turtles, which I later cut out only after allowing them to dry & then embossing with clear powder. You could certainly use this same process for the jellyfish and marlin and apply with glue; it would even provide added dimension to the page, which you may prefer.

Materials recreate this layout:

  • 2 sheets 12″x12″ Island Indigo cardstock as background
  • 1 sheet speckled Island Indigo & Mint Macaron 12″x12″ from Blooms & Bliss DSP stack. Cut once to create a 4.5″x12″ (Left layout-applied up to inner spread edge) AND 7.5″x12″ (Right Layout-applied to inner spread edge.)
  • 2 sheets 8.5″x11″ Mint Macaron cardstock.  Cut both sheets as shown in the photo below:
  • 1 sheet 12″x12″ Whisper White cardstock. Cut 6) 4″x6″ and 2) 2″x4″
  • 1 sheet Watercolor paper
  • 1 Aqua Painter Pen filled with distilled water (tap water could later lead to mold or spotting problems).
  • A paper towel to blot off water & previous colors as you watercolor
  • Watercolor Pencils
  • Versamark (Using a dry aqua painter a Versamark refill can be used to apply Versamark to the area which you wish to apply the clear embossing powder. Should you decide to cut out all images from watercolor paper you could smoosh the Versamark pad over the images.  OR… If you own the retired, but still widely available in other markets Versamark pen, that can be used)
  • Clear Embossing Powder (all my images were dried after watercoloring, covered with versamark, and embossed.)
  • Heat gun to set Embossing Powder
  • Stamp Set From Land To Sea
  • Archival Grey Ink
  • SU! Snips-fine tip scissors
  • Tombo or other adhesive (I used both Snail & tombo)
  • Clear Wink of Stella (If you desire glitter on the jellyfish and marlin, do this prior to adding the Versamark & Embossing.  It will seal in the glitter!)
  • Paper Trimmer to cut the cardstock

Further Instructions:

  • The pieces Mint Macaron 1/2″x2.75″ and 1/2″x3″ are butted up against the Blooms & Bliss DSP. Both 1/2″x2.75″ pieces were flush with the Island Indigo edges.  The 1/2’x3″ is centered.  (This allows me to use my scraps & avoid cutting down a 12″x12″ sheet of Mint Macaroon for a 1/2″x12″ strip)
  • My small photos (faint pencil lines) on the jellyfish mat are: left top to bottom: 1.75″x1.75″, 2″x1.75″ & 1.75″x1.75″ Right side: 2.25″x2″

I hope this helps some of you create your layouts.

Until next time…

-Joanne

New lighthouse stamp set High Tide

Have you seen the New lighthouse stamp set called High Tide in the Occasions catalog?

It’s a photopolymer stamp set and in the US it costs $26.00.

I really like the sentiments in this set.  Plus, all the bits will build some nice scenes (sun/moon, water, grass, sand, etc.)

Today, I’m sharing an obvious use of the High Tide stamp set- building a scene of a lighthouse by the sea.

 I would recommend to anyone using this set to also use the Stamp-a-ma-jig Stampin’ Up! sells (or another stamp positioner which you prefer). It will make lining up the two light house pieces and the sand area at the lighthouse base so much easier than eye-balling it and hoping for the best.   In my sample, I used a stamp positioner for those 3 pieces and a regular acrylic block for the other stamps. I had no issues with stamp placement doing this.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Until next time…

-Joanne

 

The First Valentines of 2017

The Lift Me Up Bundle which I discussed and shared this past Friday was the inspiration for getting me motivated to start making Valentines early.

These are the first Valentines I created for 2017:

The first of these cards is made with the heart die which is included in the Up & Away Thinlits Dies, these dies are part of the Lift Me Up Bundle if you choose to add the matching stamps. (see Occasions catalog p.10).

By simply die cutting the heart multiple times and in various colors (I chose: flirty flamingo, smoky slate, melon mambo, and cherry cobbler), using your Stampin’ Up! trimmer’s scoring blade to create embossed lines, stamping a sentiment (this one is from Teeny Tiny Wishes), and adding a bit of twine & some rhinestones, you have a finished Valentine.

Want to give a try at the new watercolor pencils on p.24 of the Occasions catalog?  The card below is a simple beginner watercolor technique.

On a piece of Whisper White card stock (3.75″x5″) scribble the Rich Razzleberry, Real Red, Calypso Coral, Melon Mambo colored pencils to the center of each side (in that order) along the 3.75″ side-overlap colors as you go for blending.  Yes, just scribble a small area of each color, like a pink rainbow meeting in the center as the lightest point.

Go back over your pencil scribbles with an Aqua painter (Mine are always filled with distilled water), whose bristles are wet but not dripping and blend out pencil marks and blend the colors together.  Do not go completely to the edge so some white areas show.

Too much water and Whisper White will pill and the water will seep thru the paper.  Slight buckling of Whisper White card stock will occur and a stronger adhesive (tear tape) is perfect for adhering it to your card mat or  base to make it flat.  If you are having excessive buckling or any paper pilling/seepage try the Shimmery White card stock or the specialty Water color paper Stampin’ Up! carries. With a light hand, however, you can make it work. Sometimes it takes a bit to figure out how much water to use on each type of card stock and your environment (humidity levels)may effect results.

Add die cuts in Flirtly Flamingo & Melon Mambo from the Swirly Scribbles dies and a few rhinestones, a Flirtly Flamingo mat (4″x5.25″) & a Blushing Bride card base (4.25″x5.5″)  and you are finished with this super simple watercolor Valentine’s card.

Now is a great time to shop Stampin’ Up!  Every $50.00 (USD) spent before shipping/tax can earn you free products from the Sale-A-Bration catalog.  Click Here to see the catalogs and shop online.  Contact me if you have any questions about free items from this special sales period (January 4-March 31, 2017).

Until next time…

-Joanne