Hello…you’re very welcome! I’m excited to share with you my very first blog post as a design team member for The Little Paper Tree online craft shop. They are a lovely mother-daughter super crafty duo who supply a variety of American brand stamps, dies and anything else a card-maker or mixed media artist could want! I guess this makes them a great fit for me being an American living in Ireland. Just a little over eight years ago, I was backpacking around Europe when I decided to spend a few months living and working on a small island (off the West Coast of Galway, Ireland) called Inís Mor. After three months, I was supposed to go to Australia on a working holiday but decided to stay another three months…and, yup, I fell in love with an Irishman. Here I am – less than a decade later – married to said same Irishman with whom I have an always-smiling, energetic 2-year-old daughter with.
I grew up in a crafting world – helping my mother with her sewing craft business. She was forever sewing and stuffing things (think late eighties/early nineties country crafts lol) and she was quite successful, partnering with her artist best friend, going around and selling at craft shows. I loved to help them, and walk around and see all the booths with the wide variety of crafts and artworks. Together, my mom and I always made my Halloween costumes, table centrepieces, Christmas ornaments, and cards to send to family and friends. I guess craftiness is ingrained in my blood, and if don’t already know how to do it, I can’t wait to learn how!
Enough about me. I’m sure you’re here for the cards. 🙂 So, let’s get to it!
Today’s cards features a versatile stamp from Avery Elle called Welcome Home. I thought I’d be a great way to say ‘hello’ and start our creative journey together! 🙂 The stamp comes with all the parts to create a house-front that just about covers an entire A2 size card. For me, the openness of the design (being that no “walls” are included) lends itself to watercolour. So for my first card, I decided to break out my Zig Clean Color Real Brushes and do some easy-breezy watercolouring.
First thing I did was to lay out my stamps on a 4.25″ x 5.5″ panel I cut from a piece of Strathmore Bristol Smooth cardstock. Once I knew my desired design would fit, I stamped the roof first – keeping the window, door and stairs stamp in place so I had an idea exactly where to wanted to stamp the roof – in Versafine Onyx Black Ink. This ink is waterproof, and has a longer drying time (than dye ink) so I was able to add clear embossing powder over the wet stamped image and set with my heat gun, giving me black, waterproof lines in which to paint on my watercolours.
To paint with Zig Clean Color Brushes, it couldn’t be easier. You just put a bit of the color you want in the shadowed area you want to colour, and use a slightly wet paint brush or water brush to blend the color out. It’s that simple! If you want more than one color, you can mix before – or after adding water, but I find if I start with my darkest color in the shadow areas, then blend out slightly with the next lightest shade before adding water to the party, that works best for me. Depending on how much color intensity you get will depend of how much color you directly add to the paper. These markers really give a bright, almost electric glow from them that doesn’t fade back nearly as much as most other watercolour mediums. I generally start off with putting color in the shadow areas and blend out with my waterbrush. If I want more color, I can go back in and add to my shade areas again and add color with my marker. Zig markers are super cool in that they re-activate when wet! So, no need to panic and rush, trying to keep your paper wet (which is great for beginners like me.) Just do be careful you don’t mix complementary colors (even after they have dried) because it will create a brown, muddy mess).
I created this card using Dark and Light Grey for the house. After I blended out the first bit, I added another drop of water and blended out further. This creates a subtle wash effect allowing my house to kinda disappear into the background as it gets to where the edge of the house should be. The roof was coloured using Light Brown and Yellow. I first laid down a good bit of Light Brown, and only started blending with Yellow towards the top of the brown section. For the door I used a tiny bit of Dark Grey and went over that blending out slightly with Blue. Then I used my waterbrush to spread out to the rest of the door, getting lighter towards the center of each panel. I kept the coverage and color blending quite loose – as you probably noticed there are even a few white patches throughout the painting. I love this natural look, and it makes for quick and easy watercoloring.
I did feel like the design was missing just a little something, so I used a stitched border die to add a dotted embossed stripe running down (vertically) each side of the card. Next, I used Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue to add the entire panel to a card base I made from Neenah Solar White. I love that The Little Paper Tree has the 8.5” x 11” version of this cardstock (most UK and Irish stockists have the European A4 size) as its perfectly sized to make two top-fold A2 card bases!
My second card is even quicker and easier than the first one. I wanted to show the versatility of the stamp, and a completely different look you can get just by changing any of the layout, materials, or colours. I simply stamped my various house parts onto colored card and fussy cut around each of the images. These images are fairly simple to cut and took less than five minutes. I stamped the window onto Bristol Smooth and quickly added a touch of color to the window panes and ledges (using the watercolour technique used in the previous card).
I used a stitched rectangle die to cut an A2 rectangle from blue card to give me the panel base. If you don’t have a Die like this, you can simply cut it yourself using your paper trimmer or even scissors. If you like the stitched look, you can always use a gel pen to make them yourself!
I placed my cut out house parts onto my panel so I could figure out where I wanted to stamp my sentiment. Then, I used my powder tool and stamped the sentiment from the stamp set in Versamark Watermark Ink. I then used gold embossing powder and my heat tool to give me a beautiful gold greeting. I couldn’t resist using that sweet envelope again, so I cut a small heart out of Neenah Desert Storm, covered it with glitter gold using Sakura Gelly Roll Stardust Glitter Pen, and attached the envelope to the envelope. The Stardust Pen is mostly iridescent but has more coverage than Wink of Stella (and doesn’t seem to soak into Kraft paper the way WoS does). I also find that when used on white card, it doesn’t have as much of a gold look that Wink of Stella has. I love anything and everything glitter, so I couldn’t live without either of them. They just each have their special place where they shine. 😉
All that’s left to do is put my card together! I used my Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue to add most of my house parts. Then I added Foam Tape to the roof and the steps. I glued the panel to another A2 card base I made from Neenah Solar White. And, that’s those two cards, done!
Well, that’s all I have for you today. Thanks so much for stopping by, and see y’all next time! Please feel free to ask any questions or leave any feedback below! xo
WANT TO FIND THESE PRODUCTS:
Avery Elle – Welcome Home Stamp
Lawn Fawn – Cross-Stitched Rectangles Large
Neenah Solar White (for card bases)
American Crafts Jewel Paper Pad – Navy and Red
Hero Arts Ultra Fine Clear Embossing Powder
Zig Clean Colour Real Brush Markers – Haze Blue, Blue, Yellow, May Green, Green, Light Brown, Brown, Dark Grey, Light Grey
Sakura Gelly Roll Glaze Pen Stardust Glitter,
Tonic Nuvo WaterBrush
Tombow Mono Multi Liquid,
Ranger Glossy Accents,
Ranger White Foam Tape
Tim Holtz 8.5” Guillotine
Fiskars, Micro-Tip Scissors