Saturday, January 2, 2016

Clean and Simple for the New Year

Unlike some card makers, I tend to mail out nearly everything I make.  I donated a few cards at the end of the year to a Hospice that goes through a ton of cards, so I didn't have any left from last year.  I made a ton of cards last year (I made 60 of them just for my sisters-in-law) but I also mailed a ton of cards.  I have several friends who have been going through a tough time, either due to health issues, or from the loss of a parent, spouse or child.  It's nice for them to get a card in the mail saying hello or I've been thinking of you.  One friend in particular left a big part of her life behind and moved back home to care for her mother who had a rare type of cancer and also help with her father who is disabled.  She has quite the collection of cards that I have made. Just so-so cards in the beginning but now some small works of art.

This particular friend had a ton of art classes and things as a child and enjoys paper crafting and scrapbooking.  In fact, that is how we met several years ago. We are "scrappy" friends.  Whenever I use that word, I am referring to a friend that I met through Scrapbooking or Paper Crafting.  So when my friend relocated a few years ago, all of her paper crafting stuff went in to storage in their old hometown.  Recently they added a building at their new home that will be a dedicated craft room. Electricity will be installed in the next couple of weeks and then she will be anxious to go and get her things out of storage.  I can hardly wait for this to happen as we seem to feed off of each other's creativity.

Having had so many art lessons she especially enjoys it when I send her a watercolor card. I had noticed recently that a color that appeared to be a kind of brownish red is actually a very mauve-y color when you use it to watercolor with. I thought this color would make a beautiful flower, so I sat down to paint it last night after stamping the Mondo Magnolia by Julie Ebersole for Ellen Hutson, LLC and heat setting it with gold embossing powder.

I've gotten where I really like a certain kind of water brush when I watercolor images.  It is made by Kuretake and comes in three sizes - Small/Fine Tip, Medium and Large.  I have 1 of each, but the one I reach for over and over again is the Small/Fine Tip brush.  Simon Says Stamp carries one like it HERE except that the handle is more compact and I like the longer length brush.  My hands are large and capable so I'm more coordinated with the longer handle.  If you need the longer handle, check Amazon.

You can also use a traditional brush (I have a #2, #4, and #8 Silver Black Velvet Round Brush), but for card making, I love the convenience of having the water in my brush.  It's light, compact and I can take it on the go.  When I was painting my Christmas Card fronts a couple of months ago, I had several of them stamped and heat embossed to take with me to a car show we attended in Kansas City.  It was awesome and I was able to watercolor during all of  the sitting around time. Then when we got home, all of my front panels were ready to finish to mail out. It was the perfect thing to do.

I have a small cutting board with a handle that I can tape my panels to for my work surface.  I just use my masking tape over and over as I complete each one. This also works great if you are coloring more than one image at a time as you can set one aside to dry while you work on the other.  If you have the stuff out, it's just as easy to make two cards.  I often stamp and emboss 2 images in case I mess one up, but that rarely happens anymore.

This particular panel has some of the gold embossing powder that I don't like too much, but it was ready to go so I just went with it.  Since I thought my granddaughter was going to be painting it, I had embossed it on Canson XL 140# Watercolor Paper which takes more water better than the 96# Bristol I usually use. I've found that if I just work my way around the image one petal at a time, by the time I get to my 2nd layer of color the first layer is dry.  This works for me on Canson Regular and Canson Bristol Watercolor Paper.  It helps that I'm so familiar with how each of my water color mediums works.  I do not wet my paper for this method.  I put color down at the base of the petals and pull that out with water.  I'm using only color and a water brush.  For this image I used Tim Holtz Distress Marker in Aged Mahogany.  I absolutely adore the ease with which I can water color using the Distress Markers.  After it was painted, I went over the entire flower with my Clear Wink of Stella Pen for that shimmer that you all know that I love.  I left it overnight to be thoroughly dry.

I came into the studio this morning and cut the panel with a Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangle in the largest size. I die cut the Mama Elephant "hello" from some DCWV Gold Foil Card Stock and then laid my die cut across that panel where I wanted it to go and ran it through my Cuttlebug with the Embossing Mat instead of the Cutting Mat to impress the image into my panel rather than cutting it. That makes it easy to get your die cut greeting in exactly the right place.  I adhered the front panel to a 110# Top Folding Card Base.  A few faceted gold gems in a visual triangle finishes off this card.

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you enjoyed yet another watercolor card.  In case you hadn't guessed it, Watercolor is my favorite technique!  Please feel free to comment if you stop by and I'll see you again soon.


  1. TFS your beautiful watercolored Mongolia. I especially love the color you were able to create with your Aged Mahogany, which I have and Love too. I have not tried on a flower. Thank you for the inspiration Vicki. Happy Stamping and sharing my friend.

    Hugs, Nancy

  2. THAT is Aged Mahogany??? It's stunning - and I love it with the gold. It's probably my least used Distress Color - but now you have me eyeing it with new eyes! Lovely card!


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