Friday, March 27, 2020

Using Old Favorites In New Ways

Hello everyone!  Vicki here with you today.  I have a new project using some of my "old" favorites from Memory Box and a stamp set from Poppy Stamps as well.  I love being able to use supplies in my "collection" to pull a completely different style of card together.

You might remember this card from last fall that I created using the Grateful Autumn Stamp Set from Memory Box.  I used Metallic Watercolors on Stonehenge Black Watercolor Paper from Legion (who also makes Yupo Paper).

Just because it has Autumn in the name doesn't mean it can't be used for any of the other seasons that have leaves.  Lots of folks north of Texas live in states where it is still snowing this week and they don't even have the first little buds of leaves out on their trees.  Here in North Texas, Our Redbuds are just budding out this week and in a week or so, we'll have lots of small green leaves popping out everywhere.  The Bradford Pears have also begun blooming.  In Texas, we have Live Oak Trees, and they stay green year-round.  There are many such trees in Texas and I remember being fascinated by them when we first moved to Texas in the late 1990's.  Being a midwestern girl, the only kind of evergreen trees I had ever seen were the Cedar and Evergreen varieties that remind you of Christmas Trees.  There is a huge, ancient, Live Oak Tree on the grounds of the Alamo.  Its limbs have grown so heavy that many are now supported by giant cables and many are literally laying on the ground, but still growing.

Today I wanted to use this same stamp set to create a pretty Wet-On-Wet Watercolor Background with a lot of visual interest.   Using the large image from the set, I heat embossed it onto a 5 x 7 panel of Watercolor Paper.  Next, I wet the entire panel using a #10 Escoda Versatil Paint Brush. These brushes are hand made in Barcelona Spain and have a Triple Crimp Ferrule and they don't shed!

Next, I added Diopside Genuine in a pretty concentrated mix of paint and water.  I sort of dabbed at the area of the leaves but didn't stay within the lines.  I let that dry and then repeated the process with Ultramarine Turquoise, making sure to extend the paint and water to the entire panel, letting it move freely as I turned the paper.  When it was not quite dry, I went in with a very watery layer of Iridescent Gold Watercolor on the top and turning the paper, again let it move around the entire panel of watercolor paper.  As this dries, the gold settles into the texture of the paper making it very visible.

I die cut the panel with a Rectangle Basics Die and then used the leftover piece to heat emboss my sentiment onto. The sentiment is from Poppy Stamps Butterfly Greetings Stamp Set and I love this font!  Using a smaller Rectangle Basics Die I die cut the sentiment out and then used the next size up to cut a mat from Gold Foiled Cardstock. I popped the sentiment up on some foam tape.  I also had an already cut piece of cardstock sitting there that I had previously cut for another project and then didn't use, so it was perfect for this.

I die cut the Drifting Side Butterfly from the center of that panel, which is a very economical way to use your gold cardstock and although I don't often do it that way, I should!  I don't sit and plan out a card from beginning to end with what I'm going to do.  I'm definitely a "fly by the seat of your pants" cardmaker.  I get an idea of what stamp set I want to use and what technique, but that's as far as the planning goes until I actually sit down to put the card together.  So usually, I'm too far into the process when I think about using the gold foiled cardstock that way.

I absolutely love all the shimmer and shine on this card and that perfect final touch was the sequins and gems I added.  These particular sequins are iridescent teal and they matched so well.  I've had them for years and I don't know where they came from.  I will be really sad when I run out as they are so pretty.  Then as I often do, I added a little gem in the center of the sequin which really makes everything sparkle and shine.

I did play around with adding colored cardstock or shimmer cardstock for the butterfly's body behind the gold frame, but I didn't care for any of the colors I tried over just using the gold outline, which allowed the watercolor to be seen through the wings.

This next part is about my adventures in Watercolor if you are interested in that. I have been thoroughly enjoying a lot of playtime with my recent creation of a watercolor palette from the tubes of Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors that I have been purchasing over the last 18 or so months.  I just bought two, or occasionally three, tubes at a time until I went to put a palette together and actually squeeze some paint out of the tube and into the paint wells. This is a big commitment for me to actually put some paint into a palette. I've been using reinkers or Zig Markers for the most part, but they aren't Light-fast and Fade Resistant, so I have been wanting to upgrade to real watercolors for quite a while. My friends that Watercolor all said Daniel Smith is the best.  Then once I had that done, I went back and filled in any holes that I felt I had.  As I filled in my palette, I thought about what colors I might be missing and so I got about 10 tubes there all at one shot.

There's also a Daniel Smith Watercolor Split Group on Facebook and I knew I wanted to get one particular split called the "I" Split which consists of Half Pans of all the Iridescent, Interference and Duochrome Colors in the Daniel Smith line.  By purchasing a split which contains 48 colors, I could try all of the colors and see which ones I liked the most and then perhaps purchase a few tubes of those for a smaller palette.  You can see my large palette here which is about 12.5 inches wide by 5.5 inches deep and contains 33 lanted paint wells.

Okay, so I know I am not kidding anyone here when I say I "might" want to purchase a few of the iridescent colors to put into a smaller palette.  I definitely did want to purchase some, but surprisingly, I managed to keep it to a relatively small number of such tubes; just 7.  The colors I chose for this are Interference Lilac, Interference Red, Interference Green, Interference Blue, Iridescent Gold (DUH *Ü*), Pearlescent Shimmer, and Iridescent Aztec Gold (what I would call Antique Gold),  I also found these super cute tiny palettes that are made to hold 6 Full Pans or 12 Half Pans of color.  My I-Split is in a larger Pink Meeden Palette just like this one.  I got a small pink one for the Iridescent and Interference Colors.  However, by lifting the rails out of the bottom of the tin, you can have at least 12 Full Pans. We just use a Zot on the bottom to hold the pan in place if you are worried about them moving around, which they definitely do move in the rails.  I've also been told the rails rust from water, so by removing this piece, it eliminates the problem. 

Then there is also the cute little tin in this beautiful blue which will hold 12 full pans or as many as 18 or 19 half pans, depending on the configuration you want to use.  I am planning to use one of these with an 18 pan configuration. that is a combination of full and half pans. The pink tin came with 6 full pans, but the blue didn't come with any so I had to order some.  The other colors I add here will be from the tubes I already have and will be chosen based on the things I paint most often, which is flowers. I ordered some empty half and full pans, so I'm just waiting for them to arrive before I make a final decision on which size to use in these small palettes. I think it is likely to be a combination of both sizes.

I love the technique of underpainting with the Iridescent and Interference colors so I want to have both options available to me in a travel size.  These are the perfect size at 4.75 x 2.75 inches as opposed to my large palette that is 13 x 8 inches with 33 large wells.  When we travel, we are usually heading home to the farm which is an 8-hour drive with no stops. Since Watercolor relaxes me, I want to have it available when we arrive at our destination.  If you've been thinking about watercolors, I would encourage you to buy a few to start with before you make the investment into a full palette. The extra fold-out piece is a mixing tray.  You can easily remove this by putting a corsage pin into the end and pushing the metal rod out.  Then grab ahold and just pull and you can remove the tray.  I'm planning to leave mine in since I got these for Travel Palettes.

When I did my large palette, I swatched all the colors I have onto watercolor paper and then I laminated those strips and also made a label for each row going across as you can see in the picture.  I didn't put much paint into this palette yet in case I want to move colors around, which I already do. I also put colors together in the way I use them, not in Rainbow order.  As you can see, the yellow and orange are on the back row because I use them less often.  I have 4 greens and I primarily use two of them for foliage.  There are so many colors in the full line but I don't have "Full Set Syndrome".  I have "What I Need and Will Use Syndrome".  I do have smaller palettes in this style and have a few colors in one already that is primarily for Neutrals and Titanium White.  I mostly use Moonglow or Alvaro's Fresco for my Neutrals so far.

These palettes come with a mixing tray also, but they are plastic and don't come completely clean, even with bleach, so I have a white porcelain plate that is 14 x 5 inches that sits in front of the palette and I use that for my mixing palette.  As I have freely admitted before, I am rather neurotic. *Ü*

If you have any questions, just ask and I'll reply back to you!  I'm very glad I didn't go out and buy a whole bunch of colors all in one shot.  I'm happy that I kept it to a few in each color family and then added in where I felt I was missing.  It has kept it affordable for me to do it this way.  I definitely have to admit, real watercolors are much better than using reinkers!  The results, with the proper paper, is a lot more predictable.  Paper and brushes are a very individual choice, but let me just say that cold press in totally the way to go.  Hot Pressed cannot stand up to the water and brushstrokes and it pills very quickly.  My personal preference is for Fabriano Artistico Extra White Cold Pressed 140# Paper.  All of the Bristol and Hot pressed that I have on hand will work fine for blended or even watercolor washes.  But it doesn't stand up to the brushstrokes.

If you're interested in paints or palettes, my purchases came from Amazon for the most part.  They have an excellent selection of Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors, a variety of sizes and styles of palettes and pretty much any brush you might want.  I love my Escoda Versatil Travel brushes but I looked at them as a long term investment.  If you want something less expensive to begin with, I'd recommend trying the Silver Black Velvet Series in a Size 6 and something smaller to begin with.  Don't buy a bunch until you've tried your hand at it with a few brushes. You can even purchase one of the Daniel Smith Dot Watercolor Cards to get a feel for it and that is a very inexpensive way to start out.  Here's a link to a 66 color dot card.

If you want to buy a few tubes at a time like I did, this is the link I made most of my purchases from.  You have to scroll through the colors to select which ones you want.  Have a great day and thank you so much for stopping by.



  1. Vicki, I really enjoyed your post. The card is beautiful and hearing about your watercolor journey was interesting and inspiring. Thank you for taking the time to write this up and post it.

  2. Beautiful cards today! Love the gold effect you created on your butterfly card background.


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