Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Life Lessons

Amazing isn't it?   Finished the watercoloring class ... and I really miss it... Loved it! 

I keep thinking about colors and shadows when I look at anything, how they play and change the colors I see. Birds are the first thing to try for me, probably because as I have always considered myself an untrained bird-watcher, there are lots of things I already notice about color, size, shape, etc. 

Every spring I anxiously anticipate the arrival of the nesting birds, heralding the emergence of spring! This year we noticed all three of my favorites arrive on the same day- hummingbird, catbird and oriole. Since I already tried the hummingbird, I naturally started with a bird- a catbird. 

Here's my watercolored sketch from my sketchpad:

I took Jennifer Rzasa's advice- googling and choosing a photo image to replicate from  HERE  .  I am hooked!

The life lesson... how a kind comment from someone can influence you and spread. Making that a new mission for myself, I will find a way to share that kindness everyday!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Watercolor - Day 10

This was the most intimidating task so far! In my mind I kept repeating all the things I have always thought about myself... you are not artistic... you can not possibly paint freehand!

And so I tried... 

Here is my first take on Jennifer Rzasa's hummingbird with Distress inks mixed with Perfect Pearls:

And I am so happy that I will try again! OK I could be critical.. the wings are not quite right... but hey... it's a first try at freehand with Jennifer's hummingbird as my guide. The shine is awesome, not so easily seen in the photo though. I need to try some of my other favorite birds... cats... flowers?

Watercolor - Day 9

In the watercolor class, Day 7 and 8 use similar techniques. So the next try for me is Day 9 with Jennifer Rzasa's "tree" idea. Here's my try:

Love this! I used all distress inks and some copics for the browns. All free hand- Will definitely try it again!

Watercolor- Day 7

Love Dawn's card in class today. She used a stamp and "faux- watercolored" it!  Again I mention that I don't have a lot of large flower stamps that I can watercolor, but after perusing the gallery, I got an idea from another stamper to use some of my other smaller stamps.

Here's my card:

The largest flower is from SU Pretty Amazing and the other flowers are from WPlus9 Fresh Cut Florals. The sentiment comes from PTI's MiniBlooms. Love this card! Will definitely use this technique again...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Watercolor- Day 6

There were many techniques today that were too much for me right now! So I am focusing on Jennifer McGuire's white embossed idea...

Here's my card:

I have noticed in my stash of stamps,  that I really don't have many flowers that are on stems with open areas to watercolor. It will be something for me to work towards when I am ordering.. not now with all of the vendors out of supplies :)  

This stamp did work ok but the areas to color in are a bit small so it was difficult to see the shine in the picture. I used Perfect Pearls with Distress inks as suggested. I felt like it needed some bling to go with the shine... The layer under the white is made with the distress ink extra after watercoloring!

Watercolor Day 5- 2

Today is my favorite card so far for watercoloring.  I just love Swarup Murthy's example of stamping and watercoloring... just simply gorgeous! Of course once I tried it was a totally different story...

So I took her suggestion and got a sketch book and just tried watercoloring some flowers from stamps... Here's my try:

The good thing about the sketch book is that I can take notes on things I like, colors, things that I need to change next time, etc. I am going to love that!  My flower in the sketch book gave me enough confidence to try for a card panel...

I don't think it came out as well -  but the petals are a bit more defined and I think for this card it is okay. Maybe some black spots in the center? I also didn't do any wash for the background- to be honest I was afraid of ruining all the hard word of the panel :)  Practice, practice, practice!

Watercolor Day 5-1

Wow! What a class! I have learned so much... and realize how much more there is to watercolor than I ever knew...

Here's my try with Shari Carroll's background watercolor stamping using the lattice background stamp and Distress inks:

The results were not what I wanted with the first try-  Then I never seem to be able to throw anything away. I even tried ironing off the embossing, splattering a bit of ink, then water... but really felt I missed the mark on pulling the ink to one side. 

The second try was a bit better, but still not something I am really feeling good about.  Need lots of practice for sure! I could trim this one down to use on a card though- the other will probably show up on a die cut :)

It is better when thinking about drawing the color to one side but clearly I need some work on the technique! The greeting is from SU Curly Cute stamped in black on vellum.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Watercolor Day 4- 3

Last technique for the day comes from Julie Ebersole- how can you not enjoy her enthusiasm? I didn't think I could do this card because I didn't have the butterfly "partially cutting" die. 

As I stated at the beginning of the class- they encourage you to search your stash- and lo and behold- I found a flower that partially cuts on a one layer card!   The dies are actually a set of three and I used the largest one. 

Here's my sample:

I used distress inks and even tried some splatter- sooo out of my comfort zone! Love how it came out!

The center of the flower is a circle that comes out with this die- so I stamped a center for the flower in black from a PTI set, and then punched a black scalloped circle to cover the space. I added some sequins and embossed the greeting in white. This card base is SU Confetti paper.

I will be using these dies again for sure :)  Thanks, Julie!

Watercolor Day 4 -2

Now I really got into the flowers! I learned so much about the way water works with distress inks and I can't wait to play more! Here are my examples:

The stamp set for these cards come from SU Simply Soft. It is intended as a two-step stamp set.. which is just perfect for this watercolor technique. I used two different distress inks on each stamping. 

The first are pinks- warm lipstick and tattered rose- with the mowed lawn and forest moss. I also added some wild honey for the stamen (hard to see). The paper behind the watercolor is made with all of the left over distress ink on the block. I added lots of water and then played with it!

The sentiments are from various sets, mostly PTI that I had.

The yellows are wild honey, antique linen and spiced marmalade- and the same greens.  The card bases are made with Neenah Desert Storm, Solar White or SU Natural or Confetti White. Love how they came out!

This Online Card class is probably the best $25 I have spent for my total enjoyment- and I am not even half way through yet!!

Watercoloring: Day 4-1

Oh my goodness! I am going to have so many posts just for today's lesson! There were three separate videos with lessons so I will take the best example of the technique for the class gallery- but I want to post all of them here... so I remember!

Here's the total of what I accomplished today...

The first technique from Yana Smakula- although I loved her cards I didn't have the stamp or one that I could make work. So I took some of her spritzing block ideas and used them to make background layer papers for the stamped images with the ink left on the blocks... Love how they turned out!

The Watercolor flowers that Shari Carroll showed were fantastic! I never thought mine would look anywhere close to hers..but they weren't bad! I did several, and I used the idea of signing them as suggested by Bonnie on Kristina's video of the other day!

These two are stamped with SU Because I Care set. Ironically I just received a beautiful hydrangea plant from our son and his wife for Mother's Day! So one of these is a small note card to say Thank You! The other is a sympathy card...

I did use distress inks and wished I had done the hand made paper like I did on the others for the bottom layer... The small notecard is a more watercolor-like image. I also have several others that will be notecards too!

This was so much fun to do that I am searching other stamp sets that will work!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Watercoloring- Day 3

Today I watched the Day 3 video and got so many ideas for things that I wanted to try! I have my first project....

Jennifer Rzasa did some watercolor stamping with Wplu9 Fresh Florals- one of my favorite stamp sets too! I tried spritzing the stamps after using SU markers and was ok with the results, although I probably could have sprayed just a bit more water. 

To be truthful, I found myself stamping and forgetting to spray every time, and I really like the results with some sprayed with water and some not! Because the stamping is multiple layered, it only adds to the overall look. 

Using Distress inks, I lightly sponged the edges of the card and the oval, as well as rounding the corners at the bottom of the card. I think it makes it a softer look overall.

I can't wait to try Kristina's technique- hopefully tomorrow!

Watercolor - Day 2

Here's my submission for Day 2:

The background stamp is one with triangles that I have never used before, as I do not own many background stamps at all! It is amazing when the embossed image melts off the paper with the iron. It makes a very smooth surface to stamp the greeting!

Both panels are added to a card base. On the second card I used the label dies to make a black layer under the white "Wish Big" greeting.  The smaller background is visually more appealing to me, although I m glad that I tried both.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Watercolor- Day 1 Embossing

Here's the last try for Day 1- 

Kristina Werner did a color wash background over an embossed image. I am very limited with background stamps but this one worked fine. If I did it again I would iron out the embossing after the color wash. 

Not sure what I will use this card for so I kept it blank on the inside. The photo doesn't do the card justice- the sequins took too much of the shine.  Can't wait for tomorrow!

Watercolor- Day 1: Color Blocks

Laura Bassen showed a color block technique with Distress inks. I used the idea and then stamped Wplus9 Guiding Light silhouettes on the dried background. This is also my first try at "splattering" water or paint. 

On my next try I will try to get the panels of color to blend a bit- not to be so defined. I think I was so worried about keeping the border clean of paint that it inhibited my free flow of ink! Sure was fun though- and I do like the result.

Watercolor Class - Day 1

Today there were so many techniques and things to try... I am really into it! There was even an assignment before class began to organize and do some palette swatches of materials. It has really helped me to choose the right colors for the right task. 

One thing I absolutely love about online card classes- is they encourage you to shop your stash FIRST! It makes me realize where I am strong in supplies and when I really need something. It gives me a chance to substitute my materials on hand first- love that!

I read on someone else's blog a disclaimer - that details of the work would not be posted to keep the integrity of the hard work of the instructors. I agree and will list supplies used but not techniques...

Here's my first sample of watercolor background with my new stencil from Jennifer Rzasa's lesson video..

I have been struggling with an idea for the online card drive (see here) for Emma. This is just what I needed. The stencil is new from Heidi Swapp- and my first ever stencil! I just love the results and will definitely use this technique again! The biggest problem that I had was getting the embroidery thread to stay tied! The inside sentiment says... "Here's to celebrating you!"

The watercolors are from a set that I bought at Michaels years ago and never used! It doesn't even have a printed name on it- but the colors are just great. I did buy one better brush though- and it is angled. The watercolor paper is the painted layer and SU Almost Amethyst is the color base.