Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy White Space

No need to fill up all the white space on your cards! To prove it, I created two different cards which left lots of open space. I left some grazing room for these cute little sheep.


Enjoy the Little Things
Stamps:
Friends - Sheep (Penny Black); Enjoy the Little Things (Penny Black)
Cardstock: watercolor paper
Inks: Always Artichoke, Ballet Blue, Mellow Moss, Night of Navy, Pretty in Pink, Bashful Blue, Blush Blossom, Pixie Pink, Pink Passion (Stampin Up)

I resisted the urge to fill that open space with ribbons, hardware, or even backgrounds. For both cards, I used watercolor paper to create the card. I then stamped the images with Timber Brown Staz-On. I used a limited color palette to give each figure detail but not overwhelm the images.


Life Like a Wildflower
Stamps:
Crossing Bridges (Penny Black); May your Life be Like a Wildflower (Penny Black)
Cardstock: watercolor paper
Inks: Always Artichoke, Mellow Moss, Pretty in Pink, Bashful Blue, Blush Blossom, Pixie Pink, Pink Passion, Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa and Chocolate Chip (Stampin Up)

Wishing you beauty and joy in your day!

More Stone House Flowers

Today, I returned to my 17th Century Flowers and Bugs plate from Stone House Stamps. This time, I used a very open flower and created a card that would focus on this central image.

Again, I did layered watercoloring. I paired at least two colors of the same family but varying values for each area, painting the lighter color on first and letting that area dry before applying details with the slightly darker color. I really liked this fun red, weathered background paper which gave a soft but natural look to the background.

Weathered Primrose
Stamps:
Primrose or wild rose (?) from 17th Century Flowers and Bugs (Stone House Stamps)
Cardstock: cream & dark brown (AC Moore house brand); watercolor paper
Inks: Timber Brown (Staz-On); Always Artichoke, Garden Green, Cameo Coral, and Bravo Burgundy (Stampin Up)
Tools: Aquapainter (Stampin Up); corner rounder (Creative Memories)

Using the same color pallette and another wild rose image (Stone House Stamps), I created a Mother's Day card. The sentiment is from Inky Antics.


Guess the think pink moment isn't over yet.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tulips in the Back and in the Stack

My first tulip arose out of the mulch today! It is a beauty. Gorgeous and pink. By tomorrow, it will probably have been eaten by the deer that roam behind my house, but today I enjoyed its happy presence.

Using markers directly on the stamps to create a layered look, I made these two cards. I started with this purple one. I did not vary my basic layout from my last use of this stamp. The color change gave it a fresh look. I, again, used my bone folder to distress the edges of the watercolor paper as well as the nested mattes. It gave a nice sense of dimension to the card without making it too complicated.


Purple Tulips
Stamp:
Brush Tulips (Penny Black)
Ink: Marvy Brush Markers - eggplant, wisteria and green
Cardstock: A.C. Moore house brand - lilac, dark purple, bright green; watercolor paper
Paper: purple gingham (unknown paper stack)
Tools: bone folder to roughen edges


My daughter is responsible for the inspiration for this bunch of blue tulips. Her favorite color is blue and she insisted that I do at least one card with blue tulips. Here I went for a softer, less busy look. Softening the green tone and using a paper with a subtle pattern for texture gave a calm feeling to this card.

Blue Tulips
Stamp:
Brush Tulips (Penny Black)
Ink: Marvy Brush Markers - steel gray, dull blue, olive green
Cardstock: A.C. Moore house brand - slate blue textured, moss, light blue; watercolor paper
Paper: Blue Vacation Squares (Scrapbook Walls)
Tools: bone folder to roughen edges

Have a happy, tulip-filled day!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Staying in with Stone House

Here's the setup. My daughter was in a two-day camp about an hour's drive from our house this weekend. I decided staying over at a hotel would give me some great alone time (read stamping without interruption), about 6 hours.

What I forgot was that I have access issues. I need access to all my stuff every time I stamp. So, I packed up a reasonable amount of paper, cardstock, my trusty Stampin Up stamping spots and various tools. Okay, I'll be honest it was about 3 tote bags worth. I said I had issues. As trying to take stamps with me would entail booking another room, I packed up some very basic sentiments and I spent the day before the trip stamping some Stone House images onto watercolor paper with Staz-on.


Here are a couple of my creations:



Tulip of Note
Stamps: Tulip (from 17th Century Flowers and Bugs plate - Stone House Stamps); Just a Little Note (Savvy Stamps)
Cardstock: yellow (unknown)
Paper: yellow stripe (unknown - from yet another stack)
Inks: Timber Brown (Staz-On); Gable Green, Always Artichoke, Handsome Hunter, Apricot Appeal, and So Saffron (Stampin Up)
Embellishments: 4 bronze brads
Tools: Aquapainter (Stampin Up)



Spring Serendipity
Stamps: Carnation (from 17th Century Flowers and Bugs plate - Stone House Stamps); Serendipity (Hampton Art Stamps)
Cardstock: marbled ecru (unknown)
Paper: red textured (unknown - from yet another stack)
Inks: Timber Brown (Staz-On); Garden Green, Green Galore, Handsome Hunter, Cameo Coral, Bravo Burgundy, More Mustard, Close to Cocoa and Old Olive (Stampin Up)
Embellishments: 3 bronze brads
Tools: Aquapainter (Stampin Up); corner rounder (Creative Memories)

These were both fun to paint because they had such great detail. I loved the way both flowers lent themselves so nicely to multiple shades of color.

What a Nice Surprise!

I was given this very sweet award by Ali at New England Stamper. She makes wonderful projects that combine both fun and elegance. Please check out her latest creations!


Here's how it works:
You pick five blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material and also contribute to the blogging community. List the names of the people you chose to receive the award on your blog and link to their blogs. Then let your award winners know by posting a comment on their blog. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name of the person who gave them the award and link to their blog. You also need to show the link to the Arte y pico blog to show the origin of this award.

I would like to pass it along to the following bloggers whose work I think is particularly wonderful. Make sure you visit them and leave nice comments about their work!

Card Art, Etc.

InkBlocks: Arty Experiments and Everyday Cards

IWORK4STAMPS: Queen of Grunge

Stampelicious

TechnoStamper

Have fun visiting their blogs!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Revising Rabbits

What do we hear from non-stamping friends all the time? "How much are you really going to use that image?" Right? I am sure you have heard it too. Well, I not only reuse the image, sometimes I don't change the layout much either. I love the way different colors and message can bring a new feel to an image.


The bunny used for both cards is Penny Black. The blue and purple one has background flower and sentiment by Stampin Up. The pink one has a sentiment by Penny Black. As you can see I coordinated the flowers with the backgrounds and base cards.


I love this sweet bunny peeking out from behind the pansies. He is from Penny Black. The one on the left (blue and purple) has a sentiment from Penny Black. The one on the right has a sentiment from A Muse. In both instances, I coordinated the watercolored image with the background paper. The bunny with the pink pansies has much softer and lighter colors, while the Think Spring bunny has bolder colors to match its bolder background paper.

Here's a close up of the newest card:


As Spring has almost sprung, I must stop playing with these bunnies and go outside and get my flower beds ready.

Have a wonderful Spring-filled day!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Happy Colors

The process of watercoloring has a soothing quality for me. I love playing with the colors and details. I also love the wonderful painted look of the finished piece. Last week, I stamped numerous images with Staz-On onto watercolor paper. Over the last few days I have been able to paint several of these images and create some new Spring-inspired cards.

This elegant flower and verse from B Line Stamps called for very subtle coloring and a simple design so that the beauty of the image could be the focus. I used a couple of purples and two shades of green for the plant. I floated some deep yellow behind the verse to give it some softness and to ground it. Once again, I used an AquaPainter (Stampin Up) to apply the lightest colors first. After the first layer had dried, I added shade and shadow with the darker colors.



Born Not Made
Stamp:
Flower Lover (B Line Designs)
Cardstock: Dark Green (brand unknown); Chocolate Brown (brand unknown); watercolor paper
Paper: textured tan (PC Bitty Scrap Pad - Soft Serenity)
Inks: Always Artichoke, Mellow Moss, Almost Amethyst, Lavender Lace, and So Saffron (Stampin Up); Timber Brown Staz-On
Tools: AquaPainter (Stampin Up)

Guess I still have tulips on the brain. This card uses an beautiful tulip image from Outlines Rubber Stamp Company. I stamped the image on watercolor paper with Staz-On and then painted over the picture with soft purples, blues and greens.


Painted Blooms
Stamp:
Tulips (Outlines Rubber Stamp Company)
Cardstock: Dark purple and lilac (brand unknown); watercolor paper
Inks: Always Artichoke, Mellow Moss, Almost Amethyst, Lavender Lace, Ballet Blue (Stampin Up); Timber Brown Staz-On
Tools: AquaPainter (Stampin Up); crimper

From beautiful blooms, I moved on to peaceful pastures. My pastures all have sheep in them today. These fun images come from a single stamp from Magenta. I separated the trio of little landscapes and matted them in chocolate brown.


Wooly Trio
Stamp: Sheep Trio (Magenta)
Cardstock: Dark green and chocolate brown (brand unknown); watercolor paper
Paper: probably from a stack, but brand unknown - I'm using up lots of older papers
Inks: Always Artichoke, Hunter Green, Old Olive, Ballet Blue (Stampin Up); Timber Brown Staz-On
Tools: AquaPainter (Stampin Up)

The last card is still wooly but more light-hearted. The main image and the sentiment are from Penny Black.

Think Spring Sheep
Stamps:
Sheep (Penny Black); Think Spring (Penny Black)
Cardstock: Medium green (brand unknown); chocolate (brand unknown); watercolor paper
Paper: Presidio (BasicGrey)
Inks: Always Artichoke, Certainly Celery, Bashful Blue, Ruby Red, Pixie Pink (Stampin Up); Timber Brown Staz-On
Embellishments: Aged bronze brads

Keep thinking Spring!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Spring into Simple

I love tulips. They are a bright beacon that Spring is finally here. That said, in real life, the deer that live on my land tend to eat the heads off my bright beacons. So that I can still enjoy some tulips this year, I decided to render them in ink instead of dirt.


The technique is quick and easy. I used markers to color in my stamp, applying the lightest color first. I then added accents in the darker shade. I was finished the card in under 5 minutes!

This first tulip (and yes there will be more) is colored using Stampin Up markers: Cameo Coral, Ruby Red and Garden Green (what else for flowers?). The cardstock is also Stampin Up: Cameo Coral and Garden Green. The background paper is from a ProvoCraft Stack. I can't believe how great it works with the coral!

The stamp is from Penny Black, my new favorite, and I stamped the image onto watercolor paper.

Here is a closer look:

I still have snow on my lawn but these little flowers cheered me up!
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