Nature

You Are a Blessing Card Featuring the Fresh Peonies Stamps and Dies

Hi Everyone! This is Bev. Today we are welcoming the very creative Ana Anderson to our blog! I am so glad you are joining us. And you're going to be happy too when you see Ana's beautiful classic card and her step-by-step instructions! Take it away, Ana.


Hello friends! Ana here today, with a card created with the gorgeous new addition to Greenhouse Society Collection of flower stamps and dies.

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When I first saw this Fresh Peonies stamp set I couldn’t wait to color it with as many coloring mediums as I could think of. For today’s card I chose to watercolor this beautiful image with Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers.

To start I stamped the image with Versafine Onyx Black ink and chose the marker colors I would be using on it – Dark Pink and Light Pink for the flowers and Mid Green, Pale Green and Deep Green for the leaves.

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Once the image was colored I used the matching Fresh Peonies die to cut it out and started working on the background.

To create the frame, I used the largest Essential Stitched Labels die and cut a piece of striped patterned paper I had in my stash.

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Next, I dry-embossed a piece of white cardstock to add some texture and interest to my background.

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I stamped the sentiment (which came with the Fresh Peonies stamp set), trimmed it into a flag shape and then started assembling my card.

To my card base, I added a piece of black layering cardstock, then adhered the embossed panel in the center.

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To complete the card, I added the die cut patterned paper frame, my beautiful peony image, and the sentiment using foam tape.

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Thank you so much for stopping by today, and until next time I wish you Happy Crafting!


Thanks so much for sharing your project with us, Ana. I hope you all enjoyed seeing Ana's card and tutorial. If you'd like to see more of Ana'a projects, here'a link to her blog. Plus you can see more cards and tags featuring the Fresh Peony stamps and dies on our website!

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Masking a background for the Kind Cosmo flower.

Hello, Julie here. Today I am sharing a video showing you how to use masking to create a watercolor background on a flower card. (I've also made a step-by-step tutorial of the same project, in case you would rather read than listen.) I used the the Kind Cosmo stamp set for my card but this technique would work well with many of the stamp sets in the Greenhouse Society Collection.


Step-by-Step Tutorial

Starting Out

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To begin I stamped my Kind Cosmo image on watercolor paper with waterproof ink.


 

Marking the background

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First step was figuring out and marking where I wanted my background to be. I used a ruler that has a zero in the middle on one side, so I could keep things symmetrical. I decided that I wanted my masked background to be two inches wide. I centered the ruler at the top of the page, marked it at 1 inch on each side of the zero, and then I marked the same points down at the bottom. Next was the height of the masked area. I decided that the masked area should be 2.5 inches tall, and that it didn’t need to be centered top to bottom, so I centered the ruler vertically on the side, then looked at my zero and marked 1 inch below zero, and 1.5 inches above. I marked that on each side, and then used the ruler to find and mark where the lines intersected with little tiny pencil marks. I didn’t want those marks to be very big or dark, so they’d erase easily later.

Next was the masking part. I took my washi tape, and stuck it down just over those little marks, so that it barely covered them. This is so that when it came time to remove the mask and erase the lines, I wasn't erasing through paint. I put down all four sides and pressed the tape down to seal it. I sealed it well enough that paint couldn’t get under it, but not so well that when I removed it I tore the paper.


 

Starting the Gradation

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Once the masking was done, I was ready to start my painting. I wanted my background to be sort of a gradient from green to blue. I got my watercolors set up, along with my handy dandy water pen, and a piece of paper towel. I started out with my water wash. I didn't start out all that precisely, because it’s just open background space, but I did get precise when I came to around the edges of the flowers. I wanted them to be white, which is why I decided to do a background – so they’d stand out, and not look like I just didn’t bother to color.


 

Turquoise Next!

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I took the green about half way up, and then started in with the turquoise. I started with the wash, and as I went I took the opportunity to touch up a bit of the green that didn’t go on quite as smoothly as I would have liked. I overlapped the green a bit to get a smooth gradation, adding a little green to the turquoise. Once again, I went more slowly and precisely around the edges of the flowers. I spread the turquoise to about three quarters of the way up the background. I went back in around the edges of the flowers and darkened the color up just a touch to add contrast.

I kept an eye on it as it dried, since as I go back over previous colors, sometimes I end up with uneven spots. When that happens, I just go back in with my color and touch things up.

 


Dark Blue

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I started in on my darker, bluer blue next, beginning with the water wash before the blue. I got tired of adding blue slowly, so I added a bit more water to my blue paint block, and picked up a lot of color on my brush. Because I got my water wash in really well, I could just touch my brush to the page, and my extra intense load of color flowed from the corner beautifully. I may have put a bit too much color in here, but I just used my brush and clean water to pick up and spread it out a bit. If I had decided that this was too much color to spread around, I could have used a dry paper towel to blot it up while it was still super wet, and then started over again.

And because I had such an intense bit of blue here, I added a bit more of the turquoise to balance the intensity.


 

Yellow Centers

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Next were the centers. First the water wash, and then I went in to the centers of the flowers, adding a bit of yellow to each. As Bev has pointed out, cosmos come in all kinds of colors, but they all have a nice yellow center. So you can be pretty creative with the color of the petals, and as long as it has the yellow center, you’re good. I added a little bit of orange for some shading, and kept going on it. I went back into the colors, adding a bit more color, smoothing and spreading the color some more, and then darkened the color around the flowers for some extra contrast.


 

The Unmasking!

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Next I very carefully took off my masking tape. I went very slowly so I could stop if the paper started to tear, and I pulled it off at a very sharp angle, which seems to help avoid the tearing.


 

Clean Up

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After the tape was all off, I took a clean eraser (clean is important, as a dirty eraser can leave marks) and removed my little marks. The corner marks are most important, because I planned to cut the paper down to go on my card and would end up cutting off the marks on the edges anyway. I went around and erased all the marks.


 

Finishing

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As you can see, my example piece has been cut down to about 4 by 5.25 inches, and put on a 4.25 by 5.5 inch card front. My final piece is on the right. I really had fun with this project!

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about masking a background and that you can use something like this on your next project. Thanks for stopping by!



Friendship Cards with the Fresh Peonies Stamps and Crafting Dies

Happy Thursday Morning Everyone! This is Bev here with a quick introduction. Today I am happy to welcome Yasmin Diaz to the Technique Tuesday blog. Yasmin is an amazing card making artist. I know you will enjoy seeing her tutorial and the beautiful cards she made with the new Fresh Peonies stamps and matching dies!


Hi everyone, Yasmin here. Today I’m thrilled to be sharing these friendship cards that I created featuring the Fresh Peonies Stamp Set and Fresh Peonies Crafting Dies. They were so much fun and easy to make, so in today’s post I’ll be sharing with how I white heat embossed, and water colored them! Without further ado, let’s jump into the tutorial.

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To begin with I started by scoring two A2 standard size white card bases, and I set them aside while I started working on the card panels. For the first card I white heat-embossed the peony cluster directly on the watercolor card panel, and I water colored with coral and green tones. Then, to make it stand out, I added a touch of light blue to the background. Once the water coloring was dry I gold heat-embossed one of the sentiments, and to finish it off I adhered the back of it with double sided tape to one of the white card bases.

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For the second card I white heat embossed the peonies on a piece of watercolor paper, then I water colored it with orange and green tones. Once the water coloring was done, I set it aside while I ran though the die cutting machine a piece of gold mirrored card stock along with the Friend die included in the fresh peonies crafting dies, as I wanted to combine the ‘Friend’ word with one of sentiments from the stamp set. For the card layout I adhered the friend word in one of the lower sides of the card, and then I gold heat embossed one of the sentiments underneath it. Finally, I used the Fresh Peonies crafting die to die cut the peonies cluster. And to finish it off I adhered the peony cluster above the sentiment, and I adhered the card panel to the other white card base.

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Here is a closer look on the die cutting and heat embossing along with the water coloring using the beautiful Fresh Peonies stamps and crafting dies.

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I hope you had a great time here with me, and most of all that you get a bit of inspiration from the cards that I shared today. Thank you and happy crafting.

Written by Yasmin Diaz. All photography provided by Yasmin Diaz.



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Five Fresh Peony Project Ideas

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, peony flowers are outrageously beautiful and will take your breath away. Today, I am sharing some cards featuring the Fresh Peonies stamp set and dies. I hope these projects will take your breath away and inspire you to make some flower cards and tags!


The Fresh Peonies Ideas and Inspiration Video!

I know some of you like to watch videos to see the projects and hear tips. Other people would rather read about them. So you get to choose! The video includes the same projects and tips included in the rest of this post.


Keep Things Simple - Don't Add Color!

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When we were designing this stamp set, I never imagined the peony flowers without any color. But check out this card by Dana Kirby. It is simple and oh so stunning! So, if you are short on time, just let the flower image and sentiment be the stars on your card!

Want to learn more about how Dana made this card. Here's a link to her blog post!


Use Colored Pencils and the No Line Coloring Technique

Technique Tuesdays Fresh Peonies stamp with color pencils

Wow... I can honestly say this card took my breath away! Dana Joy used a light-colored ink to stamp the peony flower image. Then she used pencils to add color to her peonies and leaves, and created this gorgeous card!

If you would like to get the exact pencil colors that Dana used, hop on over to her blog post!


Frame Your Sentiment with Peonies

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I can't seem to find very many words to accurately describe how much I like this card by Emily Leiphart. She used Distress Ink to color two peony images, and then die cut them out. She stamped her sentiment, and used the Essential Stitched Labels dies to cut it out. But here is where Emily got super creative. Look at her card front. She used that same label die to emboss shapes and texture into the background of her card. I think that is so AWESOME!

Want more information? Check out Emily's blog post!


Make a Trendy Coral Colored Peony

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Often peonies are white, pink, or red. But they also come in shades of coral, purple and bright yellow. One of the trendy colors this year is called living coral. So I was so glad to see this beautiful peony card by Yasmin Diaz. In addition to using copic markers to make the lovely coral peony, Yasmin die cut out the word Friend (which is included in the set of Fresh Peonies Crafting Die) to help finish her card.


Stamp a Patterned Peony Background

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Last month I participated in a challenge where I colored a stamped image every day. I used several different kinds of pencils, crayons, and markers to make peonies in nearly every color in the rainbow. To make this card I stamped the peony image all over a 4 x 5.5 inch piece of cardstock. Then I used yellow, orange, and red makers to color in the flowers. (I used Zig Clean Color light pink, orange, and carmine red along with a water pen.) Although it took me awhile to color all those peonies, I really enjoyed doing it. I think that coloring stamped images is relaxing!


I hope you enjoyed seeing all the different ways you can color your stamped peonies. If you are a member of the Greenhouse Society auto-ship program, we'll be shipping the Fresh Peonies to you soon. I hope these projects inspire you to get out your new stamps and make something! If you aren't an auto-ship member, you can pre-order your peonies now.

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The March Greenhouse Society Sneak Peek

Sneak Peeks Day One!

Oh my gosh! It's nearly March. I always forget how quickly the end of February arrives! We're headed into March like a lion here in Oregon, with snow trying to cover our daffodils and crocuses. But we've got some great new flower stamps and dies to look forward to, so I'm happy. ;)

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I'm super excited about the new Greenhouse Society Stamp Set and Craft Dies. You're going to love the Fresh Peony set! It's a dream to color and paint, with all its lovely details and classic lines. Between the two of us, Bev and I have colored these flowers nearly every color in the rainbow. And I've started working on my coloring tutorial. I can't wait to share it with you!

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If you are a member of the Greenhouse Society auto-ship program, we will ship these peonies to you in March. Not a member? You can pre-order yours starting March 1st. Or you may want to learn more about becoming a Greenhouse Society member!

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A new coloring video, featuring the Beautiful Narcissus stamp set and Copic markers!

Hello, Julie here, with another coloring video! Today’s project uses the new Beautiful Narcissus stamp set and Copic markers. Copics are a fairly new medium for me, so I learned a lot as I prepared for this video. The first thing I learned was how to pronounce it – a little like cope-ic. I even went to the official website to watch a video just to hear how they pronounced it. I still think it looks like it should rhyme with topic, but oh well.


Step-By-Step Instructions For Coloring the Beautiful Narcissus image with Copic Markers

If you'd like to print out step-by-step instructions, here they are. Or bookmark this page for future reference!

  1. I stamped my image on multimedia paper here, with a water-based ink. Because many waterproof inks are alcohol-based, they don’t work so well with the alcohol-based Copic markers. It just blends into the color you’re adding. So, water-based inks are our friends here.
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  2. I started with the greens. I found the color system easy to navigate, with the help of the Copic Marker site’s color chart and explanation. I chose three colors in the yellow green family - YG21, YG23, and YG25.
    I started with the lightest color, YG21, and filled in all the leaves and stems. After that, I put in shadows with the medium color, YG23. Then I used the darkest color, YG25, very sparingly in the very darkest spots. I will say that the stems here are fairly thin, so I didn’t do any detailed shading on them. Next, I went back to YG21 and used it as a blender. Now, I could have used an actual colorless blender to do this, but I didn’t really need to, as the lightest of the three colors worked well. This final layer blended the three colors a bit, and smoothed out any hard lines.
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  3. Next came the flowers. I used three markers from the yellow family – Y13, Y15, and Y19. I started with Y13, the lightest color, then the medium color, Y15, then the darkest, Y19, and finally went back in with the lightest and blended them. One of the things that have kept me from trying Copics in the past was the fact that when I started to put down color, like I did here with the light yellow, it would start out looking sort of muddy. Tam, here at the office, encouraged me to keep trying, and I came back to a trial piece that I hadn’t liked as I colored it, but which looked amazing once it was dry! So these yellows are going to dry to be nice and bright.
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  4. Next was the orange center. I used three in the yellow red family YR00, YR02, and YR04. Of course, I started with the lightest, and filled in the whole shape with it. Then the medium color went in, and because the lighter color is so light, I used a good bit of the medium. Next comes the darkest, which I used for just a couple of shadow touches. Finally, I used the lightest orange to blend them together.
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  5. Once the flowers are all done, I started on the puffballs, which Tam and I decided are thistles, so they’re blue. I started with B60, and just swirled it around on each of the bits of fluff. Next was a touch of B63 for the start of the shadows, and finally some B66 for the darkest bit. The blending here started out looking a bit muddy but dried nicely.
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  6. And lastly, I did the thistle stems in brown (I thought of them as dried thistles). Because these stems are thin, I once again only did the barest bit of color, avoiding any shading, because it got out of control when I tried too much detail with these.
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Here is the final piece. I added a touch of the blue in the little tie at the bottom and now I’m ready to make a card or gift tag out of it. I’ll see about putting the finished product up on the website when I’ve finished it.

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I hope you enjoyed seeing how I used Copic markers to color the Beautiful Narcissus image. And I hope you saw something you can use on your next project!

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PS: The Beautiful Narcissus is part of our Greenhouse Society collection of stamps and dies. You can see all of the flower and nature-themed products in that collection on our website!



Create Envelope Art with the Joyous Juniper Stamps

Hello, Julie here. In today’s video I’ll show you how I created some cool envelope art using the Joyous Juniper stamp set. The stamp set is part of our Greenhouse Society Collection of stamps and matching dies. I had a lot of fun with the Joyous Juniper stamps and am really looking forward to making more envelope art with it!


Step-By-Step Instructions For Making Envelope Art

If you'd like to print out step-by-step instructions, here they are. Or bookmark this page for future reference!

  1. First, I stamped the image on the envelope using waterproof ink. Then I put a piece of chipboard into the envelope so that nothing could bleed through to the other side of the envelope, and to avoid any bumps from having creases or layers of the paper underneath. I got this piece from an old pad of list paper, but chipboard like this comes in all kinds of random packaging. Next I got out my water pen, my palette block, a piece of paper towel, and Distress Inks for the first half of this project. I spread my inks onto the pallet, a bit of Iced Spruce, and some Stormy Sky.

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  2. To start the coloring, I put down a water wash and then added color from my block. On this paper, the water wash is going to soak into the paper really quickly, so I had to do it in small batches. A little bit of water wash, and then color over that, then a little more water wash, and so on. This ink layer is just fairly flat color, starting with the Iced Spruce in the leaves and stems. This is just to provide sort of a background to the pencils. The color coverage just comes out smoother with a flat color background under the pencils.

    On the berries, I did pretty much the same thing with the Stormy Sky, one berry at a time. Wash and then color, and repeat.

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  3. Next came the pencils. I started with brown and greens for the stems and needles. Light Umber went in first, and I put it in pretty lightly on the stems only.

    Once the brown was in, I went into the needles with True Green, which is a sort of blue-tinted green. I just went into the ends of the needles with this, because I didn’t want to layer too much color on at once. Because this paper doesn’t have a lot of tooth, it’s possible that at some point the color won’t layer on any more.

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  4. After that was the warmer Apple Green along the base of the needles.

    Next was the Olive Green, which went on the stems over the brown, as well as the very base of each needle, to provide some shadow. I went back and forth with these colors until I had something I really liked.

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  5. Then, I started in on the berries with the Peacock Blue. I went over the berries with light circles of the peacock. Next was the Ultramarine Blue, which set up the shadow areas.

    A bit of Violet went in after that, to make the shadows nice and rich.

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  6. Once I got that in, I went back in with the Peacock blue pretty thickly over the lighter areas. It’s about the right color for the sort of smoky blue I wanted for my berries, so I wanted it to kind of take over. Next I went in with the white, over that second layer of Peacock blue and sort of smoothed it out, and lightened it up.

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  7. A little more ultramarine went into the shadows to blend them a little more, and then I started with the colorless blender.

    With the blender, I tend to move from dark to light so that if I have color built up on the pencil, I don’t get an accidental blob of dark color in the light area. Somehow it’s easier to blend a lighter color into the shadows than it is to deal with dark in the light. You can also just wipe the color off the blender pencil between berries if you want, using the paper towel.

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  8. Last, I added a bit more white as a highlight or shine – that little ‘ting!’ This required a bit more pressure, because I’d built up so much color in this area already.

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And I did all the berries like that, and ended up with something like this.

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I placed a label die cut on the front of the envelope and sponged some ink around it to make a space for my friends’ names and well, a fake address. The thing I loved about using the Joyous Juniper Stamp is that it fit perfectly into the pointed envelope flap. I love that on the back flap you see this beautiful image, but on the front, you just get a hint of the image, while the space for the stamp is still free. You can add your return address here on the front, or on the back somewhere. Keep in mind that as you get more on the envelope, the more likely it is that it will have to be hand-canceled. This just costs a touch more in postage, but shouldn’t slow anything down too much.

If you'd like to learn more about the Greenhouse Society Stamp Sets and matching dies, now is a good time. If you sign up to become a member by the end of this month, you'll receive a free stamp set. All the details are on our website.

I hope you learned something you can use on your next project. Have a great day!

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Creating Contrast with Watercolor Markers and the Luscious Grapes Stamps!

Hello, Julie here! In today's video, I will show you how to use watercolor markers to add contrast to images in the new Luscious Grapes stamp set. These new fancy-schmancy watercolor markers were a gift for my birthday. I love them and am excited to show you how to use them! 

 

(Can't see the embedded video? You'll find it right here on our website.)


Step-By-Step Instructions

If you'd like to print out step-by-step instructions, here they are. Or bookmark this page for future reference!

  1. I started with Canson watercolor paper and stamped the cluster of grapes using a quick drying, waterproof ink.

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  2. I wanted to make the grapes be the color of Concord grapes, which is mostly blue with a hint of purple. So I started out with the blue marker and added a swoosh of color in the bottom of each of these grapes. Then I used a little water to spread the blue throughout the grape. Once I had the blue distributed, I went back in and added just a tiny spot of purple for the highlight. And as usual, I want back and forth between the colors. On some of the grapes I added more of the blue to intensify that color. You can get this great sort of gradient going, because you’re doing essentially wet-on-wet water coloring.

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  3. Once all the grapes were done, I started in on the leaves. I used the yellow marker to add a base layer. I wanted an autumn leaf color scheme, like the grapes were just ready to be picked, so the colors I used were generally warm. I just went around the edges and along the veins of each leaf with yellow. I didn't want to overwhelm the leaves, just give them a yellow base with a little color everywhere. I used my brush to spread the yellow around to make some nice gradients. There’s a lot of detail within the leaves that could get lost, so I tried to make sure that where the leaves overlapped, the bottom leaf was a bit darker than the part of the top leaf that’s covering it. The darker areas provide a little more contrast which makes the leaf details a bit easier to see.

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  4. Next I went in with the orange watercolor marker. In my set that was Cadmium Red, which was the closest to orange that I had. I picked a few spots to make reddish orange... mostly in areas I wanted to make sure had some additional contrast as well as more intensity. I went back and forth between the orange and yellow, and used water to move those colors around. I planned ahead to put green near the reddish orange areas on the leaves that were underneath. Since red and green are complementary colors I knew that the green would make those areas seem even redder which would help make those areas pop.

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  5. Next I used the red watercolor marker. In my set of makers this was named Alizarin Crimson as opposed to the Cadmium Red hue, which is a little bit more orange. I used the Alizarin Crimson to add a little more intensity to the areas that were already headed in the reddish-orange direction.

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  6. Next I added a bit of Sap Green to a few spots. This is where you need to be a bit careful. Because red and green are complementary colors, (which means they’re on opposite sides of the color wheel), they will create a neutral color when mixed. I made sure I didn't add any green to areas that already had red in them. I knew that if I did mix them, they would turn a muddy brown.

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  7. Next, I used a couple brown shades on the stem and vine areas. I used the lighter color along the top of the stem. Then I used water to spread the color out a little. Because it was pretty wet, the dark brown went in like a dream and spread itself out a little bit. By going back and forth with the brush and the markers, you can get the colors to go where you want them to be.

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And here is my final piece! I went back in and added more color in a few places. I added some darker green on top of the lighter green to add contrast in one or two spots, but only very sparingly.

I hope you enjoyed learning how to add contrast to your stamped images. These watercolor markers are a great way to add color to nature-themed stamp sets like the Luscious Grapes Stamp Set or any of the flower and botanical themed stamp sets in the Greenhouse Society collection.

Thanks for reading! 

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Watercoloring Tips for Stamped Images

Hey everyone… Tam here. Of all the ways to add color to stamped images, watercolors are my very favorite. I’ve been doing it so long that I sometimes forget to explain what I am doing so let me know if you have any questions about my video or this tutorial!

Here’s a quick summary:

  1. Stamp using waterproof ink on watercolor paper.
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  2. Wet a section of the stamped image with clear water. The amount of water you need depends on the type of watercolor paper you are using. You may need to experiment a little to figure out how wet to make your watercolor paper before adding color.
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  3. Add a light wash of color. Don’t completely color the entire stamped image. Let some white show through to create highlights in the stamped image.
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  4. Let each color washed area dry completely before coloring any adjacent areas of your project. If you don’t let an area dry completely, your colors will probably bleed together.
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  5. Once your project is completely dry, go back and rewet an area where you want to add shadows. Often the dots or lines of the stamped image are a good place to add color to create the shadows and add visual interest.
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  6. Coloring is supposed to be relaxing and fun. So play with your stamped images. Try unusual color combinations. For example, Bev color-washed the leaves with yellow and used green to add the shadows. Also instead of sticking with a traditional yellow sunflower, why not make your flower be turquoise, purple or pink?
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  7. Die cut out your stamped image or fussy cut it. Add some sequins or highlight an area with glossy accents. Add a sentiment to finish your project.

We’d love to see what you make using these watercolor techniques. Or show use how you colored the Sunny Flower stamps and dies using markers, colored pencils or your favorite coloring mediums. Use #TechniqueTuesday so we can find your project and leave some love for it!

Tam



How to Quickly Apply Color to Stamped Images with Watercolor Crayons

Hello, everyone!

Like the watercolor look? You are going to love the latest coloring video from Technique Tuesday.

Julie's back to show you how to use six watercolor crayons to quickly apply color to stamped Iris flowers. This quick and easy technique is sure to please all you coloring fans out there. You'll want to try it with the Iris stamps and all kinds of other stamped images!

Clear stamps and crafting dies from Technique Tuesday || TechniqueTuesdayAre you a member of the Greenhouse Society? The Iris is in your March auto-shipment. Not a member? You can order the Iris stamp set and matching dies without a subscription.

Clear stamps and crafting dies from Technique Tuesday || TechniqueTuesday

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Like the color scheme Julie used?

Watercolor crayons from Technique Tuesday  || TechniqueTuesday.com

We've got a deal for you! We've bundled together the 6 crayons that she used in the video. The colors included are Cobalt Blue, Prussian Blue, Aubergine, Orange, Grass Green and Vandyke Brown. For a limited time, the pack of 6 crayons are just $10.75 on our website!

Watercolor crayons from Technique Tuesday  || TechniqueTuesday.com

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We hope you enjoy seeing how Julie colored the Iris, and we hope you're inspired to make some projects of your own!

TTBlogTeam