Hello, Julie here! It's the first of June and we are all smiles and laughter, beautiful blooming flowers and happy hippos around here. It's pretty giddy, let me tell you! We are excited to announce the June new release, and Bev is here with a 3-minute video to get things started!
Plus, Don't Miss The Blog Hop!
Our creative team, along with several guest designers, have a whole bunch of projects that they're sharing with you, too. We hope you'll visit each of their blogs and leave some comments for them along the way!
Yay... it's finally time to talk about the May release! We've been so busy celebrating National Scrapbook Day that we haven't had time to say much about the new stamps and dies we released on May 1st. But that all changes today!
Today, Bev is sharing a quick video showing you all the beautiful butterflies, the lovely roses, and the snappy alligators and crocodiles. Watch her video to learn a little bit about each of the new products. Then make sure you visit each stop on the blog hop to see tons of project ideas!
Hello, Julie here, and today I'm sharing a new tutorial showing how to color stamped roses with alcohol markers. I used the new Sending Roses stamp set from the Greenhouse Society collection, and colored it with Copic markers. I'll show you how to add highlights to your stamped images with alcohol markers such as Copics. Watch the video, or if you'd rather, you can read through my rose coloring tutorial, below.
Step by Step!
I stamped my image using alcohol safe ink on Bristol Board, which I’ve been liking a lot as an all-round paper.
I started on the leaves first, using YG23, yellow green 23. I put down a flat covering layer on all the green areas - the leaves, stems, and sepals. For the tiny spaces, I used the chisel end of the pen.
Next was YG17 in the shadowy areas to add some dimension. Once I had my little touches of the darker color in, I went back in with the YG23 and did some very light and brief blending. I try not to blend too much when I’m working in small spaces like these leaves, because the less you blend, the less likely it is that your color is going to bleed outside your lines.
Once all the green was in and blended, I started in on the flowers with R35, and covered the whole flower, trying to follow the contours of the petals. I do this because there’s a chance that the pen strokes will show up, and if they’re moving in a direction that makes sense, it isn't as jarring. So on the leaves, I mostly brushed out from the base. In these petals, on the parts that are curled, I swept from one side of the petal to the other, following the curve of the petal. Then, for the parts that are flat (or flatter) I brushed up from the base. I’m not always successful in remembering this, but fortunately, this is the first layer, and will end up being mostly covered.
Once the base color was in, I went in with R29 and start the shadow areas.
Once I had all those in, I used the R35 to blend the color out a little. The second layer smoothed the borders of the R29, and added another level of intensity to the color – sort of an intermediate between the R29 and the first layer of R35. I used this middle layer to start the hints of highlights by not covering some of the areas to be highlighted.
Now I used the colorless blender to blend the edges of my colors out. The blender mostly moves the color around, since it’s just alcohol, with no color. It thins the color and will spread it around to a degree. I used this effect to create my highlights, by moving a bit of the red out of the way for the shine. I went back and forth a touch between the R35 and the blender, until I was happy with the highlights.
Then I used Y21 to warm up those highlighted areas. Because this yellow is such a light color, it could be used by itself to add the highlights if you either didn’t have the blender pen, or just didn’t want to use still another pen color. I like the blender for softening the lines between colors without adding more color.
And I went back and forth with marker colors a touch, until I was happy and had my finished stamped rose image, like this. I used the matching Sending Roses crafting die to die cut out my flowers. To finish my rose card, I cut out two labels from the Essential Stitched Labels crafting dies and then stamped a sentiment that was included in the rose stamp set. Then I added some patterned paper in the background and assembled my card.
I really enjoyed working on this project, getting to color the Sending Roses. Of course, these alcohol maker techniques will work on all kinds of flowers like those in the Greenhouse Society Collection. The Rhododendron Flower, Happy Hydrangea, and the Sweet Succulents would all work really nicely with the techniques you learned in the alcohol marker tutorial. In fact, I just might have worked on one of those for a card for my Mom for Mother's Day. ;)
I hope you saw something you can use on your next coloring project. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!
PS: If you are a member of the Greenhouse Society auto-ship program, we started shipping the Sending Roses products to you on Friday, 5/10.
Hello, Julie here! Today I’m sharing tip about how to use colored pencils with stamped images on toned gray paper. I used the new Meadow Flower stamp set, but these colored pencil blending techniques would work great on any of the flower stamps in the Greenhouse Society collection. I love the Meadow Flower stamp set because it’s so versatile and looks great in so many different colors. Today I’m going to be coloring it a bit like a California poppy. I’m a California girl, and I love that state flower. Watch the video tutorial, or read through the photo tutorial below, if you prefer.
Using Colored Pencils on Toned Gray Paper
So, I have my image stamped on gray toned paper, using a waterproof ink. And I have my Prismacolor pencils, a small brush, and my ever important coffee mug ;)
Because I’m working on gray toned paper, I’m going to start with a layer of a light color. That could have been white, but this time, I’m going to start the project out on the warm side, and use canary yellow. I’m just going to cover the entire flower with it.
Once I’m done with that, I’ll move on to yellowed orange. This will go in almost everywhere the yellow did, because, of course, it’s going to be orange, like a California Poppy. It’ll have yellow highlights, but will be mostly orange.
Next is a smaller layer of orange. This is going to start out in the shadowy areas for now. Later I will cover more of the flower with this, but I want to start out slow. I find that it’s easier to add more of a dark color later, than it is to try and layer on a lighter color if I get it too dark.
Once I’ve got the shadows started, I’ll move to poppy red (fitting, right?) in the darkest parts of the shadowed areas.
Once I’ve got that, I’m going to go back and forth a good bit to get the colors to balance just the way I want them to. I use the yellowed orange to blend and smooth the poppy red, and then add more canary yellow to blend that, and so on.
This paper is really nice for building up color, but I always make sure I’m using my small circles and thinking about my pressure. As the project develops, it gets harder and harder to get another layer of color to stick, and you may have to use more pressure. Just think about how hard you’re pressing, and don’t go crazy – I try to remember to increase that pressure slowly.
And I’ll keep going until I’ve got all three flowers, a bit like this.
Now for the leaves. Once again, I’m starting with a layer of light. First is yellow chartreuse, all over. With the stems I’m switching it up, and going from the lightest color to the darkest – in this case dark green. I’m just going to go in with a very very light layer, only in the parts I want to be shadowed.
Next is spring green, and I use it to blend the dark green into the yellow chartreuse and to sort of bridge the gap between them. On to apple green, back to dark green, then spring green, back and forth and back and forth with a bit of chartreuse thrown in for good measure.
And here is my finished piece.
It was fun to work with the gray toned paper, colored pencils and stamps because the color really pops, even without a huge range of color. I’m excited about playing with other color combinations, like this blue version, which I’ll finish and make into a card or something soon.
I hope you saw something you can use on your next project. If you have any questions or thoughts, please leave me a comment. I love hearing from you!
PS: If you are a member of the Greenhouse Society auto-ship program, we shipped the Meadow Flowers to you earlier this month.
Tam & Julie here, to let you know that we are not fooling around today. We have our super-duper serious faces on, and will not stand for any kind of tom-foolery. Nor any Tam-foolery! But Julie-foolery is just fine. ;)
But seriously, we're not joking when we say that these new stamps and dies are gorgeous! Bev will tell you all about it in her new release video, below. You've probably been following along with our sneak peeks of the Monkey Business, Growing Garden, Garden Sentiments, and Meadow Flowers, but now you get to see everything!
Plus, Don't Miss The Blog Hop!
Our creative team, along with several guest designers, have a whole bunch of projects that they're sharing with you, too. We hope you'll visit each of their blogs and leave some comments for them along the way!
We hope you enjoyed watching Bev's video, and seeing all the projects along the blog hop. If you saw some new stamps or dies that you like, head on over to the website and snag your own copies. We've included the links below!
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.
To begin I stamped my Kind Cosmo image on watercolor paper with waterproof ink.
Marking the background
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Hi everyone. This is Bev. I have been having a lot of fun playing with the Build a Birdhouse crafting dies and I have so many tips I want to share with you for using them. You can watch the video, or keep reading to make sure you see all the project ideas and see all the tips too!
Tip 1: Don't Cut Apart Your Dies!
Now my first tip may seem a little odd. I recommend that you leave these dies connected. In other words, don’t nip apart the connectors between each of these dies. Here is why. First, some of these dies are small and easy to lose. Second, these birdhouse pieces are designed to be mixed and matched in a bunch of different colors. Since none of these dies are nested just leave the dies connected and make lots of die cut roofs, perches, and birdhouses. And don't forget that in addition to cardstock and patterned paper, these dies will cut out felt, thin chipboard, cork, thin wood paper, fabric, and more. Those unusual materials make great birdhouse parts!
Tip 2: Keep All the Extra Die-Cut Birdhouse Pieces!
My next tip is don’t throw away the extra birdhouse pieces. Instead keep them together for future projects. Here at the Technique Tuesday offices, we keep the dies in a plain envelope and we keep all those pieces in that same envelope with the dies. Having all these extra birdhouse pieces in one place makes it easy to create a quick card, gift tag or scrapbook layout later.
Tip 3: Use a Glue Pen or Fine Tip Adhesive Applicator!
Once you’ve picked out the pieces you are going to use for a specific project, you need to adhere them together. If you are working with paper, I recommend using a glue pen to adhere small, die-cut pieces together. I prefer this Quickie Glue Pen. A high-quality glue pen lets you add a small amount of glue right where you need it and dries clear too.
If you are working with more porous materials, like felt or chipboard, you’ll need a stronger adhesive and more of it. For these porous materials, I prefer this On Point Glue. Now the first thing I like about the On Point Glue is that it has a very fine tip that lets me get the glue where I want it to be. It also has a little pieces of metal, really a pin, inside the lid that slides down into the tip to keep it from clogging. And the adhesive is pretty strong so it will keep these heavier materials together better.
Tip 4: Make the Entrances Look Dark and Shadowy!
Once you have those pieces adhered, you need to decide what to do about the hole in the front of the birdhouse. Now, one option is to leave the hole open. But I wanted it to look dark and shadowed, so here’s how I do that. I cut out a piece of black or dark shadow colored cardstock. Then I adhere it to the back of the birdhouse. Not only does this provide the shadow color, the dark piece is actually behind the birdhouse so it adds just a bit of dimensional interest too.
Tip 5: Cut Down Your Birdhouses!
Another tip is that these die-cut birdhouses are designed to be cut down. We made them this way so that you could adjust the size to fit better on your specific project. Plus being able to make different sized birdhouses lets you make more visually interesting projects. To make different-sized birdhouses, just trim off the bottom of the one-hole or three-hole birdhouse die cuts. Then add roofs or perches!
Tip 6: Cut Out Some White Pieces and Add Patterns!
My final tip is to also consider die-cutting out some birdhouse pieces from white cardstock or watercolor paper. You can use a fine tip pen to add a wood grain pattern or some other pattern to your birdhouses. Or use your favorite coloring medium to add shadows and highlights. For example, Tam used Copic markers to make it look like there are red shingles or corrugated steel on the roof of this die-cut birdhouse accent.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and projects featuring the Build a Birdhouse dies. And I hope you are inspired to go make some cards, gift tags, or accents for your scrapbook pages using some of your own die-cut birdhouses.
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!
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!
Use Colored Pencils and the No Line Coloring Technique
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!
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!
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
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.
Stamp the flowers using multiple ink colors: To make a project like this one, start by stamping a sentiment on your card front. (The sentiment on this card is from the Lots of Sentiments Stamp Set.)
Then get out 2 or 3 colors of ink. Apply the lightest color, next lightest color, and then the darkest ink color to your cosmo stamp. By inking up from lightest to darkest, you can avoid getting dark-colored ink on your lighter ink pads.
Then stamp the multi-colored cosmo image off the edges of your card front. Ink up the flower stamp again using multiple ink colors to make more flowers on your project.
Add yellow and green details: Did you know the centers of a cosmo flower are always yellow? That means you can make the petals on your flower images be whatever color you want. Then add a yellow center and your gardener friends will know it is a cosmo. To add an extra pop of color, apply green along the stems of your stamped flower image.
To color the cosmo flowers on this gift tag, I used watercolors. Next I used the largest label from the set of Essential Stitched Labels Dies to cut out the tag. To finish the project, I used one of the smaller dies from that set to make the slot for the ribbon.
Color-match your sentiment: To make a project like this one, stamp, color, and then die cut out your cosmos. (I used 3 colors of distress ink on each petal.) To make a matching sentiment label, start with white paper. Use the same ink colors and blend them together. Then stamp a sentiment over the blended ink. To cut out my sentiment, I used the smallest label from the Essential Stitched Labels Crafting Dies.
Create striped flowers: Another fun thing to do is make striped cosmos. Heather used copic markers to make the bright pink areas emanating out from the centers for each flower. Then she added yellow centers and green stems before die cutting out her cosmos. Heather blended some yellow ink onto the largest die from the Essential Stitched Labels Crafting Dies and placed it behind her flowers. (You'll find more details about this card on Heather's blog!)
Make a monochromatic garden: Many of my favorite projects feature a monochromatic color scheme, like this card by Emily Leiphart. She stamped the cosmos three times, colored them using distress inks, and die cut them out. Then she blended the same distress ink colors along the bottom of her card. Emily adhered the die-cut cosmos along the bottom edge of the card front but she varied how far they went up onto the card. To finish, she cut off the parts of the flower die cuts that were off the edge of the card. (Want more info? See Emily's blog post.)
Use dark cardstock and pencils: Want to create a totally different look? Start with black or dark cardstock. Stamp several of the cosmos images and heat emboss them. (I used Versamark ink and silver embossing powder.) Then use pencils to add color to each petal plus highlights and shadows. (I used Prismacolor pencils.)
Cut apart your die-cut flowers: Since cosmos come in so many colors, why not add a whole bunch of flowers to your next project? Start by stamping, coloring, and die-cutting out a bunch of flowers. (I used watercolors for this project.) Then snip the die-cut flowers off their stems. Arrange the cosmos on your card and add a sentiment. (The sentiment on this card is from the Lots of Sentiments stamp set. I used the smallest die from the Essential Stitched Labels Crafting Dies to cut out the sentiment.)
I hope you enjoyed seeing these projects and I hope that they inspire you make some projects of your own. The Technique Tuesday Design Team members made so many projects with these stamps and dies that we couldn’t include them all here. Hop on over to our website to see more projects featuring the Kind Cosmo stamps and dies!