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Watercolours

Cards, Christmas, Stamping, Watercolours

Quick Christmas card idea

I can hardly believe it’s getting close to the end of September already! In the past, I’ve tried to get a head start on making my Christmas cards much earlier in the year. But this year, the treadmill of life has been running away with me and I haven’t had chance to slow down and plan for the festive season ahead of time.

This week, I’ve been trying to get on the case with starting to make my Christmas cards so that by the time December is here, I’m much better prepared!

Here’s a good start to the festive greeting stash…

christmas card idea, stamping christmas tree, lawn fawn

It’s a nice and simple one to get the ball rolling, and the good thing is that it can be redesigned with different papers and different stamps to give a whole new look. I don’t usually mass-produce my cards, so ideas that are easy to ring the changes without completely reinventing the design are very welcome.

For this one, I stamped a whole load of trees from the Lawn Fawn ‘Critters in the Forest’ set onto watercolour paper. I watercolored them all, fairly loosely, and without much shading, then got to work fussy cutting them to use as toppers. I can have one per card, and they will be fab even if the papers I combine them with and overall layouts vary a bit 😉
I love too, that this is a non-Christmassy stamp set that always comes in handy at this time of year, with this perfect pine tree.

christmas card idea, stamping christmas tree, lawn fawn

I took an aperture card from my stash of card blanks – I was given a bunch of these by a friend recently, who no longer makes cards. I layered up a piece of festive patterned paper into the aperture, and then knotted a matching ribbon around the front. I had this fancy double-colour satin ribbon that would be fab for the job… red on one side and pink on the other.
Then it was just a matter of fixing the topper onto the card front. I used sticky foam pads for dimension.

christmas card idea, stamping christmas tree, watercolour, lawn fawn

I decorated the tree with mini fuchsia pink gems, and added a stamped, watercoloured robin perched on top. Cute!

At least I’ve now made a start on this year’s Christmas cards… one down, only around another 80 to go, haha!
But with my stash of fussy cut trees, I’m ready for more quick cards. And I’m hoping to find time to do some more batch stamping like this, with other Christmas stamp sets in my stash.

What about you, are your Christmas makes underway yet?
Hope this one’s an inspiration for you anyway, Ruth x

step-by-step tutorial for masculine birthday card idea. An interactive card space theme using Altenew stamps and watercolouring
Cards, Stamping, Watercolours

Interactive space-theme card!

I was super-inspired to make this card on an outer space theme… it was my elder nephew’s 6th birthday on Saturday, and this is the project I made for him. He is crazy about all things train-themed but I wasn’t too pleased with the first card I made (with a train vibe), so I scrapped that for recycling and went with this. I knew he was getting a space Lego set as one of his pressies so I figured it would go well 😉

masculine birthday card idea, space theme using Altenew stamps

I was really inspired by the lovely Mona who shared a fun interactive idea on her Instagram feed, and I thought it would be great to make a card with the space rocket and astronaut moving in space!

First I used my MISTI stamping tool to stamp the space images from Altenew ‘Space Travel’. I used a piece of watercolour paper as I wanted to paint them in colour, and chose Versafine ‘Onyx Black’ ink as it is watercolour-friendly.

step-by-step tutorial for masculine birthday card idea, space theme using Altenew stamps and MISTI

I watercolored them all, picking up the pigment from my watercolour pencils. With small motifs like these, they don’t need too much shading.
Then I fussy cut all the pieces leaving just a tiny border around each one.

step-by-step tutorial for masculine birthday card idea. An interactive card space theme using Altenew stamps and watercolouring

I knew I had the perfect patterned paper in my stash from an older 6x6pad by Stampin’ Up called ‘Going Places’. I used a couple of sheets, sticking these onto black cardstock for extra weight, and began to plan out the layout for my card.

I arranged them with one full 6×6 sheet and then a narrower panel to go below, with Saturn on it 😉

I cut out small apertures, using a craft knife, to create the moving mechanism for my rocket and spaceman. Each hole must be smaller than the size of the stamped piece, so that when the image ‘slides’, you avoid seeing the edges of the hole behind it.

step-by-step tutorial for masculine birthday card idea. An interactive card space theme using Altenew stamps and watercolouring

Then I snipped a scrap of the black cardstock as a backing piece for each of the rocket and the spaceman, larger than their apertures.
Now, use sticky foam pads to mount each one, with the foam pad ‘through’ the aperture and fixing onto the small black card piece below. And I just fixed the rest of my planets in place…

step-by-step tutorial for masculine birthday card idea. An interactive card space theme using Altenew stamps and watercolouring

And both of the starry panels could be mounted to a large card blank, folded from navy card. I left a space between the pieces so there’d be room to add a greeting diecut. And I used foam pads throughout, so that the moving pieces wouldn’t be obstructed by the the layers being too snug.

Here’s the finished card again, all topped off with a few gold gems for an extra galactic feel…

masculine birthday card idea, space theme using Altenew stamps

Check out my social media for a quick video clip of the movement – which is hard to film BTW, when holding the camera and when holding the card in the other hand!! I ended up laying it down on my table and moving it with my finger 😉

Here are a couple of closeups…

step-by-step tutorial for masculine birthday card idea. An interactive card space theme using Altenew stamps and watercolouring
step-by-step tutorial for masculine birthday card idea. An interactive card space theme using Altenew stamps and watercolouring

I’m happy to say that the birthday boy loved his card, too 😉
Hope you enjoyed the inspiration!

Until next time, Ruth x

closeup of birthday card, stamped and watercoloured flower
Cards, Die cutting, Stamping, Watercolours

Birthday card for the stash!

Life has been a bit of a whirlwind lately, with not much time for crafting 🙁 But I found this birthday card in my photos that I’ve not shared with you, so it’s a good time to enjoy the inspiration!

birthday card, stamped and watercoloured flower

I had a strip of textured card left over from another project so folded it to make a top-fold, narrow card blank. At the time, I had my sewing machine out so when that’s the case, it’s always a good opportunity to do a quick bit of sewing-on-paper.

I can’t keep my machine out all the time – there’s just not enough space around here – so it gets unpacked and packed away again every time. So when it does come out to play, I make sure to make the most of it, and do a bit of extra here and there… sewing some wiggly texture borders and attaching papers and other bits! This one is a good example as I found a bit of fun pom-pom trim that had been waiting for the perfect project. Finally it got sewn into place on this card!

Then I found a bit of spotty paper – it’s hard to see but the dusky pink circles have a faint blue outline that’s the perfect match for the card blank. It was meant to be!!

closeup of birthday card, stamped and watercoloured flower

Then with the pom-pom ‘blobs’ and spotty paper, I went for another layer of mini polka dots to bring the theme together. I diecut the pennant shape, using the Simon Says Stamp ‘Bundle of Stitched Shapes’ die set.

The whole thing is fab to show off a simple stamped flower. It is in the set by Stampin’Up called ‘Remarkable You’. (Sadly, now a discontinued one as I can’t see it on their site.)
I stamped it on watercolour paper and painted in soft colours… pastel pink to match the patterned paper.

It’s fussy-cut and tied with a snippet of pink-and-white baker’s twine, then raised up on the card front with sticky foam pads.

closeup of birthday card, stamped and watercoloured flower

A few pastel gems in pink and pale green, plus a simple greeting sticker, finish it all off.

It thought it’d make a handy card to have in my stash of birthday makes, and will be suitable for any age.
I’m hoping to find some creative time again soon… we have been having a new kitchen fitted so the house is a bit all over the place lately, and I can’t reach my crafty stash shelves for boxes! I hope it won’t be for much longer, anyway.

Hope you get to enjoy some crafty time this weekend, or sometime soon 😉
Ruth x

close up of flower card idea, inspiration using patterned papers and stamped focal image, painted using watercolours
Cards, Stamping, Watercolours

Another flower card idea!

I can’t help myself… I can’t resist making flower cards when I need something bright and breezy, something cheery 😉
Here’s a new flower idea that I hope you’ll find an inspiration!

flower card idea, inspiration using patterned papers and stamped focal image, painted using watercolours

It came about as I was tidying up my stash after a good day out at our monthly scrapbooking crop day – I found the pretty stripy and floral patterned papers lying together and really thought they would make a good card. The creative urge tends to strike surprisingly often when I’m supposed to be tidying up!! I’m sure it’s not just me that happens to 🙂

Well, a little bit of layering onto a scalloped card blank… and then a quick bit of stamping using this flower design by Sweet ‘n Sassy stamps and this card came together very quickly. I stamped the lily from a set, called Flower Blocks 1. It’s a clear set with four ‘block style’ florals, but I think it’s discontinued now. (Luckily you can get them individually still as digital stamps. Find the lily downloadable digi here.)

close up of flower card idea, inspiration using patterned papers and stamped focal image, painted using watercolours

I used watercolour paper and coloured it, with a loose watercolour wash not worrying too much if the colours were bleeding and flowing. I like the artsy look here.
Then it’s trimmed and raised up on the card front on foam pads.

close up of flower card idea, inspiration using patterned papers and stamped focal image, painted using watercolours

The whole thing is finished off with a sticker sentiment from my Tim Holtz ‘tiny words’ pack, which is ideal for sending encouraging, supportive wishes, and a scattering of gems, firmly fixed with Glossy Accents.

I think I know the perfect reason (and person!) to send this card. Hope it might inspire you to create something cheery. Go ahead and see what papers you might have left over from another project, that’ll work well together!
Ruth x

Close up of rainbow butterflies card, using stamps and dies from the Flutterings collection by Angela Poole
Cards, Die cutting, Stamping, Watercolours

Rainbow butterflies

Hello crafty friends! I have a bit of colourful card inspiration for you today – so cheery! I absolutely adore including butterfly motifs in my crafting, they’re a real go-to for me. For today’s card, I used the gorgeous ‘Flutterings’ collection, by Angela Poole.
(Ad – gifted. It is a card I made as part of my Design Team work, and as such some of the products used were provided to me for free. I’m sharing this with you though without obligation, so I hope you’ll love the inspiration!)

Let’s take a look…

Rainbow butterflies card, using stamps and dies from the Flutterings collection by Angela Poole

I began by making a card base using the rich Tropical Mist A4 Gradients cardstock pack, especially designed by Angela Poole to work so well with the exotic butterflies and hummingbirds from the Flutterings collection. The ombre shades from rich coral to yellow are ideal for showing off my butterflies.

I die cut a white lacy-effect border using the die in the Flutterings Die Set – Hummingbird set, and fixed this on the left side. I also die cut three flourishes from holographic silver card, this time from the Flutterings Die Set – Butterfly to use as butterfly flight trails.

Close up of rainbow butterflies card, using stamps and dies from the Flutterings collection by Angela Poole

I stamped three of the butterfly stamps from the Flutterings photopolymer stamp set, using black ink. My must-have black ink for crisp results is Versafine ‘Onyx Black’.
I coloured each one in rainbow shades, painting them using my watercolour pencils scribbled onto a craft mat and picking up the colour with a wet brush.

Then I fussy cut them out and raised them up on the card with foam pads, adding the shimmery, swirly flight trail diecut pieces tucked under the body of each.

Close up of rainbow butterflies card, using stamps and dies from the Flutterings collection by Angela Poole

Then, I added a couple of extra mini butterflies diecut from hot pink cardstock before finishing with the gem embellishments and a ribbon length tied around the card spine. The greeting topper is printed from the Angela Poole ‘Buds to Blooms’ DVD-ROM and diecut into a circle layered with a scallop circle.

The whole thing is a cheery inspiration card that’ll be great to add to my stash as a birthday greeting or simply to wish a loved one well.

Rainbow butterflies card, using stamps and dies from the Flutterings collection by Angela Poole

Hope you enjoyed this idea today – thanks as ever for stopping by. I truly appreciate you spending a little time here!
Take care until next time, Ruth x

close up of clean and simple card idea for a man or boy, stamped aeroplane with a birthday banner
Cards, Stamping, Watercolours

Flying high!

Today I’m sharing an idea that’s a quick, straightforward card that I made for a male friend’s birthday. I’ve said before that I definitely favour making Clean And Simple (CAS) designs for guys!

clean and simple card idea for a man or boy, stamped aeroplane with a birthday banner

I went for a landscape card with a stripe of patterned paper across the lower edge. I chose this neutral- coloured scallop pattern as I thought it looked like either a field, or even trees, that the plane could be flying above.

The stamp set I used is an old one from my stash, called ‘Vintage Rides’, by a company called The Craft’s Meow. I really love making the most of old products in my stash, finding new ways to use them and playing with new techniques to maximise the use of my goodies!
I stamped my biplane and the separate birthday banner, plus added the separate greeting inside the trailing flag. They’re all wateroloured and fussy cut.

close up of clean and simple card idea for a man or boy, stamped aeroplane with a birthday banner

Before finalising the position of the birthday plane, I stamped the first part of the greeting which is also included as an extra in the stamp set… “Zooming by…”!
With that perfectly placed, I raised up the plane and banner on foam pads for dimension.

close up of clean and simple card idea for a man or boy, stamped aeroplane with a birthday banner

All it needed to finish off was a little accent with my Wink of Stella shimmer pen, to bring a shiny touch to the glass of the pilot’s cockpit. I think this adds a fab detail.

close up of clean and simple card idea for a man or boy, stamped aeroplane with a birthday banner

Hope you’ve been inspired seeing this easy CAS design idea – maybe it’s triggered a spark of creativity in you if you have that same stamp set, or something similar in your own stash?!
Until next time, Rx

Close up of scrapbook page idea using mixed media watercolours to create a rainbow background.
Die cutting, Scrapbooking, Stamping, Uncategorized, Watercolours

Rainbow crafts

I’m here to share a fab idea today that’s full of COLOUR! And what’s not to love about a rainbow? 🙂
This scrapbook page is one I made using products that were gifted as part of my Design Team commitments for Angela Poole Designs. You can apply the fun rainbow technique to any project, whether it’s a scrapbook layout or card, or even home decor and gift items.

Take a look at that colour…

scrapbook page idea using mixed media watercolours to create a rainbow background. plus sparkle heat embossed flower embellishment using Angela Poole Designs 'Perfect Peonies' stamp

With a background like this, “You colour my world” seemed like the ideal title to celebrate this special sunshine photo of me and my hubby! And the page doesn’t need too much else to detract 😉

I love that creating a mixed media backdrop for my page is so easy – you definitely don’t have to be experienced in watercolours, or even in mixed media.
Let me share my tips…

Start by using a heavyweight base cardstock – I think this one is by Coredinations, and I bought it from Mind the Scrap. It’ll stand up to being wet and won’t warp.
Apply plenty of clean water in a band across the top of your page, with a large paintbrush. I use a chunky, round brush that holds lots of water.

Now working before it dries, apply each colour of the watercolour paint in a good splurge, lifting the card to let the liquid drip and run a bit. Add more colour at the top to intensify the tone, and make it run down more.
Work across the whole of the top of the page, following the ROYGBIV rainbow sequence…

Close up of scrapbook page idea using mixed media watercolours to create a rainbow background.

If your page is starting to dry out, add more water! Keeping the surface wet and the colours nice and wet too is the key to letting the shades blend and swim together.

Close up of scrapbook page idea using mixed media watercolours to create a rainbow background.

I have a set of watercolour half pan paints, by Winsor and Newton – I only used 7 of course for this project, choosing the bright rainbow shades needed to create my ROYGBIV!
You can use any watercolour paints or water-soluble inks or sprays though – they don’t need to be high-grade artists paints. Even smooshing Distress Inks onto a craft mat or acrylic block then painting them onto your cardstock will look great. (I’ll have to share some projects where I’ve done this using the same technique, too!)

Then, a few splatters of each colour using a fine brush help bring a little bit of an artsy, flick-y look.

Next, I just layered up some patterned papers behind my photo. I chose a selection of pretty designs from the Angela Poole Designs ‘Buds to Blooms’ DVD-ROM.
I used strips of gold deco foil to bring out the shine in my rainbow shades, using Therm O Web Deco Foil in ‘Rose Gold’. It’s a fab effect, simply by laying down different widths of double-sided tape then burnishing the foil in place.

Close up of scrapbook page idea using mixed media watercolours and girl deco foil accents
I repeated another foil accent strip behind a simple journaling cluster, too

It’s fab to see how that foil catches the light!
The perfect embellishment for my page had to be a glorious flower, stamped from the Angela Poole
‘Perfect Peonies’ photopolymer set. It’s a multi-layer stamping set, but I just went for the outline layer.

It’s stamped in embossing ink and heat embossed with Snowflake Tinsel embossing powder for extra sparkle. I fussy cut it and popped it up on 3D foam pads.
It looks super-pretty in real life, it’s a shame I couldn’t capture more of the glitz in my photos!

Close up of scrapbook page idea using mixed media watercolours and sparkle heat embossed flower, using the Perfect Peonies stamp set by Angela Poole Designs

The whole look is finished with a good scattering of clear sparkling sequins in ‘moonshine’ from Simon Says Stamp, and sweet vellum hearts and butterflies. I diecut these using the Angela Poole Designs ‘Magic Windows – Decorative Tabs’ die set.

Hope you enjoyed this look at my rainbow craft project today. And of course, hearing how easy it is to do – let me know if you’d like to see a video tutorial, (or indeed, of any other techniques!) as I’m hoping to do some filming soon 😉
Stay crafty and enjoy all the rainbows that come your way, Rx

Easter card inspiration. Closeup of bunny rabbit rubber stamp by Sweet n Sassy Stamps, watercoloured using watercolour pencils
Cards, Die cutting, Stamping, Watercolours

Making Easter cards

I’ve had a busy couple of weeks, craftwise… but no complaints there!! As well as assorted springtime birthdays, Mothering Sunday, and scrapbook crops, there’s always lots of Easter cards to be made at this time of year.
Because things can often be super busy (we all know how that feels, right?!), I made things a little easier by sticking to similar designs for all my cards this year.

I rang up the changes with different papers – yes, I just stuck to one 6×6 pad though, so I knew the palette and designs would work, whatever my layout. And swapped out different focal toppers, either stamps or diecuts, and greetings, on each card too.

Here are a few of the fresh, springtime looks I made, that happily are now all arriving with the recipients as we ‘speak’ 😉 …

Easter card inspiration, pretty springtime idea with bunny rabbit rubber stamp by Sweet n Sassy Stamps, watercoloured

This cutie pie bunny is from a clear stamp set called ‘Springtime Babies’ which is such a go-to set for Easter!! I love these adorable designs by Sweet ‘n Sassy Stamps. (Though sadly, I can’t see them on their site so I wonder if it is a discontinued product.)
You can see the cuteness here as I was watercoloring them ready to fussy-cut on several cards…

Easter card inspiration, using bunny rabbit rubber stamp by Sweet n Sassy Stamps, watercoloured using watercolour pencils
Easter card inspiration. Closeup of bunny rabbit rubber stamp by Sweet n Sassy Stamps, watercoloured using watercolour pencils

Add a simple stamped greeting onto the pretty, patterned background, plus a few gems to embellish and it’s done!

Easter card inspiration. Closeup of one of the greeting stamps used

Those papers are so nice for this time of year – I love the freshness, plus quite a lot in the pad are accented with glitter for a special occasion finish! It’s a pad by First Edition, called Hideaway.

For lots of my cards I just switched out the background, or switched up the topper. Another fave product at this time of year are the bunny dies by Lil’ Inker Designs, from the ‘Bunnies & Bows’ set, as you can see in this card.

Easter card inspiration, pretty springtime idea with bunny rabbit diecut by Lil'Inker Designs.

A different greeting, different papers and it changes up the effect! Look at that sparkle in the background, plus the stitch detail on the die adds a sweet touch…

Easter card inspiration, pretty springtime idea with bunny rabbit diecut by Lil'Inker Designs. closeup to see glitter-embossed patterned paper

Here’s another with that cute bunny…

Easter card inspiration, pretty springtime idea with bunny rabbit diecut by Lil'Inker Designs

You can see how easy it is to make lots of cards just by sticking to a simple design idea and switching up with a variety of products. Rather than all landscape, I also made some as portrait cards (but didn’t take any photos of those, ooops!)
They were especially good for the cute little bunny stamp that I have – this one’s from Hobbycraft. You can see him here in my stash of Easter goodies that I was using!

Easter card inspiration. Closeup of different stamps and dies used, as well as patterned papers for variety

Hope seeing these Easter makes was inspiring for you. And of course, that you have a lovely holiday weekend, whatever you are up to. I’m hoping to fit in some more crafty time as we have a nice break! Rx

closeup of watercolour painting, creating a card from a stamped countryside scene with mountains and deer
Cards, Stamping, Watercolours

Watercolour landscape

Hello crafty friends! Today I’m sharing a card I made to wish a happy retirement for my uncle. He and my aunt love to travel, especially visiting beautiful countryside of Scotland, so I was inspired to stamp and watercolour a scene that (hopefully!) looks like a Scottish meadow in the foothills.

card, soft countryside scene stamped with mountains and deer painted in watercolours

I began by using the Stampin’ Up rubber cling stamp set called ‘In the Meadow’ – it’s one I reach for often as I love the scene building possibilities as well as the versatility of using the stamps individually!
I roughly planned out my composition first, and used several of my shades of green and brown inks. Of course I made sure to use watercolour art paper so it would stand up to taking the paint later, and I did a little masking for the mountains, too, creating a varied landscape.

closeup of watercolour painting, starting by stamping a countryside scene with mountains and deer. using Stampin'Up stamps, In the Meadow

Then it was time to get my watercolours and add some washes of colour. I’ve built up my set of colours, of half-pan paints mostly by Winsor and Newton. I love that a scene like this is very forgiving and I do not need to be a great art expert to create something that looks good! Practice is everything 😉

watercolour painting, creating a card from a stamped countryside scene with mountains and deer
I use the larger brush (round, no 11) for wetting the paper, and smaller brushes (round nos 3, 4) to paint in the colour and add detail

When it was dry, I trimmed the piece to size and mounted it on a card blank.
I wondered about adding a sentiment, but in the end, felt it took away from the painting, so added this inside.

closeup of watercolour painting, creating a card from a stamped countryside scene with mountains and deer
closeup of watercolour painting, creating a card from a stamped countryside scene with mountains and deer

I hope my uncle will like it, as he begins this new chapter in his life!. And of course, I hope it gave you some inspiration today, too!
Happy crafting, Rx

watercolour painted echeveria succulent, greeting card
Cards, Stamping, Watercolours

Watercolour succulent

Succulents are such magical, other-worldly type of plants, aren’t they? Well, for us here in the wet climate of southwest England, anyway! Not much in the way of desert-dwelling here! I think that’s why I find succulents a bit mysterious and all the more beautiful and fascinating for it. I know I’m not the only one too, as they’ve become quite the trendy little plants in the past couple of years!
I really wanted to send a special (and colourful!) card as a thank you to a dear friend, and playing with my watercolours to create this little succulent design was the happy result.

watercoloured succulent (echeveria) design for a special greeting card

I had a fab piece of succulents patterned paper that I really wanted to use in my card, and my dear friend (who is the recipient of this make) loves the colour purple. When I came to paint, it was the delicious tinges of blue-purple in the leaves of echeveria succulents that were inspiring me!
I had great fun playing to make this little painting.

closeup watercolour painting of echeveria succulent

It’s quite a showstopper little plant, so I let it take centre stage on my card. Just layered on that patterned paper, and some purple-and-white baker’s twine wrapped with gold thread.

watercolour painted echeveria succulent, greeting card

Then I just finished off with a sweet sentiment, from the Power Poppy ‘Under Glass’ stamp set, and heat embossed it in WOW embossing powder ‘Metallic Gold Rich Pale’.

close up greeting card, rubber stamped and heat embossed gold sentiment

I don’t consider myself a great freehand artist, and usually prefer to just watercolour my stamped images, but this little succulent came together so nicely that I think I’ll be trying more!
Hope you liked it too, Rx