Runs with Scissors and…Watercolors
Hello, friends. So glad you snuck away from the Christmas clutter to spend a few minutes with me on the Penny Black blog. I was happy to see Penny Black left the tree up, even though it is looking a little worse for wear with crooked tinsel and a few burned out lights. And, oh my, glitter everywhere. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas is over here on the blog.
I hope all the months of planning and preparing for the holiday have left you with the sense of accomplishment you deserve. Even if things didn’t go as perfectly as you planned, it will all be part of the memories of Christmas 2014.
The inspiration for my cards today came from Swarup’s amazing watercolor art that has been featured on the blog all week. The scenes she painted create a mood; they just pull you right into the picture. And of course, the beautifully painted Christmas images of the bird and berries take her cards beyond ordinary.
Penny Black’s brushstroke stamps are perfect for watercoloring. For this card, I applied the Distress ink pads directly to the Noble woodblock stamp, spritzed it with water, and then stamped onto watercolor paper. After the inks had dried, I went back and used a wash of distress ink and water to paint the background.
I used my Inktense watercolor pencils to paint these birds from the Holly Scroll set, which have become love birds now that Christmas is over. I simply colored the images and then went over them with a brush loaded with water. I sprayed my finished card with Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist and was delighted with the subtle result.
This time, I watercolored the background using the blending tool to apply Distress inks in various shades of blue onto watercolor paper. Spritzing it with water causes the colors to blend and swirl. After the paper and ink dried, I stamped my image and heat embossed it with white. It’s all the joy of watercoloring with an almost guaranteed result.
This was an amazing pre-Christmas season at our house. Our family, which usually doesn’t exchange gifts (probably traumatized by my gift selection dysfunction), decided this year to buy a gift for each family member gathered at the Wisconsin son’s home. The limit was $25 per gift.
Mr. Runs with Scissors volunteered to take part in the shopping which is a huge departure from tradition. My theory is that he finally realized the connection between Christmas shopping and competitive sport. We set out armed with coupons, discount offers and sale fliers. By the time we finished, each person on our list received gifts of at least $60 retail value; and we ended up with “cash” issued by the store for future purchases. That store “cash” ended up as part of a dirty Santa gift for the game we play each Christmas. Mission accomplished!
You can be sure each recipient received a copy of the sales receipt and all purchases were made at the same store. I am realist enough to know that most of the gifts will be returned and I wanted to make it as easy as possible. And there are no hard feelings. We had the fun of shopping and wrapping and enjoyed the acting that went on as folks tried to be enthusiastic about the purple tie, the winter socks, and the “everyone can use these” winter gloves. I was smart enough not to buy any more leather belts, however. (Further details in the November 15th issue of Runs with Scissors).
I offered to purchase gift cards but my son informed me that my gift selections only add to the memories and the long talked-about Christmas stories. Note to self: check ego at the door.
There is a freedom that comes with using watercolors; no need to be precise or do too much planning. For this card, I made two identical cards, using the same Distressed inks and water for the backgrounds and the Woodland Wonder slapstick stamp. As you can see, I used a circle die to cut part of the image from the second stamping and adhered it to the base as a second layer. I love the bit of dimension and interest it adds. It also allowed more variations of the background colors to show.
The poinsettia from the slapstick set Festive Florals really inspired me to actually paint with watercolors. I used Jill Foster’s technique of putting down water first, then applying a brush loaded with color. The color “magically” moves around, creating shading. Just be sure to leave a section between each one you are working on, and let adjoining sections dry before going to the next. I stamped the image with very light ink as I did not want lines to show. I used Distress inks to make a wash for coloring the background. When I was done, I went over the light lines with my trusty Signo white pen because I changed my mind and now wanted lines to show! I distressed the edges of the watercolor paper before attaching it to the card base. And now I have my first Christmas card finished for next year!
There you have it; a loose interpretation of Swarup’s amazing watercolor art. I did not have the vision to acquire the stamps she used to create her scenes, but I am grateful that she did. I was definitely out of my comfort zone for a while, but truly enjoyed the process. Thank you, Swarup, for sharing your amazing watercoloring and inspiring me in my efforts.
We were home from Wisconsin in time to celebrate Christmas with Cooper, a first. Here he is with his supply of Christmas toys; or as he calls them “froggies”. His first toy was a stuffed frog and once he learned that “froggie” equaled “toy”, there was no need to discern any further.
I only wish you could see his very expensive shiny teeth. Cooper recently had his teeth cleaned under anesthesia at the vet’s. He gave us a very scary two days as the effects of the anesthesia were slow to wear off. He was hiding in very strange places and when taken for a walk refused to turn around to come home. How grateful we were to wake up two mornings later to our finally-back-to-normal Cooper.
Well, the year 2014 is almost over. It was a year ago, New Year’s Eve 2013, that I took over the Penny Black blog for the first time. Little did I know that I would be like “the man who came to dinner” and never leave. It has been such fun for me to share my card making and the everyday (and not so everyday) events that make up my life. Cooper has enjoyed meeting all of you and has learned when he sees the camera, he needs to pose and a treat will follow.
Now that the scissors have been put away and my mess cleaned up (and some of the glitter) it is time for me to wish all of you a New Year filled with good health, much love, and more laughter than tears. Welcome to 2015 with all that it may bring!
Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:
- Stamps: 4377K Noble, 30-243 Amazing!, 30-253 Holly Scroll, 30-241 Good Day, 40-356 Woodland Wonder, 40-352 Festive Florals, 30-254 Beauty of the Season
- Dies: 51-052 Texting, 51-069 Together, 51-001 In a Row, 51-027 Triple Banner
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