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February 2011

January 2011

One Little Word . . . Grow

Those of you who follow my FaceBook business page, will be aware that this year myself and a few of my stamping buddies are taking a journey of self-discovery with the online class, One Little Word.

If you'd like to know more about it there is a link in the left hand column of this page which will take you straight there.  If you'd like to know more about our journey's, then please, please come back here on Wednesday as we are participating in a blog hop, with our One Little Word class mates, which I am sure will be very moving and uplifting.  The blog hop goes live at 12midnight Tuesday, and there are 34 participants. I can't wait to see what everyone else has chosen for their little word. 

See you then!

Me working

Sale-a-bration, sale-a-bration, stamp & scrap time!

Our favourite and most exciting time of the year started this week! To read all about and see the gorgeous free stamp sets, go to my Specials page by clicking here.

In line with this, I am having a Sale-a-bration party and have also posted descriptions for all my Term 1 & Term 2 classes.  To start filling in your calendars, check the schedule and all the details by clicking here.

Watercolouring Instructions

I love watercolouring, it can give such freshness and depth to an image, and what could be easier to watercolour than a beautiful stamped image, that you don't even have to draw yourself!

I have chosen the sweet little bird stamp from Every Moment stamp set, on page 72 of the Stampin' Up! 2010-2011 Ideas Book & Catalogue. Make sure you stamp in Jet Black Stazon Ink, so the image won't bleed once you saturate it with water.

Pick your lightest colour - in this case, More Mustard, and squeeze a few drops from the re-inker, into the lid of your ink pad. I use an Aqua Painter to pick up the colour and make sure I have a sheet of paper towel handy too.

Mother Linnet

Gently do a light wash over the bird, being sure to leave some white showing through, and using a little more ink to highlight things like the beak and wings - dont' fuss too much about it because when the first layer dries, you paint over it again, adding depth with the layers of colour.

Next, select Old Olive and do a wash over the grass - again, leave some white if you like.  It gives freshness to the finished image and looks like light bouncing off.

Next, I have chosen Soft Suede & Cajun Craze for the 2nd layers, and as I was doing two cards at the same time, I decided to swap the colours around a little for variety (or just to confuse you!).

Mother Linnet (2)   Mother Linnet (4)

See how on the first one I have applied Cajun Craze to the bird, and Soft Suede to the bullrushes, and on the second one, I have done the opposite?  I have also added just the thinnest layer of each colour onto the grass as well.

I have still left some white showing, and also made sure some of the original More Mustard is still visible too.

At this point, I decided the background needed more depth too, which is a bit risky, as that should have been done as the very first step. When you add wet-on-wet background colour at this point, you risk all the colours running - I'll have to remember that for next time!

So, what is wet-on-wet?  Use your clean, wet aquapainter to wet all of the negative areas (or areas outside the image). Allow it to soak in for a few seconds, then, filling your brush with Old Olive, do a few quick, almost abstract strokes over these areas, leaving some white, making grass like swishes. Don't overwork it, as it will quickly turn to mud. I love how it was wetter below the image, so the green has bled into a watery, blurry cloud, which is exactly what you might want, as that is where the pond would start if there was one in this picture. Notice above the image was much drier, allowing for crisp, clean blades of grass.

Final layer, once it's completely dry, work back into it again with another layer of Cajun Craze & Soft Suede, being very light-handed so as not to create mud.

Mother Linnet (5a)   Mother Linnet (6a)

You can see on the rushes and the chest of the bird, that I have just added the tiniest amounts of ink, that is barely watered down, and I have added just the slightest bit more colour to the stamped grass as well.

All that's left to do is turn them into cards!

Mother Linnet (8)

Mother Linnet (11)

Mother Linnet (14)

If you live in the Ringwood - Lilydale area and would like to attend some card making and/or stamping techniques classes, be sure to check my Term 1 & Term 2 Schedule to find one that suits you.

Another little bird - watercoloured

Mother Linnet (9) 

A short time before Christmas, Tony and I had a reason for a road trip up the country.  On our way home, I was driving and we came across a massive cockatoo which unfortunately had met with an untimely (and rather ugly) demise, and had flown to meet the angels.

It reminded me of a darling poem that I learned by heart when I was at school, and it got me thinking of a sweet little bird stamp we have, that I have been dying to watercolour.  It's an outline image, and ideal for lots of watery washes of greens and browns. I finally got a change recently to get it out along with my Stazon Jet Black ink and my Aqua painter. 

I'd love to share the poem with you - it's so sad but true . . .

Where are you mother linnet, O’er the road you flitted low,

To stretch your wings a minute, But it seems so long ago,

Now the air has sadness in it and the sun is sinking low.


There’s a stillness in the forest, There’s an unattended nest,

With eggs that should be warming, Underneath your feathered breast,

All the other birds are winging home to leafy nooks to rest.


The traffic on the highway was streaming all day long,

And the road was fraught with danger for the tiny feathered throng,

Where are you mother linnet with your lilting little song?


Hush, a vagrant breeze is sighing, in the trees beside the road

Hush, the evening star seems crying, tears of dew beside the road,

Hush, a mother linnet’s lying, very still beside the road . . .

I'd love to credit the poem, but I learned it by heart, and though I have googled and googled, I cannot find any reference to it or the talented poet who penned it.


Mother Linnet (12)

I love watercolouring - the wet on wet technique can be so unpredictable, and as you add layers, you can get such a vibrant finish with bits of the white paper showing through.

If you'd like to learn more about the technique, come back here on Saturday, as I plan to post a step by step instruction for the layers of watercolouring in this card.



Stamped Birthday Cards

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Those of you who know me well, will probably have heard me tell the story about my poor stamping widow husband who is just so amazing at sending out birthday cards in plenty of time to EVERY single family member and other friends, and who is just so humble and sweet when he comes to me and says, "You know it's so & so's birthday next Friday (usually meaning not even this Friday coming but the one after!!!), is there any chance you would have a suitable card already made or time to make one?"

OUCH!!! I am so bad at having cards ready on time, so if I am setting New Year's Resolutions, this has got to be one of them!! Unfortunately it's mid-January and I have already missed TWO people's birthdays - but I am on the straight and narrow, and right now in my stamping room, there are 12 birthday cards underway - bit of a production line happening!

This lovely Pear Pizzazz and Wild Wasabi card has just winged it's way north to soggy Rockhampton to Tony's gorgeous niece Steph. I have used "Square Lattice" and "Vintage Wallpaper" Textured Impressions Embossing Folders for the delicious layers, and the stamped image is from the fun Level 1 hostess set, "Birthday Bakery", a cute set of 5 stamps especially for cake lovers!

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For a bit of extra pizzazz, I have coloured bits of the image with a green metallic gel pen and added a scrap of Wild Wasabi ribbon from my rather large box of ribbon left overs.  I have also spray misted the Pear Pizzazz Vintage Wallpaper background with a "Champagne Mist" Shimmer Paint spray solution for a subtle bling effect. It's hard to capture that on camera as the mist is so fine, but here's a close up, and you may be able to make out the tiny, tiny sparkles.

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Such a lovely extra touch and it added ooohhh, a whole 2 seconds to the production process! Nice one! Got to love an extra step that takes no time!  One more extra step though, and notice in the first photo, I have also stamped a matching border on the envelope - if you're going to the effort of a lovely hand stamped card, you just have to do the envelope too!

That adorable hostess set includes the clever greeting stamp: this is no day for "just a sliver". How funny is that - I think it needs to go on every birthday card! It's really easy to earn this fun set. Host a small,free home workshop with sales totalling $300 and you can have this stamp set for free, along with other hostess benefits. Or collect up orders from yourself and friends totalling $300 and email them to me, and you can also have this set or one of the other versatile Level 1 sets for free.

Happy inking,

Kathryn.     (Email:  [email protected] )

Stamped Bird Crazy!

Okay, I have to be the first to confess, that when I saw "Aviary", a new set of 9 coordinating birdcage and bird stamps in the Summer Mini catalogue, it skipped my "Wish List" and went straight to the top of my "Must Have NOW" list!

Having said that, because of moving house, and then Christmas etc, it didn't come out to play or get ink on it until last Friday when Mary, Jenny & Di came to have some stamping fun.  But now that it's out, I think I have gone a little bird crazy!  This has to be the most fun, cheery, bright stamp set I have played with in quite a while.

Given all the sad, tragic stories and pictures we have seen on tv this week with the terrible floods, it was a joy to shut myself away in my stamping room yesterday with no tv, no radio, and my new favourite stamp set and favourite bright colours and create just a little corner of happiness in what has been just an awful couple of weeks in Australian history.

Birdbrained 011

I wanted to do some white on white layers, but the cards needed a tiny touch of colour to lift the adorable birds out. I chose four delicious bright colours, Wild Wasabi, Marina Mist, Daffodil Delight and Melon Mambo for stamping the birds, and some layers and used the very popular "Square Lattice" Textured Impressions Embossing Folder to give the card texture. (This folder is also in the Mini Catalogue).

Birdbrained 014

How funky and fun are those little birds - and too easy to stamp!  And I did go a little bird-crazy, I guess sometimes when you are having so much fun, you just don't know where to stop!

Birdbrained 008

Yes, 20 cards in one day is a bit of a record for me, but this stamp set, and using an embossing folder for texture, really makes it easy!  Love it - can't wait to get back into my stamping room again and try some different colours!  I think I will definitely need to incorporate this stamp set into my first term classes - look out for my class schedule in the next few days!

A Bird in the Hand . . .

I promised to come back and show you the cards my talented friends made last Friday, when they popped over for a sneak peak of my new stamping space.  (I must take a photo or two of that to share with you too). 

We used the "Aviary" stamp set from the Summer Mini - what a gorgeous, fun set!

Here's my card :

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Mary made this lovely pink one, and Jenny made the green one - notice how we have all used the same card layout, just different colours?

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And Di made a Pacific Point blue one similar to mine, but using a different bird & cage - isn't it lovely how they are all unique? 

Jan 2011 033    Jan 2011 033a

Thanks girl's for such a fun time - I loved trying out this funky set with you!  If you're one of my really regular customers, look out in the mail for your Summer Mini, they'll be posted today!

Happy New Year!

Well, what a hectic December our family had, settling into the new house, unpacking boxes, rearranging furniture, then arranging it again, painting, cleaning windows and drapes and all the while trying to make the place look decent in time for Christmas and Boxing Day.

We did more of the same over the next week or so, and are returning to work this week with the place a lot more settled and feeling almost ready to relax and enjoy 2011!

It was very interesting not having a computer for a few days - amazing how you come to rely on it so much, but now we are up and running again, and to top it all off, my new stamping room is also in usable condition! Yippee!  In fact a couple of my stamping friends popped over on Friday for a bit of a sneak preview and to have a look through the summer mini catalogue too.  And of course we HAD to make a card or two while they were there!

I loved both cards we made, and I promise to get back here soon and show you the other one (including those made by my friends), but in the mean time, this one was probably my favourite.  Di and I made one each, same products, slightly different interpretations. Here's mine :

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We've used the gorgeous girl from Easter Blossoms stamp set, Medallion background stamp, Love Letter Designer Series Paper, a Vintage Brad and the gorgeous bow is made using the lovely new vintage lace in the Summer Mini Catalogue. 

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To help the stamped images stand out on the patterned background paper, we have embossed them using black embossing powder, heat set with the heat gun.

Whilst mine has the ribbon running horizontally, Di has her's vertically. Click here to see her version of the card. 

Well, off to work for me, that will be a challenge after two weeks of being at home setting up my new nest!  Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and if you had time off, I hope it was safe, happy and filled with lovely family time together - oh and hopefully you also had a little time to get a bit of ink on your fingers!  I'll be back soon with the other card we made on Friday!

Hugs, Kathryn.