Hello all, hope you're having a wonderful weekend.
Here we are, and back with the turquoises after yesterday's hit of vivid colour with the Dragon Butterflies!
I seem to remember that I promised, during all the excitement of the PaperArtsy releases, to share some of my samples with you in more detail over the next couple of weeks... well, somewhat tardily, here's the first batch: a series of six co-ordinating pieces.
When I saw the new JOFY stamps, they sang to me of what we might do together... yeah, I know - but that's what happened.
And though I would in no way count myself a watercolourist, when you're using Distress Stains, it doesn't feel like watercolouring, so I don't have to stress about skills or whether-I'm-good-enough at it... I just get to play with pretty colours.
I immediately saw them as tall and elegant, so I sliced my watercolour card (well, it feels like thick watercolour paper, it looks like thick watercolour paper, I've no idea how long it's been on my bookshelves, but I happened upon it in the search for the cheap watercolour pad I could've sworn I'd bought from The Works but either I didn't or it's just disappeared in the way things seem to in this house) in half lengthwise and started stamping.
Everything is stamped in Olive Archival by Ranger, and if you want to know which stamps are from which sets, have a look at my release post - all the information is there.
I daubed the Distress Stains onto my craft sheet a few colours at a time, and used my Pentel water brushes to apply them. (I'm oh so in love with this butterfly stamp!)
The Distress Stains blend beautifully, and there was plenty of "play" from the paper (making me all the more sure it's some sort of watercolour paper), giving me time to move colour around, or dab it away with paper towel or lighten it with water.
I mostly used combinations of blues: Chipped Sapphire, Faded Jeans, Stormy Sky, Weathered Wood; turquoises: Peacock Feathers, Broken China, Tumbled Glass; and greens: Mowed Lawn, Peeled Paint, Bundled Sage, and the odd touch of Pine Needles... so the palette always co-ordinated.
I haven't worked my way to adding the contrasting colours to make things "pop" yet - but I'll get there soon!
One of the delights of the stamps is that you can encourage the slender stalks to bend slightly, so that you can have a flower leaning the way you want it, or alter the same stamp so that it can be used next to itself without looking completely identical.
One of my favourite brainwaves here was using the sentiments as blades of grass, growing up out of the ground with the rest of the stamps. Of course, it partly arose because with my long slender "canvas" some of the longer phrases simply weren't going to fit straight across them!
There is a "grass" stamp in one set, but for the most part I used strokes of stain to create a grassy base to the picture and then added some scribbly grass freehand using the fine end of the Forest Moss Distress Marker. Great fun to play with some freehand next to these deliciously drawn pieces.
And then I decided to highlight the delicious scribblyness a bit further using my Inkssentials white gel pen.
I think it gives a twist of freshness and modernity to what might otherwise be fairly traditional looking watercolours - not that there's anything traditional about these flowers!
I tore corrugated card from some packaging boxes to create backing frames for my watercolours, and used some Versamagic White Chalk ink to shabby the backgrounds up (shabby them down?).
And rather than struggle with glue (let me spill the beans here... these were created from about 4.30am to about 7.30am after I woke early full of ideas and plans for how to use the stamps which had arrived the day before and which I was aiming to post samples for to Leandra the following day, so struggling with glue really wasn't an option at that hour!) I used double sided tape to stick them down.
Another little insight there into how I get everything done!
I've done lots of watercolouring with Distress Stains since; it's become one of my favourite things to do - so pleasurable - but this really was only my second proper go at it, and I'm so pleased with how they turned out.
(I was also dead chuffed to see they made it onto the display boards at Stitches where all the new PaperArtsy products were revealed in real life - take a look!)
These stamps really took me by surprise. They aren't in my usual style, but whenever I saw the early release of JOFY 9 in action on other blogs, they really appealed to me, and they turned out to be an absolute delight to work with - they're beautiful, fresh, quirky, and give you a fantastically sharp image every time. Save your pennies - they're worth it!
The earth laughs in flowers.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.
I must have flowers, always, and always.