Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Dreaming Of Spring

Hello and thanks for stopping by today!  It's the first of the month so that means it's time for a new challenge over at the Mixed Media Mojo challenge blog.  Our theme this month is Springtime with the added twist of using watercolours.

For me Spring always brings to mind the magic of flowers bursting forth in the garden and countryside so I decided to make a little floral portrait.

As watercolours were the 'twist' for this months challenge, I decided to use both watercolour paint and Distress inks (which are water reactive) for all components of my Spring floral portrait.  I started out with a half sheet ( 8.5" x 5.5") of Strathmore 140 lb. watercolour paper spritzed with water and using a brayer added Distress inks in three colours: Cracked Pistachio, Iced Spruce and Tea Dye.

I then stamped some flowers onto the background with Distress Embossing ink and heat embossed them with white detail embossing powder.  The stamps are by Inkadinkado and are called Meadow.

I wasn't real happy with the background so decided to add a wash of Winsor & Newton Winsor Blue (Green Shade) water colour over the top to tie it all together.

That was looking some better but I felt it still needed something so I added spatters of Iced Spruce Distress stain with a paintbrush.

Now we're talking!  I next stamped Tim Holtz's Flower Garden stamps onto some white cardstock with Jet Black Archival ink and clear embossed the images.

Watercolouring of the flowers and stems came next using Distress inks, a fine paintbrush and Tim's waterbrush.

I used Cracked Pistachio and Iced Spruce for the stems and leaves, Tattered Rose, Picked Raspberry and Abandoned Coral for the peonies and Shaded Lilac, Wilted Violet and Tea Dye for the cone flower.

Time to fussy cut!

And yes it was more than a little stressful fussy cutting those flowers and stems but worth it in the end :O)  (Hint, hint Tim and Sizzix, any chance of getting a die to cut out the Flower Garden stamps?!)

Now that I had the components for my Spring floral portrait completed, I needed a frame to finish off my 'painting'.  I had a scan of an old and tattered vintage frame in my stash so resized it to the appropriate size and printed it out onto heavy cardstock.

I backed the frame with another piece of black cardstock to give it a little more stability and then trimmed the edges and cut out the center of the scanned frame.

And then I assembled my picture.  I added dimensional tape under all four sides of the frame to elevate it off of the watercolour background and also used dimensional tape under the flower heads and leaves.  I glued the ends of the stems underneath the bottom edge of the frame as well to keep them elevated off of the background.

Here's some detail pictures, I really do love how this turned out!

Although it doesn't show in the pictures, I added wee bits of Wink Of Stella here and there on the flowers and leaves so there is just a touch of sparkle on the petals in the sunlight.

It wasn't until I was editing my pictures that I noticed that the design on the vintage frame echoed the floral shapes on the embossed stamping in the background!  Love those happy accidents :O)

So that is my contribution to this month's challenge over at Mixed Media Mojo.

I hope you'll have a minute to pop on over to see what my fellow design team members have created for you this month and that you will be inspired to join our Springtime watercolour challenge!  Can't wait to see what you create, thanks so much for visiting today and as always happy creating!

Deb xo


  1. Gorgeous Deb! I am loving that background with the swishes of colour and the amazing white embossed florals, stunning! Your water coloured flowers turned out beautifully! The rich frame is a great contrast to the soft spring scene. Love it! hugs :)

  2. Oh Deb! This is truly exquisite! Love love this frame and your gorgeous spring time florals! <3

  3. OMG...this is fabulous! From the first photo I thought you framed your art in a "real" frame. I was going to be sure to ask where you found that awesome frame. LoL. I followed along in your process like I was going to be tested at the end. I can't wait to try embossing on watercolor paper. Love your flowers and all that fussy cutting definitely was worth it. Love this little piece of your art!

  4. Such a lovely image with its soft colors and that amazing created frame, what a idea.
    Dear greetings

  5. Deb, your blog is the only one that I read every single word of. You inspire me. Maybe I can get my mojo back up and breathing again...

  6. Oh my, Debs, I just adore that meadow stamping in the background, it is gorgeous. The watercolour flowers are beautiful (I agree, wish Tim would bring out a die for that set!) and I love the colour of the frame, it is wonderful! Hugs, Anne xx

  7. WoW Deb , this is drop dead gorgeous! Amazing watercoloring, and the frame is brilliant! hugs :)

  8. This piece is beautiful, Deb with a very vintage feeling to it. Love the dark frame. Your watercolor flowers are so lovely and they really do pop in the forefront of that gorgeous background. Love LOVE the white embossed field flowers and grasses.

  9. Gosh, that frame is just amazing, as well as the contents! I especially like the splattering on the background.

  10. oh this is really nice. I like how you did the background. I never would have guessed that the frame was something you had printed out.

  11. Super! Love that matte-- you'd never know it was a copy. Great job with the painting and fussy cutting. Those stems must have been tricky!

  12. That is wonderful. I love the frame. May I ask what kind of cardstock goes through your printer? I really want to be able to drink on 110# cardstock but my printer won't do it. I was just curious because your piece looks so substantial.

    Thank you for sharing this post. It is an inspiring project.

    1. Hi Lucy, I'll answer your question here as you are 'no reply' and will also pay a visit to your blog in case you don't get back here. For the frame I used 110 lb white cardstock, it goes through my printer fine (I have an Epson WorkForce 645 printer, it's several years old now). I then backed the frame with another piece of 65 lb black cardstock to give it even more substance. Between the two layers of card and the 140 lb. watercolour paper that the background was painted on, it is actually very sturdy. If the 110 lb. card won't go through your printer, you could layer up 3 pieces of 65 lb card and that should give lots of stability? Thanks so much for visiting! Deb xo

    2. Thank you for your answer my question. Layering the 65 lb card stock is exactly what I need to do.

  13. Stunning piece! I love everything! Flowers are spectacular and the frame ... wow a great work! barbara

  14. I saw this on Instagram Deb, but had to come over for a closer look. What a superb artwork, beautiful and elegant in every way.
    Julie x

  15. This is so cool and stunning creation. Love that frame too. TFS

  16. This is stunning, Deb! I really, really love how you made your background and those flowers just pop right off it. I agree with the coordinating die set for the floral garden stamps - that would be wonderful!

  17. This is just so beautiful Deb ! I love watercolours they give such a delicate soft look.
    Thank you for your sharing your art with us all.

  18. oh goodness how clever! From the first picture I just thought oh she had an old frame on hand but no! SO super cool nicely done!

  19. What a delicate spring meadow - beautiful background with the silhouetted flowers, and gorgeous colouring on Tim's blooms. The frame is exquisite too - love how you've brought it to 3D life from the scan.
    Alison x

  20. Sooooooooooooooo stunningly lovely Deb. What a delightful way to welcome spring!! j.


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