A blog devoted to the cards I make in my tiny upstairs space. When my sister stays there, she calls it an "artist's garret". I'm not an artist, but am an enthusiastic cardmaker - hence the title "Cardmaker's Garret".

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Watercoloured Poinsettias

I am thrilled to be on the Design Team for Loll's and Bonnie's new challenge "CAS Watercolour".  The idea of the challenge is to create a clean and simple card that involves both watercolouring and the monthly theme.

I'm honoured that Loll and Bonnie chose a theme that I suggested for November:

The idea is to use some text on the card that is not the sentiment or is in addition to the sentiment.  It's an element that I've seen used by many cardmakers that I admire.

Here's my card:

As you can see, the script is a subtle background feature that enhances the overall look of the card.  See below for a version without the script for a comparison.

For the watercolouring, I stamped the poinsettia with Distress Vintage Photo ink on watercolour paper and coloured it partly by pulling out the Vintage Photo with a wet brush and partly by adding some black Elegant Writer to the edges of some of the petals and pulling out the colours that separate from it - amazing tones of teal green, pink, and black.

I learned this technique from a video made by the very talented Lydia Fiedler (aka UnderstandBlue).

Heather Telford also did a tutorial on this technique but hers is slightly different as she brings in more colours than just the Vintage Photo and the Elegant Writer.

Once the poinsettia had dried, I trimmed the image down to a square, masked the poinsettia (I stamped it and fussy cut it on masking paper), added some random bits of text in Antique Linen, and sponged around the edges with Antique Linen.  I watered down a bit of Black Soot ink on my craft mat and flicked it lightly over the background, and bordered the panel with black.  I used PTI Vintage Cream cs for the card base - it's the closest colour cs to watercolour paper that I've been able to find.  I embellished with a few black gemstones in the centre of the poinsettia.

Here is a version of the same poinsettia without any text on the background:

For this version, I masked the poinsettia, added a bit of black splattering and a sentiment, and left it at that.  I like this version as well and it's a cleaner look, but the text stamping adds some texture that I feel is lacking in this one, and also enhances the vintage look created by the Elegant Writer.

Let me know which you prefer!

And come and join us at CAS Watercolour with your cards featuring watercolouring and text.  You have until November 24th to link up.

Stamps - Penny Black poinsettia (both cards), Stampington script and postmark (first card), Tim Holtz sentiment (second card)
Ink - Distress Vintage Photo, Antique Linen, and Black Soot
Paper - watercolour paper, black cs, PTI Vintage Cream cs
Accessories - Elegant Writer pen, black gemstones and pearls


  1. I liked the 1st version with the text the best because it adds so much more depth. A great example of the difference Susan. TFS both versions.

    That said...If I had only seen your 2nd version I would have thought it was perfect too. TFS both your videos too. I need to try your technique. I am so pleased we were both invited to join Loll and Bonnie's CAS Watercolour Card design team along with their sister CAS Mix Up challenge:-) Hugs, Nancy

  2. Both versions are very pretty Susan and I love your vintage look to the poinsettia which makes a lovely change. The script does add a bit more interest to the background but that saying I love them both! x

  3. Both version are really beautiful Susan. I think the script adds a special touch and makes the card more "vintage-y" looking. With your masking ... you could enter either or both of these at CAS Mix Up!! So happy that you have joined the CAS Watercolour team --- welcome!!

  4. I agree that both versions are lovely but the text gives the card so much more depth and interest. I LOVE the colors you used too! I am thrilled to be on this team with you!

  5. What an awesome technique, Susan! The poinsettias are gorgeous! And the addition of the washed background and subtle text adds so much depth to your card! Awesome card, my friend! So glad you have joined our CAS Watercolour team!

  6. Wow lots going on with your card. I like the first card. But... Those poinsettias are both great looking!

  7. this is beautiful Susan and the text adds some extra depth and interest. Love the use of non-traditional colours too!
    TFS...thrilled to be on the new team with you!

  8. This is stunning Susan! Love the technique, will definitely give this vintage nuance a try :D
    Thx for sharing xx

  9. Absolutely stunning cards and love the technique x

  10. Hi Susan, I really like both... I do agree that there is a tendency to the one without the text, but then when I go back and look at the text, I really like that too!!! I just happened on the CAS watercolor blog and I love it!!!

  11. Love the colors you used on your poinsettias Susan - I think I like the text background best! but both are beautiful! Julia xx


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