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3/18/2018

Christmas Card Club - Christmas Flower

Welcome, and today is Challenge #6 for our Christmas Card Club. This is a group of ladies who make Christmas Cards and post every 2 weeks. Today's challenge theme was selected by Rachel who picked Christmas Flowers.


I decided to use a Stampendous cling poinsettia stamp, and work with watercolor again. Stamped and embossed with a new Brutus Monroe Ultra Gilded Gold. I'm very pleased that it seems to be very similar to my favorite Ranger Queen's Gold, which has been discontinued. Got out the Arteza water color pens to try. I had used Koh-I-noor mixed media paper which is supposed to be good for watercoloring. Well, folks, my water color skills are not great, and this paper pilled for me. Also I didn't find the Arteza pens to be quite as easy for me to blend as the Zigs. (not that I'm great with Zigs either!) Finally got out some distress inks and just touched the water pen to the surface and then tried to fix the hard edges on my work. Here's the result:


I didn't even bother to put this on a card. Was very tempted to just toss in the trash, but thought I'd share it here - yes, it's a wart. I keep trying with the water color & get so discouraged that it never looks very good.

Next effort - and once again tried the Arteza, thinking maybe my first image was too complex so I'd use a very simple shape. Used the same colors as above.

 
This image did color a bit better than the first attempt, but I still had to use the water pen direct to the Distress Ink pad to get good coverage. I had put layers of water color on the petals, but as it was starting to 'pill', decided I best go to the ink pad. This was done on 140# watercolor, and I didn't have a lot of water on the brush. Guess I was just going over the area too much perhaps. Die cut a red side fold card base to create an aperture. Die cut the image, then made a green frame. Once this part was adhered behind the aperture, cut another frame, used WOW embossing pad, then the Brutus Monroe Gilded Gold EP. This looked  pretty good, BUT as I was adhering the frame over the aperture shape with glue that is not supposed to leave anything showing if some of it seeps out....well, you could see a smudge on the paper. What to do? Had a purchasedt Christmas card (some of my relatives who don't save cards but give them to me)...so started to fussy cut some poinsettias to hide the boo-boo. One fussy cut led to another...and there it is. You ever start a card, that no matter what you do, it seems to get worse?!
 
Almost ready to pull out the copics, as time was getting short. Decided to give the water color one more try. Found another image, used water color paper, Distress Inks. WOW embossing ink, Brutus Monroe EP, then put a light blue wash over the embossing. My first wash effort made some of the gold embossing flake off, so got another piece of W/C card and did the above process again. This time I was very careful to keep the damp brush off the embossing as I was doing the wash. Then used the Distress Inks (2 greens for the leaves, even though you can't see the shading) -- Barn Door and Festive Berries for the flowers. Die cut, and the die made a frame as it cut. Used Brutus Monroe Gold to emboss the frame. Used a PTI cover plate to emboss the white background, but it doesn't show up in the photo.
 


I don't know if #3 was the charm, but I do know I was getting tired of trying to do watercolor, so that's it! It might be a while before I try to watercolor anything again. I get frustrated, and then after a while, I want to give it another go. I just don't like to admit something has defeated me, when I really want to be able to do it...and do it fairly well. I know it takes practice, practice, practice! Sorry for the long post. I'd be interested in your efforts if you struggle with this technique too.

Do check out the fellow team members whose blog links are on the right hand side bar. Have a wonderful afternoon, and my blog candy winner has contacted me. I've been finding some other goodies to tuck in, and hope to mail it early next week.

Hugs & Blessings.


46 comments:

  1. How very beautiful Mary. Absolutely stunning. I do love poinsettias too. Hugs Rita xxx

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  2. Hi Mary, I like the two cards and the first attempt. Maybe just make some areas more colourful.

    Hope you have a nice day. Sue

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  3. I know that feeling Mary and mine do end up in the bin!.....but perseverance has paid off and you have achieved a lovely colouring on your cards ...the last card is so elegant.....xxxx

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  4. Number three is fabulous - a beautiful flower. I think you're too hard on yourself as the others are lovely too.
    Kath x

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  5. Two fabulous Christmas cards, your poinsettias are gorgeous and so your water colouring, even in the first one try! Great use of recycled card to cover the defect, you have a lot of brilliant ideas!
    I'm not too good with water colouring,there are always smudges and blobs on my papers! :D
    Sorry if I don't chat by mail, Mary: I'm always very busy (there is fatiguing also leave comments, but they are much more short to write! )
    Hugs

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  6. OH! Mary I think you are far too hard on yourself, these are really lovely. BUT, I do know what you mean, hand colouring, for me is a hit or miss and I hate to bin something I worked hard on, so yep! I add and sometimes it's good and sometimes a mess, I suppose that's the name of the game, love ALL your cards, the last one is "simply" lovely.
    Faith
    x

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  7. That first poinsettia is NOT a wart! It's pretty!!! Love the second card too - and the third as well! Looks like you did wonderful on all three.
    I don't even attempt to watercolor anymore. I feel like all I'm doing is wasting time and paper. I think you did great though.
    Lynn

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  8. They are all stunning, I enlarged them to look at your watercoloring and it is beautiful! Keep at it, anyone would be thrilled to receive these.

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  9. Wow! Three wonderful cards...I know one is a card front that you are fed up with...but perhaps you could spray something over to add texture and that would hide the pilling. just a thought.

    I think thecolouring looks wonderful but I can not see the pilling.

    The second card looks as if this was your original design. It is amazing what fussy cutting and adding can solve I get so many smudges on my cards as I am not careful enough of the ink!

    The third card is my fave. The image is so pretty and I love the gilt frame. This card has a lovely peaceful feeling.

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  10. I predict that you will pull out your first attempt near Christmas and think it is as pretty as I do right now! I have thrown pieces in the UFO box many times and found that I wasn't as critical of them later on. Especially if I was in a crunch for a card ;-) Your second attempt is pretty too. (Those darn glue smudges (and ink smudges, and divets.)

    Your third card was charmed for sure! A gorgeous stamp and beautifully done! It's so elegant with the gold embossing and frame!

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  11. Hi Mary...Well done you on persevering. I am absolutely no expert on water colouring but what I do know is that practice is the key. Different card stock is another one and what I have done is practice on one (cheaper) type and wonder why it looks different on my 'real' (expensive) one! Also there are many different types of water colouring, different effects etc and I think you've done a great job. Open type stamps are easier then fiddly ones, I find...but then again if you are colouring the stamps with markers etc and spraying onto them with water then the filled in ones are best. See many different techniques.... I am still having fun trying them all out. Thank you for sharing these ones with us and make the first one into a card too x

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  12. I think you are too hard on yourself Mary as the first one is definitely not one for the bin. I find that even watercolour card can vary greatly and some will except more water than others, and I think a bit of pilling is acceptable and just adds to the charm of the piece, and this happens to me frequently. I think the gold embossed outlines look great on the very colourful and pretty poinsettia, snd the extra fussy cut ones go beautifully around the frame. The last one again looks delightfully coloured and the gold frame and embossing enhances it perfectly. I think with watercolouring less is more, it doesn't have to be perfect, I think that variation in tone and coverage is part of the technique and knowing when to call it done is the hardest thing. It really is the hardest painting technique to master and perseverance and practice helps to gain control over it, so don't give up as your work really is better than you think, all the results are very pretty. x

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  13. I do know how frustrating it can be to watercolour, I only ever use Distress products now and just hope for the best. I do love the poinsettia on your first card, I certainly would not throw it away. The second one is lovely with all the extra flower heads and the third one is a real stunner! Hugs, Anne xx

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  14. Well, I am glad you stuck with it as you achieved a gorgeous water colored card. I found that I get better results if I let it dry between layers on a design. For instance on a petal do the base coat and then let it dry some before adding darker shades. But still I tend to have lots end in the trash too. But to tell the truth I thought the first two looked great too. And, sometimes one can fussy cut them out or portions and then pop them up on another card base.

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  15. A super set of cards Mary, lovely stamping and water-colouring too.
    Lorraine

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  16. Wow, Mary, they are all so stunning!! I love the designs of each one!! They're festive and beautiful and the watercoloring is perfect!! Gorgeous cards!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

    Lisa
    A Mermaid's Crafts

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  17. Thanks for your comments and beng my newest follower. Fab floral cards

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  18. Well Momma Mary, I think your first one is beautiful and not a wart at all!!!! I think it is soft and water colored well. So please don't get rid of it, send it to me instead. lol I love the Arteza water color real brush pens a lot and love how well they work with the Zigs, but I'm not great at using them either-just so so. Your second card is equally beautiful and colored well too. I love the design of it and think it looks so elegant. The last card-oh I just love the CAS look of it! The gold frame looks great around the flower, the flower is colored beautifully too and I think you did a great job with all your watercoloring. So make that first one into a card Momma Mary and then you will have three beautiful cards for Christmas! Hugs, Brenda

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  19. Hello Mary, I am so pleased you kept going with the watercolouring. You are being too hard on yourself. Your first attempt is lovely, don't bin it....go back to it at a later stage. Certainly not a wart. Both of your competed cards a gorgeous, love the red and gold and the colouring is beautifully done.

    If you type in water colouring in You Tube, lots of help there. Also tutorials on the types of paper, definitely must have the right kind, even your choice of water colour paints make a difference too. practice too. Don't give up though as it's such a lovely medium to do, Kate x

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  20. Oh Mary! this is quite a line up! your watercoloring is beautiful!! don't give up!!

    Thank you for being my newest follower : ) I have enjoyed following you too for quite some time! : ) I don't get out to comment like I wish I could but I will try to do better in the future.

    Have a great day!

    BIG (((Hugs)))
    Patti

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  21. They are all fabulous Mary, I think we are our own worst critics - I always find water colouring difficult to master.
    Pauline - Crafting with Cotnob
    x

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  22. I think all of your cards are beautiful Mary and struggle to find anything wrong with the one you called a wart! I am concerned by you taking the water brush direct to the pad though ....I don't think it will help the pad at all!!! Maybe I'm wrong!!! Big huggles Rachel xx

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  23. You don't sound happy with these and I think they are just beautiful! I see no problem at all. I too struggle with watercolor and seldom do it though. Love the designs as well as those gorgeous stamps!

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  24. Three lovely creations, not tried water-colouring, not good at colouring at all really so I am certain I would make a real mess of water-colouring.
    Some lovely Poinsettia images and lovely designs.

    Kath x

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  25. wow beautiful cards Mary ,well done my friend xx

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  26. These three are all gorgeous! You're too hard on yourself. I agree though, water coloring is hard. I don't get the blending I'm looking for ever! a work in progress! I think you did an awesome job on all these - well done!

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  27. I like these cards, in spite of your frustrations in creating them! I love those brilliant red poinsettias and how beautifully they look with the gold embossing and wonderful framework! Yes, I think we've all had those cards that we keep trying to fix, but they just continue getting worse as we go! I know I've had plenty of them! LOL So glad you hung in there and stayed with it, because these are just lovely!

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  28. I don't water color. Yet.
    So all three attempts looked good to me.
    I've struggled with other techniques, some were only done once!

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  29. Mary all your watercolouring looks wonderful, even the first. Don't throw it away it's way too pretty. I struggle with my watercolouring and would be very happy creating any of those cards :)

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  30. wow these are stunning love the watercolouring and much better than I could achieve, so a true inspiration. Gorgeous stamps Mary. 💖 [Aussie aNNie's Blog]

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  31. We are always our own worst critic Mary! I'm sure if youlook at your first stamped image at a later date you will feel very different about it. The other two are really super cards too. Hugs Christine x

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  32. Don't you dare throw your first effort in the bin! It is lovely and as for your next two cards you are way too hard on yourself. I love them both hugs Mrs A.

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  33. Wow Mary. all three cards are gorgeous! I think you did a wonderful job of water-coloring! Keep up the great work!
    Hugs,
    Pam

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  34. Mary - I think you might be a little too hard on yourself! All three images are quite lovely and you designed wonderful cards!

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  35. Oh Mary, you are speaking my language! I try Zigs and Kuretaki, and watercolor pencils and always want to run right back to my Copics! It just seems like I get maybe one out of ten things to look the way I want them to look. Your photos do not show any of your projects to be what I think you are seeing. They all look great to me.

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  36. Hi Mary, I love your crads, and kudos to you for keep trying! I haven't really tried much at watercolouring, I think I'd be throwing in the towel almost at once, lol. Beautiful cards. Hugs, Shaz Xx

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  37. Well, I can't figure out what's wrong with card #1? all 3 gorgeous, especially love the second, but I'm a fan of layers. Seriously all 3 beauties to me. Thank you for your kind words, and just became a follower of you, too! Love your blog and looking forward to seeing more of your lovely work!

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  38. Well I love all of them and I struggle with "easy" watercolouring too-my son does watercolur effect tattoos and pictures- makes it look so easy and says i try to hard and overthink it!!! probably true
    Carol x

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  39. You are way to hard on yourself Mary because I think each and every one of these toppers/cards is brilliant and so much better than I could ever achieve with a brush!! Alcohol markers I can cope with but have never mastered the brush xx

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  40. Two lovely cards Mary. I agree with quite a few of the others, there is nothing wrong with the first one. If it were me I would just go back and put in a bit of shading, not too much merely a suggestion. It looks like a water colour painting so I would keep it that way, subtle and ethereal.

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  41. Mary, thank you for your very sweet comment from the Merry Monday blog...I just perused your blog and saw some very lovely pieces of work, I will be back! thank you for following me and I am now following you too! I think your watercolor cards are gorgeous!!

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  42. I'm hopeless with watercolour so I admire your persistence Mary...it paid off and your cards look great. Love the simplicity of the last one. Carol x

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  43. You’re too hard on yourself. I love all 3 and I really like your first one because of the colouring. Each one is special and lovely

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  44. Hi, Mary! Your exquisitely colored Christmas masterpieces are wonderfully rich, and so festive! I’m partial to Stampendous images, and your especially lovely techniques are marvelous! xx

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  45. Hi, Mary, I'm not sure why you don't like the first poinsettia - I enlarged the photo and I see nothing wrong with it. Maybe the paper warped a bit but that happens with watercolour. I would not trash it - it's beautiful and could stand alone on a card - actually on first glance I thought it was a card! Your other two cards are beautiful as well. I have heard mixed reviews about those Arteza watercolour markers and I will not be trying them.

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  46. You are too hard on yourself Mary. All three watercolour poinsettia card fronts are beautiful. I love the first only and have the feeling it will make it onto a card in time for sending out for Christmas. I thought it looked awesome, but if you aren't happy with all of it, you could always cut off and make an "off the edge" design card. The two others are also fantastic. Really Mary, don't give up. You want to have lots of shading in your watercolours so that things look more realistic. xx

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Thanks for taking time to leave a comment. I appreciate each of you who have looked at - and hopefully enjoyed this post. I will do my best to pay a visit to your blog as well. Have a day full of Blessings.