What lives in the heart

I grew up on a farm and whenever I am driving through the countryside I always look with longing at the red brick farmhouses. They evoke such happy memories for me. Baking bread with my mom at the kitchen table, eating breakfast at 5:30am with my dad and brothers before going to milk the cows and bundling up in front of the woodstove to go outside and play in the snow. So when I saw the brick wall stencil and the embossing paste in the new catalog, I knew what I wanted  to do. I wanted to recreate those beautiful red brick walls and make some cards that bring back those same nostalgic feelings.

To get the perfect look for the bricks I added some cajun craze reinker to a small amount of embossing paste. I smeared some of it over the stencil onto whisper white cardstock. Then I added a drop of early espresso reinker to another small amount of paste  and smeared it over and around the cajun craze tinted paste. Perfection! Just the right hue for what I was looking for. Be sure to clean your stencil and your palette knives as soon as you are done so they don’t dry out and harden.


Add some drops of reinker to get just the right colour "bricks".


Brick decorative mask and embossing paste combine beautifully with Half Full for a vintage card.


On this card I sponged soft suede in between the bricks to give it less of a stark look. I love the look of an “exposed brick wall” with this Half Full stamp set, just what a wall in a nice wine bar or cafe would look like! The bricks also look better when they are left a little rugged with unfinished edges and also not covering the whole card front. Leaving the top corner unfinished is perfect for placing your sentiment. Remember to let your embossing paste harden before sponging around it or on it. If you have smeared the paste so that it is even with the decorative mask (in other words, thinly) then it takes about an hour to dry. When I made these cards I did all the background first. Then I stamped my images that I needed to fussy cut. Of course there were lots of other “mom” things happening in between too.


"Big Questions" comes from the great stamp set "Five for All".


I made this masculine card because my Pap had a truck just like this one before I was born! Add that to the fact that the colour of these bricks is exactly the same as the farm house that I grew up in and you have a winner for a card. Did you notice that the windows are black? The reason is that I am covering up a mistake! When I was watercolouring the truck I couldn’t manage to stay within the lines for the windows and it didn’t look nice at all, so I used a black marker to colour the windows in. I think it is rather effective!


When watercolouring goes a little wrong...try this marker trick.


The sentiment is from the stamp set Five for All. The truck is from the set Country Livin’. 


Using the Decorative Masks with Sponging

While my first instinct was to use these decorative masks with our new embossing paste, they also work great with simple sponging. You can use three tools to accomplish this: stamping sponges, sponge daubers or our sponge brayers. For the next card I used stamping sponges with early espresso ink on cajun craze card stock. The images were stamped in archival black, coloured and then stamped direct to paper with versamark and clear embossed. The images are from Country Livin’.


Country Livin' and a brick wall.


You wouldn’t know it, but there are three other masks in this set. The brick wall is definitely my favourite, but I also played with the cloud one. The other two are going to have to wait. What a great value they are. Four masks for $8 Canadian. Check out the Pattern Party Decorative Masks on page 201 of the catalogue.


Fluffy White Clouds with embossing paste


I used the smallest palette knife to make these clouds and give them texture the same way you would with icing on a cake. The sentiment is from a brand new set coming in the Holiday Catalog called Painted Harvest. I used the sponge brayer to make the background. The sand is done with soft suede and the sky is marina mist and island indigo. Card base is island indigo. The lady from Beautiful You is paper piece with real red and crushed curry.


White craft ink clouds with decorative masks.


The “cloud nine” card is definitely very textured. In Dutch you would call this a “misbaksel”. In other words, a few things went wrong with this one but I still wanted to show it. I started with a watercolour background which really is quite stunning. Then I decided to sponge the clouds with white craft ink. This was a bit of a mistake. The white just didn’t pop enough. So I decided to add white embossing powder, but some of the powder stuck to my watercoloured background making for a bit of a messy look. No worries, clouds sometimes look like that don’t they? I still think it is a bright and cheerful card and I would be most happy to get one in the mail.


Collage stamping with Post Script and Wherever You Go.


I do love the collage stamping on this masculine card. I used the stamp set Wherever You Go as well as the new background stamp called Post Script. I used embossing paste for the clouds but they kind of disappeared into the busy background. Sponging them with white craft ink after they dried really made them pop. I used sponge daubers to do this without getting white craft ink on the background. You can see that the bottom cloud is a little bit blue. I first sponged over it in blue and didn’t like the look. The craft white couldn’t quite cover that up!


Coffee Cafe and brick wall


This last card really has a rustic feel to it. Maybe it is because I actually painted with coffee on it! Yes, the brick wall on white was just too stark and I had some cold brew coffee in the fridge to make iced coffees so I thought, why not? I stamped the words repeatedly on the top right corner to give a chalkboard feel. You’ll notice a tinge of bluish green on some of the words, that is because I had done a watercolour background on a previous card and my grid paper was a little messy so some of the ink transferred to this card. I like it, but it would be hard to copy this look again. I have made a video to show how I did some of these cards but for some reason it has failed to upload to Youtube, so you can see it on my Pampered Stamper Facebook page.


Have you had a chance to try out the new embossing paste yet? I am looking forward to using this in my technique club. All clubs start in September and I still have room in technique club, upon request club (at this one the host gets to choose what we do) as well as the man,oh man club where we make exclusively masculine cards. Have a super day!


ps. the video has now uploaded to YouTube, so here you go!



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