A site for my handmade cards, accompanied by my photos and written meanderings which are occasionally witty, often tongue-in-cheek, and rarely profound. Beginning in June 2013, you'll also see lots of NBUS, which is an acronym I coined for Never-Before-Used-Schtuff. Note: my Privacy Policy can be found at a tab below. Thanks for coming by! Have a beverage and enjoy!

November 7, 2018

Magical Watercolored Holly

Hello Stamplings!

It's the middle of the week and the laundry is done, the ironing has been misted with water and rolled up in the basket, and the bread is warming on the sideboard. Annette is sitting at her desk using a newly-invented ballpoint pen to write out a few Christmas cards to send to her elderly aunts in the Poconos. Her little daughter is standing by ready to lick the three-cent stamps and stick them on the envelopes.

And that, my friends, was a visual of life in 1948. Fast forward 70 years and what does your day look like? Yes, the laundry is done, but most of us haven't ironed in years, nor made bread, and a postage stamp is fifty cents. Too bad about the bread bit because there's nothing better than a piece of freshly-made warm bread slathered with real butter. Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to get drool on your screen. Here, let me wipe that up.

In spite of our modern day fast-paced texting technology, there are still a number of us who make and send Christmas cards for no other reason than the joy they bring to someone we care about. In the Playhouse workshop, we've got holly on the menu today, not just once ...
... but twice!
I used a new-to-me technique on these cards that Loll presented on her Powdered Inks With Versamark post recently. She found the technique on the Magenta blog here and now I'm passing it on to those of you who didn't see it on either of their blogs. Gotta love this sharing community in Blogland! I couldn't wait to use this NBUS Penny Black "Holly Sprig" stamp to CASE Loll's card. Okay, well, if you want to get technical about it, I shamelessly COPY'd Loll's card! Like her, I kept the cards QACAS by simply adding a sediment and splatters. 

As Loll explained, you basically ink up your silhouette stamp with Versamark and brush on your powdered ink crystals with a damp paintbrush. (Brushos work well, but I used Lindy's Magicals.) Then you spritz your stamp lightly and stamp onto either watercolor or mixed media paper. The Versamark makes the powder stick to the stamp and using very little water keeps the colors vibrant.

I love the organic feel of this technique, especially on leaves. The only touchup I did with the damp brush was to round out the berries a bit. The Lindy's have their own built-in winking, so instead, Hammy jumped on a paintbrush dipped first in diluted Magicals and second in glitter gold to create the splatters. Yes, that's right, he'll be schparkly until Easter, but we don't mind.

I loved the technique so much using this beautiful holly stamp that I stamped/stamped off several of them:
Challenges

Card one:
Card two:
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69 comments:

Darnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darnell said...

Thank you!

Jane Willis said...

Oh wow, that is gorgeous. I have GOT to try that technique. I really need to try doing more with my Brushos than just sprinkling them around with gay abandon. Have you any idea how hard it is to get Brusho pigment out of your eyebrows?
As for the bread - it's 7am here in England I'm sitting here enjoying the aroma of freshly baked bread, cooling ready to tuck in to for breakfast. Yes, really - since Mark retired he's started to bake all our bread, he makes the dough in the evening and leaves it to rise overnight in the fridge then gets up at 6am to bake it. And no, you can't borrow him.

Maxine D said...

I am not 74, but I can remember doing all those things... in fact I still iron, and no I am not swearing!! The bread making morphed into using a machine, but once DH stopped eating bread when he got ill, even that has gone 'by the board', but I did enjoy bread making....
Love your cards, and so glad the Hammy found something he could do to help you, Darnell :). I also love making and sending Christmas cards....
Blessings
Maxine

Redanne said...

That technique looks amazing, I would never have guessed how that was done and I have a lovely stamp that would work well with this technique, so thanks so much for sharing. The cards and toppers you created are quite simply stunning Darnell - I love them all! Now, I just need to get some more Magicals..... Hugs, Annie xxx

Sandra H said...

l just loved reading this post especially regarding the warm bread with real butter too! who's drooling now...me sounds yummy l just adore your cards l love to see holly on cards and l like the slightly different colours on the leaves light and darker shades of green so pretty they really are sending lots of love x

Sue's Crafty Corner said...

Wow I love these gorgeous cards Darnell and the technique you've used (must try this one), a great batch make too.

Sue xx

Julie B said...

Ooo, missed that technique looks fab, might have to go away and have a play or two.
TFS Darnell. Hope Hammy gets the twinkle out before Easter! :)

KandA said...

You got me there Darnell, I was just going to ask how you'd managed to slow down time to get all that done until I read on a bit! Although I always enjoy fresh bread due to hubby having a bread maker - throw the ingredients in, wait 3 hours then eat... mmmm yummy.

As for your beautiful cards... what a super stamp and wonderful inking and Hammy did a fabulous job with the schparkle xx

Marilyn said...

Beautiful cards!
Have a great day!
Marilyn❤

Jeanne said...

Absolutely gorgeous, Darnell. Smiled at your story. Thanks so much for sharing!

Bunny said...

These are beauteous. I love a good batch

I made homemade buttermilk biscuits last weekend.OMG.........they were so dadgummed good. I think cooking is a labor of love now. What is ironing? Just kidding. I ironed a many a cotton dresses with starch for school when I was young. We HAD to wear dresses until I was in the 4th grade. Sheesh. [Bunny]

Maria Rodriguez. said...

Love that little trip 70 years in the past, life was most definitely at a slower pace but one thing has not changed, the joy of making and receiving Christmas cards, or any other kind of handmade stuff, especially baked goodies.
Love your cards Darnell, they are bright, colorful, beautiful and I'm sure they will bring joy and a smile to the lucky recipients.
Thank you so much for sharing them with us at THE FLOWER CHALLENGE, hope you come and play again next time.
Hugs.
Maria.

I Card Everyone said...

How beautiful! times ten! That Loll can find the best of the best techniques … sadly I don't have any of the powdered inks. I'll have to wait for a play date with Bobby to try it - see how sneaky I am?
This stamp is gorgeous, D … those berries pop right off of my screen - whoa! Maybe that'll be a new cure for glaucoma? xx
=]

stampwithsandy said...

Wow, these are gorgeous, Darnell! Such a cool technique... but learning this technique means buying more stuff... does it ever end? Have a great day!

~amy~ said...

What a fantastic technique...looks beautiful!

Jean said...

What a gorgeous card! I will have to try this! Thanks for sharing!

Lynette said...

Very, very cool, Darnell!! Love them!

designbydonna said...

Beautiful holly. Sounds like an easy technique. I'll have to watch the videos.

Marcia HIll said...

Lovely, lovely cards Darnell (ALL of them!!)! I need to try this technique again as my first attempt wasn't totally successful, but yours turned out BEAUTIFUL! And because I love playing with Lindy's Magicals I know just what you mean about the built in sparkle...the shimmer and shine is...well, MAGICAL!! Thanks so much for sharing ALL of these beauties with us at CAS Watercolour!! :0)

Mac Mable said...

That tecnique looks so unique, artsy and absolutely beautiful on all of your wonderful cards. Great to make a few whilst you are on a roll. So good to hear that Hammy did those fabulous splats, which of course make the cards X Clever Hammy X beautiful stamp too X

Brenda in IN said...

I remember my mom sprinkling the clothes with something in the top of a coke bottle and rolling them up to dampen. No iron clothes are the greatest invention ever! I do still make beer bread which is very simple and no kneading. This is a fun way with with versamark and powdered inks that I haven't tried yet. You make it look so beautiful and easy. We'll see about that!

Em Louise Fairley said...

Wonderful story and beautiful cards. Thank you! xoxo

Susan Lang said...

Great description of 1948. I remember it all well! I am so glad I grew up then. The card is great, your friends and family will treasure it!

Bonnie said...

This stamp is so perfect for this technique, Dolly! Love that holly and I know it has lots more schparkle than the camera will show us! I have this stamp. Hmmm.....

Bonnie said...

Oh, and thanks for sharing with us at CAS Watercolour!

Gerrina said...

They look all great! What a fun technique and the results look so good! Hugs, Gerrina

Loll said...

I still make the occasional loaf of bread, but only because I have a machine that does all the work! :) I'd be surprised if my iron gets turned on more than once a year. :) And stamps here are $1.00! Times have definitely changed, and so has making cards over the past 20 years. The products and techniques make us all into artists and this is no exception! Amazing job with this technique Dolly! LOVE the gorgeous variety of colours with using the magicals. And all the schparkle ... incredible! Thanks for sharing with us at CAS Watercolour! Lolly xx

Lisa Tilson said...

Wow! Darnell, these are stunning! Beautiful effect with this technique which I have not heard of - but I'm thinking it may work with Brusho if I'm very careful putting it on. I'll have to give it a try when I no longer want my carpet to be beige :). And I think this would be a good one to make lots of if you get on a roll with it. I think they are gorgeous! And I even think I have some solid holly leaves - who'd have thought?! Hope you are well, Hugs, Lisa xx

Heather said...

What an awesome technique for brusho - can't wait to give this try - it looks GORGEOUS! Thanks so much for playing at TSOT!

Krafty Kaylin said...

very creative use of the stamp and great way to use the TTT board. thanks for joining us at TSOT!

Sue said...

Hi Darnell, Loving the cards.

Our postage stamps are sticky now, so you'd not want to lick them:) LOL

Hope you are having a nice day. Sue

Carole said...

Oh you clever thing...what a brilliant technique! Love the holly! xx

nancy littrell said...

Wow..Absolutely Magical holly Christmas cards, Dolly. I made a couple of cards using the technique. One with Brushos and one with Bisters and loved it. I have been wanting to try Magicals and after seeing your shimmery beauties, I am going to definitely try Magicals. TFS and the Inspiration, my friend. Loved Hammy's sparkly splatters too. Happy Christmas card making..Hugs.Nancy

Lisa said...

Oh my goodness, gorgeous!! The leaves look so amazing!! I love the colors!! I'm off to learn this technique!! You've inspired me!! I love these!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

Lisa
A Mermaid's Crafts

Sharyn Polesel said...

Wow, what a fun technique! I've never heard of it, but will definitely give it a try. Your cards are beautiful!

Leslie Miller said...

Hey, I remember spritzing and ironing laundry and licking stamps. Mom had me ironing sheets and handkerchiefs. She ironed everything. She made the best bread, too. I'd smell it the moment I stepped off the school bus. I don't miss the ironing, but the bread, sigh... Your cards -- WOW! There's something magical about those Magicals! Right off I wondered how you got that wonderful variation of color on the leaves, so thanks for explaining. Look at you go with the Christmas cards!

Cat Craig said...

Fabulous cards, and THANK you for sharing the technique. As for the warm bread...ya yum. I cheat...buy the bridgeford frozen loaves. They thaw, rise and smell yummy.

cuilliesocks said...

Hi Darnell, two beautifully designed and coloured cards. I love the sound of your technique, must give it a go.
Despite the horrendous postage here in the UK, I still like to send cards, I try to keep them flat, but don't always manage it. I posted a card off to the USA the other day, it cost almost £4, nearly dropped, however that's privatisation for you, Kate x

Linda said...

Darnell, these are so pretty. I might have to give that technique a try. Thanks for the sweet comments on the babies. Hope you are doing well.

Sarah said...

They are terrific Darnell and actually look like they were watercoloured individually!! Gorgeous cards xx

conil said...

Wowzers...this is definitely going on my "I wanna try that" list. It's so beautiful and perfect for CAS cards, as you found out. Just look at all those cards you can make with that pile you created. Awesomeness.

Pat said...

This is indeed a stunning PB stamp Darnell, and the Lindy's Magicals are such pretty colours and with a beautiful sheen too, and great that you did a batch, and every one is just that bit different and gorgeous! x

scrAPpamondo said...

You are always brilliant, and I smiled a lot, reading your post :) I'm not yet70th, but I can remember my Grandmother's life when I was a baby... The ironing, sewing, making bread at home...There were also a man that came at my grandmother's home selling fresh milk by his own cow. We gave him a big glass bottle and him put in it the milk... and my Grandmother always made fresh butter to eat with the bread... :D Oh, such a delight! Slurp :D
On your cards: another delight :D Love this technique, the holly look so bright and vibrant! I would have a try!
Hugs

Donna Scholz said...

Darnell - your card is GORGEOUS! I loved reading your intro paragraph - I thought you were of some old-timey religious community there at first :-D I haven't seen this technique with Versamark before, so will DEFINITELY have to try it! Thank you for sharing your creativity with us in our Tic-Tac-Tuesday challenge! Please join us again soon at Try Stampin' on Tuesday!! -Donna

Carol L said...

these turned out gorgeous and it's such a fun technique by the sounds of it. I love the variation of colors and clean design! Love that early 40s story too - I can relate! My mom used to spritz the laundry, roll it up into a plastic bag and stick it into the fridge until it was time to iron! LOL I contemplate tossing my ironing board in the trash every time I open the closet, but I know once I do that I'll have a urgent use for it, so it stays hidden in the closet waiting for that urgent use! LOL (it might be going on the first decade by now)

Vikki H, southern Oregon said...

Outstanding set of beauties, Darnell! I'm running into the craft (laundry) room immediately after my nap and attempting this myself. You amaze me with your creativity and love the story telling.

Sue Reynolds said...

First of all your cards are beautiful and thank you for sharing your technique...on my agenda to try. Thanks for sharing this with Double Trouble and TSOT, and please come back to Double Trouble and share with our future fun challenges.

Now, memories of bread...every Saturday morning I would make three loafs of bread and the last loaf I used to make stickey buns and those were gone within a couple days.

And I clicked on your your scrapbook cottage on your sidebar and what a beautiful place you have to create; my only thought was how could she be so neat...my space looks like a tornado hit it. But then reality set in toward the bottom and I saw what looked like my space...thank you for not letting me down.

Lisa Elton said...

CAS prettiness multiplied Darnell! These are marvelous!! I remember 6 cent stamps..ahh the good old days!

Lisa Babitz said...

Your card is gorgeous! I can't wait to try this technique. Thanks for the inspiration!

Susan said...

Beautiful!! And a great job with that technique - I didn't find it that easy when I did it on my card. Love your added splatters and layout. Thanks so much for joining us at CAS Watercolour!

Christine Alexander said...

Darnell, what a selection of beautiful cards out of one technique and look at that sparkle :)

Cheryl W said...

Those cards are SO pretty! I really have to try that technique. Just have to find a couple of silhouette stamps. Hmmmm...wonder if I have any. If not, I'll just have to go shopping!

Stamps and Paper said...

Beautiful Christmas cards Darnell and a great technique

Anne

Tracey said...

GORGEOUS! Thank you for sharing at Double Trouble and giving such detail in your technique.

Glittered Paws said...

Beautiful - and love the watercolor look you have achieved. Such a pretty Christmas card. Don't we wish we could still mail letters for 3 cents. Long ago days. But then we wouldn't have computers, cell phones, blogs etc etc.

Sharon Underwood said...

BEAUTIFUL cards, Darnell! So glad Hammy could help. Thank you for the description of the new technique. I think I'll go get out my Brushos and give it a try. Very inspiring!

Fikreta said...

Very beautiful cards!
hugs

OH Babs said...

I guess, like everyone else, I will have to try this technique. Looks like a winner. Barb

SmilynStef said...

Stunning technique and beautiful card ... perfect stamp to use ... so glad you shared some foliage with us at Jingle Belles.

Patti said...

WOW!! amazing in any century! : )

Melanie said...

At age 72, I enjoyed your walk down memory lane eliciting memories of Grandma baking bread and rolls almost every morning. And my mom ironed everything! Your card is lovely and I am off to try that technique with a Penny Black poinsettia stamp. Thank you for playing along at Double Trouble and Try Stampin' on Tuesday. Hope to see you again.

Linda said...

These look amazing, and so festive. I haven't tried this technique yet but it's now high on the to do list. Love the stamp too xx

Anita in France said...

I'm drooling, Darenll ... not at the thought of warm freshly based bread and butter (though that is soooo tempting) ... but at these gorgeous cards ... they're artsy, elegant, shimmery and so beautifully composed! Please add that technique to the next LH list ... it's brilliant ... and so effective! We're watching Foyle's War at the moment (d'you know it ... excellent stuff!) ... Annette's house sounds similar ... though p'raps rationing meant no butter for the warm bread ... poor things! LYAMYLMA! Big hugs and bisous, Anita :)

Nora N. said...

I am very behind in blog land and am glad that I looked at this post. This technique looks SO COOL!! I LOVE the beautiful holly cards you created. It looks like you watercolored the images rather than stamped them. I am going to have to try this. Beautiful design!!

Greta said...

I did see Loll's post & intended to give it a try, but still haven't. Your holly cards are so beautiful you've inspired me to actually do it! Hopefully Color Burst will work.

Pia S said...

Nice technique, looks like watercoloring, what a clever way to use brushos! Beautiful outcome, love these cards.

Ruth said...

Brilliant technique for someone like me who absolutely can't cope with the mess that powder pigment can make. The colours really do stay very vibrant indeed and you can't beat a bit of schparkle to make you feel all festive. Great idea for mass production too.

Have to say I do iron all the time. I never used to, but school clothes never seem right not ironed and so while I'm there I might as well do everything else - yep, even pants (and I'm using the British version of pants here....) xxx

lauren bergold said...

OH wow, wow, wow... i love EVERYTHING about your amazing design! thanks for helping us celebrate festive foliage at JINGLE BELLES! ♥