Today’s post is part of a blog hop to celebrate the new Diecember release from Simon Says Stamp. More on the blog hop below. I have a video sharing a couple of cards with soft, muted watercolour backgrounds with clean, crisp white die cuts over the top and I’m also taking a look at the new Daniel Smith Hand Poured Half Pan sets. I’ve linked all supplies at the end of this post. Compensated affiliate links used.
Watch below or in HD on YouTube.
There are a bunch of dies in the Diecember release which I think look fabulous cut from a white card for a clean and simple look when layered over a watercoloured or ink blended background or equally over patterned paper. Of course, if you know me, you know that I love watercolours and the backgrounds for these cards gave me the perfect opportunity to try out the new Daniel Smith Hand Poured Watercolor Sets. I have the Ultimate Mixing set (2 palettes, one with 15 colours and one empty one to fill with your own choices) which you can see in the photo above on the left as well as the Floral set (one palette with 6 colours and 9 empty spaces) you can see on the right. You’ll get the best look at these though, their size, layout etc. by watching the video but here’s a quick summary of my findings.
In addition to the Ultimate and Floral sets there are also more small 6 colour sets:
I’m impressed that the colours in four of the sets were picked by renown watercolour artists. This Ultimate Mixing set was in collaboration with Jane Blundell an artist with extensive knowledge of watercolour paints, and it was the information on Jane’s website that helped me when I was first picking out which watercolours I wanted to use. Daniel Smith wasn’t prepared to compromise on the quality of painting with their watercolours in creating these half pans and so they are poured by hand using the same formula of paints as their tubes to ensure the highest pigment load. It’s a labour intensive process with each half pan having three pours but offers the purest form of professional watercolour half pans.
I must admit the palette is adorable! It’s so dinky and fits perfectly in the palm of my hand. The palette has a lid area for mixing, and then each of the 15 half pans has its own well area to sit in. I was a little disappointed to see that there were no markings on the half pans to determine which colour is which. A couple of the lighter colours are obvious, but most of the colours cannot be distinguished from each other in their dry form. Also on the downside, I don’t like that the lid of the palette doesn’t lie flat which means it won’t be great as a place for mixing colours. I found the long edge closest to the paints doesn’t have a lip preventing the mixes dribbling out. For on the go painting, it would be great as long as you keep the angle of the lid right but for at home use I’d perhaps consider using a white side plate for mixing. So my thoughts on the Daniel Smith palettes are that despite a couple of niggles with the palette, they would suit anyone wanting to try out artist quality watercolours especially as all the hard work of choosing the watercolours has been done for you by experienced artists. I think the 6 colour sets, in particular, would be a great introduction.
For my cards today, I chose to use the Daniel Smith Ultimate Mixing set as it has many of my favourite colours. I taped a piece of Arches Cold Pressed watercolour card to a board to prevent it warping. I then mixed a dilute Pyrrol Scarlet in one corner of the palette lid and a combination of Pyrrol Scarlet and Quinacridone Gold to create a warm peachy yellow colour in the other corner of the palette. I then wet the whole of the panel with clear, clean water and then using the wet on wet technique, so that the colours blended beautifully, I brushed the two colour mixes over the panel. I kept brushing backwards and forwards with the colours so that they blended to create a lovely gradient from one to the other. I didn’t want the colours to get too intense. I prefer soft, muted colours and also as my crafting turns from the Holidays to the seasons to come, I wanted more of a spring-like pastel look while keeping those more muted shades I love.
For speed I used a heat tool to dry the panel and as watercolours dry they lighten and I realised this was a little too light for what I was aiming for and so I repeated the process. With this second watercolour wash, I splattered with water before drying to create variation and highlights in the wash for interest. Then after drying the panel again, I used white gouache to splatter over the top to create that soft bokeh look I like. I removed the tape and set the panel aside while I worked on the rest of the card.
I used the Sweet Tulip die, and I ran it through my die cutter four times with white card. I then used Gina K Connect glue to layer one die cut on top of another. I often like to add foam adhesive behind a die cut, but these die cuts are so beautifully delicate that the only way to raise them for dimension was this layering process. I find it a little tricky to add the second die cut to the first one but as you add the layers the die cut becomes sturdier and adding the last layer is much easier than the first. I wanted this white tulip die cut to sit on one of the pieces of the watercoloured panels with a nice border of watercolour around the die cut and so I pulled out the Basic Rectangles dies and cut the peachy pink background with one of the dies which is a little smaller than an A2 card front. I added a generous amount of foam adhesive to the back of the watercoloured panel and added it to an A2 side folding card base cut and scored from Neenah Solar White card. I then used more Gina K Connect glue to add the tulip die cut to the card front. I used an acrylic block to press the die cut firmly onto the card front and then left the acrylic block on top while the glue dried.
For the sentiment, I took the leftover piece of the watercoloured panel and die cut one of the cute Nested Banner dies. I then placed the die cut in the Mini Misti and carefully lined up a sentiment from the Tiny Words set from Simon Says Stamp using a grid acetate overlay to help my line the sentiment on straight. I treated the banner with an anti-static powder bag to help prevent embossing powder sticking where I didn’t want it and then stamped the sentiment in clear embossing ink. I then sprinkled with white embossing powder and heat set. I added foam adhesive to the back of the banner and added it over the tulip die cut. Because I cut the banner from the pink end of the watercoloured piece and am layering it over the peachy area, it stands out nicely. I didn’t want to overwhelm this clean white die cut card so simply added a trio of Iced Sherbet sequins from Little Things From Lucy’s Cards.
Moving on and for my second card, I repeated the process of two watercolour washes with water splatter after the second layer and after drying I splattered again with gouache. However, for this panel, I used dilute Pyrrol Scarlet at the top of the panel and then moving down into a mix of Pyrrol Scarlet and Ultramarine Blue. This mixture created a lovely dusky graduation from pink to purple. I die cut the Tree Frame die from a piece of Neenah Solar White card. I trimmed the white panel down until it was a little smaller than an A2 card front. I took a piece of Lifestyle Crafts Plastic Sheets and cut it to be just slightly smaller than the white panel. I then added Scor-tape around the edges of the back of the white panel and laid the acetate sheet on top. I doubled up a strip of foam tape and cut it into three long strips. I added these to the back of the white panel and created a well around the tree area.
I then filled the shaker area of the card with Enchanting and Pastel Paradise sequins from Little Things From Lucy’s Cards. I removed the foam tape backers and added a piece of the pinky/purple watercoloured panel to finish off the shaker area. I ran the back of the panel with Gina K glue runner and added the shaker panel to a white A2 side folding card base cut from Neenah Solar White card.
In the same way, as for my first card, I used some of the leftover watercoloured panel to stamp a greeting from the Tiny Words set with clear embossing ink and white heat embossed before die cutting with the little Nested Banner die. I added foam adhesive to the back of the banner and added it to the card front just below the tree shaker window.
As mentioned above today’s post is part of a blog hop to celebrate the Diecember release. In fact, it’s the second day of hopping, and you can check out the first day’s hop here. Hopefully, you’ve arrived here from Simon’s blog but if not that’s a good place to start. As with all good hops, there are prizes and offers to be had:
- Free Nutty & Bright stamp set with any purchase! Use code DCMBR27, expires Sunday, 12/9 at 11:59 pm EST.
- Simon is giving away a $25 coupon to every stop on the hop from comments left. A winner will be chosen over the weekend and posted on the Simon blog on Wednesday 12th December. The winner then emails Simon to claim his/her prize.
One last thing before you hop along, have you checked out the Simon galleries? There are galleries for card kits as well as new releases. The galleries are a great place to find new inspiration, and also you can add your projects to the galleries too so others can find you. Here’s where you will find the Diecember gallery.
Now it’s time to hop along to …
Simon Says Stamp Blog
You can find links to the supplies I’ve used below; click on the picture or shop icon to get taken directly to the product. Where available I use compensated affiliate links which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read my affiliate and product disclosure here. I genuinely appreciate your support.
Summary of the project which gives all the views of the card in one photo :D I’d love if you pinned and called by on Pinterest :D
These cards are lovely! I’m just entering the watercolor creating world and you make it look so wonderful.
Wonderful cards, so festive! Love this new release.