Archive | Holly Brown

Art Neko designer and artist

Leafy Foliage Framed Thank You



Good morning!  It’s Holly posting today, and I’m sharing this leafy foliage framed thank you card.  I found this gorgeous Leafy Frame on a sheet of ATC frame stamps, and I knew it would be perfect for a thank you card.  I stamped it with some emerald green ink, let it dry, and then sponged more of the same emerald green ink around the frame.  I then stamped the Thank You sentiment with black ink inside the leafy frame.  The Thank You sentiment is from the Friendship, Get Well, and Thank You’s sheet at Art Neko.  After I cut out the frame, I matted it with some white cardstock and black cardstock.  I then added this to a black card base that was layered with white cardstock.

This is one of those quick and easy cards that I can make multiples of and have on hand when I need them.  I can also change out the sentiment to whatever I need at the moment, whether it is a birthday card, a get well card, an encouragement card, or even a sympathy card.  Have a look at the gorgeous frames HERE in the Art Neko store.  They are perfect for whatever sentiments you want to stamp inside the frames.



Gold Steampunk Feather


Hi everyone!  It’s Holly posting today, and I’ve got a fun “oops” story to share with you.   Look at the background of my card above.  You’re probably wondering how I created that.  I was challenged to randomly smoosh a Versamark ink pad over some cardstock and then cover it with any color of embossing powder.  So I pulled out some black cardstock and dabbed my Versamark ink pad here and there.  I covered the piece with gold embossing powder, and then lifted it up to shake off the excess powder.  When I did that, I accidentally hit the edge of my scratch paper and it left a couple of lines where it removed some of the embossing powder.  I gasped, and then I looked again.  I really liked the way that looked, so I did that some more.  Oops!  LOL

After I melted the gold powder with a heat tool, I had to sit back and admire my handmade background.  I thought it would go really well with a steampunk image, so I pulled out the Steampunk Fun sheet and selected the feather stamp.  I stamped the steampunk feather with Versamark and covered it with the same gold embossing powder.  This looks so striking against the black cardstock.

I kept the card clean and simple by adhering the steampunk feather to the center of my handmade background.  This piece is glued to a black card base.   I love the stark contrast of the beautifully drawn steampunk feather against the random chaos of the handmade background.





Pink Whimsy Watercolored Flowers



Hi everyone.  It is Holly posting today.  Chrissy is away on a road trip, so I’m jumping in to share this watercolored flower card with you.  I pulled out this stamp from the Flowers and Whimsy sheet from Art Neko because I wanted to try watercoloring it.  I stamped it with Versamark onto some Fabriano Studio Hot Press watercolor paper and then covered it with clear embossing powder.  After shaking off the excess powder, I melted the powder with a heat tool.

Zig Clean Color markers are water based, and they have some very fine brushes on the coloring ends of the markers.  I pulled out three colors – a pale blue, a deep green, and a deep red.  I outlined the flowers and leaves with the pale blue color first, and then I went back over the blue with a wet paintbrush to pull the color out.  After I waited a little bit for the paper to dry, I colored in the edges of the leaves with the deep green color.  I did not fill in the entire leaf – just the edge.  Then I used my wet brush to drag some of the green color over each leaf.

Once again, I waited until the paper was dry before starting in on the pink flowers.  I used a deep red color on just one edge of each petal, and then I used the wet brush to pull the color out onto the rest of the petal.  That deep red color turned into a vibrant pink during this process.  That was a fun discovery!

After my piece was completely dry, I cut the paper down to a smaller size (3″ x 4″) and matted it with a dark green cardstock.  I stamped this sentiment with green ink onto a scrap piece of the same watercolor paper and cut it out with a circle die.  The sentiment can be found on the Friendship, Get Well, and Thank You’s sheet from Art Neko.

I found a small length of this pink ribbon which coordinated beautifully with my flowers, so I tied it around the bottom of the floral piece.  This piece is attached to a sandy gray card base with some foam tape.  I added some more foam tape to the sentiment and adhered that next to the flowers.

I hope this card inspires you to experiment with coloring.  It is fun to see what happens when you try new things!





Gold Weaving Background with Vase by Holly Brown


Hi folks, it’s Holly popping in with another surprise posting this weekend.  Remember the washi weaving card I shared last weekend?  I played with black and gold cardstock for my paper weaving this time.  It’s a lot of fun once you get the hang of the weaving.  I cut the black and gold cardstocks into 1/4″ strips and then weaved them together.  I created a much tighter weave, and I love how this background resembles a bamboo placemat or a rug.

I pulled out this image from the Tea Time in the Orient sheet which I thought was a vase.  I stamped it with Versamark and embossed it with gold embossing powder.  After the melted embossing powder cooled, I cut out the vase with fine tipped scissors.  I cut a square of black cardstock and turned it so that it looks like a diamond on the black and gold weaving background.  The vase is adhered to the black diamond with some foam tape.

Upon reading the description on the Art Neko website, I found out that what I thought was a vase is actually a tea cup with a cover to keep the tea warm.   I learn something new every day!  🙂




Red Dragonfly in Autumn by Holly Brown

Red dragonflies signal the coming of autumn - by Holly Brown

Have you seen a red dragonfly?  It’s Holly posting today, and I love this quote from Art Neko.  I have not seen any red dragonflies here, but at least I can create my own with stamps and ink.  I started by cutting a sheet of cream cardstock slightly smaller than an A2 card size (5.5″ by 4.25″).  I then masked off a small strip by sticking some Post-it Notes down on the top and middle of the cream cardstock.  Once my area was masked off, I started sponging some inks onto the little strip of exposed cream cardstock.

I started by sponging some mustard ink in the center, and then I added some rusty orange ink to the left side.  I ended with some cherry red ink on the edge next to the orange ink.  Going back to the right side of the mustard ink, I sponged some moss green ink and then some denim blue ink.  It’s so fun to see the progression of the colors merging into each other.  I deliberately chose darker hues for these rainbow colors to reflect the feel of autumn.

After the autumn rainbow strip was done, I pulled off all the Post-it Notes.  I stamped the sentiment from Art Neko below the rainbow strip with a black ink.  The three dragonflies were stamped with a cherry red ink.  All three of these dragonfly stamps are found on the Dragonflies Galore and More sheet.  I love the different sizes of these dragonflies.  Look how I was able to stamp the smallest one next to the sentiment.

After all my sponging and stamping was done, I adhered the piece to a cherry red card base.  It looks like there are more layers on this card, but it is just the red card base and the cream cardstock.  Masking does wonders for fooling the eye.

I hope you have a wonderful week!






Washi Paper Weaving with Kanji by Holly Brown




Hi everyone!  It’s Holly posting today.  I’m sneaking in a surprise post this weekend, and I created this paper weaving background to share with you.  There is a special Yahoo group called Oriental Stamp Art, and the technique challenge for September 2016 is weaving.  We can do any kind of weaving, so I chose to weave some strips of washi paper with some strips of brushed gold cardstock.  I wanted to be able to see most of the beautiful washi paper so I only used five little strips of gold cardstock in a very loose weave.  The kanji sentiment, found on this sheet from Art Neko, was stamped with Versamark onto black cardstock and embossed with gold embossing powder.

The Oriental Stamp Art group is very active with lots of swaps, mingles, contests, and artwork sharing.  If you are interested in this group, you can join by checking it out here.  Just click on the “Join” button and follow the directions.  After you’ve been approved, you’ll be able to see all the artwork and join in by sharing your own Oriental artwork.  If you’d like more information, OSA also has a blog here.  Please feel free to check it out by clicking on the tabs at the top of the page.  It is a wonderful resource for Asian culture and artwork and techniques.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!







Gansai Tambi Watercolored Mum

mustard mum hb


Hi everyone!  It’s Holly posting today, and I played with my Gansai Tambi watercolors this time.  I stamped this beautiful Framed Stained Glass Chrysanthemum with archival black ink onto some watercolor paper.  Then I used a paintbrush dipped in water to pick up colors from my palette of Gansai Tambi watercolors.  I wanted some autumn colors for my flower, so I colored it with some mustard and  hints of orange and red.  This piece was set aside to dry completely for several hours.

The background is a layer of mustard cardstock which has been embossed with a brick pattern.  It is adhered to a black card base.  I matted the watercolored flower piece with some black cardstock, and I added the persimmon orange ribbon underneath the image.

There are so many different colors you could use with this chyrsanthemum.  Imagine this in pinks or reds or purples or even white.  You could color this with anything.  Watercolors, colored pencils, Copic markers, or even crayons would be lovely with this image.  I used my Gansai Tambi watercolors because I wanted to see how they blended on a flower and leaves and ribbons.  These Gansai Tambi watercolors are very creamy and the pigments are very rich.  They work very well with floral images like this one from Art Neko.

Art Neko has hundreds of beautiful floral stamps.  Check out their catalog of floral images and have fun shopping!




Medallion Framed Khalil Gibran

Life Without Love hb

Hi everyone!  It’s Holly posting today, and I created this very clean and simple card to share with you.  I was playing around with these medallion stamps from this gorgeous Japanese Floral 4 sheet, and I liked this unusual color combo of pumpkin orange, denim blue, and emerald green.  These may not be traditional Japanese colors, but I like how these colors hint at the coming fall season.

I punched these medallions out with different sizes of circle punches, and then adhered them to a stitched circle frame.  This Life Without Love sentiment was stamped with the same denim blue ink as one of the medallions.  I then adhered the circle frame with foam tape to frame the sentiment.  This card is a 4.25″ square.

You could create a card very similar to this using any of the medallions from Art Neko.  There are several different sheets with medallion stamps, and I’ve listed some of them below if you would like to check them out.  These are just a few examples.  You can type in “medallions” in the search box at Art Neko and you will see many more medallion images.   I hope you have a wonderful day!

Japanese Floral 4 sheet

Sheet with 34 Medallions

Japanese Family Crests, Medallions, Animals, and Birds sheet

Crane Medallions

Cranes and Waves Medallions







Copper Tin Beauty


Good morning!  Are you ready for fall?  I know I am!  It’s Holly posting today, and I was thinking about fall colors when I created this card.  I made the three little rectangles (faux tin tiles) on the left side by adhering some foil onto some thin chipboard and then running it through an embossing folder.  I painted the panels with some lime green paint and let it dry.  Some liquid copper leafing finish was rubbed over the lime green paint and then I sanded and buffed the piece to get that variegated coloring.  I love how it turned out.

This sentiment, QUOT0002 – Text: Beauty awakens the soul to act, is the perfect accent for this card.  When I make a custom background like I did with the faux tin tiles, I don’t like to cover them up with a bunch of papers or stamped images.  A simple and beautiful sentiment like this one is the only thing I needed for this card.

Have you seen the cards that Sabrina and Leah have shared this past week?  I love their creativity, and I’m looking forward to seeing more.  You’ll be seeing cards from the rest of our design team throughout the month, so please come back and visit soon.




Tea Time in the Orient with Art Neko

Hello everyone!  Welcome to the brand new Art Neko blog!  My name is Holly Brown and I am the Design Team Coordinator.  I’m thrilled to embark on this wonderful journey to share artwork created with Art Neko stamps.

Tea Time in the Orient card by Holly Brown

Tea Time in the Orient, Art Neko stamps.

For today’s project, I used the beautiful pagoda in the gardens image from the Tea Time in the Orient sheet.  I stamped it with Versamark onto some chocolate brown cardstock, and then covered it with a green verdigris embossing powder.  After I heated up the powder and let it melt, all the gorgeous colors started popping out.  You can see the jade green color, but there is also some darker green and some copper colors mixed in there.  

For my background, I experimented with some different inks to get the same coloring as you see with the verdigris embossing powder.  I started by spraying some white cardstock with Cracked Pistachio distress spray stain, and then I did a rough sponge with some Gathered Twigs distress ink and some emerald green ink.  It coordinates beautifully with the pagoda image.

I wanted to highlight the copper coloring in the embossing powder, so I cut a larger rectangle of cardstock and covered it with copper embossing powder.  I did the same with a couple of small strips and used them for the horizontal strips behind the pagoda image.

I found a medallion stamp from the 34 Medallions sheet and embossed it with the same verdigris embossing powder onto chocolate brown cardstock.  Instead of a circle punch, I decided to echo the shapes of the pagoda by punching the embossed medallion out with a hexagon punch.  I adhered it to the side of the pagoda scene with a little bit of foam tape.  I love how this jade and copper card turned out!

Tea Time in the Orient card by Holly Brown

Be sure to come back and check out what the rest of the Design Team Artists have been creating.  You’re going to love their wonderful artwork!  🙂


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