A Day at a Time journal page

This page is in one of my Fabriano art journals. I’ve mentioned before that I have a love/hate relationship with these journals as the pages are not really meant for watercolour and I always want to do watercolour. I can’t bear to quit though because there are quite a few completed pages in the journals and I want to get to the end.

I began this spread with some inspiration pages open on my Pinterest ‘journal‘ board but no real plan; I was after a look but didn’t have a theme. I rarely use my distress stain sprays as sprays; I usually paint with them but this time I taped the edges of the pages then put the book in my recycle paper box and sprayed with vintage photo, faded jeans and wild honey spray stains. I then sprayed some water but as I mentioned, this paper doesn’t act like watercolour paper so the stains didn’t blend and move.

Next I added some texture with modelling paste through the Darkroom Door diamonds & handwritten script stencils. Once that dried I blended round the edges of the pages with faded jeans, vintage photo, wild honey and black soot distress inks which highlighted the added texture. I was happy with my chosen colours but still didn’t know what the focus should be. I coloured some strips of sheet music and added Darkroom Door ‘plaid’ and ‘sheet music’ stamping here and there.

Initially I wanted to use the pocket watch and the teacups so I stamped them in vintage photo and swiped them through diluted inks to pick up colour as well as adding colour with a paint brush. Once they were painted and cut out I clear embossed the clock face three times with high gloss embossing powder to look like glass and used normal clear embossing powder for the cups.

To brighten up the centre of the double page I ended up spreading white absorbent ground over the strips of sheet music and out towards the edges. Then began the longish process of turning the page into a composition. After much rearranging I realised that the tower of teacups and the pocket watch need a third element so I tried a floral piece then just a single shelf (stamped with DD woodgrain background stamp) and finally realised the ‘book spines’ stamp would probably work again. Honestly I’m not trying to put that stamp in every single journal page. Even with the books it still took a while to balance the layout and come up with some words. I finally decided on ‘one day at a time’ stamped on the shelf with the DD alphabet medley stamps. As Vicky Papaioannou often does on her amazing art journal pages, I finished with both black and white splatter then removed the masking tape before gluing down my elements.

It’s nothing like my initial inspiration photos on Pinterest but it did give me some good practice at adding texture and layers to my art journal, two things I don’t find easy. I only have one of my art journal pages on youtube as there is so much humming and ha-ing as I work out what I want. If I cut out the pondering parts is an art journal page process something you’d like to see in a video?

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Woolly Wishes

This is the first knitting project I have done in years! I keep meaning to pull out some needles and wool to see if it hurts my hands to knit. I have a little stash of wool and plenty of different sized needles and I used to knit while watching tv. My last project was never finished then my hands became quite sore so I haven’t tried again.

When I first saw this Darkroom Door knitting stamp I couldn’t believe how realistic it looked when stamped and coloured. I stamped with versamark and embossed in clear powder on hot pressed watercolour paper for both cards. On the panel above I used Karin brushmarkers (amber, lilac, violet blue, magenta) to colour random shapes over the panel just like you get when you knit multicoloured yarn. I spritzed lighlly over the panel with water to get the colours to blend just a little.

I knew just the dies to use to complete the card. Penny Black has a set of looped frame dies which look a little like knitting stitches and the PB warmest wishes die is made of small curly letters that look like loops of wool. I cut both from purple cardstock with double sided adhesive on the back.

The second card features a simple pattern painted over the embossing with nautical blue and cottage ivy memento inks smooshed on my glass mat. I wanted to do a fancy snowflake pattern but decided I should start with something simple. Just as well as I missed a whole line of the pattern I was trying to do. This time I matted the panel with dark blue cardstock and stacked three layers of the ‘hello’ from the Penny Black ‘doodles’ die set which also looks a bit like yarn.

I had to make the knitting panel smaller to fit on the matching piece of blue cardstock so I re-cut it with the WaffleFlower A2 layer dies and saved the slim outline to glue inside the card. I will definitely be playing with the DD knitting stamp again because I want to colour a fancy fairisle type pattern. It will also show up in a small role on a card coming up later in the month.

I am happy to be back blogging again after my short break; I’ve missed chatting with you. I wish I could say I achieved all my planning and preparation goals but that is far from the truth. I think maybe my expectations were set a bit too high! Today’s cards feature the knitting stamp that had been sitting waiting patiently for some ink for months. I could have continued to stamp and play this image for days but I limited myself to one day so I could move onto other things. Is your year off to a good start, have you had some creative time already?

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See you soon

Just popping in with a couple of cards carrying a couple of messages for you. I hope your new year is off to a good start; I am still enjoying the beauty of an array of Christmas cards sent from around the world, thank you my creative friends for brightening up the midwinter days.

I made today’s cards from a gel printed panel done several months ago. I can’t remember the paints but you can see there was definitely orange, aqua and black. The panel I cut up is shown below, most of it included distinct or faint stars made with the Darkroom Door small starry night stencil. Along one edge there were two very distinct feather prints made with real feathers.

I ended up cutting a square which included one feather, leaving me one for another project. I also cut a rectangle covered in colour and texture which became the base for die cut letters and stars. I chose gold cardstock and gold embossing powder to add some brightness and shimmer on top of the dark background featuring a ‘scripted bold sentiments’ stamp from Pinkfresh Studio, alphabet dies from MFT and nesting star dies from We R Memory Keepers. I popped up the letters and the stars on black foam which kind of makes them appear to be floating.

I wanted to let you know I am taking a short blogging break so I can devote some time to planning and prep. I will be working on projects to share with you over the coming months. Ideally I would have done this before I stopped for Christmas but that didn’t happen so I’m doing it over the next week or so. I have lovely ideas and projects floating round in my head, I have a little stash of stencils and stamps that haven’t been out of their packets and some new release products from Penny Black on the way.

It has been a while since I devoted time to gel printing, alcohol inks, stenciling and lettering so that’s on the list along with some more hand painting. I will be making some videos to share here on my blog and youtube channel. I have a new online class in the works also. So you see while it’s quiet on the blog it will be busy behind the scenes.

As always I am happy to answer questions and I’m open to requests or suggestions for new projects and videos. If you feel like diving into one of my online classes just click on COLOUR CLUES or WINTER WONDER to learn more. (Here is a discount code for COLOUR CLUES which will take 20% of the price until January 15, 2021 HTNY21 )

So take care everyone, I’m looking forward to sharing techniques and experiments, cards, journal pages, paintings and more here on the blog during 2021. See you soon…

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Reading Year journal page

I know 2020 was a very different year from what any of us imagined but I hope you are able to look back on it and see some new habits or achievements that please and encourage you. I’ve always been a reader but I have to admit I spent more time immersed in stories this year. I read physical books, listened to many audio books as I worked on art and in the last week read e-books on my new e-reader. I was hoping to reach 100 books but fell a little short with a total of 93 and three currently on the go.

It is highly possible that I had years as a child when I read more than 93 but I don’t know; I didn’t keep a record. I have this year’s books written in a bullet journal but I decided to record them on an art journal page as well. This is the second book filled spread in my art journal and who knows, there may be more.

I love the book spines stamp from Darkroom Door and this time stamped it across the pages instead of in piles. After I had coloured all the book spines with watercolour markers and pearlescent paints I drew a shelf underneath and then stamped the DD woodgrain stamp above and below the shelf of books in grey and brown distress inks. I added a few titles to book spines with gel pens then used a scribbly script to fill the surrounding area with all the rest of the books. It soon became apparent that there would not be room for author names so I just did book titles. Once I had filled the space I had to squeeze the last few in between lines. I splattered some black soot distress ink over the page before removing the masking tape and adding the hand lettered title.

I read mysteries, war novels, crime novels, literary fiction, comedy, romance, historical fiction and a thriller. There were books I didn’t care to finish so they are not on the list and there were a handful I read twice. I read several series; I do like a good series and I took pains to try and have them arrive in my library holds in the right order or close to it.

The book club I belong to did manage to meet this year, once indoors before the pandemic started then two more times, outdoors around a picnic table then, in late October, around a bonfire. We discussed ‘Where the Crawdad’s Sing’, ‘Small Great Things’, ‘The Lager Queen of Minnesota’ and ‘The River’. If you know of some good ‘book club books’ please let me know in the comments below. I have received helpful recommendations from you before which I’m looking forward to reading in 2021.

Happy New Year!

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2020’s favourite posts

I looked through the stats for 2020 to see which posts were viewed the most. It is not necessarily an accurate indicator of favourites but it is fun to look back and see what appealed. I’ve included a link to the original post next to every photo. I’m featuring only cards I made and posted this year. Here they are in no particular order.

Back in January I used Darkroom Door stencils as a guide to paint watercolour backgrounds for silhouette stamping with DD stamps.

In February as I was preparing to teach a class using pearlescent paints on black watercolour paper I created this embossed and painted card. The class didn’t happen but the plan is still in my mind for either an online or in-person class hopefully some time in 2021.

This card and the next favourite feature the same Penny Black stamp and no-line watercolour technique. I used distress inks and markers for the watercolouring on this one.

Same stamp as shown above, Unforgettable from Penny Black but this time watercoloured with Arteza real brush pens.

This lilac card along with three other colour schemes featured the ‘lovely lilacs‘ stamp from Penny Black and there is a video tutorial as well.

Another video post once again with Arteza watercolour brush pens this time with Penny Black’s nature’s glory stamp.

Now this one is a little different, pencil colouring on kraft cardstock, again with a video. 2020 has definitely seen me create the most videos!

This one is also one of my favourites so it is nice to see it as a reader favourite too. It is the second post in the top ten to feature the lovely lilacs stamp from PB.

I’m happy to see one of my hand painted pieces in the favourites. This is a brusho & cling wrap painting I did after watching a CeeCee Creations video.

Another video post made the top ten, this one featuring die cut distress oxide painted leaves. This is the only one not featuring flowers.

This one just missed out on the top ten so I’m adding it here at the end because I think it might be my favourite of the year. It’s a brusho and cling wrap panels that made me think of hydrangeas so I turned the random patterns into massed flowers.

Thank you for dropping it to read my posts this year. I love sharing the details of my cards, journal pages and creative adventures. In a year when face to face interactions have been limited I have been encouraged over and over by the comments and conversations here on my blog.

It has been my best year ever for producing you tube videos and also the year I fulfilled a long time dream of producing online classes. Again thank you for your support in those endeavours.

I’m looking forward to sharing more creative pursuits on the blog with you in 2021, there will be watercolour and stamping (of course!) but also alcohol ink art, gel printing, lettering and journaling. I hope you are safe and well where you are and pray that 2021 will be a year of health and happiness for you.


Vintage Car

The new vintage car stamp pairs perfectly with one of the ladies from the classy 1920’s chic stamp set, both from Darkroom Door. I made two slimline cards and went with a rainbow colour scheme.

To position the car behind the woman I stamped her first, masked her with a post-it note mask I had cut out and then stamped the vintage car over the top. As both were stamped in nocturne versafine clair pigment ink I was able to emboss in clear powder to make it easier to paint a multicoloured background. I used distress inks smooshed on my glass mat but painted water around the images first so I could drop colour in and blend one colour with the next. On the card below I stamped the car three times in Memento London fog ink and once in a rainbow of distress inks. I applied the rainbow with a marker and spritzed the stamp before stamping so the colours began to blend before hitting the watercolour paper panel.

I stuck with London fog ink for the first two sentiments from DD classic cars vol 1 and switched back to the markers when stamping the birthday sentiment from DD happy birthday set. In keeping with the rainbow car I blended the same inks over the card base with blending brushes. The sentiment on the first card is from the DD classic motorcycles set

Speaking of dresses, but none quite so chic as the stamped one, I am continuing to wear dressed every day during December as I fundraise for the Dressember campaign which fights against human trafficking. My fundraising total has reached $795. If you would like to contribute just click over to my Dressember page. Thank you, thank you to those who have already done so.

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Shells

Let’s take a break from the snowy scenes I’ve been serving up lately and instead spend some time at the beach. If only I could! I’ve always been a shell collector, even last year when I was walking along Soldiers Beach on the NSW Central Coast with my dad I collected shells for the fun of it. I didn’t end up bringing them home but it was fun to look along the sand and in the rockpools. This card features shells from the Darkroom Door Seashells set and a background stamped with the new DD filmstrip stamp seashells.

I stamped the large shells first making a mask for each one out of a post it note so I could before stamping a second or third shell and mask all three when I stamped the repeated filmstrip background. The large shells I stamped first in archival ink then over the top in distress ink which I blended to fill and add shading to the shells. The background I stamped in tea dye distress ink using the MISTI to keep the stamp in place and move the watercolour paper panel. After stamping the background I blended over the top with a paintbrush and water and dabbed away liquid to halt the blurring so I could still see the shell images.

Once I’d trimmed the panel to size I blended vintage photo ink around the edges with a blending brush and painted shadows under the large shells with dark browns and black. As usual the supplies are all listed below.

Have a great day even if you can’t collect seashells and definitely if you can!

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Winter Wonder Online Class

I’m excited! I have a new online class which will be available on Friday, November 20 and registration is open now! My new class is full of snowy scenes, winter skies, frosty leaves and berries. I’ve created the class to provide step by step instruction for some of my favourite techniques along with plenty of inspiration for you to make your own winter wonder cards.

I think it might be best if you watch the promo below; you will get glimpses of all the projects and you’ll see the delightful animation my son and I made with Penny Black dies and Pink Fresh Studio alphabet dies.

If you would like to join me in creating winter themed cards for Christmas, New Year, Thank You or Birthday cards then click over to the course site to register or learn more. WINTER WONDER

I will be giving away a registration here on my blog. To enter you need to leave a comment below telling me your favourite thing about winter! (If you win but have already registered I’ll refund your registration fee) I will randomly draw a winner on Sunday evening (Nov 22) so you have a few days to enter.

I will also do two random draws from the first 50 registrations for gift cards from either Foiled Fox or Crop A While.


Books & Tea

Ever since I created a ‘what should I read next?‘ art journal page I’ve been wanting to do a similar design on a card featuring the Darkroom Door ‘mini book’ and ‘book spines’ stamps. This time a teacup joined the party.

What is more delightful than a cup of tea and a good book? Maybe a cup of tea with another book lover?

I stamped the book spines stamp three times in hickory smoke archival ink on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper (which had been splattered with masking fluid). I set out both my Sennelier watercolour paint palette and a Finetec pearlescent set to paint the books. I mainly used the Sennelier paints but added drops and swipes of pearlescent paints here and there for interest.

Once the paints dried I used a handful of gel pens to add decoration to the book spines. I decided not to add titles (there is other pressing work to be done after all) just patterns. I removed the masking fluid, blended tea dye and vintage photo ink around the edges then splattered some vintage photo ink over the panel.

The mini book is stamped in versafine vintage sepia and then stamped with a script stamp from the DD ‘correspondence’ set and a sentiment stamp from DD ‘classic motorcycles’. The teacup from DD ‘cup of tea’ set is embossed in gold powder then painted a pale rose. I fussy cut both the book and the cup (I know – I’m surprised too). The book panel is matted in cream then attached to a grey luxe card base. I attached the mini book and teacup to hang over the edges of the panel ever so slightly.

Right now I would love to curl up on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea but I am editing my next online class! I am very excited to get it finished for you as it has a seasonal theme which might interest you right about now.

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Seashells Filmstrip

Before you wonder why a seashell card has popped up right after a snow covered bell card remember that not everyone is heading into winter right now. I can wistfully look at these seashells and wish I was entering an Australian summer and that wistfulness would not just be about the weather! Speaking of Australia, this stamp is from Darkroom Door and is one of their new filmstrip stamps.

I used a stamp positioner to stamp the filmstrip edge to edge moving my panel up or down each time to feature a different portion of the stamp. I used five different inks to ink the stamp fairly randomly then spritzed it before stamping so the inks were already moving. I continued blending the colours with a paintbrush on the watercolour paper panel.

You can see some shells are more sharply defined than others which corresponds to how much water I added before and after stamping. I stamped a sentiment from the DD sentiment strip – friendship stamp. I have kept the stamp as one long strip (I think many people have done so), so I can stamp them all at once or stamp a section and cut out the one I want. In this case I stamped a section, cut out the sentiment I was after then ripped one edge and coloured the tear with wild honey distress ink.

I have a shell collection which sits untouched in a box for years at a time and then an occasion like this arises and I open the box and remember how delighted I always am when walking on a beach looking for shells.

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