Steps journal page

Are you a wee bit surprised to see a journal page here?  I’m surprised myself, surprised but pleased. I really enjoyed dreaming it up and making it. It didn’t end up looking as I imagined but that is the way with journal pages is it not?

This art journal is a Fabriano journal; the paper is nice and thick but not watercolour paper so I painted over it with absorbent ground first. Then I grabbed a bunch of stamps from Darkroom Door along with three light coloured oxide inks and stamped mesh, stone and woodgrain texture stamps over the background. I spritzed it with water to soften the edges of the stamped images and dabbed some out too to make it subtler. Even after adding some water it was still bolder than I wanted so I painted another thin layer of absorbent ground over it.

I filled the bottom of the page with repeat stampings of flowers from the Darkroom Door ‘tall flowers‘ set in distress inks then blended some of the big flowers with water. They don’t blend as well as they do on watercolour paper but the effect is still nice.

I added grass and flowers from the DD ‘ nature walk‘ set, also in distress ink then a border with the mesh texture stamp in black soot oxide ink. It was a bit bolder than I wanted so I spritzed then dabbed with a paper towel ( as you can see I’m a fan of the ‘spritz and dab’ ). I splattered wild honey, forest moss and dusty concord diluted ink over the whole spread and it ended up looking like confetti. To boost a few of the flowers I outlined them with fine tipped black markers.

I wrote psalm 18:36 with a brush pen leaving a space to stamp the word ‘steps’ with the DD alphabet medley stamps.  I find choosing words for a journal page tricky, which words and how to add them. But the beauty of a journal page is the experimental nature of it. If I don’t like something on this page, I’ll try something different on another. Once the ink had dried I sealed the large flowers and the lettering with distress micro glaze.

Do you have any art journallers you would recommend for inspiration? I already follow Rachel Greig from Darkroom Door, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Vicky Papaioannou and Maremi SmallArt who all have different styles and inspiring journal pages.

I’m hoping to create in my journals more often and will share pages here if possible. Even if you are not an art journal person the designs can usually be converted to a card and sometimes start out as cards anyway!

Art Supplies (all Darkroom Door stamps are linked in description)


Tall Flowers

I am excited to feature some new stamps from Darkroom Door today. The tall flowers are from the new ‘Tall Flowers’ set and the background flowers are from the delightful ‘Nature Walk’ set.  I am a guest over on the Darkroom Door blog today, if you haven’t visited you definitely should check out all the inspiration shared there.

My first card features a cold pressed watercolour panel filled with one of the stamps from ‘nature walk’ set inked in iced spruce and stormy sky distress inks. I diluted the ink with a spritz of water and stamped first, second and third generation impressions. Over the top I stamped the tall daisy from ‘tall flowers’ four times with wilted violet, blueprint sketch and forest moss distress inks. Because the stems are long and thin I was able to orient them in different directions. I used a mask a couple of times to overlap the daisies. Once stamped I blended the colours with a paintbrush and water.

I used a similar process to create the orange toned daisy card but this time I did the background foliage after the foreground flowers by using stamped and cut out masks. The daisies are stamped in peeled paint and fossilized amber distress inks. I added extra colours one at a time with spiced marmalade marker, rusty hinge marker close to flower centre and finally ground espresso marker on the centre of the flower. I blended the inks with water then after it was dry stamped the centres again to add some texture back in. The background stamping is another stamp from the DD ‘nature walk’ set stamped with weathered wood and tea dye distress inks. I added some splatter because, well, why not!

On both the daisy cards I decided to add the sentiment on a vellum strip. I liked the floral scenes too much to stamp words over them so the vellum seemed like a subtle way to do it. The recipient could even snip the sentiment off and have a picture to display if they wanted to. For this tall thin panel I used the kraft card base to frame it on two sides.

The last card is a little different; I used the small flower from ‘tall flowers’ and some little leaves from ‘leaves’ set to make a wreath.

To guide my stamping I traced a circle onto my watercolour panel. I sponged fossilized amber distress ink around circle then erased the pencil line. With the sponging as a guide, I stamped the small flower heads from ‘Tall Flowers’ set round the circle in carved pumpkin ink, holding the stamp so only flower(not stem) was inked and stamped. I repeated the process with small leaves and ferns from ‘Leaves’ set in  fossilized amber, peeled paint, forest moss and tea dye distress inks. You know I splattered forest moss ink over wreath because that’s what I do then matted the panel in orange cardstock, attached to a kraft card base and added a raffia bow.

I loved creating with these beautiful tall flower stamps and couldn’t help myself from using the ‘nature walk’ stamps again because they work so well together!

Supplies

Stamps: tall flowers, nature walk, leaves

Inks: stormy sky, iced spruce, blueprint sketch, wilted violet, forest moss (purple flower card)

fossilized amber, peeled paint, weathered wood, tea dye & distress markers: spiced marmalade, rusty hinge, forest moss, ground espresso (orange flowers)

fossilized amber, peeled paint, carved pumpkin, forest moss, tea dye (flower wreath)

Papers: hot pressed watercolour, cold pressed watercolour, vellum, kraft

Also: stamp positioner, raffia


Nature walk portraits

I have mentioned before how beautiful these Darkroom Door ‘nature walk’ images are but have I mentioned how easy it is to create pretty cards with them. Each card today features just one image, stamped twice over a quick watercolour background.

I created the backgrounds with my glass mat and some distress inks. I squished the ink pads down on the mat side by side (three or four colours at a time), spritzed with water then swiped my hot pressed watercolour panel through the diluted ink a few times until there was good coverage on the panel. I dried the panel with a heat tool before sponging one or two of the distress inks through a section of stencil then added splots of water for some added texture. The panels were all different, all pretty and done within minutes.

I used the MISTI for stamping because the texture of the watercolour paper makes it necessary to stamp a few times to get a solid image. I used versafine clair nocturne ink which always gives me a crisp print. Once the ink was dry I splattered gold paint from the gansai tambi starry colours palette. The gold splatter might just be my favourite part of these cards; unfortunately it’s not very obvious in the photos.

To draw more attention to the gold splatter I matted with gold and stamped the sentiments either on gold cardstock or with embossed in gold powder. The sentiments are from Darkroom Door’s new sentiment strips. The sentiments are in list format and I have kept the stamp uncut. I stamp on a cardstock panel and cut out the sentiment I want. I now have a handy die set from the Foiled Fox which neatly cuts out the smaller fonts and I always love sentiments in small fonts! The set is called ‘simple sentiments’ and it has ten lengths of sentiment strip dies.

In putting together the cards I used one more happy new product. I am always searching for textured white cardstock. Today’s cards feature a linen texture with enough depth to be seen by the camera. It is in 8½ “x11” sheets so one sheet did four card fronts, no waste. This is the first time I’ve used it so there will be more testing to come with dies, inks etc but so far, so good.

Thanks for listening to me prattle on about this and that. I hope you are enjoying some ‘nature walks’ even if they are of the snowy variety! While we have been experiencing extreme cold followed by loads of snow, friends and family on the other side of the world are experiencing extreme heat and flooding!

Supplies

Stamps: nature walk,  (DD)

Stencils: mesh, boxes 12 up

Dies: Simple Sentiment (Avery Elle)

Distress inks: crushed olive, pine needles, blue print sketch, milled lavender, stormy sky, mermaid lagoon, wilted violet, worn lipstick
.
Inks: versamark, nocturne versafine clair,

Paint: gansai tambi starry colours

Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, snowbound textured white cardstock, gold cardstock, neenah solar white

Also: Cutterpillar glass mat, MISTI, gold embossing powder


Crisp or misty

I pulled out the wonderful new trees from Darkroom Door’s ‘majestic mountains’ set to create today’s cards. I wanted to create two forest scenes, one on a crisp cold night, the other on a misty day. There are some similarities in the techniques and inks as well as differences which enabled me to create both looks. I began both times with cold pressed watercolour paper splattered with masking fluid. I like to have a few circles cut from frisket film on hand to mask a moon so I positioned one in the top right corner then tore a post-it note and positioned it diagonally across the panel. I stamped the two larger trees in versafine clair inks along the edge of the post-it mask so the trunks did not show and used one green for the largest tree and another green for the smaller.

Next I removed the post-it mask and painted water along the lower edge of the stamping and upwards to fill the sky. Then while the paper was wet I added weathered wood, faded jeans and old paper distress stains to fill the sky. Once I had the sky blended I used the post-it mask again as an edge to stamp more trees including one of the smaller ones from the ‘majestic mountains’ set. Again after removing the post-it mask I painted water and blended some of the three stains into the water to create shadows behind the trees and snowbanks. To finish it off I dried the panel, removed the frisket film and masking fluid then added a sentiment from the DD ‘pine cones’ set.

Although the colours and stamps are very similar I worked very much ‘wet into wet’ to create the second card. I painted water and diluted stain over most of the panel adding stripes of faded jeans, weathered wood and old paper. While it was wet I stamped the trees repeatedly with memento northern pine ink making first and second generation impressions to get dark foreground and lighter background images. Each time I inked the stamp I wiped ink off the trunk so it would not stamp, that way the trees all looked like they were in deep snow.

Believe it or not both panels started out the same size but a blot here and a mistake there meant this second one underwent some downsizing.

You might have noticed a stamped envelope in the first photo. I am going to try hard to stamp an envelope and my name on the back of the card as soon as I complete it. I have never been good at this but it makes a lot of sense to do it!

Supplies

Stamps:majestic mountains, pine cones (Darkroom Door)


Inks: northern pine memento, shady lane & rain forest versafine clair

Stains: faded jeans, weathered wood, old paper

Paper: cold pressed watercolour paper, neenah natural white, dark green

Also: masking fluid, glass mat


Pine cones

I just cracked open this set from Darkroom Door yesterday and I’m so happy with these lovely images. The set contains three pine cones, two pine needle stamps and six sentiments yet to be inked. I worked on cold pressed watercolour paper and used distress inks to stamp and paint.

I splattered masking fluid over this panel first then, when it was dry used my MISTI for the stamping. I stamped the pine cone first with vintage photo and ground espresso distress inks (not oxides). I stamped several impressions because of the texture of the paper then stamped the pine needle stamp around the pine cone in forest moss and pine needles ink. I didn’t use careful masking but did position a post it note over the pine cone while I stamped the needles that appear to be behind the cone. With all the stamping done I blended some of the pine cone with water and spritzed over the pine needles.

To fill the background I painted shabby shutters and pine needles ink with plenty of water to dilute and move it around. After removing the masking fluid I added a sentiment from the Yuletide greetings set in shady lane versafine ink.

For the second card I switched pine needle stamps but kept the same pine cone. I stamped the needles first in mowed lawn and pine needles distress ink. Again I didn’t want to cut some fiddly masks so I did partial inking instead to position the pine cones in amongst the needles. I blended them with a fine tip paint brush then splattered some green and brown inks over the panel. I wanted a splash of gold so I embossed a sentiment from Yuletide greetings in ultra high gold embossing powder which is chunkier than some.

I also splattered some embossing fluid on the panel and tipped the same powder on to the splatter and heated it. Some of my blobs of embossing fluid were a bit big so I ended up with squishy gold dots on the panel. (definitely one for hand delivery!)

Supplies

Stamps: pine cones, yuletide greetings (DD)

Inks: pine needles, forest moss, vintage photo, mowed lawn, shabby shutters & shady lane versafine clair ink

Markers:  gathered twigs, ground espresso

Paper: cold pressed watercolour paper

Also: masking fluid, embossing fluid, WOW metallic gold rich ultra high powder


Majestic Mountains

I have a few wintry landscapes to share today featuring stamps from the beautiful new ‘majestic mountains‘ set by Darkroom Door. This set includes three mountains, six sentiments (not featured on these cards) and – happy sigh – four trees! You can find step by step instructions on the Darkroom Door blog. I usually list all the ingredients at the end of the post but today I have included links throughout my descriptions.

On the card above I first splattered masking fluid over cold pressed watercolour paper and let it dry. I placed a torn post-it note mask across the panel then stamped the mountain several times in weathered wood distress ink so the base of the stamp overlapped the post-it. I painted the sky in dusty concord and tumbled glass distress stains then added a small amount of mustard seed stain close to mountain edges. I dried the panel then placed another torn post it note across below the base of the mountains.This was so I could stamp the trees in chipped sapphire distress ink but not have all the trunks showing. Because I was working on cold pressed watercolour paper the tree images were not solid so I used water to blend the ink. I dried the trees then painted a line of weathered wood distress stain along base of trees to create a snow bank and some shadows in the foreground. I removed the masking fluid and added a sentiment from the new Yuletide Greetings Stamp Set in chipped sapphire ink.

For this second card I once again splattered masking fluid but over hot pressed watercolour paper. Instead of using a post it note I partially inked the mountain stamp in weathered wood distress stain so the bases of the mountains were uneven, then stamped across the lower half of the wide panel. I picked a small tree  and stamped repeatedly in front of the mountains in memento olive grove ink including second generation stamping to fill the space. Then I switched to large trees in olive grove ink overlapping some of the small trees.
I painted the sky in stormy sky distress stain taking care to paint to the edge of mountains and tree tops then dried it completely. I removed the masking fluid and chose another sentiment from the Yuletide Greetings to stamp in versafine olympia green ink.

On my last card I wanted a big winter moon so I cut a circle mask from frisket film and attach to a hot pressed watercolour panel then splattered masking fluid over the panel. I painted water over whole panel then added some stormy sky distress stain keeping the colour darkest in the top half. While panel was still damp I stamped a large tree in memento northern pine ink repeatedly using first and second generation stamping for dark and lighter images. I removed the moon mask and stamped one more tree to overlap the moon. I dried the panel completely then removed the masking fluid. I used another sentiment from the Yuletide Greetings Stamp Set in versafine olympia green ink.

This is going to be another of those lovely year round sets but I think it will be all wintry scenes from me for a while. I love having new trees to play with and those mountain stamps make it easy to fill in a simple background. Even though it is still October it has been snowing for the last 24 hours! It’s not going to stay though, definitely not!

Stamps: majestic mountains, yuletide greetings (Darkroom Door)

The rest of the supplies are linked throughout the post. I use affiliate links to the Foiled Fox online store. For no additional cost to you I receive a small commission when you use my links to shop at the Foiled Fox


Nature Walk

I am over on the Darkroom Door blog today sharing cards made with the gorgeous new ‘Nature Walk‘ set. The flowers and foliage in this set have incredible detail; the first time I stamped them I was blown away by how delicate the images were. For their debut on my blog I wanted to make them as artsy as possible but I will be back showing them off in all their delicate simplicity another day. This first one is my favourite of the three in this post; it reminds me a little of trees in some of Sydney Long’s paintings.

To begin I splattered some masking fluid over hot pressed watercolour paper and let that dry. Next I wet most of the panel with water and repeatedly stamped the round topped wildflowers in bundled sage and iced spruce distress stain. Distress stain is a liquid so it doesn’t stamp a sharp detailed image; stamping it onto partially wet paper resulted in soft background colour with a few shadowy flower heads appearing. I let the panel dry then inked the stamp with chipped sapphire, seedless preserves and dusty concord stains then stamped it several times across the panel. When the panel dried I rubbed off the masking fluid, added a sentiment embossed in white on co-ordinating cardstock and attached the panel to a white card base.

For the autumn toned card I once again I started with a hot pressed watercolour panel splattered with masking fluid.  I spritzed the panel with water, sprayed some crushed olive distress stain onto my glass mat then swiped the wet panel through the stain. I repeated the same process with forest moss stain but tilted the panel to stop the forest moss overtaking the crushed olive. While the panel was wet I stamped another of the wildflower stamps in rusty hinge stain to get soft background images then dried the panel completely before stamping the same stamp in versafine clair shady lane ink. I finished it off with some twine and an embossed sentiment.
Card number three began the same way with a splattering of masking fluid on hot pressed watercolour paper. I like to splatter quite a few panels at once and set them aside for future projects. To create the dramatic sky I spritzed water over the panel then dropped some aged mahogany and victorian velvet stains onto the wet panel and started tilting and turning it as the stain moved across the panel. When I had developed some interesting patterns I laid the panel down again and added some antique linen stain with a paintbrush and let the panel dry completely
I stamped the grasses in golden meadow versafine clair ink a little up from base of panel then in chianti versafine clair ink a little lower down but still overlapping the previous stamp. When the stamping was completely dry I removed the masking fluid and wrapped twine around panel, added a mat panel in a co-ordinating cardstock and stamped another tiny sentiment on the same cardstock in versamark so I could emboss in white.
I like the pairing of loose painted backgrounds with sharp stamped foreground in these panels and I’m so happy to have these new stamps in my collection. Stay tuned to see them again.

Supplies

Stamps: nature walk (DD)

Stains: bundled sage, iced spruce, chipped sapphire, dusty concord, seedless preserves (card 1)
 
crushed olive, rusty hinge, forest moss (card 2)
   
antique linen, aged mahogany, victorian velvet (card 3)

Inks: versamark & shady lane, chianti, golden meadows versafine clair,

Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, neenah natural cardstock, burgandy cardstock, rust cardstock

Also: Cutterpillar glass mat, white embossing fluid, masking fluid, twine,