Winter Garden art journal page

It’s been a while since I worked in my book themed art journal. As I looked over a table covered in gel prints I settled on two blue ones filled with pattern and paint. Both were on rice paper and sized 6″x6″ which is not big enough to cover the whole journal page. I decided to tear a rough edge on the bottom and glue the panels with space above and below.

The inspiration for the page is Kristin Hannah’s novel ‘Winter Garden’. I used Darkroom Door floral stamps to decorated the gel prints with blue flowers then added more stamping to the blue area and the white space at the bottom of the page.

Picking from a few themes in the book I stamped trees to represent the orchard, a suitcase to represent the escape from Leningrad, books from the library where the main character worked. I also used number, correspondence and snowflake stamps to complete the collage.

I am always in two minds about adding words to my pages and this time was no exception. Rather than a quote I just added the name of the novel and author. I used pigment and archival inks for all the stamping, white gesso around the edges and white ink and embossing powder to add the snowflake borders.

Have you read any Kristin Hannah? My book club considers ‘The Nightingale’ our best choice so far! We are always searching for good book club reads; if you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments.


(Compensated affiliate links used when possible)

Summer forever

The nights are getting cooler here but the days are still lovely so I thought another summer scene would be appropriate.  It won’t be long before it is all autumn colours. Unlike others who are already posting their Christmas designs, I can’t seem to stamp too much out of season. I guess I am inspired by whatever’s happening outside.

This is the type of scene that I usually do on a one layer card but I think it works with a thin black mat also. I sponged a blue and green background between two masks before removing the masks and adding the tree and sentiment.

Have a great weekend.


Stamps: Trees (Darkroom Door) Season of Friendship (SU)
Inks: Basic Black, Brocade Blue ,Certainly Celery
Cardstock: SU Whisper White, Brocade Blue, Basic Black

An Autumn fix

I really like one layer cards particularly the ones with a masked and sponged area on them. They certainly do not all work the first time however which results in card bases with mistakes on them.  I can fix them by either covering the mistake with another layer or by cutting the card front up and attaching it onto a new card base. Either way the failed one layer often becomes a two or more layer.  I hate to waste a whole card base so that is what I usually do.  If the recipients of my cards peeled off the image layer off their cards and turned it over they might just see one of my mistakes!

What I have to show you today are a couple of one layers which became two layers! The errors this time were such that I cut the card base in half, turned it over and started again but still managed to create the clean look of a one layer card.  I masked an area and sponged in Saffron, Rose Red and Pumpkin then stamped my image and sentiment in Early Espresso.


Stamps: Trees (Darkroom Door), With Gratitude, Teeny Tiny Wishes (SU)
Inks: Early Espresso, So Saffron, Rose Red, Pumpkin Pie
Cardstock: Flourishes Classic Ivory, Chocolate Chip

Summer Haze

We have had some hot summer days this week; perhaps that is why I ended up stamping with warm yellows and reds again.  Each day this week I have dropped all my children off at camp and had the day to myself-a very rare occurrence. Each time I picked them up my son has asked whether I made a card and uploaded it.  Finally I have one.

I created the picture panel on white cardstock, masking the sun and sky first before sponging in summer sun, apricot and rose red.  I then created the hills with a curved mask and celery and summer sun inks.  The trees were stamped in black while the final  (lowest) mask was still in place. It is not clear in the photo but both the card base and olive strip are textured cardstock,

I hope you are enjoying some great weather wherever you are.  Thanks for dropping in today.


Stamps: Trees (Darkroom Door
Inks: Basic Black, Summer Sun,Apricot Appeal, Rose Red, Certainly Celery
Cardstock: Flourishes Classic White, Textured Summer Sun & Old Olive, Basic Black

Feeling Blue?

The challenge at Less is More this week is to use shades of blue.  I often do snow scenes with shades of blue so that is what I tried initially.  It seems that I am a seasonal stamper.  I could not managed a successful snow scene when it was 31°C outside!  I decided to stick with the landscape idea but forget the snow.  Although it still looks a little snowy it is meant to be a misty blue hillside.  I used Night of Navy for the trees, stamping the pale one without re-inking then a mix of blues for the sponging.

Speaking of shades of blue, I am not sure that this photo is exactly representative of my card.  I edited the photo on one computer, then went to two other computers to compare.  All the monitors in our house show the colours slightly differently.  Apparently what we need is a monitor calibrater. Who knew?


Stamps: Trees (Darkroom Door), Simple Sayings 2
Inks: Night of Navy, Bashful Blue, Brocade Blue
Cardstock: Whisper White, Night of Navy, Flourishes Classic White

Under a tree

With the busyness of the end of the school year there hasn’t been much time to stamp of late.  When I sat down to create something the other night I was somewhat lacking in ideas.  A little bit of time spent on other people’s inspiring blogs helped but I think I am out of practice.  Hopefully now that the summer holidays have officially begun you will see a little more action here on bits & pieces.

To create this card I pulled out another tree from the Darkroom Door Trees set.  I think I’ve tried three out of the four now.  I like the wide spread of this tree so went for a wide card base and a quote which matched also.  The sponging was done with a post it note mask placed twice.


Stamps: Trees (Darkroom Door)
Inks: Chocolate Chip, Pumpkin Pie, Summer Sun, Certainly Celery
Cardstock: Whisper White, Certainly Celery, Chocolate Chip textured

Misty Trees

This is my second card using the beautiful tree set from Darkroom Door stamps.  I know the snow has gone but I couldn’t resist a snow scene with my new trees.  I created a slightly foggy scene by using grey and blue to sponge the snow and sky.


Stamps: Trees (Darkroom Door), Ageless Adornment (SU)
Inks: Basic Black, Going Gray, Brocade Blue
Cardstock: Flourishes Classic White, Going Gray, Brocade Blue, Basic Black

Through the Darkroom Door

Browsing through the Clean and Simple gallery at Splitcoast one day I came across a beautiful card featuring some lovely floral stamps I had never seen before.  I did a little searching and discovered a company selling very original and artistic stamps which I knew I just had to have.  The company is Darkroom Door and is based in Australia.  After some serious analysis I narrowed my first order down to three stamp sets and waited impatiently for them to arrive. It was after placing my order I noticed that Darkroom Door is five minutes away from where my brother lives.  So I guess I know what I’ll be telling my family I’d like for Christmas!

The first set I cracked open was the tree set, hardly surprising for me.  I decided to try a spring scene to match what I see outside these days.  My daughter said it looked like an orchard so, an orchard it is, at sunrise with the mist rising and a golden tinge spreading across the hills.  There are four trees in the set but I  repeated only one for this card, using close to cocoa for the trees at the back and chocolate chip for the foreground.


Stamps: Trees (Darkroom Door)
Inks: Certainly Celery, Always Artichoke, Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa, Summer Sun, Bashful Blue
Cardstock: Flourishes Classic White, Always Artichoke, Chocolate Chip
Also: NaturaCotton twine