If you have a garden…

The rest of the quote says, ‘… and a library you have everything you need.’ My art journal is pretty much all book or flower related pages; I guess there is room for a new inspiration. Currently with a garden that is looking promising and an online course newly launched you could say flowers are on my mind.

The background for this page was created months ago when I was making subtle backgrounds for a few cards. Instead of swiping a whole panel through waterbased inks I was inking a piece of acetate then spritzing it and swiping it on a stamped panel. I opened a spread in the art journal and swiped the acetate across the pages a few times to leave some ink there. I don’t remember the exact colours but the smooshed ink covered the lower half of the pages in blue, green, yellow and pale orange. Last week I pulled it out again and turned the page into a messy garden.

As I said the lower half of the pages is smooshed ink. The upper half is broken china distress inks applied with a blending brush. The flowers are a mix of silhouette stamps from Darkroom Door’s ‘you are everything’ and ‘wildflowers vol 2’ sets. I inked with papertrey ink cubes, spritzed the stamp and stamped on the pages. Sometimes I blended the stamped ink, other times not. To make the blue flowers stand out a bit more I painted blue gouache paint over the stamping. The gouache works well on the journal pages so you will probably see more.

Once all the flowers were added I stamped the DD ‘scratches’ background stamp in black on the lower section of the page and added black and white splatter all over. I added the quote with a black gel pen. If you are in my Floral Faves online class you might this was inspired by one of the projects in lesson 3.

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2021 Bujo – March to do list

This is the last of my birch themed pages, photographed before I added all the to-dos and wishes. We are two thirds of the way through March and I’d like to say I have done two thirds of the things I added to this list but sadly that is not true!

I used the same technique for this page that I described in previous birch + sunset posts here and here. One unexpected outcome of reusing the post-it tapes for four different pages was some pretty blue, pink and yellow tape to use on another page! Seeing I am primarily a card maker I plan to create a card using this technique and hopefully a video to show you the process.

Thanks for dropping by.

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2021 Bujo – March daily record

I’ve continued the birches + sunset theme on the month record spread. This is the page where I record day to day things, some in advance as reminders, but mostly afterwards so I can look back and see what I cooked last week or how long it is since I went for a run!

As I mentioned on my title page post last weekend we still have snow around here so this theme is currently appropriate. In the last week however we’ve had several warm days so I am thinking April’s theme might include flowers or leaves! For this spread I used the same method as for the title page where I masked trees and branches with post-it tape, masked a hill at the base then blended memento ink over the masking to create a sunset sky. After removing the post-it tape I outlined the edges of the the trees, added markings and branches in black then shading with a grey marker.

The layout is one week per trimmed page; you can see on the photo below that I cut off a portion of two pages so I would have ample room to write daily notes and still see the birches from each page.

I reduced the amount of habit tracking this month as I already have app on my phone to record water consumption and one for any exercise I do. Tracking things in two places isn’t really worth my time. I mentioned when I first wrote about this bullet journal that I want the practice of bullet journaling to help me stay on top of things rather than just be a pretty notebook. Do you keep track on paper or digitally or maybe a mix of the two like me?

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2021 BuJo – March title page

Although it’s been a few weeks since I posted any bullet journal pages here on the blog, the journal is turning out to be a handy record and planner for me. So far I have done more recording than planning as I am still working out how to use it for keeping track of ongoing projects. I have been recording all the evening meals we’ve been cooking and eating which is really helpful when I am trying to work out what to make next. All four of us take turns cooking which I love but it is sometimes a little tricky as we have a range of food sensitivities and allergies to take into account, some with serious health consequences.

As you can imagine I am also keeping track of books I’ve read and thinking about keeping track of podcasts too. Some podcasts are long time favourites while there are others I subscribe and unsubscribe from as my interest waxes and wanes.

But here is my March theme, a sunset behind birch trees in snow. I have been seeing themes on the interwebs featuring blossoms and flowers but that is not a March thing where I live. We still have plenty of snow and have been enjoying some amazing sunsets so I decided on one more wintery theme.

I masked the edges of a rectangle with post it notes top and sides then cut a curved edge along one for the bottom mask. I masked the trees by cutting strips of post-it tape in different thicknesses including some very thin scraps to lay on the page as branches. With the masks in place I used blending brushes to apply the inks shown below to fill the sky. To get some pattern in my sunset sky I tore some post-it edges and blended ink over the top of the first layer along the torn edges moving them around to get the look of clouds.

Once all the sky was done I removed the bottom mask and put a different one in place to blend a snow bank shadow. I then removed all the tree masks and drew edges and black marks with a black Pilot fineliner then some grey shadows with a staedtler brushpen.

I’ll be back next weekend with other birch sunset themed pages. I’m continuing to be a fan of the Dingbats notebook I’m using and was given another for my birthday which is just as lovely. They have just this week come out with a new, bigger style with thicker paper, so who knows I might have to let that one join the family one day too!

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2021 BuJo – February pages

We are still in the thick of winter here in Canada so I chose a northern lights theme for my February journal pages. Like last month I masked a shape and did all the blending inside the shape. This time I masked a square and positioned a hilly mask to create a horizon. I used Papertrey Ink cubes and makeup brushes to blend the sky.

After blending a bold blue, green and purple sky I moved the horizon mask lower to lightly blend a snowbank shadow then positioned a die-cut mask for a deer and blended blue, then black through that. I did film the process just to give you an idea. It’s portrait orientation for instagram and it is 4x normal speed but you can see the steps.

Below are a couple more February pages completed using the same theme. As you can imagine the combination wish list and to-do list took a lot of ink blending which ended up being visible through the paper on the next page. Maybe they bled through because I used more ink on this page for greater depth of colour or maybe these inks are juicier than distress inks; I’m not sure but you can see the bleed through if you look at the February calendar page in the next photo. I’m not too worried about the bleed through, once I have recorded things on the calendar page it will be less obvious I imagine.

I used Stabilo point 88 finelines for the lettering once again but do intend to try some other pens I have on hand (confession – I have many types of pens and markers on hand!)

Last month I did a modified version of the traditional 7 x 6 grid for the January calendar page and a separate habit tracking page. This month I combined the calendar and habit tracker on a list style page. I will record any appointments and outings (you know, the exciting ones like the grocery store) on the left hand side and note down what we cooked, how much water I drank and whether I took all my vitamins on the right hand side. Do you struggle to drink enough water each day? I am the worst in my family but I have become much better since I put a reminder app on my phone. I also am quite good taking my supplements at breakfast but not so good the rest of the day!

I have a couple more pages to get done for February which I hope to share next week. Thanks for dropping by. Let me know if you are a bullet journal user; I’d love to hear what you use it for.

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Shimmer trees

The pearlescent paints and black watercolour paper are still on my work table so I’ve continued to experiment with them. To create this little scene I taped all four sides of a square panel with painter’s tape to mask off the area in the centre. The surface of the black watercolour paper is very soft and likely to lift when tape is removed so I press the tape against my clothing before using it so it is less tacky and when it comes to removal I heat it with a heat tool as I slowly peel it off.

I painted the snowy ground and circle moon first with silver pearl from the Finetec Artist Mica set of 12, then the foliage of the trees with blue green, moss green and midnight blue from the Coliro Ocean set of 6. The tree trunks are chocolate from the Coliro Earth set. I finished by dotting stars over the sky with Sakura gelly roll pens then wrote the words ‘thank you’ with a very fine nib and the same moss green pearlescent paint.

I hope you are having a relaxing few days as the year winds down. We are back in lockdown in Ontario so life is very quiet; I’m continuing to get the word out about the Dressember Campaign. My fundraising total has grown to $1962.10 and tomorrow, December 29 is a matching day, so if you’d like to donate, tomorrow is a great day to do it. Donations in Canada will be matched up to $50, 000 starting at 9am PT on Tuesday Dec 29.

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Wreath & Wings

I’ve combined a new PB stamp, ‘wreath & wings’ with a new PB die, ‘mirthful’ for simple elegant style Christmas card.

I used distress inks and markers to ink the wreath elements and birds, keeping the stamp in the positioner so I could work a bit at a time. I inked the stamp, stamped the image then did a bit of blending with a paintbrush to fill the leaves, berries and birds.

I used a gold gel pen to colour some of the berries then continued the gold highlights in the die cut word. The die has decorative diamond cut outs so I cut gold ones to add to the burgandy letters and framed the panel in the same burgandy cardstock.

For the second card I decided to use the curve of the wreath as a hanging garland. Using a centering ruler to help me with positioning I stamped half the wreath on the centre top edge of the watercolour panel, then stamped another part loop either side.

Once again I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper so I could blend the ink on the leaves. I used ocean coliro pearlescent paint on some of the leaves and berries for a little shimmer.

I wrote the sentiment for this one using the darkest blue marker from the Staedtler watercolour 36 brush pen set and matted the panel in a dark blue cardstock.

Even though I don’t like to over do my designs I’m wondering if the blue card is a bit sparsely decorated. What do you think?

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Masked hand painted circle

A few weeks ago I posted a floral wreath I’d painted and asked your opinion on adding a sentiment. In the end I didn’t risk stamping or writing one because I didn’t want to spoil the finished wreath with an inky mistake. So….can you guess why I have a large sentiment strip stuck across this floral circle I painted?

To create the floral circle I drew a circle in pencil on cold pressed watercolour paper then painted liquid frisket (masking fluid) to a width of about half an inch around the outside of the circle. I used my Sennelier watercolours to paint three large roses first then moved onto other flowers, leaves and berries until the circle was fairly full. With a random design like this one whether it is painted or stamped it makes sense to start with the largest images to make sure you can fit them in then finish off will little leaves, dots or tiny flowers to fill any spaces at the end.

Once the painted circle was complete I practiced a ‘happy birthday’ greeting on scraps of watercolour paper with my nib pen and some black ink until I was happy with the size and style. I had only written 2½ letters before a large blob of black ink landed on the panel where the letter ‘p’ should have been! As you probably guessed that is the reason I have a large birthday banner obscuring some of my pretty flowers.

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A happy anniversary

What a treat it was to design and make this card at the request of a friend of mine. Her daughter, also a friend of mine celebrated the 20th anniversary of her adoption day yesterday so an extra special card was needed. Inspired once again by the beautiful round card made by Peet Roeven I chose the PB stamp ‘spontaneous joy’ and a red and gold colour scheme. I worked in a stamp positioner to add colour to the flowers gradually beginning with worn lipstick distress ink for the petals then candied apple distress ink for extra depth and shadow. I blended a little with a paintbrush and water but I didn’t want to lose the detail by blending over all the stamping.

I used mowed lawn and peeled paint distress ink for the stems and leaves; two greens adds interest even on those small areas. I added black dots to the centres of the flowers then some gold dots with finetec pearlescent paint. To finish it off I splattered some of the same gold paint. I have been pulling out my finetec paints quite often recently, not so much for the main elements but for details and finishing touches. I used the same gold and a pen & nib to write my own sentiment strip.

While all the inks were out I stamped a flower on a second panel of watercolour paper and on an envelope. I used a set of circle dies to cut the main panel and back panels into large circles and to cut a circle out of the centre of the front panel. I used a piece of embossed gold cardstock to cut extra circles and the number ’20’ using the PB ‘numbers’ die set.

To assemble the card I scored across the top of the the back circle, applied adhesive above the score line and attached the two panels together. Having the score line on the back panel means the front decorative panel doesn’t need to bend at all. I also sliced a very slim bit of the bottom of the back circle so the card will stand up and not roll away!

Thanks for dropping by today, I hope you have a lovely weekend.

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Autumn Bliss

This card is one of those rare ones where the end result is very close to the dreamed up idea.

I started by masking a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper with tape. I taped it into the stamp positioner using the grid lines as guides to get it straight and, wonder of wonders, it actually ended up straight. I stamped the pumpkins from the PB ‘autumn bliss’ set in Gina K’s jet black amalgam ink. I bought the amalgam so I could compare it to my current fave black, versafine clair nocturne. The amalgam stamped well and dried quickly but I didn’t find it superior to the versafine clair.

I wanted bold bright colours and wondered which of my watercolour mediums would give me that result. I settled on my Dr Ph Martin’s Hydrus liquid watercolours. They are definitely bold and bright! Of course they can be diluted for a softer look but I was happy to make the most of their vibrancy. Even though I put barely a drop of each colour on my palette I still ended up with more than I needed. I tried to limit my colour scheme by mixing some of my own colours. I started with gamboge and brilliant cad red for the middle pumpkin and painted all but the flowers. I then mixed the gamboge with the brilliant cad red for the left hand pumpkin and again painted all but the leaves. It was very tricky avoiding the leaves especially before I realised that I had my reading glasses on instead of my stronger ‘art glasses’. Sadly my art glasses are becoming my reading glasses so in the new year I am hoping to get some new ‘art glasses’ to help me see and paint all the fiddly bits. The right hand pumpkin is brill cad red and Venetian brown.

With my art glasses on I painted all the leaves and stalks with a green made by mixing gamboge with ultramarine. The flowers on the middle pumpkin I painted in a diluted deep red rose/ultramarine mix. I added little dots of gold to the right hand pumpkin using finetec pearlescent ink then used a rosy colour from the same set to add shimmer to the flowers. If I did the pumpkins again I think I would paint them one solid colour first with a little shadow and shading then use the pearlescent inks over the top to add all the flowers and leaves. The pearlescent inks are opaque and would not have let the underneath colour show through.

After all the pumpkin decorating, I painted the background with ultramarine. If you have masked with tape before you will know how satisfying it can be to peel back the tape to reveal crisp straight edges and also how frustrating when some paint has seeped underneath. Well, again, wonder of wonders, no seepage! Now, the last wonder of wonders is really the biggest. I occasionally do my own calligraphy sentiments, more often than not it does not end up straight, neat or the right size so I end up cutting the painted panel off and attaching it to a whole new panel in order to get rid of the messed up sentiment. This time I ruled my pencil lines, practiced the sentiment on a scrap, wrote it in pencil on the panel and finally wrote it with pointed pen in a mix of ultramarine and pearlescent ink. The next step was key; I have messed it up in the past. I left the room and went and had my lunch, that way I was not tempted to erase the pencil before the writing was dry, dry dry! I used one of those nifty battery operated erasers to gently erase all the pencil and then did a happy dance!

I hope you don’t think I am overdoing it in my satisfaction with this card, I know it’s nothing out of the ordinary, it’s just that it could have gone wrong in quite a few places but happily it didn’t.

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