Fern and floral art journal page

Recently when I was making a card with the new Penny Black stamps, ‘garden variety’ and ‘fresh fern’ I also began an art journal page. I really need to be braver with my art journal, I tend to reach for the same mediums that I use all the time in my cards. Today’s journal page was not particularly adventurous but I did pull out my box of pastes, gels and mixed mediums only to find several of them had dried up completely in their containers while others that used to be thick had turned to liquid. Those ones got tossed but a jar of distress collage medium came in handy along with some modelling paste. I think they might have both done the same job in the end.

I’m still working in my Fabriano art journals made up of drawing paper so I’m trying not to rely on my watercolour habits and techniques. I began as usual by taping the edges of the pages both to keep the book open and to create an attractive frame.

I inked the garden variety stamp with tangelo, northern pine and rosebud memento inks, spritzed it and stamped on the pages multiple times. I did first and second generation stamping to get both bold and pale prints. Then, feeling all brave and mixed media-ish I coloured some modelling paste with peanut brittle memento ink and applied it around the edges with a little plastic applicator (an old bank/library card would do). This step didn’t really yield the results I wanted but it was all in the spirit of experimentation so on I went.

I hadn’t used tissue paper in a while so I scrounged through our wrapping paper box and found some white, stamped the fresh fern in rich cocoa memento ink then tore it into sections before gluing it on the journal pages with collage medium. The tissue became almost transparent which gave the flowers behind a soft pearly look. I stamped the verse from 1 Corinthians on tissue too and glued it down in the same way replacing the first word, ‘love’ with a die cut.

I would love to know if you have an art journaller you admire. I am a big fan of Vicky Papaioannou and have watched many if not all her art journaling videos. I am interested to know what gels, pastes and mediums people use for what purposes. Which are best for resist effects, which are great for gluing, etc. Please share any recommendations you have.

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Ferns on ferns

After I had added some ferns to a recent floral card I knew the PB ‘fresh fern’ stamp wanted to be the star of its own card. I started by making this card and just kept on playing with the fern stamp and a variety of blue and green inks.

On the card above I stamped with forest moss, chipped sapphire and lucky clover then blended inside the fronds with a fine tip paintbrush and water. I overlapped some of the ferns and added some diluted ink around the ferns once I’d filled the panel. This one is finished with a sentiment from PB ‘family sentiments.’

I think this second card is my favourite; I know it is very diluted and abstract but the glimpses of fern appeal to me even more than whole fern images. I stuck with forest moss and chipped sapphire because they are always winners and added iced spruce. I stamped on partly wet watercolour paper and dabbed the stamping dry before repeating the process.

The hot pressed watercolour panel had masking fluid splattered on it before I started so that’s why there are white dots here and there. I finished this one off with a stamp from the PB ‘inspirational sentiments’ set.

I added even more water to this next panel. As with the previous one I had masking fluid dots on the watercolour paper and worked with chipped sapphire, forest moss and stormy sky ink. After each print I painted water over the whole panel which spread some ink over the background and left some staining the paper. On the last two prints I didn’t blend with a paint brush so the ferns just softened on the damp paper.

I finished this one off by stamping the sentiment from PB ‘pansy gaze’ in versafine clair shady lane ink. After completing this one I thought I should stop diluting everything and stay inside the lines, just to see how it looked.

Same three inks and a size 0 paintbrush were all I needed for this very clean print of the ‘fresh fern. I popped a sentiment from PB ‘million thanks’ up over the tip of the fern and kept it all very simple.

So tell me, which one suits you? Blended and blurry or crisp and clean?

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Garden Variety

I’m enjoying having new flowers to arrange, stamp-wise, that is. Penny Black’s new ‘Daydream collection has some lovely floral stamps including the ‘garden variety’ I’ve used for today’s card alongside ‘fresh fern’, another new one. I used distress inks and markers to ink the stamps; I generally pick at least two colours for the flowers and two colours for the foliage then give the stamp a spritz so the inks begin to blend.

Once I’ve stamped the images I decide whether to blend further with a paint brush and water, for this card I kept it minimal but sometimes I do more blending for a looser watery look. I stamped the ferns after the flowers which required some partial stamping and as well as a little masking to make the ferns appear to be behind.

I finished the panel off with splatter then stamped a sentiment and stacked it up on three layers. I have an art journal page in process with the ‘garden variety’ stamp which I will hopefully finish and share with you next week.

Have a great day; thanks for spending some of it here on the blog with me.

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Christmas Stars

Last month I made a shaker card with five star cuts outs and sparkly sequins and beads inside to shake around. As the stars were cut out of a watercoloured panel I saved them for another project. My friend Stamping Matilda does this every weekend, her Sunday posts are called ‘Sunday Scraps’ and she features leftovers from that week in a new card or project. I don’t do that anywhere near as often but occasionally I have some scraps, like these stars, which inspire me to turn them into something new. I’m also committed to making a few Christmas cards every month so I don’t leave it all to the last few months of the year.

I used two of the cut out stars as backgrounds for some Christmas themed silhouette stamping, backed them with blue foam then mounted them on embossed backgrounds. On the card above I stamped the Bethlehem scene from the PB ‘lighting the way’ set along with a sentiment from PB ‘Christmas sentiments’. The embossed background was made with neenah solar white cardstock in the Tim Holtz ‘snowflakes – speckles’ embossing folder.

This smaller star was big enough to feature the dove from the PB ‘joy filled’ set and I added sentiment from the PB ‘holiday snippets’ set underneath in versafine clair purple delight ink. The embossed background was made with the ‘allegro’ embossing folder which has been sitting around since my cuttlebug days.

The star dies from We R Memory Keepers seem to be retired but I linked to some similar dies in the supply list below. The original shaker card these stars were cut from contained five stars but I deemed two too small to use. I did stamp the remaining star and it auditioned for a spot on a card but didn’t make the cut. You know it happens sometimes!

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Daydream Watercoloured Flowers -Video

Penny Black has a new release called ‘Daydream’ and it’s filled with spring goodness. I guess many of us start daydreaming about spring in February. The stamp featured in my card today is called ‘daydream’ and I’ve paired it up with a new die, ‘thanks & hello’.

I’m enjoying working with the Karin brushmarkers both for watercolouring line images and for inking stamps. In today’s video I ink the stamp with four markers but my technique is slightly different to my usual method and involves some ‘water stamping’

In the video below you can see why the juicy Karin markers are perfect for this technique. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, a little ink goes a long way. I’m looking forward to trying this technique again on a different stamp with even less ink for a paler more subtle look.

I chose to keep the panel simple on a white background but you could add a pale wash before starting or do some second generation stamping for background flowers. Maybe I’ll try that next.

This blue which has a hint of purple is my favourite blue. It reminds me of cornflowers which featured in my bridal bouquet and was the colour of my bridesmaid’s skirts.

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Faith & floral journal page

I know it is not spring yet, in fact it is still very winter where I am; we’ve had some of our coldest days and nights just in the last few days. Maybe because it’s so cold now is a nice time to muse about spring.

Sometimes I have a plan for a journal page, other times I work it out as I go along. To begin this one I painted absorbant ground on the journal double page. It is a base preparation a bit like gesso which makes the paper act a little more like watercolour paper. I should probably just switch to a journal with watercolour paper pages but I stubbornly want to keep adding to the this one.

Once the base dried I stamp the Penny Black ‘springtime sigh’ stamp in one corner then coloured with Arteza real brush pens. The colouring is not precise, the surface doesn’t react the same as watercolour paper but I found blending with very little water gave me the most control.

I stamped first with Gina K skeleton leaves amalgam ink which I have used for no-line watercolour in the past but it remained too distinct on the journal page so I switched to antique linen which worked a bit better. I restamped and coloured springtime sigh several times then decided I wanted fewer little flowers to colour! I switched to the new Penny Black ‘illustrious’ stamp which co-ordinated well. I don’t know for sure but I wonder if both stamps were drawn by the same artist, the scale and style is similar.

When stamping the ‘illustrious’ stamp I was able to ink most of the stamp with Arteza real brush pens which cut down on the colouring. I still used antique linen ink on the large open leaves then blended with a marker to shade the leaves. When I had almost framed the double page spread I switched to the PB ‘tranquil buds’ stamp to add some lavender.

Next came the tricky stage when I had to decide what was happening with the empty area of the journal page. Writing, stamping, hand lettering or empty space were all options. I decided a bit of ‘filler’ in the shape of a text stamp would be nice and instead of the large script one I often use I chose the smaller typed text stamp from the PB ‘footnotes’ set. I stamped it here, there and everywhere in old paper ink, often spritzing with water before stamping so it just stamped a blurry pattern. I also added splatter then chose a phrase from the new PB ‘inspirational sentiments’ set.

Is that cute notebook die-cut covering a failed stamping attempt? Yes it is but I’m quite happy with that because the notebook page looks sweet. I cut it with a die from the PB ‘a pocket full’ set. I love how this page turned out even though I had no idea at the beginning it would progress this way. That’s the beauty of a journal page.

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Freshly cut flowers

I’ve teamed up with the Foiled Fox again to share a post on their blog. If you pop over there you can read all the process details for this floral card featuring a stamp and a die from Penny Black.

This stamp is called Fresh Cut and it is a rubber cling stamp of five long stem roses. I did some masking and partial stamping to fill the corner of my panel with eleven orange roses. I guess I should have added one more to have a dozen!

You might recognise the background style on this card; it is inspired by some of Jill Foster’s amazing cards for Penny Black. Because all those roses make the panel a little busy I separated the stacked die-cut words from the roses with a piece of vellum, just to make it easier to read. Don’t forget to visit the Foiled Fox blog today for all the details and while you are there browse awhile for more inspiration.

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Rose Dance on black

Today’s rosy card features just a portion of the Penny Black rubber cling stamp, ‘rose dance’. I’ve been creating with this stamp for a couple of days, coming up with different ways to use it. It is quite a large stamp, 6″ x 4″ but you don’t need to use the whole stamp on a card. I used only a section to create an embossed white border on a square panel of black watercolour paper.

I painted the outline design with Finetec Mica Pearlescent watercolours; I didn’t spend much time being detailed or doing blending because the pearlescent on black is very pretty without too much fussing. I wish you could see the shimmer a little better in the photo but trust me it is there in real life.

I embossed a sentiment from the PB special sentiments set in Brutus Monroe alabaster ink and popped the panel up on two pieces of black cardstock to lift it above the card base. And you might have noticed I remembered to make a matching envelope this time.

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Flower truck…is coming

Not my usual style, you know I don’t often take the cute route (pun intended) but this little truck really appealed to me. As I worked on this card and looked through my dies for flowers I realised I could also turn it into an icecream truck or a pumpkin truck and maybe a postal delivery truck.

My initial plan was to die cut everything from kraft cardstock except for the flowers but once I’d done the truck and flowers I decided to add more colour with a picket fence and some clouds on a bright blue background. I used a blending brush to add ‘brushed corduroy’ distress ink around all the pieces of the truck and ‘mermaid lagoon’ around the blue panel. I’ve listed all the dies below; as you can imagine the fiddliness factor on this card was high but I persevered and the satisfaction factor is also high.

I haven’t added a sentiment but feel that it could be good for many occasions so I will wait and see. I’d be happy to see a truck bursting with flowers in my driveway right about now when everything is covered in snow.

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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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