Winter Tree art journal page

I continue to create and experiment in my 6×6 art journal, definitely inspired by the current season and view. When I started this page I had a technique in mind but no picture in my head of how it might turn out. I couldn’t be happier with the end result!

I am trying a range of techniques and methods in my art journals because that is what they’re for and because I have a series of workshops coming up this year (temporarily postponed until restrictions change). On this spread I started by layering and gluing torn papers on the pages. I pulled blue pieces from my considerable stash of papers, some old (Penny Black 6×6 packs) and some new (decorative rice paper) along with Dina Wakley printed white collage paper. After gluing the strips here and there I added modeling past through a stencil and let that dry.

Over the papers and paste I painted white gesso and then a couple of blues from Dina Wakley’s acrylic selection. You can see some of the patterns show through from the papers and in real life you can also see the texture from the stencilled paste. I added stamping in blue and white with Darkroom Door background stamps, ‘snow flakes’ and ‘French Script’.

I had started the page with a vague idea of adding a picture from a Christmas card or magazine. In choosing the tree picture you see included I fell down a rabbit hole of memories going through boxes of saved cards! I have saved cards since childhood and I was sorting and reading for quite a while. I didn’t open every single card but I found some adorable and hilarious cards made by my children and some I taught in school, I also found many sweet notes in cards from my parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents. The picture I chose of the single tree on a snowy hill was in a Christmas card from a sweet friend.

It is worth noting at this point that I didn’t plan this layout or have this card on hand when I started the painting so the colours did not match perfectly. You know how I feel about the matchy-matchy so I ended up adding paint to the sky around the tree to make the blue a bit more purply and less aqua. I also extended the scene by turning a white area that was already on the page into a clearly defined snowy hill. I used a white gel pen to add more foliage to carry the scene off the little square onto my page. I finished off the page with some die cut Penny Black snowflakes.

I know that is a lot of description that would be better understood with video footage but it didn’t happen this time. As I continue to make pages I will try to capture some of them on film.

Do you save the cards you are given? Do you put them to use making something new? Just wondering…

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Rustic Birdhouse

When I do any art journalling these days I do so with a large sheet of watercolour paper on my work surface. It is not the most expensive brand and it does have a bit of texture, currently I am using Canson XL. As I create any blending off the edge of an element ink ends up on the large sheet. Excess paint or ink is wiped off on the sheet. I try out a pen, ink or marker on the sheet to make sure it is the colour I want and has plenty of juice left in it. Consequently pattern and colour builds up on the sheet over time as journal projects are finished.

The most recent page I made involved brown and black paints so I often wiped the brush off on the large sheet. When painting strips of paper for tree trunks I lay those strips on the large sheet. I ended up with a rough painted area resembling woodgrain so I cut it off the larger sheet and die cut birdhouses from it with the PB ‘rustic birdhouse’ die.

I die-cut the frames from deep red and petrol blue, blended ink on white die-cut birds then put together two birdhouses.

The large piece of ‘clean-up/practice’ paper provided me with unique patterned paper for the birdhouses. The embossed background was created with the ‘evergreen forest 3D folder’ from SU.

Happy New Year everyone, I’m looking forward to sharing all sorts of things here on the blog this year and I can’t wait to chat with you along the way.

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Brilliance and Joy

Today’s cards are similar to a recent collection I posted stamped with the delicate pines stamp. I created eight cards this time and repeated some designs because I’m getting down to the wire with these last cards.

I stamped the ‘brilliance’ foliage stamp on a large 11″x14″ cold press watercolour panel in rustic wilderness and peeled paint inks. I blended the leaves with water and with a gold wink of stella pen so some have some shine.

I played around with a few options for colouring the berries but ended up leaving them green. Red paint pen was not bad but not better and vanilla sparkle embossing powder didn’t work either, so green and natural they stayed. I used a few dies from Penny Black and a sentiment strip from Taylored Expressions and eight more cards were completed. Some were sent straight away and didn’t even make it to the photo shoot!

I have received some lovely cards this week from across the city, country and world. Thank you so much for brightening my day and inspiring my creativity.

By the way, we have added another Art Journal Adventure workshop at Crop A While on Saturday January 22. Click here for more information

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Rustic Wreath

When I am designing classes, both online and in-person it can take many days and many samples before I settle on a collection of projects. This card is one that did not end up in a class but I love the rustic textured look of it.

I used two circle dies to cut a kraft ring as the base of my wreath. I stamped the background with the Darkroom Door ‘woodgrain’ stamp and a few brown inks. To create the holly leaves and berries I painted a few strips of watercolour paper with greens and also a strip of red then hand cut the leaves and punched out the berries. To fill out the wreath I used some Penny Black die cut twigs and berries in brown and gold.

The sentiment is from Taylored Expressions; I used the very handy stamp and die sentiment strips combo. My daughter joined me on Monday afternoon and we had fun decking the tree and living area. I now have a decorated wreath hanging over my fire place and greenery hanging either side of the front door.

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Christmas baubles

Here are a few more cards made from patterned panels I had sitting around. The panels were very pretty experiments using brusho, paint poring and alcohol inks but at the time I made them I didn’t have a plan for them. Last week they came into their own when paired with Penny Black dies and a few of my favourite embossing folders.

The background above is from an acrylic paint pouring day I had with a friend. The result looked like peacock feathers but works well as a northern night sky too.

The purple panels above and below right were brusho & cling wrap on photo paper another technique taught to me by a friend.

The blue background below is alcohol ink; you probably recognise the patterns made possible with just one or two colours plus some isopropyl alcohol.

The dies are listed below and the embossing folders are a mix of currrent and retired. Above is ‘weathered’ from Taylored Expressions. The tiny squares folder is a retired Spellbinders one (SEL 006), the woodgrain is Tim Holtz/Sizzix also retired but there are plenty of new options around. The Tim Holtz/Sizzix Snowfall fade folder at the top of the page is still available and I often reach for it.

I enjoyed using some scraps and samples that were too pretty to throw away to make simple but unique Christmas cards. I think I almost have enough for this year so I will start next year’s stack early!

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Nestled in Winter

Although I see the beautiful contrast of foliage and snow outside I am not seeing many birds on the feeder right now. Instead I have placed a very cute robin in amongst the wintery Christmas foliage of an art journal page.

This isn’t just any art journal page; this spread is in a new journal I have been using for the last few months as I schemed and dreamed up a new in-person class for 2022. It isn’t just a class it’s an Art Journal Adventure.

To create this double page spread in the Dina Wakley 6″x6″ mixed media journal I used acrylic paints, distress spray and some ‘easy to find around the home’ texture tools. All the die cuts are from Penny Black and are listed below.

To keep things within an acceptable level of fiddliness I die cut all the foliage from coloured cardstock and painted only the the little bird. To see more of my ideas in a promo for the upcoming class watch the video below.

I know this is an in-person (in Ottawa) class which excludes quite a few of you but if you are interested in seeing something like this in an online version please let me know in the comments.

If you have hints for attracting birds in winter please let me know. I imagine it has a bit to do with being consistent in keeping the feeder stocked before winter and maybe something to do with keeping the chipmunks and squirrels off it too!

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Trees on Alcohol Ink backgrounds

Today’s additions to the Christmas card stack are on alcohol ink backgrounds. If you have been visiting my blog for a while you will have seen the backgrounds before. I posted the panels back in June and asked you all for your thoughts on how to use them. Some of you suggested adding a quote or verse, others thought they would be good as backgrounds for cards. I liked both ideas but have chosen to cut up two of the panels for cards.

The backgrounds on the three cards above are all from one panel; I popped them up on the card base and added trees. As there was gilded alloy alcohol ink on the original design I cut the centre of the modern trees from gold shimmer cardstock.

The backgrounds on the two cards below are cut from another panel. You can see where they joined up originally.

All the die-cut elements are neenah solar white cardstock (and the shimmer gold) and the card bases are also neenah solar white. This is as close to mass production as I get, same basic design but some variety within the backgrounds and added elements.

I thought about adding sentiments, just little ones below the panels but decided I liked them plain and simple. I’ll add a sentiment inside and hopefully they’ll be written and posted this week!

There are a few more alcohol ink pieces plus some paint pour scraps that have become backgrounds for die-cuts. They are still in process on my work table so you’ll see them soon.

Have a great day!

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Delicate Pines – 9 Ways!

Welcome to a long post with quite a few photos!

When I last counted up the names on my Christmas card list and the number of cards I have completed the two numbers were not close to matching. I decided a quick way to grow the stack of cards would be to stamp a big panel then slice it up to make several cards.

Turns out this idea was not all that quick. It took a while to make these cards because although they are from the same stamped panel, they are still all different. The photo above shows the original panel stamped with Penny Black’s new ‘delicate pines’ set of 3 stamps and two Catherine Pooler inks. After the stamping I added ink splatter then gold paint splatter.

I kept the deckle edge on the 11″x14″ cold pressed watercolour panel and sliced up the panel lengthwise first. A,B & C are all 4¼” wide, D,E & F are all 4″ wide which left G,H & I all 2¾” wide. Below are all the finished cards. I used some pale gold, Bazzill avocado green and kraft cardstocks for the die cuts and framing. I used versafine clair rainforest ink to add sentiments and some linen twine here and there. All the cards are shown below with the size of the stamped panel portion included underneath (all the finished cards are 4¼”x 5½”)

A. 4¼ x 4½

B. 4¼ x 5½

C. 4¼ x 4⅛

D. 4 x 5¼

E. 4 x 5¼

F. 4 x 3½

G. 2¾ x 4¼

H. 2¾ x 4¼

I. 2¾ x 5½

The finished cards above are in the places that correspond to the labelled photo up at the beginning of the post. I had them laid out on a cutting mat on the floor beside me as I put them all together so I didn’t get them mixed up. I wanted you to see how I used each size in a different way.

I hope you find some inspiration from these cards. Remember that three of my online classes are on sale until the end of November. Use the code HTNOV to get a 25% discount on the Floral Faves classWinter Wonder class and the Colour Clues class.

The stores I have affiliate links with are also having sales right now (isn’t everyone?) I have put the links in the right hand side bar of the blog for easy access. Just click on the store name and start shopping!

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Back on Craft Roulette

I was once again a guest crafter on Craft Roulette last Friday night and it was loads of fun. Mary Gunn, the host keeps the action going with crafting, chatting, and sharing over eighty card samples made by viewers. To see Mary and I chat and create pop over to the Craft Roulette youtube channel. (To just watch the card making part you can skip to 55:11)

Craft Roulette is a crafting game show where a wheel is spun four times to choose four parameters which must be used on the project being created live during the show. Last Friday the parameters were:

Card type: ‘Lil Chubby’ ( like a slimline but wider)

Colour choice: Warm colours

Element: ‘It’s a sign’

Random: Crumpled paper

The finished card is 4″x 8″ with a blended background that I patterned with a wet crumpled tissue. The colours are warm and that banner die looks like a ‘sign’ to me so I squeaked it in.

It was lovely to see some familiar names in the chat, encouraging me and asking questions. Thank you Karen for staying up late in Wales to watch. I didn’t see all the chat because, well, I had to do some crafting but I was able to read some of it. My dad watched from Australia and was chatting along.

There is definitely an added pressure when crafting live but it is all great fun and the community is such a friendly supportive one. If you have never watched Craft Roulette, I highly recommend!

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2021 BuJo – October theme

I had no trouble choosing a theme for October in my bullet journal, would it be leaves, leaves or leaves? I die-cut a surround circle mask to protect most of the page, a technique I used in August, April and January. I cut leaf masks from post-it notes using the ‘autumn jewels’ dies from Penny Black.

The same mix of inks carries through on all the pages blending yellows, brown, green and red over the masks with blending brushes.

I added hand lettered titles with a brown papermate flair pen and some shimmer with a nuvo gold shimmer pen.

When I cut the leaf masks I had both the negative space mask used on the pages above and the leaf itself which I used on the calendar page below.

There is a bit of shimmer on the title letters of October but it doesn’t really show up in the photos. It will make me happy each time I turn to the page. Have a lovely October.

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(Compensated affiliate links used when possible)