2022 BuJo – May theme

It’s been a while since the last bullet journal feature. I gave the journal a break over April; I was in recovery and catch up mode. We have skipped to May which is the month of the tulip festival in Ottawa so the theme was an easy pick. Coloured pencils seemed to make sense too as I have been working with them a bit lately.

I drew all my calendar squares by hand purposely making them a little wavy with breaks and dots. The Penny Black clear stamp ‘springtide’ seemed to work with an outline theme so I stamped in jet black archival on each page then coloured with polychromos pencils.

For each tulip colour scheme I used at least two co-ordinating colours; for the yellow tulips I used four. I forgot that both Ranger archival inks and FaberCastell polychromos pencils are oil based so the first layer of pencil blending ended up dragging some black ink. As you can see it didn’t spoil the result but I probably should have stamped the outline in memento or distress ink.

I kept the titles simple with some hand drawn block letters. I know that to-do list is empty in the photo but believe me that is no longer the case! Visiting the Ottawa Tulip Festival will be on the list for sure!

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Pencil Daisies

When I stamped the PB ‘brilliant’ stamp for my recent pencil poppy card I also stamped several other outline stamps on kraft cardstock for pencil colouring. This stamp is called ‘daisy dream’ and is coloured with Karin pigment decobrush markers, white gouache and Faber-Castell coloured pencils.

In my recent pencil poppies post I referred you to the talented Debby Hughes for a video tutorial about colouring with gouache and coloured pencils. I used some of the same tips for this card but ended up using the Karin pigment brushmarkers as well. I coloured the petals on the flowers above with the gold marker. The effect was very similar to painting gouache first but easier because the marker brush tip did such a good job on those narrow petals. I painted the centres with white and the leaves with the Karin ‘leaf green’ marker before using coloured pencils to add details and shading to the flowers and stems. The glass vase is coloured with a white and two grey pencils.

I added some shading below and behind the vase, a white embossed sentiment and some white gouache splatter before attaching the panel to a white card base.

I now have three daffodils blooming in my garden so there should be at least 47 more coming! I did plant 50 daffodil bulbs a year and a half ago and they are supposed to multiply aren’t they?

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Pencil Poppies

Today’s pencil and gouache technique was inspired by a beautiful card recently posted by Debby Hughes. Debby did a video of her process so if you are interested you can pop over to her youtube channel and follow her directions like I did.

I used a different stamp, ‘brilliant’ from Penny Black but the other supplies and technique are the same as Debby’s. I stamped on kraft cardstock with pumice stone ink, painted inside the petals with white gouache then did all the colouring with Faber Castell Polychromos pencils.

When I first stamped the ‘brilliant’ poppy stamp I used Papertrey ink soft stone ink which is my current favourite for no-line watercolour techniques. It stamped well on the kraft cardstock but when I looked at it ten minutes later it had faded quite a bit. It would be fine for someone whose eyesight is perfect but mine is not so I stamped in pumice stone distress which gave me a bit more contrast.

Debby’s technique included painting the petals in white gouache then colouring over the top. I hadn’t tried it before but I will do it again in the future. It worked very well and took the place of my previous method which was colouring in white pencil first then adding colours over the top before blending again in white. Painting with gouache first gave me a base which happens to also be a nice matte surface to colour over. I finished the design with some white gouache splatter as Debby did. So basically I am saying, ‘ do what she did!’ Thank you Debby for a great technique tutorial.

The polychromos pencils I used were: white, medium flesh, medium cadmium red, raw umber, emerald green, pine green, naples ochre and walnut brown.

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Fresh Bouquet

My Karin markers have been a bit neglected lately so I brought them out to work with the cute cup of flowers stamp from the PB ‘fresh bouquet’ set. I worked in a stamp positioner on hot pressed watercolour paper. First I inked the flower centres with the gold marker, next the blue petals with cyan, leaves with grass and berries with rosewood.

I used a paintbrush and water to pull ink from the stamping to fill the petals and leaves working loosely but taking care not to blend much from one ink to the next. Blue and yellow make green as you know and I didn’t want the petals or centres turning green.

Adding a sentiment was a bit tricky. The cup of flowers stamp comes with a large and lovely sentiment but it would have covered too many flowers. I need birthday cards at present so I stamped the little ‘happy birthday’ from the PB ‘how sweet’ set in paradise versafine clair ink and then wondered where to place it. It is rare that I will place a sentiment right in the middle of a card but it just seemed to work this time.

I have some beautiful tea cups, some from my mother, my nanna and my grandma. I rarely use them because I like a large mug of tea. Perhaps I could occasionally put a few flowers in one, once I have more than two tiny flowers in my garden.

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Dragonfly on text

All the coloured sections of this pretty dragonfly are inlaid between the outlines of the cream die-cut! Does it look the same as if I had just glued the cream die-cut over the top? Yes, I’m afraid it does. Perhaps if gel print had been on cardstock the same thickness as the dragonfly it might have been more noticeable. Lesson learned.

One branch of my current gel printing obsession is image transfer. In the past I have tried it mainly with high contrast photos of people but it works with text as well so I added interest to this blue, gold and red print with some black magazine text. I notice now as I stare at the screen the random line across the panel makes it look a little like an ocean view.

While I was painstakingly inlayaing every little bit of dragonfly wing I was listening to the audio book version of The Salt Path, a memoir with many references to ocean views, cliffs, weather and unexpected encounters. The author and her husband hiked the South West Coast path in the UK in rather traumatic and totally unexpected circumstances. I found the whole account fascinating and heartrending in places. By the end I had google maps open so I could see where the path was taking them.

Once again the photos don’t show the shimmer of the finished project. The sand coloured foreground is actually gold paint so there is shimmer spreading half way up the panel. Can you see why I love gel printing?

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Pods & Wings

The background of today’s card is another gel print featuring a gorgeous Lavinia stencil called ‘pods’. You can’t see in the photos but in real life there is some shimmer on the print as I used silver paint along with blue, green and white.

Over the print I added a green and a white wreath die cut from Penny Black. It is part of the new ‘soaring’ set which also includes four butterflies. The background called for dragonflies rather than butterflies so I die cut three from the ‘flutters’ set, an oldy but a goodie.

As I spent a chunk of time yesterday listening to Ann Voskamp’s book ‘One Thousand Gifts’, the joy sentiment seemed like a good match for the design.

I was watching a Julie Balzer book club discussion on youtube today as I worked and she mentioned how addictive gel printing is and how if you haven’t tried it you must (48 minute mark)! She called it the one tool that has changed her life! So I will again shamelessly plug my upcoming gel printing workshops and hope you will join me in this addiction!

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Fresh Pansies

Pansies seem to be a happy flower don’t you think? This is the new ‘pansies’ stamp from Penny Black stamped twice on cold press watercolour paper.

In my previous post I asked what colour suggestions you had for irises. Jan in Oregon sent me some beautiful photos she has taken over the years featuring some stunning irises, so the inspiration file has definitely been topped up. She also sent a few photos of pansies, tulips and daffodils as they are the next flowers to be featured here on the blog. The photo below was my inspiration for today’s card. I ended up with more purple petals than white as I didn’t have time for negative painting but I was still inspired and delighted by Jan’s photo.

I stamped with distress inks then filled the petals with brusho watercolours using the same method I used recently for the irises. I used shaded lilac, mowed lawn and fossilized amber to stamp the outline then violet brusho and a mix of leaf green and moss green for the leaves and stems.

I used a purple marker to draw the lines coming out from the centre of the flowers, blended some mowed lawn around the stems and finished with a sentiment from the PB ‘love big’ set.

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Iris Elegance

This is the second iris card I’ve painted but it probably won’t be the last. Iris Elegance from Penny Black is such a bold beautiful stamp.

I worked on hot press watercolour paper in a stamp positioner to stamp the outline stamp in chipped sapphire, peeled paint and wild honey distress inks. I blended ink into the petals from the stamped outline but also used brusho paints to fill the petals with blends of colour. I had violet, ultramarine and moss green brusho mixed in a palette beside me so I could dip my brush and add paint to the petals.

To fill out the design I stamped just leaves to the left and the right of the main image. Let me know if you have irises blooming already or suggest some petal colours to me. The yard is covered in snow again here so the irises best keep on sleeping for now!

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Circle Flowers journal page

Last week I spent several happy hours gel printing. One of the prints I completed has ended all over this art journal spread. If you are a gel printer you know you can sometimes pull a couple of prints of the same design. The first one is full of colour and pattern and the second is often called a ghost print as it displays outlines and left over bits of paint.

For this journal page I used both the bold blue and green print and the ghost print. The ghost print can be seen on the top left and bottom right corners and is peeping out in a couple of other places. The first print which was very geometrical has been turned into circle flowers. It also had traces of a new stencil called ‘pods’. You will see more of it here on the blog because it is fabulous!

Also in the background you might see some black ink stamping (DD mesh and alphabet medley) and the texture of paste through the DD ‘checkered stencil. The text you see is a fabric tape with dictionary definitions of happiness; it is the first 49 & Market product I have bought and it is going to be handy!

There is plenty of white gesso over the background to pull it together and mute some of the bold elements.

The flowers are all cut with Penny Black ‘abstract flowers’ dies which basically cut slightly wonky circles so I could have cut them myself but why bother when the machine will do it. The print was on rice paper so I could cut a few layers at once. After drawing an edge on each circle with a silver paint pen I stuck a small circle on a larger one, then sewed a cross in the centre with silver thread. There are stems in the set of dies but I doodled mine with a black marker. The blue splatters and pops of pink are from inktense pencils which are coming in handy for art journalling.

I know that was a lot of photos and chit chat but that is the way with some art journal pages especially the collage ones which involve different papers, paints, stencils, and mediums. I probably haven’t mentioned everything I used but if you are still here now I’m sure you’ve heard enough!

If you are in Ottawa and feel like doing a little art journalling of your own, there are still spaces left in my next Art Journal Adventure workshop where we will be creating a watercolour green and leafy spread similar to what you see below. All the details are on the Crop A While website.

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Farm Fresh floral

I’m having ‘fun with the Foiled Fox‘ today so I am chatting about this card over on their blog too! I posted a card the other day featuring two sweet jugs of lavender. The jugs were two separate stamps from the new PB ‘farm fresh’ set; this is the third and largest stamp from the set. I’m not sure what kind of flowers they are but that never really stops me from inking the stamp with whatever colours I choose.

I worked in the stamp positioner on cold press watercolour paper for a little texture. Starting with the jug I inked it with chipped sapphire and bundled sage distress inks. After stamping I inked the flowers with wild honey and rusty hinge inks, spritzed the stamp with water then stamped a slightly blurred and blended impression. The leaves and stems are stamped in rustic wilderness ink which is such a lovely green; it is giving forest moss some competition as my favourite green distress ink. To add a little definition to the flower centres I drew some black dots.

I stamped the jug of flowers on a post-it note and cut it out so I could mask the whole image while working on the background. I also masked across the panel so I could blend wild honey ink to represent a table or shelf and chipped sapphire ink with the ‘letter background’ stamp to represent the wall. To finish off I added a tiny bow to the jug. Make sure you visit the Foiled Fox blog and online store to see all the beauty and goodies they are sharing over there.

In other news I am teaching the second episode of Art Journal Adventure on Saturday March 26, Friday April 1 and Saturday April 2. There are a few spaces left if you’d like to join me at Crop A While, here in Ottawa. Each ‘episode’ is a stand alone workshop so there is no problem jumping into episode 2! Last month our journal page was a wintry scene; this time we are using watercolour techniques to go all green and leafy! For more information or to register visit the Crop A While website.

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