Just one more chapter

Just one more bookish card? Of course not; there will always be more bookish cards, especially as Darkroom Door keeps creating more bookish stamps! Today’s card, which of course can be sent to a fellow reader on any occasion, features the new ‘reading’ sentiment strip as a background wallpaper and as the sentiment. Darkroom Door has a range of sentiment strips each containing 9-10 sentiments. I could cut them up into individual stamps but I have kept them all as strips so I can stamp them all at once if I want to. I did so on today’s card to create a background in rusty hinge distress ink on watercolour paper. I painted water over the top of the stamping to blur it but you can still read most of the bookish mantras.

I also used the DD stamp ‘book spines’ to create my line up of books. I stamped it on three different gel prints and embossed each one in a different metallic ink. I cut up all the prints then rearranged the books to have green, blue, yellow and brown books across the shelf. Even though I chose random gel prints I love the way the texture of plastic lids and packaging has become aged leather on the book spines.

After attaching my books to the background I stamped just one phrase from the sentiment strip by masking above and below the words then added it to the card. A little shading along the top of the books give a bit of dimension.

This turned out to be the perfect card for today because I have been part of the Coptic Challenge at ‘The Handmade Book Club‘ this week. Today is the last day of instruction which covers sewing the book together. When I have completed my book I will post it on the blog. It is the second time I have participated in the five day challenge; both experiences have been very enjoyable and the instruction is fabulous.

So, read one more chapter and have a great weekend.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp)


Can’t wait to see you

Time to show off a new Darkroom Door beauty today. Darkroom Door’s latest release is now available and I chose the ‘clocks’ texture stamp for a vintage style card. Darkroom Door is always coming out with fresh new ideas and sometimes expand older themes and collections. The clocks are also available as a full background stamp. Having a smaller texture stamp featuring clocks is going to be wonderful for journal pages. I paired it with another DD stamp, pocket watch.

I used the texture stamp to fill my background by stamping it four times on a hot pressed watercolour panel. The panel was splattered with masking fluid because that is the mode I am in right now. I inked the clock stamp with a mix of yellow and browns initially, spritzed on the stamp and blended after stamping on the paper. I added the blue and rust a second time round because I needed more contrast.

I used the same mix of colours to fill and surround the embossed pocket watch and also embossed a partial sentiment from the ‘long distance’ sentiment set. When I had trimmed and arranged the two layers I decided to add a bit of script over the top using a stamp from the DD correspondence set. I enjoyed working with these images and colours so much you might see them expanded to fill a journal page.

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Maple Leaves

The colours around here are beautiful this year. Everywhere I go I see the gorgeous leaves that glow when the sun hits them and contrast with the wet tree trunks when it rains. This year’s colours seem to be some of the best I’ve seen but I think we say that every year.

This stunning stamp is from Darkroom Door and it is called ‘maple leaves’. I have two large maples in my yard so there are plenty of leaves to pick up but it is worth it for the weeks of splendor.

To create this card I put the stamp in a positioner to allow multiple pressings on the hot pressed watercolour paper. I randomly applied four different distress inks, gave the stamp a spritz of water then stamped. After one impression I could see where the stamp had no ink so I corrected and, bit by bit, made sure the whole leafy background was stamped.

I blended the inks with a paintbrush and water but didn’t blend every scrap of leaf. I used a light hand so as to make colour blend into colour but still leave the texture detail showing through here and there. Thanksgiving has come and gone here in Canada but there are autumn birthdays coming up so I used a stamp from the DD happy birthday set, stamped in vintage photo archival ink.

Hope the colours are beautiful out your window.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp and Ecstasy Crafts)

Collage behind Hibiscus and Bluebird

One of my favourite techniques when art journaling is to create a collage background from gel prints, patterned papers, stamping, stencilled texture and paint. Sometimes I know what focal elements I will add over the top, other times I wait to be inspired by the completed collage.

When creating this collage spread in the 6″x 6″ art journal I used gel prints and patterned papers in neutral tones: pale green, beige and browns. I did some stamping with Darkroom Door and Penny Black stamps on kraft paper and over the top of the collage. The focal point is an image from the front of a greeting card. As is sometimes the case, the back of the card featured a smaller version of the same art. I used both on my pages along with some handmade printed paper from a friend. I was very happy with the way the colours worked together and was happy to save and use a card sent by a dear friend. ( I cut the artist’s name from the card and added it to my page.)

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It’s all about the sky

I recently returned to a favourite technique for a couple of card classes. We made a bunch of watercolour backgrounds ready to be turned into cards. This background is one of my favourites. I love the blends and the hint of a sun-kissed hill which just happened as I swiped my watercolour paper panel through smooshed ink.

The pale splats are from splattering water onto a distress ink background then dabbing it up with paper towels. The silhouette flowers are once again from the beautiful darkroom door set, wildflowers vol 1. Often I would use a larger panel or even cover the whole card front. I created this background on a larger panel but trimmed it down to use the best part. That’s why I usually work on watercolour panels larger than I need. By the way we have seen some beautiful skies lately, hope you are catching some too.

(Compensated affiliate links from Foiled Fox, Scrap n Stamp and Ecstasy Crafts)

Gardens on gel prints

Another gel print post? Yes indeed, and no apologies. If you have tried gel printing you will know it is a little addictive. Today’s post features cards stamped with Darkroom Door flowers. Some are stamped on clean up sheets, others on gel prints. A clean up sheet is thick drawing paper I keep at the right of my gel plate for rolling excess ink off my brayer. As you can see in the panels above and below I can end up with some very colourful sheets.

I stamped flowers from the DD set’ ‘fine flowers vol 2” and the ‘mesh’ texture stamp in Ciao Bella Oceania ink. The ink is a pigment ink which stamps beautifully on gel prints and dries quickly so I don’t end up smudging it.

This deep red background is also a clean up panel. I am always excited to see landscapes or skies appear in an abstract print or clean up sheet. Those two strips of white added a hint of clouds to a very bold sunset! I stamped the silhouette flowers from the DD set, wildflowers vol 2.

The last two cards are made from gel printed panels not clean up sheets but are very distressed. The print I pulled and cut up to make a couple of garden cards include plenty of distressed texture from a printing session including a little bit of text.

There was some blue in the print so I chose a co-ordinating ink to add the large grassy stamp from the DD ‘nature walk’ set. I’ve said it before it is a favourite set which I reach for again and again. I think I used versafine clair paradise ink.

I was crafting with a friend when I made these two cards and she had a tiny butterfly punch so the card below features a few co-ordinating butterflies. I haven’t seen many butterflies in my garden this year but there have been plenty of bees in the day and fireflies at night.

None of these cards have sentiments on them at this stage, I like to have blank cards on hand to use for any occasion. Thanks for dropping by today; I know it’s been quiet around here lately. I plan to be back soon with more projects and inspiration.

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Off to School journal page

Some of you might recognise the artwork on this journal page. I have saved calendars, magazines, greeting cards and diaries over the years and now that I am creating collages and journal page spreads they are coming into their own. Quite a few years back I saw a calendar featuring covers from Good Housekeeping magazines of the 1920’s and 30’s. I thought the covers were delightful and bought two of the calendars. I enjoyed it during the year then tucked it away for future inspiration.

The calendar images are larger than the 6″x 6″ pages in the journals I am currently using so I chose a painting where I could cut out components and create a smaller scene. I cut the two children and the dog and glued them onto a collaged and painted background. I used floral paper mainly around the edges, blue paint for the background. The fence and cobble stone path were created with texture paste through a stencil. I used a few different Darkroom Door stamps to add vintage details across the page.

I did have to do more fussy cutting than I usually care to but these sweet images were worth it. Once they were glued down I used a black marker to go round the edges of the cut outs and immediately smudged the ink with my fingers or a damp brush. It’s a technique I have seen Vicky Papaioannou do many times on her journal pages. I used a white gel pen to add highlights, another trick from Vicky.

If you want to see what the original artwork by Vernon Thomas, just search good housekeeping magazine with the date I have added to the bottom left corner of my page.

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Alcohol Ink + Masks

I’ve played with stencils and alcohol inks before so it wasn’t much of a stretch to try the same with masks. Masks are basically stencils without any frame around them. The ones I used for today’s cards are homemade from Grafix white craft plastic (also known as white opaque dura-lar).

I used the Sizzix ‘artsy stems’ dies to cut flowers from craft plastic. I also used craft plastic for the alcohol ink panels. I first tried this technique when making bookmarks for a Grafix video tutorial. I used the same funky die-cuts and alcohol inks so check out the video below for the process.

One thing I really like about working with Grafix craft plastic and matt dura-lar (in the final card) is that you can emboss on it. I make sure I preheat the heat tool so I can quickly activate the embossing powder. The craft plastic doesn’t melt or warp if you keep the heat tool moving.

All the sentiments are from Darkroom Door sets (linked below) two were embossed and the other stamped with a new ink from Ciao Bella. It took a while to dry on the craft plastic but I am impressed with the solid matte look once dry.

You can see on this last card I had to come up with a way to attach the semi transparent matte dura-lar to the coloured panel underneath. I didn’t want to use tape which would show so I poked a couple of holes through both layers and sewed the panels together with some silver cord.

All the alcohol ink panels are attached to white card bases embossed with embossing folders for some subtle texture and interest.

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Home is… journal page

The shenanigans continue in my Art Journal Adventures workshops. Last month the theme was collage & texture and the range of pages was amazing. We all chose different papers, colours and focal images but followed a similar method to put them together.

For this spread I relied heavily on my growing collection of gel prints. The little cottage picture is from a greeting card and I used it as a starting point when settling on colours. All the papers you can see are gel prints I made except for one kraft scrap down the bottom with text stamped on it. I added gesso as well as texture using modeling paste through the Ciao Bella patchwork stencil.

During each session of the class it was definitely a treat to walk around and be inspired by the ideas coming to life on all the pages. Some participants had their own stash of gel prints to draw from, others used some of mine. It was fun to see my prints pop up on other people’s pages. I loved it!

This week we are working on Tea and Coffee themed pages and next month it will be texture & movement. If you are close by and haven’t tried gel printing, I’m teaching another introductory class on July 9.

The sweet cottage with sheep at the gate looks nothing like my house! I do grow morning glory but that is about the only similarity. Home is definitely where my people are which means I have two homes very far apart. Although very much at home in Canada I claim Australia as home too, how could I not, some of my favourite people are there!

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Coffee art journal page

I’ve been having a delightful time in my art journals and in the Art Journal Adventure workshops. We have gone in three different directions so far and the next one is coffee or tea themed. You can see an example of a tea themed page on my classes page and here is my first coffee page.

It doesn’t show up in the photo but the red cup is embossed and glossy and I want one just like it in real life! I used distress embossing glaze for both the words and the cup then had to create a visual triangle in red, do you see it?

I am currently not a coffee drinker which actually makes the quote all the more apt for me. I love the aroma! For Christmas I gave my husband a coffee subscription and each month the coffee comes in a cardboard package which smells delightful as does the mailbox !

If you are interested in joining in the art journal adventure please check out my Classes page where you will see the next two sessions or click on the Crop A While classes page.

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