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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Remember when we all had library cards?

I have always loved the library, perhaps now more than ever. I remember as a child having my own library card at the Civic Library in Canberra as well as library cards at school. Filling a library card with date stamps seemed a worthy achievement and then I would get a fresh new card. If only I had kept those cards for forty years later when I wanted to put one in an art journal! I worked in my 9″x 6″ ‘literary themed journal’ for this one not the 6″x 6″ I’ve been sharing a lot lately.

The library card on this journal page I made with a new Darkroom Door stamp, but I’m guessing you already knew that! The new set ‘library books’ includes a library card stamp, two stacks of books, an open book and three quote stamps. What can I say; it’s a delight.

This page was not a delight most of the way through but as I tell the participants in my art journal adventure classes this is often the case. Many pages really do not pull through until the very end. It is an example of a collage page which is what we will be doing in Art Journal Adventure Episode #3. All the dates are listed and linked on my Classes page including a couple of Episode #2 sessions next week.

I began this spread by gluing down pieces of old book pages. If you look at the top right corner of the photo above you will see the aged rounded corner of an old page. It has been become one of my favourite collage tricks to stick the book corners over my page corners then cut away the journal page behind to leave that soft round corner. I did it on all four corners of this page. After the old book pages I added stamping, paint and a couple of photos of books from magazines. More paint then more books using stamps from the DD set ‘bookworm’. I had already stamped my library card, distressed it and set it aside.

The stacks of very old books I made by stamping the DD ‘bookshelf’ border stamp on some gel prints. I cut them out (fussy) and defined some edges and spine details with markers. Once everything was glued down I added splatter and ink blending and some partial stamping with the DD world map stamp. Last but not least a wonderful quote.

I couldn’t end a post like this without asking for a couple of book recommendations. You have helped me before so please leave a recent favourite in the comments below. A few months back I read the first two books in a trilogy and now I am very keen for the third to be published. They were The Lost Queen and The Forgotten Kingdom by Signe Pike. I also enjoyed The Salt Path by Raynor Winn and have The Wild Silence, her second book, waiting for me at the library. I’m in the middle of Roots & Sky by Christie Purifoy which introduced me to her story telling podcast. That’s enough from me; I want to hear from you.

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Beauty of the Earth journal page

I have another double page spread in the 6″x 6″ journal today. Don’t tell the others but this one seems to be getting all the attention at present!

The pages in this journal are thick watercolour paper so I wanted to take advantage of that and use watercolour techniques. Most of the pages I have completed up until now have had a base layer of gesso or acrylic paint.

As you can see I taped the edges of the pages with tape before starting. I added some stamping in black here and there using a stamp from the Darkroom Door ‘number medley’ set. Next I used the DD ‘honeycomb’ stencil and modeling paste to add a texture strip from left to right down the centre of the spread. I added a small section bottom left also. Once the paste was dry I began painting colour around the honeycomb and across both pages. I spent a while doing this so as to see the blends and build up some depth of colour.

Other than some black stamping I used only three colours of distress ink, both spray stain and from the ink pads. I took care to keep some white space; sometimes I realise too late that I have colour all over the pages. I stamped some grasses in peeled paint archival ink so they would not dilute and broken china distress ink so they would dilute. I also stamped sections of the world map in rusty hinge. Although I loved the combo of peeled paint, rusty hinge and broken china I thought a bit of metallic shine would be nice so I added some wildflowers embossed in Brutus Monroe ‘penny’ powder.

With a copper coloured gel pen I wrote the first verse of ‘For the Beauty of the Earth’ in the lower right hand corner then added the embossed word ‘beautiful’. And of course there is some copper splatter to finish it off. This is a style and look I have been hoping to create so you’ll probably see a few more like this one.

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Winter Wildflowers

The bright and beautiful flowers of spring and summer delight me as you know but so do those left standing through autumn and winter. On a snowy walk recently I was happy to see the brown tones that show up bold and contrasting against the snow. Queen Anne’s Lace closes up and dries out after summer but that makes it all the better to balance some snow like icing.

For this wintery image of dried stems against aged wood paneling I stamped the flower stems from Darkroom Door’s ‘nature walk’ first in brown archival inks so they wouldn’t blend when I worked on the background. I stamped the DD ‘woodgrain’ stamp over the top first in hickory smoke distress ink then a few more times adding black soot, forest moss and barn door distress inks. I blended as sparingly as I could to retain the texture of the stamp.

I added a sentiment from the DD ‘happy birthday’ set and now I am wondering if I can recreate the same aged wood effect on a journal page. This seems to be the way I roll at present; a journal page inspires a card then a card inspires a journal page.

By the way my Art Journal Adventure class has been postponed for now due to current restrictions here in Ontario but we will reschedule when possible. In the interim I will continue scheming and dreaming up themes and techniques!

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Enjoy the Journey Journal page

This week I have shared a gel plate video and a series of cards made with prints and leftovers from that gel printing session. If you look closely at this journal page you will see a couple more prints put to use.

The Darkroom Door set, Nomad, recently arrived in my mailbox and the main reason I chose it was the pile of suitcases. I own one old suitcase which belonged to my grandmother; it houses the ‘dress up’ collection. It is not unlike the third one in the left hand stack. The stamp set also has a single suitcase, some passport stamps and two sentiments, one included on this page.

To add even more vintage-ness to the vintage suitcases I stamped them on a grid and striped prints from the gel printing session. I used corrugated cardboard to make the patterns on the gel plate originally. I stamped the suitcases in archival inks then added extra colour with distress inks and gel pens. To create the background I smooshed blueprint sketch distress inks on a piece of acetate, spritzed water over the ink then transferred it to the masked journal pages. With the blue protected I blended a brown base, also with distress inks. Over the top of the inking I added some impressions with the DD world map and scratches background stamps. To balance the suitcases I added the vintage car and sentiment on the right hand side.

Maybe these pages came from my longing to be out and about seeing new and old places, or a longing to be poking around antique and thrift stores. The latter will probably happen before the former.

Are you longing for a trip somewhere? Are you thinking near or far?

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Rain or Shine

Paper piecing? Fussy cutting? Cute teddy bears? What is going on? I can’t honestly say other than I was inspired by the April CAS mix up challenge and my current enjoyment of pencil colouring on kraft.

I stamped the PB ‘rain or shine’ stamp on kraft cardstock and Madison patterned paper in jet black archival ink. I started cutting the umbrella out of the patterned paper and realised my (lack of) fussy cutting skills would not do a good job of cutting around the bear’s heads. Instead I cut just the front of the umbrella out and coloured the stamped inside part of the umbrella with a white, a blue and a pale blue pencil. I used two browns for the bear on the left and the lighter brown plus a mustard for the bear on the right. A little pink and white on the faces and I completed my first pencil coloured PB bears!! Do you think cute might be a new direction for me 😉

The sentiment is from the same set, stamped in the same ink. To add rain I taped the panel onto my glass mat and positioned a piece of post it tape along the top edge to mask as I ruled lines with a fine white gelly roll pen. Taping the panel to my glass mat and using a t-tuler made the rain pretty straightforward. As I mentioned at the top of the post I’m entering the CAS mix up challenge with this one.

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Sweet Centrepiece

I’m really enjoying pencil on kraft cardstock right now; the colours pop more than you might think on a brown base. This line image from Penny Black is called ‘sweet centerpiece’, cardstock is Bazzill kraft and the pencils are Derwent inktense.

I stamped the image off to the side of the panel in archival jet black ink and coloured with a mix of purples and purply-pinks. Some flowers have a base of white with pinks and purples over the top, others have pink first with white blending over the top. The large daisy is a mix of deep red with shading of burgandy. I used three different greens, blending two at a time to get variety on the different plants.

I used a black micron pen to redraw a few lines that were muted by the coloured pencil and also drew a dots & dashes frame around the panel with the same fine tip pen (I used a rectangle frame die as a guide). I splattered some hydrus white paint over the panel before adding the sentiment from PB ‘magical friendship stamped archival jet black.

Wishing you joy and hope this Easter.

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Stockings are hung

When I was making knitted panel cards a few weeks back I thought I should create a knitted stocking card at the same time. I also decided to try and make at least one, but hopefully more than one Christmas card each month. Usually I don’t feel like making Christmas cards after Christmas but I’m happy to right now so I made this little stocking and hung it by the chimney with care.

I stamped the Darkroom Door knitting pattern in versafine clair ‘glamorous’ ink, embossed in clear powder then painted over it with festive berries distress ink. I cut out a stocking with one of the Penny Black Christmas Stocking dies. To fill the stocking I cut foliage from watercolour paper using the PB layered wreath set then coloured the die-cuts with festive berries, pine needles and ground espresso distress inks. The stocking needed a bit more trim so I cut out a white cloud shape to and blended some brown ink around the edges.

To create a chimney I used a stencil and a stamp from Darkroom Door, the woodgrain stamp for the mantle and brick wall stencil for the bricks. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper for both so I could blend distress inks and add watermarks. I stamped the wood with ground espresso archival ink so it wouldn’t blend then painted and blended ground espresso, black soot and rusty hinge distress inks over the top. I blended the same three distress inks through the stencil then spritzed some water over it before lifting the stencil. I blended some of the bricks with a paintbrush and added some black soot splatter.

The mortar around the bricks looked too white so I blended antique linen ink over the whole panel and used some to blend above the mantel too. To finish of the card I added a gold bow and a sentiment from the DD Christmas sentiment strip stamp.

So that’s one Christmas card done so far in 2021! Do you make Christmas cards all year?

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2021 Bullet journal – an intro

New Year, new journal. I started a bullet journal/dot journal in 2018 and used it off and on for the last three years. I created some pretty spreads with coloured pens and carefully planned layouts but also some loosely organised lists and scribbled reminders. I used it for meal planning, book logging, exercise records and blog planning. I switched between different coloured pens and went through a phase of adding old magazine pics to my layouts. There were lists of cards sent and received, chore lists and notes about craft products waiting to be used in projects. I abandoned it for months at a time and came back to it with new ideas. It was handy and it gave me a chance to work out how a bullet journal could work for me.

The first journal was a Fabriano dot journal which was a great size and price; it sat flat and had pages you could easily remove (a plus and a minus). My new dot journal is a little more upmarket; it is a Dingbats notebook from the Earth collection with a hard cover, sewn binding, slightly heavier weight dotted paper, numbered pages and a few designated key and index pages at the beginning. The fact that is is my favourite colour with an embossed image symbolising the Great Barrier Reef on the front is just a bonus. It has two ribbon bookmarks and a pen holder on the side.

After learning from my first bullet journal experience I plan to use the new one as both a planner and a recorder. I already have pages ruled up to log books read in 2021. I’ve created a chore list to keep track of when I last cleaned this or that part of my house. My exercise log is up to date with days I’ve done boot camp, x-country skiing, walking or running. Those are all pages for the whole year. I’ve also designed and started using some January pages I will share with you next weekend. I’m hoping to post bullet journal pages on Saturday or Sunday starting today with my 2021 title page.

You know what it’s like when you have a brand new notebook or journal; it can be nerve wracking to make a mark on the first page. I decided to keep it simple so I wouldn’t mess it up. I sketched the numbers in pencil, went over them with a dark blue Stabilo fine 0.4 marker then used the same marker for the circles and lines. To add colour I punched circles from a post-it note and used it as a stencil to blend through with a range of archival inks. Safe and simple for my first page.

I will be trying different inks and markers through the year as I try to keep the bleed-through to a minimum. You can see some of the design through the back of the page so it will be interesting to see how other products compare.

I would love to hear if you are keep a bullet journal (BuJo), dot journal or something similar. There are thousands of inspirational designs and ideas out on the interwebs; I’ve spent more time than I should browsing through instagram and pinterest. If you have some hot tips or tried and true techniques please let me know. If you’ve never heard of bullet journaling, don’t worry, I’ll be back with cards on Monday!

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All the Birthdays

I made a short stack of birthday cards yesterday with a new Concord & 9th set, ‘All the Birthdays’. I pulled out several prints from earlier gel printing sessions and chose some which would work as panels for birthday cards.

On the card above I used ranger blue embossing powder and the card below versafine tulip red was the perfect match for my printed background.

Some were printed using the petite set A gel presses so they were already shaped as squares. Others I cut from larger prints. I used stencils and lace to make the prints and a range of acrylic paints.

One of the stamp combinations from the C&9 ‘all the birthdays’ is a pair of stamps that overlap to spell ‘happy birthday’; there are outline stamps that frame the solid letters also. That is what I used on the card below with gold and brown inks then clear embossing powder.

I also added some texture to a few of the card bases or mats with embossing folders and stencils.

The printed panel below included such pretty blues and purples I wanted to match them in the sentiment so I stamped with archival dusty concord and faded jeans then, before the ink dried embossed in clear powder.

The card below features rose gold embossing powder; it looks a little darker than expected on this panel, maybe because of the depth of colour in the print.

I really enjoyed pairing sentiments from the C&9 set with my leftover gel prints. I did have some embossing challenges though; I’m just not an embossing champion. Stray powder, over heating, underheating, even when I use a powder tool and preheat the heat tool I still make mistakes. This lot took me all afternoon but I am very happy with them and I’m pleased to have boosted my birthday card stash. Now if I can just remember to send them…

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