Blooming Blue Again

I’m still having fun with PB ‘blooming’ stamp. Once again I used blue inks but this time the combo was chipped sapphire and blueprint sketch. When blended I got blues and purples but not the pinks that seedless preserves provided. If you read my last post you might remember I unintentionally ended up with brown centres. This time I made sure I inked with fossilized amber and wild honey to create yellow centres.

I worked in the stamp positioner to make this panel and did all the green and blue inking and stamping first. I left the centres un-inked so I could add them after the petals were stamped, blended and dry. I don’t mind some blending but I didn’t want the blue and yellow to get too close and blendy because that would mean green centres. Once the yellow centres dried I used a black gel pen to add stamen.

I wanted to gussy this one up a little but still keep the clean look so I used a small piece of organza ribbon across the base of the panel then stamped on a banner die cut and tied it on with twine.

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Blooming Blue

Here is another take on the PB stamp ‘Blooming’. Last week I posted a card with a blended background, brown outline stamping and painted petals. For today’s card I stamped with distress inks which I then blended into the petals.

My original plan was to have yellow centres not brown; I guess I got distracted. After inking the petals randomly with chipped sapphire and seedless preserves I added some ground espresso ink to the centres, spritzed the stamp and stamped on hot pressed watercolour paper. With the spritz of water the inks blend a little; with a paint brush I do the rest of the blending adding more ink if needed. That top flower got more brown than I would have liked but I was still happy with the overall blends.

Finishing touches include defining the centres with the bullet tip of the distress marker and adding white dots with a gel pen. The sentiment is from the PB set ‘so thankful’. I have a few more in this little series of watercolours with PB’s large outline floral stamps so I’ll see you back here soon.

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Blooming Big

As the title hints, the stamp is called ‘blooming’ and it’s a big one. I mentioned in my previous post how much I enjoy working with the large floral outline stamps from Penny Black. I stamped ‘blooming’ twice side by side in a landscape orientation. The stamp is almost as wide as it is high but I haven’t included all the stems on this card.

Before I stamped I smooshed distress inks on a glass mat, diluted them and swiped my watercolour panel through the ink to create a soft blurry background. Once the panel dried I stamped in archival ground espresso ink then painted the flowers with the same inks I had used in the background, abandoned coral and fossilized amber. To make the flowers bolder so they would stand out from the background I painted another layer of ink then added deeper colours to part of each petal. All the inks are listed and linked below.

I painted the centres in ground espresso distress ink then used brown and black markers to go over the flower centre details and add more veins to the petals. I added highlights with a white gel pen and once again decided against a sentiment for now.

The techniques used in today’s and Monday’s card are featured in my online class Floral Faves.

And in other news, filming has begun for my next online class. I am excited to share more about it soon!


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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Distressed Gel Print backgrounds

Last week I taught a couple of gel printing classes and had a blast seeing others fall in love with the process and results. As you might imagine I have many prints now, a big box waiting to be used. I thought I would use a few scrappy patchy prints as backgrounds. Some of these prints are ghost prints where I pick up a patchy layer of paint left on the gel print after a more distinct print has been taken. I also have some patchy distressed looking prints taken from a damaged gel plate. I don’t know how the surface got damaged but I still use it as a place to roll out paint before brayering on the main plate or to clean off excess paint after brayering on the main plate. The little dots you see on today’s prints are from imperfections in the damaged plate.

On the print above you can see not only the specks of black paint from the plate but also the leftover paint from the border of the plate. Most gel printers love being able to pick up some of those colourful leftovers on a future print.

Both the print above and the one below were made from excess paint so there is very little defined pattern but instead some lovely specks, blends and blobs.

I chose to make cards from these prints not just because I wanted distressed backgrounds but also because it shows how even the scrappy, incomplete, messy prints can be worth saving.

The only colour on the background print above was some black. I used rustic wilderness, wild honey and frayed burlap archival inks to stamp flowers and grasses from Darkroom Door sets, nature walk and wildflowers vol 2.

The ghost print above was pulled with rice paper. When I stamped the purple flowers in versafine clair they soaked through the paper and spread to give the image a halo surrounding it. Although it was an interesting effect I switched to archival inks for the rest of my stamping as they sit of the surface and dry quickly.

I used similar colours to stamp flowers from DD sets, tall flowers and art de fleur vol 1 over the purple ghost print.

The print above was by far the busiest one I used so a bright contrasting colour seemed like a good idea. I used thistle, wild honey and faded jeans archival inks to stamp flowers from DD sets, nature walk and wildflowers vol 2. I also added some text with a stamp from the nature walk set

To attach the cards to the neenah card bases I used double sided adhesive sheets. I added some black and white paint splatter and Darkroom Door sentiments.

If you have read right to the end you are a champion. If you are a gel printer I hope you are inspired to use a few of those patchy prints you might otherwise discard. I have been using them in my art journals but it is nice to see them on cards too and it’s not as if I am going to run out anytime soon!

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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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