A Day at a Time journal page

This page is in one of my Fabriano art journals. I’ve mentioned before that I have a love/hate relationship with these journals as the pages are not really meant for watercolour and I always want to do watercolour. I can’t bear to quit though because there are quite a few completed pages in the journals and I want to get to the end.

I began this spread with some inspiration pages open on my Pinterest ‘journal‘ board but no real plan; I was after a look but didn’t have a theme. I rarely use my distress stain sprays as sprays; I usually paint with them but this time I taped the edges of the pages then put the book in my recycle paper box and sprayed with vintage photo, faded jeans and wild honey spray stains. I then sprayed some water but as I mentioned, this paper doesn’t act like watercolour paper so the stains didn’t blend and move.

Next I added some texture with modelling paste through the Darkroom Door diamonds & handwritten script stencils. Once that dried I blended round the edges of the pages with faded jeans, vintage photo, wild honey and black soot distress inks which highlighted the added texture. I was happy with my chosen colours but still didn’t know what the focus should be. I coloured some strips of sheet music and added Darkroom Door ‘plaid’ and ‘sheet music’ stamping here and there.

Initially I wanted to use the pocket watch and the teacups so I stamped them in vintage photo and swiped them through diluted inks to pick up colour as well as adding colour with a paint brush. Once they were painted and cut out I clear embossed the clock face three times with high gloss embossing powder to look like glass and used normal clear embossing powder for the cups.

To brighten up the centre of the double page I ended up spreading white absorbent ground over the strips of sheet music and out towards the edges. Then began the longish process of turning the page into a composition. After much rearranging I realised that the tower of teacups and the pocket watch need a third element so I tried a floral piece then just a single shelf (stamped with DD woodgrain background stamp) and finally realised the ‘book spines’ stamp would probably work again. Honestly I’m not trying to put that stamp in every single journal page. Even with the books it still took a while to balance the layout and come up with some words. I finally decided on ‘one day at a time’ stamped on the shelf with the DD alphabet medley stamps. As Vicky Papaioannou often does on her amazing art journal pages, I finished with both black and white splatter then removed the masking tape before gluing down my elements.

It’s nothing like my initial inspiration photos on Pinterest but it did give me some good practice at adding texture and layers to my art journal, two things I don’t find easy. I only have one of my art journal pages on youtube as there is so much humming and ha-ing as I work out what I want. If I cut out the pondering parts is an art journal page process something you’d like to see in a video?

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Cabin by the lake

I’ve been trying to make some smaller panels and one layer cards over the last few days as I still need quite a few cards so how exactly did this happen!? Not smaller and not quicker but definitely satisfying. I was thinking about some of the scenic cards released by Penny Black this year and wanted to combine them into new scenes. I made the left side of ‘quietude’ + ‘cosy cabin’ + 1/3 ‘tannenbaum trio’ = a cabin by a frozen lake.

I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper with masking fluid splattered on it and began by stamping the small trees and horizon from the quietude stamp in iced spruce, forest moss and chipped sapphire. I blended over the trees with a paint brush but came back to them later to do more. I stamped the cozy cabin stamp next, forest moss and chipped sapphire on the trees, hickory smoke and black soot on the cabin. I remembered to colour inside the windows with a mustard seed marker before I got carried away with blending this time so it looks cozy inside. To add more trees behind the house I made a cabin post-it mask then stamped one of the tannenbaum trio stamps twice on the right hand side of the cabin.

Before adding the sky I made sure everything was dry then positioned a frisket film circle mask over the trees. I used speckled egg distress stain to paint the sky initially then when I had covered it all dropped in some chipped sapphire. Green ink did bleed out of the stamped trees but I kept a paper towel on hand to dab it dry before it could move too far.

The lake area is mainly iced spruce and stormy sky to keep it paler and frozen looking but I added chipped sapphire and forest moss at the bottom where the lake is in shadow behind the snowbank. The snowbank looked too large and stark in the left hand corner so I stamped just the tips of the branches from the single tree in the cozy cabin set to look like a bit of foreground foliage. ( hot tip for my Ottawa people, all three sets featured on this card are listed in the Crop A While online store, just saying…)

Quick update on Dressember: my card making friends keep pushing the fundraising total higher and I am so very appreciative. As I write this it has reached $1190.25. Thank you so much. Here is a photo from day 12 as I decorate gingerbread. Decorating the gingerbread is my favourite part of the process or maybe equal first place with eating it. This first batch unfortunately spread while baking to such an extent that the tree and mitten shapes were unrecognizable so the decorating was the only clue to what they were meant to be!

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Cozy Cabin video

This cute cabib is another new stamp from Penny Black; the set is called ‘Cozy Cabin’ and it includes this tree shadowed cabin plus an extra tree not shown on this card. Once again I enjoyed bringing this scene to life with splattered masking fluid and distress inks.

I used a stamp, paint, stamp, paint process to build up the colour and definition of the cabin. I had my glass mat at hand so I could smoosh inks then pick up colour with a paintbrush.

When we go cross country skiing in Gatineau Park we come across cabins that look a little like this. There are several scattered across the park for the use of skiers, complete with a wood stove, tables and benches so we can warm up, eat our snacks, and rest a little before heading back out in the snow.

I’m in no hurry for the snow to come but I do have new skis and boots after years of hand-me-downs so the pressure will be on this year to make good use of them!

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Enjoy

I paired the new DD ‘sketched alphabet’ with leaves again, this time from the set ‘fine leaves’ which have a hand drawn sketch style of their own.

I had left over ink on my glass mat the other day after creating a dramatic sky in greys and blues. Rather than waste the ink I swiped a piece of watercolour paper through it picking up as much as possible and spritzing with water to move the ink around. The watercolour panel already had masking fluid splattered over it hence the white dots over the finished design.

I stamped the letters first in hickory smoke archival ink then covered a couple with masks I made for a previous card before stamping leaves from the fine leaves set in iced spruce and stormy sky. I filled most of the panel with leaves and painted them with both ink colours. I added some ink splatter and then coloured the letters with a blue watercolour marker to help them stand out a bit more. I stamped one of the sentiments from the DD ‘baby sentiment set’ to complete the card. I think this one could have several uses, maybe retirement, new house, new job or the like.

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What should I read next?

This book themed page has been in my mind for quite a while and that little open book stamp on the right side of the spread pushed me to make it happen. All the stamps are from Darkroom Door; I used ‘mini open book’ once, ‘book spines’ several times and the ‘scratches’ background stamp for the wall behind the books.

I have three art journals on the go and this one has a literary theme. I’ve done pages inspired by books and others inspired by quotes. I have a few started but not finished and several in my head.

I taped the edges of the double page spread before doing anything; it really helps keep the book open and stable while I work, it protects the other pages from paint and ink and I think it frames the finished design really nicely.

I embossed all the books on hot pressed watercolour paper in either gold or copper powder then coloured them with markers, distress stains and distress inks smooshed on my glass mat. I really just played with techniques until I had a good selection of colours and patterns. I stuck to jewel tones featuring dark green, bright blue, red and aqua. I’ve listed all the distress inks below. I also painted over the inking on a few books with Coliro pearlescent paints so they have a bit of shimmer.

I painted the background with ‘absorbant ground’ as I usually do when I want to work with liquid inks and water then I smooshed some ‘peacock feathers and ground espresso inks on a piece of acetate, spritzed it and dragged it across the page multiple times. That gave me some abstract colour but not enough so I used distress stain sprays in the same colours. After it dried I stamped the scratches background stamp a few times in ground espresso stain. When that dried I used a piece of tape to mask edges to sponge vertical lines across the pages.

Arranging the books on the page took a little while. I cut them all out first then cut some of the groups into smaller groups to play with the layout. Once I had it settled I glued them down and started adding titles and decoration with gel pens, embossing pens and embossing powder. I wrote quite a few of my favourites on the spines, nothing particularly new even though I have read some great new books lately. I guess they just haven’t stood my test of time yet. I have some empty spines left that I will probably fill another day.

I finished by balancing that open book on one of the piles and added the name of my favourite podcast, ‘What Should I Read Next?’ I get a large chunk of my book recommendations from Anne Bogel, the host of WSIRN. I could talk about books for several more paragraphs but if you’ve made it this far you’re a champion so I’ll save the book chat for another book themed project. I think there will be a spin off card from this journal page.

Oh, and one more thing, please feel free to leave book recommendations in the comments; I’d love to hear your favourites.

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Rustic Birthday

I’ve been creating with Darkroom Door products over the weekend including the new ‘sketched alphabet’ set. I thought the sketched letters looked a bit like pieces of wood which set me thinking about branches and leaves, which made me think of the eucalyptus leaves in the DD ‘ leaves’ set which made me want to have the letters hidden among some leaves, which led to this card.

I can tell you it wasn’t a quick card to make. A fair amount of time was taken working out how I would make the concept work. On the back of this panel there is an unfinished attempt which helped me simplify my concept a bit. I stamped all the letters I was using on masking paper and cut them out. Then I stuck them out on the watercolour panel to get the spacing right. I removed a few of the masks and stamped some leaves in faded jeans and peeled paint distress inks, just a few which would appear to be in front of the letters. I stamped the leaves then, masked them and stamped and embossed the letters with versafine vintage sepia. Once the letters were embossed it wasn’t too hard to paint around them with bundled sage and stormy sky distress stains.

Once the background was dry I masked all the letters and leaves and stamped more leaves to fill the panel. I painted all the leaves in peeled paint, faded jeans and forest moss distress inks then added some splatter. After I removed the letter masks I decided to colour them in with a brown marker to make them stand out more. I blended some faded jeans around the edges of the panel to frame the design.

I was just about finished by this point but thought some gold splatter would be nice, which it was, but that led to gold edges on one side of all the letters. There were a couple more steps in there somewhere but you get the idea and I think I would be able to do it faster a second time!

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Butterfly mail

I started today’s card by creating a colourful watery background with distress stains smooshed on my glass mat. ( I am still using up my distress stain daubers but the spray stains will work just as well). I let the panel dry then added some water droplets which sat for thirty seconds before I dabbed them off with a paper towel to create pale watermarks.

To create the collage like background I inked Darkroom Door stamps with both distress stains and distress inks (salty ocean, mustard seed, crushed olive, broken china and hickory smoke). Some stamps I inked then spritzed with water, others I stamped then spritzed the panel with water and dabbed away colour with a paper towel. To create the collage background I used the new sets ‘global postmarks’ and number medley along with ‘French script’ background stamp. The butterfly stamp is from the ‘wings’ set and was stamped three times. I didn’t re-ink between impressions but I did spritz with water so each butterfly is paler than the previous one.

I swiped some of the same inks onto a scrap of watercolour paper before stamping the sentiment from the ‘warm wishes’ set and popping it up decorated with a bit of mustard cord.

Darkroom Door has some beautiful collage stamps but if you want to make your own collage prints then the recent global postmarks and number medley are perfect. Make sure you check out the rest of the latest release and all the inspiration on the blog.

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Beloved View – 2 ways

 

I haven’t done scenic stamping for a while so ‘beloved view’ from Penny Black called out to me. I decided to stamp it two ways, that way you can see the versatility and I will have two more birthday cards. To begin I smooshed some mermaid lagoon and weathered wood distress inks on a glass mat, diluted the ink with water then swiped the watercolour paper through the inks to create the look of a cloudy sky. I dried the panel then put it in a stamp positioner so I could build up the scene a colour at a time. First I inked the fence in gathered twigs and ground espresso distress inks then, after stamping, blended the browns with a brush and water. Next I inked the foliage of the tree in peeled paint and forest moss inks, spritzed and stamped. I let that dry a little then used a brown marker to ink some of the branches before stamping again. For the foreground foliage I used a mix of pine needles distress ink along with peeled paint. I did a bit more blending with a paint brush then dried the whole panel.

I switched to blending brushes to add the rest of the detail including brown ink along the lower edge and mermaid lagoon around the edge of the sky. I added two hills by blending over the edge of a torn post it note first in weathered wood ink then on the right with hickory smoke ink.

The sentiment is from PB ‘special sentiments’ and is stamped in versafine vintage sepia ink. Now I’m sure this never happens to you but as I was stamping the sentiment a second time I got it slightly off set. Several unappealing fixes popped into my head but I decided to keep stamping the sentiment so with extra ink the two ‘prints’ would join together. This would not have been totally successful if I had left them only stamped but once I embossed with clear powder the text no longer appeared to be a double image! Phew, crisis averted.

On my second card I created an abstract background first then, once dry, I stamped ‘beloved view’ over the top in versafine clair nocturne ink to create a silhouette,

The ‘impressionistic’ background was painted with distress stains, salty ocean, chipped sapphire, vintage photo and peeled paint. I spritzed water and painted them without trying to create a scene other than keeping the brown stain in vertical strips a bit like trees. Once I had the background covered I sprinkled salt over the wet panel to add some texture.

Once the salt dried I rubbed it off and did the silhouette stamping. The paper is hot pressed watercolour so it has a little texture; to get a solid image of the foreground scene I had to stamp several times in black and the stamp positioner made that possible. The sentiment from PB ‘heartfelt’ is also stamped in nocturne ink. I trimmed the panel so the card base would create a very narrow frame all around.

My stash is always a little short on masculine cards so these two are sure to come in handy. And by the way, my cards are now for sale in two Ottawa locations, A Curated Nest on Wellington Street and Crop A While on St Joseph Boulevard. Thanks for dropping by today

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Clover journal page

Are you wondering if I’m repeating myself? Didn’t I post this a few days ago? Indeed, I posted something similar on Monday, a card featuring the new ‘warm wishes’ set from Darkroom Door. At the end of the post I mentioned that I’d like to transform the design into a journal page…so I did!

I kept my colour scheme with the addition of more green and added a few extra stamp images and a bit of texture. I used a Fabriano ‘Venezia’ art journal, with drawing paper not watercolour paper. The weight of the paper is decent but if I’m going to be spritzing and adding water and ink I paint a layer of absorbant ground on both pages first.

I began by inking up the clover stamps with worn lipstick, aged mahogany and peeled paint markers, spritzed them so the ink started blending on the stamp then stamped randomly across the pages. I spritzed the images lightly so the ink moved and softened and also dabbed colour and water away with a paper towel. I inked the number/account book stamp from ‘number medley’ set with stormy sky distress stain and stamped it randomly around the pages. After stamping I spritzed the images so the ink spread, diluted and ran across the page. I dabbed some of it dry but left other bits to make watermarks. I also splattered the stain around with a paintbrush. Once the first layer of stamping was dry I switched to stormy sky distress ink and a blending brush to add colour to all the page edges. Also on the dry page I added a bit of texture by applying modeling paste through the DD stencil, ‘crackle’. The crackle was not very obvious but showed up a bit more after I added more stamping.

At this point I considered the background complete and started on the more distinct stamping. As I was working in the journal I couldn’t place it in the MISTI so I placed my ‘staytion’ magnetic board under the left hand page and added some acrylic blocks underneath the board to balance the left side of the journal with the right. I used an acrylic block to stamp all the clover and positioned a stampa-ma-jig against the block a couple of times just in case I didn’t have a complete image. I was able to do touch ups with a paintbrush and extra ink if the stamping was too pale.

I wanted some clover-ish leaves to stamp around the flowers so I grabbed a stamp from the DD ‘wildflowers vol 2’ and stamped foliage all around in peeled paint and forest moss inks. I added some green splatter too because journal pages always need splatter! At this point I was almost finished but I wanted a little more blue on the page. Rather than add more of the number stamp I used a very delicate floral stamp from ‘nature walk’ in faded jeans archival ink so I would have fine detailed lines that wouldn’t blend or blur. To balance mass of colour at the base of the pages I added more blue across the top edges. The blending brush was going to take too long so I swiped the ink pad over the edges and some water droplets also.

My journal is nowhere near full but it has become bulky with uneven pages because some have been glued to each other, others have been collaged. When I started the journal I glued pages together for sturdiness because that was what Vicky Papaioannou did and Vicky is an art journal wizard! She doesn’t always do that any more and neither do I because some of the pages just don’t want to be joined to each other, it makes it difficult to open them or flatten them. If you are an art journaller I would love to know if you prep your pages in some way so they can take a bit of water and liquid ink.

 

I hope you enjoyed seeing how a card inspired a double page spread; I definitely enjoyed working on the large scale with less pressure to keep things neat and contained!

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Sending Love

I posted a clean and simple two tone card last week featuring a new Darkroom Door set, ‘warm wishes’. The detail of the stamp was very apparent in my earlier card but this time I am showing it off with a watercolour look. The set includes five flowers ( I think they are clover) of different shapes and sizes. I have used a rounder flower on this card and stamped it several times to create a blurry background then twice with detail in the foreground.

I began by taping some hot pressed watercolour paper to my glass mat then spritzing it unevenly with water. When it was fairly wet I inked the flower stamp in worn lipstick, aged mahogany and peeled paint distress inks then stamped it repeatedly over the wet panel. I re-inked the stem to stamp several times in the bottom left hand corner.  To frame the design I painted some stormy sky distress stain around the edges. After the panel dried I transferred it to a stamp positioner so I could add a couple more flowers. I used the same three distress markers to ink the flower and stem then added darker green with a forest moss marker.

For some added interest I used a number stamp from another new Darkroom Door set, ‘number medley’. I know I am going to enjoy using this set to add texture and detail to a whole lot of projects. You probably wouldn’t have guessed the stamp is made up of numbers because I stamped with distress stain and did some spritzing to make the ink move a little.

To complete the card I added a sentiment from ‘warm wishes’ in faded jeans archival ink then popped up the whole panel with some white foam. I feel like transforming this design into an art journal page; what do you think?

For more inspiration with this new set head over to the Darkroom Door blog.

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