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 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.
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!
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.
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
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!
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.
You might not recognise this stamp straight away but it is the ‘winsome wreath’ I used on a black card earlier in the week. It looks a bit different on the more traditional white watercolour paper. It also looks different because I have only used half of the stamp. I stamped the wreath on the edge of a hot pressed watercolour paper panel and once I’d finished painting it I added a few leaves under the orange rose as that space seemed a little empty.
I did the initial stamping in distress antique linen ink which is great for no-line colouring. While the panel was still in the stamp positioner I stamped the centre of the big rose in spiced marmalade ink. I did this because I find it hard to paint all those tiny petals separately and even find it hard to see them all when they are stamped in antique linen. As I was planning to paint the rose in spiced marmalade anyway it was helpful to have the centre of the rose outlined in that ink to begin with.
I dropped some spiced marmalade, seedless preserves and mowed lawn distress stain on my glass mat to use as a palette. I painted one petal at a time except for some of those tiny ones in the centre. As I painted a petal I would blend to the edges then drop in a bit more colour with my brush usually on the sections of the petals that might be shadowed by the petal adjacent. It isnt’ an exact science when I do it but I end up with some variation which adds to the realism. I also added a tiny bit of seedless preserves to some of the petals which gave them a slightly aged looked. The leaves are a mix of mowed lawn and spiced marmalade so without intending to I did another of my ‘limited palette’ cards, just three colours in the end.
I splattered some gold paint from the gansai tambi starry set over the panel and added a sentiment in gold embossing powder to match. Rather than add a coloured mat I created a subtle ‘shadow mat’ by popping up the panel on a piece of foam. Thanks for dropping by today; let me know if you can see the mistake I made with the rose but decided to just ignore because I definitely did not want to start again!
I have two more wreaths to share today; I don’t think I’ve ever made so many wreath cards. This year I did them in a class and I’ve done them here at home more than a few times with little stamps and big stamps. The fact that Penny Black came out with such beautiful wreaths this year kept the inspiration going.
The stamp above is called ‘conifer wreath’ and the stamp below ‘homespun’. I used the same technique for both. Working on hot pressed watercolour paper (psst Foiled Fox has Fabriano in stock now!!) I splattered masking fluid over the paper before I started stamping or painting so I would have dots of snow appear at the end. Once the masking fluid was dry I used my glass mat and spread some pine needles, evergreen bough and gathered twigs distress stain over the mat. I diluted it with water then swiped both panels through the stain to pick up pale green and brown blurry colour.
Once the background ink dried I used the stamp positioner to stamp the wreaths colour by colour using pine needles and forest moss distress inks for the foliage, gathered twigs and black soot for the twigs and pine cones and chipped sapphire for some added depth. I drew a few berries on the wreath below with a festive berries marker then painted over them with red from the finetec pearlescent paint set.
To add a little snow to the pine cones I used a white gel pen then splattered some green and brown ink around the wreaths. Once all the ink was dry I removed the masking fluid then added some texture to the panel with the clever SU embossing folder ‘subtle’.
To add a sentiment to the conifer wreath I die-cut a few ‘joy’ words with the PB die, ‘merry & joy’, stacked them and added them over the bottom of the wreath. Now what I really need to get done is a wreath to hang over my fireplace!
This peaceful scene from Penny Black is called snow blanket and such scenery will be welcome in a month and a half but right now my back yard could aptly be named leaf blanket! I mowed less than a quarter of the leaves yesterday before the rain set in. The leaves have been incredibly vibrant this year; every where I’ve turned has been a treat for the eyes.
As you can imagine the stamp positioner was my friend for this scene, I worked on the tree first, then the fence and finally the background trees. I inked only the large tree to start with; I used a versafine clair nocturne ink for the centre and finished off the extremities with an embossing marker. I embossed in black powder then put the panel back in the corner of the stamp positioner so it would line up again for the rest of the inking. I stamped the whole scene with stormy sky ink so I could see all the elements and add colours over the top. With the tree complete it was time to add a mask for the moon; I used frisket film which is waterproof then I painted the whole sky in stormy sky, weathered wood and chipped sapphire distress stains. Once that was dry I used ground espresso and black soot distress markers to stamp the fence and the same colour inks on my glass mat to paint over the stamping to get solid coverage and blended colour. Painting blue shadows over the snow was a little tricky but the stamped image has lines to show piles of snow on the fence so I used them as my guide and left the snow untouched. Finally I stamped the background trees in forest moss ink.
I decided against a sentiment but can add one on the inside if needed. I’ll be back tomorrow to chat about another Christmas tradition. Thanks for dropping by.
Let me introduce you to ‘ruby trill’ a cardinal stamp from PB; isn’t he a beauty? I wasn’t sure about my colour choices when I started painting these holly leaves but by the time I had finished the whole panel everything seemed to work together. I kept my colour range small as I often do. First I stamped the bird and branch with antique linen so I could do some no-line watercolour. Before painting I stamped some of the leaves with pine needles distress ink so that I could blend the green ink with water as well as add extra if needed. I worked one leaf at a time and also dropped in some blueprint sketch ink for added depth. This is where I doubted my choice; the blueprint sketch looked too blue and I wondered if I should start again. I decided to keep going and painted the berries in candy apple distress ink and the branch in gathered twigs.
It wasn’t until I started painting the cardinal that the colours looked like they would work. I used the same candy apple distress ink to paint the cardinal but added shadows with the blueprint sketch and the gathered twigs inks. I know I keep saying this but the limited palette really does work! I added the brown on the tail and behind the wing and blue along the back and crest. As I had kept the stamp and watercolour panel in the stamp positioner I was able to ink the black area around the eye and stamp it before blending it with water and extra ink.
I had reference photos of cardinals on hand to check the colour of the legs and beak. Once all the painting had dried I re-stamped the body of the cardinal in candied apple to darken the details on the back and wings. At this point I had to decide whether I was adding a background or not. In the past I’ve ruined several focal images by adding a background around them. I decided I wanted a grey snowy look so I painted around holly with water and dropped in weathered wood distress stain as I went along. It was fiddly getting in and around the legs and leaves but it’s a loose cloudy look so no fussing about precision. While the background was still wet I inked just a few holly leaves and berries and pressed them onto the wet panel in a few places to look soft and shadowy. I dried everything before splattering some white paint over the whole panel and some black soot in the corners. Even though the mats look black in the photo they are actually teal and the little patterned strip behind is a PB snowflake paper in just the right grey/green colour.