Streaming

As I write this a snow storm continues outside so there will be scenes like this one to enjoy in days to come. The whole scene is one of Penny Black’s beautiful scenic stamps; this one is called ‘streaming’. I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper in a stamp positioner and had splattered masking fluid over the panel before I began.

I used a few different inks so I could blend in some areas and get sharp images in others. The first thing I stamped was the top of the stamp including the horizon in uncharted mariner distress ink. Once I could see the horizon I painted more of the same ink to fill the sky adding a little black soot to the blending at the top to darken the sky. I let the panel dry before stamping the stream also in uncharted mariner ink. I took my time blending the stream because I wanted a bit of variety in the depth of colour. You can probably see a few areas that look quite dark where I added black ink to create the look of shadow at the water’s edge.

I inked the trees in black archival ink and black starless sky ink (from Ciao Bella) I also used black and blue markers here and there to add ink to fiddly places. I painted some of my own shadowy snow drifts to fill out the scene.

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Treasured Pine

You are excused for thinking you have scene this card before. When I get a new pine branch stamp I often set it against a blue sky. I have a pine tree in my front yard and I think it is at its best under a blue sky after a fresh fall of snow. Most of the year said pine tree is just making a mess in our yard and driveway. This lovely stamp is from Penny Black and is called ‘treasured pine’.

I worked on hot pressed watercolour that had been splattered with masking fluid earlier. I smooshed both speckled egg and uncharted mariner distress inks on a glass mat, spritzed with water then swiped my watercolour panel through the ink several times. I also spritzed water on the panel to spread the ink further.

Once the background was dry I worked in a stamp positioner to stamp first the pinecone in a couple of brown inks then the pine needles in a couple of greens. I blended the ink on the pinecones with a brush to intensify the coverage and after the inks dried added white to the snow covered areas with a posca paint pen. I added a sentiment from the PB ‘feeling of Christmas’ set. To see a couple more pine themed designs click here and here

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2022 BuJo – June theme

Only a few days late getting my bullet journal pages set up this month. My theme could only be lupins I decided, as my back garden is full of them.

Lupins self seed and mine have been doing so with enthusiasm for the last few years but this year is the best display yet. I had to dig some out the other day because they were blocking the lavender from any chance of sunshine.

I used the Penny Black stamp ‘distinctive’ and distress colours that weren’t quite the same but not too far off what I have in my garden. Once again I masked with post-it notes before stamping which gives a crisp clean edge. I am still enjoying my Dingbats notebook but I did see some notebooks with embossed cityscape covers the other day which called my name, especially the Melbourne one.

I used a distress marker along with a staedtler brushmarker for all the words and linework.

After a hot unseasonable three days back in mid May we have had only mild temperatures. We also had an incredibly violent storm, actually a ‘derecho‘ just over two weeks ago. Our house was without power for a week so that’s why you didn’t hear from me on the blog. We did not suffer any damage to our trees or house but our neighbours and neighbourhood did along with many parts of Ottawa, Ontario and Quebec. The garden got soaked and bent but it has bounced back as you see.

At this time of year my garden is full of pinks and purples but later in the summer there are more whites, reds and yellows. It was my first year with alliums so I am happy to see they came up. The pack I planted in autumn were mixed but I ended up with one white and all the rest purple.

By the way I have updated the Classes page for local in person classes and will be adding more in the coming weeks.

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Blue Florals

I spent a little while painting florals the other day. My watercolour paints were on my table so I painted two precut card panels with a few blues. I started the flowers on both cards by putting five little dabs of paint in a circle then blending them out with a wet paint brush. After blending I added dots to the centres with black and yellow markers.

Both the bold and the soft florals looked ok but the leaves I’d added didn’t work. I set the panels aside, happy that I had practised but not planning to use either pieces. When I came back to them a day or so later I did some extreme cropping which took out the leaves I didn’t like and left me with some nice blends and a configuration which had some balance.

Even if I had not cropped them and put them on cards the exercise was worthwhile. Even after years of making, practising and learning I still have the niggling feeling that everything I work on should ‘work out’! I know it is unrealistic and I am getting better at spending time practising and playing just to grow and enjoy.

The pale blue ‘washy-er’ panel is my favourite but I love the colours in both. After cropping them I added them to an embossed panel (SU scripty) and popped up some Taylored Expressions sentiments over the top.

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2022 BuJo – March theme

Yes we are a third of the way through March but better late than never. I live in the north where March rarely means spring flowers; more often it means spring snow so my theme is still wintery!

I actually left my home and went away last weekend to the mountains and did a little skiing and relaxing so this theme seemed appropriate. Our accommodation looked nothing like my hand drawn cabin but was lovely just the same.

The trees on these pages were stamped with a Simply Graphic stamp, ‘pine forest‘ in rustic wilderness and iced spruce inks.

Simply Graphic is a French company with some very cool stamp and die designs. The Foiled Fox just started carrying more of their product and sent me a few stamps to try out. You will see more in tomorrow’s post.

I used post-its to mask, drew my own cabin with Staedtler markers then lightly watercoloured it with distress inks.

I made many mistakes on these pages because I was rushing but I managed to cover them up or work around them!

If you haven’t seen one of my bullet journal spreads before I am working in a ‘Dingbats’ notebook; it’s A5 and dotted and I think the quality is excellent.

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2021 BuJo – December theme

I didn’t have a lot of time to spend setting up my December pages; I can’t even believe it is December honestly. It’s a busy week but I had a snowflake idea for the theme and a bit of a plan which you can see did not happen at all. But that is ok because I can save my snowflake plan for January or February or March or Ap…….

After creating the large panel for my recent stack of PB ‘delicate pines’ Christmas cards the stamp set was still on my table along with its buddy the PB ‘brilliance’ stamp set. I decided to use them together for some festive foliage. I used a mix of distress greens and blue along with a red marker for the berries and a white gel pen for the frost.

I reused a frisket film mask which I saved after creating October’s title page and stamped foliage from both PB ‘brilliance’ and ‘delicate pines’ sets. I blended over the stamping with prize ribbon distress ink then dotted white around the circle and on top of the red berries.

The to-do page and the calendar page have simple foliage stamping and some lettering with Pentel Flair pens.

I have used masking in quite a few of my pages this year; I might need to come up with a new favourite technique for next year. I hope your December is off to a good start. Because I can’t believe it is December I have a discount code for the Floral Faves classWinter Wonder class and the Colour Clues class. If you use HTDEC you will get 20% off. If you are interested in giving an online class as a gift please get in touch so I can help you make it happen.

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2021 BuJo – September theme

This was not the original plan I had for the September theme; I’d thought instead of doing apples. I sketched a few apples in preparation then realised I would want to have them on all my pages and that would take me half of September. I would then want to colour them in and that would take the other half of the month. I was already late on getting this done so….

…when short on time and want something pretty what do you do? You pull out one of your faves! ‘Nature Walk’ from Darkroom Door is definitely a fave and for a late summer theme it works beautifully.

I began each page design with a masked sun, blended in harvest gold ink. Next I masked either a straight or hilly base and blended fine linen for the background then stamped flowers and grasses in gold, kraft and chartreuse.

Life now includes a few more commitments so I decided to spread the month of September over a few pages with the middle one cut down narrower.

I also have a page for my work commitments, current projects, future projects, etc. The title is my attempt at a mixed up font. There are plenty of examples on the interwebs but I decided to make up this one out of my head. Not too bad for a first try. You would think it would be easy to do every letter a different way but even a mixed up font needs balance!

Hope you are feeling more balanced than mixed up! Have a great week.

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2021 BuJo – August theme

This might be a first, having my month theme set up and ready to share before the month has even started! I wanted to include butterflies as the garden has been attracting quite a few. I’ve been enjoying both blooms and wings.

I masked the circle with an ‘express-it mask it sheet then stamped butterflies and flowers from the PB ‘perfect pairings’ set with soft stone ink. Before colouring I added memento summer sky ink with a blending brush.

As I did the last two months I used markers to colour the flowers and butterflies; I am still new to (non-blended) colouring with markers. Usually when I use markers for colouring I add a little ink then blend it with water to fill a space. As the bullet journal pages do not handle water in the same way as watercolour paper I’ve avoided water blending.

On both the title page and list page I filled the wings with blue first then added all the details over the top with black and white gel pens. I switched to a pilot fineliner to do the numbers and lettering.

After prepping my August pages with flowers and butterflies it is time I headed out to my garden and did some real life tidying up. Thanks for dropping by.

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Vintage Style Bookshelf + Video

This isn’t my first time stamping books with Darkroom Door stamps. This time I filmed the process so you could see how I made them look all old and vintagey!

The fun thing about the Darkroom Door ‘bookshelf’ stamp is its length (just under 12″) so I decided to wrap it around my cards for maximum effect. I worked on two cards at the same time giving them slightly different paint jobs and background finishing touches. Watch the video to see my process.

Because I inked the bookshelf stamp randomly the colours moved where they willed and left me with a mix of blues and browns. This second card has some extra scratches from the DD stamp of the same name.

The insides of the cards have random paint splotches here and there so I added paper inserts for a clean place to write a note. Now that I have made a wraparound card with this border stamp I might have to try it with the other DD one I own, ‘butterfly garden‘.

Thank you so much for your interest and discussion about the gel printing I shared last week. I really enjoyed the gel printing session which resulted in my last two videos and turning a few of the prints into cards and a journal page was very satisfying. Several of you mentioned wanting to get your gel plate out to try the techniques; I hope you do. I also hope you try this brown and blue vintage style on some of your own stamped projects. If you do be sure to let me know.

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2021 BuJo – July theme

With all the flowers blooming in my garden right now I have a wealth of inspiration. I decided to go for daisies but then realised I didn’t want to fiddle with white petals and settled on black-eyed Susans instead.

I tested the black fine tip markers currently in my possession to see which ones were waterproof and would give me a dark black. I ended up choosing the small and the medium from a set of Faber Castell Pitt artist pens. I did most of the drawing with the small tip (0.3mm) and then used the medium (0.7mm) for the calendar page.

I drew all the daisies myself and let the black ink dry before colouring with orangey-yellow and light green brushmarkers from the Staedtler set of watercolour brushmarkers.

I used the same four pens for all the pages. On the calendar page below I made a couple of mistakes, in marker! Not ideal but I came up with some fixes that satisfied me. I will do a bit more pencil sketching next time; I think by the time I got to the calendar page I was not being as careful as I had been for the previous two pages!

The first mistake you can probably guess was a vertical line which did not line up to make even 7×7 dot squares! To cover the mistake I made all the vertical lines off by one dot! The second mistake was drawing the title letters in pen without sketching them in pencil first. Both the downstroke of the J and the curve of the U ended up narrower than the rest of the letters. Solution? A few little flowers to pad them out!

Despite the errors along the way I am happy with the July theme because it is bright and happy and showed me I could draw my elements from scratch and not need a stamp or die every time! Hope your July is off to a great start.

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