October 31, 2019

Unrequited Love


I've got a lot of pics to share today that illustrate the steps I took to create this journal page made for Simon's Monday challenge this week.

Art journaling can be/should be somewhat spontaneous and you'll see by the process that unfolded for this page, nothing was set in stone and I changed directions a few times.

Being flexible and just "going with the flow" is what makes the experience fun. Not to mention what you might learn along the way!

I began with transcribing a document then pasted word strips cut from it onto the page.

I covered the page with gesso and tinted some sections with gray then sanded it a bit.

I transcribed the last paragraph of my document over the top using a Fude Ball 1.5 pen.

The ink was taking FOREVER to dry so I sprinkled clear embossing powder on it and heat-set. It was messy but did the trick and I like the emphasis and durability it provided.

I used a vintage stamping set (circa 2008) and applied the flowers with black archival ink.

I wanted to create the illusion of flowers growing over and around a brick wall so I printed a photo of some brick, tore out sections and used my image transfer technique.

As you can see, the wall was modified quite a bit later in the process but proved to be a good jumping-off point which was just what I needed.

I used shades of gray to blend in the wall and began to tint the page with craft paints.

I didn't worry too much about "staying inside the lines" but the paint did blur the stamping so I went over the lines with a black pen marker.

Here's the finished product--it's a two-page spread in a Ranger Dylusions journal (8" x 11"):

Some details I didn't photograph but are worth mentioning: I used the Dot Fade stencil and white paint to unify the page and added the butterfly (cut from Tissue Wrap) along with some Collage Paper leaves (Tim Holtz products).

October 15, 2019

This Happy Life


Thanks to Columbus, I had the day off yesterday and an opportunity to make something for Simon's Monday challenge (this week's theme is "Pink").

Nothing says pink like a coneflower so I made this tag by stamping on watercolor paper (Tim Holtz Flower Garden), the text is an old Remnant Rub, and the border was machine-stitched and dotted with Nuvo Crystal Drops.

Just a few things, technique-wise, that you might appreciate:


I'm sure you've seen the "no-line" technique when it comes to stamping an image that you plan to watercolor using a light shade of dye (water-based) ink so the lines disappear. But I like the lines! So for this tag, I stamped with archival inks using a pink, a tea stain, and a dark brown shade. The lines darkened somewhat after the watercoloring was applied.


Obviously, I had to do some masking to stamp this arrangement. But I didn't use the stems that come with the set and drew them on instead.

The photo above shows how I painted the background first using a juicy puddle of cobalt blue.


The bee was an after-thought. It was stamped onto a piece of tissue paper, cut-out, pasted on and then I dabbed a tiny bit of yellow paint on to its body.

It's also worth mentioning that I prefer to use a "hot-press" version of watercolor paper when I plan to stamp on it. Cold-press has bumps that I think make it harder to get a crisp image.

If you haven't tried watercoloring with rubber stamps, I can tell you it really is a lot of fun and very rewarding. Go for it!

October 09, 2019

Purple Martin


Autumn is Simon's Monday challenge this week and was the inspiration for this greeting card. I dug out an older (but favorite) paper stash by Tim Holtz called Wallflower and the bird (a Purple Martin), leaves and feathers were cut from it.

The background paper is this year's Halloween release from Tim called Abandoned. Run, don't walk to purchase (before it's all gone) if you like dark-colored, jewel-toned distress-looking paper.

I couldn't resist adding the book text. It accidentally showed up on my desk while working and it just seemed like karma to add it. I expect to use the card as a kind of "get well" greeting to provide words of encouragement.

The border was made with Copper Scribbles and Olive Branch Nuvo Crystal Drops.


To prevent warping, I pasted the various cut-out bits using tiny drops of a quick dry adhesive only where needed (on the floppy bits, etc.).

I also tinted the leaves ever so lightly with colored pencils and a bit of ink to alter their original neutral appearance.

October 01, 2019

Happy Birthday Thelma


Thelma (my good friend who got me started stamping) has a BIG milestone birthday coming up and this is the card I made for her.

Nothing ground-breaking to talk about technique-wise but I would like to mention the flower garland because it was hand-drawn by me after a few simple lessons from the queen of coloring books--Johanna Basford. She has a new book coming out this month that teaches her drawing methods.

I gave the garland some color with my Polychromos then cut it out and pasted it onto scrapbook paper.


The cardstock I mounted it on couldn't be a standard card size so I found some really great instructions here for how to make an envelope in ONE MINUTE. Really!

Then I decorated the envelope using inspiration from Kristina Werner and realize I need more interesting postage stamps for the next time I do this. (No pics for privacy reasons.)

I wonder if the post office would mind if I used a real stamp along with some fake ones like these? I'll have to try it and then let you know.