Friday 31 March 2017

2017 #5 Tea in the Garden {by Kate Yetter}

2017 Topic 5: Blue and Ochre

If you like journalling, in a kind of scrapbook-style, then this post is going to pique your interest. Kate's layers have a whiff of minimalism, yet there are all the mixed media elements of scraped paint and stamped or layered textures and colour. With this colour scheme, kraft card, or paper coloured to look like kraft card, is the perfect starting point... 

Hello PaperArtsy Blog followers, it’s Kate ( here, sharing with you a post featuring the colours blue and ochre. I love working with bright colours, especially blues so this theme was particularly appealing to me. At the moment, I am working on a Tea themed art journal so when I saw this stamp set I knew I had to use it to make a layout in my art journal.

I started out by slathering gesso on my page and building my layers from there. I chose these colours not only because they go with the theme but also because cooler tones are cheery and calming.

When creating a journal layout I make one of the pages an accent page, something that doesn’t distract from the focal image/page. I still want that page to be eye catching but not the main focus. On this page, I love how the colours draw the eye to the background texture and the sentiment.

Vintage Ink and the Dog (Plate 6)

One of my favourite steps in working with stamped images is putting colour to them and bringing them to life. I used to paint with watercolours, once upon a time, before children. Even though I do not have the time to create watercolour portraits these days, I find enjoyment in using those techniques throughout my art journals.

Recently I discovered I love adding doodles to my stamped images. In the past I have found that stamped images can be difficult to make out in pictures depending upon what ink is used. I think adding accent lines and doodles give it a personalized touch as well as enhancing the shadows, making it easier for the eye to pick up.

Around the page edges I added Distress Stains. I really like how the tea stained look adds an aged appearance to the layout.

I hope this journal layout encourages you to try your hand at doodling or painting your stamped images.  Adding personal touches to your images takes a little bit of confidence and practice. The first several times I tried it my images ended up in the trash. I have found that straight lines do not look natural and that a loose hand and having fun makes all the difference. Thank you for letting me share.

I love your layers of kraft-looking card, scraped paint, and splashes of colour Kate! We often forget about the Vintage Ink and the Dog stamp collection, and the size of this house in the A5 stamp set is perfect for journalling layout like this! Great choice! ~ Leandra

We always hope that you  learn something interesting from our blog. Our bloggers deeply appreciate your comments so much, so please take time to let them know you've been inspired! Why not join our challenge by blogging your interpretation of the current topic and link it here?

The current topic link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, April 9th 2017, and the winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

All links go in the draw to win a £50 voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store.

Thursday 30 March 2017

2017 #5 Under the sea {by Chris Dark}

2017 Topic 5: Blue and Ochre

Chris has gone bright with her version of blue and ochre using Tracy Scott's lovely flower/coral stamps! What a fantastic idea to create a watery flower garden! 

Hi everyone it's Chris Dark here and it's lovely to be here on the PA blog tonight.  I've chosen to share with you a pocket letter I've made for a friend, it's such a lovely way to pass on a few crafty bits and pieces and gift some artwork at the same time. I find that these are great as keepsakes too as they can be stored in a ring binder which is easy to get out and pour through when you've built up a little collection from friends.

Being quite a colour driven crafter I'm always drawn to the colour topics and this one immediately made me think of sea and sand. Looking through stamps the accessory circles stamp in Tracey's gorgeous ETS06 stamp set (stockist info here) reminded me of coral and from that came the idea of an undersea scene with the stamps as underwater florals. 

Here is my finished pocket letter in it's segmented binder and I love how these work with 9 ATCs (ATC = artist trading card). I created mine from a single scene but of course they could be made up as different individual ATCs.

I find it easier to work on a single sheet of card and cut it down later therefore I create a grid marked out with the ATC size X 9. An ATC measures 31/2 X 21/2 inches. This grid helps when placing the stamps too.

I didn't want the flowers to be cut right through the middle so tried to place the majoriy of the bloom inside one or the other ATC. When using character stamps I check the placement so that I won't have to cut down through a face for instance.

Accidentally I discovered something nice when painting the flower petals as I'd added pearlescent glaze instead of paint drying retarder to my Fresco Finish Chalk Acylic paint. As I dropped the paints into each other they took on a bit of a marbled effect.

If you have a fan brush you'll know how versatile they are, I use mine a lot and here I've used it to create some movement in the sea, it's great for painting grasses too. 

As I wanted to add decorative writing this is when I pencilled in some wavy guidelines

Here's a close up of the decorative writing, I wonder if you know the song? Yes, it's 'Under the Sea' from the Disney film 'The Little Mermaid'. it's burned into my brain actually from having to watch it several hundred times when my sons were small! Song lyrics are my favourite way to make journal pages, great if you don't want to put your life on your pages and there are so many to choose from I never have a problem finding something suitable for the stamps.

I was very happy with how the undersea beach turned out by mixing several colours and adding a few layers with brush, baby wipe and dots of paint on the end of a paintbrush together with a couple of lovely new Infusions colours (infusions stockists here). I've also added doodling for some bubbles and coloured in the stems with black and white pens which always helps me with completion.

Here is the artwork cut down into the ATCs and it was a bit hard to cut it up I have to admit but after re-combining them in the binder I was happy again.

Masking tape is my friend for this part of the operation and covering up the ugly punched edge of the binder, it takes paint well too and was pretty good to stamp on. I did miss a few areas with the stamp on uneven parts of the edge but they are easily touched up with a black fine liner pen.

Here is the reverse of the binder with crafty odds and ends tucked inside, it's surprising how much can be fitted in. I still have some charms to add and then it'll go off to the recipient.

So in conclusion I had a very enjoyable play with the bonus of creating something nice for a friend using Tracy's lovely whimsical stamps, they make such happy compositions. This idea could also work as a journal page if you can't bear to cut it up, and the colours of blue and ochre have such a huge range of tones within them you can get a different result every time. 

Extra interest can be achieved in your backgrounds with different brushes, I can highly recommend investing in a fan brush, it's one of my most useful.  It's also fun to bring in different effects with matte against shine which can help to lift your focal stamped images a bit. I hope you'll join in with the challenge and show us your version of ochre and blue..

Thanks for joining me tonight and have a wonderfully creative week!

Instgram: @chrisd999
Find my classes at The Craft Barn

This really does make me feel all spring-like Chris! I love how you planned the grid for the stamps to be positioned appropriately, and so many great creative-tips within your post. Can't believe I've never bought a fan brush either! must do so! ~ Leandra

We always hope that you  learn something interesting from our blog. Our bloggers deeply appreciate your comments so much, so please take time to let them know you've been inspired! Why not join our challenge by blogging your interpretation of the current topic and link it here?

The current topic link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, April 9th 2017, and the winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

All links go in the draw to win a £50 voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store.

Monday 27 March 2017

2017 #5 Born For Joy {Chris Cresswell}

2017 Topic 5: Blue and Ochre

A feast for the eyes this evening from Chris, her attention for detail is staggering, every project is filled to brimming with eye catching details and tonight's offering is no exception.

Hi everyone, Chris Cresswell here from loops and lines .

I am so excited to blog my project tonight for this particular theme because I absolutely adore what I have made. In fact, I loved every part of the process. As soon as I realised that the colour combination was selected from the amazing Somerset Studio publication, True Colours, I knew that I wanted to create a project based on these two contrasting colours: Blue/Ochre

There is a lot of inspiration by various art journalers within the pages of this book and my art journal spread is definitely inspired by them. I love art journaling and since my first attempts at creating a 'niche' inside a book some time ago in a workshop with Lin Brown, I have enjoyed creating doors, windows and niches inside pages ever since.

As I also opted to use JoFy's stamps and stencils for this project, I wanted to use her images to create the idea of a secret garden.This colour contrast was going to be perfect, I felt, to really show off her gorgeous flowers. I knew that I wanted the two windows (that I intended to create in one side of the journal spread) to open into a page that contained an illustrated bird. 

I already had the perfect book for this: a wonderfully aged copy of 'The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady' by Edith Holden. The bird image was needed to echo the quote I intended to use.

To create the windows was just a matter of working back from a suitable image, leaving sufficient pages for me to stick together to create cut out windows that would be firm enough to withstand movement.

The most difficult part for me was creating the colour 'Ochre' or at least the colour I had in my mind. This colour shifts and varies from a deep, rusty orange, through a light, brownish-yellow to a mustard-yellow colour. I aimed for the 'deep, rusty orange' version..

Of course, it would have made sense for me to play around and experiment with various Fresco chalk paints first, but I tend to plunge straight in and mix and layer until I'm happy with the result. To create the final blend, I used: Butternut, Pumpkin Soup, Terracotta, Caramel, Tikka and finally Toffee. In that order!

The blues that I chose to contrast with this colour were: China, Southern Skies and Glass Blue. I used two translucents in order to keep some of the page text revealed at the end.

I mixed some of the Fresco Glass Blue in with some DecoArt Crackle paint and pushed this through PS001 stencil before using Glass Blue again with one of JoFy's new stencils: PS056. I always build layers this way: paint, then stencils, then stamping.

PaperArtsy Minis are great for background stamps. I use my favourites all the time: Mini 23, Mini 41.Mini 61 I stamped these with various complementary Ranger Archival inks. You can really see the build up of layers on the cut out doors.

Choosing one of JoFy's new sets of stamps: JOFY 50

... and a previous favourite: JOFY 33, I stamped and coloured using my wonderful Prismacolour crayon pencils. I love the waxiness of these crayons when I blend them on PaperArtsy Smoothy card and on top of an underlayer of Fresco chalk paint.


Assembling all the cut-out flowers to create the idea of the Secret Garden was great fun, not forgetting the two sides of the cut out door page. (Further details of this on my blog).

Adhering six butterflies on top of each other, stamped on very fragile vintage text, was no easy matter, but I wanted to create the idea of fluttering wings. I love the markings on the butterfly.

Some doodling with black/white gel pens, and added bling (using Ranger Stickles) completed the journal spread. I love it. I love the contrasting colours and the way the whole spread makes me feel happy.
I love the way the little bird (Songthrush?) appears through the open doorI do hope, if you haven't tried creating doors, windows or niches in your art journals you might now give this a try. My next project is to create a niche in this same book to hide my mobile phone from my grandfairies when they come to visit!

Facebook: Chris Cresswell
Twitter: @artmadnana
Instagram: Chris Cresswell
Pinterest: Chris Cresswell

Just WOW Chris, you have created an heirloom to treasure here, it is just like stepping into a garden, that it is in a book makes it all the more magical. ~Darcy

We always hope that you learn something interesting from our blog. Our bloggers deeply appreciate your comments so much, so please take time to let them know you've been inspired! Why not join our challenge by blogging your interpretation of the current topic and link it here?

The current topic link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, April 9th 2017, and the winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

All links go in the draw to win a £50 voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store.

Sunday 26 March 2017

2017 #5 Blue and Ochre {Challenge}

 2017 Topic 5: Blue and Ochre

Well hello everyone, Darcy here with a brand new topic and this week sees us returning to a colour scheme. This time we have the beautiful combination of blue and ochre for you. As with all our challenges the options are almost limitless, from huge variations in the colours, to mediums and substrates used to the amazing array of things you can make. 

What do the colours blue and ochre mean to you? there are lots of shades to choose from,. The blues of water and the sky, with variations of aqua and then ochre is a warm earthy yellow, that too has a range of shades from the palest sands through to deep mustards. 

How will you be inspired to use these colours? Look up, look down, look all around. 

Duomo, Siena

Before we start, let's see who won the Topic 4: Doors,Windows and Architecture

The winner is: Lin from Art from Herts

Email Darcy to claim your prize.

Blue is a very popular colour, a firm favourite with many, it is also a complex colour due to the many varieties. Dark blue can mean intelligence, bright blue is representative of cleanliness and strength and light blue is peace and serenity. The eye sees blue slightly differently to other colours, often blues will seem further away and smaller objects in other colours. It can be a very cold colour and is best used in conjunction with another colour. it worked superbly with orange, as that is the opposite colour on the colour wheel, which brings us to ochre. While ochre is from the yellow hue, it is one of the warmer shades of yellow, and does have some hints of red in there. This brings it a little closer to the oranges and so it fits really well with blue. 

As for blue and ochre paints, well ancient humans were not able to paint with blue, it is not a colour of the earth. Cave paintings were severely lacking in blue. the first real blue came from lapis lazuli, this is a semi precious stone and had to be mined. The Egyptians prized this colour, but it was rare and this drove alchemist to create new blues, so popular was blue that by roman times there were factories set up just to create blue pigments!

Ochre colour gets its name from ochre clay, this is found the world over and comes in many shades, ranging from the palest, almost white through to deep reds, there are also green ochres. There were so many shades, ancient tribes would trade colours with each other to expand their palettes.  Over time it has been mixed with saliva, water, eggs or animal fats to make paints. It is one of the oldest forms of painting and is found in many cave paintings. 

Let's have some fun exploring these two gorgeous colours. Your project will change dramatically depending how much you use of each colour. this sign is predominantly ochre/mustard, but with just a pop of blue it is brought to life . 

Stacey Pfahler
This beautiful fabric makes great use of blue and ochre, and teams them with a subtle, soft grey and white. you could create this so easily with some Lin Brown, Sara Naumann or Urban Snapshot stamps. 

Think how you can interpret these images, could you take a plain white pot and make it your own using PaperArtsy Fresco paints. 

John Maltby
If you are a quilter you will love the simplicity of this next one. How could a papercrafter create this? strips of patterned paper, layered painted papers, a bit of machine stitching and topped off by some stencilling?

Sabi Westoby
How about some hand embroidery instead, be inspired by these lush colours are perfect little flower heads. 

Staying with fabric, this is such a sweet wall piece, stretched fabric and a felt flower! You could of course make paper flowers, PaperArtsy has some great metal dies for cutting your own blooms. 

How cute is this handpainted piece of wall art, ideal for a kid's room. 

For more home decor how about swirling some Fresco paint around inside some old glass jars, don't these look so classy..

While you are upcycling, why not create a collection of frames in these fabulous shades. 

The SpeckledEgg

Easter is almost upon us, the chocolate never lasts long, so why not go for a painted egg instead.. well maybe have the chocolate too! These are painted goose eggs from Romania.


How about some accent colours for a spring outfit, simple beads and other embellishments make for an interesting bracelet. 

Cardmaking uses this colour scheme really well, especially when teamed with punchy and clean white. 

Another card, this time stamped like a masterboard and coloured with distress inks. 

For something a bit different, try making some Dorset buttons. They ar fascinating and so easy to make, they make for beautiful embellishments. 

Anita Simmance
Finally a stunning tag, painty layers, collage and stamping. 

Have a wonderful 2 weeks everyone, I hope you have fun with all the different shades of these gorgeous colours, please do show us what you have made. 

Don't forget to follow Darcy and Leandra's Pinterest boards if this topic pushes your buttons, you will see plenty more examples to whet your appetite there! I am really looking forward to seeing what you create over the next 2 weeks!

~ Darcy

We hope that you  learn something interesting from our blog. Our bloggers deeply appreciate your comments so much, so please take time to let them know you've been inspired! Why not join our challenge by blogging your interpretation of the current topic and link it here?

The current topic link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, 9th April 2016, and the winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

All links go in the draw to win a £50 voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store.

Challenge Guidelines

  • The challenge is a for you to show how you are inspired by the current blog topic. We encourage you to play with us and explore your personal creative style.
  • Please mention which PA blog post inspired you and and why (link directly to that post). Please don't link to the home page of your blog because then no-one can track back to easily find the original post.
  • We prefer your challenge blog post is created exclusive to our challenge, but if our topic fits perfectly with another challenge, then you may link to both if appropriate.
  • You are most welcome to use stamps/ products/ substrates you have to hand from a variety of companies, we do not expect you to exclusively use PA products - it's lovely when you do though!
  • You can enter as many times as you like. We don't want to restrict your creativity! 
NB. Link closes at 17:00 Sunday 9th April (London Time)

Prize: The winner will receive a £50 credit voucher to be redeemed on the PaperArtsy Website. The credit voucher includes VAT and postage. We request that one of your purchases is an A5 rubber stamp. You can add any other items to your basket, but the final total should not exceed £50. It's your responsibility to claim your prize coupon from Darcy. 

NEW Challenge/ winner: Each fortnight on Sunday, the winner will be announced at 19:00 (London time). In the same post, the link for the next fortnight will be posted. 

Good Luck! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!