Thursday 1 July 2021

2021 Topic 8: Nature's Treasure with EEB {by Jennie Atkinson}

2021 Topic 8: Nature's Treasures

Jennie has moved into the watercolor zone for this post, using infusions in soft, delicate ways to offer subtle shades with differing depths using a range of images from the EEB collection. I think it can be quite tricky to use infusions so softly like this, and her step out instructions are really useful to see how she does this.
~ Leandra

Hi everyone, it's Jennie (Live the Dream) with you today, and I'm here to share with you a small watercolour folded book around our theme of Nature's Treasure.

The folded book has been made with just a few products and items but these are all little pieces that I like to use in my projects. I particularly love stamping flowers on dictionary paper and as these gorgeous blooms by Elizabeth Borer were fairly open I thought they would sit nicely over the text and allow a delicate colouring with Infusions.

We are currently getting some new windows installed in our 180 year old house, so rooms have had to be emptied and sadly my craft room has become a store for furniture. Even though I managed to gather a few pieces I surprised myself with using some unusual items!

I always like to start a project by gathering some bits and pieces which I think I might use. I couldn't reach my usual papers so used a piece of watercolour paper from my husband's stash - I don't normally work with such thick paper but it was a joy and allowed me to work with a lot of water. As the base was watercolour I thought that PaperArtsy Infusions would be the most appropriate to work with (The Sage and Terracotta). 

There are some of the usual tea dyed papers and ribbons, but in the top right hand corner are a few sheets of the wrapping paper from my PaperArtsy order (it was beautifully wrapped around all the paints and had hardly any creases in it at all). It feels like a thickish tissue paper and it was a great substrate to work with!

The stamp set gave me a mixture of stamps I could use as a background but also as the detail. There was also a lovely quote which could be used in itself, or broken up into smaller words.


The torn piece of watercolour paper (12" x 7") got spritzed with a fair amount of water before adding a very watery mix of Infusions with a paintbrush.

I used the same watery mix of Infusions on my stamp, brushing lightly with the paintbrush - I was quite happy to get a distressed look.

And this was the effect ...... a lot darker than the background but totally co-ordinated! That is what is so wonderful about Infusions, you never quite know what you are going to get!

I wanted to add some extra blended elements onto the background and so turned to Raquel's lovely Nature stencil.


This gave me some lovely vertical lines and flourishes for corners, along with a sentiment for the back of the book.

Whilst the book was drying I had a lovely relaxing time stamping the flowers on the dictionary paper and painting them with very watery Infusions. You only need to dip the tip of the paintbrush into the Infusions otherwise the dictionary paper will go to pulp!

This is a very "loose" watercolour technique. I like to leave little bits of white showing and don't worry too much about going over the edges.

By this time in the progress of the windows I only had access to my sewing machine! So I made a number of panels for the book using the PaperArtsy tissue wrap as my base. This is not a good photograph because of the light from the machine, but when trying to adhere lots of fragile light pieces such as the dictionary and tissue paper, I find sewing is far better than trying to glue things together.

The inside panels are more pockets stitched only along one side and the bottom edge. The vellum allows other items to be added, even little tags placed underneath. 

I even raided the kitchen cupboards - you can see little snippets of coffee filter papers!

I cut some small tags from some of the painted pieces I didn't use.

Not everything goes to plan! I didn't like the light coloured lace on the front, so covered it up with some ribbon and embellishments. As I was making panels quite separately from the actual book it was not always easy to see what worked but I am always happy to keep "adding" until it looks right - the beauty of collage!

I shall certainly be using this thick watercolour paper again as it works so well with watery Infusions. I have no idea of the weight, but it comes from the local Art Shop in A2 size. Stamping flowers works so well on dictionary paper and I loved how beautifully the Infusions allow a loose water colouring effect. Such versatile little pots of lovelineness ! 

And do have a go at working with the PaperArtsy tissue (packing) paper - one side is quite waxy/glossy and the other more matte. It was lovely to stamp on and I did manage to paint with the infusions. It just didn't quite fit with the design I was  planning but it certainly worked well as a light base for adhering my panel pieces.

Sometimes it is quite refreshing to work with just a few, and different, products and I was creating in different parts of the house to my usual (my board was balanced on the utility room sink and the sewing machine just outside the linen cupboard !). Elizabeth's beautiful stamps were however the base and I could sit and paint them forever ..... which I did in the greenhouse!

As always thank you for joining me.

Jennie x
Instagram: atkinsonjennie


SewPaperPaint said...

So pretty Jennie! I love the soft stamping you did onto the watercolor paper, as it really changes the effect of the stamp. A beautiful project!

Words and Pictures said...

Really delightful, Jennie - the tissue paper and book text stamping make the whole thing so interesting and enchanting.
Alison x

Karen said...

Love this project Jennie, so soft & pretty.

Sue said...

I love your beautiful work, including the happy ‘ mistakes’. Everything works so well together. Take care with hugs, Sue. x