Thursday 9 December 2021

2021 Topic 15: Journaling Gratitude with VID {Jennie Atkinson}

  2021 Topic 15: Journaling Gratitude

How do you create a textured background that's full of interest and different textures but that doesn't 'fight' with the sentiments or front forward details? Read on, and Jennie lists a number of techniques to get you started. Wouldn't we all like to see her drawer of unused delicate gel prints too?!
~ Keren.

Hi everyone, it's Jennie (Live the Dream) with you today, and I'm here to share with you a journalling page using Vintage Ink and the Dog stamps - perhaps not everyone's first go to for a journalling page.

I find that many of the VID sets have small stamps which are just perfect for adding to a torn collage background and for this double spread I decided to use some papers previously created on the gel plate using PaperArtsy Fresco paints (and possibly like me you have a drawer full !) I like using torn collage as it allows me to get some different colours onto the journal pages which I find difficult if painting direct.

I have also used a single set of quote stamps by Alison Bomber relating to Time. Time is something that I seem to have had in abundance this last couple of years but it still goes as quickly and both the situation we find ourselves in globally and a couple of personal events have really made me think about the moment, looking neither back or forward, but to be grateful to live in the present.

If you are a fan of gel plate printing you will know how easy (and quickly) you can accumulate many different sheets of prints, parts of which might be beautiful and amazing and the rest of the sheet quite dismal. There's always that chance of pulling another beauty so you just keep going.

I chose some colours which I thought might go together, along with some small pieces of old text paper which had been coloured with Infusions and a bit of stencilling. 

At this stage of a journalling page I never have a plan ! but I do start with a good quality thick watercolour paper so I can throw as much at it as I like. I started tearing some bits of the printed papers, along with some more open text and music. My notes on the back of the papers indicated that I had used a combination of PaperArtsy Frescos and I used two of them to carry through to the pages.

Sage                    Granny Smith
Chalk                    Sorbet

Once I had a bit of an idea about colours and placement I chose my Vintage Ink & The Dog stamp sets. Each of these sets has text and number stamps which work well on the printed papers.


Once everything gets stuck down it starts to look a bit more organised but still very basic.

The success of this type of paper collage is to use different techniques to push those papers into the background. It takes time and sometimes needs experimentation but I have found these techniques to work. 

Firstly I use a light colour of PaperArtsy Fresco paint (Chalk) to blend in around the edges of the torn paper. I use my finger to add the paint and a dry brush to spread it out. You can see the difference already between the two pages.

I then go in with a darker colour (this time PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Sage) which will give me some darker areas for the next stage however the beauty of using paints in this manner is that you can always tone colours down by going back in with a lighter colour later).

Another means of knocking back the papers and tying everything together is to use a stencil and texture paste. I like to keep the stencilling open but with a definite shape which can be seen. Over-stamping with the same stamps using second and third generation stamping also ties the individual layers together and knocks those papers further back!

I am not a great fan of my own handwriting but I am a great fan of Alison's wonderful quotes. 


Sometimes I use whole quotes but more often than not look to isolate individual words which sum up what I want to say. 

Tea dyed paper always seems to work well and is strong enough to withstand gluing onto a textured surface.

My final technique for pulling the pages together is to use machine stitching both around the edges of the pages and to highlight vertical and horizontal areas. Sometimes this is very useful for hiding a bit of a ragged edge which escaped the painting stage!

A thoughtful image was needed as a focal point and this is one of my favourites. I managed to find some gel plate papers which had a little white on them which meant her face remained relatively clear. 


The paper was very thin, so I layered it onto some matt board, but this did give me the opportunity of being able to layer other elements underneath.

I have used more of the Sage on this page but I love how the blue pops around the outside edge.

Journalling is a very personal means of creativity and sometimes difficult to share publicly. However during the creative process you think about the sentiments; what is important to you and it can be quite an uplifting process.

That said, all the techniques I have utilised can be used in many different ways and in many different projects, not just for journalling. I looked through most of my collection of Alison's quotes in order to find the right words and that was a lovely process in itself. 

Paper collage can be fun but I find it works best to start without any great expectation of the end result. Just go with it and enjoy the process. I am pleased to report that it made a slight dent in my drawer of gel plate prints!

Thank you for joining me and happy crafting.
Jennie x


Kathi said...

Beautiful journal page! I love the soft colors, textures, imagery, and layers you used. Great hint to write what you've used on the reverse of the gel print!

Thanks for your clear instructions and step-out photos!

Words and Pictures said...

Lighter than air and so beautiful, Jennie. Amazing to have all those layers and still let the words do their work. Ethereally lovely.
Alison x

SewPaperPaint said...

Oh I just love these textured layers Jennie! And how you swept back the contrast, just beautiful!