Saturday, December 30, 2017

Perfectly Happy Cast of Characters

A flock of galahs are the feature of my journal page for Janie's beautiful book of Simply Whimsical. Janie loves animals as much as I do, so I know she'll like these guys :) This journal is visiting from Cairns, Queensland as part of a swap with the Australian Art Swap Group. A fantastic group of artists, all with one thing in common... an enthusiastic passion for all things colourful, creative, arty and fun! Its awesome - click here to visit the Facebook group.

Galahs made using Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Stamps

I used Dyan Reaveley's Dylusions acrylic paints in Mushy Peas (green), Vanilla Custard (yellow), Slate Grey and White Linen along with stencils by Tim Holtz and Dina Wakley, Tim's stamps, Sizzix die templates (using the Sidekick), Dina Wakley's Art Sticks, Jane Davenport's Mermaid Markers, Tim's Idea-Ology Botanical Layers and We R Memory Keepers' Stitch Happy Silver Thread.

picture of stencils used to create the artwork with galahs

My initial idea was to have a couple of magpies made using the Crazy Birds with a nest featuring a newly hatched nutty adorable bird with paint brushes and pencils (see the scribble in the pic above)... but it soon turned into something completely different!

Whimsey is all about being funny, adorable and simple - so I tried to stick to limited colours and design for the background. You can see below that I was on my way to creating that page with the nest.

List of treasures used to make the artwork...

- Dylusions Acrylic Paint (Mushy Peas, Vanilla Custard, Slate Grey, White Linen)
- Ink Blending Tool
- Stencils by Tim Holtz and Dina Wakley (link to all stencils)
- Tim Holtz Crazy Things Stamps
- Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Stamps
- Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Thinlits (die cutters)
- Tim Holtz Sidekick
- Archival Ink Pad (grey and red)
- Dina Wakley Art Sticks
- Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers
- Waterbrush
- Tim Holtz Clippings Stickers
- Tim Holtz Metallic Holiday Talk (stickers)
- WRMK Stitch Happy Silver Thread
- Tim Holtz Botanical Layers (die cut pieces)
- Tim Snips (micro serrated scissors)
- Tim Holtz Splatter Paint Brush
- Ranger Glue Stick
- Glossy Accents
... everything can be found here -
... this is a link to all the treasures in one collection

picture of the background before the birds were added

How I created the background...

Using a wet wipe, I smooshed Vanilla Custard Dylusions Paint over a large part of the background. I then used the same wet wipe to paint Mushy Peas Dylusions Paint in the spaces left behind and overlapped a few areas. It was looking more yellow than green but that's ok :)

Using an ink blending tool (with the round foams), I stencilled through Dina's Jungle stencil across the top of the page with the Mushy Peas. I then introduced Slate Grey with Tim's Scribbles stencil by along the bottom and top left corner.

I mixed the grey and green together on my craft mat and stencilled through Dina's Leaves stencil and then Tim's Leafy (which is similar to Dina's but smaller leaf design). Each time I picked up more paint, I alternated between the green and grey-green mix.

painting backgrounds using Dylusions paint and stencils

Next was the branch created using Tim's Birch stencil, first with the green-grey mix then twice more just the grey. Eventually it started looking like an actual tree branch.
The little branches were stencilled with Tim's Autumn stencil, flipped and flopped to get the different branch directions.

The same stencil was used with Mushy Peas to add big maple leaves here and there on the page... galahs don't live in maple trees but they don't seem to mind!

Lastly, I splattered pale green paint (white with a touch of green) and then white paint over the page using a Tim Holtz Splatter Brush.

stamping Galahs made using Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Stamps

How I created the galahs...

The background dried pretty fast but I put it aside for a while anyway, while I stamped and coloured the birds. Galahs are grey and pink with hints of white so I've stamped them all using Watering Can (grey) Archival Ink. The Red Carnation Archival Ink was used to stamp out sunnies, brushes, hats and ties.

colouring galahs with Dina Wakley watercolour art sticks

Colouring these fun Aussie birds wasn't difficult but it took a couple to get them pink rather than bright pink or rosy red... I ended up using Dina's Paint Sticks in Fuchsia, White and Black for the feathers and Jane's Mermaid Markers in Sand Bar and Beach for the beaks.

trimming and cutting Galahs made using Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Stamps

I started cutting them all out using scissors (Tim's fab micro serrated snips are great for tiny details like wings and feet), then decided to use the Sidekick. That was much faster! And it cut around all the little tufts of head feathers, tails and feet easily too :)

placement for the Galahs made using Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Stamps

Before I glued everything down, I played around with different Botanical Layer die-cut pieces and placement of the Stitch Happy silver thread. Each wire across the page is a twist of 3 threads, glued down with Glossy Accents.

Galahs are such fun Australian birds ... they love to swing, jump and laugh together on electric wires, tree branches and telephone cables.

Galahs made using Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Stamps

After all the birds were attached, I decided to use the bowler hat, bow tie and sunnies after all. I had put them aside for a while, unsure of where my page was going.
All the eyes were redrawn using black Dylusions paint pen with the highlight dotted with white Dylusions paint pen.

Galahs made using Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Stamps

Tim's salvaged thoughts and sayings are perfect for journal pages. I've used 2 sets - the Clippings Stickers and Metallic Christmas Stickers to say "listen to the laughter, contented spirit, perfectly happy cast of characters, let the merrymaking begin".

Thanks so much for visiting my craft blog. Sing out if you have questions or need a hand :) I'm here to help anytime.

Happy Creative Day!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Must Love Crazy Dogs

Must Love Dogs ... not only one of my favourite movies but a fun choice to use for this journal page (theme was "movie quote"), especially when put together with Tim's Crazy Dogs. I took it from when Jake was having a chat with the father of his would-be girlfriend (Kate) and says "She was a unique constellation. She was my Halley's Comet."

Dylusions paint in blue, purple, grey and black

Painted straight onto plain paper in a small spiral bound book. I usually place scrap paper (or in this case, old stencil packaging) behind the page I'm working on to protect the other pages in someone else's book.

The background consists of 4 colours of Dylusions Acrylic Paint - After Midnight, Laidback Lilac, Slate Grey and Black Marble. Dyan Reaveley's paint is also for Dylusions Journalsand other mixed media projects.

I used a 1 inch wide flat paintbrush to apply the colours. I painted over most of the surface with the dark blue (After Midnight), then added the purple (Laidback Lilac). The grey was used to blend everything together, then black was roughly brushed across the top and bottom of the page. The beginnings of the comet was painted using grey.

The night sky painted in blue, purple, grey and black

In different lighting, the night sky background was very intense, yet in other lighting the purple was dominant. Its amazing how different colours appear at different times of the day! The pic above is while the paint was still wet. It seems to lighten a bit as it dried. Could have been the extra purple I added before saying "nup, leave it alone". lol :)

I left the background to dry completely and went about stamping and colouring the Tim Holtz Crazy Dogs. The obvious choice was for the lovesick puppy to be Jake and I chose the tall dog because labradors are awesome - and he / she was facing the "correct" way for what I wanted.

Colouring Tim Holtz Crazy Dogs with Jane Davenport Mixed Media Mermaid Markers

Deciding on colours can be hard sometimes. Its art and just a bit of fun so didn't really want them to be brown, white or black like real dogs - plus I wanted to use the Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers (as I do alot these days... can't help it, the colours are so vibrant and gorgeous!).

The girl dog, Kate, (above) was coloured using Lagoon (pale blue) and Stormy Seas (grey).

Colouring Tim Holtz Crazy Dogs with Jane Davenport Mixed Media Mermaid Markers

Jake the boy dog was coloured using Bali Blue (blue green) and Reef (dark reddish brown). Pirate's Gold (yellow) and Octopus (red) was also used for both dogs' collars, mouths and tongues.

Colouring hearts with Jane Davenport Mixed Media Mermaid Markers

I drew hearts using black pen, then had to draw more because I used the soluble one, not the permanent one and they went blurry when I added the ink from the Octopus Mermaid Marker... a gorgeously rich ruby red. Lucky I love to draw and colour :) This pic also shows my practice pieces for the constellations.

painting of Halley's Comet as it flies past our lovebirds

I placed the dogs on the page to gauge where the Halley's Comet was going to fly. Thankfully, the Dylusions Paint dries quite fast so when I painted the comet in Vanilla Custard (yellow), I didn't really have to wait for layers to dry to get that rich, solid round sphere. I added a bit of grey around and along all edges to break up the yellow, to make it appear round.

Stars and constellations were added as the page progressed, a few at a time. I used both the Dylusions white paint pen and white Sharpie (extra fine).

Crazy Dogs in Love highlighted with Jane Davenport Magic Wand Pencils

Each dog was fussy cut with fine scissors but you can get Sizzix's Tim Holtz Crazy Dogs Framelits to trim around your stamped images using a Sidekick or other die-cutting machine. They're a great option if you have trouble with scissors (due to things like arthritis and other nasties) or want to cut them out faster.

I also added highlights using the Jane Davenport Magic Wands - coloured pencils. I used Kiss Kiss (pink) for Kate while the Eyeshadow (pale aqua) was used for Jake.

They're such beautiful pencils to use - creamy, smooth and blend so beautifully. They tend to get a waxy haze (bloom) after a few layers but that can be rubbed away with a finger before adding more. They draw over the top of watercolours and inks really well.

Adding unique constellations and a quote to the journal page

The girl dog received a beautiful set of long eyelashes drawn in black pen, and both dogs had their eyes blackened with pen and the white highlight spotted with the Dylusions white paint pen.

The quote was practiced half a dozen times on scrap paper before attempting the journal page. So glad the Dylusions paints dry permanent because I washed off the white Sharpie twice before this version of the wording... didn't hurt the background at all (phew).

The words, Halley's Comet, didn't quite line up, so instead of starting again I added the horizontal lines and made the letters thicker. Now it looks like its meant to be different :) Nobody knows things are wrong in art unless you tell them!

Finished mixed media journal page by Jenny James

So this is it... Kate and Jake, the crazy dogs in love, stargazing at a passing comet while contemplating the meaning in the stars.

I'm very happy with how this turned out... Tim's dogs are just adorable and they're a joy to use in crafts. You can't help but smile when stamping, colouring and cutting!

Thanks for visiting :) I hope this inspires you to get crazy with art too!

Happy Creative Day!

Tim Holtz Cling Stamps - Crazy Dogs
Tim Holtz Cling Stamps - Crazy Dogs
Buy Now
Tim Holtz Framelits - Crazy Dogs
Tim Holtz Framelits - Crazy Dogs
Buy Now
Tim Holtz and Sizzix Sidekick Starter Kit
Tim Holtz and Sizzix Sidekick Starter Kit
Buy Now
Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers - 12 Gorgeous Colours
Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers - 12 Gorgeous Colours
Buy Now
Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley - Paint Pens - Set of 2
Dylusions by Dyan Reaveley - Paint Pens - Set of 2
Buy Now
Dylusions Fluid Acrylic Paint - 3 Colours - Choose Your Own
Dylusions Fluid Acrylic Paint - 3 Colours - Choose Your Own
Buy Now

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Everything's Rosy in My Garden

This page was created in my Jane Davenport 6x9 art journal using a few of my favourite things... watercolours, acrylic paint, stickers, stencils, die cuts, stamps and doodling. No theme, just a day playing in the studio!

Almost everything I use can be found in my shop but I also use other bits and pieces (as you do... art can be created from just about anything). If you need a hand finding anything, ask me anytime. I'm here to help :)

The page is just a bit bigger than an A4 on its side... approx 30cm x 22.5cm and is made of watercolour paper.

For the background I used a wet-wipe (damp paper-ish cloth, also called a baby wipe) to blend Dylusions Acrylic Paint in Lemon Zest over the whole surface. Then using the same cloth I blended Dirty Martini around the edge and a bit in the middle. Just roughly using only a smidge of paint each time (about a pea sized spot).

The stencils I used were Dylusions Arrows 5x8, Tim Holtz Roses and Screwed, as well as Darkroom Door Mesh 9x12. For these initial layers I only used green and yellow paint (Dirty Martini and Lemon Zest).

To blend the paint through the stencils, I used an ink blending tool (the round one). This enables you to use a small quantity of paint yet make it go a long way. It dries quite fast when used like this, so I could stencil straight over the top each layer without worrying about the paint smooshing underneath. Not that it mattered really, I'm supposed to be learning to trust the mess! lol :)

Less is more they say but sometimes we all just want more ... so I used Dylusions Slate Grey paint with the small Dylusions Arrows stencil and the large Darkroom Door Wildflower stencil. Next, using the wet-wipe again, I blended a bit of grey around the edge of the whole page.

If your wet-wipe is still damp with paint, blend it over another page or surface ... using leftover bits of paint randomly like this can create the most interesting backgrounds! Clean off stencils the same way (wiping on a spare page). Dyan Reaveley calls them Accidental Pages :) I usually use the leftovers to make ATCs.

For the garden, I've used Dylusions stamp sets, Everything's Rosy and Anatomy of a Page. Using the black Archival ink pad from the Dylusions Creative Dyary Ink set, I stamped the flowers into the book and onto a sheet of watercolour paper.

The border stamp is flexible so it can be shaped to the Dylusions Journal Block to create waves and hills on the page. I used the Dirty Martini Archival Ink Pad for this.

I like how the background appears to have more colour than the 3 colours (and black) I used.

Using the fine end of my Kuretake Brush Pen (brown Hikkei double ended pen below), I've drawn a wavy dashed line and a few extra bits and pieces. The flowers were all coloured using Jane Davenport Mermaid Markers and the Paint Over Pens (white and beach).

Tip to the wise... wait until everything is dry before using the white pen... it dries alot whiter when it doesn't have to blend with damp paint! lol :) The brush nib of the Paint Over Pens are easy to clean so its no drama - just scribble a bit on scrap paper and voila, all clean.

I stamped heaps of the flowers and a few of the Tim Holtz Crazy Cat onto watercolour paper then decided I needed a snail and a different butterfly body. I always draw elements a few times so I've got plenty to choose from when I colour. If this pen is too thick for your tastes, check out the Jane Davenport Inkredible Pen. It draws beautiful fine lines. Both this Kuretake Pen and the Inkredible Pen are dye-based inks that will react to water - perfect for pen and wash drawings or adding shadows and depth.

This pic above is of the Mermaid Markers - I used Lobster (red), Byron Bay (turquoise), Beach (pale peach), Pirate's Gold (golden yellow), Seaweed (green), Starfish (purple) and Reef (dark brown).

I really enjoyed colouring these elements. Any pieces left over are kept for another day. I used one of the daisies to create a snail shell, added thorns to the roses and drew a few more leaves.

Everything was glued down using Glossy Accents (after trimming with scissors). They're not completely stuck down as I only added glue to the centre of each piece. I also glued the roses over the top of the ones stamped directly on the page.

Stickers are fun to use in art journaling... I've used "live laugh love" and the heart from the Dylusions Creative Dyary Sticker Book and the various words from Tim Holtz Chitchat spiral bound sticker book.

Here's the Crazy Cat with the snail.... the cat was coloured using only a wash of black watercolour paint. I used Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolour Art Sticks but any black or dark grey paint will give the same effect. You could use the new black Mermaid Marker or the Dina Wakley Scribble Sticks :) All watercolour paints are here.

So that's it... my rosy garden :) Thanks so much for visiting and reading this far. I hope you enjoyed what you've seen.

Have a happy day!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Under the Sea Creatures ATCs

ATCs (artist trading cards) are such fun things to make. This theme was "Creatures of the Sea". Of course I had to use the Dylusions "Under the Sea" stamp set... they're too adorable to not use at every opportunity!

Creatures Under the Sea - Art Trading Cards by Jenny using Dylusions and Darkroom Door stamps

The first thing I did was cut up a sheet of Sticky-Back Canvas into 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangles and then spray them with Dylusions ink spray in Calypso Teal and then Lemon Zest.
Before it dried I stamped with Distress Ink in Forest Moss with the Darkroom Door background stamp, Peeled Paint. The next layer was the seaweed and coral from the Darkroom Door stamp set, Under the Sea with Distress Inks in Chipped Sapphire and Forest Moss.

On top of this I inked up the Darkroom Door background stamp Circles with water. I have a Dylusions empty ink pad filled with water for this purpose. I like how the water reacts with the inks and lightens the colours. After all this dried I stamped a starfish using Distress Ink in Picket Fence. Lastly, I used the seaweed and coral stamps again but this time using Distress Oxide Ink in Fossilized Amber.

Overall, the background turned out really well. This photo was taken after it dried. Before this, it didn't have the same contrasts with the bubbles and starfish. The combination of Distress Inks and Distress Oxides is fantastic. Being slightly opaque, the Distress Oxides give layers a bit of depth as it gives the illusion of being in the foreground.

I usually colour my critters before cutting them out and then use Distress Ink with a blending tool to stain the edges. Things you notice after a photo is taken - the fish in the top right looks so cheeky trying to eat the octopus left behind on the scrap paper.

The above pic is a closeup of the little crab and his friends. You can see how the smooth mixed media paper contrasts with the cool texture of the sticky-back canvas.

These art trading cards were made for the June 2017 swap ... I'm just a bit slow at uploading to my blog! No wonder I couldn't find this post the other day, it was still in drafts!

Thanks for checking out my blog. I hope it made you smile :)

Here are the products I used to make these mini masterpieces...

Dylusions Cling Rubber Stamps - Plenty of Fish in the Sea
Dylusions Cling Rubber Stamps - Plenty of Fish in the Sea
Background Stamp - Circles - Darkroom Door
Background Stamp - Peeled Paint - Darkroom Door
Background Stamp - Peeled Paint - Darkroom Door
Rubber Stamp Set - Seashells - Darkroom Door
picture of 3 Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads
Tim Holtz Distress Ink and Oxide Ink Pads
Dylusions Ink Spray - Calypso Teal and other colours
Dylusions Cling Rubber Stamps - Under the Sea
Dylusions Cling Rubber Stamps - Ocean Background
Ranger Sticky-Back Canvas - White - 5 Sheets

Creative Supplies for Mixed Media, Journaling and Visual Arts

Creative Supplies for Mixed Media, Journaling and Visual Arts
Australian stockist for arty treasures from Tim Holtz, Dyan Reaveley, Dylusions and Darkroom Door plus essentials by Sizzix, Ranger, Pink Ink Designs UK, Strathmore Paper, Prima Marketing Finnabair, Kelly Creates, Posca and more. Buy online at 'Art by Jenny' for your acrylic and watercolour paints, pencils, crayons, inks, sprays, cling stamps, stencils, paper and card, journals and planners, Distress range, Idea-Ology, embellishments, stickers, embossing powders, die cutting templates and embossing folders, craft tools, storage essentials and accessories.