Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Firstly let me state that I am not an artist as the following pictures will attest!  I googled "simple line drawings" to get some ideas and just drew.  So if you're actually an artist, do try this pen as it's watercolouring possibilities are beautiful!

The Elegant Writer Calligraphy pen has the unique quality that it bleeds beautiful greys, pinks and mauve's when wet with water.  As I work on atc's which are small (2.5" x 3.5" or 6.4cm x 8.9cm), it can be quite a challenge to get much detail happening.  If you google Elegant Writer Drawings you'll see some absolutely amazing artwork that people product and they are all bigger than atc's!  So to work so small you need not much detail and more open areas to do the washes using an aqua brush or fine paint brush dipped in water.  

Some of the ones below I have then added colour after using Twinkling H2O's which are great for adding just a wash of colour to complement the grey etc that the Elegant Writer gives with just water.  If you blot almost immediately with a paper towel when you activate the line of the Elegant Writer pen, you'll get more of a colour change, this is when the pink and mauve colours show up.  Also I have heard that as the pen gets older and more used it is not so black to start with so that also alters the colours that it will bleed.  

I've also included down the bottom a drawing that I've done using just the pen with no water added (Dogs speak) and also some with the pen and just water, no other colours to give you an idea of how subtle the other pinks and mauve's are.

"Trees"... (I used Twinkling H2O's in
a pink and a purple to add
extra colour to this one)

"Falling"... (this one also has Twinkling H2O's, blue 
for the sky, a little gold down the bottom, brown on the 
branch and green on the leaves.)

"Dark side"... (Once again Twinkling H2O's 
in red and pearl for this one.)

"Wear my hair"... (No other colours on
this one at all, just the pen and water.  Like I said,
I'm not artist and this started out as a
girl and morphed into a man!)

"Dogs speak"... (This one has the dog and the speech
bubble drawn in the pen but no water added yet, he also needs
his teeth drawn in when the watercolouring bit has
been done.  You can go back and add details with a
permanent pen after it's dry!)

This is one of Tim's birds from the Ranger stamp set and
I wanted to show the girls you could actually stamp using a
pale grey ink pad, I used the Dove
Grey in Stazon but any pale grey waterproof ink pad would
work.  Then draw over the lines with the Elegant Writer
pen and colour in using the water!

This one also is just water.

Water only.

Water again.  This shows the pinks and mauve's well

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


This is the beginning of Book #16 and it's a Yupo and Alcohol Ink class.  Yupo is a synthetic paper that is non-porous so you can use any of your alcohol inks on it and the colours remain very, VERY vibrant!  The white pen I have used that stands out so well on the alcohol inks is a Sharpie Water-based marker.  Probably the best white pen I've used!  I also used a Black Extra Fine Sharpie as well.

So the idea for my samples is to drop individual drips onto the Yupo (remember that these 5 samples below are atc sized which is 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" which is very small) and you can add other colours inside of a previously applied colour but it is really a matter of trail and error.  Some colours will bloom with another different coloured edge, one that comes to mind was Cool Peri Alcohol Ink which is a light mauve colour but blooms with a brighter pink border!  You can use pressurised air in a can to blow it around before it dries, you can also add rubbing alcohol by drips or spray to make the inks react further, it's just a lot of trial and error.  If you want to do more of a landscape you need to work on a larger size.  

My cover is a piece of Yupo that is 8" wide by 6" high and I managed to get a landscape sort of theme happening because of this larger size.  Experiment, play and don't think something is no good, put it aside and come back to it.  

This is my cover...


"Friends close"...


"The sea"...

"Caged"... (my attempt at a landscape
on a smaller scale)

Below are the same 5 atc's with only the alcohol ink on the Yupo paper.  You can see what a difference it makes by using the white  and black pen!


Friends close


The sea


Tuesday, July 12, 2016


This is the last technique for this current book so the next technique in a fortnight will be the beginning of Book #16 and we will be using Yupo Paper!!!   Before I get ahead of myself with the excitement of Yupo Paper and Alcohol Inks, this fortnight's technique is called Bleeding Backgrounds.  I have used both crepe paper as well as cheap tissue paper (not the acid free stuff) as these both bleed beautifully onto watercolour paper when you add water.  I quite like some of the white exposed areas as well but if you wanted to totally cover your area, you can.  

You can either stamp straight onto the background and then use your chosen colouring in medium to colour in your image, ie: Gelato's, watercolour crayons, Twinkling H2O's, Distress Markers etc.  I actually used watercolour pencils to colour in the image first, then used an aqua brush (water brush that holds water in the barrel) to blend the colours together.  In the first two examples below, Bacteria and Regenerate, I stamped the images onto plain card and coloured first before fussy cutting out and attaching to the background.  The final two were both stamped straight onto the background and then I used watercolour pencils to add extra colour and water to blend.

"Bacteria"... (like my hand-drawn bacteria?)


"Eat WHAT?"...


Friday, July 1, 2016


The class this fortnight uses both white smooth watercolour card as well as Kraft colour card.  Both give a very different look with the white showing more of the true colours and the Kraft giving a darker tone because of the brown colour of the base of this card.  I have used both Distress Stains as well as the Distress Paints using Tim Holtz's method of swiping colour onto the craft sheet (not to be confused with the Kraft coloured card!  ;-)   and then swiping your card through it.  In all instances I have made sure to include one of the 3 metallic stains or paints to give a metallic lustre to the cards that you can't see on the computer screen.  I also used gesso to make extra marks on the cards and on most of them have coated the gesso with embossing powder for extra texture to the embossing.  

"Not cheap"... (Paints on white watercolour card)

"100%"... (Stains on white watercolour card)

"Twirl"... (Paint on white watercolour card)

"New eyes"... (Stains on white watercolour card)

"Chaos"... (Stains on Kraft card)
Notice the little skull stamped shapes in the background?  They were
made by cutting some craft foam into a skull shape and
stamping into gesso and then coating with a little embossing
powder.  Embossing powder wasn't over all of the stamping, 
just a little to add some texture.

The samples below are all on the Kraft coloured card.  You can see
how the Metallic paints in the Stains and Paints really make it shimmer!





Thursday, June 16, 2016


Years ago when I first got interested in all things paper and mixed media, I tried a technique called Packing Tape Transfers.  These were done using magazine images and ordinary clear packing tape (like Sellotape but is generally about 48mm or 2" wide).  They worked really well and I wanted to do a class using this technique.  Problem is, magazine images don't really lend themselves to atc's as either the size is wrong or the subject is not what you're after.  

So find some images, print them onto your normal printer paper and head off to your local copy shop that uses colour toner/laser printers and get them to do some copies for you.  Lay down the packing tape over the image, generally you have to add two skinny strips down each side if you want it to be the right size for atc's and you do need to overlap this join slightly.  Then burnish well and place the image that's covered with the packing tape into a glass of water and leave soak for a couple of minutes.  Pull it out and start to rub off the paper that's on the back.  It will pill up and roll away, keep going until  you've removed all of your paper pulp and your image from the laser copier will have transferred to the packing tape.  Let this dry and generally the stickiness comes back and you then just attach it over a background of your choice... book paper or light coloured smooth backgrounds work well!  

On the "Wanty" atc below I've stitched around the edge as well for a different look and on others I've gone for some sort of a framed effect.




"Eternal Love"...

"A happy colour"... (the edge on this one is
black texture paste with a pewter wax over it)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


I SO love my Stampotique stamps and I particularly love the range from Daniel Torrente and Jill Penney who design for Stampotique.  Recently on the Stampotique Facebook page there was a post with some playing cards made using the playing card background and some of the Stampotique stamps.  I couldn't use the background stamp from Stampotique because it's too large for an atc so no good for my classes so I cut out a template and improvised!   I think these turned out quite well for such little colour used on them.

Of course, you could always colour in your images but I like the clean look that imitates playing cards using mainly black, white and red (with maybe a little bling thrown in for good measure).  You need to mask off the bottom half of the card to do this technique but that's no big deal and I also made sure I printed out some good card playing quotes for my girls to use as well!

"Such a card"...

"A full deck"...


"Play your cards right"...

"Drama Queen"...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


 When I was in the United States recently I bought a couple of boxes of Reynolds Waxed Paper as it's almost impossible to buy decent waxed paper here in Australia (and it was $1.69 a roll!!!).  I've used waxed paper before for resist techniques and stumbled across another way of using it for backgrounds.... run it through your die-cut machine (Sizzix Big Shot or Cuttlebug etc.) with your die-cut shapes!  (I used these on gloss card, a much better result than with plain card stock.) It works really well and I tried out various methods of colouring but found that Distress Stains spritzed with a little water made really pretty background colours and when you wipe off the excess when it's dry using a damp paper towel, the wax design is revealed!  Imperfect?...perfect!!!


 "Nothing good"...


"Parlour games"... (as in "step into my
parlour said the spider to the fly").  This
particular card was coloured using
Distress Ink Pads with sponges and then
water flicked on to get the little spots.

"Need a crown"... This one was coloured
using Brusho's.  You do need to blot the
Brusho off to get most of the water off
before you'll see the wax design.