Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Greetings all!  Welcome to a new challenge over at Creative Carte Blanche!

It is our mission to inspire and support each other in this community.  We love to share our ideas, our techniques, our knowledge of products and get to know everyone who is traveling this art journey along with us. I hope you will join us and share your talent with us.

It is not our intent to recommend one product over another.  We, like everyone else, have certain products that we have found we love but they may not be the same ones you love.  So, please, by all means, use what you love and share them with us!

This month, the lovely and multi-talented Hels Sheridan is hosting our art adventure.  I think Hels is known for many things but particularly her beautiful dimensional flowers that she so often uses on her art pieces.  I for one love them!  So her theme of "Books and Blossoms" is a perfect theme from her.

I decided to create a couple of simple art journal pages for this theme because sometimes less is more and I really wanted to experiment more with my concentrated watercolors.  More about those in a minute...

I began by brayering white gesso and then some DecoArt Media Cobalt Teal Hue and a touch of Hansa Yellow Media Acrylic Paints onto the surface of a child's paper back book that I am altering into an art journal.  I let this dry and then moved on to the next step...

I brushed Matte Medium (any brand will work) onto the surface of the art journal pages and then pressed a piece of Tim Holtz' Terminology Tissue Wrap over the surface of the two pages. I chose this particular Tissue Wrap because I thought it was perfect for the "Book" portion of the theme; book text glued into an altered children's book!

I didn't want the book text to overpower my images that I would soon be adding to the pages, so I randomly scraped some white gesso over the print and let it dry.

Now for the "Blossoms" portion of the theme.  I sketched a flower pot and placed the stems from Tim Holtz' Flower Garden stamp set where I would want them to be arranged in the pot.

Next I painted the flower pot to look like a terra cotta pot using DecoArt's Media Fluid Acrylics.  First I brushed on a coat of Vermillon followed by Transparent Red Iron Oxide to add depth and shadows. Then I added Burnt Umber lightly along the shadowed sides and in the center to represent the dirt.

Next I masked the gentle curve of the flower pot so that when I stamped the stems in place using Jet Black Permanent Archival Ink, they would not stamp over the pot.  Next I painted the stems with DecoArt Titanium White Fluid Acrylics to cover any orange pot or brown dirt going up the stems.  When I paint them with green paint, I wanted them to be a uniform color of green up the entire stem.

Next I stamped three different flower tops from Tim Holtz' Flower Garden stamp set on top of the stems (using Jet Black Archival Ink) and heat set them.  
I broke out my Dr. Ph Martin's Concentrated Water Colors and began brushing color onto the flowers.  The concentrated colors are really vibrant and fun to manipulate with water and a small brush.

I moved from flower to flower, adding color, shading and bringing them to "life".  Then I heat set them dry.  Now, if they were to be touched with water again, the water would activate the watercolors, so I sprayed them with Krylon's Workable Fixative to seal them.

Next I sized some images of vintage seed packages that I saved on my computer.  I cut a piece of scrap paper to the size of the seed packets, cut the printed images a little larger than the kraft paper, wrapped the printed imaged onto the kraft paper and glued them in place using 1/4" Scor Tape.  I then distressed them using Ranger Vintage Photo and Ground Espresso Distress Inks on the edges.  I would be using a couple of them shortly on my art journal pages...

I wanted to add a little color to the background of my pages.  So using Ranger's ink applicators first with Peacock Feathers Distress Ink followed by Fossilized Amber, I created a soft, gentile background.  The left side is colored, the right side is not.  You can really see how the inks warm up the background.

I decided to use this sweet vintage girl from Tim Holtz' Found Relatives cards on my art journal pages.  I cut her out and colorized her using Neocolor II Watercolor Crayons.  This was a little tricky as there is a slick finish on the image.  So, I sprayed her with Workable Fixative first to sort of seal her and hopefully give some "tooth" to the surface.  It helped a little and I was able to add the color from the crayon and then smudge it in place using my fingertips.  When I tried to use the water brush, the color would just bead up.

Here is the arrangement of the vintage little girl amongst the seed packets and some little foliage from one of Wendy Vecchi's Build A Blossom stamp/stencil sets.  They are colored with a combination of the concentrated watercolors and the watercolor crayons.

Here is a photograph of the art journal pages at this point.  I have also added black acrylic paint around the edges of the pages to frame them.  But the top right has a very distinct bare spot.  That is where I planned for my sentiment to go.

I sketched "BLOOM" in place and then computer generated "where you are planted" to be cut and glued underneath "BLOOM".

I outlined the letters with a permanent black pen and then filled them in using a small detail brush and DecoArt Carbon Black Fluid Acrylics paint.  I really love how the black letters and black blocks pop on the page!

And once again...here are the finished pages.  Books and Blossoms ...
Bloom where you are planted.

I hope that your creativity blooms as you contemplate what you will create using this theme.  Then join us at Creative Carte Blanche by linking your project to our blog.  That way, you can share not only your art but your techniques and your step by step with everyone else.  It's so fun to learn new things from each other.


  1. Candy these journals pages are so cool! I'm really struck by the huge blooms and the smaller fussy cut vintage girl. It makes it vintage and whimsical at the same time. It make it vimsical. I just made a word. Also, I'm just loving the explanation of your use of these mediums. You have such freedom to experiment and you make me want to experiment, too. Thanks girlfriend, this is awesome!!

  2. Your journal pages are fabulous Candy and you are so kind to share the step by step along the way. The flower pot looks amazing as do the water coloured flowers. Stunning vintage seed packets and the image of the young woman ....a perfect addition to your fab pages

    Thank you for sharing Candy. Best wishes to you and yours. Hope Cooper is continuing to create

    Hugs Annie x

  3. Fabulous pages and techniques Candy. As always I loved reading through your post to find out how you create your layers and achieve these beautiful results, I just love the blossoms, the seed packets and the girl beside them and I really do need to get some liner/detail brushes so I can finish fine line and colouring in like this. Fabulous work my friend xxd

  4. Love your work, Candy. Good tip about adding color to the Found Relatives cards.

    1. Hi Linda! I could not find a place to comment back to you so hopefully you will read this! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. I read them all and take them all to heart.

  5. This is awesome! An adorable spread Candy!
    oxo Susi

  6. The thing I love most (apart from the stunning flowers) is the way you made the edges of the pages look so aged! I also love the girl and those wonderful seed packets. You certainly got great results with those watercolors too and I love your colouring of the word 'Bloom', it looks fantastic. All in all, your pages are fabulous! Anne xx

  7. Candy, this is such a beautiful spread! Love your painted pot and beautiful arrangement.

  8. Candy, you've done it again. What great pages and as always, I got lost in your steps and close-up photos of your process. I love the use of the concentrated watercolors. I recently gave mine to Jamie to try in her art journal. (Hmmm, maybe I need to take them back.) I cannot believe you hand lettered that Bloom so perfectly. Nerves of steel, you must have. It's amazing. The whole spread is amazing. Thank you for always being such in inspiration!

  9. Stunning!! Your post are inspiring!! I was a little afraid to alter a book, but not anymore!! Just love this journal layout!!

  10. Love your layout!!! So fun!!! Love the feel of the whole page...you are so good at sharing your techniques...way to go girly! Love love love!!!!

  11. FAbulous journal pages! Love the techniques, as always you amaze me! Barbara

  12. It's just soooo lovely Candy. Your background turned out so gently and peaceful that it seemed to set the tone for the entire project. Your flowers are lovely. I have not tried the Dr. M watercolors. Darling seed packets. And the sentiment - one of my favorites that I have instilled in my children/grandchildren but very hard to do sometimes!!! I enjoyed seeing this creation very much - left me feeling "content" today! XXj.

  13. Candy, what a gorgeous spread!! And so clever how you added the seed packs you created-they look authentic!
    ok, don't go showing me new products as then I will want to go shopping!! (Dr.Martin's) heehee xo

  14. These journal pages are amazing. Once again you have done a wonderful job :)

    Gaby xo

  15. I just love your layout. I am always so overwhelmed by large spaces :)

  16. While I was here just thought I'd have a quick look round at what you've been up to and glad I did as this layout is scrummy, love it. Angela x


I am so happy that you stopped by my blog! I truly appreciate your time and thank you for leaving a comment! Have a wonderfully blessed day!