Today I am sharing an art journal page that was inspired by a couple of colour and seasonal challenges and a few more things, and here it is:


This is one of my old sketchbooks which is not at all mixed media friendly nor an “official” art journal but I like it and it has lots of interesting half started or half finished pages in it.  Last year, I covered a bunch of pages with various Distress Oxides, sprayed them with water, and then shut the book!  Good idea?  Bad idea?  It could have gone either way since the pages are so thin, but here’s what I ended up with and it doesn’t look half bad…

And that’s how it stayed until this month when I saw that the Funkie Junkie challenge was to use the March birthstone colour Aquamarine (I’m a March baby) and the Art Journal Journey challenge was Green, so I decided to try and combine both of them into this page and see what happened. I should point out at this stage, that I had no idea where I was I was going with this.  Aquamarine always reminds me of water but I didn’t want water with this page, I wanted nature.  Because the pages are so thin, I put some protective cardboard (old amazon boxes) underneath to help prevent any leakage.

To protect the Oxides, I covered everything with clear gesso and when it was dry, I went round the edges of the pages with Stone Fresco paint.  I had cut this cardboard “stencil” recently to use on something else and ended up not using it, so I decided what this spread needed was some brick walls.  I used it with Decoart texture paste and left them to dry.

Here’s a close up of the bricks.  Worth noting that if you don’t have a brick stencil you can always make your own from a die and some cardboard.  I scraped as much texture paste off the cardboard as possible and left it to dry, so I will either use it again or incorporate the cardboard into something else – waste not, want not.

I needed something else to fill up the background so I used two Tim Holtz stencils to add the alphabets and the diamonds randomly about the background.

I left this alone for a few days while I was working on other things and thinking what my next steps were – what did it want to be? During this time the very thin pages started to curl up.  I do kind of like this unplanned effect, but I wanted to control it a little, so I glued the pages on to the pages behind them but left the corners to curl up. Then I used Paperartsy Fresco Chalk paints to add some colour to the brickwork.  I used my fingers to apply the Aquamarine and French Roast paints, rubbing the brown in around the bricks first and then once it was dry, I rubbed the Aquamarine over the top of it.  I also splattered some Turquoise liquid acrylic and some Snowflake Fresco over the background.

Here’s a better look at those bricks.

I confess to being completely stuck at this point.  You can see the tag I was working on on the left and I toyed with the idea of using this ivy frame chipboard to the page.  I had planned to use it on the tag but didn’t in the end so it was up for grabs.

Anyway, if you wait long enough, eventually the solution appears as it did today!  The answer was of course, to use my newly carved stamps! They will be featuring in their own post soon if not already. (btw in between these two ideas, I did spend some time with some of my precut letters making some four letter words and considering sending this page in a totally different direction due to how I was feeling, but the stamps won out!) I might post a photo of the $£””%£”£$ idea at some point with an explanation but not now.

I did take process photos of the stages of stamping (first the trees, then the leaves, then the flowers etc) but honestly the lighting wasn’t great and they looked dark and horrible even after photoshop, so we just have the finished ones instead. This actually looks a bit dark too, but nothing I can do atm.  All the stamping you see on this spread comes from the above stamps.  I used Snowflake Fresco for the white and Versafine and Archival inks for everything else.

Close up of the top right corner – oh I almost forgot!  I just realised there are some steps missing and seeing this closeup just reminded me of them!  Grrr, I’ve added the info to the fourth photo from the top!  OK, moving on… The little centres of the white flowers are made by the eraser on the top of my pencil, just dunked into the Snowflake Fresco paint, aimed at the flower centres (even got some!) and then randomly across the background.

These cardboard letters are of course die cut from old cat food boxes (my stash from previous posts) and I was going to paint them or ink them or something but then decided I liked them as raw corrugated cardboard and kept them that way.

I really love this stamp.  It was a totally unplanned, random thing that I quickly carved out for a birthday card and look how well it turned out.  Those skinny letters are stamping so much better than some other stamps I could mention lol.

Here’s a better look at some of the plant/tree/foliage stamping – that lime green is showing up so well!

And my little white flowers climbing up the brickwork makes me happy.  I can see Spring flowers popping up all over the garden, suddenly, and it is such a joy to see after so much winter cold and rain.

I played around with the placement of the cardboard words but settled on this layout.

I’m happy how this spread turned out.  I almost went down a darker, sadder path and I’m so glad I didn’t.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and like the spread, let me know what you think in the comments below.





Wow one Spring AJ spread that is relevant to all of the following challenges!  See comments as to why…
Funkie JunkieAquamarine – Challenge – using a few different shades of aquamarine, including Archival aquamarine and Paperartsy Fresco aquamarine
Art Journal JourneyGreen – Challenge – using various green shades as part of the background and the leaves
Mixed Media PlaceFebruary Challenge – using turquoise shades, brown, and white, experiencing winter but hoping for spring!
Simon Says Stamp – Monday Challenge – Stencil Fun –  used my own stencil cut from cardboard using a TH die, and used two TH stencils
Mix It UpAG + optional smooshing Challenge – did the smooshing when I created the background 🙂
Creative ArtisteChallenge #58 – lots of mediums used on this spread
Stamping SensationsSpring Florals – Challenge – my newly green Spring leaves and very dainty white flowers should qualify here 🙂 and the pages are covered in stamping using multiples stamps that I made.
Craft Stamper MagMarch – Challenge – the theme is AG but must have stamping and use stamps currently available in the UK.  I made my own stamps from materials currently available in the UK, so that should work too?
Simon Says Stamp – Wednesday Challenge – Use Some Green – done!
A Vintage JourneyCelebration Time Come On – Challenge – When I first saw this challenge announced, I thought I had nothing to celebrate this month because my heart is sad, but then I made this page, and it turned into a celebration of Spring instead of the dark turn it almost took.  Spring flowers have burst out all over the garden and so this is what I am celebrating.  Also congratulations to AVJ on their 6th birthday!

Project Recipe

Art Journal / Sketchbook
My own handmade stamps!
Paperartsy Fresco Chalk paints
Distress Oxides
Decoart clear gesso, texture paste, liquid acrylics
Tim Holtz stencil
Versafine Clair ink
From stash: cardboard stencil cut from Sizzix TH Mixed Media brick die, pencil eraser to stamp with, acrylic blocks

16 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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March 25, 2020 10:02 am

A lovely journal spread. Gorgeous colours and fabulous background details.
Thank you for joining in with our March challenge “Anything Mixed Media Goes” at Creative Artiste Mixed Media. Good luck x

March 23, 2020 6:15 pm

Such a bright cheery page! Congrats on your Funkie Junkie Boutique win! 🙂

March 22, 2020 11:40 pm

Lovely journal pages and colours

Thanks for joining us at Stamping Sensations this month


Darlene Pavlick
March 22, 2020 3:46 pm

WOW absolutely beautiful … thanks for all the details! Thanks so much for playing in our challenge at Mix It Up!
Mix It Up
DAR’S CRAFTY CREATIONS Please stop by for a visit.

Jenny Marples
March 21, 2020 9:52 am

Oh Elle I love it! How wonderful to see how your gorgeous journal spread came together including using your own carved stamps – how clever! And I love the difference that brick texture makes to the background. Thank you for joining in at The Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog x

Deb Riddell
March 20, 2020 6:56 pm

What a lovely art journal page Elle, adore all of your lovely layers and how you incorporated your hand made stencil and carved stamps to make it truly your own. So glad that you found a reason to celebrate and that you joined us at A Vintage Journey for our Celebration challenge, Deb xo

Neet Hickson
March 19, 2020 12:34 pm

From one March babe to another – WOW, I love your page and how you built it up. What gorgeous colours you chose to begin with and how lovely is that stenciling.
I don’t know what your star sign is but you have chosen everything I like and use myself. I love brick wall stencilling or stamping, have a thing about my “diamonds in the rough” stencil and love script. Love using lime green as well – especially with what I determine as oceanic colours.
Guess after all that I am trying to say i love your journalpage.
Hugs, Neet xx

March 18, 2020 3:56 pm

Wonderful page , this is fabulous disgn !
Greetings Elke

March 18, 2020 3:26 pm

Beautiful page, Elle. The background test page really was lovely and inspiring. I love what you did with it. Great texturing.

Thank you for sharing this page for our green theme at Art Journaal Journey.

Eileen xx

March 18, 2020 2:41 pm

It is a fabulous nature themed journal page . I like how your wall turned out and it is a good idea that I use as well to use die cuts as stencils. Thank you for sharing your art with Eileen’s theme at Art Journal Journey.

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