I am happy to have finished another Wanderlust lesson which I actually started almost on time but then got delayed sourcing materials and then waiting for things to dry, so they sat around for a bit while I gave it some extra thought.  This is the lesson from week 4 with Shay Michelle, and it required a brown paper bag.  In the UK, brown paper bags or in fact any kind of bag is no longer as readily available as they used to be (although we have never bought into that brown bagged grocery type here) and for the last few years if you want a bag to take home what you purchased in a shop, then you have to pay for it!  So bags are quite thin on the ground these days.  My local supermarket has finally got rid of those very very thin plastic bags that were always available for putting your fruit and veg in, and while that is a good thing, what they have replaced them with are bags that fall apart whenever you put something with any weight in it, you know, something like fruit or vegetables lol.  I took my zucchini to the self-weighing scale, weighed them, put them in the bag and they promptly fell through the bottom!  Completely pointless if they can’t stay together long enough to get out of the shop!  So I thought about using one of those but I could only see disaster and heartache, and that is why I was delayed in starting this lesson.  Eventually I found these lovely brown paper items lying around the house…

On the left, some very handy brown paper that amazon used in a box of things I ordered (thanks amazon!) and on the right, a small brown paper bag from the chemist.  Sometimes they use these and sometimes they use white bags, so I was lucky to get one of the brown ones.

As this is a class lesson, there is no tutorial, just a starting out photo and a lot of photos of the finished page.

This lesson used a technique that was similar to one I’ve used before on Christmas cards, gotta say, IMO it worked a lot better on my Christmas cards lol.  Trying to get this technique to work was another reason that this lesson took so long.  I set up a few different pages as I wasn’t sure which of them would work – if any – and left them to dry while I got on with other things.  In the end, I decided to use all three of them because I hate waste.  This post is all about the one on the left, I will write up the other two later, there are too many photos for just one post!

I am so in love with this paint colour and have used it a few times already.  Really I need to start rationing myself or everything is going to start looking the same lol.  This is a long strip of the brown amazon packaging and I couldn’t decide how to put it in my journal.  Do I cut it, do I fold it, do I put it on multiple pages?  In the end I laid it across both pages and glued it down.  There are overhanging bits on both sides but I kinda like it like that.  What will happen later when I bind the journal together, I don’t know, might have to fold them in, but I didn’t want to cut them off.  This is the finished page, the rest of the photos are various angles and close up, so feel free to skip to the end.

Here’s a look at some of the gorgeous blue metallic watercolour paint I got recently.  I’m been using metallic watercolour for a while now but this set is from an English company and I got a set of 12 for £10 which I think is awesome!  The pans are not huge but you do get 12 different colours and watercolour lasts for ages anyway.

I also have cute kitty washi tape!

Abundance is my word of the year so I wrote that on this spread using a gold pen.  I used the same gold pen to make all the little dandelion seeds you can see in the photo below.

I can’t believe how shiny this silver pen is when the light hits it!
More silver pen inside the dandelions, a dandelion stencil and some texture paste, and some cotton (plant) washi tape

These shiny blue strips are scraps leftover from some art cards I made, so I used them on this page to fill in some space

Here’s a look at the finished page taken this morning in daylight.
So that’s the first of the dandelion pages finished.  I have two more to finish and then the week three lesson, which I skipped because – self portrait!  Hope you like the page, let me know what you think in the comments.    As always, thanks for reading!



Art Journal Journey – February Challenge – Heavy Metal – gold pen, silver pen, blue metallic watercolour splatters, blue metallic acrylic strips
Funkie JunkieGroundhog Day – Challenge:  The challenge is to use something that you use all the time and I immediately knew the answer to that question – paint splatters, or more specifically metallic paint splatters.  I can’t help myself!  This time they are a lovely blue metallic but they are most often gold.
Countryview Challenges – First Signs of Spring – one of the real first signs of Spring in my garden is probably the dandelions haha.  They are always first to appear before you are even ready to do any proper gardening and they have already taken hold!  The ones in my journal look so innocent but they are already at the seed spreading stage so I am doomed to a garden full of dandelions again.  We used to have a friend with a pet rabbit who loved eating dandelions so maybe I should get some rabbits in to help! LOL


My handmade journal
watercolour paper, gesso, watercolour paint, salt, gold pen, silver pen, paint pens, metallic watercolour, brown paper, dandelion stencil and paste, washi tape, leftover painted paper scraps,

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18 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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Bleubeard and Elizabeth
March 1, 2021 4:55 am

This had a lot more texture than showed on some of the close-ups. Your dandelions are the most beautiful and glittery that I have ever seen. You are welcome to come spread them around my yard any time. And of course, both Bleubeard and I fell in love with the little cat who has an abundance of beauty. Thanks for sharing this with us at Art Journal Journey using Valerie’s theme, dear.

Jenny Marples
February 18, 2021 11:59 am

Well Elle you had me drooling over all those painterly brown paper pieces at the beginning! Turning this one on its side and covering it with those delicate dandelion heads was such a fabulous idea and gave the finished page an ethereal quality that was totally enhanced by the touches of gold. As for brown paper (and tissue) gotta love it for painting on, stamping on, drawing on and pulling prints on so getting the stuff they tend to stuff inside boxes these days is brilliant! Mind you, I have a roll of brown parcel paper wrapping stashed away for emergencies too 😉 Thank you for sharing it with us at The Funkie Junkie Boutique blog xx

February 15, 2021 2:36 pm

Lovely project! Thank you for your contribution to our monthly challenge over at Country View Challenges.
Corrie x

Neet Hickson
February 7, 2021 1:41 pm

Having just used a brown paper bag for a junk journal page I can appreciate how good they are to paint on. Mine ended up looking almost like leather.
I love how you chose the colours for yours and used them to their full potential in your pages – gorgeous dandelions! I am not a glitter fan at all but this kind of glittery finish really appeals to me and is the only type I like. What a shame I gave my metallic watercolours away not long ago – brand new never been touched too.
Lovely work again.
Hugs, Neet xx

Alison Hall
February 4, 2021 6:26 pm

A wonderful piece Elle! I love the dandelions.
I think I need to source some metallic watercolours. Phthalo blue is my go to lately, I’ll probably need to buy more of that soon. Amazon here I come!
Have a lovely evening,
Alison xx

February 4, 2021 6:15 am

I am enthusiastic about this imaginative journal page. Wonderful to watch and so romantic to dream.
Have a beautiful day , hug Elke

Erika N
Erika N
February 4, 2021 1:32 am

We have those same flimsy grocery bags here too and more than once my veggies have broken through the bottom. Now that is useless plastic in the environment. But what do you do when you buy lots of small bits like beans? Anyhow, I love seeing your technique and those great backgrounds. And lots of dandelions isn’t a bad thing, especially in February. Glad you added the little kitty too. Thanks for joining in at Art Journal JOurney. Hugs-Erika

Nancy Williams
February 4, 2021 12:59 am

Love the color you used and all the cool designs. You totally made that brown paper into something special, Elle. Loved reading how you started, stopped and finished! Great ideas. Hugz

February 3, 2021 8:53 pm

It’s beautiful! As you were talking of the paper I was shaking my head yes yes, I love that brown paper! I covered a journal I made with crumpled grocery bag brown paper, then painted with acrylic then took white glue and added a crumpled layer of white tissue paper with white glue, covered the whole thing in ocher and burnt sienna paint, it looks like leather! Brown paper! You made such a beautiful creation, I love the colours, and the words!

Valerie -Jael
February 3, 2021 7:04 pm

Fabulous page, love the metallic watercolours, am think I will get myself a set! Love how it all shines! Thanks so much for joining us at AJJ, you have made me happy! Hugs, Valerie

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