Happy Earth Day everyone!

I’ve been wondering what to do for Earth Day for a few weeks now and pulled out a card I made for Earth Day last year which I thought I could use for inspiration:

This is quite a big card, approx 8.5 x 5.5 or one piece of Letter sized card folded in half!  (I tend to make really big cards, that’s why I set myself the challenge of making ATCs for #the100projects challenge forcing me to work smaller)

So my original idea was to just translate this card design into a page in my journal.  It’s made from multiple layers of stamped leaves in different colours and some die cut letters and a sticker, mounted on a card base, so I knew that would be easily translated into a journal page.

However, I spent the day swatching some new paints that arrived this week. (I love swatching and swatch anything that has a colour!)  I was very excited to see what they looked like as they are the new big dot packs from Daniel Smith!  Here’s what they look like:

I sat here for a couple of hours last night writing a great deal of information about Daniel Smith watercolours before I accidentally unplugged the computer and LOST IT ALL.  You might be extremely glad not to have to read a bunch of information about Daniel Smith lol but I was super annoyed, then when the computer restarted I couldn’t log in because it kept saying the password was wrong.  It was not!  So then I started to panic slightly thinking I might not be able to access my computer as well as losing my post.  Eventually I discovered that one of the keys on my very fancy gaming keyboard which is actually a big pile of Chinese *** from amazon, has stopped working and it just happened to be one I needed for my password!  Aargghh!!!!  So I went from super happy, in the zone, enjoying the flow of my post and going to bed soon, to being really, really annoyed and it was nearly midnight so I really didn’t need the aggravation so I unplugged and went to bed.  Now I’m using the old keyboard that had to be replaced by the gaming keyboard because all the letters have disappeared off the keys and I’m having to close my eyes and touch type and hope for the best.

I now give you my blissful hours of Daniel Smith swatching but with very little information now because I don’t have the energy to do it all again and it probably wouldn’t be as good as the first one… grrrr…

These little dot packs are so handy for testing out colours and the dots are pretty big so you get a reasonable amount of paint to play with.  There are 9 cards each with 4 colours on them = 36 different colours!  These are a new product, a different format for the dot cards, which contain much bigger dots of paint than the old cards.  I have about 20+ full size tubes of DS watercolour paint in colours I love.  I don’t have all the colours in the range as there are over 250 colours and that would be crazy.  So I use the dot cards to decide on other colours I might want to have in my collection, if I find that I use them a lot, or just to paint with, as those little dots do last quite a while.

To see bigger versions of all of these smaller photos just click . . .

This Watercolour Confetti box has a nice range of bright colours and some different types of watercolours including some of his iridescent colours and a couple of the Primatek colours.  While I was painting my little swatch squares I was also cleaning my brush off on a page in my journal so as not to waste any paint.

Here’s a closer look at the Primatek box, all 36 of these colours are made from minerals taken from the earth eg bloodstone, turquoise, hematite etc. This does make them more expensive than the rest of the paints – often about 4x more!  Again I cleaned my brush off on a page.

Here’s a closer look at the colours included in the Confetti pack and the Minerals pack,just click the image to see a larger version.

I noticed on the back it says:  Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolor dot cards are the perfect go-to when looking to enhance or create a work of art! Journaling, lettering, card making, stamping, fine art, crafting or swatching simply for colour fun.  That’s exactly what I was doing Daniel Smith, swatching for colour fun!

Before the computer died and I lost my post, I was talking a lot about granulation of some of the paints but instead of writing all that out again, I added some photos from the packaging that explains it.

This Lunar Black is one of my favourites, and one that I have in tube size.  It is a granulating paint and it reminds me of the surface of the moon.

The little letters and numbers written on my swatch card refer to these properties. in that order, so eg I 2 Y O = Lightfastness, Staining, Granulation, and Transparency, and the different ratings for each paint.

Here on the information booklet it explains the ratings in more detail.  If the lightfastness rating is I (excellent) it is lightfast for over 100 years!  Staining/non-staining is good to know as a paint that stains will be harder to lift off the paper than one that doesn’t.

Granulation qualities are also good to know to avoid any surprises!  All of these paints are granulating but to varying degrees and might give unexpected results that you may or may not want.  Check out the Hematite Violet Genuine in the top right – that’s a crazy one!

As I mentioned before some of the paints in the Confetti box are iridescent, so I thought I would show a comparison between those and my favourite iridescent paints.  It’s not really a fair comparison as the colours are different but I still think the Finetec are better (sorry Daniel Smith).

These are the Daniel Smith swatches which include iridescents, duochrome and pearlescent colours.

These are some of my Finetec iridescent paints which are made in Germany.

Showing them on white paper doesn’t really do them justice as where they truly shine is against dark coloured paper.  I promise to get to the art journalling soon but just take a look at these first… (click for bigger)

Shiny, shiny shiny paint!

Even more shiny when the light hits it full on!  Look at that “white” which is actually a silver.

Shiny!  That’s the blue, the purple, the silver (looks white), the green and the pink one that shifts to blue on dark paper.

So after my fun day of swatching, it was time to make my Earth Day journal page, but after all that swatching I didn’t really feel like doing my original idea.  I had these two bonus pages in my journal, made from cleaning my brush, so why not use one of those instead, right?

This one from the Confetti box swatching/cleaning and…

this one from the Minerals box.  Since this was for Earth Day I thought it would be nice to use the one made from minerals from the earth!

And you know, instead of pulling out all the supplies that I used on the original card, why not just use these earth mineral paints and make a very low tech version by just painting on the leaves with a brush!

There’s a reason stamps exist lol.  This took way longer to do that it would to stamp all over the page, but I it was enjoyable and I got to spend time with the page and think about the earth.

This time instead of die cut letters and a sticker, I just wrote the words on with a black pen (very low tech!).

I hope you have a great day and celebrate our wonderful earth by recycling something, or using something recycled in your art!  Here are a few ideas for easy to find items that you probably have around the house, and can easily be incorporated into your arts and crafts and save you some money!

  • paper and old books to make your own art journals,
  • magazines, gift wrap, old books to make your own collage papers,
  • tea and coffee to make your own vintage sprays and stains
  • teabag papers can be used in so many ways including layering on pages or even mini canvases
  • old cardboard boxes have multiple uses including being a great source of corrugated cardboard
  • plastic packaging to use instead of acetate
  • toilet roll tubes are great for making pockets, or use for making marks
  • bottle caps are great for mark making especially on gel plates
  • junk mail and envelopes for adding layers to art journals or for making your own paper

What are your favourite recycled materials to use in your art?  Let me know what you think in the comments, and as always, thanks for reading!



Blog Along with Effy – Day 22

Links to all the days of the April blog along
April 1st – Day 1 – You don’t have to be perfect to be amazing
April 2nd – Day 2 – Cat hammocks and sneak peeks
April 3rd – Day 3 – Favourite Children’s Books
April 4th – Day 4 – Green Crochet Socks Story
April 5th – Day 5 – A Short Family History of Scones
April 6th – Day 6 – Happy Tartan Day
April 7th – Day 7 The Unbearable Lightness of Old Wallpaper
April 8th – Day 8 Off with their heads my Queen
April 9th – Day 9 – Andy Warhol Cat
April 10th – Day 10 – Tiny Book Covers WIP
April 11th – Day 11 – Happy National Pet Day
April 12th – Day 12 – Collage Fodder, Recycling, Stealing from Kittens
April 13th – Day 13 – Company of Liars ATC Book Cover
April 14th – Day 14 – This is What Happens when you Make all the Things
April 15th – Day 15 – A Short History of Blogging, Tips, Tricks, AMA
April 16th – Day 16 – I just want to drink tea, pet cats and read books
April 17th – Day 17 – You can never have too many cats
April 18th – Day 18 – Days 61-70 of #the100DayProject 2021 – Book Quotes on ATCs
April 19th – Day 19 – They Were A Thing of Strange Wild Edged Beauty
April 20th – Day 20 – There is nothing like a dream to create the future
April 21st – Day 21 – You are capable of more…
April 22nd – Day 22 – Today!
This month I decided to join in with Effy Wild’s blog along – 30 posts in 30 days and hope I can think if enough things to say. every. day. I’ll do my best to keep up.  The idea is to blog every day (obvs) but also to comment on other people’s blogs to keep the conversation going.  There is a facebook group where you can link your posts and find other people’s to go visit and comment. During April you can find all the Blog Along posts linked on my home page for convenience. If you leave a comment, I’ll be sure to return the favour!

Art Journal Journey – Inspired By… April Challenge – This is my fifth post entered for this month’s challenge.  This post was inspired by Earth Day, the Daniel Smith paints I swatched and also my Earth Day card from last year.
Paint Party FridayWeek 6 Year 11 Check-in – art journal page painted with Daniel Smith dot card sample paints in the Primatek minerals range
SSS Monday ChallengeBright Colours – bright greens (entry #146)


homemade art journal, dot card paint samples, black pen

You might also like to check out some recycling projects . . .


17 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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April 24, 2021 11:45 pm

I love your results of your swatching session. Daniel Smith Paints are so good and those dots seem like a good way to choose the colours you really want.
I love both your card and the journal pages. I love to use old packaging in my art – card, paper bags, envelopes etc. Hugs, Chrisx

Linda K
April 23, 2021 8:17 pm

I love the “Live Gently on this Earth” art. And oh what fun to be swatching these new watercolors! I only have a handful of DS but really LOVE them!! I may need to try some of the new big dots cards- really a great way to try out the colors because they are pricey. Thanks for sharing your color plays, and happy PPF!

April 23, 2021 4:22 pm

lovely art for Earth Day!

April 23, 2021 3:02 pm

Lovely card. Your hand for writing is a gift. Sorry about the PC trouble. It always happens when you need it most. Have a nice weekend.

Wendy K
April 23, 2021 10:16 am

Fabulous samples and paintings. Those paints look fantastic..

April 23, 2021 10:01 am

Fabulous journal pages, great colours. Love how you made this. Thanks for joining us at AJJ, too. Have a great weekend, hugs, Valerie

Bleubeard and Elizabeth
April 23, 2021 8:46 am

I really got caught up in your tale of what happened to your post. Trust me, that has happened to me, too. I also had to laugh at your keyboard. The y, z,x, and p are still showing on mine, but the rest wore off not long after I got it.

Your Earth Day journal spread is wonderful. That background is gorgeous. I was really impressed with it. Then you added all those incredible ferns and leaves. They are wonderful and show movement. Thank you beyond belief for sharing this lovely spread with us at Art Journal Journey honoring Eileen’s theme. You obviously saw some of the things I recycle (grin).

April 23, 2021 6:50 am

Wonderful journal page with the earth day!
Thanks for showing us the steps to completion!
Have a happy day , hug Elke

April 23, 2021 3:23 am

Argh for the tech problems! But your swatches and card are delicious and dreamy!

Nicole Cormier
April 22, 2021 2:22 pm

Your cards are beautiful. Reading through some of your other posts has taken me on a time warp back to 1996/97 when I was making my own art papers from whatever scraps I could find, with my little paper making kit that I got from Plovers ?

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