Thursday, 23 March 2017

Art Journaling with Inktense Blocks

Hello, everyone!

Branka here and today is my turn to bring you an Inspirational post.

I would like to show you how to create an art journal spread using only Derwent Inktense blocks, in less than 30 minutes. It's quick, easy and fun.

Let me say a few words about Inktense blocks.
These vibrant chunky water-soluble ink blocks can be used dry or mixed with water which will transform into truly inspiring ink-link paint.
The chunky shape makes them extremely versatile and making it easy to cover large areas really quickly. Once dry the color is permanent and can be worked over the top of. The blocks can be used on fabric, too (silk and cotton).
The full set contains 72 blocks.

All you need for this project is an art journal (I am using my Dylusions small one), clean water, a brush (I am using a watercolor flat 3/4 brush), something to protect your working surface, stamps and stencils (I am using Dina Wakley stamps and stencils here), Black Archival ink, some paper scraps, some washi tape and Inktense blocks.
So, let's start!
Pick the blocks in colors you like and apply them randomly onto your pages. I wanted to achieve a kind of a Dina's style look so I decided to leave some white spaces.  

Use your wet brush to activate the ink.

You can use these blocks like you would use your watercolor pans. Dip the brush into the clean water and pick the color directly from the block. That is what I did here to create some patterns using my stencil. I used my brush to apply the ink through the stencil because I wanted to achieve a watercolor look but you can use a cosmetic sponge if you want.

I added some paper scraps and applied some white gesso on top to blend them together with my background. 

You can play with your washi tapes to create more texture.

I stamped my birds using my Dina Wakley stamp set and my Archival ink in black. I used my dry Inktense blocks to add more color onto the birds. As you can see, I wasn't neat :)
I stamped the quote onto some white tissue paper, cut it in stripes and glued down onto my page.  

Here is the finished vibrant art journal spread.

I hope I have inpired you to create your mixed media piece using some stamps or stencils or both and to join in our Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheep, Cheep! challenge here at Stamps and Stencils.

Hugs! Branka xx

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Guest Designer - Ioulia

Hello, I am Ioulia (julD handmade) from Greece and I am so happy to be once again a Guest Designer at Stamps and Stencils. It is such an honor to be here today. Thank you so much..

I loved painting and crafting from my early years, but instead of becoming an artist I became an engineer who loves to create things in her free time. So, crafting is my hobby. My favourites are clay and texture in paintings. I am impressed by new techniques and altered materials.

The challenge theme for this month is “Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheep, Cheep – Put A Bird On It!”. I created a mixed media painting with a girl and three birds on her head.

I used a wooden tray which I coloured with diluted acrylic paints.

For the background, I used distilled brown paint and white gesso with a stencil.

Then, I stamped with several stamps and acrylic paints or archival ink.

I painted a girl with acrylics and I used a paste with spatula for her hair.

Her dress is a scrapbooking paper and the lace is made with gesso and a mold.

The birds are a collage from an old book and are painted with watercolours and gesso.

I hope you like it. You are very welcome to stop by my blog to see a few more close ups.
Thanks again for inviting me to be a guest designer this month.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

More play with distress oxides

Hello there! Well I really loved Autumns tutorial on using distress oxides - so much so I decided to have another play and show the results here! I used them in a few different ways to make up my journal pages which I will explain as I go along!!! Here's the finished page for starters!

I love the muted tones the oxides produce....they are so different from distress inks and yet so similar too - very clever stuff I think!

Here's what I did to achieve this page....

My first move was to use my craft mat - I added dabs of four colours to the mat - cracked pistachio, fossilised amber, faded jeans and broken china, spittzed with water and then literally wiped the mat onto my journal pages. I repeated this until the pages were covered.

Next I mixed a dab of cracked pistachio distress oxide with wendy vecchi crackle paste and mixed thoroughly.

I used a clarity stencil and added the colured paste through.

Here's a close up that shows the dried crackle paste.

Next I stamped directly onto the page using indigoblu stamps and distress oxides.

here's what the page looked like.

Then I again added the distress oxides to a craft mat and used my waterbrush to pick up the colour and paint the images.

The last things I did was a little further stamping and adding the grass by painting with the water brush.

They really are a great product - I hope you have enjoyed seeing how I have used them - simple but fun and results different from distress inks.


Rachel s

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Winners - Texture, Crackle and Paint !

Hello ! Welcome back, today is the day to share the winner and top 3 for the Texture, Crackle and Paint challenge. As usual this proved really difficult for the team to choose, so many wonderful entries !

So, please give your congratulations to ....

 Congratulations ! We thought the detail and colours just fabulous !  Please contact for the details of your Guest Designer spot. 

Now on to the top 3:

Congratulations everyone ! Please email for your top 3 badge. 
All of the winners will also be pinned on the Stamps and Stencils Pinterest Board! 
The current challenge is Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheep, Cheep  and you've still got plenty of time to share your projects with us.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheep, Cheep !

Hi everybody! It's Toni here, I find that one of the joys, at this time of year, is to wake up to the glorious sound of birdsong. The challenge this month is in celebration of our fine, feathered, friends. We would love to see your mixed media projects, that include at least one bird. Whether it's a  journal spread, an assemblage or card, just make sure that a little dickie bird or birds, feature somewhere.

Please don't forget to include stamping, or stenciling or even both! Can't wait to see your creations!

So now it's over to you ! 

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Distress Oxide on Canvas Tutorial

Distress Oxide, what a buzz word in the crafting world these days!  Autumn here today to share an experiment with Distress Oxide ink pads on canvas.  I hope you will enjoy this fun tutorial, please pin it for future reference.

First of all, we learned from Tim Holtz that we should not touch our ink pads to other colors of Distress Oxide because the pads will "contaminate" and muddle.  I applied my pads directly to my canvas board in a grid like pattern to prevent this, hence the white space you see.  I used Peeled Paint, Faded Jeans and Vintage Photo.

Next, I spritzed the panel thoroughly and let the colors pool and blend, using my finger as needed to remove any hard lines.

I was able to move the colors along and blend with water until I heat set my panel, which surprised me!  When I had used Infusions onto a canvas panel, they remained water activated throughout, Distress Oxide (DOX henceforth) became more permanent (not completely, but more).  Water flecks did not completely remove the ink as it had with my Infusions experiments.  This made me happy!

I sponged Distress Ink (DI) onto the edges of my panel.  I wanted to add more earthy green to this very yellowy canvas (which came from the Peeled Paint), so I dipped it into some puddled Cracked Pistachio.

What a happy moment...

Now for my favorite new concept, coordinating Distress texture paste!  I have on several occasions tried to color my texture paste with regular DI, but it causes seepage and makes me sad.  Because DOX is not "wet" the same way as DI, I decided to give it a go.  It tints your texture paste ever so beautifully and does not loose vibrance as it dries.  To me, this is revolutionary!  Imagine creating perfectly coordinating texture paste for every project, in any color!  YES PLEASE!

I used Fossilized Amber to bring in some highlights.  It's funny how much it resembles the Peeled Paint in the background, but there are many color variations in DOX, which is part of the magic.

Here is my completed background.  You can see flecks of watery gesso and how that reacted to the colors and stamping in DOX, lightly spritzed to activate the oxidization.  Below is a peek of my finished canvas.  

Find all of the closeups and details on my blog today HERE.  I hope you will have a go at this process and would love to see your finished work.  Leave me a comment with a link.  <3  And remember to submit your project to our Texture, Crackle and Paint challenge before March 1.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Guest Designer - Rupa

Please say hello and give a warm welcome to our Guest Designer for this month, Rupa of Tofa (Together for Arts).

I am Rupa (45yrs) from Bangalore, India, married and blessed with 2 kids (a son and a daughter).

My interest in arts started when I got married and had to set up my own house. I had a flair for interior decoration but no formal training, which is when I started learning various forms of art and painting just to decorate “my home”! After the birth of my first son (a child with special needs) I was forced to be a stay at home mom and that’s when my passion and hobby became work too. I started taking art classes from home and have been doing so last 15 yrs and still do. My son now is 17 yrs and I have a 7yr old daughter too and my entire family is very supportive of my passion.

My entry into crafting was 4 years back. I discovered my style was Vintage with lots of textures and most importantly, altered art. My unique selling point is up cycling and have hoarded a lot of trash at home and they all get their time to get pampered and have a new lease of life. I see a canvas in any neglected item or house hold trash and love giving them a makeover. These not only serve as home decor items but also have a utilitarian value! Now that’s living your second life to the fullest! A deserving re birth, what say???

If you wish to see my works, do visit my blog at and my FB page link is

* * *
Good morning!

I am glad to share with you my Guest design post with Stamps and Stencils. This is indeed a great honor for me and I enjoyed making this to suit their current challenge theme, PAINT, TEXTURE and CRACKLE. I love all the three things in the challenge and I had to of course use a recycled item to satisfy my creative soul and so used this empty detergent box .

I scraped the box a bit with sand paper and gave it 2 coats of Deco art chalky finish paint (Vintage). It’s a lovely color very rustic and vintage, not too bright just perfect for what I had in mind.

I did some dry brushing with black gesso just to highlight the texture and give it a weathered look.

Then came the crackle paint from Deco Art, to which I added some raw umber acrylic paint and then spread it on the sides of the box. I left is to dry naturally and then appeared the fine cracks.

I used the wood grain stamp and some brown ink to add more texture and character to the box.

I had a piece of coffee stained paper in my stash and using the individual alphabets stamp set, I stamped the words “SPICE GARDEN “ on it. I hope you get a hint on what I am making now, lol!

I also had this vintage post card image to which I attached the stamped paper. This is the front label on the box.

I fixed it to the box with a few brads and then applied some rust powder with vinegar on it to give it a rusty old look.

I have used paper artsy stencil and white paint to stencil this floral pattern on the sides of the box. The edges of the box have inked and distressed with archival brown ink and I have sealed it with Ultra matt varnish from Deco Art.

On the lid, I have this floral embellishment, a handmade flower using TH tattered florals die.

I also have used the alterations heart die cut which I have painted in black and dry brushed with white paint. The paper tassel too is handmade using old book page and some beads from the stash. The box is now complete.

This is what you see when the lid is opened….

A bunch of recipe cards tied together with a red synthetic bow! The idea was to create a vintage recipe box where I can store all my favorite recipes.

This project is a valentine gift to myself!

Until my next creative journey,

Happy crafting and recycling.