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Monday, 27 March 2017

PaperArtsy Blue/Ochre Challenge

Hi everyone, back with yet another Paperartsy project tonight to link up with the PaperArtsy blog here. I'm rather nervous to suddenly realise that my project is the first one posted for this fortnight's challenge! Having said that I'm really happy with my project. In fact, I love it! I loved the process and I love the finished result. And that doesn't always happen!
The colours and stamp designers were already set by Leandra and Darcy for this fortnight's challenge although I got to choose from a list which designer to use. I love JoFy's stamps so I jumped at the chance to be able to use them for this challenge. They are so easy to work with and always produce such happy results. Here, I've combined a new set with a previous favourite release: JOFY 33. That gorgeous butterfly is from one of the new sets: JOFY 50. All the details of the stamps, paints and stencils I used are in the blog post over on the PaperArtsyblog so I won't repeat them all again on here.
This project took me quite a few days as I knew that I would need to complete several pages if I was going to cut two little doors in one of the pages. Originally, I was going to create a 'niche' in this book but it was just too lovely to stick too many of the pages together to create the niche. It's a 1970 version of 'The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady' by Edith Holden. Therefore, I wanted to use some of her gorgeous images within the project. I tried hard not to layer the paint too thickly so that some of the text would still be there in the final project. I love layering so that was a battle! I also looked for a page that had appropriate images for the 'doors' to open onto. This meant that I only had to stick three pages together so the door openings would remain firm when handled. My little grandfairies have loved opening and closing these this weekend!
The first task was to mark out and cut the two doors. The size of each was dictated by the size of the images underneath. I had already planned to adorn this page with JoFy's flowers, to run up the sides of each door so their size didn't really matter. Other than that I didn't have a clear plan. I seldom do. I just enjoy the process and determine each step as I go along. 
Now the colour 'ochre' varies a great deal, as I realised when leafing through my copy of True Colours', a Stampington publication from which this fortnight's challenge was taken. This particular theme is one chapter in the book which contained a variety of artwork using this colour and all were different! No help there then. When I googled it, I found that as a natural earth pigment this colour can range from yellow to deep orange to brown! Therefore I had great fun mixing a variety of PA Fresco chalk paints to create the colour I had in mind. I suppose I should have had a practise run but I never do. I dived straight in, adding, blending, dry brushing as I went along until I was happy with the shade I created. But, to get this colour, I used all of these:

The Blues were much easier, although I had a particular hue in mind to contrast well against the ochre.
Here I've used one of JoFy's new stencils and Glass Blue Fresco chalk paint to begin to create a stencil layer. I also used some DecoArt crackle paint through one of Lin Brown's stencils, just on a whim, but I don't think it added anything to the overall effect.
I used some mini stencils from 'That's Crafty' and 'bumped' the JoFy flower stencil with Snowflake Fresco chalk. This lightened the page a little. I love the stencilling on the little doors against thatochre. 
The next layer involved stamping, using complementary Archival inks. I do tend to work in a similar way to layer up: paint, stencil, stamps, doodling but not always in that order. I often use texture pastes and gels too but on this occasion I didn't want too much bulk as the book needed to be closed.
I do love doodling. I love the way it makes the colours pop. The flowers needed some additional marks to make them stand out too. Now for the main focal areas! This involved a lot of stamping and fussy cutting. Not something I generally enjoy. 
However, JoFy's flowers are generally very easy to fussy cut so it didn't take as long as it looks! I found that bird cage, already set up in a wonderfully appropriate 'ochre' colour, in my stash from way back! When all we used to use, before rusting powders were invented, was good old fashioned 'Distress embossing powders' in Vintage Photo. The chain was again handily found in my stash. Now it was really coming together. I had stamped and cut lots of JoFy's flowers so I could take my time placing them around the pages, either with stems or without and cascading them around the birdcage. Great fun. The butterflies were stamped and coloured with my prisma colour pencils, several times on vintage text paper. I love how by layering them on top of each other they appear to be so fragile. Then I added a quote from a favourite poem by William Blake, again typing the words on vintage manuscript paper. Almost there. 
The flowers were coloured with a mix of Fresco Chalk paints and my Prisma colour pencils. 
And finally, a glimpse of the final page on the other side of the open doors. I do hope you like what I created here because I so enjoyed making it. I love this colour combination so I will make a couple more projects for this challenge. I do hope I've encouraged you to have a go too. I would love to know your thoughts about this colour combo! Until next time! Happy crafting! 


  1. have had a lovely browse through this project here and on PA... it is stunning. It has also been great to read a bit more about how you put it together. Inspired to play now!

    1. Thank you for all of your lovely comments Helen! It's a great colour combination isn't it?

  2. This is just beautiful Chris! Love the colours... stunning xx

  3. Stunning project....I love it!

  4. The colour combo is delightful Chris and I bet it looks even more fabulous for real. I love the addition of the doors and the element of surprise of whats behind them. All combined with superb stamps Its a beautiful piece.. Hugs Tracey xx

    1. Thank you Tracey for such an encouraging, lovely comment.

  5. Takig the time to visit and read your lovely post Chriss, amazing pages, with exquisite flowers, butterflies and image within the niches, I love them and your idea behind!!!!
    Well deserved all the fussy cutting and work on this.
    Hugs, Corinne xxx

    1. Thank you Coco. You are always so encouraging xxx