Saturday, May 12, 2012

Journaling Stamps - And a Fun Background Technique

By Stacey Dunning, Blockheads Paper Arts
My background on these journal pages was inspired by two different blog posts I've seen recently.  One was on the Faber-Castell blog showing a way to color paper with Gelato Paint Sticks: Creating an Art Journal Background.  The other from the Gauche Alchemy blog shows a fun method for creating a collage background and adding interest by applying tape and pulling it away quickly: Blended Paper Backgrounds

Download some printable sheet music ephemera, available free to our Facebook Fans.
I also used stamps from our new Journaling stamp set, from our Nature Medallions and and the Botanical Portrait stamp.

These were the supplies I used, including PITT Markers, Big Brush Markers, Gelatos, Gesso, an old book, a news paper, and a printed image of sheet music available free to fans of our facebook page

I started by tearing pieces of the ephemera I had and pasting it onto the open book pages.  
Next I brushed on a light layer of gesso and allowed it to dry.  I like to speed up the natural drying type with a heat tool.
The next step is hard to see because the tape I used was clear.  I took 5 strips of basic giftwrapping tape and pressed them down randomly on the page and then ripped them off, which took some of the top layers off, exposing paper with no gesso beneath.  If you click on the image to enlarge it you'll see I have a piece of tape I'd torn off laying on the right page.
Next I scribbled all the colors of Gelato paint sticks from the cool color set.
The next step requires a baby wipe but I didn't have any so I made my own with a wet paper towel and touch of hand soap.  I simply wiped it around the pages until the pages were colored with color.  The dark areas you see are from areas where the gesso was pulled away by the tape.
Then I simply stamped my images, added my journaling and added some highlights with a white paint pen and colored some of the images using the PITT markers.  The Big Brush markers have a nice size tip for inking stamps, too.  I also used some Memento tuxedo black and danube blue ink for stamping images.

I journal for two reasons, one is to practice art techniques without feeling like the end product needs to be perfect, the other is to record thoughts.  I heard an expert on happiness say the three keys to happiness are have a strong sense of community, being altruistic, and having new experiences and that the need for new experiences varies greatly from person to person.  Some people get all they need by driving a new route to work or trying a new restaurant.  

Happiness is important.  It makes people around you enjoy life more, it helps your productivity, and it increases life expectancy.
I know I need a lot of change and new experiences.  That's why it's always been relatively easy to move across country when it was needed for job changes.  I now live where I want to stay so I am constantly looking for ways to experience new things without causing major disruption to my needed routine.  This was my quick brainstorm on ways to work toward more happiness.


  1. Such an excellent idea. Love the whole process and plan to play with this as well. Thanks so much for the tutorial and many thanks for the vintage music sheets. So generous!

  2. Hi Stacey, well it took several days but I finally finished my pages on your idea and theme. I had been meaning to do a layout with "Happiness" as the theme for a long time. You pushed me over the edge and I did one.

    Check it out on my blog:

    Thanks for the inspiration

  3. Just LOVE what you did here Stacey! I really HAVE to find the time to try it out! Thanks for the beautiful music sheets too :-)