Creating Abstract Patterns with Darkroom Door Abstract Stamps


I’m back today sharing some projects featuring the new Darkroom Door Abstract stamp – Abstract 04. There are so many things you can do with these long, abstract style stamps. They can become a feature rather than just be used as part of a background and I’ve used them both ways for this post. I love the elongated, scratchy nature of this design and think it will be one I will use very often!

I love using these stamps with my Gel Press, they are perfect for removing paint from the plate and creating interesting textures. For this project, I have combined that effect with patterned paper and stamped images. The design can easily be scaled up to suit A5 or A4 size journals – just use larger Gel Press plates.

I started my art journal page by brayering over my spread with shades of pink. I left the coverage quite rough with masses of bare patches showing through.

I brayered the middle size Ranger Gel Press Plate with Dina Wakely Fuschia and removed some of paint over the whole plate using the Darkroom Door Abstract 04 stamp.

Next I ‘stamped’ the plate into my Dylusions Dyalog journal, trying to keep the outside borders about even. The idea was to create a spread with a frame in frame type effect. I repeated the process on the facing page.

I searched through some scrap patterned papers and came across some small pieces of Prima paper that suited my colour palette. I added a scrap of velvet ribbon and a torn edge to one then glued them both onto my page. 

The background needed a bit of the colour knocked back to give a good range of contrast so a few swipes of white gesso from the back of a spatula fixed the balance nicely.

A pair of blooms from Darkroom Door Beautiful Blooms stamp set were stamped onto white card with black permanent Archival ink then coloured with pencils and fussy cut. The flowers were then added to the page along with a layered quote from the same set to finish the page.

Next, I’d like to share one of my favourite ways of using clear embossing powder to give a shimmery look to an embossed image with Perfect Pearls mica powder. This technique will also work with any finely ground, coloured mica powder.

I stamped the Darkroom Door Abstract 04 stamp onto smooth black card using Versamark clear ink and embossed with clear embossing powder. The abstract nature of the stamp means that although you need to get a fair amount of the image stamped, it doesn’t need to be perfect. I did this all over three approx. A6 size pieces to allow one piece for each shimmer colour.

Once the embossing was done, I selected three colours of Ranger Perfect Pearls that would work together. Taking each colour in turn, I gently reheated the embossed piece and then dusted Perfect Pearls over the embossed area using a mop brush and set it aside to cool.

Once cool, I brushed over the cardstock and returned excess powder to my container (you don’t want to waste any!). I heated the embossing again and this allows the colour to ‘melt’ into the embossing, set aside to cool. As a final step I wiped over the surface with a tissue to reveal the shimmery embossing.

Circles of different sizes were punched from each piece to give me enough to cover my card front.

I stamped and embossed the Happy Birthday word Darkroom Door Brushed Sentiments stamp set then fussy cut around the words.

I layered the card front with circles, making sure they overlapped with the lines of the scratches running in every direction. I raised some with foam squares to give some dimension.

This is a simple card to make but looks like each piece has been foiled. Not so easy to photograph but it sure does shimmer in the light!

Supplies used:

  • Darkroom Door Abstract 04 stamp
  • Darkroom Door Brushed Sentiments stamp set
  • Darkroom Door Beautiful Blooms stamp set
  • Archival ink – Jet Black
  • Gel Press plate, brayer & acrylic paint
  • Versamark clear ink and clear embossing powder
  • Ranger Perfect Pearls mica powder 
  • Coloured pencils, circle punches

Thanks for joining me, make sure you check out the rest of the designs in the set on the Darkroom Door website. These stamps have already shipped to retailers so pop into your local store and pick one up – I’d love to see what you create so tag me on social media if you are sharing your project or leave me a link in the comments below.

Gritty Grunge Play with Darkroom Door

Hello everyone!

Today I’m sharing a trio of art journal pages created using another one of the new Abstract stamps designed by Darkroom Door. This one is perfect for adding a lovely grungy element to your projects and I’ve used the image as part of a background and also as a bit of a colour feature on a page. There are four different images in the Abstract stamp collection and this one is Abstract 03, make sure you check the rest of them out here.

What could be more pleasurable than taking a bike for a spin on a warm summer afternoon? This is the feeling I’ve gone for with this page, it started with a few sprays of Distress Oxide inks onto a page in my black Dylusions Dylog journal and morphed from there.

I started the page with some random sprays of Distress Oxide inks and a few swipes of pale blue acrylic paint.

Next I ‘inked’ up the Darkroom Door Abstract 03 stamp with white acrylic paint and stamped it three times horizontally across my page. The paint was reapplied for each impression and allowed to dry before the next step. I love the subtle effect this gave.

I then selected a large bicycle image from the Darkroom Door Enjoy the Ride stamp set and stamped the image three times across my page, just above the Abstract stamp image. I decided the page needed a little extra grunge so inked the Darkroom Door Abstract 03 stamp using Watering Can Archival ink and stamped slightly over but not covering the previous white Abstract images. Using a fine black paint pen, I added some line work beneath the front wheels of the three bikes and scribbled doodles to the corners.

A fussy cut quote from the same Darkroom Door Enjoy the Ride stamp set finishes the page.

For my next project, I created a random background in my blank Dylusions Dyalog journal using pink, purple and gold paints on my Gel Press. I love using the Gel Press to apply layers of colour to a page without the use of stencils or other manipulation, the effect can be so random. For this spread, I intentionally left areas of white so that the next layers of colour would be visible. 

Then I inked the Darkroom Door Abstract 03 stamp with Deep Purple Archival ink and stamped parts of the image randomly over the page. I reinked the Darkroom Door Abstract 03 stamp with black Archival ink and stamped just the left and right outside edges of the page. I like how it is so easy to curl the stamp up with my hands to get only a small portion in contact with a page – no need for an acrylic block!

I then stamped the star and numbers images from the Darkroom Door Rockstar stamp set over the page using black Archival ink. In keeping with the loud colours of the background, I painted a couple of pieces of heavy paper with pink and orange acrylic paint and overstamped with imagery from the Darkroom Door Rockstar stamp set using black Archival ink. Once fussy cut, the images were adhered to my page.

Combining the word ‘Rockstar’ and a vinyl record image for a title completed the page. Outlining the title with white paint pen and inking the edges of the page gave it the finishing touch.

My happy place is colour and lots of it, so this page just makes me smile! This time I pulled a page from my Art by Marlene small journal to work on, I love the luscious watercolour paper in this journal. I then selected several Distress Oxide inks that were all in the same colour family – in this case mustard seed, picked raspberry, candied apple, carved pumpkin & worn lipstick – all the warm colours. The page would work equally well with cooler colours in shades of blues and greens. 

Using each colour in turn, starting from the lightest I inked the Darkroom Door Abstract 03 stamp, spritzed it with water and stamped a few times across my page. The initial image will be darker than the others but this lends a beautiful depth to the background. I worked quickly, cleaning my stamp between each colour but not allowing the page to dry out as this led to a wonderful blending of colour in some areas. 

Once the page was stamped and dried I sponged around the edges with mustard seed Distress ink. The Darkroom Door Happy quote was a finishing touch and I had fussy cut it before adding to my page with a little foam tape. 

Supplies used:

  • Darkroom Door Abstract 03 stamp
  • Darkroom Door Enjoy the Ride stamp set
  • Darkroom Door Rockstar stamp set
  • Darkroom Door Cassette Tape Eclectic set
  • Darkroom Door Happy Quote set
  • Archival ink – Jet Black, Deep Purple, Watering Can
  • Gel Press plate, brayer & acrylic paint
  • Distress Oxide Spray ink in blue/green shades
  • Distress Oxide ink – mustard seed, picked raspberry, candied apple, carved pumpkin, worn lipstick
  • Distress Ink – mustard seed
  • Black & white paint pens

I hope you have enjoyed learning how these projects came together, make sure you pop over to the Darkroom Door blog to see what the rest of the contributing artists have come up with!

Abstract Play with Darkroom Door

Hello stampers!

I’m back sharing another couple of projects using one of the new Abstract Stamps designed by Darkroom Door. These stamps are the perfect size for a variety of projects from art journals to card making. I thought most people will see these and think mixed media projects or art journaling, so I thought I’d shake it up a bit and create a pair of cards and a tag.

I started my tag by spritzing spray ink over a large Manilla tag and once dry stamped the Darkroom Door Abstract 02 stamp right down the centre of the tag. This gives a striking start to the tag design. I inked the edges of the tag and added a line of faux stitching as a border.

The Darkroom Door Patchwork Butterfly Collage stamp was stamped onto white card using black Archival ink, coloured using Ecoline markers and fussy cut. I glued the butterfly onto the tag just by the centre so that the wings could be lifted a little.

The addition of the word ‘Fly’ from Darkroom Door Steampunk stamp set and some ribbon finished the tag.

Next I wanted to share how to create some backgrounds using stamps and a Gel Press. The one thing to remember when using a stamp on the Gel Press is to wash it quickly and thoroughly! You don’t want any paint to dry in the crevices of the stamp as the image will become unusable. This technique will work best when the stamp has heavy, thick lines rather than fine, delicate images so the Darkroom Door Abstract 02 stamp is a perfect to use.

It is a good idea to have a few pieces of cardfront size white card ready when starting this technique – the paint will dry on your Gel Press before you are ready otherwise.

I started my background for this card by applying a small amount of paint to my Gel Press, spreading it out with a brayer. I used a mix of yellow and orange for my card for a subtle variation in colour. I then ‘stamped’ my Gel Press with the Darkroom Door Abstract 02 stamp to remove some of the paint from the plate. Before the paint dried on my stamp, I quickly ‘stamped’ onto a second piece of white cardstock that will be the basis for my next project. I then placed a piece of white cardstock over my Gel Press to pick up the pattern left behind. I love how this technique creates a tone on tone type of effect.

Once dry, the pieces are ready for use. I wanted to scatter a few tiny birdies from the Darkroom Door Garden Birds stamp set over the rings pattern, so I stamped them onto watercolour card using permanent black Archival ink. The birds were then coloured using Ecoline markers and fussy cut.

I find trimming around the legs of these tiny creatures a bit fiddly so I simply cut them off! The trick is to decide where the birds will go on the card and then stamp the ‘legs’ in place and layer the birdie ‘bodies’ over the top. It gives a seamless effect without a lot of effort – saves your eyes as well!

I layered up the card and added a greeting from the Darkroom Door Happy Birthday stamp set trimmed into a flag shape to finish it off.

One thing I enjoy about using the Gel Press is the infinite number of prints I can make, I hate to waste paint so use up every scrap of it. This card is one example of that – once we ‘stamp’ the Gel Press for the card above the paint that transfers to the stamp is perfect for creating a second cardfront. I love how simple this looks but so effective!

I layered one of the larger birds from the Darkroom Door Garden Birds stamp set which had been stamped with permanent black Archival ink and coloured with Ecoline markers.

The leaves came from the Darkroom Door Carved Leaves Vol 1 stamp set. To give them a two-toned effect I inked them initially with Archival Vivid Chartreuse ink and then just around the edges I applied Archival Olive ink. Once they were fussy cut they gave a little bit of texture for the bird to sit on. A greeting from Darkroom Door Bold Blossoms stamp set and a bit of bling finished the card.

Supplies used:

  • Darkroom Door Abstract 02 stamp
  • Darkroom Door Happy Birthday stamp set
  • Darkroom Door Steampunk stamp set
  • Darkroom Door Garden Birds stamp set
  • Darkroom Door Carved Leaves Vol 1 stamp set
  • Darkroom Door Bold Blossoms stamp set 
  • Darkroom Door Patchwork Butterfly Collage stamp
  • Archival ink – Jet Black, Olive & Vivid Chartreuse
  • Gel Press plate, brayer & acrylic paint
  • Spray ink

Ecoline markers, black permanent penI hope you have enjoyed learning how these projects came together, make sure you pop over to the Darkroom Door blog to see what the rest of the contributing artists have come up with!

Mindful Stamping with Darkroom Door

Have you seen the fantastic new release of stamps from Darkroom Door? There is so much to love about this release (isn’t there always?) so I was keen to get busy when these newest ones arrived at my door. You can check them out here.

First up, I’ll be sharing some projects using the Darkroom Door Meditation rubber stamp set. This set has some lovely calming imagery and is perfect for some mindful stamping. I like to pop on some quiet music, set out a few colours of inks & plenty of paper to stamp on and just let my creative muse play.

All of these cards are created with either Distress Oxide or Distress inks to keep it nice & simple and I’ve kept the construction nice & easy. Ask me in the comments if you aren’t sure how the layers may have come together.

The larger of the two lotus images looks lovely stamped simply with Distress Oxide ink.

I’ve used Picked Raspberry and for a bit of shine, painted over the image with some Smooch Ink

Have you tried inking a stamp with more than one colour? Start with the lightest colour and then touch parts of the stamp with the darker colour and stamp your image. I love how this effect turns out!

Why not try combining Distress Oxide inks with Distress Inks in a similar colour?

For this next card, I stamped my image onto smooth watercolour card using two colours of Distress Oxide ink and heat set the ink. Then I carefully moved the colour around using a wet paint brush. The beauty of Distress Oxide inks mean that the pigment ink part stays in place while the dye ink part moves to give a lovely shading to the image.

A little spatter always looks good as well!

Now to change up my colour palette a little….

This card combines the step of stamping and colouring with Distress Oxide ink described above with extra layers of imagery. The first is stamped beneath the lotus flower and the second is laid over the top with wording stamped onto translucent vellum. I love the look this gives and it has so many uses!

Now it is time to quiet the mind and get a little tricky with inks. For this image I inked the stamp using Distress Ink in peacock feathers and spritzed it lightly before stamping. It resulted in a lovely soft watercolour effect. Once I had dried the image – I overstamped it with a fresh coat of Distress Ink to sharpen up the lines. A stamp press makes this step so easy!

For my final card, I stepped up the technique above a little using a basic gatefolded card base. Using a stamp press, I stamped the image using peacock feathers Distress Oxide Ink and then spritzed the stamped image a touch to get the ink to run and oxidise.

Once I had dried the image – I inked just the edges of the stamp using Archival Distress Ink in Hickory Smoke. This gave the outline some sharpness but didn’t overtake it like stamping in black would have.

I hope you have enjoyed learning how these cards came together. Make sure you tag me online if you create something similar – I’d love to see!

As always, a huge thanks to Rachel and Darkroom Door for feeding my love of their product through their gift of stamps.

Make the Impossible Possible

Are you a glass half full or half empty type of person? I’d like to think that I usually see them as half full – full of possibilities and endless opportunities. I’d like to share a new art journal page with you – this time it has been created in my mini Art by Marlene journal. I’ve also used Art by Marlene stamps and one of Marlene’s stencils from The Crafters Workshop. I love how all of Marlene’s products play so nicely together.

The format of this journal makes so many techniques possible – such as the one I’ve used for this page! The pages are easily removable and are made from a wonderful watercolour paper.

Follow along as I share how my page was created… the background technique gives a wonderful, subtle effect.

After choosing a stencil for the background pattern, I gave the page a layer of colour using watercolours. Keep the page quite wet with colour and quickly layer the totally clean stencil over before it dries. Allow the stencil and page to sit flat until fully dry.

Once removed, the stencil leaves a lovely, subtle pattern on the background.

You can get different effects by overlaying with plastic wrap or bubble wrap and changing up the colour palette to a darker, more saturated colour looks amazing.

I needed a little something to cover the areas at the top & bottom of the page where the stencil pattern didn’t quite reach – spotty circles fixed it nicely!

Marlene’s stamps often feature swirly patterns and doodles, they are so cute and I love using this bird stamp. Perfect for watercoloring so that is what I did;) Stamping the image onto watercolour yardstick with permanent black ink means the image was easily coloured without smudging.

In keeping with the colours on my page, I inked the edges a little with some permanent ink. Of course, a birdie needs a wire to sit on so a swish of black paint gave her somewhere to perch.

I felt the birdie needed a bit of sparkle – glitter gel pens to the rescue! What did we do before this glittery product?

I also added a bit of white detailing using a fine Posca pen to parts of the bird, including the whites of her eyes.

I love using quotes on my pages so selected one from Marlene’s sticker books and matted each of the words with a bit of cardstock I’d coloured with watercolour. Once trimmed, each word was also inked around the edges. Some foam squares gave them a little dimension and the page was done.


  • Art by Marlene A5 journal
  • Art by Marlene bird stamp
  • Art by Marlene sticker book
  • The Crafters Workshop Botanical Dream stencil
  • Black paint, watercolours, glitter gel pens, white Posca pen, permanent black ink

Thanks for visiting! I hope you have enjoyed learning how my page came together.

I thought it about time I made some more videos for YouTube. You will find one for this project on my channel shortly.