Acrylic paint, Art Journal, Darkroom Door, Darkroom Door Stamps, Monoprinting, Tutorials

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.

Art by Marlene, Art Journal, The Crafters Workshop, Tutorials

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.

Acrylic paint, Art Journal, Stencils, The Crafters Workshop, Tutorials, Uncategorized

Make Today Count

Eeep….seems my poor blog has been left neglected. Sorry readers, my year started with a bang and has continued to be busy. Time to refresh and restart this blogging habit I think!

The first half of this year has been filled with creativity in a variety of forms. In February, I started a degree in photography and took initial subjects in photography and drawing which set me up for a busy start to uni life but also gave me a pair of subjects that I was already comfortable with. Turned out to be a brilliant choice and I have loved every minute of my first semester.

It has been a little while since I sat down to play with no plan in place so I thought I’d share the results with you. Needing to concentrate on the final weeks of assessments meant only the ‘necessities’ of creative play were attended to, but teaching classes and creating design team project are luckily among the necessities! It was time to pull out my collection of The Crafters Workshop Stencils and have some playtime.

I’ve created this art journal page in my favourite Dylusions Dyalog journal which has lovely grids printed on the pages. Not sure what it is about grid paper but it has always been a go-to choice for notepaper. I started with a page that had been painted in calming blues and greens and stencilled over the top with Distress Oxide inks using the large circle stencil. 

Next I gathered a bunch of painted & Gel Press printed scraps and stencilled all over them in a random fashion using acrylic paint. I layered stencilling and painting of small areas without a lot of thought to create busy looking pieces. For a bit of cohesion, I kept my paints to warm colours plus a blue. Then I drew circles of various sizes over all the pieces. While drawing the circles, I tried to get a mix of pattern and empty space on each.

Once the circles were fussy cut I layered them onto my journal page until I had a pleasing arrangement. I decided not to use the strongly blue coloured pieces. Some circles were layered over each other and I made sure I had a couple overlapping the page edges.

Next I stencilled over several of the circles using circular stencils and black paint. This helps give a strong pop of pattern and contrast to the page.

Some circles got just a small portion stencilled in black.

I used black and white paint pens to give the circles some extra line work and edged each of them with a sponging of black paint prior to adhering them in place with Helmar Tacky Craft Glue.

I’m lucky with the variety of stencils I own, I can usually find the perfect one for a corner – like the one I’ve stencilled using texture paste.

A Tim Holtz quote finishes the page.


  • Stencils – The Crafters Workshop – 6×6: Spikey Wheels, Quattro Motifs, Screen Print, Harlequin, Kaleidoscope, Well Rounded, Circle Squares, Blazonry, Stencil Patterns | 12×12: Script Dots
  • Helmar Tacky Craft Glue
  • Journal – Dylusions Dyalog Squared
  • Ranger Ink Distress Oxide – Cracked Pistachio, Mermaid Lagoon
  • Acrylic paint, texture paste, black & white paint pens
  • Tim Holtz quote

Thanks for following along!

Acrylic paint, Stencil Girl, Stencils, Tutorials

Stencil Girl – The Plain Box Society

Ages ago I saw a call on Facebook from Tina Walker for artists to join a unique type of challenge. We were to decorate a plain box, just 3″ square, however we pleased – the only requirement was to use stencils made by Stencil Girl.

Easy! Well so I thought, seems I need slightly more direction when doing a challenge;)

But in the end I’m so happy with how my box turned out, it is a little different to my usual project but still so me. Here is how it came together –

Many participants used a pre-made box but I decided to make my own from some heavy watercolour paper. Then I painted parts of the pieces with an analogous colour scheme, I always find these more soothing than jarring colours.

Next I mixed a little colour with some water and created random drippage along the sides.

Time to stencil! But which ones? How many to fully showcase my design? I settled for just two, one for the lid (Encouraging Scribbles) and another for the sides (Mix & Match Scalloped Edges). I left the border stencil intact to emphasise the lines of the shape.

The sides looked a little plain just stencilled but a bit of doodling with a fine black pen soon fixed that!



So pleased with how it came together. A huge thanks to Tina Walker for organising the challenge! You can read more about the challenge and see all the wonderful boxes created in Tina’s article for Stencil Girl. There is a fantastic variety and so much to inspire you.





Card making, Inspiration, Stampendous Stamps, Tutorials

Come play with the whales – an Aussie Blog Hop for Stampendous Stamps!

Calling Aussies for this great competition run by the Australian wholesaler for Stampendous stamps. Each month I will be creating a project to inspire you for the monthly blog hop competition run by The Stencil Specialists. This month we are using the cute Stylized Whale stamp designed by Fran Seiford.


I’ve created a watery, shell encrusted card to inspire you. I had some marbled paper scraps so it was perfect for the whale.

  • Start your card by stamping the whale onto some patterned paper. If you don’t have anything suitable, a swish of blue and green stamping dye ink or watercolour paint will give you a nice random background.
  • Fussy cut the whale.
  • Keep a portion of the paper to use as a torn layer.
  • Emboss a panel of white cardstock and ink slightly with blue and yellow dye ink.
  • Colour a scrap of cheesecloth with brown dye ink.
  • Stamp a greeting using blue ink and fussy cut close to the word.
  • Layer the card elements onto a folded card base.
  • Add some shells of different sizes – make sure you add some tiny ones as ‘barnacles’!


Don’t forget to also pop over to the other blogs to check out what they have created for the hop!

Julie – The Stencil Specialists

Dot Leathbridge – Ink Art Designs

Donna – Luv to Emboss

Contest details –
To enter please visit each blog post and comment on the April blog hop post. Each comment is one entry so comment on each blog and you will have three entries into the contest. Make sure you only comment once per blog. This competition is open to Australian residents only and the winner will be selected randomly by Julie after the end of April. The prize will be Cling Stylized Whale rubber stamp.

Good luck!

PS You can subscribe to my blog to receive updates and sneaks for the next challenge.

Robyn Wood - Hello Flutterbye
Card making, Colour, Stampendous Stamps, Tutorials

Hello Flutterbye!

Come join the Stampendous Blog Hop……

Calling Aussies for this great competition run by the Australian wholesaler for Stampendous stamps. Each month I will be designing some inspiration cards for the monthly blog hop competitions run by The Stencil Specialists.

This month we are using the very versatile Flutterbye stamp designed by Laurel Burch.

Robyn Wood - Hello Flutterbye


I’ve created a bright, watercoloured card to inspire you. These cards are so quick and easy to make but look like you might have spent hours on them.

  • Start your card by stamping the image onto some watercolour paper using clear Versamark ink and emboss with clear powder.
  • Once cool, get out your watercolours and swish some colour over the image.
  • Once the paper is dry add a greeting. I’ve added a simple ‘Hello’ from the Stampendous Happy Messages set.
  • Give the butterfly a bit of bling with some self-adhesive gemstones.
  • To finish the card, tie with some ribbon in a contrasting colour, mat with complimentary cardstock and attach to a card front.

Make sure you also pop over to the other blogs to see what the designers have created –

Julie – The Stencil Specialists

Dot Leathbridge – Ink Art Designs

Donna – Luv to Emboss

Contest details –
To enter please visit each blog post and comment on the March blog hop post. Each comment is one entry so comment on each blog and you will have three entries into the contest. Make sure you only comment once per blog. This competition is open to Australian residents only and the winner will be selected randomly by Julie after the end of March. The prize will be LBCP001 Cling Flutterbye rubber stamp.

Good luck!

PS Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog so you will receive updates and sneaks for the next challenge.

Stitch corset, Robyn Wood, Purple Salt
Card making, Darkroom Door, Tutorials

Cut & Sew Corset

The Darkroom Door Stitch Word Block stamp pairs beautifully with a variety of different Darkroom Door images. For this card I have used one of the vintage corset stamps from the Darkroom Door Corsetry set.

Stitch corset, Robyn Wood, Purple Salt

To make the card:

  • Stamp Darkroom Door Stitch Word Block onto white cardstock using black Archival ink and trim closely. Layer twice with cardstock and tie with ribbon towards the bottom of the wording.
  • Stamp corset from Darkroom Door Corsetry stamp set onto white cardstock using black Archival ink and trim closely. Watercolour with a Worn Lipstick Distress marker using an Aquash brush. Make some areas of the corset darker, such as the centre closure and the trim by direct colouring with the marker. Affix a few tiny pink pearls and attach to cardfront with foam tape.
  • Punch foliage from green patterned paper and add to the corset along with a paper flower. Highlight the flower with a touch of glitter.

Stitch corset, Robyn Wood, Purple Salt


Don’t forget to pop over here to the Darkroom Door blog to see the rest of the projects made with this unique word block.

Art Journal Challenge, Darkroom Door, Mixed media, Quotes, Tutorials

Spread Your Wings…

Until you spread your wings,
you’ll never know how far you can fly.

Wings - Robyn Wood - Purple Salt 4.jpg

The last few months seem to have been full of activity in our house so I’ve been sharing bits & pieces on my Instagram feed. If you aren’t sure where to find me – look here. I’d love you to pop by and say hello.

Every year I start with great plans for participating in various challenges and online classes only to peter off after a few weeks/months. I decided to be a bit gentler on myself this year – I will intend to participate but if it doesn’t happen then all is good & I’ll go back to them if/when I can or feel like it.

Robyn Wood Purple Salt

Today I’d like to share a page I did for week 12 of the LuLu Art Colour Me Positive challenge. I’ve loved watching this challenge group evolve and grow, there is currently over 2500 positive art journalers in the Facebook group – isn’t that fabulous? I am sure it will grow from strength to strength.


This time around the extra journaling prompt was to add wings so that is where I started – butterfly wings and a corset from Darkroom Door stamps. Of course you can’t have a torso without a skirt of some kind, so I created a textured & collaged one using dictionary paper, handmade paper and a paper doyley. Layers of colour and texture gave it some form.

I wish I had photographed the background before I started but it was one of those pages that I use for scrapes of left over paint and spray. I’d kept them to greens and blues so that the page would match the opposite side. I added some stencilling and collage (Kaisercraft have some great collage papers!) before I started so that the page had an interesting base.

Wings - Robyn Wood - Purple Salt 2.jpg

The corset and wings were fun to layer with some pretty lace – it was well stuck down with gel medium! Once everything was stuck down and coloured with the new Ranger Distress Crayons, I painted just the wings with some clear crackle paste. I decided to experiment with colour a little and dripped Dylusions spray ink over the wings to give a mottled effect. It was so hard to just let it dry so I could check how well the effect worked.

Wings - Robyn Wood - Purple Salt 1JPG.jpg

While that was drying I carefully added some gold touches with gold Texture paste – I love to smear this stuff around a page a little to give a swipe of gold.

Wings - Robyn Wood - Purple Salt quote.jpg

As a final step I added the quote, gradually thickening the lettering until I was happy with how it stood out from the background.

Wings - Robyn Wood - Purple Salt 5.jpg

A flutter of sequins finished off the page and added a nice touch of bling to the skirt.


  • Darkroom Door stamps – Collage Butterfly, Corsetry set
  • Stencil Girl stencils – Rembrant’s words, Honeycomb, Transform
  • Ranger Distress Crayons
  • Dina Wakley paints – Ocean, Lemon, Turquoise
  • Golden Gel Medium
  • Faber Castel – Whipped Spackle, Texture Luxe gold
  • Prima Crackle Paste – clear
  • Ranger Dylusions spray – Pink Bubblegum
  • Ranger Liquid Pearls
  • Kaisercraft paper
  • Black permanent pen
  • Sequins, lace, dictionary paper, handmade paper, paper doyley

Robyn Wood Purple Salt

One tip that I’d like to share is about texture paste – too much of it will weigh a page down but I have found that if you use the Faber Castell Whipped Spackle there isn’t a lot of extra weight. Which means I can stencil away with texture to my hearts content! Don’t forget to clean the texture paste out of your stencils right away – it can set hard and ruin them if you aren’t careful.

Have you been playing along with the challenge? I’d love to see if you would like to post me a link in the comments.

Art journal page using Gelli print as starting point.
Art Journal, Backgrounds, Company, LuLu Art, Monoprinting

Birds Flying High – creating an art journal page from a random, messy, GelliArts printed background


We are back from the most wonderful of holidays to France and I’m planning on sharing a bunch of posts about our adventures. In the meantime I’d like to share a journal page I created for LuLu Art earlier this year.

Creating an art journal page using Gelli print as starting point.









The spread starts with a random, messy GelliArts printed background and features two of my favourite things – the music of Michael Bublé and Gelli prints! You can find the full supply list of materials used on the LuLu Art blog or within the comments on my YouTube video.

Using a Gelli printed background as a base for an art journal page










My page started with this nice, textured page – I kinda cheated a little as it was one I had ‘prepared earlier’ but the background seemed to suit the colours I wanted to use.

Whenever I use my GelliArts plate, I like to keep an art journal and heaps of dictionary paper around so that I can pick up any leftover paint between prints. I’ve learnt to keep these pages to a similar colour scheme – either warm or cool so that the colours don’t muddy. Sometimes a pop of a complementary or neutral colour works as well.

Messy, Gelli printed backgrounds are the perfect starting point for a page in your art journal!

Art Journal, Backgrounds, Gelatos, Mixed media, Tutorials

Take a Moment


Smell the flowers - Robyn Wood 1

Today I’d like to share an art journal page that I created for LuLu Art using some self-carved stamps. Late last year, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer did a challenge to carve a stamp every day and I found it very inspiring and my fingers have itched to give it a go. You can find her posts here or do a search on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #carveDecember to find lots of inspiring images from other people.
As you can probably gather from my blog, I love my commercial rubber stamps! I won’t be letting them go any time soon but this project was a great inspiration starter and I know I’ll be doing more.
Stamp carving is a perfect skill for when you have that ‘I just need….’ dilemma during a project. Check out the little collection I made during my carving stint –



A word of warning – stamp carving tools are sharp! Keep the blade pointed away from you, work in a well-lit area and go slowly until you get a feel for the rubber. I actually learnt to carve timber as a teenager so found it all came back very quickly but the process is really simple – and lots of fun!


Smell the flowers - Robyn Wood 2

Pop over to the LuLu Art blog to find out a full list of supplies, which as usual are available from this magical, online store!

Thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget that there is a LuLu Art Facebook page to share your creations or just stop in for a chat. As always you can follow me on Facebook here.