Art Journal, Darkroom Door, Darkroom Door Stamps, Distress Oxide Ink

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!

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.

Art Journal, Bella Paperie, Stencils

Mixed Media Art Journaling – Abstract Textures & Found Poetry

Found poetry is one of the joys of serendipity – that magical result of leafing through some printed pages and just seeing what catches the eye. No planning, just following intuition to create something meaningful with words that fit together but perhaps not as they were originally intended.

The Beauty of the Unexpected - abstract, textured art journal page by Robyn Wood
The Beauty of the Unexpected

During January, I’ll be teaching a class on how to use abstract techniques of texture and colour and then combine them with found poetry to create a unique art journal page. Why don’t you join me?

The Beauty of the Unexpected

the joy of serendipity

The class will lead you through the combination of a bunch of techniques that can be used in a variety of other journal pages. We will have a colourful, splashy time!

Bella Paperie is located at Shop 33, 302 South Pine Road, Brendale. Phone 3205 5911 to book. Class runs 10am – 2pm, January 6 & 18 and costs $30 with some supplies provided. You can find information on what to bring along to class on the store blog at