Saturday, May 16, 2015


This week at Artful Journeys, we are asking you to incorporate a paper napkin or serviette into your journal.

I had a lot of fun with this one. Recently I received the motherlode of napkins in happy mail packages plus I had purchased quite a few lovely ones while on a shopping trip.  The decision of which to use was difficult because I had too many choices.  But I ultimately decided on this one with bold hydrangeas, first because of the design, and secondly because it was an oblong napkin or serviette that opens to a  huge size and would fit on my 9x12 mixed media paper I was working on.

There is just something magical and so lovely about hydrangeas to me and they are one of my favorite big and showy and the colors change based on the alkalinity of the soil.  If you can grow hydrangeas, I will be jealous.  I have a black thumb.  I leave all the growing to Mr. Jim.


Canson 9x12 Mixed Media journal
Apple Barrel Acrylic craft paint - Lilac Mist & Petunia Purple, Antique White
DecoArt Crafter's Acrylic - Lavender
Dina Wakely/Ranger Gel Matte Medium
Signo Uniball #207 Bold, black
Caran D'Ache Neocolor II - Turquoise, black
Copic Marker - #RV55 Hollyhock
Hydrangea serviette from Tuesday Morning
Metal, triangular palette knife
That fancy tool -- spit and my fingers
Watercolor paper scraps

Before you begin to apply any part of your napkin, whether whole or fussy cuts, you have to carefully separate the layer(s) of your napkin to make sure you are working with only the printed image.  My napkin was crimped all around the edges, making it a little trickier.  But to get it separated, I gently rolled the edge of the napkin back and forth until I got a tiny little bit of separation, then carefully pulled it apart, avoiding any tears.  I have used napkins in the past that had 3 layers, making the printed layer super, super thin and transparent when applied to the page.  You don't have to apply paint or anything, but since I was applying to a pre-painted page, the method I used was easy, as you will see below.

I had a  page in my journal that I had already laid down some lovely lavender acrylic, but it was boring so I thought I would just cover it up.  Using a wide, flat acrylic brush, I very quickly applied Dina Wakely's Gel Matte Medium to the page and began to lay down my napkin carefully lining it up with the page and smoothing as I went.  If you need to lift, you can do so, but do it carefully so you don't tear your image!  Then, after it was all applied to the page, I trimmed all the excess off the edges (and there was tons) and applied another coat of Gel Medium all over the napkin.

While reaching to put my tub of medium down, I inadvertently tore the top of the napkin with my thumbnail. Not sure how I did it, but I went, WOW!  Look at that.  I like that paint peeping through. So I began to scrape off more of the napkin here and there and decided I wanted to scrape it big time, so out can my flexible, metal, triangular palette knife and I hurriedly scraped in and around the image to reveal a LOT of that lovely lavender paint underneath.  And it scraped up quite nicely and evenly. The edge and tip of my palette knife did work a LOT better than my thumbnail. LOL  A couple of places I had to smooth back down (both with a little spit on the end of my finger and then again with the medium and the paintbrush. Coolio.  I had to stop and admire this bit of ingenuity.  Well, maybe someone else already did this fun thing, but it was a first for me.

What else could I do to it?  I had an idea of the words I wanted to incorporate, but it needed something else.  I added a couple of strips of really cute pink and greed dotted grosgrain ribbons down at the bottom, all the while I am chatting on the phone with Melody and I shot her a quick pic, and we decided that adding a deeper shade or shades of the lavender around the central image would make it pop off the page, and it did.  I just painted it on with my finger and blended it out.  More chatting.  Another pic.  More brainstorming.  Edging.   It needed edging of some sort, but nothing too busy since I didn't want to detract from the beautiful flowers.  NEOCOLORS to the rescue!

I went around the edges of the paper with turquoise Neocolor II and smudged with my fingers.  Then, it needed a little more depth, so out came the black one, but this time with a lighter edge and hand, just adding enough to give a delineation to the page.  Whoop! Whoop!  I was liking it much better.
Then a little more black here and there around the image, smudging as I went.  Yup.  Not so flat anymore.

Time for words.  I dug out some watercolor paper strips and scraps, found some suitable sizes and lettered my words with a bold, black Signo Uniball pen and Hollyhock Copic Marker.  I set the page aside until this morning when I had another look.  The words needed to POP off the page, so my Neocolor II in black came to the rescue again.  And I also added a little more embellishment with antique white craft paint.

I pronounced it finished.  I hope you like what I did.  Sure, I could have spent a couple of hours fussy cutting that big image out, but it was so much fun to scrape it off the page. It was like revealing a treasure underneath.  Try it.  You might have as much fun as I did.  I hope you like what I created. It was great fun, and it makes me smile.

Thanks for stopping by and looking.  Can't wait to see YOUR journal page.

As always, I'm keeping it artful!



  1. Just fantabulous!!!!! I really REALLY love how it finished up!

    1. Thanks Melody. It was a fun challenge!

  2. Spectacular Betty!!! I love this spread. Hydrangeas remind me of Nanna's garden!

    1. Thank you so much, Vivien. My grandmother had beautiful hydrangeas as well. Maybe that's why I love them so!

  3. Betty I learn somethIng every week on your blog. Thank you.
    You're prompt turned out so nice. Good job.