Thursday, August 3, 2017

Water Color on Vintage Book Page- A Vintage Journey

Hello friends and visitors! It's time for our newest challenge at A Vintage Journey which is 'Watercolor' chosen by the lovely and talented Amanda! I have always wanted to paint on vintage book pages, and Amanda's challenge was just the nudge I needed to check this off my crafty list! So I picked out my oldest, most falling apart book and got to work!

Amanda says: There is so much versatility in watercolour making it possible to create art that can be gentle, washy and light, or bold, full of colour and with definite lines. And it comes in a variety of guises: pans, tubes, sticks, inks, markers. So for this challenge we would like your projects to include some form of watercoloring or watercoloring techniques and be in keeping with our favoured styles: vintage; shabby; mixed media; art journaling; industrial, timeworn or steampunk.

Not much to write about here; it's just basically Distress inks, a water pen and some stamps. A complete list of products used is listed at the end of this post.

I played around with the inks and stamps in my book while I was away on vacation, but I only brought brushes with me, and it didn't go very well. I have a little more control over the  amount of water used with the pen vs. the brushes, and I like my results better.

The technique is pretty straight forward. Glue a few pages together to give them strength, then paint the pages with clear gesso. This will give a grainy appearance, but the text shows through nicely and your paper won't fall apart from the water.

I splattered my gessoed pages with frisket, a liquid water color mask, which oh, my GOSH, stinks!!!! I've never used it before, and it may just be old. But it smells to high heaven! I digress...Allow this to dry and give the page a wash with yellow and blue Distress inks.

While the paper is still wet, stamp butterfly image that has been inked in Walnut Stain Distress ink. Next, drop in some color- oranges and purple. It's challenging to get just the right amount of moisture so that the ink bleeds, but not too much. You can tell in some of my photos I overwatered! I guess that's both the challenge and the beauty of water color.

 I did some additional stamping around the edges-foliage and off-the-edge butterflies. By this time, the water had dried enough, and I stamped over with a freshly inked butterfly images, offsetting a bit. In some cases, I had to do this more than once, when the paper was not dry enough. I even added some sketchy lines to the big butterfly, because I'd already stamped him twice and it seemed to lack definition. I would not have done that in hindsight.

I splattered on some watered down Dusty Concord and Walnut Stain inks and rubbed off the frisket when the pages were completely dry. A little Sepia Archival ink blended around the edges and a Tim Holtz quote inked in Jet Black Archival finishes it off.


That's all for today! I hope you've been inspired to get out your watercolors and join our 'Watercolor' challenge!

Our sponsor this month is Craft Obsessions, and the prize to one lucky winner is a £20 Voucher to the shop! The Creative Guides also pick three Pinworthies who have their work pinned in our PINTEREST gallery. Before you get started, I hope you'll stop by A Vintage Journey to see all the wonderful inspiration from my talented teammates!

Challenges I am entering:
Country View Challenges - August 2017 - Blues and Greens My background uses these colors;  I hope that complies with the theme.
Mixed Media Monthly Challenge #39 - Inspiration Photo Inspired by the vines and the brown in the shingles and the summer garden feeling this photos inspires.

Thank you for stopping in today and for your lovely comments!
Hugs and Blessings!
Sara Emily

 Products used:
Stamps: Martha Stewart, Tim Holtz and Emerald Creek
Distress inks: Dried Marigold, Dusty Concord, Fossilized Amber, Mowed Lawn, Mustard Seed,Peeled Paint, Spiced Marmalade, Squeezed Lemonade, Tumbled Glass, and Walnut Stain
Water pen
Clear gesso
Frisket Windsor and Newton


  1. I love these soft tones, how the colours blend so gently and the focus on the butterflies. The old book background is wonderful.

  2. Love the etherial quality of this page Sara Emily, the effect of the water colours against the old book pages looks fantastic. The frame of those subtle braches is a beautiful surrounding for those lovely butterflies!

    Thanks so much for adding it to our challenge at MMM also of course! xxx

  3. Such a great idea Sara to use an old book to use as your substrate. I love the subtle tones you have adopted throughout your painting and the bleeding out of colour on your butterflies - wonderful ways to portray the delicacy of nature.
    Thank you so much for joining in and creating such a fabulous project for the Challenge
    Have a lovely weekend

  4. Oh, I love butterflies and book pages so this page is a real hit with me. The fact that you added watercolour makes it even more special, I just love the way the watercolour bled out and those added branches are such a lovely touch! Love this! Hugs, Anne xx

  5. SIGH.... Such beauty, Sara Emily... such beauty. How amazing it must feel to contain those lovely "thoughts" and be able to spill them onto paper or canvas. This is pure gorgeousness. I don't know why, but when I saw your pages and sentiment, the word "prism" came to mind - the prisms of Nature - the are vibrant and demure, colorful and subtle, strong and gentle, ferocious and tender - all the rainbow of ways to be - the Prism of Nature - and it just seems to be present on your pages - thanks for sharing a lovely creation and the close-ups, too. xx

  6. I think the watercolouring over the book pages is absolutely stunning, Sara Emily - beautiful, gentle and so so pretty - I love this!
    Alison x

  7. These pages are soooo soft and beautiful. Reeeally like them. I found you through Alison, you have a new fan :)

    1. Yippee! So happy to have you aboard, Suzy! Thank YOU!

  8. Oh my... just so Gently Peaceful... makes me want to just curl up with a good book and hope to open a page that looks just like yours SARA. Beautiful. Xj.

  9. Oh my goodness, this is amazing!! I absolutely love how you've altered the book and turned it into a work of art!! The stamping is perfect!! Wow!! I love, love this, my friend!! It's so creative and stunning!! Have a great weekend!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  10. Oooooooh, Sara Emily! This is just so beautiful! I would put this out on display on my coffee table I love it so much. You are a clever boots!

  11. I think your pages are beautiful, Sara Emily! Love the muted tones of the butterflies.

  12. These pages are beautiful, Sara Emily! You did an awesome job in achieving an aged look that is perfect for these pages! Now I'm wishing I had an old book! Love this...Hugs :-)

  13. Sarah Emily!! This is positively stunning!!! And I will absolutely try this according to your recipe!!
    I just LOVE these pages!!(but, I think I will skip the sticky Frisket?)
    hugs,Jackie xx

  14. I LOVE your watercolored book pages Sara Emily! This is a project I see on blogs, love and want to try - but never seem to get to it - so many lovely techniques out there - anyway - thanks for the wonderful how to - and I hope to try this out some day and get your beautiful results! Julia xx

  15. Gorgeous Sara Emily! Love your painting on old pages and the watery, muted effects you have created. The close ups really show the lovely bleeding of the medium. Way to go girl - you need to do more of this! xx

  16. Beautiful pages ! Thank you for joining my challenge over at Country View Crafts !
    Corrie x

  17. Oh even though you said the process was simple, I enjoyed reading about the flecked masking fluid, clear gesso and prestamping color wash. Great tidbits! This is so beautiful and the bleeding makes me SOOOOOOOOOO happy girl! I adore the watercolor effect and your amazing use of stamps here - a beauty! Hugs, Autumn

  18. I absolutely love your altered book pages Sara and the colours/details are simply stunning xxxxx Wonderful details and thank you so much for sharing them.......wonderful make for Amanda's challenge theme

    Sending my best wishes
    Annie xx

  19. Love it! What a great way to color your butterflies. I am going to have to try that!

  20. My gosh Sara, this is breathtaking! I adore the use of the old book and how the text shows through and your butterflies are just gorgeous, I love how the colours have bled and shadowed around them yet they are still very distinct. Wonderful subtle stamping around the edges as well to frame your gorgeous pages, brava! Deb xo

  21. Love the delicate watercolouring on the old book pages - absolutely beautiful! xxx

  22. Very lovely project! Thank you for sharing your work at HLS Watercolour Challenge.

  23. Oh my, Sara Emily, this is so delicately beautiful. Thankyou so much for including this in our CVC challenge. Love it! Xx


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