Ink Dink a Bottle of Ink

Posted August 26, 2015 by JJ ColourArt
Categories: Books, Writing and Journalling

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…the top fell off and you stink. Ah childhood, such wonderful rhymes and uplifting comments.

I am getting ready to write two letters in reply to ones I received. I have been making my own stationery lately in Photoshop since I got my Sustainable Earth copy paper from Staples. Ideally, I could match the colour of ink in my fountain pen to the colours I use on the stationery but that would render me insane and I wouldn’t want that.


No, I prefer the serendipity of using what’s loaded at that particular time.

This time I have loaded up my new bottle of Rohrer and Klingner Verdigris ink, which is a lovely bluish green and somewhat dark but not too dark. The paper I’m practicing with is a rejected letterhead I tried out that needed some adjusting.


And while contemplating lovely stationery and ink colours, I have been constantly browsing and thinking of what journals to get for next year’s writing and journalling. I love the oversize journals that Peter Pauper makes best so I have decided on these two.


Eventually, when I have the money. I hope they aren’t out of print by the time I get to purchase them. Yum, you’ve got to have the gold edging on the pages and gold stamping on the cover.

Just like you’ve got to have purple ink and Verdigris ink and blue and grey ink, and two shades of green ink.




More Adult Colouring Books

Posted August 22, 2015 by JJ ColourArt
Categories: Books, Creativity

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This is another time in my life I was ahead of the trend. I’ve had some Dover colouring books for years, just for the great line drawings to use as embroidery or miniature rug designs.

Anyway, during a stressful week, I took one out and started colouring a page with Faber-Castell Polychromos coloured pencils. This is from the Dover Paisley Designs Colouring Book; page eight to be exact. I have chronic tendonitis so have to wear a cuff when I draw and limit the amount I do, but this is coming along after three days.


I decided to buy three colouring books with nature, bird, and animal designs. Two of them contain mandalas which is a bonus.


I suppose many people might consider this a stupid pastime, and I do regular artwork that requires more thought and supplies, but sometimes you just want to dip in with colour without a lot of thought. I also find the rhythmic action of colouring meditative and soothing. Plus I can use Scarlet Red.

To each their own.



And the next day a lovely moth from the book Animal Kingdom by Millie Marotta. LOVE the French Gray pencils in the Prismacolor set.


Slightly bleached out at the bottom by the flash but the best I could do.









New Earrings for Me

Posted August 19, 2015 by JJ ColourArt
Categories: Jewellery

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I was scrounging for earrings in suitable colourways for a couple of tops and I couldn’t find any. I must have about 50 pairs of earrings so that’s saying a lot. I decided to make a few new ones yesterday and today and made nine in total and also revamped an old pair with new beads (in the upper right of the photograph.

I still haven’t quite got the colourway I needed in blue.  I need navy blue so I’ll check online out and see if they have any beads. The pinks ones second from the right on the bottom row have turtles on them, and their friends to the right were made from a wallpaper border stripe years ago. Keep those old beads, you never know when you’ll be able to work them in.

Click to enlarge.


The point and shoot camera I have is a Sony, but I can’t seem to get good pictures with it. It is perennially disappointing as most of the images I photograph need close-ups and good lighting.

So, not the best picture but it’s always good to get a new infusion of earrings.

New Jinhao X750 Fountain Pen

Posted August 5, 2015 by JJ ColourArt
Categories: Writing and Journalling

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Jinhao pens are from China and very inexpensive. They have had some quality issues, either with the finish or the nibs according to others, but I ordered one because the medium nib seemed useful and I liked the red lava colour; I don’t have a deep red pen.

Reviews mention that these pens need a thorough cleaning as they often have machine oil in them that will interfere with ink flow. I used a cup of cool tap water with a tablespoon of ammonia and two drops of dishwashing detergent and filled and emptied my new pen five times. Then I rinsed it thoroughly about seven times with plain water.

I filled it with Diamine Meadow ink but I couldn’t get the flow going, so I emptied and refilled the ink converter several times from my bottle of ink. It was writing a bit but I got an extra air bubble and blob of ink out and then it wrote fine.


Sometimes after leaving it for a few days I have to twist the converter down slightly to get the ink flowing. I’ve written several letters with it and so far am pleased with it. The medium nib is quite wet, almost as wet as my Parker 51 pen, and it writes smoothly. I really love the feel of it. The cap is too heavy to post on the end of the pen when writing, but the body still feels to be a nice weight and shape on its own. I have chronic tendinitis in my writing hand so I can’t use a really heavy pen. I was worried this might be a problem but I was delighted to find that I can use this pen comfortably.

I have enjoyed using this pen and am glad I spent $11 CAD on it. It was shipped all the way from China which seems pretty amazing to me. I will treat it carefully and hope it lasts some years. I might try drawing with the pen as the nib seems nice and wet for that. The nib is overly large compared to other nibs but that makes it feel special.

I definitely feel these pens are worth trying, but treat them with care, and handle them gently. Take your time to clean and fill one and have fun trying inks in it.





Fountain Pens and teNeues Publishing Eco Booklets

Posted July 6, 2015 by JJ ColourArt
Categories: Artwork, Writing and Journalling

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I bought these Cartolina Eco Booklets because I just loved the covers. They were $5 for the set of three and there is one blank booklet, one with lined paper, and one with graph paper.

Dave the Minion and his pal Cerberus were quite interested in these designs by Fiona Richards. You can see how excited Cerberus was.


When I bought them I thought I’d probably have to use ballpoint pen in them rather than fountain pens. However, I did some tests and the paper seems to work well with fountain pens. I got a tiny spot of bleed-through when using my very wet Parker 51 pen but the others were fine, even with dark ink.


I love the Rohrer & Klingner Verdigris colour, but I didn’t have enough money to buy it. I did buy a bottle of the Noodler’s Blue Upon the Plains of Abraham, which Wonder Pens in Toronto is selling exclusively, and I really like it. I did up a sketch with it and it’s a bulletproof ink so I can use watercolour with it as well. I love the Noodler’s Lexington Gray for drawing, and with this added colour I can use blue for sketches as well. They both work well with my Lamy Safari pen.



Embarrassing Hand Decorated Envelopes?

Posted June 18, 2015 by JJ ColourArt
Categories: Creativity, Writing and Journalling

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You would think that with decades of mail art behind us, people would be receptive to receiving such things in the mail

Not so, I saw someone mention that they had sent a decorated envelope to a pen pal, and the person had chastised them for sending something that looked like a child had drawn it, and possibly embarrassing her with the postie.

Imagine being so dull that you are embarrassed by hand drawn art? Anyway, I was kibitzing around and decided to try this. Up to now I was hesitant to draw on envelopes, fearing that they would look amateurish and goofy.

I laid this down with a Faber-Castell Pitt pen in sepia, and then coloured it in with Faber-Castell Polychromos coloured pencils. At first it made me cringe a bit, but I kept adding things and doing subtle gradations and it turned out to be rather fresh and cheery. Not bad for a first try.


I wouldn’t really want to use art that takes hours to draw and colour on an envelope, so this was fun and looks quite good when folded and glued.

This is blue 65 lb card stock that I bought in a ream from Staples at least 8 or 9 years ago. It is letter-sized 8.5 x 11 inches, so I have to use a template for a small 1/4 size envelope to fit on the page, but it works quite well. I also have some white cardstock.

I would never have thought to use card stock but I bought some decorated sheets in a pad and people recommend scoring card stock first with a bone folder so it doesn’t crack when you fold it. So I tried that and it works beautifully; another new thing I learned.

This is made by K&Company and contains 42 double-sided sheets of card in the Blossomwood design paper pad. They don’t specify that it’s card stock but it is, albeit fairly light. This company sells a great variety of different packs in the 12 x 12 inch size through Amazon.


The girl I mentioned was pretty hurt by the ratty comment this other woman said to her about her envelope, but I bet she inspires many other people to try and make decorated envelopes. And she was encouraged by many to carry on creating and enjoying decorating her own envelopes.

That’s a good result from something not so good!



Making Artistamps for Mail Art

Posted June 14, 2015 by JJ ColourArt
Categories: Artwork, Creativity

Tags: , , , , ,

While reading Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art which I ordered in on inter-library loan, I noticed a chapter on faux postage and what they call artistamps. These are small pieces of art you create yourself with art materials, or digitally using a program like Photoshop.

If you don’t have a special machine for doing the perforations to emulate a postage stamp, they say you can use a dressmaker’s wheel to make the perforations. I have one of these for marking details from sewing patterns on fabric and I tried it. It works, but my particular wheelie did not make large enough perforations so instead of a nice edge it just looked like ripped paper.

I decided I would just cut the edges with my rotary cutter and scissors and that worked fine. I used to make things like this as stickers and glue them to letters but I haven’t done it for years. I took some recent art from my sketchbook that I am using on my Manner and Material blog for weekly sketches, and made them into stamps.

Jumping Jack James Joyce decided he would make an appearance too, holding his various editions of The Odyssey. Joycey is always up for an art adventure. That man likes attention.


For the Photoshop file, I created it at 300 dpi for printing and then scanned and resized my art, adding backgrounds and words as necessary.

I made a grid of non-printing blue guides in Photoshop to use as a guides for placement, and also used a separate printing grid of pale grey lines to use as cutting lines. I made the stamps about 1.25 x 1.5 inches with 1/8 of an inch beyond that for a white border.

Here’s a partial shot of the setup in Photoshop; my sheet makes 5 across and 5 down, so 25 stamps in total:


I had to bump the colour saturation up 20% for printing to get decent images, but they are ready to use as stickers or stamps. I will probably stick them down with a glue stick in the middle and some Golden Soft Gel Medium around the outside for security.

The reason I stopped making these was that it’s a bit fiddly to paste them down and they look better if you weight them while drying so they don’t warp. You can apparently buy pre-stuck and pre-perforated blank sheets but I always find using things like that in the printer hard because it’s difficult to get them centred and printing within the designated area.

It’s much less stressful to make and trim your own, especially if you include faint cutting lines that almost disappear upon trimming.




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