Always bring your own sunshine

Seeing sunflowers in people’s gardens reminded me of a lovely surprise we saw whilst walking along our local beach last October. A single sunflower was actually growing and flowering right on the beach front. To capture this happy memory I created “Always bring your own sunshine”.

As I included one of my favourite quotes I’m pleased to join the “Poetry in Motion” challenge over at Art Journal Journey too.

To start I used a small brayer to layer yellow, blue, parchment and white acrylic paint onto the page; I didn’t let each colour dry completely before applying the next so that the colours would blend a little. I stamped a diamond design by Art Impressions and also a heart/circle design by Sugarloaf Inc. using black Archival Ink. Then I used the brayer again to add white gesso over the top to tone them down and produce a layered effect. Next I added fine splatters of the black acrylic paint using a paintbrush. I stencilled a clock face by Craft Sensations using Black Soot Distress Ink with a blending tool, this depicts turning back the time, as I am remembering seeing the sunflower in October last year. I also stencilled some cogs by Viva Décor using the same Black Soot ink in the right-hand corner around the clock face and on the top left of the page. The sunflowers are rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel, and I used a black Uni Pin marker and a white Uniball gel pen to add extra detail. I then added white acrylic paint splatters over the sunflowers and the rest of the page. I had some dried gesso that had formed on the top of the paint tube so I stuck these on with a UHU Stic to continue the grunge feel. I added a pretty fabric tag and then I stamped the wording around the edge of the clock using black Archival Ink. To finish, I went over the wording with a black Uni Pin pen to make it stand out more. I really like the beach colours and urban street art feel of this piece.

I thought you might like to see the solitary sunflower on our beach, here it is – we couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw it shining at the edge of the sand dunes, I’m not sure how it got there, birds maybe (grin!).

We first discovered this little sunflower when we were volunteering at Beach Care for Love My Beach, you can see my hubby to the left of the picture. We join this group every week to keep our local beach and bathing waters clean. It’s a great way to actively help the environment, care for sea life, meet people and just give something back to the community; we always have so much fun too!

The next day we were walking with one of our friends and went back for another look, she kindly took this picture of us. It reminds me of summer days and you never know maybe we will see another sunflower on our beach and if not, as the saying goes you can “Always bring your own sunshine!”

“Poetry in Motion”

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Swedish Blue, Parchment, Cadmium yellow Medium)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm & 0.5mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Diamond Background T-3335)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood mounted rubber stamp (26645)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCV0050)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Viva Décor Universal Stencil (Past Times 900270300)
  • Ranger Brayer (Small 2 ¼ inch)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (REC1683)
  • The Works (Canvas Floral Tags)
  • UHU Stic

The Act of Tea Making …

This page is influenced by the Chinese gunpowder green tea that I drink everyday and also, by a quote from a Chinese Tea Master.

As I’m including a drink on this page I’m pleased to join the T Gang over at T Stands for Tuesday – Happy T Day! Including a quote means I can also join in the “Poetry in Motion” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

I started by applying Desert, Boulder, Chestnut and Fawn Spectrum Aqua markers to an acrylic block, spritzing the block with water and pressing it onto the page. As you can see I didn’t cover the whole page in ink and left some white space on the left hand side of my page. Then I used a Craft Expressions honeycomb stencil to add Ground Espresso and Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink and Potter’s Clay Memento Ink layering the different colours using a blending tool. I used the same Ground Espresso, Chipped Sapphire and Potter’s Clay inks to stamp layers of 4-point star images to the background and I also stamped a hexagon design stamp around the border of the page using Rich Cocoa Memento Ink. I cut some strips from a Chinese newspaper, which I got free from a Chinese grocery store that I visit, and then I drew a cup and saucer onto the same newspaper and cut them out. They are stuck to the page using a UHU stic and once the glue had dried I outlined them with black Uni Pin and Derwent Graphik markers. The grey and black Chinese writing and coloured circles are rub-on transfers by Kaisercraft and the little black dragonflies are brads, which I pushed through the page. I covered the back of each brad with masking tape to protect my next journal page. Next I stamped the quote onto a tag using black Archival Ink and outlined some of the letters using a white Uniball gel pen to add definition. To finish, I added a blue piece of twine to the tag and stuck it to the page using double-sided foam tape.

It’s our daily ritual to have a cup of green tea with a cake (usually homemade) for elevenses. I always make a big batch of cupcakes which we keep in the fridge; these ones are carrot cakes (grin!).

I really like this quote from a Chinese Tea Master “The act of tea making is a moment of calm meditation” as I always enjoy making the tea and find the process of making it quite therapeutic; we use loose Gunpowder green tea from China and I make it in a glass teapot that came all the way from Japan. It makes the perfect cup of tea for two people (double grin!).

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Desert, Chestnut, Boulder, Fawn)
  • Memento Ink (Potter’s Clay, Rich Cocoa,)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Chipped Sapphire, Ground Espresso)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.5mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (4-Point Star Background G2983)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Docrafts Papermania clear stamps (Capsule Geometric Mono)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Docrafts Papermania Gift Tags & Stamps Set (Capsule – Geometric Kraft PMA105307)
  • Chinese Newspaper
  • Kaiserccraft Rub-on Lush Collection (Colour RB868, Black & White RB867)
  • Craft Sensations (Chipboard Embellishments 154887)
  • Brads (Dragonflies – Black BRDRBL)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

And they swam …

This month’s theme over at Art Journal Journey is “Poetry in Motion” so I was inspired to create this fun page based on a nursery rhyme from my childhood which we used to sing at school, you may know it …

I added turquoise coloured tissue paper to the centre of the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium, then sprinkled on Ultramarine Colourcraft Brusho powder. I applied more matte gel medium to activate the powder pulling the Brusho colour across the page, as I did this I also wrinkled the tissue paper to add texture so it looked like the sea. I like the way the Brushos added different depths of blue colour.  Then I painted Pébéo white gesso over parts of the page using my finger to push some of the colour back and splattered the page with a paintbrush dipped in black and white acrylic paint to look like air bubbles. Next I arranged the fun orange fish, which are brads, so they appeared to be swimming in shoals across the page.  I pushed each brad through the page and then covered the back with a piece of masking tape to prevent any damage to the next journal page. To finish, I stamped the speech bubbles onto white tissue paper using black Archival Ink, fussy cut them out and added the wording from the rhyme; they are stuck in place using a UHU stic.

Of course there were only “three little fishies” in the original rhyme so I applied some artistic licence when I created this page (grin!).

  Me and my hubby both enjoy snorkeling and diving whilst on holiday, so we have spent many happy hours swimming with the fishes in the sea.

 These pictures were taken in Cyprus where there are always plenty of fish to see.

It always makes me smile when I imagine the fish swimming along singing this song (grin!) – you can find the full lyrics here.

I’d like to thank everyone for their amazing support and participation in this month’s “Poetry in Motion” challenge over at Art Journal Journey and I’m really pleased that you are enjoying the theme so much!

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Pébéo white gesso
  • Colorcraft Brusho Colours (Ultramarine)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Hampton Art Doodlebug Design Inc. cling mounted rubber stamps (Thankful ICO162)
  • Dovecraft upper and lower case alphabet stamp set (WDN Alpha Stmp DCVW0050)
  • Tissue paper (Blue, White)
  • Fish brads (Orange)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic

Always find a song

Today my page for the “Poetry in Motion” theme over at Art Journal Journey was inspired by a Swedish Proverb. I love the optimism of these simple words:
“Those who wish to sing will always find a song”.

I covered the page with white and pastel shades of blue and green acrylic paint using a brayer, waiting for each layer to dry before adding the next colour. I then sprinkled Ultramarine Colourcraft Brusho Crystal powder onto the page and spritzed it with water and just watched the magic as the colours burst into life. I wanted a slightly muted tone and as the Brusho was so vibrant I decided to cover the page with a thin layer of white gesso and the same acrylic paints again, this time painting them on with my finger. I like the way the Brusho powders add pops of colour through the paint. Next I added a pattern which I copied from a dreamcatcher that is hanging in my craft room and outlined it with a black Uni Posca paint pen, which took quite a bit of time as there were so many sections. Then I masked some of the sections and stamped a music stamp using black Archival Ink and a delicate flower outline stamp using Danube Blue Memento Ink. I found the blue ink was a bit distracting so I toned it down by dabbing with a baby wipe. I stamped the proverb using an alphabet stamp set by Hampton Art and black Archival Ink, and I added some white dots to the letters using a Uni Posca paint pen. The sections are embellished with blue gems and paper flowers and I used more of the same gems along the edge of the circular design. To finish, I added a little felt bird into the centre of the sections so it looks like it’s song is radiating across the page to depict the quote. You may also notice that the little bird is the same colours as the Swedish flag tying into the origins of the quote that I used too (grin!).

As birds often sing in my garden, I am also pleased to be able to join the lovely Eileen who is Guest Designer for the “In my garden” theme over at Try it on Tuesday. I think my little bird is happy to provide some music for Eileen’s ‘Miss Froggy’ ballerina to dance too (double grin!).

As a proverb is often metaphorical, I believe it means you will find a way to do the things you want. Of course it can be taken literally too, and my hubby will tell you that I can find a song for any occasion and I’m often found singing around the house. Music makes me happy (grin!).

  I love all sorts of music and have quite an eclectic taste, so I thought I’d share with you some happy music moments, from this month, as we have attended quite a few music events and festivals being held in our local parks (grin!). The picture above is of the bandstand at Stanley Park where during the summer they have a different band playing every weekend, so we took a picnic and sat around the auditorium to listen to them.

This is our favourite local band called ‘Ska Face’ and it’s the first time they have played at the park. We usually go to see this band two or three times a year at local festivals and pubs. They are a ten-piece ska band from Blackpool who play and sing classics from Madness, The Specials, Bad Manners and The Beat. This type of ska music is known as the ‘2 Tone‘ genre which began in the late 1970s. A checkerboard motif is associated with ‘2 Tone’ which explains this saxophone player’s stylish suit.

There was another band playing before them called ‘The Flash Hearts’, who played rock songs and I was singing along to their rendition of ‘Dead or Alive’ by Guns and Roses and ‘My Sharona’ by the Knack.

We also went to a local music festival in Ashton Gardens just down the road, it was fun cycling there on our tandem and listening to the various bands throughout the day. This band is ‘Eye the Bomb’ who are a five-piece Alternative Rock band from Blackpool who fuse together elements of Rock, Funk, Hip-Hop and Punk. They played their own music and a few covers including ‘Give it away’ by The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

This band is ‘Paper Mountains’ whose songs are influenced by bands like Nirvana and Killers.

It was fun partying in the park and creating this page! I hope you are enjoying the “Poetry in Motion” challenge over at Art Journal Journey too, where you are invited to create a page inspired by a poem, saying or quote.

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White)
  • Aldi Script (Ready Mixed Pastel Paints)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Colours (Ultra Marine)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Memento Ink (Danube Blue)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (Black, White)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Musicality DCE907112)
  • Hampton Art Mini Wood Peg Rubber Stamps (Alphabet Set #1037)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Poundland (Accessories Pack 60911)
  • Home Bargains The Craft Set Company (Gems Jewels 63283)
  • Home Bargains Craft Time (Felt Stickers 57877)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents

Rise and Shine

In our beach themed room we have a little plaque that our friends from America bought us when they came to stay, so I thought I’d pay tribute to it for the “Poetry in Motion” challenge over at Art Journal Journey. I’m sure those of you who know my love for walking will think this saying is very appropriate …

I started by prepping the page with a thin layer of Pébéo white gesso to give a smoother finish in readiness to apply the Faber-Castell Gelatos. Once the gesso had dried I scribbled patches of Snow Cone, Lemon and Lime gelatos onto my page to represent the beach; the blue for the sea and sky, yellow for the sand and green for the grassy dunes. Then I dipped my finger into water and rubbed the gelato scribbles to blend the colours; I didn’t use too much water as I wanted a heavier coverage of gelato for the next technique. I covered each of the different coloured areas of the page with a different stencil by Creative Expressions. I rubbed the gelatos through the stencils with a baby wipe to remove and lighten the colour; the stencils I choose were of dots to represent the sea breeze as we take our walk, birds in flight as we often see birds on our beach walks, cogs and a clock face to represent time which ties into the saying. I then used the stencils again to apply Black Soot Distress Ink using a blending tool, lining up the images so they were slightly off centre to add contrast and depth. Next I secondary stamped some arrow images by Hampton Art, using black Archival Ink, to depict the different directions that we can take on our beach walk. Then I used the same ink to add the saying using a Papermania alphabet stamp set. The page is edged with black and white polka dot washi tape which I ripped the tape in half to create an uneven edge. To finish, I added some paper flowers and three wooden polka dot butterfly buttons which I had tied black paper twine through; they are all stuck down using Glossy Accents.

We feel very blessed to live right by the sea so we often go for a walk along our beach. There are lots of different directions that you can choose from … you can walk over the dunes and to a pebbled coastal path.  On the right of this picture are the mudflats where we often see birds (see previous post).

If you walk along this path or through the dunes it leads to Fairhaven Lake.

Go the other way and there are beaches and a promenade with lots of things to see and do such as beach huts, pitch & putt golf, cinema etc.

Eventually you’ll reach the pier, this is my hubby with one of our friends from America when they came to stay – hence why they bought us the sign (grin!).

Of course sometimes the tide is in, the structure on the left of the photo at the end of the pier used to be attached to the pier at one time; in Victorian times it was where ships dropped off their passengers unfortunately it was claimed by a fire.

And when the tide is out you can even walk out to sea, that’s the pier you can see in the distance! It actually feels like you are on another planet the way the sand blows in ripples across the surface of the beach (grin!).

Here’s the plaque that inspired my page; it always makes me smile when I see it and it’s a lovely reminder of our forever friends! In case you’re wondering the lamp in the background is made by my hubby out of drift wood that we collected from our beach too (isn’t he clever!).

So as you can see with all the different walks we have to offer, it’s so easy for us to say “Rise and shine it’s beach walkin’ time!”

“Poetry in Motion”

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Snow Cone, Lemon, Lime)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Papermania Alphamania A-Z Clear Stamps (Leftovers Alphabet PMA9071102)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Hampton Art Bella Blvd cling mounted rubber stamps (Sand & Surf ICO226)
  • Poundland (Washi Tape 156456-GE16)
  • The Works (Butterfly Wooden Buttons)
  • The Works (Mini Paper Flower Embellishment)
  • Wilko (Paper Twine)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents

A cup of tea in a quiet place

I have lots to be thankful for and this quote is one of my favourite tea quotes and was my inspiration for both the “Poetry in Motion” theme that I’m hosting over at Art Journal Journey and also T Stands for Tuesday where I’m pleased to join in the fun with the T Gang!

I applied Apricot and Parchment Liquitex acrylic paints using a baby wipe to the page and then I used various stamps to create the patterned background. This included a doily image by Dovecraft using London Fog Memento Ink, the words “joy” from a background stamp by Great Impressions using Tea Dye Distress Ink and two heart stamps by Hallmark Cards using Rich Cocoa Memento Ink. I printed the teacup image, fussy cut it out, stuck it to the page using a UHU Stic and enhanced the colours and detail by using Sun Yellow, Tangerine, Violet, Mustard, Apple Green, Teal Green, and Leaf Green Derwent Inktense pencils. The grapes and leaves are rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel and were chosen to match the design on the lovely teacup image. Next I painted the centre of a tag with Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint and then I stuck a layer of white tissue paper over the top using a UHU Stic, giving it a fabric look. I stamped the wording onto the tissue paper using Rich Cocoa Memento Ink and then I glued another layer of tissue paper over the top. The wording could still be seen through the tissue paper and I went over each letter using a black Uni Pin marker to give a stitching effect. I also edged the tissue paper and outlined the tag with stitch marks using the black Uni Pin marker too. Then I used a Teal Derwent Inktense pencil and a white Uniball gel pen to add texture and colour to the tissue paper so it looked more like fabric. I added some of the rub-on transfers around the edge of the tag and then stuck it to the page using double-sided foam tape. To finish the page, I added two strips of lace.

The quote and teacup image is from this lovely little book, you may remember it from a previous post.

I’m also sharing my cup of green tea in order to join Bleubeard and Elizabeth over at T Stands for Tuesday. We are having it with a chocolate covered choux bun filled with fresh cream, which brings an even bigger smile to my face (grin!) – yum! Wishing you all a Happy T Day!

I hope you are able to join in the fun over at Art Journal Journey by creating a page inspired by a favourite quote, poem or saying; I look forward to seeing you there!

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Liquitex Artist Colour Acrylic (Apricot, Parchment)
  • Memento Dye Ink (London Fog, Rich Cocoa)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Tea Dye)
  • Derwent Inktense Ink Pencils (Sun Yellow 0200, Tangerine 0300, Violet 0800, Apple Green 1400, Teal Green 1300, Leaf Green 1600, Mustard 1700)
  • Uni Pin Fine Point marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Dovecraft Curiosity Corner clear stamps (A5 Lace and Diole DCCS009)
  • Great Impressions wood mounted stamp (Joy Background J87)
  • Hallmark Cards clear stamp (Christmas)
  • Dovecraft upper and lower case alphabet stamp set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • White tissue paper
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfer (REC1682)
  • Poundworld (Adhesive Lace Strips U-80935)
  • The Works (Hang Tags)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

The Possibilities are Endless

I hope you’re all enjoying this month’s theme “Poetry in Motion” over at Art Journal Journey.  Today I have created a steampunk page using leftover materials from previous projects to depict “Dream, hope, believe … and the possibilities are endless”.

I started by applying the inks onto the page, which were leftover from a 21st birthday card that I had made; this involved dripping the remaining diluted blue Distress Ink from an acrylic block onto the page and letting it dry, then applying the leftover black Distress Ink that was on my blending tool using a Viva Décor stencil that I had also used for the card. As you can see, I moved the stencil around the page to produce a lovely shaded effect as the leftover ink was gradually used up. I then added leftover letters from a set of rub-on transfers by Letraset to give a grunge look to the page. Next I stamped three frames, some postal marks and texture stamps by The Works and a key image by Royal & Langnickel using black Archival Ink. To start my sentiment I added the words “dream; hope; believe” which are rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel. I stamped the rest of the sentiment onto a piece of white tissue paper using black Archival Ink and stuck it onto the tag using a UHU Stic. The tag was also leftover from a previous project; I had stamped a Kaisercraft Script stamp using black Archival Ink over the whole tag, edged it with Tea Dye Distress Ink, drawn a stitched look border using a black Uni Pin marker and tied on some paper twine which I distressed using the same Tea Dye ink. I also stamped the texture and key stamps onto the tag so it matched the page background. I outlined the edges of the tissue paper and the letters on the tag with a white Uniball gel pen and stuck it to the page using double-sided foam tape. Then I used the Royal & Langnickel rub-on transfers again to add the “dream; hope; believe” definitions around the sides of the page. To finish, I sourced three postage stamps from my hubby’s childhood stamp collection that tied into the steampunk feel. They are all from Great Britain and I placed them inside the stamped frames using double-sided foam tape.

Here’s the 21st Birthday card that I made for one of my godsons, like my page it has a steampunk feel to it. I find like many of my projects that I had some bits and pieces left over, so I was inspired to create a page from leftovers to demonstrate that the possibilities are endless!

I hope you also think that the possibilities are endless for this month’s theme “Poetry in Motion” over at Art Journal Journey. I’m so looking forward to visiting you and seeing your creations. Thanks for joining me today!

If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot, Peacock Feathers, Tea Dye)
  • Range Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • The Works clear stamps (CRO274/TW3)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Journey MIN-CCS104)
  • Viva Décor Universal Stencil (Past Times 9002 703 00)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Dovecraft lower case alphabet stamp set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • White tissue paper
  • Hobbycraft(Kraft Medium Luggage Tag 5776581000)
  • Letraset Transfer (Helvetica Bold Condensed 5mm RDC0251)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on sentiments (Motivate Sentiments #ROY510 RUB-ON)
  • Postage stamps (Great Britain 1972, 1975)
  • Wilko (10m Paper Twine 0314169)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range Double-sided foam tape