Always in my heart

This time of year my thoughts are filled with fond memories of my hubby’s dad who passed away in February 2012 and those who loved him so dearly (my hubby and M, his widow) – they are always in my heart!

always-in-my-heart-ajp

I started by creating my own decoupage paper using stamps, black Archival Ink and tissue paper. First I selected white and brown tissue paper and stamped them with a music sheet stamp and a script stamp respectfully. I chose these stamps to represent music and reading which are two past times my hubby’s dad loved; in fact me and hubby often listen to some of his favourite songs. I also stamped a small heart outline and the words “beautiful” and “lovely” onto white tissue paper as well as a series of images on the brown tissue paper; some of which are from a new Steampunk stamp set that M very kindly bought me for Christmas, I think they give the page a lovely vintage look and feel.

papers

I used my papers along with torn pieces of star tissue paper, dictionary pages, music and script pages from a magazine part work to create my background. They are stuck down using a UHU Stic and Liquitex matte gel medium. As you can see I selected the dictionary pages that defined Love and Valentine as this page is dedicated to those I love. The hearts are red tissue paper and they are stuck to the page using the same gel medium. I really like the way it melts into the page so that the detail underneath shows through. When the gel medium had dried I outlined the heart with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker smudging the ink with a baby wipe to give a worn look. I added more detail and definition to the hearts using a black Uni Pin marker and a white Uniball gel pen. I also highlighted the top right hand side of each heart using Docrafts white pigment ink, which I applied using a baby wipe.

close-up-1

To make my sentiment, I fussy cut a banner from a chalkboard tag and made it longer, so it would fit the heart, by inserting another piece of card in the middle and cutting it to shape. I continued the white outline and dots along the additional piece using a gel pen to mask the joins.  Next I stuck white tissue paper over the top of red tissue paper and stamped the sentiment on top using black Archival Ink. I stuck it to the banner and when it had thoroughly dried I added a border with a black Uni Pin marker. To continue the vintage look, I scrapped the tissue paper around the sentiment using a craft knife to reveal the red tissue paper and black card underneath and then I covered it with a thin layer of matte gel medium to hold everything in position. I placed the banner over one of the hearts using double-sided foam tape which finished my page.

I’m pleased to be able to join Linda over at Art Journal Journey and her very apt theme for February of “Fifty Shades of Red”.

dad

I have very happy and cherished memories of my father-in-law, he was a very down to earth, straight talking person and a gentleman in every sense of the word. He’d do anything for you and he used to tease me terribly about my height (I’m five foot nothing). I couldn’t help but love him and I’m so pleased his memory lives on always in my heart!

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:

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Docrafts Pigment Ink Pad (White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo Gel Pen (White)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamps (Script CS752)
  • Woodware Clear Magic Singles (Sheet Music JG5111)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Steampunk DCE907125)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Art Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Hampton Arts Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Papermania Hallmark Cards wood mounted stamp (Adornment – G PMA9062904)
  • Hampton Art Studio G clear stamps (V54911)
  • Dovecraft upper and lower case alphabet stamp set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • The Pocket Oxford Dictionary
  • The Great Musicians Part Work
  • White, brown, red and star tissue paper
  • Studiolight Creative with Chalk (EASYCH465)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Asian Delights

With the recent Chinese New Year, our new Thai cookery books and shopping at an Asian supermarket, I was inspired to create this page.

asian-delights-ajp

The background is painted using Distress Ink which I applied like watercolour using a paintbrush and diluting the ink with water on an acrylic block. I was amazed by the texture I achieved just with my painting and I think the vibrancy of the colours ties into the Asian theme too.  Next I stamped ink from a Terracotta Spectrum Aqua marker using a Kaisercraft stamp, which merged with the background because Distress Inks are reactivated when they become wet, which I like. Next I tore pieces of black and gold card from the Eastern Promise themed topper pack from Hunkydory and edged them with a gold metallic marker, and then stuck them to the page with double-sided foam tape. I also added butterflies which I punched out of the same card using a Tonic Studios Simplicity punch. The oriental style dream tag, birds and red sun, flowers and butterflies are stickers by Penny Black. I really like the transparency of the stickers and added some shadow around them with an Aqua marker then doodled around them using a black Uni Pin marker to add further definition. The gold lines, flowers and dots are outline stickers which I outlined with a black Uni Pin marker to make them stand out more.  To finish I added some green rhinestones to add extra sparkle.

goodies

We love cooking and eating Chinese and Indian food and as we enjoyed our visit to The Giggling Squid Thai restaurant so much, we bought a couple of Thai cookbooks to add to our growing cookbook collection. Of course that meant a trip to our local Asian supermarket to stock up on ingredients as most of them cannot be found in our regular store. This included Thai basil, galangal, shrimp paste, chilli bean paste and a variety of curry pastes for our new Thai recipes, black beans and oyster sauce for our Chinese cooking and creamed coconut for our Thai and Indian curries.

fruity

Before you enter the Supermarket itself, you are greeted with a lovely array of fruit and veg. We always stock up on fresh herbs, Cyprus potatoes and fruit – this time we treated ourselves to lychee, yum!

spices

The shelves are full of goodies, this is the spice section where we bought our Kaffir Lime Leaves for our Thai recipes and on opposite side of the aisle are all the nuts and dried fruits.

tea

They have a wide range of tea and coffee, we always buy our favourite Chinese Gunpowder Green Tea.

teapot

Here is the green tea in our glass teapot from Japan, it makes two mugs of tea, just enough for hubby and me. As T Stands for Tuesday I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang – Happy T day!

I’m also pleased to be able to join Linda’s theme “50 Shades of Red” over at Art Journal Journey.

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 Marker (Terracotta, Slate)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Peeled Paint, Mowed Lawn, Peacock Feathers, Chipped Sapphire)
  • Script metallic pen (Gold)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamps (Sketchy CS878)
  • Hunkydory Crafts Luxury Topper Collection (Eastern Promise EAST104)
  • Penny Black 2006 Stickeroos (Butterfly Party #10-181)
  • Tonic Studios Simplicity Punch (Flora & Fauna Butterfly 916E)
  • Magenta Style Outline Stickers (Daisy Gold 93326G)
  • Hobbycraft Outline Stickers (Gold Scenes 5934211001)
  • Hobbycraft Stickers (Green Rhinestone 5971511004)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Love, Love, Love

This page is one of my hubby’s favourites and I am very pleased about that because I was thinking of him when I was creating it, he loves the colour red and also The Beatles – it’s called Love, Love, Love.

love-love-love-ajp

I started by painting the background red using Liquitex acrylic paint, leaving patches of white where the mixed media paper was showing through. Once the paint had dried, I doodled some circles and lines using a black Uni Pin pen. Then I covered parts of the page with layers of Pébéo white gesso and then red acrylic paint, using a palette knife. When I had finished applying the paint I ran the knife over the surface of the page which transferred the different colours and gave a lovely worn look to my background. I applied black acrylic paint using the edge of an old plastic gift card in lines around the page, then by dragging the paint into the centre of the page I created triangular saw-tooth shapes. To create the hearts for my love theme, I covered card with paper from a Design Pad and cut out a heart shape. I chose a paper printed with framed photographs to depict our favourite Beatle’s songs which are about life, people and love. Then I edged them with black Distress Ink using a blending tool and added the “love” wording using a stamp and Archival Ink. To tie the heart design into the background, I also stamped the “love” wording across the page using black Archival Ink and white Docrafts Ink. Next I arranged the rose garland around the hearts, securing the wire on the back with tape and the little roses using Ranger Glossy Accents. Before I attached the hearts to the page using double-sided foam tape, I painted white gesso where they were to be positioned and doodled with a black Uni Pin to frame them. To finish I stamped the words “Love” three times, doodled some wavy lines using a Uni Pin and added a length of the rose garland to the bottom of the page, securing the roses with Ranger Glossy Accents.

cavern

We love going to Liverpool and the famous Cavern Club is always on our list of places to visit, and is synonymous with The Beatles. It’s free entry, during the day and you can enjoy a drink and sit down while listening to someone signing Beatles songs – magic!

outside-collage

The Beatles murals created by the entrance are wonderful with the bright and vibrant colours. A John Lennon bronze statue stands opposite the club alongside brickwork paying tribute to all those who have played at the Cavern Club.

inside-collage

It’s a lovely atmosphere inside, there is a lot to see and Beatle’s music is played by a selection of artists to the very appreciative audience.

I’m also pleased to be able to join Linda’s theme“50 Shades of Red” over at Art Journal Journey and the “Hearts and Flowers” theme over at Try it on Tuesday (thanks for the suggestion Elizabeth!).

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 Colour Acrylic (Cadmium Red Medium Hue/Lacquer Red)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic  (Black)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Docrafts Pigment Ink Pad (White DOA550106)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Hampton Arts Studio G clear stamps (VS4911)
  • Creative Sensations clear stamps (CR0271/16R2)
  • Creative Sensations Design Pad (Authentic Vintage CRO730/R)
  • The Range (Rose Garland PO/23417)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Spanish Lady

My inspiration for this page was an image of a lovely Spanish lady that I saw in a local advertising booklet.

spanish-lady-ajp

I started by diluting Desert Spectrum Aqua marker ink and two Distress Inks onto an acrylic block with water and flicking them onto the page using a paint brush. Next I added more red Distress Ink using a homemade polystyrene stamp, and then I used a doily stamp with red Memento Ink and also a serpentine background stamp using black Archival Ink. Using the same two inks I layered more images and patterns this time using stamps of a music sheet, a scroll heart and rose, a single stemmed rose and a pretty rose border.

music-sheet-1For the picture, I cut an oval piece of music sheet from a Spanish song called “La Paloma” (the dove) by Yradier and stuck it to the page using a UHU Stic. As you can see I made sure I included the word Spanish and the name of the composer.  I then edged the oval with a black frame which is a sticker.collageThe Spanish lady is from an advertisement I saw in a booklet, and as you can see only the top half of the dress was included on the advert, so I got creative and created the bottom half myself. Luckily I had kept many copies of the booklets, so I cut the dress sleeves and bodices out and designed a flowing skirt for her dress and then some shoes. It was a bit fiddly cutting the pieces out and arranging them but I think it worked really well and she looks like she is dancing along to the music while playing her maracas. I added further detail to the dress using a Derwent Graphik marker to make the pieces flow together. To finish I added the red and gold gems to the page which reminded me of the colours of the Spanish flag.

I’m pleased to be able to join Linda’s theme “50 Shades of Red” over at Art Journal Journey.

sangria

As T Stands for Tuesday I’m keeping with the Spanish theme and sharing a sangria with you – Happy T Day! You may remember Bleubeard and Elizabeth sharing a journal page on Boston with us recently, so I thought I would share the sangria I had from Joe’s American Bar on Newbury Street when I visited Boston. Although you can’t tell from the photo I’d say it was as big as a goldfish bowl  – it was so delicious and very welcome after a day of sightseeing and shopping!

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)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Fired Brick, Black Soot)
  • Memento Ink (Love Letter)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Docrafts Curiosity Corner clear stamps (A5 Lace and Diole DCCS009)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted stamp (Serpentine Background T-2773)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Clear Magic Singles stamp (Sheet Music JGS111)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice stamps (Ornate Scrollwork MIN-CCS123, Fanciful Florals MIN-CCS124)
  • Unknown wood mounted stamp (Rose design)
  • Music of All Nations – Part 1
  • Fylde Local List booklets
  • The Works (3 Frames)
  • Poundworld (Scrapbook Accessories)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • Zig Memory System 2-Way Glue (The Dual Action Glue Pen)

Be the reason someone smiles

When I heard about Linda’s exciting new challenge of “50 Shades of Red” over at Art Journal Journey  I knew exactly what the inspiration would be for my first submission – a little pottery sign I look at every morning that is hung on my dressing table mirror, it says “Be the reason someone SMILES today”.

be-the-reason-someone-smiles-ajp-1

I started by diluting Desert Spectrum Aqua marker ink and Love Letter Memento Ink onto an acrylic block with water and smooshing and painting it onto the page. To add more texture and layers I put Spectrum Aqua Marker ink onto a trellis stencil and used it to ‘stamp’ the design onto the page. I also stamped a diamond background using the same Aqua marker and a script stamp by Kaisercraft using the same Memento Ink. Then using the same trellis stencil I applied a thick layer of Fired Brick Distress Ink using a blending tool to different areas of the page. To use up the ink remaining on the blending tool I applied it using the trellis stencil over the pink/red areas of the smooshed Memento Ink background, I liked this effect as it gave a faint impression of the stencil whilst intensifying the background colour.  Next I added pieces of paper from a vintage Design Pad using a UHU Stic and the rose and heart images which are stickers by Penny Black. I outlined all of them with a Spectrum Aqua marker and a black Uni Pin, this added shadows and made them stand out from the background more. To make the sign, I stamped the wording and the three red hearts using the Memento Ink and outlined them with a very fine Derwent marker, then added a diamond border using the diamond background stamp and Aqua marker. I then glued it to a piece of recycled red card using a UHU Stic and stuck it to the page using double-sided foam tape. To add some bling I edged the sign with red gemstones and added some single gemstones around the page along with some red hearts which I stamped using the Memento Ink, these finishing touches tie the design of my sentiment to the page.

sign

This is the lovely red pottery sign that hangs in my bedroom, I choose this as a gift some years ago when I received a voucher for Christmas. It makes me happy when I see it and always inspires me by giving me a daily goal to make someone smile.

jo-smiles

This is my hubby’s favourite photo of me; I’m always smiling and as Dolly Parton once said “If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours”. I recently read a poll on what makes us smile and it revealed that on average we smile thirteen times a day and laugh three times a day. It also said the top things that make us smile are seeing an old friend or hearing a song from the past, other favourites were getting into a tight pair of jeans, receiving a thank you from someone and jumping into a bed with freshly made sheets.  So now I’d love to know – what makes you smile?

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)
  • Memento Ink (Love Letter)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Fired Brick)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Diamond Background T-3335)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Hobbycraft clear stamp (Love Hearts 50402HC)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Moroccan)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Alpha Folk DCE907115)
  • Hampton Art Mini Wood Peg Rubber Stamps (Alphabet Set #1037)
  • Creative Expressions Design Pad (Vintage Romance CRO730/R)
  • Red Card (recycled Christmas card)
  • Penny Black 2006 Stickeroos (From the Heart #10-189)
  • Oaktree UK Eleganza Craft Stickers (3mm 418 Gems Red No. 16)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

 

Giggling Squid

When we visit our family down South we always go to the Giggling Squid restaurant to enjoy the yummy Thai food!

giggling-squid-ajp

I stamped a Hessian background texture stamp by Kaisercraft using Distress Ink creating two panels on the page, then to add more texture and contrast I stamped a grid design over the top using a homemade stamp and black Archival Ink. Next I cut our meal choices from a takeaway menu I picked up when we visited the restaurant and stuck them down with a UHU Stic. The different papers are from a Design Pad which are cut into various widths and stuck to the page using a UHU Stic; they remind me of the different panels, textures and natural wood and leather decor in the restaurant. I then added a strip of wood effect paper to the top and bottom of the page panels to frame them, a silver border to the dark grey panels of paper using outline stickers and the Giggling Squid signage using double-sided foam tape. To reference Thailand I used a postage stamp from my hubby’s childhood collection dated 1972, it matched the colours of the page beautifully. Then I added silver sequins and a Christmas bauble topper using Glossy Accents embellishing the centre with a flower rhinestone and to finish a pretty wooden frame.

I’m pleased be able to join Erica from BioArtGal who has done the most excellent job of hosting this month’s theme “Tell me a Story” over at Art Journal Journey. Thanks Erica!

food

The food is always amazing! For my starter I had the Tempura Vegetables and a side order of Salt and Pepper Squid to share, then for my main I had Pad Khing which is stir fried prawns with vegetables and ginger – delicious!  As well as the ice water I ordered a Tiger beer, which is an Asian Larger and was very light and refreshing. As T stands for Tuesday, I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang – Happy T day!

food-1

There is a lot to choose from on the menu and as we went at lunchtime, my hubby had his favourite – the ‘Two Giggling Squids’ Tapas Set which consists of Chicken Massaman Curry, Salt and Pepper Squid, Beef Salad and Jasmine Rice – yum! He had a Cranberry Crush to drink.

restaurant-collage

This small chain of restaurants can only be found in Southern England and is still family run. Their story is a lovely one and the food is always delicious and the decor is wonderful – both rustic and chic!

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 (Tea Dye)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Hessian CS153)
  • Homemade wooden block stamp with Plasterboard/Drywall tape
  • Poundland Design Pad (Purple Paradise CRO701/PL3, Changing Seasons CRO701/16PL1, Urban Style CRO701/16PL2)
  • Takeaway menu
  • Postage Stamp (Thailand, 1972)
  • Silver outline stickers
  • Poundland (Assorted Sequins)
  • The Works stickers (Rhinestone Flowers)
  • The Works (Wooden Frame CRO282/TW1)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

A life of love and happiness!

I feel very blessed to have married my soulmate and to have spent many happy and fulfilling years together – our life is a simple one based on love and happiness!

life-ajp

I started by painting the page with Aquamarine and Yellow Spectrum Aqua marker ink which I diluted with water. I used a round blending tool to add circles of Peeled Paint and Cracked Pistachio Distress Ink and as this ink can be reactivated I then spritzed them with water so the colours merged into each other, this gave a lovely mottled pigment effect too.  I wanted to experiment so I made a large round stamp from polystyrene and used it to add lovely textured circles using the same Distress Inks; I think this stamp worked really well. Next I stamped the black flowers using stamps from Hampton Arts and Jet Black Archival Ink. To enlarge the bigger stamped flowers I drew stamen like additions using a black Uni Pin that I swirled around each bloom. As I wanted to add more texture and dimension to the page, I used a stencil to apply a mixture of Parchment acrylic paint and Ranger Texture Paste to add cream dots and wavy lines. To finish I added letter and sentiment cardstock stickers and embellished the page with some beautiful fabric birds, hearts and flowers by Little Yellow Bicycle.

liverpool

We like the same things so we can be found exploring new places or visiting old haunts to take in the architecture, history and culture – it was springtime when we visited Liverpool and took a selfie with the Eleanor Rigby statue.

glasson-dock

We are thankful for everyday and always enjoy the time we have together – here we are along the Lancaster Canal on one of our summer hikes, as you may know we like to go walking in the countryside.

ska-face

We find pleasure in the simple things and feel life is about making memories and having fun; here we are in the autumn watching one of our favourite bands at a local pub.

beach-1

We feel very blessed to live by the beach and still enjoy going for a walk even in the winter all bundled up against the cold.

I’m so pleased to be able to join Erica from BioArtGal who is hosting this month’s theme “Tell me a Story” over at Art Journal Journey.

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 (Aquamarine, Yellow)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Peeled Paint, Cracked Pistachio)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Liquitex Artist Color acrylic (Parchment)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Ronda Palazzari 12×12 template (Texturized)
  • Dot Stencil
  • Hampton Art Doodlebug Design Inc. cling mounted rubber stamps (Borders ICO160, Thankful ICO162)
  • Hampton Art Bella Boulevard cling mounted rubber stamps (Sand & Surf ICO226)
  • Homemade polystyrene stamp
  • Little Yellow Bicycle stickers (Fabric Favourites PD-220, Cardstock Fresh Verse  PD-140)