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)

Have a KitKat

I was amazed to discover this super-sized KitKat chocolate bar so decided to create a journal page to celebrate!

kitkat-ajp1

I cut decoupage paper the same width and length as my KitKat bar and stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. To balance the page I added two more pieces of decoupage paper which show the width of the bar. I masked these papers and stamped a serpentine background stamp from Art Impressions using Cocoa Memento Ink. This represents the chocolate coloured steam emanating from my teapot.  The borders of the page are stained with Tea Dye Distress Ink which I applied directly to the page using the ink pad. Next I stamped the red wording using a Docrafts alphabet stamp set and Love Letter Memento Ink, then I outlined the letters using a black Uni Pin marker so they stood out more. For the teapot, I drew it freehand onto card then stuck the KitKat wrapper over the top and cut it out. I outlined the lid with a black Sharpie Permanent marker to make it stand out from the background, and then I stuck it to the page using double-sided foam tape. To finish I added red gel stickers to create the steam swirling around the page.

kitkat-and-tea

Here is the super-sized KitKat with my cup of Green tea – it appears that they only made them for a short while as now I can’t find them anymore. Such a shame as it was great fun eating a choccy bar the size of my head – have you seen any of them?  As T Stands for Tuesday I’m sharing my KitKat with the T-Gang, as you can see there is plenty for everyone – Happy T Day!

big

I haven’t had KitKat for a while and thoroughly enjoyed a strip or two with my cup of tea – delicious! (Honestly, I only had a couple of strips, not the whole bar!)

I’m 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 and I hope you like the story of my giant chocolate bar!

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)
  • Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa, Love Letter)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Alpha Folk DCE907115)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted stamp (Serpentine Background T-2773)
  • Viva Gade Decoupage Paper (Helsinki 25586)
  • Home Bargains Gel Stickers (Mini Gel Stickers 30287)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Brush up your Shakespeare

Today my journal page pays homage to (one of) the greatest poets and playwrights of all time – William Shakespeare.

brush-up-your-shakespeare-ajp-1

To make the page look old and worn I used Tea Dye Distress Ink and applied the ink with a blending tool around the edges of the page and to patches of the page, blending the ink so the colour almost faded out. I stamped a script stamp over the page using black Archival Ink to suggest his writing. The image of the building is reminiscent of the era and I found the picture of William Shakespeare in an old magazine. I collaged these along with some torn pieces of an old family tree onto the page, and I used the same family tree paper that was leftover to stamp his name, the square script document and the crow using Archival Ink and then I fussy cut them all out. All of these pieces were edged with Tea Dye ink using a blending tool to make them look old and I stuck them to the page using matte gel medium or double-sided foam tape. To represent the clothing and costumes that were worn in that era I stamped the lace ruffle to the top right hand side of the page using the same Archival Ink. I also added cream lace tape and then flower outline stickers, which I coloured black with a Sharpie permanent marker and a Faber-Castell Big Brush marker before I stuck them onto the page. The information about Shakespeare’s life and plays is cut from a Pears Cyclopaedia and I drew a box around them using a black Uni Pin marker to make them stand out. To finish I added two postage stamps from my hubby’s childhood collection, the first of Shakespeare himself with Puck and Bottom from a Midsummer’s Night Dream issued in 1964 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the bard’s birth and the second of Queen Elizabeth 1 who reigned when Shakespeare was writing his plays, this is a commemorative postage stamp from 1968. I didn’t realise how much Shakespeare had been part of our lives until I started creating this page. I studied Midsummer’s Night Dream by Shakespeare when I was at school for my O-levels, so the postage stamp I used on my journal page is even more special.cottage-collage

When we visited Stratford-upon-Avon, we toured inside Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and stepped upon what is thought to be the only exposed original floor in the house where William Shakespeare and his wife Anne Hathaway had walked many times.

library-collage

We were also lucky enough to see a wonderful exhibition of his works to commemorate 400 years since his death when we visited Liverpool Library for my Birthday last year. The image of Shakespeare I chose for my page is a copy from one of the earliest books of his plays and we were lucky enough to see an actual second edition of the book which was printed in 1632 at the exhibition.

I’m pleased to be able to join Erica 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:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Tea Dye)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist’s Markers (Slate)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Hampton Arts 7 Gypsies cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Eco Green Crafts recycled rubber art stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Docrafts Curiosity Corner clear stamps (A5 Lace and Diole DCCS009)
  • Docrafts Papermania Bellissima 4×4 clear stamps (Alphas PMA 907212)
  • Crafter’s Companion Vintage Collection acrylic stamp (Floral Sentiments VF-ST-FSENT)
  • Pears Cyclopaedia 2007
  • The Great Musicians Part Work
  • Magazine
  • UK Postage stamps (1964 and 1968)
  • Docrafts Outline Stickers (Fanciful Floral Corners Silver ANT 8101411)
  • Home Bargains Self-Adhesive Tape (Pretty Lace 22750)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
  • X-Press It double-sided tape

Thank You Party at The Taps

To thank us for helping at last year’s Lytham Beer Festival we were treated to free beer and food at The Taps, an award-winning pub in Lytham. We had such a wonderful time with our friends and fellow beer enthusiasts! Here is a page to show my appreciation of the great evening we had!

the-taps-ajp

I collaged pieces of the pub quiz, that we were given to complete as part of the evening, using a UHU Stic, and then I covered them with white gesso to tone them down a bit. To create a weathered and aged look, I used Distress Inks and a copper Scrumptious spray over the whole page, I think that it looks like the old plaster that was in the pub. I added more grunge detail using a Sketchy texture stamp from Kaisercraft, Memento Ink and the same Distress Inks. I then stamped the answers to the quiz questions under each image using black Archival Ink. Next I surrounded the quiz pictures and answers with a wood grain effect using Colourcraft Brusho powder and Liquitex matte gel medium to depict a wall and it’s wooden beams. The pub had lots of Gallery Walls of mirrors, clocks and frames so I cut out a variety of frames and mirrors from magazines and brochures and then filled them with a butterfly design paper and reminders of our time at the pub. This included images from the pump clips of our two favourite beers of the evening, a raffle ticket we were given to pay for our beers at the bar, The Taps signage and a ‘thank you’ which I stamped on a piece of the butterfly paper. I used a black Uni Pin marker and white Uniball gel pen to emphasis the wood grain on the wooden beams and to add detail to the frames and pictures.  There were lots of different lamps at the pub too so I added a lovely copper shade image which I fussy cut from a brochure. The number stickers are coloured black using a Sharpie permanent marker, they signify the number of beers we had and our first place in the pub quiz. To finish I added the pint glasses and coloured the beer using Spectrum Aqua markers, these colours match our two favourite beers.

As this page is telling the story of the fun time we had at the thank you party, I’m pleased to be able to join Erica who is hosting this month’s theme “Tell me a Story” over at Art Journal Journey.

bar-2

The Taps has recently been renovated and has a lovely old pub feel with a modern twist. One thing that hasn’t changed is the large selection of quality beers on offer, with 12 hand pumps at the bar.

bathroom

Many of the areas had Gallery Walls and I particularly liked this butterfly wallpaper and bank of framed mirrors – as you might have guessed this is the ladies toilets/restroom.

bottled-beer

The quiz was fun; you had to work out the names of the breweries from the pictures provided. We managed to get eight out of the ten correct and won first prize, taking home some bottled beer.

beer

My favourite beer was the Farmers Belgian Blue by Bradfield brewery in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, which is a dark winter beer with Christmassy berry flavours (4.9% abv) and was actually a blue purple colour when it was first poured before settling down to a normal dark chestnut shade. My hubby preferred a golden beer called Hopstar Saaz Blonde from Darwen, Lancashire which was brewed with extra pale malt and Saaz hops for a light refreshing finish (4%). As T Stands for Tuesday I’m joining the T Gang and wishing everyone a very Happy T Day!

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 (Tea Dye, Crushed Corduroy)
  • Michele Marsden Crafts Scrumptious Precious Metal Sprizer (Copper)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Colours (Dark Brown)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Dark Sepia 175, Black 199)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist’s Markers (Yellow, Burgundy)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm and 0.8mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Dovecraft upper and lower case alphabet stamps (WDW Alpha Stamp DCVW0030)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Sketchy CS878)
  • Hampton Arts Doddlebug Design Inc. cling mounted rubber stamps (Thankful ICO162)
  • Poundland Design Pad (Urban Style CR0701/16PL2)
  • Pub Quiz page
  • Raffle ticket
  • Magazines and brochures
  • Anita’s Outline Stickers (Mixed Numbers Silver ANT8101013)
  • Hobbycraft Outline Stickers (Gold Harmony 5934031001)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Dance of the Starlings

As the weather was so nice, we decided to go for a walk along the beach promenade in Blackpool to watch the sunset and the winter ritual of starlings roosting, which is called a murmuration. This magical event is captured on today’s journal page.

dance-of-the-starlings-ajp-2

As Spectrum Aqua markers are a water-based ink, I applied some of the ink onto an acrylic block and diluted it with water to paint the sunset background of oranges, gold and grey, gradually building up the layers to intensify the colour.  I drew the birds onto white tissue paper using a black Uni Pin fine line marker in a murmuration pattern and stuck it to the page using a UHU Stic. The pier silhouette and lamp posts are cut from Kanban background paper; I edged them with a black Sharpie permanent marker and used a UHU Stic to stick them to the page. The struts at the bottom of the pier are drawn using a thicker tipped Uni Pin marker.  To finish I added some nylon thread using a Zig Memory Glue Pen and I used Glossy Accents to stick on the little black beads to depict the strings of lights between the lamp posts on the pier.

As this page is telling the story of the dance of the starlings, I’m so very pleased to be able to join Erica who is hosting Art Journal Journey’s January theme “Tell me a Story”.

pier-3

The murmuration of starlings at North Pier was amazing to watch; they were dancing and swooping in unison. Clouds of starlings kept joining the throng and I found myself hypnotised by their splendour.

pier-2

Starlings perform their acrobatic dance just before they roost for the night. It is thought that they roost together for a number of reasons, there is safety in numbers and grouping together helps them to keep warm during the night. Here’s an interesting video if you want to know more (although the video was shot in Rome, not Blackpool!).

sunset

This is the fabulous sunset that we saw; I love the starburst effect my hubby captured on the photo.

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’s Markers (Peach, Spice, Orange, Gold, Yellow, Charcoal)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm and 0.5mm)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Kanban Mackenzie Background Card (Data Black CRD1756)
  • White tissue paper
  • Nylon thread (Black)
  • Small black beads
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (The Dual-Action Glue Pen)

The Imperial Hotel

We had a great start to the New Year at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool, we went on a Heritage tour of this majestic Victorian hotel finding out about its history and enjoying a lovely afternoon tea. As a special treat for 2017 I also enjoyed their famous “Mayflower Spirit” cocktail in the No. 10 bar after the tour had finished.

the-imperial-hotel-ajp-1

I applied a thin layer of Parchment acrylic paint to the page using a baby wipe. Once it had dried I added strips of tissue paper which had a lovely holly design; it reminded me of the luxurious silken wallpapers at the hotel. I arranged the tissue strips so they looked like the panels we saw in many of the rooms whilst on our tour and used a UHU Stic to stick them down.  Next I stamped ornate picture frames using black Archival Ink to depict the beautiful plaster work, pictures and mirrors found at the hotel. I stamped the frame onto some of the holly tissue paper, then fussy cut the centre oval and added it to the centre of the frames I had stamped on the page using a UHU Stic. I collected a variety of booklets, leaflets and postcards from the hotel reception during our visit and used these as part of my design. I cut the images out with Fun Cut scissors to give them a serrated edge and used a Cold Grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker along the edge to give them more definition, then stuck them to the page with a UHU Stic or double-sided foam tape. For the palm tree I stamped the image onto the back of one of the postcards from the hotel using Archival Ink. I also saved the tea bag tags from the green tea we had as part of our afternoon tea and added them to finish the page.

ajp-outside

The Imperial Hotel, Blackpool, opened in 1867 and is situated on the North Promenade seafront and enjoys spectacular views over the beach and sea. The hotel retains the opulence and glamour of its Victorian heyday, and has welcomed a host of famous guests including Charles Dickens, Sir Winston Churchill, Fred Astaire, The Beatles, Princess Margaret and Princess Anne.

ajp-churchill-collage

The Churchill Room was named to honour the many visits Sir Winston Churchill made to the Imperial when he was prime minister and leader of the Conservative party. The room is much the same as the old photograph, although with one surprise. Recently, the photograph pictured has come to light and it shows a magnificent stained glass domed ceiling in the room. Exploratory holes were drilled into the current ceiling to discover that the stained glass ceiling is still there, although it’s not in great condition and is estimated to cost over a million pounds to restore.

ajp-louie

The Grill Room is now the Louis XVI Function Room and has the most beautiful plaster work, wall coverings, mirrors and chandeliers.

ajp-palm-court

The Palm Court is now the Dining Room and looks very elegant especially with the beautiful dome chandeliers. In Victorian times, palm trees were considered very exotic and a demonstration of wealth.

ajp-ballroom

The Ballroom now called the Washington Suite has one of the best dance floors in Blackpool and the most wonderful plaster work of cherubs, flowers and sea creatures. The National Dance Championships have been held in Blackpool since 1920 and the Imperial Hotel is very popular with competitors as they can practice on the dance floor before heading off to the competition.

ajp-turkish-bath-collage

Recently the hotel discovered that a room used for storage of employee files was once an impressive suite of Russian, Turkish and seawater plunge baths which were built in 1901, but had been plastered over and hidden. They are slowly being restored in conjunction with the Blackpool Civic Trust. In the photo (above) you can see that the magnificent tiles were painted and then plastered over and part of this has now been removed to reveal the original tiles once more.
ajp-no-10

The original glass-roofed billiard room retains its stained glass canopy but has been turned into a bar and named No. 10 after all the UK prime ministers who have stayed at the Imperial whilst in office.

ajp-cocktail

During the tour we found out about the Head Cocktail Bartender who had won a national competition to invent a new cocktail in the 1950’s, so we had to try one.  It was one of those all shots and no mixer cocktails, and was delicious and very warming! I’m saying a big “cheers” to the T-Gang over at T Stands for Tuesday – Happy T Day!

ajp-afternoon-tea

Not forgetting our lovely afternoon tea served on beautiful fine china. We choose green tea to accompany the finger sandwiches with traditional fillings of ham and mustard, egg and cress and smoked salmon with cucumber, Victoria sponge, strawberry Eton Mess, chocolate delice, mini lemon tart and warm fruit scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream. I’m sorry, but it looked and tasted so yummy that we tucked in before we remembered to take a photo.

As this page tells the story of our visit to this magnificent old hotel, I’m very pleased to join Erica from BioArtGal who is hosting January’s theme of “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:

  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Crafter’s Companion Vintage Collection Acrylic Stamp (Floral Sentiments VF-ST-PSENT)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Aldi The Night Before Christmas Range (Printed Tissue)
  • The Imperial Hotel history booklet, postcard and leaflets
  • Fun Cut scissors
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape