New Beginnings

Whilst walking to Cockerham Sands from Glasson Dock, I was excited to see my first butterflies of spring and also discover the ruins of Cockersand Abbey which dates back to 1100s. Both of which inspired my page “New Beginnings”.

This page started with a mop-up background created from leftover paint and gesso from other art journal pages; firstly a blue green acrylic paint was applied that had semi-dried to my acrylic block, I sprayed it with water and dragged the block horizontally and then vertically across the page from left to right, as you can see the colour is stronger on the left hand side as a result. Secondly some grey Winsor & Newton watercolour paint was applied using a babywipe, and then some blue watercolour paint which was already diluted on my acrylic block so I dripped it onto my page and then dragged the acrylic block over the top, and I added fine paint splatters too. Next came some left over white gesso which I applied to the page with a spatula. I thought the texture on this page would work well for my design, so I added a Rocks stamp by Kaisercraft using black Archival Ink and also secondary stamped the same stamp to add more depth and texture. This reminds me of the wall and stone ruins that we saw at the abbey. The black flowers and leaves are rub-on transfers by Kaisercraft which I clustered and layered together, I really like the worn look of these transfers. The butterflies and wording are also rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel and to finish I added the three rhinestone flowers.

As my page captures the abbey and the butterflies we discovered, I’m pleased to be able to join Hazel who is hosting the “Magical Mystery Tour” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

Once at Cockerham Sands we decided to walk to Cockersand Abbey along the coastal path.  The abbey now lies in ruins with its walls and stones scattered across the site. We found out that originally a hospital was built here in 1180 for the sick and lepers and that this hospice was continued by the Premonstratensian White Canons who built their priory here in 1190. It was built on a clay “island” and its medieval name was “S. Maria de Marisco” or “Saint Mary of the Marsh”. As the priory thrived it gained the rank of abbey. Then came Henry VIII’s Reformation, and so in 1539 the abbey was dissolved and although it was sold to John Kitchen who then gave the land to his daughter when she married Robert Dalton, it has lied in ruins ever since.

The only building remaining is called Chapter House which for many years was used as a mausoleum for the Dalton family. We really enjoyed looking around the abbey ruins, it’s such a beautiful place with views out to sea.

These are the beautiful butterflies that we saw on our walk, the one sitting on a dandelion is a Small Tortoiseshell and the other basking in the sunshine is a Peacock butterfly. It seems that the seasons have changed and Spring is here!

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 (Christmas Green, Navy)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acylic (White)
  • Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colours (Ultramarine, Payne’s Gray)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Rocks CS875)
  • Kaisercraft Rub-ons Lush Collection (Black & White RB867)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (LAN1236G) and Sentiments (Spring #ROY-506 RUB-ON)
  • The Works Stickers (Rhinestone Flowers)

Coco’s Soul Food

As a special birthday treat we went to Coco’s Soul Food which is a restaurant in Preston that sells the most amazing Mexican, Caribbean, Cajun and Mediterranean food. Inspired by the colourful beach cabana style interior and the wonderful food I created this page.

I mixed up Liquitex Acrylic paints to produce the orange and blue green paints which I first applied with a baby wipe randomly on the page. Then I applied these paints with a sponge using a brick and also a wood design stencil by Creative Sensations. These colours and textures represent the blue green wooden panels of the interior and the orange brickwork from their menu, the orange also reminds me of the colourful and yummy sweet mango, chilli and lime sauce that I had on my salad too. I fussy cut the palm trees from an old magazine, which took a while, then I stuck them to the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. Once the medium had dried I used a black Uni Pin marker to add more details and definition to the palm fronds and trunks. I printed the logo and image from the front cover of their menu and I fussy cut them out. I stuck the image down using a UHU Stic and the same matte gel medium along the edges, and then I enhanced the detail using a black Uni Pin marker and a white UniBall gel pen. Next I applied the glittery flower shapes which are rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel. I stuck the logo to a piece of card and edged it with a black Sharpie permanent marker, then I outlined the wording and dots with a black Derwent Graphik marker and adhered it using double-sided foam tape. To finish I added four postage stamps from my hubby’s childhood collection from Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and Greece; they represent the Mexican and Caribbean dishes that we had, the buildings on their menu cover which look similar to those on the Trinidad and Tobago postage stamp, and the delicious looking Greek Salad we saw which had us reminiscing happily about our holidays/vacations.

As this page provides a tour around this amazing restaurant, I’m pleased to be able to join Hazel who is hosting the “Magical Mystery Tour” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

Coco’s Soul Food is an unassuming place, which is located in the University quarter of Preston and we had previously noticed it on our way to the Chinese Supermarket and have always wanted to try it. So we went for my birthday and I have to say we were not disappointed and plan to go back again and again!The interior was so cheery, this is the ground floor and it was like sitting in a tropical paradise. There was limited seating downstairs and although I managed to get a shot between people being seated, the restaurant was very busy.  They have more seating upstairs and do takeaway as well, the menu and specials board lives up to their strap-line “flavours from around the world” not only do they have Mexican, Caribbean and Greek inspired dishes they also have Cajun as well.

The food was absolutely amazing! I ordered the Tropical Mango Chilli Chicken with a side order of Sweet Potato Fries, which seem hard to come by in restaurants in the UK.

 My hubby ordered a BBQ Chicken Burrito Coco Style, and in actual fact we ended up sharing these dishes as we both wanted to try them and they tasted so delicious. As T Stands for Tuesday and we had a pot of green tea with our meal, I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and wishing you a 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:

  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Christmas Green, Navy, Cadmium Red medium/Lacquer Red, Cadmium Yellow Medium)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White)
  • Sharpie Permanent Fine Point Marker (Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel Pen (White)
  • Creative Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (SYN1470G)
  • Printed copy of menu
  • Old magazine
  • Postage stamps – Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Greece
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Spring is Sprung

Spring is finally here and with the weather being so warm and sunny we ventured out for a walk in the local countryside. The new green leaves were sprouting on the trees, the beautiful spring blossoms were out and the birds were busy in the hedgerows, so I was inspired to create this page; I think I can finally say that “Spring is Sprung!”

I started by applying Liquitex green and yellow acrylic paints with a baby wipe as well as a blue green paint I had left over from another page; these colours represent the green foliage, blue skies and sunshine on our walk. Then I used a paint brush to apply very fine splatters of the paints across the page to give a mottled effect like you would find on birds eggs. Next I added some torn paper from a Design Pad and two washi tapes, one with a bird design and also a thin yellow one. I stamped a Script stamp by Kaisercraft onto pieces of an old sewing pattern using black Archival Ink and stuck them to the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. I then stamped a leaf design on the bottom of the page using the same Archival Ink and added more yellow washi tape. I stamped the bird, which is by Hampton Art, onto the page and also onto a piece of green paper. Then I fussy cut the bird that I had stamped onto the green paper and stuck it over the stamped bird using double-sided foam tape to give a 3D effect. The feathers and the nest of eggs are rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel. The wording is fussy cut from an old magazine and I re-coloured them with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and a green and yellow Spectrum Aqua Marker. I used matte gel medium to adhere them and left them to dry. Then I added fine detail to the dots and edges of the letters and words and the rub-on transfer images using a black Uni Pin marker. To add more texture I used plasterboard /drywall tape and a piece of green adhesive lace trim. The square of blue checked paper is from the same Design Pad which I decorated with the washi tapes, edged with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck to the page using double-sided foam tape. The bird house and spring blossom images are cut from a gardening booklet and remind me of the spring blossoms from our walk. I stuck them onto a piece of paper from a different Paper Pad using a UHU Stic and cut the paper out using serrated scissors and edged it with the same black Big Brush marker. To finish I added a couple of wooden white flowers that I thought looked like the blossoms using Ranger Glossy Accents to stick them down.

I pleased to be able to join the Try it on Tuesday theme of “Add a Quote” and as we are discovering the magic of spring, I am also joining Hazel who is hosting the “Magical Mystery Tour” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

It certainly felt like spring with the sun shining and the birds singing as we saw this glorious view over the countryside.

It was a lovely day for a walk and we seemed to find wonders around every corner, like these lovely white blossoms.

These catkins and new sprouting leaves looked beautiful with the blue sky behind them. Wishing you a Happy Spring and a Happy Easter!

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, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Navy, Christmas Green)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Moss, Yellow)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies cling mounted rubber stamps (Vintage Collection The Journey ICO151)
  • Grafix Design Pad (Beach House CRO292/GE)
  • Crafter’s Companion Luxury Designer Paper Pad (Angelica & Adam)
  • Style sewing pattern tissue paper
  • Old magazine and Garden Centre booklet
  • The Works (Washi Tape Set)
  • Hobbycraft Decorative Tape (Assorted Black & White 5971481007)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Bird’s Nest #ROY-563)
  • The Works (Craft Flowers)
  • Docrafts Papermania Botanicals (Adhesive Lace Trim PMA358334)
  • Fun Cut scissors
  • 151 Adhesives Plasterboard & Drywall Tape
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • X-Press It double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Victorian Treasures

For my birthday, we spent the day in Liverpool and had a lovely time looking at the wonderful Sculptures and the Victorian Treasures Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery. I was particularly interested in this exhibition as it showcases works by my favourite Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. We also visited Rococo for lunch which was featured in a post over at Lorraine’s Arts n Crafts, thanks so much for the recommendation, it was fab and we had a wonderful time! I created this page to remember this special day.

To represent the sculptures that we saw, on the left hand side of the page I created a white marble effect by applying white gesso and then Black Soot Distress Ink using a paint brush and baby wipe. I added some fine details to the marble veins using a black Uni Pin marker and then I covered it all with white gesso to push the design into the background and then added some white acrylic paint to increase the whiteness. I fussy cut the urn and bust from a booklet and used the flyer from the Victorian Treasures exhibition on the right hand side of the page also adding torn papers from a Design Pad. These represent the beautiful wallpapers we saw in the Gallery and at Rococo. I edged the torn papers with Cold Grey Faber-Castell marker and like all of the elements I stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. Many of my favourite paintings had ornate gold frames so I added a beautiful gold foil doily that I bought in a local charity shop (thrift store). Being inspired by the wonderful décor and meal we had at Rococo, I added their logo from a loyalty card that we collected during our visit, along with a chandelier which I had stamped onto the same wallpaper style paper, a clock to show our lunch time visit and a teapot, teacup and saucer to depict the tea that we enjoyed with our meal. The clock and tea things are outline stickers which I coloured with a Sharpie marker and Faber-Castell Big Brush markers. To finish I coloured the original flowers printed on the urn image with green Derwent Inktense pencils so they looked like foliage and added the peachy pink resin blooms using Ranger Glossy Accents to stick them down.

As this page shows you our magical time at the Art Gallery and Rococo discovering Victorian treasures, I’m pleased to be able to join Hazel who is hosting the “Magical Mystery Tour” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

The Walker Art Gallery dates back to 1877 and houses one of the largest art collections in England, outside of London. It is a majestic example of Victorian neo-classical architecture and is situated on William Brown Street which is the only street in the UK to consist of just museums, galleries and libraries. We were happily surprised to find that we were able to take photos in the gallery as long as no flash was used.

There is so much to see and we had a fantastic time exploring the different rooms and discovering the treasures within, this is a photo of one of the walls of beautiful paintings in Room One exhibiting “Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation” art.

Victorian Treasures brings together more than 60 outstanding Victorian paintings and watercolours from the art collections of National Museums Liverpool. The painting shown here is “Helen of Troy” by Fredrick Sandys, she made me smile as she looks so grumpy. Sandys was great friends with one of my favourite artists Dante Gabriel Rossetti so his female portraits were sometimes inspired by Rossetti’s work, hence the porcelain skin and red hair of this sullen beauty.

I adore Pre-Raphaelite artists and there were some stunning examples by John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt.  This is a beautiful painting is “Dante’s Dream” by Rossetti and is his largest ever painting.

Here’s another one of Rossetti’s beauties called “Sibylla Palmifera”.

On the ground floor there is a Sculpture Gallery, with the most amazing marble artworks about 120 in total. It was my hubby’s favourite exhibition and as you can see the lighting and ambiance of the room was stunning.  The statue in the glass case is, another Victorian treasure, the “Tinted Venus” by John Gibson dated circa 1851-1856.

This beautiful lady is by Liverpool born artist Benjamin Edward Spence called “Highland Mary” and the fairy is “Puck” from Midsummer’s Nights Dream by American artist Harriet Hosmer.

We really enjoyed this part of the Walker Art Gallery, so much so that we went back for a second look on our way out of the building.

After visiting the gallery, we headed to Rococo which is situated in this historic building on Lord Street and was designed by a well known Liverpool architect called Edmund Kirby in 1882. The facade has a brown sandstone Gothic pierced quatrefoil parapet and has over glazed brickwork in a lozenge pattern. During the war, 90% of the buildings between Lord Street and Albert dock were destroyed and this building was left standing all by itself. If you look at the photo again you’ll see the modern buildings that were built either side of this special Victorian treasure.

We sat at the table by an old parlor organ and helped ourselves to a very welcome drink of water infused with lemon and mint while we chose from the menu.

We decided to have a Club sandwich to share and a cake each; I had a Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffin whilst my hubby had a Malteser (malt ball) Slice. We had a very nice pot of green tea each too, so I’m pleased to be joining my friends over at T Stands for Tuesday – Happy T Day!

Here’s my birthday photo with my hubby, we had such a wonderful time in Liverpool!

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)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Sanguine 188 B, Cold Grey IV 233, Black 199)
  • Drewent Inktense Ink Pencils (Teal Green 1300, Field Green 1500, Leaf Green 1600, Charcoal Grey 2100)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CR0274/16R2)
  • Walker Art Gallery Victorian Treasures flyer
  • Gallery booklet
  • Rococo loyalty card
  • Creative Expressions Design Pad (Vintage Romance CRO730/R)
  • Woolworths (Foil Doyleys)
  • Anita’s Outline Stickers (Alice in Wonderland ANT810116)
  • Trimcraft A Beautiful Life (Resin Flowers LCFLW001)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic

Flying Carpet

I’m joining in the fun over at Art Journal Journey with my Flying Carpet page to tie into Hazel’s theme of “Magical Mystery Tour”. With a flying carpet you would be able to instantly fly wherever your heart desires.

I started by mixing acrylic paints to produce a turquoise blue and applied it to the page with a baby wipe. To push the colour back I also applied a thin coat of white gesso. I ripped strips of two different shades of blue-green decoupage paper and stuck them to the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium to create clouds. Once the gel medium had dried I outlined the decoupage pieces with a black Uni Pin fine line marker.  The buildings and palm trees are fussy cut from a children’s book, stuck to the page using a UHU Stic and outlined with a black Uni Pin marker. Next I added sequins to the sky sticking them to the page individually with Ranger Glossy Accents. The flying carpet and rule card are from the same book and are edged with a black Faber-Castell marker and then stuck to the page using double-sided foam tape. To finish I added a piece of self-adhesive fabric border along the left hand side of the page.

It’s also important not to forget the rules when flying your carpet … tee hee!

The buildings on my page remind me of what is known locally as “The White Church” not far from where we live. This beautiful church dates back to 1912 and was built in a Byzantine style. Its glazed white tiles make it a very distinctive and well-known landmark on the Fylde coast.

We only planned to take photos of the outside of the church for this post because like so many churches nowadays it is not open all the time. Whilst we were taking the photos, we met one of the church elders who very kindly invited us inside and showed us around the church.

We had never been inside before and I found myself mesmerised by its beauty and tranquil ambiance.

The way it is designed maximises the light with large stained glass style windows on all four walls.

The windows feature historical events which have been hand painted onto the glass; if you stop and stare you can see all the wonderful details. It is a stunning building!

It must be a magical place because if you look closely at the sky you can see quite a few flying carpets trails … tee hee! So I’m interested to know, if you had a flying carpet where would you travel to?

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 (Swedish Blue, Christmas Green)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Book purchased from a Charity Shop called A Guide to Wizards of the World
  • Poundworld (Patch Paper DS9454)
  • Poundland (Assorted Sequins)
  • The Range (Adhesive Border Strips CR0517)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Art Journals

My dear friend Patty over at Magpie’s Nest inspired this post following her question last T Day “You have me wondering if you do anything further with your pages? Do you bind them into books?”

So I thought I would show you. Although I crop the photos to just show the page on my blog posts, my pages are actually in a spiral bound pad and once the journal is complete I cover the front and back of the book. This is the front:

… and this is the back:

To cover my Art Journal books I use leftover mixed media materials that I save from the pages I create. This particular book is covered with the papers that I use to test stamps and colours before I commit to using them on my actual pages. So having accumulated quite a few papers, I ripped them into pieces to create a collage and stuck them down using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. Next I outlined the edges of the paper pieces using a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and smudged the ink with a baby wipe and my finger. To add definition I also used a black Sharpie Permanent marker, a black Uni Pin marker and a white Uniball gel pen along the edges. I stamped the sentiments on both the front and back covers using a Sand & Surf  Hampton Art stamp set and black Archival Ink. I also added some small leftover outline sticker shapes which I coloured black with a black Sharpie. Using the same black Archival Ink, on the front cover I stamped the wording “Art Journal”, the number “6” which represents the number of this journal and my “Handcrafted with love” stamp. I always use this stamp and sign my name on my creations too. To finish I covered the whole page in the gel medium so it is stronger and more resistant to wear and tear with it covering my Art Journal and I folded washi tape over the edges of the covers to give the journal more stability.

I’m so pleased to be able to join Hazel who is hosting the “Magical Mystery Tour” challenge over at Art Journal Journey and I’d like to thank Susi from Froebelsternchen for asking me to link my magical way to make collages to this month’s theme.

The pad I use is by Daler Rowney, it’s A4 in size and spiral bound. There are 30 pages per book and it contains a high quality paper designed for traditional art, mixed media, collage and visual journaling. Each page is lightly textured and white in colour and it’s great for creating and using a variety of dry and wet techniques. I like the spiral binding as it makes it easier to work on new pages by keeping the surface flat, it allows for thicker pages to be created as needed and makes it easier to browse through your creations when they are finished.

When each journal book is complete I always sit down with a drink to look through the pages to remember what I’ve been up to. I also have a book stand in my craft room where a different page is displayed everyday from one of my Art Journals; it’s lovely to look at the page and recall the memories associated with it!

I publish my posts on Monday night ready for T Stands for Tuesday and as this Monday happens to be my Birthday, I’d like to thank all of you who have wished me early Birthday Wishes! My birthday celebrations started early this year, on Friday we went to The Ghurka Restaurant for a meal with our friends. The restaurant is an “all you can eat” buffet serving Asian food from Nepal, India, China and Thailand which is run by a former Ghurka (Ghurka’s are Nepalese soldiers who form part of the British Army). We had a wonderful time and the food was delicious. Having never had Nepalese food before I took advantage of the selection available, as well as some of my favourite Chinese dishes; the top plate is Char Sui Pork, Gurkha Momo (Steamed Dumpling), Chicken Chow Mein and Sweet & Sour Chicken, and on the bottom plate is Gurkha Noodles, Gurkha Daal on a bed of steamed rice, Gurkha Pea and Potato Curry and Gurkha Vegetable Curry. I’m also sharing a glass of Rosé White Zinfandel wine that I enjoyed with my meal and I’m saying a big hello to all the T Gang – Cheers and 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’s covers:

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Sharpie Permanent Fine Point Marker (Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Hampton Art Bella Blvd cling mounted rubber stamps (Sand & Surf ICO226)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 Clear Stamp Set (Alphas Folk DCE907)
  • Papermania Alphamania A-Z clear stamps (Leftovers Alphabet PMA9071102)
  • Crafter’s Companion Vintage Floral Collection (Floral Sentiments VF-ST-FSENT)
  • Hobbycraft Clear Stamp (Love Hearts 50402HC)
  • Papers used to test stamps and colours
  • Outline Stickers (Time Silver 90493S)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic