Today I’m sharing another page inspired by my trip to Blackpool Central Library, and this time I have taken another one of the fabulous stained glass windows that depicts the word “Aspire” as my inspiration. My design includes the arrows and words that can be found etched into the window design, as well as the meaning of the word “aspire” which was cleverly defined through the images that can be seen on the window.

I started by stamping a cog image from a Steampunk stamp set by Docrafts using black Archival Ink to create clusters of cogs. I then used the same ink to stamp a series of arrow stamps by Hampton Art; this replicates the arrows pointing upwards that were etched on the window panes. I also added diagonal stripes to the largest arrows that I had stamped using a black Uni Pin marker to further match the etched glass design. Next I painted diluted Fawn and Topaz Spectrum Aqua markers onto the page, by scribbling the ink onto an acrylic block, spritzing it liberally with water and then applying it to the page with a paint brush. I gradually built up the colour so that it was more concentrated around the edges of the page. I like the way the clean finish of the background mimics the transparency of the glass window.

To give a metal look to the cogs that I had stamped, I coloured them with Fawn, Topaz, Desert and Chestnut Spectrum Aqua Markers. Then I added Ranger Glossy Accents to the cog and arrow images that I had stamped to give them some dimension so that they appear like glass shining from the page. Whilst the Glossy Accents was drying I created this card to depict the word Aspire and the meaning of it that can be derived from the window itself. I used a card by Docrafts Papermania which I cut to size and coloured the dark blue elements of the pattern black using black Sharpie and Uni Pin markers. I took an old dictionary and cut the page containing the word ‘aspire’ and glued it to the front of the card and also to the inside using a UHU Stic. Then I covered both pieces of dictionary text with a thin layer of gesso, aged it with Tea Dye Distress Ink using a blending tool and distressed the edges using the Fawn and Chestnut Spectrum Aqua Markers smudging the ink with my finger to give a vintage look. I stamped the word “ASPIRE” onto the front using a Docrafts alphabet stamp set and black Archival Ink.

Then I also added the definition from the Collins dictionary onto the inside of the card using an alphabet stamp set by Dovecraft and the same black ink. To finish the card I added some pretty coloured rub-on transfers by Kaisercraft to the front and inside of the card which reminded me of stained glass window designs, and then I stuck it to the page using double-sided tape. I also added the hot air balloons which are also rub-on transfers and the saying “Up, up and away” to symbolise the word “Up” that was etched on the glass and also the space rocket lifting off on the window design. To compliment the images I had stamped and to accentuate the illusion of upwards movement, I added black lines of Glitterations stickers and copper gemstone borders to draw the eye upwards. To finish, I embellished some of the stamped cogs with bronze gemstones to add more sparkle and edged the page with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker.

As you may have discovered in my two previous posts, which you can find here and here, this library dates back to 1911. In 2011 to mark the centenary the interior was refurbished and eight new stained glass windows were installed. Here is the beautiful “Aspire” window which inspired my latest page.

Having used these beautiful natural colours as well as different mixed media on my page, I’m pleased to be able to join Yvonne from Meggy’s Way for her “Colour in my World” challenge over at Art Journal Journey and the “Anything Mixed Media Goes” challenge over at Mixed Media World.

With the metal cogs and copper gems, I’m also pleased to join the “Metal” theme over at Country View Challenge.

I’m pleased that the clean finish and simplicity of my design also fits the “Clean and Simple” challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.

I really like the steampunk feel that I created too, so I’m joining in the fun over at SanDee and amelie’s Steampunk Challenges with their “Anything Goes – Steampunk/Industrial” theme.

I enjoyed using all the different stamps to create this page, so I’m also pleased to be able to join the September Challenge of “Anything Goes: (must include stamping)” over at Craft Stamper.

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)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Fawn, Topaz, Desert, Chestnut)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.5mm)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Tea Dye)
  • Hampton Art Bella Blvd cling mounted rubber stamps (Sand & Surf ICO226)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 clear stamp set (Steampunk DCE907125, Alpha Trad DCE907116)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Docrafts Papermania Mini Cards & Stamp Set (Capsule Geometric Krafts PMA105308)
  • The Oxford Pocket Dictionary
  • Docrafts Glitterations (Black Borders ANT8181015)
  • Kaisercraft Rub-ons (Up, Up & Away collection RB870, Lush Collection RB868)
  • Docrafts Forever Friends Opulent (Adhesive Dome Borders FFS351111)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • X-Press It double-sided tape

35 thoughts on “Aspire

  1. This is a really COOL window. I love your page based on it. The gears are amazing. I didn’t think they could look so cool with a little pop up from the glossy accents, but boy, they look amazing! Nice work Jo. Happy Friday and weekend too. Hugs-Erika

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An awesome page Jo. I can see how the inspiration came from the stained glass window.
    The steampunk cogs/gears look fantastic with the gloss added, it does look like they are etched on glass. It is a great idea as well to have the hidden definition.
    Thank you for another great page for my theme choice at AJJ,
    I loved the colours on your world today Jo.
    Yvonne xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This page is such a perfect make – I am thrilled about all the special effects you used. The interactive definition and the 3d effect on the gears! Absolutely stunning – you created the page with this amazing inspiration so beautiful! I love the window – what a fantastic library – indeed!
    Thank you very, very much for another amazing entry of you linked to Art Journal Journey dear Jo!
    Wishing you a very happy weekend!
    oxo Susi

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am in awe of Aspire and how you allowed the actual window to guide your color and image choices for this beautiful journal page. I was also impressed with your taking us through the process and the tools and products you used. I think those cogs actually make the page, although I can’t discount the arrows, either. This is a glorious entry, Jo!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A fabulous page Jo, love the light and airy feel to it and the cogs look brilliant with the glossy finish.
    Love the page in the previous post based on the café, it looks a lovely place.
    Have a great weekend.
    Avril xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a DELIGHTFUL layout inspired by the library!! LOVE that! The inking of Spectrum Aqua and added Glossy Accent are fabulous touches! Thanks so much for playing Simon Says Stamp Wednesday “Clean and Simple” Challenge! Beautiful colors and design. Well done! PS: I appreciate that you stop by my blog today also! Your comment is so sweet!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So many fun challenges you have joined. I love your page..great color choice for the gears..and love the added texture there. Aspire is a favorite word of mine…Aine gave me a mug that says aspire to be and I have loved the sentiment and the word ever since. Love how you showed the products you used to create your page. I aspire to create a page like you do sometime within the next month. As the saying goes, hope high! Mixed media has always been a challenge for me, but yours are wonderful.. Thanks for all the inspiration! Aspire to be ! Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, that’s such a lovely thing to say! I love this word too and now you have me wondering if you’ll create a page with the fabulous sentiment you shared – “Aspire to be!” 😀. With your stunning calligraphy the mixed media pages you create will be even more special and I can’t wait to see what you create, how exciting 😁. Wishing you happiness and Aspire to be! J 😊 x


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