First Signs of Spring at Country View Challenges

I’m so excited and honoured to have joined the wonderfully talented Design Team over at Country View Challenges . It’s such an inspirational blog and being part of this team is a dream come true – thanks so much for your warm and friendly welcome!

At Country View Challenges our challenge for February is First Signs of Spring, which is being hosted this month by the lovely Miriam.

I love celebrating the different seasons and creating this blossom and birdsong art journal page was so uplifting (grin!).

When I thought of birdsong, I knew that I had to use these beautiful images from my new Forest Paper Pad by Stamperia; this included the forest panel on the left hand side of the page, the pretty bird tag and the square nest image. They were cut out and edged with a Dark Sepia marker and/or some Black Soot Distress Ink. To make them look more Spring-like, I added additional colours by painting Distress Inks over parts of the images; it’s important not to add too much water when doing this otherwise you could ruin the image. I used Mowed Lawn and Twisted Citron ink to add more vibrancy to the green areas of the forest panel and to the bird’s feathers, and also to add green leaves to the bare trees and colour the leaves on the nest image. I painted some Mustard Seed ink to add more vibrancy to the yellow feathers of the bird and also to add some colour to the nest. Then finally I painted the eggs using Speckled Egg ink and left them all to dry.

For the background, I coloured the page with splashes and drips of Hickory Smoke, Mowed Lawn and Forest Moss Distress Ink. I did this by stamping the ink pad onto an acrylic block, spritzing with water and pressing the block onto the page.

Then I brayered some white gesso over the top to push the colours into the background more and then splattered the page with white acrylic paint. I stencilled dots vertically down the page using a Halftone Layering Stencil from Tim Holtz and Ranger Crackle Paste; this is the first time I have used this paste and it was so easy to apply with a palette knife – I love the results (grin!).  

Next I stuck the Stamperia paper pieces in place using double-sided tape. Then I created the blossoms and leaves using Tim Holtz Thinlits and some white linen card stock which I had coloured using Distress Inks. The blossoms were coloured with Mustard Seed and Fossilised Amber ink and die cut using a Tattered Florals Thinlit set. The leaves using Mowed Lawn, Twisted Citron and Forest Moss Distress Ink and cut using a Garden Greens Thinlits set. After shaping the flower petals and adding a gold pearl to the centre of each flower, I arranged them onto the page using glue dots. To finish, I added the “blossom” and “birdsong” wording which was created from some Field Notes Ephemera by Tim Holtz, an alphabet stamp set and black Archival Ink.

For more inspiration you’ll find some amazing First Signs of Spring creations from my fellow Design Team members over at Country View Challenges.

I hope you are inspired to join us too, and if you do, you’ll have a chance to win a £20 voucher to use at Country View Crafts (grin!).

The birds in our garden have been very active of late. We’ve even seen the Great Tits that are on my page, but we have noticed that this pair of Coal Tits visit our bird feeders more frequently.

This made me smile, can you think of a good caption for this photo? Maybe the bird is saying “Hello, is anyone there?” or “It’s really dark in here” (grin!).

Hoping that you are all staying safe and well!

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:


I’m pleased to join the #136 – Patterns challenge over at Paperbabe Stamps with the stencilled lines of dots that are on my page.

I’m joining MIUCB #46 – Anything Goes + Fancy Fold over at the Mix It Up Challenge Blog with all the different techniques I used, including the fun way that I coloured the paper images so they became more Spring-like.

I’m also happy to join the Anything Goes challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge with my art journal page too.

I also pleased to be able to join in the fun at Love to Craft Challenge Blog and enter my spring blossom and birdsong page in their LTCCB #55 – February Anything Goes challenge.

39 thoughts on “First Signs of Spring at Country View Challenges

  1. Love your work, like, wow, so many different styles!
    Beautiful and full of hope!
    February here is usually the coldest month and we´re not only stuck to the virus but the snow´d turned into ice, yikes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s snowing today so the beautiful birds and flowers on your page are a welcome sight. The little bird with his head buried in the feeder is so funny. Great photo. I can hear him: Nom, Nom, Nom.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats Jo for joining a new design team. That is exciting news for you. And I love your first page. That sounds like a lovely challenge; I will check it out. Right now with a BIG snowstorm arriving this evening spring seems like its years away. But that doesn’t mean the inspiration for spring art (like your page) isn’t exciting to see. And your coal tit looks so much like our chickadees. That is a very cool suet feeder too. I haven’t seen one like that. Happy new month. Hugs-Erika

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, you could tip me over with a feather (grin!)! First off, I love, love, LOVE your journal page! Anything to do with birds makes me smile, and I love these Stamperia papers. You’ve inspired me to pull these out and play. One of my favorite ways to use my inks are to add to other papers and using an acrylic block to add my colors. I’m so impressed with your background–it has to be one of my all time favorites! And secondly, I really am so happy to see you were added to that wonderful team at Country View–biggest heartfelt congratulations to you! And how blessed they are to have you on board! Big hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, thanks so much Sara Emily for your kind words and congratulations! What a lovely thing to say and it’s such a joy being part of this new design team, everyone is so friendly and helpful 😁. Sending big hugs right back at ya my friend! Jo x


  5. Jo it was so lovely to see another familiar face join the Country View Challenge Team, you make a grand addition to the team you’ll be super busy in that craft room now. You page is a real delight, I love those stamperia papers, as a hoarder of many stamperia goodies I can’t bring myself to use the rice paper, so pretty. A stunning debut I look forward to seeing many more along your creative journey. Sorry I have been absent for a while, January was not an easy month for me and February has not started off the best either but it’s nice to pop by and see a little of what I have missed. Stay safe lovely Hugs Tracey xx

    Liked by 1 person

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