Melt It! – Four Seasons

I’m so excited and honoured to be a Pinworthy Guest Designer over at A Vintage Journey and my seasonal heart decorations are inspired by their challenge – Melt It! Julia is the host for this challenge and kindly provided the following brief:

This month we’re asking everyone to MELT IT! Get out the UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel), beeswax, encaustic wax, embossing powders or good old wax crayons and a heat tool and get melting to create something in a vintage; shabby; mixed media; art journaling; industrial, timeworn or steampunk style.

So today I’m sharing how I created a heart decoration for each of the four seasons and as I love creating my art journal pages and projects using mixed media, I chose to create these decorations in the Mixed Media Style for A Vintage Journey. I had so much fun melting both embossing powder for the backgrounds and also embossing enamels for the birds on my Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter decorations (grin!).

These decorations are wonderful additions to the seasonal window displays that I create throughout the year, which you may be aware of from my previous post.

I started by stamping the heart tags with different stamps using Emboss ink, the stamps included: a rose design from a Penny Black stamp set for spring; flowers and swirls from the same Penny Black stamp set and also a flower design from Hampton Art for summer; some leaves from Royal & Langnickel for autumn and finally snowflakes from BoBunny for winter. I covered each of them with white Stampendous embossing powder, shook off the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper and also tapped the heart to make sure any stray powder was removed. Then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder by sweeping the gun over the stamped images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long until the embossing powder melted to a glossy finish and became smooth and dimensional. I repeated the same process to decorate the back of the heart too, making sure I suspended the heart when heating the embossing powder to ensure the reverse side did not stick to my craft mat. Next I applied two different Memento Inks for each of the hearts using a blending tool, which emphasised the melted embossing powder beautifully. The ink colours I used were Pistachio and Angel Pink for spring, Lilac Posies and Dandelion for summer, Morocco and Toffee Crunch for autumn and Summer Sky and London Fog for winter.

The branches and foliage for spring, autumn and winter are die cut using Garden Greens Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz from different design papers with my new Big Shot machine. They are coloured using Spectrum Aqua markers which I applied like watercolour by scribbling the marker onto an acrylic block and picking up the ink with a wet paintbrush; the colours I used were Bud Green and Moss for spring, Chestnut and Sepia for autumn and Chocolate for winter. I used some tiny maple leaves that I had in my craft stash to decorate the autumn branch which I coloured using Crimson, Orange and Gold Spectrum Aqua Markers. All of these paper elements are stuck to the heart using a Zig Memory System glue pen. For summer, I used some sunflower border stickers by Docrafts Papermania.

For the birds, I used some wooden bird shapes which I covered in Emboss ink and Stampendous Frantage embossing enamel; this enamel was a Christmas present so this is the first time I had used it and I love it, it’s such an amazing medium to use (grin!). I shook off the excess enamel pieces and then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing enamel until it melted to a smooth glossy finish. Be careful not to touch the melted embossing enamel until cooled as it gets very hot when heated. For spring I used Aged Hunter, for summer Aged Silver, for autumn Aged Marine and winter Aged Scarlet. The birds are stuck in place using Ranger Glossy Accents.

Next I embellished the spring branches with some pretty flower beads to represent spring blossoms using Glossy Accents and the winter berries using Christmas Red Stickles from Ranger. The wording is stamped onto thick paper using a Dovecraft alphabet stamp set and different Memento Inks; Rich Cocoa for spring, Cottage Ivy for summer, Elderberry for autumn and Blue Danube for winter. They are stuck down using the Zig Memory System glue pen. To finish, I added a piece of white paper twine and also threaded some flower, metal and bevelled glass beads on a piece of thread and tied them with some ribbons around the twine.

I really enjoyed joining A Vintage Journey to Melt It! and create my Four Seasons heart decorations. I hope you are inspired by this month’s challenge too and are able to join in the fun!

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 these decorations:

  • Tsukeniko Emboss Embossing Ink Pad (Clear)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Toffee Crunch, Angel Pink, Rich Cocoa, Lilac Posies, Dandelion, Cottage Ivy, Morocco, Toffee Crunch, Elderberry, Summer Sky, London Fog, Danube Blue)
  • Stampendous Frantage Embossing Enamel Holiday Kit (Aged Hunter, Aged Silver, Aged Marine, Aged Scarlet)
  • Spectrum Aqua Markers (Bud Green, Moss, Crimson, Orange, Gold, Chestnut, Sepia, Chocolate)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Penny Black Stamp Set (Clearly in Love 30-009)
  • Hampton Art Studio G Clear Stamps (Series 11 VS4911)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Pressed Leaves MIN-CCS102)
  • BoBunny Stamps (Snow Day 13705563)
  • Sizzix Thinlets Tim Holtz Alterations (Garden Greens 661206)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Crafter’s Companion Luxury Designer Paper Pad (Angelica & Adam Collection A&A-PAP6-M)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Design Block)
  • Poundland Design Pad (Changing Seasons CR0701/16PL1)
  • Wilko (5 Heart Gift Tags)
  • Craft for Occasions (C2026 – wooden bird and bunnies)
  • Docrafts Papermania Signature 3D Floral Borders (Sunflower Burst PMA8011000)
  • The Brighton Bead Shop (Assorted beads – flower, glass, metal, bevelled)
  • Thick black thread
  • Recycled ribbons from Christmas Crackers
  • Satin ribbon (Green, Pink, Tan, Blue)
  • Ranger Stickles (Christmas Red)
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (The Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Glue Pen
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Valentine’s

To celebrate Valentine’s Day tomorrow I created this art journal page and I used my winter window display as inspiration too as it looks so pretty with the red hearts and white snowflakes (double grin!).

Over at Try it on Tuesday, our current theme is Love is in the Air (think Hearts, Valentine’s Day, Love etc) and there is still another week to join in the fun, so it would be great to see you there!

I started by covering the page in a thin layer of Pébéo white gesso in preparation for the Faber-Castell Gelatos that I added next. Once dry, I graduated the Gelato colours using Iced Currant around the edges of the page then Iced Rosé then Metallic Icing in the centre using a sponge to blend them. Next I stamped some bars of music and a scroll border from Penny Black and also an “I Love You!” stamp by Hampton Art using black Archival Ink. I stamped my favourite circle and heart design from Sugarloaf Inc. using a VersaMark watermark stamp pad and covered it with white Stampendous embossing powder making sure any excess powder was removed using a paintbrush. Once the excess powder was safely returned to its container, I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. I swept the gun over the stamped images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long until the embossing powder melted to a glossy finish and became smooth and dimensional. Then I used some silver metallic rub-on transfers from Royal & Langnickel to add the “Forever & Ever” and “Love” wording and also some hugs and kisses. For my snowflakes I used a trio snowflake die from Tonic Studios and some recycled white card. They are stuck to the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium and I finished them using some pretty glitter and silver snowflakes and also some sparkly jewel stickers. For the small hearts, I used a paper punch from Tonic Studios and some recycled red card and stuck them in place using the matte gel medium again. The cupid heart and postcard are from a card making kit by Docrafts and are stuck in place using double-sided tape. I also added an “I Love You” sticker to the postcard which is by Graphic 45. The chalkboard heart is a tag and I tied a red piece of leather into a bow and added our initials which are foam sticker letters. I coloured the letters using red Stickles in the centre and then edged them with silver Stickles using a very steady hand (grin!). I added three red hearts, to the focal images, which are punched from the same red card using another paper punch from Tonic Studios and also some more sparkly jewel embellishments to the background which finished the page.

I love our Valentine’s window display this year; it looks extra special with the lovely winter decorations that I made and the beautiful “G” and “J” initial decorations that were bought for us for Christmas.

The red hearts and white of the decorations and snowflakes look lovely together and the snowflakes seem even more relevant as we have snow forecast for this week too (grin!).

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m also sharing his and hers hot chocolates – normal  hot chocolate for hubby and white hot chocolate for me (grin!) – Happy T day!

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs like Try it on Tuesday as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration for my pages and are a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join in the fun over at Moo Mania and More and their Valentine’s challenge.

As I included red on my page, I’m also joining the Roses are Red (use the colour Red) challenge over at The Artistic Stamper.

I’m pleased to be able to join Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their It Must Be Love challenge with my Valentine’s inspired art journal page.

I’m also pleased to join the Photo Inspiration challenge over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge.

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
  • Faber-Castell Gelato (Iced Currant, Iced Rosé, Metallic Icing)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tsukineko VersaMark (Watermark Stamp Pad)
  • Script Metallic Pen (Silver)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood-mounted stamp (26645)
  • Penny Black Stamp Set (Clearly in Love 30-009)
  • Hampton Art Studio G clear stamps (VS4911)
  • Tonic Studios Christmas Trio Die Set (Falling Snowflakes 17920)
  • Red and white card (recycled Christmas cards)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Kisses and Hugs Silver #ROY790SV)
  • Docrafts Papermania 6×6” Decoupage Card Kit (Victorian Valentine PMA169102)
  • Graphic 45 Cardstock Stickers (Place in Time 4500617)
  • Tonic Studios Paper Punch Accent (Hearts Sider 830E, Classic Heart Sider 858E)
  • The Works (Chalkboard Heart Tags, Christmas Embellishments, Jewel Stickers)
  • Trimcraft Alphabet & Number Stickers (Glitter – Gold SCSTK013)
  • Ranger Stickles (Christmas Red, Silver)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Oh, Deer!

I’m so excited that December is here as I can put up my Christmas decorations; I started on Friday and it took me a couple of days to complete this task (grin!). I thought I’d create a page with the help of this deer who seems to be celebrating by decorating his antlers with Christmas baubles too (double grin!).

My idea was to create a snowy silver birch woodland background so I started by applying some torn pieces of white napkin using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium to add some texture. Then I added Brushed Corduroy, Spiced Marmalade and Hickory Smoke Distress Inks like watercolour by applying each ink to an acrylic block and then using a paintbrush to apply them to the page. I then sprinkled some Dark Brown Colourcraft Brusho powder over the top, spritzed with water and watched the powders explode with colour. I dried the page with my heat gun and then I applied a thin layer of PVA glue here and there in order to seal in some of the colour. Once the glue had dried, I applied a thick layer of Pébéo white gesso over the top using a palette knife and used the heat gun again to create some lovely texture as the gesso bubbled under the heat.  I emphasised this texture by using Silver Grey, White Sparkle and Apple Green metallic lustres by Craft-T products. I love how the gesso enhanced the background texture and that it looks like silver birch bark covered in snow. Next I ripped some branch and berry images from a napkin and stuck them around the edge of the page using a UHU Stic. With the background completed, I tore some silver Curling Ribbon (that was recycled from a present) into thin strips and then curled it with some scissors. I arranged the red and green baubles which are stickers and tied the strips of ribbon to them as if they were hanging down the page. I fussy cut the red reindeer from an old magazine and as the reindeer had white writing across it I covered it with small pieces of the red paper that I tore from the off cuts and coloured the edges with Crimson, Burgundy and Scarlet Spectrum Aqua markers. I mounted the reindeer image onto a piece of white card and outlined his eyes and nose with a Derwent Graphik marker so they stood out more. He is stuck onto the page using double-sided tape and I wrapped the ribbons around his antlers as I stuck him down so it looked like the baubles were hanging from them; this took a little time as it was quite fiddly. To finish, I added more sparkle to his antlers using some little silver dots and some red and green bells which are from the same sticker set as the baubles.

You may remember the Winter Wonderland Decorations that I made last month. I had a few requests to show them again when I had created my winter window display, so here they are (grin!). As you can see I made a few more of these decorations and trimmed them with lace, and as it’s December they are being displayed with some Christmas decorations too.

They look so magical at night with the fairy lights!

As T Stands for Tuesday I’m sharing my green tea in some new mugs that were bought for us, their design reminded me of the reindeer page (double grin!) – Happy T Day!

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration for my pages and are a wonderful way to meet like minded arty people. Being a new month there are lots of new exciting challenge themes too, so here are the ones I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Sheila from Orange Esmeralda over at Art Journal Journey and her “Let’s Celebrate” challenge with my reindeer celebrating Christmas!

I’m joining the “Christmas” challenge over at Country View Challenges with my Christmas themed page and it was lots of fun also including their option of using reds and greens as part of my page design.

With my snowy reindeer scene I’m also joining in the fun over at A Vintage Journey and their “Winter Wonderland” challenge with my “Art Journaling” and “Mixed-Media” style page as it was created to remember the joy of putting up my Christmas Decorations this year and I used lots of different media to create it.

Being inspired by Chris and the fabulous textured backgrounds that she created for her happy snowman and baubles, I’m also joining the “Torn, Ripped and Burnt” challenge over at PaperArtsy with the torn and heated elements that I used to create my silver birch textured background and happy reindeer with baubles.

I’m also pleased to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their “Anything Goes” challenge.

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 (Brushed Corduroy, Spiced Marmalade, Hickory Smoke)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Colour (Dark Brown)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Craf-T Luster Rub-ons Color Kit #4 (Silver Grey, White Sparkle, Apple Green)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Crimson, Burgundy, Scarlet)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Poundland (Luxury Napkins 70371)
  • Old Magazine
  • Bauble Stickers from Charity Shop
  • Recycled Curling Ribbon (Silver)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Winter Wonderland Decorations

Today I have something different to my normal Art Journalling … as you may be aware, I like to create a seasonal window display. I have always struggled to source winter decorations for my tree branches as they need to be appropriate for January and February not just for Christmas, so I decided to have some fun and create my own using items I had in my craft stash. Here they are … what do you think?

As winter was my inspiration for these decorations, I used a white colour palette and some sparkle, which reminds me of frosty mornings and snowy days: I was thinking winter wonderland! I chose music, birds and hearts to link to my love of this season; linking to Christmas time festivities and of course Valentine’s Day. Even though each item is unique, they are brought together as a collection because I used the same materials to decorate them. You can find out how I created them below.

Love Heart

Love Heart

The large heart is a luxury gift tag which I stamped using three different stamps using Emboss ink; the stamps include a music stamp from the Musicality clear stamp set by Docrafts, a Diamond Background stamp and also a Serpentine Background stamp, both by Art Impressions. I covered the Emboss ink with white Stampendous embossing powder and shook off the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper. I also tapped the heart to make sure any stray powder was removed and then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. I swept the gun over the stamped images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long until the embossing powder changed to a glossy finish becoming smooth and dimensional. I repeated this process on the back of the tag as well. To add a little contrast I applied Toffee Crunch Memento Ink very lightly to the front and back using a blending tool which highlighted the embossing more. I added a piece of music decorative tape diagonally across the tag and edged it with pearl strips that I had cut to size. I stuck a piece of diamante decorative chain wire along the length of the decorative tape, securing it with Glossy Accents. The “Love” sentiment is a wooden embellishment which I painted first with white gesso and then I embossed it with the same white embossing powder. I stuck it onto the heart along with some pearls and pearl feathers using Glossy Accents. To finish, I added a piece of white paper twine and organza ribbon.

Bobbin

Bobbin

For the bobbin, which was kindly gifted me by my mum who uses lots of gold thread for her Christmas cards that she embroiders, I applied three bands of the same decorative tape around the central cone. Then using the slit at the top of the bobbin, where the thread in normally secured, I secured the end of the diamante wire and wrapped it around the central cone securing it again at the bottom. I then edged the top and bottom of the bobbin with the same pearl strips and also added some pearls and pearl feathers to the central cone using Glossy Accents. To embellish the bottom of the bobbin I used a metal heart, which I recycled from an old necklace, by painting it with white gesso. When the gesso was dry, I covered the heart in Emboss ink and then white Stampendous embossing powder. It’s very important to remember that this heart is metal and therefore conducts the intense heat of the heat gun so I suspended the heart while heating it and waited until it cooled before touching it. Once cooled I distressed the heart with a craft knife and added a pearl to both sides. I then threaded some white paper twine through the heart and up through the bobbin to suspend the heart at the bottom. To finish, I tied some of the white ribbon into a bow around the paper twine at the top of the bobbin.

Small Heart

Small Heart

For the small heart, I used a wooden hollow heart shape tag and covered the front and the back with the music decorative tape and then I edged all the sides of the heart with pearl strips that I had cut to size.  I punched a hole through the tape to thread the piece of white string back through. It is decorated with some diamante wire, pearls and pearl feathers using Glossy Accents to stick them and I added a piece of the organza ribbon to the top of the heart to finish the piece.

Bird

Bird Frame

The bird decoration is a wooden frame embellishment which I covered in white gesso and white embossed on both the front and the back. I cut decorative tape to fit the bottom section and added a string of pearls and feathers to the bottom edge using Glossy Accents. Along the top frame I adhered some of the pearl strips and wrapped a piece of the diamante wire onto the right-hand side securing it with Glossy Accents. Again this piece is finished with white paper twine and ribbon which I tied in a bow.

Fairy

Frost Fairy

I used another luxury gift tag heart and coloured it with the Toffee Crunch Memento Ink using a blending tool, then I covered half of the heart with the decorative tape. I created a frosty leaf by painting it with white gesso and then white embossed it. For the fairy which is a wooden shape, I painted white gesso and embossed it and then I added a piece of wire and a pearl to form a band around the fairy’s waist. I stuck both the leaf and fairy to the heart using Glossy Accents. Next I added a piece of the decorative tape diagonally across the top left-hand corner over the leaf and edged it with the pearl strips and added the diamante wire along its length. I curled the leaf edges to show the heart shape more and stuck the pearl and pearl feathers to the top right-hand side. To finish, I added a piece of white paper twine and organza ribbon.

hot-chocolate

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m sharing my hot chocolate and a special winter treat of lebkuchen – yum! Wishing you all a Happy T Day!

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration and are a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

I created these decorations to adorn my home so I’m pleased to join the “Home Sweet Home” theme over at Try it on Tuesday.

The “Mini Marvels” challenge over at A Vintage Journey gave me the perfect motivation to create my winter inspired decorations in readiness for display in December. They meet the “Mini Marvels” criteria with the largest decoration (the Bird Frame) being 4” and all the rest being smaller. I hope you like the “Shabby Chic” look of these winter decorations.

I really enjoyed using the white colour palette to create my winter wonderland decorations, so I’m joining in the fun over at  Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their “Snow White” challenge.

As I used stamping on the Love Heart decoration for the white embossing, I’m pleased to join the “November Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included)” at the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge.

Inspired by Alison, I’m also pleased to be able to join PaperArtsy where the theme is “Shades of White”, thanks so much for inviting me to join in the fun!

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 these decorations:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tsukienki Memento Ink (Toffee Crunch)
  • Tsukienki Emboss Embossing Stamp Pad (Clear)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Diamond Background T-3335, Serpentine Background T-2773)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 clear stamp set (Musicality DCE907112)
  • Wilko (Luxury Gift Tags – Hearts)
  • Crelando Decorative Tape
  • Poundworld (Pearl Embellishments)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Decorative Chain 26253)
  • The Brighton Bead Company (Pearl and leaf strand)
  • The Works (Wooden Craft Words)
  • Bobbins
  • Recycled metal charm from old necklace
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Hollow Heart Shape Tags)
  • The Works (Wooden Frames CRO282/TW1)
  • The Works (Fairy Shapes)
  • The Handmade Paper Company (Nature’s Touch of Art – Leaves)
  • Wilko (Paper Twine)
  • Organza ribbon (White)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents