Dancing Dragonflies

With the hot sunny days we have been enjoying of late, my page captures light and shade with colourful dragonflies dancing over the water.

I always love to experiment and try different techniques so I had a play around with acrylic paints and stamping to create the background which was fun, therefore my page also serves as a reminder of our 10th Birthday Party at Try it on Tuesday where I hope that you will join in the celebrations and share the art you love to create too!

I started by painting the background with Swedish Blue, Navy, Christmas Green and Cadmium Yellow Liquitex acrylic paint horizontally across the page using a paintbrush. Then I had fun applying the paints again using a scrunched up baby wipe, dabbing the paint onto the page to create light and shade. I stamped some background foliage at the top and bottom of the page which included a reed stamp from Gumpanian using Rich Cocoa Memento Ink, a foliage stamp from Eco Green Crafts using Peeled Paint Distress Ink, and leaves from Simon Says Stamp using Pine Needles and Twisted Citron Distress Ink. To add extra depth, I die cut some Tim Holtz thinlets out of a black patterned paper stock; they are edged with Black Soot Distress Ink and a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck into place in the foreground using a Zig Memory System glue pen. Next I added all the dragonflies which are rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel and some small gems to add a little sparkle which finished the page.

Today we are revisiting the Tolkien Trail on a sunshiny day; this walk is called the Toilkien Trail as J.R.R Tolkien stayed in the area whilst writing The Lord of the Rings. It’s a lovely walk with beautiful views of the English countryside and it is said that the author was influenced by  the landscape around Stonyhurst College where he wrote his book. For example a number of names which occur in ‘The Lord of The Rings’ are similar to those found locally including Shire Lane (in Hurst Green) and River Shirebourn (similar to the family name which built Stonyhurst).

J.R.R. Tolkien was renowned for his love of nature and wooded landscapes and this walk takes you though some beautiful woodland. Here we are walking down over one of the many bridges that we encountered along the way …

… and I think Gollum may live under this bridge (grin!).

We walked along the river a few times on the walk, it was so magical and I can just imagine dragonflies dancing over the water during summer too (grin!).

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. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Erika from the blog BioArtGal  and her In the Sky/In the Air challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my Dancing Dragonflies page.

I’m pleased to be able to join the Opposites challenge over at Country View Challenges with the “light” and “shade” depicted on my art journal page.

I’m happy to join in the fun over at Creative Artiste Challenge Blog and their Creative Artiste’s #49th Challenge: Anything Mixed Media Goes with my mixed media art journal page (which included acrylic, inks, papers, markers and rub-ons).

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 (Swedish Blue, Navy, Christmas Green, Cadmium Yellow Medium)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Peeled Paint, Pine Needles, Twisted Citron, Black Soot)
  • Tsukineko Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Gummiapan Stamp (Reed Plant 14091107)
  • Simon Says Stamp Clear Stamp Set (Leaves And Scribbles SSS101445)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Stamps (Petal Party)
  • Sizzix Thinlets Tim Holtz Alterations (Garden Greens 661206 , Wildflowers 661190)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (ROY1643G)
  • The Works (Rhinestone Flowers)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
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Books

My art journal page was inspired by books, things with wings and some of my favourite quotes about books. I had in mind creating an aged and old look design for this page and also had fun trying out some old and new techniques too!

I started by using one of my favoured techniques to create the wood grain effect background by sprinkling Sandstone, Terracotta, Yellow Ochre and Dark Brown Colourcraft Brusho powders onto the page and applying Liquitex matte gel medium over the top using a paintbrush. The gel medium was watered-down so it was easier to apply and I ensured that I dragged the paintbrush horizontally across the page to create the wood grain; I left it to dry overnight. The book spines are fussy cut from wallpaper and are stuck into place using the matte gel medium. All the book spines were white originally so I coloured them with Cold Grey, Dark Sepia and Sanguine Faber-Castell Big Brush Markers, smudging the ink with my finger, to give them an old and worn look. Then I added detail to the spines and outlined them using a black Uni Pin marker and a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker to add shadows around and under the books. The butterflies and moths are Crowded Attic Salvage Stickers and the three white blocks of wording are Small Talk Stickers, both from the Tim Holtz idea-ology collection. I chose wording that I thought related to books, they read “be amazed”, “live, create, tell the story” and “stay curious”.

I had fun making the small booklet, a first for me (grin!). I cut some old diary pages to size, stamped script on them using a Kaisercraft stamp and black Archival Ink, aged them around the edges using Old Paper Distress Ink and a blending tool, folded the paper in half and then bound them together using thick thread down the centre. I stuck a cover on the front of the booklet which was fussy cut from a Kaisercraft glossy paper, it reads “Once upon a time…”. The booklet is stuck onto the page using double sided tape.

I stuck two of the inside pages together to make them more sturdy so I could add some of my favourite book quotes along with some embellishments. The quotes are stamped using an alphabet stamp from Dovecraft and black Archival Ink and I coloured the letters using Fawn, Boulder and Topaz Spectrum Aqua markers. The first quote reads “Between the pages of a book is a wonderful place to be” and I added an Anthology die cut shape from Kaisercraft which reads “ Today’s Story”.

The second quote is by Neil Gaiman and reads “A book is a dream you hold in your hand”. I used the same Kaisercraft glossy paper to fussy cut the word “dream” which I folded so that the booklet closes, and stuck in place using a UHU Stic.

The third quote reads “Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything” and I added a little butterfly to the bottom right-hand corner.

This page reminds me of Blackpool Central Library, which I have featured before in a previous post, that dates back to 1911 and was built in the Edwardian Baroque style.

The entrance is spectacular with the staircases running either side of the domed roof.

It is such a beautiful airy space and …

… the butterflies and “Once upon a time…” on my page remind me of two of the amazing stained glass windows that can be found in the library too (grin!).

Challenges

I’m pleased to join the lovely Erika from the blog BioArtGal  and her In the Sky/In the Air challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the butterflies and moths that I included on this page.

Over at A Vintage Journey, the theme is Book It! and I’m very pleased to be able to join this challenge too with my Book inspired art journal page, I had so much fun creating the book spines and small book for this Mixed Media style art journal page.

With the butterflies and moths I added to the page, this is also a reminder that you still have until next Tuesday to join our Things with Wings Challenge over at Try it on Tuesday too, it would be lovely to see you there!

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:

  • Colourcraft Brushos (Sandstone, Terracotta, Yellow Ochre, Dark Brown)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233, Dark Sepia 175 B, Sanguine 188 B, Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Old Paper)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Markers (Fawn, Boulder, Topaz)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Wallpaper sample
  • Recycled paper from diary
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology Salvage Stickers (Crowded Attic #TH92898)
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology Stickers (Small Talk #TH93193)
  • Kaisercraft Collectables (Anthology CT938)
  • Kaisercraft Sticker Sheet (Fly Free SS289)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • Stix2 double-sided tape

Opposites for Country View Challenges

I’m so pleased and honoured to be Guest Designer over at Country View Challenges for their Opposites challenge this month. Opposites could be night and day, hot and cold or up and down etc. Both parts of the ‘theme’ should be included in the project which could either be one single item (like my art journal page) or a pair (like two ATCs depicting the two opposites).

I found this theme very inspiring and created an art journal page which features Colour versus Black & White with both of these featuring on my page.

I started by drawing a pencil line to divide the page and then to create my colour background I painted Kuretake watercolours onto the right-hand side of the page by applying water first then painting Red Madder, Turquoise Blue, Colbalt Violet and Sap Green over the top.

Once dry I used three stencils from Creative Expressions to apply Blueprint Sketch, Twisted Citron and Picked Raspberry Distress Inks using a blending tool over the top of the watercolour paint. I mirrored the stencilling on the left-hand side of the page by turning the stencil over and applying Black Soot Distress Ink using a blending tool which created my black and white background.

I stamped two flowers from the Flower Garden Tim Holtz stamp set onto a book page using black Archival Ink. I coloured one of the flowers using the same watercolour paints and Distress Inks that I used to colour the background, as well as Lemon Yellow watercolour paint for the centre of the flower.

I placed the flowers on the opposite page using a Zig Memory System glue pen to stick them down along with the “Colour” and “Black & White” wording which I created using a labelling machine, colouring the “Colour” one using the watercolour paint; this finished the page.

I hope that you are inspired by this month’s Opposites challenge too and are able to join in the fun! Don’t forget that there is also a chance to win a £20 voucher for the Country View Crafts shop if you do and for more inspiration please check out the amazing creations from the Design Team over at Country View Challenges.

In February, I was delighted to win and also to be awarded Design Team Member’s Special Mention for the art journal pages that I entered into the Black & White Plus One challenge at Country View Challenges.

I can’t wait to play with these new crafting goodies that I purchased from Country View Crafts shop with the £20 voucher that I won – thanks very much!

I have really enjoyed spending time with you today and I’d like to say a special thank you to Country View Challenges for giving me the opportunity to design for them!

Thanks so much! 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:

  • Kuretake Gansai Tambi Japanese Watercolour Paint set (Rose Madder, Sap Green Light, Turquoise Blue, Colbalt Violet, Lemon Yellow)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Blueprint Sketch, Twisted Citron, Picked Raspberry, Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Creative Expressions Mini Stencils (Ornamental, Graduated Grid, Heart Cluster)
  • Tim Holtz Collection Stamper Anonymous (Flower Garden CMS215)
  • Tim Holtz Stamp Platform from Tonic Studios
  • Pears Cyclopaedia 2007-2008 Edition
  • Dymo Letratag Personal Label Maker with white paper labels
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (Dual Action Glue Pen)

Things with Wings

Over at Try it on Tuesday our new challenge for the next two weeks is Things with Wings, so we would like to see birds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, planes, fairies or something else with wings on your creations.

The Design Team have created some amazing inspirational pieces for you, so please pop over to our blog and take a look. I decided to go for a steampunk vibe and create time flying across my page by adding some colourful wings to some clocks – I hope you like it!

As there are lots of spring blossoms around at the moment I started this page by stamping a pretty blossom spray stamp from Stampendous using black Versafine Ink which I covered with black Papermania embossing powder and then melted with a heat gun to give a glossy finish. Then I had fun painting the page using Kuretake watercolour paints; I used Rose Madder and Sap Green for the blossoms and then Ultramarine and Turquoise Blue for the sky. Next I stamped the letters so they swept across the page from the bottom right-hand corner using a Carabelle Studio stamp and black Archival Ink. I created the butterfly clocks by using a clock from Kaisercraft Collectables, cutting clock faces from a Tim Holtz Pocket Card and adding butterfly wings from some 3D butterflies die cut shapes; they are all edged with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck in place using double-sided tape. To finish, I added the words which are Remnant Rubs from Tim Holtz, they read “brave”, “don’t forget to fly”, “wander” and “go where your heart take you”.

As palmiers are also known as butterfly wings (like on my page) I’m sharing my special birthday treat which is actually two palmiers sandwiched together with cream and strawberry jam – yum! As I enjoyed it with a cup of cinnamon orange Ceylon tea, I’m joining the T Gang over at T Stands for Tuesday– 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 the lovely Wendy from Wendy’s Art and Craft Journal  and her Having Fun challenge over at Art Journal Journey as it was fun adding wings to clocks to create this page.

I’m joining the Spring Fever challenge over at Moo Mania & More with the spring blossoms on this page.

I’m also happy to join in the Easter and/or Spring challenge over at Country View Challenges with my spring blossoms.

I’m pleased to join in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Anything Goes challenge too.

I’m also pleased to join the Flowers/Garden challenge over at Paperbabe Stamps with my spring blossom art journal page – thanks Tracey!

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:

  • Tsukineko Versafine Ink (Onyx Black)
  • Papermania Embossing Powder (Black PMA4021006)
  • Kuretake Gansai Tambi Japanese Watercolour Paint set (Rose Madder, Sap Green Light, Ultramarine Pale, Ultramarine, Turquiose Blue)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Stampendous cling rubber stamp (Blossom Spray CRP136)
  • Carabelle Studio Art Stamp (Background avec des letters SA60233)
  • Kaisercraft Collectables (Anthology CT938)
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology (Pocket Cards #TH93208)
  • The Works (Make your own 3D butterflies)
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology Remnant Rubs (Special Delivery #TH93188)
  • Stix2 double-sided tape

Everything has beauty

I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend; here in the UK we have a four-day holiday for Easter and we have had some glorious weather, so we’ve been spending time visiting with friends, in the garden and out on our tandem (grin!).

As part of our ongoing garden project, this week we started landscaping the back beds of our garden so my page today reflects nature and earthy colour tones as I took inspiration from all the dirt we have been shovelling (grin!) along with the brick wall colours that we have been exposing and the birds that we have seen in our garden too – I hope you like it!

For my grungy background, I started by covering the page with Chestnut, Boulder, Dessert, Fawn and Topaz Spectrum Aqua markers by scribbling each of the inks onto a blending mat, spritzing with water and pressing the mat onto the page. Then I stencilled a Vintage Diamond stencil from Creative Expressions and Black Soot Distress Ink and added some pieces of decoupage paper using Liquitex matte gel medium. I used a palette knife to add some Pébéo white gesso over the page and once dry, I edged the decoupage pieces using a Dark Sepia Faber-Castell Big Brush marker smudging the ink with my finger. Then I stamped a Script stamp from Kaisercraft and also a grid patterned homemade stamp using black Archival Ink. I splattered the page with the Dark Sepia Faber-Castell Big Brush Marker ink by scribbling it onto an acrylic block, spritzing with water and dripping it onto the page. Then I used black Archival Ink to stamp the bird on the branch which is part of the Urban Tapestries stamp set from Tim Holtz and also the flowers in the foreground which is from a Carabelle Studio stamp set. To finish, I added two Small talk stickers from Tim Holtz and edged them using a black Uni Pin marker; they read “live gently on the earth” and “everything has beauty”.

I had a cuppa with friends at Bijou of Lytham last week, it’s a pretty place and I had a wonderful time catching up with some friends – here’s my pot of drinking green tea …

… and my friend’s hot chocolate with all the works (marshmallows and cream) – as T Stands for Tuesday I’m wishing the T Gang a very 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. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Wendy from Wendy’s Art and Craft Journal  and her Having Fun challenge over at Art Journal Journey as I had fun using all the different mediums to create this page.

I’m happy to join the Neutral Zone challenge over at A Vintage Journey with my grungy Mixed Media Style page.

I’m also pleased to be able to join in the fun over at Creative Artiste Challenge Blog, and their Creative Artiste’s #48th Challenge  – Anything Mixed Media Goes challenge with the different mixed media (markers, inks, decoupage paper, gesso) I used to create my art journal page.

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 Markers (Chestnut, Boulder, Dessert, Fawn, Topaz)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Dark Sepia 175 B)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Creative Expressions Mini Stencils (Vintage Diamond CEMSDIAM)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Homemade Wood Mounted Stamp – plasterboard tape
  • Tim Holtz Collection Stampers Anonymous (Urban Tapestry CMS061)
  • Carabelle Studio Art Stamp (SA60175 Dans la nature, il y a …)
  • Trimcraft (Decoupage papers SCDEC025)
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology (Small Talk #TH93193)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Flower Bowl

It was my birthday last week and my hubby surprised me with a trip to the cinema at The Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre. It wasn’t any ordinary cinema either, all the seats are sofas so you can put your feet up, relax and watch a movie just like you do at home – it was amazing!

As flowers feature heavily at The Flower Bowl, my design focuses on them. To start I covered the whole page with a Botanical Collage Paper from Tim Holtz using a glue stick. Once the glue was dry, I coloured the flowers and leaves using Spectrum Aqua markers blending and shading the inks with a wet paintbrush, the colours included: Begonia, Blossom, Jasmine, Peach, Spice, Marigold, Sunflower, Lime and Meadow for the flowers and Bud Green, Moss and Leaf Green for the leaves. Next I fussy cut some flowers from a leaflet and some wallpaper samples, edged them all with a Cold Grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and layered them around the edge of the page using a glue stick. To finish, I cut the wording from a leaflet that I picked up when we visited The Flower Bowl, edged it with the Cold Grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck it in place using double-sided tape.

I’m pleased to join the lovely Wendy from Wendy’s Art and Craft Journal  and her Having Fun challenge over at Art Journal Journey as my page represents the fun that we had at The Flower Bowl.

The Flower Bowl is Lancashire’s newest and probably most unusual leisure venue; it offers a range of activities and has a grass-covered roof.

The reception area is magical with the pretty fairy light trees.

We visited the cinema and saw a comedy called “Fighting with the family” which was based on a true story about wrestling. This cinema has three screens which are named after leading ladies and each one has its own unique style; ours was called Uma Thurman with a plush pink interior. The luxurious, sofa-style seating was so comfortable and both the film and cinema were fabulous!

The attention to detail throughout the complex is outstanding, even the basins in the toilet/restrooms are beautiful ceramic flowers.

As well as the cinema there is also crazy golf, ten-pin bowling and curling. We watched the curling whilst enjoying a chocolate ice cream and a banana milkshake so I’m sharing our drink with the T gang over at T Stands for Tuesday – 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:

  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Begonia, Blossom, Jasmine, Peach, Spice, Marigold, Sunflower, Lime, Meadow, Bud Green, Moss, Leaf Green)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology Tissue Paper (Botancial #TH93705)
  • Recycled Leaflets
  • Wallpaper Sample
  • UHU Stic
  • Stix2 double-sided tape

The Spring

I always like to experiment and try out new design ideas when I create my art journal pages, so with a few Blog Challenges in mind I created this neutral coloured page to depict spring – I hope you like it!

I started by covering the page with Neutral Gray and Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint using a paintbrush. Then I layered some paper scraps, sheet music and some pretty script paper together; I ripped some of the edges to give them a grungy look, edged them all using a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck them in place using a glue stick. Next I added two pieces of Collage Paper from Tim Holtz and then I splattered the whole page with the Neutral Gray and Parchment Liquitex acrylic paints and also some black DecoArt acrylic paint. To finish, I added the three birds and “The Spring” wording which are fussy cut from a couple of leaflets and also three white embellishments.

It was my birthday last week and I received some wonderful gifts, including the pretty white embellishments that I used on this page. They were a birthday gift off my sister along with some other crafting goodies and old sheet music that I remember her playing when I was young (grin!).

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. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

I’m happy to join the Neutral Zone challenge over at A Vintage Journey with my Mixed Media Style page.

I’m happy to be able to join the Easter and/or Spring challenge over at Country View Challenges with my spring page.

I’m also joining the lovely Wen and her Simply Neutrals Tuesday party over at Apple Apricot with my neutral coloured page.

As I used more than three mediums (including acrylic paint, TH tissue paper and leaflets), I’m pleased to be join in the fun over at Creative Artiste Challenge Blog and their Creative Artisite Challenge #48 – Anything Mixed Media 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:

  • Liquitex Heavy Body Acrylic (Neutral Gray)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology Collage Paper (Halloween #TH93727)
  • Paper scraps
  • Script paper
  • Recycled leaflets
  • White embellishments
  • UHU Stic
  • Stix2 double-sided tape and mini glue dots