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

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

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

Beauty and the Beast

With my Birthday fast approaching, my hubby took me to the cinema to see the new live action Beauty and the Beast film as an early present. I loved the film and have been singing the songs ever since, so I created this page.

To represent the song lyrics and story, I stamped a Script stamp by Kaisercraft over the page using Rich Cocoa Memento Ink fading the image as it reached the bottom left hand corner by using secondary stamping. I then covered the whole page with a thin layer of white gesso to push the stamped image into the background. Choosing colours to depict the constant snowfall and candle glow from the castle scenes in the film, I diluted ink from a grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker by scribbling it onto an acrylic block and spritzing it with water, I then pressed and dragged the block horizontally across the page. I repeated the same technique using Paris Dusk and Pottery Clay Memento Inks. Next I stencilled more diluted Pottery Clay ink with a blending tool using a Swoosh mask by Creative Expressions. I stamped tree branches and cogs on the top of the page using Docraft clear stamp sets and the Rich Cocoa ink, these link to the castle grounds and also to Cogsworth who is one of the enchanted characters. The cutlery, chains and other images are paper cut from a Vintage Classic Design Pad by The Works and I stuck them to the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. I added some sparkly swirls, dots and flowers using gold Glitterations outline stickers. Using the same stickers, I outlined a picture which I cut from the Cinema booklet and my cinema ticket which I coloured using Spectrum Aqua markers and stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic.  To finish I fussy cut a rose that I had stamped on some of the same Vintage paper using Burgundy and Moss Spectrum Aqua markers and coloured the image further by pulling some of the colour from the stamp outline using a wet paintbrush. All of these elements remind me of the cutlery, china and rose in the film.

As we were out at the cinema, I’m pleased to be able to join Yvonne from Meggy’s Way’s theme “Out and About” over at Art Journal Journey.

Our local cinema is independently run and not part of a chain. It is situated on the beach front and has 4 screens. It’s quite small, but with only 6 rows of seats, it has a great atmosphere, we really enjoyed the film. At less than half the price of a multi-plex screening, there is plenty left for popcorn!

To tie in with the film, my hubby surprised me with these lovely roses too! He knows how much I love the story; we have seen the animated film many times and we’ve even been to see the Broadway Musical when it came to London, which was amazing! My favourite song has to be “Little Town”, it’s the opening number in the film and I’m always singing the lines that Belle sings about her book:

“Oh, isn’t this amazing?
It’s my favourite part because — you’ll see
Here’s where she meets Prince Charming
But she won’t discover that it’s him
‘Til chapter three!”

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
  • Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa. Paris Dusk, Potters Clay)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Desert, Slate, Burgandy, Moss)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Swoosh)
  • Docrafts A6 clear stamp set (Build a Tree DCE907130)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 clear stamp set (Steampunk DCE907125)
  • Unknown wood mounted rubber stamp (Rose)
  • The Works Design Pad (Classic Vintage CRO707/TW7)
  • Docrafts Papermania Giltterations (Gold Flowers ANT8181020)
  • Anita’s Giltterations (Frame Circle – Gold ANT8181028)
  • UHU Stic

A Walk in the Park

To celebrate my mum’s birthday this month, she chose to go to Stanley Park where there is an Art Deco Café called “Parks” for a light lunch. We had a lovely time and I wanted to capture our visit as well as my mum’s favourite spring flowers namely daffodils, tulips and iris which I always buy and arrange for her as part of her birthday present.

Firstly I added three strips of plasterboard/drywall tape to the page and applied Blueprint Sketch, Twisted Citron and Hickory Smoke Distress Inks with a blending tool. I wanted the tape to act like a stencil so I removed it revealing a white grid pattern. I stamped a tree stamp by Art Impressions using Rich Cocoa Memento Ink and then I used an A6 Docrafts stamp set to stamp a bigger tree onto my page as well as a piece of brown patterned paper from a Design Pad. I cut out the tree from the paper using the stamp outline to guide me and positioned it over the tree I had stamped on the page using a UHU Stic. On the bottom of the page I added the daffodils, iris and tulips that my mum loves so much, I cut the flower shapes from pieces of napkin which then melted into the page when I used Liquitex Matte Gel Medium to stick them down. Next I added the names of the flowers and the month which are rub-on transfers. The wooden frames are from Poundland and I created different pictures to remind me of our day out together. I filled one with the same napkin flowers, another with the logo of the café we visited which is from a leaflet I collected whilst we were there and the last one with a piece of card that I stamped with a recurring “Happy Birthday” using black Archival Ink. I embellished each one with a strip of green ribbon and a mini gel star sticker and stuck the framed picture to the page using Glossy Accents. To finish I covered the tree with cherry blossom flowers and dotted some fallen petals amongst the spring flowers, these are mini gel stickers and depict the lovely pink blossom we saw whilst we were in the park.

As we were “Out and About” celebrating my mum’s birthday, I’m pleased to be able to join Yvonne from Meggy’s Way over at Art Journal Journey.

I thought you may like join in our celebration; this is the view as we walked though Stanley Park which is in Blackpool. Visiting the park brings back many fond memories from my childhood because we use to visit regularly to feed the ducks at the lake, walk the paths to see the different gardens and, possibly my favourite thing in the world when I was young, to jump up and down on the outside trampolines.

This time we went to the Italian Gardens which is situated in the centre of the park and has many flower beds, a large number of benches and a central fountain made from Italian marble which is surround by sea horses.

There are great columns and a number of statues in this garden, this includes a pair beautiful of Medici Lions situated either side of the steps that lead to the café. I used to stand and look at them in awe when I was a child, they are so magnificent!

The “Parks” café overlooks the Italian Gardens and was built in a traditional art deco style. It is an imposing building and a focal point of the park.

The inside of the café is so beautiful; it is such an elegant setting with its original art deco features and palm trees.  The menu of breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea seems a bit pricey to me but the quality of the food is excellent.

We all had the most delicious ham and cheese toastie for lunch and I had a ginger beer whilst my parents both had coffee. As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and wishing you all a Happy T Day!

These are the flowers I bought for my mum and arranged in a lovely metal jug, she loves the combination of the yellow daffodils, red tulips and blue iris – don’t they look bright and cheery!

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 (Blueprint Sketch, Twisted Citron, Hickory Smoke)
  • Memento Ink (Rick Cocoa)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Dark Sepia 175 B)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (P-1398)
  • Docrafts A6 clear stamp set (Build a tree  DCE907130)
  • Crafter’s Companion Vintage Floral Collection Acrylic Stamp (Floral Sentiments VF-ST-FSENT)
  • Napkin from a café
  • Poundland Design Pad (Changing Seasons CRO701/16PL1)
  • Parks Art Deco Café leaflet
  • 151Adhesives Plasterboard & Drywall Tape
  • Home Bargains (Mini Gel Stickers 30287)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Sentiments (Spring Sentiments #ROY-506 Rub-on)
  • Poundland A Beautiful Life collection (Wooden Frames LCWDN001)
  • Green ribbon
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Gluepen
  • The Range double-sided tape

Visiting Paris

I have happy memories of visiting Paris in the springtime. It’s such a beautiful place and so romantic, it has many iconic landmarks and the most wonderful patisseries. So with Paris as my inspiration, I’m pleased to be able to join this month’s theme “Out and About” being hosted by Yvonne from Meggy’s Way over at Art Journal Journey.

I chose some of my favourite colours of green and blue to create the background using Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers and Peeled Paint Distress Inks. I applied the ink pad directly to an acrylic block, and then I sprayed it with water and pressed the block onto my page. I filled in any white gaps with watered down Chipped Sapphire ink using a paint brush. I then stamped a Serpentine background using the Chipped Sapphire ink, some small script stamps using the Peeled Paint ink and some postage mark stamps using Jet Black Archival Ink. Then I added fine splatters of white and black acrylic paint using a paint brush. I stencilled Texture Paste using a Wheels Stencil from Ranger by Dina Wakley Media, and because the inks bleed into the wet paste and colour it, I had to paint the wheels with white acrylic paint when the paste had fully dried in order to give it a clean white finish. I used paper from a design pad, choosing two different designs which reminded me of French design wallpapers and cut them to the various sizes. I distressed the edges with pinking shears and applied Black Soot Distress Ink with a blending tool. The Paris images and postage stamps are Stickeroos from Penny Black, and once the stickers where in place I stuck everything to the page using a UHU Stic and double-sided foam tape. I embellished the papers and images with a black rhinestone frame border and then to mimic this frame effect and lighten the page, I continued the dots around the edge using white acrylic paint which I painstakingly applied with an embossing tool; I really like the 3D effect. I added the word “Paris” which is from the same Penny Black Stickeroo set; I stuck them to some card first before sticking them to the page, outlining them with a black Uni Pin marker and adding the white dots. To finish the page I added clusters of green gemstones on both the background and the images.

We visited Paris as a special birthday treat and I remember the magical Eiffel Tower with its wonderful iron lattice-work. It looks so spectacular all lit up and twinkling, apparently there are 20,000 light bulbs which are used to make the Eiffel Tower sparkle every night.  Today almost 7 million people a year visit the Eiffel Tower and it’s believed to be the most visited paid-for monument in the world.

The metal work is so beautiful and the tower stands at 324 metres (1063 feet) tall including antennas. I was amazed to find out that it comprises 18,000 metal parts which are joined together by 2.5 million rivets, it sways around six to seven centimetres (2-3 inches) in the wind, during cold weather the tower shrinks by about 15cm (six inches) and that it takes 60 tonnes of paint to repaint it every seven years.

The Arc De Triomphe is magnificent; it stands at the end of the Champs-Élysées and looks such a powerful structure. It is 50 metres (164 ft) high, 45 metres (148 ft) wide and 22 metres (72 ft) deep. We found out that it was built to honour those who fought for France especially during the Napoleonic wars. In fact, the construction was ordered in 1806 by Napoleon himself to honour the Grande Armee, the name of the French army at that time. It was completed in 1836, long after Napoleon’s death in 1821.

I remember standing under the monument looking up at all the amazing carvings; it was so ornate and pays tribute to the wars fought as well as those who fought in them.

You wouldn’t believe the number of patisseries that are dotted around the streets of Paris! They all sell the most amazing sweet treats – yum! There is so much choice and they had the most lovely chocolates and Easter eggs too!

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 (Peacock Feathers, Peeled Paint, Chipped Sapphire )
  • Ranger Archival (Jet Black)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Ivory Black)
  • Colvin & Co Artists’s Acrylic (White Titanium)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Ranger Texture Paste
  • Art Impressions wood mounted stamp (Serpentine Background T-2773)
  • The Works (Clears Stamps CR0274/TW3)
  • Ranger Dina Wakley Media Stencil (Wheels MDS45588)
  • The Works 12×12 Paperstack  (Vintage Experience)
  • Penny Black Stickeroos (Je Taime #10-199)
  • Hobbycraft (Rhinestone Stickers Green)
  • Hobbycraft (Black & White Frame Adhesive Gem Design)
  • Decorative Scissors (Zig Zag)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Birthday Wishes

Many of my friend’s birthdays are in February and March, so I currently find myself busy making birthday cards. I often like some of my card designs so much that I create a larger version in my art journal too. Here is one of those pages and I’m sending those of you who are celebrating your birthday this time of year – Happy Birthday Wishes!

birthday-wishes-ajp-1

The background was created exactly the same way as my card by using Festive Berries and Abandoned Coral Distress Inks. I blotted the ink pad directly on an acrylic block, spritzed it with water, and then I pressed the block or dripped the ink onto my page. I wanted a mottled effect so I built up the layers of colour gradually. As I had more space on my journal page, I also concentrated the colour on the right hand side of the page fading to white on the left. I then sectioned my page using masking tape and I stamped a Script stamp by Kaisercraft and Serpentine Background stamp by Art Impressions using black Archival Ink, alternating the designs. This masking technique also worked really well on the card and it was a fun technique to try. Again I made sure the stamping faded out as it reached the right hand side of the page to leave white space. I added some torn cherry blossom card to the edges of the page using Winsor & Newton Matt Gel to stick it down. This card is from a luxury topper set called Eastern Promise by Hunkydory. I also fussy cut the lanterns from the same card and stuck them down using double-sided foam tape. The gold flowers are outline stickers and the circles with various oriental style images are from the same topper set, which I attached using double-sided tape. I added little gold butterflies, blue gemstones and the name of my friend and her birth date to finish the page.

With the shades of red I used for the background, I’m pleased to be able to join this month’s theme of “Fifty Shades of Red” being hosted by Linda over at Art Journal Journey.

card

At this point I was hoping to show you my inspiration; the thing is, I forgot to take a photo of my original card – oops! So to give you an idea, here’s another card I made which looks very similar, although I used a totally different colour palette. In actual fact, my journal page stayed true to my original card design; as well as using my friend’s favourite colours of red and coral, I used the same background stamp designs and masking technique, the same gold flowers and butterflies, similar lantern topper decorations and gemstones, and the lovely cherry blossom card was used to create the interior of the birthday card.

cake

For another friend, who lives locally, I made a birthday cake too; it’s a Victoria sponge filled with strawberry jam and butter cream then covered in sugar paste fondant icing, all of which is homemade, and the little daisy flowers are edible wafers. It was so funny when I delivered it as her hubby answered the door, he really loves cake and his eyes lit up when he saw the box. So I’m not really sure how much cake she got to eat herself (grin!).

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 (Festive Berries, Abandoned Coral)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted stamp (Serpentine Background T2773)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS572)
  • Hunkydory Luxury Topper Collection (Eastern Promise EAST104)
  • Magenta Style outline stickers (Gold 0501)
  • Docrafts Antia’s Outline Stickers (Wistful Wings Gold ANT810131)
  • Poundland  (504 Gems)
  • Wilko (Blue Masking Tape – Low tac)
  • Winsor & Newton (Matt Gel)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape