Mr. Finch

I’m really enjoyed creating the masculine page that I posted on Tuesday so I thought I would continue with the masculine theme and create a page with the additional inspiration of the goldfinches that we have seen a number of times this year, both in our garden and on our walks. So here’s my fun steampunk page which showcases the fabulous Mr. Finch (grin!).

I started by covering the page with Peeled Paint and Antique Linen Distress Ink using a blending tool and then spritzing the page with water to give a soft covering of colour. While the background was still wet I used a stamp from BoBunny to add the crackle texture mainly around the edges of the page using Hickory Smoke Distress Ink; the wet page blended the inks so the stamp looks smudged in places which I love. Then I used a stencil from Craft Sensations to add the numbers using Frayed Burlap Distress Ink and a blending tool. The black wheels are also stencilled using a Dina Wakley stencil from Ranger and I varied the depth of the Black Soot Distress Ink that I applied to give more of a distressed look and to add some dimension. I then splattered the page with the Black Soot Distress Ink using a paintbrush. The fountain pen and pocket watch are rub-on transfers by Royal and Langnickel and I also applied some leftover black letters from a Letraset transfer set to use them up. Next I fussy cut the roses from some design paper and stuck them in place, like all of the paper elements, using Liquitex matte gel medium.

For my steampunk Mr. Finch, I used a bird stamp from Stampendous, a Steampunk stamp set by Docrafts and black Archival Ink. I started by stamping the bird onto thick paper and fussy cutting it out, and then I distressed this image by covering it with some watered down white gesso using a baby wipe. Once dry I stamped the cog images over his breast and head and also a feather image over his back and wings to add more texture. I also stamped his steampunk style top hat and his wheels onto another piece of design paper; his wheels are from the Penny Farthing stamp which I stamped twice and then fussy cut out. I added three strips of music washi tape horizontally on the page and then I layered his wheels, body and hat together so Mr. Finch is rolling along one of these strips.

Inspired by seeing the goldfinches, I painted his cog design and added detail to his feathers using Iridescent Gold Liquitex Ink. As goldfinches also have red feathers on their heads that look like a mask, I also thought it would be fun to paint the goggles on his top hat with a Poppy Red Derwent Inktense pencil. I used a black Derwent marker, white gel pen and also the gold Liquitex Ink and red Inktense pencil to add further colour and detail to the design including his mask, hat, wheels and cogs. For his eye I added a black gem and coloured some of it white using a Uniball gel pen. Next I die cut three small labels using my Big Shot machine and stamped “Explore” using black Archival Ink. Once stuck in place, I coloured the edges using the red Inktense pencil and gold Liquitex Ink and then outlined them using a black Derwent marker and a white Uniball gel pen to frame the words, and then I embellished them with some round black brads. To finish, I splattered black and white DecoArt acrylic paint and also gold Liquitex Ink using a paintbrush over the page.

Here is one of the goldfinches that we saw on one of our walks along by the sand dunes, isn’t he magnificent!

If you are interested here are some facts about this bird:

  • There are just three species of goldfinches in the world – our European goldfinch, the widespread American goldfinch and Lawrence’s goldfinch which is found in the southwest USA.
  • The European goldfinch is a highly coloured finch with a bright red face and yellow wing patch.
  • They are very sociable birds, often seen in large groups and have a delightful liquid twittering song and call. The collective name for goldfinches is a charm and is derived from the old English c’irm which describes the birds’ twittering song.
  • The shape of their beak allows them to extract seeds from thistles and teasels.

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 Gill from gibbyfrogettcraftations who is hosting the Inspired by … challenge over at Art Journal Journey I took inspiration from seeing the goldfinches to create steampunk page.

With the focal image of Mr. Finch being created using different stamps, I’m happy to be able to join Stamping Sensations and their Anything Goes challenge.

I’m so pleased to join the lovely Maura who is on the design team and is co-hosting over at SanDee & amelie’s Steampunk Challenges this month for their Anything Goes – Steampunk/Industrial challenge.

Over at A Vintage Journey this month the challenge is Stencil It so I’m pleased to join this challenge with my goldfinch inspired page fits their challenge focus with its Steampunk and Mixed Media Style.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Written Word (add some text in some form) challenge over at Country View Challenges with stamped wording I added to this page.

I’m joining in the fun at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Anything But A Card challenge with Mr. Finch art journal page.

I’m also joining the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their June Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included) with my unique, one of a kind Mr. Finch.

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 (Peeled Paint, Antique Linen, Hickory Smoke, Frayed Burlap, Black Soot)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Liquitex Inks! (Iridescent Bright Gold)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencil (Poppy Red 0400)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black, White)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Ranger Dina Wakley Media Stencil (Wheels MDS45588)
  • BoBunny Stamp (Rough it up 12105155)
  • Stampendous Cling Rubber Stamps (Jumbo Songbird CRS5029)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 Clear Stamp Set (Steampunk DCE907125)
  • Spellbinders Nestabilities Card Creator (A-2 Fancy Ribbon Threader S5-135)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Journey MIN- CCS104)
  • American Crafts (DIY Shop)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Soft Colours CRO730/R, Authentic Vintage CRO730/R)
  • Royal & Langnickel Create-A-Collage Rub-on Transfers (Men’s Accessories #ROY-853)
  • Letraset Transfers (Helvetica Bold Condensed 5mm DCO251)
  • Hobbycraft (Assorted Black & White Decorative Tape 5971481007)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 175751)
  • Brads (Round Black)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
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Peacock Butterfly

This page is inspired by the beautiful Peacock butterfly that we saw whilst walking along the Lancaster canal.

I started by painting the page with Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint varying the tone of colour across the page by adding some Pébéo white gesso. When dry I stamped a pretty blossoms stamp from Stampendous over the page using black Archival Ink. Then I applied some Pébéo white gesso over the stamped blossoms and re-stamped them layering the image over the top to give the page more depth. I also stamped a Script stamp from Kaisercraft using the black Archival Ink again. Next I fussy cut some squares, rectangles and faux embroidered shapes from some design paper, edged them with a Black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and arranged them on the page using a UHU Stic with: a white doily; a postcard; cards depicting a Peacock Butterfly on the front and information about the butterfly on the back; and a lace flower. The letters for the “Peacock Butterfly” wording are fussy cut from some design paper and stuck in place using the UHU Stic too. I added lots of mini decorative pearls to the centre of the blossoms which finished the page.

This Peacock butterfly was sitting on a thistle by the canal and I always marvel at its patterned wings and beautiful iridescent colours.  If you are interested here are some fun facts about this butterfly:

  • Peacock butterflies are found in British Isles, Europe and temperate Asia as far east as Japan and are not the same genus as the “American Peacock butterfly”.
  • This butterfly is one of the larger species of butterflies with the males being smaller than the females. However males and females have the same wing patterns, so other than size they look exactly the same.
  • Peacock butterflies are easily to recognize by the beautiful purple eyespots on the hind wings and this specific colouration of their wings provides protection against predators by confusing or even scaring them away.
  • The edges of its wings are dark and look like dead leaves and the underside of its wings are a dull brown which ensures excellent camouflage when butterfly rests on the bark of the trees.
  • The Peacock butterfly is strong flyer and it can travel long distances. It has a nomadic instinct so instead of having a permanent home, it travels all the time.
  • The Peacock butterfly has a long lifespan, living for around 11 months.

By far my favourite fact is, that when viewed up-side down, the pattern of the Peacock’s wings resembles the face of an owl (grin!).

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m sharing our drink of ice-cold water that we always take on our walks – 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 Gill from gibbyfrogettcraftations who is hosting the Inspired by … challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my Peacock Butterfly inspired page.

I’m pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Written Word (add text in some form) challenge, which on this page includes the “Peacock Butterfly” wording that I created from the fussy cut letters and also the text from the Script stamp, postcard and Collectors Cards.

With it being the first Tuesday of the month, I’m pleased to join the Simply Neutrals Tuesday party over at Apple Apricot with my neutrals page.

Over at That’s Crafty! Challenge their challenge is A Stitch in Time so I’m happy to join them with the faux stitched embroidery and pretty crocheted lace flower that I used as part of my design for this art journal page.

I’m also joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Anything Goes challenge.

I’m also pleased to join the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their June Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included).

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 (Parchment)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Stampendous cling rubber stamp (Blossom Spray CRP136)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Travel Memories 154898)
  • The Works Design Pad (Classic Vintage CRO707/TW7)
  • Dovecraft Premium Paper Doilies (Painted Blooms DCDLS010)
  • Collectors Card (Butterflies & Roses)
  • The Works (Lace Flower Stickers)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Mini Decorative Stickers 22740)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Find Inspiration in Nature

My art journal pages are often inspired by nature which is why I chose the Flora and Fauna theme for this month over at Art Journal Journey. I had so much fun creating the background and steampunk vibe flowers for this page – I hope you like it too!

Taking inspiration from the beautiful red sunsets we see in nature, I started by covering the page in a mixture of Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red and Apricot Liquitex acrylic paint, varying the blending slightly to give different shades of colour. I added some torn book pages using Liquitex matte gel medium and some washi tapes, and then I applied a thin layer of the same acrylic paints over the top using my finger to achieve a translucent look. When dry, I applied some white DecoArt acrylic paint using a brayer and also a circular Worn Rings stamp from Gummiapan, making sure I washed the stamp as soon as I had finished so the paint didn’t dry and ruin it. I then splattered the whole page with black DecoArt acrylic paint using a paintbrush. The flowers are fussy cut from an old flower book that I found in a charity shop (thrift store) and arranged on the page with three stamps from the Vintage Circles Woodware Craft Selection Stamp Set using black Archival Ink. I used Liquitex matte gel medium to stick the flowers in place and once it was dry I outlined them with a black Derwent Graphik marker so that the stamping was incorporated into the flower design.

Both the fussy cutting and outlining took some time to complete and it really made a difference to the flowers as you can see on this before and after photo. The bees and wording which reads “Find inspiration in nature” are both Royal & Langnickel rub-on transfers and I added more detail to the bumblebees using a Derwent Graphik marker. To finish, I stamped some circles of white DecoArt acrylic paint using a bottle cap and added some more splatters of black DecoArt acrylic paint using a paintbrush.

Everytime we visit Garstang we see these beautiful metal flowers and the yellow ones reminded me those on my page today – aren’t they stunning!

I like that they stay in bloom all year round for us to enjoy, no matter what the weather … grin!

Challenges

I’m joining Art Journal Journey and the Flora and Fauna theme with my flowers and bees; there is just one more week to join in the fun (grin!). I’ve really enjoyed seeing all your fabulous creations that you have linked to this theme so far, thank you!

I’m pleased to join Moo Mania and More for their Even More Flowers challenge with my flowery page.

I’m joining Fashionable Stamping Challenges where the theme is Floral, which has been chosen by the lovely Avril, with my Vintage styled flowers, .

I really like the Vintage look of my new Woodware Stamp Set that I used on this page against the mixed media background which also included stamping, so I’m also pleased to join the Backgrounds challenge over at The Artistic Stamper.

Stamping Sensations challenge is Close to Nature so I’m very happy to be able to join them with my “Find inspiration in Nature” page.

I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Use More Than One Stamp challenge as I used more than one stamp to create this art journal page.

My page reminds me of a classical music piece called “Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nikoli Rimsky-Korsakov and I can just imagine my bees flying around my page to this music exploring the Steampunk Style world of flowers that I created, so I’m also joining A Vintage Journey for their Words and Music challenge.

With the stamping I used to create this art journal page, I’m also pleased to join the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their May Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included).

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 (Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Apricot)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White, Black)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm, 0.5mm)
  • Gummiapan Stamp (Worn Rings 2 11050601)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Magic Singles (Vintage Circles FRS665)
  • The Oxford Book of Garden Flowers
  • Quality Toys Group (Washi Tape 2544960)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (TIP1642G, Motivate Sentiments #ROY510, )
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Winter to Spring

I started this page sometime ago; it’s been sitting on my craft table these past three weeks waiting patiently for me, which is quite ironic given the quote I had chosen to use (grin!).

You may remember we had snow and storms during February/March despite the fact that spring should be just around the corner, which inspired my design.

I started by covering half of the page with a piece of paper depicting snowflakes from a design pad and the other half with a piece of magazine cover depicting cherry blossom, they are stuck into place using a UHU Stic. Then I stamped a star border from Dovecraft and also the “Winter” and “Spring” wording using an alphabet stamp set from Hampton Art and VersaMark Watermark stamp pad which I covered with Stampendous white embossing powder. I shook off the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper and also tapped the page to make sure any stray powder was removed. Then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder until the embossing powder melted to a glossy finish and became smooth and dimensional. Next I added some silver stars to the edges and centre of the page which are outline stickers. For the central image I used the VersaMark ink and white embossing powder again to add blossoms and snowflakes to the opposite sides of a piece of mixed media paper. Then I coloured the paper using Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean Distress Inks with a blending tool. I used my Big Shot to die cut a panel and some round shapes from this paper and also a smaller panel from an American Crafts design pad. I edged them all using the Distress Inks and a blending tool and also a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stamped an Art Deco lady in the centre of the smaller panel using black Archival Ink to represent Mother Nature. I also stamped the quote onto the leftover mixed media paper and cut the words out; they are edged with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck to the page using a UHU Gluepen. The quote is by Ralph Waldo Emerson and reads “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience”. To finish, I added some silver snowflakes, pink paper blossoms and clear jewel stickers to add some sparkle.

As you can see we didn’t get much snow during the storms. We live right by the sea and I think because of our location, being in a flat part of the country and surrounded on three sides by hills and mountains (Lake District, Pennines and Welsh Mountains) we miss out on the snow as it falls in those places before it gets to us. We found that Storm Emma was the worst thing with very high winds which increased the chill factor – brrrr!

With the cold weather of late and having been unwell with the flu, I have found myself wishing for warmer weather so let’s hope Spring is here soon!

Also I really appreciate all your kindness and get well wishes for my dad who is much better now, thank you!

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 Rosie from Rosie’s Bastelwelt who is hosting the Spring challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

With the focal images being stamped I’m also happy to be able to join Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their Springtime challenge.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Allsorts Challenge Blog and their Bring on the Bling challenge with my sparkly and blingy art journal page.

With all the pink blossoms on my art journal page, I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Floral Frenzy 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:

  • Tsukeniko VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Dovecraft Studio G Designer Clears Stamps (DCRS86)
  • Hampton Art Mini Wood Peg Rubber Stamps (Alphabet Set #1037)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Stampendous Cling Rubber Stamps (Blossom Spray CRP136)
  • BoBunny Stamps (Snow Day 13705563)
  • Craft Sensations Clear Stamps (CR0274/16PL4)
  • Spellbinders Nestabilities (Labels Thirty S5-157, Unknown)
  • Old Magazine
  • Poundland Design Pad (Pure Frozen CR0701/16PL4)
  • Crelando Relief Stickers (12 Sheets IAN289011)
  • The Works (Mini Paper Flower Embellishments)
  • The Works (Jewel Stickers)
  • The Works (Christmas Embellishments)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Mini Decorative Stickers)
  • UHU Stic
  • UHU Gluepen
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

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

Christmas Greetings!

I always look forward to Christmastime and I love sending cards to wish family and friends happiness and good cheer (grin!). I am very thankful when I receive cards too and have created a page to celebrate this by using some of the pretty Christmas postage stamps from the cards that I have received.

I started by stamping different postmarks and texts using Memento Inks to create the background for the page. The stamps included a set of The Works Clear Stamps, the Tropical Travelogue stamp set from Graphic 45 by Hampton Art, the Birdsong stamp set from 7 Gypsies also by Hampton Art and finally the Letters to Santa stamp set from Docrafts Papermania. The Memento Ink colours I used were Love Letters, Pistachio, London Fog and Teal Zeal. Next I cut the envelopes containing the postage stamps to shape, using a pair of scissors with a serrated edge, and stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. The silver frames and borders are outline stickers, some of which I coloured black using a Sharpie permanent marker and black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker.  I also added some postal mark outline stickers and embellished the postage stamps and frames using some snowflake and star stickers. Then I edged inside and around some of the frames using a Derwent Graphik marker and also around the edges of the page using the black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker. The red glitter star embellishments and small clear, red, and black gems finished the page.

You may have seen some of the Christmas cards I made this year in previous posts. I also make sweet treats to give to friends instead of Christmas cards. As you can see, I made quite a few bags this year which were for all our Love My Beach friends.

Each bag contains 3 pieces of Maltesers Fudge and a piece of Maltesers Tiffin (Maltesers are also known as Malt Balls).

I was curious to find out more about Christmas cards, if you’re interested here are the facts I discovered:

  • Sir Henry Cole and John Horsley invented the Christmas card in 1843 and sold them for a shilling. In 2000, an original Cole and Horsely’s card fetched £20,000 when it was auctioned in the UK which can be seen here.
  • A few years after the first card was made, the UK Parliament passed the Postal Act which allowed people to send letters and cards for just a penny.
  • Early Christmas cards tended to be flowers, fairies and exotic designs and rarely showed the religious or wintry scenes we see today.
  • In America, a German printer Louis Prang started mass producing cards in 1875 and until then, they were considered a luxury that only the rich could afford. By 1881, over 5 million cards were being produced every year in the US.
  • In Victorian England, the Post Office delivered cards on Christmas Day in the UK. Postmen were often known as robins because of their bright red uniforms and robins became a popular card Christmas card motif.
  • Every year in the UK alone, an estimated 1.8 billion Christmas cards are sent and received. The average UK household sends out about 50 cards each Christmas.
  • 45% of all cards sent are for Christmas but only 15% of these Christmas cards are bought by men.
  • Designing and making personal Christmas cards is one of the most popular craft hobbies in the UK.
  • An estimated £50 million is raised for charities by selling their Christmas cards each year.

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 Sheila from Orange Esmeralda who is hosting the “Let’s Celebrate” challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my celebration of Christmas Greetings!

I’m joining the “Christmas” fun over at Moo Mania & More and sending Christmas Greetings!

As the challenge over at Country View Challenges is “Christmas with optional Reds, Greens and Rust” I’m pleased to be able to join this challenge too.

Over at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge the theme is “Party!” so I’m pleased to join them with my Christmas Greetings celebration!

May this Christmas bring you love and joy. Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year!

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:

  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Love Letters, Pistachio, London Fog, Teal Zeal)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.5mm)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • The Works (Clear Stamps CRO274TW4)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies Vintage cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Docrafts Papermania Mini Clear Stamps (Letters to Santa PMA907917)
  • Docrafts Anita’s Outline Stickers (Postage Stamps Silver ANT810103, Straight Line Borders Silver ANT8101017)
  • Crelando Relief Stickers Christmas designs (12 Sheets IAN289011)
  • Christmas-Craft (Glitter Embellishments XRR0038)
  • Oaktree UK Eleganza Craft Stickers (3mm 418 Gems Red No. 16)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 175751)
  • UHU Stic

Star Light, Star Bright

I was delighted to win the “Not a card” challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge recently and I was even more delighted when the goodies that I bought with my prize voucher arrived. I couldn’t wait to use them all so I created this page to celebrate my new stash of 4 stamp sets, 2 single stamps and a book of label letters.

As part of my celebratory page, I also decided to incorporate the current Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge of “Star Light, Star Bright” and also their Wednesday Challenge “Anything Goes” showcasing Tim Holtz products, as well as their logo colours of gold, brown, turquoise and pink.

I started by creating a star template to use as a mask, having stuck the star mask onto the page I chose one of the texture stamps from BoBunny and also a sponge stamp from Finnabair, stamping them both using black Ranger Archival Ink. I then outlined each of the stars using the mask and a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker. I removed the mask and applied some Pébéo white gesso over the page to vary the tone of the background in readiness for the next layer of stamps and colour. Using the same black Archival Ink, I stamped three postage marks from the Rossi Belle stamp set onto the page and I also stamped two car “Component” stamp images by Tim Holtz onto a piece of white paper. I added them to each side of the page using a UHU Stic and cut off any excess paper so they fit the page. Next I applied Cracked Pistachio, Picked Raspberry and Ground Espresso Tim Holtz Distress Inks to the page using a blending tool, and also by diluting the ink on an acrylic block and pressing the block onto the page.

Star Light, Star Bright - close up

In the main I avoided getting these colours on the stars, however I wasn’t too worried as I thought any splashes of colour added to the grungy look of my page. I then coloured the stars using Fossilised Amber Distress Ink using it like you would watercolour; I did this by applying the ink to an acrylic block and using a paintbrush, varying the tone as I painted. I stamped a leaf silhouette by Simon Says Stamp and a berry branch by Inkadinkado using the same black Archival Ink. The wording is created using Label Letters from the Tim Holtz idea-ology collection and they are covered with Ranger Glossy Accents to give them a shine as the page is star themed. To finish, I also added some shine around the edge of the star and to the leaf silhouette and berries on the branches using the Glossy Accents again.

I’m so pleased to join my very dear friend Sheila from Orange Esmeralda who is hosting the “Let’s Celebrate” challenge over at Art Journal Journey, it’s a pleasure to  celebrate with you all (grin!).

I’m also joining in the fun over at Try it on Tuesday and their “Colourful” challenge with my bright starry page.

SSS win Oct 2017

Here’s the goodies that I ordered from Simon Says Stamp, I’m so pleased with all the products and I’m sure that I will be using them often – thank you so much!

When I saw the “Star Light, Star Bright” challenge title it immediately reminded me of the nursery rhyme:

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

So I based the wording I used on my page around this rhyme. If you are interested here’s some facts about this nursery rhyme:

  • The words allude to the superstition that you can wish upon a star.
  • It is believed to be of late 19th century American origin and reached Great Britain by the early twentieth century and is now known worldwide.
  • The rhyme is often read to children at bedtime.
  • “Star Light, Star Bright” is also part of the lyrics of Madonna’s 1983 single Lucky Star.

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)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Cracked Pistachio, Picked Raspberry, Ground Espresso, Fossilised Amber)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Homemade star mask
  • BoBunny Stamps (Rough It Up #12105155)
  • Prima Marketing Inc. Finnabair Clear Stamp (Sponge #961909)
  • Prima Marketing Inc. Clear Stamps (Rossi Belle #587499)
  • Tim Holtz Components Collections (COMO13CAR)
  • Simon Says Stamp Clear Stamp Set (Leaves And Scribbles SSS101445)
  • Inkadinkado Cling Stamps (Branches 65-32007)
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology (Label Letters #TH93072)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents