Nature’s Beauty

Our new challenge at Try it on Tuesday is Nature’s Beauty and the Design Team have some amazing inspiration for you, whether it is flowers, plants, animals or scenes of nature.

My art journal page today is a scene capturing the peacefulness and serenity of dragonflies over water, which for me, encapsulates nature’s beauty.

I started by painting diluted Shabby Shutters and Salty Ocean Distress Ink onto the background by stamping the ink pad onto an acrylic block and applying it to the page with a paintbrush to create a watercolour effect. Then I used a Distressed Dots stencil from That Special Touch of Mica Masks by Creative Expressions to apply Mowed Lawn and Chipped Sapphire Distress Inks using a blending tool. I stamped some foliage using an Eco Green stamp set made from recycled rubber and a Tan Spectrum Aqua Marker. Then I added some Pébéo modelling paste using the Distressed Dot stencil to add more dimension and when the paste was dry, coloured it with Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint. I fussy cut the grasses, leaves and iris from a wallpaper sample and stuck them onto the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. To add more detail and definition I doodled outlines on them with a black Uni Pin marker and white Uniball gel pen, then added some shadows using a Slate Spectrum Aqua Marker. The dragonflies are rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel and I positioned them so that one is sitting on a leaf and the other is flying off into the distance. I stamped some bees from a Graphic 45 stamp set by Hampton Art using black Archival Ink and coloured them using a yellow Spectrum Aqua marker. To finish, I added two stickers with the words “peaceful” and “serenity” which I thought captured the scene; they are edged with the Tan Spectrum Aqua marker and stuck in place using double-sided tape.

As it is T for Tuesday, I’m sharing the enjoyable time that we had at the local Pavilion Café in Ashton Gardens with our friends. Ashton Gardens is a municipal park which was established in 1874, it is situated in the centre of St. Anne’s on the Sea and is a lovely place to explore with its various display gardens including the most beautiful Rose Garden. The café building is a replica of the former bowling club pavilion known as the Ashton Institute.

This café always has a yummy array of cakes to choose from …

… and there is lovely art displayed on the walls which you can buy if you want to.

As T Stands for Tuesday, maybe you would like a green tea, hot chocolate or glass of water (of course they had coffee too, sorry I forgot to take a photo of our friends selection which included a cappuccino which I know you may prefer – grin!). As well as our drinks we enjoyed a bacon butty and a slice of salted caramel cake – yum! Wishing you all a very 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 Alison/Craftytrog, who is hosting the Recycle and Collage challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the recycled rubber art stamp set and wallpaper that I collaged to create this page!

With the stamped bees that I included on my nature page, I’m pleased to join The Birds & the Bees challenge over at The Artistic Stamper.

As I used and altered the wallpaper for my page, I’m pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Pimp it up! (reuse or alter something) challenge.

I’m also joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Add Some Texture challenge with all the texture I created with the Distress Inks, stencils, modelling paste and wallpaper.

With the circles that I stencilled onto my page, I’m also pleased to join the Going Round in Circles challenge over at That’s Crafty Challenge.

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Shabby Shutters, Salty Ocean, Mowed Lawn, Chipped Sapphire)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Tan, Slate, Yellow)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies Cling Mounted Rubber Stamps (Birdsong ICO151))
  • Wallpaper sample – recycled
  • Royal & Langnickel Tip of the Brush (Insect Collection #TIP1484 Rub-on)
  • Little Yellow Bicycle Cardstock Stickers (PD-140)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
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Brown Dragonflies

I found myself reminiscing about summer walks with my lovely blog-friends CJ and Erika wishing for warmer weather (grin!) and wanting to join a few blog challenges, I decided to create an art journal page inspired by some huge brown dragonflies that we saw on one of our summer walks last year at Glasson Dock. Although they were numerous we didn’t manage to get a good photo of them as they were so quick in flight, so it was fun creating this page to remember them – I hope you like it!

To match the brown dragonflies that we saw I chose a brown colour palette. I decided to experiment with a new technique using Colourcraft Brusho powders by using them as a spray, which worked really well as long as you are careful not to dilute the colour too much (grin!). I did this by placing some Dark Brown Brusho powder in a spray bottle and diluting with water, then using it to spray the page lightly with colour whilst leaving some white space. Next I stamped lots of dragonflies onto white tissue paper with an Eco Green Crafts stamp using Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink and also Rich Cocoa Memento Ink. I layered them onto the page using Liquitex matte gel medium, not worrying if the gel medium re-activated the Brusho or Distress Ink again, as I wanted a grungy look. When the gel medium had dried I used a stencil from That Special Touch of Mica Masks by Creative Expressions to add the Distressed Dots using the Dark Brown Brusho spray again and also used the stencil like a stamp to apply the excess spray that was on the stencil onto the page. Using the same stencil I applied: Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks with a blending tool; some Navy Spectrum Aqua marker by scribbling it onto an acrylic block, sprizing with water and applying with a blending tool; some smaller patches of Peacock Feathers and Black Soot Distress Ink using a blending tool to add more contrast; and finally some bronze metallic Lustre paint by applying it with my finger. Next I stamped the wording from the same Eco Green Crafts stamp set using black Archival Ink as it applied to the dragonflies that we saw and I really liked the grungy design. The dragonflies we saw were huge, so I drew and cut out a large dragonfly from some recycled glossy glittery paper and stuck it to the page using a UHU Stic. Once the glue had dried, I edged it with a black Uni Pin marker and white Uniball gel pen. I ripped some hexagonal washi tape and stuck it around the edges of the page with some pretty opaque gem stones and added some glittery bronze embroidered flowers using Glossy Accents which finished the page.

You may remember Glasson Dock from previous posts, such as this one here. This is the estuary at Glasson Dock where we first saw the dragonflies and as we continued our walk they seemed to be everywhere (grin!).

They were more abundant by the canal around the reeds and here’s the best picture we took of them. When we got home I identified them as Brown Hawker dragonflies; we plan to go back this year to see them again and try to get a better photograph of them (grin!). If you are interested here are a few facts about dragonflies:

  • The earliest fossil dragonflies date back 300 million years long before dinosaurs ruled the Earth and had wing spans around 70cm (27.6 inch) which is approximately 10 times larger than today; their overall shape has changed little since those early days.
  • There are approximately 6,000 named dragonfly species in the world today and new species are still currently being discovered for the first time.
  • The Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis) is a large dragonfly about 73mm (2.9 inch) long and is easily recognised by its brown body and bronze wings (grin!).

Challenges

My art journal page today has been inspired by some wonderful Challenge Blogs:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Rike from rike’s art, who is hosting the Animals A-Z challenge over at Art Journal Journey as D is for Dragonfly!

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Grunge It Up challenge with my grungy dragonfly art journal page.

I’m also pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Anything but Cute challenge.

As I created my own background for my dragonfly art journal page, I’m also happy to join the Make Your Own Background challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Tea Dye, Brushed Corduroy, Peacock Feathers, Black Soot)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Navy)
  • Craf-T Products (Lustre Rub-ons ASTM D-4236)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Art Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Creative That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • White tissue paper
  • The Works Washi Tape (Enjoy the Ride)
  • Poundland (Design Gems)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Embroidered Flowers)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Fire and Ice

Today at Try it on Tuesday we are launching a new challenge called Fire and Ice, where you are asked to use hot or cold colours. This new challenge runs for two weeks and we would love for you to join us.

I had fun creating an art journal page using hot fiery colours and icy glittery flowers (grin!).

I started by applying Pébéo modelling paste using a Swoosh stencil from Creative Expressions and a feather mask from Craft Sensations. Once the modelling paste had dried, I spritzed the page with water and sprinkled Brilliant Red, Scarlet, Orange, Yellow and Lemon Colourcraft Brusho Powders over the top and spritzed them with more water so that the Brusho colours fully covered the page. I controlled where individual colours went by adding each Brusho colour separately then spritzing the powder with water after each application; replicating flames with a red glow in the centre and oranges and yellows around the edges. I then dried the page with my heat gun and stuck a glitter adhesive border strip along the bottom edge. For the quote I cut out a circle of patterned paper and stamped the quote using an alphabet stamp set and black Archival Ink. It is by William C. Hannah and reads:

“The day will be what you make it, so rise like the sun and burn”.

It is edged with a gold outline sticker and then with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and a black Derwent Graphik marker. I stuck it on top of a circle of pink tissue-thin fibrous paper which I ripped around the edges leaving some of the silky fibres intact to give a textured feathery look; they are both stuck down using double-sided tape. Then I added some pearls, gems and glittery flower embellishments around the quote and to the background of the page; sticking the flowers in place using Glossy Accents. Next I fussy cut the phoenix from an old magazine and backed it with white card and I edged with a black Derwent Graphik marker. It is stuck to the page using double-sided foam tape and I stuck some torn pieces of the pink fibrous paper to represent feathers using a Zig Memory System glue pen and added some of the pearls and gems to give it a 3D look which finished the page.

I hope you will join in the fun over at Try it on Tuesday where you will find loads more inspiration from my fellow Design Team Members too.

As the quote I used inspires new adventures, I’m also pleased to join the lovely Erika N, also known as BioArtGal, who is hosting the “New Year, New Adventures” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

We often visit the Blackbird café with our friends and as I’m featuring my favourite drink of green tea I’m pleased to join T Stands for Tuesday – Happy T Day! The drinks at this café are always served with a little treat on the side. If you look closely at the teaspoon you will see an Iced Gem biscuit, these little treats took me right back to my childhood (grin!).

If you haven’t come across Iced Gems before, you may be interested to know that:

  • Iced Gems are tiny round biscuits (maybe 2cm diameter) with a swirl of hard icing on top.
  • They were first made over 150 years ago in Reading and were apparently the result of a biscuit making accident back in the 1850s when Huntley and Palmer shrank their biscuits during the cooking process when experimenting with some new biscuit technology. They called the resulting mini biscuits Gems.
  • In 1910 they added icing to these mini biscuits to create the product we know today.
  • There were different ways of eating them; maybe the icing first, or the biscuit, or as I preferred both together. Leaving them to melt in your mouth was a good idea too as they were quite hard if you tried to chew them.
  • Today’s iced gems have five colours of icing, white, yellow, orange, red and purple, which seem to be different from what I remember and there is also now a chocolate version too.
  • They are said to be most popular in France, America, Canada, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Sweden.

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 Modeling Paste
  • Colourcraft Brusho Colours (Brilliant Red, Scarlet, Orange, Yellow, Lemon)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm, 0.1mm, 0.8mm)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Mask (Swoosh)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Paper bundle from local craft shop
  • Fibrous light weight Mulberry paper (Pink)
  • White card
  • Old magazine
  • The Range (Glitter Adhesive Border Strips CR0517)
  • Starform Outline Stickers (Gold 1144)
  • Trimcraft (Adhesive Pearls SCDOT056)
  • The Range (Craft Embellishments CR0824)
  • Poundland (Accessories Pack)
  • Hobbycraft (Rose Gem Stones 5666091006)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Winter Robin

When we were visiting family in the South of England we discovered some new walks at a local nature reserve, where we saw lots of wildlife including robins which is one of my favourite birds.

I started by painting diluted Ground Espresso and a little bit of Hickory Smoke Distress Inks onto the page by stamping the ink pads directly onto an acrylic block and picking the ink up with a wet paintbrush. I concentrated the colour around the edges of the page and used the paintbrush bristles to add texture. Then I applied the Hickory Smoke ink again using a blending tool through a retro stencil from That Special Touch of Mica Masks by Creative Expressions. I stamped some small snowflakes from a BoBunny stamp set using Rich Cocoa Memento Ink. With some new dies and my Big Shot I got to work creating some green and red paper branches using Garden Greens Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz; they are stuck to the page using a Zig Memory System glue pen. I was also very excited to receive some die sets from my lovely friend Astrid yesterday, thank you so much! I wanted to use them straight away (grin!), so I selected some square dies and used them to create some pretty edges on a recycled Robin Christmas card and also some patterned papers from Docrafts. I edged them with a grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck them to the page along with some other paper embellishments from the same Docrafts pack and a robin image from another recycled Christmas card using some double-sided tape. To finish the page, I added the wording which are letter stickers from the same Docrafts pack.

Here’s one of the beautiful robins that we saw on our walk at the nature reserve (grin!).

If you are interested, here are some facts about robins:

  • This robin is a European robin (Erithacus rubecula), which here in the UK is known simply as a robin or robin redbreast and they are renowned for their friendliness.
  • The term robin is also applied to other birds of a similar appearance, such as the American robin which is actually a thrush and also the Australasian robins.
  • Even though the film Mary Poppins is set in London, the robin that lands on Mary’s finger during “A Spoonful of Sugar” is an American robin instead of a European robin.
  • Nowadays in the UK, robins are synonymous with winter and especially Christmas cards because in Victorian times, our postmen were known as robins due to their bright red uniforms and they delivered cards on Christmas day.
  • The robin often tops the polls for Britain’s favourite bird and has been adopted as a nickname for eight UK football (soccer) clubs who play in red.

We saw the robin while we were walking through woodland. It was a lovely place to explore with its ponds, streams, marshes, grassland, reed beds, hedges and woodlands and it was a haven for a variety of wildlife too. We saw so many birds in the hedgerows and trees.

It was a sunny day when we visited too and we walked for miles enjoying both the scenery and wildlife.

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 N, also known as BioArtGal, who is hosting the New Year, New Adventures challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my page inspired by our new walking adventure and created with lots of new crafting goodies!

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Birds of a Feather challenge with my Winter Robin art journal page.

I’m pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Anything Goes challenge.

As I’m using new dies, my new Big Shot die cutting machine as well as the Docrafts paper pack and Creative Expressions stencil which are new craft goodies, I’m also pleased to join the Ring in the New challenge over at Mixed Media Monthly.

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 (Ground Espresso, Hickory Smoke)
  • Tsukineko Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Retro Christmas)
  • BoBunny Stamps (Snow Day #13705563)
  • Paper Pack from local craft store
  • Recycled Christmas Cards
  • Docrafts Papermania A4 Ulimate Die-cut & Paper Pack (Festive Fauna PMA160949)
  • Sizzix Thinlets Tim Holtz Alterations (Garden Greens 661206)
  • Spellbinders Die Cut Systems (Marvelous Squares, Unknown)
  • Zig Memory System 2-Way Glue (The Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape

Hot Chocolate is like …

Hot chocolate is top on my list of warming drinks this time of year and with it getting colder I thought I would create a winter themed page with a warming mug of hot chocolate and a lovely quote I recently found.

I started by covering the page with a piece of tissue paper with circles on it which had been in my craft stash for a while; the circles were stamped using an old cardboard tube with some leftover blue/green acrylic paint from another project. I stuck the tissue paper to the page using a UHU Stic. Next I stamped hearts into the centre of each circle and also a circle and heart design stamp onto the background using black Archival Ink, both stamps are from Sugarloaf Inc. I added Milled Lavender, Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean Distress Inks and left the page to dry. Then I covered the whole page with a thin layer of white gesso using a baby wipe. Next I used four different stencils and blue inks to add layers of patterns; this included a stencil called Moroccan from the That Special Touch of Mica range by Creative Expressions using Salty Ocean Distress Ink, a Heart Cluster mini stencil from Creative Expressions using Blueprint Sketch Distress Ink, a cross stencil from Craft Sensations using Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink and a Swoosh stencil from Creative Expressions using Summer Sky Memento Ink. The snowflakes are stamps from a Winter Woodland stamp set that was free with a magazine, they are stamped using the same Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch and Chipped Sapphire inks. I also used the snowflake stamps again to stamp white acrylic paint which I applied to the stamps using a brayer. With the background completed I added the quote using some black Label Letter stickers by Tim Holtz and edged them using a Poppy Red Derwent Inktense pencil and a black Uni Pin marker. The quote pays homage to how I feel about hot chocolate it reads:

Hot chocolate is like a hug from the inside.

Then I selected some glittery red paper from a Designer Paper Pack and punched out some snowflakes using a Woodware paper punch. I also punched some black paper snowflakes too which I offset under the red snowflakes to provide a shadow. They are stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. Next I drew a mug on the same red paper, cut it out and edged it using the same red Derwent Inktense pencil and a wet paintbrush.  Before I stuck the mug to the page using double-sided tape, I drew around where it was to be placed on the page and used an Ink Black Derwent Inktense pencil to create a shadow under it so it stood out more. I embellished the mug using a black snowflake, a white glitter foam snowflake and three red gemstones. To finish, I added two smaller red foam glitter snowflakes and some red gemstones to the background and then I edged the page with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker.

It’s been sunny here of late but very cold too, so when out walking with our friends we have been going to a local café on the beachfront and having a hot chocolate! As T Stands for Tuesday I’m pleased to join the T Gang and wish you all a Happy T Day!

As you can see we enjoyed a toasted teacake with our hot chocolate too (grin!). For those of you not familiar with toasted teacakes, here are some facts you may find interesting:

  • Teacakes are a sweetened yeasted bread type roll which usually have dried fruit in, and it is usually split, toasted, buttered, and served with tea.
  • Teacakes originated in the North of England and are very popular in Lancashire where I live.
  • Teacakes have regional differences for example in East Lancashire, certain areas of Yorkshire and Cumbria a teacake is plain unless you ask for a “currant teacake” and this plain teacake is a specialty of the area and is still split and served toasted with butter and also sometimes jam (jelly).
  • Sometimes the plain teacakes are confused with English Muffins however they are not the same thing. An English Muffin here in the UK is the same as in the US and is usually a breakfast item often served as Eggs Benedict or with smoked salmon.
  • We often have toasted teacakes with a cuppa mid morning for elevenses.

Here’s the pretty view from the Waters Edge café over the beach – beautiful!

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:

Hot chocolate and the quote I used ties in nicely with the  “101 Ways To Keep Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey which is being hosted by the lovely Chris.

I was inspired to use the four different stencils to create this page after seeing the design teams artwork over at Country View Challenges which they had created for their “Stencils” challenge.

As I used stamps and the hot chocolate quote, I’m also pleased to join a new challenge today over at The Artistic Stamper where this month’s creative challenge is “Use a Quote”.

It makes me happy to be able to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their “Food and/or Drink” challenge with my hot chocolate inspired page.

With my colourful blue and red page I’m pleased to join the lovely design team over at Try it on Tuesday and their “Colourful” Challenge and I’m also just have enough time to join in the fun over at Moo Mania & More and their “Put A Stencil On It” challenge 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 (Milled Lavender, Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch, Chipped Sapphire)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Summer Sky)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Poppy Red 0400, Ink Black 2200)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.3mm)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood mounted stamps (Heart Tile 26631, Hearts & Circles 26645)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Moroccan, Swoosh)
  • Craft Expressions Mini Stencils (Heart Clusters CEMSHEART)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Winter Woodland Clear Stamp Set – free with Craft Beautiful Dec 2017 magazine
  • White tissue paper – stamped with circles
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology (Label Letters #TH93072)
  • The Works Designer Paper Pack (The Night Before Christmas HCPAP003X15)
  • Leon (X-Large Coloured Paper Pad)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Paper Punch (Large Snowflake SL120118)
  • Poundland (Christmas Craft Pack)
  • Docrafts Papermania Eleganza Adhesive Stones (3mm Red PMA351607)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Live, Laugh, Love

My journal page today is inspired by a sign we have hung in our kitchen “Live, Laugh, Love”. I’ve created it using some new bird stamps and two of my favourite colours of Distress Ink.

I started by stamping a Script stamp by Kaisercraft in the bottom left and top right corners of the page using black Archival Ink. Then to create glossy silhouettes, I stamped some filigree shapes from 7 Gypsies at Hampton Art using black Versafine Ink and applied black Papermania embossing powder over the top. I shook the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper and tapped the page against the table to make sure I had removed any stray powder. Once the excess powder was safely returned to its container, I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. I swept the gun over the images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long, until the embossing powder changed to a glossy finish becoming smooth and dimensional. Next I covered the page in Twisted Citron and Salty Ocean Distress Inks using a blending tool overlapping the colours and blending them together. I applied modelling paste through a stencil from Creative Expressions using a palette knife and left it to dry. Then I stamped a series of tiny heart outlines from a Christmas stamp set by Hallmark Cards and also some pretty birds sitting on branches by Craft Sensations using the black Archival Ink again. I really like the bird stamps as they look like they have been sketched onto the page and it was easy for me to mimic the stamp design using a black Derwent Graphik marker when I extended the branches to the edge of the page. The black chalkboard heart is a wooden tag on which I applied a rub-on transfer by Kaisercraft, I really like the distressed look of the sentiment which reads:

“LAUGH as much as you breathe and LOVE as long as you LIVE”

For the other sign, I got creative and used a thick piece of black card, which was recycled from some old packaging. I distressed the edges with scissors and stained them with a Sanguine Faber-Castell Big Brush marker to match the colour of the heart edging. Next I fussy cut the “Live, Laugh, Love” wording from a vintage die cut shape and edged it with a green border using the rub-on transfers by Kaisercraft. I stuck it to the black card using a UHU Stic and then I used a black Derwent Graphik marker to give it a distressed look and drew a stitch pattern around the edge using a white Pentel gel pen. I’m pleased how these details helped the sign to match with the heart design. Both the heart and sign are stuck to the page using Glossy Accents. I finished the page by adding some blue and yellow paper flowers using the Glossy Accents again and adding some small black glossy flower and heart designer vinyl stickers by Craftime.

I think both sentiments on this page are great mottos to live by and even have a sign in our kitchen with the “Live, Laugh, Love” saying (grin!). This saying seems to be very common in homes today as it is often used on signs and mugs. It originated from a beautiful poem called “Success” written by Bessie Anderson Stanley in 1904 and is in essence a summary of the very first line:

“He achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; Who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty or failed to express it; Who has left the world better than he found it, Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; Who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; Whose life was an inspiration; Whose memory a benediction”.

Challenges

I always enjoy using stencils on my pages so I’m joining in the fun over at Moo Mania & More with their “Put a Stencil On It” challenge and also Country View Challenges with their “Stencils” challenge.

As I used a lot of stamps to create this journal page, I’m also pleased to be able to join in the “November Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included)” at the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge.

The faux stitching around the heart and sign means I’m also joining the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their “It’s A Stitch Up” theme.

Including and creating the glossy silhouettes was fun so I’m pleased to join the “Silhouettes” challenge over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge.

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tsukineko Versafine Ink (Onyx Black)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Twisted Citron, Salty Ocean)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199, Sanguine 188)
  • Pentel Hybrid Grip Gel pen (White)
  • Papermania Embossing Powder (Black PMA4021006)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies Vintage cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Hallmark Cards Christmas clear stamp set
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CRO274/16R1)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Moroccan)
  • The Works (Chalkboard Tags)
  • The Works (Vintage Die Cut Shapes)
  • Black cardboard – recycled packaging
  • Kaisercraft Rub-on Transfers (Up, Up & Away Collection RB870, Lush Collection RB868)
  • Craftime Designer Vinyls (B/W Boy & Girl PBDV02)
  • The Works (Mini Paper Flower Embellishments)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic

Give Thanks

I was so excited to receive some happy mail from the lovely Nan! Every element was so detailed from the envelope which had the most stunning handwriting in orange and yellow ink and pretty autumnal leaves, to the beautiful hand painted sunflower card with honeycomb embossing, to the wonderful goodies I found inside (grin!).

So I created a “Give Thanks” page to recognise this kindness and incorporate some of the lovely Peanuts Thanksgiving stickers that Nan kindly gifted to me – I hope you like it!

I started with a neutral background of Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint which I applied using a baby wipe. Next I used two of That Touch of Mica Masks from Creative Expressions; firstly a honeycomb design to match the embossing that Nan had created on the card and secondly a leaf design to match the pretty leaves I found on the envelope. I applied Morocco and Dandelion Memento Ink through the honeycomb stencil using a sponge; these colours were inspired by the orange and yellow inks that Nan had used.

Then I stamped a hexagonal geometric shape using Rich Cocoa and Toffee Crunch Memento Ink through the leaf stencil onto the page, and outlined the edge of the leaf designs with a Sepia Spectrum Aqua marker. Before I removed this stencil I coloured the rest of the stencil design with the residue ink, that was left on the stencil from the stamping, using a sponge. Next I stamped “Give Thanks” onto the page using an alphabet stamp by Papermania and black Archival Ink, and then I darkened the letters using a black Derwent Graphik Marker so they stood out more.  To create the octagonal shapes, I created a template and used it to draw and cut out octagons from different papers; this included papers from the Into the Woods paper pad by Craft Asylum, a paper pack from my local craft shop and a piece of grid paper from my hubby’s old postage stamp album. I stuck one “Peanuts” sticker onto each of the octagons and then I edged them with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck them to the page using double-sided foam tape. To finish, I added some sparkly green Bling Stickers and edged the page with the black Big Brush marker.

I was so delighted to receive this happy mail and here you can see the front of the envelope with the most stunning handwriting in orange ink surrounded by pretty autumnal leaves with a round moon postage stamp and the beautiful sunflower hand painted card (grin!).

Even the back of the envelope was a work of art with the cute bear and flowers. One of my favourite sentiments “Hello Sunshine!” was also kindly included; the sunshiny yellow ink is perfect and Nan’s handwriting always looks so amazing. I also found some wonderful goodies inside (double grin!).

The card now has pride of place in my craft room! I’m in awe of the sunflower that Nan painted; it looks so professional and is so detailed. Sunflowers always seem such happy flowers and happen to be a favourite of mine – it makes me smile every time I see it (triple grin!). Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness dearest Nan!

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:

As receiving this happy mail warms my heart, I’m pleased to join Chris from Pearshapedcrafting who is hosting the “101 Ways to Stay Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

I really enjoyed using these different techniques with the stencils and love the layers of colour and designs that resulted, so I’m also joining the “Stencils” challenge over at the Country View Challenges.

I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge too and their “Thanks/Thanksgiving” Challenge with my “Give Thanks” journal page.

I always enjoy using stamps on my pages and it was fun to add texture to the leaves by stamping through the stencil, so I’m pleased to join the “November Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included)” at the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It 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 Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Morocco, Dandelion, Rich Cocoa, Toffee Crunch)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Sepia)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.5mm)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Honeycomb, Take a Leaf)
  • Docrafts Papermania Clear Stamp Set (Capsule – Geometric Mono)
  • Papermania Alphamania A-Z Clear Stamps (Leftovers Alphabet PMA9071102)
  • Craft Asylum 6×6 Paper Pad (Into the Woods 480326)
  • Paper pack from local craft shop
  • Grid postage stamp album paper
  • Peanuts Thanksgiving stickers – a gift from the lovely Nan!
  • Poundland (Bling Stickers 2561793)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape