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

Happy Daffodils

March is here and the daffodils are in full bloom which heralds the coming of spring. There seems to be an abundance of them around the town this year and these cheery yellow flowers always make me smile. So to welcome the arrival of one of the first plants to light up our gardens I decided to create a display of my own.

I started by stenciling a honeycomb pattern using a Creative Expressions mask and Pébéo modelling paste and left it to dry thoroughly. I used my new set of Spectrum Aqua Markers to create the background, the colours I choose were Kingfisher, Tan and Desert; I applied them to an acrylic block and spritzed them with water and then I pressed the block or dripped the ink onto the page. Using the same Aqua Markers I stamped a daffodil tile design onto the background and splattered the page with fine dots of the diluted Aqua marker pigments and Black Soot Distress Ink. To make the tags, I used a cream glossy tag and applied the same black Distress Ink to the edge and across the whole surface using a baby wipe. Then I stamped the daffodil tile design using the same Aqua markers to decorate the tag background. The daffodil image is from a magazine, I tore it in half, ripped the edges and applied the black Distress Ink to them and I stuck them to the tags using a UHU Stic. The original image design was monotone except for a yellow wasp, so to accentuate the daffodils I coloured the flower, stems, leaves and words using Derwent Inktense pencils, a Moss Spectrum Aqua Marker and a black Derwent Graphik Line Marker. I found the wasp detracted from the daffodils so I covered it up with some vintage butterfly washi tape. I added some black paper twine and stuck them to the page using double-sided foam tape. I also flicked yellow and orange Derwent Inktense pencil ink over the background to connect the daffodil colours from the tag with the rest of the page. Next I added stickers from the Idea-ology Salvage Stickers collection called Crowded Attic by Tim Holtz, which I edged using the same black Distress Ink. To finish I added the words which are rub-on transfers and the shiny yellow and orange mini gel stickers.

As this page is about seeing daffodils when we’re “Out and About” in town, I pleased to be able to join Yvonne from Meggy’s Way over at Art Journal Journey.

As part of our volunteer work for St. Anne’s on Sea in Bloom, we were involved in planting daffodils around our local town. It was nice to admire the fruits of our labours when we were out shopping this weekend; we had added a layer of daffodil bulbs in these tubs and it’s so wonderful to see their yellow heads prettily bobbing in the breeze.

Last year in October, we also planted bulbs along one of the main roads into our town.

Now these beautiful daffodils say “hello” to people as they drive into St. Anne’s on the Sea – what a lovely happy greeting!    

As T Stands for Tuesday my drink of choice is hot water today and we are also having American pancakes with blueberries, bananas, whipped cream and Maple Syrup  – yummy yum yum! The maple syrup comes all the way from Dave’s Sugar Shack in Maine, our friends kindly sent it to us as a present. These pancakes are actually the ones we had on Shrove Tuesday, which ties in nicely with the daffodils as they are often called the Lent Lily because they flower when Lent starts and tend to have finished flowering by Easter. I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and wishing you all a Happy T Day!

Do you know any fun facts about daffodils? Did you know:

  1. The daffodil is the flower for March.
  2. The daffodil is the national flower of Wales.
  3. In the Victorian days, daffodils represented chivalry and today they represent hope.
  4. Daffodils signify the coming of spring.
  5. The daffodil is a common decoration during Chinese New Year.
  6. A gift of daffodils is said to ensure happiness.
  7. Daffodils contain a toxic sap which is harmful to other flowers. Before arranging in a vase with other flowers the daffodils should be soaked in water for 24 hours. Do not re-cut the stems as it will re-release the toxin.

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 High Density
  • Papermania wood mounted stamp (39454)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Honeycombe)
  • Magazine Spectrum Aqua Markers (Kingfisher, Tan, Desert, Moss)
  • Tim Hotlz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Derwent Inktense Ink Pencils (Sun Yellow 0200, Tangerine 0300)
  • Poundland (Die Cut Tags 117106)
  • Wilko (Paper Twine 0314169)
  • Hobbycraft Decorative Tape (assorted Black & White 5971481007)
  • Tim Holtz Idea-ology Salvage Stickers (Crowded Attic #TH92898)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Sentiments (Spring Sentiments #ROY-506 Rub-on)
  • Home Bargains (Mini Gel Stickers 30287)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Snowdrop Season

On Valentine’s Day we went to see the snowdrops at Lytham Hall. It was a beautiful sunny day and we thoroughly enjoyed our leisurely walk through the very impressive displays of snowdrops. I created this page to remember their beauty.

snowdrop-season-ajp

The background is Spectrum Aqua Markers, I scribbled the ink on an acrylic block, and then I spritzed it with water and pressed it or dripped it onto my page. The colours I used portray the yellow sunshine, blue sky, the lush green foliage and the rusty-brown leaves that surrounded the snowdrops. To add texture I splattered the page with black acrylic paint, stamped a homemade grid stamp using black Archival Ink and a small texture stamp using a Moss Aqua marker. I also added a fine outline of swirls using a Swoosh Mica Mask by Creative Expressions, a white Uniball gel pen and the Moss and Olive Aqua markers. As the snowdrops were flowering under the trees, I stamped a tree image using black Archival Ink and then I added more branches to them using a Derwent Graphik marker. The words are rub-on transfers which I thought were poignant to the page; to me the snowdrops seem to “aspire” to display their beauty and be something I could only “dream” of. Lastly they reminded me of a poem by William Wordsworth where he writes about having “faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes”.

If you are interested in the poem, it’s called “Lines Written in Early Spring”; it was published in 1798 and yet it seems as pertinent today as it did then.

I cut the snowdrop pictures and information from an old magazine and a Lytham Hall Events Guide. They are mounted on silver corrugated card which I edged with a silver metallic pen and stuck to the page using double-sided tape.

outline-sticker-collage

The snowdrops are made from this silver daisy shaped outline sticker; I cut the flower in half to produce snowdrop shapes and secured them to the page. I then outlined the image with a Derwent Graphik marker to give more definition and coloured the petals using white gesso. The leaves, stems and little dot on the petals are coloured green using the Moss Aqua marker. To finish I covered the petals in Ranger Glossy Accents to give them dimension and a lovely glow; I think they look a bit like stained glass.

1-close-up

I thought you might like to join me on our walk to see the beautiful snowdrops. These little clumps of snowdrops greeted us when we entered the grounds of Lytham Hall by the side entrance. You may remember Lytham Hall from my Winter Art Fair post.2-opening-photo

As we turned the corner, the snowdrops literally carpeted the woodland floor, sitting in the dappled shade in all their white splendour!

walled-garden-collage

Then we entered the walled garden, where the flower beds were brimming with snowdrops too.

front-collage

At the front of the house it looked like it had been snowing with the drifts of snowdrops glistening in the sunshine. As my hubby and me both enjoy photography, we were interested in the frames that had been put up around the walk. They indicate where a good shot can be taken and of course you can use them to frame your subject too.

6-woodland-collage

Following the woodland path we stopped to take in more pretty views . The snowdrops look so dainty with their white and green bell-shaped blooms.

3-snowdrops-opening

I hope you enjoyed the walk as much as we did – I was amazed, there were snowdrops everywhere and the displays were stunning!

vanilla-slices

As a special Valentine’s treat and to continue the white theme, we went to our local bakery and bought two of the biggest Vanilla Slices I have ever seen! To give you an idea of their size, that’s a standard tea plate they are sitting on. These are filled with a lemony custard and when we got home we enjoyed them (very much) with a mug of green tea – they were so delicious! As T Stands for Tuesday I’m sharing my treat with the T Gang and wishing you all a very 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:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic Paint (Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Moss, Lime, Olive, Aquamarine, Terracotta)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Script metallic pen (Silver)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (white)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Swoosh)
  • The Works Clear Stamps (CRO274/TW3)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (P-1398)
  • Homemade wooden block stamp with Plasterboard/Drywall tape
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-On Sentiments (Motivate Sentiments #ROY-510 Rub-on)
  • Magenta Style Outline Stickers (Assorted Peel-off)
  • Poundland (Corrugated Card 173117-GE16)
  • White tissue paper and card
  • Fun Cut Scissors
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Glide double-sided foam tape
  • X-Press It double-sided tape