Oh, Deer!

I’m so excited that December is here as I can put up my Christmas decorations; I started on Friday and it took me a couple of days to complete this task (grin!). I thought I’d create a page with the help of this deer who seems to be celebrating by decorating his antlers with Christmas baubles too (double grin!).

My idea was to create a snowy silver birch woodland background so I started by applying some torn pieces of white napkin using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium to add some texture. Then I added Brushed Corduroy, Spiced Marmalade and Hickory Smoke Distress Inks like watercolour by applying each ink to an acrylic block and then using a paintbrush to apply them to the page. I then sprinkled some Dark Brown Colourcraft Brusho powder over the top, spritzed with water and watched the powders explode with colour. I dried the page with my heat gun and then I applied a thin layer of PVA glue here and there in order to seal in some of the colour. Once the glue had dried, I applied a thick layer of Pébéo white gesso over the top using a palette knife and used the heat gun again to create some lovely texture as the gesso bubbled under the heat.  I emphasised this texture by using Silver Grey, White Sparkle and Apple Green metallic lustres by Craft-T products. I love how the gesso enhanced the background texture and that it looks like silver birch bark covered in snow. Next I ripped some branch and berry images from a napkin and stuck them around the edge of the page using a UHU Stic. With the background completed, I tore some silver Curling Ribbon (that was recycled from a present) into thin strips and then curled it with some scissors. I arranged the red and green baubles which are stickers and tied the strips of ribbon to them as if they were hanging down the page. I fussy cut the red reindeer from an old magazine and as the reindeer had white writing across it I covered it with small pieces of the red paper that I tore from the off cuts and coloured the edges with Crimson, Burgundy and Scarlet Spectrum Aqua markers. I mounted the reindeer image onto a piece of white card and outlined his eyes and nose with a Derwent Graphik marker so they stood out more. He is stuck onto the page using double-sided tape and I wrapped the ribbons around his antlers as I stuck him down so it looked like the baubles were hanging from them; this took a little time as it was quite fiddly. To finish, I added more sparkle to his antlers using some little silver dots and some red and green bells which are from the same sticker set as the baubles.

You may remember the Winter Wonderland Decorations that I made last month. I had a few requests to show them again when I had created my winter window display, so here they are (grin!). As you can see I made a few more of these decorations and trimmed them with lace, and as it’s December they are being displayed with some Christmas decorations too.

They look so magical at night with the fairy lights!

As T Stands for Tuesday I’m sharing my green tea in some new mugs that were bought for us, their design reminded me of the reindeer page (double grin!) – 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. Being a new month there are lots of new exciting challenge themes too, so here are the ones I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Sheila from Orange Esmeralda over at Art Journal Journey and her “Let’s Celebrate” challenge with my reindeer celebrating Christmas!

I’m joining the “Christmas” challenge over at Country View Challenges with my Christmas themed page and it was lots of fun also including their option of using reds and greens as part of my page design.

With my snowy reindeer scene I’m also joining in the fun over at A Vintage Journey and their “Winter Wonderland” challenge with my “Art Journaling” and “Mixed-Media” style page as it was created to remember the joy of putting up my Christmas Decorations this year and I used lots of different media to create it.

Being inspired by Chris and the fabulous textured backgrounds that she created for her happy snowman and baubles, I’m also joining the “Torn, Ripped and Burnt” challenge over at PaperArtsy with the torn and heated elements that I used to create my silver birch textured background and happy reindeer with baubles.

I’m also pleased to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their “Anything Goes” challenge.

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

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Brushed Corduroy, Spiced Marmalade, Hickory Smoke)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Colour (Dark Brown)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Craf-T Luster Rub-ons Color Kit #4 (Silver Grey, White Sparkle, Apple Green)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Crimson, Burgundy, Scarlet)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Poundland (Luxury Napkins 70371)
  • Old Magazine
  • Bauble Stickers from Charity Shop
  • Recycled Curling Ribbon (Silver)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
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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

Card Making Fun!

Today I have three cards to share with you that I created to send to my friends and family. Fortuitously these designs also coincide with some challenges that I wanted to join. The cards are for a friend who has just moved into her new house, another is a birthday card for one of my family and the last one is to wish one of my special friends a very Happy Christmas!

Home Sweet Home

I used 6×4” white card stock and applied Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn and Salty Ocean Distress Ink to a large acrylic block and spritzed it with water. Then I laid the card facedown on the top of the block and pressed down so that the ink transferred onto the card. I did this a couple of times to use up the ink on the block until I was happy with the coverage. I dried the ink using a heat gun and then stamped the birdcage stamp by Dovecrafts using black Archival Ink. I surrounded this image with the pretty tree branches from a new stamp set by Inkadinkado using the same black Archival Ink; I love these stamps, the tree branch designs are beautiful! Next I stamped the “Home Sweet Home” sentiment using the same black ink and a Bellissima alphabet stamp set by Docrafts Papermania. I edged the front of a white blank greetings card with the black Archival Ink and a blending tool and then I cut the Home Sweet Home design to size. I edged it with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck it on the top using double-sided tape. To finish, I used a black Derwent Graphik marker to emphasise some of the stamping so it stood out more and also added some blue circular gems for a bit of sparkle.

I’m pleased to join the “Home Sweet Home” challenge over at Try it on Tuesday which inspired the sentiment on this card.

I’m also pleased to join a new challenge today thanks to the lovely Avril who is on the design team over at Fashionable Stamping Challenges as my card also links to their “Nature” challenge.

The silhouette design I created means I can also join in the fun over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge and their “Silhouette” challenge.

Skateboarding Monkey

This fun card is created using a 6×6” green card base. Firstly I cut a piece of striped paper to size and then I stamped the sentiment using black Archival Ink and an alphabet stamp set by Hampton Art. As you can see I bunched up the word “Birthday” so it looked like it was being pushed out-of-place by the skateboard. I stuck it into place using double-sided tape. Next I added the monkey and star-like flowers which are foam stickers and also some glossy dots and tiny flowers designer vinyl stickers from Craftime. To finish, I used black and white Uni Posca paint pens to add small dots to the background and sentiment.

I wanted to join the lovely Chris from Pearshapedcrafting and her wonderful “101 Ways to Keep Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey; I think skateboarding would be a good way to keep warm especially for me as I’d probably be laughing so much whilst I was trying to do it (grin!).

I’m also joining the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge as my fun monkey would love to join their “Furry Friends” theme.

The Best Christmas Ever!

I was inspired to create this card after creating my Winter Wonderland Decorations. This is a one layer card, so I started by masking off the top edge of a white 6×4” card and stamping some different stamps using Emboss ink; the stamps included a “Wishing you the best Christmas ever!” sentiment and a snowflake stamp, both by Clear Impressions, and also Diamond Background and Serpentine Background stamps, both by Art Impressions. I completed the embossing in layers, starting with the sentiment and then using the other stamps. Each layer of Emboss ink stamping was covered with white Stampendous embossing powder and then I shook off the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper. I also tapped the card to make sure any stray powder was removed and then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. I swept the gun over the stamped 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. I repeated this process a few times to create a design that I was happy with. I then applied Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers and Cracked Pistachio Distress Inks to the card using a blending tool, starting with the darker colour of Chipped Sapphire around the edge and blending to the lighter colour of Cracked Pistachio in the middle. I dried the ink with my heat gun and spritzed water over the top, blotting it with a piece of kitchen towel/paper to remove some of the ink. I also diluted the three Distress Inks by stamping the ink pads onto an acrylic block and spritzing with water, and then I flicked the inks onto the card using a paintbrush and used a heat gun to dry them. To finish, I added some white rhinestone flower gems and dots of silver Stickles to add some glitter and sparkle.

I’m pleased to be able to join the “One Layer Christmas Cards” challenge over at Stamping Sensations with my white embossed stamped card.

As I used the glittery gems and Sparkles on this card, I’m also pleased to be joining the “Glitter” challenge over at Allsorts Challenge Blog.

Family, home and Christmas all mean so much to me, so I thought I’d share some photos relating to all three of these things (grin!). As we live by the sea we don’t often get snow, however we did get a light dusting of snow one evening last year. It was beautiful seeing the snow falling although it had disappeared the next morning when we awoke.

This photo is very dear to me, it’s of a white Christmas from my childhood, yes the little girl at the front eating sweets is me (grin!). I’m with my mum and my sister and you can see our Christmas tree in the background too. I will forever remember that furry navy blue and red checked coat that I’m wearing as my mum made it for me!

This picture of me was taken some years ago, when we had light snow fall on Christmas Day. We were staying with family and we went for a lovely woodland walk!

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 each of the cards:

Home Sweet Home

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn, Salty Ocean)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm & 0.3mm)
  • Dovecraft Clear Stamps (Birdcage DCCS015)
  • Inkadinkado Cling Stamps (Branches 65-32007)
  • Docrafts Papermania Bellissima  4×4” Clear Stamps (Alphas PMA907212)
  • Hobbycraft Decorative Embellishments (Blue Round Gems 5665381001)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape

Skateboarding Monkey

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (Black, White)
  • Hampton Art (Alphabet Stamp Set WM1037)
  • B&M Craft Goody Bag (Turquoise)
  • Wilko Little Steps (Safari Foam Stickers)
  • Craftime Designer Vinyls (B/W Boy & Girl PBDV02)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape

The Best Christmas Ever!

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers, Cracked Pistachio)
  • Tsukienki Emboss Embossing Stamp Pad (Clear)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Clear Impressions (Woodland Christmas)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Diamond Background T-3335, Serpentine Background T-2773)
  • The Works stickers (Rhinestone Flowers)
  • Ranger Stickles (Silver)

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

Remember, Remember …

On the 5th November we celebrate Bonfire Night here in the UK, and as I didn’t manage to attend our local fireworks display this year I thought I would create my own fireworks instead. Bonfire Night celebrations originate from the time of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, which dates back to 1605, so I incorporated this onto my page along with the first lines of a well-known poem that is often recited this time of year:

“Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot.
We see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!”

I started by sprinkling Black, Purple, Orange and Yellow Colourcraft Brusho Powders onto the page then spritzing them with water. As I wanted to control the coverage and the amount of starburst patterns that resulted I spritzed the water after each individual sprinkle of Brusho powder. Brushos seemed the perfect medium for the fireworks as they always mesmerise me by exploding with colour when the water is added. Next I dried the Brushos with a heat gun and then covered them with a thin layer of PVA glue to fix the colour in place; I choose PVA as it dries with a shiny finish which I thought was more appropriate for fireworks. By fixing the Brusho colour, it stopped them bleeding into the white Uni Posca paint pen which I used to doodle and splatter the firework patterns. The individual letters of the poem are cut from an alphabet paper sheet by Creative Sensations; I thought the old-fashioned text would be appropriate for the Gunpowder plot of 1605. I edged the letters with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker, stuck them to the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium and used a black Derwent Graphik marker and a white Pentel gel pen to define them so that they stood out more. To finish, I fussy cut an illustration of the Gunpowder Plot from an old History Encyclopedia, edged it with black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck it to the bottom of the page using the matte gel medium again.

I’m pleased to be able to join Chris from Pearshapedcrafting who is hosting the “101 Ways to Keep Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey; I join some esteemed company with my Bonfire Night inspired page as this inspiration has proven popular for a number of my blog-friends too (grin!).

This photo of the North Pier in Blackpool was taken last year at the annual International Fireworks Competition – the displays are always so amazing!

Some years we have sparklers, here I am being very, very careful lighting sparklers at a family Bonfire Night gathering!

For those of you interested, here’s some further information about the history of Bonfire Night:

  • In Great Britain, Bonfire Night is an annual tradition and is also known as Fireworks Night.
  • It’s a way of remembering the events of 5th November 1605 when a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, killing all inside it including the King, was foiled.
  • The most famous conspirator of the Gunpowder Plot was Guy Fawkes. Before the plot could be carried out, Guy Fawkes was arrested while he was guarding the 36 barrels of deadly gunpowder in the cellar of the House of Parliament. He was tortured, and later tried and then hung for his part in the plot.
  • Some believe that Guy Fawkes was thrown into a bonfire after his conviction so sometimes straw dummies of Guy Fawkes are made and thrown into bonfires to celebrate the day.
  • Historically, children used to collect money to buy fireworks by roaming the streets in the days leading up to the event, brandishing their effigies known as “Guys” and asking passers-by for a “penny for the guy”. I think this tradition has all but disappeared today.
  • The 5th November is celebrated with bonfires and fireworks to remember the Gunpowder Plot and Guy’s role in the event.
  • There are many organised firework events across the UK, which are very popular and shops start selling fireworks in mid-October in readiness for this celebration.

As part of Bonfire Night celebrations, I always make parkin which is a type of gingerbread cake. This particular parkin recipe has been passed down through generations of my family and is made with oatmeal and black treacle. This homemade treat is lovely with a hot drink and as T Stands for Tuesday I’m saying a big hello to 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:

  • Colourcraft Brusho Colour Crystals (Black, Purple, Orange, Blue)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip pen (White)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Travel Memories 154898)
  • Miles Kelly Pubishers Encyclopedia of British History
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Everbuild 501 Universal (PVA Bond)

Tricks ‘n’ Treats

With Halloween fast approaching I thought I’d have some fun and create this happy page to celebrate! I’m also pleased to be joining some of my favourite blog challenges which have inspired me to create this Tricks ‘n’ Treats page – Thank You!

I started by covering the background with Light Red Winsor & Newton watercolour paint using a baby wipe and then I splattered some black DecoArt acrylic paint using a paintbrush to add lots of texture and interest. I watered down some Pébéo white gesso and splattered that onto the page too; I like the way these dots have a spooky translucency to them. I tore some black cobweb decoupage paper from Dovecraft into three pieces and stuck them onto the page using a UHU Stic. Once the glue had dried, I distressed areas of the decoupage paper by rubbing it with a baby wipe. Then I coloured these areas using a Sanguine Faber-Castell Big Brush marker, smudging the colour with my finger and I also outlined some of the cobwebs with a white Pentel Hybrid gel pen so they stood out more. Next I added the Halloween Tricks ‘n’ Treats images which are from two different sets of rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel. I added shadows under these images using a Cold Grey Faber-Castell Marker and Desert Spectrum Aqua Marker and also added more detail to them using a black Derwent Graphik marker and a white Pentel gel pen.  To create the ground underneath the black cat and children images, I stamped a diamond design from Art Impressions at the bottom of the page using black Archival Ink, Sanguine Faber-Castell Big Brush marker ink and white Docrafts Pigment Ink; layering the diamond pattern using these different inks on top of one another. As I liked Corrie‘s use of modelling paste on her page over at Country View Challenge, I added modelling paste to my page too using a Mini Squares stencil by Creative Expressions; I applied the Pébéo modelling paste using an old gift card and found it so much easier than using a palette knife. When the paste had dried I edged the page using a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker. Then to finish, I added the glittery flowers which are from Poundland and on the smaller flowers I exchanged the gemstone centres with red gems to tie into the colours that I’d used on the page.

As T Stands for Tuesday I’m sharing my cup of green tea and freshly homemade pumpkin roll filled with cream cheese frosting – what a “treat”, yum! I’m looking forward to chatting with all of the T Gang over a cuppa and wishing you all a Happy T Day!

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs as I enjoy taking part and meeting up with my blog friends. They also 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 able to join today:

The challenge over at Try it on Tuesday is “Its Halloween time” so I’m pleased to join this theme with my Tricks ‘n’ Treats page.

Over at Moo Mania & More it’s also Halloween time so I’m pleased to be joining their “Boo” theme too.

Allsorts Challenge Blog’s new challenge is “Halloween” so I’m joining their lovely design team with my Halloween inspired page.

With the autumnal colours on my page, I’m pleased to join the “Mixed Media with Autumnal Hues” challenge over at Country View Challenges.

As I used autumnal colours, I’m also joining in the fun over at A Vintage Journey and their “Crazy for Autumn Colour” challenge. My page focuses on their “Mixed Media” genre as I have used different mediums to create my Halloween inspired page and their “Art Journaling” genre as it’s my personal celebration of Halloween.

I’m also pleased to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their “Photo Inspiration” challenge with my autumnal colours and Happy Halloween candies.

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:

  • Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colours (Light Red)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Docrafts Pigment Ink Pad (White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Sanguine 188 B, Cold Grey IV 233, Black 199)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Desert)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.02mm)
  • Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip pen (White)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Diamond Background T-3335)
  • Creative Expressions Mini Stencil (Mini Squares CEMSSQUARE)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Decoupage Paper (DCDEC004)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on designed by Vicki Schreiner (Tricks’n’Treats #SCH688N Rub-on)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on (Bats, Cats & Ghosts #EDW355 Rub-on)
  • Poundland (Accessories Pack 60911)
  • Poundland (Mini Glitter Embellishments 59409)
  • Oaktree UK Eleganza Craft Stickers (3mm 418 Gems Red No.16)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic