In the Station of the Metro

I was inspired to create a page for the “Postcards” theme over at Try it on Tuesday where the lovely Sabine is Guest Designer, as well as Art Journal Journey’s theme for August which is “Poetry in Motion” where you are asked to create a page inspired by a poem, quote or saying.

As postcards are synonymous with travel, I chose a poem about the Paris Metro (subway/underground) by Ezra Pound. I used a colour palette of pinks, neutrals, brown and black to illustrate the faces, petals and black boughs of these beautiful words from the poem “In the Station of the Metro”:

“The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough”.

This page started by collaging the background using some book pages, three different design papers and a postcard which I situated in the top left-hand corner of the page. Like all of the pieces on this page I used a UHU Stic to glue them into place. Then I added white gesso using my finger over some of the papers to push the colour back. To tie into the postcards theme, I added a Hessian texture stamp and a postage stamp image around the edges of the page and a script stamp over the background using black Archival Ink. I used the same ink to add a foliage stamp to create the black boughs of the poem. Next I used a paper punch to cut out some hearts from the three design papers and arranged them in a garland across the right-hand corner of the page. Once in place I joined the hearts together using a black Uni Posca paint pen. I stamped various images that reminded me of Paris onto a page from a book using the black Archival Ink and then fussy cut them out; these included the words “Paris” and “amour”, also the Eiffel Tower, a key, birdcage, bird in flight, French postage mark, compass and a couple of heart tiles. I arranged these on the page with some brown vintage decorative tape and a trunk image which is a rub-on transfer. I crowded these images to represent the crowd aspect described in the poem. I fussy cut the poem, the title and the Metro filigree image from a book of poems that I bought in a charity/thrift shop. I think the Metro image is the most complicated image that I have ever fussy cut; it took a good hour to cut out all the detail and I needed to use a craft knife and cutting mat as well as scissors. I outlined this image and the poem, title and edges of the stamped papers with Derwent Inktense pencils, black and white Uni Posca paint pens, a black Uni Pin marker and a white Uniball gel pen to add detail and make them stand out from the background more. I coloured the metro sign and the hearts using a red Uni Posca paint pen and added the two vintage embellishments; the Metro signage and the other of a ladies face surrounded by flowers to tie into the poem. To finish, I stuck on some mini white flowers and gemstone flowers to the black boughs and added some dots of Glossy Accents to the leaves so they looked like they were wet.

By pure serendipity when I created this page I added a heart garland, so I’m also pleased to be able to join the “Banners and Garlands” theme over at Moo Mania & More (grin!).

This poem was published in 1913 by Ezra Pound who is an American poet. He founded a poetry movement called Imagism which shared the aim of traditional Japanese art; to paint wonderful pictures with as few brush strokes as possible. The Imagist poetry stresses clarity, precision, economy of language and forgoes traditional rhyme.

Even in 1913 it seems the Paris Metro was a busy place because in the poem he describes seeing a crowd of faces in the subway and suggests they look like flowers on a tree branch.

Of course a poem is always open to interpretation, so you may view it another way (grin!). If you are interested here’s my thinking:

  • The subway is crowded with people, like they often are.
  • Using the word “apparition” suggests that people’s faces are becoming visible then disappearing again as the people come and go. If you’ve travelled on the subway then you have probably experienced this.
  • It is implied that the faces look like flower petals on a branch of a tree, which like the people in the subway usually appear for a moment in time as the tree flowers.
  • The tree branch may represent the train lines which branch off in all directions or it may be symbolic of Japanese flowering trees to link the style of poetry from which Imagism is derived (who knows – grin!).
  • I think the subway may have been darker and wetter back in 1913 than it is today, so he describes the bough as being wet and black.
  • The faces appear out of the darkness just like flowers do from a flowering bud.

We enjoyed travelling on The Metro when we visited Paris and the Metro is famous for its art and décor with each station having its own theme. This is Hector Guimard’s original Art Nouveau entrance in Abbesses station. Other examples include the Bastille station where the walls depict the historic French Revolution and the Arts et Métiers station which is designed to look like a submarine.

Whilst on the Metro a Mariachi Band got onto our carriage and started playing music, it was such a wonderful experience and after all these years it still fills me with joy and makes me smile (grin!). I’ve since found out that since 1997, the Espace Metro Accords (EMA) started holding auditions to decide which musicians could showcase their music in the Metro. 100 lucky candidates are selected each year to play their music – how amazing is that!

 If you are interested, here are some more Paris Metro facts:

  • The Paris Metro is the second busiest metro system in Europe.
  • Paris has the most comprehensive underground rail system in the world with each station being situated a 550 yards away from another. Although today you can find ghost stations all around Paris, these are stations which haven’t been used for years and are now closed to the public.
  • The Metro runs more than 600,000 miles per day which is equivalent to going round the world 10 times daily!
  • The first Metro line was opened in 1900 and it is the fourth oldest metro in Europe after London, Glasgow and Budapest.

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
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Baked Earth 1800, Charcoal Grey 2100)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (White, Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Hessian CS253, Script CS752)
  • Hobbycraft clear stamp (Love Hearts 50402HC)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Pressed Leaves MIN-CCS102, Journey MIN-CCS104)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies Vintage cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Penny Black 2007 wood mounted stamp (City of Love 3800K)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted stamp (B-2414)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Lion Brand (White Postcards 11711)
  • Poundland Design Pad (Changing Seasons CR0701/16PL1)
  • Poundworld Design Pad (Pastels & Whites CR0260/PW)
  • Collins Publishers – David Copperfield
  • Miles Kelly Publishing – 100 Great Poems
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Soft Sweetness 154897)
  • Tonic Studios Paper Punch (Classic Heart Sider 858E)
  • Crelando Decorative Tapes
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Travel Collage #ROY-871)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Mini Decorative Stickers 22740)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 134240)
  • The Works (5 Embellishments)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic

Be the star you are

 have always found this quote empowering so I thought I would create a page to share it with you for this month’s Art Journal Journey theme, which is “Poetry in Motion”, where you are asked to create a page inspired by a poem, quote or saying.

To tie into the quote, I masked off a large star shape and then I painted some distinctive vertical and horizontal lines using grey watercolour paint making sure that I kept the colour to the right-hand side of the page. Then I used a paintbrush to apply lots of fine splatters of the same grey and also some red watercolour paint; I concentrated the splatters on the bottom right-hand corner and fanned them out across the page like a star burst. Next I stamped an alphabet stamp by Kaisercraft and a star garland stamp by Craft Expressions using black Archival Ink and applied black and white acrylic paint splatters again. I used a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker to outline the star and then I removed the masking tape. Next I used the star garland stamp and black Archival Ink again to continue some of the star strands over the white star. The individual letters for the quote are cut from an alphabet paper sheet by Creative Sensations, they are stuck to the page using a UHU Stic and I outlined them with a black Uni Pin marker. To finish, I stuck gold outline stickers onto a sheet of paper from the same Design Pad by Creative Sensations, fussy cut them out and stuck them to the page with a UHU Stic along with some little gold star stickers.

I got the idea for the background splatters from some street art that we recently discovered in Blackpool . There are quite a few murals on the side of some buildings and we noticed that rather than leave one of the side walls plain the artist had painted the wall black, then masked it off in a geometrical design and applied lots of fine splatters of paint.

Here’s a close up view of the wonderful art that resulted when the masking tape had been removed – isn’t the texture amazing!

This is the main mural on the other side of the building, painted in 2015 it now looks a bit worn but the images and colours are fabulous.

This mural was on the building next door, I think this one was created as part of Blackpool’s “Sand, Sea & Spray 2016” urban art festival and the way the artist has created the light on the pretty ladies face and also the rain effect is stunning!

I do hope that you are inspired to get creative and join us for this month’s “Poetry in Motion” challenge over at Art Journal Journey! I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

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 (Black, White)
  • Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colours (Payne’s Gray 465)
  • Rowney Georgian Water Colour (Crimson Alizarin 515)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphix Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Kaisercraft Clear Stamps (Alphabet CS887)
  • Craft Sensations Clear Stamps (CRO274/16R2)
  • Homemade wooden stamp block using plasterboard/drywall tape
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Soft Colours CRO730/R)
  • Outline Stickers (Stars Gold)
  • UHU Stic

Dancing is an art

I’m so excited and honoured to be hosting Art Journal Journey this August and for this month’s challenge you are invited to use your favourite quotes, sayings and poems to inspire your designs for the theme “Poetry in Motion”.

As some of you may know I really like to create pages with meaning and I’m often inspired by things I see and do, including quotes and my page today is inspired by these wonderful words:

I started by painting patches of white gesso over the page then I added Peacock Feathers and Cracked Pistachio Distress Inks by applying the ink pad to an acrylic block, spritzing with water and then pressing the block onto the page. I also dragged the ink pads over the edge of the page to concentrate the colour. With the quote in mind, I stamped some filigree images by Hampton Art using London Fog Memento Ink. Next I sprinkled Ultramarine Colourcraft Brusho Crystal powder onto the page and spritzed them with water and just watched the magic as the colours burst into life. I then added pieces of washi tape, which I had torn so the edges didn’t have such straight lines and flowed with movement.  I stuck down some torn pieces of music paper using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium and also dragged some of the Brusho colour from the page over the edges of the music to blend them in.  I added plasterboard/drywall tape to add more texture and then I layered on torn pieces of a baby wipe which I had previously used to mop up some acrylic paint. Before applying the baby wipe I stretched it so it looked like fabric and used matte gel medium to stick it down so the wispy edges danced across the page. The beautiful dancer image is fussy cut from a leaflet and stuck down using a UHU Stic. I stamped the words onto some paper by Craft Sensations, fussy cut it out, edged the paper with a black Sharpie permanent marker and stuck it to the page using double-sided foam. To finish I added two cream Button Heart embellishments.

I love the way this page has turned out and I feel the words could be applied to my art journaling and to the creation of this page.

I do hope that you are inspired to get creative by the “Poetry in Motion” challenge over at Art Journal Journey too! I’m looking forward to visiting you to see all your wonderful creations.

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and wishing you all a Happy T Day! Today I’m enjoying a refreshing drink of apple juice with ginger beer, in my craft room while creating a new journal page (grin!). It’s served in one of my favourite glasses, which I bought during a tour of the Maine Mead Works in America whilst there on holiday.

Mead is an alcoholic drink made from honey, hence the bee which greeted us on their fabulous sign! If you look closely you can just make out this bee symbol on my glass too (grin!). The mead that they make is a modern style of mead which is similar to wine and is light and refreshing, whereas I think of mead as a winter drink served hot with spices. Both of which are delicious!

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

“Poetry in Motion”

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

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Peacock Feathers, Cracked Pistachio)
  • Memento Dye Ink (London Fog)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Crystals (Ultramarine)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Dovecraft upper and lower case alphabet stamp set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Music Book (Bosworth Violin Studies)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Endless Love CRO260/A)
  • Used dry baby wipe
  • Leaflet
  • Crelando Decorative Tape
  • Home Bargains Self-Adhesive Button Hearts (Sweet Hearts 22809)
  • 151 Adhesives Plasterboard/Drywall Tape
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

My favourite colour combination – Tag

Today I have something a little different to show you. I have created a tag to display in my craft room as a reminder to “Be Brave”, “Create” and “Enjoy” when I’m art journaling.

I’d like to thank Chrissie who inspired me to create this tag, because over at Tag Tuesday if you join in the fun you can enter a draw to win a fabulous owl that she has knitted (grin!). Well I really couldn’t pass up that opportunity as it is so adorable!

The current theme over at Tag Tuesday is “My Favourite Colour Combination”, so of course I choose two shades of blue as it’s my favourite colour along with black, white and some caramel accents to complement and bring out the blue tones.

I started by cutting a tag shape from some Design Pad paper by American Crafts, then I embossed white doily shapes and black butterflies onto the tag. I did this by stamping a Doily by Kaisercraft using Papermania embossing ink and applying white Stampendous embossing powder over the top. Then I shook the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper and tapped the tag 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 craft 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 melted into a glossy finish becoming smooth and dimensional. I repeated the same process for the butterflies using a stamp designed by Graphic 45 Hampton Art using black Versafine Ink and black Papermania embossing powder. Next I scribbled Boysenberry, Snow Cone and Caramel Faber-Castell Gelatos onto the tag and smudged the colour using my finger which I had dipped in water. Then I wiped the embossed images with kitchen paper to remove any excess gelato. I added a filigree leaf stamp by Crafter’s Companion using Danube Blue Memento Ink, a script stamp by Kaisercraft and a postage mark stamp by Hampton Art using black Archival Ink. To finish the background, I splattered black acrylic paint over the tag using a paintbrush.

The black flowers are felt fabric which I cut to fit and then glued onto the tag using a UHU glue pen. To make the tag more sturdy I cut out another tag shape from thick paper, slightly larger this time to create a border. I stained the edges of this paper with black Versafine Ink using a blending tool, edged both tags with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and then I stuck the two tags together using a UHU Stic. I punched a hole in the top of the tag and outlined it with the black Faber-Castell Big Brush Marker and I also added strips of black Glitterations stickers across the edge of where the two tags joined and also along the border to add more detail.

I added silver glitter details to the butterfly wings using Ranger Stickles and also some glittery hearts and blue round gems using Glossy Accents. The words are stamped onto a piece of design paper which I mounted on the leftover border paper, that I had stained with black ink, using a UHU Stic and then they are stuck to the tag using double-sided foam tape. I tied white organza, blue satin and black velvet ribbons through the tag which finished the tag beautifully.

As my tag has plenty of glitter and shine I’m also pleased to join the “Let it Shine” theme over at Try it on Tuesday. My good friend Gill likes elegance and grunge as much as me and I missed out on the tag fun when she was a guest designer over at Try it on Tuesday a couple of weeks ago, because, unfortunately, I just didn’t have the time. However this week I found that some rainy weather allowed me more time in my craft room so I got to work. I hope you like the result as much as me!

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:

  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black)
  • Faber-Castell Gelato (Boysenberry, Snow Cone, Caramel)
  • Dovecraft (Premium Embossing Ink DCBS62)
  • Tsukineko Versafine Ink (Onyx Black)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Memento Ink (Danube Blue)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Papermania Embossing Powder (Black PMA4021006)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Doily CS297, Script CS752)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies Vintage cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Crafter’s Companion Signature Collection by Sara Davies stamp set (Just for You – Butterfly Lullaby S-BL-ST-JUS)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • American Crafts Paper Pad (DIY Shop 366665)
  • The Works Design Pad (Classic Vintage CRO707/TW7, Vintage Experience CRO239/TW6)
  • Poundland (Felt Pads Black 117107)
  • Docrafts Glitterations (Black Borders ANT8181015)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Mini Decorative Stickers 22740)
  • Hobbycraft Decorative Embellishments (Blue Round Gems 566538101)
  • Ribbon (White Organza, Blue Sation, Black Velvet)
  • Ranger Stickles (Silver)
  • UHU Stic and Glue Pen
  • The Range double-sided foam tape