Merry Little Christmas Au Revoir at A Vintage Journey

Over at A Vintage Journey our challenge this month is Merry Little Christmas which is sadly our very last challenge. It’s been an honour and a pleasure to be part of such a wonderful team and blog – thank you so much for all your inspiration and support over the years!

We have come together to create small ATC creations to share some Christmas cheer and also to say “au revoir”. So if you would like to participate in our challenge one last time please create an ATC project depicting a Merry Little Christmas and/or Au Revoir theme; we hope to see you there!

Creating ATCs is a first for me, who’d have thought that I’d have so much fun creating these mini artworks (grin!). Here are my Merry Little Christmas ATCs that I created to wish you all happiness this Christmas!

Using some old playing cards as my base, I started by covering them with scraps of Botanicals or Halloween Collage paper from Tim Holtz using Liquitex matte gel medium. Then I applied some Pébéo white gesso using a brayer and when dry, I added Vintage Photo Distress Ink with a blending tool.

I applied another layer of white gesso over the top and then added some holly leaves and berries. The holly leaves were die cut using a Holiday Greens Thinlits set by Tim Holtz from some white paper which I had coloured using Mowed Lawn, Peeled Paint and Pine Needles Distress Ink. The berries were also die cut from some white paper which had been coloured with Festive Berries Distress Ink. When they were stuck in place using matte gel medium, I splattered the ATC with some white acrylic paint.

The stars are stencilled using a Sparkle stencil from Tim Holtz and VersaMark Watermark ink which I covered with gold Ranger embossing powder. I also edged the ATC with the embossing powder before heating everything with a heat gun. The glittery snowflakes were cut using a Mini Paper Snowflakes Thinlits set by Tim Holtz from some glittery paper. To finish, I added the wording from a Christmas sticker book by Tim Holtz.

Here’s my Au Revior ATC which I created to celebrate A Vintage Journey; including all the amazing participants of our challenges and my fellow Creative Guides. The quote “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened” (Dr. Seuss) that I included seemed appropriate as it’s so bittersweet to see A Vintage Journey end.

To create this mixed media ATC, I started by covering an old playing card firstly with white gesso and then with black DecoArt acrylic paint. I used the Sparkles stencil by Tim Holtz, VersaMark Watermark ink and gold Ranger Embossing powder again. Then I added one of the badges from A Vintage Journey, that I had printed and distressed using some Vintage Photo Distress Ink, to top and tail my ATC design. The Dr. Seuss quote was created using a label machine and the red hearts were cut from some cardstock using a Falling Hearts Thinlits set from Tim Holtz. To finish, I added some the white wording which were from a Small Talk Remnant Rubs set by Tim Holtz.

I hope you are inspired to join in the Merry Little Christmas and/or Au Revoir challenge themes and for more inspiration you’ll find some amazing ATCs and beautiful heartfelt words from my fellow Creative Guides over at A Vintage Journey too.

I have really enjoyed my time at A Vintage Journey, from joining in the challenges to becoming a Creative Guide something that I always wished for. I have made some wonderful friends along the way, thank you for being part of my creative journey – it’s been a blast! x

Of course I seem to have been singing “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” all month too and my favourite version has to be by Judy Garland from the musical Meet Me In St. Louis (1944) – the lyrics seem very pertinent for this year too.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

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

Here is a list of all the materials used to create these ATCs:

  • Old playing cards
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology Collage Paper (Botanical #TH93705, Halloween #TH93712)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Vintage Photo, Mowed Lawn, Peeled Paint, Pine Needles, Festive Berries)
  • Recycled white paper
  • Tim Holtz Sizzix Thinlets (Holiday Greens 658759, Paper Snowflakes Mini 661599, Falling Hearts 664415)
  • The Range (5×5 Dies Holly)
  • Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous Layering Stencil (Sparkles THS132)
  • Tsukineko VersaMark (Watermark Stamp Pad)
  • Ranger Embossing Powder (Gold)
  • Glitter wallpaper
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology (Christmas Sticker Book #TH93999)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Dark Sepia 175 B)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black)
  • A Vintage Journey Badge – computer printed
  • Dymo LetraTag Label Maker and Labels
  • Craft Sensations (Luxury Cardstock with Linen Texture CRO241/GE)
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology Remnant Rubs (Tiny Text #TH93695)

I’m joining in the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Anything Christmas challenge with my Christmas ATCs.

I’m pleased to join the Merry Little Christmas Challenge and their MLCCB #28 – December Anything Christmas Goes with my Merry Little Christmas ATCs.

I’m pleased to be able to join the A Time to be Grateful over at The Funkie Junkie Boutique Challenge Blog as I am thankful to have been part of such a fabulous challenge blog and team.

I’m also pleased to join the Fun With Dies challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge with all the Tim Holtz Thinlets sets that I used to created my ATCs.

Opposites for Country View Challenges

I’m so pleased and honoured to be Guest Designer over at Country View Challenges for their Opposites challenge this month. Opposites could be night and day, hot and cold or up and down etc. Both parts of the ‘theme’ should be included in the project which could either be one single item (like my art journal page) or a pair (like two ATCs depicting the two opposites).

I found this theme very inspiring and created an art journal page which features Colour versus Black & White with both of these featuring on my page.

I started by drawing a pencil line to divide the page and then to create my colour background I painted Kuretake watercolours onto the right-hand side of the page by applying water first then painting Red Madder, Turquoise Blue, Colbalt Violet and Sap Green over the top.

Once dry I used three stencils from Creative Expressions to apply Blueprint Sketch, Twisted Citron and Picked Raspberry Distress Inks using a blending tool over the top of the watercolour paint. I mirrored the stencilling on the left-hand side of the page by turning the stencil over and applying Black Soot Distress Ink using a blending tool which created my black and white background.

I stamped two flowers from the Flower Garden Tim Holtz stamp set onto a book page using black Archival Ink. I coloured one of the flowers using the same watercolour paints and Distress Inks that I used to colour the background, as well as Lemon Yellow watercolour paint for the centre of the flower.

I placed the flowers on the opposite page using a Zig Memory System glue pen to stick them down along with the “Colour” and “Black & White” wording which I created using a labelling machine, colouring the “Colour” one using the watercolour paint; this finished the page.

I hope that you are inspired by this month’s Opposites challenge too and are able to join in the fun! Don’t forget that there is also a chance to win a £20 voucher for the Country View Crafts shop if you do and for more inspiration please check out the amazing creations from the Design Team over at Country View Challenges.

In February, I was delighted to win and also to be awarded Design Team Member’s Special Mention for the art journal pages that I entered into the Black & White Plus One challenge at Country View Challenges.

I can’t wait to play with these new crafting goodies that I purchased from Country View Crafts shop with the £20 voucher that I won – thanks very much!

I have really enjoyed spending time with you today and I’d like to say a special thank you to Country View Challenges for giving me the opportunity to design for them!

Thanks so much! 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:

  • Kuretake Gansai Tambi Japanese Watercolour Paint set (Rose Madder, Sap Green Light, Turquoise Blue, Colbalt Violet, Lemon Yellow)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Blueprint Sketch, Twisted Citron, Picked Raspberry, Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Creative Expressions Mini Stencils (Ornamental, Graduated Grid, Heart Cluster)
  • Tim Holtz Collection Stamper Anonymous (Flower Garden CMS215)
  • Tim Holtz Stamp Platform from Tonic Studios
  • Pears Cyclopaedia 2007-2008 Edition
  • Dymo Letratag Personal Label Maker with white paper labels
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (Dual Action Glue Pen)

Thank you – Hello Springtime at AJJ

As it’s the end of the month, I’m sharing the last page for the Hello Springtime challenge over at Art Journal Journey which I’ve been hosting this March, so thanks very much to everyone who joined in the fun!

I appreciate all your kind comments and support throughout the month and thoroughly enjoyed visiting your blogs and seeing all your wonderful Hello Springtime artwork so I created this page to remember you all and to say thank you!

I used my garden as inspiration for this page as it is coming to life now springtime’s here, so I decided to create a garden wall with pretty flowers to showcase all the names of the people who joined the Hello Springtime challenge this month at Art Journal Journey (AJJ).

I started by covering the page with a thick layer of Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint and sponging a mixture of Christmas Green and Swedish Blue Liquitex acrylic paint over the top. Once the paint was dry, I stencilled a brick design using a mixture of red, yellow and black acrylic paint to create the brown colour and when dry I loosely outlined the bricks with a black Uni Pin marker to give them more definition. Then I used a texture stamp from Tim Holtz using Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink to give a grungy look to the areas not covered with the brick design. For the foliage, I stamped Cottage Ivy Memento Ink using a stamp from Kaisercraft. Then I used my Dymo LetraTag label machine to create all the names of the people who joined the challenge this month which took some time as I cut each of them out and then stuck them in place along the brickwork. For the “thank you”, I stamped the banner and thank you using a couple of Hampton Art stamp sets using black Archival Ink onto some card by Docrafts. I fussy cut the banner out and gave it more of a worn look using Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink and a blending tool. I cut the AJJ logo out, and stuck it and the thank you banner in place using double-sided tape. I also added the “March 2019” and “Hello Springtime” labels that I created using my Dymo machine and then to finish, the sparkly flower embellishments using Ranger Glossy Accents.

I’d also like to that Gerrina who entered my challenge after I photographed my page. I have now added Gerrina’s name to my page too (grin!).

I had so much fun creating all my pages for this challenge and I hope you did too!

I’d like to say a special thanks to Susi and Bleubeard & Elizabeth for asking me to be a guest host, they provided such valuable support and encouragement, thanks so much!

I have also been overwhelmed with everyone’s participation and lovely comments; it has been such a pleasurable experience – thank you all! Jo x

Tomorrow is a new month and brings a new challenge at Art Journal Journey and I can’t wait to see what the new theme is and say hello to our new host – I hope to see 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:

  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment, Christmas Green, Swedish Blue, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black)
  • Tsukineko Memento Ink (Cottage Ivy)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Brushed Corduroy)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Magnolia Grove CS822)
  • Tim Holtz Collection Stampers Anonymous (Urban Tapestry CMS061)
  • Hampton Art cling mounted rubber stamps (7 Gypsies Vintage – Birdsong ICO151, Doodlebug Design Inc – Thankful ICO162)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Dymo LetraTag Label Maker and White paper Labels
  • Art Journal Journey logo – computer printed
  • Docrafts Papermania Capsule Collection Tags (Elements Wood PMA174318)
  • The Range (Craft Embellishments CRO824)
  • Stix2 double-sided tape
  • Ranger Glossy Accents

Delicious Autumn

Autumn is one of my favourite months and finding this pretty tissue of a robin sat amongst autumn leaves I decided to create a page using some leaves that I had pressed and a beautiful quote from a poem by George Eliot.

I started by ripping the tissue into pieces around the robin, leaf and branch images and adhering them to the page using a glue stick and matte gel medium. Next I applied DecoArt crackle glaze using a palette knife in between the tissue pieces and left it to dry overnight.

To highlight the crackle effect, I painted Yellow Ochre from my Kuratake watercolour paint set onto the page and also Dark Sepia Faber-Castell marker by scribbling the pen onto an acrylic block and picking the ink up with a paintbrush. I also added droplets of Carbon Black Liquitex Ink and then applied water with a paintbrush making it spread between the cracks. I repeated this process using Black Soot Distress Ink too. For the wording, I used my new label maker, which was fun (grin!). The quote is from a poem by George Eliot who wrote “Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns”. I distressed the edges of the labels with scissors and used Antique Linen and Vintage Photo Distress Inks to edge and colour them; once they were stuck in place I outlined them using a black Uni Pin marker. Then I added some leaves to the branches which I collected last year and had dried and pressed; they are stuck down using wood adhesive. To finish, I applied some little dots of Pumpkin Liquid Pearls to add a pop of bright autumnal colour.

I love the quote from George Eliot too; wouldn’t it be amazing to be a bird and fly about the earth experiencing one autumn after the other (grin!). There is so much I enjoy about autumn especially the colours of autumn which can be seen in this beautiful view of the River Yarrow when we visited Duxbury Woods.

One of my favourite places for autumn/fall foliage with its amazing reds, oranges and yellows is New England. This photo was taken a few years ago, it’s lovely to be transported back there and maybe it is possible to chase those successive autumns after all!


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 Yvonne from Meggy’s way, who is hosting A World of Fantasy challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my successive autumn wishes, wouldn’t it be amazing to experience one autumn after another!

I’m pleased to join their Back To Nature challenge over at A Vintage Journey, as their brief for this challenge inspired me to use the leaves that I had collected last year and dried. I hope you like my Art Journaling and Mixed Media style page.

Over at That’s Crafty! Challenge Blog their theme is Forever Autumn so I’m pleased to join this challenge with my Delicious Autumn page.

I’m also joining the lovely Wen and her Simply Neutrals Tuesday party over at Apple Apricot with my seasonal nature page.

I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Anything Goes challenge with my autumnal art journal page.

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 Medium Crackle Glaze
  • Kuretake Gansai Tambi Japanese Watercolour Paint set (Yellow Ochre)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Dark Sepia 175 B)
  • Liquitex ink! (Carbon Black)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot, Antique Linen, Vintage Photo)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • IHR Ideal Home Range tissues (Red Robin PT89600)
  • Dymo LetraTag Personal Label Maker LT-100H
  • Dymo LetraTag Tape 12mm (White Paper)
  • Dried and pressed leaves
  • Ranger Liquid Pearls (Pumpkin)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Pritt Stick
  • Evo-Stik Wood Adhesive