Melt It! – Four Seasons

I’m so excited and honoured to be a Pinworthy Guest Designer over at A Vintage Journey and my seasonal heart decorations are inspired by their challenge – Melt It! Julia is the host for this challenge and kindly provided the following brief:

This month we’re asking everyone to MELT IT! Get out the UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel), beeswax, encaustic wax, embossing powders or good old wax crayons and a heat tool and get melting to create something in a vintage; shabby; mixed media; art journaling; industrial, timeworn or steampunk style.

So today I’m sharing how I created a heart decoration for each of the four seasons and as I love creating my art journal pages and projects using mixed media, I chose to create these decorations in the Mixed Media Style for A Vintage Journey. I had so much fun melting both embossing powder for the backgrounds and also embossing enamels for the birds on my Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter decorations (grin!).

These decorations are wonderful additions to the seasonal window displays that I create throughout the year, which you may be aware of from my previous post.

I started by stamping the heart tags with different stamps using Emboss ink, the stamps included: a rose design from a Penny Black stamp set for spring; flowers and swirls from the same Penny Black stamp set and also a flower design from Hampton Art for summer; some leaves from Royal & Langnickel for autumn and finally snowflakes from BoBunny for winter. I covered each of them with white Stampendous embossing powder, shook off the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper and also tapped the heart to make sure any stray powder was removed. Then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder by sweeping the gun over the stamped images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long until the embossing powder melted to a glossy finish and became smooth and dimensional. I repeated the same process to decorate the back of the heart too, making sure I suspended the heart when heating the embossing powder to ensure the reverse side did not stick to my craft mat. Next I applied two different Memento Inks for each of the hearts using a blending tool, which emphasised the melted embossing powder beautifully. The ink colours I used were Pistachio and Angel Pink for spring, Lilac Posies and Dandelion for summer, Morocco and Toffee Crunch for autumn and Summer Sky and London Fog for winter.

The branches and foliage for spring, autumn and winter are die cut using Garden Greens Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz from different design papers with my new Big Shot machine. They are coloured using Spectrum Aqua markers which I applied like watercolour by scribbling the marker onto an acrylic block and picking up the ink with a wet paintbrush; the colours I used were Bud Green and Moss for spring, Chestnut and Sepia for autumn and Chocolate for winter. I used some tiny maple leaves that I had in my craft stash to decorate the autumn branch which I coloured using Crimson, Orange and Gold Spectrum Aqua Markers. All of these paper elements are stuck to the heart using a Zig Memory System glue pen. For summer, I used some sunflower border stickers by Docrafts Papermania.

For the birds, I used some wooden bird shapes which I covered in Emboss ink and Stampendous Frantage embossing enamel; this enamel was a Christmas present so this is the first time I had used it and I love it, it’s such an amazing medium to use (grin!). I shook off the excess enamel pieces and then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing enamel until it melted to a smooth glossy finish. Be careful not to touch the melted embossing enamel until cooled as it gets very hot when heated. For spring I used Aged Hunter, for summer Aged Silver, for autumn Aged Marine and winter Aged Scarlet. The birds are stuck in place using Ranger Glossy Accents.

Next I embellished the spring branches with some pretty flower beads to represent spring blossoms using Glossy Accents and the winter berries using Christmas Red Stickles from Ranger. The wording is stamped onto thick paper using a Dovecraft alphabet stamp set and different Memento Inks; Rich Cocoa for spring, Cottage Ivy for summer, Elderberry for autumn and Blue Danube for winter. They are stuck down using the Zig Memory System glue pen. To finish, I added a piece of white paper twine and also threaded some flower, metal and bevelled glass beads on a piece of thread and tied them with some ribbons around the twine.

I really enjoyed joining A Vintage Journey to Melt It! and create my Four Seasons heart decorations. I hope you are inspired by this month’s challenge too and are able to join in the fun!

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 these decorations:

  • Tsukeniko Emboss Embossing Ink Pad (Clear)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Toffee Crunch, Angel Pink, Rich Cocoa, Lilac Posies, Dandelion, Cottage Ivy, Morocco, Toffee Crunch, Elderberry, Summer Sky, London Fog, Danube Blue)
  • Stampendous Frantage Embossing Enamel Holiday Kit (Aged Hunter, Aged Silver, Aged Marine, Aged Scarlet)
  • Spectrum Aqua Markers (Bud Green, Moss, Crimson, Orange, Gold, Chestnut, Sepia, Chocolate)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Penny Black Stamp Set (Clearly in Love 30-009)
  • Hampton Art Studio G Clear Stamps (Series 11 VS4911)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Pressed Leaves MIN-CCS102)
  • BoBunny Stamps (Snow Day 13705563)
  • Sizzix Thinlets Tim Holtz Alterations (Garden Greens 661206)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Crafter’s Companion Luxury Designer Paper Pad (Angelica & Adam Collection A&A-PAP6-M)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Design Block)
  • Poundland Design Pad (Changing Seasons CR0701/16PL1)
  • Wilko (5 Heart Gift Tags)
  • Craft for Occasions (C2026 – wooden bird and bunnies)
  • Docrafts Papermania Signature 3D Floral Borders (Sunflower Burst PMA8011000)
  • The Brighton Bead Shop (Assorted beads – flower, glass, metal, bevelled)
  • Thick black thread
  • Recycled ribbons from Christmas Crackers
  • Satin ribbon (Green, Pink, Tan, Blue)
  • Ranger Stickles (Christmas Red)
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (The Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Glue Pen
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Love is in the Air

The new challenge theme over at Try it on Tuesday is Love is in the Air – think Hearts, Valentine’s Day, Love etc.

This challenge runs for the next two weeks and I hope you will join in the fun with your Love is in the Air creations, I look forward to seeing you there (grin!).

My art journal page today is a mixed media collage and it involved lots of fussy cutting which I love (grin!). I started this page by stamping a heart background stamp onto the page using Rich Cocoa Memento ink and stencilling a Vintage trellis design from Dutch Doobadoo using Angel Pink Memento Ink with a blending tool.

Next I fussy cut the heart branches, birds and birdcages from an 8×8” sheet of design paper. The design paper was two-sided so I also fussy cut lots of hearts and swirls from the other side. Once all the fussy cutting was complete, I stuck a sheet of napkin, with a pretty lace, music and cupid design, over the top of the stamped and stencilled background using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium; I chose Memento Ink as they do not reactivate when wet so the inks do not bleed into the gel medium or napkin. As I covered the napkin with a layer of gel medium, I collaged the pieces of heart branches, swirls and birds on top while it was still wet. I ensured that the design flowed by matching up the lines and layering the images together and also covered all of these pieces with a layer of gel medium too and left it to dry.

Once dry, I coloured all of the hearts using a Blossom Spectrum Aqua Marker which I applied like watercolour; I did this by scribbling the marker onto an acrylic block and using a wet paintbrush to gradually shade the colour. I really like the way the colour intensifies as it shades across the hearts. I also added more definition around the hearts using white and brown Uni Posca paint pens. Next I added the red lettering which is from a Die-cut & Paper Pack set by Docrafts Papermania and then added some shadows to the whole design by applying diluted Dark Sepia Faber-Castell Big Brush marker with a paintbrush. To finish, I embellished the tree branches and swirls with some small red gem stones to add a little sparkle.

I really enjoyed creating this page and over on Try it on Tuesday the Design Team have created some fabulous creations for this challenge, so please pop over and take a look.

As we have had some high winds of late, instead of walking with friends on the beach we have taken refuge by walking in the grounds of Lytham Hall. This of course means that we went to the café there and this is the saucer that my cup was partnered with, it reminded me of the birds on my page (grin!).

You can see how my green tea was served here, in a pretty teacup along with the saucer and of course I had my usual slice of delicious ginger cake which I just couldn’t resist – yum (grin!). With this drink related photo, I’m saying a big hello the T Gang at T Stands for Tuesday  and wishing you all a 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 be able to join the lovely Rike for rike’s art, who is hosting the Animals A-Z challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the “L is for Lovebirds” that I included on my page.

As I included red on my page, I’m also joining in the fun over at The Artistic Stamper and their challenge is Roses are Red (use the colour Red) challenge.

I’m also joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Love is in the Air Challenge.

As I used the reds, pinks and hearts on my art journal page, I’m also pleased to join the Photo Inspiration 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:

  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa, Angel Pink)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Blossom)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Dark Sepia 175)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (White, Brown)
  • Hobbycraft clear stamp (A6 Heart Background 50351HC)
  • Dutch Doobadoo A5 Dutch Mask Art (Vintage)
  • Dunelm Napkins (Grace 30220549)
  • 8×8” Design Paper Sheet – free gift from local craft store
  • Docrafts Papermania A4 Ultimate Die Cut & Paper Pack (Folk Christmas PMA160933)
  • Docrafts Papermania 3mm Adhesive Stones (Red 351607)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Winter Woodland

On one of our walks we discovered a woodland of silver birch, these trees look so striking at winter time and we were surprised by how many that we saw. It was such an amazing sight that I created a page to remember them (grin!).

I started by painting a wash of Salty Ocean Distress Ink by applying the ink pad to an acrylic block, adding lots of water and applying it with a large paintbrush. While the page was still wet I added some more Salty Ocean ink using the paintbrush to build up layers of colour and then I also added some Pine Needles and Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink to the bottom of the page for the foreground. Then I added some drops and splatters by pressing the Salty Ocean ink that was on the acrylic block onto the page. Next I cut out some tree trunks from a design paper from Docrafts Papermania and the two deer are fussy cut from an old calendar. I varied the height and widths of the trees and placed one of the deer behind the front row of trees to give perspective, they are all stuck down using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. Once the gel medium was dry, I added layers of Pébéo white gesso and black DecoArt acrylic paint to the tree trunks using an old gift card; I dried each layer of paint with a heat gun before I added the next. I then stuck the other deer into place using the Liquitex matte gel medium and splattered the whole page with white DecoArt acrylic paint and also diluted grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker using a paintbrush. While the paint dried, I die cut some berry branches using my Big Shot and Sizzix thinlets by Tim Holtz. They are stuck in place using a Zig Memory System glue pen and I added silver Ranger Stickles to each berry. Next I used a black Derwent Graphik marker and white Pentel gel pen to add more detail to the trees and deer. To emphasis the snow fall I added some pretty blue and lavender coloured dots which are stickers and added more white splatters using the white DecoArt acrylic paint. I also painted some snow around the base of the trees and then to finish, I stamped “Winter Woodland” on the left hand side of the page using an alphabet stamp set by Dovecraft and black Archival Ink.

Here are the silver birch trees, don’t they look stunning! We saw them on the same walk at a nature reserve, which I featured in a previous post, when we visiting family in the South of England.

If you are interested here are some fun silver birch tree facts from the UK:

  • Traditionally, the tree was used to make maypoles and to start the fires to celebrate Beltane, the festival of new beginnings where they danced around the maypole to ensure healthy and abundant crops.
  • The silver birch was also a highly protective influence, especially on Midsummer’s Eve when its boughs were hung over doors to guard off evil and bring good luck.
  • In olden days its leaves were brewed into a tea and used to treat infection and stimulate a healthy vitality.
  • Early man stitched the bark together to make food vessels and canoes for hunting.
  • The silver birch is treasured for its silver-white bark and is seen in many gardens where it is especially loved by the bees and birds.

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 be able to join the lovely Rike from rike’s art, who is hosting the Animals A-Z challenge over at Art Journal Journey, as I used artistic licence and added some deer to my page (grin!).

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Anything Goes challenge with my Winter Woodland art journal page.

I’m also pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Anything But Cute challenge, as the deer image looks more realistic than cute to 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:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Salty Ocean, Pine Needles, Brushed Corduroy)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black, White)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.3mm)
  • Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip pen (White)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz (Garden Greens 661206)
  • Docrafts Papermania A4 Ultimate Die Cut & Paper Pack (Festive Fauna PMA160949)
  • Old Calendar
  • The Works 12×12 Paperstack (Vintage Experience)
  • Stickers – Unknown (124017)
  • Ranger Stickles (Silver)
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Blue Danube

Every year we enjoy watching the famous New Year’s concert from Vienna, Austria, which features my all time favourite classical music by Strauss. This art journal page celebrates one of the most well-known waltzes by Johann Strauss called the Blue Danube and takes inspiration from the beautiful roses at this year’s concert.

Over at Try it on Tuesday, the current theme is Fire and Ice where you are asked to use hot or cold colours like the hot reds and cool blues on my page. I hope you are inspired to join in the fun, this challenge runs for another week and it would be great to see you there!

I started by tearing the edges from a piece of music sheet detailing the Blue Danube Waltz and sticking the torn pieces around the edge of my page using a UHU Stic. I aged these papers using Brushed Corduroy and Black Soot Distress Ink and a blending tool, and also a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and Derwent Graphik marker smudging the inks with my finger as I applied them. I then added a colour wash of Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink by stamping the ink pad directly onto an acrylic block and applying the ink using a paintbrush to apply the ink onto the page which I had already spritzed with water. I also pressed the ink onto the page from the acrylic block to create pools and dots of blue colour and then I dried them with a heat gun. Next I stamped a series of stamps from the Musicality stamp set by Docrafts using Danube Blue, Paris Dusk, Teal Zeal and Bahamas Blue Memento Inks ensuring that I stamped around the music sheet to completely cover the background. Then I curled the edges of the central piece of music sheet and stuck it onto the page using double-sided tape.

I used my Big Shot to die cut the leaf swirls from gold metallic paper, I also die cut the green leaves, using the Garden Greens Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz, from some green design paper. I coloured and edged them with Leaf Green Spectrum Aqua marker to intensify the colour and they are all stuck into place using glue dots and a Zig Memory System glue pen. For the roses, I used a rose stamp from the same Docrafts Musicality stamp set and black Archival Ink to stamp them onto a pale pink design paper which I backed with white card. I coloured these roses using Rose Pink, Begonia and Sunflower Spectrum Aqua markers which I applied using a paintbrush like watercolour; I did this by scribbling the inks onto an acrylic block so I could pick up the ink with a paintbrush. They are also edged with the Rose Pink Spectrum Aqua marker and layered on top of the leaves and swirls using double-sided foam tape, which finished the page.

If you haven’t seen it here’s a link to the Blue Danube Waltz being played at the New Year’s Concert Vienna Philharmonic 2018. I love the New Year’s concert and some of you may remember me featuring it last year on one of my posts, where I detailed some interesting facts about the Blue Danube and Johann Strauss too.

Before we watched this year’s concert we celebrated the first day of the year in style by having a breakfast of smoked salmon with scrambled eggs on a toasted English muffin. I also had a glass of Bucks Fizz, which is orange juice and prosecco (or sparkling white wine or champagne could be used instead); sharing this drink means that I’m joining the T Gang over at T Stands for Tuesday – cheers and wishing you all a very 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. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

Over at Moo Mania & More the theme is Inspired by a Song which gave me the perfect excuse to create my Blue Danube page, thank you!

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 New Year’s adventure!

I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Layer It Up challenge with my layer music sheet, dies and stamped roses.

I enjoyed using all the stamps to create this page so I’m also pleased to join the Anything Goes challenge over at The Artistic Stamper.

As I used stamps for the focal images on my page, I’m also happy to be able to join Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their Anything Goes challenge.

With my cool blue background, I’m also joining the Cold and Frosty Colours challenge over at Stamping Sensations.

Again and again I’m drawn to use my Distress Inks to create backgrounds and my Memento Inks for stamping, and as these are some of my favourite mediums I’m joining the Allsorts Challenge Blog and their Old Favourites 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 and Black Soot Chipped Sapphire)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Danube Blue, Paris Dusk, Teal Zeal, Bahama Blue)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Markers (Leaf Green, Rose Pink, Begonia, Sunflower)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.8mm)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 clear stamp set (Musicality DCE907112)
  • Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz Alterations (Garden Greens
  • Swirl Leaf Die – unknown
  • Music of all Nations Music Booklet
  • Gold Paper
  • Poundland Design Pad (Contemporary Christmas CR0701K/PL4)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Pastels & White CR0260/PW)
  • Card – recycled packaging
  • UHU Stic
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • Wilko Sticky Dots
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

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

A Sprinkle of Magic

I couldn’t wait to use my new Big Shot die cutting machine which I received for Christmas so I created this page (grin!).

You may have seen that I referred to it in my last post and I was amazed at how many of you guessed correctly (double grin!). I’d also like to thank everyone for all their lovely wishes of congratulations when I became a member of the Try it on Tuesday Design Team too, I’m overwhelmed by your kindness, thank you!

To create the background, I added Hickory Smoke, Tea Dye and Milled Lavender Distress Inks by applying the ink pads to an acrylic block, spritzing with water and pressing the block onto the page. Then I stamped a couple of snowflake designs from BoBunny using London Fog, Toffee Crunch and Lulu Lavender Memento Inks. Next I created all the lovely leaves from different design papers using my new Big Shot; I chose a blue colour palette to give a wintry and frosty feel to the page. I used a holly die to create the leaves and had such fun using the Big Shot to produce them all, as you can see I made quite a few (grin!). I edged each of the leaves with a grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker to make them stand out a bit more from the background, which took quite some time! Then I layered them onto the page using glue dots or double-sided foam tape and a Zig Memory System glue pen. Once in place I also curled the leaves so they looked more dimensional. The pretty bird and fence posts are fussy cut from last year’s calendar and are edged with grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker; the calendar features British Birds and this one is called a Great Tit which frequents woodland and gardens alike. They are stuck down using a UHU Stic and I added some of the leaves around them too. Next I added a pretty winter scene tag by Pion Designs, a sticker from Graphic 45 and also some words which I cut from an old magazine, mounted onto a piece of thick paper and stuck into place using double-sided foam tape. The words read “A sprinkle of magic” which reminds me of frost and snow this time of year. To finish, I added Icicle Sparkles to the snow on the fence posts and lots of blue gems using Glossy Accents.

I had so much fun using my Big Shot and having never used a die cutting machine before, I had a fun adventure finding out how it worked and how to use it (grin!). I have a very limited supply of dies at the moment but couldn’t wait to get creative so made do with what I had and I love the page that resulted!

If you have any suggestions of brands or actual dies that you would recommend and couldn’t live without, then please let me know by leaving a comment below. This will help me decide what to put on my wish list as I really don’t know where to start (double grin!).

As I included my cuppa in the photo above, I’m pleased to join Bleubeard and Elizabeth and the rest of the T Gang over at T Stands for Tuesday – sending you all Happy T day wishes!

If you are wondering, here’s the photo of my craft room from my last post, you can see my new Big Shot on the left-hand side (grin!).

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 winter page that I created on my Big Shot adventure (grin!).

With my wintry page I’m pleased to join Moo Mania & More and their Frosty Winter challenge .

With the blue colours that I used to create this page, I’m also happy to join Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Winter Blues challenge.

Including stamping means I’m also able to join in the fun over at The Artistic Stamper and their Anything Goes challenge.

I’m also pleased to be able to join Country View Challenges and this month’s Anything Goes challenge.

As I used stamping and other mixed media to create my art journal page, I’m pleased to join the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their January Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included). 

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 (Hickory Smoke, Tea Dye, Milled Lavender)
  • Tsukineko Memento Ink (London Fog, Toffee Crunch, Lulu Lavender)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • BoBunny Stamps (Snow Day #13705563)
  • The Range Festive Collection (5×5 Dies Holly)
  • Poundland Design Pad (Pure Frozen CRO701/16PL4, Contemporary Christmas CRO701K/P4)
  • Festive Silhouettes free with magazine (Luxury Stamp Set and Foiled Paper)
  • Poundland (Glitter Sheets 116432)
  • British Birds Calendar 2017 – recycled
  • Pion Design Glistening Season 12×12” paper sheet (Tags – PD6612)
  • Graphic 45 Cardstock Stickers (Place in Time 4500617)
  • Hobbycraft Decorative Embellishments (Blue Round Gems 566538101)
  • Ranger Stickles (Icicle)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (The Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • UHU Stic
  • Wilko (Sticky Dots)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape