Dragonflies and Stars

This page is inspired by two things; firstly by some very magical water reflections under a bridge on a recent day out in Garstang and secondly by the most wonderful quote by an unknown author on one of my friend’s posts – so thank you Kristah.

“May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with fairies and talk to the moon”

This page started with a background gone wrong, so I covered it in a thick layer of Pébéo white gesso and I rolled a clean brayer over the surface to create a textured effect. Once the gesso had dried, I scribbled Earl Grey and Caramel Faber-Castell gelatos over the top. Then I dipped my finger into some water and rubbed the gelato to smudge the colours. Next I dragged a Hickory Smoke Distress Ink pad over the page and also used a grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and blended them both onto the page with my finger. I like the way the gelatos and ink bought out the texture that I had created previously with the brayer on the gesso. Then I vertically stamped the rows of dots by Craft Sensations using black Archival Ink and I used the same ink to stamp a circle/heart design by Sugarloaf Inc. and also a small script texture stamp by The Works.  I used a circle stencil to add modelling paste to the edges of the page using a palette knife and when it had dried I painted it with white acrylic paint so it stood out from the background better. Then I used an acrylic block and a paintbrush to add splatters of white and black acrylic paint. I added the white circles by drawing round a tube of tape using a white Uni Posca paint pen. For the dragonfly circles, I used a circle cutter to cut three circles from some pre-stamped paper (this is the paper I create whilst completing other journal pages as I always test my stamps before using them on my pages). On each circle I stamped a dragonfly by Eco Green Crafts using black Versafine Ink and applied black Papermania embossing powder over the top. Then I shook the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper and tapped the circles against the table to make sure I’ve 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. I used a black Faber-Castell big brush marker to draw black circle outlines and stuck the dragonfly circles over the top using a UHU Stic. Then I drew a dot border around the edges of these circles using the white Uni Posca paint pen again. I stamped the quote using black Archival Ink and I went over the wording with a black Uni Pin pen to make it stand out more. The stars are outline stickers which I coloured with a black Sharpie permanent marker. To finish, I coloured some paper flowers using a Red Violet Spectrum Aqua marker by liberally colouring the centre of the flower and then applying water with a paintbrush so the water spread the ink across the petals giving a shaded effect and once they had dried I stuck them to the page with Glossy Accents.

I’m pleased to be able to join Rosie who is hosting the “Circles” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

Garstang is a lovely old market town in Lancashire, here you can see the view up the high street, and the gentleman in blue is sat under the Market Cross. The town is steeped in history and there has been a market here for over 200 years and we always enjoy looking around the weekly outdoor market stalls that wind their way up the high street.

We always go to The Royal Oak Hotel for lunch, which is a 17th century coaching inn situated opposite the Market Cross in the centre of the town. The pub is made up of several small rooms which are decorated in a traditional pub style with beamed ceilings, wood panelling and stained glass, along with china and brass adorning the walls. We sat in this little room off the bar which has a very cosy feel.

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m sharing a beer called “Pint of Thrones” by Robinsons Brewery. It’s pictured with our usual choice of prawn sandwich with chips (shrimp sandwich with fries for my friends in the US) – so yummy!

After lunch we like to walk along the Lancaster Canal and also the River Wyre. We walked about 5 miles looking at the boats and scenery.  This white bridge is the Fylde Water Board Crossing and carries a water pipe across the canal which is so pretty and quite elaborate considering its rather mundane task (grin!).

There were quite a few boats along the canal as it was a hot sunny day. There were many narrow boats and we had just walked round a corner when we saw this one coming towards us – don’t worry though, it’s not going that fast, they are limited to 4 mph. I think my hubby secretly wants a narrow boat!

Then we made our way back along the canal approaching the Cathouse Bypass Bridge and I think dragonflies may well enjoy these reeds and iris.

We love the wonderful views and countryside in this area. At the Wrye Aqueduct, which is a bridge taking the canal over a river, we turned down some steps to continue our walk along the River Wrye. This aqueduct was first used in 1797 and is still going strong today!

As we passed under the aqueduct, we saw the most amazing circular reflections on the ceiling. These are caused by a few drops of water from the canal above dripping down into the river below.

The background of my page reminds me of these walls and the wonderful circle reflections that we saw. The circles were so magical, it’s as if fairies were dancing on the water – just like Kristah’s quote!

We then followed the path alongside the River Wyre through the trees and back into town. We always have such a lovely time in Garstang, it’s a beautiful place!

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 (White, Black)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Hickory Smoke)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tsukineko Versafine Ink (Onyx Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Red Violet)
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Earl Grey, Caramel)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199, Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (White)
  • Sharpie Permanent Fine Point Marker (Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.5mm)
  • Papermania Embossing Powder (Black)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CR0274/16R2)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood mounted rubber stamp (26645)
  • The Works (Clear Stamps CR0274/TW3)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Creative Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Pre-stamped paper
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Mini Paper Flower Embellishments)
  • Outline Stickers (Gold Stars)
  • UHU Stic

Be a Flamingo

This week I’ve had loads of fun experimenting with my super new Faber-Castell Gelatos, so I thought I’d use them to create a background with one of my favourite techniques – using a stencil. Having found some flamingo fabric bunting in my craft stash, I was inspired to use the brightly coloured gelatos to create a tropical look on my page.

I started by covering the page with a thin layer of Pébéo white gesso in readiness to apply the Faber-Castell Gelatos; I’ve found out that to achieve a smooth coverage on my textured mixed media paper, then prepping the page with gesso first is a must. Next I scribbled Bubble Gum, Orange Soda, Limoncello and Mango gelatos onto my page, dipped my finger into water and then rubbed them to blend the colours. I didn’t use too much water as I wanted a heavier coverage of gelato for the next technique. I covered areas of the page with a Distressed Dot stencil by Creative Expressions and rubbed with a baby wipe to remove and lighten the colour producing a lovely effect. Next I mixed some acrylic paints into a turquoise colour and applied it using a blending tool through a Dutch Doobadoo Mask to create different circles on my page. I also used the blending tool as a stamp to add circles of the paint straight to the page. Then I stamped tiny circles, tropical flowers and a postage mark using black Archival Ink. As I stamped the images directly onto gelatos I was able to remove some of the ink from the flowers by dabbing the images with a baby wipe and then I stamped the images again, this gave more of a layered 3D look. I used the same Doobadoo mask to add a grid of dots using Black Soot Distress Ink and Pébéo Modelling paste. Once the modelling paste had dried I painted the dots with white acrylic paint to intensify their brightness. Next I added circular shiny pink flamingo stickers over each of the turquoise circles and also added some rub-on flower transfers to the page. To finish, I used a piece of fabric flamingo bunting and arranged it on the page with some card embellishments and pretty pink buttons so it looks like it is hanging on a string of bunting. The saying on the flamingo bunting makes me smile, it reads “Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons”.

As my background features lots of circles, I’m pleased to be able to join Rosie who is hosting the “Circles” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

With all the interest that was generated from my previous post, I thought I’d share some of the techniques I have been using with my gelatos as well as my tips and learning so far. In the photos the mixed media paper I used is prepped with white gesso and the gelato colours are Red Cherry and Passion Fruit, so firstly let’s look at some of the ways you can use gelatos:  

Scribble on paper and smudge

Just scribble gelato onto your paper (which is a nice effect in itself) and then rub it with your finger. I have found dipping my finger in a little water first then rubbing the gelato works best for me. There are several ways you can smudge gelatos and the simplest one seems to be with your finger however you can also use a paint brush or a wet wipe. As you can see from the photo above you get similar results regardless of how you smudge them and all give a heavier coverage. Although you can achieve a more translucent watercolour look or a more opaque look depending on how much pigment you use and how much water you add.

Use like Inks

As gelatos are activated by water, I experimented by using the gelatos like I do my Aqua Markers and Distress Inks. So I scribbled the gelatos onto an acrylic block (acetate would work as well) and then I spritzed them with water and pressed the block onto the paper.

Use like paint

You can also pick up the colour with a wet paint brush and paint with them so it looks similar to watercolor. I found you can even use it straight out of the tube by touching a wet paint brush right up to the gelatos. Both of these techniques resulted in a softer colour which could be intensified depending on how much pigment is used and how much water is added.

Drips and splatters

For this technique, I applied a thick layer of gelato onto the top of my paper and then I sprayed it with water and tipped the page to make drips. Although, I found that I preferred to add the water with a brush to make the drips because I could use less water and therefore control how the gelatos blended to get a more vibrant colour. I accidentally found out that you can also create splatters of colour by flicking a wet paintbrush over the end of the gelato straight from the tube (grin!).

Use a Stencil

This is the technique I used on my page, in summary just scribble gelatos onto paper and smudge the colour. Then cover with a stencil and use a baby wipe to remove the colour. The colour can be lightened to varying degrees depending on how much you rub off with the baby wipe giving a great tone on tone effect. If the surface is prepped with gesso first, you’ll be able to remove more colour getting a higher contrast effect.

Stamp with it

This is where you apply the gelato right onto the stamp, spritz with water and stamp. You can also colour areas of the stamp with different gelato colours that may blend together a bit when stamped or you can apply the gelato by picking up the colour with a wet paintbrush and painting it onto the stamp to give a softer look.

Tips and learning:

  • If you want smooth coverage, then prep your paper with gesso first. I have found that it gives the mixed media paper I use a much smoother surface, which helps to smudge and blend gelatos more easily. Plus if you are using cardstock, a layer of gesso helps the paper withstand water and rubbing.
  • I have even experimented prepping the page with Matte Gel Medium which gives a slicker surface and is great when misting with water to blend the gelatos and create drips.
  • Remember they are water based so when using a baby wipe be careful not to wipe away the gelato accidentally.
  • If you make a mistake or don’t like you what you have created on gesso prepped paper, then you can just wipe the gelato off straight away with a baby wipe and some kitchen roll and start again.
  • If you contaminate a gelato by getting another gelato colour on it, simply rub it off on a piece of paper.
  • Cleaning up after using gelatos is very easy as they are water-soluble, so just use a baby wipe or a wet cloth to get everything clean.
  • Unfortunately (for my hubby) these gelatos are nothing to do with ice cream!

Overall, I love the look you can achieve with these new gelatos and it’s been fun experimenting and learning what they can and can’t do. I really enjoy learning and I still have more techniques to try, I hope you have had fun 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:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Bubble Gum, Orange Soda, Limoncello, Mango)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Christmas Green, Swedish Blue)
  • DecoArt Artist’s Acrylic (White)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Pébéo Modelling Paste
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 Cling Mounted Rubber Stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood mounted rubber stamp (26631)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • Dutch Doobadoo Dutch Mask Art A5 (Geometric Tiles)
  • The Range (Craft Stickers CR1243)
  • Poundland (Homemade Embellishments 138127)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (SYN1470G)
  • Aldi Kirkton House (Bedroom Bunting)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Peace, Love and Kindness

I started creating this page to join in with Rosie’s fabulous “Circles” theme over at Art Journal Journey and it turned into a wish for Peace, Love and Kindness.

I cut a couple of pages in half from a Pear’s Cyclopaedia book and stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. Then I added some green dotty washi tape to the parts of my page where there was no text ripping the tape to soften its edges. I then covered the page with a thin layer of white gesso and used the small and large circles from a Dutch Doobadoo Mask to apply Hickory Smoke, Tea Dye and Black Soot Distress Ink with a blending tool. In the centre of the larger circles, I stenciled smaller circles using the black Distress Ink and covered them with a very thin layer of Lime, Margarita Mix and Mango Faber-Castell Gelatos. I used a baby wipe to blend the Gelato which removed some of the Distress Ink to give the grungy look that I wanted. I then added another layer of Gelato to these circles to intensify the colour which I blended using my finger. I used the circle mask again to stencil white gesso around the edges of the large circles using a sponge.  Next I cut different sized circles from green metallic craft papers using a circle cutter, I edged them with a black Sharpie permanent marker and stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. I added some enamel dots and also some gold Glitterations circle frame stickers which I filled with Glitterations flowers. I then stamped the words using black Archival Ink and used the same ink to stamp the black dots masking the other circles as needed. I doodled more details onto the circles and dots using a white Uni-Posca pen, a black Dewent Inktense pencil and a black Uni Pin marker. To finish I stamped a heart and added a bee to signify the Manchester Worker Bee emblem – I ♥ MCR & I ♥ LDN.

Creating this page allowed me to play with two new craft goodies, a circle cutter which makes short work of cutting different sized circles and some wonderfully vibrant Faber-Castell Gelatos. The Gelatos are very easy to use and I’d like to thank Eileen for highlighting them on her post a few weeks ago, as you can see they didn’t stay on my “wish list” for long (grin!).

As T Stands for Tuesday, I am sharing my usual cup of green tea and to continue the circle theme my picture shows my tea with a huge round chocolate chip cookie that my hubby treated me to from the bakery whilst we were out food shopping (grin!). I’m saying a special thank you to Valerie for making those lovely cookies last week, I showed my hubby and he made it his mission to find one for me (grin again!). And in case you are wondering – yes I did eat this cookie all myself, it was so yummy!

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
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Tea Dye, Hickory Smoke, Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Mango. Margarita Mix, Lime)
  • Uni-Posca Paint Pen (White 0.7mm)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Ink Black 2200)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 Clear Stamp Set (Alphas Trad DCE907116)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Franciose Collection (Flower Style FRSW003-AA)
  • Hampton Art Studio G (Clear Stamps VS4911)
  • Dutch Doobadoo Dutch Mask Art A5 (Geometric Tiles)
  • The Range (Craft Decorative Papers CR0411)
  • The Works (Circle Cutter)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers Designed by Roxanne Jarvis (Bee Mine Roses #JAR623 RUB-ON)
  • Anita’s Glitterations (Circle Frames – Gold ANT8181028)
  • Docrafts Papermania Glitterations (Flowers – Gold ANT8181020)
  • Poundland (Washi Tape 171854-MC16)
  • The Works (Pastel Enamel Dots)
  • UHU Stic