Violet Butterfly

Yellow and violet are colours that are prevalent in my garden at the moment with all the pretty spring flowers that are in bloom. So with a number of challenges in mind, I created this journal page using a yellow and violet colour combination, some recycled materials and a lovely new Postcard Butterfly stamp that I just couldn’t wait to use (grin!).

I started by recycling some book pages which I ripped and stuck to my page using Liquitex matte gel medium. Then I used a yellow pastel coloured acrylic paint which I diluted further with white gesso and painted over the whole page varying the shade of the colour. Next I mixed some pastel purple acrylic paint with white gesso and stamped it onto the page using some recycled bubble wrap; to do this I wrapped the bubble wrap around an acrylic block which gave a stronger and cleaner stamped finish as I dipped it in the paint and applied it to the page. Next I added some leftover pieces of butterfly decoupage paper using Liquitex matte gel medium and when the gel medium was dry I outlined all the collaged pieces with a black Derwent marker. Then I stamped some Ground Espresso Distress Ink using corrugated cardboard from some packaging in a criss cross pattern and covered the whole page with splatters of white and black DecoArt acrylic paint. I stamped a Butterfly Postcard stamp from Stampendous using black Archival Ink onto a piece of yellow and white paper and also the butterfly image from the same stamp onto some purple paper that I recycled from an old notebook. I fussy cut the images out and along with some yellow leaves, a piece of recycled beige card from some packaging and a spotted purple card leftover from card making, I edged them with the Ground Espresso Distress Ink and a blending tool then stuck them onto the page using glue dots, double-sided tape and foam tape. To add some shine to the purple butterfly wings I covered the black dots with Glossy Accents. Then I added some purple flowers and metal vintage embellishments which I accessorised with some tiny yellow and violet pearls, which finished the page.

We have quite a few yellow flowers in our garden including daffodils and forsythia as well as purple crocus and hyacinths, and both of these colours can be found in these pretty pansies that are in our planters which we can see from our kitchen window.

This variety has quite big flowers, aren’t the colours of this yellow one amazing!

If you are interested, here are some fun facts about pansies:

  • The pansy is a member of theViola family.
  • Their name comes from the French word, pensée, which means thought or remembrance.
  • Pansies are one of the oldest cultivated flowers and are also one of the most popular plants in our gardens.
  • In the language of flowers, the pansy represents thoughts of lovers and in the 19th century this flower was used in love potions.
  • Pansies are edible and their petals have a mint flavour; they are often added to salads and desserts.
  • The flower is used as a natural dye.

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 Alison/Craftytrog, who is hosting the Recycle and Collage challenge over at Art Journal Journey as I used stamps recycled from packaging and recycled book pages, packaging and leftovers to create this page!

With the stamped butterfly as my focal image and butterflies being part of the animal kingdom, I’m also happy to be able to join Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their Animals challenge.

With the stamping I used to create this art journal page, I’m also joining in the fun at the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their April Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included).

I’m also joining the Color Wheel! challenge over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge as I used a complimentary pair of colours, which are opposite each other on the colour wheel, yellow and violet to create my mixed media art journal page.

I was also inspired by Corrie’s use of book pages on her Design Team creation over at Country View Challenges so I’m also joining their Pimp It Up! (reuse or alter something) 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:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Aldi Script Ready Mixed Paint (Pastels – yellow, purple)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Ground Espresso)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black, White)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Stamps made from bubble wrap and corrugated cardboard recycled from packaging
  • Stampendous Cling Rubber Stamps (Butterfly Post CRP147)
  • First Edition Deco Maché Decoupage papers (Vintage Butterfly FEDEC112)
  • Paper Bundle from local craft shop (Yellow and white circles)
  • Recycled purple memo paper
  • Recycled beige card from packaging
  • Leftover purple dot card from card making
  • The Handmade Paper Company (Nature’s Touch of Art)
  • Wilko (Flower Embellishments) leftover pieces
  • Poundworld DécoTime (Vintage Stickers 54748)
  • Trimcraft (Adhesive Pearls SCDOT056)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Wilko (Sticky Dots)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
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Songbird

I was so excited to use a new bird and verse stamp set that I recently purchased that I decided to create a page using some of my most treasured design papers, postage stamps and metal decorations that I have had in my craft stash forever – I hope you like it!

A number of blog challenges inspired my design too, including our current theme over at Try it on Tuesday of The Call of Spring – Mood Board, where I was inspired to use the blackbird and the panel design from the photo inspiration. There is still another week to participate in this challenge, so please pop over and take a look, it would be great to see you there!

I started by selecting some vintage design papers that have been sitting in my craft stash for a while; this included a pretty white flower, a lovely text design and a note paper with tabs which are all from a paper bundle of odds and ends from my local craft store, and also a beautiful blossom paper from a design pad. I cut the papers and also some images from a wallpaper sample into various sizes, edged them with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and collaged them onto the page using a UHU Stic. Once the first layer of papers covered the page I applied some white gesso using my finger to give more of a worn look and create more depth. Next I stamped the bird stamp from a Stampendous Songbird stamp set onto some American Crafts design paper using black Archival Ink and also Pistachio and Cottage Ivy Memento Ink for the branches and leaves.  The verse is from the same stamp set and reads:

“When dewdrops sparkle in the grass
And earth’s aflood with morning light,
A blackbird sings upon a branch
To greet the dawning after night.
Then I know how fine it is to live”.

The stamped images are edged with the black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck into place using a UHU Stic along with some smaller pieces of design paper, lace trim and some Crowded Attic stickers by Tim Holtz. The yellow feathers and “Spring” wording are rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel and the two postage stamps are from my hubby’s childhood collection; as you may know he gifted them to use on my art journal pages so they are very special to me. The postage stamps are from Costa Rica 1938 which celebrates the National Exhibition of 1937 with a purple orchid called Guaria Morada and also a Hungarian postage stamp from Magyar Posta 1958 featuring some pretty pink crocus type flowers. To finish, I added some metal decorations of flowers and a bird sitting in a tree which are secured using brads.

As T Stands for Tuesday I’m sharing my cuppa of green tea and a yummy Hot Cross Bun filled with Crumbly Lancashire Cheese from our local cheese factory – delicious! I’m saying a big hello to Bleubeard and Elizabeth and the rest of the T Gang – Happy T Day!

If you are interested, here are some facts about Hot Cross Buns:

  • A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with sultanas, currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top.
  • The traditional method for making the cross on top of the bun is to use short-crust pastry however some recipes use a paste consisting of flour and water.
  • The buns mark the end of Lent and are traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the United Kingdom, although they have been in our supermarkets since just after Christmas (grin!).
  • Generally, they are split in two, toasted and served with butter, but here in the North of England we often serve them filled with cheese and my favourite has to be Lancashire Cheese which is a regional white cheese. The one in my photo is the Crumbly version of this cheese made locally by Dewlay – yum!

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 that I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to be able to join the lovely Rosie from Rosie’s Bastelwelt who is hosting the Spring challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

Using some of my most treasured design papers, postage stamps from my hubby’s childhood collection and precious metal decorations on my Vintage Style art journal page means that I’m able to also join in the fun over at A Vintage Journey, where the theme is Treasure.

With my neutral coloured page, I’m joining in the fun at the Simply Neutrals Tuesday party over at Apple Apricot as dear Susi highlighted this challenge in one of her posts recently.

Including the bird and verse stamping as my page focal point on my spring songbird page means that I’m pleased to join Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their Springtime challenge.

I’m also joining the Forest Friends challenge over at Stamping Sensations as you find songbirds in the forest which is my stamped focal point.

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:

  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Pistachio, Cottage Ivy)
  • Stampendous Cling Rubber Stamp (Jumbo Songbird CRS5029)
  • Design Paper Bundle
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Authentic Vintage CRO730/R)
  • Wallpaper sample
  • The Works Design Pad (Classic Vintage CRO707/TW7)
  • American Crafts 2×12 Paper Pad (DIY Shop 366665)
  • Tim Holtz Salvage Stickers (Crowded Attic #TH92898)
  • Dovecraft Creative Ribbons (Sweet Paris Lace DCCR24)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Bird’s Nest #ROY-563, Spring Sentiments #ROY-506)
  • Postage Stamps (Costa Rica 1938 celebrating the National Exhibition in 1937 featuring a purple orchid called Guaria Morada, Hungary Magyar Posta 1958)
  • The Works (Metal Decorations)
  • UHU Stic

Spring

To celebrate spring and the lovely sunshine and warmer temperatures we are having this weekend I created this Spring page.

I started by covering the page with a white and green flower design decoupage paper using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. Then I applied some Bud Green and Moss Spectrum Aqua Marker by scribbling them onto an acrylic block, spritzing with water and pressing the block onto the page. Next I used a honeycomb stencil to create lots of depth by layering different coloured Distress Inks and gesso; firstly I used the stencil to add Mowed Lawn and Hickory Smoke Distress Ink using a blending tool, then some Pébéo high density white gesso using a sponge and also a palette knife, and when the gesso had dried I added some Twisted Citron Distress Ink using a blending tool. I hand drew the letters onto some pink/peach design paper, fussy cut them out, coloured them with Blossom, Begonia and Jasmine Spectrum Aqua Markers and applied some white gesso with my finger to mute the colours a little. I created a tree by using a tree stamp onto some brown patterned paper using black Archival Ink, cutting it out and colouring it with Boulder and Desert Spectrum Aqua Markers. It is stuck into place, like the letters, using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium and they are all outlined with a black Derwent Graphik marker once the gel medium was dry. I also die cut some leaves using Garden Greens Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz and my Big Shot machine. They are coloured with the Bud Green and Moss Spectrum Aqua Markers and stuck in place using a Zig Memory System glue pen along with some tiny sequin flowers to add some bling; they are stuck in place using Glossy Accents. For the larger blossoms I stamped the flowers onto some of the pink/peach design paper. They are coloured with the Blossom, Begonia and Jasmine Spectrum Aqua Markers, cut out and stuck onto the page using a UHU Stic. I also applied some white gesso to mute the colour a little and added details with a black Derwent Graphik marker. I stuck some of the blossoms to the letters too, along with some of the green die cut leaves and the little sequin flowers. The birds are stamped onto tissue paper so I could reverse one of the images and then stuck onto some of the pink/peach design paper. They are coloured with Desert and Chestnut Spectrum Aqua Markers and stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. To finish, I added some of the sequin flowers to the background to add more sparkle.

We often go to Cumbria or the Lake District this time of year (for my birthday which is the first week of April – grin!)  and this page reminded me of a tree that we saw in Bowness-on-Windermere in Cumbria last year, isn’t it beautiful!

It sits in parkland on the top of a hill overlooking the lake; this is the view from the bench.

Bowness-on-Windermere is a small town situated on Windermere Lake, it is very popular with tourists and such a lovely place to visit; I have very fond memories of staying here when I was a child on family holidays too.

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 Rosie from Rosie’s Bastelwelt who is hosting the Spring challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

With stamped trees, flowers and birds I’m pleased to join Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their Springtime challenge.

I enjoyed creating this page to join the Stencils & Masks challenge over at The Artistic Stamper.

With all the pink/peach sequin flowers and stamped blossoms on my art journal page, I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Floral Frenzy challenge.

I’m also joining the Use a stencil and Three Mediums challenge over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge as I used a honeycomb stencil and at least three mediums which included Spectrum Aqua marker, white gesso and Distress Inks to create my 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:

  • Spectrum Aqua Artist’s Marker (Bud Green, Moss, Boulder, Desert, Chestnut, Blossom, Begonia, Jasmine)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Mowed Lawn, Hickory Smoke, Twisted Citron)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps 154884)
  • Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz (Garden Greens 661206)
  • Art Impressions bird wood-mounted rubber stamp (B-2414)
  • VivaGade Decoupage Paper (London 25584)
  • Poundland Design Paper (Pretty Pastels CRO701/PL1)
  • Crafter’s Companion Luxury Designer Paper Pad (Angelica & Adam Collection A&A-PAP6-M)
  • Poundland (Assorted Sequins)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic

Winter to Spring

I started this page sometime ago; it’s been sitting on my craft table these past three weeks waiting patiently for me, which is quite ironic given the quote I had chosen to use (grin!).

You may remember we had snow and storms during February/March despite the fact that spring should be just around the corner, which inspired my design.

I started by covering half of the page with a piece of paper depicting snowflakes from a design pad and the other half with a piece of magazine cover depicting cherry blossom, they are stuck into place using a UHU Stic. Then I stamped a star border from Dovecraft and also the “Winter” and “Spring” wording using an alphabet stamp set from Hampton Art and VersaMark Watermark stamp pad which I covered with Stampendous white embossing powder. I shook off the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper and also tapped the page to make sure any stray powder was removed. Then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder until the embossing powder melted to a glossy finish and became smooth and dimensional. Next I added some silver stars to the edges and centre of the page which are outline stickers. For the central image I used the VersaMark ink and white embossing powder again to add blossoms and snowflakes to the opposite sides of a piece of mixed media paper. Then I coloured the paper using Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean Distress Inks with a blending tool. I used my Big Shot to die cut a panel and some round shapes from this paper and also a smaller panel from an American Crafts design pad. I edged them all using the Distress Inks and a blending tool and also a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stamped an Art Deco lady in the centre of the smaller panel using black Archival Ink to represent Mother Nature. I also stamped the quote onto the leftover mixed media paper and cut the words out; they are edged with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck to the page using a UHU Gluepen. The quote is by Ralph Waldo Emerson and reads “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience”. To finish, I added some silver snowflakes, pink paper blossoms and clear jewel stickers to add some sparkle.

As you can see we didn’t get much snow during the storms. We live right by the sea and I think because of our location, being in a flat part of the country and surrounded on three sides by hills and mountains (Lake District, Pennines and Welsh Mountains) we miss out on the snow as it falls in those places before it gets to us. We found that Storm Emma was the worst thing with very high winds which increased the chill factor – brrrr!

With the cold weather of late and having been unwell with the flu, I have found myself wishing for warmer weather so let’s hope Spring is here soon!

Also I really appreciate all your kindness and get well wishes for my dad who is much better now, thank you!

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 Rosie from Rosie’s Bastelwelt who is hosting the Spring challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

With the focal images being stamped I’m also happy to be able to join Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their Springtime challenge.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Allsorts Challenge Blog and their Bring on the Bling challenge with my sparkly and blingy art journal page.

With all the pink blossoms on my art journal page, I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Floral Frenzy 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 VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Dovecraft Studio G Designer Clears Stamps (DCRS86)
  • Hampton Art Mini Wood Peg Rubber Stamps (Alphabet Set #1037)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Stampendous Cling Rubber Stamps (Blossom Spray CRP136)
  • BoBunny Stamps (Snow Day 13705563)
  • Craft Sensations Clear Stamps (CR0274/16PL4)
  • Spellbinders Nestabilities (Labels Thirty S5-157, Unknown)
  • Old Magazine
  • Poundland Design Pad (Pure Frozen CR0701/16PL4)
  • Crelando Relief Stickers (12 Sheets IAN289011)
  • The Works (Mini Paper Flower Embellishments)
  • The Works (Jewel Stickers)
  • The Works (Christmas Embellishments)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Mini Decorative Stickers)
  • UHU Stic
  • UHU Gluepen
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

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

Christmas Robins

I love robins and Christmas gives me the perfect reason to transform our beach room into a robin wonderland (grin!). So I’m sharing a robin Christmas card that I created for my mum and dad; it has extra relevance as my mum always embroiders me a robin themed Christmas card and also makes us a Christmas pudding every year so I thought I’d return the favour (double grin!).

For the robins and holly leaves, I used a Clear Magic Stamp Set called Robins from the Woodware Craft Collection and I used Spectrum Aqua markers to colour them. I started with white card stock to create my 6×6″ card, and then I created a holly border by painstakingly stamping the tiny two leaf and berry stamp many times using black Archival Ink. The holly leaves are coloured with Bud Green and Evergreen Spectrum Aqua markers and the berries with Scarlet and Crimson aqua markers. For the focal panel, I used another piece of card stock and stamped a Christmas pudding and single robin image and also a single robin stamp, both using black Archival Ink. Then I took a piece of red and white striped sparkly paper and cut it to size so it covered the bottom half of the card. Then I positioned the paper over the card and stamped the Christmas pudding stamp again on the top of the paper. I cut it out leaving a Christmas pudding and plate shaped hole in the paper which I lined up with the stamped image on the card so it looked like a tablecloth. Next I coloured the robins with Desert, Terracotta, Chestnut, Chocolate, Scarlet, Crimson and Burgundy Spectrum Aqua markers using a wet paintbrush to blend the colours. The Christmas pudding and plate are coloured the same way; for the Christmas pudding I used the Terracotta, Chestnut and Chocolate aqua markers and for the plate I used Charcoal and Peach aqua markers. I also used a gold aqua marker to colour the beaks of the robins. Then I stamped “Merry Christmas” with a Holiday Ribbon wood mounted stamp by Hero Arts onto thin card stock using Cottage Ivy Memento Ink and stuck it over the corner of the focal panel using double-sided tape. To finish, I positioned the panel in the centre of the card using double-sided foam tape so it was surrounded by the holly border.

My beach room (front room) is decorated with robins and this is my latest robin addition, she is called Rosy and she’s having fun hanging off one of the wall lights (grin!). This year we also received two homemade Christmas puddings from my mum and although it’s not a favourite of mine, (unlike my hubby who loves Christmas pudding), I like mine served hot with custard – what about you?

If you are Interested here are some interesting facts about Christmas Pudding:

  • Christmas Pudding originated in England and dates back to Medieval times in the 1420s.
  • They are a type of suet pudding and contain sugar, treacle, suet, raisins and spices.
  • Christmas Pudding is also known as “Plum Pudding” or “Plum Duff” although the pudding has no plums, instead it contains raisins which in old Victorian times were called plums.
  • Figgy pudding is a type of Christmas pudding which was originally made with figs.
  • Putting a silver six-pence coin is an age-old custom that is said to bring luck to the person that finds it.
  • These puddings are traditionally steamed in a cloth, however like many people these days, my mum uses a basin.
  • Brandy is sometimes poured over the pudding and set alight to make a spectacular display, my mum still likes to do this at Christmastime.
  • Christmas Pudding can be served hot or cold with hard sauce, brandy butter, rum butter, cream, custard or my mum’s white brandy sauce (grin!).

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration for my art 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 “Christmas” Challenge over at Moo Mania & More with my Merry Christmas card.

I’m joining in the fun again over at Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their “Celebrate” challenge as this card is sent with love to celebrate Christmas.

I’m joining the “Christmas” challenge over at Country View Challenges with my Christmas card which includes their optional reds and greens as part of the card design.

As stamps were used to create this card, I’m also pleased to be able to join in the “December Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included)” at the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge.

I’m also joining the “Christmas” challenge over at The Artistic Stamper with my robin stamp designed card.

The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge is “Christmas/Winter Holidays” so my Christmas card is perfect for this challenge.

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

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

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Bud Green, Evergreen, Desert, Terracotta, Chestnut, Chocolate, Scarlet, Crimson, Burgundy, Charcoal, Peach, Gold)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Cottage Ivy)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Clear Magic Stamps (Robins FRCL030)
  • Hero Arts wood-mounted rubber stamps (Holiday Ribbons LL036)
  • White card stock
  • The Works Designer Paper Pack (The Night Before Christmas)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Discover the Magic

We recently went on a beautiful circular walk up to Rivington Pike summit which has the most breathtaking views. This walk took us through some amazing woodland and terraced gardens and we had such a wonderful time that I created this journal page to remember the magic that we discovered there!

For the background I used Milled Lavender, Cracked Pistachio and Tea Dye Distress Inks as well as a Charcoal Spectrum Aqua Marker by applying each of the inks directly to an acrylic block and holding the block over the page I spritzed it with water until the ink dripped onto the page. I also pressed the block onto the page in places and then I repeated the process again with each colour. I used the Milled Lavender and Tea Dye Distress Inks as well as black Archival Ink to stamp a Script from Kaisercraft. As a reminder of the woodland I stamped a tree bark stamp from BoBunny using Ground Espresso Distress Ink and to depict the ferns that we saw in the terraced gardens I also stamped a fern image from Royal & Langnickel using Cracked Pistachio Distress Ink. The page was then splattered with black acrylic paint using a paint brush. Next I tore pieces of music sheet and a turquoise blue decoupage paper into strips, to represent the waterfalls and pools that we saw and heard on our walk; they are stuck to the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. I also tore a Penny Black sticker and added the shards to the page to add further texture and colour. Once the gel medium had dried I outlined the paper and sticker pieces with a black Uni Pin marker so they stood out more. The words are rub-on transfers, these represent the wonder and magic that we discovered during our walk. I added some gold outline stickers to represent the sunshine and autumnal gold colours of the leaves in the woodland. As we discovered lovely brickwork throughout the terraced gardens I stencilled a brick design using Pébéo modelling paste and a stencil from Craft Sensations, as well as a stencil made from a piece of plasterboard/drywall tape. Once the paste had dried, I coloured them with Cold Grey and Sanguine Faber-Castell Big Brush markers.

Then I stamped a bird image from Craft Sensations using black Archival Ink; I like the way the bird is looking out across the page as we did towards the views whilst on our walk. For the autumnal leaves, I used some leaves that were leftover from a previous project. The large oak and maple leaf images are from a stamp set by BoBunny and the smaller leaves are from a stamp set by Crafter’s Companion; they are stamped using black Archival Ink on a white medium weight paper. The paper is sprinkled with Scarlet, Yellow, Orange and Dark Brown Colourcraft Brusho powders and spritzed with water to react the bright and colourful Brusho colours. I fussy cut the leaves and then added more colour to them using Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick and Seedless Preserves Distress Inks and a blending tool. Once dry I covered them with DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze, varying the thickness over the leaves and left them to dry overnight. I used a russet metallic lustre wax from Craf-T Products to accentuate the crackle patterns and I stained the edges of the leaves with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck them to the page using matte gel medium. To finish, I also stuck some paper flowers, with sparkly gem centres, to the page using the gel medium again.

The circular route up to Rivington Pike started off in style with a beautiful tree-lined avenue leading up to the woodlands.

The woodland path leads to the Rivington Terraced Gardens that are situated on the hillside below Rivington Pike; they occupy 45 acres in total. They were originally created between 1905-1922 for soap magnate Lord Leverhulme as a spectacular venue for him to relax in and entertain. Here we discovered woodland paths that crisscross and link stone bridges, archways, pavilions and water features; they are all currently undergoing restoration.

After exploring the terraced gardens we came across this beautiful archway leading up to track which leads to Rivington Pike, isn’t it beautiful!

Rivington Pike is hill summit which is 1,191 feet above sea level and is a prominent local landmark, the earliest record of this hill dates back to 1325. The building at the top is Pike Tower which was built in the eighteenth century as a hunting lodge.

The view is amazing and on a clear day you can see Blackpool Tower, the Isle of Man and the Lake District fells. At the summit we stopped and sat at one of the benches and had our pack lunch whilst we admired the views (grin!).

We walked down a different trail heading back towards the terraced gardens and discovered this four-storey building which is Pigeon Tower. The top floor was Lady Leverhulme’s sewing and music room and the second and third floors housed dovecotes.

There were some lovely views over the countryside from the tower.

This is Lever Bridge and its design is based on a bridge that Lever saw in Nigeria. It’s also known as Seven Arch Bridge as its large arch is crossed by six smaller ones.

Being a warm sunny day, it was lovely way to see the last of the autumnal colours and discover the stunning views and scenery – what a wonderful place it was to visit (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:

As walking keeps you warm on crisp sunny autumn days, I joining the lovely Chris and her wonderful “101 Ways to Keep Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

With two types of stencilled brickwork, I’m pleased to join Country View Challenges with their “Stencils” challenge and also Moo Mania & More with their “Put a Stencil On It” challenge.

I’m joining in the fun again over at Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their “Nature” challenge as I enjoyed using my stamps to create the leaves, background and pretty bird for this page.

I’m also pleased to join the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their “Tear It Up” challenge with the torn papers and stickers that I used for my background.

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

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Milled Lavender, Cracked Pistachio, Tea Dye, Ground Espresso, Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick, Seedless Preserves)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Charcoal)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Ivory Black)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233, Sanguine 188 B, Black 199)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Colour (Scarlet, Yellow, Orange, Dark Brown)
  • DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze (DMM16)
  • Craf-T Products Lustre Rub-ons Color Kit #4 (Russet)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Royal & Langickel Clear Choice Stamps (Pressed Leaves MIN-CCS102)
  • BoBunny Stamps (Rough It Up #12105155, Falling Leaves #12105154)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CRO274/16R1)
  • Crafter’s Companion Signature Collection by Sara Davies Autumn Morning Stamp Set (Rustling Leaves S-AUT-ST-RUS)
  • Poundworld DecoTime (Paper Patch DS9454)
  • Bosworth Violin Studies music book
  • Penny Black 2010 Stickeroos (Petals & Poetry 10-207)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Motivate Sentiments #ROY510 Rub-on)
  • Letraset transfer (Helvetica Bold Condensed 5mm RDC0251)
  • Magenta Style outline stickers (Daisy Gold 93326G)
  • Poundland (Accessories Pack 60911, Gem Florettes 117128)
  • 151Adhesives Plasterboard & Drywall Tape
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium