Mother’s Day Card

There’s still another week to join in the fun over at Try it on Tuesday with our Mum’s the Word challenge, where you are asked to be inspired by all things mother related such as a mother’s birthday, quotes for mothers, mother and child, animal families, Mother’s Day or any other way you would like to interpret this special mother theme!

Although Mother’s Day is celebrated throughout the world, here in the UK it is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent whereas in many other countries it is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. As I’m in the UK, we celebrated Mother’s Day this last Sunday so I’m sharing the Mother’s Day card I created for my mum for the Mum’s the Word challenge (grin!).

I started by using a lattice die from Spellbinders to cut a piece of white cardstock using my Big Shot die cutting machine. I stuck the lattice onto a white 6×4 card using Liquitex matte gel medium. Then I stamped two roses onto some mixed media paper using a stamp from Urban Stamps and black Archival Ink. They are painted using a Scarlet Spectrum Aqua marker, I did this by scribbling the marker on an acrylic block and picking the ink up with a wet paintbrush and gradually building up the layers of colour; I love the pretty watercolour effect that this produced. Then I fussy cut the roses and arranged them on the card with some leaves which I die cut from green design paper from Crafter’s Companion using Garden Greens Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz and my Big Shot machine. The leaves are edged with a Moss Spectrum Aqua marker and stuck to the card using a Zig Memory System glue pen. I added a piece of satin ribbon along the left-hand side which I tied into a bow and a strip of clear gems. To finish, I added a few single clear gems and also the wording which are Peel-off stickers that I coloured using a black Sharpie permanent marker.

I do hope you will join us at Try it on Tuesday and if you pop over to the main blog you’ll find some amazing Mum’s the Word inspiration from my fellow Design Team members, as well as who is in our Top 5 for the previous Vintage Challenge.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the following challenges too:

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m sharing this lunch I had whilst out with my parents around this time last year. We had a delicious ham and cheese toastie each and I had a ginger beer, my dad had a white coffee and my mum a cappuccino. I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and sending you all Happy T Day wishes!

My post is brief today as I haven’t had much time for blogging this last week due to family illness. I’d like to thank everyone for their kind wishes regarding my dad, he is doing much better and is now back home which is a great relief to all our family and friends. I hope to find the time to visit you all soon and in the meantime thanks for your understanding and wishing you every happiness! Jo x

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 card:

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Scarlet)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker Pen (Black)
  • Spellbinders Die (Unknown)
  • Docrafts Papermania 4×4” Urban Stamps (Birthday Rose PMA907221)
  • Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz (Garden Greens 661206)
  • White card stock
  • Daler-Rowney Mixed Media Paper
  • Crafter’s Companion Luxury Designer Paper Pad (Angelica & Adam Collection A&A-PAP6-M)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Peel-Off Stickers (Family G DCPO-17)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 175751)
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided foam tape
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Pretty Snowdrops

The snowdrops flowering in our garden always make me think of spring so in order to remember one of the first flowers of the year and also the beautiful displays we have seen at Lytham Hall of late, I was inspired to create this snowdrop art journal page.

I started this page by covering it with squares of decoupage paper using Liquitex matte gel medium. Once dry I edged the squares with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and smudged it with my finger. Then I stamped some postage marks and text using black Archival Ink and covered the whole page with green paint that I had mixed from Liquitex Christmas Green acrylic paint with some black and white DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic paints. Once the paint was dry I rubbed and removed some of the paint using a baby wipe to give the page a worn look and then covered the whole page with PVA Glue to brighten the green colour and give it a glossy finish. Next I added some Pébéo white gesso with my finger and stencilled a doily image by Craft Sensations using a Bud Green Spectrum Aqua marker. I stamped a doily image using white DecoArt acrylic paint by applying the paint to the stamp using a brayer making sure that I washed the stamp immediately afterwards so the paint did not ruin the stamp by drying onto it. Then I splattered the page with black DecoArt acrylic paint using a paintbrush. With the background complete, I added a white lace border on the left hand side of the page which is an outline sticker, a pretty circular bird sticker from Docrafts and some black button letters which spell out the word “Snowdrop”. I die cut some brown paper which I recycled from a notebook using a Spellbinders die set and my Big Shot die cutting machine and arranged them onto the page with: a white doily by Dovecraft which is stuck down using a UHU Stic; a snowdrop image that I fussy cut from an old book of garden flowers and stuck into place using a Zig Memory System glue pen; text from the same book about snowdrops which I mounted on white and black card using double-sided tape; and finally a “S” alphabet letter sticker again mounted on white and black card.

If you are interested, here’s a close up of the text I included on my page.

This is one of the small clumps of snowdrops in our back garden before the snow came this week (grin!).

We went to see the snowdrop displays again at Lytham Hall this year, which have now almost finished and although they didn’t seem to be as bountiful this year the displays were still very beautiful. Here I am on a cold sunny day last week amongst the pretty snowdrops. I’m well wrapped up against the cold, do you like my new winter hat with its two bobbles or pom poms (grin!).

You may remember the amazing displays of snowdrops at Lytham Hall that I posted last year, so if you would like to see more of these pretty snowdrops please take a look my post here.

I so enjoyed reading the different stories associated with how the snowdrop flower came to be that I thought I would share a couple of them with you:

  • Garden of Eden: When Eve was cast out of the Garden of Eden, continuous snow covered the earth leaving it cold and barren. The angel, who appeared to comfort Eve, caught a snowflake and breathed upon it. The snowflake fluttered to the earth and gave birth to the snowdrop which later came to symbolize hope and rebirth.
  • German Legend: With the creation of snow, God tasked it with visiting the flowers of the earth to gather colours. Seeing that the gentle snowdrop was a kind and generous soul, the snow agreed to allow the snowdrop to bloom first every spring in exchange for her colour. So white snowdrops can be seen flowering amongst the snow each spring.

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 my snowdrop page!

Over at Moo Mania and More the theme is Think of Spring so I’m pleased to join this challenge too!

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their In My Garden challenge with this snowdrop art journal page.

I’m also joining the Use a stencil and Three Mediums challenge over at The Mixed Media Challenge as I used a doily stencil and at least three mediums which included Spectrum Aqua marker, acrylic paints and Memento Ink to create my page.

I’m also pleased to be able to join in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Anything Goes challenge with my art journal page.

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

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

  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Christmas Green)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White, Black)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Cottage Green)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Bud Green)
  • Prima Marketing Clear Stamps (Rossi Belle 587499)
  • Kaisercraft Clear Stamps (Script CS752)
  • Dovecraft Curiosity Corner Clear Stamps (A5 Lace & Doile DCCS009)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Spellbinders Die Set (Unknown)
  • Viva Gade Decoupage Paper (Skagen 25561)
  • Trimcraft (Decoupage Papers SCDEC064)
  • Recycled brown paper from old notebook
  • Oxford Book of Garden Flowers
  • White card
  • Dovecraft Paper Doilies (Painted Blooms DCDLS010)
  • Docrafts Papermania Label Stickers (Botanicals PMA157234)
  • Docrafts Anita’s Outline Stickers (Delicate Lace Borders ANT8101510)
  • Home Bargains (Love Letters 22738)
  • PSX Designs for Creativity Stickers (Florentine Alphabet Green SR6042)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Everbuild 501 Universal PVA Bond
  • UHU Stic
  • Docraft Stick It! double-sided tape

Let It Snow

I love Christmas and I find that December gives me the perfect excuse to create as many Christmassy journal pages as I can (grin!). I hope you like my latest creation.

I started by stamping snowflakes over the page using Dovecraft embossing ink which I covered with white Stampendous embossing powder. I shook the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper and tapped the page against the table to make sure I had removed any stray powder. Once the excess powder was safely returned to its container, I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder, sweeping 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. Next I applied Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers and Cracked Pistachio Distress Inks using a blending tool starting at the top of the page with the darkest colour of Chipped Sapphire, and finishing with the lighter colour of Cracked Pistachio, at the bottom. As the white snowflakes were on a white page, it was fun seeing them stand out as I added more layers of the Distress Inks to intensify the colours. Then I used a wood mounted snowflake stamp which I wet with a baby wipe and pressed onto the page so that it reactivated the Distress Ink. On removing the stamp I used some kitchen paper to absorb the wet ink leaving a pretty snowflake impression on the page. I added some shiny silver snowflakes to the centre of each impression which are from a Relief Sticker Set by Crelando and also some large 3D silver snowflakes which are wall stickers. Then I used some outline stickers to add the silver stars and dots for some extra detail and shine. The snowman is fussy cut from an old Christmas card and stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. To create the ground I used the negative image surround from the outline stickers, ripping it to fit the page. To finish, I added the “Let It Snow” wording which is a foam sticker from a Christmas craft pack and some white dots using a Uni Posca paint pen.

Living by the sea, we don’t usually have much snow, although snow is forecast for this weekend (grin!). This had me reminiscing about some heavy snowfall (for the UK) that we had for about a week when we lived in the South of England.  I found these pictures to share with you.

Our garden was like a winter wonderland with all the snow …

… and the snow-covered trees looked so beautiful 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 join the lovely Sheila from Orange Esmeralda who is hosting the “Let’s Celebrate” challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my snowy celebration.

Over at Try it on Tuesday they have a “Twinkle, Twinkle” challenge where you are asked to include stars, sparkles, glitter and shiny things.

I’m also pleased to join Moo Mania & More for their “Get the heat on – (Heat Embossing)” challenge as I included the heat embossed snowflakes on my page.

I’m pleased to be able to join the “Winter Wonderland” challenge over at A Vintage Journey with my “Mixed Media” style page. I was inspired by the description provided to their Creative Guides of “Let’s see some snow, snowmen …” so I included both of these in my design.

The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge is “Icy Inspiration” so I drew inspiration from the dark blue colour, snowman and snowy pictures on the mood board provided to create my journal page.

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

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers, Cracked Pistachio)
  • Dovecraft Premium Embossing Stamp Pad (Clear)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque DP100)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (White)
  • Clear Impressions clear stamp set (Woodland Christmas)
  • Practical Publishing Embossing Folder & Stamp Set (Winter Wonderland)
  • Papercraft 4 You Mary Hughes wood mounted rubber stamp (Snowflake)
  • Crelando Relief Sticker Set (12 Sheets – Christmas)
  • Home Bargains (Wall Stickers 16216)
  • Poundland (Christmas Gift Pack 171319-MC16)
  • Outline Stickers (Time Silver 90493S)
  • UHU Stic

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

Winter Wonderland Decorations

Today I have something different to my normal Art Journalling … as you may be aware, I like to create a seasonal window display. I have always struggled to source winter decorations for my tree branches as they need to be appropriate for January and February not just for Christmas, so I decided to have some fun and create my own using items I had in my craft stash. Here they are … what do you think?

As winter was my inspiration for these decorations, I used a white colour palette and some sparkle, which reminds me of frosty mornings and snowy days: I was thinking winter wonderland! I chose music, birds and hearts to link to my love of this season; linking to Christmas time festivities and of course Valentine’s Day. Even though each item is unique, they are brought together as a collection because I used the same materials to decorate them. You can find out how I created them below.

Love Heart

Love Heart

The large heart is a luxury gift tag which I stamped using three different stamps using Emboss ink; the stamps include a music stamp from the Musicality clear stamp set by Docrafts, a Diamond Background stamp and also a Serpentine Background stamp, both by Art Impressions. I covered the Emboss ink with white Stampendous embossing powder and shook off the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper. I also tapped the heart to make sure any stray powder was removed and then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. I swept the gun over the stamped 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 repeated this process on the back of the tag as well. To add a little contrast I applied Toffee Crunch Memento Ink very lightly to the front and back using a blending tool which highlighted the embossing more. I added a piece of music decorative tape diagonally across the tag and edged it with pearl strips that I had cut to size. I stuck a piece of diamante decorative chain wire along the length of the decorative tape, securing it with Glossy Accents. The “Love” sentiment is a wooden embellishment which I painted first with white gesso and then I embossed it with the same white embossing powder. I stuck it onto the heart along with some pearls and pearl feathers using Glossy Accents. To finish, I added a piece of white paper twine and organza ribbon.

Bobbin

Bobbin

For the bobbin, which was kindly gifted me by my mum who uses lots of gold thread for her Christmas cards that she embroiders, I applied three bands of the same decorative tape around the central cone. Then using the slit at the top of the bobbin, where the thread in normally secured, I secured the end of the diamante wire and wrapped it around the central cone securing it again at the bottom. I then edged the top and bottom of the bobbin with the same pearl strips and also added some pearls and pearl feathers to the central cone using Glossy Accents. To embellish the bottom of the bobbin I used a metal heart, which I recycled from an old necklace, by painting it with white gesso. When the gesso was dry, I covered the heart in Emboss ink and then white Stampendous embossing powder. It’s very important to remember that this heart is metal and therefore conducts the intense heat of the heat gun so I suspended the heart while heating it and waited until it cooled before touching it. Once cooled I distressed the heart with a craft knife and added a pearl to both sides. I then threaded some white paper twine through the heart and up through the bobbin to suspend the heart at the bottom. To finish, I tied some of the white ribbon into a bow around the paper twine at the top of the bobbin.

Small Heart

Small Heart

For the small heart, I used a wooden hollow heart shape tag and covered the front and the back with the music decorative tape and then I edged all the sides of the heart with pearl strips that I had cut to size.  I punched a hole through the tape to thread the piece of white string back through. It is decorated with some diamante wire, pearls and pearl feathers using Glossy Accents to stick them and I added a piece of the organza ribbon to the top of the heart to finish the piece.

Bird

Bird Frame

The bird decoration is a wooden frame embellishment which I covered in white gesso and white embossed on both the front and the back. I cut decorative tape to fit the bottom section and added a string of pearls and feathers to the bottom edge using Glossy Accents. Along the top frame I adhered some of the pearl strips and wrapped a piece of the diamante wire onto the right-hand side securing it with Glossy Accents. Again this piece is finished with white paper twine and ribbon which I tied in a bow.

Fairy

Frost Fairy

I used another luxury gift tag heart and coloured it with the Toffee Crunch Memento Ink using a blending tool, then I covered half of the heart with the decorative tape. I created a frosty leaf by painting it with white gesso and then white embossed it. For the fairy which is a wooden shape, I painted white gesso and embossed it and then I added a piece of wire and a pearl to form a band around the fairy’s waist. I stuck both the leaf and fairy to the heart using Glossy Accents. Next I added a piece of the decorative tape diagonally across the top left-hand corner over the leaf and edged it with the pearl strips and added the diamante wire along its length. I curled the leaf edges to show the heart shape more and stuck the pearl and pearl feathers to the top right-hand side. To finish, I added a piece of white paper twine and organza ribbon.

hot-chocolate

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m sharing my hot chocolate and a special winter treat of lebkuchen – yum! Wishing you all a Happy T Day!

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration and are a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

I created these decorations to adorn my home so I’m pleased to join the “Home Sweet Home” theme over at Try it on Tuesday.

The “Mini Marvels” challenge over at A Vintage Journey gave me the perfect motivation to create my winter inspired decorations in readiness for display in December. They meet the “Mini Marvels” criteria with the largest decoration (the Bird Frame) being 4” and all the rest being smaller. I hope you like the “Shabby Chic” look of these winter decorations.

I really enjoyed using the white colour palette to create my winter wonderland decorations, so I’m joining in the fun over at  Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their “Snow White” challenge.

As I used stamping on the Love Heart decoration for the white embossing, I’m pleased to join the “November Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included)” at the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge.

Inspired by Alison, I’m also pleased to be able to join PaperArtsy where the theme is “Shades of White”, thanks so much for inviting me 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:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tsukienki Memento Ink (Toffee Crunch)
  • Tsukienki Emboss Embossing Stamp Pad (Clear)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Diamond Background T-3335, Serpentine Background T-2773)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 clear stamp set (Musicality DCE907112)
  • Wilko (Luxury Gift Tags – Hearts)
  • Crelando Decorative Tape
  • Poundworld (Pearl Embellishments)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Decorative Chain 26253)
  • The Brighton Bead Company (Pearl and leaf strand)
  • The Works (Wooden Craft Words)
  • Bobbins
  • Recycled metal charm from old necklace
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Hollow Heart Shape Tags)
  • The Works (Wooden Frames CRO282/TW1)
  • The Works (Fairy Shapes)
  • The Handmade Paper Company (Nature’s Touch of Art – Leaves)
  • Wilko (Paper Twine)
  • Organza ribbon (White)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents

Trick or Treat

Autumn means it’s time to bake all things pumpkin and my sister has just given me a huge pumpkin that she grew in her garden. So this thoughtful “treat” inspired my page!

I started by making a template for the moon and also for the foreground out of thin card and used them to mask off areas on my page. Then for the sky, I applied layers of Black Soot Distress Ink by Tim Holtz using a blending tool concentrating the colour at the top of the page and shading so it was lighter towards the horizon. I also made a set of three cloud templates and stencils which I used to create the cloud images using some old black and purple ink pads which I applied with a sponge; I offset some of the clouds to give them a lighter border so they look like the moon is highlighting them. Then I removed the moon template to add a cloud across the bottom. I also added some texture to the moon using a sponge and the same black and purple ink pads. With the foreground mask still in place, I stamped the village scene from a Winter Wonderland stamp set, so it looks like it’s behind the hill giving a landscape perspective. Then I removed the foreground mask, and used another template to mask off the sky which I positioned a few millimetres lower than the village so that the horizon was clearly defined with a white line. I added the same Black Soot Distress Ink to the foreground and shaded it using a blending tool so it looked patchy. I also added some brown accents using a sponge and an old brown ink pad. I then stencilled some wavy black lines using a Texturized template from The Crafter’s Workshop and black Distress Ink. I stamped the trees by Clear Impressions using black and dark green ink pads and then used a black Uni Pin marker to add more detail. Next I drew the flying witch on her broom, her hat and a bat onto black paper, which took me a while as drawing isn’t really my thing. I fussy cut them out and stuck them to the page, as with all of the elements, using Winsor & Newton Matt Gel Medium. The banner is created from card which I folded in half and cut into triangles so that when they are unfolded they formed a diamond shape. They are coloured using a sponge and an orange ink pad, and the letters are stamped to spell out “Trick or Treat” using an alphabet stamp set from Dovecraft and a black ink pad. When they were dry, I folded them over a piece of Hessian/burlap string to create a banner and stuck the two halves together so they made a triangular shape. I stuck the banner in place at the same time as the witch, which allowed me to tuck the string behind her so it looked like she was pulling the banner along as she flew across the night sky. Once they were all in place, I outlined them with a black Uni Pin marker, added white dots to the banner using a Uni Posca paint pen and three purple gemstones to create a band on the witch’s hat. I also emphasized the ears and feet on the bat using a black Uni Pin marker. The pumpkins are drawn onto white mixed media paper, coloured using a sponge and orange, yellow and green ink pads. They are outlined with black Uni Pin marker and a white Uni Posca paint pen. I added shadows under the pumpkins using a paintbrush and the black ink pad, and also a white gel pen. I placed a little robin, adorned with a purple witches hat, on top of one of the pumpkins which I had made with paper and coloured using a paintbrush, ink pads and yellow acrylic paint. The village windows are also coloured using the yellow acrylic paint and I covered them along with the pumpkin’s eyes, nose and mouth with Glossy Accents so they looked like light was shining from them. To finish, I stamped the stars using a silver ink pad, outlined them with a white Hybrid gel pen and filled them with silver Stickles glitter.

This page makes me smile as it’s a lovely reminder of my autumn pumpkin and it was so much fun to get creative in order to join some fabulous blog challenges. I enjoyed making my own templates/masks, drawing my own images, adding autumnal colours using up old ink pads as well as using stamps to create the village, landscape, stars and banner focal point.

Having used stamps to create many of the elements on my page, I’m pleased to be able to join the lovely Avril who is Guest Designer over at Stamping Sensations for their “Autumn Glory” challenge.

With the different autumn colours I’m also joining the fun over at Country View Challenges for their “Mixed Media with Autumnal Hues” challenge.

Over at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge their theme is “A Walk On The Dark Side” and I’m pleased to be able to join them with my dark Halloween page.

I’m also joining Moo Mania & More for their “Automobiles/Cars/Vehicles” theme as my witches broomstick is her preferred vehicle of choice (grin!).

The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge has a new theme for this month, so I incorporated orange, yellow, purple and green from the selection on their “Color Challenge” onto my page.

Here’s a picture of me holding the huge pumpkin I was given, I’m standing in our hallway next to the wreath I made, which changes with every season. I’m not carving this pumpkin because being home-grown it should taste delicious, so I plan to bake it and make puree to freeze for pumpkin rolls – yum! I’m guessing it will make quite a few (grin!).

Of course I could make a cake with pumpkin butter cream icing or even a pumpkin pie like I did last year (double grin!).

Or maybe my hubby can make some homemade pumpkin beer – cheers and Happy October!

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 (Black Soot)
  • Hobbycraft (Assorted Ink Pads)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Cadmium Yellow Medium)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.8mm)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (White)
  • Hybrid Gel Grip pen (White)
  • The Crafter’s Workshop Rhonda Palazzari Designs 12×12 Template (Texturized)
  • Clear Impressions (Woodland Christmas)
  • Free set with Simply Cards & Paper Craft Magazine (Winter Wonderland Embossing Folder & Stamp Set)
  • Star Stamp
  • Leon (X-large Colour Paper Pad)
  • Daler-Rowney Mixed Media paper
  • White card
  • Hessian Material
  • Hobbycraft Self-Adhesive Gems (Assorted Squares 5666141000)
  • Ranger Stickles (Silver)
  • The Range 3D Glue Pen (Glitter Glue GLT4321000)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Winsor & Newton Matt Gel Medium

Always find a song

Today my page for the “Poetry in Motion” theme over at Art Journal Journey was inspired by a Swedish Proverb. I love the optimism of these simple words:
“Those who wish to sing will always find a song”.

I covered the page with white and pastel shades of blue and green acrylic paint using a brayer, waiting for each layer to dry before adding the next colour. I then sprinkled Ultramarine Colourcraft Brusho Crystal powder onto the page and spritzed it with water and just watched the magic as the colours burst into life. I wanted a slightly muted tone and as the Brusho was so vibrant I decided to cover the page with a thin layer of white gesso and the same acrylic paints again, this time painting them on with my finger. I like the way the Brusho powders add pops of colour through the paint. Next I added a pattern which I copied from a dreamcatcher that is hanging in my craft room and outlined it with a black Uni Posca paint pen, which took quite a bit of time as there were so many sections. Then I masked some of the sections and stamped a music stamp using black Archival Ink and a delicate flower outline stamp using Danube Blue Memento Ink. I found the blue ink was a bit distracting so I toned it down by dabbing with a baby wipe. I stamped the proverb using an alphabet stamp set by Hampton Art and black Archival Ink, and I added some white dots to the letters using a Uni Posca paint pen. The sections are embellished with blue gems and paper flowers and I used more of the same gems along the edge of the circular design. To finish, I added a little felt bird into the centre of the sections so it looks like it’s song is radiating across the page to depict the quote. You may also notice that the little bird is the same colours as the Swedish flag tying into the origins of the quote that I used too (grin!).

As birds often sing in my garden, I am also pleased to be able to join the lovely Eileen who is Guest Designer for the “In my garden” theme over at Try it on Tuesday. I think my little bird is happy to provide some music for Eileen’s ‘Miss Froggy’ ballerina to dance too (double grin!).

As a proverb is often metaphorical, I believe it means you will find a way to do the things you want. Of course it can be taken literally too, and my hubby will tell you that I can find a song for any occasion and I’m often found singing around the house. Music makes me happy (grin!).

  I love all sorts of music and have quite an eclectic taste, so I thought I’d share with you some happy music moments, from this month, as we have attended quite a few music events and festivals being held in our local parks (grin!). The picture above is of the bandstand at Stanley Park where during the summer they have a different band playing every weekend, so we took a picnic and sat around the auditorium to listen to them.

This is our favourite local band called ‘Ska Face’ and it’s the first time they have played at the park. We usually go to see this band two or three times a year at local festivals and pubs. They are a ten-piece ska band from Blackpool who play and sing classics from Madness, The Specials, Bad Manners and The Beat. This type of ska music is known as the ‘2 Tone‘ genre which began in the late 1970s. A checkerboard motif is associated with ‘2 Tone’ which explains this saxophone player’s stylish suit.

There was another band playing before them called ‘The Flash Hearts’, who played rock songs and I was singing along to their rendition of ‘Dead or Alive’ by Guns and Roses and ‘My Sharona’ by the Knack.

We also went to a local music festival in Ashton Gardens just down the road, it was fun cycling there on our tandem and listening to the various bands throughout the day. This band is ‘Eye the Bomb’ who are a five-piece Alternative Rock band from Blackpool who fuse together elements of Rock, Funk, Hip-Hop and Punk. They played their own music and a few covers including ‘Give it away’ by The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

This band is ‘Paper Mountains’ whose songs are influenced by bands like Nirvana and Killers.

It was fun partying in the park and creating this page! I hope you are enjoying the “Poetry in Motion” challenge over at Art Journal Journey too, where you are invited to create a page inspired by a poem, saying or quote.

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)
  • Aldi Script (Ready Mixed Pastel Paints)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Colours (Ultra Marine)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tsukeniko BandMemento Ink (Danube Blue)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (Black, White)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Musicality DCE907112)
  • Hampton Art Mini Wood Peg Rubber Stamps (Alphabet Set #1037)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Poundland (Accessories Pack 60911)
  • Home Bargains The Craft Set Company (Gems Jewels 63283)
  • Home Bargains Craft Time (Felt Stickers 57877)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents