Capture the Magic

I wanted to create an art journal page to remember my birthday which was last week, I had the most amazing time and thought I would recycle an old birthday card which I have treasured for a while.

To continue the recycled theme, I started by gluing some red netting from a bag of oranges to the page; this was quite difficult to do as the glues I had just didn’t want to hold the stretchy net in place. So I secured it as best I could and then used my heat gun to dry the glue, which happily melted the netting and looked really cool (grin!). Then to ensure the netting would stay in place I covered the whole page with white tissue paper using Liquitex matte gel medium, building up the layers of tissue paper to ensure all the netting was covered; I love all the background texture that the netting and tissue paper created. When the gel medium was dry, I scribbled Watermelon, Guava, Butter Cream, and Caramel Faber-Castell Gelatos onto the page and smudged them with my finger; they blended beautifully on top of the gel medium. I also added some Metallic Icing Faber-Castell Gelato to add contrast, some Abandoned Coral Distress Ink by applying the ink, spritzing with water and letting it run over and down the page and then I splattered the whole page with DecoArt black acrylic paint using a paintbrush. Next I recycled a cardboard tube to stamp circles of Pébéo white gesso and also black Soot Distress Ink onto the page. All the butterflies and flowers are from a birthday card and I fussy cut them out, edged them with Dark Sepia Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and arranged them onto the page using glue dots and double-sided tape. To finish, I added the wording “Capture the Magic” using Tim Holtz Label Letters which I mounted onto some of the cream recycled birthday card before sticking them to the page with glue dots; for me this page definitely captures the magic of my birthday!

My birthday celebrations started with lunch at our favourite restaurant Coco’s Soul Food, you may remember it from previous posts (grin!).

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’ll start by sharing some fizzy drinks that we selected while waiting for our food order, the choice is Passion Fruit, Lychee or Guava – Happy T Day!

You may be surprised to see that I didn’t have my usual Tropical Mango Chicken Salad but Jerk Chicken Enchiladas – so yummy! My hubby had the same and the portion was so big that there was enough for lunch the next day too (grin!).

Then we went on a lovely walk along the River Ribble and back through Avenham Park which was built in the 1860s and is Victorian in style. The day was sunny with some April showers and as the afternoon brought with it happy blue skies we had fun time exploring!

There were great views across the river …

… and of Silver Birch trees …

… and pretty blossoms!

I thought this photo of pretty blossoms would be perfect to enter into the Simply Neutrals Tuesday party over at Apple Apricot which is hosted by the lovely Wen.

There were quite a few old Victorian bridges on the walk too.

Walking back through the park, there was a Japanese Garden which was a beautiful setting for this old house in the background.

Along the railings that enclosed the garden were over 2000 aluminium eggs decorated by local schools for Easter – amazing!

There was also a wonderful display of daffodils and a waterfall which was a surprising discovery!

As well as pretty pink blossoms which remind me of the colours and flowers on my page.

I’m sure that I will be sharing more birthday treats with you again soon and thank you so much for all the lovely birthday wishes on my blog last week, it really made my 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:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Alison/Craftytrog, who is hosting the Recycle and Collage challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the recycled materials that I collaged onto this page including the netting, tissue paper and one of my favourite birthday cards.

As I reused and altered materials to create this page, I’m pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Pimp It Up! (reuse or alter something) challenge.

As I created this page to capture the magic of my birthday celebrations, I’m also pleased to be able to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Happy Birthday! challenge – wishing you a Happy 9th Birthday too!

With the circles I added to my page, I’m pleased to join a new challenge blog today over at That’s Crafty Challenge and their Going Round in Circles challenge.

This page fits nicely with the Recycle Something challenge over at Try it on Tuesday too where you still have another week to join in the fun, it would be great to see you there!

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

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

  • Faber-Castell Gelato (Watermelon, Guava, Butter Cream, Caramel, Metallic Icing)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Abandoned Coral, Black Soot)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Marker (Dark Sepia B 175)
  • Stamp – recycled circular cardboard tube
  • Recycled birthday card
  • White tissue paper – recycled from gift packaging
  • Red netting – recycled from a bag of oranges
  • Tim Holtz Idea-ology (Label Letters #TH93072)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Wilko (Sticky Dots)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
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Valentine’s

To celebrate Valentine’s Day tomorrow I created this art journal page and I used my winter window display as inspiration too as it looks so pretty with the red hearts and white snowflakes (double grin!).

Over at Try it on Tuesday, our current theme is Love is in the Air (think Hearts, Valentine’s Day, Love etc) and there is still another week to join in the fun, so it would be great to see you there!

I started by covering the page in a thin layer of Pébéo white gesso in preparation for the Faber-Castell Gelatos that I added next. Once dry, I graduated the Gelato colours using Iced Currant around the edges of the page then Iced Rosé then Metallic Icing in the centre using a sponge to blend them. Next I stamped some bars of music and a scroll border from Penny Black and also an “I Love You!” stamp by Hampton Art using black Archival Ink. I stamped my favourite circle and heart design from Sugarloaf Inc. using a VersaMark watermark stamp pad and covered it with white Stampendous embossing powder making sure any excess powder was removed using a paintbrush. 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 stamped images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long until the embossing powder melted to a glossy finish and became smooth and dimensional. Then I used some silver metallic rub-on transfers from Royal & Langnickel to add the “Forever & Ever” and “Love” wording and also some hugs and kisses. For my snowflakes I used a trio snowflake die from Tonic Studios and some recycled white card. They are stuck to the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium and I finished them using some pretty glitter and silver snowflakes and also some sparkly jewel stickers. For the small hearts, I used a paper punch from Tonic Studios and some recycled red card and stuck them in place using the matte gel medium again. The cupid heart and postcard are from a card making kit by Docrafts and are stuck in place using double-sided tape. I also added an “I Love You” sticker to the postcard which is by Graphic 45. The chalkboard heart is a tag and I tied a red piece of leather into a bow and added our initials which are foam sticker letters. I coloured the letters using red Stickles in the centre and then edged them with silver Stickles using a very steady hand (grin!). I added three red hearts, to the focal images, which are punched from the same red card using another paper punch from Tonic Studios and also some more sparkly jewel embellishments to the background which finished the page.

I love our Valentine’s window display this year; it looks extra special with the lovely winter decorations that I made and the beautiful “G” and “J” initial decorations that were bought for us for Christmas.

The red hearts and white of the decorations and snowflakes look lovely together and the snowflakes seem even more relevant as we have snow forecast for this week too (grin!).

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m also sharing his and hers hot chocolates – normal  hot chocolate for hubby and white hot chocolate for me (grin!) – Happy T day!

Challenges

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

I’m pleased to join in the fun over at Moo Mania and More and their Valentine’s challenge.

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

I’m pleased to be able to join Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their It Must Be Love challenge with my Valentine’s inspired art journal page.

I’m also pleased to join the Photo Inspiration challenge over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge.

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

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

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Faber-Castell Gelato (Iced Currant, Iced Rosé, Metallic Icing)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tsukineko VersaMark (Watermark Stamp Pad)
  • Script Metallic Pen (Silver)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood-mounted stamp (26645)
  • Penny Black Stamp Set (Clearly in Love 30-009)
  • Hampton Art Studio G clear stamps (VS4911)
  • Tonic Studios Christmas Trio Die Set (Falling Snowflakes 17920)
  • Red and white card (recycled Christmas cards)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Kisses and Hugs Silver #ROY790SV)
  • Docrafts Papermania 6×6” Decoupage Card Kit (Victorian Valentine PMA169102)
  • Graphic 45 Cardstock Stickers (Place in Time 4500617)
  • Tonic Studios Paper Punch Accent (Hearts Sider 830E, Classic Heart Sider 858E)
  • The Works (Chalkboard Heart Tags, Christmas Embellishments, Jewel Stickers)
  • Trimcraft Alphabet & Number Stickers (Glitter – Gold SCSTK013)
  • Ranger Stickles (Christmas Red, Silver)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

My Favourite Things

I’m thrilled and honoured to be able to join the Design Team at Try it on Tuesday and I’d like to thank the wonderful team for inviting me. Being part of this team is very special to me as Try it on Tuesday is one of the first challenge blogs that I ever joined and I have very fond memories of when I made their “Top 5” and was subsequently asked to be a guest designer for one of the challenges!

A little about me:
I live by the sea in the North West of England with my hubby and I started Art Journaling just over 2 years ago as a way of expressing my life through words and pictures. I love using mixed media and I’m captivated by the variety of techniques and materials that can be used to create so many different styles of art. I’ve always been a creative person, and this has now become a passion of mine which I like to share with others.

Here at Try it on Tuesday we have a new challenge theme every two weeks and we would love for you to join us. Today we are launching the My Favourite Things theme where you are asked to use a favourite technique, stamp, stencil, ink or paint etc, which gave me lots of inspiration when I created this page.

I started the page using one of my favourite techniques using Spectrum Aqua Markers and an acrylic block; I did this by scribbling Sea Green, Kingfisher and Peacock Blue onto an acrylic block, spritzing the block with water then pressing it onto the page. I love the way the ink blends and imprints the page with colour creating some lovely textures. Next I selected my favourite hearts and circle stamp from Sugarloaf Inc. and stamped it on the page using Bahama Blue Memento Ink. Then I used an “Art is” stencil by The Crafter’s Workshop to stencil some black DecoArt acrylic paint using a sponge and I also splattered some of this paint over the page using a paintbrush. This stencil is a favourite of mine as I can really relate to the words which read:

When the paint had dried I used the stencil again to add Pébéo modelling paste over the top of the black paint using a palette knife. After the paste had dried I coloured it with Black Soot Distress Ink using a blending tool and then some Boysenberry, Snow Cone, Coconut and Kiwi Faber-Castell Gelatos by simply brushing the gelato directly over the top; gelatos are one of my favourite mediums too. Then I splattered the page using a white Uni Posca paint pen. Next I chose another of my favourite stamps to stamp the birds sitting on a branch directly onto the page and also onto a piece of patterned paper from a Design Pad from Crafter’s Companion. I fussy cut the birds out of the paper and stuck them over the stamped bird images on the page using double-sided tape. The “My Favourite Things” wording is formed from Label Letters from idea-ology by Tim Holtz which I mounted on three tags. The tags are covered with the appropriate word definition from my old school Oxford Pocket Dictionary using a UHU Stic; the edges of which are stamped with the heart and circle design from Sugarloaf Inc. using the Bahama Blue Memento Ink and Twisted Citron Distress Ink. They are edged with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker as well as Black Soot Distress Ink using a blending tool and then stuck to the page using double-sided tape. I also punched some hearts from the dictionary paper using a Tonic Studio paper punch; they are stamped, edged and stuck to the page the same way as the tags. I used the Label Letters again to add the names of the favourite things I used, to remind me of how I created this page. To finish, I stuck some paper flowers next to each of the words using Ranger Glossy Accents.

I thought you may like to see where I create my art, here’s my craft room. My hubby built the units for me and I painted them with chalk paint – I love it! My new Christmas present is on display too, can you guess what it might be (grin!).

I had fun using some of my favourite techniques, inks, paints, stamps, stencils, and labels to create this page. I hope you will join in the fun over at Try it on Tuesday too, if you need more inspiration take a look at the wonderful creations from my fellow design team members.

I’m so looking forward to finding out what your favourite things are too!

How to join us:

  • As long as you stay within the challenge theme you can make whatever you like such as a card, altered project, ATC, scrapbook page, tag, mixed media or anything else you might like to try, including digital art.
  • Simply go to our Try it on Tuesday blog and use the “Inklinkz” tool to link directly to your post (and not just to your blog).
  • Remember to incorporate our Try it on Tuesday link in your blog post too.
  • You can find the full set of guidelines here.

I’m also joining the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their January Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included).

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

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

  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Sea Green, Kingfisher, Peacock Blue)
  • Tsukineko Memento Ink (Bahama Blue)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Boysenberry, Snow Cone, Coconut, Kiwi)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot, Twisted Citron)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (White)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • The Crafter’s Workshop 6×6” Stencil, Designs by Jamie (Mini Art Is TCW261S)
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CRO274/16R1)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. wood mounted rubber stamp (26645)
  • Crafter’s Companion Angelica & Adam Collection (Luxury Designer paper Pad A&A-PAP6-M)
  • The Pocket Oxford Doctionary
  • White card
  • The Works (24 Assorted Craft Tags)
  • Poundworld (Gem Florettes 117128)
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology (Label Letters #TH93072)
  • Tonic Studios Paper Punch (Classic Heart Sider 858E)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Alphonse Mucha Exhibition

Whilst we were in Liverpool recently, my hubby treated me to the Alphonse Mucha “In the Quest of Beauty” Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery. Mucha is one of my favourite artists, he is famous for his Art Nouveau artwork and the exhibition was amazing!

To match the pretty colours of the exhibition poster and booklet I started by covering the page with Watermelon, Guava, Peach, Butter Cream and Caramel Faber-Castell Gelatos and smudging the colours with my finger which I wet with a baby wipe. I applied two layers of gelato colour to achieve a brighter intensity of colour and then I used Earl Grey gelato around the edges of the page to frame it. Next I stamped a series of art nouveau designs over the background using Pistachio Memento Ink; this included a wood mounted circular design by Dovecraft, a scrollwork design by Royal & Langnickel and a flower design by Craft Sensations. I added the cream art nouveau border vertically on down each side of the page which is an outline sticker and then I covered the whole page in a thin layer of watered down Liquitex Matte Gel Medium using a paintbrush to fix the colours and stamped images. As Mucha always added beautiful flowers to his posters, I stencilled a flower design from Craft Sensations using Pébéo modelling paste, I used the stencil several times to build the image allowing the modelling paste dry between each application. I arranged some pretty paper flower blossoms on the page, sticking them down using double-sided tape and foam tape. I layered and curled the petals to give them more volume and used large pearls and clusters of pearls from Trimcraft, for their centres. Then I stuck the Alphonse Mucha exhibition booklet onto the page using double-sided tape and added a piece of lace trim along the bottom and a paper flower.

The lace trim is secured around two of the larger pearls so that it can be unfastened on one side to allow the booklet to be opened. I outlined a circular vintage die cut shape with a moss Spectrum Aqua marker and stuck it to the page using double-sided tape; I liked that it had text on it as we learnt so much from the exhibition information that was alongside the artwork. Then I added a butterfly from the same die cut pack using double-sided foam tape which finished the page.

We really enjoyed the Alphonse Mucha Exhibition, it was so informative and the artworks were breathtaking. As many of the artworks on show were originals no photos were allowed and in fact the lighting was subdued in the exhibition to preserve the art pieces. For photos and more information about this exhibition click here.

If you are interested here are some interesting facts we found out about Alphonse Mucha and his beautiful art:

  • Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) was an artist and illustrator who was born in Czechoslovakia. We were surprised to find out how much he travelled throughout his career between Prague, Paris and America.
  • He rose to fame in Paris in the late 1890s with his advertising posters for the famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt. The first poster he designed for her was in 1894 for her production of “Gismonda” and it was so desirable that people stole the oblong panel prints from the hoardings. Following the success of the first poster, Mucha created a further six theatrical posters for Bernhardt. They were to revolutionise poster design with the use of the long narrow shape, the subtle pastel colours and the full-standing figure of the actress placed in a raised shallow alcove.
  • Following the success of theatrical posters, in 1896 Mucha created some 80 poster designs over the next five years for the publisher F.Champenois to advertise their products. We found out that the advertising posters reflected the modern rich Parisian life in La Belle Époque (The Beautiful Age) with a female figure central to the composition, flowers and beautiful decorative motifs.
  • Mucha’s fame also lead him to receive commissions to design product packaging and ornamental objects as well as advertising posters. We saw intricately designed perfume bottle boxes and labels as well as biscuit tins, labels and box wrappers at the exhibition.
  • Mucha had a long-lasting friendship with French Sculptor Auguste Rodin, who Mucha called Master (maître). There were many photos of them together as Mucha was a keen photographer too, in fact he also used photography to capture the female models he used for his posters.
  • His work inspired the then emerging Art Nouveau style and is easily recognisable with his distinctive graphic designs; he has inspired generations!

On exiting the exhibition I had fun trying on the different flower headdresses, which one do you prefer, we have spring, summer, autumn or winter (grin!).

Challenges

With the circle designs of the stamps, outline stickers and die cut, I’m pleased to join the “Circles” challenge over at Try it on Tuesday.

Mucha is well-known for his central female figures and elegant artwork, so I’m also joining in the fun over at Moo Mania & More for their “Make It Feminine” theme.

As my flowers design includes stencilling using modelling paste, I’m pleased to be able to join the “Stencils” challenge over at Country View Challenges.

I’m also happy to join the “All Creatures Great And Small” Simon Says Stamp Monday 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:

  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Watermelon, Guava, Peach, Butter Cream, Caramel, Earl Grey)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Pistachio)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Moss)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Dovecraft Wood Mounted Stamp (DCRS99)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamp Set (Ornate Scrollwork Mini-CCS123)
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CR0274/16R1)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Alphonse Mucha Exhibition Booklet – Walker Art Gallery
  • The Range (Crafting Lace CR0546)
  • Docraft Anita’s Outline Stickers (Delicate Lace Borders White ANT8101510)
  • Trimcraft Fall in Love (Adhesive Pearls LCDOT002)
  • Dovecraft Collections Back to Basics III (Paper Blossoms DCBL005)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Vintage Die Cut Shapes)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • The Range double-sided tape & double-sided foam tape