Mr. Finch

I’m really enjoyed creating the masculine page that I posted on Tuesday so I thought I would continue with the masculine theme and create a page with the additional inspiration of the goldfinches that we have seen a number of times this year, both in our garden and on our walks. So here’s my fun steampunk page which showcases the fabulous Mr. Finch (grin!).

I started by covering the page with Peeled Paint and Antique Linen Distress Ink using a blending tool and then spritzing the page with water to give a soft covering of colour. While the background was still wet I used a stamp from BoBunny to add the crackle texture mainly around the edges of the page using Hickory Smoke Distress Ink; the wet page blended the inks so the stamp looks smudged in places which I love. Then I used a stencil from Craft Sensations to add the numbers using Frayed Burlap Distress Ink and a blending tool. The black wheels are also stencilled using a Dina Wakley stencil from Ranger and I varied the depth of the Black Soot Distress Ink that I applied to give more of a distressed look and to add some dimension. I then splattered the page with the Black Soot Distress Ink using a paintbrush. The fountain pen and pocket watch are rub-on transfers by Royal and Langnickel and I also applied some leftover black letters from a Letraset transfer set to use them up. Next I fussy cut the roses from some design paper and stuck them in place, like all of the paper elements, using Liquitex matte gel medium.

For my steampunk Mr. Finch, I used a bird stamp from Stampendous, a Steampunk stamp set by Docrafts and black Archival Ink. I started by stamping the bird onto thick paper and fussy cutting it out, and then I distressed this image by covering it with some watered down white gesso using a baby wipe. Once dry I stamped the cog images over his breast and head and also a feather image over his back and wings to add more texture. I also stamped his steampunk style top hat and his wheels onto another piece of design paper; his wheels are from the Penny Farthing stamp which I stamped twice and then fussy cut out. I added three strips of music washi tape horizontally on the page and then I layered his wheels, body and hat together so Mr. Finch is rolling along one of these strips.

Inspired by seeing the goldfinches, I painted his cog design and added detail to his feathers using Iridescent Gold Liquitex Ink. As goldfinches also have red feathers on their heads that look like a mask, I also thought it would be fun to paint the goggles on his top hat with a Poppy Red Derwent Inktense pencil. I used a black Derwent marker, white gel pen and also the gold Liquitex Ink and red Inktense pencil to add further colour and detail to the design including his mask, hat, wheels and cogs. For his eye I added a black gem and coloured some of it white using a Uniball gel pen. Next I die cut three small labels using my Big Shot machine and stamped “Explore” using black Archival Ink. Once stuck in place, I coloured the edges using the red Inktense pencil and gold Liquitex Ink and then outlined them using a black Derwent marker and a white Uniball gel pen to frame the words, and then I embellished them with some round black brads. To finish, I splattered black and white DecoArt acrylic paint and also gold Liquitex Ink using a paintbrush over the page.

Here is one of the goldfinches that we saw on one of our walks along by the sand dunes, isn’t he magnificent!

If you are interested here are some facts about this bird:

  • There are just three species of goldfinches in the world – our European goldfinch, the widespread American goldfinch and Lawrence’s goldfinch which is found in the southwest USA.
  • The European goldfinch is a highly coloured finch with a bright red face and yellow wing patch.
  • They are very sociable birds, often seen in large groups and have a delightful liquid twittering song and call. The collective name for goldfinches is a charm and is derived from the old English c’irm which describes the birds’ twittering song.
  • The shape of their beak allows them to extract seeds from thistles and teasels.

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 Gill from gibbyfrogettcraftations who is hosting the Inspired by … challenge over at Art Journal Journey I took inspiration from seeing the goldfinches to create steampunk page.

With the focal image of Mr. Finch being created using different stamps, I’m happy to be able to join Stamping Sensations and their Anything Goes challenge.

I’m so pleased to join the lovely Maura who is on the design team and is co-hosting over at SanDee & amelie’s Steampunk Challenges this month for their Anything Goes – Steampunk/Industrial challenge.

Over at A Vintage Journey this month the challenge is Stencil It so I’m pleased to join this challenge with my goldfinch inspired page fits their challenge focus with its Steampunk and Mixed Media Style.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Written Word (add some text in some form) challenge over at Country View Challenges with stamped wording I added to this page.

I’m joining in the fun at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Anything But A Card challenge with Mr. Finch art journal page.

I’m also joining the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their June Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included) with my unique, one of a kind Mr. Finch.

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 (Peeled Paint, Antique Linen, Hickory Smoke, Frayed Burlap, Black Soot)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Liquitex Inks! (Iridescent Bright Gold)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencil (Poppy Red 0400)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black, White)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Ranger Dina Wakley Media Stencil (Wheels MDS45588)
  • BoBunny Stamp (Rough it up 12105155)
  • Stampendous Cling Rubber Stamps (Jumbo Songbird CRS5029)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 Clear Stamp Set (Steampunk DCE907125)
  • Spellbinders Nestabilities Card Creator (A-2 Fancy Ribbon Threader S5-135)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Journey MIN- CCS104)
  • American Crafts (DIY Shop)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Soft Colours CRO730/R, Authentic Vintage CRO730/R)
  • Royal & Langnickel Create-A-Collage Rub-on Transfers (Men’s Accessories #ROY-853)
  • Letraset Transfers (Helvetica Bold Condensed 5mm DCO251)
  • Hobbycraft (Assorted Black & White Decorative Tape 5971481007)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 175751)
  • Brads (Round Black)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
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She’s got the Look

It’s time for a new challenge at Try it on Tuesday which is She’s got the Look. It might be in her style, her eyes etc … which give her that special look.

Please check out the amazing Design Team creations over at Try it on Tuesday for more inspiration. I had lots of fun creating my art journal page, I think she definitely has “The Look” (grin!).

I started this page by covering it in squares and rectangles of different grey and white decoupage papers using Liquitex matte gel medium; the decoupage designs included lace, dots and fleur-de-lis. Then I added some clock and circular shapes from Kaisercraft and also a Fiskars stamp set and a scroll stamp by Penny Black using black Archival Ink. The pretty girl’s face is from an old magazine and is mounted onto a piece of wallpaper using a UHU Stic to give it more stability. Once dry I fussy cut and stuck it to the page using Liquitex matte gel medium along with some flowers and leaves which I fussy cut from a wallpaper sample. Once everything was in place I covered it with a layer of Liquitex matte gel medium to seal the images so I could easily apply different mediums over the top to add colour and more detail. Next I stencilled modelling paste onto the background through a fleur-de-lis style stencil and left it to dry.

To create the distressed grungy look, I coloured the background using Iced Rose, Iced Currant, Earl Grey and Coconut Faber-Castell Gelatos smudging the colours with my finger. I then added some water to the page using a paintbrush and applied some Carbon Black Liquitex Ink over the top; the water helped control where the ink seeped and spread on the page. I also tipped the page vertically so the ink dripped and ran down the page. Next I applied some DecoArt white paint with a sponge to the background and also to the fleur-de-lis by using the stencil again which added some highlights making the page lighter. I intensified the colour of the flowers on her headdress using a Chilli Red Inktense pencil and then outlined them using an Ink Black Inktense pencil. To give her headdress more of a grungy look, I covered the leaves in black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker wiping the ink off with a baby wipe so it just dulled the green colour. Then I painted diluted Carbon Black Liquitex Ink to the edges of the flower petals and outlined both the flowers and leaves with this ink so they stood out more from the background. I used a white Uniball gel pen and black Uni Pin marker to doodle lines and dots onto the flowers and leaves to add more detail and interest to the design. I then added some sparkle to the edges of the flowers using silver Stickles by Ranger and coloured the stamens of the flowers using a white Uniball gel pen and outlined them with a black Uni Pin marker. Then I picked out the flower colour and design of the girl’s headdress to embed the girl’s image into the background better by applying some Red Berries Distress Ink using a Floral stencil by Tim Holtz around the edges of the page.

I emphasised the girl’s eyes by doodling on them with a black Uni Pin marker and then colouring them with Baked Earth and Antique White Inktense pencils, a white Uniball gel pen and also silver Stickles to add some sparkle. Her mask is made using some fine silver netting which I cut to shape and placed over her face tucking it under the flowers of her headdress; I arranged some strands of clear and black gemstones over the netting to create her sparkly mask with a teardrop gem in the centre. I applied some more silver stickles to the lower part of her face to define the lines of her neck, chin and cheeks. Next I added some thin feathers which I had curled so they fanned out creating more texture around her face, they are stuck in place using Ranger Glossy Accents. With the mask complete I also stuck the edges of the mask and flowers in place using the Glossy Accents. To tie the mask into the headdress design, I added some of the clear and black gemstones around and behind the edges of the flowers on her headdress and then I painted Chilli Red Intense pencil onto her lips which finished her look.

As T Stands for Tuesday and my lady is going to a Masked Ball, I think she would be enjoying a cosmopolitan (cocktail), also known as a cosmo – Happy T Day!

This happens to be one of my favourite cocktails and if you are interested it’s made with ½oz Fresh lime juice, 1oz Cranberry juice, ½oz Cointreau, 1½oz Vodka. Place all the ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake well and strain into a large cocktail glass – yum (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 I included flowers and feathers on my journal page, I’m pleased to join the Flora and Fauna theme which I’m hosting at Art Journal Journey. There is still a few days left to join in the fun and be sure to pop back on Thursday to see my final celebratory journal page for this theme (grin!).

Over at Moo Mania and More the theme is Even More Flowers so I’m pleased to join the lovely DT with the flowers I created for this page.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Doodles challenge over at Paperbabe Stamps as I really enjoyed adding all the doodles to the girl’s face and also her headdress flowers and leaves.

I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Use More Than One Stamp challenge as I used the clock, circular and scroll stamps for this 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:

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Faber-Castell Gelato (Iced Rose, Iced Currant, Earl Grey, Coconut)
  • Liquitex Inks! (Carbon Black)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Chilli Red 0500, Ink Black 2200, Baked Earth 1800, Antique White 2300)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Festive Berries)
  • Kaisercraft Clear Stamps (Magnolia Grove CS822, Provincial CS243)
  • Penny Black T for Transparent (Clearly in Love 30-009)
  • Fiskars Clear Stamps (Rounds & Squares 4657)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Tim Holtz Collection Stamper Anonymous (Floral Layering Stencil THS077)
  • Viva Gade Decoupage papers Skagen (25561, 25562, 25564)
  • Old Magazine
  • Wallpaper sample
  • Poundland (Design Jems 175751)
  • Graham & Brown (Adhesive Jewels)
  • Black Feathers
  • Ranger Stickles (Silver)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic

Happy Easter

As it is Easter this weekend I was inspired to create an art journal page to wish all of you who celebrate – a very Happy Easter!

I started by applying diluted Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink to the page by stamping the pad onto an acrylic block and picking the ink up with a wet paintbrush. Then I sprinkled on some Leaf Green Colourfast Brusho powder and spritzed it with water to watch the colours burst onto the page. I used a stencil by Dutch Doobadoo Masks to add a dot design using Peacock Feathers Distress Ink and a circle design using Mustard Seed Distress Ink. I also added Picked Raspberry Distress Ink using a star stencil from Creative Stencils and then stamped a Script stamp by Kaisercraft using black Archival Ink. Next I edged the page with the Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink and a blending tool and splattered the whole page with white and black DecoArt acrylic paint. The eggs and flowers are made from felt and are stuck to the page using a UHU glue pen and glue dots. I drew lines on the page for the stems and then covered them with either strips of black gems or black border Glitterations stickers. I also added some little black flower stickers and the words “smile” and “fun” which are stickers from Sandylion Sticker Designs and stamped some leaves from Hampton Art using black Archival Ink. To finish, I fussy cut a “Happy Easter” banner which I recycled from an advertising leaflet, backed it with white card, edged it with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck it to the page using double-sided tape.

Continuing the Easter theme, here are some of the little chicks and eggs that are adorning my seasonal window (grin!)

There are about 24 chicks adorning the branches – aren’t they cute!

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 and More the theme is Happy Easter so I’m pleased to join in the fun and wish you all a Happy Easter!

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 my colourful springtime Easter page.

I enjoyed using stamping and stencilling to create this page so I’m also happy to join the Stencils & Masks challenge over at The Artistic Stamper.

I’m also joining the Use a stencil and Three Mediums challenge over at The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge as I used stencils and at least three mediums which included Distress Inks, Brushos and Acrylic paints to create my Happy Easter page.

I’m also joining the Simon Says Stamp Work It Wednesday challenge as I used a fun inking technique layering the different Distress Inks using stencils and a blending tool to create my colourful Easter 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:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Spiced Marmalade, Peacock Feathers, Mustard Seed, Picked Raspberry)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Colours (Leaf Green)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White, Black)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.8mm)
  • Dutch Doobadoo Dutch Mask Art A5 (Geometric Tiles)
  • Creative Stencils Craft Essentials (MAOB0004 – Stars)
  • Kaisercraft Clear Stamp (Script CS752)
  • Hampton Art Bella Blvd cling mounted rubber stamps (Surf & Turf ICO226
  • Advertising leaflet
  • White card
  • Poundland (Design Gems 175751)
  • Docrafts Papermania Glitterations Stickers (Black Border ANT8181015)
  • Sandylion Sticker Designs Kelly Panacci (Stitches & Borders KSCB102)
  • Aldi (Easter Collection Bonnet Accessories 25099751)
  • Home Bargains (Decorative Sticks 38352)
  • Wilko (Sticky Dots)
  • UHU Glue Pen
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

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

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

Brown Dragonflies

I found myself reminiscing about summer walks with my lovely blog-friends CJ and Erika wishing for warmer weather (grin!) and wanting to join a few blog challenges, I decided to create an art journal page inspired by some huge brown dragonflies that we saw on one of our summer walks last year at Glasson Dock. Although they were numerous we didn’t manage to get a good photo of them as they were so quick in flight, so it was fun creating this page to remember them – I hope you like it!

To match the brown dragonflies that we saw I chose a brown colour palette. I decided to experiment with a new technique using Colourcraft Brusho powders by using them as a spray, which worked really well as long as you are careful not to dilute the colour too much (grin!). I did this by placing some Dark Brown Brusho powder in a spray bottle and diluting with water, then using it to spray the page lightly with colour whilst leaving some white space. Next I stamped lots of dragonflies onto white tissue paper with an Eco Green Crafts stamp using Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink and also Rich Cocoa Memento Ink. I layered them onto the page using Liquitex matte gel medium, not worrying if the gel medium re-activated the Brusho or Distress Ink again, as I wanted a grungy look. When the gel medium had dried I used a stencil from That Special Touch of Mica Masks by Creative Expressions to add the Distressed Dots using the Dark Brown Brusho spray again and also used the stencil like a stamp to apply the excess spray that was on the stencil onto the page. Using the same stencil I applied: Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks with a blending tool; some Navy Spectrum Aqua marker by scribbling it onto an acrylic block, sprizing with water and applying with a blending tool; some smaller patches of Peacock Feathers and Black Soot Distress Ink using a blending tool to add more contrast; and finally some bronze metallic Lustre paint by applying it with my finger. Next I stamped the wording from the same Eco Green Crafts stamp set using black Archival Ink as it applied to the dragonflies that we saw and I really liked the grungy design. The dragonflies we saw were huge, so I drew and cut out a large dragonfly from some recycled glossy glittery paper and stuck it to the page using a UHU Stic. Once the glue had dried, I edged it with a black Uni Pin marker and white Uniball gel pen. I ripped some hexagonal washi tape and stuck it around the edges of the page with some pretty opaque gem stones and added some glittery bronze embroidered flowers using Glossy Accents which finished the page.

You may remember Glasson Dock from previous posts, such as this one here. This is the estuary at Glasson Dock where we first saw the dragonflies and as we continued our walk they seemed to be everywhere (grin!).

They were more abundant by the canal around the reeds and here’s the best picture we took of them. When we got home I identified them as Brown Hawker dragonflies; we plan to go back this year to see them again and try to get a better photograph of them (grin!). If you are interested here are a few facts about dragonflies:

  • The earliest fossil dragonflies date back 300 million years long before dinosaurs ruled the Earth and had wing spans around 70cm (27.6 inch) which is approximately 10 times larger than today; their overall shape has changed little since those early days.
  • There are approximately 6,000 named dragonfly species in the world today and new species are still currently being discovered for the first time.
  • The Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis) is a large dragonfly about 73mm (2.9 inch) long and is easily recognised by its brown body and bronze wings (grin!).

Challenges

My art journal page today has been inspired by some wonderful Challenge Blogs:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Rike from rike’s art, who is hosting the Animals A-Z challenge over at Art Journal Journey as D is for Dragonfly!

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Grunge It Up challenge with my grungy dragonfly art journal page.

I’m also pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Anything but Cute challenge.

As I created my own background for my dragonfly art journal page, I’m also happy to join the Make Your Own Background challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday 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 (Tea Dye, Brushed Corduroy, Peacock Feathers, Black Soot)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Navy)
  • Craf-T Products (Lustre Rub-ons ASTM D-4236)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Art Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Creative That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • White tissue paper
  • The Works Washi Tape (Enjoy the Ride)
  • Poundland (Design Gems)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Embroidered Flowers)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

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