Bee Happy

Today I’m sharing my first attempt at painting with my new Kuretake Gansai Tambi Japanese Watercolour paint set. I think I’ll be using them again soon as the vibrancy of the colours is amazing and I love how they blend together to create this summery page.

I also used a new bee stamp set and the “Don’t worry bee happy” sentiment which made me smile as it reminds me of the “Don’t worry, be happy” song. Don’t forget that you still have a week to join the Inspired by a Song challenge over at Try it on Tuesday, it would be great to see you there.

I started by die cutting some flowers out of pages from of my old pocket dictionary using my Big Shot machine.  On the page I stuck both the die cuts and the page they were cut from, so as to get a positive and negative flower image, using Liquitex matte gel medium. I also stuck some pieces of leftover decoupage paper and white leftover tissue paper that were sitting on my craft desk, which already had a floral stamp from Docrafts, a Sheet Music stamp from Woodware, a Vintage-Believe stamp and a Script stamp from Kaisercraft stamped on them using black Archival Ink. When the gel medium was dry, I wet the page with water using a paintbrush and then I added Rose Madder, Sap Green Light, Viridian, Ultrmarine, Turquiose Blue and Colbalt Violet watercolour paints over the top using a paintbrush; it was fun as I learnt how to apply the paints. I concentrated the Rose Madder paint over the flower shapes and added Lemon Yellow to their centres. They are outlined using Black watercolour paint and later with some black Uni Pin markers to add more detail. Next I stencilled a honeycomb pattern using modelling paste and stamped a hexagonalGeometric hexagonal stamp using black Archival Ink. I applied some white gesso to the page using my finger to dull the black stamping and some of the watercolour which added more depth and dimension to the page. The heart was a leftover piece of dictionary page which already had a heart shape punched out of it, I coloured it using the Rose Madder and Lemon Yellow watercolour paints and outlined it as I did the flowers. I also used the top of my spritzer bottle to stamp the small round circles using black Archival Ink and they are painted using Rose Madder, Colbalt Violet and Lemon Yellow watercolour paint. Next I stamped the bees onto some white card three times and also onto the page. For the ones that I stamped on the card, I coloured their body using Lemon Yellow watercolour paint and an extremely diluted Ultramarine Pale watercolour on their wings, then fussy cut the body, head and wings out. I then coloured the legs of the ones that I had stamped on the page using a brown Uni Posca paint pen and stuck the body and wings over the top using a UHU Stic, bending the wings upwards so they looked more 3D. As this page is so bright and cheery, I added the sentiment “Don’t worry bee happy” using black Archival Ink which is from the same stamp set as the bees; this finished the page.

As T Stands for Tuesday I’m showing a drink of apple juice and ginger beer again, you may remember it from last week (grin!). Well, following all of the comments from the T Gang I was getting a bit confused until my lovely friend from Drivers and Sundry made me realise that Ginger Beer here in the UK is similar to Ginger Ale in America. They are both non-alcoholic soft drinks although ginger beer is spicier with a more fiery ginger flavour than ginger ale, so as an alternative half apple juice and half ginger ale will work too – Happy T Day!

Also if you look at my glass closely you will see a bee etched upon it, which links back to today’s page (double grin!).

In case you are wondering, this is my box of new Kuretake Gansai Tambi Japanese Watercolour Paint; I’m looking forward to using them some more and trying our new techniques 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. As well as Try it on Tuesday, here are the challenges I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Bleubeard & Elizabeth from Altered Book Lover, who is hosting the Count your blessings challenge over at Art Journal Journey as I feel very blessed to be able to create art and share it with others.

I’m joining in the fun over at Moo Mania & More and their theme is Summertime challenge with my summery watercolour page.

Over at Simon Says Stamp Work It Wednesday the challenge is Watercolour! so I’m pleased to join this challenge too.

I’m also happy to join the Anything Goes! challenge over at The Artistic Stamper with my Bee Happy stamped art journal page.

With the bees and stamping, I’m also pleased to be able to join Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their It’s A Bugs Life challenge.

I love my new bee stamp so I’m also joining the Use your ‘current’ favourite stamp challenge over at Stamping Sensations too.

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

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

  • Kuretake Gansai Tambi Japanese Watercolour Paint set (Rose Madder, Sap Green Light, Viridian, Ultrmarine, Turquiose Blue, Colbalt Violet, Lemon Yellow, Black)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm & 0.5mm)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (Brown)
  • That’s Crafty Dinky Stencil (Reversed Honeycomb)
  • Docrafts Papermania Capsule Clear Stamps (Geometric Mono)
  • Dovecraft Premium Clear Stamps (Bee Happy DCSTP129)
  • The Oxford Pocket Dictionary
  • Leftover decoupage paper
  • Leftover stamped white tissue paper
  • Cardstock (White)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
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Thank you so much

As you may know we enjoy walking and often walk with our friends and their dog, Chase. Last weekend we were lucky enough to look after Chase while our friends were away – she is such a lovely companion and a joy to be around!

As a thank you we received a gorgeous metal mushroom ornament for our garden which inspired my page (grin!).

I started by applying Brushed Corduroy, Ground Espresso and Frayed Burlap Distress Ink using a blending tool and then spritzing the page with water to activate the ink so it blended more. I also added splatters to the page by stamping the same inks onto an acrylic block and diluting with water, then using a paintbrush to flick the ink onto the page. Then I applied Pébéo modelling paste through a honeycomb Dinky Stencil from That’s Crafty! using a palette knife and left it to dry overnight. Next I stamped some green leaves from a Crafter’s Companion stamp set using Cottage Ivy and Pistachio Memento Ink; as the green was too bright I covered them with Pébéo white gesso and then used the honeycomb stencil again to apply Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink over the top. Next I used some Kaisercraft clear stamps to add more detail to the background, this included: a Script stamp using black Archival Ink; a flower stamp using Rich Cocoa Memento Ink; and a foliage stamp using Peeled Paint Distress Ink. The mushrooms are fussy cut from an old Nature Book that I bought from a charity shop (thrift store); I only chose ones which can be found in gardens in the UK. They are stuck into place using a UHU Stic and I added more detail using a black Uni Pin marker and white Uniball gel pen as well as some shadows using a Topaz Spectrum Aqua Marker. I added the words “how lovely” from a Kaisercraft sticker sheet which I outlined with a black Uni Pin marker and also some pretty paper flowers. To finish, I added the “Thank you so much” tag which I edged with Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink; this tag came attached to the metal mushrooms that we were gifted (grin!).

You may remember Chase from a previous post; here she is sitting in my friend’s garden.

This is the metal mushroom ornament, isn’t it amazing! I love the rusty look and it was the perfect gift because as you may know my goal is to sort out and replant our flower beds this year – this so thoughtful, thank you!

Some of you have expressed a wish to see my flower beds, this is what they look like at the moment. The plants are all new including two apple trees which have replaced some huge shrubs that filled the borders.

I’m aiming for a cottage garden look and to be honest I’m not much of a gardener so it’s been a big learning curve for me, which I love! You can see our beautiful walls and all the flowers which make me smile. We have also seen an increase of butterflies and bees in our garden already so we have their seal of approval too (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:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Chris from Pearshapedcrafting, who is hosting the Arts for Art’s Sake challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

With the distressed look and feel of my page I’m joining in the fun over at The Artistic Stamper where their challenge is Distress It!

I’m joining the Get Sentimental challenge over at A Vintage Journey with my Mixed Media Style “Thank you so much” page.

I’m also joining the lovely Wen and her Simply Neutrals Tuesday party over at Apple Apricot with my neutral coloured page.

As this page was inspired by the beautiful mushroom ornament in my garden, I’m also pleased to be able to join the In The Summer Garden challenge over at Country View Challenges.

Over at the That’s Crafty! Challenge Blog, their challenge is Close to Nature so I’m happy to join them with my mushroom art journal page.

I’m also pleased to join the Allsorts Challenge Blog and their In my Garden challenge as this page is inspired by metal mushrooms that you can find in my garden.

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

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Brushed Corduroy, Ground Espresso, Frayed Burlap, Peeled Paint)
  • Tsukineko Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa, Cottage Ivy, Pistachio)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Topaz)
  • That’s Crafty! Dinky Stamps (Reverse Honeycomb TC031)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752, Magnolia Grove CS822)
  • Crafter’s Companion Signature Collection by Sara Davies (Rustling Leaves S-AUT-ST-RUS)
  • The Illustrated Book of Nature
  • Kaisercraft Sticker Set (Secret Garden SS283)
  • Gift Tag
  • UHU Stic
  • Stix 2 Mini Craft Dots

Let your dreams take flight

Inspired by happy summer days in my garden I decided to create this page using my new art supplies and some of my favourite techniques.

I started by heat embossing the background with white embossing powder; I did this by stamping my new seed head stamp from Molly Brown using a VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad. I then covered them with white Stampendous embossing powder, shook off the excess onto a piece of scrap paper and tapped the page to ensure any stray powder was removed. Then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder by sweeping the gun over the stamped images until the embossing powder melted to a glossy finish and became smooth and dimensional; don’t they look pretty! Then I used a blending tool to add Scattered Straw, Twisted Citron and Blueprint Sketch Distress Inks over the page. I used the same inks to add a honeycomb design using a stencil that I won over at That’s Crafty! to add more depth. As Distress Inks reactivate when water is added, I sprayed the page with water and removed some of the colour with a piece of kitchen towel. I then applied the Scattered Straw, Twisted Citron and Blueprint Sketch Distress Inks using one of my favourite techniques; applying the inks to an acrylic block, spritzing with water and pressing the block onto the page which created some lovely pools and drips of ink. Then I stamped the same seed head stamp using Hickory Smoke Distress Ink and splattered white and black DecoArt acrylic paint over the page using a paintbrush.

Next I collaged the paper elements which are edged with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink and stuck in place using double-sided tape. The paper elements included: some paper pieces which I cut from a Kaisercraft paper sheet; a flowery picture from an old magazine; a bird, butterfly and a postcard from a set of Vintage Die Cut Shapes. The two sentiments are from a sticker set by Kaisercraft and they are edged with the Frayed Burlap ink. I chose these sentiments because seed heads remind me dandelions and making wishes as a child, so I was thinking it is important to “Dare to dream” and when you make a wish with a dandelion seed head you “Let your dreams take flight”. To finish, I added some blue enamel dome stickers and a flowery metal embellishment which is secured using a brad.

As you know my favourite colour is blue and this plant in particular was on my shopping list this year (grin!). It’s a Salvia nemorosa called “Blue Marvel” and the bees and insects love it!

The butterflies seem to like this new addition to our garden too; it’s a Scabiosa which has the loveliest pale purple flowers. A frequent visitor, a small blue butterfly called Common Blue has proved difficult to photograph, so I was pleased to find a lovely die cut blue butterfly to add to my art journal page to remember its visits.

As T Stands for Tuesday and its summer, I’m sharing a couple of cooling milkshakes that me and my Sis had at a local café in St. Annes – one is chocolate (my choice – grin!) and the other is banana; they both are made with yummy vanilla icecream!

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 Chris from Pearshapedcrafting, who is hosting the Arts for Art’s Sake challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the heat embossing and Distress Ink techniques I used on this page.

Over at Moo Mania and More the theme is Your Favourite Colours which gave me the perfect excuse to use blue again, thank you!

I’m also joining in the fun over at the That’s Crafty! Challenge Blog and their A Summer’s Day Challenge with my summery art journal page – thanks so much for the fabulous stencils!

As this page reminds me of my garden with the summery colours, flowers, butterflies and birds, I’m also pleased to be able to join the In The Summer Garden challenge over at Country View Challenges.

I’m happy to also join Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Anything Goes challenge with my summery art journal page.

With birds and butterflies, this page is also perfect for the Things with Wings challenge over at Try it on Tuesday, where there is still another week to join in the fun – I hope 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:

  • Tsukineko Versamark (Watermark Ink Pad)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Scattered Straw, Twisted Citron, Blueprint Sketch, Hickory Smoke, Frayed Burlap)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White, Black)
  • Molly Brown Rubberstamps (MB-0079E)
  • That’s Crafty! Dinky Stamps (Reverse Honeycomb TC031)
  • Kaisercraft Porcelain Rose Collection 12×12 Paper (Dearest P1163)
  • Old Magazine
  • Kaisercraft Sticker Set (Fly Free SS289)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Vintage Die Cut Shapes)
  • Docrafts Papermania Stickers (Enamel Shapes – Denium Blue Domes PMA3560011)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Metal Decorations)
  • Stix 2 Double-sided tape

Glass Art

As part of my birthday celebrations we went to Garstang and stopped by John Ditchfield’s Glasform gallery and studio. This is always a lovely place to visit and you can watch them making their glass artworks too, which is amazing!

I started by selecting images from freebie leaflets that were supplied by the Gallery in the carrier containing a birthday present that I had selected, more on that later (grin!). I tore and glued the front of one of the leaflets to the left-hand side of the page using UHU Stic. I then selected some softly ink-stained recycled baby wipes that I thought would compliment the images. I have quite a few baby wipes to recycle that I have used to mop up inks and paints from other art journal pages; they are just too nice to through away. I cut the baby wipes to fit the remainder of the page and stuck them in place using Liquitex matte gel medium. I then backed all the remaining images with some recycled white card from some packaging, fussy cut them out and then stuck them all to the page using Liquitex matte gel medium again, which finished my 99.9% recycled page.

The studio is located in a barn and you can watch glass artworks being made, which is amazing!

It’s full of inspiring pieces like this glass ceiling hanging …

… or this beautiful wall of glass!

It’s mesmerising to watch the artists transforming the heated glass in front of your eyes! This is the glass artist John Ditchfield and he is heating the glass …

… then it’s time to blow it …

… heat and blow it some more and then roll it in coloured glass …

… put it in a mould and blow it again …

Wow, look at the shape of this piece, isn’t it stunning! Here it is still molten and while it’s cooling he is turning it on the pole to retain the shape and using large scissors to bevel the end where it is attached to the pole. When ready it’s removed from the pole and slowly cooled in a kiln for 16 hours or so …

… then with some work, hey presto you have a light shade!

Then there’s the gallery to look around too and this photo collage of neutral glass artworks is for Simple Neutrals Tuesday party over at Apple Apricot. There is so much to look at including beautiful vases, a green shimmery toadstool with the fairy on top, lamps, bowls, fish and the most adorable sheep (grin!).

With so many beautiful pieces to choose from …

… it was hard to choose one birthday treat!

Here’s my present, a very pretty glass robin, isn’t he the cutest (grin!).

As T Stands for Tuesday and we went to Garstang, I’m sharing a pint of Beer Baracus  from our lunch at The Royal Oak. I grew up watching B.A. Baracus on the A-Team television series and I had to laugh when I saw the hand pump as I can just imagine him saying “Drink it, fool!” (grin!). Cheers and wishing you a very Happy T Day!

Challenges

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

I’m pleased to join the lovely Alison/Craftytrog, who is hosting the Recycle and Collage challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my recycled and collaged art journal page!

As I reused the baby wipes and altered free leaflets, I’m pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Pimp It Up! (reuse or alter something) challenge.

I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Sparkle and Shine challenge with the beautiful shine from the images that I used on my page.

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

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page (wow, I think this is the shortest materials list I have ever posted – grin!):

  • Recycled free leaflets
  • Recycled baby wipes stained with ink having been used to mop up ink and paints when creating journal pages
  • Recycled card from packaging
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Give Thanks

I was so excited to receive some happy mail from the lovely Nan! Every element was so detailed from the envelope which had the most stunning handwriting in orange and yellow ink and pretty autumnal leaves, to the beautiful hand painted sunflower card with honeycomb embossing, to the wonderful goodies I found inside (grin!).

So I created a “Give Thanks” page to recognise this kindness and incorporate some of the lovely Peanuts Thanksgiving stickers that Nan kindly gifted to me – I hope you like it!

I started with a neutral background of Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint which I applied using a baby wipe. Next I used two of That Touch of Mica Masks from Creative Expressions; firstly a honeycomb design to match the embossing that Nan had created on the card and secondly a leaf design to match the pretty leaves I found on the envelope. I applied Morocco and Dandelion Memento Ink through the honeycomb stencil using a sponge; these colours were inspired by the orange and yellow inks that Nan had used.

Then I stamped a hexagonal geometric shape using Rich Cocoa and Toffee Crunch Memento Ink through the leaf stencil onto the page, and outlined the edge of the leaf designs with a Sepia Spectrum Aqua marker. Before I removed this stencil I coloured the rest of the stencil design with the residue ink, that was left on the stencil from the stamping, using a sponge. Next I stamped “Give Thanks” onto the page using an alphabet stamp by Papermania and black Archival Ink, and then I darkened the letters using a black Derwent Graphik Marker so they stood out more.  To create the octagonal shapes, I created a template and used it to draw and cut out octagons from different papers; this included papers from the Into the Woods paper pad by Craft Asylum, a paper pack from my local craft shop and a piece of grid paper from my hubby’s old postage stamp album. I stuck one “Peanuts” sticker onto each of the octagons and then I edged them with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck them to the page using double-sided foam tape. To finish, I added some sparkly green Bling Stickers and edged the page with the black Big Brush marker.

I was so delighted to receive this happy mail and here you can see the front of the envelope with the most stunning handwriting in orange ink surrounded by pretty autumnal leaves with a round moon postage stamp and the beautiful sunflower hand painted card (grin!).

Even the back of the envelope was a work of art with the cute bear and flowers. One of my favourite sentiments “Hello Sunshine!” was also kindly included; the sunshiny yellow ink is perfect and Nan’s handwriting always looks so amazing. I also found some wonderful goodies inside (double grin!).

The card now has pride of place in my craft room! I’m in awe of the sunflower that Nan painted; it looks so professional and is so detailed. Sunflowers always seem such happy flowers and happen to be a favourite of mine – it makes me smile every time I see it (triple grin!). Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness dearest Nan!

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 receiving this happy mail warms my heart, I’m pleased to join Chris from Pearshapedcrafting who is hosting the “101 Ways to Stay Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

I really enjoyed using these different techniques with the stencils and love the layers of colour and designs that resulted, so I’m also joining the “Stencils” challenge over at the Country View Challenges.

I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge too and their “Thanks/Thanksgiving” Challenge with my “Give Thanks” journal page.

I always enjoy using stamps on my pages and it was fun to add texture to the leaves by stamping through the stencil, so I’m pleased to join the “November Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included)” at the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It 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:

  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Morocco, Dandelion, Rich Cocoa, Toffee Crunch)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Sepia)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.5mm)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Honeycomb, Take a Leaf)
  • Docrafts Papermania Clear Stamp Set (Capsule – Geometric Mono)
  • Papermania Alphamania A-Z Clear Stamps (Leftovers Alphabet PMA9071102)
  • Craft Asylum 6×6 Paper Pad (Into the Woods 480326)
  • Paper pack from local craft shop
  • Grid postage stamp album paper
  • Peanuts Thanksgiving stickers – a gift from the lovely Nan!
  • Poundland (Bling Stickers 2561793)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape