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!


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

Notarianni Ice Cream

We always enjoy visiting our favourite ice cream shop, Notarianni’s, for a takeaway tub of ice cream! With birthday celebrations it means that we have an extra special treat of visiting their Ice Cream Parlour for a sundae, so I created a page to celebrate our recent visit and later in the post you can even check out which yummy sundae we had too (grin!).

I started by covering the page with white napkins that I recycled from the Ice Cream parlour that we visited. I layered the napkins using Liquitex matte gel medium to cover the background quite thickly to create texture. Once the gel medium was dry I painted it with Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint and Pébéo white gesso. As both the paint and gesso were high density I scraped a palette knife over the top to give a smoother finish so it looked like the silky texture of the vanilla ice cream we had. Next I added some gold lacy borders on the left-hand and right-hand sides of the page and arranged some gold circles diagonally across the page, all of which are outline stickers. The green and white stripes are washi tape which I used to cover the edges of the page alongside the lacy borders, to back some of the small circles, and also to create a counter for the ice cream and bottle image to sit on which is edged with some of the gold lace border too. All of the images are fussy cut from a free leaflet from the parlour and depict the Notarianni Ice Cream history through the generations. I always enjoy reading and finding out more about the places and I often hope to recycle this sort of leaflet on my pages. I backed the images onto some white card that I recycled from some clothes packaging and stuck them over the gold circles using glue dots.

The waitress at the Ice Cream Parlour also kindly gave me some Notarianni Ice Cream stickers too, so I mounted them behind some of the gold circles, cut them to shape and added them to my collage. To finish, I used outline letter stickers to add “1928” and for the wording which is their strap-line and always makes me smile, it reads:

“You can have any flavour you like as long as its vanilla!”

Notarianni Ice Cream has a long history and dates back to 1928, as you may have guessed from the name they make Italian Ice Cream and keeping to their family tradition they sell one flavour only which is vanilla. There are a variety of ways to enjoy the ice cream, on a cone, tub, sundae, floats or milkshake and there are so many toppings to chose – sprinkles, nuts, honeycomb, sherbet, chocolate flake, toffee, chocolate or raspberry sauce. If you are interested, here’s the link to Notarianni’s website and menu. It is now run by the third and fourth generations of the family and they have a loyal following from locals and tourists who, like us, return again and again.

They close over winter and on visiting the ice cream parlour we found that it has been remodelled with a super new counter.

This time we chose a Banoffee Sundae which has slices of banana and toffee sauce served with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and is topped with whipped cream, and we also had a chocolate milkshake served in one of their cool milk bottles (grin!).

I’m sure that we will be visiting again soon (double grin!).


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

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

As I reused and altered napkins, free leaflets, packaging and stickers 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.

I’m happy to be able to join the Simply Neutrals Tuesday party again over at Apple Apricot with my vanilla ice cream page (grin!).

I’m also happy to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Add some Texture challenge with my ice cream textured background.

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

This page also fits our Recycle Something challenge over at Try it on Tuesday, 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:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Recyled napkins
  • Recycled leaflet
  • White card recycled from packaging
  • Notarianni Ice Cream stickers
  • Anita’s Outline Stickers (Sew Retro Gold ANT810136)
  • Starform Outline Stickers (Circles Gold 1144)
  • Outline Stickers (Alphabet Gold)
  • Docrafts Papermania Patterned Craft Tape (Capsule Collection – Spots and Stripes Festive PMA462302)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • Wilko (Sticky Dots)


This journal page is inspired by a new café we discovered over the summer which we now visit regularly, it’s called Chell’s of Lytham. This café is an easy tandem bike ride from our house and sells the most amazing homemade ice-cream and food – yum! It is such an elegant place so I used the gold colour of the signage and also blue which features on their loyalty card, interior and pretty flowers that adorn the tables.

For the background I started with a base coat of grey Windsor & Newton watercolour paint which I applied with a baby wipe. Then I layered some apricot Liquitex Acrylic paint creating horizontal lines of colour. As I found the apricot was a little too bold against the grey, I applied a thin layer of gesso over it using a baby wipe which toned it down nicely, so it just added some warmth to the background. Next I applied a thin wash of Navy Spectrum Aqua marker by scribbling the pen onto an acrylic block, spritzing the block with water and picking up the now diluted ink with a paintbrush. I stamped a Script stamp by Kaisercraft over the background using the same Navy Aqua marker and then I applied some gold shimmer and shine across the horizontal lines of apricot paint and around the edge of the page using a Sunshine lustre rub from Craf-T Products, which I applied with my finger. Next I stamped some tile images from Papermania onto some white tissue paper using Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink, cut them out and stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. I also applied some white gesso over them using my finger, so they blended into the background more and then I stamped some scroll images from Royal & Langnickel onto the page using the same Distress Ink.

The gold and blue flower images are fussy cut from an old birthday card, edged with a Navy Spectrum Aqua marker and stuck to the page using double-sided foam tape. The pretty gold panels are outline stickers and, along with the stamped tile and scroll images, remind me of Victorian architecture, tiling and wrought ironwork that can be found at the café. To finish, I edged the page with the same Navy Spectrum Aqua marker and added some square gold gemstones and the name of the café using alphabet outline stickers which matched the font on the café signage perfectly (grin!).

This café is situated in Lytham and has a pretty facade overlooking the street. It has an Victorian look to it with the outside seating being covered by a canopy which leads up to the big window shop front with the tiled floor entrance and wrought ironwork.

The interior is lovely too, here’s the counter where you order your food, drink and ice-cream.

They make their own ice-cream here in many different flavours, which are often sold out at the end of the day because it’s so delicious! Our favourite flavour combination is Sticky Toffee Pudding, Cherry and Double Chocolate – yum!

We were introduced to this café by our friends after we had all cycled along the front to Lytham and stopped for refreshments – such fun! On that occasion we had a Chocolate Dream Sundae – double yum! Can you see a face in this photo? (grin!)

The drinks and cakes are delicious too, here are the cappuccino, pot of Earl Grey tea and custard tart that our friends ordered. As you can see the water is served in very pretty glasses too (grin!). As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and wishing you all a very Happy T Day!

As you know I love to join in with the challenges as they help to inspire my design and get creative. So today I’m pleased to join the lovely Yvonne from Meggy’s Way who is hosting the “Colour in my World” challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the blue and gold colours in my page.

I love the gold metallic outline stickers and flowers I used on this page, they add so much shimmer and shine so I’m also pleased to join both the “Metal” Challenge over at Country View Challenge  and  the “Shimmer and Shine” theme over at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge again.

Using the double-sided foam tape gives a 3D look to my page so I’m also joining in the fun over at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge for their “Pop It Up” 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:

  • Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colours (Payne’s Gray)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Apricot)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Navy)
  • Craf-T Products Luster Rub-ons (Sunshine ASTM D-4236)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Chipped Sapphire)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Papermania Design Objectives wood mounted rubber stamp (PMA10108)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Ornate Scrollwork MIN-CCS123)
  • White tissue paper
  • Old birthday card
  • Elizabeth Craft Designs outline stickers (Gold 0318)
  • Docrafts Anita’s Outline Stickers (Modern Alphabet Gold ANT8101000)
  • Hobbycraft Self-Adhesive Gems (Assorted Squares 5666141000)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Love Gelato

We love summer because of all the ice cream we can eat, so I thought I would create a page to celebrate this summertime love and join the many others who have created ice cream pages over at Art Journal Journey for Bleubeard and Elizabeth’s “Summertime Love” theme.  My page focuses on gelato rather than ice cream though and also the delicious flavours that you find in the many gelateria (ice cream shops) when holidaying in Italy.

I started by covering the page in Aquamarine, Kingfisher, Topaz and Gold Spectrum Aqua markers; I did this by scribbling the marker onto an acrylic block, spritzing the block with water and pressing it onto the page. I also used a paint brush to transfer some of the diluted ink across the page. Next I fussy cut magazine images that reminded me of our holidays in Italy. I also cut out some birds, an Italian ice cream shop banner and an ice cream cone which details possible holiday destinations. Once they were cut out I stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. As I chose Italy as the destination for this page, I coloured the word “flavour?” with green, white and red Uni Posca paint pens to represent the colours of the Italian flag and outlined them with a black Uni Pin marker so they stood out more. Then using black Archival Ink I stamped the names, in Italian, of our favourite flavours of gelato that we had when we visited Italy (you will find an English description of each of these flavours below). I created the border using a heart stamp and the black Archival Ink and I also top and tailed the gelato names with this stamp. I coloured each heart with the green, white and red Uni Posca pens to represent the Italian flag design; this took some time as there were so many hearts but I think it was well worth the time and effort as I love the detail. Next I used some gold alphabet outline stickers which I coloured black with a Sharpie permanent marker to add the words “Love Gelato”. I connected the gelato names, created a heart and embellished the magazine images using some small green, red and clear gemstones. To finish I added the ice cream cones which I made using some leftover petal outline stickers that I crisscrossed with black Uni Pin marker to represent a waffle cone and a large gemstones that I placed on the top to represent the gelato.

There are gelateria everywhere in Italy and it wasn’t hard to find this shop in Verona. It had the most beautiful display with the carved fruit, intricately shaped gelato and corresponding toppings to depict the flavour, such as a lemon, coconut or strawberries.

Needless to say we couldn’t pass by without trying some, so we had three scoops of different gelato piled into a waffle cone. It was so yummy and although I could have probably eaten both of these, one was for my hubby (grin!).

When we were in Tuscany, we had this Amarena, Tiramisu and Stracciatella gelato.

Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, so you could argue that gelato and ice cream are the same. However there is a big difference and it comes down to these factors: fat, air and serving temperature. If you are interested to find out more, then:

  • Gelato has less fat than ice cream because gelato uses more milk than cream compared to ice cream.
  • Ice cream is churned faster and harder than gelato which is churned at a much slower pace. As a result, gelato is denser with less air while ice cream can consist of 25% to 90% air. The higher density gives gelato a more intense flavour.
  • The temperature at which the two are served is different too. The higher density and lower fat composition means that gelato is typically served at a higher temperature than ice cream. If gelato were served at the same temperature as ice cream it would be too hard and if ice cream were served at the same temperature as gelato, it would melt and become soupy.

On summer evenings you will find that the Italian gelateria is the busiest part of town, often opening until midnight. There are so many different flavours to choose from including:

  • Fragola: Strawberry and this is usually a deep pink colour due to the addition of crushed strawberries.
  • Limone: fresh, tangy lemon flavour. This is a traditional flavour in Italy as lemons were introduced into southern Italy in the first century and are still grown there today.
  • Tiramisu: One of the most popular Italian desserts is turned into a frozen delight. The name tiramisu is often translated figuratively as “pick me up” or “cheer me up” in Italian, in reference to the effects of sugar and coffee and also traditionally Marsala wine.
  • Stracciatella: chocolate chip style, this gelato was invented in Italy and is a light vanilla gelato with crunchy shards of chocolate running throughout.
  • Vaniglia: Vanilla and the colours and taste varies depending on how many vanilla beans are used to make the gelato.
  • Crema: Italian crema is a pale yellow colour and is more like custard than cream.
  • Frutti di bosco: translates to fruits of the forest and is normally a mixture of strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrants and raspberries.
  • Cioccolato: good old chocolate, my favourite!
  • Panna Cotta: this is the frozen version of the traditional Italian dessert; it is rich and velvety due to the addition of heavy cream.
  • Amarena: Plain ice cream with swirls of cherry sauce which is made from Amarena cherries which are small, slightly sharp cherries that are grown in Italy.
  • Malaga: Rum and Raisin.

My hubby loves this gelato sandwich called “brioche con gelato”you can choose your gelato flavours, this one if filled with Tiramisu and Panna Cotta, and they are served in a brioche roll. These can be found in gelateria across Italy and this particular one was in Lake Garda – yum!

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, Topaz, Gold)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (White, Red, Dark Green, Light Blue)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent marker (Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.3mm)
  • Pentel Arts Hybrid Gel Grip (White)
  • Dovecraft Essenitals Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Old Magazine
  • Docrafts Anita’s Outline Stickers (Modern Alphabet Gold ANT8101000, Simple Flowers Gold ANT8101102)
  • Hobbycraft Rhinestone Stickers (Green Rhinestone 5971381004)
  • Oaktree UK Eleganza Craft Stickers (3mm 418 Gems Red No.16)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 175751, 504 Gems 128133)
  • UHU Stic