Winter Robin

When we were visiting family in the South of England we discovered some new walks at a local nature reserve, where we saw lots of wildlife including robins which is one of my favourite birds.

I started by painting diluted Ground Espresso and a little bit of Hickory Smoke Distress Inks onto the page by stamping the ink pads directly onto an acrylic block and picking the ink up with a wet paintbrush. I concentrated the colour around the edges of the page and used the paintbrush bristles to add texture. Then I applied the Hickory Smoke ink again using a blending tool through a retro stencil from That Special Touch of Mica Masks by Creative Expressions. I stamped some small snowflakes from a BoBunny stamp set using Rich Cocoa Memento Ink. With some new dies and my Big Shot I got to work creating some green and red paper branches using Garden Greens Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz; they are stuck to the page using a Zig Memory System glue pen. I was also very excited to receive some die sets from my lovely friend Astrid yesterday, thank you so much! I wanted to use them straight away (grin!), so I selected some square dies and used them to create some pretty edges on a recycled Robin Christmas card and also some patterned papers from Docrafts. I edged them with a grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck them to the page along with some other paper embellishments from the same Docrafts pack and a robin image from another recycled Christmas card using some double-sided tape. To finish the page, I added the wording which are letter stickers from the same Docrafts pack.

Here’s one of the beautiful robins that we saw on our walk at the nature reserve (grin!).

If you are interested, here are some facts about robins:

  • This robin is a European robin (Erithacus rubecula), which here in the UK is known simply as a robin or robin redbreast and they are renowned for their friendliness.
  • The term robin is also applied to other birds of a similar appearance, such as the American robin which is actually a thrush and also the Australasian robins.
  • Even though the film Mary Poppins is set in London, the robin that lands on Mary’s finger during “A Spoonful of Sugar” is an American robin instead of a European robin.
  • Nowadays in the UK, robins are synonymous with winter and especially Christmas cards because in Victorian times, our postmen were known as robins due to their bright red uniforms and they delivered cards on Christmas day.
  • The robin often tops the polls for Britain’s favourite bird and has been adopted as a nickname for eight UK football (soccer) clubs who play in red.

We saw the robin while we were walking through woodland. It was a lovely place to explore with its ponds, streams, marshes, grassland, reed beds, hedges and woodlands and it was a haven for a variety of wildlife too. We saw so many birds in the hedgerows and trees.

It was a sunny day when we visited too and we walked for miles enjoying both the scenery and wildlife.

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 Erika N, also known as BioArtGal, who is hosting the New Year, New Adventures challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my page inspired by our new walking adventure and created with lots of new crafting goodies!

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Birds of a Feather challenge with my Winter Robin art journal page.

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

As I’m using new dies, my new Big Shot die cutting machine as well as the Docrafts paper pack and Creative Expressions stencil which are new craft goodies, I’m also pleased to join the Ring in the New challenge over at Mixed Media Monthly.

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 (Ground Espresso, Hickory Smoke)
  • Tsukineko Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Retro Christmas)
  • BoBunny Stamps (Snow Day #13705563)
  • Paper Pack from local craft store
  • Recycled Christmas Cards
  • Docrafts Papermania A4 Ulimate Die-cut & Paper Pack (Festive Fauna PMA160949)
  • Sizzix Thinlets Tim Holtz Alterations (Garden Greens 661206)
  • Spellbinders Die Cut Systems (Marvelous Squares, Unknown)
  • Zig Memory System 2-Way Glue (The Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
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A Sprinkle of Magic

I couldn’t wait to use my new Big Shot die cutting machine which I received for Christmas so I created this page (grin!).

You may have seen that I referred to it in my last post and I was amazed at how many of you guessed correctly (double grin!). I’d also like to thank everyone for all their lovely wishes of congratulations when I became a member of the Try it on Tuesday Design Team too, I’m overwhelmed by your kindness, thank you!

To create the background, I added Hickory Smoke, Tea Dye and Milled Lavender Distress Inks by applying the ink pads to an acrylic block, spritzing with water and pressing the block onto the page. Then I stamped a couple of snowflake designs from BoBunny using London Fog, Toffee Crunch and Lulu Lavender Memento Inks. Next I created all the lovely leaves from different design papers using my new Big Shot; I chose a blue colour palette to give a wintry and frosty feel to the page. I used a holly die to create the leaves and had such fun using the Big Shot to produce them all, as you can see I made quite a few (grin!). I edged each of the leaves with a grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker to make them stand out a bit more from the background, which took quite some time! Then I layered them onto the page using glue dots or double-sided foam tape and a Zig Memory System glue pen. Once in place I also curled the leaves so they looked more dimensional. The pretty bird and fence posts are fussy cut from last year’s calendar and are edged with grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker; the calendar features British Birds and this one is called a Great Tit which frequents woodland and gardens alike. They are stuck down using a UHU Stic and I added some of the leaves around them too. Next I added a pretty winter scene tag by Pion Designs, a sticker from Graphic 45 and also some words which I cut from an old magazine, mounted onto a piece of thick paper and stuck into place using double-sided foam tape. The words read “A sprinkle of magic” which reminds me of frost and snow this time of year. To finish, I added Icicle Sparkles to the snow on the fence posts and lots of blue gems using Glossy Accents.

I had so much fun using my Big Shot and having never used a die cutting machine before, I had a fun adventure finding out how it worked and how to use it (grin!). I have a very limited supply of dies at the moment but couldn’t wait to get creative so made do with what I had and I love the page that resulted!

If you have any suggestions of brands or actual dies that you would recommend and couldn’t live without, then please let me know by leaving a comment below. This will help me decide what to put on my wish list as I really don’t know where to start (double grin!).

As I included my cuppa in the photo above, I’m pleased to join Bleubeard and Elizabeth and the rest of the T Gang over at T Stands for Tuesday – sending you all Happy T day wishes!

If you are wondering, here’s the photo of my craft room from my last post, you can see my new Big Shot on the left-hand side (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 Erika N, also known as BioArtGal, who is hosting the New Year, New Adventures challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my winter page that I created on my Big Shot adventure (grin!).

With my wintry page I’m pleased to join Moo Mania & More and their Frosty Winter challenge .

With the blue colours that I used to create this page, I’m also happy to join Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Winter Blues challenge.

Including stamping means I’m also able to join in the fun over at The Artistic Stamper and their Anything Goes challenge.

I’m also pleased to be able to join Country View Challenges and this month’s Anything Goes challenge.

As I used stamping and other mixed media to create my art journal page, I’m pleased to join 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:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Hickory Smoke, Tea Dye, Milled Lavender)
  • Tsukineko Memento Ink (London Fog, Toffee Crunch, Lulu Lavender)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • BoBunny Stamps (Snow Day #13705563)
  • The Range Festive Collection (5×5 Dies Holly)
  • Poundland Design Pad (Pure Frozen CRO701/16PL4, Contemporary Christmas CRO701K/P4)
  • Festive Silhouettes free with magazine (Luxury Stamp Set and Foiled Paper)
  • Poundland (Glitter Sheets 116432)
  • British Birds Calendar 2017 – recycled
  • Pion Design Glistening Season 12×12” paper sheet (Tags – PD6612)
  • Graphic 45 Cardstock Stickers (Place in Time 4500617)
  • Hobbycraft Decorative Embellishments (Blue Round Gems 566538101)
  • Ranger Stickles (Icicle)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (The Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • UHU Stic
  • Wilko (Sticky Dots)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Christmas Robins

I love robins and Christmas gives me the perfect reason to transform our beach room into a robin wonderland (grin!). So I’m sharing a robin Christmas card that I created for my mum and dad; it has extra relevance as my mum always embroiders me a robin themed Christmas card and also makes us a Christmas pudding every year so I thought I’d return the favour (double grin!).

For the robins and holly leaves, I used a Clear Magic Stamp Set called Robins from the Woodware Craft Collection and I used Spectrum Aqua markers to colour them. I started with white card stock to create my 6×6″ card, and then I created a holly border by painstakingly stamping the tiny two leaf and berry stamp many times using black Archival Ink. The holly leaves are coloured with Bud Green and Evergreen Spectrum Aqua markers and the berries with Scarlet and Crimson aqua markers. For the focal panel, I used another piece of card stock and stamped a Christmas pudding and single robin image and also a single robin stamp, both using black Archival Ink. Then I took a piece of red and white striped sparkly paper and cut it to size so it covered the bottom half of the card. Then I positioned the paper over the card and stamped the Christmas pudding stamp again on the top of the paper. I cut it out leaving a Christmas pudding and plate shaped hole in the paper which I lined up with the stamped image on the card so it looked like a tablecloth. Next I coloured the robins with Desert, Terracotta, Chestnut, Chocolate, Scarlet, Crimson and Burgundy Spectrum Aqua markers using a wet paintbrush to blend the colours. The Christmas pudding and plate are coloured the same way; for the Christmas pudding I used the Terracotta, Chestnut and Chocolate aqua markers and for the plate I used Charcoal and Peach aqua markers. I also used a gold aqua marker to colour the beaks of the robins. Then I stamped “Merry Christmas” with a Holiday Ribbon wood mounted stamp by Hero Arts onto thin card stock using Cottage Ivy Memento Ink and stuck it over the corner of the focal panel using double-sided tape. To finish, I positioned the panel in the centre of the card using double-sided foam tape so it was surrounded by the holly border.

My beach room (front room) is decorated with robins and this is my latest robin addition, she is called Rosy and she’s having fun hanging off one of the wall lights (grin!). This year we also received two homemade Christmas puddings from my mum and although it’s not a favourite of mine, (unlike my hubby who loves Christmas pudding), I like mine served hot with custard – what about you?

If you are Interested here are some interesting facts about Christmas Pudding:

  • Christmas Pudding originated in England and dates back to Medieval times in the 1420s.
  • They are a type of suet pudding and contain sugar, treacle, suet, raisins and spices.
  • Christmas Pudding is also known as “Plum Pudding” or “Plum Duff” although the pudding has no plums, instead it contains raisins which in old Victorian times were called plums.
  • Figgy pudding is a type of Christmas pudding which was originally made with figs.
  • Putting a silver six-pence coin is an age-old custom that is said to bring luck to the person that finds it.
  • These puddings are traditionally steamed in a cloth, however like many people these days, my mum uses a basin.
  • Brandy is sometimes poured over the pudding and set alight to make a spectacular display, my mum still likes to do this at Christmastime.
  • Christmas Pudding can be served hot or cold with hard sauce, brandy butter, rum butter, cream, custard or my mum’s white brandy sauce (grin!).

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration for my art 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 “Christmas” Challenge over at Moo Mania & More with my Merry Christmas card.

I’m joining in the fun again over at Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their “Celebrate” challenge as this card is sent with love to celebrate Christmas.

I’m joining the “Christmas” challenge over at Country View Challenges with my Christmas card which includes their optional reds and greens as part of the card design.

As stamps were used to create this card, I’m also pleased to be able to join in the “December Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included)” at the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge.

I’m also joining the “Christmas” challenge over at The Artistic Stamper with my robin stamp designed card.

The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge is “Christmas/Winter Holidays” so my Christmas card is perfect for this 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:

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Bud Green, Evergreen, Desert, Terracotta, Chestnut, Chocolate, Scarlet, Crimson, Burgundy, Charcoal, Peach, Gold)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Cottage Ivy)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Clear Magic Stamps (Robins FRCL030)
  • Hero Arts wood-mounted rubber stamps (Holiday Ribbons LL036)
  • White card stock
  • The Works Designer Paper Pack (The Night Before Christmas)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Oh, Deer!

I’m so excited that December is here as I can put up my Christmas decorations; I started on Friday and it took me a couple of days to complete this task (grin!). I thought I’d create a page with the help of this deer who seems to be celebrating by decorating his antlers with Christmas baubles too (double grin!).

My idea was to create a snowy silver birch woodland background so I started by applying some torn pieces of white napkin using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium to add some texture. Then I added Brushed Corduroy, Spiced Marmalade and Hickory Smoke Distress Inks like watercolour by applying each ink to an acrylic block and then using a paintbrush to apply them to the page. I then sprinkled some Dark Brown Colourcraft Brusho powder over the top, spritzed with water and watched the powders explode with colour. I dried the page with my heat gun and then I applied a thin layer of PVA glue here and there in order to seal in some of the colour. Once the glue had dried, I applied a thick layer of Pébéo white gesso over the top using a palette knife and used the heat gun again to create some lovely texture as the gesso bubbled under the heat.  I emphasised this texture by using Silver Grey, White Sparkle and Apple Green metallic lustres by Craft-T products. I love how the gesso enhanced the background texture and that it looks like silver birch bark covered in snow. Next I ripped some branch and berry images from a napkin and stuck them around the edge of the page using a UHU Stic. With the background completed, I tore some silver Curling Ribbon (that was recycled from a present) into thin strips and then curled it with some scissors. I arranged the red and green baubles which are stickers and tied the strips of ribbon to them as if they were hanging down the page. I fussy cut the red reindeer from an old magazine and as the reindeer had white writing across it I covered it with small pieces of the red paper that I tore from the off cuts and coloured the edges with Crimson, Burgundy and Scarlet Spectrum Aqua markers. I mounted the reindeer image onto a piece of white card and outlined his eyes and nose with a Derwent Graphik marker so they stood out more. He is stuck onto the page using double-sided tape and I wrapped the ribbons around his antlers as I stuck him down so it looked like the baubles were hanging from them; this took a little time as it was quite fiddly. To finish, I added more sparkle to his antlers using some little silver dots and some red and green bells which are from the same sticker set as the baubles.

You may remember the Winter Wonderland Decorations that I made last month. I had a few requests to show them again when I had created my winter window display, so here they are (grin!). As you can see I made a few more of these decorations and trimmed them with lace, and as it’s December they are being displayed with some Christmas decorations too.

They look so magical at night with the fairy lights!

As T Stands for Tuesday I’m sharing my green tea in some new mugs that were bought for us, their design reminded me of the reindeer page (double grin!) – 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. Being a new month there are lots of new exciting challenge themes too, so here are the ones I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Sheila from Orange Esmeralda over at Art Journal Journey and her “Let’s Celebrate” challenge with my reindeer celebrating Christmas!

I’m joining the “Christmas” challenge over at Country View Challenges with my Christmas themed page and it was lots of fun also including their option of using reds and greens as part of my page design.

With my snowy reindeer scene I’m also joining in the fun over at A Vintage Journey and their “Winter Wonderland” challenge with my “Art Journaling” and “Mixed-Media” style page as it was created to remember the joy of putting up my Christmas Decorations this year and I used lots of different media to create it.

Being inspired by Chris and the fabulous textured backgrounds that she created for her happy snowman and baubles, I’m also joining the “Torn, Ripped and Burnt” challenge over at PaperArtsy with the torn and heated elements that I used to create my silver birch textured background and happy reindeer with baubles.

I’m also pleased to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their “Anything Goes” 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 (Brushed Corduroy, Spiced Marmalade, Hickory Smoke)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Colour (Dark Brown)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Craf-T Luster Rub-ons Color Kit #4 (Silver Grey, White Sparkle, Apple Green)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Crimson, Burgundy, Scarlet)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Poundland (Luxury Napkins 70371)
  • Old Magazine
  • Bauble Stickers from Charity Shop
  • Recycled Curling Ribbon (Silver)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Star Light, Star Bright

I was delighted to win the “Not a card” challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge recently and I was even more delighted when the goodies that I bought with my prize voucher arrived. I couldn’t wait to use them all so I created this page to celebrate my new stash of 4 stamp sets, 2 single stamps and a book of label letters.

As part of my celebratory page, I also decided to incorporate the current Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge of “Star Light, Star Bright” and also their Wednesday Challenge “Anything Goes” showcasing Tim Holtz products, as well as their logo colours of gold, brown, turquoise and pink.

I started by creating a star template to use as a mask, having stuck the star mask onto the page I chose one of the texture stamps from BoBunny and also a sponge stamp from Finnabair, stamping them both using black Ranger Archival Ink. I then outlined each of the stars using the mask and a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker. I removed the mask and applied some Pébéo white gesso over the page to vary the tone of the background in readiness for the next layer of stamps and colour. Using the same black Archival Ink, I stamped three postage marks from the Rossi Belle stamp set onto the page and I also stamped two car “Component” stamp images by Tim Holtz onto a piece of white paper. I added them to each side of the page using a UHU Stic and cut off any excess paper so they fit the page. Next I applied Cracked Pistachio, Picked Raspberry and Ground Espresso Tim Holtz Distress Inks to the page using a blending tool, and also by diluting the ink on an acrylic block and pressing the block onto the page.

Star Light, Star Bright - close up

In the main I avoided getting these colours on the stars, however I wasn’t too worried as I thought any splashes of colour added to the grungy look of my page. I then coloured the stars using Fossilised Amber Distress Ink using it like you would watercolour; I did this by applying the ink to an acrylic block and using a paintbrush, varying the tone as I painted. I stamped a leaf silhouette by Simon Says Stamp and a berry branch by Inkadinkado using the same black Archival Ink. The wording is created using Label Letters from the Tim Holtz idea-ology collection and they are covered with Ranger Glossy Accents to give them a shine as the page is star themed. To finish, I also added some shine around the edge of the star and to the leaf silhouette and berries on the branches using the Glossy Accents again.

I’m so pleased to join my very dear friend Sheila from Orange Esmeralda who is hosting the “Let’s Celebrate” challenge over at Art Journal Journey, it’s a pleasure to  celebrate with you all (grin!).

I’m also joining in the fun over at Try it on Tuesday and their “Colourful” challenge with my bright starry page.

SSS win Oct 2017

Here’s the goodies that I ordered from Simon Says Stamp, I’m so pleased with all the products and I’m sure that I will be using them often – thank you so much!

When I saw the “Star Light, Star Bright” challenge title it immediately reminded me of the nursery rhyme:

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

So I based the wording I used on my page around this rhyme. If you are interested here’s some facts about this nursery rhyme:

  • The words allude to the superstition that you can wish upon a star.
  • It is believed to be of late 19th century American origin and reached Great Britain by the early twentieth century and is now known worldwide.
  • The rhyme is often read to children at bedtime.
  • “Star Light, Star Bright” is also part of the lyrics of Madonna’s 1983 single Lucky Star.

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)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Cracked Pistachio, Picked Raspberry, Ground Espresso, Fossilised Amber)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Homemade star mask
  • BoBunny Stamps (Rough It Up #12105155)
  • Prima Marketing Inc. Finnabair Clear Stamp (Sponge #961909)
  • Prima Marketing Inc. Clear Stamps (Rossi Belle #587499)
  • Tim Holtz Components Collections (COMO13CAR)
  • Simon Says Stamp Clear Stamp Set (Leaves And Scribbles SSS101445)
  • Inkadinkado Cling Stamps (Branches 65-32007)
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology (Label Letters #TH93072)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents

Discover the Magic

We recently went on a beautiful circular walk up to Rivington Pike summit which has the most breathtaking views. This walk took us through some amazing woodland and terraced gardens and we had such a wonderful time that I created this journal page to remember the magic that we discovered there!

For the background I used Milled Lavender, Cracked Pistachio and Tea Dye Distress Inks as well as a Charcoal Spectrum Aqua Marker by applying each of the inks directly to an acrylic block and holding the block over the page I spritzed it with water until the ink dripped onto the page. I also pressed the block onto the page in places and then I repeated the process again with each colour. I used the Milled Lavender and Tea Dye Distress Inks as well as black Archival Ink to stamp a Script from Kaisercraft. As a reminder of the woodland I stamped a tree bark stamp from BoBunny using Ground Espresso Distress Ink and to depict the ferns that we saw in the terraced gardens I also stamped a fern image from Royal & Langnickel using Cracked Pistachio Distress Ink. The page was then splattered with black acrylic paint using a paint brush. Next I tore pieces of music sheet and a turquoise blue decoupage paper into strips, to represent the waterfalls and pools that we saw and heard on our walk; they are stuck to the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. I also tore a Penny Black sticker and added the shards to the page to add further texture and colour. Once the gel medium had dried I outlined the paper and sticker pieces with a black Uni Pin marker so they stood out more. The words are rub-on transfers, these represent the wonder and magic that we discovered during our walk. I added some gold outline stickers to represent the sunshine and autumnal gold colours of the leaves in the woodland. As we discovered lovely brickwork throughout the terraced gardens I stencilled a brick design using Pébéo modelling paste and a stencil from Craft Sensations, as well as a stencil made from a piece of plasterboard/drywall tape. Once the paste had dried, I coloured them with Cold Grey and Sanguine Faber-Castell Big Brush markers.

Then I stamped a bird image from Craft Sensations using black Archival Ink; I like the way the bird is looking out across the page as we did towards the views whilst on our walk. For the autumnal leaves, I used some leaves that were leftover from a previous project. The large oak and maple leaf images are from a stamp set by BoBunny and the smaller leaves are from a stamp set by Crafter’s Companion; they are stamped using black Archival Ink on a white medium weight paper. The paper is sprinkled with Scarlet, Yellow, Orange and Dark Brown Colourcraft Brusho powders and spritzed with water to react the bright and colourful Brusho colours. I fussy cut the leaves and then added more colour to them using Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick and Seedless Preserves Distress Inks and a blending tool. Once dry I covered them with DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze, varying the thickness over the leaves and left them to dry overnight. I used a russet metallic lustre wax from Craf-T Products to accentuate the crackle patterns and I stained the edges of the leaves with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck them to the page using matte gel medium. To finish, I also stuck some paper flowers, with sparkly gem centres, to the page using the gel medium again.

The circular route up to Rivington Pike started off in style with a beautiful tree-lined avenue leading up to the woodlands.

The woodland path leads to the Rivington Terraced Gardens that are situated on the hillside below Rivington Pike; they occupy 45 acres in total. They were originally created between 1905-1922 for soap magnate Lord Leverhulme as a spectacular venue for him to relax in and entertain. Here we discovered woodland paths that crisscross and link stone bridges, archways, pavilions and water features; they are all currently undergoing restoration.

After exploring the terraced gardens we came across this beautiful archway leading up to track which leads to Rivington Pike, isn’t it beautiful!

Rivington Pike is hill summit which is 1,191 feet above sea level and is a prominent local landmark, the earliest record of this hill dates back to 1325. The building at the top is Pike Tower which was built in the eighteenth century as a hunting lodge.

The view is amazing and on a clear day you can see Blackpool Tower, the Isle of Man and the Lake District fells. At the summit we stopped and sat at one of the benches and had our pack lunch whilst we admired the views (grin!).

We walked down a different trail heading back towards the terraced gardens and discovered this four-storey building which is Pigeon Tower. The top floor was Lady Leverhulme’s sewing and music room and the second and third floors housed dovecotes.

There were some lovely views over the countryside from the tower.

This is Lever Bridge and its design is based on a bridge that Lever saw in Nigeria. It’s also known as Seven Arch Bridge as its large arch is crossed by six smaller ones.

Being a warm sunny day, it was lovely way to see the last of the autumnal colours and discover the stunning views and scenery – what a wonderful place it was to visit (grin!).

Challenges

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

As walking keeps you warm on crisp sunny autumn days, I joining the lovely Chris and her wonderful “101 Ways to Keep Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

With two types of stencilled brickwork, I’m pleased to join Country View Challenges with their “Stencils” challenge and also Moo Mania & More with their “Put a Stencil On It” challenge.

I’m joining in the fun again over at Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their “Nature” challenge as I enjoyed using my stamps to create the leaves, background and pretty bird for this page.

I’m also pleased to join the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their “Tear It Up” challenge with the torn papers and stickers that I used for my background.

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

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Milled Lavender, Cracked Pistachio, Tea Dye, Ground Espresso, Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick, Seedless Preserves)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Charcoal)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Ivory Black)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233, Sanguine 188 B, Black 199)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Colour (Scarlet, Yellow, Orange, Dark Brown)
  • DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze (DMM16)
  • Craf-T Products Lustre Rub-ons Color Kit #4 (Russet)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Royal & Langickel Clear Choice Stamps (Pressed Leaves MIN-CCS102)
  • BoBunny Stamps (Rough It Up #12105155, Falling Leaves #12105154)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CRO274/16R1)
  • Crafter’s Companion Signature Collection by Sara Davies Autumn Morning Stamp Set (Rustling Leaves S-AUT-ST-RUS)
  • Poundworld DecoTime (Paper Patch DS9454)
  • Bosworth Violin Studies music book
  • Penny Black 2010 Stickeroos (Petals & Poetry 10-207)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Motivate Sentiments #ROY510 Rub-on)
  • Letraset transfer (Helvetica Bold Condensed 5mm RDC0251)
  • Magenta Style outline stickers (Daisy Gold 93326G)
  • Poundland (Accessories Pack 60911, Gem Florettes 117128)
  • 151Adhesives Plasterboard & Drywall Tape
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Bobble Hats

Now is the time of year to get my winter hats out of storage, I love hats and always wear them to stay warm. Bobble hats are my favourite and the bigger the bobble the better (grin!).

This journal page started with a glittery Christmas card that had some cute birds wearing bobble hats on it; I ripped the card into pieces and placed them onto my page, and then I roughly outlined them to show where they were going to be stuck down so I could just colour and stamp the background where it was needed. I also extended the tree branch from the central card image onto the side of the page using masking tape. I removed the card pieces from the page and then applied Rich Cocoa and Love Letter Memento Inks by applying them to an acrylic block, spritzing with water and then pressing the block onto the page. Then I stamped the tree branches and leaves using a Vine Background stamp from Art Impressions by applying the same two Memento Inks and also Pistachio Memento Ink onto different areas of the stamp. I layered the stamp images over the top of each other to give more depth and dimension. Next I used the same stamp again, this time with clear Dovecraft embossing ink and applied white Stampendous embossing powder over the top. I shook the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper and tapped the page against the table to make sure I had removed any stray powder. Once the excess powder was safely returned to its container, I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. I swept the gun over the images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long, until the embossing powder changed to a glossy finish becoming smooth and dimensional. Next I removed the masking tape and stuck the pieces of Christmas card into place using a UHU Stic and when the glue had dried I edged them with a Sepia Spectrum Aqua marker. I used modelling paste along the tree branch to join the white card to the white background paper and when dry I coloured it with a white Uni Posca paint pen. To finish the page, I added two types of pearl embellishments and some red gemstones to the tree branches which I think look like berries.

I was inspired to create this bobble hat page to join the lovely Chris from Pearshapedcrafting who is hosting the “101 Ways To Keep Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

I’m also pleased to join the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their “Tear It Up” challenge as my recycled Christmas Card was torn into pieces to create this journal page.

I have several bobble hats, this was a new hat I bought last year and it’s probably the biggest faux fur bobble hat I have (grin!).

Here I am with my sparkly bobble hat that was bought for me for Christmas in 2015. I was modelling it on its first outing to our local pub whilst I was having a lovely pint of dark Christmassy beer! I’m also joining Bleubeard and Elizabeth over at T Stands for Tuesday with my beer and I’m looking forward to catching up with the T Gang too – cheers and wishing you all a Happy T Day!

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 Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa, Love letter, Pistachio)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Sepia)
  • Dovecraft (Premium Embossing Ink DCBS62)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Vine Background T2845)
  • Christmas card – recycled
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Mini Decorative Stickers 22740)
  • Poundworld Craft Corner (Pearl Embellishments)
  • Oaktree UK Eleganza Craft Stickers (418 Gems Red No.16)
  • UHU Stic