First Signs of Spring at Country View Challenges

I’m so excited and honoured to have joined the wonderfully talented Design Team over at Country View Challenges . It’s such an inspirational blog and being part of this team is a dream come true – thanks so much for your warm and friendly welcome!

At Country View Challenges our challenge for February is First Signs of Spring, which is being hosted this month by the lovely Miriam.

I love celebrating the different seasons and creating this blossom and birdsong art journal page was so uplifting (grin!).

When I thought of birdsong, I knew that I had to use these beautiful images from my new Forest Paper Pad by Stamperia; this included the forest panel on the left hand side of the page, the pretty bird tag and the square nest image. They were cut out and edged with a Dark Sepia marker and/or some Black Soot Distress Ink. To make them look more Spring-like, I added additional colours by painting Distress Inks over parts of the images; it’s important not to add too much water when doing this otherwise you could ruin the image. I used Mowed Lawn and Twisted Citron ink to add more vibrancy to the green areas of the forest panel and to the bird’s feathers, and also to add green leaves to the bare trees and colour the leaves on the nest image. I painted some Mustard Seed ink to add more vibrancy to the yellow feathers of the bird and also to add some colour to the nest. Then finally I painted the eggs using Speckled Egg ink and left them all to dry.

For the background, I coloured the page with splashes and drips of Hickory Smoke, Mowed Lawn and Forest Moss Distress Ink. I did this by stamping the ink pad onto an acrylic block, spritzing with water and pressing the block onto the page.

Then I brayered some white gesso over the top to push the colours into the background more and then splattered the page with white acrylic paint. I stencilled dots vertically down the page using a Halftone Layering Stencil from Tim Holtz and Ranger Crackle Paste; this is the first time I have used this paste and it was so easy to apply with a palette knife – I love the results (grin!).  

Next I stuck the Stamperia paper pieces in place using double-sided tape. Then I created the blossoms and leaves using Tim Holtz Thinlits and some white linen card stock which I had coloured using Distress Inks. The blossoms were coloured with Mustard Seed and Fossilised Amber ink and die cut using a Tattered Florals Thinlit set. The leaves using Mowed Lawn, Twisted Citron and Forest Moss Distress Ink and cut using a Garden Greens Thinlits set. After shaping the flower petals and adding a gold pearl to the centre of each flower, I arranged them onto the page using glue dots. To finish, I added the “blossom” and “birdsong” wording which was created from some Field Notes Ephemera by Tim Holtz, an alphabet stamp set and black Archival Ink.

For more inspiration you’ll find some amazing First Signs of Spring creations from my fellow Design Team members over at Country View Challenges.

I hope you are inspired to join us too, and if you do, you’ll have a chance to win a £20 voucher to use at Country View Crafts (grin!).

The birds in our garden have been very active of late. We’ve even seen the Great Tits that are on my page, but we have noticed that this pair of Coal Tits visit our bird feeders more frequently.

This made me smile, can you think of a good caption for this photo? Maybe the bird is saying “Hello, is anyone there?” or “It’s really dark in here” (grin!).

Hoping that you are all staying safe and well!

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:

Challenges

I’m pleased to join the #136 – Patterns challenge over at Paperbabe Stamps with the stencilled lines of dots that are on my page.

I’m joining MIUCB #46 – Anything Goes + Fancy Fold over at the Mix It Up Challenge Blog with all the different techniques I used, including the fun way that I coloured the paper images so they became more Spring-like.

I’m also happy to join the Anything Goes challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge with my art journal page too.

I also pleased to be able to join in the fun at Love to Craft Challenge Blog and enter my spring blossom and birdsong page in their LTCCB #55 – February Anything Goes challenge.

Spread your wings

It’s a new month so we are launching our July challenge over at the Creative Artiste Challenge Blog, and as always the theme is Anything Mixed Media Goes.

I was inspired by summer damselflies and had fun playing around with lots of mixed media to create this art journal page.

I started by applying Twisted Citron and Mermaid Lagoon Distress Ink to the page using a blending tool and then spritzed with water so that the inks blended and dispersed over the page. When dry I applied some of the Twisted Citron Ink through a Shedded stencil by Andy Skinner and also wiped a baby wipe through the stencil to remove some of the ink.

I stamped some Vintage Circles using a stamp set from Woodware Craft Collection with Mermaid Lagoon Distress Ink and also some fern leaves using a Tim Holtz stamp set and Mowed Lawn Distress Ink. The black circles are stencilled using a Dutch Doobadoo stencil and Black Soot Distress Ink. I stamped the damselfly stamp which was free with a magazine using black Archival Ink so they look like they are flying around the page and then I splattered the page with Carbon Black Liquitex Ink. The wording “don’t forget to fly”, “with brave wings she flies” and “use your wings” are all Small Talk stickers from Tim Holtz.

The central “Until you spread your wings you’ll never know how far you’ll fly!” wording was created using a couple of Kaisercraft Journal Cards which I cut to size, dyed with Twisted Citron and Mermaid Lagoon Distress Ink and embellished with a black metal dragonfly brad. Then I edged them with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and layered everything together with some pretty flowers and leaves which finished the page.

I hope that you are inspired to join our Anything Mixed Media Goes Challenge too! For more inspiration please check out the amazing creations from my fellow Design Team members over at Creative Artiste too – it would be lovely to see you there!

Here is the pretty blue damselfly that inspired this page. They are very similar to dragonflies but the easiest way tell them apart is when they are at rest like this one; damselflies fold their wings up and hold them together across the top of their backs whereas dragonflies hold their wings out perpendicular to their bodies when resting, like an airplane. This is a Common Blue Damselfly; it is fairly common throughout the UK and is seen from May through to September.

If you’re interested here are some more differences between damselflies and dragonflies (which made me think that the free stamp I used is a damselfly – grin!):

  • Damselflies have much smaller eyes than dragonflies and their eyes always have a gap between them whereas dragonflies wrap around the head from the side to the front of the face.
  • Damselflies have narrow bodies like twigs, whereas dragonflies have bulkier bodies giving it a shorter, thicker appearance.
  • Both dragonflies and damselflies have two sets of wings, damselflies have wings that are the same size and shape and dragonflies have hind wings that are larger than the front set of wings.

Hoping that you are all staying safe and keep well! x

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

Challenges

I’m pleased to join the lovely Erika from her blog BioArtGal over at Art Journal Journey and her When It’s Hot challenge this month with my damselfly page as they appear when it’s hot.

I’m joining the Cattywampus challenge over at the The Funkie Junkie Boutique Challenge Blog with the askew journal cards.

Art journaling always makes me happy as it helps me breathe and I love to capture memories on my pages, so I’m entering the Do What Makes You Happy challenge over at Country View Challenges too.

I’m also pleased to join in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Bright & Cheerful challenge.

I’m also happy to be able to join the Anything Goes challenge over at Paperbabe Stamps with my page.

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Twisted Citron, Mermaid Lagoon, Mowed lawn, Black Soot)
  • DecoArt Andy Skinner Mixed Media Stencil (Shedded)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Clear Magic Singles (Vintage Circles FRS665)
  • Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous (Leaf Prints CMS273)
  • Dutch Doobadoo Mask Art A5 (Geometric Tiles)
  • Free Stamp with magazine – The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady (Dragonfly)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Liquitex Ink! (Carbon Black)
  • Kaisercraft Captured Moments Journal Cards (Life’s Treasure CM108)
  • Metal Brad (Dragonfly – Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Artist Pitt Pen (Black 199)
  • Stix2 double-sided tape
  • Little Birdie Flowers (Boutique Elements SKU213179)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology Stickers (Small Talk #TH93193)

Friends touch your heart

Catching up with friends is always fun and I’ve been finding myself spending a lot more time chatting to friends since the lockdown.

I’m very grateful for all my friends including those here in Blogland, so with this in mind I created this page – stay safe and keep well everyone!

I started by using a button embossing folder and my Sizzix Bigshot to add buttons to some white cardstock. Then I used my new set of Faber-Castell Soft Pastels to add the Violet and Rose Carmine colours; I did this by rubbing each pastel lightly across the top of the embossed surface, rubbing lightly with my finger and then spritzing lightly with water. When dry I cut the button cardstock and also some flowery design paper from Create & Craft into squares, then I stuck them both onto the page using a glue stick to create a patchwork background. Next I added a pretty card topper which is from the same Create & Craft set and the wording which is a sticker from Kaisercraft; it reads “A friend reaches for your hand and touches your heart”. To finish, I added some flowers and leaves from Little Birdie using Ranger Glossy Accents.

Here is my new box of pastels and you may have noticed that they are sat on the white cardstock that I embossed with the buttons before it was coloured (grin!). I can’t wait to use them again so if you have any suggestions for techniques using soft pastels please let me know in the comments below – thanks!

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from 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 Mia from Craftartista over at Art Journal Journey and her Flowers challenge this month with the flowers on my page.

I’m joining the Sew Sweet challenge over at the Frilly & Funkie Challenge Blog with the button embossed cardstock, patchwork background and dress.

I’m also happy to be able to join the Anything Goes challenge over at Paperbabe Stamps with my tulip page.

Don’t forget that you still have time to join our Anything Mixed Media Goes challenge over at Creative Artiste, it would be lovely to see you there! Creative Artiste Challenge Blog.

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

  • White Cardstock
  • Darice Embossing Essentials (Buttons Assorted Embossing Folder)
  • Faber-Castell Mini Soft Pastels (12 82 24 – Violet 138, Rose Carmine 124)
  • Create & Craft (Birthday Celebrations Background Paper and Topper)
  • Pritt Stick
  • Stix2 Double-Sided Tape
  • Kaisercraft Sticker Sheet (Cherry Tree Lane SS329)
  • Little Birdie Flowers (SKU 213719)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents

Against the Grain

Our new challenge this month over at A Vintage Journey is Against the Grain, which is being hosted by the lovely Sara Emily. Here’s what it’s all about:

“Most of us love the look of wood and there are a lot of art/craft products out there that help us achieve beautiful wood grain, including stamps, stencils, embossing folders, paper and mixed media products. We would love to see how you add a touch of wood texture or appearance to your vintage, shabby, mixed media, art journaling, industrial, timeworn or steampunk projects”.

I experimented with a fun technique using Distress Ink and gel medium to create a wooden plank background for my art journal page. This provided the perfect backdrop for my “metal” hearts, pretty flowers and quotes.

For the background I dragged three different Distress Ink stamp pads from right to left horizontally across my page, as you can see the mixed media paper I use is textured which helped create the wood grain effect. Then I applied some gel medium over the top using a paintbrush making sure my brush strokes were continuous and in one direction to create the wood grain finish; the ink colours used were Brushed Corduroy, Vintage Photo and Ground Espresso. To build up the wood grain, I repeated this process four times in total ensuring that the gel medium was dry before adding the next layer …

… on applying the ink for the second layer I also divided the page into wood panels using the Ground Espresso Distress Ink and a black marker smudging the inks with my finger …

… and before I applied the fourth and final layer of ink and gel medium, I rubbed the page hard with a baby wipe which removed some of the gel medium and ink to give an aged and worn look; the mixed media paper I used was 250gsm so it can take this type of treatment.

For the heart I drew and cut a heart from some silver recycled packaging and then ran it through an Elegant Embossing Folder from Tim Holtz. I applied some black acrylic paint over the top to emphasis the embossed parts of the image and when dry I wiped the access paint off with my finger which gave it a tarnished look. The heart is also edged with a black Sharpie permanent marker.

I arranged my “metal” heart onto the page with some pretty die cut flowers which are Tim Holtz Botanical Layers and also some Sparkle Little Birdie Flowers; everything is stuck into place using glue dots. The tiny silver hearts are cut from the same silver packaging using a Falling Hearts Thinlet set by Tim Holtz. To finish, I added three Tim Holtz Small Talk stickers that read “have an open heart”, “no beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart” and “follow your heart”.

I hope you are inspired to join in the Against the Grain fun over at A Vintage Journey, and for more inspiration you’ll find some amazing creations from my fellow Creative Guides over at A Vintage Journey too, it would be lovely to see you there!

My page reminds me of springtime and it seems that spring is on it’s way with all the beautiful flowers that are flowering already, here’s a springtime Camellia that flowers just around the corner from us – isn’t it gorgeous (grin!).

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

Challenges

I’m pleased to join the Hearts challenge over at Art Journal Journey that is being hosted by the lovely Bleubeard & Elizabeth this month with the hearts and wording on my page.

I’m also pleased to join the Floral Frenzy challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge with the pretty flowers that I included on my page.

I’m pleased to be able to join the Layers challenge over at Paperbabe Stamps with my page too.

I’m joining in the With Love challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge with my art journal page too.

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Brushed Corduroy, Vintage Photo, Ground Espresso)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Marker (Black 199)
  • Recycled silver packaging
  • Tim Holtz Sizzix 3D Texture Fades A6 Embossing Folder (Elegant 664172)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic paint (Black)
  • Sharpie Permanent Fine Point Marker (Black)
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology (Botancial Layers #TH93554, Small Talk Stickers #TH93193)  
  • Little Birdie (Sparkle Little Birdie Flowers SKU213726)
  • Stix2 glue dots
  • Tim Holtz Sizzix Thinlets (Falling Hearts 664415)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents