New Year Goals 2018

This time of year we always write some goals to give us focus, keep us on track and get the most from our life together which makes me and my hubby very happy (grin!). So I created a journal page to store our written goals so we know where they are and can easily look at them throughout the year.

I started by covering the page with a Vine background stamp in alternating blocks of Grape Jelly, Lilac Roses and Lulu Lavender Memento Ink and then Danube Blue and Bahama Blue Memento Ink. Then I edged the page using Navy and Purple Spectrum Aqua markers smudging the ink with a baby wipe and my finger. Next I stuck some leftover gold outline sticker surrounds on the page, mainly around the edges, to add more detail. The doves and olive branches are fussy cut from a Christmas card and are edged with a metallic gold pen. I stuck the branches down first using a UHU Stic and when the glue had dried, outlined them using a black UniPin marker and added some shadows using a Slate Spectrum Aqua Marker. I also recycled the envelope from the Christmas card, which had the most beautiful rich gold interior, to make two compartments to store the cards which detail our goals for previous years and also our current goals. They are stuck to the page using double-sided tape and adorned with the pretty doves using a UHU Stic. To finish, I added the words using gold letters and numbers to depict the year, which are peel-off alphabet stickers.

What could be better when writing your goals to have a nice cup of green tea and a slice of homemade Christmas cake (grin!). As I’m sharing my drink it reminds me to join T Stands for Tuesday and say a big hello the T Gang – sending you all Happy T Day wishes!

I’m pleased to say we made very good progress on our goals last year (grin!). I suppose they could be called New Year resolutions as we write them in January, but I have to say that we view them as goals as they are stepping points to our more long-term aspirations and we find they sometimes change and adapt during the year as we try things out.

Now I’m wondering if you have any goals or resolutions for the New Year too?

If you are interested here are some facts about New Year Resolutions:

  • Making a New Year’s resolution is a tradition where a person resolves to change a trait or behaviour, accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.
  • It is thought making New Year Resolutions dates back to the ancient Babylonians, about 4,000 years ago when they celebrated the New Year on the first new moon after the spring equinox. The Babylonians made New Year’s resolutions to keep themselves in good standing with the gods and they made practical resolutions such as to get out of debt or to return borrowed farm equipment.
  • Nowadays, the success rate for New Year’s Resolutions is low as often the goals are unrealistic, people don’t track their progress, they forget about them or too many goals are made in the first place.
  • Popular resolutions are:
    • Diet, exercise and weight loss
    • Enjoy life and be more positive
    • Save money
    • Learn something new
    • Be more organised
    • Give more time and money to charity
    • Be a nicer human being
    • Make new friends
    • Spend more time with family
    • Take a trip

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 New Year Goals journal page.

I’m joining Moo Mania & More and their “Somebody/Something/The New Year” challenge.

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

As this mixed media page rings in our new goals for 2018, I’m also joining the “Ring in the New” challenge over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge.

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

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

  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Grape Jelly, Lilac Roses, Lulu Lavender, Danube Blue, Bahama Blue)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Navy, Purple, Slate)
  • Script Metallic Pen (Gold)
  • UniPin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Vine Background T-2845)
  • Recycled Christmas card and envelope
  • Magenta Style Outline Stickers (Gold)
  • Dovecraft Peel-off Stickers (Alpha Caps G DCPO-05)
  • UHU Stic
  • X-Press It double-sided tape
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Hot Chocolate is like …

Hot chocolate is top on my list of warming drinks this time of year and with it getting colder I thought I would create a winter themed page with a warming mug of hot chocolate and a lovely quote I recently found.

I started by covering the page with a piece of tissue paper with circles on it which had been in my craft stash for a while; the circles were stamped using an old cardboard tube with some leftover blue/green acrylic paint from another project. I stuck the tissue paper to the page using a UHU Stic. Next I stamped hearts into the centre of each circle and also a circle and heart design stamp onto the background using black Archival Ink, both stamps are from Sugarloaf Inc. I added Milled Lavender, Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean Distress Inks and left the page to dry. Then I covered the whole page with a thin layer of white gesso using a baby wipe. Next I used four different stencils and blue inks to add layers of patterns; this included a stencil called Moroccan from the That Special Touch of Mica range by Creative Expressions using Salty Ocean Distress Ink, a Heart Cluster mini stencil from Creative Expressions using Blueprint Sketch Distress Ink, a cross stencil from Craft Sensations using Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink and a Swoosh stencil from Creative Expressions using Summer Sky Memento Ink. The snowflakes are stamps from a Winter Woodland stamp set that was free with a magazine, they are stamped using the same Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch and Chipped Sapphire inks. I also used the snowflake stamps again to stamp white acrylic paint which I applied to the stamps using a brayer. With the background completed I added the quote using some black Label Letter stickers by Tim Holtz and edged them using a Poppy Red Derwent Inktense pencil and a black Uni Pin marker. The quote pays homage to how I feel about hot chocolate it reads:

Hot chocolate is like a hug from the inside.

Then I selected some glittery red paper from a Designer Paper Pack and punched out some snowflakes using a Woodware paper punch. I also punched some black paper snowflakes too which I offset under the red snowflakes to provide a shadow. They are stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. Next I drew a mug on the same red paper, cut it out and edged it using the same red Derwent Inktense pencil and a wet paintbrush.  Before I stuck the mug to the page using double-sided tape, I drew around where it was to be placed on the page and used an Ink Black Derwent Inktense pencil to create a shadow under it so it stood out more. I embellished the mug using a black snowflake, a white glitter foam snowflake and three red gemstones. To finish, I added two smaller red foam glitter snowflakes and some red gemstones to the background and then I edged the page with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker.

It’s been sunny here of late but very cold too, so when out walking with our friends we have been going to a local café on the beachfront and having a hot chocolate! As T Stands for Tuesday I’m pleased to join the T Gang and wish you all a Happy T Day!

As you can see we enjoyed a toasted teacake with our hot chocolate too (grin!). For those of you not familiar with toasted teacakes, here are some facts you may find interesting:

  • Teacakes are a sweetened yeasted bread type roll which usually have dried fruit in, and it is usually split, toasted, buttered, and served with tea.
  • Teacakes originated in the North of England and are very popular in Lancashire where I live.
  • Teacakes have regional differences for example in East Lancashire, certain areas of Yorkshire and Cumbria a teacake is plain unless you ask for a “currant teacake” and this plain teacake is a specialty of the area and is still split and served toasted with butter and also sometimes jam (jelly).
  • Sometimes the plain teacakes are confused with English Muffins however they are not the same thing. An English Muffin here in the UK is the same as in the US and is usually a breakfast item often served as Eggs Benedict or with smoked salmon.
  • We often have toasted teacakes with a cuppa mid morning for elevenses.

Here’s the pretty view from the Waters Edge café over the beach – beautiful!

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:

Hot chocolate and the quote I used ties in nicely with the  “101 Ways To Keep Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey which is being hosted by the lovely Chris.

I was inspired to use the four different stencils to create this page after seeing the design teams artwork over at Country View Challenges which they had created for their “Stencils” challenge.

As I used stamps and the hot chocolate quote, I’m also pleased to join a new challenge today over at The Artistic Stamper where this month’s creative challenge is “Use a Quote”.

It makes me happy to be able to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their “Food and/or Drink” challenge with my hot chocolate inspired page.

With my colourful blue and red page I’m pleased to join the lovely design team over at Try it on Tuesday and their “Colourful” Challenge and I’m also just have enough time to join in the fun over at Moo Mania & More and their “Put A Stencil On It” challenge 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:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Milled Lavender, Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch, Chipped Sapphire)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Summer Sky)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Poppy Red 0400, Ink Black 2200)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.3mm)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood mounted stamps (Heart Tile 26631, Hearts & Circles 26645)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Moroccan, Swoosh)
  • Craft Expressions Mini Stencils (Heart Clusters CEMSHEART)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Winter Woodland Clear Stamp Set – free with Craft Beautiful Dec 2017 magazine
  • White tissue paper – stamped with circles
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology (Label Letters #TH93072)
  • The Works Designer Paper Pack (The Night Before Christmas HCPAP003X15)
  • Leon (X-Large Coloured Paper Pad)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Paper Punch (Large Snowflake SL120118)
  • Poundland (Christmas Craft Pack)
  • Docrafts Papermania Eleganza Adhesive Stones (3mm Red PMA351607)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Card Making Fun!

Today I have three cards to share with you that I created to send to my friends and family. Fortuitously these designs also coincide with some challenges that I wanted to join. The cards are for a friend who has just moved into her new house, another is a birthday card for one of my family and the last one is to wish one of my special friends a very Happy Christmas!

Home Sweet Home

I used 6×4” white card stock and applied Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn and Salty Ocean Distress Ink to a large acrylic block and spritzed it with water. Then I laid the card facedown on the top of the block and pressed down so that the ink transferred onto the card. I did this a couple of times to use up the ink on the block until I was happy with the coverage. I dried the ink using a heat gun and then stamped the birdcage stamp by Dovecrafts using black Archival Ink. I surrounded this image with the pretty tree branches from a new stamp set by Inkadinkado using the same black Archival Ink; I love these stamps, the tree branch designs are beautiful! Next I stamped the “Home Sweet Home” sentiment using the same black ink and a Bellissima alphabet stamp set by Docrafts Papermania. I edged the front of a white blank greetings card with the black Archival Ink and a blending tool and then I cut the Home Sweet Home design to size. I edged it with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck it on the top using double-sided tape. To finish, I used a black Derwent Graphik marker to emphasise some of the stamping so it stood out more and also added some blue circular gems for a bit of sparkle.

I’m pleased to join the “Home Sweet Home” challenge over at Try it on Tuesday which inspired the sentiment on this card.

I’m also pleased to join a new challenge today thanks to the lovely Avril who is on the design team over at Fashionable Stamping Challenges as my card also links to their “Nature” challenge.

The silhouette design I created means I can also join in the fun over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge and their “Silhouette” challenge.

Skateboarding Monkey

This fun card is created using a 6×6” green card base. Firstly I cut a piece of striped paper to size and then I stamped the sentiment using black Archival Ink and an alphabet stamp set by Hampton Art. As you can see I bunched up the word “Birthday” so it looked like it was being pushed out-of-place by the skateboard. I stuck it into place using double-sided tape. Next I added the monkey and star-like flowers which are foam stickers and also some glossy dots and tiny flowers designer vinyl stickers from Craftime. To finish, I used black and white Uni Posca paint pens to add small dots to the background and sentiment.

I wanted to join the lovely Chris from Pearshapedcrafting and her wonderful “101 Ways to Keep Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey; I think skateboarding would be a good way to keep warm especially for me as I’d probably be laughing so much whilst I was trying to do it (grin!).

I’m also joining the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge as my fun monkey would love to join their “Furry Friends” theme.

The Best Christmas Ever!

I was inspired to create this card after creating my Winter Wonderland Decorations. This is a one layer card, so I started by masking off the top edge of a white 6×4” card and stamping some different stamps using Emboss ink; the stamps included a “Wishing you the best Christmas ever!” sentiment and a snowflake stamp, both by Clear Impressions, and also Diamond Background and Serpentine Background stamps, both by Art Impressions. I completed the embossing in layers, starting with the sentiment and then using the other stamps. Each layer of Emboss ink stamping was covered with white Stampendous embossing powder and then I shook off the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper. I also tapped the card to make sure any stray powder was removed and then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. I swept the gun over the stamped images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long until the embossing powder changed to a glossy finish becoming smooth and dimensional. I repeated this process a few times to create a design that I was happy with. I then applied Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers and Cracked Pistachio Distress Inks to the card using a blending tool, starting with the darker colour of Chipped Sapphire around the edge and blending to the lighter colour of Cracked Pistachio in the middle. I dried the ink with my heat gun and spritzed water over the top, blotting it with a piece of kitchen towel/paper to remove some of the ink. I also diluted the three Distress Inks by stamping the ink pads onto an acrylic block and spritzing with water, and then I flicked the inks onto the card using a paintbrush and used a heat gun to dry them. To finish, I added some white rhinestone flower gems and dots of silver Stickles to add some glitter and sparkle.

I’m pleased to be able to join the “One Layer Christmas Cards” challenge over at Stamping Sensations with my white embossed stamped card.

As I used the glittery gems and Sparkles on this card, I’m also pleased to be joining the “Glitter” challenge over at Allsorts Challenge Blog.

Family, home and Christmas all mean so much to me, so I thought I’d share some photos relating to all three of these things (grin!). As we live by the sea we don’t often get snow, however we did get a light dusting of snow one evening last year. It was beautiful seeing the snow falling although it had disappeared the next morning when we awoke.

This photo is very dear to me, it’s of a white Christmas from my childhood, yes the little girl at the front eating sweets is me (grin!). I’m with my mum and my sister and you can see our Christmas tree in the background too. I will forever remember that furry navy blue and red checked coat that I’m wearing as my mum made it for me!

This picture of me was taken some years ago, when we had light snow fall on Christmas Day. We were staying with family and we went for a lovely woodland walk!

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 each of the cards:

Home Sweet Home

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn, Salty Ocean)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm & 0.3mm)
  • Dovecraft Clear Stamps (Birdcage DCCS015)
  • Inkadinkado Cling Stamps (Branches 65-32007)
  • Docrafts Papermania Bellissima  4×4” Clear Stamps (Alphas PMA907212)
  • Hobbycraft Decorative Embellishments (Blue Round Gems 5665381001)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape

Skateboarding Monkey

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (Black, White)
  • Hampton Art (Alphabet Stamp Set WM1037)
  • B&M Craft Goody Bag (Turquoise)
  • Wilko Little Steps (Safari Foam Stickers)
  • Craftime Designer Vinyls (B/W Boy & Girl PBDV02)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape

The Best Christmas Ever!

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers, Cracked Pistachio)
  • Tsukienki Emboss Embossing Stamp Pad (Clear)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Clear Impressions (Woodland Christmas)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Diamond Background T-3335, Serpentine Background T-2773)
  • The Works stickers (Rhinestone Flowers)
  • Ranger Stickles (Silver)

Live, Laugh, Love

My journal page today is inspired by a sign we have hung in our kitchen “Live, Laugh, Love”. I’ve created it using some new bird stamps and two of my favourite colours of Distress Ink.

I started by stamping a Script stamp by Kaisercraft in the bottom left and top right corners of the page using black Archival Ink. Then to create glossy silhouettes, I stamped some filigree shapes from 7 Gypsies at Hampton Art using black Versafine Ink and applied black Papermania 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 covered the page in Twisted Citron and Salty Ocean Distress Inks using a blending tool overlapping the colours and blending them together. I applied modelling paste through a stencil from Creative Expressions using a palette knife and left it to dry. Then I stamped a series of tiny heart outlines from a Christmas stamp set by Hallmark Cards and also some pretty birds sitting on branches by Craft Sensations using the black Archival Ink again. I really like the bird stamps as they look like they have been sketched onto the page and it was easy for me to mimic the stamp design using a black Derwent Graphik marker when I extended the branches to the edge of the page. The black chalkboard heart is a wooden tag on which I applied a rub-on transfer by Kaisercraft, I really like the distressed look of the sentiment which reads:

“LAUGH as much as you breathe and LOVE as long as you LIVE”

For the other sign, I got creative and used a thick piece of black card, which was recycled from some old packaging. I distressed the edges with scissors and stained them with a Sanguine Faber-Castell Big Brush marker to match the colour of the heart edging. Next I fussy cut the “Live, Laugh, Love” wording from a vintage die cut shape and edged it with a green border using the rub-on transfers by Kaisercraft. I stuck it to the black card using a UHU Stic and then I used a black Derwent Graphik marker to give it a distressed look and drew a stitch pattern around the edge using a white Pentel gel pen. I’m pleased how these details helped the sign to match with the heart design. Both the heart and sign are stuck to the page using Glossy Accents. I finished the page by adding some blue and yellow paper flowers using the Glossy Accents again and adding some small black glossy flower and heart designer vinyl stickers by Craftime.

I think both sentiments on this page are great mottos to live by and even have a sign in our kitchen with the “Live, Laugh, Love” saying (grin!). This saying seems to be very common in homes today as it is often used on signs and mugs. It originated from a beautiful poem called “Success” written by Bessie Anderson Stanley in 1904 and is in essence a summary of the very first line:

“He achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; Who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty or failed to express it; Who has left the world better than he found it, Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; Who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; Whose life was an inspiration; Whose memory a benediction”.

Challenges

I always enjoy using stencils on my pages so I’m joining in the fun over at Moo Mania & More with their “Put a Stencil On It” challenge and also Country View Challenges with their “Stencils” challenge.

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

The faux stitching around the heart and sign means I’m also joining the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their “It’s A Stitch Up” theme.

Including and creating the glossy silhouettes was fun so I’m pleased to join the “Silhouettes” challenge over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge.

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

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

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tsukineko Versafine Ink (Onyx Black)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Twisted Citron, Salty Ocean)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199, Sanguine 188)
  • Pentel Hybrid Grip Gel pen (White)
  • Papermania Embossing Powder (Black PMA4021006)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies Vintage cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Hallmark Cards Christmas clear stamp set
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CRO274/16R1)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Moroccan)
  • The Works (Chalkboard Tags)
  • The Works (Vintage Die Cut Shapes)
  • Black cardboard – recycled packaging
  • Kaisercraft Rub-on Transfers (Up, Up & Away Collection RB870, Lush Collection RB868)
  • Craftime Designer Vinyls (B/W Boy & Girl PBDV02)
  • The Works (Mini Paper Flower Embellishments)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic

Winter Wonderland Decorations

Today I have something different to my normal Art Journalling … as you may be aware, I like to create a seasonal window display. I have always struggled to source winter decorations for my tree branches as they need to be appropriate for January and February not just for Christmas, so I decided to have some fun and create my own using items I had in my craft stash. Here they are … what do you think?

As winter was my inspiration for these decorations, I used a white colour palette and some sparkle, which reminds me of frosty mornings and snowy days: I was thinking winter wonderland! I chose music, birds and hearts to link to my love of this season; linking to Christmas time festivities and of course Valentine’s Day. Even though each item is unique, they are brought together as a collection because I used the same materials to decorate them. You can find out how I created them below.

Love Heart

Love Heart

The large heart is a luxury gift tag which I stamped using three different stamps using Emboss ink; the stamps include a music stamp from the Musicality clear stamp set by Docrafts, a Diamond Background stamp and also a Serpentine Background stamp, both by Art Impressions. I covered the Emboss ink with white Stampendous embossing powder and shook off the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper. I also tapped the heart to make sure any stray powder was removed and then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. I swept the gun over the stamped images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long until the embossing powder changed to a glossy finish becoming smooth and dimensional. I repeated this process on the back of the tag as well. To add a little contrast I applied Toffee Crunch Memento Ink very lightly to the front and back using a blending tool which highlighted the embossing more. I added a piece of music decorative tape diagonally across the tag and edged it with pearl strips that I had cut to size. I stuck a piece of diamante decorative chain wire along the length of the decorative tape, securing it with Glossy Accents. The “Love” sentiment is a wooden embellishment which I painted first with white gesso and then I embossed it with the same white embossing powder. I stuck it onto the heart along with some pearls and pearl feathers using Glossy Accents. To finish, I added a piece of white paper twine and organza ribbon.

Bobbin

Bobbin

For the bobbin, which was kindly gifted me by my mum who uses lots of gold thread for her Christmas cards that she embroiders, I applied three bands of the same decorative tape around the central cone. Then using the slit at the top of the bobbin, where the thread in normally secured, I secured the end of the diamante wire and wrapped it around the central cone securing it again at the bottom. I then edged the top and bottom of the bobbin with the same pearl strips and also added some pearls and pearl feathers to the central cone using Glossy Accents. To embellish the bottom of the bobbin I used a metal heart, which I recycled from an old necklace, by painting it with white gesso. When the gesso was dry, I covered the heart in Emboss ink and then white Stampendous embossing powder. It’s very important to remember that this heart is metal and therefore conducts the intense heat of the heat gun so I suspended the heart while heating it and waited until it cooled before touching it. Once cooled I distressed the heart with a craft knife and added a pearl to both sides. I then threaded some white paper twine through the heart and up through the bobbin to suspend the heart at the bottom. To finish, I tied some of the white ribbon into a bow around the paper twine at the top of the bobbin.

Small Heart

Small Heart

For the small heart, I used a wooden hollow heart shape tag and covered the front and the back with the music decorative tape and then I edged all the sides of the heart with pearl strips that I had cut to size.  I punched a hole through the tape to thread the piece of white string back through. It is decorated with some diamante wire, pearls and pearl feathers using Glossy Accents to stick them and I added a piece of the organza ribbon to the top of the heart to finish the piece.

Bird

Bird Frame

The bird decoration is a wooden frame embellishment which I covered in white gesso and white embossed on both the front and the back. I cut decorative tape to fit the bottom section and added a string of pearls and feathers to the bottom edge using Glossy Accents. Along the top frame I adhered some of the pearl strips and wrapped a piece of the diamante wire onto the right-hand side securing it with Glossy Accents. Again this piece is finished with white paper twine and ribbon which I tied in a bow.

Fairy

Frost Fairy

I used another luxury gift tag heart and coloured it with the Toffee Crunch Memento Ink using a blending tool, then I covered half of the heart with the decorative tape. I created a frosty leaf by painting it with white gesso and then white embossed it. For the fairy which is a wooden shape, I painted white gesso and embossed it and then I added a piece of wire and a pearl to form a band around the fairy’s waist. I stuck both the leaf and fairy to the heart using Glossy Accents. Next I added a piece of the decorative tape diagonally across the top left-hand corner over the leaf and edged it with the pearl strips and added the diamante wire along its length. I curled the leaf edges to show the heart shape more and stuck the pearl and pearl feathers to the top right-hand side. To finish, I added a piece of white paper twine and organza ribbon.

hot-chocolate

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m sharing my hot chocolate and a special winter treat of lebkuchen – yum! Wishing you all a Happy T Day!

Challenges

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

I created these decorations to adorn my home so I’m pleased to join the “Home Sweet Home” theme over at Try it on Tuesday.

The “Mini Marvels” challenge over at A Vintage Journey gave me the perfect motivation to create my winter inspired decorations in readiness for display in December. They meet the “Mini Marvels” criteria with the largest decoration (the Bird Frame) being 4” and all the rest being smaller. I hope you like the “Shabby Chic” look of these winter decorations.

I really enjoyed using the white colour palette to create my winter wonderland decorations, so I’m joining in the fun over at  Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their “Snow White” challenge.

As I used stamping on the Love Heart decoration for the white embossing, I’m pleased to join the “November Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included)” at the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge.

Inspired by Alison, I’m also pleased to be able to join PaperArtsy where the theme is “Shades of White”, thanks so much for inviting me to join in the fun!

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 these decorations:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tsukienki Memento Ink (Toffee Crunch)
  • Tsukienki Emboss Embossing Stamp Pad (Clear)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Diamond Background T-3335, Serpentine Background T-2773)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 clear stamp set (Musicality DCE907112)
  • Wilko (Luxury Gift Tags – Hearts)
  • Crelando Decorative Tape
  • Poundworld (Pearl Embellishments)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Decorative Chain 26253)
  • The Brighton Bead Company (Pearl and leaf strand)
  • The Works (Wooden Craft Words)
  • Bobbins
  • Recycled metal charm from old necklace
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Hollow Heart Shape Tags)
  • The Works (Wooden Frames CRO282/TW1)
  • The Works (Fairy Shapes)
  • The Handmade Paper Company (Nature’s Touch of Art – Leaves)
  • Wilko (Paper Twine)
  • Organza ribbon (White)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents

Alphonse Mucha Exhibition

Whilst we were in Liverpool recently, my hubby treated me to the Alphonse Mucha “In the Quest of Beauty” Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery. Mucha is one of my favourite artists, he is famous for his Art Nouveau artwork and the exhibition was amazing!

To match the pretty colours of the exhibition poster and booklet I started by covering the page with Watermelon, Guava, Peach, Butter Cream and Caramel Faber-Castell Gelatos and smudging the colours with my finger which I wet with a baby wipe. I applied two layers of gelato colour to achieve a brighter intensity of colour and then I used Earl Grey gelato around the edges of the page to frame it. Next I stamped a series of art nouveau designs over the background using Pistachio Memento Ink; this included a wood mounted circular design by Dovecraft, a scrollwork design by Royal & Langnickel and a flower design by Craft Sensations. I added the cream art nouveau border vertically on down each side of the page which is an outline sticker and then I covered the whole page in a thin layer of watered down Liquitex Matte Gel Medium using a paintbrush to fix the colours and stamped images. As Mucha always added beautiful flowers to his posters, I stencilled a flower design from Craft Sensations using Pébéo modelling paste, I used the stencil several times to build the image allowing the modelling paste dry between each application. I arranged some pretty paper flower blossoms on the page, sticking them down using double-sided tape and foam tape. I layered and curled the petals to give them more volume and used large pearls and clusters of pearls from Trimcraft, for their centres. Then I stuck the Alphonse Mucha exhibition booklet onto the page using double-sided tape and added a piece of lace trim along the bottom and a paper flower.

The lace trim is secured around two of the larger pearls so that it can be unfastened on one side to allow the booklet to be opened. I outlined a circular vintage die cut shape with a moss Spectrum Aqua marker and stuck it to the page using double-sided tape; I liked that it had text on it as we learnt so much from the exhibition information that was alongside the artwork. Then I added a butterfly from the same die cut pack using double-sided foam tape which finished the page.

We really enjoyed the Alphonse Mucha Exhibition, it was so informative and the artworks were breathtaking. As many of the artworks on show were originals no photos were allowed and in fact the lighting was subdued in the exhibition to preserve the art pieces. For photos and more information about this exhibition click here.

If you are interested here are some interesting facts we found out about Alphonse Mucha and his beautiful art:

  • Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) was an artist and illustrator who was born in Czechoslovakia. We were surprised to find out how much he travelled throughout his career between Prague, Paris and America.
  • He rose to fame in Paris in the late 1890s with his advertising posters for the famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt. The first poster he designed for her was in 1894 for her production of “Gismonda” and it was so desirable that people stole the oblong panel prints from the hoardings. Following the success of the first poster, Mucha created a further six theatrical posters for Bernhardt. They were to revolutionise poster design with the use of the long narrow shape, the subtle pastel colours and the full-standing figure of the actress placed in a raised shallow alcove.
  • Following the success of theatrical posters, in 1896 Mucha created some 80 poster designs over the next five years for the publisher F.Champenois to advertise their products. We found out that the advertising posters reflected the modern rich Parisian life in La Belle Époque (The Beautiful Age) with a female figure central to the composition, flowers and beautiful decorative motifs.
  • Mucha’s fame also lead him to receive commissions to design product packaging and ornamental objects as well as advertising posters. We saw intricately designed perfume bottle boxes and labels as well as biscuit tins, labels and box wrappers at the exhibition.
  • Mucha had a long-lasting friendship with French Sculptor Auguste Rodin, who Mucha called Master (maître). There were many photos of them together as Mucha was a keen photographer too, in fact he also used photography to capture the female models he used for his posters.
  • His work inspired the then emerging Art Nouveau style and is easily recognisable with his distinctive graphic designs; he has inspired generations!

On exiting the exhibition I had fun trying on the different flower headdresses, which one do you prefer, we have spring, summer, autumn or winter (grin!).

Challenges

With the circle designs of the stamps, outline stickers and die cut, I’m pleased to join the “Circles” challenge over at Try it on Tuesday.

Mucha is well-known for his central female figures and elegant artwork, so I’m also joining in the fun over at Moo Mania & More for their “Make It Feminine” theme.

As my flowers design includes stencilling using modelling paste, I’m pleased to be able to join the “Stencils” challenge over at Country View Challenges.

I’m also happy to join the “All Creatures Great And Small” Simon Says Stamp Monday 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:

  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Watermelon, Guava, Peach, Butter Cream, Caramel, Earl Grey)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Pistachio)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Moss)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Dovecraft Wood Mounted Stamp (DCRS99)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamp Set (Ornate Scrollwork Mini-CCS123)
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CR0274/16R1)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Alphonse Mucha Exhibition Booklet – Walker Art Gallery
  • The Range (Crafting Lace CR0546)
  • Docraft Anita’s Outline Stickers (Delicate Lace Borders White ANT8101510)
  • Trimcraft Fall in Love (Adhesive Pearls LCDOT002)
  • Dovecraft Collections Back to Basics III (Paper Blossoms DCBL005)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Vintage Die Cut Shapes)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • The Range double-sided tape & double-sided foam tape

Heart of Patina

Having visited Liverpool recently for my hubby’s birthday, I was inspired by the beautiful patina of the bronze statues that can be found around the city. The most famous statues of this sort, and also my favourite, are the Liver Birds which sit atop the Royal Liver Building along the riverfront of the Mersey. I created a patina effect heart as part of my design and also used a quote from one of my favourite poets, I hope you like it!

I started this page by crumpling up a piece of white tissue paper a number of times to create creases in it, then covering my page with glue using a UHU Stic I stuck the tissue paper on top whilst trying to retain the creased texture. When the glue had dried I added Milled Lavender, Salty Ocean, Peacock Feather and Black Soot Distress Inks using a blending tool. Then I applied the same Distress Ink colours to an acrylic block and dragged it across the page which coloured the peaks of the tissue paper creases with intense colour; I love how this highlighted the texture. Next I stencilled Pébéo modelling paste around the outside edge of the page using a patterned stencil from Craft Sensations. I also applied some white gesso with a palette knife around the edges of the page and heated it with a heat gun so it bubbled to add more texture.  Once the modelling paste had dried, I dripped on some diluted Peacock Feather Distress Ink drying it with the heat gun again. Then I applied Midnight Sparkle and Silver Grey metallic lustre around the edge of the page with my finger, which highlighted the beautiful texture from the gesso and modelling paste and darkened the edges of the page. I then added the gold flowers and circles which are peel-off stickers. To create the small hearts I covered white paper with gold leaf using Annie Sloan Gold Size and used a heart paper punch by Tonic Studios to cut them out and coloured them with the Peacock Feather Distress Ink. I then drew around the heart shapes on the background where they were to be positioned with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush maker smudging it with my finger and finally I stuck down the hearts using a UHU Stic.

To make the patina heart, I used a heart-shaped gift tag and covered it with modelling paste using the same Craft Sensations stencil. One dry I applied the same four colours of Distress Inks that I had used on the background and some gold leaf using the Annie Sloan gold size. Then I covered the heart with a thin layer of DecoArt Media crackle glaze and once it was dry I applied some diluted ink from a black Faber-Castell Big Brush maker wiping off the excess with a baby wipe to highlight the crackle. To add more shine, I applied more gold leaf around the edges of the heart. For the quote, I used paper from a Design Pad by Craft Sensations and stamped the words using black Archival Ink and an alphabet stamp set by Dovecraft. I edged the paper with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush maker and some gold online stickers, and then I stuck it to the page using double-sided tape; this finished the page.

Have you heard of Atticus before? He is quite a new phenomenon and is very well known on Instagram for his poetry. He is a young writer from Canada and it’s hard to find out much about him as he is quite mysterious and prefers to stay anonymous. He wrote a book of poetry called “Love her Wild” which is amazing and you can find more of his work on his website, Facebook and/or Instagram sites.

The Royal Liver Building is home to two fabled Liver Birds, one watching over the city and the other out to sea. Legend has it that if these two birds were to fly away then the city would cease to exist. “Liver” in this case is pronounced “live” as in “alive” and “er” – “live-er”.

The Royal Liver Building opened in 1911 and is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the city of Liverpool. It’s located at the Pier Head and along with the neighbouring Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building and collectively these buildings are known as the “Three Graces”.

This building is privately owned, so we popped into the reception area to take a peek and we discovered the most amazing marble entrance hall (grin!).

Here’s my hubby’s birthday treat, at Rococo café which you may remember from a previous post of mine. My hubby had a Malteser (malt ball) slice and I had lemon cake with our green tea and also cucumber or mint/lemon infused water – delicious! We also had a sandwich, but had eaten it before we remembered to take pictures!

As T Stands for Tuesday – I’m saying a big hello and welcome to the T Gang and wishing you all a very Happy T Day!

This black cat was adorning the window at the café – Happy Halloween!

I’m posting my page a little earlier than usual so I can join in the weekend fun with Yvonne from Meggy’s Way. You can enter any project to win some fabulous napkins and Yvonne is very kindly providing us with this wonderful Halloween treat!

Challenges

I’m pleased to join Elke from Meerwolkenleben who is hosting the “Landscape of the Soul” challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the wonderful quote I used.

I’m also pleased to be able 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 (Milled Lavender, Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers, Black Soot)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Craf-T Products Lustre Rub-ons Color Kit #4 (Midnight Sparkle, Silver Grey)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.5mm)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • DecoArt Media Crackle Paste
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Poundland Design Pad (Vintage Chic Creations CR0701/PL4)
  • Wilko (Luxury Gift Tag)
  • White tissue paper
  • White paper
  • Gold leaf
  • Tonic Studios Paper Punch (Classic Heart 858E)
  • Elizabeth Craft Designs Peel-off Stickers (Gold 0442)
  • Annie Sloan Water Based Gold Size
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape