Tropical Flowers

Today I have created a tropical flower page which showcases some beautiful African postage stamps from Gabon – I hope you like it!

I started by covering the whole page with a tropical butterfly postal decoupage paper using Liquitex matte gel medium. Then I tore some Gabon postage stamp information which was included with the postage stamps, edged it with black Faber-Castell marker and stuck it to the left-hand side and right-hand side edges of the page. Next I applied Spice and Moss Spectrum Aqua markers by scribbling them on an acrylic block and painting them onto the page with a paintbrush like watercolour and then I stencilled a trellis pattern from Dutch Doobadoo Mask using black Archival Ink and a blending tool. I also used the same black ink to stamp some butterflies from Hampton Art positioning them so they flowed vertically up the page. Then I layered some Pébéo modelling paste onto the page using a Moroccan stencil from Craft Sensations and when the paste was dry I coloured the edges with a Midnight Sparkle metallic lustre wax. I also added a thin layer of white gesso to soften the black and give a worn and grungy look.

Next I applied more colour using Topaz and Fawn Spectrum Aqua markers, by scribbling them on an acrylic block, holding the block over the page and spritzing with water so droplets of ink pooled onto the page, creating some rusty stains to continue the grunge look. When dry I splattered black and also white DecoArt acylic paint over the whole page using a paintbrush. To make the tags, I used some design paper which I cut into a tag shape and punched a whole in the top of each of one. They are edged with Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink using a blending tool and also a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker. I chose different bits of travel and tropical designed paper that were left over from other journal pages and edged them with the black Faber-Castell marker smudging the ink with my finger. They are layered onto the tags along with some light pink coloured mesh ribbon. I kept the pink colour on two of the tags and I also coloured some of this pink ribbon using the Moss Spectrum Aqua marker on one of the tags and then Spice Spectrum Aqua marker for the other two. The ribbon is stuck onto the tag using a Zig Memory System glue pen and the papers are stuck down using a UHU Stic. I stuck a Gabon postage stamp featuring wild tropical flowers onto each tag using double-sided foam tape and also numbered the tags using outline stickers which I had coloured black using a Sharpie marker. I tied a piece of black paper twine to each of the tags and then stuck them in place using double-sided foam tape which finished the page.

To continue the African tropical flower theme, here is a beautiful Calla lily (Zantedeschia) which is brightening our dining room table with its beautiful white dotted leaves and colourful flowers (grin!).

If you are interested here are some fun facts about this lily:

  • They are also known as the pig lily, trumpet lily or arum lily.
  • The name calla lily is derived from a Greek word meaning beauty.
  • Because the calla lily blossoms in late spring, they have come to represent rebirth and youth.
  • Although an outdoor plant by nature, this plant can also be kept as an indoor plant too.

Challenges

With the flora of the tropical flowers and fauna of the butterflies, I’m joining the Flora and Fauna challenge over at Art Journal Journey where I’m hosting this month. I hope you are inspired to join us, it would be lovely to see you there!

I’m pleased to join in the fun over at Moo Mania and More and their Flowers theme with my Tropical Flowers art journal page.

I’m joining Valerie and the rest of the DT again over at Mixed Media World and their theme is Anything Goes…optional Pink.

I’m also pleased to join the Rust theme over at Mixed Media Monthly Challenge with the rusty stains that I added to my page.

As I used stencils on my page, I’m also reminding you of our Stencil, Die Cuts or Both theme over at Try it on Tuesday which runs until next Monday evening.

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)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Craf-T Products Luster Rub-ons (Midnight Sparkle)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Spice, Moss, Topaz, Fawn)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black, White)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Brushed Corduroy)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.8mm)
  • Sharpie Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Dutch Doobadoo Mask Art A5 (Vintage)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Moroccan)
  • First Edition Deco Maché Decoupage Papers (FEDEC196)
  • The Works 12×12 Paper Stack (Vintage Experience CRO239/TW6)
  • Design papers – leftovers
  • Postage stamps from hubby’s childhood stamp collection (Gabon 1961 set of 5 stamps featuring Wild Tropical Flowers)
  • Mesh ribbon recycled from flower bouquet
  • Outline Stickers (Time Silver 904935)
  • Wilko (Paper Twine)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
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Brown Dragonflies

I found myself reminiscing about summer walks with my lovely blog-friends CJ and Erika wishing for warmer weather (grin!) and wanting to join a few blog challenges, I decided to create an art journal page inspired by some huge brown dragonflies that we saw on one of our summer walks last year at Glasson Dock. Although they were numerous we didn’t manage to get a good photo of them as they were so quick in flight, so it was fun creating this page to remember them – I hope you like it!

To match the brown dragonflies that we saw I chose a brown colour palette. I decided to experiment with a new technique using Colourcraft Brusho powders by using them as a spray, which worked really well as long as you are careful not to dilute the colour too much (grin!). I did this by placing some Dark Brown Brusho powder in a spray bottle and diluting with water, then using it to spray the page lightly with colour whilst leaving some white space. Next I stamped lots of dragonflies onto white tissue paper with an Eco Green Crafts stamp using Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink and also Rich Cocoa Memento Ink. I layered them onto the page using Liquitex matte gel medium, not worrying if the gel medium re-activated the Brusho or Distress Ink again, as I wanted a grungy look. When the gel medium had dried I used a stencil from That Special Touch of Mica Masks by Creative Expressions to add the Distressed Dots using the Dark Brown Brusho spray again and also used the stencil like a stamp to apply the excess spray that was on the stencil onto the page. Using the same stencil I applied: Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks with a blending tool; some Navy Spectrum Aqua marker by scribbling it onto an acrylic block, sprizing with water and applying with a blending tool; some smaller patches of Peacock Feathers and Black Soot Distress Ink using a blending tool to add more contrast; and finally some bronze metallic Lustre paint by applying it with my finger. Next I stamped the wording from the same Eco Green Crafts stamp set using black Archival Ink as it applied to the dragonflies that we saw and I really liked the grungy design. The dragonflies we saw were huge, so I drew and cut out a large dragonfly from some recycled glossy glittery paper and stuck it to the page using a UHU Stic. Once the glue had dried, I edged it with a black Uni Pin marker and white Uniball gel pen. I ripped some hexagonal washi tape and stuck it around the edges of the page with some pretty opaque gem stones and added some glittery bronze embroidered flowers using Glossy Accents which finished the page.

You may remember Glasson Dock from previous posts, such as this one here. This is the estuary at Glasson Dock where we first saw the dragonflies and as we continued our walk they seemed to be everywhere (grin!).

They were more abundant by the canal around the reeds and here’s the best picture we took of them. When we got home I identified them as Brown Hawker dragonflies; we plan to go back this year to see them again and try to get a better photograph of them (grin!). If you are interested here are a few facts about dragonflies:

  • The earliest fossil dragonflies date back 300 million years long before dinosaurs ruled the Earth and had wing spans around 70cm (27.6 inch) which is approximately 10 times larger than today; their overall shape has changed little since those early days.
  • There are approximately 6,000 named dragonfly species in the world today and new species are still currently being discovered for the first time.
  • The Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis) is a large dragonfly about 73mm (2.9 inch) long and is easily recognised by its brown body and bronze wings (grin!).

Challenges

My art journal page today has been inspired by some wonderful Challenge Blogs:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Rike from rike’s art, who is hosting the Animals A-Z challenge over at Art Journal Journey as D is for Dragonfly!

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Grunge It Up challenge with my grungy dragonfly art journal page.

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

As I created my own background for my dragonfly art journal page, I’m also happy to join the Make Your Own Background challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday 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 (Tea Dye, Brushed Corduroy, Peacock Feathers, Black Soot)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Navy)
  • Craf-T Products (Lustre Rub-ons ASTM D-4236)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Art Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Creative That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • White tissue paper
  • The Works Washi Tape (Enjoy the Ride)
  • Poundland (Design Gems)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Embroidered Flowers)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

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