Nature’s Beauty

Our new challenge at Try it on Tuesday is Nature’s Beauty and the Design Team have some amazing inspiration for you, whether it is flowers, plants, animals or scenes of nature.

My art journal page today is a scene capturing the peacefulness and serenity of dragonflies over water, which for me, encapsulates nature’s beauty.

I started by painting diluted Shabby Shutters and Salty Ocean Distress Ink onto the background by stamping the ink pad onto an acrylic block and applying it to the page with a paintbrush to create a watercolour effect. Then I used a Distressed Dots stencil from That Special Touch of Mica Masks by Creative Expressions to apply Mowed Lawn and Chipped Sapphire Distress Inks using a blending tool. I stamped some foliage using an Eco Green stamp set made from recycled rubber and a Tan Spectrum Aqua Marker. Then I added some Pébéo modelling paste using the Distressed Dot stencil to add more dimension and when the paste was dry, coloured it with Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint. I fussy cut the grasses, leaves and iris from a wallpaper sample and stuck them onto the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. To add more detail and definition I doodled outlines on them with a black Uni Pin marker and white Uniball gel pen, then added some shadows using a Slate Spectrum Aqua Marker. The dragonflies are rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel and I positioned them so that one is sitting on a leaf and the other is flying off into the distance. I stamped some bees from a Graphic 45 stamp set by Hampton Art using black Archival Ink and coloured them using a yellow Spectrum Aqua marker. To finish, I added two stickers with the words “peaceful” and “serenity” which I thought captured the scene; they are edged with the Tan Spectrum Aqua marker and stuck in place using double-sided tape.

As it is T for Tuesday, I’m sharing the enjoyable time that we had at the local Pavilion Café in Ashton Gardens with our friends. Ashton Gardens is a municipal park which was established in 1874, it is situated in the centre of St. Anne’s on the Sea and is a lovely place to explore with its various display gardens including the most beautiful Rose Garden. The café building is a replica of the former bowling club pavilion known as the Ashton Institute.

This café always has a yummy array of cakes to choose from …

… and there is lovely art displayed on the walls which you can buy if you want to.

As T Stands for Tuesday, maybe you would like a green tea, hot chocolate or glass of water (of course they had coffee too, sorry I forgot to take a photo of our friends selection which included a cappuccino which I know you may prefer – grin!). As well as our drinks we enjoyed a bacon butty and a slice of salted caramel cake – yum! Wishing you all a very Happy T Day!

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs, like Try it on Tuesday, 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 Alison/Craftytrog, who is hosting the Recycle and Collage challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the recycled rubber art stamp set and wallpaper that I collaged to create this page!

With the stamped bees that I included on my nature page, I’m pleased to join The Birds & the Bees challenge over at The Artistic Stamper.

As I used and altered the wallpaper for my page, I’m pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Pimp it up! (reuse or alter something) challenge.

I’m also joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Add Some Texture challenge with all the texture I created with the Distress Inks, stencils, modelling paste and wallpaper.

With the circles that I stencilled onto my page, I’m also pleased to join the Going Round in Circles challenge over at That’s Crafty 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 (Shabby Shutters, Salty Ocean, Mowed Lawn, Chipped Sapphire)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Tan, Slate, Yellow)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies Cling Mounted Rubber Stamps (Birdsong ICO151))
  • Wallpaper sample – recycled
  • Royal & Langnickel Tip of the Brush (Insect Collection #TIP1484 Rub-on)
  • Little Yellow Bicycle Cardstock Stickers (PD-140)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
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Notarianni Ice Cream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As I reused and altered napkins, free leaflets, packaging and stickers to create this page, I’m pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Pimp It Up! (reuse or alter something) challenge.

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

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

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

This page also fits our Recycle Something challenge over at Try it on Tuesday, I hope to see you there!

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

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

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

Capture the Magic

I wanted to create an art journal page to remember my birthday which was last week, I had the most amazing time and thought I would recycle an old birthday card which I have treasured for a while.

To continue the recycled theme, I started by gluing some red netting from a bag of oranges to the page; this was quite difficult to do as the glues I had just didn’t want to hold the stretchy net in place. So I secured it as best I could and then used my heat gun to dry the glue, which happily melted the netting and looked really cool (grin!). Then to ensure the netting would stay in place I covered the whole page with white tissue paper using Liquitex matte gel medium, building up the layers of tissue paper to ensure all the netting was covered; I love all the background texture that the netting and tissue paper created. When the gel medium was dry, I scribbled Watermelon, Guava, Butter Cream, and Caramel Faber-Castell Gelatos onto the page and smudged them with my finger; they blended beautifully on top of the gel medium. I also added some Metallic Icing Faber-Castell Gelato to add contrast, some Abandoned Coral Distress Ink by applying the ink, spritzing with water and letting it run over and down the page and then I splattered the whole page with DecoArt black acrylic paint using a paintbrush. Next I recycled a cardboard tube to stamp circles of Pébéo white gesso and also black Soot Distress Ink onto the page. All the butterflies and flowers are from a birthday card and I fussy cut them out, edged them with Dark Sepia Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and arranged them onto the page using glue dots and double-sided tape. To finish, I added the wording “Capture the Magic” using Tim Holtz Label Letters which I mounted onto some of the cream recycled birthday card before sticking them to the page with glue dots; for me this page definitely captures the magic of my birthday!

My birthday celebrations started with lunch at our favourite restaurant Coco’s Soul Food, you may remember it from previous posts (grin!).

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’ll start by sharing some fizzy drinks that we selected while waiting for our food order, the choice is Passion Fruit, Lychee or Guava – Happy T Day!

You may be surprised to see that I didn’t have my usual Tropical Mango Chicken Salad but Jerk Chicken Enchiladas – so yummy! My hubby had the same and the portion was so big that there was enough for lunch the next day too (grin!).

Then we went on a lovely walk along the River Ribble and back through Avenham Park which was built in the 1860s and is Victorian in style. The day was sunny with some April showers and as the afternoon brought with it happy blue skies we had fun time exploring!

There were great views across the river …

… and of Silver Birch trees …

… and pretty blossoms!

I thought this photo of pretty blossoms would be perfect to enter into the Simply Neutrals Tuesday party over at Apple Apricot which is hosted by the lovely Wen.

There were quite a few old Victorian bridges on the walk too.

Walking back through the park, there was a Japanese Garden which was a beautiful setting for this old house in the background.

Along the railings that enclosed the garden were over 2000 aluminium eggs decorated by local schools for Easter – amazing!

There was also a wonderful display of daffodils and a waterfall which was a surprising discovery!

As well as pretty pink blossoms which remind me of the colours and flowers on my page.

I’m sure that I will be sharing more birthday treats with you again soon and thank you so much for all the lovely birthday wishes on my blog last week, it really made my 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. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Alison/Craftytrog, who is hosting the Recycle and Collage challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the recycled materials that I collaged onto this page including the netting, tissue paper and one of my favourite birthday cards.

As I reused and altered materials to create this page, I’m pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Pimp It Up! (reuse or alter something) challenge.

As I created this page to capture the magic of my birthday celebrations, I’m also pleased to be able to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Happy Birthday! challenge – wishing you a Happy 9th Birthday too!

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

This page fits nicely with the Recycle Something challenge over at Try it on Tuesday too where you still have another week to join in the fun, it would be great to see you there!

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

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

  • Faber-Castell Gelato (Watermelon, Guava, Butter Cream, Caramel, Metallic Icing)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Abandoned Coral, Black Soot)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Marker (Dark Sepia B 175)
  • Stamp – recycled circular cardboard tube
  • Recycled birthday card
  • White tissue paper – recycled from gift packaging
  • Red netting – recycled from a bag of oranges
  • Tim Holtz Idea-ology (Label Letters #TH93072)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Wilko (Sticky Dots)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Spring

To celebrate spring and the lovely sunshine and warmer temperatures we are having this weekend I created this Spring page.

I started by covering the page with a white and green flower design decoupage paper using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. Then I applied some Bud Green and Moss Spectrum Aqua Marker by scribbling them onto an acrylic block, spritzing with water and pressing the block onto the page. Next I used a honeycomb stencil to create lots of depth by layering different coloured Distress Inks and gesso; firstly I used the stencil to add Mowed Lawn and Hickory Smoke Distress Ink using a blending tool, then some Pébéo high density white gesso using a sponge and also a palette knife, and when the gesso had dried I added some Twisted Citron Distress Ink using a blending tool. I hand drew the letters onto some pink/peach design paper, fussy cut them out, coloured them with Blossom, Begonia and Jasmine Spectrum Aqua Markers and applied some white gesso with my finger to mute the colours a little. I created a tree by using a tree stamp onto some brown patterned paper using black Archival Ink, cutting it out and colouring it with Boulder and Desert Spectrum Aqua Markers. It is stuck into place, like the letters, using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium and they are all outlined with a black Derwent Graphik marker once the gel medium was dry. I also die cut some leaves using Garden Greens Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz and my Big Shot machine. They are coloured with the Bud Green and Moss Spectrum Aqua Markers and stuck in place using a Zig Memory System glue pen along with some tiny sequin flowers to add some bling; they are stuck in place using Glossy Accents. For the larger blossoms I stamped the flowers onto some of the pink/peach design paper. They are coloured with the Blossom, Begonia and Jasmine Spectrum Aqua Markers, cut out and stuck onto the page using a UHU Stic. I also applied some white gesso to mute the colour a little and added details with a black Derwent Graphik marker. I stuck some of the blossoms to the letters too, along with some of the green die cut leaves and the little sequin flowers. The birds are stamped onto tissue paper so I could reverse one of the images and then stuck onto some of the pink/peach design paper. They are coloured with Desert and Chestnut Spectrum Aqua Markers and stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. To finish, I added some of the sequin flowers to the background to add more sparkle.

We often go to Cumbria or the Lake District this time of year (for my birthday which is the first week of April – grin!)  and this page reminded me of a tree that we saw in Bowness-on-Windermere in Cumbria last year, isn’t it beautiful!

It sits in parkland on the top of a hill overlooking the lake; this is the view from the bench.

Bowness-on-Windermere is a small town situated on Windermere Lake, it is very popular with tourists and such a lovely place to visit; I have very fond memories of staying here when I was a child on family holidays too.

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 be able to join the lovely Rosie from Rosie’s Bastelwelt who is hosting the Spring challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

With stamped trees, flowers and birds I’m pleased to join Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their Springtime challenge.

I enjoyed creating this page to join the Stencils & Masks challenge over at The Artistic Stamper.

With all the pink/peach sequin flowers and stamped blossoms on my art journal page, I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Floral Frenzy challenge.

I’m also joining the Use a stencil and Three Mediums challenge over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge as I used a honeycomb stencil and at least three mediums which included Spectrum Aqua marker, white gesso and Distress Inks to create my page.

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

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

  • Spectrum Aqua Artist’s Marker (Bud Green, Moss, Boulder, Desert, Chestnut, Blossom, Begonia, Jasmine)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Mowed Lawn, Hickory Smoke, Twisted Citron)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps 154884)
  • Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz (Garden Greens 661206)
  • Art Impressions bird wood-mounted rubber stamp (B-2414)
  • VivaGade Decoupage Paper (London 25584)
  • Poundland Design Paper (Pretty Pastels CRO701/PL1)
  • Crafter’s Companion Luxury Designer Paper Pad (Angelica & Adam Collection A&A-PAP6-M)
  • Poundland (Assorted Sequins)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic

Mother’s Day Card

There’s still another week to join in the fun over at Try it on Tuesday with our Mum’s the Word challenge, where you are asked to be inspired by all things mother related such as a mother’s birthday, quotes for mothers, mother and child, animal families, Mother’s Day or any other way you would like to interpret this special mother theme!

Although Mother’s Day is celebrated throughout the world, here in the UK it is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent whereas in many other countries it is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. As I’m in the UK, we celebrated Mother’s Day this last Sunday so I’m sharing the Mother’s Day card I created for my mum for the Mum’s the Word challenge (grin!).

I started by using a lattice die from Spellbinders to cut a piece of white cardstock using my Big Shot die cutting machine. I stuck the lattice onto a white 6×4 card using Liquitex matte gel medium. Then I stamped two roses onto some mixed media paper using a stamp from Urban Stamps and black Archival Ink. They are painted using a Scarlet Spectrum Aqua marker, I did this by scribbling the marker on an acrylic block and picking the ink up with a wet paintbrush and gradually building up the layers of colour; I love the pretty watercolour effect that this produced. Then I fussy cut the roses and arranged them on the card with some leaves which I die cut from green design paper from Crafter’s Companion using Garden Greens Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz and my Big Shot machine. The leaves are edged with a Moss Spectrum Aqua marker and stuck to the card using a Zig Memory System glue pen. I added a piece of satin ribbon along the left-hand side which I tied into a bow and a strip of clear gems. To finish, I added a few single clear gems and also the wording which are Peel-off stickers that I coloured using a black Sharpie permanent marker.

I do hope you will join us at Try it on Tuesday and if you pop over to the main blog you’ll find some amazing Mum’s the Word inspiration from my fellow Design Team members, as well as who is in our Top 5 for the previous Vintage Challenge.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the following challenges too:

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m sharing this lunch I had whilst out with my parents around this time last year. We had a delicious ham and cheese toastie each and I had a ginger beer, my dad had a white coffee and my mum a cappuccino. I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and sending you all Happy T Day wishes!

My post is brief today as I haven’t had much time for blogging this last week due to family illness. I’d like to thank everyone for their kind wishes regarding my dad, he is doing much better and is now back home which is a great relief to all our family and friends. I hope to find the time to visit you all soon and in the meantime thanks for your understanding and wishing you every happiness! Jo x

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 card:

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Scarlet)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker Pen (Black)
  • Spellbinders Die (Unknown)
  • Docrafts Papermania 4×4” Urban Stamps (Birthday Rose PMA907221)
  • Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz (Garden Greens 661206)
  • White card stock
  • Daler-Rowney Mixed Media Paper
  • Crafter’s Companion Luxury Designer Paper Pad (Angelica & Adam Collection A&A-PAP6-M)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Peel-Off Stickers (Family G DCPO-17)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 175751)
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided foam tape

Pretty Snowdrops

The snowdrops flowering in our garden always make me think of spring so in order to remember one of the first flowers of the year and also the beautiful displays we have seen at Lytham Hall of late, I was inspired to create this snowdrop art journal page.

I started this page by covering it with squares of decoupage paper using Liquitex matte gel medium. Once dry I edged the squares with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and smudged it with my finger. Then I stamped some postage marks and text using black Archival Ink and covered the whole page with green paint that I had mixed from Liquitex Christmas Green acrylic paint with some black and white DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic paints. Once the paint was dry I rubbed and removed some of the paint using a baby wipe to give the page a worn look and then covered the whole page with PVA Glue to brighten the green colour and give it a glossy finish. Next I added some Pébéo white gesso with my finger and stencilled a doily image by Craft Sensations using a Bud Green Spectrum Aqua marker. I stamped a doily image using white DecoArt acrylic paint by applying the paint to the stamp using a brayer making sure that I washed the stamp immediately afterwards so the paint did not ruin the stamp by drying onto it. Then I splattered the page with black DecoArt acrylic paint using a paintbrush. With the background complete, I added a white lace border on the left hand side of the page which is an outline sticker, a pretty circular bird sticker from Docrafts and some black button letters which spell out the word “Snowdrop”. I die cut some brown paper which I recycled from a notebook using a Spellbinders die set and my Big Shot die cutting machine and arranged them onto the page with: a white doily by Dovecraft which is stuck down using a UHU Stic; a snowdrop image that I fussy cut from an old book of garden flowers and stuck into place using a Zig Memory System glue pen; text from the same book about snowdrops which I mounted on white and black card using double-sided tape; and finally a “S” alphabet letter sticker again mounted on white and black card.

If you are interested, here’s a close up of the text I included on my page.

This is one of the small clumps of snowdrops in our back garden before the snow came this week (grin!).

We went to see the snowdrop displays again at Lytham Hall this year, which have now almost finished and although they didn’t seem to be as bountiful this year the displays were still very beautiful. Here I am on a cold sunny day last week amongst the pretty snowdrops. I’m well wrapped up against the cold, do you like my new winter hat with its two bobbles or pom poms (grin!).

You may remember the amazing displays of snowdrops at Lytham Hall that I posted last year, so if you would like to see more of these pretty snowdrops please take a look my post here.

I so enjoyed reading the different stories associated with how the snowdrop flower came to be that I thought I would share a couple of them with you:

  • Garden of Eden: When Eve was cast out of the Garden of Eden, continuous snow covered the earth leaving it cold and barren. The angel, who appeared to comfort Eve, caught a snowflake and breathed upon it. The snowflake fluttered to the earth and gave birth to the snowdrop which later came to symbolize hope and rebirth.
  • German Legend: With the creation of snow, God tasked it with visiting the flowers of the earth to gather colours. Seeing that the gentle snowdrop was a kind and generous soul, the snow agreed to allow the snowdrop to bloom first every spring in exchange for her colour. So white snowdrops can be seen flowering amongst the snow each spring.

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 Rosie from Rosie’s Bastelwelt who is hosting the Spring challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my snowdrop page!

Over at Moo Mania and More the theme is Think of Spring so I’m pleased to join this challenge too!

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their In My Garden challenge with this snowdrop art journal page.

I’m also joining the Use a stencil and Three Mediums challenge over at The Mixed Media Challenge as I used a doily stencil and at least three mediums which included Spectrum Aqua marker, acrylic paints and Memento Ink to create my page.

I’m also pleased to be able to join in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Anything Goes challenge with my art journal page.

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 Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Christmas Green)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White, Black)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Cottage Green)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Bud Green)
  • Prima Marketing Clear Stamps (Rossi Belle 587499)
  • Kaisercraft Clear Stamps (Script CS752)
  • Dovecraft Curiosity Corner Clear Stamps (A5 Lace & Doile DCCS009)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Spellbinders Die Set (Unknown)
  • Viva Gade Decoupage Paper (Skagen 25561)
  • Trimcraft (Decoupage Papers SCDEC064)
  • Recycled brown paper from old notebook
  • Oxford Book of Garden Flowers
  • White card
  • Dovecraft Paper Doilies (Painted Blooms DCDLS010)
  • Docrafts Papermania Label Stickers (Botanicals PMA157234)
  • Docrafts Anita’s Outline Stickers (Delicate Lace Borders ANT8101510)
  • Home Bargains (Love Letters 22738)
  • PSX Designs for Creativity Stickers (Florentine Alphabet Green SR6042)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Everbuild 501 Universal PVA Bond
  • UHU Stic
  • Docraft Stick It! double-sided tape

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