Visiting Paris

I have happy memories of visiting Paris in the springtime. It’s such a beautiful place and so romantic, it has many iconic landmarks and the most wonderful patisseries. So with Paris as my inspiration, I’m pleased to be able to join this month’s theme “Out and About” being hosted by Yvonne from Meggy’s Way over at Art Journal Journey.

I chose some of my favourite colours of green and blue to create the background using Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers and Peeled Paint Distress Inks. I applied the ink pad directly to an acrylic block, and then I sprayed it with water and pressed the block onto my page. I filled in any white gaps with watered down Chipped Sapphire ink using a paint brush. I then stamped a Serpentine background using the Chipped Sapphire ink, some small script stamps using the Peeled Paint ink and some postage mark stamps using Jet Black Archival Ink. Then I added fine splatters of white and black acrylic paint using a paint brush. I stencilled Texture Paste using a Wheels Stencil from Ranger by Dina Wakley Media, and because the inks bleed into the wet paste and colour it, I had to paint the wheels with white acrylic paint when the paste had fully dried in order to give it a clean white finish. I used paper from a design pad, choosing two different designs which reminded me of French design wallpapers and cut them to the various sizes. I distressed the edges with pinking shears and applied Black Soot Distress Ink with a blending tool. The Paris images and postage stamps are Stickeroos from Penny Black, and once the stickers where in place I stuck everything to the page using a UHU Stic and double-sided foam tape. I embellished the papers and images with a black rhinestone frame border and then to mimic this frame effect and lighten the page, I continued the dots around the edge using white acrylic paint which I painstakingly applied with an embossing tool; I really like the 3D effect. I added the word “Paris” which is from the same Penny Black Stickeroo set; I stuck them to some card first before sticking them to the page, outlining them with a black Uni Pin marker and adding the white dots. To finish the page I added clusters of green gemstones on both the background and the images.

We visited Paris as a special birthday treat and I remember the magical Eiffel Tower with its wonderful iron lattice-work. It looks so spectacular all lit up and twinkling, apparently there are 20,000 light bulbs which are used to make the Eiffel Tower sparkle every night.  Today almost 7 million people a year visit the Eiffel Tower and it’s believed to be the most visited paid-for monument in the world.

The metal work is so beautiful and the tower stands at 324 metres (1063 feet) tall including antennas. I was amazed to find out that it comprises 18,000 metal parts which are joined together by 2.5 million rivets, it sways around six to seven centimetres (2-3 inches) in the wind, during cold weather the tower shrinks by about 15cm (six inches) and that it takes 60 tonnes of paint to repaint it every seven years.

The Arc De Triomphe is magnificent; it stands at the end of the Champs-Élysées and looks such a powerful structure. It is 50 metres (164 ft) high, 45 metres (148 ft) wide and 22 metres (72 ft) deep. We found out that it was built to honour those who fought for France especially during the Napoleonic wars. In fact, the construction was ordered in 1806 by Napoleon himself to honour the Grande Armee, the name of the French army at that time. It was completed in 1836, long after Napoleon’s death in 1821.

I remember standing under the monument looking up at all the amazing carvings; it was so ornate and pays tribute to the wars fought as well as those who fought in them.

You wouldn’t believe the number of patisseries that are dotted around the streets of Paris! They all sell the most amazing sweet treats – yum! There is so much choice and they had the most lovely chocolates and Easter eggs 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 (Peacock Feathers, Peeled Paint, Chipped Sapphire )
  • Ranger Archival (Jet Black)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Ivory Black)
  • Colvin & Co Artists’s Acrylic (White Titanium)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Ranger Texture Paste
  • Art Impressions wood mounted stamp (Serpentine Background T-2773)
  • The Works (Clears Stamps CR0274/TW3)
  • Ranger Dina Wakley Media Stencil (Wheels MDS45588)
  • The Works 12×12 Paperstack  (Vintage Experience)
  • Penny Black Stickeroos (Je Taime #10-199)
  • Hobbycraft (Rhinestone Stickers Green)
  • Hobbycraft (Black & White Frame Adhesive Gem Design)
  • Decorative Scissors (Zig Zag)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Happy Daffodils

March is here and the daffodils are in full bloom which heralds the coming of spring. There seems to be an abundance of them around the town this year and these cheery yellow flowers always make me smile. So to welcome the arrival of one of the first plants to light up our gardens I decided to create a display of my own.

I started by stenciling a honeycomb pattern using a Creative Expressions mask and Pébéo modelling paste and left it to dry thoroughly. I used my new set of Spectrum Aqua Markers to create the background, the colours I choose were Kingfisher, Tan and Desert; I applied them to an acrylic block and spritzed them with water and then I pressed the block or dripped the ink onto the page. Using the same Aqua Markers I stamped a daffodil tile design onto the background and splattered the page with fine dots of the diluted Aqua marker pigments and Black Soot Distress Ink. To make the tags, I used a cream glossy tag and applied the same black Distress Ink to the edge and across the whole surface using a baby wipe. Then I stamped the daffodil tile design using the same Aqua markers to decorate the tag background. The daffodil image is from a magazine, I tore it in half, ripped the edges and applied the black Distress Ink to them and I stuck them to the tags using a UHU Stic. The original image design was monotone except for a yellow wasp, so to accentuate the daffodils I coloured the flower, stems, leaves and words using Derwent Inktense pencils, a Moss Spectrum Aqua Marker and a black Derwent Graphik Line Marker. I found the wasp detracted from the daffodils so I covered it up with some vintage butterfly washi tape. I added some black paper twine and stuck them to the page using double-sided foam tape. I also flicked yellow and orange Derwent Inktense pencil ink over the background to connect the daffodil colours from the tag with the rest of the page. Next I added stickers from the Idea-ology Salvage Stickers collection called Crowded Attic by Tim Holtz, which I edged using the same black Distress Ink. To finish I added the words which are rub-on transfers and the shiny yellow and orange mini gel stickers.

As this page is about seeing daffodils when we’re “Out and About” in town, I pleased to be able to join Yvonne from Meggy’s Way over at Art Journal Journey.

As part of our volunteer work for St. Anne’s on Sea in Bloom, we were involved in planting daffodils around our local town. It was nice to admire the fruits of our labours when we were out shopping this weekend; we had added a layer of daffodil bulbs in these tubs and it’s so wonderful to see their yellow heads prettily bobbing in the breeze.

Last year in October, we also planted bulbs along one of the main roads into our town.

Now these beautiful daffodils say “hello” to people as they drive into St. Anne’s on the Sea – what a lovely happy greeting!    

As T Stands for Tuesday my drink of choice is hot water today and we are also having American pancakes with blueberries, bananas, whipped cream and Maple Syrup  – yummy yum yum! The maple syrup comes all the way from Dave’s Sugar Shack in Maine, our friends kindly sent it to us as a present. These pancakes are actually the ones we had on Shrove Tuesday, which ties in nicely with the daffodils as they are often called the Lent Lily because they flower when Lent starts and tend to have finished flowering by Easter. I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and wishing you all a Happy T Day!

Do you know any fun facts about daffodils? Did you know:

  1. The daffodil is the flower for March.
  2. The daffodil is the national flower of Wales.
  3. In the Victorian days, daffodils represented chivalry and today they represent hope.
  4. Daffodils signify the coming of spring.
  5. The daffodil is a common decoration during Chinese New Year.
  6. A gift of daffodils is said to ensure happiness.
  7. Daffodils contain a toxic sap which is harmful to other flowers. Before arranging in a vase with other flowers the daffodils should be soaked in water for 24 hours. Do not re-cut the stems as it will re-release the toxin.

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 Modeling Paste High Density
  • Papermania wood mounted stamp (39454)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Honeycombe)
  • Magazine Spectrum Aqua Markers (Kingfisher, Tan, Desert, Moss)
  • Tim Hotlz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Derwent Inktense Ink Pencils (Sun Yellow 0200, Tangerine 0300)
  • Poundland (Die Cut Tags 117106)
  • Wilko (Paper Twine 0314169)
  • Hobbycraft Decorative Tape (assorted Black & White 5971481007)
  • Tim Holtz Idea-ology Salvage Stickers (Crowded Attic #TH92898)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Sentiments (Spring Sentiments #ROY-506 Rub-on)
  • Home Bargains (Mini Gel Stickers 30287)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Winter Gardens

We love to go to Blackpool Winter Gardens, we have been there a number of times to see shows, to find out about the history of the building on the Heritage Tour and just recently we attended the open day where you have access to all areas and can take your time exploring all the amazing venues.

Firstly, I coloured the background by painting alternating concentric circles of diluted Navy and Marine Spectrum Aqua Marker ink, this represents the beautiful glass domed ceiling and the blue accent colours that you see in the Floral Hall when you enter the Winter Gardens. Next I stamped a sheet music stamp by Woodcraft using Paris Dusk Memento Ink and a script design by Kaisercraft using the same Navy Aqua marker, this depicts the entertainment facilities, as well as the music being played on the famous Wurlitzer organs while we were there. I then stamped a palm tree from the Tropical Travelogue set by Hampton Art and scroll work stamp by Craft Sensations using London Fog Memento Ink. I used these same two stamp sets to add the chandeliers and art deco border using black Archival Ink as there are lots of chandeliers and art deco designs throughout the different areas of the Winter Gardens. To produce a watermark effect (fainter impression) I secondary stamped a series of images on the background from the Steampunk set by Docrafts using black Archival Ink, these images tie into the Victorian era when Winter Gardens was built and opened. I used a trellis design stencil to apply white gesso, Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink and modelling paste as we saw lots of beautiful ironwork and plaster work throughout the building. With the background finished, I embellished the page with bronze art deco style outline stickers and tickets which are rub-on transfers; the words “Explore”, “Discover” and “Adventure” on them describe our time whilst we were there. The old images of Winter Gardens are from a leaflet; I cut them out with serrated scissors and stuck them to the page using double-sided foam tape.  I think they capture the magnificence of the Winter Gardens venues and finish the page beautifully.

As we are “Out and About” in Blackpool exploring Winter Gardens, I’m very pleased to be able to join Yvonne from Meggy’s Way over at Art Journal Journey.

Winter Gardens is an entertainment facility located in Blackpool town centre and contains ballrooms, theatres, large themed rooms and spaces in a variety of styles. It is a magnificent building that opened on 1878 and has changed and expanded over the years. It is now undergoing further refurbishment to restore and uncover its original features. There is a wide range of decoration including Victorian ironwork, Art Deco styling and the most amazing plaster work. As you enter the building you are greeted by this beautiful domed ceiling.

Then you enter the Floral Hall with its beautiful palm trees, tiling, blue accents, yellow columns and lights. This is where you have access to all the other venues including the Empress Ballroom, the Pavilion Theatre, the Galleon Bar, The Baronial Hall, the Spanish Hall, Horseshoe, Olympia and the Opera House.

There are a number of venues designed by Andrew Mazzei who was a well known Hollywood film and set designer. In the 1930s he worked on the plaster work and decorations for the Baronial Hall, the Floral Hall, the Galleon Bar, the Olympia Hall, and the Spanish Hall. The photo above is the Spanish Hall designed in the art deco style with a three-dimensional frieze surrounding it which depicts the Andalusian Hills and Villages; it is very atmospheric.

The Galleon Bar was also designed by Andrew Mazzei and it’s my hubby’s favourite! It is a very creative recreation of an old Galleon Ship from the Spanish Armada, complete with oak beams which are all actually plaster work!  It really does look like real wood, doesn’t it!

While we were exploring the different venues at Winter Gardens, music was being played on the Wurlitzer organs located in both the Opera House and the Empress Ballroom.

The magnificent Empress Ballroom is my favourite venue. It was built in 1896 and has a spectacular barrel-vaulted ceiling, pristine parquet flooring, ornate balconies and the most amazing sparkling chandeliers! I can just imagine the olden days and the excitement of arriving in a horse and carriage to find yourself in such a spectacular venue, the stunning dresses, the dashing gentlemen and the stories that filled the ballroom; I guess I’m just an old romantic at heart!

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
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Navy, Marine)
  • Memento Ink (Paris Dusk, London Fog)
  • Tim Hotlz Distress Ink (Chipped Sapphire)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste High Density
  • Woodware Clear Magic Singles stamp (Sheet Music JGS111)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Craft Sensations Clear Stamps (CRO274/16R2)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Steampunk DCE907125)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Moroccan)
  • Kaisercraft Rub Ons Up, Up and Away collection (Colour Rubons RB870)
  • Unknown – Bronze Outline Stickers
  • Winter Gardens Trust Leaflet
  • Fun Cut Scissors
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

A life of love and happiness!

I feel very blessed to have married my soulmate and to have spent many happy and fulfilling years together – our life is a simple one based on love and happiness!

life-ajp

I started by painting the page with Aquamarine and Yellow Spectrum Aqua marker ink which I diluted with water. I used a round blending tool to add circles of Peeled Paint and Cracked Pistachio Distress Ink and as this ink can be reactivated I then spritzed them with water so the colours merged into each other, this gave a lovely mottled pigment effect too.  I wanted to experiment so I made a large round stamp from polystyrene and used it to add lovely textured circles using the same Distress Inks; I think this stamp worked really well. Next I stamped the black flowers using stamps from Hampton Arts and Jet Black Archival Ink. To enlarge the bigger stamped flowers I drew stamen like additions using a black Uni Pin that I swirled around each bloom. As I wanted to add more texture and dimension to the page, I used a stencil to apply a mixture of Parchment acrylic paint and Ranger Texture Paste to add cream dots and wavy lines. To finish I added letter and sentiment cardstock stickers and embellished the page with some beautiful fabric birds, hearts and flowers by Little Yellow Bicycle.

liverpool

We like the same things so we can be found exploring new places or visiting old haunts to take in the architecture, history and culture – it was springtime when we visited Liverpool and took a selfie with the Eleanor Rigby statue.

glasson-dock

We are thankful for everyday and always enjoy the time we have together – here we are along the Lancaster Canal on one of our summer hikes, as you may know we like to go walking in the countryside.

ska-face

We find pleasure in the simple things and feel life is about making memories and having fun; here we are in the autumn watching one of our favourite bands at a local pub.

beach-1

We feel very blessed to live by the beach and still enjoy going for a walk even in the winter all bundled up against the cold.

I’m so pleased to be able to join Erica from BioArtGal who is hosting this month’s theme “Tell me a Story” over at Art Journal Journey.

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 Marker (Aquamarine, Yellow)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Peeled Paint, Cracked Pistachio)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Liquitex Artist Color acrylic (Parchment)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Ronda Palazzari 12×12 template (Texturized)
  • Dot Stencil
  • Hampton Art Doodlebug Design Inc. cling mounted rubber stamps (Borders ICO160, Thankful ICO162)
  • Hampton Art Bella Boulevard cling mounted rubber stamps (Sand & Surf ICO226)
  • Homemade polystyrene stamp
  • Little Yellow Bicycle stickers (Fabric Favourites PD-220, Cardstock Fresh Verse  PD-140)

The Grand Theatre Blackpool

Last month for my hubby’s Birthday we went on a Heritage Tour of The Grand Theatre in Blackpool. It is such an interesting and magical place that I created a journal page.

the-grand-ajp

First I wanted to re-create the plaster work that is a feature of the theatre so I applied Pébéo modelling paste with a palette knife in straight lines along the border of my page using a stencil. Then I applied more modelling paste using a wedding place card as a stencil which had a die cut design that I thought looked like the intricate and delicate plaster work we saw. Once the modelling paste had dried overnight, I painted parchment coloured Liquitex acrylic paint over the whole of the page.  Next I added the cherub and rose images which are torn pieces of napkin, they are stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. I painted Gold Size onto the page with a paint brush and applied some gold leaf, then added plasterboard/drywall tape over the top to mimic the patterned gold leaf in the theatre. I also applied gold leaf to some filigree cut outs, which are from a wedding favour box and added them to the modelling paste design. I used outline stickers to add the gold lines and small teardrop shapes to further compliment the modelling paste patterns and embellished it further with self-adhesive gem pearls. Our tour guide kindly allowed me to keep one of our tickets and the images of The Grand are cut from the Heritage Tour leaflet.  I adorned them all with gold leaf cut outs and pearls and stuck them to the page with double-sided foam tape. To finish I added two cameos that were in keeping with the Victorian Baroque theme. This page really reminds me of our visit; I was inspired by so many different design elements that we saw at the theatre which my hubby captured beautifully in his photos too.

theatre-exterior

The Grand was designed by architect Frank Matcham and was opened in 1894 after a construction period of seven months, at a cost of £20,000.

ceiling

Matcham’s brief was to build the “prettiest theatre in the land” – I’m sure you’ll agree he achieved just that!

stage-right

Matcham built over 80 theatres although now there are only about two dozen left. We feel very privileged to have been able to visit one of his stunning theatres and one in such good condition too.

stage-left

We are also pleased to be able to support the marvellous work that The Friends of the Grand does, who were formed in 1973 to save the building from demolition. The first Friends were literally ‘hands-on’, painting the dressing rooms, repairing holes to the ceiling and getting the theatre into shape. Nowadays they raise funds towards projects such as the provision of new carpets, seating and technical equipment. The theatre is gradually being restored to its original Matcham splendour with the upholstering being changed back to its original blue English velvet, along with the plush curtains and draperies.

safety-curtain

We also went back stage, which isn’t as glamorous as I thought it would be, very functional. This is the back of the safety curtain which is made from metal in case of a fire to prevent it spreading into the theatre. Over the years actors who have performed at The Grand have adorned it with their names, comments and the show they performed in.

seating

Matcham designed seating on four tiers and you may notice that he thought of everything as all seats have a good view of the stage. This is truly a feat of engineering as there are no columns to block the view of the stage, the tiers being built on the steel cantilever principle.

lower-ceiling

The theatre is magnificent in every detail; the general scheme of decoration is in white, buff and pink. Alongside the intricate plaster work and gold leaf, there are many cherubs, flowers and spectacular paintings.

cream-tea

What better way to celebrate our tour than tea and homemade scones with clotted cream and homemade bramble jelly – my hubby requested these for his birthday and it was a delicious way to celebrate! I’m so pleased to say a big hello to the T Gang over at T Stands for Tuesday – Happy T Day!

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

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

  • Pébéo Modeling Paste High Density
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Sharpie Permanent Fine Point marker (Black)
  • Ranger Claudine Hellmuth Studio 6×6 Stencil (Our Town HSC36920)
  • Magenta Style outline stickers (Daisy Gold 93326G)
  • Hobbycraft outline stickers (Gold Scenes 5934211001)
  • The Works (4 Cameo Embellishments)
  • Poundland (Pearl Embellishments U-80929)
  • Gold Leaf
  • 151Adhesives Plasterboard & Drywall Tape
  • Dunelm napkins (Grace 30220549)
  • Dunelm (Place Cards)
  • Tour ticket and leaflet
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Annie Sloan (Gold Size)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range Double-sided foam tape