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

Birthday Wishes

Many of my friend’s birthdays are in February and March, so I currently find myself busy making birthday cards. I often like some of my card designs so much that I create a larger version in my art journal too. Here is one of those pages and I’m sending those of you who are celebrating your birthday this time of year – Happy Birthday Wishes!

birthday-wishes-ajp-1

The background was created exactly the same way as my card by using Festive Berries and Abandoned Coral Distress Inks. I blotted the ink pad directly on an acrylic block, spritzed it with water, and then I pressed the block or dripped the ink onto my page. I wanted a mottled effect so I built up the layers of colour gradually. As I had more space on my journal page, I also concentrated the colour on the right hand side of the page fading to white on the left. I then sectioned my page using masking tape and I stamped a Script stamp by Kaisercraft and Serpentine Background stamp by Art Impressions using black Archival Ink, alternating the designs. This masking technique also worked really well on the card and it was a fun technique to try. Again I made sure the stamping faded out as it reached the right hand side of the page to leave white space. I added some torn cherry blossom card to the edges of the page using Winsor & Newton Matt Gel to stick it down. This card is from a luxury topper set called Eastern Promise by Hunkydory. I also fussy cut the lanterns from the same card and stuck them down using double-sided foam tape. The gold flowers are outline stickers and the circles with various oriental style images are from the same topper set, which I attached using double-sided tape. I added little gold butterflies, blue gemstones and the name of my friend and her birth date to finish the page.

With the shades of red I used for the background, I’m pleased to be able to join this month’s theme of “Fifty Shades of Red” being hosted by Linda over at Art Journal Journey.

card

At this point I was hoping to show you my inspiration; the thing is, I forgot to take a photo of my original card – oops! So to give you an idea, here’s another card I made which looks very similar, although I used a totally different colour palette. In actual fact, my journal page stayed true to my original card design; as well as using my friend’s favourite colours of red and coral, I used the same background stamp designs and masking technique, the same gold flowers and butterflies, similar lantern topper decorations and gemstones, and the lovely cherry blossom card was used to create the interior of the birthday card.

cake

For another friend, who lives locally, I made a birthday cake too; it’s a Victoria sponge filled with strawberry jam and butter cream then covered in sugar paste fondant icing, all of which is homemade, and the little daisy flowers are edible wafers. It was so funny when I delivered it as her hubby answered the door, he really loves cake and his eyes lit up when he saw the box. So I’m not really sure how much cake she got to eat herself (grin!).

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 (Festive Berries, Abandoned Coral)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted stamp (Serpentine Background T2773)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS572)
  • Hunkydory Luxury Topper Collection (Eastern Promise EAST104)
  • Magenta Style outline stickers (Gold 0501)
  • Docrafts Antia’s Outline Stickers (Wistful Wings Gold ANT810131)
  • Poundland  (504 Gems)
  • Wilko (Blue Masking Tape – Low tac)
  • Winsor & Newton (Matt Gel)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Snowdrop Season

On Valentine’s Day we went to see the snowdrops at Lytham Hall. It was a beautiful sunny day and we thoroughly enjoyed our leisurely walk through the very impressive displays of snowdrops. I created this page to remember their beauty.

snowdrop-season-ajp

The background is Spectrum Aqua Markers, I scribbled the ink on an acrylic block, and then I spritzed it with water and pressed it or dripped it onto my page. The colours I used portray the yellow sunshine, blue sky, the lush green foliage and the rusty-brown leaves that surrounded the snowdrops. To add texture I splattered the page with black acrylic paint, stamped a homemade grid stamp using black Archival Ink and a small texture stamp using a Moss Aqua marker. I also added a fine outline of swirls using a Swoosh Mica Mask by Creative Expressions, a white Uniball gel pen and the Moss and Olive Aqua markers. As the snowdrops were flowering under the trees, I stamped a tree image using black Archival Ink and then I added more branches to them using a Derwent Graphik marker. The words are rub-on transfers which I thought were poignant to the page; to me the snowdrops seem to “aspire” to display their beauty and be something I could only “dream” of. Lastly they reminded me of a poem by William Wordsworth where he writes about having “faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes”.

If you are interested in the poem, it’s called “Lines Written in Early Spring”; it was published in 1798 and yet it seems as pertinent today as it did then.

I cut the snowdrop pictures and information from an old magazine and a Lytham Hall Events Guide. They are mounted on silver corrugated card which I edged with a silver metallic pen and stuck to the page using double-sided tape.

outline-sticker-collage

The snowdrops are made from this silver daisy shaped outline sticker; I cut the flower in half to produce snowdrop shapes and secured them to the page. I then outlined the image with a Derwent Graphik marker to give more definition and coloured the petals using white gesso. The leaves, stems and little dot on the petals are coloured green using the Moss Aqua marker. To finish I covered the petals in Ranger Glossy Accents to give them dimension and a lovely glow; I think they look a bit like stained glass.

1-close-up

I thought you might like to join me on our walk to see the beautiful snowdrops. These little clumps of snowdrops greeted us when we entered the grounds of Lytham Hall by the side entrance. You may remember Lytham Hall from my Winter Art Fair post.2-opening-photo

As we turned the corner, the snowdrops literally carpeted the woodland floor, sitting in the dappled shade in all their white splendour!

walled-garden-collage

Then we entered the walled garden, where the flower beds were brimming with snowdrops too.

front-collage

At the front of the house it looked like it had been snowing with the drifts of snowdrops glistening in the sunshine. As my hubby and me both enjoy photography, we were interested in the frames that had been put up around the walk. They indicate where a good shot can be taken and of course you can use them to frame your subject too.

6-woodland-collage

Following the woodland path we stopped to take in more pretty views . The snowdrops look so dainty with their white and green bell-shaped blooms.

3-snowdrops-opening

I hope you enjoyed the walk as much as we did – I was amazed, there were snowdrops everywhere and the displays were stunning!

vanilla-slices

As a special Valentine’s treat and to continue the white theme, we went to our local bakery and bought two of the biggest Vanilla Slices I have ever seen! To give you an idea of their size, that’s a standard tea plate they are sitting on. These are filled with a lemony custard and when we got home we enjoyed them (very much) with a mug of green tea – they were so delicious! As T Stands for Tuesday I’m sharing my treat with the T Gang and wishing you all a very 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 White Gesso
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic Paint (Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Moss, Lime, Olive, Aquamarine, Terracotta)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Script metallic pen (Silver)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (white)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Swoosh)
  • The Works Clear Stamps (CRO274/TW3)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (P-1398)
  • Homemade wooden block stamp with Plasterboard/Drywall tape
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-On Sentiments (Motivate Sentiments #ROY-510 Rub-on)
  • Magenta Style Outline Stickers (Assorted Peel-off)
  • Poundland (Corrugated Card 173117-GE16)
  • White tissue paper and card
  • Fun Cut Scissors
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Glide double-sided foam tape
  • X-Press It double-sided tape