Autumn Critters

As it was the Autumn Equinox last weekend it’s now officially autumn – yay! I really enjoyed summer but I love autumn too, so I found myself inspired by some critters depicted on some seasonal gifts that I had seen in our local shops.

I started by covering the page with Aquamarine Spectrum Aqua marker ink that I applied to an acrylic block, spritzed with water and pressed onto the page. I then divided the page into four quadrants and started to create a different background for each of my little critters, which are foam stickers. To create a home for the fox, I stamped lots of ferns from a Royal & Langnickel stamp set using Orange and Terracotta Spectrum Aqua markers and London Fog Memento Ink. The owl is sitting in some silver birch trees that I stamped using the same London Fog Memento Ink and I also outlined and doodled the bark detail onto the trees using a Uni Pin black marker. The golden leaves are stamped using a Gold Spectrum Aqua marker ink and a leaf stamp from Royal & Langnickel, and I outlined them and added more detail using the black Uni Pin marker. I used the same Royal & Langnickel stamp set to stamp the leaves for the hedgehog; this time I used the London Fog Memento Ink and three different colours of Spectrum Aqua markers which were Gold, Sepia and Crimson. Lastly for the squirrel, I used a stamp set by Craft Impressions to stamp lots of pine cones again using London Fog Memento Ink and also a Sepia Spectrum Aqua Marker and Sanguine and Dark Sepia Faber-Castell Big Brush Markers. Using the same stamp set I added a few pine branches using London Fog and Pistachio Memento Ink. Next I separated the quadrants using washi tape which I outlined using a Uni Pin marker, and then I added some star gems. The autumnal wording is cut from a magazine and stuck in place using a UHU Stic. To finish, I used some small gems to add a little sparkle choosing a different colour for each quadrant.

I just couldn’t resist creating my autumn critter page especially having seen these lovely glasses with beautiful animal designs on them and …

… these amazing sugar, tea, coffee and biscuit/cookie jars in a local store. I hope like me that you enjoyed your summer days and are looking forward to autumn too!

My drinking glasses and assortment of tea and coffee jars means that I am able to join in the fun over at T Stands for Tuesday – wishing you all a very Happy T 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 be able to join the lovely Yvonne from Meggy’s way, who is hosting A World of Fantasy challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my autumn critter imaginary friends (grin!).

I’m also joining the Forever Autumn challenge over at That’s Crafty! Challenge Blog with my autumnal art journal page.

With my gems adding some bling and sparkle to my art journal page, I’m pleased to join Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Bling It On challenge.

Over at Paperbabe Stamps, their challenge is Stars so I’m pleased to join in the fun with the star gems that I added to my page.

I’m also pleased to join the September Link Party #43 – Anything Goes over at Cropstop Blog with my page as I included some products from companies that they carry in their store.


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 (Aquamarine, Orange, Terracotta, Gold, Crimson, Sepia)
  • Tsukineko Memento Dye Ink (London Fog, Pistachio)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush artist pen (Sanguine 188 B, Dark Sepia 175 B)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Pressed Leaves)
  • Craft Impressions clear stamp set (Winter Wonderland)
  • Old magazine
  • B&M Hobby World (Woodland Friends Foam Stickers 289338)
  • Quality Toys Group (Washi Tape 2544960)
  • The Range Adhesive Craft Gems (Assorted Shapes CR0869)
  • UHU Stic
Advertisements

Peacock Butterfly

This page is inspired by the beautiful Peacock butterfly that we saw whilst walking along the Lancaster canal.

I started by painting the page with Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint varying the tone of colour across the page by adding some Pébéo white gesso. When dry I stamped a pretty blossoms stamp from Stampendous over the page using black Archival Ink. Then I applied some Pébéo white gesso over the stamped blossoms and re-stamped them layering the image over the top to give the page more depth. I also stamped a Script stamp from Kaisercraft using the black Archival Ink again. Next I fussy cut some squares, rectangles and faux embroidered shapes from some design paper, edged them with a Black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and arranged them on the page using a UHU Stic with: a white doily; a postcard; cards depicting a Peacock Butterfly on the front and information about the butterfly on the back; and a lace flower. The letters for the “Peacock Butterfly” wording are fussy cut from some design paper and stuck in place using the UHU Stic too. I added lots of mini decorative pearls to the centre of the blossoms which finished the page.

This Peacock butterfly was sitting on a thistle by the canal and I always marvel at its patterned wings and beautiful iridescent colours.  If you are interested here are some fun facts about this butterfly:

  • Peacock butterflies are found in British Isles, Europe and temperate Asia as far east as Japan and are not the same genus as the “American Peacock butterfly”.
  • This butterfly is one of the larger species of butterflies with the males being smaller than the females. However males and females have the same wing patterns, so other than size they look exactly the same.
  • Peacock butterflies are easily to recognize by the beautiful purple eyespots on the hind wings and this specific colouration of their wings provides protection against predators by confusing or even scaring them away.
  • The edges of its wings are dark and look like dead leaves and the underside of its wings are a dull brown which ensures excellent camouflage when butterfly rests on the bark of the trees.
  • The Peacock butterfly is strong flyer and it can travel long distances. It has a nomadic instinct so instead of having a permanent home, it travels all the time.
  • The Peacock butterfly has a long lifespan, living for around 11 months.

By far my favourite fact is, that when viewed up-side down, the pattern of the Peacock’s wings resembles the face of an owl (grin!).

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m sharing our drink of ice-cold water that we always take on our walks – Happy T 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 Gill from gibbyfrogettcraftations who is hosting the Inspired by … challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my Peacock Butterfly inspired page.

I’m pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Written Word (add text in some form) challenge, which on this page includes the “Peacock Butterfly” wording that I created from the fussy cut letters and also the text from the Script stamp, postcard and Collectors Cards.

With it being the first Tuesday of the month, I’m pleased to join the Simply Neutrals Tuesday party over at Apple Apricot with my neutrals page.

Over at That’s Crafty! Challenge their challenge is A Stitch in Time so I’m happy to join them with the faux stitched embroidery and pretty crocheted lace flower that I used as part of my design for this art journal page.

I’m also joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Anything Goes challenge.

I’m also pleased to join the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their June Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included).

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:

  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Stampendous cling rubber stamp (Blossom Spray CRP136)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Travel Memories 154898)
  • The Works Design Pad (Classic Vintage CRO707/TW7)
  • Dovecraft Premium Paper Doilies (Painted Blooms DCDLS010)
  • Collectors Card (Butterflies & Roses)
  • The Works (Lace Flower Stickers)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Mini Decorative Stickers 22740)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Art is …

Whilst out walking in the glorious sunshine recently, we saw some beautiful butterflies. So this page is inspired by sunny days, flowers and butterflies!

To remind me of sunny days, I started by blending yellow and parchment Liquitex acrylic paint to make a soft yellow colour and applied it to the page using a baby wipe. I then stamped three different circular images using Memento Inks; these are a doily stamp by Dovecraft using London Fog ink, a circle of swirls which is actually part of a tree by Personal Impressions using Bahama Blue ink and finally a small flower stamp by Woodware Craft which I clustered into a circle using Lulu Lilac ink. Then I used a paintbrush to add very fine splatters of black acrylic paint and large splatters of white acrylic paint. The quote is a stencil from The Crafters Workshop and I used Black Soot Distress Ink and a blending tool to apply it straight onto the background; I like the dreamy look this achieved. Enjoying art journaling as I do, this quote really speaks to me and it reads:

“Art is just another way of expressing our inner most thoughts onto concrete media. Where form and function come together in beauty colour and shape”.

The three main butterfly images are: a tag which I tied with a string bow, a Belize postage stamp from my hubby’s childhood collection and a picture that I fussy cut from an encyclopaedia. They are all stuck to the page using double-sided foam tape. To finish, I added lots of small flower stickers to add some sparkle.

I’m joining the Flora and Fauna theme over at Art Journal Journey and I hope you are inspired by this theme too, it would be great to see you there!

Here is one of the wonderful butterflies we photographed whilst on one of our walks along the Lancaster Canal. This delicate small butterfly is called a Gatekeeper and was basking in the sunshine on the bank of the canal. Some fun facts about this butterfly are:

  • Gatekeepers are common and widespread in Europe and the British Isles which has its own subspecies (britanniae).
  • The gatekeeper got its name from patrolling hedges and verges, aided so they say, by the sharp black eyespots on its forewings, which have two white pupils.
  • As gatekeeper butterflies are commonly found around hedgerows and field gates, they are also known as a “hedge brown”.
  • The nectar of bramble/blackberry flowers provides a valuable food source for these butterflies so they are more abundant in the height of summer.

Challenges

As you may know, I enjoy taking part in blog challenges as they provide me with inspiration (whether it be colours, techniques or images) for my pages and they are a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

With all the pretty flowers on my page, I’m pleased to join the challenge over at Moo Mania and More where their theme is Even More Flowers.

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Stencil It challenge with my “Art is …” stencilled art journal page.

I’m joining a new challenge today where the lovely Tracey is on the Design Team; it’s over at Paperbabe Stamps and from their #73 Challenge … Picture Inspiration, I choose to create my page of yellow and included the flowers and butterflies too.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Stencil It challenge with the stencilling I used on my art journal page.

I’m also joining Mixed Media World and their theme is Anything Goes…optional Pink; there are a few pink touches o this 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:

  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Cadmium Yellow Medium, Parchment, Ivory Black)
  • Colvin & Co acrylic paint (White Titanium)
  • Memento Ink (London Fog, Bahama Blue, Lulu Liliac)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Black Soot)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Dovecraft Curiosity Corner Clear Stamps (Lace & Doile DCCS009)
  • Personal Impressions Marion Emberson Designs (Birds and Trees PICSA6179)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Francoise Collection Stamp Set (Flower Style Wood Set FRSWS003)
  • The Crafters Workshop Jaime 6×6 Stencil (Mini Art Is TCW261S)
  • The Range Craft Tags (CRO740)
  • The Dorling Kindersley Illustrated Family Encyclopaedia
  • Postage Stamp (Belize 1974)
  • Fancy Stickers Sheet (Flowers & Butterflies 28965)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Beer from Japan

The Fleetwood Beer Festival always has interesting World Beers available and we have tried different Hitachino Nest Beer from Japan two years running. The one we tried this year is called DAi DAi Ale which has the most amazing fruity orange taste. I just fell in love with the cute owl on the beer bottle labels too, so inspired by Erika’s recent visit to Japan I decided to use them to create this page!

I started by covering the page with an orange decoupage paper which I patched together so it was mostly pattern matched; like all the paper pieces it is stuck in place using a UHU Stic. The red vertical lines are cut from the same decoupage paper and I fussy cut the Japanese documents from a design paper. They are outlined with a black Derwent Graphik marker and I used a Topaz Spectrum Aqua marker to add shadows smudging the ink with my finger as it was applied. Next I painstakingly added some navy blue dots to the centre of each of the flower circle designs of the decoupage paper; they were made from the die cutting the circular borders. I added the circular borders vertically over the red lines and they are die cut using my Sizzix Big Shot and a Spellbinders die. I used some of the same recycled blue card to back the beer labels that I had soaked from the front and back of two beer bottles; they are stuck to the page using double-sided foam tape. To finish, I added the beer cap to the top left-hand corner of the page from one of the beer bottles.

This beer is brewed by Kiuchi Brewery and they have been brewing Japanese Sake since 1823. They make a number of Hitachino Nest Beers including the two beers shown on my page which are:

  • DAi DAi Ale which is brewed with fukuremikan orange and special hops. This is an Indian Pale Ale with a ABV of 6.2%.
  • White Ale is a wheat beer flavoured with coriander, orange peel and nutmeg. This is a Belgian style white beer with an ABV of 5.5%. We tried this one last year and I saved the label.

With the owls I have included on this page, I’m joining the Flora and Fauna challenge that I’m hosting over at Art Journal Journey this month and I hope to see you there!

Some of my blog-friends created some beautiful tulip artworks over the last couple of months, whilst thinking of spring, so I thought I’d show you our tulips which are now in full bloom!

Here they are when they started flowering and I received them with the fun metal owl (in the background) as a gift last year. I like that the colours and the owl remind me of the page that I sharing with you today (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 I used die cuts on this page, it fits the Stencils, Die Cuts or Both over at Try it on Tuesday where you still have over a week to join in the fun!

Over at Moo Mania and More the theme is Flowers so I’m pleased to join this theme with my orange flowery background.

I’m also joining Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Animal Magic challenge with the owls I included on 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:

  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.03mm)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Topaz)
  • Spellbinders Nestabilities Die Cut System (Pearl Effects S5-194)
  • Viva Gade Decoupage Paper (London 25584)
  • Japanese Panel A4 Design Paper
  • Recycled navy blue card
  • Beer bottle labels
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Happy Owl-oween

As Halloween approaches, it’s time for witches, bats, pumpkins and Frankenstein so I thought I would get creative and have some fun with owls, which are one of my favourite birds, they are wishing you all a “Happy Owl-oween”.

owl-oween-ajp

I started by painting the spider web patterns using masking liquid and leaving it to dry thoroughly before adding the pumpkin coloured acrylic paint. I blended three hues of orange paint using Liquitex acrylic applying them in horizontal stripes to the page and blending the joins using a brush and a baby wipe, I like the way this makes the colour graduate down the page. I then stenciled stars using two different colours of purple ink and splattered the page with black acrylic paint.  Next I removed the masking liquid with my finger to reveal the lovely white spider webs. The owls, branch, leaves, spider, robin and wording are all hand drawn, they are made from coloured paper and stuck to the page using matte gel medium, I think a UHU Stic would have been better for this as the coloured paper leaked pigment into the wet gel medium. I passed the branch through a paper crimper to give it more texture and used three colours for the leaves, shading them with Distress Ink. I made templates for the owls and their costumes then cut them out from coloured paper, their eyes are cut from a paper pad and their feet are made from pieces of a paper punched flower. I then decided to add a couple of friends for the owls; the spider was made using some white multi-media paper for his eyes and the robin was created the same way as the owls, although I used yellow acrylic paint for his beak and black marker for his eye. I used inks to shade the coloured paper to add greater depth and dimension before they were stuck to the page. Lastly I used a Uniball Signo white gel pen and a black Uni Pin marker to add further details to the page, such as outlining the wings and letters and drawing patches on their clothes. I think this worked really well.

Halloween is about the only time we can buy pumpkins so my hubby always makes one of my favourite yummy beers – Pumpkin Beer! I hope Bleubeard and Elizabeth and the rest of the T Gang at T Stands for Tuesday will join me today for a pumpkin beer – Happy T Day! As you will see we have quite a few bottles and here’s how we made it …

pumpkin

So on a sunny October day the beer was brewed. First the pumpkin is roasted in the oven to make the puree.

grains

Then the grains (malted barley) are weighed and the water is heated. Once at temperature the grains and pumpkin puree are added to the water and stirred to release their sugars.

boil

Once the natural sugars from the grains and pumpkin have been released into the wort (as it is now called) it is drained and then boiled for 90 minutes with different hops and spices being added at different times.

bottles

After the wort has finished boiling the cooler goes in until the wort is cool enough to add to the fermenting vessel, where the yeast is added. Once fermented (around 2 weeks) the beer is bottled and left somewhere warm for 2 weeks to condition and then somewhere cool for 2 weeks for further conditioning. It is then ready to drink!

As Halloween and pumpkins are synonymous with Autumn and October I am so very pleased to be able to join Valerie over at Art Journal Journey with this month’s theme “Indian Summer – Golden October – Autumn”.

I am also delighted to be able to join the challenge over at Moo-Mania, who are currently throwing a HALLOWEEN PARTY!

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:

  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Cadmium Red Medium Hue/Lacquer Red, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Apricot, Ivory Black)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Hobbycraft (Assorted Ink Pads)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.8mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Art Discount (Blue Mask)
  • Star Stencil
  • Leon (X-large Colour Paper Pad)
  • Creative Rox Craft Asylum Paper Pad (Into the woods 480326)
  • Daler-Rowney Mixed Media paper
  • Fiskars (Paper Crimper 6.5 inch – Straight)
  • Flower Punch
  • Winsor & Newton Matt Gel
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (The Dual Action Glue Pen)

Owl Superpowers

I have always loved owls so this page has been on my “To do list” for quite a while now. With the theme over at Art Journal Journey being “Nature’s Wonders”, I had the perfect excuse to get creative and tick this off my list – thank you.

I was inspired after watching a Natural World TV programme; it was really fascinating to watch as it revealed the magic behind the owl’s superpowers.

Owl Superpowers - Art Journal page a

First I applied Distress Ink with a circular blending tool then covered the whole page with a thin layer of white gesso using a baby wipe. Next I started on the smaller dot pattern using a paint brush to apply diluted Distress Ink and ink from Faber-Castell Big Brush markers, then I doodled on each shape with my black Uni Pin Fine Line marker to add detail (my hubby thinks these look like animal tracks). The owl image and name are from an old calendar, which I fussy cut with my scissors and stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. Next I stamped the title of the page using black Archival Ink. The feather is from a doodle book that I painted using Derwent Inktense Ink Pencils and Aqua markers. To make the tags I coloured the front of the tag with a Big Brush marker then I cut pieces of grid paper to fit the inside of my tags and stamped the five superpowers on each one, sticking them to the tags using a UHU Stic. I numbered each tag using outline stickers which I coloured black using a Sharpie marker and then embellished the tags further with alphabet buttons. If you read the buttons from tag 1 to 5 you will see the word “magic”, I used this word not only because the owl is magic with it’s superpowers but so are the tags! My tags are actually attached to the page using Velcro so you can remove them and read the additional information for each of the superpowers (that I stamped) on the back.

Owl Superpowers - Art Journal page b

In this case I found it’s best to attach the tag using Velcro in two places so that the tags are secure. When you look at Velcro there is a barb side and a fluffy side, and it’s the fluffy side that detaches the easiest so I placed this on the tag so that it’s less likely to rip when being removed from the page. I think it’s pretty neat to be able to take the tag off and turn them over to understand more about the owl’s superpowers.

Owl

I choose this particular owl for my page because earlier this year we went on a tour of Marton Mere, a local Nature Reserve with one of our friends who volunteers there, specifically to see the Long-Eared owls. I was so excited and thankful we got to see them in their natural habitat. As you can see they were well camouflaged and our friend got better photos than we did (as usual), so with her permission I have included her photo – thank you! By the way those are just feathers on its head not its real ears that you can see. We had such a fab time! It is a lovely place to see wildlife especially birds.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Cracked Pistachio, Mowed Lawn, Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint, Pine Needles ,Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Derwent Inktense Ink Pencils (Baked Earth 1800, Willow 1900, Bark 2000)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist’s Markers (Chocolate, Slate)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush artist pen (Dark Sepia 175 B, Black 199)
  • Sharpie Permanent Fine Point Marker (Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Alphas Folk DCE907115)
  • Dovecraft upper and lower case alphabet stamp set (WDN Alpha Stmp DCVW0050)
  • The Works (24 Assorted Craft Tags)
  • American Crafts DIY Shop (48 Papers 366665)
  • The Works British Birds Calendar 2016
  • North Parade Sudoku and Doodle (Animal Kingdom)
  • Docrafts Anita’s Outline Stickers (Mixed Numbers Silver ANT 8101013)
  • Home Bargains Love Letters (63 Self-Adhesive Letters)
  • UHU Stic
  • Self-Adhesive Velcro