I want to sing …

With the glorious sunny weather we’ve been having of late, nature seems to be blooming with spring happiness, so today my page celebrates the beautiful magnolia trees, birds and birdsong!

I’m linking to the Flora and Fauna theme over at Art Journal Journey which I’m hosting this month too.

I started by scribbling some Metallic Blueberry Faber-Castell Gelato onto the page in horizontal lines and then I spritzed the page with water, and used my finger to smudge and blend the colour across the page. Next I ripped a magnolia design napkin and stuck the flowers onto the page using Liquitex matte gel medium. Once the gel medium was dry, I doodled an outline on the flowers with a black Derwent Graphik marker. Then to depict birdsong, I stamped some music notes and script stamps from the Musicality Docrafts stamp set over the background using black Archival Ink . I applied some Pébéo white gesso with my finger over some of the stamped images and then used the same stamp set and black ink again to add another layer of stamping which gave the page more depth. The bird image is fussy cut from an old calendar, edged with Dark Sepia Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck onto one of the magnolia branches using a UHU Stic. I also cut two of the magnolia leaves from the napkin and arranged them in front the bird so he blended into the scene better. To make the bird look like he was singing, I arranged some pieces of musical washi tape to flow upwards from his open beak. I placed three of these musical notes on the page background too and covered them all with Liquitex matte gel medium to hold them firmly in place. When the gel medium was dry, I edged them with a black Derwent Graphik marker so they stood out more. I added the quote using some Docrafts letter stickers  and I edged with white Uniball gel pen to soften the edges. I stamped the author’s name under the quote using an alphabet stamp set and black Archival Ink which finished the page; the quote is by Rumi and reads:

“I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think”.

Walking into town we pass many gardens filled with beautiful spring blossoms and these are some pretty magnolias that are flowering not far from our house.


I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs, Art Journal Journey, 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:

Being inspired by the Words and Music theme over at A Vintage Journey, I’m pleased to join the lovely Astrid and the rest of the Creative Guides with my Mixed Media Style music related art journal page.

Over at Moo Mania and More the theme is Even More Flowers so I’m pleased to join in the fun with my magnolia inspired page.

I’m also joining the Allsorts Challenge Blog and their In the Pink challenge with the pretty pink magnolias that I included on my page.

I’m also pleased to join Mixed Media World where their theme is Anything Goes…optional Pink.

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 (Metallic Blueberry)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm, 0.2mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Dark Sepia 175 B)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 Clear Stamp Set (Musicality DCE907112)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Caspari Napkin
  • RSPB Calender – old
  • The Works (Three Washi Tapes)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic


Inspired by some Urban Street Art in Blackpool and a wonderful poem by William Blake, I created this Tiger art journal page (grin!).

I started by mixing some Liquitex acrylic paints to produce an orange and dark purple colour and along with some yellow Liquitex acrylic I stippled them onto the page using a paintbrush; as this is a high density acrylic this produced some lovely texture. They are applied so that purple was at the top of the page, orange in the middle and yellow at the bottom to give an ombré effect that matched some of the street art we had seen. To intensify the colours and give more of a spray effect, I applied purple, orange and yellow Brusho Powders over the top of the acrylics and spritzed with water, watching the colours burst on the page and whilst they were blending I used my heat gun to dry them. Next I drew a border around the page using a black Derwent Graphic marker and stamped some hexagonal shapes so they flowed vertically on the page using black Archival Ink. The tiger is fussy cut from an old book of poems that I purchased from a charity shop (thrift store) and is stuck onto the page using a UHU Stic. I used some recycled black paper and also the leftovers from the tiger image to create leaves using Tim Holtz Garden Greens thinlets and my Big Shot machine. They are held in place with sewing machine stitching along each of the main stems which was fun technique to try considering my page is attached within a book (grin!).

Next I added yellow, orange and black beads using Glossy Accents and then cut the title, first verse and author of the poem from the same book as the tiger image. The poem is called The Tyger and is by William Blake, the verse reads: “Tyger! Tyger! burning bright in the forests of the night, what immortal hand or eye, dare frame thy fearful symmetry?”. I cut them out in an abstract pattern to match the page design, edged them all with black Faber-Castell marker and stuck them in place using a UHU Stic. To finish, I added more detail with a white Uniball gel pen and black Derwent Graphic marker which included some white dots in the centre of the larger hexagonal shapes and also some faux stitching around the border.

Blackpool has some amazing Urban Street Art and this is the fabulous tiger than inspired my page, you can see the ombre effect and of course the majestic tiger. This was created by Otto Schade when he took part in the 2016 Sand, Sea and Spray Festival in Blackpool.

There are a number of other artworks in the same area .

This mural just around the corner and it was created at the same 2016 festival and is a self-portrait based collaboration of Bane & Pest (also known as the Color Nomads) and Smile1.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the urban street art in Blackpool, there are still others to see which I’ll be sure to share, as I find that they are such wonderful inspiration for my art journal pages (grin!).


With the leaves and tiger that I included on this page, I’m joining the Flora and Fauna challenge over at Art Journal Journey that I’m hosting this month. I hope you are inspired to join us, it would be lovely to see you there!

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Ombré challenge with my brightly coloured ombré background.

I’m pleased to join the lovely Tracey and the rest of the DT over at That’s Crafty! Challenges for their A Stitch in Time challenge as I used both machine and faux stitching on my page.

I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their For the Boys challenge with my William Blake inspired art journal page.

As I used die cuts to create the leaves on my page, I’m also reminding you of our Stencil, Die Cuts or Both theme over at Try it on Tuesday which runs until Monday/tomorrow evening and be sure to check out our fun new challenge on Tuesday!

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, Cadmium Red, Navy, White)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Crystals (Purple, Orange, Yellow)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.1mm, 0.8mm)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Docrafts Papermania Mini Cards & Stamp Sets (Capsule Geometric Krafts PMA105308)
  • Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz (Garden Greens 661206)
  • 100 Great Poems
  • Recycled black paper
  • Brighton Bead Shop (Assorted Seed Beads)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic

Star Light, Star Bright

I was delighted to win the “Not a card” challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge recently and I was even more delighted when the goodies that I bought with my prize voucher arrived. I couldn’t wait to use them all so I created this page to celebrate my new stash of 4 stamp sets, 2 single stamps and a book of label letters.

As part of my celebratory page, I also decided to incorporate the current Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge of “Star Light, Star Bright” and also their Wednesday Challenge “Anything Goes” showcasing Tim Holtz products, as well as their logo colours of gold, brown, turquoise and pink.

I started by creating a star template to use as a mask, having stuck the star mask onto the page I chose one of the texture stamps from BoBunny and also a sponge stamp from Finnabair, stamping them both using black Ranger Archival Ink. I then outlined each of the stars using the mask and a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker. I removed the mask and applied some Pébéo white gesso over the page to vary the tone of the background in readiness for the next layer of stamps and colour. Using the same black Archival Ink, I stamped three postage marks from the Rossi Belle stamp set onto the page and I also stamped two car “Component” stamp images by Tim Holtz onto a piece of white paper. I added them to each side of the page using a UHU Stic and cut off any excess paper so they fit the page. Next I applied Cracked Pistachio, Picked Raspberry and Ground Espresso Tim Holtz Distress Inks to the page using a blending tool, and also by diluting the ink on an acrylic block and pressing the block onto the page.

Star Light, Star Bright - close up

In the main I avoided getting these colours on the stars, however I wasn’t too worried as I thought any splashes of colour added to the grungy look of my page. I then coloured the stars using Fossilised Amber Distress Ink using it like you would watercolour; I did this by applying the ink to an acrylic block and using a paintbrush, varying the tone as I painted. I stamped a leaf silhouette by Simon Says Stamp and a berry branch by Inkadinkado using the same black Archival Ink. The wording is created using Label Letters from the Tim Holtz idea-ology collection and they are covered with Ranger Glossy Accents to give them a shine as the page is star themed. To finish, I also added some shine around the edge of the star and to the leaf silhouette and berries on the branches using the Glossy Accents again.

I’m so pleased to join my very dear friend Sheila from Orange Esmeralda who is hosting the “Let’s Celebrate” challenge over at Art Journal Journey, it’s a pleasure to  celebrate with you all (grin!).

I’m also joining in the fun over at Try it on Tuesday and their “Colourful” challenge with my bright starry page.

SSS win Oct 2017

Here’s the goodies that I ordered from Simon Says Stamp, I’m so pleased with all the products and I’m sure that I will be using them often – thank you so much!

When I saw the “Star Light, Star Bright” challenge title it immediately reminded me of the nursery rhyme:

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

So I based the wording I used on my page around this rhyme. If you are interested here’s some facts about this nursery rhyme:

  • The words allude to the superstition that you can wish upon a star.
  • It is believed to be of late 19th century American origin and reached Great Britain by the early twentieth century and is now known worldwide.
  • The rhyme is often read to children at bedtime.
  • “Star Light, Star Bright” is also part of the lyrics of Madonna’s 1983 single Lucky Star.

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

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

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Cracked Pistachio, Picked Raspberry, Ground Espresso, Fossilised Amber)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Homemade star mask
  • BoBunny Stamps (Rough It Up #12105155)
  • Prima Marketing Inc. Finnabair Clear Stamp (Sponge #961909)
  • Prima Marketing Inc. Clear Stamps (Rossi Belle #587499)
  • Tim Holtz Components Collections (COMO13CAR)
  • Simon Says Stamp Clear Stamp Set (Leaves And Scribbles SSS101445)
  • Inkadinkado Cling Stamps (Branches 65-32007)
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology (Label Letters #TH93072)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents

Remember, Remember …

On the 5th November we celebrate Bonfire Night here in the UK, and as I didn’t manage to attend our local fireworks display this year I thought I would create my own fireworks instead. Bonfire Night celebrations originate from the time of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, which dates back to 1605, so I incorporated this onto my page along with the first lines of a well-known poem that is often recited this time of year:

“Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot.
We see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!”

I started by sprinkling Black, Purple, Orange and Yellow Colourcraft Brusho Powders onto the page then spritzing them with water. As I wanted to control the coverage and the amount of starburst patterns that resulted I spritzed the water after each individual sprinkle of Brusho powder. Brushos seemed the perfect medium for the fireworks as they always mesmerise me by exploding with colour when the water is added. Next I dried the Brushos with a heat gun and then covered them with a thin layer of PVA glue to fix the colour in place; I choose PVA as it dries with a shiny finish which I thought was more appropriate for fireworks. By fixing the Brusho colour, it stopped them bleeding into the white Uni Posca paint pen which I used to doodle and splatter the firework patterns. The individual letters of the poem are cut from an alphabet paper sheet by Creative Sensations; I thought the old-fashioned text would be appropriate for the Gunpowder plot of 1605. I edged the letters with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker, stuck them to the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium and used a black Derwent Graphik marker and a white Pentel gel pen to define them so that they stood out more. To finish, I fussy cut an illustration of the Gunpowder Plot from an old History Encyclopedia, edged it with black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck it to the bottom of the page using the matte gel medium again.

I’m pleased to be able to join Chris from Pearshapedcrafting who is hosting the “101 Ways to Keep Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey; I join some esteemed company with my Bonfire Night inspired page as this inspiration has proven popular for a number of my blog-friends too (grin!).

This photo of the North Pier in Blackpool was taken last year at the annual International Fireworks Competition – the displays are always so amazing!

Some years we have sparklers, here I am being very, very careful lighting sparklers at a family Bonfire Night gathering!

For those of you interested, here’s some further information about the history of Bonfire Night:

  • In Great Britain, Bonfire Night is an annual tradition and is also known as Fireworks Night.
  • It’s a way of remembering the events of 5th November 1605 when a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, killing all inside it including the King, was foiled.
  • The most famous conspirator of the Gunpowder Plot was Guy Fawkes. Before the plot could be carried out, Guy Fawkes was arrested while he was guarding the 36 barrels of deadly gunpowder in the cellar of the House of Parliament. He was tortured, and later tried and then hung for his part in the plot.
  • Some believe that Guy Fawkes was thrown into a bonfire after his conviction so sometimes straw dummies of Guy Fawkes are made and thrown into bonfires to celebrate the day.
  • Historically, children used to collect money to buy fireworks by roaming the streets in the days leading up to the event, brandishing their effigies known as “Guys” and asking passers-by for a “penny for the guy”. I think this tradition has all but disappeared today.
  • The 5th November is celebrated with bonfires and fireworks to remember the Gunpowder Plot and Guy’s role in the event.
  • There are many organised firework events across the UK, which are very popular and shops start selling fireworks in mid-October in readiness for this celebration.

As part of Bonfire Night celebrations, I always make parkin which is a type of gingerbread cake. This particular parkin recipe has been passed down through generations of my family and is made with oatmeal and black treacle. This homemade treat is lovely with a hot drink and as T Stands for Tuesday I’m saying a big hello to 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:

  • Colourcraft Brusho Colour Crystals (Black, Purple, Orange, Blue)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip pen (White)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Travel Memories 154898)
  • Miles Kelly Pubishers Encyclopedia of British History
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Everbuild 501 Universal (PVA Bond)

Heart of Patina

Having visited Liverpool recently for my hubby’s birthday, I was inspired by the beautiful patina of the bronze statues that can be found around the city. The most famous statues of this sort, and also my favourite, are the Liver Birds which sit atop the Royal Liver Building along the riverfront of the Mersey. I created a patina effect heart as part of my design and also used a quote from one of my favourite poets, I hope you like it!

I started this page by crumpling up a piece of white tissue paper a number of times to create creases in it, then covering my page with glue using a UHU Stic I stuck the tissue paper on top whilst trying to retain the creased texture. When the glue had dried I added Milled Lavender, Salty Ocean, Peacock Feather and Black Soot Distress Inks using a blending tool. Then I applied the same Distress Ink colours to an acrylic block and dragged it across the page which coloured the peaks of the tissue paper creases with intense colour; I love how this highlighted the texture. Next I stencilled Pébéo modelling paste around the outside edge of the page using a patterned stencil from Craft Sensations. I also applied some white gesso with a palette knife around the edges of the page and heated it with a heat gun so it bubbled to add more texture.  Once the modelling paste had dried, I dripped on some diluted Peacock Feather Distress Ink drying it with the heat gun again. Then I applied Midnight Sparkle and Silver Grey metallic lustre around the edge of the page with my finger, which highlighted the beautiful texture from the gesso and modelling paste and darkened the edges of the page. I then added the gold flowers and circles which are peel-off stickers. To create the small hearts I covered white paper with gold leaf using Annie Sloan Gold Size and used a heart paper punch by Tonic Studios to cut them out and coloured them with the Peacock Feather Distress Ink. I then drew around the heart shapes on the background where they were to be positioned with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush maker smudging it with my finger and finally I stuck down the hearts using a UHU Stic.

To make the patina heart, I used a heart-shaped gift tag and covered it with modelling paste using the same Craft Sensations stencil. One dry I applied the same four colours of Distress Inks that I had used on the background and some gold leaf using the Annie Sloan gold size. Then I covered the heart with a thin layer of DecoArt Media crackle glaze and once it was dry I applied some diluted ink from a black Faber-Castell Big Brush maker wiping off the excess with a baby wipe to highlight the crackle. To add more shine, I applied more gold leaf around the edges of the heart. For the quote, I used paper from a Design Pad by Craft Sensations and stamped the words using black Archival Ink and an alphabet stamp set by Dovecraft. I edged the paper with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush maker and some gold online stickers, and then I stuck it to the page using double-sided tape; this finished the page.

Have you heard of Atticus before? He is quite a new phenomenon and is very well known on Instagram for his poetry. He is a young writer from Canada and it’s hard to find out much about him as he is quite mysterious and prefers to stay anonymous. He wrote a book of poetry called “Love her Wild” which is amazing and you can find more of his work on his website, Facebook and/or Instagram sites.

The Royal Liver Building is home to two fabled Liver Birds, one watching over the city and the other out to sea. Legend has it that if these two birds were to fly away then the city would cease to exist. “Liver” in this case is pronounced “live” as in “alive” and “er” – “live-er”.

The Royal Liver Building opened in 1911 and is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the city of Liverpool. It’s located at the Pier Head and along with the neighbouring Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building and collectively these buildings are known as the “Three Graces”.

This building is privately owned, so we popped into the reception area to take a peek and we discovered the most amazing marble entrance hall (grin!).

Here’s my hubby’s birthday treat, at Rococo café which you may remember from a previous post of mine. My hubby had a Malteser (malt ball) slice and I had lemon cake with our green tea and also cucumber or mint/lemon infused water – delicious! We also had a sandwich, but had eaten it before we remembered to take pictures!

As T Stands for Tuesday – I’m saying a big hello and welcome to the T Gang and wishing you all a very Happy T Day!

This black cat was adorning the window at the café – Happy Halloween!

I’m posting my page a little earlier than usual so I can join in the weekend fun with Yvonne from Meggy’s Way. You can enter any project to win some fabulous napkins and Yvonne is very kindly providing us with this wonderful Halloween treat!


I’m pleased to join Elke from Meerwolkenleben who is hosting the “Landscape of the Soul” challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the wonderful quote I used.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their “Anything Goes” 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 (Milled Lavender, Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers, Black Soot)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Craf-T Products Lustre Rub-ons Color Kit #4 (Midnight Sparkle, Silver Grey)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.5mm)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • DecoArt Media Crackle Paste
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Poundland Design Pad (Vintage Chic Creations CR0701/PL4)
  • Wilko (Luxury Gift Tag)
  • White tissue paper
  • White paper
  • Gold leaf
  • Tonic Studios Paper Punch (Classic Heart 858E)
  • Elizabeth Craft Designs Peel-off Stickers (Gold 0442)
  • Annie Sloan Water Based Gold Size
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

And they swam …

This month’s theme over at Art Journal Journey is “Poetry in Motion” so I was inspired to create this fun page based on a nursery rhyme from my childhood which we used to sing at school, you may know it …

I added turquoise coloured tissue paper to the centre of the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium, then sprinkled on Ultramarine Colourcraft Brusho powder. I applied more matte gel medium to activate the powder pulling the Brusho colour across the page, as I did this I also wrinkled the tissue paper to add texture so it looked like the sea. I like the way the Brushos added different depths of blue colour.  Then I painted Pébéo white gesso over parts of the page using my finger to push some of the colour back and splattered the page with a paintbrush dipped in black and white acrylic paint to look like air bubbles. Next I arranged the fun orange fish, which are brads, so they appeared to be swimming in shoals across the page.  I pushed each brad through the page and then covered the back with a piece of masking tape to prevent any damage to the next journal page. To finish, I stamped the speech bubbles onto white tissue paper using black Archival Ink, fussy cut them out and added the wording from the rhyme; they are stuck in place using a UHU stic.

Of course there were only “three little fishies” in the original rhyme so I applied some artistic licence when I created this page (grin!).

  Me and my hubby both enjoy snorkeling and diving whilst on holiday, so we have spent many happy hours swimming with the fishes in the sea.

 These pictures were taken in Cyprus where there are always plenty of fish to see.

It always makes me smile when I imagine the fish swimming along singing this song (grin!) – you can find the full lyrics here.

I’d like to thank everyone for their amazing support and participation in this month’s “Poetry in Motion” challenge over at Art Journal Journey and I’m really pleased that you are enjoying the theme so much!

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
  • Colorcraft Brusho Colours (Ultramarine)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Hampton Art Doodlebug Design Inc. cling mounted rubber stamps (Thankful ICO162)
  • Dovecraft upper and lower case alphabet stamp set (WDN Alpha Stmp DCVW0050)
  • Tissue paper (Blue, White)
  • Fish brads (Orange)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic

In a Station of the Metro

I was inspired to create a page for the “Postcards” theme over at Try it on Tuesday where the lovely Sabine is Guest Designer, as well as Art Journal Journey’s theme for August which is “Poetry in Motion” where you are asked to create a page inspired by a poem, quote or saying.

As postcards are synonymous with travel, I chose a poem about the Paris Metro (subway/underground) by Ezra Pound. I used a colour palette of pinks, neutrals, brown and black to illustrate the faces, petals and black boughs of these beautiful words from the poem “In the Station of the Metro”:

“The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough”.

This page started by collaging the background using some book pages, three different design papers and a postcard which I situated in the top left-hand corner of the page. Like all of the pieces on this page I used a UHU Stic to glue them into place. Then I added white gesso using my finger over some of the papers to push the colour back. To tie into the postcards theme, I added a Hessian texture stamp and a postage stamp image around the edges of the page and a script stamp over the background using black Archival Ink. I used the same ink to add a foliage stamp to create the black boughs of the poem. Next I used a paper punch to cut out some hearts from the three design papers and arranged them in a garland across the right-hand corner of the page. Once in place I joined the hearts together using a black Uni Posca paint pen. I stamped various images that reminded me of Paris onto a page from a book using the black Archival Ink and then fussy cut them out; these included the words “Paris” and “amour”, also the Eiffel Tower, a key, birdcage, bird in flight, French postage mark, compass and a couple of heart tiles. I arranged these on the page with some brown vintage decorative tape and a trunk image which is a rub-on transfer. I crowded these images to represent the crowd aspect described in the poem. I fussy cut the poem, the title and the Metro filigree image from a book of poems that I bought in a charity/thrift shop. I think the Metro image is the most complicated image that I have ever fussy cut; it took a good hour to cut out all the detail and I needed to use a craft knife and cutting mat as well as scissors. I outlined this image and the poem, title and edges of the stamped papers with Derwent Inktense pencils, black and white Uni Posca paint pens, a black Uni Pin marker and a white Uniball gel pen to add detail and make them stand out from the background more. I coloured the metro sign and the hearts using a red Uni Posca paint pen and added the two vintage embellishments; the Metro signage and the other of a ladies face surrounded by flowers to tie into the poem. To finish, I stuck on some mini white flowers and gemstone flowers to the black boughs and added some dots of Glossy Accents to the leaves so they looked like they were wet.

By pure serendipity when I created this page I added a heart garland, so I’m also pleased to be able to join the “Banners and Garlands” theme over at Moo Mania & More (grin!).

This poem was published in 1913 by Ezra Pound who is an American poet. He founded a poetry movement called Imagism which shared the aim of traditional Japanese art; to paint wonderful pictures with as few brush strokes as possible. The Imagist poetry stresses clarity, precision, economy of language and forgoes traditional rhyme.

Even in 1913 it seems the Paris Metro was a busy place because in the poem he describes seeing a crowd of faces in the subway and suggests they look like flowers on a tree branch.

Of course a poem is always open to interpretation, so you may view it another way (grin!). If you are interested here’s my thinking:

  • The subway is crowded with people, like they often are.
  • Using the word “apparition” suggests that people’s faces are becoming visible then disappearing again as the people come and go. If you’ve travelled on the subway then you have probably experienced this.
  • It is implied that the faces look like flower petals on a branch of a tree, which like the people in the subway usually appear for a moment in time as the tree flowers.
  • The tree branch may represent the train lines which branch off in all directions or it may be symbolic of Japanese flowering trees to link the style of poetry from which Imagism is derived (who knows – grin!).
  • I think the subway may have been darker and wetter back in 1913 than it is today, so he describes the bough as being wet and black.
  • The faces appear out of the darkness just like flowers do from a flowering bud.

We enjoyed travelling on The Metro when we visited Paris and the Metro is famous for its art and décor with each station having its own theme. This is Hector Guimard’s original Art Nouveau entrance in Abbesses station. Other examples include the Bastille station where the walls depict the historic French Revolution and the Arts et Métiers station which is designed to look like a submarine.

Whilst on the Metro a Mariachi Band got onto our carriage and started playing music, it was such a wonderful experience and after all these years it still fills me with joy and makes me smile (grin!). I’ve since found out that since 1997, the Espace Metro Accords (EMA) started holding auditions to decide which musicians could showcase their music in the Metro. 100 lucky candidates are selected each year to play their music – how amazing is that!

 If you are interested, here are some more Paris Metro facts:

  • The Paris Metro is the second busiest metro system in Europe.
  • Paris has the most comprehensive underground rail system in the world with each station being situated a 550 yards away from another. Although today you can find ghost stations all around Paris, these are stations which haven’t been used for years and are now closed to the public.
  • The Metro runs more than 600,000 miles per day which is equivalent to going round the world 10 times daily!
  • The first Metro line was opened in 1900 and it is the fourth oldest metro in Europe after London, Glasgow and Budapest.

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
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Baked Earth 1800, Charcoal Grey 2100)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (White, Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Hessian CS253, Script CS752)
  • Hobbycraft clear stamp (Love Hearts 50402HC)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Pressed Leaves MIN-CCS102, Journey MIN-CCS104)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies Vintage cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Penny Black 2007 wood mounted stamp (City of Love 3800K)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted stamp (B-2414)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Lion Brand (White Postcards 11711)
  • Poundland Design Pad (Changing Seasons CR0701/16PL1)
  • Poundworld Design Pad (Pastels & Whites CR0260/PW)
  • Collins Publishers – David Copperfield
  • Miles Kelly Publishing – 100 Great Poems
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Soft Sweetness 154897)
  • Tonic Studios Paper Punch (Classic Heart Sider 858E)
  • Crelando Decorative Tapes
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Travel Collage #ROY-871)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Mini Decorative Stickers 22740)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 134240)
  • The Works (5 Embellishments)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic