Robin Poem

This vintage page was inspired by a dear friend who gave me some pretty cream and gold napkins (thanks very much!), the new bird feeders that we have in our garden and a beautiful poem that I found which celebrates robins across the different seasons – I hope you like it!

I started by covering the page with one of the pretty napkins that my friend gave me using a glue stick and Liquitex Matte Gel Medium to stick it into place. Then I added some pieces of bright gold doily using a Zig Memory System 2-way glue pen. The circular bird image and poem are die cut using a circular and square die from a book page that was in an old Christmas book. They are layered over the top of the gold doily along with a tag that I recycled from an old Christmas card which matched the circular bird image beautifully. Next I added the lace around the edges of the page and embellished them with some gold gems. To finish, I added a white bow to the tag which I made from ribbon that I recycled from a Christmas cracker and also a 3D sticker of a white rose.

I loved this poem as soon as I read it, it’s by an anonymous author who writes:

Robin sang sweetly
When the days were bright
“Thanks! Thanks for Summer!”
He sang with all his might.

Robin sang sweetly
In the Autumn Days
“There is fruit for everyone,
Let all give praise.”

In the cold and wintry weather
Still hear his song.
“Someone must sing”, said Robin,
“Or Winter will seem long.”

When the Spring came back again
He sang: “I told you so!
Keep on singing through the Winter;
It will always go!”

Here’s a close up of the napkin, the design is so beautiful with the holly leaves, ferns, mistletoe, wrens and robins.

Our new bird feeders are attracting lots of different birds, including our resident robin who seems to be enjoying both the fat balls and seed.

As we haven’t managed to capture a picture of our robin as yet, I thought I would share the garden flag that was kindly sent to us from our friends in America; this is our winter robin flag, isn’t it gorgeous!

Garden flags are not really seen here in the UK, they are far more popular in America. I loved the ones that we saw when we visited America this year, so our dear friends kindly bought us a flag for each season with a different robin on it – a perfect gift (grin!).

As this is my last post of 2018, I also wanted to thank you for all your support and kindness this year! You have made it very special and I am very grateful for your friendship and all your lovely comments – thanks so much! Wishing you all the fun of the Holiday Season and a very Happy New Year!

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:

Bleubeard and Elizabeth who blog at Altered Book Lover are hosting My Favorite Season, or ‘Tis the Season challenge over at Art Journal Journey, so I’m pleased to join them with my page which showcases a poem that celebrates all the seasons as I love them all (grin!).

I’m so happy to be able to join the lovely Wen and her Simply Neutrals Tuesday party over at Apple Apricot with my neutral vintage robin page.

I’m also pleased to join the Christmas challenge over at Country View Challenges with my vintage Christmassy page as robins capture the Christmas season for me.

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Anything Goes challenge with my art journal page 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:

  • RSPB Napkin from my dear friend – thank you!
  • Woolworths (Gold Doyleys) – from Charity Shop
  • A Golden Christmas Treasury – book from Charity Shop
  • Recycled tag from old Christmas Card
  • The Works Die Cutting – circles and squares
  • The Range (Crafting Lace CR0546)
  • Poundland (504 Gems 128133)
  • Recycled white ribbon from a Christmas cracker
  • Docrafts Papermania 3D Christmas Stickers (Victorian Christmas PMA805801)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Zig Memory System 2-Way Glue (Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • Stix2 double-sided tape and mini glue dots
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
Advertisements

Thankful

It’s time for a new challenge over at Try it on Tuesday and our theme for the next two weeks is Thankful.

This could be a thank you card, harvest festival, Thanksgiving or anything that you are thankful for. For more inspiration please take a look at the amazing creations from my Design Team teamies over at Try it on Tuesday.

I’m so thankful to have spent time with our forever friends in Maine and this page was inspired by the beautiful autumnal displays, flowers and birds that I saw in my friend’s garden/yard celebrating Fall and giving thanks to the season – I hope you like it!

To create the background, I stamped most of the stamps from the Bella Rossi stamp set by Prima Marketing onto the page using Hickory Smoke Distress Ink, a script stamp by Kaisercraft using black Archival Ink and a leaf stamp from Crafter’s Companion using Antique Linen, Old Paper and Vintage Photo Distress Ink. I splattered the page with Morocco Memento Ink, by stamping the pad directly onto an acrylic block and using a wet paintbrush to flick the ink onto the page. To dull down the Vintage Photo leaves that I had stamped I covered them with white gesso using a wet wipe blending the colour across the page so it gave it an aged look. I used some washi tape that I had bought on my holiday, for the letters; it had the word “thankful” repeated on it so I cut and placed the individual letters onto the page, which finished the background. Next I cut out two pumpkins from some pumpkin beer packaging that I brought home with me and stuck them in place using a glue stick. They are arranged and layered with some square autumnal images which I cut from a sheet of Autumn design paper by Graphic 45 and also some autumnal leaves and pretty birds which are from a decoupage set by Docrafts. All the pieces are edged with a Dark Sepia Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck in place using either double-sided tape or double-sided foam tape. To finish, I curled the leaves to give more of a 3-D look.

Here is the beautiful Fall welcome that greeted us at my friend’s house (grin!).

There were two pumpkins so I used two on my page.

Their garden/yard is filled with wonderful ornaments, flowers and happiness; this area housed bird feeders and bird boxes and could be seen from the kitchen window …

…which meant we saw some amazing birds; this included black-capped chickadees like the one above, tufted titmouse, yellow-bellied sapsuckers and white-breasted nuthatches. So of course I added birds to my page (grin!).

The yellow flowers and fall colours in their garden were also spectacular so these are included on my page too – Happy Autumn!

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m sharing the fridge full of beer including the pumpkin beer which was in the box that the pumpkins on my page were cut from. You can find them on the middle shelf and this particular pumpkin beer is from Smuttynose Brewery. We were most impressed that they had a beer fridge and as you can see we had quite a selection of beers to chose from – cheers and Happy T Day!

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs, like Try it on Tuesday, as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration for my pages and are a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Linda from heARTfullyinspiredby Linda, who is hosting the Creature Comforts challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the warm autumnal colours that I used to create this page.

Over at Moo Mania and More the theme is Autumn so I’m pleased to join their challenge with my Fall celebration page.

Inspired by my freind’s garden and fall displays, I’m also joining the Autumn Splendour challenge over at A Vintage Journey with my Art Journalling and Mixed Media Style page.

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Take Flight challenge with the birds on my art journal page, one of which has taken flight (grin!).

I’m pleased to be able to join the Plant-tastic challenge over at Country View Challenges with the autumnal flowers and leaves on my page.

The challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Work It Wednesday is Give Thanks! so I’m joining them too with my Thankful art journal page.

Over at Stamps and Stencils their challenge is Spooky Fun with an Autumnal Twist so I’m happy to join them with my autumnal 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:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Hickory Smoke, Antique Linen, Old Paper, Vintage Photo)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tsukineko Memento Ink (Morroco)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Dark Sepia 175 B)
  • Prima Marketing clear stamps (Bella Rossi #587499)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Crafter’s Companion Clear Stamps Autumn Morning Signature Collection by Sara Davies (Rustling Leaves S-AUT-ST-RUS)
  • Washi Tape
  • Recycled Packaging from a box of Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale
  • Graphic 45 Paper 12×12 sheet (Autumn Collective #4501622)
  • Docrafts Anita’s Foiled Decoupage (Autumn Birds ANT169593)
  • Pritt Stick
  • Stix2 double-sided tape
  • 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

Tropical Flowers

Today I have created a tropical flower page which showcases some beautiful African postage stamps from Gabon – I hope you like it!

I started by covering the whole page with a tropical butterfly postal decoupage paper using Liquitex matte gel medium. Then I tore some Gabon postage stamp information which was included with the postage stamps, edged it with black Faber-Castell marker and stuck it to the left-hand side and right-hand side edges of the page. Next I applied Spice and Moss Spectrum Aqua markers by scribbling them on an acrylic block and painting them onto the page with a paintbrush like watercolour and then I stencilled a trellis pattern from Dutch Doobadoo Mask using black Archival Ink and a blending tool. I also used the same black ink to stamp some butterflies from Hampton Art positioning them so they flowed vertically up the page. Then I layered some Pébéo modelling paste onto the page using a Moroccan stencil from Craft Sensations and when the paste was dry I coloured the edges with a Midnight Sparkle metallic lustre wax. I also added a thin layer of white gesso to soften the black and give a worn and grungy look.

Next I applied more colour using Topaz and Fawn Spectrum Aqua markers, by scribbling them on an acrylic block, holding the block over the page and spritzing with water so droplets of ink pooled onto the page, creating some rusty stains to continue the grunge look. When dry I splattered black and also white DecoArt acylic paint over the whole page using a paintbrush. To make the tags, I used some design paper which I cut into a tag shape and punched a whole in the top of each of one. They are edged with Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink using a blending tool and also a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker. I chose different bits of travel and tropical designed paper that were left over from other journal pages and edged them with the black Faber-Castell marker smudging the ink with my finger. They are layered onto the tags along with some light pink coloured mesh ribbon. I kept the pink colour on two of the tags and I also coloured some of this pink ribbon using the Moss Spectrum Aqua marker on one of the tags and then Spice Spectrum Aqua marker for the other two. The ribbon is stuck onto the tag using a Zig Memory System glue pen and the papers are stuck down using a UHU Stic. I stuck a Gabon postage stamp featuring wild tropical flowers onto each tag using double-sided foam tape and also numbered the tags using outline stickers which I had coloured black using a Sharpie marker. I tied a piece of black paper twine to each of the tags and then stuck them in place using double-sided foam tape which finished the page.

To continue the African tropical flower theme, here is a beautiful Calla lily (Zantedeschia) which is brightening our dining room table with its beautiful white dotted leaves and colourful flowers (grin!).

If you are interested here are some fun facts about this lily:

  • They are also known as the pig lily, trumpet lily or arum lily.
  • The name calla lily is derived from a Greek word meaning beauty.
  • Because the calla lily blossoms in late spring, they have come to represent rebirth and youth.
  • Although an outdoor plant by nature, this plant can also be kept as an indoor plant too.

Challenges

With the flora of the tropical flowers and fauna of the butterflies, I’m joining the Flora and Fauna challenge over at Art Journal Journey where I’m hosting this month. I hope you are inspired to join us, it would be lovely to see you there!

I’m pleased to join in the fun over at Moo Mania and More and their Flowers theme with my Tropical Flowers art journal page.

I’m joining Valerie and the rest of the DT again over at Mixed Media World and their theme is Anything Goes…optional Pink.

I’m also pleased to join the Rust theme over at Mixed Media Monthly Challenge with the rusty stains that I added to my page.

As I used stencils 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 next Monday evening.

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)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Craf-T Products Luster Rub-ons (Midnight Sparkle)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Spice, Moss, Topaz, Fawn)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black, White)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Brushed Corduroy)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.8mm)
  • Sharpie Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Dutch Doobadoo Mask Art A5 (Vintage)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Moroccan)
  • First Edition Deco Maché Decoupage Papers (FEDEC196)
  • The Works 12×12 Paper Stack (Vintage Experience CRO239/TW6)
  • Design papers – leftovers
  • Postage stamps from hubby’s childhood stamp collection (Gabon 1961 set of 5 stamps featuring Wild Tropical Flowers)
  • Mesh ribbon recycled from flower bouquet
  • Outline Stickers (Time Silver 904935)
  • Wilko (Paper Twine)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Flora and Fauna

I am so delighted to be hosting Art Journal Journey this month and my challenge is

Flora and Fauna

For this challenge Flora refers to plant life and Fauna to the animal kingdom. In nature, flora and fauna compliment each other, so it’s up to you to decide whether you include only plants, animals or combine the two together.

I started by selecting stamps of plant life and animals from my craft stash; for Flora I chose a tree, some different flowers, leaves and fruit and then for Fauna I chose a bird, some insects including a bee, butterflies and a dragonfly, a hedgehog and some paw prints. I stamped my flora stamps onto white tissue paper and my fauna stamps onto brown tissue paper using black Archival Ink which I used for all of the stamping on this page. Well that’s what I thought anyway, but as you can see this is correct for all except the bee, I think he must be flying onto the white flora tissue paper to find the flowers (grin!). Then I ripped the edges of the tissue paper and stuck them onto the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium along with some gold star tissue paper and homemade papers which I made sometime ago using brown tissue paper and a Script stamp and also white tissue paper and a Sheet Music stamp. Once the gel medium was dry, I also stamped the corresponding wording “Flora” or “Fauna” directly onto the page alongside each stamped image and edged them using Willow and Ink Black Derwent Inktense pencils and a black Derwent Graphik marker. Then I added two different brown washi tapes, the thicker one depicts a flower, butterfly, bird and squirrel to tie into the theme and they are all edged with the Willow and Ink Black Derwent Inktense pencils. Next I arranged some wooden tiles for the “Flora” and “Fauna” wording and also some colourful postage stamps from my hubby’s childhood collection which portray different flora and fauna. The postage stamps are stuck to the page using a UHU Stic and as you can see I kept the flora ones at the top of the page and the fauna ones at the bottom to correspond with the tile wording that I had added. To finish, I stamped different words onto white tissue paper and stuck them onto the page using UHU Stic; they detail types of flora and fauna:

  • as flora refers to plant life the words I added included flower, fruit, tree, leaf, fungi
  • as fauna refers to the animal kingdom I included the words bird, reptile, fish, amphibian, insect, mammal.

I hope that this art journal page provides you with some ideas for your designs and that you are inspired by this month’s Flora and Fauna theme over at Art Journal Journey too. I am really looking forward to visiting you and seeing all your wonderful creations!

As some of you know, my art journal pages are inspired by things I see and do and I often share photographs along with my journal page to illustrate this. So I thought I would share a couple of different Flora and Fauna collages using photographs that have featured on my blog over the last couple of years – I hope you like them! This first one reminds me of springtime as most of the photos were taken this time of year.

This one reminds me of summer walks and happy discoveries!

If you are looking for my post featuring the new challenge over at Try it on Tuesday or T Stands for Tuesday, please click here.

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs, like 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:

With the page focusing on stamping and animals, I’m pleased to be able to join Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their Animals challenge.

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

With the collaged tissue background and all the stamping on this page, I’m also pleased to join the creative challenge over at The Artistic Stamper where the theme is Backgrounds.

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)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Willow 1900, Ink Black 2200)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Sanguine 188 B)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO133)
  • Hampton Art Bella Blvd cling mounted rubber stamps (Sand & Surf ICO226)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO135)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Tree P-1398, 4 Point Star Background G2983)
  • Papermania wood mounted rubber stamp (Daffodil Tile 39454)
  • Magenta wood mounted rubber stamp (Flowers & Dots 2111D)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Pressed Leaves MIN-CCS102)
  • Hampton Art wood mounted rubber stamp (Cherry Background KN2466)
  • Eco Green Recycled Rubber Art Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Free Stamp Set with Craft Beautiful Magazine (Winter Wonderland)
  • Stampendous wood mounted rubber stamp (Tiny Paw AA017)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. wood mounted rubber stamp (26551)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Clear Magic Singles (Sheet Music JGS111)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Tissue Paper (White, Brown)
  • Postage Stamps from my hubby’s childhood collection (Ghana, Rhodesia, Trinidad & Tobago, South Africa, Bulgaria, Ceylon, Australia, Hungary, Romania, Dominica, Kenya)
  • Crelando (Decorative Tape)
  • The Works (Wooden Alphabet Tiles)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic

Songbird

I was so excited to use a new bird and verse stamp set that I recently purchased that I decided to create a page using some of my most treasured design papers, postage stamps and metal decorations that I have had in my craft stash forever – I hope you like it!

A number of blog challenges inspired my design too, including our current theme over at Try it on Tuesday of The Call of Spring – Mood Board, where I was inspired to use the blackbird and the panel design from the photo inspiration. There is still another week to participate in this challenge, so please pop over and take a look, it would be great to see you there!

I started by selecting some vintage design papers that have been sitting in my craft stash for a while; this included a pretty white flower, a lovely text design and a note paper with tabs which are all from a paper bundle of odds and ends from my local craft store, and also a beautiful blossom paper from a design pad. I cut the papers and also some images from a wallpaper sample into various sizes, edged them with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and collaged them onto the page using a UHU Stic. Once the first layer of papers covered the page I applied some white gesso using my finger to give more of a worn look and create more depth. Next I stamped the bird stamp from a Stampendous Songbird stamp set onto some American Crafts design paper using black Archival Ink and also Pistachio and Cottage Ivy Memento Ink for the branches and leaves.  The verse is from the same stamp set and reads:

“When dewdrops sparkle in the grass
And earth’s aflood with morning light,
A blackbird sings upon a branch
To greet the dawning after night.
Then I know how fine it is to live”.

The stamped images are edged with the black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck into place using a UHU Stic along with some smaller pieces of design paper, lace trim and some Crowded Attic stickers by Tim Holtz. The yellow feathers and “Spring” wording are rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel and the two postage stamps are from my hubby’s childhood collection; as you may know he gifted them to use on my art journal pages so they are very special to me. The postage stamps are from Costa Rica 1938 which celebrates the National Exhibition of 1937 with a purple orchid called Guaria Morada and also a Hungarian postage stamp from Magyar Posta 1958 featuring some pretty pink crocus type flowers. To finish, I added some metal decorations of flowers and a bird sitting in a tree which are secured using brads.

As T Stands for Tuesday I’m sharing my cuppa of green tea and a yummy Hot Cross Bun filled with Crumbly Lancashire Cheese from our local cheese factory – delicious! I’m saying a big hello to Bleubeard and Elizabeth and the rest of the T Gang – Happy T Day!

If you are interested, here are some facts about Hot Cross Buns:

  • A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with sultanas, currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top.
  • The traditional method for making the cross on top of the bun is to use short-crust pastry however some recipes use a paste consisting of flour and water.
  • The buns mark the end of Lent and are traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the United Kingdom, although they have been in our supermarkets since just after Christmas (grin!).
  • Generally, they are split in two, toasted and served with butter, but here in the North of England we often serve them filled with cheese and my favourite has to be Lancashire Cheese which is a regional white cheese. The one in my photo is the Crumbly version of this cheese made locally by Dewlay – yum!

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs, like Try it on Tuesday, as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration for my pages and are a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people. So here are the challenges that I’m joining today:

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

Using some of my most treasured design papers, postage stamps from my hubby’s childhood collection and precious metal decorations on my Vintage Style art journal page means that I’m able to also join in the fun over at A Vintage Journey, where the theme is Treasure.

With my neutral coloured page, I’m joining in the fun at the Simply Neutrals Tuesday party over at Apple Apricot as dear Susi highlighted this challenge in one of her posts recently.

Including the bird and verse stamping as my page focal point on my spring songbird page means that I’m pleased to join Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their Springtime challenge.

I’m also joining the Forest Friends challenge over at Stamping Sensations as you find songbirds in the forest which is my stamped focal point.

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

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

  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Pistachio, Cottage Ivy)
  • Stampendous Cling Rubber Stamp (Jumbo Songbird CRS5029)
  • Design Paper Bundle
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Authentic Vintage CRO730/R)
  • Wallpaper sample
  • The Works Design Pad (Classic Vintage CRO707/TW7)
  • American Crafts 2×12 Paper Pad (DIY Shop 366665)
  • Tim Holtz Salvage Stickers (Crowded Attic #TH92898)
  • Dovecraft Creative Ribbons (Sweet Paris Lace DCCR24)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Bird’s Nest #ROY-563, Spring Sentiments #ROY-506)
  • Postage Stamps (Costa Rica 1938 celebrating the National Exhibition in 1937 featuring a purple orchid called Guaria Morada, Hungary Magyar Posta 1958)
  • The Works (Metal Decorations)
  • UHU Stic

Christmas Greetings!

I always look forward to Christmastime and I love sending cards to wish family and friends happiness and good cheer (grin!). I am very thankful when I receive cards too and have created a page to celebrate this by using some of the pretty Christmas postage stamps from the cards that I have received.

I started by stamping different postmarks and texts using Memento Inks to create the background for the page. The stamps included a set of The Works Clear Stamps, the Tropical Travelogue stamp set from Graphic 45 by Hampton Art, the Birdsong stamp set from 7 Gypsies also by Hampton Art and finally the Letters to Santa stamp set from Docrafts Papermania. The Memento Ink colours I used were Love Letters, Pistachio, London Fog and Teal Zeal. Next I cut the envelopes containing the postage stamps to shape, using a pair of scissors with a serrated edge, and stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. The silver frames and borders are outline stickers, some of which I coloured black using a Sharpie permanent marker and black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker.  I also added some postal mark outline stickers and embellished the postage stamps and frames using some snowflake and star stickers. Then I edged inside and around some of the frames using a Derwent Graphik marker and also around the edges of the page using the black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker. The red glitter star embellishments and small clear, red, and black gems finished the page.

You may have seen some of the Christmas cards I made this year in previous posts. I also make sweet treats to give to friends instead of Christmas cards. As you can see, I made quite a few bags this year which were for all our Love My Beach friends.

Each bag contains 3 pieces of Maltesers Fudge and a piece of Maltesers Tiffin (Maltesers are also known as Malt Balls).

I was curious to find out more about Christmas cards, if you’re interested here are the facts I discovered:

  • Sir Henry Cole and John Horsley invented the Christmas card in 1843 and sold them for a shilling. In 2000, an original Cole and Horsely’s card fetched £20,000 when it was auctioned in the UK which can be seen here.
  • A few years after the first card was made, the UK Parliament passed the Postal Act which allowed people to send letters and cards for just a penny.
  • Early Christmas cards tended to be flowers, fairies and exotic designs and rarely showed the religious or wintry scenes we see today.
  • In America, a German printer Louis Prang started mass producing cards in 1875 and until then, they were considered a luxury that only the rich could afford. By 1881, over 5 million cards were being produced every year in the US.
  • In Victorian England, the Post Office delivered cards on Christmas Day in the UK. Postmen were often known as robins because of their bright red uniforms and robins became a popular card Christmas card motif.
  • Every year in the UK alone, an estimated 1.8 billion Christmas cards are sent and received. The average UK household sends out about 50 cards each Christmas.
  • 45% of all cards sent are for Christmas but only 15% of these Christmas cards are bought by men.
  • Designing and making personal Christmas cards is one of the most popular craft hobbies in the UK.
  • An estimated £50 million is raised for charities by selling their Christmas cards each year.

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 Sheila from Orange Esmeralda who is hosting the “Let’s Celebrate” challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my celebration of Christmas Greetings!

I’m joining the “Christmas” fun over at Moo Mania & More and sending Christmas Greetings!

As the challenge over at Country View Challenges is “Christmas with optional Reds, Greens and Rust” I’m pleased to be able to join this challenge too.

Over at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge the theme is “Party!” so I’m pleased to join them with my Christmas Greetings celebration!

May this Christmas bring you love and joy. Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year!

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:

  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Love Letters, Pistachio, London Fog, Teal Zeal)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.5mm)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • The Works (Clear Stamps CRO274TW4)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies Vintage cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Docrafts Papermania Mini Clear Stamps (Letters to Santa PMA907917)
  • Docrafts Anita’s Outline Stickers (Postage Stamps Silver ANT810103, Straight Line Borders Silver ANT8101017)
  • Crelando Relief Stickers Christmas designs (12 Sheets IAN289011)
  • Christmas-Craft (Glitter Embellishments XRR0038)
  • Oaktree UK Eleganza Craft Stickers (3mm 418 Gems Red No. 16)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 175751)
  • UHU Stic