Let your dreams take flight

Inspired by happy summer days in my garden I decided to create this page using my new art supplies and some of my favourite techniques.

I started by heat embossing the background with white embossing powder; I did this by stamping my new seed head stamp from Molly Brown using a VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad. I then covered them with white Stampendous embossing powder, shook off the excess onto a piece of scrap paper and tapped the page to ensure any stray powder was removed. Then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder by sweeping the gun over the stamped images until the embossing powder melted to a glossy finish and became smooth and dimensional; don’t they look pretty! Then I used a blending tool to add Scattered Straw, Twisted Citron and Blueprint Sketch Distress Inks over the page. I used the same inks to add a honeycomb design using a stencil that I won over at That’s Crafty! to add more depth. As Distress Inks reactivate when water is added, I sprayed the page with water and removed some of the colour with a piece of kitchen towel. I then applied the Scattered Straw, Twisted Citron and Blueprint Sketch Distress Inks using one of my favourite techniques; applying the inks to an acrylic block, spritzing with water and pressing the block onto the page which created some lovely pools and drips of ink. Then I stamped the same seed head stamp using Hickory Smoke Distress Ink and splattered white and black DecoArt acrylic paint over the page using a paintbrush.

Next I collaged the paper elements which are edged with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink and stuck in place using double-sided tape. The paper elements included: some paper pieces which I cut from a Kaisercraft paper sheet; a flowery picture from an old magazine; a bird, butterfly and a postcard from a set of Vintage Die Cut Shapes. The two sentiments are from a sticker set by Kaisercraft and they are edged with the Frayed Burlap ink. I chose these sentiments because seed heads remind me dandelions and making wishes as a child, so I was thinking it is important to “Dare to dream” and when you make a wish with a dandelion seed head you “Let your dreams take flight”. To finish, I added some blue enamel dome stickers and a flowery metal embellishment which is secured using a brad.

As you know my favourite colour is blue and this plant in particular was on my shopping list this year (grin!). It’s a Salvia nemorosa called “Blue Marvel” and the bees and insects love it!

The butterflies seem to like this new addition to our garden too; it’s a Scabiosa which has the loveliest pale purple flowers. A frequent visitor, a small blue butterfly called Common Blue has proved difficult to photograph, so I was pleased to find a lovely die cut blue butterfly to add to my art journal page to remember its visits.

As T Stands for Tuesday and its summer, I’m sharing a couple of cooling milkshakes that me and my Sis had at a local café in St. Annes – one is chocolate (my choice – grin!) and the other is banana; they both are made with yummy vanilla icecream!

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 Chris from Pearshapedcrafting, who is hosting the Arts for Art’s Sake challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the heat embossing and Distress Ink techniques I used on this page.

Over at Moo Mania and More the theme is Your Favourite Colours which gave me the perfect excuse to use blue again, thank you!

I’m also joining in the fun over at the That’s Crafty! Challenge Blog and their A Summer’s Day Challenge with my summery art journal page – thanks so much for the fabulous stencils!

As this page reminds me of my garden with the summery colours, flowers, butterflies and birds, I’m also pleased to be able to join the In The Summer Garden challenge over at Country View Challenges.

I’m happy to also join Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Anything Goes challenge with my summery art journal page.

With birds and butterflies, this page is also perfect for the Things with Wings challenge over at Try it on Tuesday, where there is still another week to join in the fun – I hope to see you there!

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:

  • Tsukineko Versamark (Watermark Ink Pad)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Scattered Straw, Twisted Citron, Blueprint Sketch, Hickory Smoke, Frayed Burlap)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White, Black)
  • Molly Brown Rubberstamps (MB-0079E)
  • That’s Crafty! Dinky Stamps (Reverse Honeycomb TC031)
  • Kaisercraft Porcelain Rose Collection 12×12 Paper (Dearest P1163)
  • Old Magazine
  • Kaisercraft Sticker Set (Fly Free SS289)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Vintage Die Cut Shapes)
  • Docrafts Papermania Stickers (Enamel Shapes – Denium Blue Domes PMA3560011)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Metal Decorations)
  • Stix 2 Double-sided tape
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Violet Butterfly

Yellow and violet are colours that are prevalent in my garden at the moment with all the pretty spring flowers that are in bloom. So with a number of challenges in mind, I created this journal page using a yellow and violet colour combination, some recycled materials and a lovely new Postcard Butterfly stamp that I just couldn’t wait to use (grin!).

I started by recycling some book pages which I ripped and stuck to my page using Liquitex matte gel medium. Then I used a yellow pastel coloured acrylic paint which I diluted further with white gesso and painted over the whole page varying the shade of the colour. Next I mixed some pastel purple acrylic paint with white gesso and stamped it onto the page using some recycled bubble wrap; to do this I wrapped the bubble wrap around an acrylic block which gave a stronger and cleaner stamped finish as I dipped it in the paint and applied it to the page. Next I added some leftover pieces of butterfly decoupage paper using Liquitex matte gel medium and when the gel medium was dry I outlined all the collaged pieces with a black Derwent marker. Then I stamped some Ground Espresso Distress Ink using corrugated cardboard from some packaging in a criss cross pattern and covered the whole page with splatters of white and black DecoArt acrylic paint. I stamped a Butterfly Postcard stamp from Stampendous using black Archival Ink onto a piece of yellow and white paper and also the butterfly image from the same stamp onto some purple paper that I recycled from an old notebook. I fussy cut the images out and along with some yellow leaves, a piece of recycled beige card from some packaging and a spotted purple card leftover from card making, I edged them with the Ground Espresso Distress Ink and a blending tool then stuck them onto the page using glue dots, double-sided tape and foam tape. To add some shine to the purple butterfly wings I covered the black dots with Glossy Accents. Then I added some purple flowers and metal vintage embellishments which I accessorised with some tiny yellow and violet pearls, which finished the page.

We have quite a few yellow flowers in our garden including daffodils and forsythia as well as purple crocus and hyacinths, and both of these colours can be found in these pretty pansies that are in our planters which we can see from our kitchen window.

This variety has quite big flowers, aren’t the colours of this yellow one amazing!

If you are interested, here are some fun facts about pansies:

  • The pansy is a member of theViola family.
  • Their name comes from the French word, pensée, which means thought or remembrance.
  • Pansies are one of the oldest cultivated flowers and are also one of the most popular plants in our gardens.
  • In the language of flowers, the pansy represents thoughts of lovers and in the 19th century this flower was used in love potions.
  • Pansies are edible and their petals have a mint flavour; they are often added to salads and desserts.
  • The flower is used as a natural dye.

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 Alison/Craftytrog, who is hosting the Recycle and Collage challenge over at Art Journal Journey as I used stamps recycled from packaging and recycled book pages, packaging and leftovers to create this page!

With the stamped butterfly as my focal image and butterflies being part of the animal kingdom, I’m also happy to be able to join Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their Animals challenge.

With the stamping I used to create this art journal page, I’m also joining in the fun at the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their April Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included).

I’m also joining the Color Wheel! challenge over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge as I used a complimentary pair of colours, which are opposite each other on the colour wheel, yellow and violet to create my mixed media art journal page.

I was also inspired by Corrie’s use of book pages on her Design Team creation over at Country View Challenges so I’m also joining their Pimp It Up! (reuse or alter something) 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:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Aldi Script Ready Mixed Paint (Pastels – yellow, purple)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Ground Espresso)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black, White)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Stamps made from bubble wrap and corrugated cardboard recycled from packaging
  • Stampendous Cling Rubber Stamps (Butterfly Post CRP147)
  • First Edition Deco Maché Decoupage papers (Vintage Butterfly FEDEC112)
  • Paper Bundle from local craft shop (Yellow and white circles)
  • Recycled purple memo paper
  • Recycled beige card from packaging
  • Leftover purple dot card from card making
  • The Handmade Paper Company (Nature’s Touch of Art)
  • Wilko (Flower Embellishments) leftover pieces
  • Poundworld DécoTime (Vintage Stickers 54748)
  • Trimcraft (Adhesive Pearls SCDOT056)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Wilko (Sticky Dots)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

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

Thinking of Friends

With the cherry blossom in full bloom it reminds me of our good friends from America who visited us last year! It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already, so I find myself thinking of friends!

Cherry Blossom Art Journal

The background was a simple wash of Distress ink. Then I added torn American Crafts paper, picking out map pieces with American states on them, I even found “Portland”. The cherry blossoms and image were from a 2016 calendar (which was discounted) and I hand drew and painted the falling petals. The postcards are so relevant as we often send each other cards to keep in touch throughout the year and these cards are of French descent just like my friend. Lastly I added the sentiments; “awesome” is one of our favourite words to use, I think this page truly turned out awesome too!

Friends

Here’s me and my Forever Friend celebrating the cherry blossom when we visited Chester in May 2015 – happy times!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Picked Raspberry, Shabby Shutters)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist’s Markers (Slate, Tan)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt Artist Pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Derwent Intense Ink Pencils (Fushia 0700, Baked Earth 1800)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Hampton Art Bella Blvd rubber cling mounted stamps (Sand and Surf IC0226)
  • American Crafts DIY Shop 12×12 paper pad (366665)
  • Tim Holtz Idea-ology (Crowded Attic Salvage Stickers #TH92898)
  • The Works British Birds Calender 2016
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • The Range double-sided foam tape