Seaside Days

We feel really blessed to live right by the sea and with it being summer it’s great fun to see all the holidaymakers who visit our beach. Having also seen the lovely seaside and beach hut photos that my good friend Gill from Gibbyfrogettcraftations had posted of her home town I was doubly inspired to create a page to remember the sunny seaside days we have been having of late.

The background textures and colours represent the sand, sea, dunes and pebbles of our shoreline. I started by applying Yellow, Moss and Teal Spectrum Aqua Markers to an acrylic block, spritzing the block with water and pressing it onto the page, gradually building up layers of colour. I then stamped a pebble pattern using a homemade polystyrene stamp using Tea Dye Distress Ink and London Fog Memento Ink.  Next I added a piece of netting using a UHU Glue Pen to stick it down and I chose some words to add to the background with a seaside theme which are rub-on transfers. I positioned an old postcard onto my page which was from my mum and dad when they were on holiday in Cromer, Norfolk. This beach hut image is called “Seaside Days” by M.Heath and as I wanted to be able to read the back of the postcard I attached it to my page using hooks that I secured into place using Glossy Accents. The hooks are from a pack of Hook & Eye Bar Fasteners by Newey which were in my sewing box.

I like the way the postcard is securely held into place by the hooks and also slides out with ease so I can still view the back. I fussy cut the crab, boat and seagulls from a leaflet and also some nautical images and paper squares from a wallpaper sample. I stamped the letters on the paper squares using black Archival Ink and then I stuck everything onto the page using matte gel medium. I used a Slate Spectrum Aqua marker to add shadows once the gel medium had dried. To finish, I added some dried palm leaves to the page, using Glossy Accents, so they looked like grasses.

For me seaside days celebrate summertime so I’m pleased to be able to join Bleubeard and Elizabeth from Altered Book Lover for the “Summertime Love” theme over at Art Journal Journey.

We have beach huts on our beach front too and and these huts can be rented for the day. This time of year they are very popular, more so at weekends and some evenings.  They have a lovely outlook on the promenade overlooking the beach and you often find people sitting in the sunshine and enjoying the facilities the beach hut provides. People often bring a picnic with them, walk into town to get fish and chips or arrange for a pizza to be delivered to their hut. They always seem to be having so much fun!

On our particular beach there is plenty of space for everyone (the tide often goes out 1.8miles that’s 3km) and for the children there is usually a bouncy castle and also donkey rides, which are traditional at seaside resorts here in the UK. The donkeys usually have their names on their harnesses, so let me introduce you to Rambo, Teddy and Bobby who were being very well looked after by their owners.  I remember as a child going on donkey rides up and down the beach which were definitely happy seaside days (grin!).

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

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

  • Memento Ink (London Fog)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Tea Dye)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Yellow, Moss, Teal, Slate)
  • Docrafts A5 Clear Stamp Set (Alphas Folk DCE907115)
  • Homemade polystyrene stamp
  • Postcard “Seaside Days” by M.Heath
  • Wallpaper sample
  • Craft Planet Metallic Waterfall Stickers (Beach)
  • Newey No.2 Hooks & Eye Bar Fasteners
  • Netting
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Glue Pen

Carnival

Every summer we attend our local carnival weekend and we always have so much fun watching the parade that it inspired this page! I’m pleased to be able to join Bluebeard and Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover again for the “Summertime Love” theme over at Art Journal Journey.

I started by cutting different decoupage and design pad papers into squares and rectangles to create the background. The papers I choose have seaside theme images and colourful patterns to represent our town, the carnival atmosphere and the fun we had. They are stuck to the page using a UHU Stic and I incorporated some pretty patterned fabric tape into the background design as well. Then I added vertical black lines along the edge of some of the papers using a Uni Posca paint pen. Next I added all the embellishments with the aim of layering them and to only use one of each item or design on my page so that I created an eclectic feel to represent the parade and give the page contrasting pops of colour. This was also a good way to use up bits and pieces I had leftover in my craft stash. This included some cardboard bunting with buttons on from Poundland and glittery bunting from Poundworld, which represent the bunting we saw along the parade route. As there were lots of bands taking part and music played throughout the parade I also added some music note washi tape, along with some camera film washi tape as we and many others were taking photos. There were vintage vehicles in the parade so I added an image of an old vintage car which is a Victorian tag embellishment. I added some pink circle stickers with palm trees and flamingos by The Range and lots of different flowers to represent some of the floats we saw during the parade; the flowers included a lovely sunflower border by Docrafts, a mini white flower, a red rose (for one of the bands) by The Range, a 3D sticker, a blue organza flower recycled from a gift bag and some glittery blue flower rub-on transfers. I also used some foam craft stickers from Wilko; a flower shape, a star, a balloon and lollipop which some floats were giving out to children, a crown to represent the carnival queens in the parade, a lion to represent the jungle theme of one of the school floats and an ice cream as there were bicycle ice cream carts. I especially liked the lorry carrying children from a local football club who had water guns. Needless to say they were having great fun covering everyone in water, so I added a foam football to the page with a half circle of tear shaped gem stones to depict the water droplets from their water guns (grin!). There were actually many children taking part in the parade from schools, clubs and community groups, they are represented by “A,B,C” and “1,2,3” mini gel stickers that I added to my page. As well as the “Sand; Sea; Sun” wording on one of the decoupage papers, I added more words that I associated with the carnival using stickers from Craft Planet, rub-on transfers and a “Hidden Joy” fabric sticker by Little Yellow Bicycle. The garland flag and ticket represent the fun rides and stalls that were in the park as part of the carnival. To finish, I added a glittery heart, some buttons, a couple of ribbons that I had tied into bows and lots of gemstones to add sparkle and interest.

Thought you might want to join in the carnival fun so here’s our Town Crier opening the parade, as you can see we had beautiful sunny weather.

There was lots of music throughout the parade and my favourite was this New Orleans style brass band; they are called Red Rose and played great music, I also enjoyed watching the gentleman with his umbrella, he looked so happy dancing in front of his band!

If you prefer there was also a traditional UK brass band.

Or even bagpipes for those of you who prefer more of a Scottish vibe which was loud and fabulous too.

This is one of the many vintage cars that took part in the parade.

There were quite a few horses in the parade this year and the carnival queen was travelling in style in a Cinderella coach.

Here’s the children from the Football Club, don’t they look pleased with themselves squirting the spectators with their water guns.

There was also a troop of local gymnasts performing in the parade and if you look at the photo closely you can see one of them in mid-air.

I was in awe of the work that must have gone into all the wonderful knitted car – isn’t it amazing!

As we were walking by Anton’s café, we saw some friends sitting at one of the tables outside and they kindly asked if we would like to join them.

Of course we were delighted to and had a great time chatting and enjoying the sunshine. So as T Stands for Tuesday I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and wishing you all a very Happy T Day! Our drinks were a pot of green tea for me and a hot chocolate for my hubby, you can also see our friend’s cappuccino in the background which I’m sure will please any coffee lovers in the T Gang, namely Valerie and Elizabeth (grin!).

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

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

  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (White, Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Trimcraft Deco Mache Decoupage Papers (Tiled Seaside FEDEC102)
  • VivaGade Decoupage Paper (Helsinki)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Soft Sweetness 154897)
  • The Works (Fabric Tape)
  • Poundland (Handmade Embellishments 138127)
  • Poundworld (Paper Lace U-83197)
  • The Works (3 Washi Tapes)
  • The Works (Victorian Style Embellishments PO/19702)
  • Docrafts Papermania Signature 3D Floral Borders (Sunflower Stickers PMA801100)
  • The Range (Craft Stickers CR1243)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Mini Decorative Stickers 22740)
  • The Range (Rose Garland CR0951)
  • Free & Easy (3D Stickers 002157)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Sentiments (SYN14709, Summer #ROY-505 Rub-on)
  • Blue organza flower (recycled from gift bag)
  • Wilko Little Steps (Safari Foam Stickers)
  • Graham & Brown The Wall (Adhesive Jewels)
  • Home Bargains (Mini Gel Stickers 30287)
  • Craft Planet Metallic Waterfall Stickers (Beach PO#9622)
  • Little Yellow Bicycle Stickers (Fabric Favourites PD-220)
  • Trimcraft Garland Flags (Fun Fair HCGF001)
  • Ticket
  • The Works (Glitter Heart Stickers)
  • Buttons
  • Ribbon
  • The Range (Adhesive Craft Gems)
  • Poundland Self-adhesive gems (504 Gems 128133)
  • Hobbycraft Gem Sticker Strip (Assorted Pink Squares 5971461001)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Happy 4th of July!

As today is 4th July, I was inspired to create this page to join in the celebrations with my American friends and wish you all a very “Happy 4th of July”.

I started by covering the page in a thin layer of white gesso in readiness to apply gelatos. I scribbled Red Cherry and Boysenberry Faber-Castell Gelatos in starburst patterns over the page, to resemble fireworks, then dipped my finger into some water and used it on the gelatos to smudge the colour. I then covered the page in a thin layer of Liquitex Matte Gel Medium to seal the gelatos and stop them reactivating when wet. Once the gel medium had dried I applied Topaz and Desert Spectrum Aqua Markers and some Cold Grey and Dark Sepia Faber-Castell Big Brush Markers and blended them with a baby wipe; this gave an antique look to the background. Next I stamped the sentiment using black Archival Ink and edged the letters with a white Uni Posca paint pen. I added four “star and stripe” rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel and distressed the background around them with a baby wipe so that they stood out more. The stars are also rub-on transfers which I covered with glitter glue and outlined with red, white and blue dots using Uni Posca paint pens. I continued these red, white and blue dots around the edge of the page and also in starburst patterns on the background. I made the round swirls using vintage striped paper by American Crafts; I did this by scoring the paper with a paper craft tool and then folding it along the scored lines to give a concertina effect. I then attached a piece of plastic coated wire to secure the folded paper in the centre and fanned the paper outwards so they joined at each end to give a circular shape. I secured the paper edges on the back with tape and added a gold star to the centre. I painted some of the folded points white using a Uni Posca paint pen and then drew blue and red dots to tie into the background and theme more. I connected the wires together and attached them to the page using Glossy Accents. To finish, I added some small red star sequins using the Glossy Accents again to stick them to the page.

As we are celebrating the 4th July I’m pleased to be able to join Bluebeard and Elizabeth who are hosting the “Summertime Love” theme over at Art Journal Journey.

I know some of you were asking about my new Uni Posca Paint Pens so I thought I’d show you my new set (grin!). They are a water-based pigment ink being both alcohol and solvent free and I have the extra fine markers which are a 0.7mm bullet tip. They produce poster-paint-style vibrant colours and once dry, you can easily layer more colours over the top to correct any errors and build your design. Apparently they can be used on virtually any surface and I have found they don’t bleed-through paper. I’ve been very impressed with them so far .

As we are celebrating the “4th July” or “July 4” (grin!), I thought we could have some fun and compare some English to American words which have different meanings. To this end you may remember Lisca listing some English Slang words last week which prompted a conversation with Bluebeard and Elizabeth who listed some English to American words. This inspired me to put a list together of the word differences that I have come across when I travelled and worked in America – see what you think …

English American English American
Crisps Chips Flat Apartment
Chips French Fries Semi-detached Duplex
Biscuit Cookie Ground Floor First Floor
Scone Biscuit First Floor Second Floor
Jam Jelly Lift Elevator
Swiss Roll Jelly Roll
Sweets Candy Chemist Drugstore
Ice Lolly Popsicle Off Licence Liquor Store
Pudding Dessert Pillar Box Mail Box
Queue Line
Aubergine Eggplant Solicitor Lawyer / Attorney
Courgette Zucchini Post Code Zip Code
Rocket Arugula
Coriander Cilantro Private School Public School
Spring Onion Scallion / green onion Public School State School
Porridge Oatmeal Term Semester
Plain Flour All Purpose Flour
Holiday Vacation
Cooker Stove Fortnight Two Weeks
Grill Broil Autumn Fall
Tin Foil Aluminum Foil
Dustbin Garbage / Trash Can Road Pavement
Jug Pitcher Pavement Sidewalk
Tap Faucet Carpark Parking Lot
Curtains Drapes Petrol Gas
Lounge Living Room Estate Car Station Wagon
Cupboard Closet Saloon Car Sedan
Lorry Truck
Trousers Pants Number Plate License Plate
Pants (m) or Knickers (f) Underwear Boot(car) Trunk (car)
Dressing Gown Bath-robe Bonnet (car) Hood (car)
Handbag Purse / Pocket book Motorway Freeway
Label Tag
Nappy Diaper Film Movie
Spanner Wrench Football Soccer
Torch Flashlight American Football Football
Mobile Cell Phone Draughts Checkers
Serviette Napkin
  Full Stop Period
Tick Check Mark

As T Stands for Tuesday and it is the 4th July, for breakfast I thought I would celebrate by having homemade waffles with fresh summer fruits (strawberries, nectarines and blueberries) and maple syrup all the way from Maine in America! To go with it I’m drinking a cup of hot water – Happy T day!

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

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

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Red Cherry, Boysenberry)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233, Dark Sepia 175 B)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Topaz, Desert)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (White, Red, Dark Blue)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 clear stamp set (Alpha Folk DCE907115)
  • American Crafts Paper Pad (DIY Shop 366665)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Sentiments (Uncle Sam #MAL-203 Rub-on)
  • The Range Adhesive Craft Gems (Assorted Shapes CRO869)
  • Poundland (Assorted Sequins)
  • The Range 3D Glitter Glue (GLT 43210000 3D Glue Pen)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Masking Tape
  • Plastic coated wire – recycled from packaging

Thanks for being my friend

Spending time with good friends is always fun and this weekend was no exception when we went for a bike ride and enjoyed chatting over a cuppa at The Blackbird Café. When I found this sentiment, I thought it was perfect for my friend inspired page.

This page and sentiment applies to all the friendships I have made in blog-land too, for which I am very thankful, and as T Stands for Tuesday this includes the T Gang!

Firstly I painted the background using Topaz and Begonia Spectrum Aqua markers and then I applied a layer of white gesso to push the colours back. I ripped the edges of a napkin and stuck them to the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. Once the gel medium had dried, I used a grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and black Uni Pin marker to emphasis the edges of the torn napkin. Next I added the teapot and roses which are all rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel. For the quote, I used some grey paper from a Design Pad by Craft Sensations and stamped the wording using black Archival Ink. I then ripped the edges of the paper, added some little rosebuds from the same rub-on transfer set, outlined the edges of the paper using a black Uni Pin marker and attached it to the page using double-sided foam tape. I also used the black Uni Pin marker to add more definition to all of the rub-on transfers, which took quite a bit of time as I used the whole sheet of transfers on this piece. To finish, I added a butterfly tag using double-sided tape and also a couple of picture embellishments, one of which is a birdcage which reminded me of The Blackbird Café.

Here’s a close up of the lovely birds and birdcages that adorn the café.

You may remember the Blackbird Café from a previous post, this time we sat at the table in the window chatting with our friends.

 As T Stands for Tuesday I’m also sharing our drinks, my hubby had a hot chocolate and I had a white hot chocolate, as you can see they came in the most adorable mugs and with a little piece of chocolate each. I suppose this is quite an unusual drink for summer but despite the sunshine there was a cold wind which had chilled us to the bone as we were only wearing shorts and thin tops for our cycle ride and the hot chocolates warmed us up!

We also treated ourselves to a bacon butty to share; we ordered it on brown bread with no butter and the bacon extra crispy – just as we like it, yum!

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

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

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Spectrum Aqua Markers (Topaz, Begonia)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.1mm & 0.2mm)
  • Dovecraft upper and lower case alphabet stamp set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Authentic Vintage CRO730/R)
  • Dunelm Napkins (Grace 30220549)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Teapot #FIT-216)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Printed Embellishments)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Rock Factory

We went to visit a rock factory, where they make an array of yummy confectionery including sticks of rock, sweets/candies and lollipops. Rock is made of boiled sugar and is hard similar to a candy cane, it is an essential part of a British seaside holiday and is often bought by tourists for themselves or as presents. My hubby remembers as a child often receiving sticks of rock from people who had been on holiday. At the factory we saw first-hand how they made the confectionery and we had so much fun that I was inspired to create this page.

I started by stamping round circles by alternating Picked Raspberry and Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink on a circle stamp which was made from an empty tube from the roll of a sticky tape. Next I divided the page diagonally with washi tape to create four sections. I’ve had this tape in my craft stash for a while and if you look closely you’ll see it has tiny sweets on it. Then I used a mask to ensure the inside of the circles remained white and stencilled different coloured stripes in each of the four sections using Festive Berries, Cracked Pistachio, Spiced Marmalade and Seedless Preserves Distress Ink. These colours and stripes reminded me of the rock at the factory. To add more definition to the stripes I used a ruler to draw a line in a corresponding colour using Uni Posca paint pens (another new crafting goody, grin!). Then I placed a polka dot flower in the centre of each circle to represent the centre of the rock. The striped canopy, border, sticks of rock and wording are fussy cut from an advertising leaflet which I stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. The owners of the factory kindly gave me a copy of their logo to use for my page, which I fussy cut and stuck down using a UHU Stic. Once the glue had dried I outlined the logo with a pink and a blue Uni Posca paint pen. I also used the blue paint pen to outline the canopy, border and leaflet wording. Next I added the words “fun; trip; sweet; gobble; happy” which are rub-on transfers; they remind me of the great time we had at the factory. To finish the page, I embellished the sections with tiny sweets that I had cut from the washi tape and gem stars, and I added strips of gems along the edge of the washi tape, canopy and border.

I’m pleased to be able to join Rosie’s theme over at Art Journal Journey with my “Circles” of rock .

I thought you might like to join us on our tour. We arrived at the Coronation World factory which is the home of Coronation Rock just before lunchtime. We found out that they were established in 1927 and have always been a family run business; it is the largest rock factory in Blackpool being one of the only three rock factories remaining.

We went to the factory shop and were greeted by one of the owners, who very kindly explained the different processes we could see from the viewing gallery and answered our questions. As you can see the factory was a hive of industry, on the back wall behind the blue table is where they make the rock from the raw ingredients, which are heated in big copper pans. It is then poured onto the cooling slabs (the tables behind the blue table) and when it is ready it is then used in different ways to make either sticks of rock, individual sweets/candies or lollipops.

We found out that they have both a wholesale range and custom range of products and that they don’t need to advertise as they are always inundated with orders from companies and stores worldwide.

This was a HUGE stick of rock which was custom-made for a company! We also found out more about the history of Blackpool rock making – “How do they put the letters in the rock?” by watching the video they have screening in the shop. You can also steer the CCTV cameras to get a really close look at the action on the factory floor!

To make the sweets, they add colour and flavour when the rock mixture is on the cooling slab, then as it cools it is worked and once at the right temperature they form it into a design on the blue heated table. It is then transferred to the batch roller on the sweet line, which rolls the batch into a continuous rope. Once the rope has reduced to the correct size it is fed into the sweet wrapping machine, which cuts it into small sweets/candies and wraps them.

They were also making lollipops for a very famous store – Harrods! How cool is that, I bet you can’t guess what my friends are getting for presents this year, well if it’s good enough for Harrods it’s good enough for us (grin!).

As you can see from these moulds, they produce lollipops for some famous companies too.

We were kindly given a free sample to try; these are lime flavoured sweets and they were still warm from the machine and tasted very yummy! We were told that the three most popular flavours are traditional mint, fruit cocktail and aniseed. In the shop we also spotted blackcurrant, cherry, coconut, cola, pineapple, raspberry, rhubarb and strawberry as well stranger flavours like curry, chili, beer, whiskey and gin & tonic.

We had the most wonderful time and it was fascinating to watch them making the sweets and lollipops. If you want to see how they make the different rock products at this factory then take a look at this amazing video – I think the staff must have asbestos hands (grin!).

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

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Picked Raspberry, Chipped Sapphire, Festive Berries, Cracked Pistachio, Spiced Marmalade, Seedless Preserves)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (White, Pink, Light Green, Violet, Blue)
  • Ranger Claudine Hellmuth Studio 6×6 Stencil (Our Town HSC36920)
  • Circle stamp – tube
  • Logo and leaflet
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Sentiments (Spring #ROY-506, Summer #ROY505, Thanksgiving #ROY-522)
  • The Works (Printed Washi Tape)
  • Wilko stickers (Flower Embellishments)
  • The Range Adhesive Craft Gems (Assorted Shapes CR0869)
  • UHU Stic

Past Times

Loving all things Victorian, I was delighted to hear a familiar sound whilst gardening; it was a steam engine coming down the road. Luckily they don’t go too fast so we had time to grab our cameras and take some photos while it was passing our house. This magnificent sight inspired my steampunk page.

I started by colouring the edges of the page with Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink using a blending tool, fading the colours as I reached the centre of the page. Then I stencilled cogs, keys and text by Viva Décor using the same inks and highlighted areas with Black Soot Distress Ink and a terracotta Spectrum Aqua marker. These colours and images remind me of the steam engine that we saw. I cut the world image and rulers from some vintage paper by Kaisercraft and I used some street map paper by American Crafts to illustrate where we had seen the steam engine. I aged all these papers with Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink and edged them with Black Soot Distress Ink using a blending tool and then I stuck them to the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. Once the medium had dried I added colour and detail using a black Uni Pin marker and terracotta, tan and slate Spectrum Aqua markers. Next I stuck on the three Victorian tags, the very dapper looking gentleman, the top hat and the fountain pen/pocket watch, all of which I aged and edged in the same way as the world and map paper. I coloured three clocks which are outline stickers with a black Sharpie permanent marker and stuck them to the page. I added the keys which are rub-on transfers and then layered up lots of different items including: Salvage Stickers from the Tim Holtz Idea-ology Crowded Attic collection, Bees that I had stamped using Archival Ink onto some of the Kaisercraft paper and rulers that I cut from the same sheet of paper. All these items are edged with a black Sharpie pen and once in place I added shadows using a Slate Spectrum Aqua marker by smudging the colour with my finger and a baby wipe to produce a grunge effect. I stencilled white cogs with modelling paste and when it had dried I outlined them with a black Uni Pin marker so they stood out more. I added star outline stickers that I had coloured with the black Sharpie marker and some assorted buttons using Glossy Accents. I coloured and underlined the “Past Times” text with a black Uni Pin marker and applied Glossy Accents on top of this wording, the black stars, the metal button in the centre and around the holes of the tags to give a 3D glossy look.

I’m so pleased to be able to join Erica who is the guest designer for the “Steampunk” theme over at Try it on Tuesday and also Rosie who is hosting the “Circles” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

Here’s the wonderful old steam engine as it passed by our house! The sight, sounds and smells were wonderful, reminding us of times gone by. Steampunk captures this era very well as it incorporates technology and designs inspired by 19th century industrial steam-powered machinery and is referred to as Victorian futurism. If you are interested here is some more information about steampunk:

  • Steampunk is a fictional style and is often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”. Neither of these style cares too much about historical accuracy, the purpose is to have fun, be creative and use your imagination and not to accurately re-enact a period of real history.
  • Technologies that were new or important to the Victorians, such as steam power, clockwork or electricity, are big themes in steampunk.
  • The first science-fiction novels by authors H. G. Wells and Jules Verne strongly influence steampunk and as such fictional machines are popular. If either of these authors wrote a science-fiction novel today, it would be considered steampunk.
  • The “punk” in steampunk comes from going against convention that sets something apart, which is borne from creativity, imagination and one’s individuality, be that style or gadgets.
  • Steampunk is thought to have originated from well-known science-fiction authors William Gibson and Bruce Sterling and/or writer K.W. Jeter.
  • Steampunk may also, though not necessarily, incorporate additional elements from other genres like fantasy, horror, goth, historical fiction, alternate history, or speculative fiction.

In the Victorian era, afternoon tea was also invented and became very popular; it is still popular nowadays although it is seen more as a special treat. So we decided to take advantage of the “Afternoon Tea – 2 for 1” offer whilst visiting a local Garden Centre which also has a wonderful craft shop (grin!). As T Stands for Tuesday I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and sharing our afternoon tea, which includes our usual choice of green tea with a selection of sandwiches and cakes. There was so much food that we both only manage to eat the sandwiches and delicious scone with jam and cream.

We took all the other cakes home to enjoy another day; from the bottom left clockwise there is a Bakewell slice, Viennese Whirl, millionaire’s shortbread, Victoria sponge, tea loaf and in the middle is a chocolate brownie. As I don’t eat nuts I was served different cakes to my hubby and I have to say the millionaire’s shortbread tasted out of this world – yum!

In case you are interested, here’s the craft shop that we looked round after our afternoon tea. I did buy a few things, well, it would be rude not too with the sale items on offer and the 20% off voucher/coupon I had (double grin!).

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

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Tea Dye, Brushed Corduroy, Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Terracotta, Tan, Slate)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Sharpie Permanent Fine Point marker (Black)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste (High Density)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Viva Décor Universal Stencil (Past Times 900270300)
  • American Crafts Paper Pad (DIY Shop 366665)
  • Kaisercraft Timeless Collection (Postmarks P853)
  • Outline Stickers (Timeless Silver 904935)
  • The Works (Victorian Style Embellishments)
  • Tim Holtz Idea-ology Salvage Stickers (Crowded Attic #TH92898)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Sentiments (Home Collage #ROY533 Rub-on)
  • Assorted buttons
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Be a Flamingo

This week I’ve had loads of fun experimenting with my super new Faber-Castell Gelatos, so I thought I’d use them to create a background with one of my favourite techniques – using a stencil. Having found some flamingo fabric bunting in my craft stash, I was inspired to use the brightly coloured gelatos to create a tropical look on my page.

I started by covering the page with a thin layer of Pébéo white gesso in readiness to apply the Faber-Castell Gelatos; I’ve found out that to achieve a smooth coverage on my textured mixed media paper, then prepping the page with gesso first is a must. Next I scribbled Bubble Gum, Orange Soda, Limoncello and Mango gelatos onto my page, dipped my finger into water and then rubbed them to blend the colours. I didn’t use too much water as I wanted a heavier coverage of gelato for the next technique. I covered areas of the page with a Distressed Dot stencil by Creative Expressions and rubbed with a baby wipe to remove and lighten the colour producing a lovely effect. Next I mixed some acrylic paints into a turquoise colour and applied it using a blending tool through a Dutch Doobadoo Mask to create different circles on my page. I also used the blending tool as a stamp to add circles of the paint straight to the page. Then I stamped tiny circles, tropical flowers and a postage mark using black Archival Ink. As I stamped the images directly onto gelatos I was able to remove some of the ink from the flowers by dabbing the images with a baby wipe and then I stamped the images again, this gave more of a layered 3D look. I used the same Doobadoo mask to add a grid of dots using Black Soot Distress Ink and Pébéo Modelling paste. Once the modelling paste had dried I painted the dots with white acrylic paint to intensify their brightness. Next I added circular shiny pink flamingo stickers over each of the turquoise circles and also added some rub-on flower transfers to the page. To finish, I used a piece of fabric flamingo bunting and arranged it on the page with some card embellishments and pretty pink buttons so it looks like it is hanging on a string of bunting. The saying on the flamingo bunting makes me smile, it reads “Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons”.

As my background features lots of circles, I’m pleased to be able to join Rosie who is hosting the “Circles” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

With all the interest that was generated from my previous post, I thought I’d share some of the techniques I have been using with my gelatos as well as my tips and learning so far. In the photos the mixed media paper I used is prepped with white gesso and the gelato colours are Red Cherry and Passion Fruit, so firstly let’s look at some of the ways you can use gelatos:  

Scribble on paper and smudge

Just scribble gelato onto your paper (which is a nice effect in itself) and then rub it with your finger. I have found dipping my finger in a little water first then rubbing the gelato works best for me. There are several ways you can smudge gelatos and the simplest one seems to be with your finger however you can also use a paint brush or a wet wipe. As you can see from the photo above you get similar results regardless of how you smudge them and all give a heavier coverage. Although you can achieve a more translucent watercolour look or a more opaque look depending on how much pigment you use and how much water you add.

Use like Inks

As gelatos are activated by water, I experimented by using the gelatos like I do my Aqua Markers and Distress Inks. So I scribbled the gelatos onto an acrylic block (acetate would work as well) and then I spritzed them with water and pressed the block onto the paper.

Use like paint

You can also pick up the colour with a wet paint brush and paint with them so it looks similar to watercolor. I found you can even use it straight out of the tube by touching a wet paint brush right up to the gelatos. Both of these techniques resulted in a softer colour which could be intensified depending on how much pigment is used and how much water is added.

Drips and splatters

For this technique, I applied a thick layer of gelato onto the top of my paper and then I sprayed it with water and tipped the page to make drips. Although, I found that I preferred to add the water with a brush to make the drips because I could use less water and therefore control how the gelatos blended to get a more vibrant colour. I accidentally found out that you can also create splatters of colour by flicking a wet paintbrush over the end of the gelato straight from the tube (grin!).

Use a Stencil

This is the technique I used on my page, in summary just scribble gelatos onto paper and smudge the colour. Then cover with a stencil and use a baby wipe to remove the colour. The colour can be lightened to varying degrees depending on how much you rub off with the baby wipe giving a great tone on tone effect. If the surface is prepped with gesso first, you’ll be able to remove more colour getting a higher contrast effect.

Stamp with it

This is where you apply the gelato right onto the stamp, spritz with water and stamp. You can also colour areas of the stamp with different gelato colours that may blend together a bit when stamped or you can apply the gelato by picking up the colour with a wet paintbrush and painting it onto the stamp to give a softer look.

Tips and learning:

  • If you want smooth coverage, then prep your paper with gesso first. I have found that it gives the mixed media paper I use a much smoother surface, which helps to smudge and blend gelatos more easily. Plus if you are using cardstock, a layer of gesso helps the paper withstand water and rubbing.
  • I have even experimented prepping the page with Matte Gel Medium which gives a slicker surface and is great when misting with water to blend the gelatos and create drips.
  • Remember they are water based so when using a baby wipe be careful not to wipe away the gelato accidentally.
  • If you make a mistake or don’t like you what you have created on gesso prepped paper, then you can just wipe the gelato off straight away with a baby wipe and some kitchen roll and start again.
  • If you contaminate a gelato by getting another gelato colour on it, simply rub it off on a piece of paper.
  • Cleaning up after using gelatos is very easy as they are water-soluble, so just use a baby wipe or a wet cloth to get everything clean.
  • Unfortunately (for my hubby) these gelatos are nothing to do with ice cream!

Overall, I love the look you can achieve with these new gelatos and it’s been fun experimenting and learning what they can and can’t do. I really enjoy learning and I still have more techniques to try, I hope you have had fun 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:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Bubble Gum, Orange Soda, Limoncello, Mango)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Christmas Green, Swedish Blue)
  • DecoArt Artist’s Acrylic (White)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Pébéo Modelling Paste
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 Cling Mounted Rubber Stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood mounted rubber stamp (26631)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • Dutch Doobadoo Dutch Mask Art A5 (Geometric Tiles)
  • The Range (Craft Stickers CR1243)
  • Poundland (Homemade Embellishments 138127)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (SYN1470G)
  • Aldi Kirkton House (Bedroom Bunting)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape