Music at High Tide

We always have fun when we walk along the South Promenade in Blackpool, and the last couple of times we have been lucky to have been there when the tide has been coming in. This is because we get to listen to the Hide Tide Organ, which is a sculpture that has pipes running through the centre and down to the shoreline, so when the tide comes in it makes the most amazing sounds. You can imagine my joy on hearing it so I had to capture this in my journal.

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I mixed blue, green, apricot, yellow and parchment acrylic paints to produce the background colours that represent the sea, sky and golden sand, and then applied them to the page with a baby wipe. I kept the paint strokes angled towards the right of the page so it looked like the tide was moving into the shoreline. Next I added strips of music note washi tape to represent the musical sound the tidal organ makes and merged them into the background using paint. Then I splattered white acrylic paint over the page, I did this by applying the paint to an acrylic block adding a little water and flicking the paint from the block with a paintbrush. This represents sea foam and I concentrated my splatters on the left of the page fading out to the right. The seaweed leaves are fussy cut from paper by Kaisercraft from their Rock Pool Collection, they are stuck to the page using Liquitex matte gel medium. I painted two wave-shaped paper borders blue and then added wavy detail with a white Uniball gel pen; they were easy to stick to the page as they are self-adhesive. To make my tidal organ sculpture I created a rust effect on a piece of card. Firstly, I stippled modelling paste onto the card to give a rough textured foundation and let it dry thoroughly. I then mixed yellow, red and black acrylic paints to produce brown and orange rusty hues, and then I stippled these colours along with black acrylic over the top of the modelling paste trying not to overwork the colours to avoid them blending together; the idea was to create texture and for it to look patchy like rust. Once the paint had dried I used a template which I had drawn to cut out my sculpture, then I coloured the cut edges with a Sanguine Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt marker and I stuck it to the page using a UHU Stic. I stamped the words in an undulating pattern using a Docrafts Alphas Folk alphabet set and black Archival Ink. To finish I added a couple of seagulls, which are cut from white paper and stuck down using a UHU Stic; we often see a seagull perched on the top of the sculpture.

I’m so pleased to be able to join Yvonne from Meggy’s way who is hosting this month’s challenge “Out and About” over at Art Journal Journey.

high-tide-organ

The High Tide Organ is a sculpture which is 15 metres (49 ft 3 in) tall and is described as a “musical manifestation of the sea”; it is one of a few examples of a tidal organ.

plaque

“The sculpture was designed by the artists Liam Curtin and John Gooding, and was constructed in concrete, steel, zinc and copper sheet. The harnessing of wave energy, and the sculpting of the concrete and metals is said to produce a unique interpretation of Blackpool’s natural and man-made environments. The instrument is played by the sea at high tide through eight pipes which are attached to the sea wall. These are connected under the promenade to 18 organ pipes within the sculpture. The swell of seawater at high tide pushes air up the sea-wall pipes and causes the organ pipes to sound. The best time to hear the High Tide Organ is two to three hours before or after high tide. On very calm days the organ is silent for part of its cycle. The pitches of the pipes are based on the harmonic series in B flat” (Wikipedia). It makes quite an eerie sound, as you can hear for yourself on this link.

rust

Being by the sea, you would expect this metal structure to rust and it has a lovely texture to it as a result.

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 (Swedush Blue, Christmas Green, Ivory Black, Apricot, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Red Medium Hue/Lacquer Red)
  • Colvin & Co Artist’s Acrylic (White Titanium)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Sanguine 188 B)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Alpha Folk DCE907115)
  • Kaisercraft Rock Pool Collection paper (Seaweed P834)
  • Hobbycraft Paper Borders (White 5895891000)
  • Hobbycraft Decorative Tape (Assorted Black & White 5971481007)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste High Density
  • Cardboard
  • White paper
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic

Dance of the Starlings

As the weather was so nice, we decided to go for a walk along the beach promenade in Blackpool to watch the sunset and the winter ritual of starlings roosting, which is called a murmuration. This magical event is captured on today’s journal page.

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As Spectrum Aqua markers are a water-based ink, I applied some of the ink onto an acrylic block and diluted it with water to paint the sunset background of oranges, gold and grey, gradually building up the layers to intensify the colour.  I drew the birds onto white tissue paper using a black Uni Pin fine line marker in a murmuration pattern and stuck it to the page using a UHU Stic. The pier silhouette and lamp posts are cut from Kanban background paper; I edged them with a black Sharpie permanent marker and used a UHU Stic to stick them to the page. The struts at the bottom of the pier are drawn using a thicker tipped Uni Pin marker.  To finish I added some nylon thread using a Zig Memory Glue Pen and I used Glossy Accents to stick on the little black beads to depict the strings of lights between the lamp posts on the pier.

As this page is telling the story of the dance of the starlings, I’m so very pleased to be able to join Erica who is hosting Art Journal Journey’s January theme “Tell me a Story”.

pier-3

The murmuration of starlings at North Pier was amazing to watch; they were dancing and swooping in unison. Clouds of starlings kept joining the throng and I found myself hypnotised by their splendour.

pier-2

Starlings perform their acrobatic dance just before they roost for the night. It is thought that they roost together for a number of reasons, there is safety in numbers and grouping together helps them to keep warm during the night. Here’s an interesting video if you want to know more (although the video was shot in Rome, not Blackpool!).

sunset

This is the fabulous sunset that we saw; I love the starburst effect my hubby captured on the photo.

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

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

  • Spectrum Aqua Artist’s Markers (Peach, Spice, Orange, Gold, Yellow, Charcoal)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm and 0.5mm)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Kanban Mackenzie Background Card (Data Black CRD1756)
  • White tissue paper
  • Nylon thread (Black)
  • Small black beads
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (The Dual-Action Glue Pen)

The Imperial Hotel

We had a great start to the New Year at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool, we went on a Heritage tour of this majestic Victorian hotel finding out about its history and enjoying a lovely afternoon tea. As a special treat for 2017 I also enjoyed their famous “Mayflower Spirit” cocktail in the No. 10 bar after the tour had finished.

the-imperial-hotel-ajp-1

I applied a thin layer of Parchment acrylic paint to the page using a baby wipe. Once it had dried I added strips of tissue paper which had a lovely holly design; it reminded me of the luxurious silken wallpapers at the hotel. I arranged the tissue strips so they looked like the panels we saw in many of the rooms whilst on our tour and used a UHU Stic to stick them down.  Next I stamped ornate picture frames using black Archival Ink to depict the beautiful plaster work, pictures and mirrors found at the hotel. I stamped the frame onto some of the holly tissue paper, then fussy cut the centre oval and added it to the centre of the frames I had stamped on the page using a UHU Stic. I collected a variety of booklets, leaflets and postcards from the hotel reception during our visit and used these as part of my design. I cut the images out with Fun Cut scissors to give them a serrated edge and used a Cold Grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker along the edge to give them more definition, then stuck them to the page with a UHU Stic or double-sided foam tape. For the palm tree I stamped the image onto the back of one of the postcards from the hotel using Archival Ink. I also saved the tea bag tags from the green tea we had as part of our afternoon tea and added them to finish the page.

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The Imperial Hotel, Blackpool, opened in 1867 and is situated on the North Promenade seafront and enjoys spectacular views over the beach and sea. The hotel retains the opulence and glamour of its Victorian heyday, and has welcomed a host of famous guests including Charles Dickens, Sir Winston Churchill, Fred Astaire, The Beatles, Princess Margaret and Princess Anne.

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The Churchill Room was named to honour the many visits Sir Winston Churchill made to the Imperial when he was prime minister and leader of the Conservative party. The room is much the same as the old photograph, although with one surprise. Recently, the photograph pictured has come to light and it shows a magnificent stained glass domed ceiling in the room. Exploratory holes were drilled into the current ceiling to discover that the stained glass ceiling is still there, although it’s not in great condition and is estimated to cost over a million pounds to restore.

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The Grill Room is now the Louis XVI Function Room and has the most beautiful plaster work, wall coverings, mirrors and chandeliers.

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The Palm Court is now the Dining Room and looks very elegant especially with the beautiful dome chandeliers. In Victorian times, palm trees were considered very exotic and a demonstration of wealth.

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The Ballroom now called the Washington Suite has one of the best dance floors in Blackpool and the most wonderful plaster work of cherubs, flowers and sea creatures. The National Dance Championships have been held in Blackpool since 1920 and the Imperial Hotel is very popular with competitors as they can practice on the dance floor before heading off to the competition.

ajp-turkish-bath-collage

Recently the hotel discovered that a room used for storage of employee files was once an impressive suite of Russian, Turkish and seawater plunge baths which were built in 1901, but had been plastered over and hidden. They are slowly being restored in conjunction with the Blackpool Civic Trust. In the photo (above) you can see that the magnificent tiles were painted and then plastered over and part of this has now been removed to reveal the original tiles once more.
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The original glass-roofed billiard room retains its stained glass canopy but has been turned into a bar and named No. 10 after all the UK prime ministers who have stayed at the Imperial whilst in office.

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During the tour we found out about the Head Cocktail Bartender who had won a national competition to invent a new cocktail in the 1950’s, so we had to try one.  It was one of those all shots and no mixer cocktails, and was delicious and very warming! I’m saying a big “cheers” to the T-Gang over at T Stands for Tuesday – Happy T Day!

ajp-afternoon-tea

Not forgetting our lovely afternoon tea served on beautiful fine china. We choose green tea to accompany the finger sandwiches with traditional fillings of ham and mustard, egg and cress and smoked salmon with cucumber, Victoria sponge, strawberry Eton Mess, chocolate delice, mini lemon tart and warm fruit scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream. I’m sorry, but it looked and tasted so yummy that we tucked in before we remembered to take a photo.

As this page tells the story of our visit to this magnificent old hotel, I’m very pleased to join Erica from BioArtGal who is hosting January’s theme of “Tell me a Story” over at Art Journal Journey.

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

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

  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Crafter’s Companion Vintage Collection Acrylic Stamp (Floral Sentiments VF-ST-PSENT)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Aldi The Night Before Christmas Range (Printed Tissue)
  • The Imperial Hotel history booklet, postcard and leaflets
  • Fun Cut scissors
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Wintry Lighthouse

I received a Christmas card with a lighthouse on from my friend which inspired this page. I thought it would also tie into this month’s theme “Light & Darkness” over at Art Journal Journey, so I have created this lighthouse page which brings light to the wintry darkness.

wintry-lighthouse-ajp-2I applied Distress ink onto an acrylic block and spritzed it with water, then smooshed it onto the page. Next I stamped a diamond background, an abstract star burst and stars using different colours of Memento Ink, layering the stamp images across the page to create a patterned background. The beams of light are paper cut from a vintage paper design pad and are stuck down using a UHU Stic. The lighthouse is drawn onto paper from the same pad and also cut out, the stripes are washi tape and I added detail with a black Uni Pin marker. For the sea I drew wave outlines with a black Uni Pin and a white Uniball gel pen, then with a craft knife I cut the waves where the lighthouse is positioned. I inserted the lighthouse through the page and stuck it down with a UHU Stic, securing it on the back of the page with tape. I like the way the waves look like they are crashing against the lighthouse and to define them more I stencilled dots using Distress Ink and a blending tool. I cut a piece of white card and covered it with tin foil to create the moon in the night sky, it is stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. To create a winter theme I splattered the page with white acrylic paint and added snowflake and white dot sparkly stickers. To finish I added small silver stickers to the side of the lighthouse beacon to depict the light that shines out.

stars

Just as the lighthouse glows in the dark so do the snowflake stickers on my page.

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The lighthouse on the card reminded me of our travels to Maine in America. This is the Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth which is the oldest lighthouse in Maine dating back to 1791.

cormarants

The lighthouse is located in Fort Williams Park with several other historic buildings and we had a lovely walk along the pathway looking down over the rocks and saw some cormorants too!

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On the way back we spotted a sailing boat coming round the Head Light.

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 (Chipped Sapphire)
  • Memento Dye Ink (London Fog, Paris Dusk, Grape Jelly)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Script metallic pen (Silver)
  • Colvin & Co Artist’s Acrylic (Titanium White)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Diamond Background T3335)
  • Sugerloaf Inc. Anita’s wood mounted rubber stamps (7146 Size G, 7140 Size A)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch Of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • The Works M&C Boutique paper pad (Design Block 25×25 cm)
  • White card
  • Tin Foil
  • The Works (3 Washi Tapes)
  • Home Bargains Wall Stickers (16221 & 16216)
  • Docraft’s Anita’s Glitterations (Dots – White ANT8181041)
  • UHU Stic
  • Masking tape

Happy Anniversary

We celebrated our wedding anniversary last weekend and had a wonderful day in our town – walking on the beach and Pier, playing on the amusements, looking in shops and having the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea for two at Alices Tearoom.

happy-anniversary-ajp

The background is Distress Inks, I stamped the Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy ink pads directly onto an acrylic block and then diluted it with water and smooshed it over the page. I stamped a circle and heart design over the whole page with the same Tea Dye ink, the stamp is new to my collection and I love the design. The menus at the tearoom were playing cards so I added vertical lines of spade and club shapes using a Royal & Langnickel stamp and Archival ink. The pier images are from local advertising booklets and we won the tickets playing in the arcades, they are stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. Next I added the fabric tape and two playing cards, the king and queen of hearts, which I kept from a Christmas cracker. These depict me and my hubby and tie in nicely with the Alice in Wonderland theme and of course being hearts, also our anniversary. The image of Alice with the Mad Hatter and March Hare is a printed photo which I took in the tearoom of our serving plate.The Alices Tearoom logo is from their Takeaway Afternoon Tea menu that I collected whilst we were there. I added the flamingos which I fussy cut from a store catalogue, they are so much fun and again link to The Queen of Hearts storyline – I know this as we enjoyed watching the film on DVD for our Anniversary too. The heart is a wedding place card and is stuck to the page using double-sided foam tape. I arranged alphabet beads to form the sentiments and words and to add our initials to the playing cards; they are stuck down using Zig Memory System glue pen and were a bit fiddly to place. To finish I embellished the page with the heart, flower and pearl gemstones and pink flower gel stickers. After I took the photo of the page I thought it would be a good idea to record the number of years we have been married, so I added some bright pink gel stickers for “28” years.

cafe

Here we are at Alices pictured with our scrummy Afternoon tea – to accompany our goodies we had a pot of Green tea for two. As T Stands for Tuesday I’m saying a big hello to all of the T Gang over at … Happy T Day!

afternoon-tea

As you can see we had a lovely selection of sandwiches and cakes …

scones

… including my favourite, warm scones with jam and cream – so delicious!

ceiling

You may remember Alices from my previous post, the tearoom is so beautifully decorated – here’s another amazing set of light shades, yes they are actually hanging from the ceiling!

pier

The weather was nice and sunny, so after our lunch we decided to explore the shops and head towards the pier for some fun on the 2p waterfall slots in the arcade and take in the beautiful views and finally we walked home along the beach. We had such a wonderful time!

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 Inks (Tea Dye, Brushed Corduroy)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush artist pen (Black 199)
  • Studio G clear stamps (VS4911 Series 11)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood mounted runner stamp (unknown)
  • The Works (Fabric Tape)
  • Dunelm (Place Cards)
  • Playing cards
  • The Range (Shaped Gem Stickers CR0521)
  • Poundland (Design Gems)
  • The Works (Alphabet Beads)
  • Home Bargains (Mini Gel Stickers 30287)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (the Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • Magazines, booklets, photo, tickets and Takeaway Menu

Glasson Dock

As you may know we enjoy to go out walking and we found the most wonderful circular walk at Glasson Dock. This is such a beautiful part of the world and we had such an amazing time I decided to create this art journal page.glasson-dock-ajp

The background is Distress Inks, I put the blue and yellow ink on an acrylic block and used a wet brush to pick up both inks and drag them horizontally across the page so thin lines of colour could be seen. Then I added a red and white border to the page using washi tape. I fussy cut a picture taken from the Glasson Dock visitor’s guide and stuck it on the left hand side of the page making sure I connected the boat sail rigging to the mast using a black fine line marker and white gel pen. I also used some of the text from the guide and then added different nautical stickers and rub-on transfers which remind me of our visit. The Lantern O’er Lune is a lovely café which we had lunch at and I cut the name and lantern image from their takeaway menu. To finish I added the lifebelt which is a fabric motif.

docks

We started at the dock itself and walked along the old railway line by the sea front. The railway line was built purely to service the dock which was a busy port in it’s heyday for Lancaster.

river

The river is tidal so the boats can be seen sitting in what it appears to be a field, where the receding tide has deposited them and they await its return to float again.

marina

The path follows the river for a short while and then goes through countryside and farmland, leading us to the Lancaster canal where we admired the boats and canal barges. We then turned off to follow the canal branch back to Glasson Dock which has a series of six locks along its relatively short length.food-aj

After our walk we went to the Lantern O’er Lune café for sustenance. We had a Cumberland sausage, caramelised onion and cheese panini and chips with our pot of Green Tea for two. As T Stands for Tuesday I’m pleased to be able to join the T Gang today – Wishing you all a very Happy T Day!

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Then it was my turn to choose our dessert to share, so we had a Ginger & Lemon cake which was served warm with honeycomb ice-cream – it was so delicious!

lock

Glasson Dock is an interesting place. It’s still a working port, but it’s only accessible by boat for the 45 minutes prior to high tide each day as the tide goes out so far, the boats would get stranded on the sand. After lunch we were lucky enough to see boats arriving and going through the lock into the marina. The road bridge across the lock has to be swung out of the way to let the boats pass.

We had such a wonderful 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:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Salty Ocean, Mustard Seed, Mowed Lawn)
  • Sharpie Permanent Fine Point Marker (Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.1mm and 0.8mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Nautical Translucent #FOR 998T RUB-ON)
  • Poundland Fun Stickers (Sailor 982)
  • Habico Iron On Motif (LifeBelt C-07429A)
  • The Works (3 Washi Tapes)
  • UHU Stic
  • Guide and Menu leaflets

Let’s go fly a kite

This year’s St Anne’s Kite Festival was the best yet with more kites than ever! We really enjoyed our weekend so I was inspired to create this page.

Lets go fly a kite - art journal page

I started by gluing strips of different coloured tissue paper to a piece of white cardboard with matte gel medium, letting the tissue cascade over the edges to form tails for the kites that I created. For the background I painted cloud shaped patches of white gesso using my finger, then with a paint brush added diluted grey Memento Ink, blue Colourfast Brusho Crystal powders and Distress Inks to create a cloud effect. I stamped the kite image across the page in diagonal lines using Memento Ink. I also applied word transfers diagonally and fussy cut some bunting out of a magazine to join the words together so they look like they are floating in the clouds. The butterflies are outline transfer stickers which I coloured black using my Sharpie marker. I then cut images from the card which I had covered in tissue paper to create my kites. I outlined them with a black Big Brush marker, used stickers for the strings and flower detail, and then stuck them all to the page using double-sided foam tape. To finish I stamped the verse with black Archival Ink and underlined it with dots so it stood out more.

FotoJet Collage 1

Here’s some of my inspiration for the kites I created for my page. Even though most of the kites are the size of a bus, we liked the smaller birds kite in the picture, which we actually thought were real birds until we got closer as they moved independently to each other.

Picnic 1

We had a wonderful day at the Kite Festival and set up camp on the beach to view the kites, listen to the live bands and watch the world go by! We had a delicious picnic of hummus, Naan bread pieces and crudities followed by ham and smoked cheese sandwiches with crisps (chips to my American friends), and our dessert was homemade Victoria Sponge filled with fresh cream and homemade jam and of course all washed down with ice cold home brewed beer. A good time was had by all! As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m joining Bleubeard and Elizabeth and wishing you all a Happy T day!

I think these images may appeal to some members of the T Gang, please let me know which are your favourites.

Kite 2 a

Birds, bees and dragonflies!
Kites 2 b

The ladybirds (ladybugs) and cows are tethered to the ground and look like they are moving as they bob around in the breeze.

Kites 2 c

There’s just so much to see!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Memento Dye Ink (London Fog)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Salty Ocean)
  • Colourfast Brusho Colour Crystals (Turquoise)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm and 0.5mm)
  • Sharpie Permanent Marker Fine Point (Black)
  • Docrafts Papermania wooden stamp (Nostalgia by John Byers – Kite PMA9061309)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Alphas Folk DCE907115)
  • Docrafts Craft Planet Metallic Waterfall Stickers (Beach CPT6771205)
  • Sandylion Kelly Panacci Scrapbook Collection (Stitches & Borders KSCB102)
  • Hobbycraft Outline Stickers (Silver Mixed Butterfly 5933961000)
  • Wilko A5 Stickers
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
  • Tissue paper (Assorted Colours)
  • White cardboard
  • Magazine