Sweet Winter Season

It’s been very cold and frosty this week, we even had a light sprinkling of snow, so I thought I’d create a page to capture the pretty frozen landscape.

I started by covering the centre of the page with Pébéo white gesso and then I added some Silver Metallic acrylic paint around the edges, gradually blending the gesso and acrylic into each other where they met. Next I arranged some images, wording, flowers and leaves from a Sweet Winter Season decoupage book and die cut some branches using Garden Greens Thinlets by Tim Holtz from some pink and brown paper using my Big Shot machine. They are all layered and arranged onto the page using double-sided tape or a Zig glue pen. I also die cut some snowflakes from grey/pink paper using two different die sets and stuck them onto the background along with silver snowflake relief stickers. I used some of the smaller snowflake relief stickers to decorate a few of the decoupage pieces, then to finish I added some tiny clear gemstones to add a bit of extra sparkle.

With it being so cold out, our bird feeder has been working overtime. We have had an array of birds visiting including a pair of Coal Tits; they have a distinctive grey back, black cap, and white patch at the back of their neck with beautiful creamy peachy coloured breast-feathers.

Coal Tits look similar to this Chickadee that we saw in the US when we visited last year. I have included a squirrel on my page but luckily we don’t have them raiding our bird feeder, unlike our friends in America who get chipmunks as well as red and grey squirrels on their feeders.

This little guy with his pretty grey and brown feathers is a Dunnock and reminds me of the little bird on my page; we see him in our garden on a daily basis feeding underneath our bird feeders.

Of course I wanted to also show you our resident Robin, although this isn’t the best of photos he still looks so sweet (grin!).

Challenges

I’m pleased to join the Anything Goes challenge over at Paperbabe Stamps with my wintry art journal page.

I’m also joining Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Anything Goes challenge 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
  • Poundland Metallic Acrylic Paint (Silver)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush marker (Dark Sepia 175 B)
  • Sizzix Thinlets Tim Holtz Alterations (Garden Greens 661206)
  • Tonic Studios Christmas Trio Die Set (falling Snowflakes 1792e)
  • The Works Cutting Dies (Snowflake Garland)
  • The Works 3D Decoupage Book (Sweet Winter Season)
  • Poundland Design Pad (Changing Seasons CRO701/16PL1)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Endless Love CRO206/A)
  • Crelando Relief Stickers (IAN289011)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Mini Decorative Stickers 22740)
  • Zig Memory System 2-Way Glue (Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • Stix2 double-sided tape
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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

‘Tis the Season to Sparkle

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! We had a lovely time and I was delighted to be able to spend some time in my craft room again now that my Dad is recovering well at home after his recent heart surgery.

I enjoyed creating this page which was inspired by a number of my favourite challenge blogs to capture ‘Tis the Season to Sparkle!

The background started with some Paris Dusk Memento ink that was leftover on my blending mat; it’s applied to the page using a blending brush and also by watering the ink down and then applying it using a paintbrush. As I wanted to use the white sticker sheet surrounding some outline sticker designs that I had used recently, I added pieces of this to the background too.  Next I used up some leftover snowflakes that I had die cut from decoupage paper using a Tonic Studios die set; they are stuck in place using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. I applied Salty Ocean and Cracked Pistachio Distress Ink using a stencil to add stars to the background, and then I splattered the page with gold metallic and white DecoArt acrylic paint. The collage pieces are from a 3D decoupage book set which I layered together after edging them all with a Dark Sepia Faber-Castell marker; they are stuck into place using either double-sided tape, double-sided foam tap or glue dots. The glittery paper and ‘Tis the Season to Sparkle star is a recycled Christmas card from last year; I cut star shapes out of the glittery card and used them to back some of the stars throughout the page. To finish, I edged the page with some Scattered Straw Distress Ink.

I love the sentiment ‘Tis the Season to Sparkle and the stars and sparkle remind me of the Christmas cake that I made this year; I imprinted stars on the icing and decorated it pretty pine trees which are also made from icing and covered in edible sparkle (grin!).

Challenges

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 ‘Tis the Season to Sparkle page. Sorry I haven’t joined in the fun as much this month, life just got in the way but when I saw the sentiment I thought it would be the perfect fit for your challenge (grin!).

I’m so happy to be able to join the Star Light Star Bright challenge over at A Vintage Journey; I was inspired to create my starry art journal page to capture the sparkle of the winter season in a Shabby Chic style.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Christmas challenge over at Country View Challenges as the Christmas season is definitely the time to sparkle.

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Party Time! challenge as my page celebrates the season.

Tis’ the season to sparkle relates to the Christmas season so I’m also pleased to join Stamps and Stencils and their It’s got to be Christmas! 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:

  • Tsukineko Memento Ink (Paris Dusk)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Salty Ocean, Cracked Pistachio, Scattered Straw)
  • Poundland Metallic Acrylic Paint (Gold)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Marker (Cold Grey 233)
  • Tonic Studios Christmas Trio Die Set (Falling Snowflakes 1792e)
  • Star Stencil
  • Poundworld DécoTime (Patch Paper DS9454)
  • The Works (3D Decoupage Book)
  • Recycled Christmas Card
  • Crelando Relief Stickers (IAN289011)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Stix2 double-sided tape and mini glue dots
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

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

Melt It! – Four Seasons

I’m so excited and honoured to be a Pinworthy Guest Designer over at A Vintage Journey and my seasonal heart decorations are inspired by their challenge – Melt It! Julia is the host for this challenge and kindly provided the following brief:

This month we’re asking everyone to MELT IT! Get out the UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel), beeswax, encaustic wax, embossing powders or good old wax crayons and a heat tool and get melting to create something in a vintage; shabby; mixed media; art journaling; industrial, timeworn or steampunk style.

So today I’m sharing how I created a heart decoration for each of the four seasons and as I love creating my art journal pages and projects using mixed media, I chose to create these decorations in the Mixed Media Style for A Vintage Journey. I had so much fun melting both embossing powder for the backgrounds and also embossing enamels for the birds on my Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter decorations (grin!).

These decorations are wonderful additions to the seasonal window displays that I create throughout the year, which you may be aware of from my previous post.

I started by stamping the heart tags with different stamps using Emboss ink, the stamps included: a rose design from a Penny Black stamp set for spring; flowers and swirls from the same Penny Black stamp set and also a flower design from Hampton Art for summer; some leaves from Royal & Langnickel for autumn and finally snowflakes from BoBunny for winter. I covered each of them with white Stampendous embossing powder, shook off the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper and also tapped the heart to make sure any stray powder was removed. Then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder by sweeping the gun over the stamped images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long until the embossing powder melted to a glossy finish and became smooth and dimensional. I repeated the same process to decorate the back of the heart too, making sure I suspended the heart when heating the embossing powder to ensure the reverse side did not stick to my craft mat. Next I applied two different Memento Inks for each of the hearts using a blending tool, which emphasised the melted embossing powder beautifully. The ink colours I used were Pistachio and Angel Pink for spring, Lilac Posies and Dandelion for summer, Morocco and Toffee Crunch for autumn and Summer Sky and London Fog for winter.

The branches and foliage for spring, autumn and winter are die cut using Garden Greens Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz from different design papers with my new Big Shot machine. They are coloured using Spectrum Aqua markers which I applied like watercolour by scribbling the marker onto an acrylic block and picking up the ink with a wet paintbrush; the colours I used were Bud Green and Moss for spring, Chestnut and Sepia for autumn and Chocolate for winter. I used some tiny maple leaves that I had in my craft stash to decorate the autumn branch which I coloured using Crimson, Orange and Gold Spectrum Aqua Markers. All of these paper elements are stuck to the heart using a Zig Memory System glue pen. For summer, I used some sunflower border stickers by Docrafts Papermania.

For the birds, I used some wooden bird shapes which I covered in Emboss ink and Stampendous Frantage embossing enamel; this enamel was a Christmas present so this is the first time I had used it and I love it, it’s such an amazing medium to use (grin!). I shook off the excess enamel pieces and then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing enamel until it melted to a smooth glossy finish. Be careful not to touch the melted embossing enamel until cooled as it gets very hot when heated. For spring I used Aged Hunter, for summer Aged Silver, for autumn Aged Marine and winter Aged Scarlet. The birds are stuck in place using Ranger Glossy Accents.

Next I embellished the spring branches with some pretty flower beads to represent spring blossoms using Glossy Accents and the winter berries using Christmas Red Stickles from Ranger. The wording is stamped onto thick paper using a Dovecraft alphabet stamp set and different Memento Inks; Rich Cocoa for spring, Cottage Ivy for summer, Elderberry for autumn and Blue Danube for winter. They are stuck down using the Zig Memory System glue pen. To finish, I added a piece of white paper twine and also threaded some flower, metal and bevelled glass beads on a piece of thread and tied them with some ribbons around the twine.

I really enjoyed joining A Vintage Journey to Melt It! and create my Four Seasons heart decorations. I hope you are inspired by this month’s challenge too and are able to join in the fun!

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 these decorations:

  • Tsukeniko Emboss Embossing Ink Pad (Clear)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Toffee Crunch, Angel Pink, Rich Cocoa, Lilac Posies, Dandelion, Cottage Ivy, Morocco, Toffee Crunch, Elderberry, Summer Sky, London Fog, Danube Blue)
  • Stampendous Frantage Embossing Enamel Holiday Kit (Aged Hunter, Aged Silver, Aged Marine, Aged Scarlet)
  • Spectrum Aqua Markers (Bud Green, Moss, Crimson, Orange, Gold, Chestnut, Sepia, Chocolate)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Penny Black Stamp Set (Clearly in Love 30-009)
  • Hampton Art Studio G Clear Stamps (Series 11 VS4911)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Pressed Leaves MIN-CCS102)
  • BoBunny Stamps (Snow Day 13705563)
  • Sizzix Thinlets Tim Holtz Alterations (Garden Greens 661206)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Crafter’s Companion Luxury Designer Paper Pad (Angelica & Adam Collection A&A-PAP6-M)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Design Block)
  • Poundland Design Pad (Changing Seasons CR0701/16PL1)
  • Wilko (5 Heart Gift Tags)
  • Craft for Occasions (C2026 – wooden bird and bunnies)
  • Docrafts Papermania Signature 3D Floral Borders (Sunflower Burst PMA8011000)
  • The Brighton Bead Shop (Assorted beads – flower, glass, metal, bevelled)
  • Thick black thread
  • Recycled ribbons from Christmas Crackers
  • Satin ribbon (Green, Pink, Tan, Blue)
  • Ranger Stickles (Christmas Red)
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (The Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Glue Pen