Christmas Robins

I love robins and Christmas gives me the perfect reason to transform our beach room into a robin wonderland (grin!). So I’m sharing a robin Christmas card that I created for my mum and dad; it has extra relevance as my mum always embroiders me a robin themed Christmas card and also makes us a Christmas pudding every year so I thought I’d return the favour (double grin!).

For the robins and holly leaves, I used a Clear Magic Stamp Set called Robins from the Woodware Craft Collection and I used Spectrum Aqua markers to colour them. I started with white card stock to create my 6×6″ card, and then I created a holly border by painstakingly stamping the tiny two leaf and berry stamp many times using black Archival Ink. The holly leaves are coloured with Bud Green and Evergreen Spectrum Aqua markers and the berries with Scarlet and Crimson aqua markers. For the focal panel, I used another piece of card stock and stamped a Christmas pudding and single robin image and also a single robin stamp, both using black Archival Ink. Then I took a piece of red and white striped sparkly paper and cut it to size so it covered the bottom half of the card. Then I positioned the paper over the card and stamped the Christmas pudding stamp again on the top of the paper. I cut it out leaving a Christmas pudding and plate shaped hole in the paper which I lined up with the stamped image on the card so it looked like a tablecloth. Next I coloured the robins with Desert, Terracotta, Chestnut, Chocolate, Scarlet, Crimson and Burgundy Spectrum Aqua markers using a wet paintbrush to blend the colours. The Christmas pudding and plate are coloured the same way; for the Christmas pudding I used the Terracotta, Chestnut and Chocolate aqua markers and for the plate I used Charcoal and Peach aqua markers. I also used a gold aqua marker to colour the beaks of the robins. Then I stamped “Merry Christmas” with a Holiday Ribbon wood mounted stamp by Hero Arts onto thin card stock using Cottage Ivy Memento Ink and stuck it over the corner of the focal panel using double-sided tape. To finish, I positioned the panel in the centre of the card using double-sided foam tape so it was surrounded by the holly border.

My beach room (front room) is decorated with robins and this is my latest robin addition, she is called Rosy and she’s having fun hanging off one of the wall lights (grin!). This year we also received two homemade Christmas puddings from my mum and although it’s not a favourite of mine, (unlike my hubby who loves Christmas pudding), I like mine served hot with custard – what about you?

If you are Interested here are some interesting facts about Christmas Pudding:

  • Christmas Pudding originated in England and dates back to Medieval times in the 1420s.
  • They are a type of suet pudding and contain sugar, treacle, suet, raisins and spices.
  • Christmas Pudding is also known as “Plum Pudding” or “Plum Duff” although the pudding has no plums, instead it contains raisins which in old Victorian times were called plums.
  • Figgy pudding is a type of Christmas pudding which was originally made with figs.
  • Putting a silver six-pence coin is an age-old custom that is said to bring luck to the person that finds it.
  • These puddings are traditionally steamed in a cloth, however like many people these days, my mum uses a basin.
  • Brandy is sometimes poured over the pudding and set alight to make a spectacular display, my mum still likes to do this at Christmastime.
  • Christmas Pudding can be served hot or cold with hard sauce, brandy butter, rum butter, cream, custard or my mum’s white brandy sauce (grin!).

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration for my art 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 “Christmas” Challenge over at Moo Mania & More with my Merry Christmas card.

I’m joining in the fun again over at Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their “Celebrate” challenge as this card is sent with love to celebrate Christmas.

I’m joining the “Christmas” challenge over at Country View Challenges with my Christmas card which includes their optional reds and greens as part of the card design.

As stamps were used to create this card, I’m also pleased to be able to join in the “December Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included)” at the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge.

I’m also joining the “Christmas” challenge over at The Artistic Stamper with my robin stamp designed card.

The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge is “Christmas/Winter Holidays” so my Christmas card is perfect for this 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:

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Bud Green, Evergreen, Desert, Terracotta, Chestnut, Chocolate, Scarlet, Crimson, Burgundy, Charcoal, Peach, Gold)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Cottage Ivy)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Clear Magic Stamps (Robins FRCL030)
  • Hero Arts wood-mounted rubber stamps (Holiday Ribbons LL036)
  • White card stock
  • The Works Designer Paper Pack (The Night Before Christmas)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
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Let It Snow

I love Christmas and I find that December gives me the perfect excuse to create as many Christmassy journal pages as I can (grin!). I hope you like my latest creation.

I started by stamping snowflakes over the page using Dovecraft embossing ink which I covered with white Stampendous embossing powder. I shook the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper and tapped the page against the table to make sure I had removed any stray powder. Once the excess powder was safely returned to its container, I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder, sweeping the gun over the images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long, until the embossing powder changed to a glossy finish becoming smooth and dimensional. Next I applied Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers and Cracked Pistachio Distress Inks using a blending tool starting at the top of the page with the darkest colour of Chipped Sapphire, and finishing with the lighter colour of Cracked Pistachio, at the bottom. As the white snowflakes were on a white page, it was fun seeing them stand out as I added more layers of the Distress Inks to intensify the colours. Then I used a wood mounted snowflake stamp which I wet with a baby wipe and pressed onto the page so that it reactivated the Distress Ink. On removing the stamp I used some kitchen paper to absorb the wet ink leaving a pretty snowflake impression on the page. I added some shiny silver snowflakes to the centre of each impression which are from a Relief Sticker Set by Crelando and also some large 3D silver snowflakes which are wall stickers. Then I used some outline stickers to add the silver stars and dots for some extra detail and shine. The snowman is fussy cut from an old Christmas card and stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. To create the ground I used the negative image surround from the outline stickers, ripping it to fit the page. To finish, I added the “Let It Snow” wording which is a foam sticker from a Christmas craft pack and some white dots using a Uni Posca paint pen.

Living by the sea, we don’t usually have much snow, although snow is forecast for this weekend (grin!). This had me reminiscing about some heavy snowfall (for the UK) that we had for about a week when we lived in the South of England.  I found these pictures to share with you.

Our garden was like a winter wonderland with all the snow …

… and the snow-covered trees looked so beautiful too!

Challenges

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

I’m pleased to join the lovely Sheila from Orange Esmeralda who is hosting the “Let’s Celebrate” challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my snowy celebration.

Over at Try it on Tuesday they have a “Twinkle, Twinkle” challenge where you are asked to include stars, sparkles, glitter and shiny things.

I’m also pleased to join Moo Mania & More for their “Get the heat on – (Heat Embossing)” challenge as I included the heat embossed snowflakes on my page.

I’m pleased to be able to join the “Winter Wonderland” challenge over at A Vintage Journey with my “Mixed Media” style page. I was inspired by the description provided to their Creative Guides of “Let’s see some snow, snowmen …” so I included both of these in my design.

The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge is “Icy Inspiration” so I drew inspiration from the dark blue colour, snowman and snowy pictures on the mood board provided to create my journal 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 (Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers, Cracked Pistachio)
  • Dovecraft Premium Embossing Stamp Pad (Clear)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque DP100)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (White)
  • Clear Impressions clear stamp set (Woodland Christmas)
  • Practical Publishing Embossing Folder & Stamp Set (Winter Wonderland)
  • Papercraft 4 You Mary Hughes wood mounted rubber stamp (Snowflake)
  • Crelando Relief Sticker Set (12 Sheets – Christmas)
  • Home Bargains (Wall Stickers 16216)
  • Poundland (Christmas Gift Pack 171319-MC16)
  • Outline Stickers (Time Silver 90493S)
  • UHU Stic

Star Light, Star Bright

I was delighted to win the “Not a card” challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge recently and I was even more delighted when the goodies that I bought with my prize voucher arrived. I couldn’t wait to use them all so I created this page to celebrate my new stash of 4 stamp sets, 2 single stamps and a book of label letters.

As part of my celebratory page, I also decided to incorporate the current Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge of “Star Light, Star Bright” and also their Wednesday Challenge “Anything Goes” showcasing Tim Holtz products, as well as their logo colours of gold, brown, turquoise and pink.

I started by creating a star template to use as a mask, having stuck the star mask onto the page I chose one of the texture stamps from BoBunny and also a sponge stamp from Finnabair, stamping them both using black Ranger Archival Ink. I then outlined each of the stars using the mask and a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker. I removed the mask and applied some Pébéo white gesso over the page to vary the tone of the background in readiness for the next layer of stamps and colour. Using the same black Archival Ink, I stamped three postage marks from the Rossi Belle stamp set onto the page and I also stamped two car “Component” stamp images by Tim Holtz onto a piece of white paper. I added them to each side of the page using a UHU Stic and cut off any excess paper so they fit the page. Next I applied Cracked Pistachio, Picked Raspberry and Ground Espresso Tim Holtz Distress Inks to the page using a blending tool, and also by diluting the ink on an acrylic block and pressing the block onto the page.

Star Light, Star Bright - close up

In the main I avoided getting these colours on the stars, however I wasn’t too worried as I thought any splashes of colour added to the grungy look of my page. I then coloured the stars using Fossilised Amber Distress Ink using it like you would watercolour; I did this by applying the ink to an acrylic block and using a paintbrush, varying the tone as I painted. I stamped a leaf silhouette by Simon Says Stamp and a berry branch by Inkadinkado using the same black Archival Ink. The wording is created using Label Letters from the Tim Holtz idea-ology collection and they are covered with Ranger Glossy Accents to give them a shine as the page is star themed. To finish, I also added some shine around the edge of the star and to the leaf silhouette and berries on the branches using the Glossy Accents again.

I’m so pleased to join my very dear friend Sheila from Orange Esmeralda who is hosting the “Let’s Celebrate” challenge over at Art Journal Journey, it’s a pleasure to  celebrate with you all (grin!).

I’m also joining in the fun over at Try it on Tuesday and their “Colourful” challenge with my bright starry page.

SSS win Oct 2017

Here’s the goodies that I ordered from Simon Says Stamp, I’m so pleased with all the products and I’m sure that I will be using them often – thank you so much!

When I saw the “Star Light, Star Bright” challenge title it immediately reminded me of the nursery rhyme:

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

So I based the wording I used on my page around this rhyme. If you are interested here’s some facts about this nursery rhyme:

  • The words allude to the superstition that you can wish upon a star.
  • It is believed to be of late 19th century American origin and reached Great Britain by the early twentieth century and is now known worldwide.
  • The rhyme is often read to children at bedtime.
  • “Star Light, Star Bright” is also part of the lyrics of Madonna’s 1983 single Lucky Star.

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

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

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Cracked Pistachio, Picked Raspberry, Ground Espresso, Fossilised Amber)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Homemade star mask
  • BoBunny Stamps (Rough It Up #12105155)
  • Prima Marketing Inc. Finnabair Clear Stamp (Sponge #961909)
  • Prima Marketing Inc. Clear Stamps (Rossi Belle #587499)
  • Tim Holtz Components Collections (COMO13CAR)
  • Simon Says Stamp Clear Stamp Set (Leaves And Scribbles SSS101445)
  • Inkadinkado Cling Stamps (Branches 65-32007)
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology (Label Letters #TH93072)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents

Discover the Magic

We recently went on a beautiful circular walk up to Rivington Pike summit which has the most breathtaking views. This walk took us through some amazing woodland and terraced gardens and we had such a wonderful time that I created this journal page to remember the magic that we discovered there!

For the background I used Milled Lavender, Cracked Pistachio and Tea Dye Distress Inks as well as a Charcoal Spectrum Aqua Marker by applying each of the inks directly to an acrylic block and holding the block over the page I spritzed it with water until the ink dripped onto the page. I also pressed the block onto the page in places and then I repeated the process again with each colour. I used the Milled Lavender and Tea Dye Distress Inks as well as black Archival Ink to stamp a Script from Kaisercraft. As a reminder of the woodland I stamped a tree bark stamp from BoBunny using Ground Espresso Distress Ink and to depict the ferns that we saw in the terraced gardens I also stamped a fern image from Royal & Langnickel using Cracked Pistachio Distress Ink. The page was then splattered with black acrylic paint using a paint brush. Next I tore pieces of music sheet and a turquoise blue decoupage paper into strips, to represent the waterfalls and pools that we saw and heard on our walk; they are stuck to the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. I also tore a Penny Black sticker and added the shards to the page to add further texture and colour. Once the gel medium had dried I outlined the paper and sticker pieces with a black Uni Pin marker so they stood out more. The words are rub-on transfers, these represent the wonder and magic that we discovered during our walk. I added some gold outline stickers to represent the sunshine and autumnal gold colours of the leaves in the woodland. As we discovered lovely brickwork throughout the terraced gardens I stencilled a brick design using Pébéo modelling paste and a stencil from Craft Sensations, as well as a stencil made from a piece of plasterboard/drywall tape. Once the paste had dried, I coloured them with Cold Grey and Sanguine Faber-Castell Big Brush markers.

Then I stamped a bird image from Craft Sensations using black Archival Ink; I like the way the bird is looking out across the page as we did towards the views whilst on our walk. For the autumnal leaves, I used some leaves that were leftover from a previous project. The large oak and maple leaf images are from a stamp set by BoBunny and the smaller leaves are from a stamp set by Crafter’s Companion; they are stamped using black Archival Ink on a white medium weight paper. The paper is sprinkled with Scarlet, Yellow, Orange and Dark Brown Colourcraft Brusho powders and spritzed with water to react the bright and colourful Brusho colours. I fussy cut the leaves and then added more colour to them using Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick and Seedless Preserves Distress Inks and a blending tool. Once dry I covered them with DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze, varying the thickness over the leaves and left them to dry overnight. I used a russet metallic lustre wax from Craf-T Products to accentuate the crackle patterns and I stained the edges of the leaves with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck them to the page using matte gel medium. To finish, I also stuck some paper flowers, with sparkly gem centres, to the page using the gel medium again.

The circular route up to Rivington Pike started off in style with a beautiful tree-lined avenue leading up to the woodlands.

The woodland path leads to the Rivington Terraced Gardens that are situated on the hillside below Rivington Pike; they occupy 45 acres in total. They were originally created between 1905-1922 for soap magnate Lord Leverhulme as a spectacular venue for him to relax in and entertain. Here we discovered woodland paths that crisscross and link stone bridges, archways, pavilions and water features; they are all currently undergoing restoration.

After exploring the terraced gardens we came across this beautiful archway leading up to track which leads to Rivington Pike, isn’t it beautiful!

Rivington Pike is hill summit which is 1,191 feet above sea level and is a prominent local landmark, the earliest record of this hill dates back to 1325. The building at the top is Pike Tower which was built in the eighteenth century as a hunting lodge.

The view is amazing and on a clear day you can see Blackpool Tower, the Isle of Man and the Lake District fells. At the summit we stopped and sat at one of the benches and had our pack lunch whilst we admired the views (grin!).

We walked down a different trail heading back towards the terraced gardens and discovered this four-storey building which is Pigeon Tower. The top floor was Lady Leverhulme’s sewing and music room and the second and third floors housed dovecotes.

There were some lovely views over the countryside from the tower.

This is Lever Bridge and its design is based on a bridge that Lever saw in Nigeria. It’s also known as Seven Arch Bridge as its large arch is crossed by six smaller ones.

Being a warm sunny day, it was lovely way to see the last of the autumnal colours and discover the stunning views and scenery – what a wonderful place it was to visit (grin!).

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:

As walking keeps you warm on crisp sunny autumn days, I joining the lovely Chris and her wonderful “101 Ways to Keep Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

With two types of stencilled brickwork, I’m pleased to join Country View Challenges with their “Stencils” challenge and also Moo Mania & More with their “Put a Stencil On It” challenge.

I’m joining in the fun again over at Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their “Nature” challenge as I enjoyed using my stamps to create the leaves, background and pretty bird for this page.

I’m also pleased to join the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their “Tear It Up” challenge with the torn papers and stickers that I used for my background.

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 (Milled Lavender, Cracked Pistachio, Tea Dye, Ground Espresso, Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick, Seedless Preserves)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Charcoal)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Ivory Black)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233, Sanguine 188 B, Black 199)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Colour (Scarlet, Yellow, Orange, Dark Brown)
  • DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze (DMM16)
  • Craf-T Products Lustre Rub-ons Color Kit #4 (Russet)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Royal & Langickel Clear Choice Stamps (Pressed Leaves MIN-CCS102)
  • BoBunny Stamps (Rough It Up #12105155, Falling Leaves #12105154)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CRO274/16R1)
  • Crafter’s Companion Signature Collection by Sara Davies Autumn Morning Stamp Set (Rustling Leaves S-AUT-ST-RUS)
  • Poundworld DecoTime (Paper Patch DS9454)
  • Bosworth Violin Studies music book
  • Penny Black 2010 Stickeroos (Petals & Poetry 10-207)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Motivate Sentiments #ROY510 Rub-on)
  • Letraset transfer (Helvetica Bold Condensed 5mm RDC0251)
  • Magenta Style outline stickers (Daisy Gold 93326G)
  • Poundland (Accessories Pack 60911, Gem Florettes 117128)
  • 151Adhesives Plasterboard & Drywall Tape
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Live, Laugh, Love

My journal page today is inspired by a sign we have hung in our kitchen “Live, Laugh, Love”. I’ve created it using some new bird stamps and two of my favourite colours of Distress Ink.

I started by stamping a Script stamp by Kaisercraft in the bottom left and top right corners of the page using black Archival Ink. Then to create glossy silhouettes, I stamped some filigree shapes from 7 Gypsies at Hampton Art using black Versafine Ink and applied black Papermania embossing powder over the top. I shook the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper and tapped the page against the table to make sure I had removed any stray powder. Once the excess powder was safely returned to its container, I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. I swept the gun over the images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long, until the embossing powder changed to a glossy finish becoming smooth and dimensional. Next I covered the page in Twisted Citron and Salty Ocean Distress Inks using a blending tool overlapping the colours and blending them together. I applied modelling paste through a stencil from Creative Expressions using a palette knife and left it to dry. Then I stamped a series of tiny heart outlines from a Christmas stamp set by Hallmark Cards and also some pretty birds sitting on branches by Craft Sensations using the black Archival Ink again. I really like the bird stamps as they look like they have been sketched onto the page and it was easy for me to mimic the stamp design using a black Derwent Graphik marker when I extended the branches to the edge of the page. The black chalkboard heart is a wooden tag on which I applied a rub-on transfer by Kaisercraft, I really like the distressed look of the sentiment which reads:

“LAUGH as much as you breathe and LOVE as long as you LIVE”

For the other sign, I got creative and used a thick piece of black card, which was recycled from some old packaging. I distressed the edges with scissors and stained them with a Sanguine Faber-Castell Big Brush marker to match the colour of the heart edging. Next I fussy cut the “Live, Laugh, Love” wording from a vintage die cut shape and edged it with a green border using the rub-on transfers by Kaisercraft. I stuck it to the black card using a UHU Stic and then I used a black Derwent Graphik marker to give it a distressed look and drew a stitch pattern around the edge using a white Pentel gel pen. I’m pleased how these details helped the sign to match with the heart design. Both the heart and sign are stuck to the page using Glossy Accents. I finished the page by adding some blue and yellow paper flowers using the Glossy Accents again and adding some small black glossy flower and heart designer vinyl stickers by Craftime.

I think both sentiments on this page are great mottos to live by and even have a sign in our kitchen with the “Live, Laugh, Love” saying (grin!). This saying seems to be very common in homes today as it is often used on signs and mugs. It originated from a beautiful poem called “Success” written by Bessie Anderson Stanley in 1904 and is in essence a summary of the very first line:

“He achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; Who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty or failed to express it; Who has left the world better than he found it, Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; Who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; Whose life was an inspiration; Whose memory a benediction”.

Challenges

I always enjoy using stencils on my pages so I’m joining in the fun over at Moo Mania & More with their “Put a Stencil On It” challenge and also Country View Challenges with their “Stencils” challenge.

As I used a lot of stamps to create this journal page, I’m also pleased to be able to join in the “November Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included)” at the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge.

The faux stitching around the heart and sign means I’m also joining the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their “It’s A Stitch Up” theme.

Including and creating the glossy silhouettes was fun so I’m pleased to join the “Silhouettes” challenge over at the Mixed Media Monthly 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:

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tsukineko Versafine Ink (Onyx Black)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Twisted Citron, Salty Ocean)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199, Sanguine 188)
  • Pentel Hybrid Grip Gel pen (White)
  • Papermania Embossing Powder (Black PMA4021006)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies Vintage cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Hallmark Cards Christmas clear stamp set
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CRO274/16R1)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Moroccan)
  • The Works (Chalkboard Tags)
  • The Works (Vintage Die Cut Shapes)
  • Black cardboard – recycled packaging
  • Kaisercraft Rub-on Transfers (Up, Up & Away Collection RB870, Lush Collection RB868)
  • Craftime Designer Vinyls (B/W Boy & Girl PBDV02)
  • The Works (Mini Paper Flower Embellishments)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic

Give Thanks

I was so excited to receive some happy mail from the lovely Nan! Every element was so detailed from the envelope which had the most stunning handwriting in orange and yellow ink and pretty autumnal leaves, to the beautiful hand painted sunflower card with honeycomb embossing, to the wonderful goodies I found inside (grin!).

So I created a “Give Thanks” page to recognise this kindness and incorporate some of the lovely Peanuts Thanksgiving stickers that Nan kindly gifted to me – I hope you like it!

I started with a neutral background of Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint which I applied using a baby wipe. Next I used two of That Touch of Mica Masks from Creative Expressions; firstly a honeycomb design to match the embossing that Nan had created on the card and secondly a leaf design to match the pretty leaves I found on the envelope. I applied Morocco and Dandelion Memento Ink through the honeycomb stencil using a sponge; these colours were inspired by the orange and yellow inks that Nan had used.

Then I stamped a hexagonal geometric shape using Rich Cocoa and Toffee Crunch Memento Ink through the leaf stencil onto the page, and outlined the edge of the leaf designs with a Sepia Spectrum Aqua marker. Before I removed this stencil I coloured the rest of the stencil design with the residue ink, that was left on the stencil from the stamping, using a sponge. Next I stamped “Give Thanks” onto the page using an alphabet stamp by Papermania and black Archival Ink, and then I darkened the letters using a black Derwent Graphik Marker so they stood out more.  To create the octagonal shapes, I created a template and used it to draw and cut out octagons from different papers; this included papers from the Into the Woods paper pad by Craft Asylum, a paper pack from my local craft shop and a piece of grid paper from my hubby’s old postage stamp album. I stuck one “Peanuts” sticker onto each of the octagons and then I edged them with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck them to the page using double-sided foam tape. To finish, I added some sparkly green Bling Stickers and edged the page with the black Big Brush marker.

I was so delighted to receive this happy mail and here you can see the front of the envelope with the most stunning handwriting in orange ink surrounded by pretty autumnal leaves with a round moon postage stamp and the beautiful sunflower hand painted card (grin!).

Even the back of the envelope was a work of art with the cute bear and flowers. One of my favourite sentiments “Hello Sunshine!” was also kindly included; the sunshiny yellow ink is perfect and Nan’s handwriting always looks so amazing. I also found some wonderful goodies inside (double grin!).

The card now has pride of place in my craft room! I’m in awe of the sunflower that Nan painted; it looks so professional and is so detailed. Sunflowers always seem such happy flowers and happen to be a favourite of mine – it makes me smile every time I see it (triple grin!). Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness dearest Nan!

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:

As receiving this happy mail warms my heart, I’m pleased to join Chris from Pearshapedcrafting who is hosting the “101 Ways to Stay Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

I really enjoyed using these different techniques with the stencils and love the layers of colour and designs that resulted, so I’m also joining the “Stencils” challenge over at the Country View Challenges.

I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge too and their “Thanks/Thanksgiving” Challenge with my “Give Thanks” journal page.

I always enjoy using stamps on my pages and it was fun to add texture to the leaves by stamping through the stencil, so I’m pleased to join the “November Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included)” at the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It 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:

  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Morocco, Dandelion, Rich Cocoa, Toffee Crunch)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Sepia)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.5mm)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Honeycomb, Take a Leaf)
  • Docrafts Papermania Clear Stamp Set (Capsule – Geometric Mono)
  • Papermania Alphamania A-Z Clear Stamps (Leftovers Alphabet PMA9071102)
  • Craft Asylum 6×6 Paper Pad (Into the Woods 480326)
  • Paper pack from local craft shop
  • Grid postage stamp album paper
  • Peanuts Thanksgiving stickers – a gift from the lovely Nan!
  • Poundland (Bling Stickers 2561793)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Alphonse Mucha Exhibition

Whilst we were in Liverpool recently, my hubby treated me to the Alphonse Mucha “In the Quest of Beauty” Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery. Mucha is one of my favourite artists, he is famous for his Art Nouveau artwork and the exhibition was amazing!

To match the pretty colours of the exhibition poster and booklet I started by covering the page with Watermelon, Guava, Peach, Butter Cream and Caramel Faber-Castell Gelatos and smudging the colours with my finger which I wet with a baby wipe. I applied two layers of gelato colour to achieve a brighter intensity of colour and then I used Earl Grey gelato around the edges of the page to frame it. Next I stamped a series of art nouveau designs over the background using Pistachio Memento Ink; this included a wood mounted circular design by Dovecraft, a scrollwork design by Royal & Langnickel and a flower design by Craft Sensations. I added the cream art nouveau border vertically on down each side of the page which is an outline sticker and then I covered the whole page in a thin layer of watered down Liquitex Matte Gel Medium using a paintbrush to fix the colours and stamped images. As Mucha always added beautiful flowers to his posters, I stencilled a flower design from Craft Sensations using Pébéo modelling paste, I used the stencil several times to build the image allowing the modelling paste dry between each application. I arranged some pretty paper flower blossoms on the page, sticking them down using double-sided tape and foam tape. I layered and curled the petals to give them more volume and used large pearls and clusters of pearls from Trimcraft, for their centres. Then I stuck the Alphonse Mucha exhibition booklet onto the page using double-sided tape and added a piece of lace trim along the bottom and a paper flower.

The lace trim is secured around two of the larger pearls so that it can be unfastened on one side to allow the booklet to be opened. I outlined a circular vintage die cut shape with a moss Spectrum Aqua marker and stuck it to the page using double-sided tape; I liked that it had text on it as we learnt so much from the exhibition information that was alongside the artwork. Then I added a butterfly from the same die cut pack using double-sided foam tape which finished the page.

We really enjoyed the Alphonse Mucha Exhibition, it was so informative and the artworks were breathtaking. As many of the artworks on show were originals no photos were allowed and in fact the lighting was subdued in the exhibition to preserve the art pieces. For photos and more information about this exhibition click here.

If you are interested here are some interesting facts we found out about Alphonse Mucha and his beautiful art:

  • Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) was an artist and illustrator who was born in Czechoslovakia. We were surprised to find out how much he travelled throughout his career between Prague, Paris and America.
  • He rose to fame in Paris in the late 1890s with his advertising posters for the famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt. The first poster he designed for her was in 1894 for her production of “Gismonda” and it was so desirable that people stole the oblong panel prints from the hoardings. Following the success of the first poster, Mucha created a further six theatrical posters for Bernhardt. They were to revolutionise poster design with the use of the long narrow shape, the subtle pastel colours and the full-standing figure of the actress placed in a raised shallow alcove.
  • Following the success of theatrical posters, in 1896 Mucha created some 80 poster designs over the next five years for the publisher F.Champenois to advertise their products. We found out that the advertising posters reflected the modern rich Parisian life in La Belle Époque (The Beautiful Age) with a female figure central to the composition, flowers and beautiful decorative motifs.
  • Mucha’s fame also lead him to receive commissions to design product packaging and ornamental objects as well as advertising posters. We saw intricately designed perfume bottle boxes and labels as well as biscuit tins, labels and box wrappers at the exhibition.
  • Mucha had a long-lasting friendship with French Sculptor Auguste Rodin, who Mucha called Master (maître). There were many photos of them together as Mucha was a keen photographer too, in fact he also used photography to capture the female models he used for his posters.
  • His work inspired the then emerging Art Nouveau style and is easily recognisable with his distinctive graphic designs; he has inspired generations!

On exiting the exhibition I had fun trying on the different flower headdresses, which one do you prefer, we have spring, summer, autumn or winter (grin!).

Challenges

With the circle designs of the stamps, outline stickers and die cut, I’m pleased to join the “Circles” challenge over at Try it on Tuesday.

Mucha is well-known for his central female figures and elegant artwork, so I’m also joining in the fun over at Moo Mania & More for their “Make It Feminine” theme.

As my flowers design includes stencilling using modelling paste, I’m pleased to be able to join the “Stencils” challenge over at Country View Challenges.

I’m also happy to join the “All Creatures Great And Small” Simon Says Stamp Monday 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:

  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Watermelon, Guava, Peach, Butter Cream, Caramel, Earl Grey)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Pistachio)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Moss)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Dovecraft Wood Mounted Stamp (DCRS99)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamp Set (Ornate Scrollwork Mini-CCS123)
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CR0274/16R1)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Alphonse Mucha Exhibition Booklet – Walker Art Gallery
  • The Range (Crafting Lace CR0546)
  • Docraft Anita’s Outline Stickers (Delicate Lace Borders White ANT8101510)
  • Trimcraft Fall in Love (Adhesive Pearls LCDOT002)
  • Dovecraft Collections Back to Basics III (Paper Blossoms DCBL005)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Vintage Die Cut Shapes)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • The Range double-sided tape & double-sided foam tape