Amour

Today I have created an art journal page to celebrate love as I’m so looking forward to the wedding of some very dear friends next month. I used my favourite blue Brusho colours to create the dreamy background and thought that Paris would be the perfect city for Amour (grin!).

I started by sprinkling Turquoise and Ultra Marine Colourcraft Brusho powders onto the page and spritzed them with water. I love watching the colours burst to life as you add the water and as Brushos are made up of the different component coloured powders that create the main colour, purple can be seen on the page too from the Ultra Marine powder. Once dry, I stamped Eiffel Tower image onto the page and also onto some blue/grey spotted design paper using a stamp called “City of Love” by Penny Black and black Archival Ink which I used for all the stamping on my page. I used the same “City of Love” stamp to add the black swirls along the edges of the page, as well as the two hearts and the word “amour” over the background. Again I stamped these images onto the blue/grey paper, fussy cut them out and edged them using a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker. Then I stamped a leaf tile stamp from Rubber Soul, two birds sitting on a branch from Dovecraft and the word “Paris” from 7 Gypsies stamp set by Hampton Art directly onto the page. Next I added some diamond-shaped border stickers by Kaisercraft and also silver outline stickers along the edges of the page; then I outlined them both with a black Uni Pin marker, which took quite a while as the outline stickers are quite an intricate design. I then added the stamped blue/grey paper images to the page sticking them in place using a UHU Stic. For the main Eiffel Tower image, I layered it over a white doily and it is stuck into place using double-sided tape. I then added the black round brads to the “amour” signs, lots of flowers which I had embellished with blue gems and also a glittery silver butterfly which finished the page.

Paris is such a lovely place to visit, here is the Eiffel Tower when we visited some years ago; it looks spectacular by day and by night (grin!).

The wrought ironwork is amazing, if you want to find out more about the Eiffel Tower please check out my previous post.

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 Gill from gibbyfrogettcraftations who is hosting the Inspired by … challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my love inspired page.

I enjoyed using all the different stamps to create my Amour page design, so I’m also pleased to join the Anything Goes challenge over at Stamping Sensations.

I’m joining in the fun over at The Artistic Stamper and their Colour it Blue challenge as they have chosen my favourite colour as their theme this month.

With my vibrant Brusho coloured page, I’m also happy to join the Bright and Cheerful challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Written Word (add some text in some form) challenge over at Country View Challenges with my Amour art journal page.

I’m also very happy to join the lovely Design Team over at PaperBabe Stamps and their Anything Goes 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:

  • Colourcraft Brusho Colours Crystals (Turquoise, Ultra Marine)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Penny Black 2007 wood-mounted stamp (City of Love 3800K)
  • Rubber Soul wood-mounted stamp (Leaf Tile 276K)
  • Dovecraft Clear Stamp (DCCS014)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies Vintage cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Vintage Glory 154898)
  • Kaisercraft Sticker Set (Fly Free SS289)
  • Docraft Anita’s Outline Stickers (Timeless Borders ANT810117)
  • Dovecraft Premium Paper Doilies (Painted Blooms DCDLS010)
  • Brads (Round Black)
  • Poundland (Accessories Pack 60911, Gem Florettes 117128)
  • The Works (Wooden Craft Butterflies CR1292)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
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Oriental Fish – Card

I often make cards for family and friends but I don’t tend to share them on my blog, but I was so excited to get creative with my fabulous new stamp set from Paperbabe Stamps that I thought I’d share this one with you today to see what you thought.

I was lucky enough to win a voucher on one of the Paperbabe Stamps challenges to spend in their shop so I chose their Oriental Zen Stamp Set – thanks so much!

I started by cutting some white card to make a square shape when folded, then on the front of the card I stamped the concentric circles stamp from the stamp set using Spiced Marmalade and Festive Berries Distress Ink; applying the Spiced Marmalade ink to the stamp first then adding patches of Festive Berries Ink and stamping them onto the card. I then cut a semi-circle of textured paper which I recycled from an old birthday card using my circle cutter. Then I smooshed it with some blue Distress Inks to create a water effect by applying Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean ink to an acrylic block, spritzing with water and pressing the block onto the paper. I also edged the semi-circle with these two blue inks using a blending tool. I added some gold cherry blossom outline stickers to the card and then layered the blue semi-circle over the top using double-sided tape. Next I stamped the beautiful fish which is from the same stamp set using the Spiced Marmalade and Festive Berries Distress Ink onto plain white card and fussy cut them out. They are stuck in place using a UHU Stic and I added the bubbles and splash marks from the same stamp set using the blue inks. To finish, I added some glittery Icicle Sparkles by Ranger to the bubbles and a “Love” topper from an Eastern Promise set that I had in my craft stash.

Here’s all the materials including the stamp set that I chose from Paperbabe Stamps and I have to say I love it (grin!). I’m sure I’ll be using it again very soon as I need to make quite a few birthday cards this month. I also wanted to say a big “Thank you” to Kim from Paperbabe Stamps and I hope that you and the Design Team like the card that I made!

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 I created this card using lots of stamping I’m very pleased to be able to join Stamping Sensations and their Anything Goes challenge.

I’m pleased to join in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge where their theme is Bright and Cheerful with my bright and cheerful coloured card.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their June Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included).

I’m also joining the Sketch … challenge over at Paperbabe Stamps as I used their sketch, which I rotated to the left, as a template for my card design – I hope you like it!

I’m also pleased to join the Cropstop Blog and their June Link Party #40, thanks for the invite Esther!

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 (Spiced Marmalade, Festive Berries, Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean)
  • Paperbabe Stamps (Oriental Zen Stamp Set)
  • Cardstock (White 200 GSM)
  • Textured paper – recycled birthday card
  • Francoise Collection Outline Stickers (Gold 2238)
  • Hunkydory Luxury Topper Collection (Eastern Promise EAST104)
  • Ranger Stickles (Icicle)
  • UHU Stic
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape

Mr. Finch

I’m really enjoyed creating the masculine page that I posted on Tuesday so I thought I would continue with the masculine theme and create a page with the additional inspiration of the goldfinches that we have seen a number of times this year, both in our garden and on our walks. So here’s my fun steampunk page which showcases the fabulous Mr. Finch (grin!).

I started by covering the page with Peeled Paint and Antique Linen Distress Ink using a blending tool and then spritzing the page with water to give a soft covering of colour. While the background was still wet I used a stamp from BoBunny to add the crackle texture mainly around the edges of the page using Hickory Smoke Distress Ink; the wet page blended the inks so the stamp looks smudged in places which I love. Then I used a stencil from Craft Sensations to add the numbers using Frayed Burlap Distress Ink and a blending tool. The black wheels are also stencilled using a Dina Wakley stencil from Ranger and I varied the depth of the Black Soot Distress Ink that I applied to give more of a distressed look and to add some dimension. I then splattered the page with the Black Soot Distress Ink using a paintbrush. The fountain pen and pocket watch are rub-on transfers by Royal and Langnickel and I also applied some leftover black letters from a Letraset transfer set to use them up. Next I fussy cut the roses from some design paper and stuck them in place, like all of the paper elements, using Liquitex matte gel medium.

For my steampunk Mr. Finch, I used a bird stamp from Stampendous, a Steampunk stamp set by Docrafts and black Archival Ink. I started by stamping the bird onto thick paper and fussy cutting it out, and then I distressed this image by covering it with some watered down white gesso using a baby wipe. Once dry I stamped the cog images over his breast and head and also a feather image over his back and wings to add more texture. I also stamped his steampunk style top hat and his wheels onto another piece of design paper; his wheels are from the Penny Farthing stamp which I stamped twice and then fussy cut out. I added three strips of music washi tape horizontally on the page and then I layered his wheels, body and hat together so Mr. Finch is rolling along one of these strips.

Inspired by seeing the goldfinches, I painted his cog design and added detail to his feathers using Iridescent Gold Liquitex Ink. As goldfinches also have red feathers on their heads that look like a mask, I also thought it would be fun to paint the goggles on his top hat with a Poppy Red Derwent Inktense pencil. I used a black Derwent marker, white gel pen and also the gold Liquitex Ink and red Inktense pencil to add further colour and detail to the design including his mask, hat, wheels and cogs. For his eye I added a black gem and coloured some of it white using a Uniball gel pen. Next I die cut three small labels using my Big Shot machine and stamped “Explore” using black Archival Ink. Once stuck in place, I coloured the edges using the red Inktense pencil and gold Liquitex Ink and then outlined them using a black Derwent marker and a white Uniball gel pen to frame the words, and then I embellished them with some round black brads. To finish, I splattered black and white DecoArt acrylic paint and also gold Liquitex Ink using a paintbrush over the page.

Here is one of the goldfinches that we saw on one of our walks along by the sand dunes, isn’t he magnificent!

If you are interested here are some facts about this bird:

  • There are just three species of goldfinches in the world – our European goldfinch, the widespread American goldfinch and Lawrence’s goldfinch which is found in the southwest USA.
  • The European goldfinch is a highly coloured finch with a bright red face and yellow wing patch.
  • They are very sociable birds, often seen in large groups and have a delightful liquid twittering song and call. The collective name for goldfinches is a charm and is derived from the old English c’irm which describes the birds’ twittering song.
  • The shape of their beak allows them to extract seeds from thistles and teasels.

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 Gill from gibbyfrogettcraftations who is hosting the Inspired by … challenge over at Art Journal Journey I took inspiration from seeing the goldfinches to create steampunk page.

With the focal image of Mr. Finch being created using different stamps, I’m happy to be able to join Stamping Sensations and their Anything Goes challenge.

I’m so pleased to join the lovely Maura who is on the design team and is co-hosting over at SanDee & amelie’s Steampunk Challenges this month for their Anything Goes – Steampunk/Industrial challenge.

Over at A Vintage Journey this month the challenge is Stencil It so I’m pleased to join this challenge with my goldfinch inspired page fits their challenge focus with its Steampunk and Mixed Media Style.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Written Word (add some text in some form) challenge over at Country View Challenges with stamped wording I added to this page.

I’m joining in the fun at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Anything But A Card challenge with Mr. Finch art journal page.

I’m also joining the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their June Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included) with my unique, one of a kind Mr. Finch.

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 (Peeled Paint, Antique Linen, Hickory Smoke, Frayed Burlap, Black Soot)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Liquitex Inks! (Iridescent Bright Gold)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencil (Poppy Red 0400)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black, White)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Ranger Dina Wakley Media Stencil (Wheels MDS45588)
  • BoBunny Stamp (Rough it up 12105155)
  • Stampendous Cling Rubber Stamps (Jumbo Songbird CRS5029)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 Clear Stamp Set (Steampunk DCE907125)
  • Spellbinders Nestabilities Card Creator (A-2 Fancy Ribbon Threader S5-135)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Journey MIN- CCS104)
  • American Crafts (DIY Shop)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Soft Colours CRO730/R, Authentic Vintage CRO730/R)
  • Royal & Langnickel Create-A-Collage Rub-on Transfers (Men’s Accessories #ROY-853)
  • Letraset Transfers (Helvetica Bold Condensed 5mm DCO251)
  • Hobbycraft (Assorted Black & White Decorative Tape 5971481007)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 175751)
  • Brads (Round Black)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Find Inspiration in Nature

My art journal pages are often inspired by nature which is why I chose the Flora and Fauna theme for this month over at Art Journal Journey. I had so much fun creating the background and steampunk vibe flowers for this page – I hope you like it too!

Taking inspiration from the beautiful red sunsets we see in nature, I started by covering the page in a mixture of Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red and Apricot Liquitex acrylic paint, varying the blending slightly to give different shades of colour. I added some torn book pages using Liquitex matte gel medium and some washi tapes, and then I applied a thin layer of the same acrylic paints over the top using my finger to achieve a translucent look. When dry, I applied some white DecoArt acrylic paint using a brayer and also a circular Worn Rings stamp from Gummiapan, making sure I washed the stamp as soon as I had finished so the paint didn’t dry and ruin it. I then splattered the whole page with black DecoArt acrylic paint using a paintbrush. The flowers are fussy cut from an old flower book that I found in a charity shop (thrift store) and arranged on the page with three stamps from the Vintage Circles Woodware Craft Selection Stamp Set using black Archival Ink. I used Liquitex matte gel medium to stick the flowers in place and once it was dry I outlined them with a black Derwent Graphik marker so that the stamping was incorporated into the flower design.

Both the fussy cutting and outlining took some time to complete and it really made a difference to the flowers as you can see on this before and after photo. The bees and wording which reads “Find inspiration in nature” are both Royal & Langnickel rub-on transfers and I added more detail to the bumblebees using a Derwent Graphik marker. To finish, I stamped some circles of white DecoArt acrylic paint using a bottle cap and added some more splatters of black DecoArt acrylic paint using a paintbrush.

Everytime we visit Garstang we see these beautiful metal flowers and the yellow ones reminded me those on my page today – aren’t they stunning!

I like that they stay in bloom all year round for us to enjoy, no matter what the weather … grin!

Challenges

I’m joining Art Journal Journey and the Flora and Fauna theme with my flowers and bees; there is just one more week to join in the fun (grin!). I’ve really enjoyed seeing all your fabulous creations that you have linked to this theme so far, thank you!

I’m pleased to join Moo Mania and More for their Even More Flowers challenge with my flowery page.

I’m joining Fashionable Stamping Challenges where the theme is Floral, which has been chosen by the lovely Avril, with my Vintage styled flowers, .

I really like the Vintage look of my new Woodware Stamp Set that I used on this page against the mixed media background which also included stamping, so I’m also pleased to join the Backgrounds challenge over at The Artistic Stamper.

Stamping Sensations challenge is Close to Nature so I’m very happy to be able to join them with my “Find inspiration in Nature” page.

I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Use More Than One Stamp challenge as I used more than one stamp to create this art journal page.

My page reminds me of a classical music piece called “Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nikoli Rimsky-Korsakov and I can just imagine my bees flying around my page to this music exploring the Steampunk Style world of flowers that I created, so I’m also joining A Vintage Journey for their Words and Music challenge.

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

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 (Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Apricot)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White, Black)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm, 0.5mm)
  • Gummiapan Stamp (Worn Rings 2 11050601)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Magic Singles (Vintage Circles FRS665)
  • The Oxford Book of Garden Flowers
  • Quality Toys Group (Washi Tape 2544960)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (TIP1642G, Motivate Sentiments #ROY510, )
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Songbird

I was so excited to use a new bird and verse stamp set that I recently purchased that I decided to create a page using some of my most treasured design papers, postage stamps and metal decorations that I have had in my craft stash forever – I hope you like it!

A number of blog challenges inspired my design too, including our current theme over at Try it on Tuesday of The Call of Spring – Mood Board, where I was inspired to use the blackbird and the panel design from the photo inspiration. There is still another week to participate in this challenge, so please pop over and take a look, it would be great to see you there!

I started by selecting some vintage design papers that have been sitting in my craft stash for a while; this included a pretty white flower, a lovely text design and a note paper with tabs which are all from a paper bundle of odds and ends from my local craft store, and also a beautiful blossom paper from a design pad. I cut the papers and also some images from a wallpaper sample into various sizes, edged them with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and collaged them onto the page using a UHU Stic. Once the first layer of papers covered the page I applied some white gesso using my finger to give more of a worn look and create more depth. Next I stamped the bird stamp from a Stampendous Songbird stamp set onto some American Crafts design paper using black Archival Ink and also Pistachio and Cottage Ivy Memento Ink for the branches and leaves.  The verse is from the same stamp set and reads:

“When dewdrops sparkle in the grass
And earth’s aflood with morning light,
A blackbird sings upon a branch
To greet the dawning after night.
Then I know how fine it is to live”.

The stamped images are edged with the black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck into place using a UHU Stic along with some smaller pieces of design paper, lace trim and some Crowded Attic stickers by Tim Holtz. The yellow feathers and “Spring” wording are rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel and the two postage stamps are from my hubby’s childhood collection; as you may know he gifted them to use on my art journal pages so they are very special to me. The postage stamps are from Costa Rica 1938 which celebrates the National Exhibition of 1937 with a purple orchid called Guaria Morada and also a Hungarian postage stamp from Magyar Posta 1958 featuring some pretty pink crocus type flowers. To finish, I added some metal decorations of flowers and a bird sitting in a tree which are secured using brads.

As T Stands for Tuesday I’m sharing my cuppa of green tea and a yummy Hot Cross Bun filled with Crumbly Lancashire Cheese from our local cheese factory – delicious! I’m saying a big hello to Bleubeard and Elizabeth and the rest of the T Gang – Happy T Day!

If you are interested, here are some facts about Hot Cross Buns:

  • A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with sultanas, currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top.
  • The traditional method for making the cross on top of the bun is to use short-crust pastry however some recipes use a paste consisting of flour and water.
  • The buns mark the end of Lent and are traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the United Kingdom, although they have been in our supermarkets since just after Christmas (grin!).
  • Generally, they are split in two, toasted and served with butter, but here in the North of England we often serve them filled with cheese and my favourite has to be Lancashire Cheese which is a regional white cheese. The one in my photo is the Crumbly version of this cheese made locally by Dewlay – yum!

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 that I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to be able to join the lovely Rosie from Rosie’s Bastelwelt who is hosting the Spring challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

Using some of my most treasured design papers, postage stamps from my hubby’s childhood collection and precious metal decorations on my Vintage Style art journal page means that I’m able to also join in the fun over at A Vintage Journey, where the theme is Treasure.

With my neutral coloured page, I’m joining in the fun at the Simply Neutrals Tuesday party over at Apple Apricot as dear Susi highlighted this challenge in one of her posts recently.

Including the bird and verse stamping as my page focal point on my spring songbird page means that I’m pleased to join Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their Springtime challenge.

I’m also joining the Forest Friends challenge over at Stamping Sensations as you find songbirds in the forest which is my stamped focal point.

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 Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Pistachio, Cottage Ivy)
  • Stampendous Cling Rubber Stamp (Jumbo Songbird CRS5029)
  • Design Paper Bundle
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Authentic Vintage CRO730/R)
  • Wallpaper sample
  • The Works Design Pad (Classic Vintage CRO707/TW7)
  • American Crafts 2×12 Paper Pad (DIY Shop 366665)
  • Tim Holtz Salvage Stickers (Crowded Attic #TH92898)
  • Dovecraft Creative Ribbons (Sweet Paris Lace DCCR24)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Bird’s Nest #ROY-563, Spring Sentiments #ROY-506)
  • Postage Stamps (Costa Rica 1938 celebrating the National Exhibition in 1937 featuring a purple orchid called Guaria Morada, Hungary Magyar Posta 1958)
  • The Works (Metal Decorations)
  • UHU Stic

Blue Danube

Every year we enjoy watching the famous New Year’s concert from Vienna, Austria, which features my all time favourite classical music by Strauss. This art journal page celebrates one of the most well-known waltzes by Johann Strauss called the Blue Danube and takes inspiration from the beautiful roses at this year’s concert.

Over at Try it on Tuesday, the current theme is Fire and Ice where you are asked to use hot or cold colours like the hot reds and cool blues on my page. I hope you are inspired to join in the fun, this challenge runs for another week and it would be great to see you there!

I started by tearing the edges from a piece of music sheet detailing the Blue Danube Waltz and sticking the torn pieces around the edge of my page using a UHU Stic. I aged these papers using Brushed Corduroy and Black Soot Distress Ink and a blending tool, and also a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and Derwent Graphik marker smudging the inks with my finger as I applied them. I then added a colour wash of Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink by stamping the ink pad directly onto an acrylic block and applying the ink using a paintbrush to apply the ink onto the page which I had already spritzed with water. I also pressed the ink onto the page from the acrylic block to create pools and dots of blue colour and then I dried them with a heat gun. Next I stamped a series of stamps from the Musicality stamp set by Docrafts using Danube Blue, Paris Dusk, Teal Zeal and Bahamas Blue Memento Inks ensuring that I stamped around the music sheet to completely cover the background. Then I curled the edges of the central piece of music sheet and stuck it onto the page using double-sided tape.

I used my Big Shot to die cut the leaf swirls from gold metallic paper, I also die cut the green leaves, using the Garden Greens Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz, from some green design paper. I coloured and edged them with Leaf Green Spectrum Aqua marker to intensify the colour and they are all stuck into place using glue dots and a Zig Memory System glue pen. For the roses, I used a rose stamp from the same Docrafts Musicality stamp set and black Archival Ink to stamp them onto a pale pink design paper which I backed with white card. I coloured these roses using Rose Pink, Begonia and Sunflower Spectrum Aqua markers which I applied using a paintbrush like watercolour; I did this by scribbling the inks onto an acrylic block so I could pick up the ink with a paintbrush. They are also edged with the Rose Pink Spectrum Aqua marker and layered on top of the leaves and swirls using double-sided foam tape, which finished the page.

If you haven’t seen it here’s a link to the Blue Danube Waltz being played at the New Year’s Concert Vienna Philharmonic 2018. I love the New Year’s concert and some of you may remember me featuring it last year on one of my posts, where I detailed some interesting facts about the Blue Danube and Johann Strauss too.

Before we watched this year’s concert we celebrated the first day of the year in style by having a breakfast of smoked salmon with scrambled eggs on a toasted English muffin. I also had a glass of Bucks Fizz, which is orange juice and prosecco (or sparkling white wine or champagne could be used instead); sharing this drink means that I’m joining the T Gang over at T Stands for Tuesday – cheers and wishing you all a very Happy T Day!

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:

Over at Moo Mania & More the theme is Inspired by a Song which gave me the perfect excuse to create my Blue Danube page, thank you!

I’m pleased to join the lovely Erika N, also known as BioArtGal, who is hosting the New Year, New Adventures challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my New Year’s adventure!

I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Layer It Up challenge with my layer music sheet, dies and stamped roses.

I enjoyed using all the stamps to create this page so I’m also pleased to join the Anything Goes challenge over at The Artistic Stamper.

As I used stamps for the focal images on my page, I’m also happy to be able to join Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their Anything Goes challenge.

With my cool blue background, I’m also joining the Cold and Frosty Colours challenge over at Stamping Sensations.

Again and again I’m drawn to use my Distress Inks to create backgrounds and my Memento Inks for stamping, and as these are some of my favourite mediums I’m joining the Allsorts Challenge Blog and their Old Favourites 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:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Brushed Corduroy and Black Soot Chipped Sapphire)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Danube Blue, Paris Dusk, Teal Zeal, Bahama Blue)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Markers (Leaf Green, Rose Pink, Begonia, Sunflower)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.8mm)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 clear stamp set (Musicality DCE907112)
  • Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz Alterations (Garden Greens
  • Swirl Leaf Die – unknown
  • Music of all Nations Music Booklet
  • Gold Paper
  • Poundland Design Pad (Contemporary Christmas CR0701K/PL4)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Pastels & White CR0260/PW)
  • Card – recycled packaging
  • UHU Stic
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • Wilko Sticky Dots
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Card Making Fun!

Today I have three cards to share with you that I created to send to my friends and family. Fortuitously these designs also coincide with some challenges that I wanted to join. The cards are for a friend who has just moved into her new house, another is a birthday card for one of my family and the last one is to wish one of my special friends a very Happy Christmas!

Home Sweet Home

I used 6×4” white card stock and applied Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn and Salty Ocean Distress Ink to a large acrylic block and spritzed it with water. Then I laid the card facedown on the top of the block and pressed down so that the ink transferred onto the card. I did this a couple of times to use up the ink on the block until I was happy with the coverage. I dried the ink using a heat gun and then stamped the birdcage stamp by Dovecrafts using black Archival Ink. I surrounded this image with the pretty tree branches from a new stamp set by Inkadinkado using the same black Archival Ink; I love these stamps, the tree branch designs are beautiful! Next I stamped the “Home Sweet Home” sentiment using the same black ink and a Bellissima alphabet stamp set by Docrafts Papermania. I edged the front of a white blank greetings card with the black Archival Ink and a blending tool and then I cut the Home Sweet Home design to size. I edged it with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck it on the top using double-sided tape. To finish, I used a black Derwent Graphik marker to emphasise some of the stamping so it stood out more and also added some blue circular gems for a bit of sparkle.

I’m pleased to join the “Home Sweet Home” challenge over at Try it on Tuesday which inspired the sentiment on this card.

I’m also pleased to join a new challenge today thanks to the lovely Avril who is on the design team over at Fashionable Stamping Challenges as my card also links to their “Nature” challenge.

The silhouette design I created means I can also join in the fun over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge and their “Silhouette” challenge.

Skateboarding Monkey

This fun card is created using a 6×6” green card base. Firstly I cut a piece of striped paper to size and then I stamped the sentiment using black Archival Ink and an alphabet stamp set by Hampton Art. As you can see I bunched up the word “Birthday” so it looked like it was being pushed out-of-place by the skateboard. I stuck it into place using double-sided tape. Next I added the monkey and star-like flowers which are foam stickers and also some glossy dots and tiny flowers designer vinyl stickers from Craftime. To finish, I used black and white Uni Posca paint pens to add small dots to the background and sentiment.

I wanted to join the lovely Chris from Pearshapedcrafting and her wonderful “101 Ways to Keep Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey; I think skateboarding would be a good way to keep warm especially for me as I’d probably be laughing so much whilst I was trying to do it (grin!).

I’m also joining the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge as my fun monkey would love to join their “Furry Friends” theme.

The Best Christmas Ever!

I was inspired to create this card after creating my Winter Wonderland Decorations. This is a one layer card, so I started by masking off the top edge of a white 6×4” card and stamping some different stamps using Emboss ink; the stamps included a “Wishing you the best Christmas ever!” sentiment and a snowflake stamp, both by Clear Impressions, and also Diamond Background and Serpentine Background stamps, both by Art Impressions. I completed the embossing in layers, starting with the sentiment and then using the other stamps. Each layer of Emboss ink stamping was covered with white Stampendous embossing powder and then I shook off the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper. I also tapped the card to make sure any stray powder was removed and then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. I swept the gun over the stamped 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. I repeated this process a few times to create a design that I was happy with. I then applied Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers and Cracked Pistachio Distress Inks to the card using a blending tool, starting with the darker colour of Chipped Sapphire around the edge and blending to the lighter colour of Cracked Pistachio in the middle. I dried the ink with my heat gun and spritzed water over the top, blotting it with a piece of kitchen towel/paper to remove some of the ink. I also diluted the three Distress Inks by stamping the ink pads onto an acrylic block and spritzing with water, and then I flicked the inks onto the card using a paintbrush and used a heat gun to dry them. To finish, I added some white rhinestone flower gems and dots of silver Stickles to add some glitter and sparkle.

I’m pleased to be able to join the “One Layer Christmas Cards” challenge over at Stamping Sensations with my white embossed stamped card.

As I used the glittery gems and Sparkles on this card, I’m also pleased to be joining the “Glitter” challenge over at Allsorts Challenge Blog.

Family, home and Christmas all mean so much to me, so I thought I’d share some photos relating to all three of these things (grin!). As we live by the sea we don’t often get snow, however we did get a light dusting of snow one evening last year. It was beautiful seeing the snow falling although it had disappeared the next morning when we awoke.

This photo is very dear to me, it’s of a white Christmas from my childhood, yes the little girl at the front eating sweets is me (grin!). I’m with my mum and my sister and you can see our Christmas tree in the background too. I will forever remember that furry navy blue and red checked coat that I’m wearing as my mum made it for me!

This picture of me was taken some years ago, when we had light snow fall on Christmas Day. We were staying with family and we went for a lovely woodland walk!

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 each of the cards:

Home Sweet Home

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn, Salty Ocean)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm & 0.3mm)
  • Dovecraft Clear Stamps (Birdcage DCCS015)
  • Inkadinkado Cling Stamps (Branches 65-32007)
  • Docrafts Papermania Bellissima  4×4” Clear Stamps (Alphas PMA907212)
  • Hobbycraft Decorative Embellishments (Blue Round Gems 5665381001)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape

Skateboarding Monkey

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (Black, White)
  • Hampton Art (Alphabet Stamp Set WM1037)
  • B&M Craft Goody Bag (Turquoise)
  • Wilko Little Steps (Safari Foam Stickers)
  • Craftime Designer Vinyls (B/W Boy & Girl PBDV02)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape

The Best Christmas Ever!

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers, Cracked Pistachio)
  • Tsukienki Emboss Embossing Stamp Pad (Clear)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Clear Impressions (Woodland Christmas)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Diamond Background T-3335, Serpentine Background T-2773)
  • The Works stickers (Rhinestone Flowers)
  • Ranger Stickles (Silver)