Violet Butterfly

Yellow and violet are colours that are prevalent in my garden at the moment with all the pretty spring flowers that are in bloom. So with a number of challenges in mind, I created this journal page using a yellow and violet colour combination, some recycled materials and a lovely new Postcard Butterfly stamp that I just couldn’t wait to use (grin!).

I started by recycling some book pages which I ripped and stuck to my page using Liquitex matte gel medium. Then I used a yellow pastel coloured acrylic paint which I diluted further with white gesso and painted over the whole page varying the shade of the colour. Next I mixed some pastel purple acrylic paint with white gesso and stamped it onto the page using some recycled bubble wrap; to do this I wrapped the bubble wrap around an acrylic block which gave a stronger and cleaner stamped finish as I dipped it in the paint and applied it to the page. Next I added some leftover pieces of butterfly decoupage paper using Liquitex matte gel medium and when the gel medium was dry I outlined all the collaged pieces with a black Derwent marker. Then I stamped some Ground Espresso Distress Ink using corrugated cardboard from some packaging in a criss cross pattern and covered the whole page with splatters of white and black DecoArt acrylic paint. I stamped a Butterfly Postcard stamp from Stampendous using black Archival Ink onto a piece of yellow and white paper and also the butterfly image from the same stamp onto some purple paper that I recycled from an old notebook. I fussy cut the images out and along with some yellow leaves, a piece of recycled beige card from some packaging and a spotted purple card leftover from card making, I edged them with the Ground Espresso Distress Ink and a blending tool then stuck them onto the page using glue dots, double-sided tape and foam tape. To add some shine to the purple butterfly wings I covered the black dots with Glossy Accents. Then I added some purple flowers and metal vintage embellishments which I accessorised with some tiny yellow and violet pearls, which finished the page.

We have quite a few yellow flowers in our garden including daffodils and forsythia as well as purple crocus and hyacinths, and both of these colours can be found in these pretty pansies that are in our planters which we can see from our kitchen window.

This variety has quite big flowers, aren’t the colours of this yellow one amazing!

If you are interested, here are some fun facts about pansies:

  • The pansy is a member of theViola family.
  • Their name comes from the French word, pensée, which means thought or remembrance.
  • Pansies are one of the oldest cultivated flowers and are also one of the most popular plants in our gardens.
  • In the language of flowers, the pansy represents thoughts of lovers and in the 19th century this flower was used in love potions.
  • Pansies are edible and their petals have a mint flavour; they are often added to salads and desserts.
  • The flower is used as a natural dye.

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 Alison/Craftytrog, who is hosting the Recycle and Collage challenge over at Art Journal Journey as I used stamps recycled from packaging and recycled book pages, packaging and leftovers to create this page!

With the stamped butterfly as my focal image and butterflies being part of the animal kingdom, I’m also happy to be able to join Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their Animals challenge.

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

I’m also joining the Color Wheel! challenge over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge as I used a complimentary pair of colours, which are opposite each other on the colour wheel, yellow and violet to create my mixed media art journal page.

I was also inspired by Corrie’s use of book pages on her Design Team creation over at Country View Challenges so I’m also joining their Pimp It Up! (reuse or alter something) 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:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Aldi Script Ready Mixed Paint (Pastels – yellow, purple)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Ground Espresso)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black, White)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Stamps made from bubble wrap and corrugated cardboard recycled from packaging
  • Stampendous Cling Rubber Stamps (Butterfly Post CRP147)
  • First Edition Deco Maché Decoupage papers (Vintage Butterfly FEDEC112)
  • Paper Bundle from local craft shop (Yellow and white circles)
  • Recycled purple memo paper
  • Recycled beige card from packaging
  • Leftover purple dot card from card making
  • The Handmade Paper Company (Nature’s Touch of Art)
  • Wilko (Flower Embellishments) leftover pieces
  • Poundworld DécoTime (Vintage Stickers 54748)
  • Trimcraft (Adhesive Pearls SCDOT056)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Wilko (Sticky Dots)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
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Nature’s Beauty

Our new challenge at Try it on Tuesday is Nature’s Beauty and the Design Team have some amazing inspiration for you, whether it is flowers, plants, animals or scenes of nature.

My art journal page today is a scene capturing the peacefulness and serenity of dragonflies over water, which for me, encapsulates nature’s beauty.

I started by painting diluted Shabby Shutters and Salty Ocean Distress Ink onto the background by stamping the ink pad onto an acrylic block and applying it to the page with a paintbrush to create a watercolour effect. Then I used a Distressed Dots stencil from That Special Touch of Mica Masks by Creative Expressions to apply Mowed Lawn and Chipped Sapphire Distress Inks using a blending tool. I stamped some foliage using an Eco Green stamp set made from recycled rubber and a Tan Spectrum Aqua Marker. Then I added some Pébéo modelling paste using the Distressed Dot stencil to add more dimension and when the paste was dry, coloured it with Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint. I fussy cut the grasses, leaves and iris from a wallpaper sample and stuck them onto the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. To add more detail and definition I doodled outlines on them with a black Uni Pin marker and white Uniball gel pen, then added some shadows using a Slate Spectrum Aqua Marker. The dragonflies are rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel and I positioned them so that one is sitting on a leaf and the other is flying off into the distance. I stamped some bees from a Graphic 45 stamp set by Hampton Art using black Archival Ink and coloured them using a yellow Spectrum Aqua marker. To finish, I added two stickers with the words “peaceful” and “serenity” which I thought captured the scene; they are edged with the Tan Spectrum Aqua marker and stuck in place using double-sided tape.

As it is T for Tuesday, I’m sharing the enjoyable time that we had at the local Pavilion Café in Ashton Gardens with our friends. Ashton Gardens is a municipal park which was established in 1874, it is situated in the centre of St. Anne’s on the Sea and is a lovely place to explore with its various display gardens including the most beautiful Rose Garden. The café building is a replica of the former bowling club pavilion known as the Ashton Institute.

This café always has a yummy array of cakes to choose from …

… and there is lovely art displayed on the walls which you can buy if you want to.

As T Stands for Tuesday, maybe you would like a green tea, hot chocolate or glass of water (of course they had coffee too, sorry I forgot to take a photo of our friends selection which included a cappuccino which I know you may prefer – grin!). As well as our drinks we enjoyed a bacon butty and a slice of salted caramel cake – yum! Wishing you all a very 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 Alison/Craftytrog, who is hosting the Recycle and Collage challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the recycled rubber art stamp set and wallpaper that I collaged to create this page!

With the stamped bees that I included on my nature page, I’m pleased to join The Birds & the Bees challenge over at The Artistic Stamper.

As I used and altered the wallpaper for my page, I’m pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Pimp it up! (reuse or alter something) challenge.

I’m also joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Add Some Texture challenge with all the texture I created with the Distress Inks, stencils, modelling paste and wallpaper.

With the circles that I stencilled onto my page, I’m also pleased to join the Going Round in Circles challenge over at That’s Crafty 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 (Shabby Shutters, Salty Ocean, Mowed Lawn, Chipped Sapphire)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Tan, Slate, Yellow)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies Cling Mounted Rubber Stamps (Birdsong ICO151))
  • Wallpaper sample – recycled
  • Royal & Langnickel Tip of the Brush (Insect Collection #TIP1484 Rub-on)
  • Little Yellow Bicycle Cardstock Stickers (PD-140)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Hello Spring!

With sunny days and warmer temperatures, it feels more like spring! My garden definitely looks more spring-like too with the beautiful daffodils and birdsong. So today I’m capturing those happy spring memories on my art journal page.

To start, I applied Mustard Seed Distress Ink concentrating the colour around the edges of the page; I did this by stamping the ink pad to an acrylic block and picking up the ink using a paint brush. Then I sprinkled some Leaf Green Colourfast Brusho powder onto the page and spritzed with water and watched the colours magically explode into life; I did this a few times until the intensity of colour I wanted was achieved. While the background was still wet, I used a stencil to apply Hickory Smoke Distress Ink using a blending tool and I stamped a daffodil tile stamp by Papermania using the Mustard Seed Distress Ink and also black Archival Ink, and also a small Flower & Dot stamp from Magenta using Teal Zeal Memento Ink; I really like the way the inks blended with the other background colours. I added a border of thin washi tape around the edge of the page and also around the wording “Hello Spring!” which I recycled from some junk mail. The pretty birds and daffodils are from a decoupage set which I fussy cut and stuck to the page using double-sided foam tape. The eggs are from an incomplete set of outline stickers from a charity shop (thrift store), which I stuck onto some textured recycled card and stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. To finish, I added some yellow bows which I made using recycled ribbon from a birthday gift.

Here are some of the beautiful daffodils flowering in our garden to welcome spring!

My pottery lamb stopped by to check them out too (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:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Alison/Craftytrog, who is hosting the Recycle and Collage challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the recycled junk mail, textured card and ribbon that I collaged onto this page!

With the stamping and pretty birds on my page, I’m pleased to join The Birds & the Bees challenge over at The Artistic Stamper.

I’m also pleased to join in the fun at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Trio of Something challenge with my pretty trio of decoupage bird images (if you look closely you will see the bird sitting on the flowerpot repeated three times on my page) and also my trio of eggs.

I’m also joining the Allsorts Challenge Blog and their New Beginnings challenge as my art journal page depicts the change in seasons, to welcome spring.

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 (Mustard Seed, Hickory Smoke)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Colour (Leaf Green)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Teal Zeal)
  • Papermania wood mounted stamp (39454)
  • Magenta wood mounted rubber stamp (Flowers & Dots 23111D)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Recycled junk mail magazine
  • Hunkydory Spring is in the Air Designer Decoupage (Garden Birds and Bunny Meadow)
  • Recycled textured card
  • Outline Stickers (PP570)
  • Yellow Ribbon – recycled from present
  • The Works (Washi Tape Set)
  • Wilko (Sticky Dots)
  • UHU Stic
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Mum’s the Word

The new theme over at Try it on Tuesday is Mum’s the Word which means all things mother related, it maybe quotes for mothers, mother and child, animal families, Mother’s Day or something else related to mothers. Over at Try it on Tuesday  you’ll find lots of wonderful inspiration from the Design Team.

This challenge runs for the next two weeks and I hope to see you there!

My art journal page today is inspired by my mum as it’s her birthday and Mother’s Day this month as well as the different ways you can say mother (a suggestion from one of my non-blogging best friends – thank you!). So I started by stamping some of different names you can call your mother using a VersaMark watermark stamp pad and an alphabet stamp set from Dovecraft. Then I covered the words with gold Papermania embossing powder and shook and tapped off the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper, and also removed any stray powder using a paintbrush. Then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder by sweeping the gun over the stamped wording until the embossing powder melted to a glossy finish and became smooth and dimensional. Next I stamped some pink doilies and blue swirls onto the page; I did this using Angel Pink Memento Ink with Doily stamps from Kaisercraft and also Dovecraft, as well as Summer Sky Memento Ink with a Serpentine Background stamp from Art Impressions. I applied Blossom and Teal Spectrum Aqua Markers to the background by scribbling the ink onto an acrylic block, spritzing with water and pressing the block onto the page. To mute the colours and wording I applied Pébéo white gesso over the top using a palette knife. I cut some pieces of pink doily and stuck them to the edges of the page using a UHU Stic. The teal leaves are cut from some design paper using Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Hotlz, they are edged with the Teal Spectrum Aqua marker and stuck in place using a Zig Memory System Glue Pen. The wreath and matching flowers are fussy cut from a magazine article about Mother’s Day. I mounted the wreath on a circle of card before sticking it to the page using double-sided foam tape. The matching flowers are mounted on top of some yellow and pink paper flowers and the “With love and cuddles” wording is a card topper from Kanban; they are all stuck in place using double-sided tape. To finish, I added some pretty gold tiles and the “Mum” wording which are outline stickers.

I hope you will join in the fun at Try it on Tuesday with your Mum’s the Word creations too!

As you may be aware, I regularly go to a local café with my mum so today I’m sharing my mum’s cappuccino …

…. and my green tea along with a toasted fruit bread to share (grin!). I’m pleased that these drinks cater for both the coffee and tea drinkers in the T Gang (grin!) over at T Stands for Tuesday – thanks for visiting and Happy T Day!

With the spring colours I used on my page, I’m pleased to join the lovely Rosie from Rosie’s Bastelwelt who is hosting the Spring challenge over at Art Journal Journey and also the Think of Spring challenge over at Moo Mania and More.

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:

  • Tsukeniko VersaMark (Watermark Stamp Pad VM-001)
  • Docrafts Papermania Embossing Powder (Gold Shellac PMA4021007)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Angel Pink, Summer Sky)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Blossom, Teal)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Kaisercraft Clear Stamps (Doily CS297)
  • Dovecraft Curiosity Corner Clear Stamp (A5 Lace & Doile DCCS009)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Serpentine Background T-2773)
  • Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz (Garden Greens 661206)
  • Poundland Design Pad (Vintage Chic CRO701/PL4)
  • Dovecraft Collections Back to Basics III (Paper Blossoms DCBL005)
  • Dovecraft Paper Doilies (Floral Muse DCDLS005)
  • Kanban Paper Craft Toppers (Flower and Cupcakes 900858)
  • Magenta Style Outline Stickers (Gold 1227)
  • Docrafts Anita’s Outline Stickers (Modern Alphabet Gold ANT8101000)
  • UHU Stic
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Pretty Snowdrops

The snowdrops flowering in our garden always make me think of spring so in order to remember one of the first flowers of the year and also the beautiful displays we have seen at Lytham Hall of late, I was inspired to create this snowdrop art journal page.

I started this page by covering it with squares of decoupage paper using Liquitex matte gel medium. Once dry I edged the squares with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and smudged it with my finger. Then I stamped some postage marks and text using black Archival Ink and covered the whole page with green paint that I had mixed from Liquitex Christmas Green acrylic paint with some black and white DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic paints. Once the paint was dry I rubbed and removed some of the paint using a baby wipe to give the page a worn look and then covered the whole page with PVA Glue to brighten the green colour and give it a glossy finish. Next I added some Pébéo white gesso with my finger and stencilled a doily image by Craft Sensations using a Bud Green Spectrum Aqua marker. I stamped a doily image using white DecoArt acrylic paint by applying the paint to the stamp using a brayer making sure that I washed the stamp immediately afterwards so the paint did not ruin the stamp by drying onto it. Then I splattered the page with black DecoArt acrylic paint using a paintbrush. With the background complete, I added a white lace border on the left hand side of the page which is an outline sticker, a pretty circular bird sticker from Docrafts and some black button letters which spell out the word “Snowdrop”. I die cut some brown paper which I recycled from a notebook using a Spellbinders die set and my Big Shot die cutting machine and arranged them onto the page with: a white doily by Dovecraft which is stuck down using a UHU Stic; a snowdrop image that I fussy cut from an old book of garden flowers and stuck into place using a Zig Memory System glue pen; text from the same book about snowdrops which I mounted on white and black card using double-sided tape; and finally a “S” alphabet letter sticker again mounted on white and black card.

If you are interested, here’s a close up of the text I included on my page.

This is one of the small clumps of snowdrops in our back garden before the snow came this week (grin!).

We went to see the snowdrop displays again at Lytham Hall this year, which have now almost finished and although they didn’t seem to be as bountiful this year the displays were still very beautiful. Here I am on a cold sunny day last week amongst the pretty snowdrops. I’m well wrapped up against the cold, do you like my new winter hat with its two bobbles or pom poms (grin!).

You may remember the amazing displays of snowdrops at Lytham Hall that I posted last year, so if you would like to see more of these pretty snowdrops please take a look my post here.

I so enjoyed reading the different stories associated with how the snowdrop flower came to be that I thought I would share a couple of them with you:

  • Garden of Eden: When Eve was cast out of the Garden of Eden, continuous snow covered the earth leaving it cold and barren. The angel, who appeared to comfort Eve, caught a snowflake and breathed upon it. The snowflake fluttered to the earth and gave birth to the snowdrop which later came to symbolize hope and rebirth.
  • German Legend: With the creation of snow, God tasked it with visiting the flowers of the earth to gather colours. Seeing that the gentle snowdrop was a kind and generous soul, the snow agreed to allow the snowdrop to bloom first every spring in exchange for her colour. So white snowdrops can be seen flowering amongst the snow each spring.

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 Rosie from Rosie’s Bastelwelt who is hosting the Spring challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my snowdrop page!

Over at Moo Mania and More the theme is Think of Spring so I’m pleased to join this challenge too!

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their In My Garden challenge with this snowdrop art journal page.

I’m also joining the Use a stencil and Three Mediums challenge over at The Mixed Media Challenge as I used a doily stencil and at least three mediums which included Spectrum Aqua marker, acrylic paints and Memento Ink to create my page.

I’m also pleased to be able to join in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Anything Goes challenge with my art 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:

  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Christmas Green)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White, Black)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Cottage Green)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Bud Green)
  • Prima Marketing Clear Stamps (Rossi Belle 587499)
  • Kaisercraft Clear Stamps (Script CS752)
  • Dovecraft Curiosity Corner Clear Stamps (A5 Lace & Doile DCCS009)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Spellbinders Die Set (Unknown)
  • Viva Gade Decoupage Paper (Skagen 25561)
  • Trimcraft (Decoupage Papers SCDEC064)
  • Recycled brown paper from old notebook
  • Oxford Book of Garden Flowers
  • White card
  • Dovecraft Paper Doilies (Painted Blooms DCDLS010)
  • Docrafts Papermania Label Stickers (Botanicals PMA157234)
  • Docrafts Anita’s Outline Stickers (Delicate Lace Borders ANT8101510)
  • Home Bargains (Love Letters 22738)
  • PSX Designs for Creativity Stickers (Florentine Alphabet Green SR6042)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Everbuild 501 Universal PVA Bond
  • UHU Stic
  • Docraft Stick It! double-sided tape

Brown Dragonflies

I found myself reminiscing about summer walks with my lovely blog-friends CJ and Erika wishing for warmer weather (grin!) and wanting to join a few blog challenges, I decided to create an art journal page inspired by some huge brown dragonflies that we saw on one of our summer walks last year at Glasson Dock. Although they were numerous we didn’t manage to get a good photo of them as they were so quick in flight, so it was fun creating this page to remember them – I hope you like it!

To match the brown dragonflies that we saw I chose a brown colour palette. I decided to experiment with a new technique using Colourcraft Brusho powders by using them as a spray, which worked really well as long as you are careful not to dilute the colour too much (grin!). I did this by placing some Dark Brown Brusho powder in a spray bottle and diluting with water, then using it to spray the page lightly with colour whilst leaving some white space. Next I stamped lots of dragonflies onto white tissue paper with an Eco Green Crafts stamp using Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink and also Rich Cocoa Memento Ink. I layered them onto the page using Liquitex matte gel medium, not worrying if the gel medium re-activated the Brusho or Distress Ink again, as I wanted a grungy look. When the gel medium had dried I used a stencil from That Special Touch of Mica Masks by Creative Expressions to add the Distressed Dots using the Dark Brown Brusho spray again and also used the stencil like a stamp to apply the excess spray that was on the stencil onto the page. Using the same stencil I applied: Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks with a blending tool; some Navy Spectrum Aqua marker by scribbling it onto an acrylic block, sprizing with water and applying with a blending tool; some smaller patches of Peacock Feathers and Black Soot Distress Ink using a blending tool to add more contrast; and finally some bronze metallic Lustre paint by applying it with my finger. Next I stamped the wording from the same Eco Green Crafts stamp set using black Archival Ink as it applied to the dragonflies that we saw and I really liked the grungy design. The dragonflies we saw were huge, so I drew and cut out a large dragonfly from some recycled glossy glittery paper and stuck it to the page using a UHU Stic. Once the glue had dried, I edged it with a black Uni Pin marker and white Uniball gel pen. I ripped some hexagonal washi tape and stuck it around the edges of the page with some pretty opaque gem stones and added some glittery bronze embroidered flowers using Glossy Accents which finished the page.

You may remember Glasson Dock from previous posts, such as this one here. This is the estuary at Glasson Dock where we first saw the dragonflies and as we continued our walk they seemed to be everywhere (grin!).

They were more abundant by the canal around the reeds and here’s the best picture we took of them. When we got home I identified them as Brown Hawker dragonflies; we plan to go back this year to see them again and try to get a better photograph of them (grin!). If you are interested here are a few facts about dragonflies:

  • The earliest fossil dragonflies date back 300 million years long before dinosaurs ruled the Earth and had wing spans around 70cm (27.6 inch) which is approximately 10 times larger than today; their overall shape has changed little since those early days.
  • There are approximately 6,000 named dragonfly species in the world today and new species are still currently being discovered for the first time.
  • The Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis) is a large dragonfly about 73mm (2.9 inch) long and is easily recognised by its brown body and bronze wings (grin!).

Challenges

My art journal page today has been inspired by some wonderful Challenge Blogs:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Rike from rike’s art, who is hosting the Animals A-Z challenge over at Art Journal Journey as D is for Dragonfly!

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Grunge It Up challenge with my grungy dragonfly art journal page.

I’m also pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Anything but Cute challenge.

As I created my own background for my dragonfly art journal page, I’m also happy to join the Make Your Own Background challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday 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 (Tea Dye, Brushed Corduroy, Peacock Feathers, Black Soot)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Navy)
  • Craf-T Products (Lustre Rub-ons ASTM D-4236)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Art Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Creative That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • White tissue paper
  • The Works Washi Tape (Enjoy the Ride)
  • Poundland (Design Gems)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Embroidered Flowers)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

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