Time at the Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library

Today my page is inspired by a trip to the “Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library” in Preston. The building is very majestic and ornate, it tells a wonderful story of a time gone by and you can learn about local history in the museum and look at wonderful works of art in the Gallery. We had a lovely time exploring and looking around so I captured it on a journal page to recall the memories.

To portray the old building I wanted to create a vintage page with a grunge background, so I started by applying white gesso to the page with an old gift card and leaving it to dry. Once dried, I added Black Soot Distress Ink by applying the ink pad to an acrylic block and picking up the ink with the gift card and scraping the ink across the page. I used the same technique to add Peeled Paint Distress Ink which I diluted with some water on the acrylic block to tone down the colour a little. Next I created a collage on the page, using a collection of papers from Vintage design pads by Craft Sensations, which reminded me of the museum, art gallery and library that we visited. These papers included some lined paper which I stamped with a Script stamp and an Alphabet stamp, both by Kaisercraft, using black Archival Ink and then I stuck them to the bottom left-hand side of the page using a UHU Stic. Like all of the papers, I edged them with a Desert Spectrum Aqua marker and a black Derwent Graphik marker to give them more definition. I also fussy cut different paper images and layered them on the top right-hand side of the page and on one of these papers I stamped a clock image from a Steampunk stamp set by Docrafts using black Archival Ink. I used the same clock stamp for the top paper which details an open book and photos, and I added a vintage clock die-cut shape to the centre of the stamped image using double-sided foam tape. The photo images remind me of the art gallery and also the grandeur of the building as well as the lamp posts that we saw at its entrance. I stamped black circles alongside the clock using a cap from a spray bottle and black Archival Ink, and then inserted the black button letters to spell out the word “Time” which along with the clock images reminds me of the pendulum clock situated in the central hall/atrium. I mounted these elements onto white card and stuck them to the page using double-sided foam tape. Next I stamped the words “Once upon a time” onto another piece of paper using black Archival Ink and an Alphabet stamp set by Papermania; this applies to the library books, the museum history and the artworks in the gallery. Then I mounted it on white card, fussy cut the page out and distressed the edges using scissors. I edged it with black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker as well as the Desert Spectrum Aqua marker and stuck it to the page using double-sided foam tape. To finish, I added a pretty piece of antique looking ribbon and two vintage metal embellishments.

The Harris building dates back to 1893 and was built in an imposing neo-classical design. The main feature of the front of the building is the pediment which houses a sculpture representing “The School of Athens” and a number of griffins guarding the lamp of learning on the apex. Beneath the pediment is the inscription “To Literature, Arts and Science” which reflects the purpose of the building.

Rather than have a set of front steps leading directly into the building from what was the busy Market Square there are two entrances on either side of the building which lead to a covered entrance with beautiful lamp posts.

The main feature of the interior is the impressive central hall which rises through four storeys over 120 feet to the lantern tower.  The mosaic floors and columns also reflect classical influences from Ancient Greece and Egypt. As part of the design there are plaster copies of Classical and Renaissance sculpture to illustrate the “whole range and history of the world’s greatest achievements in art” and a number of these classical friezes can be found throughout the central atrium along with a 19th-century copy of the Baptistery doors from Florence.

The museum has a permanent history gallery called “Discover Preston” and features collections including archaeology, ethnography and local history. The museum houses the “Poulton Elk” which is very well-known around here as it was found under a bungalow in the 1970s! The skeleton is intact and has an arrowhead embedded in its leg, and as it is over 13,500 years old it’s the earliest evidence of people living in the Northwest of England. I was excited to see it, although I know this animal as a Moose from visiting America, apparently we call them Elk over here in the UK which surprised me (grin!).

The staircase is magnificent too, here is the view from the Gallery area with the beautiful Greek and Assyrian friezes, soft pink walls, amazing artwork, marble, sculptures and mosaic floors.

The gallery houses a number of contemporary and classical artworks as well as photographs.

This is the view from the Art Gallery floor down to the Museum floor and the Central Hall.  You can just make out the Foucault pendulum on the lower floor on the right-hand side of the picture. It hangs in the central foyer, through all the floors, over a butterfly-shaped plate marked with the hours of the day. As a result of the rotation of the Earth, this functions as a decorative and reasonably-accurate clock. It’s a spectacular view and was certainly a long way down (grin!).

As usual I also had fun creating a page that incorporates a number of blog challenges too; which I always enjoy as they are a fantastic source of inspiration.

I’m pleased to join Yvonne from Meggy’s Way who is hosting the “Colour in my World” challenge over at Art Journal Journey because at the library we were greeted with neutral and soft colours like you can find on my page.

Over at Try it on Tuesday their theme is “Time or Clocks” so I’m pleased to be able to join in their fun as I added references to both of them onto my page.

I’m also joining the “Anything Mixed Media Goes” challenge over at Mixed Media World with my library inspired page.

As I added the metal embellishments, I’m pleased to join “Heavy Metal” challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge.

I’m also entering my vintage inspired page in the “Vintage” Challenge over at The Mixed Media 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
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot, Peeled Paint)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Desert)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm & 0.8mm)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752, Alphabet CS887)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 clear stamp set (Steampunk DCE907125)
  • Papermania Alphamania A-Z stamp set (Leftovers Alphabet PMA9071102)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Authentic Vintage CRO730/R, Travel Memories 154898, Classic Vintage CRO707/TW7, Vintage Romance 154897)
  • White card
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Vintage Die Cut Shapes)
  • Poundworld Décotime (Vintage Metal Stickers 54748)
  • Poundworld Craft Corner (Adhesive Ribbon U-80933)
  • Home Bargains Love Letters (Self-Adhesive Button Letters 22738)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

 

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Aspire

Today I’m sharing another page inspired by my trip to Blackpool Central Library, and this time I have taken another one of the fabulous stained glass windows that depicts the word “Aspire” as my inspiration. My design includes the arrows and words that can be found etched into the window design, as well as the meaning of the word “aspire” which was cleverly defined through the images that can be seen on the window.

I started by stamping a cog image from a Steampunk stamp set by Docrafts using black Archival Ink to create clusters of cogs. I then used the same ink to stamp a series of arrow stamps by Hampton Art; this replicates the arrows pointing upwards that were etched on the window panes. I also added diagonal stripes to the largest arrows that I had stamped using a black Uni Pin marker to further match the etched glass design. Next I painted diluted Fawn and Topaz Spectrum Aqua markers onto the page, by scribbling the ink onto an acrylic block, spritzing it liberally with water and then applying it to the page with a paint brush. I gradually built up the colour so that it was more concentrated around the edges of the page. I like the way the clean finish of the background mimics the transparency of the glass window.

To give a metal look to the cogs that I had stamped, I coloured them with Fawn, Topaz, Desert and Chestnut Spectrum Aqua Markers. Then I added Ranger Glossy Accents to the cog and arrow images that I had stamped to give them some dimension so that they appear like glass shining from the page. Whilst the Glossy Accents was drying I created this card to depict the word Aspire and the meaning of it that can be derived from the window itself. I used a card by Docrafts Papermania which I cut to size and coloured the dark blue elements of the pattern black using black Sharpie and Uni Pin markers. I took an old dictionary and cut the page containing the word ‘aspire’ and glued it to the front of the card and also to the inside using a UHU Stic. Then I covered both pieces of dictionary text with a thin layer of gesso, aged it with Tea Dye Distress Ink using a blending tool and distressed the edges using the Fawn and Chestnut Spectrum Aqua Markers smudging the ink with my finger to give a vintage look. I stamped the word “ASPIRE” onto the front using a Docrafts alphabet stamp set and black Archival Ink.

Then I also added the definition from the Collins dictionary onto the inside of the card using an alphabet stamp set by Dovecraft and the same black ink. To finish the card I added some pretty coloured rub-on transfers by Kaisercraft to the front and inside of the card which reminded me of stained glass window designs, and then I stuck it to the page using double-sided tape. I also added the hot air balloons which are also rub-on transfers and the saying “Up, up and away” to symbolise the word “Up” that was etched on the glass and also the space rocket lifting off on the window design. To compliment the images I had stamped and to accentuate the illusion of upwards movement, I added black lines of Glitterations stickers and copper gemstone borders to draw the eye upwards. To finish, I embellished some of the stamped cogs with bronze gemstones to add more sparkle and edged the page with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker.

As you may have discovered in my two previous posts, which you can find here and here, this library dates back to 1911. In 2011 to mark the centenary the interior was refurbished and eight new stained glass windows were installed. Here is the beautiful “Aspire” window which inspired my latest page.

Having used these beautiful natural colours as well as different mixed media on my page, I’m pleased to be able to join Yvonne from Meggy’s Way for her “Colour in my World” challenge over at Art Journal Journey and the “Anything Mixed Media Goes” challenge over at Mixed Media World.

With the metal cogs and copper gems, I’m also pleased to join the “Metal” theme over at Country View Challenge.

I’m pleased that the clean finish and simplicity of my design also fits the “Clean and Simple” challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.

I really like the steampunk feel that I created too, so I’m joining in the fun over at SanDee and amelie’s Steampunk Challenges with their “Anything Goes – Steampunk/Industrial” theme.

I enjoyed using all the different stamps to create this page, so I’m also pleased to be able to join the September Challenge of “Anything Goes: (must include stamping)” over at Craft Stamper.

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 (Fawn, Topaz, Desert, Chestnut)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.5mm)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Tea Dye)
  • Hampton Art Bella Blvd cling mounted rubber stamps (Sand & Surf ICO226)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 clear stamp set (Steampunk DCE907125, Alpha Trad DCE907116)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Docrafts Papermania Mini Cards & Stamp Set (Capsule Geometric Krafts PMA105308)
  • The Oxford Pocket Dictionary
  • Docrafts Glitterations (Black Borders ANT8181015)
  • Kaisercraft Rub-ons (Up, Up & Away collection RB870, Lush Collection RB868)
  • Docrafts Forever Friends Opulent (Adhesive Dome Borders FFS351111)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • X-Press It double-sided tape

The Possibilities are Endless

I hope you’re all enjoying this month’s theme “Poetry in Motion” over at Art Journal Journey.  Today I have created a steampunk page using leftover materials from previous projects to depict “Dream, hope, believe … and the possibilities are endless”.

I started by applying the inks onto the page, which were leftover from a 21st birthday card that I had made; this involved dripping the remaining diluted blue Distress Ink from an acrylic block onto the page and letting it dry, then applying the leftover black Distress Ink that was on my blending tool using a Viva Décor stencil that I had also used for the card. As you can see, I moved the stencil around the page to produce a lovely shaded effect as the leftover ink was gradually used up. I then added leftover letters from a set of rub-on transfers by Letraset to give a grunge look to the page. Next I stamped three frames, some postal marks and texture stamps by The Works and a key image by Royal & Langnickel using black Archival Ink. To start my sentiment I added the words “dream; hope; believe” which are rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel. I stamped the rest of the sentiment onto a piece of white tissue paper using black Archival Ink and stuck it onto the tag using a UHU Stic. The tag was also leftover from a previous project; I had stamped a Kaisercraft Script stamp using black Archival Ink over the whole tag, edged it with Tea Dye Distress Ink, drawn a stitched look border using a black Uni Pin marker and tied on some paper twine which I distressed using the same Tea Dye ink. I also stamped the texture and key stamps onto the tag so it matched the page background. I outlined the edges of the tissue paper and the letters on the tag with a white Uniball gel pen and stuck it to the page using double-sided foam tape. Then I used the Royal & Langnickel rub-on transfers again to add the “dream; hope; believe” definitions around the sides of the page. To finish, I sourced three postage stamps from my hubby’s childhood stamp collection that tied into the steampunk feel. They are all from Great Britain and I placed them inside the stamped frames using double-sided foam tape.

Here’s the 21st Birthday card that I made for one of my godsons, like my page it has a steampunk feel to it. I find like many of my projects that I had some bits and pieces left over, so I was inspired to create a page from leftovers to demonstrate that the possibilities are endless!

I hope you also think that the possibilities are endless for this month’s theme “Poetry in Motion” over at Art Journal Journey. I’m so looking forward to visiting you and seeing your creations. 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 (Black Soot, Peacock Feathers, Tea Dye)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • The Works clear stamps (CRO274/TW3)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Journey MIN-CCS104)
  • Viva Décor Universal Stencil (Past Times 9002 703 00)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Dovecraft lower case alphabet stamp set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • White tissue paper
  • Hobbycraft (Kraft Medium Luggage Tag 5776581000)
  • Letraset Transfer (Helvetica Bold Condensed 5mm RDC0251)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on sentiments (Motivate Sentiments #ROY510 RUB-ON)
  • Postage stamps (Great Britain 1972, 1975)
  • Wilko (10m Paper Twine 0314169)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range Double-sided foam tape

Past Times

Loving all things Victorian, I was delighted to hear a familiar sound whilst gardening; it was a steam engine coming down the road. Luckily they don’t go too fast so we had time to grab our cameras and take some photos while it was passing our house. This magnificent sight inspired my steampunk page.

I started by colouring the edges of the page with Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink using a blending tool, fading the colours as I reached the centre of the page. Then I stencilled cogs, keys and text by Viva Décor using the same inks and highlighted areas with Black Soot Distress Ink and a terracotta Spectrum Aqua marker. These colours and images remind me of the steam engine that we saw. I cut the world image and rulers from some vintage paper by Kaisercraft and I used some street map paper by American Crafts to illustrate where we had seen the steam engine. I aged all these papers with Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink and edged them with Black Soot Distress Ink using a blending tool and then I stuck them to the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. Once the medium had dried I added colour and detail using a black Uni Pin marker and terracotta, tan and slate Spectrum Aqua markers. Next I stuck on the three Victorian tags, the very dapper looking gentleman, the top hat and the fountain pen/pocket watch, all of which I aged and edged in the same way as the world and map paper. I coloured three clocks which are outline stickers with a black Sharpie permanent marker and stuck them to the page. I added the keys which are rub-on transfers and then layered up lots of different items including: Salvage Stickers from the Tim Holtz Idea-ology Crowded Attic collection, Bees that I had stamped using Archival Ink onto some of the Kaisercraft paper and rulers that I cut from the same sheet of paper. All these items are edged with a black Sharpie pen and once in place I added shadows using a Slate Spectrum Aqua marker by smudging the colour with my finger and a baby wipe to produce a grunge effect. I stencilled white cogs with modelling paste and when it had dried I outlined them with a black Uni Pin marker so they stood out more. I added star outline stickers that I had coloured with the black Sharpie marker and some assorted buttons using Glossy Accents. I coloured and underlined the “Past Times” text with a black Uni Pin marker and applied Glossy Accents on top of this wording, the black stars, the metal button in the centre and around the holes of the tags to give a 3D glossy look.

I’m so pleased to be able to join Erica who is the guest designer for the “Steampunk” theme over at Try it on Tuesday and also Rosie who is hosting the “Circles” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

Here’s the wonderful old steam engine as it passed by our house! The sight, sounds and smells were wonderful, reminding us of times gone by. Steampunk captures this era very well as it incorporates technology and designs inspired by 19th century industrial steam-powered machinery and is referred to as Victorian futurism. If you are interested here is some more information about steampunk:

  • Steampunk is a fictional style and is often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”. Neither of these style cares too much about historical accuracy, the purpose is to have fun, be creative and use your imagination and not to accurately re-enact a period of real history.
  • Technologies that were new or important to the Victorians, such as steam power, clockwork or electricity, are big themes in steampunk.
  • The first science-fiction novels by authors H. G. Wells and Jules Verne strongly influence steampunk and as such fictional machines are popular. If either of these authors wrote a science-fiction novel today, it would be considered steampunk.
  • The “punk” in steampunk comes from going against convention that sets something apart, which is borne from creativity, imagination and one’s individuality, be that style or gadgets.
  • Steampunk is thought to have originated from well-known science-fiction authors William Gibson and Bruce Sterling and/or writer K.W. Jeter.
  • Steampunk may also, though not necessarily, incorporate additional elements from other genres like fantasy, horror, goth, historical fiction, alternate history, or speculative fiction.

In the Victorian era, afternoon tea was also invented and became very popular; it is still popular nowadays although it is seen more as a special treat. So we decided to take advantage of the “Afternoon Tea – 2 for 1” offer whilst visiting a local Garden Centre which also has a wonderful craft shop (grin!). As T Stands for Tuesday I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and sharing our afternoon tea, which includes our usual choice of green tea with a selection of sandwiches and cakes. There was so much food that we both only manage to eat the sandwiches and delicious scone with jam and cream.

We took all the other cakes home to enjoy another day; from the bottom left clockwise there is a Bakewell slice, Viennese Whirl, millionaire’s shortbread, Victoria sponge, tea loaf and in the middle is a chocolate brownie. As I don’t eat nuts I was served different cakes to my hubby and I have to say the millionaire’s shortbread tasted out of this world – yum!

In case you are interested, here’s the craft shop that we looked round after our afternoon tea. I did buy a few things, well, it would be rude not too with the sale items on offer and the 20% off voucher/coupon I had (double grin!).

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, Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Terracotta, Tan, Slate)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Sharpie Permanent Fine Point marker (Black)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste (High Density)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Viva Décor Universal Stencil (Past Times 900270300)
  • American Crafts Paper Pad (DIY Shop 366665)
  • Kaisercraft Timeless Collection (Postmarks P853)
  • Outline Stickers (Timeless Silver 904935)
  • The Works (Victorian Style Embellishments)
  • Tim Holtz Idea-ology Salvage Stickers (Crowded Attic #TH92898)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Sentiments (Home Collage #ROY533 Rub-on)
  • Assorted buttons
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium