Snapdragons

Snapdragons (antirrhinums) are one of my all time favourite summer flowers and as they are in full bloom in my garden I thought I would create a page. With my love for this flower I’m pleased to be able to join in the fun with Bluebeard and Elizabeth from Altered Book Lover with her “Summertime Love” theme over at Art Journal Journey.

I started with Potter’s Clay and Rich Cocoa Memento Ink which I applied to an acrylic block, spritzed with water and painted onto the page using a paintbrush. Then I stippled the same inks through a brick design stencil and also a wood grain stencil; these designs remind me of the area in our garden where the snapdragons are flowering. Next I tore up a page, that contained information about plant biology, from a Pear’s Cyclopaedia and layered the paper pieces onto my page using a UHU Stic. Once the glue had dried, I applied Butter Cream, Watermelon and Earl Grey Faber-Castell Gelatos and edged the papers with a black Sharpie Marker, smudging all the colours with my finger. I splattered the background with black acrylic paint using a paint brush and once dry I covered the whole page with white gesso. While the gesso was drying, I used a baby wipe to remove it from the papers and some of the brick and wood grain designs allowing the writing and colours to show through. The snapdragons are from a wallpaper sample which I fussy cut and stuck to the page using Liquitex matte gel medium. Once the gel medium had dried I outlined them with a Derwent Graphik marker and added shadows using Desert and Slate Spectrum Aqua Markers. To show my love for these flowers, I used some pretty pink heart brads. I pushed them through the page and then covered the back of each brad with a piece of masking tape to prevent any damage to the next journal page. I drew a very faint green circle around each heart using a Moss Spectrum Aqua Marker and then I added splatters of the Moss and also a Chocolate Aqua marker using a paintbrush; I did this by scribbling the Aqua markers onto an acrylic block and spritzing the block with water to dilute the ink. The “snapdragon” wording is made up from some leftover Cardstock Stickers by Little Yellow Bicycle that I had in my craft stash, and as I didn’t have the full complement of letters to spell out the word, I also made some of the letters using card and Uni Posca paint pens. The antirrhinum definition is cut from my old school dictionary, it is stuck to the page using a UHU Stic and outlined with a Charcoal Grey Derwent Inktense pencil and a black Uni Posca paint pen. Next I edged a pink “Love this” sign by The Works using a black Sharpie marker and stuck it to the page using double-sided foam tape. To finish, I added some gold flower outline stickers, green pearls and green lace trim.

Here are the lovely snapdragons in our garden! These flowers are also known as “dragon flowers” and their Latin name antirrhinum means resembling an animal’s snout.

They bring back the most wonderful childhood memories of when I used to play with these flowers and make the dragon open and close its mouth by gently squeezing either side of the flower head– well in actual fact I still do this, it is such fun (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:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black)
  • Memento Ink (Potter’s Clay, Rich Cocoa)
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Butter Cream, Watermelon, Earl Grey)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Desert, Slate, Chocolate, Moss)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (White, Black, Brown, Pink)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Charcoal Grey 2100)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • The Pocket Oxford Dictionary
  • Pear’s Cyclopaedia 2007-2008 Edition
  • Wallpaper sample
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Vintage Die Cut Shapes)
  • Little Yellow Bicycle Cardstock Stickers (Fresh Verse PD-140)
  • Docrafts Anita’s Outline Stickers (Flower Blossom – Gold ANT810143)
  • Trimcraft Simply Creative (Adhesive Pearls SCDOT056)
  • Docrafts Papermania Botanicals (Adhesive Lace Trim PMA358334)
  • Brads (Hearts – Pink BRHEP1)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Dream

I had so much fun creating this page for the “Letters or Numbers or Both” theme over at Try it on Tuesday and the “Circles” theme over at Art Journal Journey. I chose the word “dream”, the grunge design and some of the colours from a sign that adorns my craft room wall.

This grunge look took sometime to create and it started with a mop up background of Red Cherry and Passion Fruit gelatos which I covered in a thin layer of white gesso to tone down the colours a little. I stencilled the clock and some numbers using two stencils by Craft Sensations and black Versafine Ink with a blending tool; I wasn’t very careful in applying the ink and didn’t mind the splodges of ink that formed around the edge of the stencil as it added to the grunge look. I applied black Papermania embossing powder over the top of the ink and then shook the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper tapping the page against the table to make sure I’ve removed any stray powder. Once the excess powder was safely returned to its container, I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. I swept the gun over the images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long until the embossing powder changed to a glossy finish becoming smooth and dimensional. Next I scribbled a Coconut Faber-Catell Gelato onto the page and I dipped my finger into some water and rubbed the gelato to smudge the colour. I removed the gelato that had gone over the embossed images straight away with a piece of kitchen towel returning them to a glossy finish. I added some small leftover pieces of torn black and white polka dot washi tape to the page and then I applied Pébéo modelling paste through a Shabby Harlequin stencil by Creative Expressions.

Once the paste had dried I used Dark Sepia, Sanguine and Cold Grey Faber-Castell Big Brush markers to add more colour to the modelling paste and the background; I did this by scribbling each marker onto an acrylic block, spritzing the block with water and then pressing and dragging it across the page. I then painted some white gesso onto the page using my finger. I applied a Snow Cone blue gelato to the pieces of washi tape and to the top of the modelling paste which highlighted the texture and shape wonderfully. Then I used the Dark Sepia marker to outline the stencilled shapes.

I drew the larger circles and shaded them using the blue gelato and edged them with white and black Uni Posca paint pens. I used the blue gelato again to add the smaller circles using a Dutch Doobadoo mask and when it had dried I added some detail to the edges using the Uni Posca paint pens.  I used black Versafine ink to stencil cog shapes using a Viva Décor stencil and also stamp a circular postage mark using a stamp from The Works. Then I stamped a Kaisercraft Script stamp using Rich Cocoa Memento Ink. To add more depth of colour to the clock, cogs, circles and background around the modelling paste, I used Gold, Fawn, Desert and Chestnut Spectrum Aqua Markers by applying the ink to an acrylic block and using a wet paintbrush to pick up the ink and apply it to the page.

To finish, I added some circular and small cog shaped sequins using Glossy Accents, some 3D butterfly stickers from The Range and the letter buttons from Home Bargains to add the word “dream”.

Here’s the sign that is on the wall of my craft room, I love the sentiments it contains and to me it’s a wonderful reminder of how to live and enjoy life to the full! As you can see the design is a bit worn and grungy just like my page (grin!).

I often listen to music while I’m crafting and when I created this page a particular song by Elvis, called “If I Can Dream”, caught my imagination. Here’s a link to Elvis singing this song as part of his famous 1968 Black Leather Comeback Show – I love the lyrics:

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
  • Tsukineko Versafine Ink (Onyx Black)
  • Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa)
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Coconut, Snow Cone)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Dark Sepia 175 B, Sanguine 188 B, Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Gold, Fawn, Desert, Chestnut)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (White, Black)
  • Papermania Embossing Powder (Black PMA4021006)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste (High Density)
  • Kaisercraft Clear Stamps (Script CS752)
  • The Works (Clear Stamps CR0274/TW3)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Creative Expressions Mini Stencils (Shabby Harlequin CEMSHARL)
  • Duth Doobadoo Mask Art A5 (Geometric Tiles)
  • Viva Décor Universal Stencil (Past Times 900270300)
  • Poundland (Washi Tape)
  • The Range (Craft Stickers ST5256)
  • Home bargains Love Letters (Self Adhesive Letters 22738)
  • Poundland (Assorted Sequins)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents

Dragonflies and Stars

This page is inspired by two things; firstly by some very magical water reflections under a bridge on a recent day out in Garstang and secondly by the most wonderful quote by an unknown author on one of my friend’s posts – so thank you Kristah.

“May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with fairies and talk to the moon”

This page started with a background gone wrong, so I covered it in a thick layer of Pébéo white gesso and I rolled a clean brayer over the surface to create a textured effect. Once the gesso had dried, I scribbled Earl Grey and Caramel Faber-Castell gelatos over the top. Then I dipped my finger into some water and rubbed the gelato to smudge the colours. Next I dragged a Hickory Smoke Distress Ink pad over the page and also used a grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and blended them both onto the page with my finger. I like the way the gelatos and ink bought out the texture that I had created previously with the brayer on the gesso. Then I vertically stamped the rows of dots by Craft Sensations using black Archival Ink and I used the same ink to stamp a circle/heart design by Sugarloaf Inc. and also a small script texture stamp by The Works.  I used a circle stencil to add modelling paste to the edges of the page using a palette knife and when it had dried I painted it with white acrylic paint so it stood out from the background better. Then I used an acrylic block and a paintbrush to add splatters of white and black acrylic paint. I added the white circles by drawing round a tube of tape using a white Uni Posca paint pen. For the dragonfly circles, I used a circle cutter to cut three circles from some pre-stamped paper (this is the paper I create whilst completing other journal pages as I always test my stamps before using them on my pages). On each circle I stamped a dragonfly by Eco Green Crafts using black Versafine Ink and applied black Papermania embossing powder over the top. Then I shook the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper and tapped the circles against the table to make sure I’ve removed any stray powder. Once the excess powder was safely returned to its container, I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. I swept the gun over the images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long until the embossing powder changed to a glossy finish becoming smooth and dimensional. I used a black Faber-Castell big brush marker to draw black circle outlines and stuck the dragonfly circles over the top using a UHU Stic. Then I drew a dot border around the edges of these circles using the white Uni Posca paint pen again. I stamped the quote using black Archival Ink and I went over the wording with a black Uni Pin pen to make it stand out more. The stars are outline stickers which I coloured with a black Sharpie permanent marker. To finish, I coloured some paper flowers using a Red Violet Spectrum Aqua marker by liberally colouring the centre of the flower and then applying water with a paintbrush so the water spread the ink across the petals giving a shaded effect and once they had dried I stuck them to the page with Glossy Accents.

I’m pleased to be able to join Rosie who is hosting the “Circles” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

Garstang is a lovely old market town in Lancashire, here you can see the view up the high street, and the gentleman in blue is sat under the Market Cross. The town is steeped in history and there has been a market here for over 200 years and we always enjoy looking around the weekly outdoor market stalls that wind their way up the high street.

We always go to The Royal Oak Hotel for lunch, which is a 17th century coaching inn situated opposite the Market Cross in the centre of the town. The pub is made up of several small rooms which are decorated in a traditional pub style with beamed ceilings, wood panelling and stained glass, along with china and brass adorning the walls. We sat in this little room off the bar which has a very cosy feel.

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m sharing a beer called “Pint of Thrones” by Robinsons Brewery. It’s pictured with our usual choice of prawn sandwich with chips (shrimp sandwich with fries for my friends in the US) – so yummy!

After lunch we like to walk along the Lancaster Canal and also the River Wyre. We walked about 5 miles looking at the boats and scenery.  This white bridge is the Fylde Water Board Crossing and carries a water pipe across the canal which is so pretty and quite elaborate considering its rather mundane task (grin!).

There were quite a few boats along the canal as it was a hot sunny day. There were many narrow boats and we had just walked round a corner when we saw this one coming towards us – don’t worry though, it’s not going that fast, they are limited to 4 mph. I think my hubby secretly wants a narrow boat!

Then we made our way back along the canal approaching the Cathouse Bypass Bridge and I think dragonflies may well enjoy these reeds and iris.

We love the wonderful views and countryside in this area. At the Wrye Aqueduct, which is a bridge taking the canal over a river, we turned down some steps to continue our walk along the River Wrye. This aqueduct was first used in 1797 and is still going strong today!

As we passed under the aqueduct, we saw the most amazing circular reflections on the ceiling. These are caused by a few drops of water from the canal above dripping down into the river below.

The background of my page reminds me of these walls and the wonderful circle reflections that we saw. The circles were so magical, it’s as if fairies were dancing on the water – just like Kristah’s quote!

We then followed the path alongside the River Wyre through the trees and back into town. We always have such a lovely time in Garstang, it’s a beautiful place!

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
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White, Black)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Hickory Smoke)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tsukineko Versafine Ink (Onyx Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Red Violet)
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Earl Grey, Caramel)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199, Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (White)
  • Sharpie Permanent Fine Point Marker (Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.5mm)
  • Papermania Embossing Powder (Black)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CR0274/16R2)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood mounted rubber stamp (26645)
  • The Works (Clear Stamps CR0274/TW3)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Creative Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Pre-stamped paper
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Mini Paper Flower Embellishments)
  • Outline Stickers (Gold Stars)
  • UHU Stic

Rock Factory

We went to visit a rock factory, where they make an array of yummy confectionery including sticks of rock, sweets/candies and lollipops. Rock is made of boiled sugar and is hard similar to a candy cane, it is an essential part of a British seaside holiday and is often bought by tourists for themselves or as presents. My hubby remembers as a child often receiving sticks of rock from people who had been on holiday. At the factory we saw first-hand how they made the confectionery and we had so much fun that I was inspired to create this page.

I started by stamping round circles by alternating Picked Raspberry and Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink on a circle stamp which was made from an empty tube from the roll of a sticky tape. Next I divided the page diagonally with washi tape to create four sections. I’ve had this tape in my craft stash for a while and if you look closely you’ll see it has tiny sweets on it. Then I used a mask to ensure the inside of the circles remained white and stencilled different coloured stripes in each of the four sections using Festive Berries, Cracked Pistachio, Spiced Marmalade and Seedless Preserves Distress Ink. These colours and stripes reminded me of the rock at the factory. To add more definition to the stripes I used a ruler to draw a line in a corresponding colour using Uni Posca paint pens (another new crafting goody, grin!). Then I placed a polka dot flower in the centre of each circle to represent the centre of the rock. The striped canopy, border, sticks of rock and wording are fussy cut from an advertising leaflet which I stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. The owners of the factory kindly gave me a copy of their logo to use for my page, which I fussy cut and stuck down using a UHU Stic. Once the glue had dried I outlined the logo with a pink and a blue Uni Posca paint pen. I also used the blue paint pen to outline the canopy, border and leaflet wording. Next I added the words “fun; trip; sweet; gobble; happy” which are rub-on transfers; they remind me of the great time we had at the factory. To finish the page, I embellished the sections with tiny sweets that I had cut from the washi tape and gem stars, and I added strips of gems along the edge of the washi tape, canopy and border.

I’m pleased to be able to join Rosie’s theme over at Art Journal Journey with my “Circles” of rock .

I thought you might like to join us on our tour. We arrived at the Coronation World factory which is the home of Coronation Rock just before lunchtime. We found out that they were established in 1927 and have always been a family run business; it is the largest rock factory in Blackpool being one of the only three rock factories remaining.

We went to the factory shop and were greeted by one of the owners, who very kindly explained the different processes we could see from the viewing gallery and answered our questions. As you can see the factory was a hive of industry, on the back wall behind the blue table is where they make the rock from the raw ingredients, which are heated in big copper pans. It is then poured onto the cooling slabs (the tables behind the blue table) and when it is ready it is then used in different ways to make either sticks of rock, individual sweets/candies or lollipops.

We found out that they have both a wholesale range and custom range of products and that they don’t need to advertise as they are always inundated with orders from companies and stores worldwide.

This was a HUGE stick of rock which was custom-made for a company! We also found out more about the history of Blackpool rock making – “How do they put the letters in the rock?” by watching the video they have screening in the shop. You can also steer the CCTV cameras to get a really close look at the action on the factory floor!

To make the sweets, they add colour and flavour when the rock mixture is on the cooling slab, then as it cools it is worked and once at the right temperature they form it into a design on the blue heated table. It is then transferred to the batch roller on the sweet line, which rolls the batch into a continuous rope. Once the rope has reduced to the correct size it is fed into the sweet wrapping machine, which cuts it into small sweets/candies and wraps them.

They were also making lollipops for a very famous store – Harrods! How cool is that, I bet you can’t guess what my friends are getting for presents this year, well if it’s good enough for Harrods it’s good enough for us (grin!).

As you can see from these moulds, they produce lollipops for some famous companies too.

We were kindly given a free sample to try; these are lime flavoured sweets and they were still warm from the machine and tasted very yummy! We were told that the three most popular flavours are traditional mint, fruit cocktail and aniseed. In the shop we also spotted blackcurrant, cherry, coconut, cola, pineapple, raspberry, rhubarb and strawberry as well stranger flavours like curry, chili, beer, whiskey and gin & tonic.

We had the most wonderful time and it was fascinating to watch them making the sweets and lollipops. If you want to see how they make the different rock products at this factory then take a look at this amazing video – I think the staff must have asbestos hands (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 (Picked Raspberry, Chipped Sapphire, Festive Berries, Cracked Pistachio, Spiced Marmalade, Seedless Preserves)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (White, Pink, Light Green, Violet, Blue)
  • Ranger Claudine Hellmuth Studio 6×6 Stencil (Our Town HSC36920)
  • Circle stamp – tube
  • Logo and leaflet
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Sentiments (Spring #ROY-506, Summer #ROY505, Thanksgiving #ROY-522)
  • The Works (Printed Washi Tape)
  • Wilko stickers (Flower Embellishments)
  • The Range Adhesive Craft Gems (Assorted Shapes CR0869)
  • UHU Stic

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

Be a Flamingo

This week I’ve had loads of fun experimenting with my super new Faber-Castell Gelatos, so I thought I’d use them to create a background with one of my favourite techniques – using a stencil. Having found some flamingo fabric bunting in my craft stash, I was inspired to use the brightly coloured gelatos to create a tropical look on my page.

I started by covering the page with a thin layer of Pébéo white gesso in readiness to apply the Faber-Castell Gelatos; I’ve found out that to achieve a smooth coverage on my textured mixed media paper, then prepping the page with gesso first is a must. Next I scribbled Bubble Gum, Orange Soda, Limoncello and Mango gelatos onto my page, dipped my finger into water and then rubbed them to blend the colours. I didn’t use too much water as I wanted a heavier coverage of gelato for the next technique. I covered areas of the page with a Distressed Dot stencil by Creative Expressions and rubbed with a baby wipe to remove and lighten the colour producing a lovely effect. Next I mixed some acrylic paints into a turquoise colour and applied it using a blending tool through a Dutch Doobadoo Mask to create different circles on my page. I also used the blending tool as a stamp to add circles of the paint straight to the page. Then I stamped tiny circles, tropical flowers and a postage mark using black Archival Ink. As I stamped the images directly onto gelatos I was able to remove some of the ink from the flowers by dabbing the images with a baby wipe and then I stamped the images again, this gave more of a layered 3D look. I used the same Doobadoo mask to add a grid of dots using Black Soot Distress Ink and Pébéo Modelling paste. Once the modelling paste had dried I painted the dots with white acrylic paint to intensify their brightness. Next I added circular shiny pink flamingo stickers over each of the turquoise circles and also added some rub-on flower transfers to the page. To finish, I used a piece of fabric flamingo bunting and arranged it on the page with some card embellishments and pretty pink buttons so it looks like it is hanging on a string of bunting. The saying on the flamingo bunting makes me smile, it reads “Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons”.

As my background features lots of circles, I’m pleased to be able to join Rosie who is hosting the “Circles” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

With all the interest that was generated from my previous post, I thought I’d share some of the techniques I have been using with my gelatos as well as my tips and learning so far. In the photos the mixed media paper I used is prepped with white gesso and the gelato colours are Red Cherry and Passion Fruit, so firstly let’s look at some of the ways you can use gelatos:  

Scribble on paper and smudge

Just scribble gelato onto your paper (which is a nice effect in itself) and then rub it with your finger. I have found dipping my finger in a little water first then rubbing the gelato works best for me. There are several ways you can smudge gelatos and the simplest one seems to be with your finger however you can also use a paint brush or a wet wipe. As you can see from the photo above you get similar results regardless of how you smudge them and all give a heavier coverage. Although you can achieve a more translucent watercolour look or a more opaque look depending on how much pigment you use and how much water you add.

Use like Inks

As gelatos are activated by water, I experimented by using the gelatos like I do my Aqua Markers and Distress Inks. So I scribbled the gelatos onto an acrylic block (acetate would work as well) and then I spritzed them with water and pressed the block onto the paper.

Use like paint

You can also pick up the colour with a wet paint brush and paint with them so it looks similar to watercolor. I found you can even use it straight out of the tube by touching a wet paint brush right up to the gelatos. Both of these techniques resulted in a softer colour which could be intensified depending on how much pigment is used and how much water is added.

Drips and splatters

For this technique, I applied a thick layer of gelato onto the top of my paper and then I sprayed it with water and tipped the page to make drips. Although, I found that I preferred to add the water with a brush to make the drips because I could use less water and therefore control how the gelatos blended to get a more vibrant colour. I accidentally found out that you can also create splatters of colour by flicking a wet paintbrush over the end of the gelato straight from the tube (grin!).

Use a Stencil

This is the technique I used on my page, in summary just scribble gelatos onto paper and smudge the colour. Then cover with a stencil and use a baby wipe to remove the colour. The colour can be lightened to varying degrees depending on how much you rub off with the baby wipe giving a great tone on tone effect. If the surface is prepped with gesso first, you’ll be able to remove more colour getting a higher contrast effect.

Stamp with it

This is where you apply the gelato right onto the stamp, spritz with water and stamp. You can also colour areas of the stamp with different gelato colours that may blend together a bit when stamped or you can apply the gelato by picking up the colour with a wet paintbrush and painting it onto the stamp to give a softer look.

Tips and learning:

  • If you want smooth coverage, then prep your paper with gesso first. I have found that it gives the mixed media paper I use a much smoother surface, which helps to smudge and blend gelatos more easily. Plus if you are using cardstock, a layer of gesso helps the paper withstand water and rubbing.
  • I have even experimented prepping the page with Matte Gel Medium which gives a slicker surface and is great when misting with water to blend the gelatos and create drips.
  • Remember they are water based so when using a baby wipe be careful not to wipe away the gelato accidentally.
  • If you make a mistake or don’t like you what you have created on gesso prepped paper, then you can just wipe the gelato off straight away with a baby wipe and some kitchen roll and start again.
  • If you contaminate a gelato by getting another gelato colour on it, simply rub it off on a piece of paper.
  • Cleaning up after using gelatos is very easy as they are water-soluble, so just use a baby wipe or a wet cloth to get everything clean.
  • Unfortunately (for my hubby) these gelatos are nothing to do with ice cream!

Overall, I love the look you can achieve with these new gelatos and it’s been fun experimenting and learning what they can and can’t do. I really enjoy learning and I still have more techniques to try, I hope you have had fun too!

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

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

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Bubble Gum, Orange Soda, Limoncello, Mango)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Christmas Green, Swedish Blue)
  • DecoArt Artist’s Acrylic (White)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Pébéo Modelling Paste
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 Cling Mounted Rubber Stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood mounted rubber stamp (26631)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • Dutch Doobadoo Dutch Mask Art A5 (Geometric Tiles)
  • The Range (Craft Stickers CR1243)
  • Poundland (Homemade Embellishments 138127)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (SYN1470G)
  • Aldi Kirkton House (Bedroom Bunting)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Peace, Love and Kindness

I started creating this page to join in with Rosie’s fabulous “Circles” theme over at Art Journal Journey and it turned into a wish for Peace, Love and Kindness.

I cut a couple of pages in half from a Pear’s Cyclopaedia book and stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. Then I added some green dotty washi tape to the parts of my page where there was no text ripping the tape to soften its edges. I then covered the page with a thin layer of white gesso and used the small and large circles from a Dutch Doobadoo Mask to apply Hickory Smoke, Tea Dye and Black Soot Distress Ink with a blending tool. In the centre of the larger circles, I stenciled smaller circles using the black Distress Ink and covered them with a very thin layer of Lime, Margarita Mix and Mango Faber-Castell Gelatos. I used a baby wipe to blend the Gelato which removed some of the Distress Ink to give the grungy look that I wanted. I then added another layer of Gelato to these circles to intensify the colour which I blended using my finger. I used the circle mask again to stencil white gesso around the edges of the large circles using a sponge.  Next I cut different sized circles from green metallic craft papers using a circle cutter, I edged them with a black Sharpie permanent marker and stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. I added some enamel dots and also some gold Glitterations circle frame stickers which I filled with Glitterations flowers. I then stamped the words using black Archival Ink and used the same ink to stamp the black dots masking the other circles as needed. I doodled more details onto the circles and dots using a white Uni-Posca pen, a black Dewent Inktense pencil and a black Uni Pin marker. To finish I stamped a heart and added a bee to signify the Manchester Worker Bee emblem – I ♥ MCR & I ♥ LDN.

Creating this page allowed me to play with two new craft goodies, a circle cutter which makes short work of cutting different sized circles and some wonderfully vibrant Faber-Castell Gelatos. The Gelatos are very easy to use and I’d like to thank Eileen for highlighting them on her post a few weeks ago, as you can see they didn’t stay on my “wish list” for long (grin!).

As T Stands for Tuesday, I am sharing my usual cup of green tea and to continue the circle theme my picture shows my tea with a huge round chocolate chip cookie that my hubby treated me to from the bakery whilst we were out food shopping (grin!). I’m saying a special thank you to Valerie for making those lovely cookies last week, I showed my hubby and he made it his mission to find one for me (grin again!). And in case you are wondering – yes I did eat this cookie all myself, it was so yummy!

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 (Tea Dye, Hickory Smoke, Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Mango. Margarita Mix, Lime)
  • Uni-Posca Paint Pen (White 0.7mm)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Ink Black 2200)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 Clear Stamp Set (Alphas Trad DCE907116)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Franciose Collection (Flower Style FRSW003-AA)
  • Hampton Art Studio G (Clear Stamps VS4911)
  • Dutch Doobadoo Dutch Mask Art A5 (Geometric Tiles)
  • The Range (Craft Decorative Papers CR0411)
  • The Works (Circle Cutter)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers Designed by Roxanne Jarvis (Bee Mine Roses #JAR623 RUB-ON)
  • Anita’s Glitterations (Circle Frames – Gold ANT8181028)
  • Docrafts Papermania Glitterations (Flowers – Gold ANT8181020)
  • Poundland (Washi Tape 171854-MC16)
  • The Works (Pastel Enamel Dots)
  • UHU Stic