Hot Chocolate is like …

Hot chocolate is top on my list of warming drinks this time of year and with it getting colder I thought I would create a winter themed page with a warming mug of hot chocolate and a lovely quote I recently found.

I started by covering the page with a piece of tissue paper with circles on it which had been in my craft stash for a while; the circles were stamped using an old cardboard tube with some leftover blue/green acrylic paint from another project. I stuck the tissue paper to the page using a UHU Stic. Next I stamped hearts into the centre of each circle and also a circle and heart design stamp onto the background using black Archival Ink, both stamps are from Sugarloaf Inc. I added Milled Lavender, Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean Distress Inks and left the page to dry. Then I covered the whole page with a thin layer of white gesso using a baby wipe. Next I used four different stencils and blue inks to add layers of patterns; this included a stencil called Moroccan from the That Special Touch of Mica range by Creative Expressions using Salty Ocean Distress Ink, a Heart Cluster mini stencil from Creative Expressions using Blueprint Sketch Distress Ink, a cross stencil from Craft Sensations using Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink and a Swoosh stencil from Creative Expressions using Summer Sky Memento Ink. The snowflakes are stamps from a Winter Woodland stamp set that was free with a magazine, they are stamped using the same Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch and Chipped Sapphire inks. I also used the snowflake stamps again to stamp white acrylic paint which I applied to the stamps using a brayer. With the background completed I added the quote using some black Label Letter stickers by Tim Holtz and edged them using a Poppy Red Derwent Inktense pencil and a black Uni Pin marker. The quote pays homage to how I feel about hot chocolate it reads:

Hot chocolate is like a hug from the inside.

Then I selected some glittery red paper from a Designer Paper Pack and punched out some snowflakes using a Woodware paper punch. I also punched some black paper snowflakes too which I offset under the red snowflakes to provide a shadow. They are stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. Next I drew a mug on the same red paper, cut it out and edged it using the same red Derwent Inktense pencil and a wet paintbrush.  Before I stuck the mug to the page using double-sided tape, I drew around where it was to be placed on the page and used an Ink Black Derwent Inktense pencil to create a shadow under it so it stood out more. I embellished the mug using a black snowflake, a white glitter foam snowflake and three red gemstones. To finish, I added two smaller red foam glitter snowflakes and some red gemstones to the background and then I edged the page with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker.

It’s been sunny here of late but very cold too, so when out walking with our friends we have been going to a local café on the beachfront and having a hot chocolate! As T Stands for Tuesday I’m pleased to join the T Gang and wish you all a Happy T Day!

As you can see we enjoyed a toasted teacake with our hot chocolate too (grin!). For those of you not familiar with toasted teacakes, here are some facts you may find interesting:

  • Teacakes are a sweetened yeasted bread type roll which usually have dried fruit in, and it is usually split, toasted, buttered, and served with tea.
  • Teacakes originated in the North of England and are very popular in Lancashire where I live.
  • Teacakes have regional differences for example in East Lancashire, certain areas of Yorkshire and Cumbria a teacake is plain unless you ask for a “currant teacake” and this plain teacake is a specialty of the area and is still split and served toasted with butter and also sometimes jam (jelly).
  • Sometimes the plain teacakes are confused with English Muffins however they are not the same thing. An English Muffin here in the UK is the same as in the US and is usually a breakfast item often served as Eggs Benedict or with smoked salmon.
  • We often have toasted teacakes with a cuppa mid morning for elevenses.

Here’s the pretty view from the Waters Edge café over the beach – beautiful!

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:

Hot chocolate and the quote I used ties in nicely with the  “101 Ways To Keep Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey which is being hosted by the lovely Chris.

I was inspired to use the four different stencils to create this page after seeing the design teams artwork over at Country View Challenges which they had created for their “Stencils” challenge.

As I used stamps and the hot chocolate quote, I’m also pleased to join a new challenge today over at The Artistic Stamper where this month’s creative challenge is “Use a Quote”.

It makes me happy to be able to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their “Food and/or Drink” challenge with my hot chocolate inspired page.

With my colourful blue and red page I’m pleased to join the lovely design team over at Try it on Tuesday and their “Colourful” Challenge and I’m also just have enough time to join in the fun over at Moo Mania & More and their “Put A Stencil On It” challenge 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:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Milled Lavender, Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch, Chipped Sapphire)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Summer Sky)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Poppy Red 0400, Ink Black 2200)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.3mm)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood mounted stamps (Heart Tile 26631, Hearts & Circles 26645)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Moroccan, Swoosh)
  • Craft Expressions Mini Stencils (Heart Clusters CEMSHEART)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Winter Woodland Clear Stamp Set – free with Craft Beautiful Dec 2017 magazine
  • White tissue paper – stamped with circles
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology (Label Letters #TH93072)
  • The Works Designer Paper Pack (The Night Before Christmas HCPAP003X15)
  • Leon (X-Large Coloured Paper Pad)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Paper Punch (Large Snowflake SL120118)
  • Poundland (Christmas Craft Pack)
  • Docrafts Papermania Eleganza Adhesive Stones (3mm Red PMA351607)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
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Friends

I enjoyed creating this page and would like to dedicate it to three of my best friends who are going through hard times at the moment.

Having only the quote in mind, I sought inspiration for my page from some great blog challenges that I wanted to join. I always find that these challenges really capture my imagination and I have such a fun time incorporating them all into my design, and this page was no exception (grin!).

I started by colouring the background with Faber-Castell Gelatos; I did this by scribbling Bubble Gum, Orange Soda and Lemon gelatos onto my page and then smudging them with my finger. These bright colours make me happy as they remind me of some flowers that were bought for me recently so they are perfect for Yvonne‘s theme of “Colour in my World” over at Art Journal Journey. I kept the gelatos thick for the next technique, where I used a baby wipe through two different stencils to remove some of the gelato colour.

I like the way the bubbles and crosses are twinkling over the page and to enhance this look I added some Wink of Stella clear glitter to each bubble, which was inspired by Monday’s “Shimmer and Shine” challenge over at Simon Says Stamp. Next I stamped the heart and circle design by Sugarloaf Inc. using black Archival Ink, I love this stamp it’s one of my favourites. Then I added more shiny elements in the form of Designer Vinyls by Craftime which have a black high gloss finish and detail intricate designs of friends at play. These images were inspired by the “My Friend” theme over at Try it on Tuesday and works perfectly with the quote. I printed the word “Friends” from my computer, fussy cut the letters out, coloured them black with a Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. They are outlined with Dovecraft black Pearl Effects and more shimmer was added to the centre of each letter using the Wink of Stella glitter brush. Then I used an alphabet stamp set from Docrafts with black Archival Ink, to stamp the rest of the quote, which reads:

“Friends fill your life with joy, your soul with sunshine and your heart with love”.

I added more shimmer and shine using some pretty glitter butterflies from Poundland and also some glossy hearts and flowers from the same Designer Vinyl set. Then I stamped a border by Hampton Art around the edge of the page using the black Archival Ink and added the neon orange border over the top which is from a pack of 3D Border Glitterations by Docrafts Papermania; I really like the glitter effect and their transparency as you can still see the stamped border beneath them. To finish, I added a black Glitterations border on the inner edge of the orange border to frame the page with a sparkly black line too.

Here are the beautiful flowers that coloured my world, they were a gift from a family member who stayed with us recently, I chose similar colours for my page as they make me so happy when I see them – aren’t they stunning!

I love creating my art journal pages using mixed media so I’m also pleased to join the “Anything Mixed Media Goes” challenge over at Mixed Media World.

I also really enjoyed incorporating some of my favourite stamps for the background, border and quote on my page, and taking inspiration from Majo who used quotes on her artwork over at Craft Stamper, I thought it would be fun to join their “Anything Goes” Stamping Challenge!

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

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

  • Faber-Castell Gelato (Bubble Gum, Orange Soda, Lemon)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Zig Memory System Wink of Stella Brush (GL Clear 999)
  • Dovecraft Pearl Effects (Brights – Black DCBS92PD)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Point Marker (Black 0.3mm)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Anita’s Sugarloaf Inc. wood mounted rubber stamp (26645)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 clear stamp set (Alpha Folk DCE907115)
  • Hampton Art Doodlebug Inc. cling mounted rubber stamps (Borders ICO160)
  • “Friends” computer printout
  • Craftime Designer Vinyls (B/W Boy & Girl PBDV02)
  • Poundland (Mini Glitter Embellishments 59409)
  • Docrafts Papermania Glitterations 3D Borders (Neon Orange PMA818103)
  • Docrafts Papermania Glitterations (Black Borders ANT8181015)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • UHU Glue Pen

Music makes my heart sing

I love listening to music when I’m crafting and have quite an eclectic taste, for when I feel like classical music, then Johann Strauss II is by far my favourite with his joyful polkas and waltzes, his music seems so happy to me (grin!)). What could be better than listening to “An der schönen blauen Donau” (The Blue Danube), which inspired my colourful musical vintage page today.

I started by experimenting with a new technique of adding Liquitex Matte Gel Medium to the whole page as a base for Faber-Castell Gelatos. Once the gel medium was dry I scribbled Snow Cone, Lime, Boysenberry, Margarita Mix gelatos over the top and used a wet finger to blend the colours. This was really easy to do and the gel medium created a slippery surface for the gelatos to glide over and is definitely a technique I would try again. Next I used various stamps to create the patterned background using Memento Inks. This included a Diamond Background stamp by Art Impressions using an aptly named Blue Danube ink, a circle and heart stamp by Sugar loaf Inc. using Bahama Blue, a Flower Tile stamp by Rubber Soul using Grape Jelly, a Serpentine Background stamp by Art Impressions using Summer Sky and a 4-Point Star Background stamp by Art Impressions using Lilac Posies. Then I rubbed some of these stamped images with a baby wipe to remove some of the ink and gelato which created a beautiful translucent effect. To finish the background, I added the roses, moulding, ballerina, music sheet and script images from a stamp set called Musicality by Docrafts using black Archival Ink. I really like the layers of stamping and the translucency of the colours and I enjoyed experimenting with all the techniques I used to produce them. Next I covered the page with a thin layer of gel medium to seal the colour and to allow the rub-on transfers to adhere easier to the page as the gelato has a tendency to coat the back of the transfer stopping it transferring to the page. I used an alphabet letter set of rub-on transfers to create the wording and went over the letters with a white Uni Posca paint pen so they stood out more. The hearts are wedding place cards from Dunelm which I stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. I used a paper punch to create the flowers using some sheet music, coloured the edges of the petals using Kingfisher and Peacock Blue Spectrum Aqua Markers and stuck a pearl Gel Stone Sticker in the centre.

I arranged the flowers on the hearts with some lace flowers, silver metallic ribbon and a blue enamel Vintage flower from Poundworld using Glossy Accents. Then I added some pieces of wire pearl decorative chain which I also used to swirl across the page using Glossy Accents to stick it into place, this finished the page.

It’s a new month and I’m pleased to join the lovely Yvonne from Meggy’s way over at Art Journal Journey for her theme “Colour in my World” with my colourful page and I think music colours my world too – Happy September!

As I used metal decorative wire and metallic ribbon on my page, I’m joining in the fun over at Country View Challenge where the theme is “Metal”.

With the vintage look and feel I created on my page, I’m also joining the lovely Astrid who is part of the Design Team over at The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge for their “Vintage” theme.

A few weeks ago I was talking to Susi about the Vienna Opera House in Austria and my love for Strauss, which inspired this page. Does anyone else watch the Vienna Philharmonic’s famous New Year’s Day Concerts?  It’s televised here in the UK and I always watch it – I love it! Of course Austrian composer Strauss always features at the concert and you can watch the “An der schönen blauen Donau” (The Blue Danube) being beautifully played by Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the 2011 New Year’s Concert on the YouTube link above.

If you are interested here are some facts about the music:

  • “The Blue Danube” is the common English title of “An der schönen blauen Donau”, which is German for “By the Beautiful Blue Danube”.
  • Johann Strauss II (1825 – 1899) is part of a famous musical dynasty being the son of Johann Strauss I. He wrote more than 400 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, operettas, a ballet and other dance tunes. He is also known as “The Waltz King” and he composed this particular waltz in 1866.
  • Strauss adapted it into an orchestral version for the Paris World’s Fair in 1867 and it became a great success.
  • Words have been written to accompany the music but the instrumental version is by far the most commonly performed today.
  • When Strauss’s stepdaughter, asked the composer Johannes Brahms for his autograph, he wrote down the first bars of The Blue Danube and “Leider nicht von Johannes Brahms” which means “Alas! not by Johannes Brahms”.

As T Stands for Tuesday I’m sharing a drink with the T Gang and wishing you a Happy T Day!

We currently have family staying with us for the week, so I’m sorry that I haven’t had any time to blog and visit everyone recently. We had a fun weekend and I thought this photo matched the look and feel of my page, so here’s my Green tea and for those of you who are coffee lovers a cappuccino (just in shot on the left-hand side) at a local café we visited (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:

  • Faber-Castell Gelato (Snow Cone, Lime, Boysenberry, Margarita Mix)
  • Tsukineko Memento Ink (Danube Blue, Bahama Blue, Grape Jelly, Lilac Posies, Summer Sky)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Kingfisher, Peacock Blue)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (White)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Diamond Background T-3335)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood mounted rubber stamp (26645)
  • Rubber Soul Sylvia Yu 2006 wood mounted rubber stamp (Flower Tile 1539-K)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Serpentine Background T-2773)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (4-Point Star Background G2983)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 clear stamp set (Musicality DCE 907112)
  • Dunelm Wedding Collection (Place Cards)
  • Bosworth Violin Studies
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Old English White #ROY-864 Rub-on)
  • Poundworld (Vintage Stickers 54748)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Decorative Chain 26253)
  • Home Bargains Sticker Mania (Gel Store Stickers 74749)
  • Lace border
  • Metallic Silver Ribbon
  • Floral Paper Punch
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic

Always bring your own sunshine

Seeing sunflowers in people’s gardens reminded me of a lovely surprise we saw whilst walking along our local beach last October. A single sunflower was actually growing and flowering right on the beach front. To capture this happy memory I created “Always bring your own sunshine”.

As I included one of my favourite quotes I’m pleased to join the “Poetry in Motion” challenge over at Art Journal Journey too.

To start I used a small brayer to layer yellow, blue, parchment and white acrylic paint onto the page; I didn’t let each colour dry completely before applying the next so that the colours would blend a little. I stamped a diamond design by Art Impressions and also a heart/circle design by Sugarloaf Inc. using black Archival Ink. Then I used the brayer again to add white gesso over the top to tone them down and produce a layered effect. Next I added fine splatters of the black acrylic paint using a paintbrush. I stencilled a clock face by Craft Sensations using Black Soot Distress Ink with a blending tool, this depicts turning back the time, as I am remembering seeing the sunflower in October last year. I also stencilled some cogs by Viva Décor using the same Black Soot ink in the right-hand corner around the clock face and on the top left of the page. The sunflowers are rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel, and I used a black Uni Pin marker and a white Uniball gel pen to add extra detail. I then added white acrylic paint splatters over the sunflowers and the rest of the page. I had some dried gesso that had formed on the top of the paint tube so I stuck these on with a UHU Stic to continue the grunge feel. I added a pretty fabric tag and then I stamped the wording around the edge of the clock using black Archival Ink. To finish, I went over the wording with a black Uni Pin pen to make it stand out more. I really like the beach colours and urban street art feel of this piece.

I thought you might like to see the solitary sunflower on our beach, here it is – we couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw it shining at the edge of the sand dunes, I’m not sure how it got there, birds maybe (grin!).

We first discovered this little sunflower when we were volunteering at Beach Care for Love My Beach, you can see my hubby to the left of the picture. We join this group every week to keep our local beach and bathing waters clean. It’s a great way to actively help the environment, care for sea life, meet people and just give something back to the community; we always have so much fun too!

The next day we were walking with one of our friends and went back for another look, she kindly took this picture of us. It reminds me of summer days and you never know maybe we will see another sunflower on our beach and if not, as the saying goes you can “Always bring your own sunshine!”

“Poetry in Motion”

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
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Swedish Blue, Parchment, Cadmium yellow Medium)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm & 0.5mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Diamond Background T-3335)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood mounted rubber stamp (26645)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCV0050)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Viva Décor Universal Stencil (Past Times 900270300)
  • Ranger Brayer (Small 2 ¼ inch)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (REC1683)
  • The Works (Canvas Floral Tags)
  • UHU Stic

Smile, Sparkle, Shine

I was inspired to create a page for Try it on Tuesday’s theme of “Let it Shine” and decided to create a sun page to help use up lots of different coloured glitter glues I have in my craft stash. The resulting page made me smile as it sparkles and shines!

I started by stamping a starburst stamp on the top right hand corner of my page using London Fog Memento Ink. Then I extended the starburst design to fill the page using a ruler and pencil. Next I used Sunflower, Gold, Marigold, Orange and Begonia Spectrum Aqua markers to colour the sections alternating the colours; I did this by scribbling the markers onto an acrylic block and picking up the ink with a wet paintbrush.  Next I selected a different glitter glue pen for each of the Spectrum Aqua marker colours used, squeezed the glue onto the corresponding sections and spread it using a palette knife to create sun rays. I also created a round sun shape using the different glitter glues and used the palette knife to give a smooth finish. While the glue was still wet I added the sequins to the sun and sun rays, then I left the page to dry thoroughly. As the glue dried it reacted with the solid blocks of Aqua marker ink that I had applied and concentrated them to form lines of colour a bit like heat radiating from the sun. I emphasised these patterns by building up the colours more using the corresponding Aqua markers again. Then I used black and yellow Uni Posca paint pens to add dots of colour and definition around the sun and the sun rays. Next I stamped the words using an alphabet stamp by Papermania and black Versafine Ink. I went over the letters with a black Sharpie permanent marker so they were fully coloured black and then I covered the letters with Glossy Accents to give the wording a shiny 3D effect so they stood out more. To finish I added the black butterflies, flowers and small gemstones using Glossy Accents.

As this page celebrates the summer sun, I’m also pleased to be able to join Bluebeard and Elizabeth from Altered Book Lover who are hosting the “Summertime Love” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

This page reminds me of all the smiles, sparkle and sunshine that we saw at Blackpool Carnival last weekend. Blackpool has brought back their annual summer carnival after an absence of many years and we had such a fun time. The theme was “International” and there were steel bands playing wonderful up-beat songs that made you smile! There were also international food stands and a stage where there were different dance troupes and singers.

As part of the carnival there was a parade along the promenade which was full of sparkle!

The parade was packed full of culture, variety, and fabulous costumes.

Then we moved over to the dark side (grin!) as Star Wars also took part in the parade, which is probably “intergalactic” rather than “international” (double grin!). It was really strange because the atmosphere seem to change as they went passed – quite eerie but ever so cool too! It made my day to see them in the parade and it was lovely to have more summer fun in the sun!

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:

  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Sunflower, Gold, Marigold, Orange, Begonia)
  • Tsukineko Vesafine Ink (Onyx Black)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (London Fog)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (Yellow, Black)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood mounted rubber stamp (26551)
  • Papermania Alphmania A-Z clear stamps (Leftovers Alphabet PMA9071102)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 134240 & 175751)
  • Poundland (Mini Glitter Embellishments 59409)
  • Poundland (Assorted Sequins 119188)
  • Hobbycraft Glitter Glue Pens (Assorted Colours 6103601000)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents