Tricks ‘n’ Treats

With Halloween fast approaching I thought I’d have some fun and create this happy page to celebrate! I’m also pleased to be joining some of my favourite blog challenges which have inspired me to create this Tricks ‘n’ Treats page – Thank You!

I started by covering the background with Light Red Winsor & Newton watercolour paint using a baby wipe and then I splattered some black DecoArt acrylic paint using a paintbrush to add lots of texture and interest. I watered down some Pébéo white gesso and splattered that onto the page too; I like the way these dots have a spooky translucency to them. I tore some black cobweb decoupage paper from Dovecraft into three pieces and stuck them onto the page using a UHU Stic. Once the glue had dried, I distressed areas of the decoupage paper by rubbing it with a baby wipe. Then I coloured these areas using a Sanguine Faber-Castell Big Brush marker, smudging the colour with my finger and I also outlined some of the cobwebs with a white Pentel Hybrid gel pen so they stood out more. Next I added the Halloween Tricks ‘n’ Treats images which are from two different sets of rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel. I added shadows under these images using a Cold Grey Faber-Castell Marker and Desert Spectrum Aqua Marker and also added more detail to them using a black Derwent Graphik marker and a white Pentel gel pen.  To create the ground underneath the black cat and children images, I stamped a diamond design from Art Impressions at the bottom of the page using black Archival Ink, Sanguine Faber-Castell Big Brush marker ink and white Docrafts Pigment Ink; layering the diamond pattern using these different inks on top of one another. As I liked Corrie‘s use of modelling paste on her page over at Country View Challenge, I added modelling paste to my page too using a Mini Squares stencil by Creative Expressions; I applied the Pébéo modelling paste using an old gift card and found it so much easier than using a palette knife. When the paste had dried I edged the page using a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker. Then to finish, I added the glittery flowers which are from Poundland and on the smaller flowers I exchanged the gemstone centres with red gems to tie into the colours that I’d used on the page.

As T Stands for Tuesday I’m sharing my cup of green tea and freshly homemade pumpkin roll filled with cream cheese frosting – what a “treat”, yum! I’m looking forward to chatting with all of the T Gang over a cuppa and wishing you all a Happy T Day!

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs as I enjoy taking part and meeting up with my blog friends. They also 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 able to join today:

The challenge over at Try it on Tuesday is “Its Halloween time” so I’m pleased to join this theme with my Tricks ‘n’ Treats page.

Over at Moo Mania & More it’s also Halloween time so I’m pleased to be joining their “Boo” theme too.

Allsorts Challenge Blog’s new challenge is “Halloween” so I’m joining their lovely design team with my Halloween inspired page.

With the autumnal colours on my page, I’m pleased to join the “Mixed Media with Autumnal Hues” challenge over at Country View Challenges.

As I used autumnal colours, I’m also joining in the fun over at A Vintage Journey and their “Crazy for Autumn Colour” challenge. My page focuses on their “Mixed Media” genre as I have used different mediums to create my Halloween inspired page and their “Art Journaling” genre as it’s my personal celebration of Halloween.

I’m also pleased to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their “Photo Inspiration” challenge with my autumnal colours and Happy Halloween candies.

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:

  • Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colours (Light Red)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Docrafts Pigment Ink Pad (White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Sanguine 188 B, Cold Grey IV 233, Black 199)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Desert)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.02mm)
  • Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip pen (White)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Diamond Background T-3335)
  • Creative Expressions Mini Stencil (Mini Squares CEMSSQUARE)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Decoupage Paper (DCDEC004)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on designed by Vicki Schreiner (Tricks’n’Treats #SCH688N Rub-on)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on (Bats, Cats & Ghosts #EDW355 Rub-on)
  • Poundland (Accessories Pack 60911)
  • Poundland (Mini Glitter Embellishments 59409)
  • Oaktree UK Eleganza Craft Stickers (3mm 418 Gems Red No.16)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
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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

Smartie Time

One of the earliest memories from school is ‘Smartie Time’ and it always brings a smile to my face. This was when I was in Infants School so I must have been 5 or 6 years old. Smartie Time took place every Friday and each pupil in the class received a little cup of Smarties (here in the UK they are sugar-coated chocolate confectionery – similar to M&M’s) and the teacher would take us through the letters that we had learned during the week. Smarties are synonymous with letters of the alphabet due to the packaging having letters on it, so I suppose they linked in well to our learning at school. You could be called a Smartie if you remembered them all too. I’m very pleased to be able to join this month’s theme of “Back to School” being hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth over at Art Journal Journey – thanks for the inspiration!

smartie-time-ajp

I covered the background with a thin layer of white acrylic using a baby wipe and then stamped blocks of the alphabet using Memento ink. To do this I formed the wood mounted letter stamps into a block pattern and held them in place with elastic bands before inking and stamping them. Smarties always came in a box at school rather than the usual tubes so I created a box shape out of Smarties packaging and some blue paper. I fussy cut the word Smartie and added letter stickers to another piece of blue paper for the word “Time”, then I used double-sided foam tape to stick them all onto the box. I stuck on additional sweet images using a UHU Stic and edged the box with a Navy Spectrum Aqua Marker and secured it to the page using double-sided foam tape. Next I stamped the slogan “Only Smarties have the answer” using Archival Ink, and added the balloon images and flowers which are stickers and were chosen to match the colours of the sweets themselves. The letters and numbers are gel stickers which I arranged in a wave like pattern on the page. The hexagonal shapes which detail a letter and question are from the top of the new Smarties packaging – you will find the answers to the questions somewhere on the page too (Clue – the answers are always on the packaging somewhere). I like that it turned out so colourful and fun!

Here are the questions if you can’t read them (and the answers are detailed below too):

  • What K do you boil water in?
  • What N is a short sleep?
  • What G is a place to keep cars?

smarties

To create this page I bought some Smarties to use the packaging, well it might have actually been for the chocolate too! Needless to say we enjoyed eating them whilst I completed my page! A number of things have changed about Smarties over the years, they used to come in a cylinder-shaped tube which had a plastic disc lid. After the Smarties were all gone it made a neat toy as you could “karate-chop” the tube to fire the lid across the room – I loved the popping sound of the plastic lid and seeing how far it went! Smarties no longer come in this packaging and the colours have changed too – there are now blue Smarties which I never had at school. If you want to learn more about Smarties and their history, which actually date back to 1937, here’s a link.

(The answers to the questions are – Kettle, Nap, Garage).

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:

  • Colvin & Co Artist Acrylic (White Titanium)
  • Memento Dye Ink (London Fog)
  • Range Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist’s Marker (Navy)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Dovecraft lower case alphabet stamps (WDW Alpha Stamp DCVW0030)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Alphas Folk DCE907115)
  • Leon (X-large Colour Paper Pad)
  • Home Bargains (Mini Gel Stickers 30287)
  • Wilko stickers (Flower Embellishments)
  • Home Bargains wall stickers (Fairy Door 34356)
  • Hobbycraft Laser Stickers (Letters 5681871002)
  • UHU Stic
  • Zig Memory System 2-Way Glue (The Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
  • Nestlé Smarties packaging