Tropical Flowers

Today I have created a tropical flower page which showcases some beautiful African postage stamps from Gabon – I hope you like it!

I started by covering the whole page with a tropical butterfly postal decoupage paper using Liquitex matte gel medium. Then I tore some Gabon postage stamp information which was included with the postage stamps, edged it with black Faber-Castell marker and stuck it to the left-hand side and right-hand side edges of the page. Next I applied Spice and Moss Spectrum Aqua markers by scribbling them on an acrylic block and painting them onto the page with a paintbrush like watercolour and then I stencilled a trellis pattern from Dutch Doobadoo Mask using black Archival Ink and a blending tool. I also used the same black ink to stamp some butterflies from Hampton Art positioning them so they flowed vertically up the page. Then I layered some Pébéo modelling paste onto the page using a Moroccan stencil from Craft Sensations and when the paste was dry I coloured the edges with a Midnight Sparkle metallic lustre wax. I also added a thin layer of white gesso to soften the black and give a worn and grungy look.

Next I applied more colour using Topaz and Fawn Spectrum Aqua markers, by scribbling them on an acrylic block, holding the block over the page and spritzing with water so droplets of ink pooled onto the page, creating some rusty stains to continue the grunge look. When dry I splattered black and also white DecoArt acylic paint over the whole page using a paintbrush. To make the tags, I used some design paper which I cut into a tag shape and punched a whole in the top of each of one. They are edged with Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink using a blending tool and also a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker. I chose different bits of travel and tropical designed paper that were left over from other journal pages and edged them with the black Faber-Castell marker smudging the ink with my finger. They are layered onto the tags along with some light pink coloured mesh ribbon. I kept the pink colour on two of the tags and I also coloured some of this pink ribbon using the Moss Spectrum Aqua marker on one of the tags and then Spice Spectrum Aqua marker for the other two. The ribbon is stuck onto the tag using a Zig Memory System glue pen and the papers are stuck down using a UHU Stic. I stuck a Gabon postage stamp featuring wild tropical flowers onto each tag using double-sided foam tape and also numbered the tags using outline stickers which I had coloured black using a Sharpie marker. I tied a piece of black paper twine to each of the tags and then stuck them in place using double-sided foam tape which finished the page.

To continue the African tropical flower theme, here is a beautiful Calla lily (Zantedeschia) which is brightening our dining room table with its beautiful white dotted leaves and colourful flowers (grin!).

If you are interested here are some fun facts about this lily:

  • They are also known as the pig lily, trumpet lily or arum lily.
  • The name calla lily is derived from a Greek word meaning beauty.
  • Because the calla lily blossoms in late spring, they have come to represent rebirth and youth.
  • Although an outdoor plant by nature, this plant can also be kept as an indoor plant too.

Challenges

With the flora of the tropical flowers and fauna of the butterflies, I’m joining the Flora and Fauna challenge over at Art Journal Journey where I’m hosting this month. I hope you are inspired to join us, it would be lovely to see you there!

I’m pleased to join in the fun over at Moo Mania and More and their Flowers theme with my Tropical Flowers art journal page.

I’m joining Valerie and the rest of the DT again over at Mixed Media World and their theme is Anything Goes…optional Pink.

I’m also pleased to join the Rust theme over at Mixed Media Monthly Challenge with the rusty stains that I added to my page.

As I used stencils on my page, I’m also reminding you of our Stencil, Die Cuts or Both theme over at Try it on Tuesday which runs until next Monday evening.

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)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Craf-T Products Luster Rub-ons (Midnight Sparkle)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Spice, Moss, Topaz, Fawn)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black, White)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Brushed Corduroy)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.8mm)
  • Sharpie Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Dutch Doobadoo Mask Art A5 (Vintage)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Moroccan)
  • First Edition Deco Maché Decoupage Papers (FEDEC196)
  • The Works 12×12 Paper Stack (Vintage Experience CRO239/TW6)
  • Design papers – leftovers
  • Postage stamps from hubby’s childhood stamp collection (Gabon 1961 set of 5 stamps featuring Wild Tropical Flowers)
  • Mesh ribbon recycled from flower bouquet
  • Outline Stickers (Time Silver 904935)
  • Wilko (Paper Twine)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
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Nature’s Beauty

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

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

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

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

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

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

As T Stands for Tuesday, maybe you would like a green tea, hot chocolate or glass of water (of course they had coffee too, sorry I forgot to take a photo of our friends selection which included a cappuccino which I know you may prefer – grin!). As well as our drinks we enjoyed a bacon butty and a slice of salted caramel cake – yum! Wishing you all a very Happy T Day!

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs, like Try it on Tuesday, as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration for my pages and are a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Alison/Craftytrog, who is hosting the Recycle and Collage challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the recycled rubber art stamp set and wallpaper that I collaged to create this page!

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

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

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

With the circles that I stencilled onto my page, I’m also pleased to join the Going Round in Circles challenge over at That’s Crafty Challenge.

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

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Shabby Shutters, Salty Ocean, Mowed Lawn, Chipped Sapphire)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Tan, Slate, Yellow)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies Cling Mounted Rubber Stamps (Birdsong ICO151))
  • Wallpaper sample – recycled
  • Royal & Langnickel Tip of the Brush (Insect Collection #TIP1484 Rub-on)
  • Little Yellow Bicycle Cardstock Stickers (PD-140)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Brown Dragonflies

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

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

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

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

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

Challenges

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

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

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

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

As I created my own background for my dragonfly art journal page, I’m also happy to join the Make Your Own Background challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.

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

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Tea Dye, Brushed Corduroy, Peacock Feathers, Black Soot)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Navy)
  • Craf-T Products (Lustre Rub-ons ASTM D-4236)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Art Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Creative That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • White tissue paper
  • The Works Washi Tape (Enjoy the Ride)
  • Poundland (Design Gems)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Embroidered Flowers)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Fire and Ice

Today at Try it on Tuesday we are launching a new challenge called Fire and Ice, where you are asked to use hot or cold colours. This new challenge runs for two weeks and we would love for you to join us.

I had fun creating an art journal page using hot fiery colours and icy glittery flowers (grin!).

I started by applying Pébéo modelling paste using a Swoosh stencil from Creative Expressions and a feather mask from Craft Sensations. Once the modelling paste had dried, I spritzed the page with water and sprinkled Brilliant Red, Scarlet, Orange, Yellow and Lemon Colourcraft Brusho Powders over the top and spritzed them with more water so that the Brusho colours fully covered the page. I controlled where individual colours went by adding each Brusho colour separately then spritzing the powder with water after each application; replicating flames with a red glow in the centre and oranges and yellows around the edges. I then dried the page with my heat gun and stuck a glitter adhesive border strip along the bottom edge. For the quote I cut out a circle of patterned paper and stamped the quote using an alphabet stamp set and black Archival Ink. It is by William C. Hannah and reads:

“The day will be what you make it, so rise like the sun and burn”.

It is edged with a gold outline sticker and then with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and a black Derwent Graphik marker. I stuck it on top of a circle of pink tissue-thin fibrous paper which I ripped around the edges leaving some of the silky fibres intact to give a textured feathery look; they are both stuck down using double-sided tape. Then I added some pearls, gems and glittery flower embellishments around the quote and to the background of the page; sticking the flowers in place using Glossy Accents. Next I fussy cut the phoenix from an old magazine and backed it with white card and I edged with a black Derwent Graphik marker. It is stuck to the page using double-sided foam tape and I stuck some torn pieces of the pink fibrous paper to represent feathers using a Zig Memory System glue pen and added some of the pearls and gems to give it a 3D look which finished the page.

I hope you will join in the fun over at Try it on Tuesday where you will find loads more inspiration from my fellow Design Team Members too.

As the quote I used inspires new adventures, I’m also pleased to join the lovely Erika N, also known as BioArtGal, who is hosting the “New Year, New Adventures” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

We often visit the Blackbird café with our friends and as I’m featuring my favourite drink of green tea I’m pleased to join T Stands for Tuesday – Happy T Day! The drinks at this café are always served with a little treat on the side. If you look closely at the teaspoon you will see an Iced Gem biscuit, these little treats took me right back to my childhood (grin!).

If you haven’t come across Iced Gems before, you may be interested to know that:

  • Iced Gems are tiny round biscuits (maybe 2cm diameter) with a swirl of hard icing on top.
  • They were first made over 150 years ago in Reading and were apparently the result of a biscuit making accident back in the 1850s when Huntley and Palmer shrank their biscuits during the cooking process when experimenting with some new biscuit technology. They called the resulting mini biscuits Gems.
  • In 1910 they added icing to these mini biscuits to create the product we know today.
  • There were different ways of eating them; maybe the icing first, or the biscuit, or as I preferred both together. Leaving them to melt in your mouth was a good idea too as they were quite hard if you tried to chew them.
  • Today’s iced gems have five colours of icing, white, yellow, orange, red and purple, which seem to be different from what I remember and there is also now a chocolate version too.
  • They are said to be most popular in France, America, Canada, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Sweden.

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 Modeling Paste
  • Colourcraft Brusho Colours (Brilliant Red, Scarlet, Orange, Yellow, Lemon)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm, 0.1mm, 0.8mm)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Mask (Swoosh)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Paper bundle from local craft shop
  • Fibrous light weight Mulberry paper (Pink)
  • White card
  • Old magazine
  • The Range (Glitter Adhesive Border Strips CR0517)
  • Starform Outline Stickers (Gold 1144)
  • Trimcraft (Adhesive Pearls SCDOT056)
  • The Range (Craft Embellishments CR0824)
  • Poundland (Accessories Pack)
  • Hobbycraft (Rose Gem Stones 5666091006)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Winter Robin

When we were visiting family in the South of England we discovered some new walks at a local nature reserve, where we saw lots of wildlife including robins which is one of my favourite birds.

I started by painting diluted Ground Espresso and a little bit of Hickory Smoke Distress Inks onto the page by stamping the ink pads directly onto an acrylic block and picking the ink up with a wet paintbrush. I concentrated the colour around the edges of the page and used the paintbrush bristles to add texture. Then I applied the Hickory Smoke ink again using a blending tool through a retro stencil from That Special Touch of Mica Masks by Creative Expressions. I stamped some small snowflakes from a BoBunny stamp set using Rich Cocoa Memento Ink. With some new dies and my Big Shot I got to work creating some green and red paper branches using Garden Greens Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz; they are stuck to the page using a Zig Memory System glue pen. I was also very excited to receive some die sets from my lovely friend Astrid yesterday, thank you so much! I wanted to use them straight away (grin!), so I selected some square dies and used them to create some pretty edges on a recycled Robin Christmas card and also some patterned papers from Docrafts. I edged them with a grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck them to the page along with some other paper embellishments from the same Docrafts pack and a robin image from another recycled Christmas card using some double-sided tape. To finish the page, I added the wording which are letter stickers from the same Docrafts pack.

Here’s one of the beautiful robins that we saw on our walk at the nature reserve (grin!).

If you are interested, here are some facts about robins:

  • This robin is a European robin (Erithacus rubecula), which here in the UK is known simply as a robin or robin redbreast and they are renowned for their friendliness.
  • The term robin is also applied to other birds of a similar appearance, such as the American robin which is actually a thrush and also the Australasian robins.
  • Even though the film Mary Poppins is set in London, the robin that lands on Mary’s finger during “A Spoonful of Sugar” is an American robin instead of a European robin.
  • Nowadays in the UK, robins are synonymous with winter and especially Christmas cards because in Victorian times, our postmen were known as robins due to their bright red uniforms and they delivered cards on Christmas day.
  • The robin often tops the polls for Britain’s favourite bird and has been adopted as a nickname for eight UK football (soccer) clubs who play in red.

We saw the robin while we were walking through woodland. It was a lovely place to explore with its ponds, streams, marshes, grassland, reed beds, hedges and woodlands and it was a haven for a variety of wildlife too. We saw so many birds in the hedgerows and trees.

It was a sunny day when we visited too and we walked for miles enjoying both the scenery and wildlife.

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration for my pages and are a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Erika N, also known as BioArtGal, who is hosting the New Year, New Adventures challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my page inspired by our new walking adventure and created with lots of new crafting goodies!

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Birds of a Feather challenge with my Winter Robin art journal page.

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

As I’m using new dies, my new Big Shot die cutting machine as well as the Docrafts paper pack and Creative Expressions stencil which are new craft goodies, I’m also pleased to join the Ring in the New challenge over at Mixed Media Monthly.

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 (Ground Espresso, Hickory Smoke)
  • Tsukineko Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Retro Christmas)
  • BoBunny Stamps (Snow Day #13705563)
  • Paper Pack from local craft store
  • Recycled Christmas Cards
  • Docrafts Papermania A4 Ulimate Die-cut & Paper Pack (Festive Fauna PMA160949)
  • Sizzix Thinlets Tim Holtz Alterations (Garden Greens 661206)
  • Spellbinders Die Cut Systems (Marvelous Squares, Unknown)
  • Zig Memory System 2-Way Glue (The Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape