Happy Holidays!

I created this page to wish all my friends here in blog-land Happy Holidays and, if you celebrate, a very Merry Christmas too!

I started by using some relief sticker surrounds to add detail to the page. Firstly using them as a stencil by sticking them down and applying Festive Berries and Peeled Paint Distress Inks with a blending tool.  I also used the blending tool to add a circular pattern with the Peeled Paint ink.  I then wiped the ink from the relief stickers with a piece of kitchen towel, removed them and reapplied them to different areas of the page to add more depth and interest. I love the white against this red and green colour combination. As the Distress Ink reactivates when wet I added some water droplets with a paintbrush and used kitchen roll to dry them which removed some of the ink. Next I added the snowflakes which are glittery Wall Stickers and the “Happy Holidays” writing and baubles, which are rub-on transfers from Royal & Langnickel. The little reindeer are Christmas decorations which I spotted whilst out shopping which I couldn’t resist buying them as they looked so cute (grin!). I stuck them to the page using a UHU glue pen and also a gold Brad; I did this by punching a hole through the page and wrapping ribbon around the brad before fastening it. I also covered the back of the brad with a piece of masking tape to protect my next journal page. I added red Stickles on one of the reindeer noses and Dovecraft 3D Black Pearl Effects on the other reindeer’s nose and also their eyes. A stitched ribbon tag which says “Merry Christmas” that I stuck down using double-sided foam tape finishes the page.

Every year I make a Christmas cake, I love baking and always make my own almond paste (marzipan) and fondant icing as well. My cake decoration changes each year and this year it is decorated with white stars and poinsettias (grin!).

I always make a light fruit cake rather than the traditional rich fruit cake. My recipe is a take on a Dundee Fruit Cake and contains no citrus/mixed peel and has dried sultanas, currants, pineapple, dates, apricots and cherries in it which are soaked in brandy for a week before I make it so they are nice and plump – yum!

We always cut our cake the week before Christmas and it’s lovely with a cuppa for elevensies! So I’m pleased to join the T Gang over at T Stands for Tuesday – Happy T Day! Wishing you all Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas! Jo x

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 Sheila from Orange Esmeralda who is hosting the “Let’s Celebrate” challenge over at Art Journal Journey – Merry Christmas!

I’m joining the “Twinkle, Twinkle” fun over at Try it on Tuesday as my glittery snowflakes twinkle on the page – Merry Christmas!

As I created this page to celebrate and wish you a Merry Christmas, I’m also joining the “Christmas” Challenge over at Moo Mania & More.

The challenge over at Country View Challenges is “Christmas with optional Reds, Greens and Rust” so my page matches this theme perfectly – Merry Christmas!

Over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge the theme is “Stitch It” so I’m pleased to join them with my stitched Merry Christmas embellishment – Happy Holidays!

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 (Festive Berries, Peeled Paint)
  • Crelando Relief Sticker Set (Christmas 12 Sheets IAN289011)
  • Home Bargains (Wall Stickers 16221)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Retro Christmas Trees #ROY1666)
  • Melinera (Christmas Decorations IAN288732)
  • Docrafts Create Christmas (Stitched Ribbon Tags PMA157921)
  • Craft Sensations (Brads CR0550/A)
  • Ranger Stickles (Christmas Red)
  • Dovecraft 3D Pearl Effects (Brights – Black)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Glue Pen
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
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Christmas Robins

I love robins and Christmas gives me the perfect reason to transform our beach room into a robin wonderland (grin!). So I’m sharing a robin Christmas card that I created for my mum and dad; it has extra relevance as my mum always embroiders me a robin themed Christmas card and also makes us a Christmas pudding every year so I thought I’d return the favour (double grin!).

For the robins and holly leaves, I used a Clear Magic Stamp Set called Robins from the Woodware Craft Collection and I used Spectrum Aqua markers to colour them. I started with white card stock to create my 6×6″ card, and then I created a holly border by painstakingly stamping the tiny two leaf and berry stamp many times using black Archival Ink. The holly leaves are coloured with Bud Green and Evergreen Spectrum Aqua markers and the berries with Scarlet and Crimson aqua markers. For the focal panel, I used another piece of card stock and stamped a Christmas pudding and single robin image and also a single robin stamp, both using black Archival Ink. Then I took a piece of red and white striped sparkly paper and cut it to size so it covered the bottom half of the card. Then I positioned the paper over the card and stamped the Christmas pudding stamp again on the top of the paper. I cut it out leaving a Christmas pudding and plate shaped hole in the paper which I lined up with the stamped image on the card so it looked like a tablecloth. Next I coloured the robins with Desert, Terracotta, Chestnut, Chocolate, Scarlet, Crimson and Burgundy Spectrum Aqua markers using a wet paintbrush to blend the colours. The Christmas pudding and plate are coloured the same way; for the Christmas pudding I used the Terracotta, Chestnut and Chocolate aqua markers and for the plate I used Charcoal and Peach aqua markers. I also used a gold aqua marker to colour the beaks of the robins. Then I stamped “Merry Christmas” with a Holiday Ribbon wood mounted stamp by Hero Arts onto thin card stock using Cottage Ivy Memento Ink and stuck it over the corner of the focal panel using double-sided tape. To finish, I positioned the panel in the centre of the card using double-sided foam tape so it was surrounded by the holly border.

My beach room (front room) is decorated with robins and this is my latest robin addition, she is called Rosy and she’s having fun hanging off one of the wall lights (grin!). This year we also received two homemade Christmas puddings from my mum and although it’s not a favourite of mine, (unlike my hubby who loves Christmas pudding), I like mine served hot with custard – what about you?

If you are Interested here are some interesting facts about Christmas Pudding:

  • Christmas Pudding originated in England and dates back to Medieval times in the 1420s.
  • They are a type of suet pudding and contain sugar, treacle, suet, raisins and spices.
  • Christmas Pudding is also known as “Plum Pudding” or “Plum Duff” although the pudding has no plums, instead it contains raisins which in old Victorian times were called plums.
  • Figgy pudding is a type of Christmas pudding which was originally made with figs.
  • Putting a silver six-pence coin is an age-old custom that is said to bring luck to the person that finds it.
  • These puddings are traditionally steamed in a cloth, however like many people these days, my mum uses a basin.
  • Brandy is sometimes poured over the pudding and set alight to make a spectacular display, my mum still likes to do this at Christmastime.
  • Christmas Pudding can be served hot or cold with hard sauce, brandy butter, rum butter, cream, custard or my mum’s white brandy sauce (grin!).

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration for my art 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 “Christmas” Challenge over at Moo Mania & More with my Merry Christmas card.

I’m joining in the fun again over at Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their “Celebrate” challenge as this card is sent with love to celebrate Christmas.

I’m joining the “Christmas” challenge over at Country View Challenges with my Christmas card which includes their optional reds and greens as part of the card design.

As stamps were used to create this card, I’m also pleased to be able to join in the “December Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included)” at the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge.

I’m also joining the “Christmas” challenge over at The Artistic Stamper with my robin stamp designed card.

The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge is “Christmas/Winter Holidays” so my Christmas card is perfect for this 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:

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Bud Green, Evergreen, Desert, Terracotta, Chestnut, Chocolate, Scarlet, Crimson, Burgundy, Charcoal, Peach, Gold)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Cottage Ivy)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Clear Magic Stamps (Robins FRCL030)
  • Hero Arts wood-mounted rubber stamps (Holiday Ribbons LL036)
  • White card stock
  • The Works Designer Paper Pack (The Night Before Christmas)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Poinsettias

Tis the season … for beautiful poinsettias to adorn our homes and my more traditional Christmas page celebrates these pretty flowers with some additional sparkle and shine (grin!).

I used a poinsettia napkin to create the background which was 3-ply so I split it into its separate layers. I started by sticking the second layer to the page using a UHU Stic and then I cut it to fit the page; this napkin layer covered the page in lightly coloured poinsettia images. Then I ripped the top layer of napkin around some of the poinsettia images and used Liquitex Matte Gel Medium to stick them down so I could outline and define the poinsettias using a Derwent Graphik marker without the ink being absorbed and leaking into the napkin. When all the glues were dry I distressed the light poinsettia images using some tacky masking tape to rip and remove patches of the napkin. I then covered the page with a layer of Liquitex Matte Gel Medium to ensure all the napkin edges were held in place. When dry, I added the glittery gold flowers, holly garlands, circles and dots which are all outline stickers.  Then I added more sparkle and shine by outlining the poinsettia petals using Icicle Ranger Stickles and by adding dots of Christmas Red Ranger Stickles to the poinsettia centres, gold flowers, circles and berries. It was well worth taking the time to apply the Stickles as the twinkley detail and finish looks amazing. The focal poinsettia saying is a sticker by Penny Black which reads:

“These Poinsettias are opening wide to wish you Cheer for the Christmastide”

I mounted the sticker onto some recycled card that I had covered with glittery gold by using the outline sticker surround. I then cut the card to size using some serrated scissors and edged it with a gold metallic marker. I also arranged some of the holly garland outline stickers around the edges and coloured the berries using the Christmas Red Stickles. It is stuck into place using double-sided tape which finished the page.

Every year I make a yummy cocktail which is also called a Poinsettia, they are made with 1 part Cointreau (orange liqueur), 3 parts prosecco and 3 parts cranberry juice. Here’s my cocktail pictured with my hubby’s home-brewed Christmas beer. In the background you can see a stollen that I made as a special Christmas treat and of course my cute little poinsettia. As T Stands for Tuesday I’m sharing our drinks with the T Gang and wishing you a Happy T Day!

Challenges

I’m always enjoy taking part in Challenge Blogs, 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 Sheila from Orange Esmeralda who is hosting the “Let’s Celebrate” challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my poinsettia flower celebration.

The challenge theme over at Try it on Tuesday is “Twinkle Twinkle” and I’m joining in the fun with my sparkly poinsettia page.

I’m also pleased to join the “Christmas with optional Reds, Greens and Rust” challenge over at Country View Challenges.

As I created this page to display in my craft room and bring some Christmas Cheer, I’m joining the “Christmas/Winter Holidays” challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday 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:

  • Poundland (Luxury Napkin)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Outline Stickers Gold Holly Garland (Art No. 202490)
  • Docrafts Anita’s Outline Stickers (Flower Blossom Gold ANT810143)
  • Ranger Stickles (Icicle and Christmas Red)
  • Recycled white card
  • Penny Black 2007 Stickeroos (Joy to the World #10-197)
  • Fun Cut serrated scissors
  • Script metallic marker (Gold)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Oh, Deer!

I’m so excited that December is here as I can put up my Christmas decorations; I started on Friday and it took me a couple of days to complete this task (grin!). I thought I’d create a page with the help of this deer who seems to be celebrating by decorating his antlers with Christmas baubles too (double grin!).

My idea was to create a snowy silver birch woodland background so I started by applying some torn pieces of white napkin using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium to add some texture. Then I added Brushed Corduroy, Spiced Marmalade and Hickory Smoke Distress Inks like watercolour by applying each ink to an acrylic block and then using a paintbrush to apply them to the page. I then sprinkled some Dark Brown Colourcraft Brusho powder over the top, spritzed with water and watched the powders explode with colour. I dried the page with my heat gun and then I applied a thin layer of PVA glue here and there in order to seal in some of the colour. Once the glue had dried, I applied a thick layer of Pébéo white gesso over the top using a palette knife and used the heat gun again to create some lovely texture as the gesso bubbled under the heat.  I emphasised this texture by using Silver Grey, White Sparkle and Apple Green metallic lustres by Craft-T products. I love how the gesso enhanced the background texture and that it looks like silver birch bark covered in snow. Next I ripped some branch and berry images from a napkin and stuck them around the edge of the page using a UHU Stic. With the background completed, I tore some silver Curling Ribbon (that was recycled from a present) into thin strips and then curled it with some scissors. I arranged the red and green baubles which are stickers and tied the strips of ribbon to them as if they were hanging down the page. I fussy cut the red reindeer from an old magazine and as the reindeer had white writing across it I covered it with small pieces of the red paper that I tore from the off cuts and coloured the edges with Crimson, Burgundy and Scarlet Spectrum Aqua markers. I mounted the reindeer image onto a piece of white card and outlined his eyes and nose with a Derwent Graphik marker so they stood out more. He is stuck onto the page using double-sided tape and I wrapped the ribbons around his antlers as I stuck him down so it looked like the baubles were hanging from them; this took a little time as it was quite fiddly. To finish, I added more sparkle to his antlers using some little silver dots and some red and green bells which are from the same sticker set as the baubles.

You may remember the Winter Wonderland Decorations that I made last month. I had a few requests to show them again when I had created my winter window display, so here they are (grin!). As you can see I made a few more of these decorations and trimmed them with lace, and as it’s December they are being displayed with some Christmas decorations too.

They look so magical at night with the fairy lights!

As T Stands for Tuesday I’m sharing my green tea in some new mugs that were bought for us, their design reminded me of the reindeer page (double grin!) – Happy T Day!

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. Being a new month there are lots of new exciting challenge themes too, so here are the ones I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Sheila from Orange Esmeralda over at Art Journal Journey and her “Let’s Celebrate” challenge with my reindeer celebrating Christmas!

I’m joining the “Christmas” challenge over at Country View Challenges with my Christmas themed page and it was lots of fun also including their option of using reds and greens as part of my page design.

With my snowy reindeer scene I’m also joining in the fun over at A Vintage Journey and their “Winter Wonderland” challenge with my “Art Journaling” and “Mixed-Media” style page as it was created to remember the joy of putting up my Christmas Decorations this year and I used lots of different media to create it.

Being inspired by Chris and the fabulous textured backgrounds that she created for her happy snowman and baubles, I’m also joining the “Torn, Ripped and Burnt” challenge over at PaperArtsy with the torn and heated elements that I used to create my silver birch textured background and happy reindeer with baubles.

I’m also pleased to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their “Anything Goes” 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 (Brushed Corduroy, Spiced Marmalade, Hickory Smoke)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Colour (Dark Brown)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Craf-T Luster Rub-ons Color Kit #4 (Silver Grey, White Sparkle, Apple Green)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Crimson, Burgundy, Scarlet)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Poundland (Luxury Napkins 70371)
  • Old Magazine
  • Bauble Stickers from Charity Shop
  • Recycled Curling Ribbon (Silver)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

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

Give Thanks

I was so excited to receive some happy mail from the lovely Nan! Every element was so detailed from the envelope which had the most stunning handwriting in orange and yellow ink and pretty autumnal leaves, to the beautiful hand painted sunflower card with honeycomb embossing, to the wonderful goodies I found inside (grin!).

So I created a “Give Thanks” page to recognise this kindness and incorporate some of the lovely Peanuts Thanksgiving stickers that Nan kindly gifted to me – I hope you like it!

I started with a neutral background of Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint which I applied using a baby wipe. Next I used two of That Touch of Mica Masks from Creative Expressions; firstly a honeycomb design to match the embossing that Nan had created on the card and secondly a leaf design to match the pretty leaves I found on the envelope. I applied Morocco and Dandelion Memento Ink through the honeycomb stencil using a sponge; these colours were inspired by the orange and yellow inks that Nan had used.

Then I stamped a hexagonal geometric shape using Rich Cocoa and Toffee Crunch Memento Ink through the leaf stencil onto the page, and outlined the edge of the leaf designs with a Sepia Spectrum Aqua marker. Before I removed this stencil I coloured the rest of the stencil design with the residue ink, that was left on the stencil from the stamping, using a sponge. Next I stamped “Give Thanks” onto the page using an alphabet stamp by Papermania and black Archival Ink, and then I darkened the letters using a black Derwent Graphik Marker so they stood out more.  To create the octagonal shapes, I created a template and used it to draw and cut out octagons from different papers; this included papers from the Into the Woods paper pad by Craft Asylum, a paper pack from my local craft shop and a piece of grid paper from my hubby’s old postage stamp album. I stuck one “Peanuts” sticker onto each of the octagons and then I edged them with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck them to the page using double-sided foam tape. To finish, I added some sparkly green Bling Stickers and edged the page with the black Big Brush marker.

I was so delighted to receive this happy mail and here you can see the front of the envelope with the most stunning handwriting in orange ink surrounded by pretty autumnal leaves with a round moon postage stamp and the beautiful sunflower hand painted card (grin!).

Even the back of the envelope was a work of art with the cute bear and flowers. One of my favourite sentiments “Hello Sunshine!” was also kindly included; the sunshiny yellow ink is perfect and Nan’s handwriting always looks so amazing. I also found some wonderful goodies inside (double grin!).

The card now has pride of place in my craft room! I’m in awe of the sunflower that Nan painted; it looks so professional and is so detailed. Sunflowers always seem such happy flowers and happen to be a favourite of mine – it makes me smile every time I see it (triple grin!). Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness dearest Nan!

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:

As receiving this happy mail warms my heart, I’m pleased to join Chris from Pearshapedcrafting who is hosting the “101 Ways to Stay Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

I really enjoyed using these different techniques with the stencils and love the layers of colour and designs that resulted, so I’m also joining the “Stencils” challenge over at the Country View Challenges.

I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge too and their “Thanks/Thanksgiving” Challenge with my “Give Thanks” journal page.

I always enjoy using stamps on my pages and it was fun to add texture to the leaves by stamping through the stencil, so I’m pleased to join the “November Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included)” at the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It 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:

  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Morocco, Dandelion, Rich Cocoa, Toffee Crunch)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Sepia)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.5mm)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Honeycomb, Take a Leaf)
  • Docrafts Papermania Clear Stamp Set (Capsule – Geometric Mono)
  • Papermania Alphamania A-Z Clear Stamps (Leftovers Alphabet PMA9071102)
  • Craft Asylum 6×6 Paper Pad (Into the Woods 480326)
  • Paper pack from local craft shop
  • Grid postage stamp album paper
  • Peanuts Thanksgiving stickers – a gift from the lovely Nan!
  • Poundland (Bling Stickers 2561793)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Alphonse Mucha Exhibition

Whilst we were in Liverpool recently, my hubby treated me to the Alphonse Mucha “In the Quest of Beauty” Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery. Mucha is one of my favourite artists, he is famous for his Art Nouveau artwork and the exhibition was amazing!

To match the pretty colours of the exhibition poster and booklet I started by covering the page with Watermelon, Guava, Peach, Butter Cream and Caramel Faber-Castell Gelatos and smudging the colours with my finger which I wet with a baby wipe. I applied two layers of gelato colour to achieve a brighter intensity of colour and then I used Earl Grey gelato around the edges of the page to frame it. Next I stamped a series of art nouveau designs over the background using Pistachio Memento Ink; this included a wood mounted circular design by Dovecraft, a scrollwork design by Royal & Langnickel and a flower design by Craft Sensations. I added the cream art nouveau border vertically on down each side of the page which is an outline sticker and then I covered the whole page in a thin layer of watered down Liquitex Matte Gel Medium using a paintbrush to fix the colours and stamped images. As Mucha always added beautiful flowers to his posters, I stencilled a flower design from Craft Sensations using Pébéo modelling paste, I used the stencil several times to build the image allowing the modelling paste dry between each application. I arranged some pretty paper flower blossoms on the page, sticking them down using double-sided tape and foam tape. I layered and curled the petals to give them more volume and used large pearls and clusters of pearls from Trimcraft, for their centres. Then I stuck the Alphonse Mucha exhibition booklet onto the page using double-sided tape and added a piece of lace trim along the bottom and a paper flower.

The lace trim is secured around two of the larger pearls so that it can be unfastened on one side to allow the booklet to be opened. I outlined a circular vintage die cut shape with a moss Spectrum Aqua marker and stuck it to the page using double-sided tape; I liked that it had text on it as we learnt so much from the exhibition information that was alongside the artwork. Then I added a butterfly from the same die cut pack using double-sided foam tape which finished the page.

We really enjoyed the Alphonse Mucha Exhibition, it was so informative and the artworks were breathtaking. As many of the artworks on show were originals no photos were allowed and in fact the lighting was subdued in the exhibition to preserve the art pieces. For photos and more information about this exhibition click here.

If you are interested here are some interesting facts we found out about Alphonse Mucha and his beautiful art:

  • Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) was an artist and illustrator who was born in Czechoslovakia. We were surprised to find out how much he travelled throughout his career between Prague, Paris and America.
  • He rose to fame in Paris in the late 1890s with his advertising posters for the famous French actress Sarah Bernhardt. The first poster he designed for her was in 1894 for her production of “Gismonda” and it was so desirable that people stole the oblong panel prints from the hoardings. Following the success of the first poster, Mucha created a further six theatrical posters for Bernhardt. They were to revolutionise poster design with the use of the long narrow shape, the subtle pastel colours and the full-standing figure of the actress placed in a raised shallow alcove.
  • Following the success of theatrical posters, in 1896 Mucha created some 80 poster designs over the next five years for the publisher F.Champenois to advertise their products. We found out that the advertising posters reflected the modern rich Parisian life in La Belle Époque (The Beautiful Age) with a female figure central to the composition, flowers and beautiful decorative motifs.
  • Mucha’s fame also lead him to receive commissions to design product packaging and ornamental objects as well as advertising posters. We saw intricately designed perfume bottle boxes and labels as well as biscuit tins, labels and box wrappers at the exhibition.
  • Mucha had a long-lasting friendship with French Sculptor Auguste Rodin, who Mucha called Master (maître). There were many photos of them together as Mucha was a keen photographer too, in fact he also used photography to capture the female models he used for his posters.
  • His work inspired the then emerging Art Nouveau style and is easily recognisable with his distinctive graphic designs; he has inspired generations!

On exiting the exhibition I had fun trying on the different flower headdresses, which one do you prefer, we have spring, summer, autumn or winter (grin!).

Challenges

With the circle designs of the stamps, outline stickers and die cut, I’m pleased to join the “Circles” challenge over at Try it on Tuesday.

Mucha is well-known for his central female figures and elegant artwork, so I’m also joining in the fun over at Moo Mania & More for their “Make It Feminine” theme.

As my flowers design includes stencilling using modelling paste, I’m pleased to be able to join the “Stencils” challenge over at Country View Challenges.

I’m also happy to join the “All Creatures Great And Small” Simon Says Stamp Monday 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 Gelatos (Watermelon, Guava, Peach, Butter Cream, Caramel, Earl Grey)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Pistachio)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Moss)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Dovecraft Wood Mounted Stamp (DCRS99)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamp Set (Ornate Scrollwork Mini-CCS123)
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CR0274/16R1)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Alphonse Mucha Exhibition Booklet – Walker Art Gallery
  • The Range (Crafting Lace CR0546)
  • Docraft Anita’s Outline Stickers (Delicate Lace Borders White ANT8101510)
  • Trimcraft Fall in Love (Adhesive Pearls LCDOT002)
  • Dovecraft Collections Back to Basics III (Paper Blossoms DCBL005)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Vintage Die Cut Shapes)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • The Range double-sided tape & double-sided foam tape