Oriental Fish – Card

I often make cards for family and friends but I don’t tend to share them on my blog, but I was so excited to get creative with my fabulous new stamp set from Paperbabe Stamps that I thought I’d share this one with you today to see what you thought.

I was lucky enough to win a voucher on one of the Paperbabe Stamps challenges to spend in their shop so I chose their Oriental Zen Stamp Set – thanks so much!

I started by cutting some white card to make a square shape when folded, then on the front of the card I stamped the concentric circles stamp from the stamp set using Spiced Marmalade and Festive Berries Distress Ink; applying the Spiced Marmalade ink to the stamp first then adding patches of Festive Berries Ink and stamping them onto the card. I then cut a semi-circle of textured paper which I recycled from an old birthday card using my circle cutter. Then I smooshed it with some blue Distress Inks to create a water effect by applying Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean ink to an acrylic block, spritzing with water and pressing the block onto the paper. I also edged the semi-circle with these two blue inks using a blending tool. I added some gold cherry blossom outline stickers to the card and then layered the blue semi-circle over the top using double-sided tape. Next I stamped the beautiful fish which is from the same stamp set using the Spiced Marmalade and Festive Berries Distress Ink onto plain white card and fussy cut them out. They are stuck in place using a UHU Stic and I added the bubbles and splash marks from the same stamp set using the blue inks. To finish, I added some glittery Icicle Sparkles by Ranger to the bubbles and a “Love” topper from an Eastern Promise set that I had in my craft stash.

Here’s all the materials including the stamp set that I chose from Paperbabe Stamps and I have to say I love it (grin!). I’m sure I’ll be using it again very soon as I need to make quite a few birthday cards this month. I also wanted to say a big “Thank you” to Kim from Paperbabe Stamps and I hope that you and the Design Team like the card that I made!

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 I created this card using lots of stamping I’m very pleased to be able to join Stamping Sensations and their Anything Goes challenge.

I’m pleased to join in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge where their theme is Bright and Cheerful with my bright and cheerful coloured card.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their June Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included).

I’m also joining the Sketch … challenge over at Paperbabe Stamps as I used their sketch, which I rotated to the left, as a template for my card design – I hope you like it!

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 (Spiced Marmalade, Festive Berries, Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean)
  • Cardstock (White 200 GSM)
  • Textured paper – recycled birthday card
  • Francoise Collection Outline Stickers (Gold 2238)
  • Hunkydory Luxury Topper Collection (Eastern Promise EAST104)
  • Ranger Stickles (Icicle)
  • UHU Stic
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
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Mr. Finch

I’m really enjoyed creating the masculine page that I posted on Tuesday so I thought I would continue with the masculine theme and create a page with the additional inspiration of the goldfinches that we have seen a number of times this year, both in our garden and on our walks. So here’s my fun steampunk page which showcases the fabulous Mr. Finch (grin!).

I started by covering the page with Peeled Paint and Antique Linen Distress Ink using a blending tool and then spritzing the page with water to give a soft covering of colour. While the background was still wet I used a stamp from BoBunny to add the crackle texture mainly around the edges of the page using Hickory Smoke Distress Ink; the wet page blended the inks so the stamp looks smudged in places which I love. Then I used a stencil from Craft Sensations to add the numbers using Frayed Burlap Distress Ink and a blending tool. The black wheels are also stencilled using a Dina Wakley stencil from Ranger and I varied the depth of the Black Soot Distress Ink that I applied to give more of a distressed look and to add some dimension. I then splattered the page with the Black Soot Distress Ink using a paintbrush. The fountain pen and pocket watch are rub-on transfers by Royal and Langnickel and I also applied some leftover black letters from a Letraset transfer set to use them up. Next I fussy cut the roses from some design paper and stuck them in place, like all of the paper elements, using Liquitex matte gel medium.

For my steampunk Mr. Finch, I used a bird stamp from Stampendous, a Steampunk stamp set by Docrafts and black Archival Ink. I started by stamping the bird onto thick paper and fussy cutting it out, and then I distressed this image by covering it with some watered down white gesso using a baby wipe. Once dry I stamped the cog images over his breast and head and also a feather image over his back and wings to add more texture. I also stamped his steampunk style top hat and his wheels onto another piece of design paper; his wheels are from the Penny Farthing stamp which I stamped twice and then fussy cut out. I added three strips of music washi tape horizontally on the page and then I layered his wheels, body and hat together so Mr. Finch is rolling along one of these strips.

Inspired by seeing the goldfinches, I painted his cog design and added detail to his feathers using Iridescent Gold Liquitex Ink. As goldfinches also have red feathers on their heads that look like a mask, I also thought it would be fun to paint the goggles on his top hat with a Poppy Red Derwent Inktense pencil. I used a black Derwent marker, white gel pen and also the gold Liquitex Ink and red Inktense pencil to add further colour and detail to the design including his mask, hat, wheels and cogs. For his eye I added a black gem and coloured some of it white using a Uniball gel pen. Next I die cut three small labels using my Big Shot machine and stamped “Explore” using black Archival Ink. Once stuck in place, I coloured the edges using the red Inktense pencil and gold Liquitex Ink and then outlined them using a black Derwent marker and a white Uniball gel pen to frame the words, and then I embellished them with some round black brads. To finish, I splattered black and white DecoArt acrylic paint and also gold Liquitex Ink using a paintbrush over the page.

Here is one of the goldfinches that we saw on one of our walks along by the sand dunes, isn’t he magnificent!

If you are interested here are some facts about this bird:

  • There are just three species of goldfinches in the world – our European goldfinch, the widespread American goldfinch and Lawrence’s goldfinch which is found in the southwest USA.
  • The European goldfinch is a highly coloured finch with a bright red face and yellow wing patch.
  • They are very sociable birds, often seen in large groups and have a delightful liquid twittering song and call. The collective name for goldfinches is a charm and is derived from the old English c’irm which describes the birds’ twittering song.
  • The shape of their beak allows them to extract seeds from thistles and teasels.

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 Gill from gibbyfrogettcraftations who is hosting the Inspired by … challenge over at Art Journal Journey I took inspiration from seeing the goldfinches to create steampunk page.

With the focal image of Mr. Finch being created using different stamps, I’m happy to be able to join Stamping Sensations and their Anything Goes challenge.

I’m so pleased to join the lovely Maura who is on the design team and is co-hosting over at SanDee & amelie’s Steampunk Challenges this month for their Anything Goes – Steampunk/Industrial challenge.

Over at A Vintage Journey this month the challenge is Stencil It so I’m pleased to join this challenge with my goldfinch inspired page fits their challenge focus with its Steampunk and Mixed Media Style.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Written Word (add some text in some form) challenge over at Country View Challenges with stamped wording I added to this page.

I’m joining in the fun at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Anything But A Card challenge with Mr. Finch art journal page.

I’m also joining the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their June Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included) with my unique, one of a kind Mr. Finch.

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 (Peeled Paint, Antique Linen, Hickory Smoke, Frayed Burlap, Black Soot)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Liquitex Inks! (Iridescent Bright Gold)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencil (Poppy Red 0400)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black, White)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Ranger Dina Wakley Media Stencil (Wheels MDS45588)
  • BoBunny Stamp (Rough it up 12105155)
  • Stampendous Cling Rubber Stamps (Jumbo Songbird CRS5029)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 Clear Stamp Set (Steampunk DCE907125)
  • Spellbinders Nestabilities Card Creator (A-2 Fancy Ribbon Threader S5-135)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Journey MIN- CCS104)
  • American Crafts (DIY Shop)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Soft Colours CRO730/R, Authentic Vintage CRO730/R)
  • Royal & Langnickel Create-A-Collage Rub-on Transfers (Men’s Accessories #ROY-853)
  • Letraset Transfers (Helvetica Bold Condensed 5mm DCO251)
  • Hobbycraft (Assorted Black & White Decorative Tape 5971481007)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 175751)
  • Brads (Round Black)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Great Opportunities

Over at Try it On Tuesday we have a masculine theme for the next two weeks called For the Boys. Maybe your creations could be for a baby boy, boys, teenagers, adults, sons, dads or grandfathers, if you need more inspiration please check out the fabulous creations from our Design Team.

I created a masculine page with an industrial look using some inks, stamps, stencils, design paper, stickers and recycled magazine images.

I started by building up layers of colour using Antique Linen, Vintage Photo and Hickory Smoke Distress Inks. I did this by applying the ink pads to an acrylic block, spritzing with water and pressing the block onto the page then drying each colour with a heat gun before applying the next. I stamped some cogs from a Steampunk stamp set from Docrafts using Toffee Crunch Memento Ink and then a ruler and also a bingo card stamp from Tim Holtz using black Archival Ink. Then I stenciled some Geometric Tile squares around the edge of the page using a Dutch Doobadoo mask and black Archival Ink.  Next I fussy cut the lightbulbs, clocks and metal semicircle door from a couple of old magazines and, like all of the paper elements, edged them with black Faber-Castell marker and stuck them in place using a UHU Stic. The world map pieces are cut from a sheet of design paper by Kaisercraft and the “402” is a Salvage Sticker by Tim Holtz which I embellished with two brown brads. To finish, I added the wording using double-sided foam tape which reads “each day holds the possibility for great opportunities”.

As T Stands for Tuesday I’m sharing a recent visit to Dahlia’s Kitchen which is a restaurant nearby, it’s attached to a garden centre so it was fun morning out (grin!).

As it was a hot sunny day we sat outside on their new patio near this beautiful water feature made from recycled metal, it looks a bit industrial like my page although I’m not sure what it is – any ideas?

I went with my sister who had a strawberry milkshake, I had my usual pot of green tea and we shared a huge piece of ginger and lemon cake which was delicious – 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 be able to join the lovely Gill from gibbyfrogettcraftations who is hosting the Inspired by … challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my masculine inspired page.

I’m also pleased to join the Written Word (add some text in some form) challenge over at Country View Challenges with the inspirational wording I added to my page.

As I enjoyed stenciling the black square design around the edge of this page, I’m also joining the lovely Astrid who is hosting A Vintage Journey this month where the challenge is Stencil It. My masculine inspired page fits their challenge focus with it’s Industrial and Mixed Media Style.

I’m also happy to join in the fun over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Anything But A Card challenge with my art journal page.

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 (Antique Linen, Vintage Photo, Hickory Smoke)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Toffee Crunch)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.3mm)
  • Dutch Doobadoo Dutch Mask Art A5 (Geometric Tiles)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 clear stamp set (Steampunk DCE907125)
  • Tim Holtz {Components} Collection (COM013 CAR)
  • Old Magazines
  • Kaisercraft Timeless Collection 12×12 Design Paper (Postmarks P853)
  • Tim Holtz Idea-ology Salvage Stickers (Crowded Attic #TH92898)
  • Little Yellow Bicycle Cardstock Stickers (Fresh Verse PD-140)
  • Craft Sensations (Brads CRO550/A)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Smile

I’m sharing my last page for this month’s challenge over at Art Journal Journey (AJJ) which I’ve been hosting and I’d like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who joined in the fun!

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting all your blogs to see your wonderful Flora and Fauna artwork and I was delighted by all the different styles, techniques and mediums used as well.

Your amazing creations have really made me smile so I created this page to remember you all – I hope you like it!

I started by covering the page with some old recycled graph paper that my hubby used to mount his childhood postage stamp collection on and then I applied some Pébéo white gesso over the top using a palette knife to exaggerate the worn look. Next I tore the following: some book pages defining Flora and Fauna from a very old encyclopedia that I bought at a charity shop; a wildlife leaflet; a map leftover from a previous page; and a pretty floral paper by Kaisercraft. I edged all of these torn pieces with Frayed Burlap Distress Ink using a blending tool and stuck them onto the page using Liquitex matte gel medium. I also fussy cut some flora and fauna images of birds and flowers from the wildlife leaflet. Next I outlined the Flora and Fauna wording using a black Uni Pin marker and framed it using an oval die cut which I created using a Spellbinders Die and my Big Shot machine; the inside edge is coloured using a black Big Brush marker. I also added a die cut butterfly and Smile banner using double-sided tape. The hydrangea image and flowers are fussy cut from a wallpaper sample. I actually cut two of these images out, which took some time – those who know me will know I love nothing better than fussy cutting, it’s so relaxing (grin!).

So there is a reason that I fussy cut two hydrangea images as this page has a surprise on the far right-hand side, it opens up like a leaflet to reveal those who took part in the AJJ challenge this month. I don’t think you would know this by looking at the page as I fussy cut and arranged the hydrangea flowers on top of the folded section to match the hydrangea image underneath.

Inside, it is decorated in the same way as the main page by backing it with the old graph paper and then collaging the other papers on top. I printed the names from AJJ and tore them into strips, edged them with the Frayed Burlap Distress Ink and stuck them in place. Then I added some of the leftover hydrangea flowers, the wording and the sentiment, which reads “So many wonderful reasons to be grateful” as I am truly grateful to all of you who took part (grin!).

I sure had fun creating all my pages for this challenge and I hope you did too!

I’d like to say a special thanks to Susi and Bleubeard & Elizabeth for asking me to be a guest host, they have really provided such valuable support and encouragement, thank you!  I have also been overwhelmed with everyone’s participation and lovely comments; it has been such a pleasurable experience – thank you all! Jo x

Tomorrow is a new month and brings a new challenge at Art Journal Journey and I can’t wait to see what the new theme is and say hello to our new host – I hope to see you there!

Challenges

As I used die cuts as part of my art journal page design, I joining in the fun at Moo Mania & More and their Die Cuts challenge.

I’m also pleased to join the Anything Goes challenge over at 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:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Frayed Burlap)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.5mm, 0.8mm)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Spellbinders Die Set (Unknown)
  • Recycled graph paper – hubby’s childhood postage stamp collection
  • The New Standard Encyclopaedia and World Atlas
  • Recycled RSPB leaflet – Gardening with wildlife in mind
  • Leftover map pieces from previous project
  • Wallpaper sample
  • Recycled black paper
  • Kaisercraft Provincial Collection 12×12 Paper (Willow P1979)
  • The Works (Vintage Die Cut Shapes)
  • Letraset Transfer (Helvetica Bold Condensed 5mm RDC0251)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

She’s got the Look

It’s time for a new challenge at Try it on Tuesday which is She’s got the Look. It might be in her style, her eyes etc … which give her that special look.

Please check out the amazing Design Team creations over at Try it on Tuesday for more inspiration. I had lots of fun creating my art journal page, I think she definitely has “The Look” (grin!).

I started this page by covering it in squares and rectangles of different grey and white decoupage papers using Liquitex matte gel medium; the decoupage designs included lace, dots and fleur-de-lis. Then I added some clock and circular shapes from Kaisercraft and also a Fiskars stamp set and a scroll stamp by Penny Black using black Archival Ink. The pretty girl’s face is from an old magazine and is mounted onto a piece of wallpaper using a UHU Stic to give it more stability. Once dry I fussy cut and stuck it to the page using Liquitex matte gel medium along with some flowers and leaves which I fussy cut from a wallpaper sample. Once everything was in place I covered it with a layer of Liquitex matte gel medium to seal the images so I could easily apply different mediums over the top to add colour and more detail. Next I stencilled modelling paste onto the background through a fleur-de-lis style stencil and left it to dry.

To create the distressed grungy look, I coloured the background using Iced Rose, Iced Currant, Earl Grey and Coconut Faber-Castell Gelatos smudging the colours with my finger. I then added some water to the page using a paintbrush and applied some Carbon Black Liquitex Ink over the top; the water helped control where the ink seeped and spread on the page. I also tipped the page vertically so the ink dripped and ran down the page. Next I applied some DecoArt white paint with a sponge to the background and also to the fleur-de-lis by using the stencil again which added some highlights making the page lighter. I intensified the colour of the flowers on her headdress using a Chilli Red Inktense pencil and then outlined them using an Ink Black Inktense pencil. To give her headdress more of a grungy look, I covered the leaves in black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker wiping the ink off with a baby wipe so it just dulled the green colour. Then I painted diluted Carbon Black Liquitex Ink to the edges of the flower petals and outlined both the flowers and leaves with this ink so they stood out more from the background. I used a white Uniball gel pen and black Uni Pin marker to doodle lines and dots onto the flowers and leaves to add more detail and interest to the design. I then added some sparkle to the edges of the flowers using silver Stickles by Ranger and coloured the stamens of the flowers using a white Uniball gel pen and outlined them with a black Uni Pin marker. Then I picked out the flower colour and design of the girl’s headdress to embed the girl’s image into the background better by applying some Red Berries Distress Ink using a Floral stencil by Tim Holtz around the edges of the page.

I emphasised the girl’s eyes by doodling on them with a black Uni Pin marker and then colouring them with Baked Earth and Antique White Inktense pencils, a white Uniball gel pen and also silver Stickles to add some sparkle. Her mask is made using some fine silver netting which I cut to shape and placed over her face tucking it under the flowers of her headdress; I arranged some strands of clear and black gemstones over the netting to create her sparkly mask with a teardrop gem in the centre. I applied some more silver stickles to the lower part of her face to define the lines of her neck, chin and cheeks. Next I added some thin feathers which I had curled so they fanned out creating more texture around her face, they are stuck in place using Ranger Glossy Accents. With the mask complete I also stuck the edges of the mask and flowers in place using the Glossy Accents. To tie the mask into the headdress design, I added some of the clear and black gemstones around and behind the edges of the flowers on her headdress and then I painted Chilli Red Intense pencil onto her lips which finished her look.

As T Stands for Tuesday and my lady is going to a Masked Ball, I think she would be enjoying a cosmopolitan (cocktail), also known as a cosmo – Happy T Day!

This happens to be one of my favourite cocktails and if you are interested it’s made with ½oz Fresh lime juice, 1oz Cranberry juice, ½oz Cointreau, 1½oz Vodka. Place all the ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake well and strain into a large cocktail glass – yum (grin!).

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 I included flowers and feathers on my journal page, I’m pleased to join the Flora and Fauna theme which I’m hosting at Art Journal Journey. There is still a few days left to join in the fun and be sure to pop back on Thursday to see my final celebratory journal page for this theme (grin!).

Over at Moo Mania and More the theme is Even More Flowers so I’m pleased to join the lovely DT with the flowers I created for this page.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Doodles challenge over at Paperbabe Stamps as I really enjoyed adding all the doodles to the girl’s face and also her headdress flowers and leaves.

I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Use More Than One Stamp challenge as I used the clock, circular and scroll stamps for this art journal page.

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)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Faber-Castell Gelato (Iced Rose, Iced Currant, Earl Grey, Coconut)
  • Liquitex Inks! (Carbon Black)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Chilli Red 0500, Ink Black 2200, Baked Earth 1800, Antique White 2300)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Festive Berries)
  • Kaisercraft Clear Stamps (Magnolia Grove CS822, Provincial CS243)
  • Penny Black T for Transparent (Clearly in Love 30-009)
  • Fiskars Clear Stamps (Rounds & Squares 4657)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Tim Holtz Collection Stamper Anonymous (Floral Layering Stencil THS077)
  • Viva Gade Decoupage papers Skagen (25561, 25562, 25564)
  • Old Magazine
  • Wallpaper sample
  • Poundland (Design Jems 175751)
  • Graham & Brown (Adhesive Jewels)
  • Black Feathers
  • Ranger Stickles (Silver)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic

Art is …

Whilst out walking in the glorious sunshine recently, we saw some beautiful butterflies. So this page is inspired by sunny days, flowers and butterflies!

To remind me of sunny days, I started by blending yellow and parchment Liquitex acrylic paint to make a soft yellow colour and applied it to the page using a baby wipe. I then stamped three different circular images using Memento Inks; these are a doily stamp by Dovecraft using London Fog ink, a circle of swirls which is actually part of a tree by Personal Impressions using Bahama Blue ink and finally a small flower stamp by Woodware Craft which I clustered into a circle using Lulu Lilac ink. Then I used a paintbrush to add very fine splatters of black acrylic paint and large splatters of white acrylic paint. The quote is a stencil from The Crafters Workshop and I used Black Soot Distress Ink and a blending tool to apply it straight onto the background; I like the dreamy look this achieved. Enjoying art journaling as I do, this quote really speaks to me and it reads:

“Art is just another way of expressing our inner most thoughts onto concrete media. Where form and function come together in beauty colour and shape”.

The three main butterfly images are: a tag which I tied with a string bow, a Belize postage stamp from my hubby’s childhood collection and a picture that I fussy cut from an encyclopaedia. They are all stuck to the page using double-sided foam tape. To finish, I added lots of small flower stickers to add some sparkle.

I’m joining the Flora and Fauna theme over at Art Journal Journey and I hope you are inspired by this theme too, it would be great to see you there!

Here is one of the wonderful butterflies we photographed whilst on one of our walks along the Lancaster Canal. This delicate small butterfly is called a Gatekeeper and was basking in the sunshine on the bank of the canal. Some fun facts about this butterfly are:

  • Gatekeepers are common and widespread in Europe and the British Isles which has its own subspecies (britanniae).
  • The gatekeeper got its name from patrolling hedges and verges, aided so they say, by the sharp black eyespots on its forewings, which have two white pupils.
  • As gatekeeper butterflies are commonly found around hedgerows and field gates, they are also known as a “hedge brown”.
  • The nectar of bramble/blackberry flowers provides a valuable food source for these butterflies so they are more abundant in the height of summer.

Challenges

As you may know, I enjoy taking part in blog challenges as they provide me with inspiration (whether it be colours, techniques or images) for my pages and they are a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

With all the pretty flowers on my page, I’m pleased to join the challenge over at Moo Mania and More where their theme is Even More Flowers.

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Stencil It challenge with my “Art is …” stencilled art journal page.

I’m joining a new challenge today where the lovely Tracey is on the Design Team; it’s over at Paperbabe Stamps and from their #73 Challenge … Picture Inspiration, I choose to create my page of yellow and included the flowers and butterflies too.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Stencil It challenge with the stencilling I used on my art journal page.

I’m also joining Mixed Media World and their theme is Anything Goes…optional Pink; there are a few pink touches o this page.

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 (Cadmium Yellow Medium, Parchment, Ivory Black)
  • Colvin & Co acrylic paint (White Titanium)
  • Memento Ink (London Fog, Bahama Blue, Lulu Liliac)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Black Soot)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Dovecraft Curiosity Corner Clear Stamps (Lace & Doile DCCS009)
  • Personal Impressions Marion Emberson Designs (Birds and Trees PICSA6179)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Francoise Collection Stamp Set (Flower Style Wood Set FRSWS003)
  • The Crafters Workshop Jaime 6×6 Stencil (Mini Art Is TCW261S)
  • The Range Craft Tags (CRO740)
  • The Dorling Kindersley Illustrated Family Encyclopaedia
  • Postage Stamp (Belize 1974)
  • Fancy Stickers Sheet (Flowers & Butterflies 28965)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Destination Morecambe

I decided to travel to Morecambe for the new challenge over at Try it on Tuesday which is Destinations; you may choose to travel to far away places, maybe somewhere in Europe, Africa or America or like me, stay closer to home – the choice is yours!

My fellow Design Team members have chosen some fabulous Destinations too, make sure you check them out over at Try it on Tuesday. Our challenge runs for the next two weeks and it would be great to see you there (grin!).

I started by covering the page in a light wash of Tea Dye Distress Ink by stamping the ink pad onto an acrylic block and applying it to the page with a wet paintbrush. Then I added Tea Dye, Hickory Smoke and Salty Ocean Distress Ink using a blending tool and a Mosaic stencil by Tim Holtz to cover the whole page. The nautical style of the mosaic pattern and colours remind me of the promenade and jetty at Morecambe. Next I fussy cut a number of sea birds from an old British Nature book that are native to Morecambe and are paid tribute to in the many sculptures and statues along the promenade walk; they included a cormorant, curlew, lesser black-backed gull, little gull and a turnstone. There is also the famous Eric Morecambe statue along the beachfront too so I cut a picture of it from a free booklet and also some of his well-known comic sayings from a greaseproof food display paper kindly provided by the Midland Hotel which is situated right on the seafront. I cut out “Morecambe” from the free booklet and backed it with white card recycled from some packaging. The seahorse is cut from the hotels advertising leaflet and can be found high on the roof line above the doors as you enter the hotel. I arranged all the elements and stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. Then I used the Mosaic stencil again to add some modelling paste to different areas of the page and once dry I coloured the modelling using Iced Chai and Earl Grey Faber-Castell Gelatos. To finish, I added a circular silver outline sticker around the picture of Eric Morecambe and also to the background to add some interest.

Morecambe is a seaside town on Morecambe Bay in Lancashire and we went there recently as one of my birthday treats. We had a wonderful time walking along the seafront promenade and seeing all the amazing statues and sculptures along the way. Here is my hubby striking the famous pose with the Eric Morecambe statue (grin!).

You may remember Eric Morecambe from the famous comedy duo Morecambe and Wise, he was one of the most popular British entertainers and you may recall me featuring him before on this post where you can find out more about him.

His statue looks over these amazing green gulls …

… and if you walk just a little further you will find this metal artwork of a family of coots called Coot Parade.

Then you come to the stone jetty and the Rock Islands topped with these stunning cormorants – aren’t they spectacular!

On the jetty itself, it’s fun to walk out and you will find tongue twisters, a compass, hopscotch and word search all incorporated into the pavement.

We enjoyed watching the fishing boats from the jetty.

The jetty is opposite the majestic Art Deco Midland Hotel, which overlooks the seafront. On the far left of this photo…

… you’ll find the hotel’s Rotunda Bar.

I love Art Deco and this is the front of the hotel and if you look closely you can see the seahorses on the very top.

This is the inside of the Rotunda Bar where we went for lunch (grin!), which was recommended by Chris who often visits here on her blogs – it was a great choice thank you!

I had the most amazing burger – yum! It’s called a Midland Burger and consists of two beef patties, crispy bacon, lettuce, red onion and tomato on a brioche bun with a deep-fried pickle. It was served with fries and coleslaw and as you can see is presented on one of the papers I used for this page; the waiter kindly got me a clean one for my art journal. As we had water with ice and lemon too, I’m joining the T Gang at T Stands for Tuesday and wishing you all a Happy T Day!

We looked at the amazing cormorants on Rock Islands once more …

… and then we headed to the Bird Fence along the seafront where you will find lots of different seabirds native to Morecambe Bay including curlew, dunlin, knot and turnstones. Morecambe Bay is a RSPB reserve with sand flats and salt marshes that attract thousands of birds and is considered the second most important estuary in the UK.

Along the stone jetty and shoreline you also find these amazing Bird Bollards depicting cormorants too.

We had such a lovely day and I hope you enjoyed visiting Morecambe with me!

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:

Over at Art Journal Journey I’m hosting the Flora and Fauna theme, as I included just Fauna this time with the seabirds and seahorses, I’m pleased to link to this challenge. We are half way through the month already so there is still plenty of time to join in the fun and I’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who have joined this theme so far!

I’m pleased to join Country View Challenges and their Be Humorous challenge with the funnies provided by Eric Morecambe that I included on my art journal page.

I’m also joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their For the Boys challenge with my art journal page being a tribute to Eric Morecambe.

As I had fun using my new Tim Holtz stencil to create my mosaic background, I’m also very happy to be joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Stencil 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:

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Tea Dye, Hickory Smoke, Salty Ocean)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Iced Chai and Earl Grey)
  • Tim Holtz Collection Stampers Anonymous Stencil (Mosaic Layering Stencil THS084)
  • The Illustrated Book of Nature
  • Morecambe Visitor Guide & Map
  • Food presentation paper from the Midland Hotel
  • Information leaflet from the Midland Hotel
  • White card – recycled
  • Starform Outline Stickers (Silver Circle Borders 1144)
  • UHU Stic