Be your own kind of beautiful

Today I was inspired by a seahorse mosaic that you can find in St. Anne’s on the Sea where I live; I always love seeing artwork when I’m out and about and this dancing seahorse is one of my favourites!

I started by covering the page with Salty Ocean Distress Ink by stamping the ink pad directly onto a blending mat, spritzing with water and pressing the mat onto the paper a number of times to build up splashes of ink to depict seawater.

Then I applied Cracked Pistachio Distress Stain through a circular stencil from Inkylicious and also blotted the stencil onto the page to mop up the excess Stain. Next I used a mosaic dot stamp using both Peacock Feathers Distress Ink and Platinum Planet Brilliance Ink; firstly through the circle stencil to add more details to the large circles that I stencilled and then to the rest of the background so it looked like bubbles of water. I outlined each of the stencilled circles by stamping white acrylic paint using a plastic tube and then smudged the white gesso over the circle. When the paint was dry I coloured it with the Platinum Planet ink using my finger. I added more bubbles by stamping some dot stamps from Paperbabe Stamps using Shabby Shutters Distress Ink and then I splattered the page with some white acrylic paint which finished the background. The foliage is tissue paper which I die cut using Tim Holtz thinlets and my Big Shot machine which I then stuck to the page using Liquitex matte gel medium; I wasn’t to careful how I stuck them down as I wanted them to look like they were floating and moving in the water.

My dancing seahorse is fussy cut from a colouring book and coloured using Gold, Yellow, Sunset and Amber Spectrum Aqua markers to match the seahorse colours of the mosaic. Then I used a blending tool to blot Rusty Hinge Distress Ink onto the seahorse to add texture and give it more of a 3D look. It is stuck in place using matte gel medium, detailed using some black Derwent Graphik markers and a white Uniball pen for its eye. The words “Be your own beautiful self” are cut from a 3×4” card by Kaisercraft, stuck in place and outlined with a black marker pen. To finish, I added some silver and blue sequins to the background to add some sparkle.

This is the pretty seahorse mosaic and the words say “Golden sun rise on our sands moonlight pass us by. As seahorse dance among the waves. Our sandgrown spirit flies”. I particularly like the words as it mentions being “sandgrown” which applies only to the Flyde coast area where I live and literally means someone born by the seaside; I happen to be a Sandgrown’un too (grin!).

This is the other beautiful mosaic, this time of a pretty mermaid and the verse reads “We dream fondly of seas. Her waves lap softly on our shore. While mermaids songs drift onwards. Our peace to breathe once more”.

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

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 aka BioArtGal and her Polka-Dots, Stripes, Plaids and Patterns challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my circle patterns on my background.

I’m also happy to join in the Under the Sea challenge over at Country View Challenges with my seahorse art journal page.

I’m joining the Anything Goes challenge over at Paperbabe Stamps with my dancing seahorse too.

I’m pleased to be able to join in the fun over at Creative Artiste Challenge Blog for their Anything Mixed Media Goes with my mixed media art journal page which included inks, paints, papers and sequins.

Don’t forget that you still have until over a week to join our Hot, Hot, Hot! Challenge over at Try it on Tuesday too, maybe you can use hot colours like those I used for my seahorse; it would be lovely to see you there!

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers, Shabby Shutters, Rusty Hinge)
  • Inkylicious Stencil (Sun & Moons)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Stain (Cracked Pistachio)
  • Docrafts Papermania Mini Cards & Stamp Set (Capsule Geometric Krafts PMA105308)
  • Tsukineko Brilliance Pigment Ink (Platinum Planet)
  • Paperbabe Stamps Stamp Set (Birthday Wishes)
  • Art Discount Acrylic (White)
  • Sizzix Thinlets Tim Holtz (Garden Greens 661206, Wildflower Stems #2 664164)
  • Recycled dark and light green tissue paper
  • Animal Kingdom Suduko & Doodle Book
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Gold, Yellow, Sunset, Amber)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm, 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Kaisercraft 3×4” Cards (Life’s Treasures CM108)
  • Poundland (Assorted Sequins)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
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Have the happiest of days!

Today we have a new challenge over at Try it on Tuesday called Hot, Hot, Hot!

You may choose to use hot colours like me or maybe your creation may include a hot drink or even a hot destination; you can interpret it anyway you chose as long as it’s Hot, Hot, Hot!

For more inspiration please pop over to our blog where you will find some amazing inspiration from my Design Teamies too!

For my hot coloured page, I started by creating a background of orange and yellow Liquitex acrylic paints. When dry I applied some red Liquitex acrylic using a sponge through a retro stencil from Creative Expressions. Next I added some modelling paste using a palette knife through a circular mini stencil also from Creative Expressions and left it to dry. They are painted using a white Uni Posca paint pen so they stood out more. I stamped a Worn Rings stamp from Gummiapan using Love Letter Memento Ink and covered them with some of the orange and yellow paint so they faded into the background more. I also stencilled some dots using Fired Brick Distress Ink, blotting them with a baby wipe so the colour was less intense. Then I splattered the whole page using white acrylic paint. The yellow circle that says “Have the happiest of days!” is from a birthday card from my dearest friends which I’ve wanted to use for while and seemed perfect for this page; I fussy cut it out, stuck it in place using a glue stick and outlined it using the white Uni Posca paint pen. I also added a yellow butterfly which I fussy cut from an old nature book and some yellow flowers adding some orange rhinestone to their centres which finished the page.

This weekend we harvested the apples from our garden; we picked 18 braeburn apples off one tree which was wonderful as we only planted this apple tree last year.

I used some of them to make my homemade spiced apple cake with salted caramel frosting – yum!

As T Stands for Tuesday, here’s a cup of Hot Cinnamon tea with a piece of the cake which I just couldn’t resist (grin!) – Happy T Day and have the happiest of days!

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

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blog,s 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 Erika aka BioArtGal and her Polka-Dots, Stripes, Plaids and Patterns challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my patterned background.

I’m also joining the Use a Stamp challenge over at Moo Mania & More with all the stamps I used on this page.

I’m happy to join the Anything Goes challenge over at Paperbabe Stamps with my hot art journal page.

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

  • Liquitex Basic Acrylic Color (Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Yellow, Naphthol Crimson)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Mask (Retro Christmas)
  • Creative Expressions Mini Stencil (Eclipse Circles)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste
  • Gummiapan Stamp (Worn Rings 11050601)
  • Tsukineko Memento Ink (Love Letter)
  • Dot Stencil
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Fired Brick)
  • Art Discount Acrylic (White)
  • Recycled Birthday Card
  • The Illustrated Book of Nature
  • The Works (Mini Paper Flower Embellishments, Rhinestone Flower Stickers)
  • Pritt Stick
  • Stix 2 glue dots

Boys & Girls

We would love you to join our new challenge over at Try it on Tuesday for the next two weeks – Boys and Girls/Children.

I had fun creating a journal page with dictionary pages from my school days, primary coloured paints, some boys and girls’ vinyl stickers and the word “happy” – I hope you like it!

I started by randomly adding pieces of dictionary pages leftover from previous projects onto the background using Liquitex matte gel medium. Once dry, I added some stripes of yellow, red and blue watercolour paint. Then I used a baby wipe and a trellis stencil to pick up and move the paint around the page and left it to dry. I stamped “Happy” and also some flowers using black Archival Ink, separating the page into sections so I could add the white vinyl stickers of the boys and girls. I outlined each of the stickers, which took some time, with a black marker pen and added detail to the stamping using a white Uni Posca paint pen. To finish, I added the border using the white pen and a black Sharpie permanent marker.

For more inspiration please pop over to our blog and check out the amazing creations from my Design Teamies!

Quite often it’s the small things that make me happy, like this bacon butty which I was treated to last week when I was out with my mum and it was so yummy (grin!). As T Stands for Tuesday my photo also includes my mum’s cappuccino – Happy T Day everyone!

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 Erika aka BioArtGal and her Polka-Dots, Stripes, Plaids and Patterns challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the trellis pattern on my page.

I’m joining the Numbers and/or Letters challenge over at Moo Mania & More with my page.

I’m pleased to join in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Anything Goes 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:

  • Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colours (Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue, Ultramarine)
  • Rowney Georgian Water Colour (Crimson)
  • Creative Expressions Mini Stencils (Ornate Trellis CEMSTRELLIS)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Happy)
  • Great Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Flower Sketch Board F327)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Craftime Designer Vinyls (Boy & Girl B/W PBDV02)
  • Handwriting Marker Pen (Black)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (White)
  • Sharpie Permanent Marker Pen (Black)

In my garden there is …

Our new challenge over at Try it on Tuesday for the next two weeks is In my garden there is …

I created a page full of flowers, insects and happy sentiments which remind me of my garden so far this year and over at Try it on Tuesday there is more inspiration to be found in the amazing creations from my Design Teamies! We hope that you will join us too!

I started by creating blocks of papers to collage on the background of my page using matte gel medium; they were free with a magazine which featured stamps and papers from “The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady”. They have a lovely cottage garden look and feel, with pretty flower, foliage, bird, bee and butterfly designs, which I thought depicted my garden beautifully. Once the gel medium was dry, I scribbled Coconut and Kiwi Faber-Castell Gelatos along the edges of the papers and smudged the colour with my finger. Then I used a foxglove stamp, which was also free with the magazine, using black Archival Ink and then coloured them using Red Violet, Blossom, Sunflower and Bud Green Spectrum Aqua markers. I fussy cut an oval image of a bird in its nest as we have had so many young birds visiting our garden this year and added some Graphic 45 stickers which read “Love”, “Smile”, “Dream” and “Bloom where you are planted”; they are all outlined with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker. Then to finish, I added a pretty yellow 3D butterfly.

We have had many flowers blooming in our garden and the foxgloves looked particularly beautiful earlier this year!

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m sharing a pot of tea that we had with our friends in the gardens at Lytham Hall – Happy T day!

Challenges

I’m pleased to join the lovely Gill  from gibbyfrogettcraftations  and her Anything with Eyes challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the birds and insects I included on my page; sorry I haven’t joined your fabulous theme as much as I would have liked too this month!

I’m also joining the Butterflies challenge over at Moo Mania & More with all the butterflies on my 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:

  • The Country Dairy of an Edwardian Lady design Papers and Stamps – free with Simply Cards & Papercraft magazine
  • Faber-Castell Gelato (Coconut, Kiwi)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Red Violet, Blossom, Sunflower, Bud Green)
  • Graphic 45 Cardstock Stickers (Seasons Decorative Stickers 4501629)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Home Bargains You & Me … (Beautiful Butterflies)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Pritt Stick

Wish you were here

Our challenge for the next two weeks over at Try it on Tuesday is Wish you were here. Where will you take us? Maybe you would like to travel far away or even stay at home, the choice is yours!

For my art journal page, I decided to go to Venice and if you pop over to Try it on Tuesday you’ll find some more wonderful Wish you were here creations by my Design Teamies to inspire you too!

I had found one of the plastic bags from Venice had degraded into lots of pieces when I unpacked some holiday ornaments over Christmastime, so I decided to keep the pieces in my craft stash to use in my art journaling.

Being from Venice, I thought that they would be perfect for my “Venice wish you were here” inspired page, so I layered the bag pieces to form the background using Liquitex Matte gel medium. When the gel medium was dry, I flooded the page with watered-down Cracked Pistachio, Peeled Paint and Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink and left them to dry; I love the amazing texture that resulted.

Then I splattered the page with the both the Peeled Paint and Chipped Sapphire inks using a paint brush and added some diamond shapes using a stencil from Creative Expressions; first using the Peeled Paint ink again and then using some Black Soot Distress Ink. Using black Archival Ink I stamped the decorative shield design from Kaisercraft onto the page and also the “wish you were here” wording from Hampton Arts onto tissue paper; the wording is stuck onto the page using matte gel medium. Next I cut out a picture of Venice from a free travel advertising magazine, backed it with white paper, stuck it onto the page using double-sided tape and edged it with some black Glitterations border stickers.

I stuck a postage stamp to cover some writing on the magazine picture using double-sided foam tape; the postage stamp is from Romania showing a painting of Venice by N. Darascu, circa 1972.

Then I added three pieces of white and black striped ribbon to the page along with a postage stamp from Italy showing Coin of Syracuse, circa 1955; both of the postage stamps were kindly given to me to use for my art journaling by my hubby as part of his childhood Stamp Collection (grin!). To finish, I added some pretty diamante pieces using Ranger Glossy Accents to add some elegance and sparkle.

We have been to Venice a couple of times which is located in North Eastern Italy and is a series of islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges.

Of course Venice is well known for its Gondolas which we have been lucky enough to travel in.

We are always amazed by the beauty of the architecture along the Grand Canal and the only way to travel is by boat which appeals to me as I love being on the water (grin!).

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m sharing our Aperol Spritz which is a very popular drink in Italy along with some traditional cuisine from Venice. Aperol Spritz is an aperitif cocktail consisting of prosecco, Aperol and soda water; it originated in Italy and is now available worldwide. Our drinks are pictured with some cicchetti which are small snacks or side dishes that originated and are typically served in traditional “bàcari” (cicchetti bars) in Venice. Cheers and Happy T Day!

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

Challenges

I’m pleased to join the lovely Gill from gibbyfrogettcraftations and her Anything with Eyes challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the ladies eyes on the Italian postage stamp that I included on my page.

I’m also happy to join in the Layers of Texture challenge over at Country View Challenges the background texture that I created from recycling the pieces of bag.

I’m pleased to join in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Anything Goes challenge too.

I’m also pleased to be able to join Creative Artiste and their Anything Mixed Media Goes challenge with all the mixed media I used to create this page.

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

  • Recycled pieces of plastic bag (degraded) from Venice
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Cracked Pistachio, Peeled Paint, Chipped Sapphire, Black Soot)
  • Creative Expressions Mini Stencils (Vintage Diamonds)
  • Kaisercraft Clear Stamps (Decorative Accents CS852)
  • Hampton Art Bella Blvd cling mounted rubber stamps (Sand & Surf ICO226)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Recycled white tissue paper
  • Recycled travel advertising magazine
  • Docrafts Papermania Glitterations (Black Borders ANT8181015)
  • Postage stamps from hubby’s childhood collection (Posta Romana – Romania showing a painting of Venice by N. Darascu, circa, Itali – Italy showing Coin of Syracuse circa 1955)
  • Home bargains Always & Forever Collection (Decorative Diamante Chain 26254)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Stix2 double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
  • Ranger Glossy Accents

Splatters and Splodges

It’s time for a new challenge at Try it on Tuesday so today we are launching our Splatters and Splodges Challenge which lasts for the next two weeks.

This is a fun challenge and I really enjoyed stencilling and stamping the splatters and splodges on my page (grin!).

I started by covering the page with white acrylic paint, then I used a mini stencil from Creative Expressions to add layers of splatters and splodges using Festive Berries, Seedless Preserves and Picked Raspberry Distress Ink with a blending tool. I stencilled these Distress Ink colours a couple of times to add more depth to the page. Then I splattered the page with the same Distress Inks by stamping the pad onto an acrylic block, adding water and flicking the diluted ink onto the page using a paintbrush. I added more splatters by stamping a Gummiapan stamp using black Archival Ink. Next I outlined some pretty pink heart toppers with Black Soot Distress Ink and a black Faber-Castell marker and stuck them to the page using a glue stick. To finish, I added three Tim Holtz Small Talk stickers which read “listen to your heart, it will show you the way”, “have an open heart” and “a dream is a wish your heart makes”.

Don’t forget that you can find loads more Splatters and Splodges inspiration from my Design Teamies over at Try it on Tuesday so please pop over to take a look.

After so many of you wanted to make the raspberry gin that I featured last week, I thought I’d share the recipe with you:

  • Raspberries (or any fruit of your choice, maybe blueberry, peach, strawberry, rhubarb)
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Gin (cheap brand such as supermarket own brand as these are not too flavoured)
  • I used 400g (14 oz) fruit to 300g (10 oz) sugar in 750ml (25 US fl oz) of gin

Add them all to a Kilner Jar (or similar). You need to ensure the sugar dissolves so make sure you shake the jar throughout the first day, it dissolves pretty quickly. Then put it in a dark place for 4 weeks, I tend to shake the jar every other day to muddle the fruit. It’s tempting to eat the fruit afterwards, perhaps on ice-cream, however, I tried it and it was far too potent! So I ended up forcing it through a sieve to add more flavour to the gin. One last tip – don’t be tempted to do half a recipe like I did as it goes pretty fast.

Have fun making your fruit flavoured gins and as T Stands for Tuesday wishing you a Happy T Day too!

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

Challenges

I’m pleased to join the lovely Chris from pearshapedcrafting and her We’re all/going challenge over at Art Journal Journey as we’re all creating splatters and splodges (grin!).

I’m joining in the Make Your Own Background challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge with my background of splatters and splodges.

I’m pleased to join the Anything Goes challenge over at Paperbabe Stamps with my art journal page.

I’m joining in the Not A Card challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge with my art journal page.

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

  • Art Discount Acrylic Paint (White)
  • Creative Expressions Mini Stencils (Splattered CEMSSPLAT)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Festive Berries, Seedless Preserves, Picked Raspberry, Black Soot)
  • Gummiapan Stamps (A lot of splats 11050106)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Nit Wit Collection Essentials Toppers (Strawberry Social NWCE-T-SSI)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology (Small Talk #TH93193)

Celebrate Friendship

Today my page celebrates one of my best friends who sadly passed away last weekend after battling cancer; it’s heart breaking, she was only in her forties and it seems so unfair that she left this world so early. She was a shining light of love, kindness, enthusiasm and positively, which I hoped to have captured on my page!

My friend loved colour so I painted the background using my Kuretake watercolour paint set to create a rainbow effect; by wetting the paper with water and then applying Lemon Yellow, Orange, Cadmium Scarlet, Red, Rose Madder, Colbalt Violet, Turquoise Blue, Ultramarine, Viridian, Sap Green Light and Yellow Ochre paint in stripes vertically on the page letting the paint blend together where they joined. When the paint was dry I used two Carabelle Studios Art Stamps to stamp the letters and also some thistle heads using black Versafine Ink. To finish, I added some appropriate wording which are Kaisercraft stickers; they read “love you”, “forever and always” and “The language of friendship is not in words but meanings by Henry David Thoreau” the latter being mounted onto some pink design paper.

It’s been an emotional week and my garden has helped by keeping me busy, here are my “pretties” (mesembryanthemums) that I grew from seed; I love their multi-coloured flowers which seem appropriate as they only open when the sun is shining!

I would also like to apologise to my blog friends for my lack of visits this past week, I look forward to catching up with you again soon. Thank you, Jo x

Challenges

I’m pleased to join the lovely Chris from pearshapedcrafting and her We’re all/going challenge over at Art Journal Journey as we’re all bright and colourful today.

I’m joining in the Make Your Own Background challenge over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge with my watercolour background art journal page.

There is still a few more days to join the Colours of the Rainbow Challenge over at Try it on Tuesday too!

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

  • Kuretake Gansai Tambi Japanese Watercolour Paint set (Lemon Yellow, Orange, Cadmium Scarlet, Red, Rose Madder, Colbalt Violet, Turquoise Blue, Ultramarine, Viridian, Sap Green Light, Yellow Ochre)
  • Tsukineko Versafine Ink (Onyx Black)
  • Carabelle Studio Art Stamp (Background avec des Lettres SA60233, Dans la nature, il ya … SA60175)
  • Kaisercraft Sticker Book (Antiquities SK807)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Bright Colours CRO730/R)
  • Stix2 double-sided tape