Visiting Paris

I have happy memories of visiting Paris in the springtime. It’s such a beautiful place and so romantic, it has many iconic landmarks and the most wonderful patisseries. So with Paris as my inspiration, I’m pleased to be able to join this month’s theme “Out and About” being hosted by Yvonne from Meggy’s Way over at Art Journal Journey.

I chose some of my favourite colours of green and blue to create the background using Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers and Peeled Paint Distress Inks. I applied the ink pad directly to an acrylic block, and then I sprayed it with water and pressed the block onto my page. I filled in any white gaps with watered down Chipped Sapphire ink using a paint brush. I then stamped a Serpentine background using the Chipped Sapphire ink, some small script stamps using the Peeled Paint ink and some postage mark stamps using Jet Black Archival Ink. Then I added fine splatters of white and black acrylic paint using a paint brush. I stencilled Texture Paste using a Wheels Stencil from Ranger by Dina Wakley Media, and because the inks bleed into the wet paste and colour it, I had to paint the wheels with white acrylic paint when the paste had fully dried in order to give it a clean white finish. I used paper from a design pad, choosing two different designs which reminded me of French design wallpapers and cut them to the various sizes. I distressed the edges with pinking shears and applied Black Soot Distress Ink with a blending tool. The Paris images and postage stamps are Stickeroos from Penny Black, and once the stickers where in place I stuck everything to the page using a UHU Stic and double-sided foam tape. I embellished the papers and images with a black rhinestone frame border and then to mimic this frame effect and lighten the page, I continued the dots around the edge using white acrylic paint which I painstakingly applied with an embossing tool; I really like the 3D effect. I added the word “Paris” which is from the same Penny Black Stickeroo set; I stuck them to some card first before sticking them to the page, outlining them with a black Uni Pin marker and adding the white dots. To finish the page I added clusters of green gemstones on both the background and the images.

We visited Paris as a special birthday treat and I remember the magical Eiffel Tower with its wonderful iron lattice-work. It looks so spectacular all lit up and twinkling, apparently there are 20,000 light bulbs which are used to make the Eiffel Tower sparkle every night.  Today almost 7 million people a year visit the Eiffel Tower and it’s believed to be the most visited paid-for monument in the world.

The metal work is so beautiful and the tower stands at 324 metres (1063 feet) tall including antennas. I was amazed to find out that it comprises 18,000 metal parts which are joined together by 2.5 million rivets, it sways around six to seven centimetres (2-3 inches) in the wind, during cold weather the tower shrinks by about 15cm (six inches) and that it takes 60 tonnes of paint to repaint it every seven years.

The Arc De Triomphe is magnificent; it stands at the end of the Champs-Élysées and looks such a powerful structure. It is 50 metres (164 ft) high, 45 metres (148 ft) wide and 22 metres (72 ft) deep. We found out that it was built to honour those who fought for France especially during the Napoleonic wars. In fact, the construction was ordered in 1806 by Napoleon himself to honour the Grande Armee, the name of the French army at that time. It was completed in 1836, long after Napoleon’s death in 1821.

I remember standing under the monument looking up at all the amazing carvings; it was so ornate and pays tribute to the wars fought as well as those who fought in them.

You wouldn’t believe the number of patisseries that are dotted around the streets of Paris! They all sell the most amazing sweet treats – yum! There is so much choice and they had the most lovely chocolates and Easter eggs 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 (Peacock Feathers, Peeled Paint, Chipped Sapphire )
  • Ranger Archival (Jet Black)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Ivory Black)
  • Colvin & Co Artists’s Acrylic (White Titanium)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Ranger Texture Paste
  • Art Impressions wood mounted stamp (Serpentine Background T-2773)
  • The Works (Clears Stamps CR0274/TW3)
  • Ranger Dina Wakley Media Stencil (Wheels MDS45588)
  • The Works 12×12 Paperstack  (Vintage Experience)
  • Penny Black Stickeroos (Je Taime #10-199)
  • Hobbycraft (Rhinestone Stickers Green)
  • Hobbycraft (Black & White Frame Adhesive Gem Design)
  • Decorative Scissors (Zig Zag)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

There’s always time for tea

When I’m out and about with my mum, there is always time for tea at our local café. So I thought I would capture this using a new set of Distress Inks and a stencil that my mum kindly bought me as a gift.

always-time-for-tea-ajp-1

For the background I used only two Distress Inks, they were Hickory Smoke and Ground Espresso. I applied the ink pad directly to an acrylic block, then I spritzed it with water and I pressed it onto my page. Then using the same two Distress Inks, I used a stencil by DecoArt, a Script stamp and a Hessian stamp by Kaisercraft and a postage mark stamp from The Works. To add contrast I used black Archival Ink to stamp a grid design with a homemade stamp. Then I stamped a clock image from my Steampunk stamp set by Docrafts using black Archival Ink, which ties into the “Time for tea” theme. The words, teapot and teacup are fussy cut from a print of a sign I saw whilst out and about with my mum. It took quite some time to fussy cut them out, stick them to the page, colour them with Faber-Castell Big Brush marker ink and outline them with a black Uni Pin marker and a white Uniball gel pen. For the flower embellishments I cut dried used teabags into flower shapes, layered them with some lace flowers and used a pretty grey resin rose for the centre, using Glossy Accents to stick them together. I cut strips of the same teabags and used them to create tea pouring out of the teapot, covering them in a layer of glossy accents to give a liquid appearance. As some of the tea leaves had dried in the bag I also sprinkled them onto the page and then I covered them with a thin layer of matte gel medium. To finish I added a clock that I recycled from a gift tag, using double-sided foam tape to stick it down.

As this page is about having time for tea while I’m out and about, I am joining Try It on Tuesday’s theme “Time for Tea” and Yvonne’s (from Meggy’s Way) challenge “Out and About” over at Art Journal Journey.

tea

I’m also pleased to join Bleubeard and Elizabeth and the rest of the T Gang as T Stands for Tuesday with the green tea and fruit loaf I enjoyed with my mum. The fruit loaf is so big we always order it to share. Happy T Day!

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 Hotlz Distress Ink (Hickory Smoke, Ground Espresso)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Sanguine 188 B, Dark Sepia 175 B, Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.1mm, 0.3mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • DecoArt Andy Skinner Mixed Media Stencil (Shedded ANDY08)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Steampunk  DCE907125)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752, Hessian CS153)
  • The Works (Clear Stamps CR0274/TW3)
  • Homemade wood mounted stamp with Plasterboard/drywall tape
  • Sign printout
  • Gift tag
  • Dried used teabag
  • Home Bargains (Fabulous Florals 22803)
  • Trimcraft A Beautiful Life (Resin Flowers LCFLW001)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Fleetwood Beer Festival 2017

Every February we volunteer at the Fleetwood Beer Festival, we really enjoyed our three days serving beers from the bars and we met some lovely people too. This journal page is all about the amazing beers that we tasted. It was very difficult to choose our favourites this year, because there were so many that we really enjoyed.

beer-festival-fleetwood-2017-ajp

I started by painting broken stripes of Liquitex acrylic paint vertically down the page. Next I added small splatters of diluted Spectrum Aqua markers by scribbling the ink on an acrylic block, spritzing it with water and then flicking the ink onto the page with a paintbrush.  I chose Gold, Amber and Black coloured markers to represent the different shades of beer we tried. I stamped a faint grid design around the edges of the page, to add some texture, using a homemade stamp and black Archival Ink. I stencilled embossing ink using a distressed dot mask by Creative Expressions and then I covered the ink with a white embossing powder and used my heat gun to fix it to the page. This depicts the froth or “head” that forms on the top of the beer when you pour it. I collaged beer related images and words from magazines and our tasting notes using a UHU Stic to stick them to the page and outlined them using a black Uni Pin marker so they stood out more from the background.

glasses

I really like this information about glasses; we tend to drink from tankards/mugs when we are working behind the bar at the festival, as they help keep the beer cooler.

tasting-notes

The snippets from our own tasting notes show our five favourite beers of the festival.

bar

At the festival there were over 125 real ales, ciders, perries and world beers. We worked on the bar serving the cask real ale, some of which were on hand pumps. We tasted many beers and added our comments to the tasting notes so we could recommend beers to others; there was something for everybody whether your taste preference is fruity, coffee, chocolate, hoppy, citrus, floral, ginger, honey, treacle and we even had some that were a little like lager.

lunch

I just managed to get a photo of the beer and Subway Club sandwich we had in one of our breaks. My beer preference tends to be the darker coloured beer and I have to say the Spilt Milk (spelt wrong in the tasting notes) really did taste like chocolate milk. My hubby tends to like the paler beers and amber bitters and was not disappointed as they had one of our old favourites by Harvey’s brewey in Sussex. As T Stands for Tuesday I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and wishing you all a Happy T Day!

harveys

By the end of the festival many of our favourite beers had sold out, I’m not sure if it was because we were recommending them or because we were drinking them – we didn’t drink all the Harvey’s Old Ale,  honest (grin!)

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

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

  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Gold, Amber, Black)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Dovecraft Premium Embossing Stamp Pad (Clear)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque DP100 50727)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • Homemade wooden stamp block with Plasterboard/Drywall Tape
  • Beer magazines and booklets
  • Fleetwood Beer Festival 2017 Programme
  • UHU Stic

Always in my heart

This time of year my thoughts are filled with fond memories of my hubby’s dad who passed away in February 2011 and those who loved him so dearly (my hubby and M, his widow) – they are always in my heart!

always-in-my-heart-ajp

I started by creating my own decoupage paper using stamps, black Archival Ink and tissue paper. First I selected white and brown tissue paper and stamped them with a music sheet stamp and a script stamp respectfully. I chose these stamps to represent music and reading which are two past times my hubby’s dad loved; in fact me and hubby often listen to some of his favourite songs. I also stamped a small heart outline and the words “beautiful” and “lovely” onto white tissue paper as well as a series of images on the brown tissue paper; some of which are from a new Steampunk stamp set that M very kindly bought me for Christmas, I think they give the page a lovely vintage look and feel.

papers

I used my papers along with torn pieces of star tissue paper, dictionary pages, music and script pages from a magazine part work to create my background. They are stuck down using a UHU Stic and Liquitex matte gel medium. As you can see I selected the dictionary pages that defined Love and Valentine as this page is dedicated to those I love. The hearts are red tissue paper and they are stuck to the page using the same gel medium. I really like the way it melts into the page so that the detail underneath shows through. When the gel medium had dried I outlined the heart with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker smudging the ink with a baby wipe to give a worn look. I added more detail and definition to the hearts using a black Uni Pin marker and a white Uniball gel pen. I also highlighted the top right hand side of each heart using Docrafts white pigment ink, which I applied using a baby wipe.

close-up-1

To make my sentiment, I fussy cut a banner from a chalkboard tag and made it longer, so it would fit the heart, by inserting another piece of card in the middle and cutting it to shape. I continued the white outline and dots along the additional piece using a gel pen to mask the joins.  Next I stuck white tissue paper over the top of red tissue paper and stamped the sentiment on top using black Archival Ink. I stuck it to the banner and when it had thoroughly dried I added a border with a black Uni Pin marker. To continue the vintage look, I scrapped the tissue paper around the sentiment using a craft knife to reveal the red tissue paper and black card underneath and then I covered it with a thin layer of matte gel medium to hold everything in position. I placed the banner over one of the hearts using double-sided foam tape which finished my page.

I’m pleased to be able to join Linda over at Art Journal Journey and her very apt theme for February of “Fifty Shades of Red”.

dad

I have very happy and cherished memories of my father-in-law, he was a very down to earth, straight talking person and a gentleman in every sense of the word. He’d do anything for you and he used to tease me terribly about my height (I’m five foot nothing). I couldn’t help but love him and I’m so pleased his memory lives on always in my heart!

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)
  • Docrafts Pigment Ink Pad (White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo Gel Pen (White)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamps (Script CS752)
  • Woodware Clear Magic Singles (Sheet Music JG5111)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Steampunk DCE907125)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Art Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Hampton Arts Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Papermania Hallmark Cards wood mounted stamp (Adornment – G PMA9062904)
  • Hampton Art Studio G clear stamps (V54911)
  • Dovecraft upper and lower case alphabet stamp set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • The Pocket Oxford Dictionary
  • The Great Musicians Part Work
  • White, brown, red and star tissue paper
  • Studiolight Creative with Chalk (EASYCH465)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Asian Delights

With the recent Chinese New Year, our new Thai cookery books and shopping at an Asian supermarket, I was inspired to create this page.

asian-delights-ajp

The background is painted using Distress Ink which I applied like watercolour using a paintbrush and diluting the ink with water on an acrylic block. I was amazed by the texture I achieved just with my painting and I think the vibrancy of the colours ties into the Asian theme too.  Next I stamped ink from a Terracotta Spectrum Aqua marker using a Kaisercraft stamp, which merged with the background because Distress Inks are reactivated when they become wet, which I like. Next I tore pieces of black and gold card from the Eastern Promise themed topper pack from Hunkydory and edged them with a gold metallic marker, and then stuck them to the page with double-sided foam tape. I also added butterflies which I punched out of the same card using a Tonic Studios Simplicity punch. The oriental style dream tag, birds and red sun, flowers and butterflies are stickers by Penny Black. I really like the transparency of the stickers and added some shadow around them with an Aqua marker then doodled around them using a black Uni Pin marker to add further definition. The gold lines, flowers and dots are outline stickers which I outlined with a black Uni Pin marker to make them stand out more.  To finish I added some green rhinestones to add extra sparkle.

goodies

We love cooking and eating Chinese and Indian food and as we enjoyed our visit to The Giggling Squid Thai restaurant so much, we bought a couple of Thai cookbooks to add to our growing cookbook collection. Of course that meant a trip to our local Asian supermarket to stock up on ingredients as most of them cannot be found in our regular store. This included Thai basil, galangal, shrimp paste, chilli bean paste and a variety of curry pastes for our new Thai recipes, black beans and oyster sauce for our Chinese cooking and creamed coconut for our Thai and Indian curries.

fruity

Before you enter the Supermarket itself, you are greeted with a lovely array of fruit and veg. We always stock up on fresh herbs, Cyprus potatoes and fruit – this time we treated ourselves to lychee, yum!

spices

The shelves are full of goodies, this is the spice section where we bought our Kaffir Lime Leaves for our Thai recipes and on opposite side of the aisle are all the nuts and dried fruits.

tea

They have a wide range of tea and coffee, we always buy our favourite Chinese Gunpowder Green Tea.

teapot

Here is the green tea in our glass teapot from Japan, it makes two mugs of tea, just enough for hubby and me. As T Stands for Tuesday I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang – Happy T day!

I’m also pleased to be able to join Linda’s theme “50 Shades of Red” over at Art Journal Journey.

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:

  • Spectrum Aqua Marker (Terracotta, Slate)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Peeled Paint, Mowed Lawn, Peacock Feathers, Chipped Sapphire)
  • Script metallic pen (Gold)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamps (Sketchy CS878)
  • Hunkydory Crafts Luxury Topper Collection (Eastern Promise EAST104)
  • Penny Black 2006 Stickeroos (Butterfly Party #10-181)
  • Tonic Studios Simplicity Punch (Flora & Fauna Butterfly 916E)
  • Magenta Style Outline Stickers (Daisy Gold 93326G)
  • Hobbycraft Outline Stickers (Gold Scenes 5934211001)
  • Hobbycraft Stickers (Green Rhinestone 5971511004)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Love, Love, Love

This page is one of my hubby’s favourites and I am very pleased about that because I was thinking of him when I was creating it, he loves the colour red and also The Beatles – it’s called Love, Love, Love.

love-love-love-ajp

I started by painting the background red using Liquitex acrylic paint, leaving patches of white where the mixed media paper was showing through. Once the paint had dried, I doodled some circles and lines using a black Uni Pin pen. Then I covered parts of the page with layers of Pébéo white gesso and then red acrylic paint, using a palette knife. When I had finished applying the paint I ran the knife over the surface of the page which transferred the different colours and gave a lovely worn look to my background. I applied black acrylic paint using the edge of an old plastic gift card in lines around the page, then by dragging the paint into the centre of the page I created triangular saw-tooth shapes. To create the hearts for my love theme, I covered card with paper from a Design Pad and cut out a heart shape. I chose a paper printed with framed photographs to depict our favourite Beatle’s songs which are about life, people and love. Then I edged them with black Distress Ink using a blending tool and added the “love” wording using a stamp and Archival Ink. To tie the heart design into the background, I also stamped the “love” wording across the page using black Archival Ink and white Docrafts Ink. Next I arranged the rose garland around the hearts, securing the wire on the back with tape and the little roses using Ranger Glossy Accents. Before I attached the hearts to the page using double-sided foam tape, I painted white gesso where they were to be positioned and doodled with a black Uni Pin to frame them. To finish I stamped the words “Love” three times, doodled some wavy lines using a Uni Pin and added a length of the rose garland to the bottom of the page, securing the roses with Ranger Glossy Accents.

cavern

We love going to Liverpool and the famous Cavern Club is always on our list of places to visit, and is synonymous with The Beatles. It’s free entry, during the day and you can enjoy a drink and sit down while listening to someone signing Beatles songs – magic!

outside-collage

The Beatles murals created by the entrance are wonderful with the bright and vibrant colours. A John Lennon bronze statue stands opposite the club alongside brickwork paying tribute to all those who have played at the Cavern Club.

inside-collage

It’s a lovely atmosphere inside, there is a lot to see and Beatle’s music is played by a selection of artists to the very appreciative audience.

I’m also pleased to be able to join Linda’s theme“50 Shades of Red” over at Art Journal Journey and the “Hearts and Flowers” theme over at Try it on Tuesday (thanks for the suggestion Elizabeth!).

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
  • Liquitex Artist Colour Acrylic (Cadmium Red Medium Hue/Lacquer Red)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic  (Black)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Docrafts Pigment Ink Pad (White DOA550106)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Hampton Arts Studio G clear stamps (VS4911)
  • Creative Sensations clear stamps (CR0271/16R2)
  • Creative Sensations Design Pad (Authentic Vintage CRO730/R)
  • The Range (Rose Garland PO/23417)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Be the reason someone smiles

When I heard about Linda’s exciting new challenge of “50 Shades of Red” over at Art Journal Journey  I knew exactly what the inspiration would be for my first submission – a little pottery sign I look at every morning that is hung on my dressing table mirror, it says “Be the reason someone SMILES today”.

be-the-reason-someone-smiles-ajp-1

I started by diluting Desert Spectrum Aqua marker ink and Love Letter Memento Ink onto an acrylic block with water and smooshing and painting it onto the page. To add more texture and layers I put Spectrum Aqua Marker ink onto a trellis stencil and used it to ‘stamp’ the design onto the page. I also stamped a diamond background using the same Aqua marker and a script stamp by Kaisercraft using the same Memento Ink. Then using the same trellis stencil I applied a thick layer of Fired Brick Distress Ink using a blending tool to different areas of the page. To use up the ink remaining on the blending tool I applied it using the trellis stencil over the pink/red areas of the smooshed Memento Ink background, I liked this effect as it gave a faint impression of the stencil whilst intensifying the background colour.  Next I added pieces of paper from a vintage Design Pad using a UHU Stic and the rose and heart images which are stickers by Penny Black. I outlined all of them with a Spectrum Aqua marker and a black Uni Pin, this added shadows and made them stand out from the background more. To make the sign, I stamped the wording and the three red hearts using the Memento Ink and outlined them with a very fine Derwent marker, then added a diamond border using the diamond background stamp and Aqua marker. I then glued it to a piece of recycled red card using a UHU Stic and stuck it to the page using double-sided foam tape. To add some bling I edged the sign with red gemstones and added some single gemstones around the page along with some red hearts which I stamped using the Memento Ink, these finishing touches tie the design of my sentiment to the page.

sign

This is the lovely red pottery sign that hangs in my bedroom, I choose this as a gift some years ago when I received a voucher for Christmas. It makes me happy when I see it and always inspires me by giving me a daily goal to make someone smile.

jo-smiles

This is my hubby’s favourite photo of me; I’m always smiling and as Dolly Parton once said “If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours”. I recently read a poll on what makes us smile and it revealed that on average we smile thirteen times a day and laugh three times a day. It also said the top things that make us smile are seeing an old friend or hearing a song from the past, other favourites were getting into a tight pair of jeans, receiving a thank you from someone and jumping into a bed with freshly made sheets.  So now I’d love to know – what makes you smile?

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:

  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Desert)
  • Memento Ink (Love Letter)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Fired Brick)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Diamond Background T-3335)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Hobbycraft clear stamp (Love Hearts 50402HC)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Moroccan)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Alpha Folk DCE907115)
  • Hampton Art Mini Wood Peg Rubber Stamps (Alphabet Set #1037)
  • Creative Expressions Design Pad (Vintage Romance CRO730/R)
  • Red Card (recycled Christmas card)
  • Penny Black 2006 Stickeroos (From the Heart #10-189)
  • Oaktree UK Eleganza Craft Stickers (3mm 418 Gems Red No. 16)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape