Card Making Fun!

Today I have three cards to share with you that I created to send to my friends and family. Fortuitously these designs also coincide with some challenges that I wanted to join. The cards are for a friend who has just moved into her new house, another is a birthday card for one of my family and the last one is to wish one of my special friends a very Happy Christmas!

Home Sweet Home

I used 6×4” white card stock and applied Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn and Salty Ocean Distress Ink to a large acrylic block and spritzed it with water. Then I laid the card facedown on the top of the block and pressed down so that the ink transferred onto the card. I did this a couple of times to use up the ink on the block until I was happy with the coverage. I dried the ink using a heat gun and then stamped the birdcage stamp by Dovecrafts using black Archival Ink. I surrounded this image with the pretty tree branches from a new stamp set by Inkadinkado using the same black Archival Ink; I love these stamps, the tree branch designs are beautiful! Next I stamped the “Home Sweet Home” sentiment using the same black ink and a Bellissima alphabet stamp set by Docrafts Papermania. I edged the front of a white blank greetings card with the black Archival Ink and a blending tool and then I cut the Home Sweet Home design to size. I edged it with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck it on the top using double-sided tape. To finish, I used a black Derwent Graphik marker to emphasise some of the stamping so it stood out more and also added some blue circular gems for a bit of sparkle.

I’m pleased to join the “Home Sweet Home” challenge over at Try it on Tuesday which inspired the sentiment on this card.

I’m also pleased to join a new challenge today thanks to the lovely Avril who is on the design team over at Fashionable Stamping Challenges as my card also links to their “Nature” challenge.

The silhouette design I created means I can also join in the fun over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge and their “Silhouette” challenge.

Skateboarding Monkey

This fun card is created using a 6×6” green card base. Firstly I cut a piece of striped paper to size and then I stamped the sentiment using black Archival Ink and an alphabet stamp set by Hampton Art. As you can see I bunched up the word “Birthday” so it looked like it was being pushed out-of-place by the skateboard. I stuck it into place using double-sided tape. Next I added the monkey and star-like flowers which are foam stickers and also some glossy dots and tiny flowers designer vinyl stickers from Craftime. To finish, I used black and white Uni Posca paint pens to add small dots to the background and sentiment.

I wanted to join the lovely Chris from Pearshapedcrafting and her wonderful “101 Ways to Keep Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey; I think skateboarding would be a good way to keep warm especially for me as I’d probably be laughing so much whilst I was trying to do it (grin!).

I’m also joining the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge as my fun monkey would love to join their “Furry Friends” theme.

The Best Christmas Ever!

I was inspired to create this card after creating my Winter Wonderland Decorations. This is a one layer card, so I started by masking off the top edge of a white 6×4” card and stamping some different stamps using Emboss ink; the stamps included a “Wishing you the best Christmas ever!” sentiment and a snowflake stamp, both by Clear Impressions, and also Diamond Background and Serpentine Background stamps, both by Art Impressions. I completed the embossing in layers, starting with the sentiment and then using the other stamps. Each layer of Emboss ink stamping was covered with white Stampendous embossing powder and then I shook off the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper. I also tapped the card to make sure any stray powder was removed and then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. I swept the gun over the stamped images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long until the embossing powder changed to a glossy finish becoming smooth and dimensional. I repeated this process a few times to create a design that I was happy with. I then applied Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers and Cracked Pistachio Distress Inks to the card using a blending tool, starting with the darker colour of Chipped Sapphire around the edge and blending to the lighter colour of Cracked Pistachio in the middle. I dried the ink with my heat gun and spritzed water over the top, blotting it with a piece of kitchen towel/paper to remove some of the ink. I also diluted the three Distress Inks by stamping the ink pads onto an acrylic block and spritzing with water, and then I flicked the inks onto the card using a paintbrush and used a heat gun to dry them. To finish, I added some white rhinestone flower gems and dots of silver Stickles to add some glitter and sparkle.

I’m pleased to be able to join the “One Layer Christmas Cards” challenge over at Stamping Sensations with my white embossed stamped card.

As I used the glittery gems and Sparkles on this card, I’m also pleased to be joining the “Glitter” challenge over at Allsorts Challenge Blog.

Family, home and Christmas all mean so much to me, so I thought I’d share some photos relating to all three of these things (grin!). As we live by the sea we don’t often get snow, however we did get a light dusting of snow one evening last year. It was beautiful seeing the snow falling although it had disappeared the next morning when we awoke.

This photo is very dear to me, it’s of a white Christmas from my childhood, yes the little girl at the front eating sweets is me (grin!). I’m with my mum and my sister and you can see our Christmas tree in the background too. I will forever remember that furry navy blue and red checked coat that I’m wearing as my mum made it for me!

This picture of me was taken some years ago, when we had light snow fall on Christmas Day. We were staying with family and we went for a lovely woodland walk!

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 each of the cards:

Home Sweet Home

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn, Salty Ocean)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm & 0.3mm)
  • Dovecraft Clear Stamps (Birdcage DCCS015)
  • Inkadinkado Cling Stamps (Branches 65-32007)
  • Docrafts Papermania Bellissima  4×4” Clear Stamps (Alphas PMA907212)
  • Hobbycraft Decorative Embellishments (Blue Round Gems 5665381001)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape

Skateboarding Monkey

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (Black, White)
  • Hampton Art (Alphabet Stamp Set WM1037)
  • B&M Craft Goody Bag (Turquoise)
  • Wilko Little Steps (Safari Foam Stickers)
  • Craftime Designer Vinyls (B/W Boy & Girl PBDV02)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape

The Best Christmas Ever!

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers, Cracked Pistachio)
  • Tsukienki Emboss Embossing Stamp Pad (Clear)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Clear Impressions (Woodland Christmas)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Diamond Background T-3335, Serpentine Background T-2773)
  • The Works stickers (Rhinestone Flowers)
  • Ranger Stickles (Silver)
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Remember, Remember …

On the 5th November we celebrate Bonfire Night here in the UK, and as I didn’t manage to attend our local fireworks display this year I thought I would create my own fireworks instead. Bonfire Night celebrations originate from the time of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, which dates back to 1605, so I incorporated this onto my page along with the first lines of a well-known poem that is often recited this time of year:

“Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot.
We see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot!”

I started by sprinkling Black, Purple, Orange and Yellow Colourcraft Brusho Powders onto the page then spritzing them with water. As I wanted to control the coverage and the amount of starburst patterns that resulted I spritzed the water after each individual sprinkle of Brusho powder. Brushos seemed the perfect medium for the fireworks as they always mesmerise me by exploding with colour when the water is added. Next I dried the Brushos with a heat gun and then covered them with a thin layer of PVA glue to fix the colour in place; I choose PVA as it dries with a shiny finish which I thought was more appropriate for fireworks. By fixing the Brusho colour, it stopped them bleeding into the white Uni Posca paint pen which I used to doodle and splatter the firework patterns. The individual letters of the poem are cut from an alphabet paper sheet by Creative Sensations; I thought the old-fashioned text would be appropriate for the Gunpowder plot of 1605. I edged the letters with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker, stuck them to the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium and used a black Derwent Graphik marker and a white Pentel gel pen to define them so that they stood out more. To finish, I fussy cut an illustration of the Gunpowder Plot from an old History Encyclopedia, edged it with black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck it to the bottom of the page using the matte gel medium again.

I’m pleased to be able to join Chris from Pearshapedcrafting who is hosting the “101 Ways to Keep Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey; I join some esteemed company with my Bonfire Night inspired page as this inspiration has proven popular for a number of my blog-friends too (grin!).

This photo of the North Pier in Blackpool was taken last year at the annual International Fireworks Competition – the displays are always so amazing!

Some years we have sparklers, here I am being very, very careful lighting sparklers at a family Bonfire Night gathering!

For those of you interested, here’s some further information about the history of Bonfire Night:

  • In Great Britain, Bonfire Night is an annual tradition and is also known as Fireworks Night.
  • It’s a way of remembering the events of 5th November 1605 when a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, killing all inside it including the King, was foiled.
  • The most famous conspirator of the Gunpowder Plot was Guy Fawkes. Before the plot could be carried out, Guy Fawkes was arrested while he was guarding the 36 barrels of deadly gunpowder in the cellar of the House of Parliament. He was tortured, and later tried and then hung for his part in the plot.
  • Some believe that Guy Fawkes was thrown into a bonfire after his conviction so sometimes straw dummies of Guy Fawkes are made and thrown into bonfires to celebrate the day.
  • Historically, children used to collect money to buy fireworks by roaming the streets in the days leading up to the event, brandishing their effigies known as “Guys” and asking passers-by for a “penny for the guy”. I think this tradition has all but disappeared today.
  • The 5th November is celebrated with bonfires and fireworks to remember the Gunpowder Plot and Guy’s role in the event.
  • There are many organised firework events across the UK, which are very popular and shops start selling fireworks in mid-October in readiness for this celebration.

As part of Bonfire Night celebrations, I always make parkin which is a type of gingerbread cake. This particular parkin recipe has been passed down through generations of my family and is made with oatmeal and black treacle. This homemade treat is lovely with a hot drink and as T Stands for Tuesday I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and wishing you all a very 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:

  • Colourcraft Brusho Colour Crystals (Black, Purple, Orange, Blue)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip pen (White)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Travel Memories 154898)
  • Miles Kelly Pubishers Encyclopedia of British History
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Everbuild 501 Universal (PVA Bond)

Hello Sunshine

Whilst out shopping with my mum recently, we saw cushion which she thought was perfect for me because it had “hello sunshine” written on it. To my surprise she picked it up straight away and said she was buying it for me (grin!). When I see it, it always makes me smile so I thought I’d create a page to share this happiness with you – I hope my page brightens your day and makes you smile too!

Inspired by the cushion design I started with the colour yellow. I sprinkled Yellow, Lemon and Dark Brown Colourcraft Brusho powders onto my page and then I spritzed them with water and watched the magic happen as the colours burst into life. While the Brushos were drying, I cut the flower petals out of some used dried teabags that I had saved and stamped them using black Archival Ink and a stamp set from the Tilly Daydream Collection by Docrafts. I stamped half the petals with a dotty ribbon design and the other half with a wavy ribbon design; these dots and lines were chosen to depict the fabric print of the cushion. I used the same black Archival Ink to stamp “hello sunshine”, from Bella Blvd by Hampton Art, in the centre of the flower which is also a teabag that I had cut into a circular shape as the words and circular design match the cushion. I stuck the teabag pieces to the page using a UHU Stic and when the glue was dry I outlined them with a black Derwent Graphik marker. To create more interest in the background, I stamped dots from a Woodware Françoise Collection stamp set using Mustard Seed Distress Ink; being a similar colour to the Brushos they add a subtle texture. Then I stamped a dotty garland from Craft Sensations, around the edges of the page using black Archival Ink. I added more detail by colouring the centre of the dots that I had stamped on the flower petals and the background using a white Uni Posca paint pen. Then to depict the cushion design, I coiled some pearl decorative wire to decorate the centre of the flower and used Glossy Accents to hold it in place. For the leaves surrounding the daisies, I stamped some leaf images, from the same Hampton Art stamp set, onto a teabag using black Archival Ink, fussy cut them out and stuck them down using a UHU stic. To finish, I arranged the daisies around the leaves with some of the pearl wire and stuck them into place using Glossy Accents.

Here is the wonderful cushion that my mum bought for me, it has pride of place on our rocking chair which sits in the bay window of our Beach/front room – I love it!

As happiness soothes my soul, I’m pleased to join Elke from Meerwolkenleben who is hosting the “Landscapes of the Soul” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

With the autumnal yellows, browns and a spot of orange I’m joining the “Mixed Media with Autumnal Hues” challenge over at Country View Challenges.

Creating my page using these autumnal colours allows me to join a new challenge today over at A Vintage Journey, whose theme is “Crazy for Autumn Colour”, and I’m pleased to have focused on their “Mixed Media” genre as I have used different mediums to create this page and also their “Art Journaling” genre as it is a personal record of my mum’s lovely gift which was my inspiration.

It also makes me happy to be joining the “Not a Card” challenge at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge with my art journal page.

I had fun using all the stamps on this page so I’m also pleased to join the lovely Guest Designers and Design Team over at Stamping Sensations for their “Autumn Glory” challenge

I’m also pleased to join the “October Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included)” over at Craft Stamper with my unique teabag stamped 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:

  • Colourcraft Brusho Crystals (Yellow, Lemon, Dark Brown)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Mustard Seed)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (White)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.8mm)
  • Docrafts Tilly Daydream Mini Clear Stamp Set (Ribbons TIL907104)
  • Hampton Arts Bella Blvd cling mounted stamp set (Surf & Sand ICO226)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Françoise Collection stamp set (Flower Style FRSWS003)
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CRO274/16R2)
  • Used dried teabags
  • Home Bargains Special Occasions (Decorative Chain 26253)
  • Hobbycraft Wired Paper Flowers (Daisy 16101642)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic

Trick or Treat

Autumn means it’s time to bake all things pumpkin and my sister has just given me a huge pumpkin that she grew in her garden. So this thoughtful “treat” inspired my page!

I started by making a template for the moon and also for the foreground out of thin card and used them to mask off areas on my page. Then for the sky, I applied layers of Black Soot Distress Ink by Tim Holtz using a blending tool concentrating the colour at the top of the page and shading so it was lighter towards the horizon. I also made a set of three cloud templates and stencils which I used to create the cloud images using some old black and purple ink pads which I applied with a sponge; I offset some of the clouds to give them a lighter border so they look like the moon is highlighting them. Then I removed the moon template to add a cloud across the bottom. I also added some texture to the moon using a sponge and the same black and purple ink pads. With the foreground mask still in place, I stamped the village scene from a Winter Wonderland stamp set, so it looks like it’s behind the hill giving a landscape perspective. Then I removed the foreground mask, and used another template to mask off the sky which I positioned a few millimetres lower than the village so that the horizon was clearly defined with a white line. I added the same Black Soot Distress Ink to the foreground and shaded it using a blending tool so it looked patchy. I also added some brown accents using a sponge and an old brown ink pad. I then stencilled some wavy black lines using a Texturized template from The Crafter’s Workshop and black Distress Ink. I stamped the trees by Clear Impressions using black and dark green ink pads and then used a black Uni Pin marker to add more detail. Next I drew the flying witch on her broom, her hat and a bat onto black paper, which took me a while as drawing isn’t really my thing. I fussy cut them out and stuck them to the page, as with all of the elements, using Winsor & Newton Matt Gel Medium. The banner is created from card which I folded in half and cut into triangles so that when they are unfolded they formed a diamond shape. They are coloured using a sponge and an orange ink pad, and the letters are stamped to spell out “Trick or Treat” using an alphabet stamp set from Dovecraft and a black ink pad. When they were dry, I folded them over a piece of Hessian/burlap string to create a banner and stuck the two halves together so they made a triangular shape. I stuck the banner in place at the same time as the witch, which allowed me to tuck the string behind her so it looked like she was pulling the banner along as she flew across the night sky. Once they were all in place, I outlined them with a black Uni Pin marker, added white dots to the banner using a Uni Posca paint pen and three purple gemstones to create a band on the witch’s hat. I also emphasized the ears and feet on the bat using a black Uni Pin marker. The pumpkins are drawn onto white mixed media paper, coloured using a sponge and orange, yellow and green ink pads. They are outlined with black Uni Pin marker and a white Uni Posca paint pen. I added shadows under the pumpkins using a paintbrush and the black ink pad, and also a white gel pen. I placed a little robin, adorned with a purple witches hat, on top of one of the pumpkins which I had made with paper and coloured using a paintbrush, ink pads and yellow acrylic paint. The village windows are also coloured using the yellow acrylic paint and I covered them along with the pumpkin’s eyes, nose and mouth with Glossy Accents so they looked like light was shining from them. To finish, I stamped the stars using a silver ink pad, outlined them with a white Hybrid gel pen and filled them with silver Stickles glitter.

This page makes me smile as it’s a lovely reminder of my autumn pumpkin and it was so much fun to get creative in order to join some fabulous blog challenges. I enjoyed making my own templates/masks, drawing my own images, adding autumnal colours using up old ink pads as well as using stamps to create the village, landscape, stars and banner focal point.

Having used stamps to create many of the elements on my page, I’m pleased to be able to join the lovely Avril who is Guest Designer over at Stamping Sensations for their “Autumn Glory” challenge.

With the different autumn colours I’m also joining the fun over at Country View Challenges for their “Mixed Media with Autumnal Hues” challenge.

Over at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge their theme is “A Walk On The Dark Side” and I’m pleased to be able to join them with my dark Halloween page.

I’m also joining Moo Mania & More for their “Automobiles/Cars/Vehicles” theme as my witches broomstick is her preferred vehicle of choice (grin!).

The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge has a new theme for this month, so I incorporated orange, yellow, purple and green from the selection on their “Color Challenge” onto my page.

Here’s a picture of me holding the huge pumpkin I was given, I’m standing in our hallway next to the wreath I made, which changes with every season. I’m not carving this pumpkin because being home-grown it should taste delicious, so I plan to bake it and make puree to freeze for pumpkin rolls – yum! I’m guessing it will make quite a few (grin!).

Of course I could make a cake with pumpkin butter cream icing or even a pumpkin pie like I did last year (double grin!).

Or maybe my hubby can make some homemade pumpkin beer – cheers and Happy October!

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 (Black Soot)
  • Hobbycraft (Assorted Ink Pads)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Cadmium Yellow Medium)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.8mm)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (White)
  • Hybrid Gel Grip pen (White)
  • The Crafter’s Workshop Rhonda Palazzari Designs 12×12 Template (Texturized)
  • Clear Impressions (Woodland Christmas)
  • Free set with Simply Cards & Paper Craft Magazine (Winter Wonderland Embossing Folder & Stamp Set)
  • Star Stamp
  • Leon (X-large Colour Paper Pad)
  • Daler-Rowney Mixed Media paper
  • White card
  • Hessian Material
  • Hobbycraft Self-Adhesive Gems (Assorted Squares 5666141000)
  • Ranger Stickles (Silver)
  • The Range 3D Glue Pen (Glitter Glue GLT4321000)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Winsor & Newton Matt Gel Medium

Poetry in Motion

I’m sharing my last page for this month’s challenge over at Art Journal Journey which I’m 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 read all your fabulous poems, quotes and sayings, and to see your wonderful artwork and I was delighted by all the different styles, techniques and mediums used as well.

This inspired me to capture all these happy memories so I created this page to remember how we collectively made “POETRY IN MOTION”.

I started by creating a border around the outside of the page using 3 different coloured washi tapes and edged it using a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker. Then I printed the letters of “Poetry in Motion” using my computer and fussy cut them out. Having chosen an alphabet stamp set by Dovecraft to stamp the names of those who took part in the challenge, I took the dimensions of these stamps into consideration to space the printed letters onto the page. Once arranged, I outlined each letter with a pencil to show where it would be placed. As each entry was published onto Art Journal Journey, throughout the month, I added the names to my page. I used Danube Blue, Lilac Posies, Bahama Blue, Love Letter, Grape Jelly Memento Ink to stamp the names and as you can see I alternated these five colours of the ink as I went along and also stamped a small heart or a series of hearts using black Archival Ink between each name. For the printed letters I stamped the names using black Archival Ink and went over them again with a black Uni Pin marker to make them bolder. I backed each letter with white card so they were sturdier, and then edged them using a ruler and a black Uni Pin marker so they stood out from the background more. They are stuck in place using double-sided foam tape. To finish, I coloured the hearts with black, light blue, dark blue, red, pink or purple Uni Posca paint pens and then covered them with Glossy Accents to give them a shiny 3D look.

When the challenge had finished I stamped the last of the names and had just enough space to add the number of participants which totaled an amazing 185 and the month of the challenge, August (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 Valerie for initially asking me to be a guest host and also to Susi for making this happen. Susi has really provided such valuable support and encouragement, thanks so much!  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!

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:

  • Memento Ink (Danube Blue, Lilac Posies, Bahama Blue, Love Letter, Grape Jelly)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (Light Blue, Dark Blue, Pink, Red, Purple, Black, White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • The Works The Craft Place (Spotted Paper Tapes)
  • White card
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Always find a song

Today my page for the “Poetry in Motion” theme over at Art Journal Journey was inspired by a Swedish Proverb. I love the optimism of these simple words:
“Those who wish to sing will always find a song”.

I covered the page with white and pastel shades of blue and green acrylic paint using a brayer, waiting for each layer to dry before adding the next colour. I then sprinkled Ultramarine Colourcraft Brusho Crystal powder onto the page and spritzed it with water and just watched the magic as the colours burst into life. I wanted a slightly muted tone and as the Brusho was so vibrant I decided to cover the page with a thin layer of white gesso and the same acrylic paints again, this time painting them on with my finger. I like the way the Brusho powders add pops of colour through the paint. Next I added a pattern which I copied from a dreamcatcher that is hanging in my craft room and outlined it with a black Uni Posca paint pen, which took quite a bit of time as there were so many sections. Then I masked some of the sections and stamped a music stamp using black Archival Ink and a delicate flower outline stamp using Danube Blue Memento Ink. I found the blue ink was a bit distracting so I toned it down by dabbing with a baby wipe. I stamped the proverb using an alphabet stamp set by Hampton Art and black Archival Ink, and I added some white dots to the letters using a Uni Posca paint pen. The sections are embellished with blue gems and paper flowers and I used more of the same gems along the edge of the circular design. To finish, I added a little felt bird into the centre of the sections so it looks like it’s song is radiating across the page to depict the quote. You may also notice that the little bird is the same colours as the Swedish flag tying into the origins of the quote that I used too (grin!).

As birds often sing in my garden, I am also pleased to be able to join the lovely Eileen who is Guest Designer for the “In my garden” theme over at Try it on Tuesday. I think my little bird is happy to provide some music for Eileen’s ‘Miss Froggy’ ballerina to dance too (double grin!).

As a proverb is often metaphorical, I believe it means you will find a way to do the things you want. Of course it can be taken literally too, and my hubby will tell you that I can find a song for any occasion and I’m often found singing around the house. Music makes me happy (grin!).

  I love all sorts of music and have quite an eclectic taste, so I thought I’d share with you some happy music moments, from this month, as we have attended quite a few music events and festivals being held in our local parks (grin!). The picture above is of the bandstand at Stanley Park where during the summer they have a different band playing every weekend, so we took a picnic and sat around the auditorium to listen to them.

This is our favourite local band called ‘Ska Face’ and it’s the first time they have played at the park. We usually go to see this band two or three times a year at local festivals and pubs. They are a ten-piece ska band from Blackpool who play and sing classics from Madness, The Specials, Bad Manners and The Beat. This type of ska music is known as the ‘2 Tone‘ genre which began in the late 1970s. A checkerboard motif is associated with ‘2 Tone’ which explains this saxophone player’s stylish suit.

There was another band playing before them called ‘The Flash Hearts’, who played rock songs and I was singing along to their rendition of ‘Dead or Alive’ by Guns and Roses and ‘My Sharona’ by the Knack.

We also went to a local music festival in Ashton Gardens just down the road, it was fun cycling there on our tandem and listening to the various bands throughout the day. This band is ‘Eye the Bomb’ who are a five-piece Alternative Rock band from Blackpool who fuse together elements of Rock, Funk, Hip-Hop and Punk. They played their own music and a few covers including ‘Give it away’ by The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

This band is ‘Paper Mountains’ whose songs are influenced by bands like Nirvana and Killers.

It was fun partying in the park and creating this page! I hope you are enjoying the “Poetry in Motion” challenge over at Art Journal Journey too, where you are invited to create a page inspired by a poem, saying or quote.

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
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White)
  • Aldi Script (Ready Mixed Pastel Paints)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Colours (Ultra Marine)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Tsukeniko BandMemento Ink (Danube Blue)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (Black, White)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Musicality DCE907112)
  • Hampton Art Mini Wood Peg Rubber Stamps (Alphabet Set #1037)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Poundland (Accessories Pack 60911)
  • Home Bargains The Craft Set Company (Gems Jewels 63283)
  • Home Bargains Craft Time (Felt Stickers 57877)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents

In a Station of the Metro

I was inspired to create a page for the “Postcards” theme over at Try it on Tuesday where the lovely Sabine is Guest Designer, as well as Art Journal Journey’s theme for August which is “Poetry in Motion” where you are asked to create a page inspired by a poem, quote or saying.

As postcards are synonymous with travel, I chose a poem about the Paris Metro (subway/underground) by Ezra Pound. I used a colour palette of pinks, neutrals, brown and black to illustrate the faces, petals and black boughs of these beautiful words from the poem “In the Station of the Metro”:

“The apparition of these faces in the crowd; Petals on a wet, black bough”.

This page started by collaging the background using some book pages, three different design papers and a postcard which I situated in the top left-hand corner of the page. Like all of the pieces on this page I used a UHU Stic to glue them into place. Then I added white gesso using my finger over some of the papers to push the colour back. To tie into the postcards theme, I added a Hessian texture stamp and a postage stamp image around the edges of the page and a script stamp over the background using black Archival Ink. I used the same ink to add a foliage stamp to create the black boughs of the poem. Next I used a paper punch to cut out some hearts from the three design papers and arranged them in a garland across the right-hand corner of the page. Once in place I joined the hearts together using a black Uni Posca paint pen. I stamped various images that reminded me of Paris onto a page from a book using the black Archival Ink and then fussy cut them out; these included the words “Paris” and “amour”, also the Eiffel Tower, a key, birdcage, bird in flight, French postage mark, compass and a couple of heart tiles. I arranged these on the page with some brown vintage decorative tape and a trunk image which is a rub-on transfer. I crowded these images to represent the crowd aspect described in the poem. I fussy cut the poem, the title and the Metro filigree image from a book of poems that I bought in a charity/thrift shop. I think the Metro image is the most complicated image that I have ever fussy cut; it took a good hour to cut out all the detail and I needed to use a craft knife and cutting mat as well as scissors. I outlined this image and the poem, title and edges of the stamped papers with Derwent Inktense pencils, black and white Uni Posca paint pens, a black Uni Pin marker and a white Uniball gel pen to add detail and make them stand out from the background more. I coloured the metro sign and the hearts using a red Uni Posca paint pen and added the two vintage embellishments; the Metro signage and the other of a ladies face surrounded by flowers to tie into the poem. To finish, I stuck on some mini white flowers and gemstone flowers to the black boughs and added some dots of Glossy Accents to the leaves so they looked like they were wet.

By pure serendipity when I created this page I added a heart garland, so I’m also pleased to be able to join the “Banners and Garlands” theme over at Moo Mania & More (grin!).

This poem was published in 1913 by Ezra Pound who is an American poet. He founded a poetry movement called Imagism which shared the aim of traditional Japanese art; to paint wonderful pictures with as few brush strokes as possible. The Imagist poetry stresses clarity, precision, economy of language and forgoes traditional rhyme.

Even in 1913 it seems the Paris Metro was a busy place because in the poem he describes seeing a crowd of faces in the subway and suggests they look like flowers on a tree branch.

Of course a poem is always open to interpretation, so you may view it another way (grin!). If you are interested here’s my thinking:

  • The subway is crowded with people, like they often are.
  • Using the word “apparition” suggests that people’s faces are becoming visible then disappearing again as the people come and go. If you’ve travelled on the subway then you have probably experienced this.
  • It is implied that the faces look like flower petals on a branch of a tree, which like the people in the subway usually appear for a moment in time as the tree flowers.
  • The tree branch may represent the train lines which branch off in all directions or it may be symbolic of Japanese flowering trees to link the style of poetry from which Imagism is derived (who knows – grin!).
  • I think the subway may have been darker and wetter back in 1913 than it is today, so he describes the bough as being wet and black.
  • The faces appear out of the darkness just like flowers do from a flowering bud.

We enjoyed travelling on The Metro when we visited Paris and the Metro is famous for its art and décor with each station having its own theme. This is Hector Guimard’s original Art Nouveau entrance in Abbesses station. Other examples include the Bastille station where the walls depict the historic French Revolution and the Arts et Métiers station which is designed to look like a submarine.

Whilst on the Metro a Mariachi Band got onto our carriage and started playing music, it was such a wonderful experience and after all these years it still fills me with joy and makes me smile (grin!). I’ve since found out that since 1997, the Espace Metro Accords (EMA) started holding auditions to decide which musicians could showcase their music in the Metro. 100 lucky candidates are selected each year to play their music – how amazing is that!

 If you are interested, here are some more Paris Metro facts:

  • The Paris Metro is the second busiest metro system in Europe.
  • Paris has the most comprehensive underground rail system in the world with each station being situated a 550 yards away from another. Although today you can find ghost stations all around Paris, these are stations which haven’t been used for years and are now closed to the public.
  • The Metro runs more than 600,000 miles per day which is equivalent to going round the world 10 times daily!
  • The first Metro line was opened in 1900 and it is the fourth oldest metro in Europe after London, Glasgow and Budapest.

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
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Baked Earth 1800, Charcoal Grey 2100)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pen (White, Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Hessian CS253, Script CS752)
  • Hobbycraft clear stamp (Love Hearts 50402HC)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Pressed Leaves MIN-CCS102, Journey MIN-CCS104)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies Vintage cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Penny Black 2007 wood mounted stamp (City of Love 3800K)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted stamp (B-2414)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Lion Brand (White Postcards 11711)
  • Poundland Design Pad (Changing Seasons CR0701/16PL1)
  • Poundworld Design Pad (Pastels & Whites CR0260/PW)
  • Collins Publishers – David Copperfield
  • Miles Kelly Publishing – 100 Great Poems
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Soft Sweetness 154897)
  • Tonic Studios Paper Punch (Classic Heart Sider 858E)
  • Crelando Decorative Tapes
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (Travel Collage #ROY-871)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Mini Decorative Stickers 22740)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 134240)
  • The Works (5 Embellishments)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic