Happy Days

Recently a good friend very kindly gave us a Food Dehydrator that she no longer uses so I thought I would create a page to remember this kindness and also the lovely apples we have been drying and eating – Happy Days!

I started by applying Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint and white gesso using a sponge through a mosaic stencil from the Tim Holtz idea-ology collection. The round mosaic pattern reminded me of the trays in the dehydrator machine. Then I used some different stamps to add more detail to the background which included a blossom stamp from Stampendous using black Archival Ink, a foliage stamp from Kaisercraft using Shabby Shutters Distress Ink, and also a stitched flower stamp from Urban Stamps using Old Paper Distress Ink. Then I ripped three pieces of wallpaper; I really like the apple blossom design to remember the apples that we dried. They are edged, like all the paper pieces, using a Cold Grey Big Brush Faber-Castell marker and stuck in place using Liquitex matte gel medium. Then I added some pieces of spotted and flower design pink fabric washi tape to the wallpaper pieces to add some interest and colour. The apple is fussy cut from a magazine and is backed with recycled card; I layered it onto the page with a small piece of wallpaper and some worded stickers from Kaisercraft, which read “Happy Days” and “Grateful” as I am grateful for my friend’s kindness. They are stuck in place using a glue stick and outlined with a black Uni Pin marker, and I added a shadow at the base of the apple using Cold Grey and Black Faber-Castell Big Brush markers which I smudged with my finger. Next I used a stitched circle die set and my Big Shot machine to cut circles from a Kilner Jar label and stuck them to the page using a glue stick and also some double-sided foam tape; this is relevant as I bought a larger Kilner Jar, as the one pictured below was a bit too small, to store my dried apples in. Then to finish, I added some white Hessian flowers which matched the wallpaper design beautifully.

On our first attempt of using the dehydrator we made the most amazing dried apples; you need to slice them thinly and pop them into some water with lemon juice in to stop them going brown. We then used a tea towel to remove any excess water, placed them on the drying racks and sprinkled them with cinnamon and dried them in the dyhydrator.

After 8 hours of drying they were ready and we stored them in a Kilner Jar to eat as and when needed. They are very moreish and have an intense apple flavour – yum!


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 Bleubeard & Elizabeth from Altered Book Lover, who is hosting the Count your blessings challenge over at Art Journal Journey as I feel very blessed to have received such kindness and have such lovely treats to eat.

As this page is a happy memory of summer, I’m also joining the Summertime challenge over at Moo Mania & More.

I’m also joining the lovely Wen and her Simply Neutrals Tuesday party over at Apple Apricot with my neutral coloured page.

I’m pleased to join the Sketch challenge over at Paperbabe Stamps; I used the sketch to position my apple and sentiments (grin!).

I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Back to School challenge with my apple inspired page; synonymous with an apple for the teacher or for me a snack in my school bag.

Happy Days is also a song, do you remember it? I use to love watching the TV show when I was growing up too (grin!). You still have time to join the Inspired by a song challenge at Try it on Tuesday 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:

  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Old Paper, Frayed Burlap)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233, Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Tim Holtz Layering Stencil (Mosaic THS084)
  • Stampendous! Cling Rubber Stamp (Blossom Spray CRP136)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Magnolia Grove CS822)
  • Docrafts Papermania Urban Stamps Craft Collections (5×5” Pastels PMA907223)
  • The Works Cutting Dies (Stitched Circles)
  • Wallpaper sample
  • Old Magazine
  • Recycled card
  • Kaisercraft Sticker Sheet (Fiesta! SS284)
  • Kilner Jar Label Insert
  • The Works (Fabric Tape)
  • Craft Corner (Jute Shapes U-83162)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Pritt Stick


Over at Try it on Tuesday our new challenge which runs for the next two weeks is Use Book Paper, so we would like to see some book, newspaper or magazine print papers of some sort on your creations.

My Design Team teamies have created some amazing inspirational pieces for you too, please pop over to Try it on Tuesday and take a look. I decided to use book pages to create the background for my Agapanthus art journal page – I hope you like it!

I selected some Flora and Fauna pages from a Pear’s Encyclopaedia, cut them into rectangles and collaged them onto the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. Then I stamped some faux stitching around the edges of each collage piece using black Archival Ink and some new stamps by Urban Stamps which the bargain price of £1 each set at a local craft store. I also stamped a small stitched flower and a frame from the same stamp sets using the black ink again. Then I covered some of the page with a thin coating of white gesso using my finger to add a bit of depth. The agapanthus flowers are from a napkin which I separated into a single napkin layer, fussy cut and stuck in place using the Liquitex Matte Gel Medium; I love the way the napkin has melted into the background so that the text and stamping shows through. Next I created the butterflies with another new stamp set, this time from Kaisercraft, by stamping them onto Daler Rowney Mixed Media Paper using a VersaMark Watermark stamp pad, covering them with black Papermania embossing powder, shaking off the excess and also tapping the paper to make sure any stray powder was removed. I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder by sweeping the gun over the stamped images, until the embossing powder melted to a glossy finish and became smooth and dimensional. I also covered some antennas, for the butterflies, that I made from wire with the black embossing powder following the same process whilst making sure I did not touch them until they were cooled as using the heat gun meant the metal wire got very hot. The butterflies are coloured using Sherbet Lemon, Sun Yellow, Tangerine, Poppy Red, Fuchsia, Violet and Antique White Derwent Inktense pencils; I picked the colour off the tip of the pencils with a wet paintbrush and then applied the colour to the butterfly wings. To finish, I stamped the sentiment from the same Kaisercraft stamp set, using black Archival Ink, into one of the frames, it reads “You are the reason I smile” and arranged the butterflies with the antennas so that their wings were folded upwards to add dimension to the page; they are stuck in place using glue dots.

As you probably know, we have been sorting out and replanting our flower beds – you can see some photos of our beds here. We have also been visiting local garden centres – Barton Grange has the best displays.

These glass agapanthus inspired my page; they can be found outside the garden centre, aren’t they amazing!

I love the blue agapanthus and bought some for our garden, I planted them into some pots so they are easier to over winter.

The water feature is beautiful too, don’t you think? …

… and inside we saw these pretty butterflies, which made me smile! So of course butterflies and the wording also feature on my page too (grin!).

As T Stands for Tuesday, we popped into Light Ash Farm on the way home for my favourite cup of green tea and a huge piece of Lemon and Poppy Seed cake (yum!) – Happy T Day!


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 Chris from Pearshapedcrafting, who is hosting the Arts for Art’s Sake challenge over at Art Journal Journey as I had fun using my new stamp sets to create this page.

Over at Moo Mania and More the theme is Butterflies so I’m pleased to join their challenge too.

Being inspired by agapanthus and butterflies which make me smile, I’m also joining the Get Sentimental challenge over at A Vintage Journey with my Art Journaling and Mixed Media Style page.

Over at Paperbabe Stamps and their challenge is It Flies so I’m happy to join them with the butterflies that I created for my page.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the In The Summer Garden challenge over at Country View Challenges with my Agapanthus page.

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

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

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tsukineko VersaMark (Watermark Stamp Pad)
  • Papermania Embossing Powder (Black PMA4021006)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Sherbet Lemon 0100, Sun Yellow 0200, Tangerine 0300, Poppy Red 0400, Fuchsia 0700, Violet 0800, Antique White 2300)
  • Docrafts Papermania Urban Stamp (Craft Collections – Pastels PMA907222 and PMA907223)
  • Kaisercraft Clear Stamp (Ma Cherié CS241)
  • Pear’s Cyclopaedia 2007-2008 Edition
  • Caspari Napkin (Royal Horticultural Society – Agapanthus)
  • Thin metal wire
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Stix 2 Mini Craft Dots

Mother’s Day Card

There’s still another week to join in the fun over at Try it on Tuesday with our Mum’s the Word challenge, where you are asked to be inspired by all things mother related such as a mother’s birthday, quotes for mothers, mother and child, animal families, Mother’s Day or any other way you would like to interpret this special mother theme!

Although Mother’s Day is celebrated throughout the world, here in the UK it is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent whereas in many other countries it is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. As I’m in the UK, we celebrated Mother’s Day this last Sunday so I’m sharing the Mother’s Day card I created for my mum for the Mum’s the Word challenge (grin!).

I started by using a lattice die from Spellbinders to cut a piece of white cardstock using my Big Shot die cutting machine. I stuck the lattice onto a white 6×4 card using Liquitex matte gel medium. Then I stamped two roses onto some mixed media paper using a stamp from Urban Stamps and black Archival Ink. They are painted using a Scarlet Spectrum Aqua marker, I did this by scribbling the marker on an acrylic block and picking the ink up with a wet paintbrush and gradually building up the layers of colour; I love the pretty watercolour effect that this produced. Then I fussy cut the roses and arranged them on the card with some leaves which I die cut from green design paper from Crafter’s Companion using Garden Greens Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz and my Big Shot machine. The leaves are edged with a Moss Spectrum Aqua marker and stuck to the card using a Zig Memory System glue pen. I added a piece of satin ribbon along the left-hand side which I tied into a bow and a strip of clear gems. To finish, I added a few single clear gems and also the wording which are Peel-off stickers that I coloured using a black Sharpie permanent marker.

I do hope you will join us at Try it on Tuesday and if you pop over to the main blog you’ll find some amazing Mum’s the Word inspiration from my fellow Design Team members, as well as who is in our Top 5 for the previous Vintage Challenge.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the following challenges too:

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m sharing this lunch I had whilst out with my parents around this time last year. We had a delicious ham and cheese toastie each and I had a ginger beer, my dad had a white coffee and my mum a cappuccino. I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and sending you all Happy T Day wishes!

My post is brief today as I haven’t had much time for blogging this last week due to family illness. I’d like to thank everyone for their kind wishes regarding my dad, he is doing much better and is now back home which is a great relief to all our family and friends. I hope to find the time to visit you all soon and in the meantime thanks for your understanding and wishing you every happiness! Jo x

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 card:

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Scarlet)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker Pen (Black)
  • Spellbinders Die (Unknown)
  • Docrafts Papermania 4×4” Urban Stamps (Birthday Rose PMA907221)
  • Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz (Garden Greens 661206)
  • White card stock
  • Daler-Rowney Mixed Media Paper
  • Crafter’s Companion Luxury Designer Paper Pad (Angelica & Adam Collection A&A-PAP6-M)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Peel-Off Stickers (Family G DCPO-17)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 175751)
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided foam tape

Watching the Sunset

As you may be aware we love walking along our local beach and on one late afternoon we saw the most spectacular sunset. The colours of the clouds were so amazing that I was inspired to use the yellows and different shades of pink to create today’s page.

For the background I used Abandoned Coral, Spiced Marmalade and Mustard Seed Distress Inks; first by applying the ink pad to an acrylic block, diluting with water and applying the diluted ink to the page with a blending tool and then by using the blending tool to add the ink directly from the ink pad to build up areas of colour in cloud like patterns. Then I dripped water onto the page which reactivated the ink so I could remove it with a piece of kitchen towel. I used the same Distress Inks to stamp a circle and heart stamp design from Sugarloaf Inc. Next I created a circle stencil and stamped a splatter stamp, from Gummiapan, through it using black Archival Ink. Then using the same black ink I added a dot stamp by Art Impressions and a series of images from an Urban Stamp set which included small hearts, the word love and zigzag faux stitching. I also splattered black and white DecoArt acrylic paint over the page using a paintbrush. I added a glittery pink heart foam sticker as it was quite romantic watching the sun go down, and also a polka dot yellow bird as we often see birds on our walks along the beach. Then to finish, I added some wooden flowers which are stuck into place using Glossy Accents and finally some rhinestone flower stickers.

Here’s the sunset that inspired my page, isn’t it stunning! The beauty of the sunset was captivating; it looked so magical that it didn’t look real. I snapped this picture using my phone and we stayed quite a while, despite the cold, watching the sun go down (grin!).


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 Rike from rike’s art who is hosting the Animals A-Z challenge over at Art Journal Journey, as B is for Bird on my sunset page!

With the stamping I used to create this art journal page, I’m pleased to join the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their February Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included).

As I created my art journal page with love to remember the romantic sunset we watched, I’m also joining the Valentine’s challenge over at Moo Mania & More.

I’m also joining the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge and their Photo Inspiration challenge as I used the LOVE, pink colour, hearts and fabric influence from the heart designs on my page.

I’m also pleased to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge which is It Must Be Love, with my romantic sunset inspired page.

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

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Abandoned Coral, Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White, Black)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood-mounted stamp (26645)
  • Gummiapan Stamp (A lot of Splats 11050106)
  • Docrafts Papermania Urban Stamp (Craft Collections – Pastels PMA907223)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Francoise Collection Stamp Set (Flower Style Wood Set FRSWS003)
  • Home Bargains (Foam Sticker Shapes 57884)
  • Craft  for Occasions (C2026)
  • White card
  • The Works (Craft Flowers)
  • The Works (Rhinestone Flower Stickers)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic