Victorian Treasures

For my birthday, we spent the day in Liverpool and had a lovely time looking at the wonderful Sculptures and the Victorian Treasures Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery. I was particularly interested in this exhibition as it showcases works by my favourite Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. We also visited Rococo for lunch which was featured in a post over at Lorraine’s Arts n Crafts, thanks so much for the recommendation, it was fab and we had a wonderful time! I created this page to remember this special day.

To represent the sculptures that we saw, on the left hand side of the page I created a white marble effect by applying white gesso and then Black Soot Distress Ink using a paint brush and baby wipe. I added some fine details to the marble veins using a black Uni Pin marker and then I covered it all with white gesso to push the design into the background and then added some white acrylic paint to increase the whiteness. I fussy cut the urn and bust from a booklet and used the flyer from the Victorian Treasures exhibition on the right hand side of the page also adding torn papers from a Design Pad. These represent the beautiful wallpapers we saw in the Gallery and at Rococo. I edged the torn papers with Cold Grey Faber-Castell marker and like all of the elements I stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. Many of my favourite paintings had ornate gold frames so I added a beautiful gold foil doily that I bought in a local charity shop (thrift store). Being inspired by the wonderful décor and meal we had at Rococo, I added their logo from a loyalty card that we collected during our visit, along with a chandelier which I had stamped onto the same wallpaper style paper, a clock to show our lunch time visit and a teapot, teacup and saucer to depict the tea that we enjoyed with our meal. The clock and tea things are outline stickers which I coloured with a Sharpie marker and Faber-Castell Big Brush markers. To finish I coloured the original flowers printed on the urn image with green Derwent Inktense pencils so they looked like foliage and added the peachy pink resin blooms using Ranger Glossy Accents to stick them down.

As this page shows you our magical time at the Art Gallery and Rococo discovering Victorian treasures, I’m pleased to be able to join Hazel who is hosting the “Magical Mystery Tour” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

The Walker Art Gallery dates back to 1877 and houses one of the largest art collections in England, outside of London. It is a majestic example of Victorian neo-classical architecture and is situated on William Brown Street which is the only street in the UK to consist of just museums, galleries and libraries. We were happily surprised to find that we were able to take photos in the gallery as long as no flash was used.

There is so much to see and we had a fantastic time exploring the different rooms and discovering the treasures within, this is a photo of one of the walls of beautiful paintings in Room One exhibiting “Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation” art.

Victorian Treasures brings together more than 60 outstanding Victorian paintings and watercolours from the art collections of National Museums Liverpool. The painting shown here is “Helen of Troy” by Fredrick Sandys, she made me smile as she looks so grumpy. Sandys was great friends with one of my favourite artists Dante Gabriel Rossetti so his female portraits were sometimes inspired by Rossetti’s work, hence the porcelain skin and red hair of this sullen beauty.

I adore Pre-Raphaelite artists and there were some stunning examples by John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt.  This is a beautiful painting is “Dante’s Dream” by Rossetti and is his largest ever painting.

Here’s another one of Rossetti’s beauties called “Sibylla Palmifera”.

On the ground floor there is a Sculpture Gallery, with the most amazing marble artworks about 120 in total. It was my hubby’s favourite exhibition and as you can see the lighting and ambiance of the room was stunning.  The statue in the glass case is, another Victorian treasure, the “Tinted Venus” by John Gibson dated circa 1851-1856.

This beautiful lady is by Liverpool born artist Benjamin Edward Spence called “Highland Mary” and the fairy is “Puck” from Midsummer’s Nights Dream by American artist Harriet Hosmer.

We really enjoyed this part of the Walker Art Gallery, so much so that we went back for a second look on our way out of the building.

After visiting the gallery, we headed to Rococo which is situated in this historic building on Lord Street and was designed by a well known Liverpool architect called Edmund Kirby in 1882. The facade has a brown sandstone Gothic pierced quatrefoil parapet and has over glazed brickwork in a lozenge pattern. During the war, 90% of the buildings between Lord Street and Albert dock were destroyed and this building was left standing all by itself. If you look at the photo again you’ll see the modern buildings that were built either side of this special Victorian treasure.

We sat at the table by an old parlor organ and helped ourselves to a very welcome drink of water infused with lemon and mint while we chose from the menu.

We decided to have a Club sandwich to share and a cake each; I had a Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffin whilst my hubby had a Malteser (malt ball) Slice. We had a very nice pot of green tea each too, so I’m pleased to be joining my friends over at T Stands for Tuesday – Happy T Day!

Here’s my birthday photo with my hubby, we had such a wonderful time in Liverpool!

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)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Sanguine 188 B, Cold Grey IV 233, Black 199)
  • Drewent Inktense Ink Pencils (Teal Green 1300, Field Green 1500, Leaf Green 1600, Charcoal Grey 2100)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Craft Sensations (Clear Stamps CR0274/16R2)
  • Walker Art Gallery Victorian Treasures flyer
  • Gallery booklet
  • Rococo loyalty card
  • Creative Expressions Design Pad (Vintage Romance CRO730/R)
  • Woolworths (Foil Doyleys)
  • Anita’s Outline Stickers (Alice in Wonderland ANT810116)
  • Trimcraft A Beautiful Life (Resin Flowers LCFLW001)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
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Winter Gardens

We love to go to Blackpool Winter Gardens, we have been there a number of times to see shows, to find out about the history of the building on the Heritage Tour and just recently we attended the open day where you have access to all areas and can take your time exploring all the amazing venues.

Firstly, I coloured the background by painting alternating concentric circles of diluted Navy and Marine Spectrum Aqua Marker ink, this represents the beautiful glass domed ceiling and the blue accent colours that you see in the Floral Hall when you enter the Winter Gardens. Next I stamped a sheet music stamp by Woodcraft using Paris Dusk Memento Ink and a script design by Kaisercraft using the same Navy Aqua marker, this depicts the entertainment facilities, as well as the music being played on the famous Wurlitzer organs while we were there. I then stamped a palm tree from the Tropical Travelogue set by Hampton Art and scroll work stamp by Craft Sensations using London Fog Memento Ink. I used these same two stamp sets to add the chandeliers and art deco border using black Archival Ink as there are lots of chandeliers and art deco designs throughout the different areas of the Winter Gardens. To produce a watermark effect (fainter impression) I secondary stamped a series of images on the background from the Steampunk set by Docrafts using black Archival Ink, these images tie into the Victorian era when Winter Gardens was built and opened. I used a trellis design stencil to apply white gesso, Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink and modelling paste as we saw lots of beautiful ironwork and plaster work throughout the building. With the background finished, I embellished the page with bronze art deco style outline stickers and tickets which are rub-on transfers; the words “Explore”, “Discover” and “Adventure” on them describe our time whilst we were there. The old images of Winter Gardens are from a leaflet; I cut them out with serrated scissors and stuck them to the page using double-sided foam tape.  I think they capture the magnificence of the Winter Gardens venues and finish the page beautifully.

As we are “Out and About” in Blackpool exploring Winter Gardens, I’m very pleased to be able to join Yvonne from Meggy’s Way over at Art Journal Journey.

Winter Gardens is an entertainment facility located in Blackpool town centre and contains ballrooms, theatres, large themed rooms and spaces in a variety of styles. It is a magnificent building that opened on 1878 and has changed and expanded over the years. It is now undergoing further refurbishment to restore and uncover its original features. There is a wide range of decoration including Victorian ironwork, Art Deco styling and the most amazing plaster work. As you enter the building you are greeted by this beautiful domed ceiling.

Then you enter the Floral Hall with its beautiful palm trees, tiling, blue accents, yellow columns and lights. This is where you have access to all the other venues including the Empress Ballroom, the Pavilion Theatre, the Galleon Bar, The Baronial Hall, the Spanish Hall, Horseshoe, Olympia and the Opera House.

There are a number of venues designed by Andrew Mazzei who was a well known Hollywood film and set designer. In the 1930s he worked on the plaster work and decorations for the Baronial Hall, the Floral Hall, the Galleon Bar, the Olympia Hall, and the Spanish Hall. The photo above is the Spanish Hall designed in the art deco style with a three-dimensional frieze surrounding it which depicts the Andalusian Hills and Villages; it is very atmospheric.

The Galleon Bar was also designed by Andrew Mazzei and it’s my hubby’s favourite! It is a very creative recreation of an old Galleon Ship from the Spanish Armada, complete with oak beams which are all actually plaster work!  It really does look like real wood, doesn’t it!

While we were exploring the different venues at Winter Gardens, music was being played on the Wurlitzer organs located in both the Opera House and the Empress Ballroom.

The magnificent Empress Ballroom is my favourite venue. It was built in 1896 and has a spectacular barrel-vaulted ceiling, pristine parquet flooring, ornate balconies and the most amazing sparkling chandeliers! I can just imagine the olden days and the excitement of arriving in a horse and carriage to find yourself in such a spectacular venue, the stunning dresses, the dashing gentlemen and the stories that filled the ballroom; I guess I’m just an old romantic at 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:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Navy, Marine)
  • Memento Ink (Paris Dusk, London Fog)
  • Tim Hotlz Distress Ink (Chipped Sapphire)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Pébéo Modeling Paste High Density
  • Woodware Clear Magic Singles stamp (Sheet Music JGS111)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Craft Sensations Clear Stamps (CRO274/16R2)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Steampunk DCE907125)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Moroccan)
  • Kaisercraft Rub Ons Up, Up and Away collection (Colour Rubons RB870)
  • Unknown – Bronze Outline Stickers
  • Winter Gardens Trust Leaflet
  • Fun Cut Scissors
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

The Imperial Hotel

We had a great start to the New Year at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool, we went on a Heritage tour of this majestic Victorian hotel finding out about its history and enjoying a lovely afternoon tea. As a special treat for 2017 I also enjoyed their famous “Mayflower Spirit” cocktail in the No. 10 bar after the tour had finished.

the-imperial-hotel-ajp-1

I applied a thin layer of Parchment acrylic paint to the page using a baby wipe. Once it had dried I added strips of tissue paper which had a lovely holly design; it reminded me of the luxurious silken wallpapers at the hotel. I arranged the tissue strips so they looked like the panels we saw in many of the rooms whilst on our tour and used a UHU Stic to stick them down.  Next I stamped ornate picture frames using black Archival Ink to depict the beautiful plaster work, pictures and mirrors found at the hotel. I stamped the frame onto some of the holly tissue paper, then fussy cut the centre oval and added it to the centre of the frames I had stamped on the page using a UHU Stic. I collected a variety of booklets, leaflets and postcards from the hotel reception during our visit and used these as part of my design. I cut the images out with Fun Cut scissors to give them a serrated edge and used a Cold Grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker along the edge to give them more definition, then stuck them to the page with a UHU Stic or double-sided foam tape. For the palm tree I stamped the image onto the back of one of the postcards from the hotel using Archival Ink. I also saved the tea bag tags from the green tea we had as part of our afternoon tea and added them to finish the page.

ajp-outside

The Imperial Hotel, Blackpool, opened in 1867 and is situated on the North Promenade seafront and enjoys spectacular views over the beach and sea. The hotel retains the opulence and glamour of its Victorian heyday, and has welcomed a host of famous guests including Charles Dickens, Sir Winston Churchill, Fred Astaire, The Beatles, Princess Margaret and Princess Anne.

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The Churchill Room was named to honour the many visits Sir Winston Churchill made to the Imperial when he was prime minister and leader of the Conservative party. The room is much the same as the old photograph, although with one surprise. Recently, the photograph pictured has come to light and it shows a magnificent stained glass domed ceiling in the room. Exploratory holes were drilled into the current ceiling to discover that the stained glass ceiling is still there, although it’s not in great condition and is estimated to cost over a million pounds to restore.

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The Grill Room is now the Louis XVI Function Room and has the most beautiful plaster work, wall coverings, mirrors and chandeliers.

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The Palm Court is now the Dining Room and looks very elegant especially with the beautiful dome chandeliers. In Victorian times, palm trees were considered very exotic and a demonstration of wealth.

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The Ballroom now called the Washington Suite has one of the best dance floors in Blackpool and the most wonderful plaster work of cherubs, flowers and sea creatures. The National Dance Championships have been held in Blackpool since 1920 and the Imperial Hotel is very popular with competitors as they can practice on the dance floor before heading off to the competition.

ajp-turkish-bath-collage

Recently the hotel discovered that a room used for storage of employee files was once an impressive suite of Russian, Turkish and seawater plunge baths which were built in 1901, but had been plastered over and hidden. They are slowly being restored in conjunction with the Blackpool Civic Trust. In the photo (above) you can see that the magnificent tiles were painted and then plastered over and part of this has now been removed to reveal the original tiles once more.
ajp-no-10

The original glass-roofed billiard room retains its stained glass canopy but has been turned into a bar and named No. 10 after all the UK prime ministers who have stayed at the Imperial whilst in office.

ajp-cocktail

During the tour we found out about the Head Cocktail Bartender who had won a national competition to invent a new cocktail in the 1950’s, so we had to try one.  It was one of those all shots and no mixer cocktails, and was delicious and very warming! I’m saying a big “cheers” to the T-Gang over at T Stands for Tuesday – Happy T Day!

ajp-afternoon-tea

Not forgetting our lovely afternoon tea served on beautiful fine china. We choose green tea to accompany the finger sandwiches with traditional fillings of ham and mustard, egg and cress and smoked salmon with cucumber, Victoria sponge, strawberry Eton Mess, chocolate delice, mini lemon tart and warm fruit scone with strawberry jam and clotted cream. I’m sorry, but it looked and tasted so yummy that we tucked in before we remembered to take a photo.

As this page tells the story of our visit to this magnificent old hotel, I’m very pleased to join Erica from BioArtGal who is hosting January’s theme of “Tell me a Story” 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:

  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Crafter’s Companion Vintage Collection Acrylic Stamp (Floral Sentiments VF-ST-PSENT)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Aldi The Night Before Christmas Range (Printed Tissue)
  • The Imperial Hotel history booklet, postcard and leaflets
  • Fun Cut scissors
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Victorian Christmas

Last week we enjoyed the festivities at the Farmers Market and Victorian Festival in our local town, there was so much inspiration that I created a journal page.

victorian-christmas-ajp-2

The background is a collage of papers, two of which are Christmas themed with holly and patterns that match the Victorian theme. The third is a music sheet which reminds me of the wonderful old fashioned fairground organ that was playing a variety of tunes and could be heard all across the town. I edged the papers with Tea Dye Distress Ink to give them a vintage look and stuck them to the page with a UHU Stic. Next I made the various baubles which remind me of the lovely decorations and wreaths we saw around the town. The garland with the crown on top is fussy cut from an advert for the Victorian Festival, which I adorned with gemstones and backed with the list of activities taking part at the festival. I added a piece of ribbon for it to hang on and stuck it to the page using double-sided foam tape. The heart is a wooden chalkboard tag which I stamped with the sentiment and then finished by hand using a white gel pen. I added gemstones and stuck it to the page with a UHU glue pen. The Merry Christmas bauble was stamped using Archival Ink on one of the same papers I used for the background and the words Victorian Christmas are from a flyer. I fussy cut them both out using some fun scissors with patterned blades, edged them with the same Distress Ink using a blending tool and embellished them both with gemstones. Then I added gold ribbon for the Merry Christmas bauble and stuck it down using double-sided foam tape. The Victorian Christmas is stuck down using a UHU Stic. Next I tied some pretty red ribbon into a bow, which I think is reminiscent of the Victorian era with its rose design. I placed it over the corner of the page and stuck it down with a UHU glue pen. To finish I added the gold buttons and glittery snowflakes.

I really enjoy looking at this page; it has captured the festivities at the Farmers Market and the Victorian Festival.

fruit-punch

Here I am enjoying a complimentary cup of fruit punch, which was given to me in the sweet shop, and as T Stands for Tuesday I’m pleased to be able to join the T Gang – Happy T Day!

town-crier

“Oh yay, oh yay” – we have our very own town crier and his official uniform is bright and colourful just like him.

jupiter-organ

Music played across the town from this beautiful old fairground organ and on closer inspection we found it had many different instruments and was beautifully decorated. I really enjoyed listening to it as it played modern music, such as Abba as well as the wonderful traditional tunes.

tour-guides

We went on a guided tour of our town as part of the Victorian Festival activities and had fun learning about the Victorian architecture and history. St Anne’s on the Sea is truly a Victorian town as it was designed and built from scratch by Victorians, starting in 1875 from nothing but the sand dunes which formed part of the Clifton Estate.

bar-collage

Our tour ended at Burlingtons Bar, which is now only open to the public for private functions. It still has three entrances, one for each of the different classes (of society) in those days and is covered in the most beautiful Victorian tile work from floor to ceiling. The interior contains a scheme of ceramic tiles by Craven Dunnill, which includes arcades, moulded panels and mirrors and plain, floral and patterned tiles.

stone-collage

The town’s Foundation Stone can also be found in this bar as this was the first building to be built in the new town and was originally the St Anne’s Hotel. As the tour finished we took the opportunity to take a joint photo in this wonderful and historical setting (for our town).

market-stall-collage

At the Farmers Market there were some fantastic stalls, I particularly liked the gingerbread tree decorations, the Christmas wreaths and the local fruit and veg stall.

victorian-costumes

Here I am having fun with the people promoting the Victorian Festival, don’t they look smashing!

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

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Tea Dye)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Docrafts Mini Clear Stamp (Christmas Assortment PMA 907002)
  • The Works 6×6 Designer Paper Pad (The Night Before Christmas HCPAP003X15)
  • Paper bundle
  • Bosworth Violin Studies music book
  • Programme, magazine and flyer
  • The Works (Chalkboard Tags)
  • Oaktree UK Eleganza Craft Stickers (3mm 418 Gems Red No. 16)
  • Habico Signature Collection (Festive Asst 3mm Self-adhesive Gem Stones)
  • Trimcraft Winter Wonderland (Enamel Adhesive Dots HCXGE05)
  • Poundland (Christmas Craft Pack 171319-MC16)
  • Assorted ribbon and buttons
  • Fun Cut scissors
  • UHU Stic and Glue Pen
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (The Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
  • X-Press It double-sided tape
  • Masking tape