Peacock Butterfly

This page is inspired by the beautiful Peacock butterfly that we saw whilst walking along the Lancaster canal.

I started by painting the page with Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint varying the tone of colour across the page by adding some Pébéo white gesso. When dry I stamped a pretty blossoms stamp from Stampendous over the page using black Archival Ink. Then I applied some Pébéo white gesso over the stamped blossoms and re-stamped them layering the image over the top to give the page more depth. I also stamped a Script stamp from Kaisercraft using the black Archival Ink again. Next I fussy cut some squares, rectangles and faux embroidered shapes from some design paper, edged them with a Black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and arranged them on the page using a UHU Stic with: a white doily; a postcard; cards depicting a Peacock Butterfly on the front and information about the butterfly on the back; and a lace flower. The letters for the “Peacock Butterfly” wording are fussy cut from some design paper and stuck in place using the UHU Stic too. I added lots of mini decorative pearls to the centre of the blossoms which finished the page.

This Peacock butterfly was sitting on a thistle by the canal and I always marvel at its patterned wings and beautiful iridescent colours.  If you are interested here are some fun facts about this butterfly:

  • Peacock butterflies are found in British Isles, Europe and temperate Asia as far east as Japan and are not the same genus as the “American Peacock butterfly”.
  • This butterfly is one of the larger species of butterflies with the males being smaller than the females. However males and females have the same wing patterns, so other than size they look exactly the same.
  • Peacock butterflies are easily to recognize by the beautiful purple eyespots on the hind wings and this specific colouration of their wings provides protection against predators by confusing or even scaring them away.
  • The edges of its wings are dark and look like dead leaves and the underside of its wings are a dull brown which ensures excellent camouflage when butterfly rests on the bark of the trees.
  • The Peacock butterfly is strong flyer and it can travel long distances. It has a nomadic instinct so instead of having a permanent home, it travels all the time.
  • The Peacock butterfly has a long lifespan, living for around 11 months.

By far my favourite fact is, that when viewed up-side down, the pattern of the Peacock’s wings resembles the face of an owl (grin!).

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m sharing our drink of ice-cold water that we always take on our walks – Happy T Day!

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration for my pages and are a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Gill from gibbyfrogettcraftations who is hosting the Inspired by … challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my Peacock Butterfly inspired page.

I’m pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Written Word (add text in some form) challenge, which on this page includes the “Peacock Butterfly” wording that I created from the fussy cut letters and also the text from the Script stamp, postcard and Collectors Cards.

With it being the first Tuesday of the month, I’m pleased to join the Simply Neutrals Tuesday party over at Apple Apricot with my neutrals page.

Over at That’s Crafty! Challenge their challenge is A Stitch in Time so I’m happy to join them with the faux stitched embroidery and pretty crocheted lace flower that I used as part of my design for this art journal page.

I’m also joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Anything Goes challenge.

I’m also pleased to join the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their June Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included).

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
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Stampendous cling rubber stamp (Blossom Spray CRP136)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Travel Memories 154898)
  • The Works Design Pad (Classic Vintage CRO707/TW7)
  • Dovecraft Premium Paper Doilies (Painted Blooms DCDLS010)
  • Collectors Card (Butterflies & Roses)
  • The Works (Lace Flower Stickers)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Mini Decorative Stickers 22740)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
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Art is …

Whilst out walking in the glorious sunshine recently, we saw some beautiful butterflies. So this page is inspired by sunny days, flowers and butterflies!

To remind me of sunny days, I started by blending yellow and parchment Liquitex acrylic paint to make a soft yellow colour and applied it to the page using a baby wipe. I then stamped three different circular images using Memento Inks; these are a doily stamp by Dovecraft using London Fog ink, a circle of swirls which is actually part of a tree by Personal Impressions using Bahama Blue ink and finally a small flower stamp by Woodware Craft which I clustered into a circle using Lulu Lilac ink. Then I used a paintbrush to add very fine splatters of black acrylic paint and large splatters of white acrylic paint. The quote is a stencil from The Crafters Workshop and I used Black Soot Distress Ink and a blending tool to apply it straight onto the background; I like the dreamy look this achieved. Enjoying art journaling as I do, this quote really speaks to me and it reads:

“Art is just another way of expressing our inner most thoughts onto concrete media. Where form and function come together in beauty colour and shape”.

The three main butterfly images are: a tag which I tied with a string bow, a Belize postage stamp from my hubby’s childhood collection and a picture that I fussy cut from an encyclopaedia. They are all stuck to the page using double-sided foam tape. To finish, I added lots of small flower stickers to add some sparkle.

I’m joining the Flora and Fauna theme over at Art Journal Journey and I hope you are inspired by this theme too, it would be great to see you there!

Here is one of the wonderful butterflies we photographed whilst on one of our walks along the Lancaster Canal. This delicate small butterfly is called a Gatekeeper and was basking in the sunshine on the bank of the canal. Some fun facts about this butterfly are:

  • Gatekeepers are common and widespread in Europe and the British Isles which has its own subspecies (britanniae).
  • The gatekeeper got its name from patrolling hedges and verges, aided so they say, by the sharp black eyespots on its forewings, which have two white pupils.
  • As gatekeeper butterflies are commonly found around hedgerows and field gates, they are also known as a “hedge brown”.
  • The nectar of bramble/blackberry flowers provides a valuable food source for these butterflies so they are more abundant in the height of summer.

Challenges

As you may know, I enjoy taking part in blog challenges as they provide me with inspiration (whether it be colours, techniques or images) for my pages and they are a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

With all the pretty flowers on my page, I’m pleased to join the challenge over at Moo Mania and More where their theme is Even More Flowers.

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Stencil It challenge with my “Art is …” stencilled art journal page.

I’m joining a new challenge today where the lovely Tracey is on the Design Team; it’s over at Paperbabe Stamps and from their #73 Challenge … Picture Inspiration, I choose to create my page of yellow and included the flowers and butterflies too.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Stencil It challenge with the stencilling I used on my art journal page.

I’m also joining Mixed Media World and their theme is Anything Goes…optional Pink; there are a few pink touches o this 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:

  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Cadmium Yellow Medium, Parchment, Ivory Black)
  • Colvin & Co acrylic paint (White Titanium)
  • Memento Ink (London Fog, Bahama Blue, Lulu Liliac)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Black Soot)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Dovecraft Curiosity Corner Clear Stamps (Lace & Doile DCCS009)
  • Personal Impressions Marion Emberson Designs (Birds and Trees PICSA6179)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Francoise Collection Stamp Set (Flower Style Wood Set FRSWS003)
  • The Crafters Workshop Jaime 6×6 Stencil (Mini Art Is TCW261S)
  • The Range Craft Tags (CRO740)
  • The Dorling Kindersley Illustrated Family Encyclopaedia
  • Postage Stamp (Belize 1974)
  • Fancy Stickers Sheet (Flowers & Butterflies 28965)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Capture the Magic

I wanted to create an art journal page to remember my birthday which was last week, I had the most amazing time and thought I would recycle an old birthday card which I have treasured for a while.

To continue the recycled theme, I started by gluing some red netting from a bag of oranges to the page; this was quite difficult to do as the glues I had just didn’t want to hold the stretchy net in place. So I secured it as best I could and then used my heat gun to dry the glue, which happily melted the netting and looked really cool (grin!). Then to ensure the netting would stay in place I covered the whole page with white tissue paper using Liquitex matte gel medium, building up the layers of tissue paper to ensure all the netting was covered; I love all the background texture that the netting and tissue paper created. When the gel medium was dry, I scribbled Watermelon, Guava, Butter Cream, and Caramel Faber-Castell Gelatos onto the page and smudged them with my finger; they blended beautifully on top of the gel medium. I also added some Metallic Icing Faber-Castell Gelato to add contrast, some Abandoned Coral Distress Ink by applying the ink, spritzing with water and letting it run over and down the page and then I splattered the whole page with DecoArt black acrylic paint using a paintbrush. Next I recycled a cardboard tube to stamp circles of Pébéo white gesso and also black Soot Distress Ink onto the page. All the butterflies and flowers are from a birthday card and I fussy cut them out, edged them with Dark Sepia Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and arranged them onto the page using glue dots and double-sided tape. To finish, I added the wording “Capture the Magic” using Tim Holtz Label Letters which I mounted onto some of the cream recycled birthday card before sticking them to the page with glue dots; for me this page definitely captures the magic of my birthday!

My birthday celebrations started with lunch at our favourite restaurant Coco’s Soul Food, you may remember it from previous posts (grin!).

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’ll start by sharing some fizzy drinks that we selected while waiting for our food order, the choice is Passion Fruit, Lychee or Guava – Happy T Day!

You may be surprised to see that I didn’t have my usual Tropical Mango Chicken Salad but Jerk Chicken Enchiladas – so yummy! My hubby had the same and the portion was so big that there was enough for lunch the next day too (grin!).

Then we went on a lovely walk along the River Ribble and back through Avenham Park which was built in the 1860s and is Victorian in style. The day was sunny with some April showers and as the afternoon brought with it happy blue skies we had fun time exploring!

There were great views across the river …

… and of Silver Birch trees …

… and pretty blossoms!

I thought this photo of pretty blossoms would be perfect to enter into the Simply Neutrals Tuesday party over at Apple Apricot which is hosted by the lovely Wen.

There were quite a few old Victorian bridges on the walk too.

Walking back through the park, there was a Japanese Garden which was a beautiful setting for this old house in the background.

Along the railings that enclosed the garden were over 2000 aluminium eggs decorated by local schools for Easter – amazing!

There was also a wonderful display of daffodils and a waterfall which was a surprising discovery!

As well as pretty pink blossoms which remind me of the colours and flowers on my page.

I’m sure that I will be sharing more birthday treats with you again soon and thank you so much for all the lovely birthday wishes on my blog last week, it really made my day!

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration for my pages and are a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Alison/Craftytrog, who is hosting the Recycle and Collage challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the recycled materials that I collaged onto this page including the netting, tissue paper and one of my favourite birthday cards.

As I reused and altered materials to create this page, I’m pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Pimp It Up! (reuse or alter something) challenge.

As I created this page to capture the magic of my birthday celebrations, I’m also pleased to be able to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Happy Birthday! challenge – wishing you a Happy 9th Birthday too!

With the circles I added to my page, I’m pleased to join a new challenge blog today over at That’s Crafty Challenge and their Going Round in Circles challenge.

This page fits nicely with the Recycle Something challenge over at Try it on Tuesday too where you still have another week to join in the fun, it would be great 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:

  • Faber-Castell Gelato (Watermelon, Guava, Butter Cream, Caramel, Metallic Icing)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Abandoned Coral, Black Soot)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Marker (Dark Sepia B 175)
  • Stamp – recycled circular cardboard tube
  • Recycled birthday card
  • White tissue paper – recycled from gift packaging
  • Red netting – recycled from a bag of oranges
  • Tim Holtz Idea-ology (Label Letters #TH93072)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Wilko (Sticky Dots)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Brown Dragonflies

I found myself reminiscing about summer walks with my lovely blog-friends CJ and Erika wishing for warmer weather (grin!) and wanting to join a few blog challenges, I decided to create an art journal page inspired by some huge brown dragonflies that we saw on one of our summer walks last year at Glasson Dock. Although they were numerous we didn’t manage to get a good photo of them as they were so quick in flight, so it was fun creating this page to remember them – I hope you like it!

To match the brown dragonflies that we saw I chose a brown colour palette. I decided to experiment with a new technique using Colourcraft Brusho powders by using them as a spray, which worked really well as long as you are careful not to dilute the colour too much (grin!). I did this by placing some Dark Brown Brusho powder in a spray bottle and diluting with water, then using it to spray the page lightly with colour whilst leaving some white space. Next I stamped lots of dragonflies onto white tissue paper with an Eco Green Crafts stamp using Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink and also Rich Cocoa Memento Ink. I layered them onto the page using Liquitex matte gel medium, not worrying if the gel medium re-activated the Brusho or Distress Ink again, as I wanted a grungy look. When the gel medium had dried I used a stencil from That Special Touch of Mica Masks by Creative Expressions to add the Distressed Dots using the Dark Brown Brusho spray again and also used the stencil like a stamp to apply the excess spray that was on the stencil onto the page. Using the same stencil I applied: Tea Dye and Brushed Corduroy Distress Inks with a blending tool; some Navy Spectrum Aqua marker by scribbling it onto an acrylic block, sprizing with water and applying with a blending tool; some smaller patches of Peacock Feathers and Black Soot Distress Ink using a blending tool to add more contrast; and finally some bronze metallic Lustre paint by applying it with my finger. Next I stamped the wording from the same Eco Green Crafts stamp set using black Archival Ink as it applied to the dragonflies that we saw and I really liked the grungy design. The dragonflies we saw were huge, so I drew and cut out a large dragonfly from some recycled glossy glittery paper and stuck it to the page using a UHU Stic. Once the glue had dried, I edged it with a black Uni Pin marker and white Uniball gel pen. I ripped some hexagonal washi tape and stuck it around the edges of the page with some pretty opaque gem stones and added some glittery bronze embroidered flowers using Glossy Accents which finished the page.

You may remember Glasson Dock from previous posts, such as this one here. This is the estuary at Glasson Dock where we first saw the dragonflies and as we continued our walk they seemed to be everywhere (grin!).

They were more abundant by the canal around the reeds and here’s the best picture we took of them. When we got home I identified them as Brown Hawker dragonflies; we plan to go back this year to see them again and try to get a better photograph of them (grin!). If you are interested here are a few facts about dragonflies:

  • The earliest fossil dragonflies date back 300 million years long before dinosaurs ruled the Earth and had wing spans around 70cm (27.6 inch) which is approximately 10 times larger than today; their overall shape has changed little since those early days.
  • There are approximately 6,000 named dragonfly species in the world today and new species are still currently being discovered for the first time.
  • The Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis) is a large dragonfly about 73mm (2.9 inch) long and is easily recognised by its brown body and bronze wings (grin!).

Challenges

My art journal page today has been inspired by some wonderful Challenge Blogs:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Rike from rike’s art, who is hosting the Animals A-Z challenge over at Art Journal Journey as D is for Dragonfly!

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Grunge It Up challenge with my grungy dragonfly art journal page.

I’m also pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Anything but Cute challenge.

As I created my own background for my dragonfly art journal page, I’m also happy to join the Make Your Own Background challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.

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, Brushed Corduroy, Peacock Feathers, Black Soot)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Navy)
  • Craf-T Products (Lustre Rub-ons ASTM D-4236)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Eco Green Crafts Recycled Rubber Art Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Creative That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • White tissue paper
  • The Works Washi Tape (Enjoy the Ride)
  • Poundland (Design Gems)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Embroidered Flowers)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

Vintage

It’s time for a new challenge over at Try it On Tuesday and our theme for the next two weeks is Vintage.

Thanks to those of you who joined us for the Love is in the Air challenge and I hope you will be inspired by our Vintage challenge too, it would be great to see you there!

For my art journal page, I started by covering the page in pieces of napkin using Liquitex matte gel medium and then applying Pébéo white gesso using a palette knife.  Once dry, I aged the page to tie into the Vintage theme by using Dark Sepia, Sanguine and Cold Grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker. I did this by applying the markers directly to the edges of the page and smudging them with my finger and I also scribbling the marker onto an acrylic block and dragging the block over the surface of the page so it highlighted the gesso texture and creases of napkin. Next I used a cutting die and my Big Shot to create tile shapes, which are stuck to the page using Liquitex matte gel medium and when they were all in place I covered them all with a layer of matte gel medium too. I coloured the edges of the tiles using Willow and Ink Black Derwent Inktense pencils and highlighted some of the gaps between the tiles using a white Derwent Inktense pencil. Then I covered some of the tiles with white gesso and a Dark Sepia Faber-Castell Big Brush marker to give them more of an aged look. The pretty purple violet flowers are rub-on transfers by Royal & Langnickel which I layered over the top of one another to build up the design and intensity of colour. I added the butterfly 3D sticker and then splattered black DecoArt acrylic paint over the whole page using a paintbrush. The ivy is die cut using Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz and coloured using Leaf Green, Moss and Sepia Spectrum Aqua markers and a black Derwent Graphik fine line marker. They are stuck to the page using a Zig Memory System glue pen. I added the letter button stickers and applied white gesso and then matte gel medium over their edges so they looked more in keeping with the Vintage style. I also used the Willow and Ink Black Derwent Inktense pencils around them giving a worn look. For the doily, I coloured the edges using Tea Dye Distress Ink and a blending tool, and also the Dark Sepia Big Brush marker. I tied a bow in the middle of a piece of purple satin ribbon and then threaded each end of the ribbon around the central circle of a doily and stuck the doily in place using double-sided foam tape. I cut some thick purple paper using a Spellbinders die and stuck a butterfly image on top, which I had edged with the Tea Dye ink and Dark Sepia marker, using double-sided tape. To finish, I added one of the violet flowers, from the rub-on transfer set, to a vintage metal embellishment and stuck it in place using Ranger Glossy Accents.

I hope you will join in the fun over at Try it on Tuesday where you will find fabulous Vintage creations from the Design Team too!

Another rainy day meant another lovely walk around Lytham Hall with our friends. This time I had a piece of lemon and poppy cake with my pot of green tea and I was amazed how the vintage china and pretty purple flowers on my cake matched my Vintage page – Happy Serendipity (grin!). As I’m sharing my drink I’m saying a big hello and welcome to the T Gang over at T Stands for Tuesday and wishing you all a very Happy T Day!

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs, like Try it on Tuesday, as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration for my pages and are a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Rike from rike’s art, who is hosting the Animals A-Z challenge over at Art Journal Journey as B is for Butterfly on today’s page!

I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Add a Die Cut challenge with the vintage tiles, square frame and ivy leaf dies that I used on my art journal page.

I’m also pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Anything but Cute challenge.

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:

  • Dunelm Napkin (Grace 30220549)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Dark Sepia 175, Sanguine 188, Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Willow 1900, Ink Black 2200, Antique White 2300)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Leaf Green, Moss, Sepia)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip Pen (White)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Tea Dye)
  • Spellbinders Nestabilities Card Creator Die Cut Systems (Pearl Effects S5-194, Unknown)
  • Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz (garden Greens 661206)
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Design Block)
  • American Crafts Papers (DIY Shop 366665)
  • Poundland Design Pad (Purple Paradise CRO701/PL3)
  • Docrafts Papermania 8×8” Labels (Botanicals PMA157234)
  • Dovecraft Premium Paper Doilies (Painted Blooms DCDLS010)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (KPE1229G)
  • Home Bargains (Love Letters 22738, Beautiful Butterflies 22742)
  • Recycled Satin Ribbon (Purple)
  • Poundworld (Vintage Stickers)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Winter Robin

When we were visiting family in the South of England we discovered some new walks at a local nature reserve, where we saw lots of wildlife including robins which is one of my favourite birds.

I started by painting diluted Ground Espresso and a little bit of Hickory Smoke Distress Inks onto the page by stamping the ink pads directly onto an acrylic block and picking the ink up with a wet paintbrush. I concentrated the colour around the edges of the page and used the paintbrush bristles to add texture. Then I applied the Hickory Smoke ink again using a blending tool through a retro stencil from That Special Touch of Mica Masks by Creative Expressions. I stamped some small snowflakes from a BoBunny stamp set using Rich Cocoa Memento Ink. With some new dies and my Big Shot I got to work creating some green and red paper branches using Garden Greens Sizzix Thinlets by Tim Holtz; they are stuck to the page using a Zig Memory System glue pen. I was also very excited to receive some die sets from my lovely friend Astrid yesterday, thank you so much! I wanted to use them straight away (grin!), so I selected some square dies and used them to create some pretty edges on a recycled Robin Christmas card and also some patterned papers from Docrafts. I edged them with a grey Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck them to the page along with some other paper embellishments from the same Docrafts pack and a robin image from another recycled Christmas card using some double-sided tape. To finish the page, I added the wording which are letter stickers from the same Docrafts pack.

Here’s one of the beautiful robins that we saw on our walk at the nature reserve (grin!).

If you are interested, here are some facts about robins:

  • This robin is a European robin (Erithacus rubecula), which here in the UK is known simply as a robin or robin redbreast and they are renowned for their friendliness.
  • The term robin is also applied to other birds of a similar appearance, such as the American robin which is actually a thrush and also the Australasian robins.
  • Even though the film Mary Poppins is set in London, the robin that lands on Mary’s finger during “A Spoonful of Sugar” is an American robin instead of a European robin.
  • Nowadays in the UK, robins are synonymous with winter and especially Christmas cards because in Victorian times, our postmen were known as robins due to their bright red uniforms and they delivered cards on Christmas day.
  • The robin often tops the polls for Britain’s favourite bird and has been adopted as a nickname for eight UK football (soccer) clubs who play in red.

We saw the robin while we were walking through woodland. It was a lovely place to explore with its ponds, streams, marshes, grassland, reed beds, hedges and woodlands and it was a haven for a variety of wildlife too. We saw so many birds in the hedgerows and trees.

It was a sunny day when we visited too and we walked for miles enjoying both the scenery and wildlife.

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration for my pages and are a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

I’m pleased to join the lovely Erika N, also known as BioArtGal, who is hosting the New Year, New Adventures challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my page inspired by our new walking adventure and created with lots of new crafting goodies!

I’m joining Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Birds of a Feather challenge with my Winter Robin art journal page.

I’m pleased to join the fun over at Country View Challenges and their Anything Goes challenge.

As I’m using new dies, my new Big Shot die cutting machine as well as the Docrafts paper pack and Creative Expressions stencil which are new craft goodies, I’m also pleased to join the Ring in the New challenge over at Mixed Media Monthly.

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 (Ground Espresso, Hickory Smoke)
  • Tsukineko Memento Ink (Rich Cocoa)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Cold Grey IV 233)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Retro Christmas)
  • BoBunny Stamps (Snow Day #13705563)
  • Paper Pack from local craft store
  • Recycled Christmas Cards
  • Docrafts Papermania A4 Ulimate Die-cut & Paper Pack (Festive Fauna PMA160949)
  • Sizzix Thinlets Tim Holtz Alterations (Garden Greens 661206)
  • Spellbinders Die Cut Systems (Marvelous Squares, Unknown)
  • Zig Memory System 2-Way Glue (The Dual Action Glue Pen)
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape

Hot Chocolate is like …

Hot chocolate is top on my list of warming drinks this time of year and with it getting colder I thought I would create a winter themed page with a warming mug of hot chocolate and a lovely quote I recently found.

I started by covering the page with a piece of tissue paper with circles on it which had been in my craft stash for a while; the circles were stamped using an old cardboard tube with some leftover blue/green acrylic paint from another project. I stuck the tissue paper to the page using a UHU Stic. Next I stamped hearts into the centre of each circle and also a circle and heart design stamp onto the background using black Archival Ink, both stamps are from Sugarloaf Inc. I added Milled Lavender, Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean Distress Inks and left the page to dry. Then I covered the whole page with a thin layer of white gesso using a baby wipe. Next I used four different stencils and blue inks to add layers of patterns; this included a stencil called Moroccan from the That Special Touch of Mica range by Creative Expressions using Salty Ocean Distress Ink, a Heart Cluster mini stencil from Creative Expressions using Blueprint Sketch Distress Ink, a cross stencil from Craft Sensations using Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink and a Swoosh stencil from Creative Expressions using Summer Sky Memento Ink. The snowflakes are stamps from a Winter Woodland stamp set that was free with a magazine, they are stamped using the same Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch and Chipped Sapphire inks. I also used the snowflake stamps again to stamp white acrylic paint which I applied to the stamps using a brayer. With the background completed I added the quote using some black Label Letter stickers by Tim Holtz and edged them using a Poppy Red Derwent Inktense pencil and a black Uni Pin marker. The quote pays homage to how I feel about hot chocolate it reads:

Hot chocolate is like a hug from the inside.

Then I selected some glittery red paper from a Designer Paper Pack and punched out some snowflakes using a Woodware paper punch. I also punched some black paper snowflakes too which I offset under the red snowflakes to provide a shadow. They are stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. Next I drew a mug on the same red paper, cut it out and edged it using the same red Derwent Inktense pencil and a wet paintbrush.  Before I stuck the mug to the page using double-sided tape, I drew around where it was to be placed on the page and used an Ink Black Derwent Inktense pencil to create a shadow under it so it stood out more. I embellished the mug using a black snowflake, a white glitter foam snowflake and three red gemstones. To finish, I added two smaller red foam glitter snowflakes and some red gemstones to the background and then I edged the page with a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker.

It’s been sunny here of late but very cold too, so when out walking with our friends we have been going to a local café on the beachfront and having a hot chocolate! As T Stands for Tuesday I’m pleased to join the T Gang and wish you all a Happy T Day!

As you can see we enjoyed a toasted teacake with our hot chocolate too (grin!). For those of you not familiar with toasted teacakes, here are some facts you may find interesting:

  • Teacakes are a sweetened yeasted bread type roll which usually have dried fruit in, and it is usually split, toasted, buttered, and served with tea.
  • Teacakes originated in the North of England and are very popular in Lancashire where I live.
  • Teacakes have regional differences for example in East Lancashire, certain areas of Yorkshire and Cumbria a teacake is plain unless you ask for a “currant teacake” and this plain teacake is a specialty of the area and is still split and served toasted with butter and also sometimes jam (jelly).
  • Sometimes the plain teacakes are confused with English Muffins however they are not the same thing. An English Muffin here in the UK is the same as in the US and is usually a breakfast item often served as Eggs Benedict or with smoked salmon.
  • We often have toasted teacakes with a cuppa mid morning for elevenses.

Here’s the pretty view from the Waters Edge café over the beach – beautiful!

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs as I enjoy taking part, they provide me with inspiration for my pages and are a wonderful way to meet like-minded arty people. So here are the challenges I’m joining today:

Hot chocolate and the quote I used ties in nicely with the  “101 Ways To Keep Warm” challenge over at Art Journal Journey which is being hosted by the lovely Chris.

I was inspired to use the four different stencils to create this page after seeing the design teams artwork over at Country View Challenges which they had created for their “Stencils” challenge.

As I used stamps and the hot chocolate quote, I’m also pleased to join a new challenge today over at The Artistic Stamper where this month’s creative challenge is “Use a Quote”.

It makes me happy to be able to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their “Food and/or Drink” challenge with my hot chocolate inspired page.

With my colourful blue and red page I’m pleased to join the lovely design team over at Try it on Tuesday and their “Colourful” Challenge and I’m also just have enough time to join in the fun over at Moo Mania & More and their “Put A Stencil On It” challenge too.

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

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Milled Lavender, Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean, Blueprint Sketch, Chipped Sapphire)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Summer Sky)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Poppy Red 0400, Ink Black 2200)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.3mm)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood mounted stamps (Heart Tile 26631, Hearts & Circles 26645)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Moroccan, Swoosh)
  • Craft Expressions Mini Stencils (Heart Clusters CEMSHEART)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Winter Woodland Clear Stamp Set – free with Craft Beautiful Dec 2017 magazine
  • White tissue paper – stamped with circles
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology (Label Letters #TH93072)
  • The Works Designer Paper Pack (The Night Before Christmas HCPAP003X15)
  • Leon (X-Large Coloured Paper Pad)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Paper Punch (Large Snowflake SL120118)
  • Poundland (Christmas Craft Pack)
  • Docrafts Papermania Eleganza Adhesive Stones (3mm Red PMA351607)
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape