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
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Rise and Shine

In our beach themed room we have a little plaque that our friends from America bought us when they came to stay, so I thought I’d pay tribute to it for the “Poetry in Motion” challenge over at Art Journal Journey. I’m sure those of you who know my love for walking will think this saying is very appropriate …

I started by prepping the page with a thin layer of Pébéo white gesso to give a smoother finish in readiness to apply the Faber-Castell Gelatos. Once the gesso had dried I scribbled patches of Snow Cone, Lemon and Lime gelatos onto my page to represent the beach; the blue for the sea and sky, yellow for the sand and green for the grassy dunes. Then I dipped my finger into water and rubbed the gelato scribbles to blend the colours; I didn’t use too much water as I wanted a heavier coverage of gelato for the next technique. I covered each of the different coloured areas of the page with a different stencil by Creative Expressions. I rubbed the gelatos through the stencils with a baby wipe to remove and lighten the colour; the stencils I choose were of dots to represent the sea breeze as we take our walk, birds in flight as we often see birds on our beach walks, cogs and a clock face to represent time which ties into the saying. I then used the stencils again to apply Black Soot Distress Ink using a blending tool, lining up the images so they were slightly off centre to add contrast and depth. Next I secondary stamped some arrow images by Hampton Art, using black Archival Ink, to depict the different directions that we can take on our beach walk. Then I used the same ink to add the saying using a Papermania alphabet stamp set. The page is edged with black and white polka dot washi tape which I ripped the tape in half to create an uneven edge. To finish, I added some paper flowers and three wooden polka dot butterfly buttons which I had tied black paper twine through; they are all stuck down using Glossy Accents.

We feel very blessed to live right by the sea so we often go for a walk along our beach. There are lots of different directions that you can choose from … you can walk over the dunes and to a pebbled coastal path.  On the right of this picture are the mudflats where we often see birds (see previous post).

If you walk along this path or through the dunes it leads to Fairhaven Lake.

Go the other way and there are beaches and a promenade with lots of things to see and do such as beach huts, pitch & putt golf, cinema etc.

Eventually you’ll reach the pier, this is my hubby with one of our friends from America when they came to stay – hence why they bought us the sign (grin!).

Of course sometimes the tide is in, the structure on the left of the photo at the end of the pier used to be attached to the pier at one time; in Victorian times it was where ships dropped off their passengers unfortunately it was claimed by a fire.

And when the tide is out you can even walk out to sea, that’s the pier you can see in the distance! It actually feels like you are on another planet the way the sand blows in ripples across the surface of the beach (grin!).

Here’s the plaque that inspired my page; it always makes me smile when I see it and it’s a lovely reminder of our forever friends! In case you’re wondering the lamp in the background is made by my hubby out of drift wood that we collected from our beach too (isn’t he clever!).

So as you can see with all the different walks we have to offer, it’s so easy for us to say “Rise and shine it’s beach walkin’ time!”

“Poetry in Motion”

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
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Snow Cone, Lemon, Lime)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Papermania Alphamania A-Z Clear Stamps (Leftovers Alphabet PMA9071102)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Hampton Art Bella Blvd cling mounted rubber stamps (Sand & Surf ICO226)
  • Poundland (Washi Tape 156456-GE16)
  • The Works (Butterfly Wooden Buttons)
  • The Works (Mini Paper Flower Embellishment)
  • Wilko (Paper Twine)
  • 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

Bring Me Sunshine    

Morecambe & Wise are a well-known comedy duo here in the UK and I have fond memories of watching their famous TV shows. So you can imagine my delight when we heard their songs outside the Winter Gardens whilst we were shopping in town. On investigating, the music led us to a wonderful bronze statue of them both that has been unveiled in the foyer. This inspired me to create a journal page of them that includes the title of their signature song “Bring Me Sunshine”.

Having quoted this song on my page, I’m linking to the “Poetry in Motion” theme over at Art Journal Journey. Hope you’ll join in the fun too by creating a page that is inspired by a poem, saying or quote (maybe from your favourite song).

I started by stamping a star burst stamp onto the middle of the page using grey Memento Ink and extending the starburst sun pattern using a ruler and pencil. Then I painted alternating sections with a yellow and then a gold Spectrum Aqua marker which I scribbled onto an acrylic block and diluted with water using a paintbrush. Next I stamped “Bring Me Sunshine” using a Papermania Leftovers Alphabet stamp set and black Archival Ink. I added two washi tapes to the top and bottom of the page, the film and music note designs depict their television shows and songs. The Morecambe & Wise photo is cut from a magazine and shows them in their younger days when they appeared at the Winter Gardens itself. Next I added some metal music notes attaching them to the page with silver brads. I finished the page with smiley star stickers which reminded me of their comedy and how they make me smile.

This is the Morecambe & Wise statue that greets you when you enter the Winter Gardens and with the songs they are well-known for playing in the air it fills you with a lovely sense of nostalgia. Blackpool is considered their “spiritual home” as they performed six summer seasons and over a 1,000 shows here. This statue marks the 75th anniversary of their debut performance as a double act, which was at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre in 1941.

Their 43-year partnership started in variety theatres where they honed their performance before making their famous TV shows on the BBC and ITV. Their Christmas specials were one of the highlights of the festive season and in 1977 they attracted over 27 million viewers. Guest stars included The Beatles, André Previn, Shirley Bassey and of course Des O’Connor (grin!).

Morecambe & Wise always made me laugh as a young girl growing up and still do today as there are always reruns of their shows at Christmas time. Their songs and dance numbers are fantastic and always make me smile, here’s a rendition of “Bring me Sunshine” from one of their shows – so funny!

There have also been some other happy reminders of Morecambe & Wise of late (grin!). This time of year we often cycle up the prom on our tandem, here I am on the Comedy Carpet in Blackpool and I’m standing by their section of the carpet with the lyrics of this song in front of me! If you are interested, here are some fun facts about the song:

  • “Bring Me Sunshine” is a song written in 1966 by the composer Arthur Kent, with lyrics by Sylvia Dee and it was first performed by American artists.
  • In the UK, the song is synonymous with Morecambe & Wise after it was adopted as their signature tune in their second series for the BBC in 1969. Here’s the lyrics of the song in full.
  • The song was played over the duo’s closing credits and they only ever sang the first verse, the second one being purely instrumental with Eric and Ernie performing a “skip dance” to exit the stage.

We have also been to quite a few local beer festivals lately and when I saw this beer I just had to have a pint of it. It’s called “Morecambe’s Sunshine” and is brewed by Cross Bay Brewery which is located in Morecambe; the beer is light in colour, 4% abv ( alcohol by volume) and has a lovely smooth malt taste – yum! I’m saying a big cheers to the T Gang over at T stands for Tuesday and wishing you all a Happy Sunshiny T Day!

The pump clip shows the bronze statue of Eric Morecambe in his famous “skip dance” pose. This statue is on my list of places to visit and is located on the seafront at Morecambe, it’s actually designed by the same person who made the bronze sculpture of them both (above).

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

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

  • Spectrum Aqua Artist Marker (Yellow, Gold)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Papermania Alphamania A-Z Clear Stamps (Leftovers Alphabet PMA9071102)
  • Blackpool Heritage magazine
  • The Works (3 Washi Tapes)
  • The Works (Musical Note Charms)
  • Small silver brads
  • UPIKIT Stickers (2166005)
  • UHU Stic

Dancing is an art

I’m so excited and honoured to be hosting Art Journal Journey this August and for this month’s challenge you are invited to use your favourite quotes, sayings and poems to inspire your designs for the theme “Poetry in Motion”.

As some of you may know I really like to create pages with meaning and I’m often inspired by things I see and do, including quotes and my page today is inspired by these wonderful words:

I started by painting patches of white gesso over the page then I added Peacock Feathers and Cracked Pistachio Distress Inks by applying the ink pad to an acrylic block, spritzing with water and then pressing the block onto the page. I also dragged the ink pads over the edge of the page to concentrate the colour. With the quote in mind, I stamped some filigree images by Hampton Art using London Fog Memento Ink. Next I sprinkled Ultramarine Colourcraft Brusho Crystal powder onto the page and spritzed them with water and just watched the magic as the colours burst into life. I then added pieces of washi tape, which I had torn so the edges didn’t have such straight lines and flowed with movement.  I stuck down some torn pieces of music paper using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium and also dragged some of the Brusho colour from the page over the edges of the music to blend them in.  I added plasterboard/drywall tape to add more texture and then I layered on torn pieces of a baby wipe which I had previously used to mop up some acrylic paint. Before applying the baby wipe I stretched it so it looked like fabric and used matte gel medium to stick it down so the wispy edges danced across the page. The beautiful dancer image is fussy cut from a leaflet and stuck down using a UHU Stic. I stamped the words onto some paper by Craft Sensations, fussy cut it out, edged the paper with a black Sharpie permanent marker and stuck it to the page using double-sided foam. To finish I added two cream Button Heart embellishments.

I love the way this page has turned out and I feel the words could be applied to my art journaling and to the creation of this page.

I do hope that you are inspired to get creative by the “Poetry in Motion” challenge over at Art Journal Journey too! I’m looking forward to visiting you to see all your wonderful creations.

As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and wishing you all a Happy T Day! Today I’m enjoying a refreshing drink of apple juice with ginger beer, in my craft room while creating a new journal page (grin!). It’s served in one of my favourite glasses, which I bought during a tour of the Maine Mead Works in America whilst there on holiday.

Mead is an alcoholic drink made from honey, hence the bee which greeted us on their fabulous sign! If you look closely you can just make out this bee symbol on my glass too (grin!). The mead that they make is a modern style of mead which is similar to wine and is light and refreshing, whereas I think of mead as a winter drink served hot with spices. Both of which are delicious!

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

“Poetry in Motion”

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

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Peacock Feathers, Cracked Pistachio)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (London Fog)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Crystals (Ultramarine)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO151)
  • Dovecraft upper and lower case alphabet stamp set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Music Book (Bosworth Violin Studies)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Endless Love CRO260/A)
  • Used dry baby wipe
  • Leaflet
  • Crelando Decorative Tape
  • Home Bargains Self-Adhesive Button Hearts (Sweet Hearts 22809)
  • 151 Adhesives Plasterboard/Drywall Tape
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Carnival

Every summer we attend our local carnival weekend and we always have so much fun watching the parade that it inspired this page! I’m pleased to be able to join Bluebeard and Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover again for the “Summertime Love” theme over at Art Journal Journey.

I started by cutting different decoupage and design pad papers into squares and rectangles to create the background. The papers I choose have seaside theme images and colourful patterns to represent our town, the carnival atmosphere and the fun we had. They are stuck to the page using a UHU Stic and I incorporated some pretty patterned fabric tape into the background design as well. Then I added vertical black lines along the edge of some of the papers using a Uni Posca paint pen. Next I added all the embellishments with the aim of layering them and to only use one of each item or design on my page so that I created an eclectic feel to represent the parade and give the page contrasting pops of colour. This was also a good way to use up bits and pieces I had leftover in my craft stash. This included some cardboard bunting with buttons on from Poundland and glittery bunting from Poundworld, which represent the bunting we saw along the parade route. As there were lots of bands taking part and music played throughout the parade I also added some music note washi tape, along with some camera film washi tape as we and many others were taking photos. There were vintage vehicles in the parade so I added an image of an old vintage car which is a Victorian tag embellishment. I added some pink circle stickers with palm trees and flamingos by The Range and lots of different flowers to represent some of the floats we saw during the parade; the flowers included a lovely sunflower border by Docrafts, a mini white flower, a red rose (for one of the bands) by The Range, a 3D sticker, a blue organza flower recycled from a gift bag and some glittery blue flower rub-on transfers. I also used some foam craft stickers from Wilko; a flower shape, a star, a balloon and lollipop which some floats were giving out to children, a crown to represent the carnival queens in the parade, a lion to represent the jungle theme of one of the school floats and an ice cream as there were bicycle ice cream carts. I especially liked the lorry carrying children from a local football club who had water guns. Needless to say they were having great fun covering everyone in water, so I added a foam football to the page with a half circle of tear shaped gem stones to depict the water droplets from their water guns (grin!). There were actually many children taking part in the parade from schools, clubs and community groups, they are represented by “A,B,C” and “1,2,3” mini gel stickers that I added to my page. As well as the “Sand; Sea; Sun” wording on one of the decoupage papers, I added more words that I associated with the carnival using stickers from Craft Planet, rub-on transfers and a “Hidden Joy” fabric sticker by Little Yellow Bicycle. The garland flag and ticket represent the fun rides and stalls that were in the park as part of the carnival. To finish, I added a glittery heart, some buttons, a couple of ribbons that I had tied into bows and lots of gemstones to add sparkle and interest.

Thought you might want to join in the carnival fun so here’s our Town Crier opening the parade, as you can see we had beautiful sunny weather.

There was lots of music throughout the parade and my favourite was this New Orleans style brass band; they are called Red Rose and played great music, I also enjoyed watching the gentleman with his umbrella, he looked so happy dancing in front of his band!

If you prefer there was also a traditional UK brass band.

Or even bagpipes for those of you who prefer more of a Scottish vibe which was loud and fabulous too.

This is one of the many vintage cars that took part in the parade.

There were quite a few horses in the parade this year and the carnival queen was travelling in style in a Cinderella coach.

Here’s the children from the Football Club, don’t they look pleased with themselves squirting the spectators with their water guns.

There was also a troop of local gymnasts performing in the parade and if you look at the photo closely you can see one of them in mid-air.

I was in awe of the work that must have gone into all the wonderful knitted car – isn’t it amazing!

As we were walking by Anton’s café, we saw some friends sitting at one of the tables outside and they kindly asked if we would like to join them.

Of course we were delighted to and had a great time chatting and enjoying the sunshine. So as T Stands for Tuesday I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and wishing you all a very Happy T Day! Our drinks were a pot of green tea for me and a hot chocolate for my hubby, you can also see our friend’s cappuccino in the background which I’m sure will please any coffee lovers in the T Gang, namely Valerie and Elizabeth (grin!).

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

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

  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (White, Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Trimcraft Deco Mache Decoupage Papers (Tiled Seaside FEDEC102)
  • VivaGade Decoupage Paper (Helsinki)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Soft Sweetness 154897)
  • The Works (Fabric Tape)
  • Poundland (Handmade Embellishments 138127)
  • Poundworld (Paper Lace U-83197)
  • The Works (3 Washi Tapes)
  • The Works (Victorian Style Embellishments PO/19702)
  • Docrafts Papermania Signature 3D Floral Borders (Sunflower Stickers PMA801100)
  • The Range (Craft Stickers CR1243)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Mini Decorative Stickers 22740)
  • The Range (Rose Garland CR0951)
  • Free & Easy (3D Stickers 002157)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Sentiments (SYN14709, Summer #ROY-505 Rub-on)
  • Blue organza flower (recycled from gift bag)
  • Wilko Little Steps (Safari Foam Stickers)
  • Graham & Brown The Wall (Adhesive Jewels)
  • Home Bargains (Mini Gel Stickers 30287)
  • Craft Planet Metallic Waterfall Stickers (Beach PO#9622)
  • Little Yellow Bicycle Stickers (Fabric Favourites PD-220)
  • Trimcraft Garland Flags (Fun Fair HCGF001)
  • Ticket
  • The Works (Glitter Heart Stickers)
  • Buttons
  • Ribbon
  • The Range (Adhesive Craft Gems)
  • Poundland Self-adhesive gems (504 Gems 128133)
  • Hobbycraft Gem Sticker Strip (Assorted Pink Squares 5971461001)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

Rock Factory

We went to visit a rock factory, where they make an array of yummy confectionery including sticks of rock, sweets/candies and lollipops. Rock is made of boiled sugar and is hard similar to a candy cane, it is an essential part of a British seaside holiday and is often bought by tourists for themselves or as presents. My hubby remembers as a child often receiving sticks of rock from people who had been on holiday. At the factory we saw first-hand how they made the confectionery and we had so much fun that I was inspired to create this page.

I started by stamping round circles by alternating Picked Raspberry and Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink on a circle stamp which was made from an empty tube from the roll of a sticky tape. Next I divided the page diagonally with washi tape to create four sections. I’ve had this tape in my craft stash for a while and if you look closely you’ll see it has tiny sweets on it. Then I used a mask to ensure the inside of the circles remained white and stencilled different coloured stripes in each of the four sections using Festive Berries, Cracked Pistachio, Spiced Marmalade and Seedless Preserves Distress Ink. These colours and stripes reminded me of the rock at the factory. To add more definition to the stripes I used a ruler to draw a line in a corresponding colour using Uni Posca paint pens (another new crafting goody, grin!). Then I placed a polka dot flower in the centre of each circle to represent the centre of the rock. The striped canopy, border, sticks of rock and wording are fussy cut from an advertising leaflet which I stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. The owners of the factory kindly gave me a copy of their logo to use for my page, which I fussy cut and stuck down using a UHU Stic. Once the glue had dried I outlined the logo with a pink and a blue Uni Posca paint pen. I also used the blue paint pen to outline the canopy, border and leaflet wording. Next I added the words “fun; trip; sweet; gobble; happy” which are rub-on transfers; they remind me of the great time we had at the factory. To finish the page, I embellished the sections with tiny sweets that I had cut from the washi tape and gem stars, and I added strips of gems along the edge of the washi tape, canopy and border.

I’m pleased to be able to join Rosie’s theme over at Art Journal Journey with my “Circles” of rock .

I thought you might like to join us on our tour. We arrived at the Coronation World factory which is the home of Coronation Rock just before lunchtime. We found out that they were established in 1927 and have always been a family run business; it is the largest rock factory in Blackpool being one of the only three rock factories remaining.

We went to the factory shop and were greeted by one of the owners, who very kindly explained the different processes we could see from the viewing gallery and answered our questions. As you can see the factory was a hive of industry, on the back wall behind the blue table is where they make the rock from the raw ingredients, which are heated in big copper pans. It is then poured onto the cooling slabs (the tables behind the blue table) and when it is ready it is then used in different ways to make either sticks of rock, individual sweets/candies or lollipops.

We found out that they have both a wholesale range and custom range of products and that they don’t need to advertise as they are always inundated with orders from companies and stores worldwide.

This was a HUGE stick of rock which was custom-made for a company! We also found out more about the history of Blackpool rock making – “How do they put the letters in the rock?” by watching the video they have screening in the shop. You can also steer the CCTV cameras to get a really close look at the action on the factory floor!

To make the sweets, they add colour and flavour when the rock mixture is on the cooling slab, then as it cools it is worked and once at the right temperature they form it into a design on the blue heated table. It is then transferred to the batch roller on the sweet line, which rolls the batch into a continuous rope. Once the rope has reduced to the correct size it is fed into the sweet wrapping machine, which cuts it into small sweets/candies and wraps them.

They were also making lollipops for a very famous store – Harrods! How cool is that, I bet you can’t guess what my friends are getting for presents this year, well if it’s good enough for Harrods it’s good enough for us (grin!).

As you can see from these moulds, they produce lollipops for some famous companies too.

We were kindly given a free sample to try; these are lime flavoured sweets and they were still warm from the machine and tasted very yummy! We were told that the three most popular flavours are traditional mint, fruit cocktail and aniseed. In the shop we also spotted blackcurrant, cherry, coconut, cola, pineapple, raspberry, rhubarb and strawberry as well stranger flavours like curry, chili, beer, whiskey and gin & tonic.

We had the most wonderful time and it was fascinating to watch them making the sweets and lollipops. If you want to see how they make the different rock products at this factory then take a look at this amazing video – I think the staff must have asbestos hands (grin!).

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

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

  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Picked Raspberry, Chipped Sapphire, Festive Berries, Cracked Pistachio, Spiced Marmalade, Seedless Preserves)
  • Uni Posca Paint Pens (White, Pink, Light Green, Violet, Blue)
  • Ranger Claudine Hellmuth Studio 6×6 Stencil (Our Town HSC36920)
  • Circle stamp – tube
  • Logo and leaflet
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Sentiments (Spring #ROY-506, Summer #ROY505, Thanksgiving #ROY-522)
  • The Works (Printed Washi Tape)
  • Wilko stickers (Flower Embellishments)
  • The Range Adhesive Craft Gems (Assorted Shapes CR0869)
  • UHU Stic