Mr. Finch

I’m really enjoyed creating the masculine page that I posted on Tuesday so I thought I would continue with the masculine theme and create a page with the additional inspiration of the goldfinches that we have seen a number of times this year, both in our garden and on our walks. So here’s my fun steampunk page which showcases the fabulous Mr. Finch (grin!).

I started by covering the page with Peeled Paint and Antique Linen Distress Ink using a blending tool and then spritzing the page with water to give a soft covering of colour. While the background was still wet I used a stamp from BoBunny to add the crackle texture mainly around the edges of the page using Hickory Smoke Distress Ink; the wet page blended the inks so the stamp looks smudged in places which I love. Then I used a stencil from Craft Sensations to add the numbers using Frayed Burlap Distress Ink and a blending tool. The black wheels are also stencilled using a Dina Wakley stencil from Ranger and I varied the depth of the Black Soot Distress Ink that I applied to give more of a distressed look and to add some dimension. I then splattered the page with the Black Soot Distress Ink using a paintbrush. The fountain pen and pocket watch are rub-on transfers by Royal and Langnickel and I also applied some leftover black letters from a Letraset transfer set to use them up. Next I fussy cut the roses from some design paper and stuck them in place, like all of the paper elements, using Liquitex matte gel medium.

For my steampunk Mr. Finch, I used a bird stamp from Stampendous, a Steampunk stamp set by Docrafts and black Archival Ink. I started by stamping the bird onto thick paper and fussy cutting it out, and then I distressed this image by covering it with some watered down white gesso using a baby wipe. Once dry I stamped the cog images over his breast and head and also a feather image over his back and wings to add more texture. I also stamped his steampunk style top hat and his wheels onto another piece of design paper; his wheels are from the Penny Farthing stamp which I stamped twice and then fussy cut out. I added three strips of music washi tape horizontally on the page and then I layered his wheels, body and hat together so Mr. Finch is rolling along one of these strips.

Inspired by seeing the goldfinches, I painted his cog design and added detail to his feathers using Iridescent Gold Liquitex Ink. As goldfinches also have red feathers on their heads that look like a mask, I also thought it would be fun to paint the goggles on his top hat with a Poppy Red Derwent Inktense pencil. I used a black Derwent marker, white gel pen and also the gold Liquitex Ink and red Inktense pencil to add further colour and detail to the design including his mask, hat, wheels and cogs. For his eye I added a black gem and coloured some of it white using a Uniball gel pen. Next I die cut three small labels using my Big Shot machine and stamped “Explore” using black Archival Ink. Once stuck in place, I coloured the edges using the red Inktense pencil and gold Liquitex Ink and then outlined them using a black Derwent marker and a white Uniball gel pen to frame the words, and then I embellished them with some round black brads. To finish, I splattered black and white DecoArt acrylic paint and also gold Liquitex Ink using a paintbrush over the page.

Here is one of the goldfinches that we saw on one of our walks along by the sand dunes, isn’t he magnificent!

If you are interested here are some facts about this bird:

  • There are just three species of goldfinches in the world – our European goldfinch, the widespread American goldfinch and Lawrence’s goldfinch which is found in the southwest USA.
  • The European goldfinch is a highly coloured finch with a bright red face and yellow wing patch.
  • They are very sociable birds, often seen in large groups and have a delightful liquid twittering song and call. The collective name for goldfinches is a charm and is derived from the old English c’irm which describes the birds’ twittering song.
  • The shape of their beak allows them to extract seeds from thistles and teasels.

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 I took inspiration from seeing the goldfinches to create steampunk page.

With the focal image of Mr. Finch being created using different stamps, I’m happy to be able to join Stamping Sensations and their Anything Goes challenge.

I’m so pleased to join the lovely Maura who is on the design team and is co-hosting over at SanDee & amelie’s Steampunk Challenges this month for their Anything Goes – Steampunk/Industrial challenge.

Over at A Vintage Journey this month the challenge is Stencil It so I’m pleased to join this challenge with my goldfinch inspired page fits their challenge focus with its Steampunk and Mixed Media Style.

I’m also pleased to be able to join the Written Word (add some text in some form) challenge over at Country View Challenges with stamped wording I added to this page.

I’m joining in the fun at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Anything But A Card challenge with Mr. Finch art journal page.

I’m also joining the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their June Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included) with my unique, one of a kind Mr. Finch.

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 (Peeled Paint, Antique Linen, Hickory Smoke, Frayed Burlap, Black Soot)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Liquitex Inks! (Iridescent Bright Gold)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.2mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencil (Poppy Red 0400)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (Black, White)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Ranger Dina Wakley Media Stencil (Wheels MDS45588)
  • BoBunny Stamp (Rough it up 12105155)
  • Stampendous Cling Rubber Stamps (Jumbo Songbird CRS5029)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 Clear Stamp Set (Steampunk DCE907125)
  • Spellbinders Nestabilities Card Creator (A-2 Fancy Ribbon Threader S5-135)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Journey MIN- CCS104)
  • American Crafts (DIY Shop)
  • Craft Sensations Design Pad (Soft Colours CRO730/R, Authentic Vintage CRO730/R)
  • Royal & Langnickel Create-A-Collage Rub-on Transfers (Men’s Accessories #ROY-853)
  • Letraset Transfers (Helvetica Bold Condensed 5mm DCO251)
  • Hobbycraft (Assorted Black & White Decorative Tape 5971481007)
  • Poundland (Design Gems 175751)
  • Brads (Round Black)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
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Find Inspiration in Nature

My art journal pages are often inspired by nature which is why I chose the Flora and Fauna theme for this month over at Art Journal Journey. I had so much fun creating the background and steampunk vibe flowers for this page – I hope you like it too!

Taking inspiration from the beautiful red sunsets we see in nature, I started by covering the page in a mixture of Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red and Apricot Liquitex acrylic paint, varying the blending slightly to give different shades of colour. I added some torn book pages using Liquitex matte gel medium and some washi tapes, and then I applied a thin layer of the same acrylic paints over the top using my finger to achieve a translucent look. When dry, I applied some white DecoArt acrylic paint using a brayer and also a circular Worn Rings stamp from Gummiapan, making sure I washed the stamp as soon as I had finished so the paint didn’t dry and ruin it. I then splattered the whole page with black DecoArt acrylic paint using a paintbrush. The flowers are fussy cut from an old flower book that I found in a charity shop (thrift store) and arranged on the page with three stamps from the Vintage Circles Woodware Craft Selection Stamp Set using black Archival Ink. I used Liquitex matte gel medium to stick the flowers in place and once it was dry I outlined them with a black Derwent Graphik marker so that the stamping was incorporated into the flower design.

Both the fussy cutting and outlining took some time to complete and it really made a difference to the flowers as you can see on this before and after photo. The bees and wording which reads “Find inspiration in nature” are both Royal & Langnickel rub-on transfers and I added more detail to the bumblebees using a Derwent Graphik marker. To finish, I stamped some circles of white DecoArt acrylic paint using a bottle cap and added some more splatters of black DecoArt acrylic paint using a paintbrush.

Everytime we visit Garstang we see these beautiful metal flowers and the yellow ones reminded me those on my page today – aren’t they stunning!

I like that they stay in bloom all year round for us to enjoy, no matter what the weather … grin!

Challenges

I’m joining Art Journal Journey and the Flora and Fauna theme with my flowers and bees; there is just one more week to join in the fun (grin!). I’ve really enjoyed seeing all your fabulous creations that you have linked to this theme so far, thank you!

I’m pleased to join Moo Mania and More for their Even More Flowers challenge with my flowery page.

I’m joining Fashionable Stamping Challenges where the theme is Floral, which has been chosen by the lovely Avril, with my Vintage styled flowers, .

I really like the Vintage look of my new Woodware Stamp Set that I used on this page against the mixed media background which also included stamping, so I’m also pleased to join the Backgrounds challenge over at The Artistic Stamper.

Stamping Sensations challenge is Close to Nature so I’m very happy to be able to join them with my “Find inspiration in Nature” page.

I’m joining in the fun over at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Use More Than One Stamp challenge as I used more than one stamp to create this art journal page.

My page reminds me of a classical music piece called “Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nikoli Rimsky-Korsakov and I can just imagine my bees flying around my page to this music exploring the Steampunk Style world of flowers that I created, so I’m also joining A Vintage Journey for their Words and Music challenge.

With the stamping I used to create this art journal page, I’m also pleased to join the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge and their May 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 (Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Apricot)
  • DecoArt Crafter’s Acrylic (White, Black)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm, 0.5mm)
  • Gummiapan Stamp (Worn Rings 2 11050601)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Magic Singles (Vintage Circles FRS665)
  • The Oxford Book of Garden Flowers
  • Quality Toys Group (Washi Tape 2544960)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (TIP1642G, Motivate Sentiments #ROY510, )
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium

I want to sing …

With the glorious sunny weather we’ve been having of late, nature seems to be blooming with spring happiness, so today my page celebrates the beautiful magnolia trees, birds and birdsong!

I’m linking to the Flora and Fauna theme over at Art Journal Journey which I’m hosting this month too.

I started by scribbling some Metallic Blueberry Faber-Castell Gelato onto the page in horizontal lines and then I spritzed the page with water, and used my finger to smudge and blend the colour across the page. Next I ripped a magnolia design napkin and stuck the flowers onto the page using Liquitex matte gel medium. Once the gel medium was dry, I doodled an outline on the flowers with a black Derwent Graphik marker. Then to depict birdsong, I stamped some music notes and script stamps from the Musicality Docrafts stamp set over the background using black Archival Ink . I applied some Pébéo white gesso with my finger over some of the stamped images and then used the same stamp set and black ink again to add another layer of stamping which gave the page more depth. The bird image is fussy cut from an old calendar, edged with Dark Sepia Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and stuck onto one of the magnolia branches using a UHU Stic. I also cut two of the magnolia leaves from the napkin and arranged them in front the bird so he blended into the scene better. To make the bird look like he was singing, I arranged some pieces of musical washi tape to flow upwards from his open beak. I placed three of these musical notes on the page background too and covered them all with Liquitex matte gel medium to hold them firmly in place. When the gel medium was dry, I edged them with a black Derwent Graphik marker so they stood out more. I added the quote using some Docrafts letter stickers  and I edged with white Uniball gel pen to soften the edges. I stamped the author’s name under the quote using an alphabet stamp set and black Archival Ink which finished the page; the quote is by Rumi and reads:

“I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think”.

Walking into town we pass many gardens filled with beautiful spring blossoms and these are some pretty magnolias that are flowering not far from our house.

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs, Art Journal Journey, 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:

Being inspired by the Words and Music theme over at A Vintage Journey, I’m pleased to join the lovely Astrid and the rest of the Creative Guides with my Mixed Media Style music related art journal page.

Over at Moo Mania and More the theme is Even More Flowers so I’m pleased to join in the fun with my magnolia inspired page.

I’m also joining the Allsorts Challenge Blog and their In the Pink challenge with the pretty pink magnolias that I included on my page.

I’m also pleased to join Mixed Media World where their theme is Anything Goes…optional Pink.

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 (Metallic Blueberry)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm, 0.2mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Dark Sepia 175 B)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 Clear Stamp Set (Musicality DCE907112)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Caspari Napkin
  • RSPB Calender – old
  • The Works (Three Washi Tapes)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic

Flora and Fauna

I am so delighted to be hosting Art Journal Journey this month and my challenge is

Flora and Fauna

For this challenge Flora refers to plant life and Fauna to the animal kingdom. In nature, flora and fauna compliment each other, so it’s up to you to decide whether you include only plants, animals or combine the two together.

I started by selecting stamps of plant life and animals from my craft stash; for Flora I chose a tree, some different flowers, leaves and fruit and then for Fauna I chose a bird, some insects including a bee, butterflies and a dragonfly, a hedgehog and some paw prints. I stamped my flora stamps onto white tissue paper and my fauna stamps onto brown tissue paper using black Archival Ink which I used for all of the stamping on this page. Well that’s what I thought anyway, but as you can see this is correct for all except the bee, I think he must be flying onto the white flora tissue paper to find the flowers (grin!). Then I ripped the edges of the tissue paper and stuck them onto the page using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium along with some gold star tissue paper and homemade papers which I made sometime ago using brown tissue paper and a Script stamp and also white tissue paper and a Sheet Music stamp. Once the gel medium was dry, I also stamped the corresponding wording “Flora” or “Fauna” directly onto the page alongside each stamped image and edged them using Willow and Ink Black Derwent Inktense pencils and a black Derwent Graphik marker. Then I added two different brown washi tapes, the thicker one depicts a flower, butterfly, bird and squirrel to tie into the theme and they are all edged with the Willow and Ink Black Derwent Inktense pencils. Next I arranged some wooden tiles for the “Flora” and “Fauna” wording and also some colourful postage stamps from my hubby’s childhood collection which portray different flora and fauna. The postage stamps are stuck to the page using a UHU Stic and as you can see I kept the flora ones at the top of the page and the fauna ones at the bottom to correspond with the tile wording that I had added. To finish, I stamped different words onto white tissue paper and stuck them onto the page using UHU Stic; they detail types of flora and fauna:

  • as flora refers to plant life the words I added included flower, fruit, tree, leaf, fungi
  • as fauna refers to the animal kingdom I included the words bird, reptile, fish, amphibian, insect, mammal.

I hope that this art journal page provides you with some ideas for your designs and that you are inspired by this month’s Flora and Fauna theme over at Art Journal Journey too. I am really looking forward to visiting you and seeing all your wonderful creations!

As some of you know, my art journal pages are inspired by things I see and do and I often share photographs along with my journal page to illustrate this. So I thought I would share a couple of different Flora and Fauna collages using photographs that have featured on my blog over the last couple of years – I hope you like them! This first one reminds me of springtime as most of the photos were taken this time of year.

This one reminds me of summer walks and happy discoveries!

If you are looking for my post featuring the new challenge over at Try it on Tuesday or T Stands for Tuesday, please click here.

Challenges

I’m glad I found out about Challenge Blogs, like Art Journal Journey, 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:

With the page focusing on stamping and animals, I’m pleased to be able to join Fashionable Stamping Challenges and their Animals challenge.

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

With the collaged tissue background and all the stamping on this page, I’m also pleased to join the creative challenge over at The Artistic Stamper where the theme is Backgrounds.

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

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

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Willow 1900, Ink Black 2200)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Sanguine 188 B)
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 cling mounted rubber stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO133)
  • Hampton Art Bella Blvd cling mounted rubber stamps (Sand & Surf ICO226)
  • Hampton Art 7 Gypsies cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong ICO135)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Tree P-1398, 4 Point Star Background G2983)
  • Papermania wood mounted rubber stamp (Daffodil Tile 39454)
  • Magenta wood mounted rubber stamp (Flowers & Dots 2111D)
  • Royal & Langnickel Clear Choice Stamps (Pressed Leaves MIN-CCS102)
  • Hampton Art wood mounted rubber stamp (Cherry Background KN2466)
  • Eco Green Recycled Rubber Art Stamps (Petal Party #04309)
  • Free Stamp Set with Craft Beautiful Magazine (Winter Wonderland)
  • Stampendous wood mounted rubber stamp (Tiny Paw AA017)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. wood mounted rubber stamp (26551)
  • Kaisercraft clear stamp (Script CS752)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Clear Magic Singles (Sheet Music JGS111)
  • Dovecraft Essentials Alphabet Stamp Set (WDN ALPHA STMP DCVW0050)
  • Tissue Paper (White, Brown)
  • Postage Stamps from my hubby’s childhood collection (Ghana, Rhodesia, Trinidad & Tobago, South Africa, Bulgaria, Ceylon, Australia, Hungary, Romania, Dominica, Kenya)
  • Crelando (Decorative Tape)
  • The Works (Wooden Alphabet Tiles)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic

Notarianni Ice Cream

We always enjoy visiting our favourite ice cream shop, Notarianni’s, for a takeaway tub of ice cream! With birthday celebrations it means that we have an extra special treat of visiting their Ice Cream Parlour for a sundae, so I created a page to celebrate our recent visit and later in the post you can even check out which yummy sundae we had too (grin!).

I started by covering the page with white napkins that I recycled from the Ice Cream parlour that we visited. I layered the napkins using Liquitex matte gel medium to cover the background quite thickly to create texture. Once the gel medium was dry I painted it with Parchment Liquitex acrylic paint and Pébéo white gesso. As both the paint and gesso were high density I scraped a palette knife over the top to give a smoother finish so it looked like the silky texture of the vanilla ice cream we had. Next I added some gold lacy borders on the left-hand and right-hand sides of the page and arranged some gold circles diagonally across the page, all of which are outline stickers. The green and white stripes are washi tape which I used to cover the edges of the page alongside the lacy borders, to back some of the small circles, and also to create a counter for the ice cream and bottle image to sit on which is edged with some of the gold lace border too. All of the images are fussy cut from a free leaflet from the parlour and depict the Notarianni Ice Cream history through the generations. I always enjoy reading and finding out more about the places and I often hope to recycle this sort of leaflet on my pages. I backed the images onto some white card that I recycled from some clothes packaging and stuck them over the gold circles using glue dots.

The waitress at the Ice Cream Parlour also kindly gave me some Notarianni Ice Cream stickers too, so I mounted them behind some of the gold circles, cut them to shape and added them to my collage. To finish, I used outline letter stickers to add “1928” and for the wording which is their strap-line and always makes me smile, it reads:

“You can have any flavour you like as long as its vanilla!”

Notarianni Ice Cream has a long history and dates back to 1928, as you may have guessed from the name they make Italian Ice Cream and keeping to their family tradition they sell one flavour only which is vanilla. There are a variety of ways to enjoy the ice cream, on a cone, tub, sundae, floats or milkshake and there are so many toppings to chose – sprinkles, nuts, honeycomb, sherbet, chocolate flake, toffee, chocolate or raspberry sauce. If you are interested, here’s the link to Notarianni’s website and menu. It is now run by the third and fourth generations of the family and they have a loyal following from locals and tourists who, like us, return again and again.

They close over winter and on visiting the ice cream parlour we found that it has been remodelled with a super new counter.

This time we chose a Banoffee Sundae which has slices of banana and toffee sauce served with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and is topped with whipped cream, and we also had a chocolate milkshake served in one of their cool milk bottles (grin!).

I’m sure that we will be visiting again soon (double grin!).

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 be able to join the lovely Alison/Craftytrog, who is hosting the Recycle and Collage challenge over at Art Journal Journey with the recycled materials I collaged together to create my art journal page!

As I reused and altered napkins, free leaflets, packaging and stickers 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.

I’m happy to be able to join the Simply Neutrals Tuesday party again over at Apple Apricot with my vanilla ice cream page (grin!).

I’m also happy to join the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their Add some Texture challenge with my ice cream textured background.

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

This page also fits our Recycle Something challenge over at Try it on Tuesday, 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:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Parchment)
  • Recyled napkins
  • Recycled leaflet
  • White card recycled from packaging
  • Notarianni Ice Cream stickers
  • Anita’s Outline Stickers (Sew Retro Gold ANT810136)
  • Starform Outline Stickers (Circles Gold 1144)
  • Outline Stickers (Alphabet Gold)
  • Docrafts Papermania Patterned Craft Tape (Capsule Collection – Spots and Stripes Festive PMA462302)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic
  • Wilko (Sticky Dots)

Hello Spring!

With sunny days and warmer temperatures, it feels more like spring! My garden definitely looks more spring-like too with the beautiful daffodils and birdsong. So today I’m capturing those happy spring memories on my art journal page.

To start, I applied Mustard Seed Distress Ink concentrating the colour around the edges of the page; I did this by stamping the ink pad to an acrylic block and picking up the ink using a paint brush. Then I sprinkled some Leaf Green Colourfast Brusho powder onto the page and spritzed with water and watched the colours magically explode into life; I did this a few times until the intensity of colour I wanted was achieved. While the background was still wet, I used a stencil to apply Hickory Smoke Distress Ink using a blending tool and I stamped a daffodil tile stamp by Papermania using the Mustard Seed Distress Ink and also black Archival Ink, and also a small Flower & Dot stamp from Magenta using Teal Zeal Memento Ink; I really like the way the inks blended with the other background colours. I added a border of thin washi tape around the edge of the page and also around the wording “Hello Spring!” which I recycled from some junk mail. The pretty birds and daffodils are from a decoupage set which I fussy cut and stuck to the page using double-sided foam tape. The eggs are from an incomplete set of outline stickers from a charity shop (thrift store), which I stuck onto some textured recycled card and stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. To finish, I added some yellow bows which I made using recycled ribbon from a birthday gift.

Here are some of the beautiful daffodils flowering in our garden to welcome spring!

My pottery lamb stopped by to check them out too (grin!).

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 junk mail, textured card and ribbon that I collaged onto this page!

With the stamping and pretty birds on my page, I’m pleased to join The Birds & the Bees challenge over at The Artistic Stamper.

I’m also pleased to join in the fun at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and their Trio of Something challenge with my pretty trio of decoupage bird images (if you look closely you will see the bird sitting on the flowerpot repeated three times on my page) and also my trio of eggs.

I’m also joining the Allsorts Challenge Blog and their New Beginnings challenge as my art journal page depicts the change in seasons, to welcome spring.

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 (Mustard Seed, Hickory Smoke)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Colourcraft Brusho Colour (Leaf Green)
  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Teal Zeal)
  • Papermania wood mounted stamp (39454)
  • Magenta wood mounted rubber stamp (Flowers & Dots 23111D)
  • Craft Sensations (Deco Stencil Set 154892)
  • Recycled junk mail magazine
  • Hunkydory Spring is in the Air Designer Decoupage (Garden Birds and Bunny Meadow)
  • Recycled textured card
  • Outline Stickers (PP570)
  • Yellow Ribbon – recycled from present
  • The Works (Washi Tape Set)
  • Wilko (Sticky Dots)
  • UHU Stic
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape
  • 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