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!).


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 Christmas

Tidings of Comfort and Joy!

I hope you’re having a wonderful Christmastime and wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

Today’s page is inspired by Christmastime and all things vintage! I started by covering the page with a music sheet from a book of Christmas carols that I picked up in a charity shop (thrift store); you may know the carol and I liked that the title referenced both Christmas and the New Year. I ripped the page into three pieces and stuck them down along with some gold, gold star and gold holly tissue papers using a UHU Stic. When the glue had dried I added Toffee Crunch and Rich Cocoa Memento Inks to the edge of the page and papers using a blending tool. Next I stamped a snowflake design from the Woodware Craft Collection using Emboss ink, then I covered it with white Stampendous embossing powder and shook off the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper. I also tapped the page to make sure any stray powder was removed and then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. I swept the gun over the stamped images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long until the embossing powder changed to a glossy finish becoming smooth and dimensional. The gold trees are relief stickers by Crelando and the vintage images are cut using serrated scissors from an old magazine and a 12×12” paper sheet of Tags from the Glistening Season collection from Pion Designs; they are edged with the Toffee Crunch ink and arranged on the page using double-sided tape and some fabric washi tape. The “December 25” sign is a Victorian Christmas 3D sticker from Docrafts Papermania which I stuck down with a glass candy cane decoration. The candy cane is from an incomplete set of wine charms purchased at a charity shop; wine charms are small ornaments that you attach to a wine glass at a party so you know which glass is yours. I also tied some white paper twine to a round wooden tree tag and added it to the page. The white ribbon is recycled from a Christmas cracker and I tied it into a bow. To finish, I added lots of glittery gold snowflakes which are stickers.

I’d also like to thank the Allsorts Challenge Blog for my early Christmas present of the Pion Design paper and the Toffee Crunch Memento Ink that I used to create this page. I won them over at their challenge from Swedish House Crafts, along with some other goodies too (grin!).

I love Christmas music and play it at every opportunity this time of year (grin!), so I was really pleased to find a book of carols in my local charity shop. The carol I used for my page is “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen”, if you are interested:

  • This carol is also known as “Tidings of Comfort and Joy”.
  • It is a traditional English Christmas carol which is thought to date back to the 16th Century. It was first published by William Sandys in 1833.
  • This carol is referred to in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, 1843:  “… at the first sound of ‘God bless you, merry gentlemen! May nothing you dismay!’, Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action that the singer fled in terror, leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost.”
  • There have been many covers of this carol including Bing Crosby in 1947,  Nat King Cole in 1960, Nancy Sinatra in 1991, Mariah Carey in 1994, Glee in 2010 and many more. Each of the names is a link to their version of the carol – now I’m wondering which one you would choose to listen too?

I received a lovely surprise from my hubby, look what was waiting for me at elevenses with my cup of green tea – a yummy gingerbread Christmas Tree (grin!). As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m saying a big hello to the T Gang and wishing you all a very Christmassy T Day!


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

I’m pleased to join the lovely Sheila from Orange Esmeralda who is hosting the “Let’s Celebrate” challenge over at Art Journal Journey with my Vintage Christmas celebration!

I’m joining the Christmas” fun over at Country View Challenges where the theme is “Christmas with optional Reds, Greens and Rust”.

Over at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge the theme is “Party!” so I’m pleased to join them with my Vintage Christmas party!

I’m pleased to join the “Winter Wonderland” challenge over at A Vintage Journey with my vintage style page inspired by Christmastime, snow, carols and vintage wintry scenes.

I’m also joining the “Believe” challenge over at the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge with my vintage Christmas page as my design and colour palette was influenced by their inspirational photo – Merry Christmas!

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:

  • Tsukeniko Memento Ink (Toffee Crunch, Rich Cocoa)
  • Emboss Embossing Ink Pad (Clear)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Clear Magic Singles (Snowflakes FRS027)
  • Tissue Paper (Gold, Gold Star, Gold Holly)
  • The Oxford Book of Carols
  • Pion Design Glistening Season 12×12” sheet (Tags – PD6612)
  • Old Magazine
  • Poundland (Fabric Tape 156456-GE16)
  • The Works (Pack of 9 Wooden Tags)
  • Docrafts Papermania Victorian Christmas (3D Christmas Stickers PMA805801)
  • Wilko (Paper Twine)
  • Re-cycled ribbon (White)
  • Crelando Relief Stickers Christmas designs (12 Sheets IAN289011)
  • The Pier (Wine Charms PLU2010838)
  • Christmas-Craft (Glitter Embellishments Gold XCR0037)
  • Fun Cut Scissors – serrated
  • UHU Stic
  • Docrafts Stick It! double-sided tape

Winter Wonderland Decorations

Today I have something different to my normal Art Journalling … as you may be aware, I like to create a seasonal window display. I have always struggled to source winter decorations for my tree branches as they need to be appropriate for January and February not just for Christmas, so I decided to have some fun and create my own using items I had in my craft stash. Here they are … what do you think?

As winter was my inspiration for these decorations, I used a white colour palette and some sparkle, which reminds me of frosty mornings and snowy days: I was thinking winter wonderland! I chose music, birds and hearts to link to my love of this season; linking to Christmas time festivities and of course Valentine’s Day. Even though each item is unique, they are brought together as a collection because I used the same materials to decorate them. You can find out how I created them below.

Love Heart

Love Heart

The large heart is a luxury gift tag which I stamped using three different stamps using Emboss ink; the stamps include a music stamp from the Musicality clear stamp set by Docrafts, a Diamond Background stamp and also a Serpentine Background stamp, both by Art Impressions. I covered the Emboss ink with white Stampendous embossing powder and shook off the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper. I also tapped the heart to make sure any stray powder was removed and then I used a heat gun to melt the embossing powder. I swept the gun over the stamped images, taking care not to direct the heat in one area for too long until the embossing powder changed to a glossy finish becoming smooth and dimensional. I repeated this process on the back of the tag as well. To add a little contrast I applied Toffee Crunch Memento Ink very lightly to the front and back using a blending tool which highlighted the embossing more. I added a piece of music decorative tape diagonally across the tag and edged it with pearl strips that I had cut to size. I stuck a piece of diamante decorative chain wire along the length of the decorative tape, securing it with Glossy Accents. The “Love” sentiment is a wooden embellishment which I painted first with white gesso and then I embossed it with the same white embossing powder. I stuck it onto the heart along with some pearls and pearl feathers using Glossy Accents. To finish, I added a piece of white paper twine and organza ribbon.



For the bobbin, which was kindly gifted me by my mum who uses lots of gold thread for her Christmas cards that she embroiders, I applied three bands of the same decorative tape around the central cone. Then using the slit at the top of the bobbin, where the thread in normally secured, I secured the end of the diamante wire and wrapped it around the central cone securing it again at the bottom. I then edged the top and bottom of the bobbin with the same pearl strips and also added some pearls and pearl feathers to the central cone using Glossy Accents. To embellish the bottom of the bobbin I used a metal heart, which I recycled from an old necklace, by painting it with white gesso. When the gesso was dry, I covered the heart in Emboss ink and then white Stampendous embossing powder. It’s very important to remember that this heart is metal and therefore conducts the intense heat of the heat gun so I suspended the heart while heating it and waited until it cooled before touching it. Once cooled I distressed the heart with a craft knife and added a pearl to both sides. I then threaded some white paper twine through the heart and up through the bobbin to suspend the heart at the bottom. To finish, I tied some of the white ribbon into a bow around the paper twine at the top of the bobbin.

Small Heart

Small Heart

For the small heart, I used a wooden hollow heart shape tag and covered the front and the back with the music decorative tape and then I edged all the sides of the heart with pearl strips that I had cut to size.  I punched a hole through the tape to thread the piece of white string back through. It is decorated with some diamante wire, pearls and pearl feathers using Glossy Accents to stick them and I added a piece of the organza ribbon to the top of the heart to finish the piece.


Bird Frame

The bird decoration is a wooden frame embellishment which I covered in white gesso and white embossed on both the front and the back. I cut decorative tape to fit the bottom section and added a string of pearls and feathers to the bottom edge using Glossy Accents. Along the top frame I adhered some of the pearl strips and wrapped a piece of the diamante wire onto the right-hand side securing it with Glossy Accents. Again this piece is finished with white paper twine and ribbon which I tied in a bow.


Frost Fairy

I used another luxury gift tag heart and coloured it with the Toffee Crunch Memento Ink using a blending tool, then I covered half of the heart with the decorative tape. I created a frosty leaf by painting it with white gesso and then white embossed it. For the fairy which is a wooden shape, I painted white gesso and embossed it and then I added a piece of wire and a pearl to form a band around the fairy’s waist. I stuck both the leaf and fairy to the heart using Glossy Accents. Next I added a piece of the decorative tape diagonally across the top left-hand corner over the leaf and edged it with the pearl strips and added the diamante wire along its length. I curled the leaf edges to show the heart shape more and stuck the pearl and pearl feathers to the top right-hand side. To finish, I added a piece of white paper twine and organza ribbon.


As T Stands for Tuesday, I’m sharing my hot chocolate and a special winter treat of lebkuchen – yum! Wishing you all a Happy T Day!


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

I created these decorations to adorn my home so I’m pleased to join the “Home Sweet Home” theme over at Try it on Tuesday.

The “Mini Marvels” challenge over at A Vintage Journey gave me the perfect motivation to create my winter inspired decorations in readiness for display in December. They meet the “Mini Marvels” criteria with the largest decoration (the Bird Frame) being 4” and all the rest being smaller. I hope you like the “Shabby Chic” look of these winter decorations.

I really enjoyed using the white colour palette to create my winter wonderland decorations, so I’m joining in the fun over at  Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge and their “Snow White” challenge.

As I used stamping on the Love Heart decoration for the white embossing, I’m pleased to join the “November Challenge: Anything Goes!: (stamping MUST be included)” at the Craft Stamper Take It, Make It Challenge.

Inspired by Alison, I’m also pleased to be able to join PaperArtsy where the theme is “Shades of White”, thanks so much for inviting me to join in the fun!

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 these decorations:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Tsukienki Memento Ink (Toffee Crunch)
  • Tsukienki Emboss Embossing Stamp Pad (Clear)
  • Stampendous Embossing Powder (Detail White Opaque)
  • Art Impressions wood mounted rubber stamp (Diamond Background T-3335, Serpentine Background T-2773)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 clear stamp set (Musicality DCE907112)
  • Wilko (Luxury Gift Tags – Hearts)
  • Crelando Decorative Tape
  • Poundworld (Pearl Embellishments)
  • Home Bargains Special Occasion (Decorative Chain 26253)
  • The Brighton Bead Company (Pearl and leaf strand)
  • The Works (Wooden Craft Words)
  • Bobbins
  • Recycled metal charm from old necklace
  • The Works M&C Boutique (Hollow Heart Shape Tags)
  • The Works (Wooden Frames CRO282/TW1)
  • The Works (Fairy Shapes)
  • The Handmade Paper Company (Nature’s Touch of Art – Leaves)
  • Wilko (Paper Twine)
  • Organza ribbon (White)
  • Ranger Glossy Accents

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

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