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

Peace, Love and Kindness

I started creating this page to join in with Rosie’s fabulous “Circles” theme over at Art Journal Journey and it turned into a wish for Peace, Love and Kindness.

I cut a couple of pages in half from a Pear’s Cyclopaedia book and stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. Then I added some green dotty washi tape to the parts of my page where there was no text ripping the tape to soften its edges. I then covered the page with a thin layer of white gesso and used the small and large circles from a Dutch Doobadoo Mask to apply Hickory Smoke, Tea Dye and Black Soot Distress Ink with a blending tool. In the centre of the larger circles, I stenciled smaller circles using the black Distress Ink and covered them with a very thin layer of Lime, Margarita Mix and Mango Faber-Castell Gelatos. I used a baby wipe to blend the Gelato which removed some of the Distress Ink to give the grungy look that I wanted. I then added another layer of Gelato to these circles to intensify the colour which I blended using my finger. I used the circle mask again to stencil white gesso around the edges of the large circles using a sponge.  Next I cut different sized circles from green metallic craft papers using a circle cutter, I edged them with a black Sharpie permanent marker and stuck them to the page using a UHU Stic. I added some enamel dots and also some gold Glitterations circle frame stickers which I filled with Glitterations flowers. I then stamped the words using black Archival Ink and used the same ink to stamp the black dots masking the other circles as needed. I doodled more details onto the circles and dots using a white Uni-Posca pen, a black Dewent Inktense pencil and a black Uni Pin marker. To finish I stamped a heart and added a bee to signify the Manchester Worker Bee emblem – I ♥ MCR & I ♥ LDN.

Creating this page allowed me to play with two new craft goodies, a circle cutter which makes short work of cutting different sized circles and some wonderfully vibrant Faber-Castell Gelatos. The Gelatos are very easy to use and I’d like to thank Eileen for highlighting them on her post a few weeks ago, as you can see they didn’t stay on my “wish list” for long (grin!).

As T Stands for Tuesday, I am sharing my usual cup of green tea and to continue the circle theme my picture shows my tea with a huge round chocolate chip cookie that my hubby treated me to from the bakery whilst we were out food shopping (grin!). I’m saying a special thank you to Valerie for making those lovely cookies last week, I showed my hubby and he made it his mission to find one for me (grin again!). And in case you are wondering – yes I did eat this cookie all myself, it was so yummy!

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 (Tea Dye, Hickory Smoke, Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Mango. Margarita Mix, Lime)
  • Uni-Posca Paint Pen (White 0.7mm)
  • Derwent Inktense Pencils (Ink Black 2200)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Derwent Graphik Line Marker (Black 0.05mm)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 Clear Stamp Set (Alphas Trad DCE907116)
  • Woodware Craft Collection Franciose Collection (Flower Style FRSW003-AA)
  • Hampton Art Studio G (Clear Stamps VS4911)
  • Dutch Doobadoo Dutch Mask Art A5 (Geometric Tiles)
  • The Range (Craft Decorative Papers CR0411)
  • The Works (Circle Cutter)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers Designed by Roxanne Jarvis (Bee Mine Roses #JAR623 RUB-ON)
  • Anita’s Glitterations (Circle Frames – Gold ANT8181028)
  • Docrafts Papermania Glitterations (Flowers – Gold ANT8181020)
  • Poundland (Washi Tape 171854-MC16)
  • The Works (Pastel Enamel Dots)
  • UHU Stic

Art Journals

My dear friend Patty over at Magpie’s Nest inspired this post following her question last T Day “You have me wondering if you do anything further with your pages? Do you bind them into books?”

So I thought I would show you. Although I crop the photos to just show the page on my blog posts, my pages are actually in a spiral bound pad and once the journal is complete I cover the front and back of the book. This is the front:

… and this is the back:

To cover my Art Journal books I use leftover mixed media materials that I save from the pages I create. This particular book is covered with the papers that I use to test stamps and colours before I commit to using them on my actual pages. So having accumulated quite a few papers, I ripped them into pieces to create a collage and stuck them down using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium. Next I outlined the edges of the paper pieces using a black Faber-Castell Big Brush marker and smudged the ink with a baby wipe and my finger. To add definition I also used a black Sharpie Permanent marker, a black Uni Pin marker and a white Uniball gel pen along the edges. I stamped the sentiments on both the front and back covers using a Sand & Surf  Hampton Art stamp set and black Archival Ink. I also added some small leftover outline sticker shapes which I coloured black with a black Sharpie. Using the same black Archival Ink, on the front cover I stamped the wording “Art Journal”, the number “6” which represents the number of this journal and my “Handcrafted with love” stamp. I always use this stamp and sign my name on my creations too. To finish I covered the whole page in the gel medium so it is stronger and more resistant to wear and tear with it covering my Art Journal and I folded washi tape over the edges of the covers to give the journal more stability.

I’m so pleased to be able to join Hazel who is hosting the “Magical Mystery Tour” challenge over at Art Journal Journey and I’d like to thank Susi from Froebelsternchen for asking me to link my magical way to make collages to this month’s theme.

The pad I use is by Daler Rowney, it’s A4 in size and spiral bound. There are 30 pages per book and it contains a high quality paper designed for traditional art, mixed media, collage and visual journaling. Each page is lightly textured and white in colour and it’s great for creating and using a variety of dry and wet techniques. I like the spiral binding as it makes it easier to work on new pages by keeping the surface flat, it allows for thicker pages to be created as needed and makes it easier to browse through your creations when they are finished.

When each journal book is complete I always sit down with a drink to look through the pages to remember what I’ve been up to. I also have a book stand in my craft room where a different page is displayed everyday from one of my Art Journals; it’s lovely to look at the page and recall the memories associated with it!

I publish my posts on Monday night ready for T Stands for Tuesday and as this Monday happens to be my Birthday, I’d like to thank all of you who have wished me early Birthday Wishes! My birthday celebrations started early this year, on Friday we went to The Ghurka Restaurant for a meal with our friends. The restaurant is an “all you can eat” buffet serving Asian food from Nepal, India, China and Thailand which is run by a former Ghurka (Ghurka’s are Nepalese soldiers who form part of the British Army). We had a wonderful time and the food was delicious. Having never had Nepalese food before I took advantage of the selection available, as well as some of my favourite Chinese dishes; the top plate is Char Sui Pork, Gurkha Momo (Steamed Dumpling), Chicken Chow Mein and Sweet & Sour Chicken, and on the bottom plate is Gurkha Noodles, Gurkha Daal on a bed of steamed rice, Gurkha Pea and Potato Curry and Gurkha Vegetable Curry. I’m also sharing a glass of Rosé White Zinfandel wine that I enjoyed with my meal and I’m saying a big hello to all the T Gang – Cheers and Happy T Day!

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’s covers:

  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Sharpie Permanent Fine Point Marker (Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Hampton Art Bella Blvd cling mounted rubber stamps (Sand & Surf ICO226)
  • Docrafts Creativity Essentials A5 Clear Stamp Set (Alphas Folk DCE907)
  • Papermania Alphamania A-Z clear stamps (Leftovers Alphabet PMA9071102)
  • Crafter’s Companion Vintage Floral Collection (Floral Sentiments VF-ST-FSENT)
  • Hobbycraft Clear Stamp (Love Hearts 50402HC)
  • Papers used to test stamps and colours
  • Outline Stickers (Time Silver 90493S)
  • Liquitex Matte Gel Medium
  • UHU Stic