Friday 8 March 2013

Craft Barn Alpha Challenge - Letter E & Artful Times: Spots and Stripes / Circles and Straight Lines

I feel as if I've been away forever! I finally got out of hospital on Wednesday27th Feb and I thought I'd been in there for 12 months, not days. A huge thank you to all those people who sent good wishes - they were much appreciated. Trace: you are a star for all the support you gave me - it meant a great deal.
Unfortunately, I missed one of the Alpha Challenge's at the Craft Barn whilst I was ill. I was halfway through the piece when I left, so this is the first crafting I have done since coming home. Apart from attending my monthly class with the talented Andy Skinner - with that in my sights, how could I not get better?!!
If you haven't joined in with the Craft Barn Alpha Challenge yet, it's not too late as you can join in at any time.

For the letter E, I chose the word 'Enlarge'. I used some Crafty Individuals stamps to portray the notion of the flowers enlarging as they grow. Various stamps with forms of measurement were used in the background, along with a few stencils.

I've also realised that my dictionary journal pages will fit the challenge at Artful Times this fortnight. Their theme is spots/stripes & circles and straight lines - plenty of those in my background! If you haven't been to Artful Times before, you should pop over and link up an entry - everyone is always really friendly there.

I found these pages quite hard to photograph so my apologies - they could have been better I'm sure!

Double page spread showing the chosen word 'enlarge' with its' definition.
The flowers were stamped, painted with distress and a waterbrush then embossed with clear powder.
The chosen word was highlighted with a die cut which was layered with stamping, embossing with white and a final layer of clear powder. Some brads finish the look. The text has been left uninked to highlight the definition.

A label maker was used to make the text for the definition on the facing page.

Die cut letters in varying sizes were inked, stamped with the flower stamps randomly and embossed with either white or clear powder. Each letter was outlined with a white gel pen.

The inky background was made using distress inks, acrylic paint, stamps and stencils to achieve depth and interest. 

The flowers were arranged in size order to show the 'enlarging/growing' process. Gel pen arrows show the cycle of growth/enlargement.

Some of the stencilled circles were highlighted using a gold gel pen. In this image the following methods are visible in the background: stamping with archival; stamping with various distress colours; sponged distress inks; stencil work with acrylics and gel pen use.


  1. Wow you may have been away but this is how to come back with a bang! Fab colours and love those letters...a wonderful make...hope you are taking things steady! Hugs trace x

  2. It's lovely to see your post up again. I hope you are well on your way to recovery. Love what you have again done with your art piece for the LETTER E. Again, very clever idea and take on the word ENLARGE. Look after yourself, looking forward to more of your fabulous inspiration. Have a great weekend, cheers, Di

  3. Great to see you back :) Your pages are FANTASTIC, all the wonderful details, really wonderful.

  4. Hi Julia, so sorry to read you've been in hospital and hope that you are recovering well from what ailed you. Your journal page is gorgeous - love the textures from embossing, etc., and all the stamped images and the beautiful flowers. Elizabeth xx

  5. Firstly, I am so pleased to see you back blogging - you have been missed! I hope you are continuing to get better and will be back to your normal self soon.

    And wow what a fabulous double page!!! It certainly cheered me up looking at all the elements. So wonderfully colourful and balanced. Best wishes x

  6. Ooh this is beautiful Julia, definitely back with a bang sweetie.
    Good to hear you are on the mend my lovely.
    Huge huggles x x x x

  7. Gorgeous Art Journal lay-out. I hope you are doing well, take care of yourself. Cheers, Shirleyx

  8. What a great comeback Julia....welcome again...good to see you're online again!
    Hope your feeling much better now!

    Your pages are amazing and so bright...the details arre great!

    All the best, hugs, Alie :-)

  9. What an amazing double spread Julia, fab colour combo and the letters are great! I tend to stick to a noun but I love how you have used a verb:) Hope your recovery is swift
    Val x

  10. Hi Julia, I am so sorry to hear that you have been poorly and in hospital. I do hope you make a speedy recovery and are back to full strength soon....

    Your pages are gorgeous, a fabulous way to describe the word. Hugs, Anne x

  11. Wonderful colours on these pages, love all the letters and flowers growing in size. Welcome back and hope you are much better.

    Sylv xx

  12. Lovely pages. Glad you are back home, take care of yourself! Valerie

  13. Good to have you back! And with a stunning creation...

    all the best, xx Maggie/Cassidy

  14. It is so good to have you back amongst us and I need to say Thank You for taking the time to have visited my Blog already.
    I hope you are feeling much better and on the road to recovery, you do know you have been missed.
    WOW - vibrant, energetic and definitely conveying the sense of the flowers growing. A clever choice of word and a clever way of portraying that word.
    Sending you a bundle of wishes.

  15. So pleased to see you are back home and recovering Julia! This is a gorgeous page, love the colouring and your usual attention to detail. Take care xxx

  16. So pleased you are back with us and in such style too!!! Absolutely adore your journalling. What colours, what techniques, what a design. Superb. Please take care of yourself, hugs Jenny xxx

  17. word for so many good things as well as bad, like my! Gorgeous gorgeous color! Love the flowers and love the the word used everywhere! Awesome pages!

  18. Fantastic comeback, Julia!! So sorry to hear that it's been a hard road back, but so delighted to find you here.

    What astounding pages - just love all the raised texture elements - the lettering, for instance - amazing. And the layering of depth into the page with the stamping and stencilling is wonderful. Great colours, great composition - it's great to have you back!
    Alison xx

  19. Hi Julia, so pleased you are feeling better - and what a fabulous piece to come back with!
    Love the vibrant colours you've used, and a brilliant idea.
    Take card,
    Avril xx

  20. Great to have you back, this page is wonderful all those larger letters,the cool flowers, and the frame around the definition is a great idea, thanks for sharing your inspiration and lots of healing wishes being sent your way..

  21. Wonderful page and I am sure you will soon catch-up. Can't wait to ee what you make and so pleased you are feeling well enough to craft again

    Love Chrissie xx

  22. You're definitely back with style Julia! This page is stunning & so inspiring!
    It was lovely to see you last Sunday too, what fun we had! Did you see Andy's post of our 'house elves' & the groupie photo?
    Alison xxx

  23. Holly crap, this is stunning Julia, I love it, the red and green look great together and the enlarging of the flower looks great. Love it. so striking.

  24. Great to see you back on line Julia.
    i hope you r feeling a lot better now.
    The Art Journal is Fabulous.

    Greetings Janny

  25. This is Gorgeous,love the way the flowers graduate and such wonderful detail in your design.
    Fab creativity x
    hope you are recovering well too :) Heather x

  26. It's so lovely to hear your back home and hope you are feeling well :)
    Another awesome page for the alpha challenge and a great piece to share with us at Artful Times the background is amazing :)
    Hugs Von ♥

  27. Your Alpha Pages are wonderful Julia. It was great to see you at Andy's workshop and I'm really looking forward to the next one.
    xxx Hazel.

  28. So sorry to hear you have been in hospital, not sure how I missed that one. Glad you are home and hopefully taking it easy for a while. Just get well.
    That's a great page and so vital in colour with a great interpretation of your word.
    Thanks for joining us at Artful Times.
    Hugs, Neet xx

  29. Beautiful spread - gorgeous letters!

  30. Amazing journal pages love it. Glad you feeling better. Sandra X

  31. Beautiful journal pages, love the colours. Hope you are feeling better now too.. Gill x

  32. Yet another amazing creation - and you have now added to my wish list of items because I adore everything you have used! ;o) This is a wonderful page - I love how layered it is - Perfect! Lots of love and hugs from Laura xxxxxxx

  33. Unusual choice of word but I love your style - the red flowers with the green background are striking. Your book is going to look great by the end of the challenge. Glad you're feeling better!

  34. These pages are gorgeous! Love the stacked lettering and beautiful stamping. I'm so glad you are home and back to crafting. Hope the recovery continues most smoothly. xx

  35. Fabulous pages, love the colours and layout


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Juliax