Hello everyone,

I hope you are all staying safe and getting your craft on during this surreal lockdown time.  I hope to get back into normal posting again soon, both here and on socials, but I am still not 100% so I am taking it easy and find myself doing more art journalling than anything else.  So today, I have a new spread for my art journal to share with you, mostly totally inspired by one of the May challenges, and here it is:

This is my challenge entry for the Kraft+ challenge where you have to use Kraft and this month the challenge is PAPER CUTS!  When I saw the challenge theme I immediately thought of a papercrafted owl I made years ago for a college project and then once I started thinking about owls, then it didn’t take long for me to start thinking about The Owl and the Pussycat, which is a favourite poem/rhyme from childhood, and so that’s what happened! I decided to go very low tech and minimal supplies and to “craft my stash” so all that is on these pages is paper, paint, ink and coloured pencils  No stencils, no stamps, no chipboard, no bling, just a lot of paper and a lot of snip snip snipping!

Here’s a step by step look at my process…

So yesterday I basically sat on the couch all day waiting for some deliveries (specifically flour because the shops have been relieved of all their flour supplies!) so while I was sitting there watching a show about people moving to the country to live in old buildings and wishing it was me, I also cut out lots of fringe in a few different colours of cardstock – snip snip snip!  At this point I was thinking more about the owl and what colour I wanted him to be, but then I decided that my cat should be a stripey tiger cat, so these colours were perfect!

I decided to use a smaller art journal for this project, especially because it has kraft pages as well as white, so I started sketching out the cat and the owl and how I thought the layout would work.

Then I cut the cat body out of more kraft and started layering the fringe on top.

I used Polychromos pencils to colour in the cat face, using a photo of Miss P as a reference for the colours.

Here she is mostly finished and as it was getting dark I finished for the night.  My beautiful Miss P approves I think 🙂

I woke really early this morning so I wandered in to the studio and started on the owl.  These will be his eyes – lots of tiny snips going on lol.

I made his body in the same way as the pussycat, using only sandy beach and kraft fringe this time. I also drew some wings and layered two wings on top of each other and a layer of fringe on top!

While the owl was drying, I went back to Miss Kitty and gave her some eyelashes and started working on her tail.

Then I went a bit insane and cut really, really fine black slivers of cardstock using my guillotine which I wanted to use for her whiskers. I don’t usually have a lot of success with this guillotine but it did work pretty well for this job, so that was good.

I painted the prow of the boat with Snowflake Fresco paint and cut more cardstock with the guillotine.  This time 1/2 inch strips to use as planks for my boat.

I used a green Polychromos pencil to colour it in and make it more like planks and of course their boat is green in the poem, though this is definitely not “pea green”.  I distressed the edges with my scissors and then went over the edges with Vintage Photo archival.

Then it was time for boat-building lol!  I painted the prow gold over the white layer so it would stand out more, then I layered the planks in on top of each other, trying to keep them as even as possible since this vessel spread across both pages. Oh and I also added some splatters using the same gold paint and some white gouache.

Once the planks were in place and the vessel was seaworthy lol, I used a dark brown Polychromos to go around the edges of the boat which makes it stand out more from the background.

I decided to use these Sizzix alphabets to cut out my title from black cardstock.  I bought these a few months ago because of the name lol but didn’t use them at the time because I was having trouble working out which letter was which.  Today though, I decided to just cut them all out and then work it out from there, and it was a lot easier that way.

I worked out the placement of the letters and then began gluing them down one by one – I really love the ampersand in this set – look how curly it is!  I also decided to start writing the rest of the first verse of the poem on the boat boards – at least they will help to keep my writing straight!

Here’s a closer look at Mr Owl. I gave him tufty ears and feet using leftover bits of fringe, and also gave him a beak (very important!) and his wings are hinged using a brad so they can be repositioned! At the moment he is waving across the stern(?) to Miss Kitty.

And here’s a closer look at Miss Kitty. I really love her tail!   I also gave her a good brushing to lift all her fringe so she’s probably not too impressed that I messed up her smooth fringe fur lol.

So all that was left to do was put the pages back into the journal and let them sail off in their beautiful (not so) pea green boat.

This poem brings back such happy memories from my childhood, I loved the book I had, it was beautifully illustrated with the poem inside.  I loved the idea of the owl and the cat sailing off into the sunset together, it’s such a fun and happy story. It was originally published in 1871!  If you aren’t familiar with the poem, here it is below:

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”

Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and like my Owl and the Pussycat inspired spread, let me know what you think in the comments below.



Path of Positivity Challenge #80 Furry or Feathered Friends – the positivity comes from the poem and the journalling I have been doing on the “boat planks” at the bottom of the page. The poem maybe classed as a “nonsense poem” but it could also be seen as embracing our differences and being inclusive – an owl and a cat get married by a pig and everyone is OK with that.  Also I have so many happy memories of my cat Miss P whose photos and beautiful markings, I used to model my fringe pussycat on.
Kraft+ May ChallengePaper Cuts! – hand cut fringe, cat and owl bodies, wings, tail, guillotine cut whiskars and boat planks, die cut letters

Project Recipe

Finnabair Kraft Art Journal, Metallique Sparks paint – Unicorn Hair
Papermania Kraft cardstock A4 size
Gina K Cardstock – Onyx Black, Kraft, Sandy Beach, Honey Mustard, Warm Cocoa,
Paperartsy Fresco Chalk paints – Snowflake
Polychromos pencils
Tim Holtz – Vintage Photo Archival Ink
Winsor and Newton white gouache
Posca Paint Pen – white
Inkjoy Black pen
Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive
Sizzix – Elle Upper and Lowercase dies
From stash:  pencil, eraser, cable needles, old toothbrush, card scraps

I started something new for April and continuing in May:

Since we are all stuck inside and can’t leave the house, I thought I would try and do two things:
1. use this time to finish any unfinished projects
2. use as much recycled materials as possible (I do this a lot anyway) but also not to buy new stuff!
So, with that in mind, I will note the above on any posts, if applicable.
RECYCLED MATERIALS – NO but I didn’t use anything new

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2 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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carole J
May 31, 2020 12:45 am

Such an amazing journal spread, Elle! I love it! This really is a work of art with all the fringes and the planks and, wow…those eyelashes! The Owl and The Pussycat is one of my favourite poems too. You really brought the owl to life by sculpturing his face and giving him movable wings. Incredible details in this lovely project and I like how you explained the positivity in your art, especially the bit about embracing our differences 🙂 Well done – truly sensational work!
Thank you for sharing with us at the Path of Positivity this month. Hope you’ll join us again.
Carole DT x

Fonda Rush
Fonda Rush
May 7, 2020 5:58 pm

How fun! I don’t know the whole story of The Owl and the Pussy Cat, but I do know about the pea-green boat!

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