Hey everyone, happy Wednesday!  I’m not really a hump day person so I will avoid wishing you one of those.  Today I have an art journal page to share that I have been working on for a few days on and off, and it was the page that I planned to share with a couple of challenges before making my impromptu late night page last night/early this morning. (and if you want to see that one, click here as I added some daylight photos today)  Anyway, there were two challenges in particular that I was thinking about when I starting to work on this page.  One was the Splashymix Challenge #21 which had a very neutral moodboard and the second challenge was the Art Journal Journey challenge which this month had a theme of Texture. Details and links to the challenges can be found at the bottom of the post.

I am so glad these challenges run all month because I started this page on the 18th and didn’t get back to it till yesterday (29th!) due to lack of time.  What have I been doing you ask?  Well, house maintenance, decluttering and donating craft materials and then fixing my computer, and then trying to get DT projects in on time and all general stuff that we all have to deal with in our daily lives = no time for fun art stuff!  🙁  I was really starting to think that I would get no art done just for fun and that was making me sad.  So I went into the craft room/ studio yesterday afternoon, shut the door and turned the radio on and got to work.  At this point all I had was this:

This is my neutral collaged background I made on the 18th.  Here’s a few close ups of texture.

This bumpy wallpaper is one of FOUR LAYERS of wallpaper that we discovered was coating the bedroom walls!  It looks much better in an art journal than on the walls!

So that was all I did on the 18th – a bit of collage and gesso – and then I had to get on with other less fun things, and also if I am totally honest, I didn’t know where to go with the page.  Fast forward to yesterday and I was determined to get something finished so I opened up my book and stared at this page for a while.

Click on the thumbnails for a closer look…

I added some stenciling using this TH stencil and some paste that I mixed up using a few different products to get the colour I wanted.

Here’s a closer look at the stenciling and the colour which I love.

And here’s that lovely wallpaper texture!  I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with this page though, so I was starting to feel a little anxious about it.

Some Back Story

Then I looked down at the floor – this generally makes me feel more anxious because there is so much crap on the floor atm – but this little bag of goodies was on the floor.  Back story:  This bag has been in a box of stuff since 2011 (yes 2011) that’s NINE YEARS.  I bought some things when I was visiting this historic house and then didn’t know what to do with them so, everything stayed in the box perfectly preserved.  Some months ago I was decluttering, came across this bag that I had completely forgotten about, and inside it was a perfectly preserved DEAD WASP haha no clue how long that thing had been in there, but I thought it was time that I used the contents of this bag.  I brought it into the craft room, whereby I managed to RIP THE BAG!!!  After saving it for nine years in near perfect condition, I ripped it!  Ugh I was so mad at myself, and so it lay around on the floor making me feel bad.

So I had my eureka moment!  The bag is goes perfectly with my background.  I could use the chairs and the crest and bits and pieces and my page could have a purpose ie the day we took mum to tour Dumfries House.   Yes sorry but more back story.  There’s a lot of detail about Dumfries House on their website so I will save time and link you to it to read at your leisure, but basically it was going to be auctioned off and Prince Charles saved it.  One of the interesting things about this house is it’s amazing collection of Chippendale furniture, so all of that was saved and preserved also.  We go there quite often as it is very close to where I live and the gardens, coffee shops, restaurant and gift shop are open all year for free.  This time since it was mum’s birthday we decided to pay for a guided tour of the house as a special treat.  It’s the one and only time we have done that and it was really amazing to see everything.  Oh I should also mention that the Boswell Book Festival is also now held here and so there are opportunities to see inside some parts of the house if you are attending the festival as some of the talks are held in the house and others in marquees, you know in the days when people could go to festivals that is. 🙁

So I had my purpose and my inspiration and after that, it all went pretty quickly.  More photos follow showing more details, just click on them for a closer look.

I dissected the bag

I cut out the Royal Crest and the Chippendale furniture

I did some scripty text stamping

I cut out the map from the brochure and thought about using this paper also but didn’t in the end

On the left or the right?  Can’t decide

On the right!

I added some paint splatters in gold and black so I covered up the parts I didn’t want splattered

I added some shading with pastels

Texture close up 🙂

Texture close up


Interesting nformation about Dumfries House

The full page, almost done

The map and photo of the house itself

The finished page


More texture…

Texture and information…

I guess after nine years in a bag I could probably use some of these, especially the sketchbook!  What was I thinking!

Nine year old receipt to add to my ephemera collection lol

And that is my page finished at last!  I love that it is dedicated now to the memory of our visit and guided tour and that I made something useful from the gift bag and leaflets before they got even more damaged or a cat decided to vomit on them or something equally horrible haha.  I know there is a photo of the dead wasp as I sent to my friend when I discovered it so if I find it again I will add it here because who doesn’t want to see that right lol.  This will probably be my final project/post for September unless I feel suddenly inspired in the next few hours to make something else or better – finish something else!

I’m calling this page – A Guided Tour – since it’s about the tour that we took that day but also because I’m giving you a guided tour of my creative process!  Let me know in the comments what you think. As always, thanks for reading!


Oh hey, I know how much you wanted to see dead wasps and look, I found the photos from back in April this year. This was before I ripped my bag and it was still looking pristine.

There is the dead wasp trapped inside the plastic.  It did make me freak out a little bit when I saw it as I thought it was still alive but it was long dead and very dessicated.

The weird thing is that it is actually inside the sketchbook wrapper which I had never opened so perhaps it had been in there from day one waiting for an unsuspecting person to open it up so it could sting them.  Little did it know that it would spent nine years in a bag and its evil plan would be foiled!


OK here come the challenges:-

SSS Monday Challenge – Add a Photo – photo is from a leaflet
Art Journal Journey –  Texture
SplashymixChallenge #21 September Moodboard below


My art journal
Collage materials – including gift bag
Acrylic paint, acrylic ink, neocolour II, stabilo,
Stamps and ink
Stencil and made up paste
Matte Gel Medium
From stash: anything and everything else!

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8 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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Erika N
October 10, 2020 1:47 pm

Hi Elle. I sent you an email. Not sure if you received it. Could you email me at [email removed] Thanks-Erika

Bleubeard and Elizabeth
October 2, 2020 9:11 am

I’m late visiting, and playing catch-up is always a bit hard after my internet provider had me offline for 10 days. It’s great to meet you Elle and I love the journal spread you created. There is a TON of texture and I love the neutral colors you chose, too. Thanks for sharing this with us at Art Journal Journey, and even though the month is over, I appreciate you using Jo’s theme, too.

Sirisha setia
Sirisha setia
October 2, 2020 8:43 am

Beautiful journal with so many textures and amazing concept. Thank you for joining us at Splashymix Challenges. DT Sirisha

Erika N
September 30, 2020 11:43 pm

What a fabulous guided tour . And such a smart way to use those things on the floor. I have the floor collection too. The texture is great and thanks for squeezing in this page before this challenge ends. Hope to see you back next month for our new challenge. Hugs-Erika

Jo - Let's Art Journal
September 30, 2020 11:42 pm

Wow, beautiful pages! I love how you captured such happy memories and the textured background is amazing with all the collaged layers ?. It looks like you had a wonderful time with your mum too and afternoon tea is one of my favourites! Thanks so much for joining Art Journal Journey again! Happy and creative wishes! Hugs, Jo x

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