Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Anything But Cute Challenge #15--Summertime Fun

 Hello crafty friends and visitors! It's time for our next new challenge at  Anything But Cute,  and our lovely hostess this month is the mega talented Anne. She chose the theme "Summertime Fun", and I'll tell you a little more about that in a minute. When I think of summertime fun, my mind immediately turns to the tucked away place in West Virginia  where our family stays every summer.  So here is my second art journal page I've ever made depicting a warm summer day at Capon Springs.

Anne says  "What does Summertime fun mean to you? Spending time by the seaside, foreign travel, camping in the great outdoors or simply enjoying time in the garden? Create a MIXED MEDIA project focusing on how you like to spend your Summertime. Don't forget to tell us how your project relates to our theme."

 Arriving at Capon Springs, you feel life become simpler; there's limited Internet and TV, no locks on the doors, and three meals a day are served family style in the huge dining room. No alarm clocks or even watches are needed, because every meal is announced with beautiful music coming from the trees!  Kids are free (and safe) to roam the pastoral grounds, and you never have to get in your car if you don't want to. Nature is all around you, and on any evening you can sit on your porch and watch the deer out for their evening meal. There are meadows filled with wildflowers and even a forest of Christmas trees with a trail winding through.  Did I mention--no air conditioning except in the dining room and public areas of the main house? Ugg-nothing is perfect! Lucky we're nestled in the mountains in this idyllic setting!

Onto my journal page:  I started by applying gesso to the upper portion of my journal pages and let that dry. Next, I sprayed Dylusions sprays in blues and greens all over the pages.  I used Fresh Lime, Cut Grass, Vibrant Turquoise and London Blue.  I allowed the sprays to dry, and then spritzed, dribbled and flicked water over the pages, taking care not to get the water drops too close together. In some areas I dragged an art comb through the inky puddles made by the water to create texture. You can see where I did this on the right hand side to create the illusion of trees on the horizon (or at least that's what I was trying to do). I also stamped a few Tim Holtz trees in Archival Library Green.

I flicked on Dylusions White Linen spray with a paint brush straight from the bottle to get the tiniest droplets, and added DecoArt Titanium White with a crumpled up piece of Saran Wrap randomly over the page.  I stamped and fussy cut the dragonfly (Stampin' Up) on Tim's plain tissue wrap in Archival and colored the wings with Perfect Pearls powder. I curled the wings and adhered just the body.

In the "meadow" I did some stamping and heat embossing (Tim Holtz and Stampin' Up) for weeds and wildflowers. I also stenciled some wildflowers using a TCW stencil and texture paste.  While the paste was wet, I added white embossing powder, and when dry, heat embossed. I added some shadows using a black watercolor pencil and my water pen.

In the photo below, you see the "mountains" in the background, made simply by spraying  turquoise spray in the green area and tipping the page to form the peaks. The gesso gives it an entirely different look.

I tried to get a shot of the iridescent embossing powder I used on the texture pasted dragonfly (same TCW stencil), but  the photo is rather blurry, and as usual, the sparkle is being camera shy. You might be able to pick up a tiny bit of shimmer in the background here, too. I picked up the Perfect Pearls instead of the intended Dylusions spray at first. I wiped away as much as I could, but just a tiny bit of shimmer tells on my mistake. Since I only sprayed the gessoed portion with the Perfect Pearls, it gives the sky that summertime shimmer you often see when it's hot.

My lone butterfly is from Happy Little Stampers, and I colored her with Distress inks and markers in Tumbled Glass and Wilted Violet. I stamped two and fussy cut them; the top one I eliminated the back wing and popped up the front wing with a foam square. The dimension is seen better in the photo above. The "weeds" remind me a little of fireworks, and so I will say that is part of the summer fun, as well. It would not be the 4th of July (my favorite summer holiday) without fireworks!

I heat embossed one of Tim's coneflowers on the paper I lined my spray box with, so after fussy cutting it, it blends in real nice. I decided to use it instead of stamping directly on the page (chicken!). I decided to stamp my Tim Holtz quote on a "board" that balances out the frame. I made this and the frame by painting my card with baby blue acrylic paint, coating with DecoArt Weathered Wood. Once fully dry, I gave it a coat of Titanium White (DecoArt) and then DecoArt Crackle Glaze. I defined the cracks with DecoArt Raw Umber Antiquing Cream, distressed and inked the edges with Ground Expresso. I stamped the quote in Timber Brown Staz On.

And here's what it's all about at Capon--the porch of the West Virginia (buildings are named)--where we meet friends from various states for our annual "Capon Family" reunion.  There are four families-- all unrelated, including ours that have stayed the same week of the year since our kids were babies, so they are like real family. We stay in the same rooms of "our house" year after year, and in the evenings after all the fun of the day we sit in our chairs on the porch and play games and catch up.  On rainy days, you can find us on the porch playing a variety of games. We have 8 teenagers/young adults between us, and they bring their Capon friends to "our house" to play along.  "Team West Virginia" gets together over the week to hike, run, play golf, swim, go horseback riding, and my favorite -- go on a week long scavenger hunt called Caponchase.  We usually win; we are a competitive and pretty bright bunch! Among us we have a history professor, a retired history teacher, a middle school teacher, a nephrology nurse, an attorney, an architect, a medical doctor (poor Cathy always gets called on for the inevitable Capon injuries) and a retired physical therapist assistant, so we can usually solve any puzzle you give us.

I used my new Tim Holtz Ornate Frame--I admired all the great things my blog buddie and teammate, Autumn of Sew Paper Paint has done with her's, and it moved to the top of my wish list.  If you have not already visited her at her blog, you must! You will be so inspired! I crackled  and painted it as I did with the sign holding the quote, but reversed the blue and white paint sequence. I'm not sure where that bright blue came from in the photo of the porch, but I thought it looked pretty cool.

Here are a couple of photos of the two pages in full.  I apologize for the long photo heavy post, and my long description of our annual summer trip, but I do get excited about seeing my friends and all the fun we have together for this one special week out of the year. Capon is a very special place, and we have been going at least once a year for 24 years! I have met some of my best friends there!

  Here's a view of the 9th fairway on a steamy summer afternoon. Most days there's not a cloud in the sky!

I hope you will visit my teammates blogs to see their amazing summer creations, and when you are done, that you will be inspired to play along with our "Summertime Fun" challenge .

I am sharing this summer art journal page with:
Frilly and Funkie All in the Family this is about my annual family vacation where we meet up with our Capon family.

Thank you for your visit today and for all your lovely comments! I read and appreciate each and every one of them! Please let me know if you have any questions.
Hugs and Blessings!
Sara Emily


  1. Sara Emily, this is just completely dreamy!! As I read through your description and look over your photos, I found I was whisked away to the most beautiful place, filled with the laughter of friends. Your page is amazing, I really want to touch that frame, the texture is incredible!! I love the photo inside too, it sooooo looks like a reflection in a mirror, I almost turned around so I could see the whole scene! haha! Your sentiment is wonderful and the crackle on your little sign is fantastic! You have really rocked another theme my friend, thank you so much! hugs :)

  2. Oh my, Sara Emily, what a heavenly beautiful place so as your art journal page! Your background is absolutely fabulous! Oh, I love, love, love your sing with the quote, your brilliantly done frame and your fantastic little butterfly! Those white flowers are stunning! You put so much love in reating this expressing your love for your friends and that amazing place! What an exquisite way to display that beautiful photo! Bravo, my friend!
    Thank you so much for joining us at Stamps and Stencils! Lots of love to you! Branka DT :)

  3. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL creation Sara Emily! Thanks for all the helpful details! Thanks so much for playing in our ‘OUTDOOR FUN’ challenge at Dies R Us! Please come back again soon!

    Darlene (DRU Blog Leader)
    DAR’S CRAFTY CREATIONS Please come for a visit.

  4. Oh Sara, you took me back to my childhood when we used to spend our holidays on Manitoulin Island - no clocks, no locks, no tv... just log cabins, beach.....those were the days! Your porch definitely looks much more posh than ours did though. Your pages are dreamy and tranquil, the frame is gorgeous and the white embossed flowers stand out so beautifully - you have captured the scene wonderfully well and it just looks like a little corner of heaven! Stunning work! Hugs, Anne xxx

  5. Thanks to your beautiful pages it seems I am in vacation yet! These blues are so calmful and bright anyway, the designs really illustrate your story and I'm completely in! Thanks!

  6. Oh my gosh, Capon Springs sounds like an amazing place and I feel like you've transported us there with this masterpiece, Sara Emily!! Wow!! The watercolor background looks amazing!! I love the mountains and the grassy hills!! You've framed the picture perfectly!! I love the white embossed flowers and the pretty butterfly and the sign...heck, I love everything about this!! What a perfect way to celebrate wonderful family memories!! Spectacular my friend!! You should frame this for a wall!! Have a great day!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  7. absolutely beautiful Sara - wow - what a wonderful scene - I adore this - and thanks for joining us at stamps and stencils too! Hugs rachel x

  8. This sounds like the most wonderful out of the way place to stay Sara and somewhere I would love to be. Your pages depict those wonderful tranquil scenes in my head and take me to a beautiful tiny village in Dorset and a wonderful place with a converted old watermill and gorgeous gardens that I love and are a special place to be. You brought your scene together beautifully, created the most wonderful flower meadows and used great techniques to achieve these stunning pages xxx

  9. Brilliant layout and perfect both for the summertime challenge and the all in the family challenge too! Love the bright colors and the family vacation sounds so wonderful! Thanks for playing along in the Frilly & Funkie Challenge!

  10. Great creation, love the mixed-media beckground :) Thanks so much for joining our challenge at Dies R Us.

    Dies R Us Challenge Blog DT

  11. wooow your art journal Page is stunning
    love the stamped in white and the photo is adorable
    the background is beautifully made
    would you mind to make card for our challenge sweety
    if you dont mind please read here the challenge rule
    We wait for your lovely card :)

    Hugs from DT



  12. Your vacation in Capon, WV sounds like something out of the 50's. West Virginia is a gorgeous state. Now I do like the sounds of 3 meals a day served family style.
    Your journal spread is gorgeous -- I love the porch! Sitting on the porch in the evening watching the fire flies come out knowing that there is a chance to see a fairy or two! Your background is so atmospheric - feel the evening cool settling into the mountains.
    Sandy xx

  13. Wow! That is a really pretty view! I can just imagine sitting on your breezy porch and soaking that in. What a lovely page, which perfectly captures your feelings. The stamping and color all work so beautifully together. Thanks so much for another great challenge. Hugs, Autumn

    1. PS, doll, thanks so much for sharing with us at Stamps & Stencils. <3

  14. Beautiful spread my dear! Love that porch pic! And the background you surrounded the photo with is simply marvelous.
    Paper Talk with Samra

  15. Oh my gosh, Sara Emily! What a beautiful way to capture your memories of Capon! The photo in the expertly altered frame, textures, and gorgeous color palette really transport you to a peaceful place. I adore the flowers you embossed as well. They really give it a dreamy effect. Your description of Capon gave me a little mini vacation right here from my IPad! We're driving home from our place in Gatlinburg right now, so I still have mountains all around me for a little while longer. If my husband didn't have a business to run I would have stayed a couple more weeks. I've been looking at the forecast for Charleston and it is going to be HOT!!!

  16. Hi this is stunning. Thank you for joining us at <a href='http://creativeartistemixedmedia.blogspot.co.uk/’> Creative Artiste Challenge Blog </a> for challenge 16 Anything Goes and the sponsor is Scrapmatts. Hugs Jackie DT

  17. Sara, it's always such a pleasure and surprise visiting your incredible blog. You are one of those talented artists who shares a diversity of styles and techniques - all in one creation! I don't know how you do it, but I certainly enjoy every tiny corner of your masterpieces! The colors are scrumptious in this creation. And pure genius to frame the porch - to me, it looks like a mirror, and nature is viewing itself in wonder because Man remakes Nature's elements into something treasured every day. As for the blue, it was the perfect touch, wasn't it? I hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend! hugs, de

  18. Looking at this again - I love it!
    sandy xx

  19. Beautiful art journal page Sara Emily! I love everything about it and all the different elements you added are perfect. Thanks for playing along on the Southern Ridge Trading Company Blog!
    -Katelyn DT member at Southern Ridge

  20. Gorgeous creation, I love the colours... Thank you so much for entering our challenge over at Creative Artiste Mixed Media Challenge Blog, we hope to see you join in again...

    Hugs Rhonda DT & Owner

  21. Love how that special porch has become the focal point of this superb project. I adore the colours you've used to compliment it. Thank you for joining us at Frilly and Funkie xx

  22. This is scrumptious! The color palette is spot on for summertime in the mountains, and I could feel your sense of joy and freedom over spending time with your favorite people in your favorite place. Using the porch as the focal point was genius! Love this so much, Sara Emily! I'm so glad you shared this with us at the Frilly and Funkie "All in the Family" challenge!

  23. I love this, I love the frame around your photo
    thanks for joining our challenge over at
    Debbie DT

  24. This is gorgeous. Love colors. Feels like summer.
    Thank you for joining us at Nordsalten Hobbyeklubb.

    DT Cathrine

  25. This is an amazing Art Journal page.... I can't stop looking at all the beautiful details and fabulous created elements like the frame, WOW!!!
    Totally love your summertime creation Sara
    Thanks for all the pics, details on your process, and also your lovely share on your family summer life.
    Coco xx

  26. Gorgeous journal pages Sara, your background is exquisite and then topped by all those lovely florals! Love that photograph and you've framed it perfectly with the distressed ornate frame. Thanks so much for sharing it, Deb xo

  27. Absolutely beautiful, Sara Emily! Thanks for sharing at HLS Anything Goes. :) Did you get my email about GDing at HLS MM for September? Melissa XX

  28. Lovely and Bright and beautiful! Thank you for joining in The Artistic Stamper Creative Challenge

  29. Oh my this is one exceptionally beautiful journo spreads full of so much 'wonderful'. The colours are lush, the imagery - fabulous , love the white embossing, the framed photo so effective and the whole layout design just perfect and pleasing to the viewing eye .
    Huge love here for this
    hugs x

  30. Well even without AC your getaway place sure seems like an absolute time for fun and relaxing. I can't believe you don't need a dinner bell. Hahah! I love hearing the bell, reminds me of campfires and s'mores. Now your journal spread is beautiful and so full of life! I love the tissue paper dragonfly and the wild flowers with the white texture paste and EP are gorgeous and so white! Lovely and soulful design dearie! Hugz to you muffin! ~Punkin

  31. Hello, Sara Emily! I greatly appreciate the comment made about my work "Sun light"! You asked about the paintings that are on my wall ... yes, were made by me, are already very old ... what good liked.
    I took the opportunity to go through your posts and charmed by everything I saw ... a lot of talent and beauty!

  32. Wow! Absolutely beautiful Sara! Amazing Art Journal page.
    Thanks for joining us at Nordsalten hobbyklubb.
    DT Maria


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