I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday, 18 April 2014

Summer Lantern

Hello everyone for the second time today!  First of all, if you're in search of today's earlier post, my creation for the new Vintage Journey challenge, Spring Flowers, just click the link.

Right now, though, I'm delighted to be over at PaperArtsy with another Guest Spot creation... I do hope you'll hop over and take a look.  It may light up your evening!

I'll leave you in peace for a bit now.  We're on the midnight boat across the Channel tonight... and spending a few days with friends as we drive across Europe to the Czech Republic.  There should be some online time en route, so I'll hope to see you out there in Craftyblogland very soon.

How far that little candle throws his beams;
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
From The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Spring Flowering

Hello everyone - time for a new challenge at A Vintage Journey, and it's the lovely Jennie of Live the Dream who is our host this time.  Anyone who has seen her extraordinarily beautiful handmade flowers will be unsurprised to hear that her theme for us is Spring Flowers!

You can find all the details of what she's looking for here at A Vintage Journey, but please, please make sure to read the challenge requirements carefully, as well as the Travelling Directions (the challenge rules!).  

We've so enjoyed your creations in all the challenges so far, but too many of them have had to be left out of the prize deliberations for one reason or another.  And we have to be fair to those who have hit the mark.

Anyway, here are my Spring Flowers to get you started, and do hop over to see what the rest of my amazing team-mates have created to inspire you.

I was inspired by watching an old video of Tim's, introducing the Idea-ology Fragments.  At one point, he shows a metal case completely covered with a patchwork of them... so I decided to play with a similar idea.  

Since the Fragments are quite heavy, I worked on a pre-cut wooden tag (sorry, no idea any more where I got them from!) so that I'd have a solid base for my patchwork.

And of course, that gave me two sides to play with... so I couldn't resist creating another Spring Flower scenario on the reverse!

The first step was to cover the wooden tag with Distress Paints... I think I used Scattered Straw, Stormy Sky and Picket Fence, but there are possibly some others involved too - Antique Linen?

I spritzed lots of water over to allow them to "marble-ize".

Once the paints were dry, I edged the tag with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

I had a little play with laying out my pieces so that I could add some rub-ons.  Creating the Fragments reminded me of using microscope slides, so the botanical labelling seemed appropriate!

I finally broke into some of my new Tim Holtz papers for this... consider yourself honoured, Jennie!!

Some are from the Wallflower collection, and some from the 8x8 Menagerie, so as to get the smaller images.

If I was ever going to stop stroking and start using these papers, it needed a project which was really going to highlight them properly.

Now I've broken in, it'll be easier the next time!

On the other side, I also began with paint, but this time with some Frescos and Crackle Glaze to create a slightly different background.

I added some Distress Ink stencilling through my favourite TH Latticework mask.

(Okay - confession time... this was actually the first side, but then the background was just too busy for the Fragments to work against, so I started again with the Distress Paints!)

I absolutely love this Tim Holtz hedgerow flowers stamp (from the Spring Sprung set) - could it be more up my street?!

And the sentiment is a PaperArtsy one, stamped in my favourite method of blending different ink colours onto the stamp and then clear-embossing them once stamped.

Since the whole thing is pretty streamlined (for me!) I kept the topping fairly simple too - some frayed linen ribbon bound together with some curly white wire (the ring binding from a discarded notebook).

So those are my Spring Flowers with Tim Holtz products and techniques galore.

If you're not already inspired to come and play along this fortnight, do go and see what my team-mates have been up to - you won't regret it!  

Thanks so much for stopping by... I'm back later on today with a PaperArtsy appearance, but for now I'll hope to see you joining us on A Vintage Journey with bouquets of flowers very soon.

... always
                          Spring and everyone's
in love and flowers pick themselves

From who knows if the moon's by e.e.cummings (with a missing punctuation mark - apologies e.e.! - but it didn't make sense out of context)

With all these spring flowers, I'd like to enter this in Eileen Hull's Art With Heart challenge which is an April Showers theme
And with crackle glaze, meadow flowers and the clear-embossed sentiment, I'd also like to offer up A Few of My Favourite Things at the Inspiration Journal, sponsored by the Inspiration Emporium

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Butterfly Blues

Hello all, thanks so much for dropping in.

And no, it's fine, it's not me suffering the blues (except at the thought of attempting to pack up my crafty stash for my travels), just the butterflies.

It seemed the right title for a bluesy version of last week's tags.  I'm glad you're enjoying the pink excursions, but this one feels closer to home for me.

I played again with the idea of the shadow stamping in triplicate, and this time ended up with a rather magical, almost invisible third butterfly!

But since I was making merry with the clear embossing powder, you'll see he takes flight once the sun's rays hit him...

We're in a world of Faded Jeans, Stormy Sky, Pumice Stone and, I think, maybe some Antique Linen.  They're blended on, and spritzed and flicked for texture.

There's a hint of the Prima Lace Trim Background stencilled in.

As with the pink tags, all the stamps are by Artistic Outpost.  This tiny, delicate flourish is from the Serenity plate.  

Be sure to click here for an important announcement about Artistic Outpost - you won't want to miss it.

And the butterfly is from one of my spring favourites this year, the Flower Market set.

He's stamped in Cobalt and Cornflower Blue Archival inks.

It's because I used Archival rather than Distress Inks that he barely made it to his third incarnation.

(He's pretty subtle even here in his second stamping!)

But clearly there was still moisture if not much pigment...

... because when I did the clear embossing, there he was, shimmering away.

The sentiment is from the Quote & Quotables plate.  Again it's in Cobalt and clear-embossed for that glossy dimensionality.

The topping is some lacy ribbon, tied with fine, pale twine, a frothy, lighter-than-air finish for the tag.

So it's an altogether subtler affair than the bold pink versions, but it can still catch the eye when the sunlight sparkles off the embossing...  

Thank you for dropping in.  It's always a delight to read your thoughts and comments - and I'm so grateful for your visits and support.  They make the journey even more of a joy!

Sunlight is painting.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

I'd like to enter this in the following:

At the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge, they are looking for Winged Things

At the Inspiration Journal, sponsored by the Inspiration Emporium, the theme is A Few of my Favourite Things.  Okay: butterflies, clear-embossing, Artistic Outpost stamps, blue, tags, Distress Inks... is that enough yet?!

Peeking and Packing!

Hi all, thank you for dropping in.  It's been all go round here, so I will be quick about it - a sneak peek only today - for another chance to catch my hunk of wood over at Artistic Outpost!

I've been doing some mad full-on crafting in between work assignments, but it has paid off.  I now have more than 25 DT projects ready and awaiting their moment here at Words and Pictures.

That makes the crafty stash packing much simpler for when I go away to the Czech Republic.  No need to take lots of DT supplies, I just need to take everything I might conceivably want to play with over the next six or seven weeks, plus anything which might be useful for dollshouse purposes... easy peasy then!

Once the packing's done (departure date Good Friday, 18th April) I really will have some more time to come visiting again... see you soon!

Up 5.15 a.m. thinking, packpackpack.  I appear to have accumulated more things.  How did this happen?  I haven't shopped.  Think my bath oils have bred.
From the Sense and Sensibility Diaries by Emma Thompson
(For bath oils read Distress Paints, Stains, Inks or indeed any other crafty product.  May not be true that I haven't shopped, of course!)

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Dare to Live!

Hello all!  Well, I'm back from Ally Pally, and not quite bankrupt, though I have invested in some more DecoArt chalk paints after the fun I had with my chalky spice rack.  Met up with lots of lovely people too, of course!

The tags I'm sharing with you today are the results of a quick bit of playtime with Artistic Outpost stamps and some new Distress Paint colours - Tattered Rose, Dried Marigold and Worn Lipstick.... yup, pink, basically.  Seems to be featuring more regularly these days...

I decided to do a compare and contrast using the same colours in Distress Stains too... so after some wrinkle-free distress technique I ended up with four tags.

Two are Distress Paints (on the left) and two are Distress Stains (on the right).  I always end up with at least two tags to play with when I do the wrinkle-free game.  Mopping up always creates an extra one!

So I took one D.P. and one D.S. to play with and Artistic Outpost's Flower Market stamp set.

I did some Distress Ink stencilling using the Crafter's Workshop Specimen mask and Prima's Lace Trim Background.

The butterflies are done using Sienna and Plum Archival inks.  These are the ones on the Distress Paint background.

I blended both inks onto the stamp, and then stamped three times in succession on each tag...

... following the shadow stamping idea set by Tim Holtz with his March tags.  I've become a bit addicted to it!

These three individual photos are of the Distress Stain versions.

I added some extra background texture with the gorgeous Gothic typescript from the Birds of a Feather plate, stamped in Potting Soil.

And the sentiment comes from the Kudzu Kafe set, again stamped in Potting Soil and clear-embossed for extra definition and glossiness.

I've added some of the lavender from the Flower Market plate around the foot of the tags - it's such a pretty, delicate stamp.

Natural raffia and some curled paper string finish the tags off...

I like the subtle differences between the two finishes (D.P.s left, D.S.s right).  The Gathered Twigs used to ink around the edges takes much better on the Distress Stains than on the inks, so you get a more strongly defined brown tinge.

And the stencilling and stamping have a touch more clarity against the Stains, but a rather nice soft subtle look to them on the Paint version.

These are all things I know at the back of my mind, but it was nice to have them side by side and really take note of the variations.

These tags have now made their way to my best friend who is in the midst of daring to change her life and head towards her dream...

Used as bookmarks over the next few months, I hope they'll help to keep that dream in focus.

Thanks so much for stopping by today... I know I keep promising I'll be catching up with visiting - it really will happen one day very soon!

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
Walt Disney

A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.
Colin Powell

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Chalk It Up!

Hi all and welcome, with an especially big welcome to the newest followers - so honoured to have you join the journey.

I've another sneak peek for you today, this time to tempt you over to Calico Crafts.  I'm sharing my first adventure with DecoArt's new Chalky Finish paints...  And, in hopes that the weekend is sunny, I've even kept it pretty short over there (well, for me, anyway), so as not to take up too much of your time!

I did have fun so I hope you'll have a chance to hop over to Calico for a look.  I always value your comments and feedback.  I'm off to Ally Pally tomorrow, Sunday, so I hope perhaps to see some of you there - otherwise I'll catch up with you soon somewhere in Craftyblogland.  

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges.
Joyce Meyer

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Inspiring Journey

Hi all, it's sneak peek time again here at Words and Pictures... I'm hoping to inspire you to journey over to The Artistic Stamper to see what I've been up to over there.  You'll see I've been indulging myself in one of my favourite colour combinations!

Hope you're all having a great week, and I'll hope to catch up with you out in Craftyblogland soon.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
Maya Angelou

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Gentle Journalling

Hi all!  Just a quick heads-up today...  If you missed my gentle journalling page, there's another chance to catch it over at Artistic Outpost today.

I've managed to do a bit of catching up in Craftyblogland, but time is short at the moment.  I'm in mad crafting mode as I'm heading off soon for another stint working in my mother's dollshouse museum, Small Worlds, in the Czech Republic.  If you'd like to see the sort of thing I'll be up to, have a look here.

I'll be away for six weeks, so my aim is to get some projects made ahead of time so that I don't have to ship the entire crafty stash over there with me.  Given there are some more dollshouses also making the journey, there simply wouldn't be room.  Actually there wouldn't be room for the entire stash even without the dollshouses!

So I'm trying to get round to repay your generous visits when I can, and once I'm over there, normal service should be resumed!!  Have a great week, all.

And will you succeed?  Yes indeed, yes indeed!
Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed!
Dr. Seuss

Friday, 4 April 2014

Dare to dream...

Hello all.  Thanks so much for dropping in, and thank you for all the amazing feedback on my rusty rosy tags.  After that huge post, I'm really going to try to be quick today!

I've an Artistic Outpost tag to share with you, using my much loved little brother and sister from the Think and Wonder stamp plate.  

There's just something magical about the stamps on this plate for me.  This time, I've split the brother and sister up, but don't worry... they're still not far apart.

The background words are done with a stencil from Red Lead Paperworks.  I first met their stencils in the fabulous work of Claudia - a.k.a. Von Pappe II, and I succumbed immediately - but so far I don't think anything I've created while playing with them has made it as far as the blog.

I used a palette knife to smear Grunge Paste through the stencil onto an already painted tag, letting the words drift down diagonally.  At that point, I'd made no decisions about images or other words for the tag.

I suppose it was the alphabet in their own background which drew me to the brother and sister when it came to deciding on a stamp.  

It seems these decisions are made by the subconscious - and you only work out that there are good reasons later... happens to me all the time when I'm crafting!  

I realised they would just fit, but only if I stamped them individually.

The texture within the image is from the paint in the background.  You can see how I created the texture in my little Being A Boy tag.

I used various inks to tint the stencilled words, some Distress and some Archival, building up light and dark colour around and on the letters until I liked the effect.

The sentiment is from the Kudzu Kafe set, stamped in black and clear embossed, and then mounted on padded tape to make it stand proud.

And then because we're dealing in dreams, I thought the topping ought to be nice and ethereal... so I tied lots of gauzy ribbon into multiple bows and secured it with tiny staples using my TH Tiny Attacher.

That's me for today - see, I told you I was going to be quick (if you're new round here, believe me, this was quick!).  Don't miss the new challenge starting today at A Vintage Journey.  I'm not along for this leg of the journey, but my team-mates have created some really fabulous projects to inspire you.  Have a fabulous weekend everyone... I'm hoping to come visiting in Craftyblogland at some point, so I'll see you soon.

To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily.  Not to dare is to lose oneself.
Søren Kierkegaard

With the wonderful Artistic Outpost brother and sister, all that lettering, and the colours blue and brown, I think we can safely say there are A Few Of My Favourite Things involved here, so I'd like to enter this over at the Inspiration Journal, sponsored by the Inspiration Emporium.