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...

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Enjoying the Journey




Hi all!  So, we're pretty much straight back in with inspiration piece number two for my Word Play theme over at Country View Challenges this month.


You can find all the challenge details if you click the links, along with a wealth of inspiration from my amazing team-mates.

(There's been a flurry of posts here at Words and Pictures in the last couple of days, so do go for a scroll if you'd like to see what else I've been up to.  All the links are at the end of this post to make life easier!)

And here it is - blues, greens, crackle, and a glossy "enamelled" sentiment with dragonfly to match, just alighting or just taking off...

This was one of those pieces where I set out on the creative journey without a destination in mind.. but I certainly enjoyed myself along the way!




I started with an idea for using the Tim Holtz die of the same name as the challenge: WordPlay.

I cut myself lots of thick card letters and glued them down to a large wooden ticket shape (I think it's intended to be part of a wooden album - I got some of them really cheaply at a craft fair).

I coated the whole thing with matte medium to seal the cardboard so that it wouldn't go soggy and peel.










Next stage was to add lots of Distress Paint colours, marbling as I went.  I started out, in fact, thinking that this would be a much fierier affair - pinks and oranges galore.













But when push came to shove, my blues and greens resurfaced, and I just went over the whole thing with a whole different palette!  I also did a little bit of inking with Mowed Lawn Distress Ink to highlight some of the surfaces.








I next added a coat Rock Candy Distress Paint and left it to get on with crackling while I tried to work out what would go over the background I'd created.  

This is quite often the way with me... I play around and come up with a background I really like, and then have to work out how not to cover it up too much!







My first abortive attempts involved stamping a large sentiment on acetate to go over the top, but it wasn't quite working for me... so that's when I reached for my new Layered Dragonfly die and folder.

I cut and embossed him in plain white card, and then got busy with some powders and the heat tool (and all this in that steamy heatwave we were having)... 










I started with two layers of clear UTEE, and then did one coat of Wow Bright White powder over the top.  

I sprinkled a tiny bit of Ranger's Antiquities Verdigris powder onto that to tie in with the blue greens of my letter texture background.





The UTEE makes it easy to reheat and remould the wings, so I was able to get them dramatically poised for flight...








And the curly antennae were created out of some more notebook bindings, saved and hoarded for just this kind of thing!











Since this challenge is about keeping words at the centre of things, I needed a nice bold phrase or quote to go with all that wordplay in the background...

So I ran some more white card through with the Stacked Artful Words Decorative Strip Die and selected "enjoy the journey" as the one which worked best with my wandering dragonfly.








I gave it the same "enamelling" treatment as the dragonfly himself - two coats of UTEE, one of Bright White and a sprinkling of Verdigris.

I love the dimensional glossy look, and that shimmer of turquoise from the Verdigris powders.










By this time, the crackle was all crackled, and I used some of the new DecoArt Antiquing Cream in Titanium White to highlight the cracks.

It also had the effect of tying in with the fresh bold white of the words and the dragonfly.










I was enjoying the Verdigris so much, that I decided to try it on a couple of white paper roses...

It was pretty tricky getting the embossing ink down into all the crevices.  I used a Perfect Medium Brush Pen in places to help.











But I like the finished effect.  You certainly wouldn't know at first glance that the flowers are made of paper!












The flowers needed something to "root" them a bit - somewhere to rest - so I cut some pieces of Tim Holtz's Garden Greens out of thick white card, and did a bit of text stamping on them with one of my Unity stamps before inking around the edges.







Some strong white paper ribbon will do the job of hanging up my wordy wooden dragonfly ticket.







It definitely needs to hang somewhere in the sunlight to catch the sparkle on all that crackle and the glossy dragonfly wings!


So I hope this will inspire you to indulge in some Word Play of your own and join us this month over at Country View Challenges.  Thanks so much for dropping in.  As I mentioned, it's been a crazy few days here - so in case you want to catch up here are the links.

You'll find my Artistic Stamper art journalling here, and my first Country View Challenges tag here.  Oh, and there's also my farewell piece for Artistic Outpost here.  Not forgetting my Calico Roses yesterday.  See... busy, busy, busy.  At least it's all fun, though - I'm so grateful for a life which lets me play even when I'm working.

And this week I should finally, finally have a bit of breathing space (in between Shakespeare workshops) to catch up with all of you!

All my life I've looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.
Ernest Hemingway

I'm entering this in Who's the Boss (looking for dry and/or heat embossing) over at Craft Hoarders Anonymous.  With all that powder, as well as the embossing folder in the Layered Dragonfly, I've got a bit of both!

And I'd like to pop it in over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge where this time my J is for... journey.

76 comments:

Amanda said...

Love all the crackling and shine you have built into this it all looks stunning. A great make.
Love
Amanda x

Astrid Maclean said...

Great tag and I love the play with the Tim Letters. Wonderful crackle too!

Ruth said...

What a fabulous way to create a background, immediate texture with the letters and then the paints and crackle, wonderful and inspired Alison, the layered dragonfly die and folder is very tempting, may have to check it out... Ruth x

Cestina said...

I love all dragonfly things. Saw an amazing black one recently, looked like a semi-butterfly.

That ivy looks different - is that at the back for a change?
xx

chrissies said...

Wonderful tag with terrific textures.

Nice words to choose :)

Love Chrissie x

Nikki Acton said...

This makes me happy! So many techniques, so much loveliness,. Fabulous Alison. Also made me giggle, pinks converted to blues and greens (again!). Nikki xx

Von said...

Love this Alison :)
Von ♥

Redanne said...

Wow Alison, this is gorgeous! I think this is now my latest favourite piece of your work... I love the colour tones and the verdigris touches to the dragonfly, words and those amazing roses. Gorgeous!! Anne xx

sally said...

LUSH!

glendabrooks.blogspot.com said...

You have achieved such wonderful layers and textures on your piece. I love all the embossing! Thanks for joining us at Craft Hoarders Anonymous!

Mrs.B said...

Fabulous! and it would have been a shame to have covered that wonderful background up too much.
Off now for a catch up.
Avril xx

rachel said...

om word this is stunning Alison - I love it to pieces xx

Meggymay said...

Wonderful background and gorgeous colours. Its a great tag.
Yvonne

Buttons said...

Love, love, LOVE the way you've created layers on this beautiful tag with so many letters arranged beautifully and the spritzing of the plain die cuts really softens the whole look. SO much inspiration - again!!! Jenny x

Anneke said...

This tag looks gorgeous. Love every detail. Beautiful fresh color.
Anneke.

Corrie Herriman said...

A great tag ! I love all the texture, great colours too !
Corrie x

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Simply gorgeous Alison---I love this tag!

Gaby Bee said...

Love all the details on this tag! Gorgeous, Alison!

Have a great Sunday!
Gaby xo

Julia said...

How lovely is that! The crackle and shine on the letters is just so beautiful. It is another Wow!

1CardCreator said...

Oh wow, so much detail and dimension in this, it looks beautiful. So glad you joined us at Craft Hoarders Anonymous. ~Diane GDT

Carol Q said...

funny how we gravitate back to our favourite colours Alison. gorgeous tag. love your idea of using the letters for the background and crackling them.

Sandy said...

Oh Alison, such a beautiful creation. One of my favorites I think. You have the dragonfly ready for flight and I see him taking a rest from his long journey. I guess that is because we just returned from traveling with a couple of our grandchildren.
Beautifully made sweet pea!
Sandy xx

Helen said...

What a wonderful way to use the Wordplay die letters, and the dragonfly is beautiful. So glad you changed your colour scheme!

isisimaginings.com said...

That's just wonderful, really gorgeous. I love the crackle.

Paper Profusion said...

Im blown away!!! Fantastic tag Alison, not sure which aspects to focus on as all are superb.... Have to say that your 'enamelling' recipe looks brilliant and works particularly well to enable flexing of wings. As always, your crackling is divine, especially with the rubbed in decoart. I smiled when I saw you altered the hues to blue/green... much more you and all the better for it. Love the texty, textured background too. Thanks for inspiration! Nicola x

Paper Profusion said...

Im blown away!!! Fantastic tag Alison, not sure which aspects to focus on as all are superb.... Have to say that your 'enamelling' recipe looks brilliant and works particularly well to enable flexing of wings. As always, your crackling is divine, especially with the rubbed in decoart. I smiled when I saw you altered the hues to blue/green... much more you and all the better for it. Love the texty, textured background too. Thanks for inspiration! Nicola x

Julie Ann Lee said...

What a wonderful, summery coloured tag! I love dragon flies so much and I adore the touch with the book binder wire! This is one of my favourites of your beautiful tags: it's truly gorgeous! Julie Ann xxx

Bonnie McLain said...

Dreamy Tag Alison... Love the letters, colors and of course the wonderful DRAGONFLY... my studio name is the Purple Dragonfly... as I love these critters.. .Love, Light and Peace...Bonnie

Chrissy said...

Fantastic Alison..love the lettering background and that gorgeous dragonfly..love the colours too..fantastic.

luv CHRISSYxx

Michelle said...

I love this! Such wonderful results from humble beginnings. Magical!

Mona Pendleton said...

Gorgeous tags Alison! Love the beautiful alphabet soup collage background! Stunning color combinations!

Anke said...

WOW WOW WOW fantastic tag, Alison. I love the colours and the letters. And the dragonfly is so beautiful, great work.

Hugs
Anke

Inkypinkycraft said...

I love the background you created and those gorgeous blues and greens! The perfect background for your wonderful dragonfly! simply yummy!

Neet said...

What a fabulous tag - and so beautifully presented to us your readers.
Thanks for all the work you put in to all of your posts, it is so appreciated.
Hugs, Neet xx

Dee Adams said...

wow! love the background it really looks like marble and the contrast to the white striking. Dee x

Faith W said...

Very cool tag!

Doreen said...

Wow love everything you have done here.Just gorgeous.xxx

JackieP Neal said...

Gorgeouseness indeed!!! I love your numbers- such a fab idea!!!
xoxo

Anna-Karin said...

Such a gorgeous tag Alison! Love the colours and wonderful textures. Thank you for sharing with us at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog!!

Terry said...

Gorgeous tag, Alison! Love that dragonfly and what fabulous crackling! Hugs!

Bryan Evans said...

Stunning colours, love the overall effect. Thanks for choosing a great theme for August.
Geezercrafter

Shari Trumbull said...

LOVE THIS, Alison!! Love your background!! When I first looked at your tag, I thought that you had dry-embossed the background...NOPE! LOVE how you used all of those letters to achieve your raised background! This is Fabulous, as always :)
XOXO-Shari

Kathy/NorthCarolina said...

Oh, Wow! Love the colors, the textures and all that yummy embossing! Thanks for joining us at Craft Hoarders Anonymous!

Gloria Stengel said...

I am sitting here with my jaw on the floor! I cannot get over this project. The tutorial was fantastic. I need to give it a try and use up the gazillion chippie letters I have in my hoard! Thanks for playing along with us a Craft Hoarders Anonymous!

soapHOUSEmama said...

completely GORGEOUS, as always :) Thanks so much for sharing it with us at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog!!! - Ashli :)

lost coast scrapper said...

AMAZING work!! Thanks for joining us at Craft Hoarders Anonymous!

Silvia(Barnie) said...

So cool, that's a fantastic tag with great texture. Love all the wonderful details. The dragonfly die seems to be a must-have ;)

Debbie Seyer said...

This is just fabulous! Thanks for playing along with Craft Hoarders Anonymous!

May said...

WOW..Alison, this is fabulous...Love the effect & texture...amazing crackle...Beautiful colours...Hugs May x x

Anita Houston said...

Oh my goodness...I can't believe you repainted the colors! LOVE that about you! The background is sublime and love your dragonfly! Just gorgeous!

cathylynn said...

Only you can change pinks and orange into blues and greens with fantastic results! I totally love the dragon fly and the antennae are awesome. What a fantastic tag!
Hugs, Cathy-Lynn

Almo said...

Oh! Alison you never fail to amaze me with your wonderful work. I Much prefer your swop to blues and greens is much more you!. I like the way the crackle catches the light and I absolutely love the verdigris on the dragonfly, words and the flower which as you say does not look like paper at all more like metal, gorgeous. Mo x

Kasia said...

What an amazing background, Alison! Loooove! This is beautiful tag :)

Hugs!

Netty said...

Loving all the different textures, layers and colours in your tag, a beautiful 3D effect. Annette x

http://nettysartadventures.blogspot.co.uk/

Hettie said...

Oh My! This is fabulous Honey. I just love the curly antennae on the dragonfly. I now know what to do with tiddly bits of binding wire I have left over. So glad I didn't bin them. Also what a great idea to use the chipboard letters you never get to use!
The more I look at this the more I love it.
Hugs
xx

Dorthe said...

Oh ,your crackle Alison, WONDERFUL love the letter background, and that amazing butterfly, you created!!
xoxo,Dorthe

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

Although I liked the start with pink and orange, the final result in totally different colours looks lovely Alison..the dragonfly is a stunner!
Greetings, Alie :-)

Evelyn Walter said...

Stunning project again, dear Alison! I love the "letter salad" with the crackle on the background and the enameled dragonfly and words are beautiful! It´s always inspiring to see your artwork!
Have a nice week!
xxx Evelyn

Etsuko Noguchi said...

Amazing creation Alison! Great idea of laid the letters and coated Rock Candy it, fab used TH's new big dragonfly die and great effected. Thank you for the fab tutorial xx

Belladonna said...

This dragonfly stole my heart!

lynnesbowsandbelles said...

I do not know why but for some reason, I view that dragonfly as rather majestic.
Beautiful background you created, what a fabulous way to create texture.
Wishes
Lynne

Lisa S. said...

You are so clever Alison. I love the letters you used on the base and the dragonfly looks amazing! xx

Candy C said...

Alison...this is simply a masterpiece! I had to laugh when you said that you thought you'd use the pink tones but the blues and greens resurfaced. :) I am a huge teal fan so of course, I love your background. :) That is such a neat look to have raised the letters. At first I thought you'd used a very cool embossing folder but the dimension you've achieved from using the actual chipboard letters is even better! Your dragonfly looks amazing on the background. LOVE IT! <3 Candy

Kelly Neis said...

I love the way your creative mind wonders! I can relate, I usually have no plan and things happen out of the love of what I am doing. I love this tag, the crackle letters and dragon fly in blues and greens are so beautiful.
Hugs Kelly

massofhair said...

STUNNING Alison :-) xxx

Nan G said...

LOVE it! Fab flowers and cool embossing, butterfly!

Marjie Kemper said...

What a gorgeous tag! Love the layered base and those antennae are a splendid idea.

Kezzy said...

Wow wow wow absolutely awesome stunning hanging, I really love the background, I have done this before, not with letters though. Yours is AMAZING, the colour with the crackle and the flower, dragonfly, leaves and wording is out of this world, truly inspirational :-) Kezzy xxx

pearshapedcrafting said...

So beautiful! Went on a Waterfall walk with 2 active boys on Thursday -saw loads of dragonflies, almost as beautiful as this! Legs still aching!! Chrisx

scrappymo! said...

Gorgeous! I love every thing about this gorgeous wall hanging!

maria's knutselplezier said...

What must I say more, stunning tag, grat colours , great image, and I love the structure a lot!!!

Greetings
Maria

crafty creations said...

Amazing work and thanks for the inspiration

Dianne said...

Hello Miss Butterfly, I'm back from holidays and saved you for last, so I could have all your creations dancing in my head inspiring my dreams. This tag is brilliant as you do, I love the pinks and orange, but just smiled when they changed to our favorite colors :).Using those letters was brilliant, I just happen to have some foam ones and will try this, try being the word. Then that crackle is fantastic, okay that dragonfly is THE BOMB, loooooooove those curly wires, brilliant, see never throw anything away, he is gorgeousssss, those leaves with the writing are soooooo kool,your sentiment is gorgeous, love your flowers, yup, yup, yup, its an AMAZING tag Miss Alison. I saw hundreds of dragonfly's by the river. Thanks for sharing this beauty...

barbarayaya62 said...

Alison summer is not my season! I'm always in late for everything in my life, even to comment on my blog friends! So... your work is fantastic, i love the way that you've used white!Wonderful! BArbarayaya

die amelie said...

Once again I have enjoyed visiting your blog so much, Alison!

Loads of goodness as usual! ;)

Claudia x

Kjersti said...

Love this one Alison - it is simply gorgeous!
Enjoy the weekend!
Hugs Kjersti:)