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, 20 January 2017

New Lynne Perrella at PaperArtsy I

Hello all!  I'm giddy with excitement about tonight's reveal of the new Lynne Perrella stamps at PaperArtsy.  I fell head over heels in love with these new sets - the Rococo glamour of the flourishes, feathers and opulent fabrics, and especially the leafy garlands and sweeping landscapes which take you on a time-travelling journey back to an altogether more elegant age.  I had an absolute ball creating my samples.  Once I started, I couldn't stop!

There are too many to look at in detail in one post - it would mean a War and Peace length post and then some - so I'm going to divide them up over a couple of posts.

You've seen a glimpse of some of them over at PaperArtsy anyway so, apart from these glimpses, I'll also start showing you some of the samples I not shared over at PaperArtsy...

Lynne Perrella herself shared some thoughts about how she puts a collection together as well as about the specifics of these new sets.

I could hardly believe it when I read Lynne's words about how she put these collections together... those were exactly the journeys I went on as I was playing, as you'll see over the next few posts.

As there are so many samples, I'm trying to group them so that they make some kind of sense, so I'll start with the trio of 6 x 6 cards.  Well, they're not strictly cards... they have no backs, so they're really 6 x 6 plaques.  Regulars will know I find those easier to make than cards.  (I know, there's no rational logic to it!)

And they're not strictly a trio, but they do share certain elements in common, and the backgrounds were all created in the same way.  If you saw my Harlequin Infusions last week (my practice run with the older Infusions, knowing that Leandra wanted us to work with the new ones for these samples), this is also how that background started out.

I started with the Harlequin stencil and sprinkled some Infusions over it at the right hand side of the A4 sheet.  This version has Sleight Blue and In the Navy in the mix.  I spritzed water over and let the powders do their thing, and then flipped the stencil over to "print" the excess on the left half of the cardstock.

I dabbed more of the excess around the edges, and in most cases I got an extra printing on a second piece of card - lighter and more delicate.

I tried out most of the colour ways with our designated colours which gave me lots of backgrounds to play with.

We were using the Sleight Blue, In the Navy and Violetta from the new colours, and we were allowed to add in some Golden Sands from the originals, but none of those backgrounds made it to sample-dom.  (This one is Violetta with Golden Sands.)

I know this is old hat for the many Infusions experts out there - I'm guessing you don't need much persuasion to put the new colours in your shopping baskets! - so let's get on with looking at the stamps shall we?

First up, the elegant, amorous Chevalier (from LPC037)...

Just look at him eyeing all the most beautiful women in the ballroom, deciding who will be the recipient of his heart.

He's on a background of Violetta with Sleight Blue, and I added some kraft diamonds (the waste from one of the Tim Holtz Mixed Media Thinlits) with penwork, to echo the stencilled Harlequins in the background.

The detailing on the stamp is phenomenal (he's stamped in Jet Black Archival on Specialty Stamping Paper), and I had a lovely time "watercolouring" him with the Infusions and a little Hey Pesto.

This is before the addition of any Hey Pesto, and that's the lightest possible wash of Sleight Blue around the outside to make the white of his wig pop.

To show how many colours there are in the Sleight Blue powder, both the main fabric of his coat and that beautifully embroidered cuff are done in "pure" Sleight Blue.  I just happened to get dark granules when I did the coat and greyish ones when I did the cuff.

There are words, of course - some Small Talk stickers outlined with white pen to echo the diamonds around them.

I just love the feathers in his hair (another shade of Sleight Blue there), and the frivolous ribbons he wears to make his shoulders look wider and more manly (!)... I hope he's not also stuffing his stockings with sawdust to make his calves look more impressive.

The skin is done with a light wash of Blush Fresco, and I added the tiniest touch of Violetta to the paint to create the heat of his blushing cheeks.

This next card makes use of the In The Navy/Sleight Blue background you saw above and one of the smaller stamps from LPC035.  I make no apology for repeating some of what I said about this one over at PaperArtsy...

I always love handwritten script in a stamp, and the 1.5 inch square image I've used in this sample has a gorgeous example of it.  I imagined this woman as a character in an epistolary novel (a book where the story is told entirely through the letters sent back and forth between characters).

And there's the object of her love, the recipient of her letters - far distant, in the corner of the frame.  (Maybe he's In The Navy... that's one of the Infusions colours I've used here, after all!)

She's on a frame of book text - encasing her in the novel of which she's a part - and layered up over a secondary stamping in the same Cobalt Archival ink.

And there are tendrils of the story spreading out around the card, taking those words onwards into the world.

I wanted to layer in some kraft leaves too, so that there would be an echo of the frame around the edge of the card.

I also used the script detailing from the centre of the stamp around the rest of the card - the letters are flying back and forth between the woman and her lover.

There's a suitably romantic storytelling tone to the Small Talk words, and hopefully a happier ending than the one in the novel whose pages appear here (Vronsky is your clue...).

I don't want to outstay my welcome, so just one more for now... and we're heading to another of the three new sets - this glorious stamp is from LPC036.

For a sweeping landscape in an imagined literary world, you really can't do better than this fabulous image (probably my favourite of the whole release).

This background started out as Sleight Blue with just a hint of In The Navy (I think...) and I added the Violetta to some of the diamonds later, with a brush, when I wanted an echo of the colour I'd added to her face.

I was trying to find an ink to stamp the image so that it would tone with the powders, and I ended up with a combination of Cornflower Blue with Watering Can, blended on the stamp before printing.

I think it gives her a look of faded Delftware pottery.

You can imagine especially the landscape as the design on a beautiful bowl or plate.  Again, the engraving of the stamp is unbelievably intricate.

The trailing vines and leaves around her head have made their way onto the card itself.

The kraft die-cuts were just dipped in some spritzed Infusions on the craft mat before being stuck down.

I used very light washes of Sleight Blue and In The Navy around the edge of the arch to draw the eye in towards the woman.  It won't give this marbling effect on all surfaces - it's because of the coating on the Specialty Stamping paper.

It was all pretty monochrome until I decided I wanted to give her face a bit of a glow.

It's the light wash of Blush Fresco with Violetta added for the highlights again.  And there's a tiny touch of (sorry, discontinued) Pea Coat in her eyes.  (You could use Midnight as an excellent current alternative.)

Then, as I say, I needed to add some Violetta echoes around the background to draw the piece together.  And the black Small Talk stickers provide the words again - a sentiment with which I am in wholehearted agreement!

I know there's loads going on with releases at the moment - just trying to keep up with all the fabulous samples for the incredible new stamps, paints and powders from PaperArtsy alone is a full-time job! - so I don't want to keep you any longer today.

I'll be back very soon to share some more of my samples in detail.  I'm so grateful and proud to have been one of the designers allowed to play with this beautiful set of stamps.  They really are an absolute joy to work with, so full of history and stories - always my favourite thing.

Thank you to Lynne Perrella for providing so much inspiration (both with her pictures and her words!), and to Leandra and Mark for turning these extraordinary images into such superb stamps, and thanks to all of you for spending time here with me today.  Don't forget there are amazing samples from Helen Chilton as well as Lynne's thoughts about the collection to enjoy over at PaperArtsy.  So much to do, so little time... Happy crafting all!

The delight of opening a new pursuit, or a new course of reading, imparts the vivacity and novelty of youth even to old age.
Isaac d'Israeli

Monday, 16 January 2017

2016 Baker's Dozen (and a half)

Hi all!  I thought I ought to get this retrospective post done before we get to February (though there was one of these Favourites posts which was a whole year late!).   It's been considerably quieter here at Words and Picures in 2016, so you would think it would be an easier task to select my Baker's Dozen this time around... no such luck.   In fact, I pretty much gave up on the dozen and just allowed the selection to take its course.

Despite being away from my craft stash for the majority of the year, I think it's still important to reflect on the journey - perhaps even more important to keep track of where I'm going if I want to make the most of the crafting time I have.  So here are some of my favourite things from 2016... some chosen for significant elements they contributed to the journey, some just for the love of them.

(If you click on the titles, you can go and see them in detail - close-up photos always seem to capture a piece better than the "all-in-one" - and with a couple that means hopping onward to catch them elsewhere, if they appeared as part of my DT duties.)

So, one thing I notice is how many of my choices are book-related, either handmade or altered books/journals or art journalling within books.  Well, it is Words and Pictures... I suppose with my love of words and, by extension, books, it was inevitable that books and book pages would come to be a central part of this visual creative journey (check out last week's Harlequin Infusion for a good example, if you missed it).

Art journalling has definitely played a bigger part in the journey this year (if only because an art journal is a relatively simple thing to take with you on an actual journey!). And there's evidence of my journey into my own mark-making - a significant development this year - from scribbles to doodles to sketching and painting to allowing my own handwriting to put in an appearance. 

But looking at this post I'm also very conscious of the back and forth between simplicity and complexity.  I wrote about this conflict in the post for the Imagine Simplicity tag which you saw above.  I'm not saying it has to be an "either/or" but I think it's definitely an ongoing negotiation in my crafting style.

Thank you for indulging me in this reflective mode... we're heading forwards into brand new stamps next, so that will give you something completely fresh to enjoy!

Learning without reflection is a waste. Reflection without learning is dangerous.