Well, of course, that's not quite true... there's always something to see here. But if you're after something fresh, you will have to "move along, please", as there are only sneak peeks here at Words and Pictures today.
I've a brand new project over at The Artistic Stamper Creative Team Blog today, ideal for those who need a little break from all things Christmassy.
I'd love it if you have time to hop over and take a look.
If, on the other hand, you can't get enough of Christmas crafting, there's a chance to catch up with one of my Christmassy tags over at Artistic Outpost later today, just in case you missed it.
So, I hope that will keep everyone happy in one way or another. After a full-on weekend looking after my adored but exhausting niece and nephew, aged 10 and 5, I'm looking forward to doing some catching up this week on what you've all been up to - that will make me happy. See you soon!
The purpose of our lives is to be happy.
The Dalai Lama
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
Friday, 6 December 2013
Hello everyone and welcome, with an especially big welcome to the newest followers - lovely to have you on board.
Hope you've had a lovely week, and are looking forward to a great weekend doing whatever makes you happy...
I'm back with another Funkie Junkie inspired tag.
Yes, slowly but surely I'm making my way through Linda Coughlin's fabulous 12 Tags of Christmas... just not in the right order.
For my fourth contribution, I've leapt forward to Linda's number 9 which you can see here.
If I manage to get all 12 done by the 22nd December, I'll qualify for the prize draw sponsored by The Funkie Junkie Boutique. You can find all the details and rules here.
And this one was a sheer joy to make from beginning to end. Again, I haven't travelled far from Linda's original, but there are some variations to keep you posted on.
I loved Linda's background so stuck to that pretty closely, using an Artistic Outpost snowflake from the Snowy Woods set for my silver embossing.
Something was going on with the sizes of the tag, the baroque plaque and the sentiment stamp. I seem to have either smaller or larger versions of each, so it all meant the overall look of the tag has altered somewhat.
I cut the music from a card of Bach's manuscript so it has a slightly shiny finish which was slightly reluctant to take the ink I edged it with until I added some gesso on too.
I notice from these close-ups that I seem to have stuck it on upside down. Imperfection, I embrace thee!
I didn't have any kind of large snowflake to hand, but I did have a small wooden dove, part of a set of decorations from the Czech Republic.
I painted him, added a silver snowflake and then, since I don't have any Distress Glitter in any other colours, I got out the Rock Candy Dry Glitter to zhuzh him up.
My sentiment was embossed onto another plaque, but it was way too large and my lovely background was fast disappearing.
I trimmed it down by hand at either side, and gave it a good inking with lots of the dark brown Distress inks.
I found myself wanting some more music around, so I added a bit more to the background using a Tim Holtz stamp (where the music is actually backwards - but we're embracing imperfection, eh?).
Another major departure from the inspiration tag was to change the fir branches for flourishes.
And I decided I didn't want to make them all glittery like Linda's branches. I like them too much in their natural wood state, so all they've had is a little touch of gesso.
And a happy side effect of that decision is that this tag will fit nicely into Simon Says Stamp's Monday Challenge this week, With A Flourish.
The paper roses have also been gesso'd, and then I used Treasure Gold in Pewter to give the very edges a bit of silvery shine.
The tiny pine cone needed a smattering of gesso/snow too, and I wound a little piece of fine twine around and about for extra interest.
My heart started out as another of the Czech wooden ornaments (like the golden tree on the last tag). I gave it a coat or two of paint, then added some silver snowflakes to replace the ones I'd painted over.
I added Rock Candy Dry Glitter again to give it a touch of sparkle.
What's great about the Distress Glitters is that you can ink over the top of them, so I was able to add a touch of Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain around the edges for definition.
And another tiny touch of music too... Christmas should be filled with music.
The topping is some paper ribbon, splayed and frayed, and another of the little pine cones, all bound together with some more fine twine.
Really, really happy with this one (hence all the photos) - and it gave me such pleasure to create it - so thank you yet again, Linda, for a wonderful piece of inspiration.
I'm starting to think I might stick with this blue and brown colour theme for the rest of my tags... what, blue and brown? Me? Surely not?!
I'd like to enter this in the following:
As my Tag 9 in Linda Coughlin's 12 Tags of Christmas sponsored by The Funkie Junkie Boutique
At the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge the theme this week is With a Flourish
At The Ribbon Girl they are having a Ho Ho Ho Christmas Challenge
Your destiny is to fulfil those things upon which you focus most intently. So choose to keep your focus on that which is truly magnificent, beautiful, uplifting and joyful. Your life is always moving toward something.
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Hello all! Thank you for your fabulous feedback for my final PaperArtsy makes... and if you missed all the fun, I'd love it if you had a moment to catch up. You'll find all the links you need here.
I'm here with another creation inspired by the 12 Tags of Christmas created by the wonderful Linda Coughlin, the Funkie Junkie herself. The challenge has been going for weeks, but I'm only just now getting a chance to play.
10 of the 12 tags are up and ready for us to play with, there are two more to come, and we have until 22nd December to get them all done. This is my third creation, so it'll be full Funkie steam ahead here at Words and Pictures over the next couple of weeks.
You'll find all the details here, along with Tag 1 (though you can create any kind of project, as long as it's inspired by Linda's tags), and the prize is sponsored by The Funkie Junkie Boutique, so it's well worth getting your act in gear!!
This is my version of Tag 2 (yeah, I'm leaping around a bit in terms of what order I do them in). You can check out Linda's beautiful original here. I've not wandered far from the path... though my background has more Pumice Stone than Frayed Burlap (a colour I've never got on with very well).
I absolutely love the cabin in the snowy woods, from the Artistic Outpost Midwinter plate. And since I'm on the AO team (alongside Linda!), I thought I'd go for making this tag an AO affair. So my additional stamping is all Artistic Outpost too...
The words from my all-time favourite Christmas Carol - In the Bleak Midwinter (but it must be this version by Darke, not the Holst) - are from the Midwinter plate too (obviously, now I think about it). I suppose it's no accident that in my favourite carol, the words are by a poet I love, Christina Rossetti.
Lots of Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls seems to have got itself into the mix just here!
The pine cones and smaller snowflakes are from the same set...
... while the larger snowflakes and the little "joyeux noel" greeting are from Snowy Woods (probably my desert island Christmas stamp set).
I loved the stamped triple embossing Linda used on her little deer, but (not having the deer) I used a little wooden tree ornament from Kik (Czech cheapy shop that I've mentioned before - a bit like Poundstretcher or Woolworths).
In the absence of the large stars, I decided to use some more of my little wooden Calico Studios ones. You saw them in their naked state here, but this time I've added Rock Candy Dry Glitter (following Linda's lead) over a coat of white chalk ink.
They're a bit small for stamping on though!
Absolutely loved dyeing the cheesecloth, so much so that I used it in two places on the tag.
I added some Frantage Aged Gold embossing powder around the top, to echo the tree below. Love how it's caught in the fraying fabric.
I also love that you can see the mesh behind the tree, through the little laser cut decoration.
And the linen ribbon is just lovely stuff.
Thank you, Linda, for another gorgeous piece of inspiration... I had so much fun playing with this one.
Three down, nine to go...
I'd like to enter this as my Tag 2 in The Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas sponsored by The Funkie Junkie Boutique.
And with that shimmering shower of stars, I'd like to pop it in over at Live and Love Crafts, where the December challenge is Stardust.
She would sit by herself in the middle of the old stone amphitheatre, with the sky's starry vault overhead, and simply listen to the great silence around her.
From Momo, by Michael Ende
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Hello all - it's time for the final PaperArtsy sneak peek. We made it! And with this one I've given in to Christmas.
I've had the most amazing semester - four months of steep learning curves and wonderful fun, with some struggles and many delights.
This last project certainly qualifies for the "struggles" label - it was quite a process! - but I really hope you'll like the end result.
If you missed the other projects for this month, you'll find the first one here and the second one here. And if you're up to speed and ready for the finale, just hop straight over to PaperArtsy now.
I'd like to say a huge thank you to Leandra and to Gillian who've both been brilliant, and thank you to all of you for your continued company on this crafty journey.
Oh, and if that's not enough for you for one day, you can catch up with this entirely non-Christmas make over at Artistic Outpost today, in case you missed it the first time around!
Monday, 2 December 2013
Thank you so much for your comments on yesterday's PaperArtsy project - I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
I'm here with the second of my three offerings, another almost-Christmas affair, certainly when you see it under the special lighting effects at the end of the post!
If that and/or this sneak peek tempts you, then all you need do is hop over to PaperArtsy to check out the whole creation. Hope to see you there.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.
Sunday, 1 December 2013
Hello all... I'm back with the first of my final trio of projects for PaperArtsy. So, it's sneak peek time here again at Words and Pictures. There'll be one tonight, one tomorrow and one on Tuesday, and then it's all over... apart from seeing what you're inspired to make as a result, of course!
I can't believe how fast the time has flown - four months gone in a flash. And I'm deeply sensible of your fabulous support in leaving comments either here or over at PaperArtsy itself - and in many cases both! - during that time. Thank you so much.
So, here's the first of three Christmasish projects. At least, the final one on Tuesday is a full-on Christmas number, but the first couple are certainly heading that way.
If you've time to hop over and check out this trio (yes, the first project is a trio in itself), that would be lovely, and I hope to see you again pretty much this time tomorrow!
Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.
Saturday, 30 November 2013
Hello all. I'm feeling pretty merry: two Funkie Junkie inspired posts in a week... I might manage the whole 12 Tags of Christmas yet!
But, in a move that could cause chaos (only for me, it's okay), I've leapt out of order. I did my Number 1, and now this is my version of Number 8.
This could mean I end up with three of one and none of some others, unless I keep a very tight rein on things. But this was the one that caught my attention next, so I yielded to temptation.
It runs pretty close to Linda's original, but I've used Artistic Outpost stamps to create mine.
If you haven't yet joined in, there is still time. This is only my second piece, and we have until 22nd December to get them all done. The competition details are all here with Tag 1, and there are prizes sponsored by The Funkie Junkie Boutique (well worth a visit anyway if you've never been - lots of AO stamps, quite apart from all the other lovely stuff).
So, I did the background pretty much following Linda's instructions - but my snowflakes are from Snowy Woods (the large ones) and Sleigh Ride (the small ones).
My Father Christmas (from Snowy Woods again) is stamped on book paper with a wash of Vanilla Fresco paint over it.
The sentiment is also from Snowy Woods, with a little touch of the fir branch from the same set.
I don't have a snowflake die or punch, though I'm sorely tempted by the one Linda used, so I used some little Studio Calico wooden stars to add interest.
I loved the touch of the little rusty bell, so I added one of my own, tied with fine twine.
And the same twine fastens the very subtly inked seam binding at the top.
Somehow it needed a bit more length, so I decided to use the Vintage Lace Decorative Strip Die on another book page and inked that to add to the foot of the tag.
And we're done!
I'm entering this as Tag 8 in the Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas
A merry heart doeth good like medicine.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Hello all, lovely to have you stop by. I'm here with my creation(s) inspired by Tim's fabulous November tag.
Yes, I know that's a canvas, not a tag... this is a tag!
But once I had the bit between my teeth with the chalk technique, having lots of fun, I found it taking on a life of its own and demanding a larger canvas, so that's what I gave it.
And it was weird but rather nice, when I went blog-visiting at the end of the day when I'd been making my carollers, to find that the fabulous Brenda over at Bumblebees and Butterflies had been up to something very similar with them! Great minds, you see...
First up, though, the tag which started the whole thing off - and I pretty much played it straight with this. I don't have any of the stamp/die sets so I went with one of my all-time favourite Tim stamps which also has that lovely writing around the outside, similar to the blueprints.
Love the effect of the layered wings - and the new Idea-ology linen ribbon seemed like the perfect simple finish.
Given the time of year, though, my brain immediately went to the snowy possibilities of this chalk technique, so I grabbed some black card and started cutting wintry dies with the BigShot.
The carollers got the full stamping treatment, using the lovely handwritten music from the Joyful Song set.
But for the lamp post and the house I used a paintbrush to scoop excess embossing ink from round the edge of my pad and apply it just where the snow would sit...
...on roofs and ledges and sills and edges.
Then I chalked it all up - and I love the snowy results.
I needed somewhere for all my chalkboard elements to live so I grabbed an A4 canvas and glued some tissue wrap over the whole thing.
I used Gelatos to create most of the sky and snowscape. (I was lucky enough to go and play with them for the first time at a Craft Barn workshop with the lovely Chris Dark of the Sketching Stamper recently - more of that and what I made then another time.)
I added some of Tim's little trees, stamped with Cobalt Archival so that they would stay put whatever else I decided to do later.
I did have to slightly remove the trunks with another wash of paint.
And regulars will understand that I simply had to carry them on round the sides too, of course.
Up in the sky I added some white embossed snowflakes, later giving them a dusting of Rock Candy Dry Glitter too.
I've only just started catching up with some of the CC102 techniques (stupidly timed house-moving!), so it's lovely to get this chalky one under my belt via this November tag - but I knew I had a use for another of them.
I'd seen the crackle-glazed glass turning up around Craftyblogland, and wanted to use it in my lantern glass.
I used some leftover acetate packaging for the technique, and coloured the card behind it with Gelatos to give the idea of the glowing flame.
Once it was all glued in place, I added a thick coat of Glossy Accents over the top of the "glass" to give it a bit of extra dimension.
I do rather like the echo of Narnia with the lamp post among the trees!
And I'm pretty pleased with the white Gelato shading to show the gleam of the light its giving off.
There's also Glossy Accents doing the job of glass in the windows of the little house. And Gelatos again to create the warm golden glow from inside.
Some of that glow spills out onto the snow and the garden "path" of Chitchat stickers...
... so that they are warmed by the light too.
I did lots of shading using Distress Markers around the carollers and the other elements, to try to embed them into the landscape.
I do love these two - and given that I love creating things inspired by music, I hope they'll put in appearances year round, not only at Christmas.
The panel at the centre uses one of the Mini Holidays stamps (I now "need" the large version!!), stamped on Specialty Stamping paper and then covered over with Rock Candy Dry Glitter. I'm not a glittery type in general, but this stuff... lovely!
I added some more music stamping to the snow too...
... as well as some flourishes stamped in Weathered Wood and embossed with the Frosted Crystal powder.
They're so subtle as to be almost subliminal, but I rather like them swirling in the snow drifts.
There's a dusting of Rock Candy Dry Glitter over the snow and throughout the night sky, so that the canvas really sparkles as you move it in the light - not so easy to catch with a camera, but I hope you get the idea from some of the photos.
So there you have it... my chalky Christmas. I hope you like it. Thank you, Tim, for the inspiration that took me off on this unexpected journey - not my usual thing, but so much fun to play!
I'd like to enter this as my November "tag" in Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2013 - can't believe there's only one more.
I'm also thrilled that this can double as my first contribution to the Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas, sponsored by The Funkie Junkie Boutique; inspired as it is by the chalkboard technique on Tag 1, by the fabulous Linda Coughlin. A canvas, rather than a tag, but the rules do say it can be any kind of Christmas creation. I don't know if I'm going to make it to all twelve, but I'm going to try!!
And the Christmas Carol service is the real start of Christmas for me, so the rehearsals are one way of counting down the time left to go - as well as counting the beat of the music, of course! - so I'd like to pop this in over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge where the theme is Countdown to the Holidays.
Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart...filled it, too, with melody that would last forever.
From Song of Years by Bess Streeter Aldrich
There is a Christmas song upon the air,
There is a joy innate within the heart;
An inner sense of peace, a holy light
Illumines life and sets these days apart.
From A Song Upon The Air by Edna Greene Hines