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, 1 August 2014

Wonderful Words

Hello all!  Busy times - beginning of the month... this is the second post of the day already!  If you're looking for this month's Artistic Stamper creation, just click the link.  Oh, and there's also a new challenge starting at Our Creative Corner today, of course.  I'm afraid I haven't managed to join in with that one, but there's lots of inspiration from my fabulous team-mates.

But right now it's my turn to pick the theme over at Country View Challenges.  There are no prizes for guessing that I'm asking you to put words centre stage with some Word Play.

You can find all the challenge details and rules here - check them out to be in with a chance at the prize, generously sponsored by Country View Crafts - along with lots of wonderful inspiration from my fantastic team-mates.

My starter for ten is a simple tag with a great sentiment stamp at the heart of it.

I started by riffling through the pile of paper scraps on my craft table to find one of the extra tags I made when I was playing with the technique from Tim Holtz's June tag (I went with an autumnal look at the time, but created lots of extras as the inky playtime was such fun).

As I've mentioned, I'm a little pushed for time at the moment (busy with visa applications for a fantastically exciting day-job opportunity in New York!! - more of that another time), so I decided I would keep it simple.

I loved the starry background as it was, though I did add some Black Soot to the torn edge at the bottom...

... and the background tag was already gently inked and spritzed to complement it, but I intensified the black edging with a bit more inking.

I stamped the wonderful words in Versamark ink and embossed them with some fine detail black embossing powder.

As you know, I love that glossy dimensional sheen that draws the eye in the sunlight.

There's a topping of dyed crinkle ribbon, with curled paper string to fasten it.

And it really is as simple as that.  Keep an eye out though... I'll be sharing my second project for the month very very soon - and that's far from simple!!

Do hop over and see what the rest of the team have created to inspire you, and we hope you'll come and indulge in some Word Play with us this month at Country View Challenges.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I'd love it if you have time to check out my project for the Anything Goes challenge at The Artistic Stamper while you're at it.  I'd hate it to get lost in the rush!!

Half an hour's meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy.  Then a full hour is needed.
Saint Francis de Sales
Oh, so true!!

Ingredients used, and available at Country View Crafts:
Stampers Anonymous/Tim Holtz - Random Quotes 
Ranger Distress Watercolour Paper
Tim Holtz Layering Stencils - Stars
Distress Stains - Stormy Sky, Black Soot, Gathered Twigs, Pumice Stone, Chipped Sapphire
Distress Inks - Stormy Sky, Black Soot, Gathered Twigs, Vintage Photo, Chipped Sapphire
Idea-ology Crinkle Ribbon
Idea-ology Paper String - Solids
Versamark Watermark Stamp Pad
Ranger Embossing Powder - Super Fine Detail Black

The Way You See Me

Hello all!  It's been relatively quiet round here lately, but it's that time of the month again, when there's a sudden flurry of activity, new challenge themes kicking off left, right and centre.

First up, I'm here with the news that Anything Goes at The Artistic Stamper this month!  As usual, you don't even have to use Artistic Stamper stamps on your creation, but if you do you'll get two entries into the prize draw, so come and play...

I decided to head for one of the many journals of various sizes and shapes and types that I seem to have on the go.  I really wanted to try to leave some clear space, rather than fill every last inch as I often do... and this is what arrived on the page.

Anything Goes, so I've just grabbed lots of stuff I love to play with...

There's lovely subtle crackle texture...

... and layers of book pages, paint and tissue tape...

... and stamping of course...

... and collaged ephemera on top of it all.

And a combination of words and pictures that somehow got me right in the heart.

Let me take you through some of the layers.  It all started with some torn book pages...

... then the washi tape came into play - butterflies and script, of course.

And then a good wash of gesso to soften the whole thing.

Not soft enough, so then another coat of gesso, as well as some script stamping, using Calligraphy Mat #4.

I still wasn't sure where any of this was going, but I wanted some texture involved.

I turned to the Croco Crackling Colour in White and just smeared some on with a palette knife in opposing corners.

I don't seem to have taken a picture of that stage, so you'll just have to catch it in the close-ups!

Regulars will know I'm pretty obsessed with Katy Leitch's new jumbo flower stamps, and that's what I grabbed next.

The Camellia has not only the main stem, but several individual flower heads in the set.

I stamped those around my pages in Potting Soil Archival ink, trying to embrace imperfection where the stamping wasn't perfect.

It's inevitably imperfect because you're going over the texture of the washi and the book pages - that's all part of the fun.

I still had to decide how to create the focal points for the pages - and that started to come together when I found the two Darkroom Door Photobooth photos which had the same couple in slightly different poses.

Suddenly I could see how it might go...

So I grabbed lots of paper scraps and ephemera from the Tim Holtz ephemera packs, both the Expedition and the Thrift Shop ones.

I sorted through to find suitable pieces in colour tones that would complement my layered background, inked the edges, and began to create new collaged layers with my scraps.

I needed some more dimension, and I can never resist a bit of metal, so I grabbed a few skeleton leaves and "rusted" them with Distress Embossing Powder in Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain for extra texture.

I tucked them in and around my layered papers.

I love how, since they're only the leaf veins, you still get to see other textures through them.

The sentiment seemed perfect for the couple.  I stamped it on some spare card, and snipped the corners to echo the shapes of all their tickets, saved to remember all the films and shows they've seen together.

I really wanted to add some loopy threads but, believe it or not, I seem to be out of white cotton - ah, well... I'll just have to add them another time.

So apologies that it's apparently not even a finished page!

The final touch was to add lots of splatter - it's done with the Ground Coffee and White Linen Dylusions, splattered off the unscrewed spritzer from inside the bottles.

I did cover the photos and of course my precious words while I did it, so that they didn't end up splattered too.

So that's what went for me as I played Anything Goes - what will go for you?!  I do hope you'll come and play along this month... check out the challenge details and some more inspiration from the Artistic Stamper team here.  And I'll be back before breakfast with the next new challenge theme of the month.  Hope to see you then!

So, til the judgement that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.
Final couplet of Sonnet 55 by William Shakespeare
(one of my all time favourites)

I'd like to enter this in the following:
France Papillon?
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and my J is for... journalling
Anything But A Card - where they are having an Open Theme
Art Journal Journey?

Ingredients used:
Artistic Stamper stamps: Jumbo Camellia by Katy Leitch, Calligraphy Mat #4
Viva Decor Croco Crackling Colour in White
Archival Ink - Potting Soil
Tim Holtz French Industrial Paper Stash
Ephemera Packs by Tim Holtz - Expedition and Thrift Shop
Idea-ology Tissue Tape - Composer
Washi Tape - Script (maybe 7 Gypsies or Prima?)
Skeleton Leaves
Distress Embossing Powder - Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain
Dylusions Sprays - Ground Coffee, White Linen
Book pages
Darkroom Door - Photobooth pictures

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

A Foggy Artistic Outpost Day

Hello all - it's an up and down day today.  I'm delighted to be part of this Artistic Outpost bloghop, the first one under new management, celebrating the re-launch of the AO line... but I'm also really sad that it's going to be my last official duty with Artistic Outpost.

As you all know, real life has kicked into action, with so much going on on the work front that I'm having to re-balance how everything fits together... and this is one place I've decided to cut back.  It's been a huge honour and privilege to play with these beautiful stamps, and to work with the amazing AO team, under Lisa's brilliant leadership.

Speaking of that amazing team, here's the itinerary for today's hop...
Alison Bomber, Terry Horrall, Kate Yetter

I do hope you'll find time to pay them a visit - you won't be disappointed, I promise you!  And there's a special summer sale with 20% off all Flower and Gardening plates.  You'll find the details here.  But before you head off, here's my offering... and there's even an extra little bonus to come.

Since I'm so sad to be going, it seems appropriate that this is definitely in a bluesy mode...

I started with some Distress Stains on the craft mat - Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans and Pumice Stone - to create the backgrounds.

Then I used the stamps from Loverly London to create some London vignettes.

At one end we have the dapper businessman, stamped in a combination of Blue Violet and Cobalt Archival inks...

...with his pen nib to record the day's transactions.

At the other end the woman - either a lady, or perhaps a singer from the music hall, in which case she's probably no lady at all.  (Classic music hall songs of the time include She Sits Among The Cabbages and Peas - say it out loud to yourself!)

The Idea-ology feather echoes those fabulous plumes in her hat.

Big Ben stands tall and proud in the centre (though that's actually the name of the bell, not the tower)...

... with all those cogs and gears to keep the hands turning and time ticking away.

I used one of the other stamps from the same set to add the random script stamping for extra texture.

And the words are what really gives away at least one of our protagonists as less than gentlefolk in status...

They're very much the words of "the lower sort"!

They're all fastened on with the adorable Idea-ology mini paper clips.

The ATCs are mounted onto some corrugated cardboard, and I was really pleased that I managed to paint it to match the ink used for the stamping - don't ask me what colours were involved!!

And here's your final little added extra.  You'll have noticed there were four backgrounds originally... well, here's a bonus ATC.

Yup, it's a foggy day in London town (with some added gesso to give that soft smoky effect over the stamping)... the detail on these stamps is really incredible.

So there you go - my last official post for Artistic Outpost.  I hope I haven't made you all too blue!

I'd just like to say thank you again to Lisa, Robyn and Steven for inviting me on board in the first place, to the rest of the DT for your amazing inspiration and company on the journey, and I wish you all a fantastic time on the adventures ahead.  Artistic Outpost will always hold a special place in my heart and in my crafting, so you'll still be seeing these amazing stamps turning up from time to time, never fear!

Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope you enjoy your AO hopping!

This melancholy London - I sometimes imagine that the souls of the lost are compelled to walk through its streets perpetually.  One feels them passing like a whiff of air.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

An Artistic Naturalist

Hello all... Don't panic, that's Naturalist, not Naturist!  And my Victorian Naturalist wouldn't consider going out on one of his nature rambles in less than full costume, waistcoat and cravat included.

I hope you'll hop over to The Artistic Stamper to see what new specimens he's discovered on his latest excursion... they're all recorded in his Expedition Field Notes (otherwise known as a tag!).

I'll let you in on what's keeping me so busy (and stressed) very soon - I don't want to jinx it before it's all in place... but I really hope I'll be able to pay some visits shortly.  Thank you all for your lovely comments in the meantime, I hope you enjoy the naturalist's field notes, and I'll see you again soon.

Study nature, not books.
Louis Agassiz (Geologist, teacher and naturalist 1807 - 1873)
Personally, I'd go for a bit of both...

Saturday, 19 July 2014

In the Calico Garden

Hello all!  It's sneak peek time again here at Words and Pictures.

This time I'm hoping to tempt you over to Calico Crafts where I've been having a lovely time creating a rusty rustic garden - all in a printer's tray!

I hope you'll enjoy your garden perambulation if you hop over to take a look, and I'm hoping to enjoy some blog-visiting in the next couple of days before things get completely bonkers here...  

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.
From the Gnomologia, 1732, by Thomas Fuller

A tiny favour... 

This request goes out to anyone who enjoyed the dollshouse posts last month.  Cestina's museum, Small Worlds, is now listed on a Czech tourism site.  Somehow Cestina managed to give herself only a 3 star rating... (don't ask me!).  

If you would be willing to click 5 stars to up the average to its deserved rating, then all you need to do is visit here and click the fifth star.

Thank you!!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Burlap Boys and Girls

Hello all!  Thanks so much for dropping in.  Life seems to get busier and busier round here... it's all good and all very exciting work-wise, but I think crafting and blogging may have to take a bit of a back seat for a couple of months.  I'll still be around, don't get me wrong - but I think a little less frequently for a while, probably.

For now, though, I'm really happy that I found the time to play along with number 6 of the Compendium of Curiosities III challenges, hosted by the lovely Linda Ledbetter and her wonderful Curiosity Crew.  I haven't managed to join in as often as I'd like, but this one just fitted in between other things, so here's what I came up with.

We're playing with the techniques on p.37 of the book this time.  I'm afraid you'll need a copy of your own to play along - I won't be going into details, so as to protect Tim's hard work.

I played with two of the small burlap canvases.

There's one with a girl, and one with a boy.

But I refuse to go down the pink/blue divide.  For starters, it's completely random and very recent.

The Victorians considered that blue was a gentle colour suitable for girls, and martial bold colours like pink and red were better suited to boys... so everyone can be blue at Words and Pictures - or pink come to that, but that's for another day!!

So the girl is based around a palette of Weathered Wood, Faded Jeans and a hint of Evergreen Bough.

And the boy has a combination of Faded Jeans, Peacock Feathers and Shabby Shutters.

I pretty much followed Tim's directions to the letter, except for right at the very end, when I added a little extra dusting of shimmer with some Treasure Gold in Pewter.

It's not part of of the basic technique, so I'll share some of my additional detailing...

The Alpha Parts have had a frosting of white Enamel Accents. 

And I altered the Muse Token with my chosen Distress Paints before sanding back to reveal the silvery metal underneath.

Over on the Boy Burlap, the number 3 (rhymes with "me" from the girl's side!) has had the DP treatment.

And the metal elements also benefited from the Pewter Treasure Gold, just to give them that extra burnished look.

Of course, nothing is complete around here without some words.

The boy is telling the girl to share her courage...

... while the girl is telling the boy to cherish his dreams.

Of course everything has to go off around the edges too... 

And you've got to have a butterfly somewhere, haven't you!

That's that for my chunky little burlap canvases.  Hope you enjoyed the quick tour.

Hop over to Linda's to see the always amazing inspiration from the Crew, and don't forget there are prize packages generously provided by Tim and Mario, and the sponsor for Challenge 6 is The Funkie Junkie Boutique (courtesy of the other lovely Linda... the Funkie Junkie herself) - what could be better?!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  As I say, things may be a bit quieter here for a while... but then again, I may end up doing lots of 2am crafting to avoid the withdrawal symptoms, so we'll see!  Happy Crafting all!

Nature makes boys and girls lovely to look upon so they can be tolerated until they acquire some sense.
William Lyon Phelps

I'd like to enter this in Challenge 6 at the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenges hosted by Linda Ledbetter
And it was the faces of the boy and the girl which started me off, so I'd also like to play along with About A Face at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge