Hi all, welcome (back) to Words and Pictures, and an especially big welcome to the new followers. (I can't believe it - nearly 50!!)
A shorter post today (I think... you never know how it'll pan out!) to invite you on a Trip to Europe on a Tag, as suggested by the Artful Times challenge this week. Here you go:
I'm already in Europe, so didn't have as far to travel as some... and while I haven't that much interest in taking a trip to Paris now, I would love to do some time-travelling and take a trip to Paris sometime in the early 20th century, say in 1925...
the beginning of an explosion of cultural effervescence in music, art, fashion and celebrity:
when I could have caught the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs (which gave us the term Art Deco);
when air travel was still a luxury affair, in gleaming silver beauties of the sky;
when I could have caught Josephine Baker performing at the Folies Bergère in her early days, and visited the Moulin Rouge at the height of its artistic peak, with Mistinguett creating her great shows;
when I could have seen the unutterably lovely Art Nouveau entrances to the Paris Métro still quite shiny and new...
It's nice to dream!
So that's the Paris I wanted to take a trip to with this tag. Romantic, elegant, slightly shabby chic, gleaming and glamorous.
I started by hand-cutting a large tag to the dimensions of the tag in Tim Holtz's Movers and Shapers Tag and Bookplates die. I don't have that, nor the base tray I'd need to start with the Movers and Shapers dies, but I can still use a pair of scissors! I cut it out in a medium-weight chipboard, as I wanted it to have some solidity.
I covered it with plain white cardstock, and started to create my background.
I'm going to show some pictures of the background before all the main elements were added, as I liked it so much I almost left it that way!
I embossed the PARIS and the Carte Postale using Archival Cobalt with some Chipped Sapphire, and then clear embossing powder. The rest were stamped in Black Archival. There's one that I did in a clear emboss with the Versamark Watermark pad, so it would stay white as the base cardstock, but in the end it got mostly covered with TH tissue tape.
Apart from the Carte Postale (TH) and the writing (Kaisercraft's Script), the majority of the stamps here are from 7 Gypsies Avignon set, which I managed to get very cheaply on ebay (hurrah!). It's full of lovely French postmarks, and addresses, and authorisation stamps. (Regular readers will have seen some of them in highly unusual action here.)
After stamping, I did lots of ink blending, starting with Weathered Wood and building up through Stormy Sky to some Chipped Sapphire towards the edges. I then wanted to add that gleam, so it got a good few spritzes of Perfect Pearls in Blue Patina and in Pearl. I love that this gives it almost an enamelly surface, and a slightly roughened surface to the touch.
It also had the extremely desirable effect of modulating a lot of the black stamping to a silvery gray... which really tapped in to one of my main ideas for the tag, my silver aeroplane (sorry, I'm going to be British about this... no airplanes round here).
Finally I added some bits of TH Tissue Tape, from the Sketchbook rolls. They were the last thing on, so kept their roughened texture.
And I backed some on to some white tissue paper too, so that I could make my ribbons for the top of the tag from it. I so love the tissue tape - it's just divinely gorgeous... all those fonts and handwriting and lovely Frenchifications! And I love the crispiness of it on the tissue paper.
I was, of course, creating this background already knowing the elements which would take pride of place on it, and it was a process of juggling the elements and the bits of background to make sure my favourite bits continued to get a look in.
As I said, the aeroplane was actually one of the first bits to come to me. I knew I could use the TH aeroplane from the journey set - à la the ones Indiana Jones is always plummeting out of - but I really wanted it to have that gleaming silver 1930s aura of glamorous air travel (there's a great episode of Poirot that has just what I mean in it). So I thought I could try stamping it onto PaperArtsy's Metal Paper.
I did it in Staz-On, as I wasn't sure whether the surface would take it, and for double safety I gave it a little zhuzh with the heat-tool. No problem - and just the result I was after. A little bit of fussy cutting and it's "chocks away"!
Of course you can't have Paris without the Eiffel Tower, so that got the metal paper treatment too. Again this is TH, from the French Marketplace set, but I've cut it away from the framing elements which usually surround it. (I should own up to a couple of failed attempts with black embossing, and silver embossing on black cardstock - just not sharp enough for my liking, even with the Detail embossing powder.)
And again, if you catch it in the sunlight, the metal paper really earns its keep.
I got the photos from a Google Image search trawl, and I tried them both in Sepia and in B&W, but decided I didn't want to go the 'Vintage Photo' route for once. I liked this whole Blue/Silver affair, and though you know my passion for Brown and Blue, I decided to restrain myself!
They were shaping up nicely with some Weathered Wood and Stormy Sky shading, and a nice Black Soot edging (so messy, very mucky fingers, but worth it!), but again I wanted a bit more gloss.
This time I achieved it by covering the whole picture with Embossing Ink, then heating clear embossing powder to get a kind of grainy gloss. Ooh, look... shiny!
The lovely Deco lettering of this 7 Gypsies PARIS stamp, having been embossed right at the start, also got an extra little glow from the Perfect Pearls Mist stage. I love trying to get that extra dimensionality on text.
Clearly, somebody had to have been doing all that writing, and addressing the Carte Postale, so I added the pen nib. I hope that there's a lovely, passionate affaire to be writing home about. If you're an American in Paris, or indeed anyone else in Paris, I feel there should be!
Merci beaucoup for your visit today. I hope you've enjoyed my little time-travelling trip to Europe. It's been so lovely to hear all your feedback. The crafting community is full of incredibly generous and positive people it seems to me, and I'm very happy to have found this amazing new world of creativity and talent - all available to admire and learn from, at the click of a few buttons! Thank you for making me feel so welcome.
I do hope to see you here again soon, but for now... au revoir!
I'm entering this in the following:
Artful Times wonderful challenge to take a Trip to Europe on a Tag
I'd like to make this my second and final entry for the Crafty Creations challenge Tags
The Fashionable Stamping Challenges invitation 'Let's Get Messy and Inky'
The Allsorts Challenge this week which is Distressing
and finally the Tando Creative Challenge to offer up some Texture
As an artist, a man has no home in Europe save in Paris
In the movies, Paris is designed as a backdrop for only three things - love, fashion shows, and revolution.