Longtime followers will know that I started blogging while in the Czech Republic, where I hope to spend more time from now on - and that's because it's where my forebears are from. So I was delighted, shortly before my uncle's birthday, to win an Ebay auction for some Darkroom Door stamps of Prague. They are fantastic stamps, and they're what I used to make this birthday giftcard.
|Evening Street, 1906|
It wasn't until my mother looked at this card and said - 'Oh, it's like a Schikaneder!', that I realised that I probably had been influenced by his colourways, unconsciously.
But then, Prague has always seemed to me a city of mystery and learning - a centre of alchemical, musical, and intellectual studies for centuries, so there's also something of that in it for me.
Anyway, I had tremendous fun just allowing the stamps to merge onto the card, and blending blues, browns and golds into the mix.
I was working on a very thick A5 cream board, so it has a real solidity to it. I later mounted it onto folded dark blue A4 card so it could be displayed like a conventional card.
The images are stamped in Archival Black, as I knew I'd be inking and spritzing and didn't want any of them to end up blurring in this particular piece.
I started with the image of Charles Bridge, stamped onto one of the Prima Printery sheets of 8x8, and backed onto another paper from the same collection. Both were attacked with the Tim Holtz Paper Distresser and a number of Distress Inks - Vintage Photo and Stormy Sky prime amongst them.
The sentiment I stamped in Versamark Watermark and embossed with Detail Black powder to give it some gloss and dimensionality.
Around the edge of the board, I used the Tim Holtz cracked glass stamp from the Ultimate Grunge set, stamped in Cobalt Archival. It has a lovely quality somewhere between cracked ice and spiders' webs.
In the centre I added my much-loved TH Postcard stamp, and the little Prague description from the DD set. Just off camera is the Prague postage stamp done in Cobalt Archival.
I love this stamp with the street of houses and cobblestones. There is more to the picture but I wanted it curving round behind the main image, to give it a half-hidden intriguing look... like all the little streets and alleyways you get tempted to walk up as you walk around Prague.
I needed more cobble stones to fill the space, so I repeated that little bit of the stamp to go further down the card.
I also adore this stamp of the astronomical clock you can find on the City Hall on the Old Town Square.
The clock dates back to 1410, making it the oldest astronomical clock still working. It was made by two men: clockmaker Mikuláš of Kadaň and Jan Šindel, a professor of mathematics and astronomy. It's an absolute must on the sightseeing itinerary if you're visiting Prague!
I used it again on some more of the Prima paper, inked up and distressed at the edges, to make a panel for the interior of the card so that we could write inside.
In the top left corner, I added one of the splendid wrought iron curlicue stamps from the set, and the ghostly PRAHA (Prague in Czech) letters are embossed in Weathered White.
I love this spooky, cobwebby corner, drifting into twilight!
The whole thing got a spritz of Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls Mist for the lustrous gleam it gives.
Last of all, here's a shot of it lying on top of the large white envelope I distressed with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.
It also makes quite a nice frame to the whole thing as it turns out!
Thank you so much for dropping in to Words and Pictures today (especially if this is your second visit... certainly the first time I've posted twice in a day!). It means so much to have your company and your comments along the way.
Prague isn't just a city, but an entity of some kind.
The ancient splendor and beauty of Prague, a city beyond compare, left an impression on my imagination that will never fade.
I'd like to enter this for:
The Try It On Tuesday challenge this fortnight, which is Travel
Top Tip Tuesday are celebrating their second birthday with a Birthday Gift challenge
My Time to Craft are, by lucky chance, having a Milestone Birthdays challenge this week
Papercrafting Journey are having an Anything Goes challenge - lasting SIX weeks!!