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...

Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Puppeteer

Hello again!  Thank you all so much for your kind wishes for a good journey home to the UK - the Butterfly has landed!  And, first things first, the craft boxes are unpacked, and this afternoon I seized a bit of crafting time (needed to calm the jitters), so I'm here with a little something to show you.  I could have called this one, "And now for something completely different..."!

The thing that really switched me on to crafting was the grungy steampunk I found in Tim Holtz's work and products, but most of my projects have mutated via shabby chic into something slightly different (I got distracted by all the pretty papers around!)... So I wanted to try something a bit more purely steampunk, like the stuff I'd played with early on before I discovered all this blogging business!  

This is, in fact, an altered piece.  It started with a bookmark which had been lying on my staircase forever.  I found her slightly disturbing to start with, I have to say - that very intense stare and those slightly strangely clasped hands... besides, there's nothing spookier than a spooky child!

I also wanted a suitable project with which to use metallics, so that I could finally join in with the Studio L3 challenge.  A hugely talented bunch of crafters, hosted by the fabulous Linda Ledbetter, have been working their way through the techniques in Tim Holtz's Compendium of Curiosities II.  

I ordered the book several months ago, and have at last got home to unpack the parcel, so I get to join in with the Perfect Pearls Mist technique on page 54 - better late than never, I say!  You can see the results of the technique here on the right... but I'm not allowed to reveal its secrets!

I'm using it to create a frame for my steampunk puppeteer.

The little steampunk flying cyclist came from some digital wallpaper I downloaded for free months ago, and I'm ashamed to say I can't any longer remember where from.  (If anyone recognises it, do please let me know, so that I can add the credit.)

He's had a coat of UTEE, partly to strengthen him, as the fussy cutting has some very delicate parts.  The added bonus is that you get some dimensionality and that spectacular glossiness!

She's dangling him on a piece of black cord, part of an Ikea jumbo present-wrapping set bought years ago for peanuts in the Christmas sale.  I started with a loop of it, but decided it looked more as though it was between her fingers with a little snip taken out.



The puppeteer herself is sporting a false eye created from a wheel from that same steampunk wallpaper, also glossy with UTEE.  Her skin is Tattered Rose, applied with a blending tool.

Her dress is also coloured very roughly using a blending tool (I didn't want to get into 'colouring-in' too perfectly), with shades of Broken China, Tumbled Glass and Dried Marigold Distress Inks.

There's a touch of Picket Fence Distress Marker on the lace of her collar and cuffs, and on her necklace.  The pearls have also got a lovely dimensional coat of Glossy Accents too, to pick them out.

I used the fine end of the Barn Door Distress Marker for her lips and nails, and Peeled Paint to give her a touch of eyeshadow.


I like a sentiment to be a little ambiguous sometimes - so that you're not quite sure what's being said - you have to stop and think.  This one could, I suppose, be either quite reassuring or quite threatening... look in her eye(s) and see what it says to you!

I inked some plain cardstock with Dried Marigold and stamped the words in Archival Black with my little alphabet set.  The extra little stamped industrial and clock bits are from a freebie stamp included with one of my PaperArtsy orders (thank you, PaperArtsy!).  

I cut jagged corners around the words, edged it with Black Soot, and gave it a little spritz of Perfect Pearls Mist in Pewter.  And there's another wheel from the digital wallpaper, UTEE'd and added to the sentiment.


The gears in the bottom right corner are cut from the DCWV Tattered Time matstack, so have their own built-in gloss.  And I've added one of the TH Idea-ology gears to the centre of one of the paper gears.  I think it all looks great against that metallic Perfect Pearls Mist frame - such a fantastic technique.




I added a couple of bits of black coil to the piece - it's just that stuff you twist round to seal a plastic bag or whatever... again saved from some packaging at some point.  Hoarding does have its uses!  I think you can see it better in the picture on the left.




I backed the altered bookmark onto some more plain card, coloured with Dried Marigold so that it would make it stand out against the embossed frame (it's  the TH Distressed Frame embossing folder twice and joined together so that it would be long enough for her).  

Finally, I added a couple more gears round the puppeteer to finish it off. Had to use up the last of my silver ones so that it would all tone in - oops, now I need some more...!

I'm so glad to be reunited with the remainder of my stash (I couldn't take all of it to the Czech Republic), and also very excited to unpack the parcels which had been arriving in my absence (can't pass up an ebay bargain - even if I know I'm not going to get my hands on it immediately!).  

Lots of lovely things to play around with... though I've also got a lot to do getting things ready for my brother's wedding.  You'll get to see how that turns out after the 12th August, because there's quite a lot of crafting of one sort or another involved, but I have to keep it all secret until then!

I should just quickly say a big welcome to the new followers - great to have you with us!  And thank you all so much for spending some time here at Words and Pictures today.  I look forward to seeing you again soon, either here or somewhere else in Craftland!  

I'm entering this in the following:
That Craft Place who are having a Steampunk challenge this fortnight
Challenge 16 in the Studio L3 Compendium of Curiosities II challenge

Simon Says Stamp and Show still want to know "What do you say?"
And I'd also like to join in the Bloggers' Challenge Blog Hop for the first time  - hosted by Lisa Somerville over at her wonderful blog Splendiferous Creations... For this one, we have to Alter It, and you can while away some wonderful hours travelling round to the crafty blogs below to see what everyone's produced - and/or join in yourself!  

First, though, it's time for the quotes...

We are only puppets, our strings being pulled by unknown forces.
Georg Buchner

Master of puppets, I'm pulling your strings, twisting your mind, and smashing your dreams.
Metallica (look, it's even metallic here...!!)

39 comments:

anna christensen crafts said...

This is fabulous! I love her eye patch! you've really rocked steampunk... very,very cool!

...the yorkshire fox... said...

...amazing work Alison, the background is awesome I loVe the texture you've achieved here...my immediate thought was Les Mis with the broodiness of the image but no she lends herself far more to steampunk...a super make...Mel :)

Alison said...

A stunning piece of steampunk art Alison! x

Chrissy said...

I looked into her 'eye'as you suggested..and memorised the sentiment while doing this and decided she is..threatening...spooky, but absolutely stunning Steampunk..fantastic details Alison.

Luv CHRISSYxx

Inkyfingers said...

This is amazing and the puppeteer imagery is so interesting. I have been trying to be more CAS in style but I'm loving this!!!

Alie said...

Wow Alison..this is a great peace of steampunk art. What a great details, the whole creation is so lovable!
Gorgeous!!!!

greetings, Alie :-)

SmilynStef said...

Love your super-creepy yet oh-so-artsy design ... fantastic.

Janny Jager 't Hooft said...

WOWWWWWWWWWW Alison what a beautiful stempunk creation have you made
Really very very nice

Greetings Janny

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Absolutely love this, the grungy feel really appeals to me and I love your e,bossed distressed frame, it showcases your image perfectly. Love the image and what a fantastic piece of text/sentiment. Thanks so much for joining in the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge and welcome home. Tracy x

Candy C said...

Isn't it funny how we all seem to start out with Tim and then incorporate so many other styles into our art? Gotta love Tim! :) This piece is awesome! I love your metal background and all of the wonderful embellishments you've added to this. I can see all sorts of styles on this piece..steampunk, some grunge, a little shabby and a whole lot of COOL! Love your colorizing of your girl and how you've altered her to be holding the guy on the flying machine. Very cool piece! Thanks for sharing your art with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. <3 Candy

Anjas-Artefaktotum said...

WOW what an unique fabulous art work, I miss my words, cause I'm so excited aof the fantastic background and all the other awesome details.Really an impressive art work!
I wish you a nice weekend,
Huga Anja

Shelby said...

Glad you arrived safely. Wowzer girl you completely captured the steampunk genre! Awesome work

Shelby

Lisa S. said...

So happy the butterfly has landed and we have another amazing creation to oogle over. Steampunk is scary for me but you make it totally accessible Alison. This is so original and I love that we have to dig for the meaning. Oh, before I forget-the girl on the bookmark is scary. Yikes! I don't want to meet her in real life. LOL!
Can't wait to see what you are crafting for your brother's wedding. Hugs

May said...

oh wow - absolutely fantastic. I love the steampunk look, and the slightly dark edge you've managed as well. This whole piece is so full of color and detail and is amazing! I love it. Thank you for joining in this week and sharing with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show!

chrissies said...

Welcome back in lots of ways by the look of this wonderful piece of artwork. I think it is amazing with so much detail and ideas.

Love Chrissie xx

florenceandfreddie said...

Amazing project Alison. Really love this. So much detail. Very clever. What a talented lady you are.
Regards Florence x

Sue said...

Have found you by a lucky accident with blog-hopping. This piece is so amazing & creative. Love the broodiness of it & think that the girl is very menacing. Stunning piece. Sx

Andrea Small said...

O dear goddess this is splendidly sinister. More steampunk, Butterfly, more! xx

Buttons said...

Love the level of detail on this and your transformation of the young lady. Thanks for your lovely comment. Hugs, Buttons x

Basement Stamper said...

Wow, this is an amazing piece of artwork, love the colors of the dress on her with the metaillic. All the little trinkets are just perfect.

inkypinkycraft said...

another wonderful piece, i love the background, which is full of texture..and the contrast with the image and fab colour chises make it a very eye catching piece, full of so many details trace x

Carol Q said...

love this interpretation of steampunk - it's gorgeous and ever so slightly creepy.

Victoria said...

Love these fabulous colours with the metallics. I'm glad you have got back to the UK safely and have managed to fit in some craft time!

Sandra said...

Wow this is incredible! Love that you made her into a puppet master! And that eye patch is such a great touch! Thank you so much for joining us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. Hugs, Sandra

Meihsia Liu said...

Wow...Alison, this is stunning!!! I love the gorgeous background you made and the beautiful vintage image you used. They are just fantastic!!! ... :)

Carol Sweeney said...

gorgeous tag, with lots of lovely details

Ana K. said...

Amazing work Alison! I love her and all details you did...perfect!
Hugs

Sophie said...

Wow!
Das ist großartig, einzigartig.
Ich bin begeistert :-)

Liebe Grüße

Karen McAlpine said...

Super idea...using the embossing folder twice!!! I love how this makes that great frame!! Great project.

Marjie Kemper said...

Where is the LOVE button??? This is fantastic!!! I love all your details, colors, texture.... every last bit!

catherine said...

This is just so fantastic Alison and just love how you have managed to create it all. Fantastic techniques and glad you can finally join in with Linda's challenge and get to grips with the master's book now. It's fantastic and you won't be able to put it down
x catherine

Bärbel said...

Was für ein großartiges Kunstwerk! Ich liebe es, wie Sie den Hintergrund gestalteten und die Idee, aus dem hübschen Mädchen ein Steampunk-Modell zu machen ist großartig!

Danke für den lieben Kommentar auf meinem Blog.
Liebe Grüße, Bärbel

Kezzy said...

Wow I love this, I'm part of the DT at That Craft Place, but we are assigned numbers so I didn't get to see yours. I really love how you have altered a book mark for it. I did a steampunk trellis type thing, this was the first time I had ever done steampunk and have to admit I do like it :-) Kerry xxx

Donna Gibson said...

This is just FANTASTIC...every single bit of it!

Lisa Somerville said...

Stunning steampunk piece - love the BG! Thanks for playing along with the Bloggers Challenge!

Anita Houston said...

Very very cool!!! I love it!

toni said...

This is great! I love the way you have combined the images great story x

Deborah said...

Wow!

mark gould said...

Hey ya, thanks for stopping by earlier and sharing the link, I did glimpse this the other day when catching up on all I missed whilst away.
Its very cool, you should let your dark side out more often and come and play with us over at Hdh (that sounds so wierd) ;)
I love all the little details, the twists of cord and where you have used the glossy accents. look forward to what's next, mark x