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...

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Musical Tic Tac Toe

Hello all, a warm welcome to you all on what is, for me at the moment, a very chilly evening!  So happy to have your company for a while...


I'm sharing a tag with you today which was inspired by a couple of challenges going on, and which I had such fun making.

At the Fashionable Stamping Challenge they've come over all Musical (well, you knew I'd be playing along with that one, then!); and at Frilly and Funkie they've got a fantastic Tic Tac Toe board (yes, okay, Noughts and Crosses for the Brits amongst us) offering up delicious combinations of possibilities.  You need to "play" a winning line, straight or diagonal.

Mine's the diagonal of Metal, Metallic Distress Stains and Buttons, though it takes in a number of the others too... for a while I was headed for a full-house!




So let's get to it - here's the tag:


The central picture is of Lily Elsie, a huge star of Edwardian operetta and musical theatre, and for whom I've long had a definite soft spot.  The sharper-eyed and longer-memoried amongst you may remember I've used this image before.


I first discovered her when I was writing content for the Theatre Museum website.  (It doesn't exist as that any more, but my work is still there as part of the Victoria and Albert archive online.)  I was lucky enough to get to root around in the archives, looking at programmes, playscripts and other theatre ephemera from the last several hundred years - what bliss...


One of the photographs I had to "animate" with a story or anecdote was of Lily Elsie in The Merry Widow.  You can see it below... and you'll understand that the hat, as well as her general fabulousness, has stayed with me ever since!


So, as I started to play around with elements for this tag, one of my Lily Elsie pictures (picked up on a Google image trawl, and printed out) rose to the surface and demanded a starring role in it.  From there, things just sort of fell into place.







I love the background, which I made using the wrinkle-free distress technique ('Whose technique is that?', I hear you cry... well, there's this guy called Tim Holtz...), but with a few sprinkles of mica powder added, so that you get these fabulous spots of glamour within the texture.

Then I stamped the gorgeous music advert from the Pink Paislee London Market set, using the Tarnished Brass Metallic Distress Stain... I love its sheen.  I also added the music stamp from that same set, as well as the Kaisercraft music manuscript stamp, both done in Coffee Archival.








I used the concert advertisement again to create a piece of 'memorabilia', crumpling and distressing it, to get that vintage look.

And I used Gold and Ginger alcohol inks on one of Tim Holtz's word sticks to get a look that toned in with the warm golden background.











Once that had dried (almost immediately, in other words), I smeared some raw umber acrylic paint onto it with my finger to get it into the recessed letters, then wiped the surface clear to reveal the burnished metal once again.

Now the idea is to have a "musical" tag, so what could be better than adding a couple of the Funkie Junkie's deliciously rusted bells to the trimmings - now "she shall have music wherever she goes".





There's more music in the shape (literally) of the lovely treble clef die from Memory Box, cut from some music paper.  These dies are so delicate - they really delight me.

And this picture also gives quite a good chance to see the stamped metallic distress stains glowing in the (thank you, Universe) late Autumn sunlight.










Mulberry paper roses form another little memento - a bouquet once delivered to the fragrant Miss Elsie?

And the metal button came out of the (seldom-opened) sewing box.  Its provenance and vintage are uncertain, but it must be at least 30 years old, and very probably double that.  To be honest, it was looking a little dull, so it got a little touch of the same alcohol inks as the word stick, and in my head, it came from one of Lily's favourite costumes - perhaps designed by 'Lucile' (see the quote at the end).






I played one of my favourite games with this piece of paper with the Pink Paislee music stamp on - just taking a piece of wooden dowelling and rolling it this way and that to get the lovely dimensional scrolling effect.

Another pen nib is at the ready to jot down any musical or lyrical thoughts which might be inspired by the presence of the muse.






I dyed some seam binding using various combinations of Distress Inks and Stains, including metallic on the darkest of the ribbons.












I'm not sure whether you can see the metallic sheen much, but they certainly seem to glow in the sunshine!

Miss Elsie, it's time for your close-up...  Your close-up, please, Miss Elsie!









I love taking these photographs out of the printer here in 2012, and getting to work to take them back a century or so: Vintage Photo DI (never so aptly used as in distressing 'vintage photos'), creasing, tearing - it gives me a real thrill to be able to create 'character' in a piece of paper this way.









So, I'm very grateful to my musical muse, Lily Elsie, as I think she's come up trumps - this tag really pleases me.  And I'm so delighted that we caught the sun this afternoon, so that I can share its warm golden glow of memory with you in all its proper glory!

Thank you so much for dropping in today.  I'm due a blog visiting catch up, so I hope I'll be dropping in on you in the next couple of days.  See you soon!

I have never known any woman who had the power of turning men's heads in the way that Lily Elsie did. During the years I knew her she had a perfect galaxy of suitors who used to shower presents upon her and wait at the stage door for hours on the chance of a few words from her before she left the theatre.  

She used to keep millionaires and foreign princes hanging about in the cold, draughty passages at Daly's while she and her mother shared a picnic supper of ham in her dressing room. She honestly preferred it to champagne at the Ritz.

From Discretions and Indiscretions by Lucy Duff Gordon (the theatrical costume designer known as Lucile, who dressed and coached Lily Elsie for her role in The Merry Widow)



I'm entering this in the following:
The Fashionable Stamping Challenge where they are inspiring us to get Musical
Frilly and Funkie's game of Tic Tac Toe - I'm playing metal, metallic distress stains, button(s)
With all the mementoes of an Edwardian career, I'm entering this in Try It On Tuesday's current challenge Memories
And with the rusty jingle bells from The Funkie Junkie Boutique (as well, I think, as my metallic distress stains, though I'd have to check that), I'm adding it to the Sunday Share at Frilly and Funkie as well

52 comments:

Annie said...

Wow Alison. What a stunning vintage tag you have here. Lovely background and the image is gorgeous. Too Lazy to fetch my glasses to read your post but will pop back tomorrow. X

Good luck in the challenges

Crafty hugs

Annie x

Marjie Kemper said...

Oh, Alison, this is so elegant and old world... I just love it. You've combined so many different elements and made them all blend perfectly together. Just gorgeous. Thanks for joining us at Frilly and Funkie!

Brenda Brown said...

A fabulous post to read Alison and a fantastic tag. I love the rich vintage tones, the exquisite stamped background and all the tactile elements that have added the story. TFS.
hugs {brenda} xox

Terry said...

BEAUTIFUL take on the Tic Tac Toe challenge! Love the vintage goodness and all the lovely elements! Great touch with the rusty bells and music not! Have fun!

Rebecca Deeprose said...

A really fantastic tag Alison!! Love the image of Elsie and your wonderful distressing! The stains look wonderful and the great vintage character is superb!! Thanks for sharing with us at Frilly & Funky!

Bonnie Irvine said...

Alison, this is a wonderful tag. As always, I enjoy reading your post as much as I enjoy viewing it. Your imagination is so amazing and breathes such life into your fabulous creations. I love the details you include such as rolling the music scroll and inking the button to achieve the look you envision. Just delightful!

House of Bears said...

We really need to look through our thesaurus as wow and fab are becoming a little overused in our comments to you.

Oh, and wow and fab, wouldn't have thought your art could get any better than stunning but it just has, love the vintage, the detail, everything.

Sarah said...

This one is gorgeous! I love it!!

Cestina said...

Gorgeous - reading this at 5am because I couldn't sleep (sudden middle of the night realisation I've chosen the wrong colour in the museum)

This tag cheered me up no end. Delicious.

Anita Houston said...

Noughts and Crosses...so much better!!! I love the English version better!!! Wish I could hear you say it..lol!
Ok...PURE BEAUTY AND ELEGANCE!!! This tag speaks to my creative soul...I love every vintage element and the color is yummy! Awesome make! Thank you so much for playing with us at Frilly & Funkie this fortnight!!!

Buttons said...

Ah, a bygone era captured forever in a thing of beauty. Love that background as it sets off the other gorgeous elements so well. Looking forward to catching up with the creative genius behind this. Hugs, Buttons ;) x

Carol Q said...

gorgeous Alison. love your creative background and the musical elements especially that treble cleff.

Astrid Maclean said...

Wow, wow and wow again! LOVE THIS TAG!!!!! Stunning effect on the background, great composition of elements and every detail just spell vintage yumminess. So many wonderful details, like the music strip at the bottom, curled to perfection! Another of my all time favourites of yours!!!

LawsBom said...

OMG! Just when I think you have reached a dazzling peak you amaze me again! This is just......words fail me. Beautiful isn't even a good enough word for it. Amazing, stunning, fabulous.....and PERFECT! xxx

Deborah said...

She is a stunner, isn't she. And so is your tag.

froebelsternchen Susi said...

this is such a romance on paper... wonderful Alison!

May said...

WOW!! What a beautiful vintage tag...fabulous background the detail is AmAzing... the image is gorgeous.. How you have put this all together Alison is quite Breathtaking!! Love it.. Hugs May x x x

Fliss said...

This is absolutely stunning Alison and the amount of detail is awesome. I just loved reading all about it and the story of Miss Elsie is such interesting reading too.
Thanks so much for sharing your glorious creation with us at FSC this fortnight and it's a real pleasure to have you with us again.
Fliss xx

Kate said...

This is a fabulousy vintage tag! I love your background and that lovely lady! A beautiful piece of art!

Meggymay said...

Stunning Tag, the attention to detail is wonderful, you always include so many fantastic details. Thank you for sharing it with us at TioT's this time.
Yvonne

Gio said...

So gorgeous and so YOU!! Love love it, Alison!

Anna-Karin said...

Beautiful tag Alison! Love the background, the story around the main focus, all the special details. The music scroll is so pretty.

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Alison such a wonderful vintage looking tag with so many amazing details. Thanks for joining us at Fashionable Stamping Challenges this fortnight.

JoZart said...

What a lovely post to read and your tag is simply stunning. It really is too beautiful to remain just a tag... it needs to be made into a more intrinsic piece of art, a really special keepsake.
Jo x

die amelie said...

Words to describe your awesome tag have all been used up I have seen...

a really gorgeous tag! Love that hat too and the stamping with metallic distress stains is just soooo exquisit!

And yes - the tag looks like "all the details fell right into place" - only that someone had to put them... ;)

One of your finest pieces so far!!!!! LOVE!!!

Hugs,
Claudia xxx

Evil Edna said...

this is a stunning piece of art, so much detail and a wonderful woman to boot. thank you so much for re-introducing Lily Elsie to an adoring public. TIOT,EE

catherine said...

Oh wow Alison this is absolutely stunning and just my sort of thing. Love everything about it
x catherine

pearshapedcrafting said...

In my best Craig GH voice "F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!! Love this, will need to come back and peruse when I'm not so rushed! Chrisx

Yvonne Garner said...

Oh how absolutely divine! So many details to absorb. Thank you for joining us at FSC! Best wishes, Yvonne

mark gould said...

what a classically beautiful tag Alison, so many details.
very elusive message ;) ill look forward to next weds.
It was my first woyww in about 2 months. x

Alison said...

Such a beautiful vintage tag Alison, so many wonderful details! x

sarah-Jane said...

Stunning as always. I really love your style of crafting.
Sarah-Jane xx

Shelby said...

Another over the top and overflowing with vintage gorgeousness! love it

Shelby

Janny Jager 't Hooft said...

Wowwwwwwwwwwww Alison this is great.
Beautiful with a lot of great details.
Love it.
Greetings Janny

sam21ski said...

Fab background, love all the different elements which just work together perfectly.

Sam xxx

Bee and Dee said...

A beautiful tag, it's really lovely. Hugs Bee

florenceandfreddie said...

Stunning tag Alison. I am amazed at how much you have fitted on. Love all of the embellishments individually and together. So much to look at. Have a wonderful weekend.
Regards Florence x

Redanne said...

A truly stunning vintage tag Alison, it is very high on my list of favourites..... love it. Crafty hugs, Anne x

toni said...

Hi Alison this tag is totally gorgeous!! Love the colours,background, embellishments and story in fact everything! Your work is stunning x

Sue C said...

Stunning ! I love how you write about your work, I'm totally captivated ! I now have the clef die on my 'must have' list. Beautifully put together, as usual, with your artistic flare.
Thanks for joining us at Frilly and Funkie and FSC. Sue C x

lynne said...

Be still my beating heart!!!
Oh this is too fabulous Alison.
I share your Muse as does my dear friend Penny and to see her here amidst such shabby beauty and all those most perfect embellishments, this is so sensational.
I need to have another peek.
Thank you for sharing with us at FSC this fortnight.
Wishes
Lynne
P.S. I thought of you when I knew this was an upcoming theme for us.

Asia King (aka Joanna K) said...

I am just speechless, lost for words... your tag is stunning! Beautifully vintage, and the musical elements just sign to my soul! Stunning my friend!!!

Ps. thank you for joining our FSC challenge :)) xxxx

Anjas-Artefaktotum said...

I'm speechless, that is a grandiose masterpiece!

Lisa S. said...

Treasure. That's what I'd call this tag Alison, a keepsake treasure. The amount of thought behind each detail is unbelievable and I love how you shaped the music dp by Pink Paislee. The pen nib ready to jot down a note or two is brilliant. As for Lily Elsie, well she is stunning. Love the story telling you always provide. :-)
Hugs

Kezzy said...

Wow Alison, your tag is ultra stunning and very vintage. I really love the picture of Lily Elsie and can see why you fell in love and remember her so much, she is so elegant and chic. I can image you enjoying all that time spent looking in the archives, it must have been amazing. Really really love the tag, the background and all the vintage embellishments, beautiful. Hugs Kerry xxx

Karen McAlpine said...

Gorgeous background stamping!! Isn't it fun how the thought process works! Love the finished project!!

Sandra's Spot said...

Just beautiful Alison your attention to detail is amazing you have made such a gorgeous tag. Hugs Sandra X

Julia S-W said...

I'm most certainly in love with this glorious tag Alison. Your Lily Elsie is so beautiful and I just adore how you've aged the photograph. I will have to find her for myself too! The stamping is exquisite and all the little added embellishments combine to make this my favourite piece of yours to date. I really do love this style and have only dabbled so far with varying results but this piece has inspired me to have another attempt. Thank you so much for the inspiration. (er.....sorry to gush somewhat but the tag is scrumptious!).
Juliaxx

Esther said...

This is an absolutely beautiful tag, I love everything about it from the background to the little embellishments, such adorable vintagey goodness..Thanks so much for sharing with us at FSC..Esther xx

Ephemera said...

Hi Alison, mmm this is pure gorgeousness, love every exquisite detail, breathtaking. She was a stunner wasn't she, she had quite a sad life (I goggled her a while back!)xx

Patti P. said...

So gorgeous Alison, found this on Pintrest and so glad I did. Such beautiful details on this.
Hope you are doing well.
Hugs...Patti

themotleymuse said...

delicious! thank you for the narration of your voyage!