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Friday, 28 December 2012

Let sleeping cats lie...

Hello all, it's Friday, and time for a new challenge at Fussy and Fancy... and this fortnight the theme is "Our Furry Friends".  I'm not going to lie to you - I had problems with this one!  But I hope you'll hop over to see the great inspiration provided by my fellow Design Team members - and that you'll find some Christmas crafting time to join in with the challenge.

For some reason, I couldn't get my head round the theme this time - and I promise you I'm not an animal-hater - quite the reverse, but I don't really do "cute", as regulars will know, and this seemed like a "cute" theme.  In the end, I just had to try to follow my nose... I'm still unsure about where it got me (and if you were around to see what was on my workdesk on Wednesday, you'll know there were plenty of discarded efforts en route).



Rather than cute I ended up going "Zen"... and I rode on the back of another artist's inspiration.  I've used one of the amazing cat sketches by Steinlen (Théophile Alexandre Steinlen - now there's a name to conjure with) as my central image.  He captures cats to perfection in his drawings.

Round the edges I used Pumice Stone and Frayed Burlap DIs, blended over a torn tag to get a subtle natural framing wave of colour.



The quote comes from Jane Pauley (an American journalist), and seemed to go perfectly with how the image makes me feel... And I'm telling you, I needed some of that Zen-like calm after struggling with this project!

In the background, I used some handmade type paper - the natural fibres provide such pleasing texture.




And on the white card I used my Kaisercraft woodgrain stamp to provide another natural element.  It's stamped in a mixture of Memento London Fog (a lovely grey) and Black Soot DI, so that it echoes the pencil/graphite strokes of the drawing.



On the edges I added texture by stippling gesso and French Roast Fresco paint from PaperArtsy, keeping the brush fairly dry, to get the whiskery/paw-printy look in places.





And since the natural look seemed to have taken hold, I grabbed some more of the twigs leftover from creating my Golden Memories of Home tag.  Once I tried them out, the other elements needed a little more definition, so I used Gathered Twigs DI to edge them.










So that's my attempt to honour Our Furry Friends!  I'm sure you'll find lots from the rest of the DT to tickle your fancy over at Fussy and Fancy... and it would be lovely to have you join in with us this time - I can't wait to see what you all come up with!


I have studied many philosophers and many cats.  The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.
Hippolyte Taine

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.
Robert A Heinlein

29 comments:

Chrissy said...

Gorgeous Alison..love the image and love the twigs for dimension, and such a true sentiment..I'm off now.. purring..

Luv CHRISSYxx

chrissies said...

It's a beautiful piece Alison and the quote is so true.

I too always have difficulty when this sort of subject comes up but you have done a marvellous job with it.

Love Chrissie xx

Astrid Maclean said...

Well I think the effort was worth it as the end result looks great!!
Funny I had the firm resolve to start to play with this challenge, but like you, the theme is so far out of my comfort zone, that I guess I'll wait til the next challenge. I really admire what you have done with it though, the final result looks fantastic!!

Francesca said...

The image you have used is lovely, not that my two would ever sleep like that....more like the opposite ends of the room. Great stuff. Love francesca

Buttons said...

Such a beautiful choice of central image and so perfectly framed. Love the handmade paper and that woodgrain background. London Fog is such a great warm grey to work with and echoes the softness of the cats. Well done for rising to this challenge! Hugs, Jenny x

sam21ski said...

Absolutely stunning Alison, love the colour combo, works really well and perfectly balances with the image.

Sam xxx

Laurart said...

Gorgeous! I know you weren't happy with this but I really like it - You have totally managed the challenge and succeeded in not having gone over to the 'cute' side! xxxxx ;o)

Sazzle said...

Alison, this is great inspiration and just prove that this theme is not only for "cute" cards!!

Your project is full of technique as usual and a sentiment to make us all think :-)


xx Sazzle xx

House of Bears said...

I guess furry friends does conjure up cute, I mean, just look at us!!!! You've made a fabulous job of this though and your sentiment is so true.

Hmm, wonder if we could come up with something for this by the end of the challenge date... First we all need to get rid of our nasty bug.

Lovely page from you as per usual. X

*Vicki* said...

What a fabulous design Alison! Love the neutral colors and what a great sentiment to go with your image! Purrrfect! :) Thanks for sharing!! Have a happy day! Smiles and Hugs - *Vicki*
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Nan G said...

I knew it...fabulous! Great textures on this one. It's very much in your style and my fave of all the DT samples!

Kim Dellow said...

Wonderful! I love them! So cute! Hope you had a lovely Christmas. Kim

brenda said...

Fabulously inspirational work Alison.

Wishing you a Happy New Year.

B x

craftytrog said...

It's beautiful Alison, & a great quote! xx

maj. said...

Stunning work !!!I love the image and the quote!

Shelby said...

Love the sentiment you've used and all of the different techniques you've used work brilliantly together! Love your quotes at the end...so so true

Shelby

Kezzy said...

What a gorgeous hanging, I can see now why you struggled, I love animals but you don't normally see one in my art, the colouring scares me lol. This is an amazing drawing of the cats and the saying really does go with the sketch, beautiful. Hugs Kerry :-) xxx

Anita Houston said...

I say you nailed this!!! Gorgeous! Love those hand drawn look cats! Fab addition on the twigs! Cool!

Dorthe said...

Dear Alison,-it is amazing!!!
You gave that wonderful drawing a most beautiful "home! on the handmade gorgeous paper ,I can almost feel the thickness of it ,and I love how you stamped around the background, making it look "earthy" (hope you know what I mean?) and the twigs is a great add!
Hugs from Dorthe

Bärbel said...

Ein wunderbares und absolut stimmiges Ergebnis, liebe Alison. Die beiden schlafenden Katzen finde ich so süß.
Ich wünsche Ihnen ein gutes, kreatives und erfolgreiches neues Jahr.
Liebe Grüße, Bärbel.

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Such a wonderful creation, love the quote and the use of the wood.

froebelsternchen Susi said...

wonderful creation Alison! I am a big lover of Siamese cats ( still had 2 for nearly 20 years ) and your piece speaks to me! it´s ZEN!
Love it!

lynne said...

This has the most wonderfully tranquil vibe to it I can feel myself actually breathing more deeply and the added sentiment simply adds to the feel.
Wishes
Lynne

Redanne said...

I think the sentiment really sums the picture up well, it does feel relaxing looking at those beautifully sketched cats. Love the woodgrain background and the addition of the twigs. Hugs, Anne x

Marjie Kemper said...

beautiful! Love the woodgrain and all the soft edges, be they torn or inked... they all work perfectly. I also got a kick out of including the real 'gathered twigs' and the Gathered Twigs DI!

Princess Judy Palmer said...

The problem with sleeping cats is after hanging out with them all day you can't seem to stay awake. I was the victim of such a cat attack this afternoon. We had a nice nap until Charles the kitten decided that the blanket was burying me alive and dug and dug at it until I took it off. I love your card and the natural look of it all. Great stamp for this!

Brenda Brown said...

A fabulous piece Alison, glad you persevered with this style as it has come together perfectly. Love the drawing and sentiment and the natural overall feel.
Wishing you and yours a happy new year and may 2013 be all that you wish for yourself.
Hugs Brenda xxx

Margaret said...

This is marvelous! You definitely managed to bypass cute, even though those sleeping cats are quite sweet! I love that you went with a sketch of the cats and the whole piece has a very 'earthy' feel.
LOVED the quote about women and cats! Truer words were never spoken!!

Lisa S. said...

I think you did our furry friends justice Alison lol and love the quote too. Great DT project!