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, 8 May 2013

Inspired by... Part I

Hello everyone... well, what a month May has been so far.  Such strange, but good, timing for the Blogworthy Link. (What's that? You hadn't heard?  I was picked out as a Blogworthy Link by none other than Tim Holtz.  Just click on the link if you don't believe me.  I certainly had to pinch myself a number of times!)  Thank you everyone for all your lovely responses to the news.

Actually, I'd been having one of those quavery times, trying to deal with the scale of this new and overwhelming obsession:- what am I doing? where did all this crafting turn up from? how did it get so full-on so fast?  have I bitten off more than I can chew? where do these ideas come from, and what happens if they stop coming?  

I know it's all linked in with undergoing another period of change and upheaval in my real life... hang on - you see, what's that about?  What's not real about the crafting?  Time for a deep breath...

And then not only did my April tag make Tim's list, but the Blogworthy Link bobbed up, taking me completely by surprise - hyperventilation, here we come, but in a good way this time!

So when Simon Says Stamp and Show came up with the challenge Inspired By... this week, it seemed a perfect chance to get to grips with things a bit, to go back to basics and focus on what it is I love about this whole creativity "thang".  This post is the first of three bits of self-therapy - by all means feel free to just look at the pretty pictures and move on!



Let's see the first piece, then, shall we?

I got into this whole mess when I fell immediately and passionately in love with inks (especially Distress Inks) and stamps in February last year.  

So inks and stamps are what I've been playing with for the last few days (okay, some paints and stains too... oh, and some embossing... and embellishing obviously - see, that's the trouble with this business: one thing leads to another in a slightly terrifying snowballing kind of way!).

And I have colour comfort zones - blue & brown is where I started; I love the neutrals; and when I do vivid colours, I tend to stick within one tonal area - all greens or all blues or all oranges (on occasion!).  

Interesting that A Thousand Splendid Quotes, linked by Tim, was one that completely bucked that trend, and is therefore one that I'm not very sure about myself.

But I'm hugely inspired by the work of Marjie Kemper.  Her work with vivid colours - and especially with bold colour combinations, is sensational.  I'm so happy to be on the DT alongside her at eclectic Paperie.  And Barbarayaya is another crafter whose work with colour really excites me.  So I took that inspiration into this tag and splashed out into some contrasting colours...



There'll be a "how-to" on this over at eclectic Paperie later in the month, so I'll stick to the essentials for now.  And as usual, you can click on the links at the end if you're tempted to go shopping!




I got nice and inky with some bright pinks and oranges - ooh, that feels strange, but in a really good way.














I layered up some stencilling, and some background stamping using various Artistic Outpost stamps (DT duty calls, but it's never a chore with these stamps - they're inspirational in themselves!).  

Some of the stamping is in Archival ink, and some in Distress Paint.




Then it was time for the focal image: one of my all-time favourite stamps, the girl from the AO set, Think and Wonder.

When I stamped her, I realised she was looking positively diseased because of being over one of the darkest inky areas, so I used a water brush and some paper towel to remove colour from her face and neck.  

She still looks slightly peaky close up - measles, maybe? - but overall I'm happy with the result - her ethereal gaze gleaming palely out of all that colour.










I almost got stuck in monochromatic mode, liking the look of the coppery gears when I put them down, but then I thought, "no, we're here to try something different, something Marjie-esque or à la Barbarayaya" - how fun are all the 'a's in that phrase?!

So I got out some contrasting Distress Paints and got busy and, oh, how I enjoyed it, dabbing the paint on with my fingers, as advocated by Sir Tim himself, and loving the look of the vivid contrast.






Once I'd done the cogs and clock hands, I decided to add a pair of ribbons in the same complementary tones. 

And I used some black paper string to tie them together - bound forever in zingy contrast to one another.  The black string was another bold move for me, but I find it also helps the black ink of the image pop a little more.










But by the time I was done, there still wasn't enough of the blue-green for my liking (yeah, I know, I'm heading back towards my comfort zone), so I decided to make another layered tag (if you saw the last one, you'll see what I mean about sticking to virtually monochromatic tones).  


That would give me the chance to frame the oranges within completely contrasting blue-greens.


So I had a play with Tim Holtz Distress Paints and Distress Inks, and a Crafter's Workshop stencil to come up with this background. 


It's similar to the one on my Wonderful Journey, but achieved differently (more about that later in the week at eP).







I love the contrast of the jewel-like translucent inks with the opaque resisting paints.












For the first time in ten weeks I had some really concentrated time at the craft desk, rather than snatched
half-hours, and I could feel myself get into the flow of things.  


Playing with all this colour was tremendously freeing, and I do love the result (and it led to other discoveries and creations, as you'll see in weeks to come).  


So huge thanks to Marjie and to Barbarayaya for your inspirational, colourful work.  And thank you to SSSaS for asking the question which is helping me so much this week.


I'd like to enter this in Simon Says Stamp and Show where they want to know who or what we are Inspired By... Colour, especially the work of Marjie Kemper and Barbarayaya





For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.
Vincent van Gogh

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.
Andre Gide

Click on the links to go shopping!




56 comments:

mark gould said...

Stunning, Im so glad you were picked by tim for the shout out, you are well deserving and up their with some great company with people like Candy.
This is a beautiful tag. I love the layered stamping and textures, the green works perfectly as a backdrop.
Im glad Im not the only one asking themselves the same questions that you are asking your self. You have had one hell of a year and I am glad I jumped on near the start. It has been great to see your already great work grow and go from strength to strength. I can not wait for the next chapter in Alison's crafting journy.

Amanda said...

You have been incredibly busy these last few weeks and I have loved seeing all that you have created. I can imagine your joy at being picked by Tim, well deserved as well. Look forward as always for what you make next.
Love
Amanda x

Candy C said...

Alison...your tag is so lovely. Stepping out of your comfort zone of the blues and browns certainly doesn't look like it was uncomfortable for you at all. This green background and beautiful orangey tones on your smaller tag are beautiful together. I love how you've pulled them together with the patina effect on the sprocket gears. Your use of stamps and stencils on the orange tag are so lovely. Your work is always amazing! Congrats again on your Blogworthy Link...very well deserved. Thank you for sharing your art with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. <3 Candy

Yvonne Garner said...

Hi Alison, Firstly, sincere, heartfelt congratulations on being selected by Tim Holtz recently. An absolutely perfect pick on his part. I truly enjoy all of your posts, read every single word, study every photo and am inspired each time to create better art. I am so glad to have met you online and hope one day we can meet face to face and talk art! Secondly, I love your tag! I appreciate your braveness to try vivid colors on your tag. Sun kissed gorgeousness! Take care! Yvonne

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

What a great tag Alison!
That lovely green background and then that splashing orange...wow..
Gorgeous details...pin

kind regards, Alie :-)

Buttons said...

Thank goodness someone else wobbling at the moment (though in your case goodness knows why!) Thrilled to see all your successes recently.

Love it when you use colour in this way. It brings your stamping and ephemera alive, especially when you layer the tags in this way.

Life may be in flux at the moment but crafting can be a refuge. Hang on in there Alison. Hugs and in awe as ever, Jenny x

Kate said...

So full of wonderful color! It certainly POPS! Love the image as well.
I did see that you made blogworthy link. Yeah!! Huge honor & congrats. Your piece was fabulous and oh so bright if I recall. A bit out of your norm but you nailed it! You go, girl!
Kate

Krisha said...

Well, congrats!! This tag is just stunning! I sometimes wonder the same thing about how all this came about and how did it get soooo big in my life etc., etc. BUT I always have a safe haven when I sit down at my desk and create something to be proud of. It has become a part of us, but not the total of us.

Elly said...

I'm not surprised about the Blogworthy Link thingy, because there is so much love in every piece of art you create, that everybody is getting inspired by you even Master Tim!! Thanks for sharing with so much written details, i always love to read(:o)

Nan G said...

A Blogworthy link ... So well deserved! Fantastic layered tag! Love when you step out of your comfort zone! The unique artistry within you was just laying dormant waiting to be released, dear butterfly. Hugs

Chrissy said...

Congratulations Alison, and not really surprised, all your tags are unique and beautiful...love the colours on this beauty, a show stopper, for sure...

Luv CHRISSYxx

Marjie Kemper said...

Oh, hon, the colors are textures are so amazing! Thanks so much for the link, and congratulations on Tim's link to you. Your work is always amazing.

barbarayaya62 said...

Alison !!! FAntastic tag fantastic colors fantastic background and stamps!!!!! Wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!BArbarayaya

chrissies said...

Well deserved place at the top of Tim's list Alison. Your blog is always a joy to visit for many reasons.

Love this bright tag and the choices you have made to add to it.

Some days I wonder why I am following blogs and making things-is it an obsession? Is it a habit? Could we use this room for something else?

I would always have to create and always have done so to be able to do it and meet amazing people along the way can't be bad.:)

Love Chrissie x

Astrid Maclean said...

Comforting to know that others have these wobbles too..... but looking at this bright and colourful tag, you're well on your way back and yes, this week's exciting mentions will of course have helped, big congrats again! Great to see you play with these contrasting colours and the effect is striking and beautiful!

Helen said...

Well done on your blogworthy shout out, richly deserved. So good to see you using bright colour here, so different to what we are used to from you - but I love it!!

die amelie said...

This is so cool, "blogworthy" Alison! ;) Huge congrats on your being linked by Mr. Tim AND your April tag win too!

Hugs,
Claudia xx

Kjersti said...

Congratulations Alison!! No wonder your blog were picked, your creations are stunning - every time. So happy to "know" you, love to visit here!
Todays tag is no exeption, beautiful colour combination!
Have a nice day!
Hugs Kjersti:)

brenda said...

Oh well done Alison, much deserved, you only have to look at this stunning piece to know why.

B x

Neil said...

Fabulous tag, well done on the shout out, totally deserved too. It can be a roller coaster ride this creativity lark but it is fun too!
Really loving the colours of these tags, they work so well together!

inkypinkycraft said...

Well done again for the link! Your work is amazing and always full of creativity..thistag is inspired by some great people and I love the contrast of colours...that I too struggle with...love my mono colours ....no wonder I am having a wobble if someone as talented as you has?! Blimey! Your work is fab Alison hugsvtrace x

Sue said...

Congratulation on your shout out Alison, it's so well deserved. Whenever I get the 'what am I doing here' feeling, I try and remember that it's just a bit of card and ink!
I love your tag by the way, great colours and contrasts with the inks and paint xx

Deborah said...

Wonderful to see you playing with strong colour. Alison (all you needed was a little encouragement from Sir T!m LOL.

House of Bears said...

I do love your usual colours but the orange is striking and gives your tag that wow factor. Well done on the TH mention, what an honour, but one you truly deserve.

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Hi Alisom, I love your use of colour on these tags they blend beautifully together. The backgrounds add so much interest and the texture on the back tag is stunning. Love your use of the AO image which sits beautifully against your backdrop. Loved reading your story behind your inspiration too. Thanks so much for,joining in the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge. Tracy x

Lisa M said...

You really have hit the blog world on the fast track and your talent and reputation for eclectic and fabulous work does precede you, but it is not without good cause. You have earned the accolades that you are reaping with your diligent and unrelenting hard work. You do have a full plate, but no doubt; that which brought you to it, will guide you through it, so I have no worries that the muse will follow you always! Your works speak volumes of your passion for creating and even though you might 'freak out' a bit at all the attention, you certainly are one deserving lady of it!! Congratulation to you and your recent tag is once again a tribute to your perseverance for growth in the never ending journey of art and learning. In three words...I LOVE IT!
hugs,
Lisa x

May said...

Congrats on the link from Tim... So well deserved, Your work is Fabulous I get fantastic inspiration from you Alison...& todays tag is just AmAzing, Love the colours, the attention to detail is fantastic... Love it all... Hugs May x x x

craftytrog said...

Congrats on your recognition Alison, it's well-deserved!
I love your tag with its contrasting colours...the greeny background is a work of art in itself!
Alison xx

Netty said...

Congratulations Alison you have certainly earned it.

Loving your new tag. Hugs Annette x

Janny Jager 't Hooft said...

A great and beautful tag Alison.
love the colors and every detail very much.
Greetings Janny

Brenda Brown said...

Your creativity is boundless Alison, you have the most wonderful ideas and will experiment endlessly to achieve stunning results and beautiful outcomes. This layered tag shows just that and your posts are always refreshing to read. You deserve all the attention and Tim's Blogworthy mention, enjoy it, revel in it and use it to spur you on. I always look forward to your next creation with eagerness.
Lots of happy dances and love.
Hugs {brenda} x0x

Redanne said...

Hi Alison, many congrats again from me too, you really are an inspiration! Knowing that someone as talented as you get the wobbles from time to time makes me feel so much better...... I love what you have done with this tag and I can see Marjie in it particularly, with her wonderful use of colour. I think you do some of your best work when you are 'out of your comfort zone'. Hugs, Anne x

Sandy said...

I could write a book about this post. When I first saw your tag before I started reading I thought - Wow - Is this Alison!!! Would you look at this girl go!! Then I started reading and Wow - congratulations. You do have a great blog with wonderful art work and great instructions. Then I thought - is she mocking the way I say thang!!!!! I am Southern you know. Beautiful colors Alison - great work and wonderful post!! Thanks Sugar!!
Sandy

Paper Profusion said...

Well Alison your post so resonates with me too - but there is no cause at all for YOUR wobbles! I echo all above, you are tremendously talented artistically and I love visiting your blog for the sheer quality and inspiration of both your words and pictures. Huge congratulations again - and Fear not, you will always be bountiful in the arts department. Love Nicola x

Chris said...

Really gorgeous Alison and such a fantastic colour combo and design. Huge congrats on your mention from Tim! Chris x

Annie said...

Huge congrats on the blog worthy link and tag Alison. Not surprised you are hyperventilating !!

So love your tag and the colour palette is fantastic. Great collage of stamps too.

Crafty hugs

Annie x

Dorthe said...

Alison, CONGRATULATIONS- I saw your name on Tim`s blog- so wonderful, and so deserved !!!
Your tag is so lively, so dynamic and so wonderfully happy! I love it and your gorgeous chosen colours- The turquise splasches on the orange /pink background is amazing!
Hugs,Dorthe

Alexa said...

Love the colour combination - gorgeous! The background it beautiful too - almost too lovely to cover! x

Nicecrane Designs said...

Wowwwww Alison, love these all bright colors,,,and all over the way you used B/W digis,,,placing them.....in a unique and exquisite wany, love yut technique,,,,,,,,,,It inspired me.

Lisa Somerville said...

Fabulous tag Alson! Love the background and colors!

Kim Price said...

Hi Alison. Congratulations on the Tim Holtz blog feature, I read the post and was so happy to see your name on top of that list.

LOVE this tag, yes I have a thing for tags at the moment, and this is really gorgeous. Those colours are just amazing and I always did love a nice verdisgris look. Beautiful stuff.

Dianne said...

Wow this is stunning the colors are gorgeous, I have been loving the oranges and red going around.the background of course I loooove and the stamp and color, fantastic...
Now Miss Alison you are one of most talented artist around, that beautiful head of your is packed with amazing ideas, then those magical fingers create what in there. So you had better get used to it sweetie, just breath :):).I'm not surprised at all, I'm just glad other so it as well. This may seem to have happen quickly for you but it's been inside all the time. I believe the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree you come from talented genes... Have a great weekend and have a wonderful opening in the museum...

Chris Warner said...

Firstly.... CONGRATULATIONS!!!! on your mention from Tim, thoroughly well deserved.

Love this tag - the striking combination of colours, the textures and imagery all serve to show just how artistic they can be. Fab! Chris xxx

Cathy L. Calamas said...

This is beautiful and a late congrats on the Tim Holtz shout out!! I love the colors and your bravery to venture out (I tend to like neutral hues,too). But, I have to say, the little black paper string just makes it for me. A perfect finishing touch.

Cathy L. Calamas said...

This is beautiful and a late congrats on the Tim Holtz shout out!! I love the colors and your bravery to venture out (I tend to like neutral hues,too). But, I have to say, the little black paper string just makes it for me. A perfect finishing touch.

Carol Q said...

bet you nearly fell over when you saw you were a blogworthy link. How fab for you and congratulations! love this tag, gorgeous stamp and really interesting colour combo which wouldn't have occurred to me but looks just lovely

sam21ski said...

Great that you got acknowledged Alison - very well done

Fabulous tag

Sam xxx

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Congrats on your Blogworthy Link :) well deserved. There are always so many inspirations on your blog.
I reall love love love this tag, fantastic color combination and details.

maria's knutselplezier said...

What a great tag!!!And thanks for showing us how to do!!

Greetings
Maria

Ana K. said...

I am so happy for you, but to be honest you really deserve this Blogworthy link, you really do!
I love the tag and those colours....incredible!
Hugs from Slovenia

Anita Houston said...

Two of my favorite people to be inspired by! I love their work, and your tag here is just gorgeous...bright and FUN, and oozing with a retro vintage vibe!!! Love the AO images too! Thank you so much for being inspired this week and sharing it with us at Simon Says Stamp & Show!

Ephemera said...

Hi Alison, how fantastic to be picked out by Tim, an amazing achievement and so well deserved. I always have self doubt, where my crafting is concerned, and think I always will, but the crafting drug is totally addictive LOL. XX

Julia S-W said...

I am someone who loves colour and has trouble with muted palettes even though I love them. This tag really 'does it' for me. The colours are sensational together and the image divine. I totally love your tag Alison.
I was so pleased to read about your thoughts at the start of the post. I find this craft thing all consuming but I do sometimes stop and ask all the same questions as you! All I know is that I have to do and when I can't, life feels out of kilter. . . . .
You deserve the blogworthy link entirely.
Juliaxx

Kezzy said...

I bet your were dancing and jumping around the room when Tim noticed your work it must have been an amazing feeling. I really love all the oranges with the green and of course all your texture and layers really inspire me. Stunning as always. Happy Crafting :-) Hugs Kezzy xxx

Anna-Karin said...

I was so happy to see your name among the blogworthy links. Sorry, I wanted to send you a message about that earlier, but forgot. Totally well deserved. I am so glad you found inks and stamps and started to make your beautiful art. Gorgeous project here, LOVE the colours. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show!

Lucy Edmondson said...

I was so happy to see your blogworthy mention! Loving this gorgeous tag with such glorious colour contrasts. February was it? So you jumped into the crafting world just as we were having our disaster!! Your work was beautiful from the start, but it has been wonderful seeing you go from strength to strength. Hope next month is a big success for you back at the RSC too,

Lucy xx