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.
Click on the links to go shopping!