Sorry, I've been slightly infected by the pages I'm sharing with you today. They were inspired by the new challenge from the House of Bears this month. If you've never visited, I do recommend it - they're probably the most creative bunch of bears you'll ever meet.
They issue a Literary Challenge each month, and this month they've given us an array of wonderful quotes from Jane Eyre to stimulate our creative imaginations. The one which jumped out at me was this:
"She is in a world of private dreams, not here with us."
You'll find all the challenge details here, but without more ado, I'd like to show you what they inspired me to create.
I'm so grateful to the Bears, as I really wasn't in a crafty mood when I happened upon their challenge post, and it was their inspirational quotes which got me back to the craft table after a long (enforced by work commitments) absence.
I've a feeling I may be playing more than once this time around, as I am with some more Ss for Simon Says Stamp and Show... Stencilling, Shimmer and Sunshine.
And it wasn't just the quotes... I also took a leaf out of the bears' book (almost literally) by doing some art journalling.
The bears journal all the time - with incredible spontaneity, playfulness and freedom - and it's not something I do very much, though I often think I should do more.
I started by gesso-ing the pages of an actual book (as suggested by the extraordinary Froebelsternchen Susi - another huge inspiration, though I'm not attempting to do what she does!) rather than working in one of my journals.
Then I added some Grunge Paste through my birthday stencils from That Special Touch, the daisy and the foxglove.
From the moment of reading this particular quote, I knew that the subject of the sentence would be the wonderful girl from the Classics #5 stamp set.
She always looks as though she's not quite present, but off somewhere in some world of her own (as I frequently am myself...)
I cut a mask too, so that I would be able to layer paint and stamping around her.
Then I set to with the Fresco paints by PaperArtsy, including the yummy new Cheesecake and Vanilla colours (nearly said flavours there!)...
I hope I've captured a real feeling of warm sunshine by using them as part of my sky. And I love that you can still see the book text underneath... where there is any!
I used a sponge to apply most of the background colours, and then a brush to add in the grasses and greenery.
I used some Tim Holtz texture stamps to add depth to the blue distance.
The quote is stamped on watercolour paper which I painted with the Cheesecake Fresco paint, and then inked green at the bottom and turquoise at the top - so that each word echoes the colours of the whole page.
I used the brush again for some textural accents around the borders of the sky.
I layered in some hedgerow stamping (of course) using the wonderful Artemio Hedgerow Plants.
I didn't pay too much attention to whether it stamped over or between the textured plants - I wanted the random feel of an abundant natural meadow.
I used some of the little Tim Holtz grasses for extra texture.
I painted the foxglove (not in foxglove colours) and the daisies, layering up Fresco colours for a fresh, random look.
I added some more texture paste butterflies using a stencil by Magenta - the one you all fell in love with on the Flutter By, Butterfly panel.
I dabbed Perfect Pearls mica powder in Pearl onto them for a shimmery barely-there look.
They are, after all, only in her imagination.
And the bee got the mica treatment for his wings too.
The three main butterflies represent her own projection of herself into this world of private dreams - they are "her" in this other world she inhabits.
So to link them to the girl, I used the same colours on her eyes and lips as on the butterflies themselves.
And as they get further into the world, retreating from reality, they become less and less "whole", more and more fantastical...
... even starting to disintegrate into the picture, so that she can merge with her dreams and stay in this calm world of sunshine and nature forever.
I hope these pages give you even half as much pleasure as they give me... I've needed my world of private dreams in the last few weeks, coming to terms with fitting my crafting desires around an less-than-yielding work schedule where - for half the week - I'm not even in the same town as my craft table.
So these pages feel like an expression of something important - not least my craving for sunshine! - and it's all thanks to those bears!
I'd like to enter this in the following:
The House of Bears challenge for June: Jane Eyre Quotes
Simon Says Stamp and Show are playing the Letter S - I have Stencilling, Shimmer and Sunshine
At Stamping Sensations they want to see our Summer Blooms
"She is in a world of private dreams, and not with us."
from Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë
They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
from Eleanora, by Edgar Allen Poe
“Yet there are moments when the walls of the mind grow thin; when nothing is unabsorbed, and I could fancy that we might blow so vast a bubble that the sun might set and rise in it and we might take the blue of midday and the black of midnight and be cast off and escape from here and now.”
from The Waves, by Virginia Woolf