I've left the text about creating this piece as it was when written back in May, so I just wanted to say that what you read here about wobbles and stuff is now several months old. But it was all part of the creative process, and I want to let the record stand... so here goes with as it was back then!
To be honest, I've been having a bit of a wobble about this debut - everything's been a bit overwhelming recently (in a good way on the crafty front, to be fair, but a bit more difficult in other directions) - and I got in a bit of a spin about this make. In the end - with a couple of discarded "fails" on the desk in front of me, I decided to take it out on a journal page.
I've made tentative inroads into art journalling. I'm certainly very good at buying beautiful journals - always have been, long before I even knew about art journalling or stamping or inks or any of this!
But recently I've been so inspired by some of the amazing journallers around in Craftyblogland, and it seemed a journal was the perfect place to let go of trying too hard, and just follow my instinct. So here it is.
I basically just did lots of stuff I like with lots of stuff I like (links at the foot of the post)... but the whole thing starts from the Gibson Girls who - to me - have such a strong yet sad presence as images. I already did some playing with that idea in Journey to Yourself, one of my Guest Design pieces in February.
And here they are doing an excellent job of representing some of the internal disquiet that I can't afford to let leak out too much.
I gesso'd some pages in my new journal (picked up by my mother in Oxfam - so hardly counts as another purchase!).
It's a good solid book, 9.5 x 7 inches, with lovely strong paper, but the gesso still helps when you're planning to load'em up.
While the pages were drying, I stamped the Gibson Girls onto some papers from the Tim Holtz Crowded Attic collection, and cut them out with the ATC die from Sizzix.
First step for me is always texture - I love playing with texture paste and stencils, and the new Andy Skinner stencils are so great.
Random torn book pages and torn tissue tape create some extra architecture around the pages, and I already pretty much knew by this point where I wanted my women to go.
I did some inking with Pumice Stone, Frayed Burlap, Faded Jeans and Chipped Sapphire, and then decided the ATCs needed to be glued in so that they would start to get "embedded" into the page.
I did some Harlequin stencilling with Chipped Sapphire, then went over some of it in Picket Fence Distress Paint with the stencil slightly shifted for a dimensional effect.
I decided I wanted a bit more texture, so I dabbled some gesso through some of the diamonds with a hard bristle brush.
Lots of stamping: beautiful flowers from the Botanical Plate 1...
...butterflies from Insects and Butterflies, the delicious little Calligraphy Mat 19...
Then I had a wonderful time adding the Mini Polka Dots, first in Cobalt Archival, and then in Picket Fence Distress Paint - love this look!
Time to pay some extra attention to my dimensional Andy Skinner flourishes...
... some more layers of ink and paint, building depth, and finally some dry-brushing to highlight the textural detailing.
I'm a bit in love with Pumice Stone - it gives such a brilliant look of aged stone... predictable, I suppose, given the name!
And then, of course, there's the sentiment.
It's from the new Tim Holtz Way With Words set, and it speaks to me very loudly at the moment, since I'm about to head into some work that demands one of my "other me"s, wearing a different hat, and one that weighs quite heavily.
Can I keep this new creativity alive and bubbling once all those demands start being made on my time and energies (physical, mental and emotional)? I hope so...
It went through several versions - dark ink, pale paper; pale ink, dark paper; dark ink, tissue paper...
... but in the end there was something about the paler words that seemed to say something more profound about a lighter presence in the world.
So I finished up with Vanilla White embossing powder on some of the reverse sides of the Crowded Attic papers.
I know that this may seem a slightly downbeat debut, but the good news is that creating this page certainly seems to have been therapeutic - on the crafty side, if nothing else.
And I do really love the pages I've ended up with - it did me good to just let my crafty heart lead the way. I hope it offers you some inspiration (or at least food for thought).
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
e e cummings
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done; and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.
Here's what I used; click to go straight there:
Artistic Stamper stamps: Gibson Girls Plate 1, Botanical Plate 1, Insects and Butterflies No.1, Mini Polka Dots, Mini Calligraphy Mat 19
Stampers Anonymous: Way With Words
Andy Skinner: Baroque
Crafter's Workshop: Mini Harlequin
Idea-ology: Sketchbook Tissue Tape
Distress Ink: Chipped Sapphire, Faded Jeans, Frayed Burlap, Pumice Stone
Archival Ink: Jet Black, Cobalt
Distress Paint: Picket Fence
Wow Embossing Powder: Vanilla White
From my stash: other acrylic paints, book pages, journal