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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The Ghosts in the Machine

Hello and welcome, everyone - and an especially big welcome to the newest followers... it's lovely to have you with us.

You've arrived just in time for the monthly Artistic Outpost bloghop, and our theme this month - to get you in the mood a little early - is Halloween.

Do hop around to see what my amazing fellow designers have been up to.  Here's the full itinerary:






Artistic Outpost has some delicious Halloween sets, but it so happens that I don't own any of them (yet!), so I got creative with some of my other AO stamps to create my ghostly tag.



To be honest, I've always found the little girl from the Kudzu Kafe set more than slightly unnerving, so she was my first choice.  



And I figured, well, if one of her is unnerving, how spooky would several of her all at once be?!














I started by sticking a book page to a tag, and then used Linda's technique of stripping away some of the text using masking tape, so that it would be even more distressed and shabby.

Then I gave the whole thing a rough coat of gesso so that the stamping would show up better.





I stamped the little girl in black Archival, and then stamped her again on another piece of paper so that I could cut a mask to use.

I layered up several versions of her, using second and third generation stampings to get varying ghostly transparencies.














I played with Distress Stains and a water brush to tint the main figure.  

Those in the background got a touch of colour too, but again, in paler and paler variations.









The little phrase was hovering in my mind - I've Googled it, and it doesn't seem to exist as a quote, so I suppose I must have cooked it up myself... 

There's something in it about those internal voices, or the other versions of ourselves that hover in and out of view at various points in our lives, haunting us with the possibility of other life choices we might have made, or might still make.  





The larger tag behind has actually been sitting around since April - it was one of my experiments with the Metallic Distress Paint background for Tim's tag that month.  It wasn't quite right for my tag at the time, but I still quite liked it, with all those swirls of Pewter shimmer.












Since I was working with spooky blues, it suddenly became clear that maybe its time had come.  I added some text stamping using the book text from the Bluebird set, so that it would match up with the book page background of the smaller tag.













And having added text to make the large tag more like the small one, I then added some blue inking and some Aged Silver Frantage to the small tag to make it more like the big one... 

The Frantage is sort of like internal ectoplasm, maybe?!







The cogs and gears arrived because the other words running around my head were "the ghost in the machine".










It's a phrase used in philosophy to question the notion that in some way our mind and body operate separately - as though the mind were somehow a separate entity trying to tell the body (machine) what to do, and not perhaps always with the body's best interests at heart.

With all my internal ghosts, it seemed right to add some machinery for them to operate.










A little topper of broad white paper ribbon and satiny grey ribbon tied together with some of the Idea-ology paper string is the finishing touch.














So there's my slightly off-beat, philosophical Halloween tag... Do go and have a look what my team-mates have been up to - I promise you won't regret it.  If you get lost along the way, you'll find all the details here.

For now, thank you so much for taking the time to stop by, and I'll see you soon somewhere out there in Craftyblogland.

The past is a ghost, the future a dream and all we ever have is now.
Bill Cosby

She walked with a ghost of herself, one full of potential and possibility. One who was fearless. Where had that girl gone?
From Vision in White, by Nora Roberts





57 comments:

inkypinkycraft said...

This is truly fab, she looks great in a very ghostly way, great colours and fab sentiment here, another fab make...P.s. did you get my email about the bags...oh and thanks to your inspiration I now have a large tray of rusted bits!! Thanks will link you whenever I find time to use them! Hugs trace x

brenda said...

I can see what you mean about the little girl Alison, it's that expression which could easily be interpreted as impending doom, so spot of for purpose.

But love your tag, colours and embellies.

B x

Carol Q said...

absolutely brilliant Alison. love your theme for this tag.

Von said...

Brilliant ghostly effect Alison !
Von ♥

Amanda said...

Oooh they are a bit spooky they remind me of the children fom "Village of the Damned" 1960 film which I saw as a child. Great tag to get Halloween in our minds.
Love
Amanda x

Nan G said...

You've proven one does not need Halloween images to create spooky. Great job of masking and repeat stamping, butterfly! A very 'chilling' tag. Hugs

Brenda Brown said...

Fabulously ghostly tag Alison, it's both eerie and ethereal with perfect colours and imagery. What really caught my attention is the Alison quote about internal ghosts as if our internal voice changes image and haunts us and I love the link to the ghost in the machine, so clever. Thanks for this supernal post and inspiration.
Hugs Brenda xxx

Buttons said...

A haunting image Alison. Love the misty and murky feel of this tag. Hugs, Jenny x

chrissies said...

Wonderful ideas as always Alison. Strange how 'indenticals' can seem spooky.I can't take my eyes off the images and the masking is superb.

No sooner have I got my ribbon soaking in tea and coffee than you come up with yet another way to make a tag tie:)

Have a great day

Love Chrissie x

Redanne said...

I love Halloween and ghostly things and this really did send a shiver down my spine - it is a brilliant, ghostly make, love the way you have done the girl image and your quote is superb. Love this! Hugs, Anne x

Rita said...

Wooooooo Alison. What a fantastic tag. I love it and the great tutorial too. Have a Good Day. Hugs Rita xxxxx

Neet said...

Gosh, can see what you mean about that image but fantastic the way you have used her. Great tag.
Hugs, Neet xx

Paper Profusion said...

Brilliant and clever FX Alison! Really spooky result that looks terrific. Thank-you for a new word too "Ectoplasm" - had to look it up! Nicola x

Lucy Edmondson said...

This is absolutely brilliant and I am laughing too! You are very clever to use a non-Halloween set! She is scary looking and even more so the way you have used her. The folks in Generation Redux and the old woman in Kudzu Cafe are scary too - same family maybe? Do you think the little girl in her perfect dress in the daughter of a Stepford Wife maybe?

Lucy x

Coco said...

A really sweet and delicate tag !! I love the stamped image, and the embossed parts and nice linkage ! Coco xx

Linda Coughlin, the funkie junkie said...

What a fabulous take on the hop theme, Alison! I agree with you about the girl from the Kudzu plate and what a terrific job you did with the masking and stamping of her. Awesome BG work and I love the ghosts in the machine slant too! Sensational piece of work for the hop!

Hugs,
Linda

froebelsternchen Susi said...

such a meaningful piece of art dear Alison...
it really spekas to me!

blessings!

xxx Susi

Anita Houston said...

FUN!!! I agree with you on that girl...lol! Love the theme...too true! Great tag!

Candy C said...

Alison! This ghostly tag is awesome! As someone has said in another comment, you have proven that you don't have to use Halloween stamps so make something look spooky or eerie. It's all in the colors and the interpretation! Love what you've done here. The repeated stamping of the little girl is very effective. Love the grayish tones and the sentiment is what glues this all together! Love it! <3 Candy

Suzanne C said...

Brilliant effect with the ghostly images. I can see the spooky feeling you were thinking of in your spooky tag!

Gerrie Johnnic said...

Fab!! Love how your brain works GF, that gal is very scairy, and I tend not to use her...but you made her many, a crowd in fact, such a great idea! Wonderful tag!!

Terry said...

Spooky and ghostly effect you created! The added embossing and muted colors really add to the ghostly feel! Love this tag!

cbee said...

Wow, Alison, your tag is amazing! Love it!
Hugs,
Caro

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Fantastic Alison and a very clever take on the challenge. Love how you created a ghostly shadow and the sentiment is perfect. Love your use of book pages too and the touches of silver. Tracy x x

Lisa Somerville said...

Spookingly wonderful tag! Love how your inner voice spoke to you! Love the ghostly effect of the Kudzu gal stamped multiple times!

craftytrog said...

Absolutely brilliant! xx

Helen said...

oh my, she does look a little spooky... love the tag, Alison - gorgeous colour. As always, all your little touches are just fab!

cathylynn said...

Alison this is ghostly awesome! Another fabulous tag with such great details. Wonderful!!!
Hugs, Cathy-Lynn

Christi Conley said...

Great details and SO much to see in your tag - love this & the little girl is perfect!

craftimamma said...

I so appreciate what you are saying about that little girl Alison. She has quite a formidable expression, lol! I love the effect of the 'ghostly' repeats of her image. The background on the large tag has a very swirly, misty look to it and the silver frantage, whilst tying the two tags together also helps define the smaller one. Wonderful tag altogether!

Hugs
Lesley Xx

lynnesbowsandbelles said...

I've never favoured horror movies but she brings to mind children from such movies or a child communicating with a world beyond.
You captured a ghostly feel so perfectly.
Wishes
Lynne

Silvia(Barnie) said...

A fantastic tag, love the soft colors and all the elements.

Iris said...

Great tag.

Unni A said...

Perfect image for a halloween tag, she does look a little spooky... :/ Love the tag, the colors, the bacground and the words.
hugs, Unni

pearshapedcrafting said...

Whooooo! Will I sleep tonight? A seriously spooky piece and so beautiful! Chrisx

Sandy said...

Very spooky Alison. Just the words leave me kinda creeped out! That little girl does not look happy. I really like what you did with the Frantage - It looks like old stone that has weathered for many years. It is hard to be serious with Halloween - I guess that is why I like it so much!
sandy

Cinderella Moments said...

The metallic paint is awesome. I love the look! Great tag. A different take on the usual orange and black. I like that a lot!
hugs♥,
Caroline

Kate said...

I totally stand with you...that little girl is unnerving for sure. Great take on this theme. Love how you ghosted her all over the tag. Awesome tag!
Kate

Chris said...

Gorgeous Alison! I love how you've created the Halloween feel in such a perfect and subtle style and non traditional colours too. Superb! Chris x

Sue said...

What a fabulous tag Alison full of atmosphere - I'm sure she has her story to tell (but I wouldn't want to hear it on a dark night lol) This is perfect for Halloween, far more menacing than pumpkins! xx

Dianne said...

Your BRILLIANT Miss Alison, to use that great image to create a ghostly look was brilliant, the sentiment so true, wow I just love everything you did on this gorgeous tag, stunning make, thanks for sharing it..

Hettie said...

I can see what you mean about that girl looking a little freaky!
Great tag though. Love the layering and the colours are perfect!
The ghost in the machine is a great idea....we have a ghost that types here! An old typist we reckon!
Hugs

Tincan Crafter said...

OH NO Alison, you beat me to it - my entry for the Tim Holtz challenge this month - is all leafy, uses those same leaf stamps and stamping concept including the text - (no smiling skeletons though) mine is called "Seasons come to pass" - but I have been having massive camera and editing problems because my pc is giving up the ghost, so I havent been able to upload it. This is much more prettier than mine though.....and darn it - now I am going to have to make something else!

ElizabethR said...

Great make Hun but boy she is scarey!! Elizabeth xxx

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

A great tag Alison, in thos soft tones...lovely stamp too!

Shari Trumbull said...

Alison, LOVE how you've used the "Angry Girl" from the Kudzu Cafe set! I don't use her because of her annoyed look...but, maybe now, putting a witchy hat on her, makes perfect sense! Fantastic Tag and your inspiration has fueled me again! XOXO-Shari

Mary Elizabeth said...

Ooooooo ... spooky little girl. Great stamp for this project. The pewter stained background tag really was a terrific choice and I love how you continued the tag's "feel" onto the stamped paper with the blue ink and silver Frantage (love how this sets off the text). Fabulous tag!!

I don't have ghosts in my machines:) I seem to have imported some of those pesky Gremlins. I always seem to have something bizarre happening to machines in my life. Thanks for the note on my blog. Yes, a day at a time. Hugs -- Mary Elizabeth

Lisa S. said...

The more the merrier, eh? I love the multi image myself but she is a bit intimidating with that stare isn't she lol. Another fantastic tag!! Hugs

Dorthe said...

So fabolous Alison,-
love your own qoute,-and the way you made that girl ,kind of slip away, into nothing ... love the Silver Frantage, splasches ,too, looks fantasic !!!
xo,Dorthe

Julia said...

There is something quite wonderful about this piece of artwork. I love the ectoplasm! Those images are haunting for sure. x

MichelleZ said...

I've heard that true art causes the viewer to experience an emotional response. And this did! It actually surprised me for a moment. I experienced this feeling of melancholy. It was surreal.

Thanks for sharing your art. It's not only lovely and inspiring, but it's touching as well.

Debbie K. said...

Great tag, Alison! It says so much and has such an ere feel to it. Perfect for Halloween!!!

Stephanie Hallitron said...

Alison,
How very creative you are using distressing techniques to create a truly Halloween project. The sentiment nails it.

Bonnie Irvine said...

I love the story this tag tells both through the words and the pictures :) The tag within the tag is very effective as is the Frantage which also reminds me of mercury, adding to the story. The addition of the gears adds wonderful dimension and frames the ghosts so beautifully. Are they working to help the ghosts stay in or get out, I wonder.

barbarayaya62 said...

Wonderful tutorial and true words! BArbarayaya

Marjie Kemper said...

Beautiful tag - love the stacking and your nontraditional colors!

Kezzy said...

Oh Alison this is fabulously spooky, not traditional Halloween but a lot more believable. I love how you have the girl with the ghostly girls at back, and so much truth in your words. Love the spooky blues and all the little details and amazing that you came up with it without any Halloween stamps. I would have panicked and gone and bought a set lol. Sorry I'm behind, still catching up from my hols :-) hugs Kezzy xxx