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Sunday, 1 September 2013

Season of Mists




Hello everyone... welcome to September, and the start of a new challenge theme at The Artistic Stamper (also at Our Creative Corner, of course - but, as always, you'll hear more from me about that on the 15th of the month).


Our Artistic Stamper challenge this month is Autumn, and I'm so looking forward to seeing what you come up with.


Even though this time of year definitely has a melancholy tang for me, I love the colours and images of autumnal crafting.


This is a long and photo-heavy post, I fear - since this tag went through many, many layers in development.



I'm glad I have a pictorial record of the journey, because there were a number of stages along the way where I could happily have stopped and been very pleased with the result... so now I can return and, to some extent, re-create those stages for future creations.










Also, the tag proved pretty hard to capture on film - the final layer of crackle glaze means you really have to have it in your hands, able to tip and tilt it, and then all the hidden beauties deep in the background reveal themselves in turn.

I tried to get the sense of all the layers of mulch and decay as all the living matter gathers on the forest floor to provide nourishment for next year's growth... with a layer of the most brilliant reddened leaves scattered on the top.







So, it all started with a jumbo tag (size 10), and some Distress inks - what else?  I used Tim's wrinkle-free distress technique with various inks and stains, including Picket Fence, which gives you that lovely opacity.

And I think I may have had a touch of Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls powder in there too...










Next step was some stencilling using the Crafter's Workshop mini Flower Piecing mask and some Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

Definitely a look I love, and will return to - possibly as soon as I've finished editing this post!













Stamping next... and some of the fabulous images from Katy Fox's Encyclopaedia Botanica...











...summer flowers and insects which are now retreating into the background as we head into the autumn chill.














Then I needed something to give us more sense of that damp, rich, moist autumn morning feel, so a touch more colour was in order... 











Another stage where I really like the complexity.  

And that lovely dictionary text in Coffee Archival is also from Encyclopaedia Botanica set, by the way - I guess that's the encyclopaedia bit!










I can't remember what made me decide to push it that step further and go for the crackle glaze... I think I wanted the colours to be a bit more intense, and I know that a glaze will do that.  

I also like the idea of a kind of dewy spider's web look crackling across the whole tag like the webs in the grass every morning at this time of year...










While it does mean that you lose some of the details in the background, I really love the effect overall.  

But, as I say, it really helps to have the real thing to look at so that you can turn it to catch and deflect the light sparkling off it.







Next step: the words.  

It's an obvious quote for Autumn, I'm afraid - the opening line of Keats's Ode to Autumn, but it really did seem perfect for the sense of the richness of nature as well as the moist decay I was playing with.

I used one of my leftover salty Dylusions ATC backgrounds to stamp the words onto.  








I never thought I'd use this particular one - far too vibrantly red/orange for my usual tastes - it was just me playing at the time.

But it captures those vivid autumn leaf colours so well, and provided a really great contrast to the earthy colours of the background.

I used the little Hero Arts alphabet of course...










And then, in honour of the theme of decay, I couldn't resist adding some more of my rusty bits and bobs.

The leaves were an obvious choice...





And the Ornate Plate demanded its place too.  I love how it looks all rusted up.







One last little remnant of the ATC was pressed into action inside the Ornate Plate.  

I embossed the word 'autumn' in copper embossing powder, but it didn't have quite enough definition, so I outlined it with a fine black PITT drawing pen.











Finally, the topping... twine and raffia for a rustic look, and some crinkle ribbon dyed with Dylusions sprays and Distress Inks to pick up the colours of the quote on the tag.

In the sun, those Dylusions colours are so intense!









I do hope you'll come along and play with us at The Artistic Stamper - I'm looking forward to your Autumn projects.

But I really don't want to go without trying to give you some sense of how the whole thing sparkles in the sunlight... so I'll leave you with that, and the first verse of Ode to Autumn.









Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to lad and bless 
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;







To shell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, 
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimmed their clammy cells.
From Ode to Autumn by John Keats







I'd like to enter this in Craft Mojo's September Challenge which is Autumn Colours

63 comments:

diane hasthorpe said...

Hi Alison. This is a stunning tag. I love the depth you have ceated with all of your layering techniques.... awesome! There is a great feel of autumnal beauty and I love how you have used the pop of the autumn explosion of colour. Fantastic as always with your work... and one of my favourite poems as well. Thank ypu for your step-by-step. I always love these. Have a great weekend. Cheers, Di

Marci said...

Just beautiful! Rich and deep. I love how you tell us your thought process in your creations, as well as the steps. By the way,, what was the blue green color? Did I miss that? The coppery metal bits, and the salt technique paper and the crackle are all wonderful.

Danielle Champagne said...

OMG... Your tag is OUTSTANDING. such fabulous techniques, and colors! and such a perfect Ode to Autumn! I love all about it. Cheers from MOntreal. xo

Linda Coughlin, the funkie junkie said...

Oh my, I think this is one you really have to see IRL to appreciate. So many wonderful layers and textures. The colors as you built them up are sensational. This is a real knock-out, Alison!

Hugs,
Linda

Brenda Brown said...

Stunning Alison, the layers definitely provide the richness in depth and colour and the crackle is the 'piece de resistance'. I think you will have lots more ideas for layering after this weekend, which is so inspiring.
hugs {brenda} x0x

Debi said...

I've been a slow visitor - sorry :( - the earthquakes rattled me, but I'm back blogging now :)
this is a stunner of a tag- ALL that texture- yum! as always thank you for all the lovely comments you leave on my blog I appreciate your kind words, Debi x

Annie said...

I so love Autumn and this tag is beautifully depicting the colours /changes that take place. Wonderful layering Alison.

Crafty hugs
Annie x

barbarayaya62 said...

Alison your backgrounds are always stunning!!!!! This tag with its fabulous autumn colors, it's really wonderful to start the spirit of the fall season! Barbarayaya

maria's knutselplezier said...

Waw such a stunning tag again, love the colours of the background and the special structure!!!great design!!

Greetings
maria

Rita said...

Good Morning Alison. What a wonderful tag. The background is so fantastic. Hugs Rita xxx

inkypinkycraft said...

another beautiful and accomplished make, great colours and the hidden details are fab! gorgeous x hugs trace x

Tincan Crafter said...

Alison - this is tooo beautiful. I cant stop looking at it. I love how you contrasted the brightly coloured sentiments against that too-fabulous-for-words background. I also loved the vintagey frame. Too too beautiful!

chrissies said...

Very beautiful tag-a celebration of Autumn and hint at the tag tie of Harvest festivals to come. It is easy to imagine how you could have happily stopped at many of the stages and will use the techniques at other times.

Thank you for the Keats it brought a tear to my eye-think it was bees going away as I love them.

Have a great day

Chrissie x

clare said...

Such a beautiful tag, love it!

Evil Edna said...

this is just beautiful. EE

Cestina said...

This is simply stunning. However - you know what I am going to say - where are the things that create all the mulch and decay of autumn? Where are the things that prevent our being over run by vegetable matter so that you would not be able to create such a wonderful object. Where are the fungi?????

Autumn without fungi - inconceivable!

But still very lovely xx

Helen said...

Look at all those layers, they are fabulous - I love autumn and autumnal colours so this is right up my street!

Mrs.B said...

Stunning tag Alison, wonderful layers of colour and stamping and the colour of the card for the quote really pop.
Avril xx

Redanne said...

Wonderful layering Alison, gorgeous texture and colour of Autumn - Love this. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Hugs, Anne x

Kath said...

stunning tag Alison and it was so wonderful to meet you on Thursday and spend a wonderful afternoon in your fun company...hope we can meet up again soon...hugs kath xxx

Francesca said...

Hi Alison, another beautiful tag, love the crackle glaze and the muted colours. xxx

cathylynn said...

Your tag is a mirror of autumn. So full of color and textures. Total beauty captured on a tag. Another fabulous creation! Love it!
Hugs, Cathy-Lynn

die amelie said...

My, what a wonderfully lovely autumnal make, Alison!

Looking at it feels as if I were hiking the Wienerwald with its beautiful forests, my eyes watching the ground beneath my feet - discovering all the small creatures and nature treasures there!

You have captured one of my favourite seasons and feelings! LOVE your tag!

Hugs,
Claudia x

Meggymay said...

Gorgeous tag, so many wonde.
Yvonne

May said...

WOW...Alison,Fabulous background you have created, the colours & crackle is amazing...Love it all...Hugs May x x

Asia King (aka Joanna K) said...

This is a real golden beauty! I love the shimmer from the crackle and the background is stunning! Gorgeous tag Alison! xxx

Jennie Atkinson said...

So stunningly autumnul Alison. All the layered steps are famtastic and thanks for sharing them all. I have tried some, but others are new, so thank you. Jennie x

froebelsternchen Susi said...

oh my GOSH! This is just WONDERFUL dear Alison!
I love it!!!

Sandy said...

I love the colors Alison - This tag is one of my favorites of your makes. Have you noticed that the metal embellishments at the bottom look like a fish?
Sandy

Dianne said...

Having it right in my hand would be aaaawesome, but your photos are fabulous every step amazing, the colors are done to perfection, it is my favorite time of the year, the colors are so exciting to me,those leftover salty Dylusions were just waiting for you to create this tag, they are stunning, that crackle which does look like spiderwebs, looks fabulous, holy crap,I can hardly type, I'm so excited, the background you created with all that depth, stunnnning, the rusty bits, excellent,gorgeous,the Ornate Plate looks fantastic,love how you made the word,then the glorious topping twine and raffia, is just perfection. I have fallen in love again, thanks for making my day dear Butterfly, hope you had a wonderful time with Tim and the girls..

Candy C said...

Alison...this is such a lovely make. You are always so sweet about sharing your step by step instructions with easy to understand description and photos. That takes a lot of time to do ... and it's appreciated. :) Love your design. They background and the mottled colors are beautiful. Love the crackle effect. Love the Ornate plate and the die cut leaves. Beautiful! <3 Candy

Paper Profusion said...

Absolutely exceptional and stunning tag Alison! It's made all the more brilliant by your step x step and your reasoning to echo nature's layers. Gorgeously layered with so many yummy techniques and the end result has such a rich leathery look that I just want to touch it. That Keats poem was way way back in the curled recesses of my brain - well done on resurrecting it for me! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. Nicola x

Kim Price said...

Yeah I love that crazed crackle look - really glad you decided to take it that step further and add the glaze. What a stunning effect. And yes, it looks like a spiders web! Amazing.

Dorthe said...

Alison, you have created magic here...
I love that crackle glace effect,-but without your wonderful layers of paint, stamps and inks, it would have been nothing !!! The Encyclopaedia Botanica stamps are fabolous together with your leafes in rust !!
All together a fabolous tag.
xo Dorthe

pearshapedcrafting said...

Love the crackle on those misty Autumn colours! I expect you are catching breath now - hope you had a wonderful time! Hugs, Chrisx

Coco said...

Oh Alison, just a big WOOOOWWW !!! Your tag is terrific, I love all the details on it. All the more so as like you (and many others I guess), I really love the colours and crafty stuff related to Autumn.. Fabulous combination of beautiful designs and hand-made elements on this make ! Hugs coco x

Hettie said...

oh Alison! You are truly a girl after my heart! I too love Autumn - always have and this epitimises Autumn for me. All the lovely layers and description of your route are great>
Thanks Hettie
xx

Anita Houston said...

Oh the crackle on the already fabulous background transforms this to a WOW!!! Gorgeous Autumn tag!

Shelby said...

Stunningly gorgeous tag! I love the Fall theme and the crackle finish is perfect. Love it
Shelby

Shari Trumbull said...

Vibrantly Lovely, Alison! LOVE all of the colors your used and they all mesh so well together, as they do in nature! And your rusty bits & bobs--Perfect! Thank you for sharing! XOXO-S

Shirley Chillman said...

How cool is this tag Alison. Love everything about it especially the spider in the corner which looks so innocent but just waiting to pounce.

Crafty hugs from Shirl x x

Nan G said...

Love the way the crackle brought up the colors of that fabulous background! Another amazing tag!

Silvia(Barnie) said...

How cool, that's a wonderful tag, great crackling effect and fantastic different techniques.

Gio said...

Read every single words, look deeply at every details. Love love the colours, the feeling, the crackle finish. All they work together in a stunning way. Brava brava brava!

Gio said...

Forgot...the pictures gave credit to teh tag and colours, no worries at all! :-)

Lucy Edmondson said...

Absolutely beautiful, Alison! Hope you have had a wonderful few days!

Lucy x

shabbied up grannie said...

I absolutely love this tag so much depth & dimension

Bev

Jools Robertson said...

Alison, this is beautiful the colours and textures are stunning
I love autumnal tones, really evocative!
It was lovely to meet you at a very special crafty weekend

Jools x

Kate said...

Such a sensational background. The colors and patterns are fabulous. I love the leaves and autumn colors.
Kate

Netty said...

Loving all the wonderful textures you have incorporated into your gorgeous tag Alison. Hugs Annette x

Dianne said...

A beautiful tag, autumn is my favourite season.

lynnesbowsandbelles said...

I do not know what I can add to all the amazing feedback you have received for this tag you are sharing other than it is quite stunning. So glad you shared all those detailed images where you captured a sense of all those layers.
Love this.
Wishes
Lynne

Deborah said...

...Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun... (always love a bit of Keats, ever since school days. A spectacular tag, Alison. I'm a big fan of the way you use ribbons and threads through the tag hole.

Lisa S. said...

You pulled it off, the crackle translates through the computer screen and it's fab Alison. I always love the depth you put into each project, layers and layers of eye candy for all of us. Love seeing these gorgeous fall colors on this beautiful tag!!

craftytrog said...

This is so rich & beautiful Alison!
It was wonderful to see you at the weekend, hope to see your projects soon!
Alison xx

Dewi Lestari said...

Stunning mixed media project! Thanks for joining at Crafty Mojo: Autumn Colors
Hugs
Dewi

Chris said...

So gorgeous Alsion! I love the autumn colours and the wonderful frosty crackle. Really stunning work. Chris xx

sara j said...

This is just the most gorgeous thing...love your process in how you got here. loving this!!! BIG TIME!

Kelly Neis said...

Oh I love the colors on this tag and the bitty insects. Your crackle looks fabulous. I crackled a image recently and parts of it fell off, oh well start over.
I am playing catch up with you now!! lol
Hugs Kelly

Kezzy said...

Wow wow wow truly awesome and all my favourite colours. I love how you layered everything, it really does seem to capture the autumn feeling, the smell you get and all those beautiful colours fabulous :-) Kezzy xxx

craftimamma said...

What an absolutely stunning tag Alison! I can see what you mean by saying there were several points at which you could have stopped and been equally happy with the tag. The various stages created some wonderful effects. However, the end product is simply beautiful. All those gorgeous layers overlaid by the clear crackle are breathtaking and completely convey the feeling of walking through the woods on a beautiful bright but misty morning. As long as it's not raining or blowing too hard Autumn is my favourite time of year. I love the colours and the smells.

Hugs
Lesley Xx

Marjie Kemper said...

How totally gorgeous... love all those layers!

Sally said...

Totally stunning, thank you for joining us at Craft Mojo.
Sally. x