I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday, 31 May 2013

Coming soon...

Hello everyone, and a warm welcome to a wet and chilly (and slightly sad - as you'll see at the end) Words and Pictures today.

I'm here with a gift tag which was used as a "promissory note" recently for one of my brother's birthday presents (a remote-controlled helicopter - what can I say? - with the dollshouses and all the crafting... we're all overgrown kids round here!).

When we ordered it, we didn't realise it was coming from China, so unfortunately it hadn't arrived on the day we wanted to present it.

I went into action with some rapid stencilling, stamping and embossing with some of my eclectic Paperie goodies, and came up with this...

The background was created with the Crafter's Workshop Mini Numbers Collage stencil and Dylusions sprays, including the yummy opaque White Linen, which softens all the other vivid colours when you mix them together.

I blended a bit of Pumice Stone Distress Ink around the edges for definition.

I don't have a helicopter stamp, sadly; the Tim Holtz aeroplane was the closest I could get.

It's embossed in the fabulous Ranger Liquid Platinum powder.

I added the compass - embossed in SuperFine Black...

... and lots of hands pointing in various directions (the new Idea-ology tissue tape: Elements) to symbolise the long journey on which the present had gone astray!

The calendar stamp is there to offer an estimate of how many days he might still have to wait for it to arrive...

... so the sentiment was an obvious choice (in Liquid Platinum again).

I left plenty of room on the back of the large tag to write out the explanation that the helicopter was on its way, but on a "slowboat from China"!

And I was delighted that the mushroom-coloured ribbon I had in my stash toned in perfectly with the platinum embossing.  I tied it together using some of the fab Tim Holtz paper string.

Thank you so much for stopping by today.

You're in at the closing chapter of one of my adventures.  I'm very sad to say that this will be my last official post for eclectic Paperie.

There's just too much going on in life at the moment (craftily and otherwise) for me to continue trying to squeeze everything in.

I've had an absolutely wonderful time working with the lovely Kim, and the fabulous Design Team there over the last six months.  

I do hope you'll all continue to pop over to the eclectic Paperie blog to see what my incredibly creative team-mates are getting up to there, and to join in with the fabulous challenges.

I know I will!

Don't be dismayed at goodbyes.  A farewell is necessary before you can meet again.  And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.
Richard Bach

So, for one last time, you can click on the links to go straight to the eP store:

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Boardwalk Beach Hut

Hello everyone, so lovely to be here today.  Busy schedules over the last week or so have left me feeling a bit cut off from Craftyblogland - but I'm back to share another of my creations with the fantastic new Artistic Outpost stamp set Boardwalk, and to catch up with some visiting to see what you've all been up to as well.

This little beach hut was already sitting on my craft table before I knew anything about the new stamps.  In fact it was on the UK craft table all by itself all the time I was away in the Czech Republic. 

And when I saw these Boardwalk images (online whilst still in CZ) I knew that the beach hut would really come into its own as soon as I could get home and marry it with the stamps - which were also by that point waiting for me in the UK.... complicated, I know - welcome to my itinerant world.

(Crafting is really not a very good hobby to have if you're going to be mobile.  People have expressed surprise at how much stash I seem to travel with.  Well, here it all is a couple of weeks ago - packed up to come home to the UK again. 

Fortunately we travel by car, so I can be fairly generous with my supplies, but of course it's also important to get your packing priorities right...

Most of this is stash - um, yup, that's two big black boxes piled on top of each other, plus many orange boxes collected from the market and rammed full of stuff, various shoe-boxes, bags and tins, plus the Tim Holtz cargo case - while the small red suitcase contains my clothes for ten weeks!)

The beach hut itself is from Calico Crafts, as are the DecoArt paints I used on it, but I brought in some PaperArtsy crackle glaze to get my weatherbeaten paint look.

I also used one of the Generation Redux stamps - the bubbles - for some additional texture; and inked with Pumice Stone and Walnut Stain for added distressing.

The stamping is done in Cobalt Archival or Memento Teal Zeal, or sometimes both together blended on the stamp.

The trio of bathing beauties is such a fabulous image - I love it!

And this glamorous woman under her sun umbrella is a delight too...

The trio of seashells take their place on the front door, and there's a cute little hook on the back of the hut should you wish to hang it up for display.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  Don't forget that, until June 8th, there's 15% off all rubber stamps at Artistic Outpost, and if you've got at least one AO image on your project, you can enter it for the prize draw in the Monthly Referral Programme on the blog.

And in honour of my four Bathing Beauties, I've a favourite poem to share.  It's by e.e.cummings again - he of the no punctuation, strange spacing and no capital letters style - just let it run free!

maggie and milly and molly and may 
went down to the beach(to play one day) 

and maggie discovered a shell that sang 
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star 
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing 
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone 
as small as a world and as large as alone. 

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me) 
it's always ourselves we find in the sea

I'd like to enter this in the following:
At Artful Times they're looking for Vintage makes
As it's a wooden beach hut, a cheeky entry for Into the Woods at Simon Says Stamp and Show
Anything Goes is the challenge at Simon Says Stamp this week

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Tools of the Trade

Hello everyone, and a happy Sunday to you.  

So, after my altered keepsakes box, we're back in tag territory... and another chance to play with some delicious eclectic Paperie goodies - so you'll find links to all the ingredients at the foot of the post.

I loved playing with the stamps from Tim Holtz's fabulous new Artful Tools set when I created my craft table storage jars, so I got them out again for this tag.  

As well as the paintbrushes and geometry tools, I used the wooden rulers this time too...

And I have to say, I completely failed to nail down a favourite ink pad for Simon Says Stamp and Show - too many favourites - but there is one that seems to put in an appearance pretty dashed frequently, and that's the wonderful Coffee Archival.  

Since I work so often in a blue/brown palette, or in vintage tones, I find it a delicious alternative to bold black - so it's definitely one of the main "tools of the trade" for me - and it's come to the fore again in this project.

I started with an inky background for the tag - wrinkle-free distress technique with Distress Stains in Broken China (big love), Frayed Burlap (currently much in favour), Pumice Stone (greatly adored... you see what I mean with this favourite colour thing?!).  

I did some ink blending with the same colours in Distress Inks, and added some chicken wire stencilling - both full (Pumice Stone and Frayed Burlap) and reversed (in Peacock Feathers) - for extra texture.

Next it was out with the Picket Fence Distress Paint to add some stamping of the rulers... love this effect over the inks, and the clarity of image you can get stamping with the DPs.

Next up, it's the Coffee Archival - and I decided to stick to the very upright straight lines and right angles dictated by the rulers, so the paintbrushes went straight up one side...

... and the tools straight along the foot of the tag.

Love that the paint gives a slight resist, so you get the white holding its own within the images.

Coffee Archival takes centre stage on the ARTIST too... this time stamped straight onto white cardstock.

Then I cut it with the Stacked Artful Words decorative strip die, and gave it a coat of clear embossing powder for glossy strength.

The word ARTIST needed to go vertically (to match the ruler markings), so I needed some horizontality to balance it - so one of the Idea-ology Word Bands got pressed into action.  

Definitely a thing in there about whether I feel right applying that particular vertical word to myself yet - or maybe there's some more creating still to be done.

As regulars will know, the tag toppings are something I take great delight in.  

I used the Distress Stains again to dye some crinkle ribbon, and it was a particular delight to me that two colours from Tim Holtz's Paper String were exactly the right colour to tone in with the tag.

And after all those straight lines, I just had to go a little bit curly-wurly-twirly with them!

So there are my Tools of the Trade... 

It still feels to me, in many ways, like a very new trade - even though, at the same time, I can hardly remember life pre-crafting!  There's always so much more to learn, to discover, to experiment with - it's brilliant...  

Thank you so much to all of you for being part of this adventure in (re-)creating myself.  I'm so happy to have you along for the ride - it means the world.  

Happy Crafting!

I've just found this quote which seems unbelievably appropriate as a bridge between my creative worlds, so it has to go on this post...

If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.
Émile Zola

I'd like to enter this in Simon Says Stamp and Show's challenge to use your Favourite Ink - Coffee Archival - though I hereby respectfully refuse to be held to that as life and times and tastes change!!
At the Inspiration Journal the theme is Don't Quote Me...  I'd been saving this WordBand as it shares a thought I completely believe in - and now seemed the right time to take the plunge.

Click below to go shopping!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Boxing Day

Hello and welcome everyone, with an especially big welcome to the new followers - I'm so happy you decided to join the gang!  It's sneak peek time here again at Words and Pictures, as I'm sharing another make over at The Artistic Stamper today - so this is all I can reveal here. It would be wonderful if you had time to pop over there and check it out.

Short and sweet today... thank you so much for stopping by, and I'll be by to visit round your way soon, I hope!

What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit.
John Updike

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Under the boardwalk...

Hello all, and welcome to Words and Pictures on a busy and exciting day - there's so much going on over at Artistic Outpost!  Today sees the release of a brand new stamp set - and it's fabulous... like summer on a stamp plate!  

Here's a little taster of just some of what I've been up to with it... I've got several pieces to share with you and I'll spread them out over the next few days and weeks, but I thought I'd give you a quick glimpse of them all to whet your appetites.

So, without more ado, I give you: Boardwalk...

And if you hop round the rest of the team, you'll find so many amazingly inspirational makes.  Here's the list:

Here's what designer Robyn Phelan Sharp has to say about the new stamps:
For the love of the Jersey Shore and Atlantic City's historic boardwalk, this stamp collection features a lovely ATC sized collage featuring Steel Pier, bathing beauties, a handsome gentleman, and other summertime elements. 

Collection available in both unmounted sheets of red rubber or precut and mounted on EZMount clingfoam.

And to celebrate the (hoped-for) approach of summer, there's an amazing special offer on AO stamps at the moment: a Memorial Day sale with 15% off all Artistic Outpost stamp sets until June 8th - temptation, or what?!

So, I had to decide which project to share with you to start with, and I decided to go with one of my recent obsessions...

With the number of tiny floors I've been making recently, it was obvious to me from the get-go that I would have to make a "boardwalk"!

So I grabbed a fistful of coffee stirrers from the Costa Coffee on the boat on the way home, and here they are transformed into a weatherbeaten boardwalk in Atlantic City!

The Alterations cabinet card dies sliced through my cream mountboard with no problem at all, and I dabbed the resulting frame and background into some Salty Ocean, Tumbled Glass and Broken China inks daubed onto my craft mat.

There's Frayed Burlap around the edges to add a touch of vintage ageing to the overall look.

The gorgeous background image of the Steel Pier building has also had a little shading with Frayed Burlap Distress Stain, just to deepen the brickwork.  

And I surrounded it with random stampings of some of the seashells.

The coffee stirrers were painted with Broken China and Picket Fence Distress Paints mixed in varying proportions to get variegated "wear and tear" across my boards.

I didn't want too neat a finish along the edge, so I cut them to varying lengths, but always with the same angle to the cut, so that they would line up nicely against the back board.

I stamped the word Boardwalk beneath my boardwalk - just in case it wasn't obvious! 

And the line from the song got pride of place at the top of the frame.  

By the way, it's pretty inevitable that you will be singing the song the entire time you're working with these stamps... just as well it's brilliant!

I coloured the two New Jersey badges with Distress Markers before UTEEing them.  

While the UTEE was still slightly warm I brushed some Pewter Distress Stain over them to try to get a bit of a look of a vintage tintype button.

I stamped a couple of Pier tickets and attached them with one of the adorable Idea-ology paper clips.

The 3D seashell embellishments were a fantastically lucky addition to my stash recently... 

I won a giveaway of "doodads" from the amazing mixed-media artist Cat Kerr (she has another Giveaway right now, but only until 24th May, so hurry!), and these seashells were amongst the doodads that arrived - how fortuitous is that?!  

They couldn't have been more perfect for this new release - and they match the seashell stamps brilliantly!

I pressed the seashell stamps into service again to decorate my padded supports between the frames.  

As I've done before, I used the sponges which come in the packet when you buy Texture Fade embossing folders.

I sliced them to size and then stamped the shells in Cobalt Archival, so that even if you do catch sight of them within the three-dimensional frame, you've still got something nice to look at!

So that's my first encounter with the Boardwalk stamps.  You'll find lots of amazing work from my amazing team-mates on your way round.  

If you get lost, you can find all the details here at Artistic Outpost.  And don't forget that fantastic 15% off offer... until June 8th!  

For now, thank you so much for stopping by today... I hope the summer is finally starting for you (if you're in the correct hemisphere for that of course!), and happy crafting whether it has or hasn't turned up!

Oh, when the sun beats down and burns the tar up on the roof
And your shoes get so hot, you wish your tired feet were fireproof
Under the boardwalk, down by the sea
On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be
Under the Boardwalk by Kenny Young and Arthur Resnick

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Just a little recycling...

Hello all, and a warm welcome to Words and Pictures.  It's the start of a new challenge over at Fun With ATCs, and we'd like to see some Recycling on your tiny creations - ATCs of 2.5 x 3.5 inches, please, and no more!

There's lots of inspiration from my brilliant team-mates, so I hope you'll have time to hop over and check it all out... but here's my starter for ten.

BIG surprise, I chose to use some corrugated cardboard for my make!  

But not only is the background made of it, but the butterfly is made out of the paper that I peeled off it, and the flowers are stencilled onto the same stuff, so it's a double use of the materials!

The beautiful flower stencil is one of Ellie Knol's wonderful new designs for Magenta - there's a matching stamp too... well worth a look.  

The cardboard was salvaged from a crafty package (yes, one of many!).

Having ripped the paper layer off and set it to one side, I gave the card a rough and random coat of gesso, and then did a bit of stamping right on the ridges using the gorgeous script from the Tim Holtz Apothecary set.  I also added Walnut Stain and Vintage Photo distress inks for definition.

The butterfly is cut using the Movers and Shapers die, and also given the gesso and stamping treatment, before being stapled with one of the tiny attachers.

I used gesso with Ellie's template too, stencilling it on to the ripped-off paper.  The gesso gives a lovely texture to the image.  Then I sprinkled a very light dusting of Vintage Photo distress embossing powder across it, for a rusty look.  

The edges of the cardboard paper have been inked to show off the torn texture, and I stamped and then doodled over the words "new life" - a butterfly out of a caterpillar, an ATC out of an old cardboard box.

We'd love to see what old things you'll give fresh life to, so do come and play at Recycling with us... see you there!

(How short was that post?!  For me, I mean, at least...  I hope maybe that means you might have time to pop over and visit my Artistic Outpost offering today - sneak peek to the right, here - it would be lovely to "see you there" too!)

For now, happy crafting, and I hope to catch up with some of my visiting over the next couple of days... 

We are not to throw away those things which can benefit our neighbor. Goods are called good because they can be used for good: they are instruments for good, in the hands of those who use them properly.
Clement of Alexandria

Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. 
New England proverb