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...

Sunday, 1 June 2014

A Manly Beginning...

Hello all, so happy you could drop in today - there's a lot going on as it's the first of the month!  

First of all, I'm very excited to share my news with you.  I'm delighted to be able to announce that I'm joining the team at Country View Challenges - so happy! - and so here's my project for the June theme of Only Men Allowed.

Later in the morning, I'll be back (with a completely contrasting tag!) to share my inspiration offering for the new Our Creative Corner challenge.  But first let's check out the men!  The Country View Challenges team have created some fabulous makes to inspire you, so do hop over and check them out when you're done here...

I'm starting out with a tag - what else?! - and drawing inspiration from my favourite crafty men: Tim Holtz and Umbrella Man.  There's a list of ingredients at the end of the post, so you can click on the product links if you feel an uncontrollable urge to go shopping!

I had a ball creating the background for this... I stuck some Metal Foil Tape Sheets to a Size 8 tag, and then ran it through my BigShot with the glorious Subway folder.

I splurged some paint onto the surface, black acrylic and Faded Jeans and Weathered Wood Distress Paints.  

The first layer ended up far too dark for my liking, so I added more of the two blues, spritzing and drying until I was happy.

Once it was all dry, I sanded the surface of the embossing to reveal the metal tape beneath - v. cool look, I'd say!

Glancing around the craft table, I spotted a steely blue mop-up tag which was hanging out over in one corner... perfect for Umbrella Man.  
Once cut, I blended on Black Soot Distress Ink from the left to create a shadow effect.

He's stamped with grungy numbers from the Ultimate Grunge stamp set, and mounted on padded tape to create a pop of dimension.

He needed somewhere to stand, and since he's trying to work out which way he should go in life, I thought this arrow (a.k.a. a clock hand/Game Spinner) might help.

And I added some other Idea-ology bits and bobs, as well as some other metal pieces to help on the journey - Sprocket Gears and a Compass Coin, for instance.

The ChitChat stickers are edged in Black Soot and have a touch of Weathered Wood DP to add to the stormy steely bluesy look.

The topping is made with tissue tape - Commute, to co-ordinate with the embossed background - stuck to some seam binding to create a stiff ribbon, and it's tied with Paper String.

So, that's my first masculine make for you.  I'll be back later in June to share some more inspiration.  Do hop over and check out what my amazing new (to me!) team mates have created, and we hope you'll come and play Only Men Allowed some time this month.  There's a prize draw generously sponsored by Country View Crafts.

And, as I mentioned, I'll be back all too soon to play over in Our Creative Corner, with something completely different... hope to see you then!

To map out a course of action and follow it to the end requires courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I'd like to enter this in the following:
One for the Boys at the Pan Pastel UK Challenge Blog
For the Guys at Allsorts

Click to go shopping at Country View Crafts:
Metal Foil Tape Sheets
Size 8 Tags
Subway and Stencil Texture Fades
Stampers Anonymous - Ultimate Grunge
Idea-ology Game Spinners, Sprocket Gears, Compass Coins
Commute Tissue Tape
ChitChat Stickers
Paper String - Solids
Umbrella Man has been discontinued - shock, horror, tears!


  1. Fab tag and great background idea.

  2. Some crafters just have the knack with "men" stuff - and you are one! I love the background, what a great embossing folder - I never have the right ones!! The colours are fab, and I love what you did with Umbrella Man to decorate him.
    Tick, v.g. Alison!!

  3. Brilliant tag Alison..I love the steel look and love the umbrella man..Sometimes he is a sad sort of image but today he looks quite dapper amongst all the steel colours..love the embellies...fantastic.
    Congratulations on your new DT position..

    luv CHRISSYxx

  4. I bet CVC are thrilled to have you on board Alison! Huge congratulations on your new DT position and what a way to take a bow! Love the effect you've got with the paint and embossed metal and to say your umbrella man is a mop up shows the level at which you work. Love the use of Idea-Ology on this too. Jenny x

  5. Congratulations Alison, you lucky thing (I'm not envious - much LOL). They are also very lucky to nab you. Love your wonderful right on trend grey tag.

  6. Congratulations Alison. Always great to see your makes and this tag is just right for a man.

    Love Chrissie x

  7. Great tag Alison and welcome aboard!!

  8. Scrumdidilous! Ok, lady of words is that one!! I can't keep visiting and saying "stunning". Although your work always is and it always a wonderful treat to visit your blog Alison.
    Will be back later to check out what else you have been up to.
    Florence xx

  9. Woohoo! Congratulations Alison, you will make a fantastic addition to the wonderful CVC team. This tag is a brilliant first piece for them. I love the gorgeous background you created on this amazing manly make. Anne xx

  10. Congrats to Country View Challenges for having you on their team. They are very lucky.
    Flo x

  11. brilliant make - I love this Alison xx

  12. Beautiful tag Alison, I love how you've coloured it. Congratulations on the DT post, at least you won't encourage me to spend more 'cos this is already my favourite store :-) xx

  13. Alison what a wonderful tag. Love it!! Fantastic background too. Thanks so much for your visit and taking the time to leave me a message. Much appreciated. Karen.x

  14. Fabulous tag! I love all the metal and the amazing background!
    hugs, Unni

  15. JUST FANTATSIC.. I love all about it Alison!

  16. Alison, I love this! I've always loved Umbrella Man(maybe cuz I like rain?). Color is very important as to whether I like something or not. Well, here you've combined two favorites. The way you have done the shadow and light effect on UM and the umbrella is just magical! The background and embellies are just right. I'm wordy this morning, to try and convey how happy he made me when I saw him.

  17. Oh, I forgot to say congratulations!

  18. Ohhhhhhhhhh! I so love your background on this tag!!! Having just come from NYC, I just love the foil covered subway embossed tag. Wow. The finished background has the feel of a metro NYC. So cool. And I love the how you have umbrella man on the spinner. And that tissue tape on binding tape ... inspired topper!!! So much fun. Really ... what a great intro to you as a CVC DT Member. You will be such a terrific addition to an already stellar team of artists. Can't wait to see your future contributions. Congrats my dear sweet butterfly :) I am so happy for you. -- Mary Elizabeth

  19. Congratulations on the DT post Alisob, so well deserved. Love the metallic background for Umbrella Man. Great idea with the tissue tape ribbon.
    Avril xx

  20. The embossed background is perfect for Umbrella Man. Amazing masculine tag Alison!!! xx

  21. This is fabulous, love the embossed background and umbrella man is always a favourite, and he look perfect on your tag xxx

  22. Hi Alison,
    So cool, love the background, thanks for the pics. Stunning tag for male.
    Thank you for sharing at Allsorts;-))m

  23. Congratulations on the DT post, its a fabulous tag.

  24. Hey Sugar Bun! One fabulous tag and what a good idea using the man with the umbrella standing on the arrow. He reminds me of the old time high wire walkers walking across the wire with an umbrella.
    Another big congratulations to you - a new DT position and I swear Alison they are lucky to get you and I do mean lucky!!!!! Not only are you talented and pretty but a real sweetheart!!! One of you biggest fans -
    me xx

  25. Congratulations on another fabulous DT post Alison. Your tag is quite special and I love that gorgeous background. Love the shading on umbrella man and how you used the game spinner to 'ground' him.

    Lesley Xx

  26. Hello Miss Alison a Huge congratulations, your in with amazing talent, you'll be a perfect fit.. I see you used my favorite man, and a fantastic background you created for him,love the game spinner, you always give him something to stand on it's so kool, love the topping, thanks for sharing ..

  27. Hello Alison,
    The Tag certainly relates a wonderful metal effect, and perfect for this theme. I too am looking forward to working alongside you on CVC.

  28. Superb effects Alison using those 'manly' techniques and gorgeous tones of blue. Welcome to CVC, it's wonderful having you aboard and sharing another DT together xxx

  29. WOW WOW WOW absolutely stunning, great art.


  30. Stuning tag, Alison! Fabulous background! Love this men with umbrella :)

  31. Love your gorgeous tag,great texture.xxx

  32. A great masculine tag Alison, perfect for our theme this week. Thanks for joining in at Allsorts challenge.


  33. This is one fantastic masculine tag!! Congrats on the new DT position too! WOW you are one very busy artist!
    Hugs, Cathy-Lynn

  34. A terrific tag! Umbrella Man looks great against that fab background.

  35. Oh, congratulations Alison for this new DT integration!!! I don't know too much this blog and the team, but no doubt that you will offer to them (and us) a new combination of brilliant projects! This tag is already a brilliant sample to start. I love your background and the dimension of the man on its great ground, wonderful! Coco xx

  36. Congrats on joining CVC Alison and what a fantastic debut piece for them.

    Warm hugs from Shirl x x

  37. Big Congrats on the DT and what a fabulous first make
    Just love these icy metallic colours and my favourite folder and umbrella man
    Fab! Love it

    Jools x

  38. I'm finally getting around to visiting again, and just in time for Umbrella Man!! This is a fantastic tag!! The background IS very cool!

  39. Congratulations on your new DT post - your tag is fabulous.
    xxx Hazel.

  40. The metallic background of this tag is so fabulous. It definitely looks like some old signage you'd find in a subway. I adore the tissue tape ribbon you've used up top. That was brilliant to add it to some seam binding so it would have some stiffness and be more ribbon-like. Of course I like all the metal bits and bobs that Tim makes (great for hoarding!) and Umbrella Man is the bomb!

  41. love love love! one of my fav things to emboss is aluminum tape. awesome tag

  42. Wonderful news, Alison. Congratulations! And I love this textured tag... fabulous.

  43. I absolutely LOVE this work of art you put together. I have to check to see if I have the umbrella man. Think I have everything else, so I could try this technique out as a card for some guys.

  44. Hi Alison,
    Congrats on your new DT position. The tag is so cool; awesome technique and great for males.

    Hugz, Sandy
    Owner & Operator @ Live & Love Crafts

  45. Wow Alison huge congrats, I shop there a lot and it's such an awesome place, just like your tag, wow really loving the background, I so need to have a go at that and the umbrella man looks cool, especially seems he is cut from scrap, it's good not to clear your desk, well that's my excuse anyway lol. Hugs Kezzy:-) xxx


Thank so much for taking the time to stop by. It's lovely to hear what you think - every comment is so much appreciated.