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, 24 July 2015

Gently Grey

Hello all!  I'm glad you enjoyed peeking through my Brocanterie Window.  Today I've got something to share that I made completely and utterly for no other reason than that I wanted to.  That's become a real rarity here at Words and Pictures lately.


And I may finally have worked out a way for me to make cards... start them as tags!




I was tempted into buying the Tim Holtz flower stamps largely by the beautiful work Jennie at Live the Dream has been doing with them (including one of my favourite tags of all time).

And so I suppose it's no accident that my first play with them echoes her delicate style and colour palette.











It was also my first chance to try out the new Hickory Smoke colour, and I paired it with Pumice Stone and Frayed Burlap.  (I would love to call them shades of grey, but I don't dare to any more.)











What can I say?  I've been feeling a little grey recently (which is at least partly to do with not being able to get to the craft table as often as I'd like), and also the weather keeps returning to a grey drizzle which really doesn't feel very summery... so I think the greys were inside and outside of me, and so they turned up on the craft mat.










I started by gluing some leftover book page pieces to manila tags and painting the whole lot with a wash of white paint.

Then I did some wrinkle-free distressing with the three grey tones.  The result is certainly downbeat, but it gives me great delight.










I stamped the flower stems and heads in Watering Can Archival with a hint of Olive tapped onto the stamps too, and then clear embossed them.





I used Hickory Smoke and Frayed Burlap to watercolour them - plenty of imperfections in terms of extra embossed bits creating a resist as well as extra bubbles of light, but I'm definitely embracing the effect. 













In a brief moment of sunlight I was able to capture the magical effect of the light on the embossing - like faerie dust!











I used the end of the stem to add some extra grass stamping around the base of the flower, as well as stroking some blades of grass into existence using a water brush and some Frayed Burlap Distress Stain from the craft mat.











Taking a deep breath, I snipped off the top edges of the tags, and set about mounting the resulting panels onto cards.  With one of them, I kept it very simple - just distressing the edges and gluing it to a tall, slim piece of folded card.












For the other, I added a couple of extra distressed layers - one of the same card as the base, and one made from one of the Tim Holtz papers that toned in with the flower panel.













And it's a happy accident that such a lovely word turned up right in one corner.













Small Talk stickers next... and once I'd chosen my wordings and stuck them in place, I added shading around them with pastel pencils and with some more Distress Stain.











I created puddled shadows above and below the words by applying soft layers of the Hickory Smoke with a water brush.  It has an almost pinkish tone at times - or at least my bottle does!







And that's really that.  I know that's quite a lot of photos for some simple cards, but the chances are - since they are cards - that they'll disappear in an envelope some time, so this will be my only record of them.


Since they're so delicate in hue, these cards didn't respond well to being photographed in the window of sunshine which appeared.

They prefer to be slightly in the gloom it seems, and so for once most of this photography is done indoors against this lovely music paper.

I hope you like them, and that they don't leave you feeling too grey!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you out there somewhere in Craftyblogland.

True strength is delicate.
Louise Nevelson (Russian-born American assemblage artist and sculptor)

In case you haven't heard, the wonderful Sue Carrington had her blog hacked, and it's all gone... I can't even imagine how awful that must be (am now backing up maniacally in the hopes of avoiding complete disaster).  She's started over, so do hop over to the all new Stamping Sue Style and follow or re-follow her brilliant work. 

52 comments:

Marci said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely! Subtle, and as you say, delicate. I love them!

Silvia(Barnie) said...

That's a great project, wonderful design.

Kimberly Cobb said...

Alison, I love your cards! They are not gloomy at all. I loves grey hues (careful not to say "shades of") and the shading is wonderful.

Deborah said...

EL James has a lot to answer for LOL But you have more than redeemed grey with your wonderful, subtle tags. Glad you got the opportunity to do something just for you, Alison. I haven't done that for such a long time.

Lauren Hatwell said...

Wow! Scrummy! Understated elegance at it's absolute best. They make beautiful cards. I can't help feeling they would look lovely in little frames too if you just can't bear to give them away.

Lx

Chrissy said...

Gorgeous cards Alison and love the stamp..my thoughts were the same as Lauren and thought how nice they would be in a frame and I love the soft hues of grey..

luv CHRISSYxx

Amanda said...

Beautiful Alison I'm loving your colour palette on this. Love it
Amanda x

Juliz Design Post said...

Beautiful contemporary feel Alison and your colour choice works so well.
Julie x

Helen said...

Love these cards, Alison - they may be grey in tone but certainly not in mood, (and besides I really like grey as a colour!) the layers look amazing.

Georgie C said...

I adore how delicate this is, Jennie's work has been very inspiring. This is gorgeous Alison, the neutral tones are perfect xx

Anneke said...

I adore these two cards. And your writing wasn't to long
Because I kept on reading. Thanks alot for your explanation.
Very inspiring Anneke

Mrs.B said...

Two gorgeous cards Alison, love the subtle colour and lovely layers.
Avril xx

Fliss said...

These are so beautiful Alison and the soft shades are so serene and restful - just the tonic after a very busy couple of weeks for me.
Have a lovely weekend. Fliss xx

Meggymay said...

Two gorgeous delicate cards Alison, the soft colours and layers look wonderful.
Yvonne xx

Joi at RR said...

Isn't it amazing that I can see SUCH BEAUTY in a basically grey card that says...everything has beauty? I just love these Alison - so understated but so impactful to the heart. These are truly INTRIGUING AND STUNNINGLY LOVELY. j.

A Pink said...

Stunning! Love the tonal delicacy of these cards with the little touch of sparkle Alison . x

Hettie said...

This is beautiful Alison. So soft and gentle. Wonderful.
Glad to hear I made you laugh today!!
Hugs
xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

Love your gentle grey cards -so beautiful! I am of course used to seeing grey every day. ...he! he! The shimmer on those beautiful flowers is magical! (you know I will give in and get those flowers!!) Hugs, Chrisx

Redanne said...

Well your mood and the weather may be grey and the colour tones of your tags certainly are - but in a pretty wonderful way, you have made grey a pleasure to look at! Your tags/cards are gorgeous!! I got plenty of Vitamin D down in Kent this last week but we are back home to.... grey days....again too. Hope you have a lovely weekend. Hugs, Anne xxx

Astrid Maclean said...

Beautiful cards both of them Alison, love the soft colour tones.

I had not heard about Sue C's disaster, how awful, - no idea how these things can happen, or how on earth one does back ups.... eek..... I know it happened to Rita some years back.....

Nan G said...

So delicate, like old lace. Lovely absolutely lovely...like their maker. :)

Mary Elizabeth said...

I'm so glad you included all the pictures. With this sort of subtle palette, it was almost necessary that you do so to capture all of the lovely details of these cards. I know this will sound very odd, but as I read your blog and saw the delicate touch with color, texture and technique I could almost hear the the quiet peacefulness of the grey day. Very evocative. I wasn't expecting that. Hickory smoke is amazing here as well as the touch of olive. Wow. One of the things that I really love is the puddled shadows above and below the sentiments. Really such a little thing; however, it dellivers great impact. Simply ... beautiful. Hugs -- Mary Elizabeth

chrissie said...

Very beautiful pair of cards Alison and great that you found a favouritr way to get you started.

Love Chrissie xx

Sue C said...

My first comment seems to have disappeared, so I'll try again! I love reading your posts Alison, you turn even the simple projects into masterpieces. Your cards are beautiful with their delicate colours and simple stamping. Perfect way to use your tags! Sue C x

Hazel Agnew said...

I am so embracing the effect too Alison! These cards are amazingly gorgeous and I don't know how I would be able to part with them! The delicate colouring complements the simple flower shape so well! Love them!

cathylynn said...

Alison you never ever cease to amaze me with your creations. I love your cards!!! Your colors are magnificent as well as the details. So fabulous!!!
Hugs, Cathy-Lynn

Kirsten Alicia Sheridan said...

So beautiful.

Pamellia Johnson said...

Gorgeous Alison!! I didn't think I really needed Hickory Smoke, but now that I see this, it's going on my wish list!! Really stunning! hugs :)

Candy C said...

Really a lovely tutorial and journey with more of a monochromatic piece, Alison. Your use of Tim's new Hickory Smoke here is beautiful and makes me want to crack mine open. :) As always, beautiful art!

Cinderella Moments said...

Looks wonderful. I love all those frayed edges.
hugs♥,
Caroline

froebelsternchen Susi said...

awesome effects here Alison! Gorgeous!

Dorthe said...

Dear Alison, I think your grey cards are serene and beautiful looking. Simple is also beauty, and these are so beautiful looking. The embossing is giving an amazing feeling of sunny shimmering on the flower, and everything is quiet and lovely !!
Hugs, Dorthe

Anita Houston said...

I have so much to say...;0)! First, been over to Jeannie's blog...love that tag too! I can see how it influenced you here with your gorgeous tag card! I LOVE all the tones of neutral colors. I struggle with neutrals so much, and I just don't know why. I LOVE them, but color...mostly always red...pops onto everything. So I appreciate it when others do it. It's so tranquil, so peaceful looking, and I totally adore it. LOVE the embossing too...the hint of Olive is perfection. And so glad you are using tags to make cards...makes it so much easier. I just love your post...really moved me this morning..and your gorgeous card are wonderful! Thank you!

Meihsia Liu said...

Love the great colors and beautiful vintage effect. Great design, Alison. :)

Anne (cornucopia) said...

These are beautiful! I like the vintage look to them, and the greys! Thanks for explaining how you created them.

sally said...

They may be "shades" of grey but they are none the less beautiful. Hope this message brings some sunshine with it, our storms have passed & the sun has returned.

Sally

Terry said...

Alison, your shades of grey are stunning! I love the softness and beauty you have captured on these cards! It is difficult to stray away from tags and sometimes I add them as is to a card, but I do love your tagless cards! Hope you are feeling less grey as you have added brightness to this world! Happy Sunday!

Coco said...

Oooh cards yippee!!! ^^
They are absolutely GORGEOUS moreover, so that's very good news haha... :)
Seriously Alison, both tags (& thus cards) are really beautiful. I'm a bit jealous because I don't have this set of stamps, and these flowers are wonderful I agree with you. You perfectly showcased them here, I love the colours and shades of grey you used, as well as the way you have inked this flower, embossed next and coloured again at the center.. Simply gorgeous! Hugs, Coco xx

Lynn Price said...

Oh, Alison - the cards are absolutely ethereal!! And I agree, that tag of Jennie's is stunning inspiration - you've launched off that wonderfully here. The shading of those lovely greys, and how they differ yet mingle so beautifully is astonishing. I am not a card maker either, but love your idea of how to do so relatively painlessly! Thank you for all the step outs.... I always learn a lot! Hope you've some sun your way by now.... xxx Lynn

Julie Ann Lee said...

What exquisite cards, Alison and what a great idea to start them out as tags! I think I'm going to try that too; as I increasingly find cards just don't come easily to me these days. These are so delicate, like beautiful water-colours with, of course, a sprinkling of 'fairy dust'. I'm planning to check out your inspiration too. One of the things I also love about these are those gorgeous, worn and frayed edges: I love that effect! xx

Etsuko Noguchi said...

The time has stopped for a moment when I staring at the flower blooms in the silence. This tags art looks like Sumie, very silence and powerful. Absolutely beautiful!! I love it! xx

Shoshi said...

Oh wow... these are simply stunning... So subtle and amazing! I adore the soft colours and the distressing, and there are so many fabulous techniques involved! A real work of art.

Shoshi

Shari Trumbull said...

What's that song? Rainy days & Mondays always get me down.....But, these cards don't get me down one bit! These are lovely and serene, Alison! I love your use of the earthy, neutral colors throughout with my favorite flower image from Tim's Flower Garden set!! Just Beautiful!! XOXO-Shari

Lynne Moncrieff said...

Alison,
The weather has also inspired me as I have been dabbling with grey tones. It is strange as the weather doesn't alter my mood in the least. With the sun and I not being the best of friends, red hair and pale, pale skin and the sun, a recipe for disaster! I have never been one to feel despondent on a dreich day but there has been no hint of summer at all.
I love your cards and such a beautiful stamp.
Wishes
Lynne

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Beautiful cards Alison, your soft grey palette is very lovely and I don't find it downbeat at all, rather it is soothing and restful. Love the clear embossing to add your trademark touch of reflective light and the sentiments are perfection. Thanks for sharing these lovely cards. Deb xo

craftytrog said...

These are beautiful Alison!

Lucy Edmondson said...

I love the gorgeous greys,

Lucy x

JackieP Neal said...

Absolutely stunning Alison!! This palette however subdued is amazingly beautiful!! xoxo

Lisa S. said...

Oh how I wish people could live gently on this earth. These are simple yet beautiful and full of meaning. Love your tag duo Alison!

Lisa S. said...

Oh how I wish people could live gently on this earth. These are simple yet beautiful and full of meaning. Love your tag duo Alison!

Marjie Kemper said...

What a lovely sentiment, and a true joy to create just for the sake of creating. Hope you find more days like that!

Ruth said...

What a beautiful job of the photography....I think the subtlety of these cards shines? or maybe seeps through (being grey). These are simply exquisite, delightful shabby chic beauties! Love both of them! Ruth x