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...

Monday, 1 February 2016

Full of Possibilities




Hello all, and welcome to February!  February?  Yup, I'm afraid so...  I know, don't ask me where January went.  I feel as though I barely saw it.

We're starting the month with double trouble.  I've a project for you here as well as one over at Calico Craft Parts... yes, it's a stop AND a hop!

First of all, there's a new theme for you at Country View Challenges and the fantastic Sue would like you to Make Your Own Backgrounds.

Well, there's a challenge that's full of possibilities...

It's rare that I don't make my own backgrounds, and very often the background is my favourite part - whether of my own or of other people's projects - so I'm very happy to put the background centre stage!






Of course there's lots of inspiration from my lovely team mates today, and more throughout the month at Country View Challenges, and for my first offering I've gone with one of my all-time favourite inky background techniques - the good old wrinkle free distress technique.

I love the delight of different colour combinations, the relative lack of control, the infinite variety of results.  Over my blues and greens I stencilled some Picket Fence Distress Paint through the Lattice stencil, and decided that was my background done!









Umbrella Man seems to come out at transitional times for me.  There's something in his demeanour which seems to hold many emotions.  I've known him look back in wistfulness, but he can also look forward with both trepidation and hope.

In a couple of weeks, I'm setting off on another travel adventure with work, and I'm definitely in that "getting ready for take-off" mode of fluttering butterfly attention - finding it very hard to sit down and focus - I feel there's always something I should be doing somewhere else at the same time.









And there's always uncertainty when you work with a new company, and here I'm diving in with a well-established group.  How will it all work out?  We'll all be spending many hours together in a pretty pressurised environment.  And that's intensified when you're a long way from home.











At the same time, it's a real adventure - we're going to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, and then I'll be back in the fabulous New York City for six weeks (I know!!) - so it really is full of possibilities and excitement.








I'll definitely be staying curious and trying to make the most of any spare time I have from the theatre.  I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity for such adventures, so there's some upbeat scribbling around too...










(I just wanted to say I'm rather taken with how the Picket Fence Distress Paint stencilling gives some extra patterning even under the Archival stamping.)

In any case, both Umbrella Man and the Small Talk stickers are pretty much on the money with where I'm at at the moment - some trepidation but a great deal of excited anticipation too.











I hope you'll be inspired to come and Make Your Own Background with us at Country View Challenges.  As always there's more inspiration over at the blog today and throughout the month, and there's a prize voucher from our sponsor Country View Crafts to be won, so do come and play along.









But don't go yet... as I mentioned, I've a hop for you too today.  If you'd like a bit more inspiration from me, I've been making a completely different kind of background over at Calico Craft Parts.


This background started with tissue tape and went all the way to antique crackle, so do hop over and check out my Steampunk ATCs too, if you have the time.  Happy Crafting and Happy February all!

We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realise.
Thich Nhat Hanh

62 comments:

Monika Gulyas said...

Wow, Alison! We both have chosen the umbrella man for this challenge but how differently!!! :-) Your springlike tag is awesome!!! I love the background colours!!!

brenda said...

Sounds like a great adventure ahead Alison and some lovely destinations, albeit you will be working. One of our Granddaughters is on a pretty similar itinerary at the moment doing during a Uni gap year, but she has New Zealand thrown in before the States.

Absolutely adore your tag, both the colours ans composition.

B x

Inkypinkycraft said...

Gorgeous projects Alison ...have fun on your travels xx trace x

Lauren Hatwell said...

I love this tag. Your background is beautiful so it's a real bonus that some of it is still visible through umbrella man. It gives him a feeling of being slightly unearthly and I like that.

Lx

hazel said...

A gorgeous tag Alison, the colours are lovely. Have a wonderful time on your travels.
xxx Hazel.

Lucy Edmondson said...

What a glorious background! Live how the white stencilling is coming through the umbrella man. Your adventures sound so exciting! Wishing you every success,

Lucy x

Sophie said...

Ein fantastisches Werk, liebe Alison.
Der Hintergrund ist wirklich beeindruckend.
Ich bin begeistert.

Sophie x

Gitte said...

Beautiful project.

Marci said...

I really like this tag! And yes, there is something fascinating about umbrella man. You have used him so well. Beautiful colors, too. Good luck with your adventure! I hope you have time to get out and see some of those places.

Pamellia Johnson said...

Beautiful tag Alison, seems this was a theme with your name all over it! HA!! Love your ATC's, that steampunk butterfly is amazing , and your crackle is incredible! hugs :)

Inky and Quirky said...

Gorgeous tag Alison, I love Umbrella man too he always seems to convey an emotion doesn't he and he looks great on that background
Hugs
Donna xxx

Jennie Atkinson said...

A gorgeous background before you even started with the top layer Alison! And great use of umbrella man and the chit chats - i felt your trepidation but your signature colours in the background should make everything feel right. Just off to see your piece at Calico - gorgeous sneak. Jennie x

Sandy said...

I did go and see those cog creations and they are definitely wowsome!
Sandy xx

Sandy said...

I can't help but laugh - the comment I left for you at Calico Crafts was about your backgrounds -- And you always have the best backgrounds - always!
That umbrella man has been a favorite for a lot of people for a long time. I really like how you did him here - looks like a man of mystery.
Your journey sounds fabulous - please eat some Shanghai street noodles for me. There is a new milk shake place in NYC now - it seems like people are standing in line for quite some time to get one of their creations that are $15 for one!. I saw several of them on TV this morning and they are works of art -big too!
Please, please, please - take loads of pictures. I loved the pictures you posted after being in NYC.
Sandy xx

maj. said...

Totally stunning, such an amazing beautiful background!!!

froebelsternchen Susi said...

What an amazing tag Alison!
Have fun on your travels !
oxo
Susi

sally said...

That umbrella man is always a favourite of mine (as well as the dragonfly) it's nice to see him here in such a lovely setting! Safe travels when you set off & have fun....

Sally xx

Joi at RR said...

Loved reading this post Alison. Your umbrella man creations is GORGEOUSLY HANDSOME! But reading your post was just super. I'll be thinking of you over the next few weeks. Seems like you might need to stick this tag in your suitcase - take Mr. Umbrella man with you. When you feel worn out and challenged... take him out and remember there are folks praying for you. We will all be here waiting to hear about your adventures too!!! Hugs. j.

Chrissy said...

I LOVE umbrella man Alison and love your quote and fabulous background with the colours..superb. I wish you well on your travels, you will be a star for sure.

luv CHRISSYxx

Team Clark said...

This is definitely a stunning background! I just love your tag and the intense emotion I feel from it! Wishing you calm and comfort in the days ahead. You're going to wow them I'm sure! Hugs, Autumn

Craftyfield said...

I love backgrounds too... Much more fun than cutting paper!
Your tag is gorgeous. I'm off to check the Calico Crafts post...

Evelyn Walter said...

Wow, dear Alison, these are all very stunning! The background is fantastic! And I love your "Alison" colors as well. Have a nice week!
xxx Evelyn

Astrid Maclean said...

Fabulous tag Alison, rain man has never looked so good!! Absolutely love this, - and of course nothing but good wishes for the exciting adventures ahead!!

Mrs.B said...

Two fabulous projects and equally amazing backgrounds, love how you've used Mr Umbrella Man.
Sounds like a wonderful adventure coming up, and I hope you have lots of time to explore. HK is amazing.
Avril xx

Juliz Design Post said...

Stunning tag Alison, beautiful colours and I adore your umbrella man. Must go check out your Calico post.
Hugs Julie X

Hettie said...

Hello Alison. I am loving your tag. The background is gorgeous. The words can go for both of us.....I am on the edge of trepidation as I said Yes today! :-)
Hugs
xx

Meggymay said...

I am a great fan of Mr Umbrella Man, he looks great on your fantastic tag. Off to hop.
Yvonne xx

rachel said...

oh so perfect Alison - the colours are wonderful and I love the umbrella man. Hugs rachel x

Graciellie Design said...

Love the depth your tag has! All the layers make it perfectly unique! So glad to have come across your blog! Have a wonderful week!

Brenda Brown said...

This tried and tested technique always produces such fabulous results and this is no exception Alison, just adore this background and the finished tag. xxx

Deborah Wainwright said...

Wow! love your background as always Alison and your attention to details makes for a fabulous tag. I also love the peep of the other full of wonderful crackle. Off for a better look. Hugs Debsxx

Jackie P Neal said...

Wonderful tag with your signature coloring Alison!! xoxo

Margik said...

I totally adore this amazing background Alison! This tag is so gorgeous... beautiful colours, textures, and the Umbrella Man looks fantastic!
Mar xx

Candy C said...

Really pretty tag, Alison. Love your background...the colors and the stenciling. I've not seen Mr. Umbrella man in a while. Glad he's made a comeback on your tag. He looks fabulous in black. What a striking contrast. I also love your sentiment! Your work and pictorials are always so inspiring!

Lynn Price said...

Well, I don't know where to start first! Love your tag - one of the first makes I ever came across on your website was the colorful triptych with him (it was a Tim tag that he loved but you did not so much!) I agreed with Tim, but over time, I can see why that was not exactly a "classic" Butterfly approach. I love what he looks like here - that background pattern peeking through is fabulous! Love those cogs and all that crackle also - gorgeous, almost mineral-like. As for your travels - I am SO EXCITED for you!! And I echo Sandy - lots of pictures, please!! Can't wait to hear what you'll be up to in your "spare" time, which I know will be sparse. I am exhilarated vicariously already, lol! Safe travels, friend....xxx Lynn

Kay Wallace said...

A great background, indeed, Alison! My favorite part, however, is the fact that your focal image appears translucent! Great element!!

Redanne said...

I can totally understand your trepidation but after your experience in New York last time to draw from, I have no doubt you will be fine. If you were not a little nervous you probably would not enjoy the adventure so much! I hope you have a truly amazing time.

I love your tag, the background is beautiful and it is lovely to see Umbrella Man make an appearance! Anne xx

Sara Barker said...

Great background, in those colors I adore! Tried and true, yes, but so fresh with the Picket Fence stenciled over the colors. Truly another inspirational tag, as are those fantastic ATC's. They ended up in MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITES on my Pinterest board, so I will always know where to look. I wish you save travels, pray for smooth sailing and a peaceful journey. USA will be blessed to have you on our soil. Hugs!

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

A gorgeous tag Alison with a fab background in your wonderful greens and blues! Wishing you every success as you embark upon this exciting journey, what a wonderful adventure in exotic locales, have a wonderful time! Deb xo

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

You have used my favourite colours on both your pieces for Calico. I loved the cogs on your first stamped and umbrella man is the perfect focal image for this tag. Gorgeous backgrounds Alison. Tracy x

Corrie Herriman said...

As always I think your projects are fabulous. I love to make backgrounds too and might just play along with this one...
Wishing you safe travels and lots of fun in your newish job !
Corrie x

Dorthe said...

Alison what an adventure your about to have, traveling to those far away destinations ,and for so long, wow, you are going to have a fantastic time out there. Travel safe and enjoy !!
I so understand you can`t stop thinking on all which await you of fun and happy hours working with a lot of people in new places !!
Your umbrella man seems to totally ,understand, too,. and will await you when once home again. I hope there will be time for creating too, for you, and for us to follow in your journey!!
Dorthe, OOxx

Terry said...

Absolutely awesome backgrounds, Alison! I just want to touch and see IRL! Love the Umbrella Guy! I agree that January just flew by! Hugs!

Anita Houston said...

I ALWAYS LOVE to see umbrella man!!! LOVE him clad in green! Gorgeous tag!!!!

A Pink said...

Ahh! I do have a lot of LOVE for Umbrella man and I have to agree he is so emotive He definitely looks the part on your fabulous background! Alison .
A gorgeous blend of colours and detail. Love the upbeat scribbling .
I wish you very safe travel - not many sleeps to go now - and be sure to enjoy every moment making many happy memories .
hugs x

Princess Judy Palmer said...

This--"I'm definitely in that 'getting ready for take-off' mode of fluttering butterfly attention - finding it very hard to sit down and focus - I feel there's always something I should be doing somewhere else at the same time."

That's where I'm at right now. Lots to do, not sure where to focus next, flitting from here to there. You've captured it perfectly. Perhaps I should pull out Umbrella Man and see where he leads me. (He'll say, "Put me in a box you sodding idiot, you start moving in 12 days and you've nary packed a single thing.")

He has lead you to great places on this tag, of course your signature watery colors, and there he is holding out an umbrella... but wait, is is raining hearts?! How curious and interesting. So much to experience in this world!

Diana Taylor said...

A simply gorgeous tag - I love the background textrues, the stencilling really brings it to life. I've just popped over and seen your Calico Crafts project - I think the butterfly is amazing - what an innovative idea, I love it!

Silvia(Barnie) said...

A gorgeous tag, just my cup of tea.

Kirsten said...

Stunning tag, Alison. Wishing you lots of luck for your new adventure, I'm sure you will have a wonderful time.

Nikki Acton said...

Late as ever with some comments..... Just stopping by to say hi. Great background and unmrella man always a winner for me. Love how you described him in your post. Do,you know the painting wanderer over a sea of fog? He has that feel for me, looking away... Something mysterious, to know, not to know. Wishing you an amazing trip xxxx

Julie Ann Lee said...

I always love your backgrounds, Alison! This one is fabulous - so full of interest! The colours and textures are a triumph. I love making backgrounds too. If I'd created this one, I wouldn't want to cover it up! Umbrella Man does convey that sense of looking forward to the challenge and the adventures to come in this piece. I wish you a wonderfully fulfilling time on your travels, Alison! Your energy, love of life and openness to learning and teaching always inspire me and lift my spirits. I'm sorry it always takes me ages to get round to commenting. Time moves too fast! :) xx

Cinderella Moments said...

I love the textures and finishes! Inspires me to go play with some of that too! Looks gorgeous as always!
hugs♥,
Caroline

Barbara Schiassi said...

As always your tags are stunning! your color choice is exceptional , I adore your works!Barbara

lynnesbowsandbelles said...

Gorgeous colours on the tag - stunning.
Alison, what wonderful adventures await you!
Wishes
Lynne

Hazel Agnew said...

Fabulous background, great use of colours and images as usual. Love your positive scribbling too! Bon chance on your Happy Adventures! X

Maggie said...

Fabulous background behind my favourite Man, makes a fantastic tag and now I'm off to see the ATC's another addiction I have. :)

MaggieH

pearshapedcrafting said...

Loving how umbrella man is doing his job preparing you for your adventures! Wishing you lots of fun between the hard work bits! Hugs, Chrisx

Etsuko Noguchi said...

Amazing tag and great background. I haven't Rain man stamp yet, I always love your rain man project. xx

Almo said...

Stunning backgrounds Alison and a fabulous tag as a result. Sound like you have a very busy but very exciting few weeks ahead of you, wishing you all the best on your travels. Mo x

Buttons said...

I always love how you get so much depth with maximum layers and minimum height! Another gorgeous tag. Jenny x

Kasia said...

Amazing tag! Love this Umbrella Man :) Have a wonderful time on your travels. Hugs!

Evelyn Walter said...

Fabulous tag and ATCs! I always love your backgrounds, they are so exciting all the time (and the best is, you can´t see it at the first sight). Wow, what an adventure to fly so far away! Oh, I nearly envy you and hope, you will find time to see much of this gorgeous cities!
xxx Evelyn