It's been an honour and a pleasure to play alongside the fabulous SSS Design Team. Many thanks to Lols and all of them for having me - I've had an absolute ball! So to reveal the final challenge theme of June...
As you can imagine, there's a wide variety of inspiration on display over at the Monday Challenge blog, depending on what line everyone has chosen. I played with the diagonal Spray/Stencil/Stamp, and here is the journalling spread I came up with.
I played in one of my favourite journals - an altered book made in the class I took with France Papillon ages ago (which it suddenly occurs to me I haven't shared with you at any point, so I'll try to do that some time soon!).
I started by putting some texture paste through the Tim Holtz Blossom Layering Stencil, and then added Vanilla White Embossing Powder while it was still wet.
I heat dried it to get it to emboss and bubble with the paste underneath for lots of funky texture. It also has quite a glossy shine to it.
I spritzed Tumbled Glass and Stormy Sky Distress Stain Sprays around the cloudy blossoms (or billowy clouds - I still can't decide whether they're blossoms or clouds, to be honest!).
I also unscrewed the spray lids and used the inner tubes to flick some inky colour around - Broken China was added to the mix at this point too.
So, I've already got two out of my three Tic Tac Toe ingredients in play... time for some stamping!
Lots and lots of layers of wildflower and meadow grasses using two of my wood-mounted Tim Holtz stamps - Twigs and Dried Flower. I used the same designs in the small clear stamp version too.
You'll see that under all that Olive and Leaf Green Archival stamping, there's also another stencil in action - the Tim Holtz Wildflowers done in Peeled Paint Distress Ink.
Now that I'd fulfilled the Tic Tac Toe rules, I was free to go in any direction with the rest of the pages. The Layered Dragonfly seemed like the perfect inhabitant of such a summery meadow.
I made the first cut out of plain card, and dipped him into Peeled Paint and Mowed Lawn Distress Stain on the mat.
Once the body was done, I added Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Stormy Sky, a hint of Wilted Violet and a little more of the greens to the wings.
The top layer was cut out of leftover acetate packaging and run through the accompanying embossing folder.
I didn't want to lose my lovely inky splotches and blotches when I glued down the acetate, so I sealed the inky dragonfly with Micro Glaze and let it dry before adding my Glossy Accents to attach the top layer.
I love how he catches the light, shimmering in and out of view.
I used a wire stem cut from a paper flower to give him his lovely curly antennae.
The fabulous Wildflower Thinlits are here again... very simply done.
They're cut from plain white card and I used the same Vanilla White embossing powder as on the clouds of blossom at the top of the page.
It gives them a shimmering gleam in the light, perfect for attracting the eye.
I had some trouble figuring out what else belonged on the page, but while idly flicking through the Found Relatives Occasions vintage photos, I found these children playing in a meadow full of wild flowers and grasses... sold!
I distressed the photo edges with my distressing tool, and added some Vintage Photo DI (of course).
There's also some Vintage Photo around the very edges of the pages to give an aged look and draw the eye inwards.
Perched right on the edge of the photo is a butterfly made in the same way as the large dragonfly, only he was cut using the TH Large Butterfly Punch.
I wanted the inky colours to echo across the two pages, and I love the dimension from the fluttering wings. (You have to pay attention when you're shutting the book, but it can be done!)
And this is Words and Pictures so there have to be some words... back to the fabulous Small Talk Stickers for those...
(And some Tissue Tape adds detail and movement underneath.)
I think the two girls definitely believe. I'm not so sure about the boy... but I hope he'll get there.
I do hope you've had a relaxing time wandering through my summer meadow, and maybe even found some magic along the way. I had a really lovely time creating it. If you fancy following some of my footsteps, you can click on any of the links in the text to go shopping straightaway! One final shot of the flash of sunlight as the dragonfly darts past... I love how much light dances around these pages.
I'm sure the Tic Tac Toe board will fire your creative juices too, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. As always, there's a generous prize voucher on offer from Simon Says Stamp.
So thank you again to SSS for having me. I've really enjoyed the June challenges, and I hope you have too. Happy crafting all!
And above all watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.
The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.