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...

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Off to the North Pole

Hello all!

I'm back again with the next of the Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas - Tag 5 if you're trying to keep count.  I'm going in the right order this year so far.

I had an absolutely lovely time with this one.  From Linda's lovely inspiration Tag 5, I took the "wooden" background and the positioning of a Father Christmas portrait, and apart from that I just followed my fingers.

That's what's so lovely about this Funkie Junkie challenge - you can follow Linda's creation as closely as you like.

There's no need to have all the same ingredients, and it might just be one element which fires your creative juices and then off you go.

My wooden background is again from the Anna Marie Design pad, Christmas Jingle.  It matches my first tag, the Winter Woodland Wonderland.

(I do love the stamp set which has that fabulous sliced log stamp that Linda used - I particularly "need" the scraggly trees - but it's going to have to wait at least until I've done the Christmas shopping for other people's presents!)

My Father Christmas comes from the wonderful Artistic Outpost set called Snowy Woods.  He's stamped in Potting Soil on another piece of the paper pad.

I'm sad I forgot to add some metal brads at the corners - but there you go.

And the rest is really very simple...

... some more of the Holiday Greens die-cuts in regular and mini sizes...

... some snowflakes, cut with the Snowflakes Mini Thinlits.

I love the intricate designs - pure delight in pure white, or any other way you choose to make them.

There's even one nestled somewhere under all that greenery.

There are some words courtesy of the Christmas Clippings - very much in love with these.

And some simple white twine tops the whole thing off... that's something all my tags have in common so far, so I'm aiming to keep it that way, unless one of the tags really demands something else.

There's plenty of snowy white spatter of course.

So off he goes to the North Pole, off to the land of dreams... and off I go back to the craft table.  It's going well, but there are still another seven tags to get done by 29th December.  I bet you could still do it if you started today... go on!!  Happy crafting all!

In a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered, and after some time thaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer.

I'd like to share this as Tag 5 for the Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas, sponsored by the Funkie Junkie Boutique

Sunday, 10 December 2017

A song of Christmas cheer

Hello all!

I'm glad you enjoyed my adventures with Invisible Ink Insects over at PaperArtsy, but now it's time to get back to the serious business of the season... the Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas.  I'm on to Tag 4 now.

Music is at or near the top of the list of what makes Christmas for me, so I loved making this one.

I'm always happy to have an excuse for a musical tag, and an excuse to get out the wonderful Victorian Carollers die (sorry, I'm going to spell it the English way with two lls). 

The basic layout follows Linda's charming Tag 4, but I've borrowed one of the techniques from Tag 2 to create my version and gone my own way for the embellishing.

I really loved the stencilled crackled stars from Tag 2, so I decided to create my background that way rather than use an embossing folder as Linda did.

Once they were all crackled, I was able to lay the stencil over the top again and add some colour with Distress Paints and Inks, mixing Iced Spruce and Evergreen Bough.

There's a little bit of text stamping in the background too, following Linda's lead.

I also went with stencilling to add my snowfall.

I used Tim's Speckles stencil and applied DecoArt Snowtex through it.  It's nicely chunky and has a good dash of frosty sparkle to it.

And I added some more snow underfoot with a palette knife.

I cut my silhouettes in brown card and edged them with some Black Soot DI.

I added shadowy shading on the snow under their feet to ground them.  I hope they've got nice warm woolly socks on!

Some Idea-ology ephemera sheet music is there to remind them in case they lose their way in the carol.  

I couldn't resist some more greenery and pinecones for my decoration at the top of the tag... I seem to be completely hooked this year!

There's a festive Muse Token too, and some more of the frosted berries.

Finally, some more of the wonderful Idea-ology Christmas Clippings capture the musical mood.

This was another delight to make - thank you, Linda, for reminding me about the Victorian Carollers... I really enjoy these Dickensian figures - they seem full of character to me.

I hope you've enjoyed singing along with my carollers.  I'll be back with the next tag in the series very soon, and in the meantime I'll try to squeeze in some blog-visiting too.  Happy Christmas-crafting all!

Oh, by the way, for those who enjoy a theatrical extravaganza you might want to pop over to Cestina's Dollshouses - quick now, it's almost time for curtain up!

Christmas now surrounds us,
Happiness is everywhere
Our hands are busy with many tasks
As carols fill the air.
Shirley Sallay

I'd like to enter this as Tag 4 in the Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas, sponsored by the Funkie Junkie Boutique
I'd also like to play along at Stamps and Stencils where the theme is Festive Stamps AND Stencils - so for once you need to use both stamps and stencils - I've used a stencil for the crackled holly and the lovely Gothic text stamp with its seasonal font

Friday, 8 December 2017

Invisible Ink Insects

Hello all!  I'm delighted to be over at the PaperArtsy blog this evening with some experimenting for this fortnight's Torn, Ripped, Burnt challenge theme.  Like some seventeenth century conspirator, I've been playing with invisible ink!

I hope you'll have time to hop over to PaperArtsy to find out how my invisible insects came to life.  And then I'll be back with some more Funkie Junkie tags very soon, all being well!

Thanks for stopping by, and I'll see you soon.

The paper burns, but the words fly free.
Akiva ben Josef (a first and second century Rabbi)

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Joyous Noel

Hello all!  We're moving on to Tag 3 of the Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas today, and for this one I've travelled quite a long way from Linda's funky inspiration tag.

I've pretty much followed the layout but I've gone in a different direction with style and colour.

As Linda says, red is her favourite colour, but it's one I'm really not used to working with.  The red of the holly berries, both in the paper and the actual berries, is about as much as I can take!

I used design paper for my background, and it does sort of have stripes (the major feature of Linda's tag) in the shape of the staves of music.  It's from the 8x8 Anna Marie Designs Christmas Jingle pad.

I don't have the transparent tiles, but I had a lovely time making my own little tiny tags for the word J-O-Y-O-U-S.  I used another paper from the same stash, this one a lovely soft green with a subtle woodgrain pattern.

I cut the tags using one of the tiny dies from the Tim Holtz Framelits Tag Collection, and then inked up my Christmas Alpha foam stamps for the first time (also Tim Holtz) to create the lettering.  They're stamped in Archival Library Green - a good match for the holly.

More dies in action to cut the word NOEL (from the Vintage Tidings Thinlits)...

... and some more of the gorgeous Holiday Greens Thinlits too.  I have them in the regular and the mini-size, so you can always find something which works for what you're making.

So far, they've featured on each of the Funkie Junkie tags I've made this year, and I'm really enjoying them so I decided they would appear instead of the tinsel at the top of this tag.

And there's some more greenery tucked in behind the NOEL too.  The pale ones are cut from the same paper as the tiny tags (but un-inked) so that it all ties together nicely.

I also couldn't resist adding some extra words - well, this is Words and Pictures, after all - so I got out the Christmas Clippings again to find some suitable phrases.

The little frosted berries are from my stash.  I love that they're exactly the right colour to work with the holly berries on the papers.

And they provide just that tiny touch of festive sparkle.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  There's a non-12-Tags-of-Christmas project coming up next - I know, weird, huh?! - so I hope you'll be able to check that out, and then we'll be back on the Funkie Junkie trail.

Look forward to seeing you soon, either here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.

And as, when all the summer trees are seen
So bright and green,
The Holly leaves a sober hue display
Less bright than they,
But when the bare and wintry woods we see,
What then so cheerful as the Holly-tree?
Robert Southey

I'd like to enter this as Tag 3 in the Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas, sponsored by The Funkie Junkie Boutique

Monday, 4 December 2017

Happy smiles, twinkling eyes

Hello all... well, after a quiet November of encores and echoes, it's a bit of a snow flurry of projects here at the start of December.

We've already had the Winter Woodland Wonderland (for the Winter Wonderland challenge at A Vintage Journey, as well as being the first of my Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas), and a Wood Look Yule Book for the new Mini Album Makers challenge.

And now we're already on to Tag 2 of the Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas.

Linda started sharing her inspiration tags at the beginning of September but, what with one thing and another, in addition to my constitutional dislike of crafting for Christmas before December (I guess that whole handmade Christmas card thing is never going to happen!), I'm now aiming to get all twelve done in just 28 days.  That should be fine, no?  It's not like there's anything else going on at this time of year...

Linda's Tag 2 is a neutral delight, and I've followed along pretty closely.

But for once the pure neutrals weren't quite working for me on my own tag, and I couldn't resist adding a touch of winter greenery.

I absolutely loved the starry crackly background of Linda's tag, so I copied that but with a couple of product variations according to what I had in the stash.

So it's DecoArt Crackle Paint through the stencil and Treasure Gold for the gilded waxing, but otherwise we're pretty much on the same page so far.

It's particularly good with a golden glow of winter sunlight...

I've been sorely tempted by the new Tim Holtz Classic Christmas stamps, but so far I've managed to resist, so this is an older one of his Father Christmas images.

I've followed the postage theme too, but as well as Tim stamps, there are some Darkroom Door ones here to fill in the gaps.

I love the little aeroplane stamp stamp (yes, I do mean two stamps in that sentence).

My snowflakes are pure white rather than white-washed kraft.  Somehow I needed the lift... 

Maybe because it was a very grey morning when I was making this tag.  I waited for a bit more light for some of these photos.

It was an overnight idea to add the greenery.

I like having a touch of continuity from tag to tag, and I really liked the fir branches on the Winter Woodland Wonderland so I decided to echo that here.

And I've gone for nestling the words amongst the fronds again - more of the Christmas Clippings by Idea-ology.

This tag provided some respite amidst calamitous computer meltdowns, so I was very grateful for the gentle time at the craft table without too much thinking involved - thank you, Linda!

Santa Clause has the right idea - visit people only once a year.
Victor Borge

I'd like to enter this as Tag 2 in the Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas, sponsored by the Funkie Junkie Boutique