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...

Thursday, 13 April 2017

April Showers





Hello all!  Firstly, apologies for being a poor blogger again at the moment.  You'll see why over the next few posts - it's been a busy old month or so, and I'm away from home yet again so I had to do lots of making in advance to get ahead of the game.

Also I'm scrambling up the steep learning curve of doll-making, so that's taking lots of time and energy.

But I'm absolutely delighted to be a guest over at Frilly and Funkie today, sharing a project for their new theme, April Showers, hosted by the fabulous Suzz.

It's always a thrill to have something you've made singled out for recognition, and Frilly and Funkie is one of the places I discovered very early on this crafting journey, so it was especially lovely to have my Tiny Greenhouses honoured by their amazing Design Team.










From the moment I learned what the challenge theme was, I had an idea in my head about wanting visible raindrops on whatever I made.

It took a bit of experimentation, but I'm rather pleased with how it all ended up.  I hope you like it too!












I always enjoy my layers, so way back in the invisible distance there is some dipped and spritzed paint and ink, over which I scraped a thin layer of the PaperArtsy Crackle Glaze.
















Next step, once the glaze was dry, was a coat of Snowflake Fresco paint...














... and then some more dipping into droplets of Stormy Sky Distress Ink and Faded Jeans Distress Oxide.

I love the ink droplets over the crackle texture - already a slightly rainy sky, wouldn't you say?











Around the foot of the tag, I blended on some Peeled Paint and Mowed Lawn inks, and then spritzed with some water to create even more showery droplets within the layers.













At this point, I mounted the tag on some sturdy cardboard to give it strength and stability for what's to come.














The fabulous Calico Craft Parts provided my central image - a lovely MDF wood field full of flowers.













I don't seem to have a picture of it "naked", but regulars will know what how it started out (and if you need a reminder, you can get the idea if you hop over to my Three Little Birds where you can at least see a "before" of that Calico Craft Part).















As I did for that ATC, I applied a coat of gesso first of all, and then used DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics to paint the flowers, grasses and butterflies.














Since many of the Fluid Acrylics are translucent, you can build up layers of colour and create some really lovely effects.














Can never resist a bit of white spatter...















My sentiment - one of my favourites - is stamped in Leaf Green and Olive Archival inks.  I apply one and then add touches of the second before stamping.

We're still looking for that showery feeling, so I clear embossed the sentiment.










You get that lovely glossy dimensionality - like a film of water just sitting on the lettering.


For extra watery effect, I also clear-embossed the inky shading right around the edges of the tag.











And then it was time for the raindrops.  I settled on Glossy Accents and did some practising on a separate sheet of card to find out the best way to form a nice teardrop shape.

When they go on, of course, there's a slight cloudiness to the gel, but you just have to be patient and let them dry fully.












And yes, I know that raindrops aren't really that shape when they're falling, but we're allowed a little artistic licence, aren't we?

If I were making this again, I would spread my drops a little less regularly.  I was concentrating so much on the shaping, that I didn't even realise I was doing the spacing so evenly.












But I do like the effect, even if you have to wave the tag around a bit in certain lights to catch sight of the droplets - I do seem to like to set myself photographic challenges.  You can always feel them with your fingertips if you're in doubt!










I dyed some seam binding with Wild Honey and Picked Raspberry Distress Stains which gave me colour tones that blended nicely with the flowers and butterflies below.










And there you have your April Showers on a tag.

Thanks so much to Cec and the Frilly and Funkie Designers for having me along for the ride - I had a lovely time getting wet and watery! - and I hope it will inspire you to come and splash about in the April Showers at Frilly and Funkie too.

There's a clue in the last couple of posts about where I'll be bobbing up next as a guest, and there's another exciting project in the offing, not to mention those Tudor Tavern dolls.  I hope you'll hop by again soon... but, for now, happy crafting all!

For after all, the best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain. 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

43 comments:

Anke said...

WOW WOW WOW was für ein Wahnsinnswerk, sowas von schön. Ein TRAUMWERK !!!

Begeisterte Grüße
von Anke

Helen said...

Alison, this is gorgeous!! Hope you have a happy Easter!

chrissie said...

Great to see something of yours again Alison. Love the idea of doll making and can't wait to hear and see something of that in the future.

A very beautiful tag with lots of technique and beauty.

Enjoy your Easter whatever and where ever you may be

Love Chrissie xx

Amanda said...

Beautiful and your usual fabulous attention to detail. The clues have escaped me so I look forward to it. Have a lovely Easter
Love
Amanda x

Sophie said...

wOW ! Was für ein wunderschönes einzigartiges Tag.
Die Regentropfen sind sehr eindrucksvoll, schauen total real aus.
Superschön, liebe Alison.

Ich wünsche dir schöne sonnige Ostertage
herzlichst Sophie

Marci said...

I love rain so this tag is perfect for me. I love it. I hope you will share how you made the raindrops at some point later on. Good luck with doll making and I hope you have a lovely Easter.

Dortesjs said...

ohh what a sweet tag. Wishing you a happy easter and a good day.

Karin said...

wow gorgeous tag!
Groetjes Karin

Suzanne C said...

Wonderful tag! Beautiful rainy scene and love the pretty inky flowers and grass! Very happy that you guest designed with us at Frilly and Funkie!

Nan G said...

Fabulous Spring tag! Love the watery effects you've achieved. And no one does painty inky layers like Butterfly! Look forward to seeing the 'dolls' you're making. Hugs

Gitte said...

Awesome Tag.

Dorthe said...

A beautiful tag, Alison, such wonderful techniques you are showing with the water drops, and the stormy sky - it is looking almost as here yesterday, lol. Only I don`t have so many, lovely, blooming flowers yet .
xoxo, Dorthe

pearshapedcrafting said...

What a wonderful April day you have created! We are in a grey Lake District today - grabbing a Wi-Fi connection in a cafe! Happy Easter! Hugs, Chrisx

pearshapedcrafting said...

What a wonderful April day you have created! We are in a grey Lake District today - grabbing a Wi-Fi connection in a cafe! Happy Easter! Hugs, Chrisx

Inky and Quirky Designs said...

Beautiful tag Alison,perfect for spring. Doll making sounds really intriguing
hugs
Donna xx

Meggymay said...

Wow, an awesome tag, gorgeous textures and pretty spring flowers. I really liked your wonderful raindrops as well.
Yvonne xx

Sylvia/LittleTreasures said...

What a lovely tag. It is so the timing here. Really love that die, you sure made it all fall together in beautiful fashion. Happy Easter to you and yours

froebelsternchen Susi said...

That is absolutely GORGEOUS dear Alison! A WOWSER! Amazing!

Happy Easter!
oxo
Susi

Wanda Hentges said...

Gorgeous, Fabulous Tag!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE it!!!

Chrissy said...

So pretty and Summery Alison..love the background and those gorgeous flowers and colours..the ribbon colour is fabulous and I love that quote..one of my favourites.

Luv CHRISSYxx

Kirsten said...

A beautiful tag. The little flowers are so pretty and I love the raindrops.

Lys Scrap said...

A gorgeous tag, such fresh colours and this rain gives the perfect feel!

Etsuko Noguchi said...

Stunning the Spring tag Alison! Fabulous the background technique and lovely teardrops. Also I'm looking forward to see your dolls too. xx

Brenda Brown said...

Delightful in every way Alison from the build up of fabulous watery looking layers to the beautiful array of colourful flowers and then the addition of those gorgeous raindrops. Love it. Have a wonderful Easter weekend xxx

Hazel Agnew said...

Wow, Alison, I feel refreshed after your zingy colours and the fresh, soft, April rain. Your use of Distress Inks is second to none. You inspire me so much. The raindrops look just like the ones that tickle my window panes. White splatters are your signature dish, I feel! Xx

Margaret said...

Oh, Alison...this is absolutely beautiful! I love rainy spring days and your tag perfectly captures the colors and emotion of those days!! Brilliant work on the raindrops! I'll have to remember that tip!

I haven't been a great blogger lately either, but we all know how priorities arrange themselves in our lives! So glad I came by to see this today!

Julia said...

Wow! What a lot of clever ideas to make rain. The glossy accents raindrops are fabulous and of course I love all those layers. I think the bright flowers look stunning in the rain.

Sandy said...

Stunning - love the colors and the rain drops running down the tag. The is like looking out the window and seeing the April Showers watering the flower garden outside! Love your background and the pretty bow!
Sandy xx

Redanne said...

First of all, congratulations on your well deserved win at F&F. This project is gorgeous, from the beautiful base, to those amazing raindrops and then the gorgeous garden flowers - just stunning! I hope at some point you will give us an insight into your doll making... Anne xx

Jackie P Neal said...

Oh Alison!
I do love the coloring and shading on your flowers- simply beautiful!
You are always so busy busy busy! Have yet to figure out where you may be-looking forward to your travel tales!
hugs,Jackie xx

Monika Gulyas said...

Fabulous tag, Alison! The colours are so beautiful and yes, perfect teardrop shaped raindrops!!! I love it! Happy Easter!

Julia Aston said...

What a lovely spring tag Alison! Love the raindrops and beautiful stems! Julia xx

Coco said...

I adore your tag, so pretty and beautiful!!!
These wonderfully painted tiny flowers and your ribbon, add certainly to the charm of it... the drops are the icing on the cake.
I read some time ago (on Astrid's blog I think but not too sure as I'm not a regular follower!) a simple way to draw realistic little drops using Glossy Accents... She just used a toothpick to form and extend the drops :)
But maybe you knew that and tried this way too!
Good luck for the dolls (looking forward to seeing them!) and all your activities this month... Take care Alison. Hugs, Corinne xx

Craftyfield said...

I love the background, the raindrops and the Calico Parts! Brilliant tag Alison!

craftytrog said...

So fresh and pretty!!!

Ola Khomenok said...

Amazing! I loved to see your process

Anita Houston said...

The raindrops made me smile! I LOVE the scene...perfection!

Corrie Herriman said...

Wow, this is absolutely gorgeous ! love it !
Corrie x

suzyb said...

Absolutely adore this one! I must try and reproduce, although it will never look nearly like this, but the wonderful direction you have given, to make it, I am hoping it will at least resemble this one. Love the glossy accent "rain". I would never have thought to use that ;) Thank you so much for this lovely piece of art Alison!!!!

Sue said...

This is beautiful Alison, your raindrops are perfect! xx

Paper Profusion said...

Oh so very pretty and airy Alison - I LOVE it!! Congrats on your F&F Guest Spot and this is a superb spotlight make. The base tag in the first place is so lovely that I was a little sorry when you first 'covered' it. But then you just took it by the hand and led it to this beautiful wild flower meadow whilst a little shower was in progress - an absolute treat! Wonderfully made and thank-you for sharing the steps. Nicola x

Julie Ann Lee said...

What a lovely evocation of April showers! The poor gardens around here are beginning to be in need of some of those! Once again you work your own magic with colour and technique and composition, Alison! I love the central Calico image and how fresh and glistening this project is. xx

Astrid Maclean said...

Brilliant use of thse CCPs on this gorgeous tag Alison, fabulous! And great to see you use those lovely Sprngtime colours!