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, 28 July 2017

Neutral Blues II

I'm back with my second post playing the (neutral) blues.  If you missed the first instalment, you can find it here.  Since it's post number two, it seems only right to share two tags, no?  And on each tag a twosome too!

This pair came about in the usual slightly unintentional way.  As I created the background for the first one, I found I was mopping up or printing onto a spare which rapidly became a pair to the first.

These also involve some more Oxide play, so as well as the blues, greys and browns, they have that in common with tag number one.  Same stencil in use, I notice - how repetitive of me!

But then the Neutral Blues I tag was made back in April, and the backgrounds of these were done in New York at least a month later, so I hope you'll forgive the repetition.

And of course all three tags so far use the wonderful Paper Dolls.  Another of those Tim Holtz ingredients that I find myself wondering how we managed without before they existed.

This time, though, I've been able to use my own quotes on the tags.  Since I had one dark tag and one light tag, it seemed the perfect time to break out EAB02 Darkness and Light!

For these two, I started by blending Oxides onto the first tag - Faded Jeans and Iced Spruce, I believe (sorry, I did the backgrounds quite early on in my stay in New York, and then finished them off once I got back home last week).  I think there may have been some Pumice Stone Distress Ink involved too.

I applied Walnut Stain DOX to the stencil, spritzed and printed it, before spritzing again to soften the whole thing.

On the second tag I mopped up some leftover droplets of inkiness, and then did the printing again, this time using Faded Jeans on the stencil.

I'm pretty sure the tag had had a coat of either gesso or white acrylic beforehand - that's why it's so pale underneath.

Sadly, I don't seem to have any photos of the next layer by itself.  I added text stamping - in white acrylic on the darker tag...

... and in Walnut Stain DOX on the paler tag (the Oxides stamp so beautifully!).

Time got tighter as work progressed in NYC, so I didn't get much further, and the two backgrounds travelled home with me in that state.

Once here I finished them off... selecting the Paper Dolls to go on each tag and the words to go with them.

I gave the dolls some of my carefully hoarded rusty mesh to stand on.  These were some of the very last snippets.

I'm prepared to use them now because I managed to get a fresh supply while I was away.  Expect to see more rusty mesh in action from here on in!

I created inky backgrounds to stamp the quotes on.  Whether on dark or light, the stamping is done in Potting Soil Archival and clear-embossed.

This starry one is from Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and source of many words of wisdom.

This quote, which I absolutely adore, is by Persian poet, Hafez (full name Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī, but thankfully generally known by his pen-name Hafez).

He lived in the fourteenth century, but his words speak so directly across the centuries.

I used some of the tiny Idea-ology star brads as metal accents...

... topped with white paint for the darker tag, of course.

And I mounted the tags on contrasting layers to give just that final touch of matching opposites.

Once again, combining words and pictures has given me great pleasure here... the words connect me to the people in the photographs, and stories start to unwind in my mind.

I felt as though I wanted to offer affirmation and assurance to both pairs of children and, through the quotes, I hope maybe I have done that - somewhere in the space/time continuum.  I certainly like the pair of tags just as tags, and maybe that's enough.

I hope you like them too, and I'll be back pretty soon with another study in blues and browns - a slight hop out of kin, the next one, but with plenty of Oxide action.  I hope you all have a great weekend, and I'll see you soon.

May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.
Rainer Maria Rilke

Oops, I forgot I was planning to link up at Tag Tuesday again, where the lovely Chrissie has chosen My Favourite Colour Combination as the theme. 
And at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge the theme this week is You've Got The Edge.  I've got two of them!  And I'm using those edges to carry on the contrasts of the tags, even down to inking the white frame with brown and sanding the brown frame to reveal some white!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Playing the (Neutral) Blues I

Hello all!  I doubt you'll be surprised to find that I've been playing with blues and browns (and greys) a lot since my return.  In fact, it started before I went away.  So, starting with a tag made back in April, here's the first of a series of posts scratching that old obsessive colour itch.

I meant this tag for the Vintage Journey Tag Friday in June.  In case I ended up with either no time or no mojo in NYC, I decided to get it made before I left the UK at the beginning of May.

But then my AVJ team-mate, the brilliant Nikki of Addicted to Art, who was also one of my wingmen for the PaperArtsy word stamp release, pointed out that Tag Friday was perfectly timed to share something made with the new quotes.

So instead I made a whole new tag for that (time and mojo both cooperating), and this one got left in the photo album for later.

Later has arrived!  And I'm delighted that this young woman is finally getting her day in the sun.

(More sun than was around when I left - she's had some more photos taken today, as the April ones were definitely suffering from the dreary showery weather which simply wouldn't lift in the days before I flew.)

Of course, being that it was made all that time ago, I can't be sure any longer exactly what ingredients were involved in the making...

I know it started with a mop-up tag (slightly taller than usual - a leftover piece from something else), and I'm fairly sure it's Golden Smalt Blue acrylic.

And then there were various layers of stencilling...

... stencil-printing...

... inky and watery splattering (my guess is that at least some of this is using the Oxides - Faded Jeans and Iced Spruce seem likely suspects)...

... and in the latter stages the dragonfly stamp, embossed in Weathered White, puts in an appearance, along with some text stamping and inky distressing around the edges.

I also mounted it on some cardboard for extra stability.

One of the Paper Dolls takes her place at the heart of things...

... standing on some strips of tissue tape...

... and with some lace and stained tea-bag strips in the background.

The lovely fronds of some Scrapiniec grasses wave in the wind behind her.

And she's been collecting old leaves and drying them too.

The oval frame tries to constrict her into some semblance of modest, ladylike appearance.  But you can tell from its rusty state of neglect that she's uninterested in being looked at, or fitting in.

Neither she nor her nature collections will be confined.  She doesn't fit in the family picture frame.  The dragonfly will always escape the net.

(She may remind you of a recent acquaintance.)

She won't be nailed down by society's expectations.

The rebellions at the moment may be small, but they are significant.  Her clothes are never quite neat enough.  There's always a splatter of mud or a loose thread from brushing through a hedgerow.

She'll continue to do what she loves, and there's no stopping her.

The lace and ribbons her mother and governesses have tried for years to encourage her to embroider, knit or crochet with, remain in a tangled bunch, as she heads back out to the garden, the fields and the woods.

The fresh breezes will ruffle her hair as well as the grasses, and she'll continue to wear whatever she's found on her travels as her corsage, be it flowers or leaves or grasses.

The dragonfly's wings will spread wide to carry her far away.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope you've enjoyed meeting today's tag inhabitant.  As I say, the blue & brown tag theme is going to continue here over the next few days, so I hope you'll be able to pop in and meet whoever's next!

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
Rachel Carson

At Stamps and Stencils there's some beautiful photo inspiration from the amazing Ruth to inspire us to play with Colour, Texture and Shape.  The decorative lace with rusty metal accents are certainly in play here, as are some of those architectural lines, though mine are horizontal rather than vertical. 
I'd also like to share this at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge where they are hoping that You've Got The Edge.  My dragonflies are heading over the edge in all directions, providing extra texture where they do, and the inky distressing provides a frame, as do the "rusty nails" in the corners (which are at the edge, after all).
At Tag Tuesday, the lovely Chrissie has chosen My Favourite Colour Combination as the theme.  As long as I've understood rightly and it's my favourite colour combination, not Chrissie's (!) then my blues and browns are right on the money.  And you already know there are some more blue and brown tags on the way soon!
Finally, at Mixed Media World they would like us to Use Natural Materials on a mixed media project.  The DT inspiration pieces are out of this world, but with my humble autumn leaves, I'd like to play along anyway!  (Thanks for the heads-up, Sara Emily.)

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Anniversary Candy Winners

Hello all!  Thank you so much for the lovely comments and good wishes on my five-year anniversary post.

And thank you too for the wonderful feedback on the release of my very own word stamps since then.  I had no idea it would give me such a thrill to see people being inspired to create with them.  I've seen some beautiful projects here and there.

As you know, I don't get around to blogs quite as much as I used to, so do feel free to give me a heads-up if you've been playing with the quotes and I've missed it.  I absolutely love seeing what people are making with them.  I've got a new Alison Bomber Word Stamps Pinterest board so if you let me know you've used them, I'll happily come pinning.

But you're really here to find out who's won the candy, aren't you?  And the runner-up too, of course.

I did my usual high-tech draw.  Here you all are on the sheet of paper (unless you specifically said not to include your name).  All names are typed exactly as they are in your version (it's not me deciding who gets a capital letter and who doesn't!)... 

... and here you all are in the bowl...

And here's the first name I picked out (eyes shut, fingertips giving a good shushle to the papers - no, that's not an actual word!)...

Congratulations to maj.!

And now for the runner-up - a similar package, but without the PaperArtsy stamp set...

Congratulations to suzyb!

If each of you could either leave your email in a comment below, or contact me via the Get In Touch section in the sidebar, I'll get those prize packages off to you as soon as possible.

Thank you to everyone who took part and, as a number of you said, here's to the next five years playing together here in Craftyblogland!

Sometimes in life you don't always feel like a winner, but that doesn't mean you're not a winner.
Lady Gaga

Sunday, 23 July 2017

A Natural Tag Trio

Hello all!  I've landed, and I'm almost unpacked, but not yet back on UK time sleep-wise.   I keep spending a good four hours wide awake in the middle of the night which makes me a little sluggish come the daytime, sadly.  I guess I'll catch up with myself soon.  Oh, and I'll be drawing my blog candy as soon as I do.

And speaking of catching up, this is something of a bonus post.  When my PaperArtsy word stamps were launched last month, I completely forgot about today's trio.  I'd prepped them in England before setting off, tucked them in an envelope to take with me to New York, ready for finishing off with the stamps once they arrived, and then completely forgot they were there!  I found them just before I was due to come home again, so I finished them off, and I'm here to share them today... the missing trio of launch-night tags.

They're very simple tags, in earthy natural tones (a bit of a theme round here along with my recent Natural Oxides), using the 7 Dots Studio collection Nature Walk as the base.  From there, I just played mix and match with the quotes and some of my (many) PaperArtsy stamps.  The three quotes are all from EAB01 Trees and Flowers.

The main reason I needed to get my samples essentially ready before heading off was that I wanted to be able to use any of the stamps which came to mind - and I didn't want to pack all of them in the suitcase!

So here, this lovely flower from Scrapcosy ESC03 is the perfect partner for the Buddha quote - though of course there are any number of flower stamps out there which would also sing out loud to the same words.

The quote is stamped, cut and mounted on another panel of the Nature Walk paper over padded tape for extra dimension.

And in the background, I've used the quote stamp to add extra detailing.

For each of the tags, I've followed the same basic design - that's why they work as a set.

The glorious Sara Naumann bird from ESN18 takes his perch overlooking the wild wood.

This isn't the whole of Henry James Slack's quote - don't look too closely - that's a comma not a full-stop at the end.

I considered doing tricksy things with the inking to make it right, but decided I didn't mind too much, and I love how the ancient wisdom and dignity of the bird aligns with the description of the ancient wood.

And again, those same words provide some extra interest to the background.

Finally, the lovely tree negative from the Urban Snapshots Nature Plate 3 is paired with the Friedrich Nietzsche words.

No need to tell you this one is not only about trees!

The quote is again mounted on padded tape and has the usual wisp of cheesecloth adding a soft touch of movement to the tag.

You could equally well use this tree with Slack's ancient woodland quote.  And I find that when you pair the images with different words, the images themselves somehow change too.

There's more cheesecloth forming the topping of the tags, with some fine twine fastening it in place.

And you can just catch the echo of the words, whether in clear light...

... or even in the darkest of shadows.

So that's my missing trio.  I hope they were worth waiting for.  I'm going to post them off to Leandra now that I'm home, so that they can join the rest of the samples on the display walls on the PaperArtsy stand.  And now that we're back up and running here at Words and Pictures, I hope to be better at hopping round to visit your blogs and catch up with you as well as myself!  Happy Sunday all!

The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.
Henry Beston