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, 24 March 2023

Brand New PaperArtsy Eclectica Alison Bomber Stamps

Hello all!  I'm thrilled to be here to announce my latest collection of botanical stamps with PaperArtsy - and it's springtime!  These three new sets celebrate spring botanicals - from the earliest tiny flowers appearing from the cold earth, via the ephemeral beauty of tree blossom, to late spring and early summer as the hardy herbs begin to flower. 

And along with the botanical sketches themselves, there is the usual eclectic mix of herbal, theatrical, historical and personal ephemera to go with them, as well as - of course - some quotes.

Do hop over to the PaperArtsy blog to meet EAB30 Violets Edition, EAB31 Blackthorn Edition, and EAB32 Rosemary Edition.  And I will be live on the PaperArtsy People Group over on Facebook to share the inspiration behind these sets and lots of samples!  You can now catch-up with that launch video (just click the link below), and I hope you love these new sets as much as I do.

PaperArtsy Eclectica Alison Bomber Live Launch video - Spring Botanicals

or watch here...

The arrival of spring can’t be done in one picture.
David Hockney

Spring won't let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.
Gustav MahlerPaperArtsy blog

Sunday, 12 March 2023

Grey and Green

Hello all!  I'm so sorry not to have been around.  I've been swallowed whole by the Royal Shakespeare Company again... I'm over in the UK for three months of work with them, and as a result there's been almost no crafting and almost no social media time.  I am, of course, travelling with some craft supplies (couple of snaps of my travelling craft stash at the end) but there really hasn't been much chance to use them!

One good thing about being here at this time of year is that it meant I could get my hands on the new Tim Holtz Idea-ology goodies much more quickly than I can when I'm tucked away in my little village in the Czech Republic.  So last Sunday I seized the chance to do a bit of quick collaging over some Lost Shadow ink splotch tags made last month (yes, I got my hands on the new Distress colour too!), and here they are...

When I do get some crafting time, I'm mostly working on top secret stuff behind the scenes (watch this space) but it was lovely to just play for half an hour.

Here are the tag backgrounds before the layering.  I played with all the Distress greys - so that was Hickory Smoke, Pumice Stone (both as inks) and the new Lost Shadow in ink and oxide formulations.  

The Mosaic stencil looks like cobblestones to me, so that seemed perfect for the grey tones.  And I used one of the text stamps from my own PaperArtsy Botanicals sets for some detail stamping.

I've always been a huge fan of the Photobooth snapshots in the Idea-ology line, so these new slightly larger Photomatic snapshots were a must-have.  

And these Quote Chip Labels are really great as another way to add words to my pictures.  The collection contains words in rectangles and ovals (some of those coming soon).

There are some lovely new ephemera pieces but I started out gently by just pulling out some of the leafy stems from the pack to keep these tags looking organic and natural.

And of course I couldn't resist adding some of my favourite tiny Snippets labels (an essential part of the travelling stash).

Here, as promised, are a couple of photos of my temporary crafting arrangements.  We were rehearsing in London for six weeks, so this is my set-up from that period.  

Not all of this was in my suitcase... I have a couple of boxes of supplies stored in Cestina's little bolthole where I was staying (just outside London).

And this is my wonderful riverside view at my digs in Stratford upon Avon where I am now (two weeks down, four weeks to go). 

So all this did come in a suitcase, and my new purchases are going to have to be crammed in too for the journey back.  I also brought some of the few tags I have managed to squeeze in time for.  I'll try to share a few more of those here soon.

Much bigger windows, and I'll confess it's easy to get distracted by the beauty right in front of me.  I feel very lucky, even though I hardly get to spend any time here - we're working long theatre hours, six days a week.

So that's a little catch-up from me.  I hope you're all doing well.  In all honesty, I'm not likely to manage much more blogging before I'm back in the Czech Republic (flying home on Easter Saturday).

However, there is some very exciting news to share in a couple of weeks' time, so I'll definitely be here for that!  Happy crafting, all.

I read; I travel; I become.
Derek Walcott

Everything I was I carry with me; everything I will be lies waiting on the road ahead.
Ma Jian

It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression, 'As pretty as an airport'.
From The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul by Douglas Adams

Saturday, 21 January 2023

Winter Wood and Pine Panels

Hello all!  I'm back in the UK for three months for work, so once again I've had to pack more craft supplies than clothes in my suitcase so that I don't get withdrawal symptoms!  I'll share some pictures of my temporary craft stash if you're interested, but for now I thought I'd show you this pair of wintry panels I created just before leaving the Czech Republic last week.

I wanted the new Tim Holtz 3D embossing folders Tree Rings and Pine Branches the moment I saw them.  I knew they'd make perfect settings for my PaperArtsy botanical stamps, and I just had time to make one panel with each while I was doing my packing.

The first one was this weathered wood panel created with the Tree Rings folder.

I tinted the gorgeous wood texture with Distress Sprays and Crayons - sorry, I can't really remember what colours I used but Pumice Stone, Hickory Smoke, Walnut Stain and Weathered Wood were definitely in the mix...

some pinecones gathered on walks, and real twigs interspersed with die-cut ones...

and of course my EAB Hawthorn Edition stamps.

I kept the colours very muted and wintry - it's all done with Distress Inks, including the new(ish) Lumberjack Plaid mixed with Festive Berries.  The leaves are a combination of Pumice Stone, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain and Weathered Wood.

The quote is from the same set, embossed in Wow Primary Bark powder, and it's resting on some coils of rusty wire.

The second panel uses the Pine Branches folder.

Again, the colours are a bit hazy - there's certainly some Rustic Wilderness, Speckled Egg, Evergreen Bough and Walnut Stain around...

a lovely Idea-ology Quote Token, with Picket Fence Distress Crayon highlighting the words...

the berries from my EAB29 Mistletoe Edition with a touch of Glossy Accents crackled with a heat gun...

background stamping with the theatrical ephemera from the same set...

and some more pinecones.

Of course, the BigShot was one thing I couldn't put in the suitcase (too heavy, too big, too awkward!), but I did pre-press a few more of these panels to bring with me.  Keep an eye out for them in future makes... they're definitely going to become a regular part of my creations.

I hope you like them, and I hope you are enjoying a gentle and peaceful weekend full of good things.  See you soon.

I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape--the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.

Andrew Wyeth

Wednesday, 4 January 2023

It's the Final Countdown

Hello all and a slightly belated happy New Year!  (Anyone singing along after that post title is revealing their age!)  Just squeaking in under the promised wire (to share the rest of the Advent Countdown tags before the end of the 12 Days of Christmas - 6th January)... here are the remaining December tags, with a shot of the whole collection at the end.

Here's a sneak peek of the final arrival...

The last of the juniper berry backgrounds (using my PaperArtsy EAB28 Juniper Edition) were the last of the red and green collection... 

And then it really became all about the winter delights of Uncharted Mariner Distress Ink as a colour.  Obsessive, me?  Really?!  And texture too, of course... 

These two don't actually belong together as a pair, but they got made and posted at the same time.  Each of them does have a partner in the collection - you'll see them united at the end of the post.

Some more juniper berries to finish things off... and we all know who appears at the end of the Advent Countdown!

The making and posting wasn't quite daily, but when you work with pairs, trios and groups, you end up with enough to cover the full 25 day Advent Countdown even if you're not making something every single day!

Some of these pairs and trios were made together.  Some collections came about from a bunch of backgrounds all made at the same time, but then each individual tag was finished off separately - but usually done to "match" whatever had gone before.  Batch making does save thinking time!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I know for lots of you Christmas is a dim and distant memory now, but I'm enjoying the final days of peace and quiet by the tree before it comes down.  

Chaos is about to kick in, as I'm heading to the UK for three months of work with the Royal Shakespeare Company again.  I'll be packing a travelling stash, of course, but I don't know how much time or energy I'll have for creating.  Working on a show is always pretty demanding, and I'm going to miss the Czech countryside very much (and my mother too!)... but digging deep into Shakespeare again is going to be a really stimulating and satisfying way to start the year.  

I hope that 2023 is offering you the right balance of peace and excitement, and I wish you all the very best year possible.

Celebrate endings, for they precede new beginnings.
Jonathan Lockwood Huie

And now we welcome the New Year... full of things that have never been.
Rainer Maria Rilke