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, 14 December 2018

Winter Journal VIII

Hello all!  I promised you some brighter colour tones after the last couple of neutral pages in my 8x8 kraft Winter Journal, so here you go...

And we've graduated from loving couples to a happily independent woman, wrapped up warm and ready to make things happen.

There's some loose gesso stencilling through one of my favourite festive stencils, as well as some more gesso slathered on with a palette knife.

The inky colours are a combination of Evergreen Bough, Iced Spruce and Peeled Paint Distress Sprays...

... with a splattering of some Colorex Oriental Blue.  I just love this close-up of those inky splashes.

The woman herself is either one of the Tim Holtz Photobooth pictures, or one of the Darkroom Door ones.  I'd already snipped her off, and she's been hanging around the craft table by herself, so I'm not sure which any longer.

But I'd say she's definitely happy!

The fir boughs and branches are cut from card spritzed with those same colours of Distress Spray.

They're layered up over the stencilling in the background...

... and of course they couldn't help but receive a good helping of splatter, both Colorex and white acrylic at various points - and sometimes a mix of the two.

I saved up the in-between-the-birches bits when I cut my forest of trunks for Winter Journal V.

And I really like them here as vertical accents - almost tree-like, but then not quite.   It works well to break up the greenery, I think.

The words are full of optimism and strength...

... looking ahead from the hibernation of winter to fresh adventures to come.

This page makes me happy - the zingy, fresh green colours, the happy woman at the heart of it, and the layers of inky and painty splatter over all that naturally festive greenery (my very favourite bit of all the Christmas decorations).

This will go out on Friday morning, and I think we've probably all earned some of the weekend off again, don't you?  I will be back on Sunday with a little something.  (Eeek! - that will already be the third Sunday of Advent.  When I say "a weekend off", I obviously mean a weekend doing all the other things I should be doing.)  Happy crafting, if you've time for it, and happy everything else if not.

"The evergreen!  How beautiful, how welcome, how wonderful the evergreen!"
From Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

At the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge they are offering up some Warm Winter Wishes
I hope my festive greenery will work for the final ever Stamps & Stencils challenge (sad sigh), It's Got To Be Christmas
And of course I'm playing along again at Art Journal Journey for the double themes of My Favourite Season/Tis the Season

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Winter Journal VII

Well, I wasn't sure I'd make it even this far... but I'm still happily spending my December playing in my 8x8 kraft journal, and allowing what arrives on the page to arrive, even if (as seems to be happening) it takes me to a more romantic place than Words and Pictures is accustomed to.  And we're not just in a loving frame of mind for today's page... we've even got as far as a wedding!

It wasn't a conscious choice.  I had my background on the go, and I was trying out various Paper Dolls against it to see which one(s) wanted to come out to play, and it was these two.

So it's definitely a white wedding.  A heavy fall of brayered snow covers most of the kraft page, along with some handwritten script white washi tape scraps.

There are some textured stars hovering subtly in the background too. 

I'm working hard not to be too perfect with any of the stencilling, so you get a rough and ready, artsy look.

Another paper scrap finds a home as the doorway for the couple to stand in front of, for their first photo as a married couple.

And I'm sure that, as well as photos, there will be somebody there taking cine film, hence the film strip.  (Excellent, a real reason for it to be there this time!)

More snow is falling in the shape of the Tim Holtz Thinlits dies, but it can't dampen the bride's enthusiasm or dim her smile.  

I'm not quite sure about the expression on his face though.  As I mentioned in the previous lovey-dovey post, my take on romance is rarely all happiness all the time, so maybe it's just me that sees trouble ahead in that rather fixed gaze.

But I do think there's good advice and a strong element of truth in the words here.

I can't be sure, but I hope the road ahead for this couple will be wonderful.

Well, now that the wedding's done, maybe I've scratched the sentimental itch as far as this winter journal is concerned... or maybe there'll be more romance to come in future pages.  At the moment, I'm open to whatever comes when I grab my hour at the craft table.  And I can certainly promise you some brighter colours on the next one!

Thanks so much for stopping by, especially when I know how busy everyone is at this time of year.  I'm very happy you're enjoying these little journalling excursions as much as I am.  I think it's nice to take a break from Christmassing now and then.

Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.
John Boswell

I'd like to play along again at Art Journal Journey for Bleubeard and Elizabeth's themes of My Favourite Season/Tis the Season
At the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge they are looking for some Warm Winter Wishes 
And with the white wedding as well as the snow, I have to join in with Anything Goes with an Optional Twist of White over at More Mixed Media
I'd also like to share this page at the Simply Neutrals party over at Apple Apricot

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Winter Journal VI

Hello again!  Romance seems to be hidden in the snow of this winter journal.  Winter Journal IV dwelt in the heady joys of the early days of an affair, and here's another page which celebrates love (and I know that there's another one on the way... the pages are ahead of the blogposts!).

It's not a common topic around here, or at least not usually an uncomplicatedly positive one.  There's more often a touch of heartache or melancholy attached.  But maybe I'm getting sentimental in my old age...  No, that's not quite right - I've always been a romantic at heart, just all too aware of the down sides too.

In any case, in the hard cold of winter, I'm finding lots of warm hearts appearing in the artwork arriving on my craft desk.  Today's page celebrates a lifetime of love.

Again, I've been using up leftovers.  This tag with the ovals cut out has been sitting around ever since August, when I made my engraved enamel word plaques for PaperArtsy.

At the time, I thought I should try to cut the ovals out centrally, so that the outline would be of use at some point further down the line.  And that day has finally come.

The tag got a rough, thick coating of gesso, applied with a palette knife and then super-heated.  At first, I kept it plain white, and I liked the look of billowing snowdrifts.

But later, as I started to apply ink, it took on the look of toasted marshmallow - which is also quite a good look!

This is one page where I'm still not quite sure whether I shouldn't have stopped earlier.  Here it is in its pristine whiteness, which I really like... but it does have an unfinished look.

The distressing - with walnut ink splatters and a touch of Vintage Photo Distress Ink blended on - has given everything a much warmer tone.  I don't know... what do you think?

I have to say, I do love the extra texture and detail around the snowflakes post-browning.

They've had a helping of white embossing powder, as well as some inky splatters and washes around them.

There's plenty of thread swirling in the snowstorm...

... and the walnut ink splatters beautifully.

Of course, at the heart of it all are the lovers themselves - first, in their young and carefree days...

... and then after many years together, having weathered the storms, sharing the burdens and the joys.

It's odd working with those frames at the centre - I'm used to off-setting my focal points to one side or another.  But with the tag at the centre, the two sets of words have to balance each other out...

... just like the man and woman have had to balance one another out, in order to achieve always and forever.

(And not just the words to be balanced, but the film strip and washi tape too.)

I think these two word sections and the snowflakes work best for me on this page.  I'm not sure about the photo frames, after all that!

I hope you're enjoying the winter love stories finding their way into some of these pages.  I'm not sure where they're coming from, but sometimes it's best not to enquire too deeply into these things, I find.  I'll be back with more soon (not only love stories, you'll be happy to hear), so I hope to bump into you again, either here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.

A good marriage isn't something you find; it's something you make.
From A Lifelong Love by Gary L. Thomas

At the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge they are offering up some Warm Winter Wishes
I'd like to play along again at Art Journal Journey for Bleubeard and Elizabeth's themes of My Favourite Season/Tis the Season
At the Creative Artiste Challenge Blog they are playing, as always, Anything Mixed Media Goes

Monday, 10 December 2018

Winter Journal V

It's time for page number five in my Winter Journal, and I'm playing the blues again this time, as I did with Winter Journal I.

So far, I think this blue/brown/white is probably my favourite of the colour combinations - and no, there are no prizes for guessing that... it's all too obvious given my longtime colour palette preferences!

This glorious vivid blue is courtesy of the Colorex ink again - Cosmos Blue - same as for the first page.  Clearly, I will have to look in to the rest of their colour palette.

The Tim Holtz Thinlits birch trees are cut from some of the Pion Design paper still hanging around after my Star Light, Star Bright tags.  I'm still making use of things which are to hand - it saves both thinking and searching time to just use whatever is there!

Some more of the Idea-ology Small Talk stickers capture the mood of optimism and the hard work ahead which is part of my world at the moment...

... as well as clearly being key ingredients in the personality of this young man.  Look at his jaunty posture, leaning on the words themselves, and ready for anything. 

I love him!

He's definitely ready to take on the world, despite the fact that he may have to make his way through the forest and the drifts of gesso snow to get there!

The film strip highlights some of the background handwriting washi tape, as well as being framed by some of the darker tape.  I'm enjoying the film strip a lot on these pages, and this page is probably my favourite so far (up against the first one for competition).

I'm also enjoying these shorter blogposts... so quick to write!  I'll be back before you know it and, whether you have time to visit or not, I hope you all have a great week.

You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.
From Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

I'd like to play along again at Art Journal Journey for Bleubeard and Elizabeth's themes of My Favourite Season/Tis the Season
At the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge they are offering up some Warm Winter Wishes - setting off through the forest in search of adventure should keep him warm!
And I'm joining in with Anything Goes with an Optional Twist of White over at More Mixed Media
At the Creative Artiste Challenge Blog they are playing, as always, Anything Mixed Media Goes

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Winter Journal IV

Hello again!   Although there's been a short break in the blogposts here (I gave you most of the weekend off, isn't that kind of me?!) I've managed to squeeze in a bit of playtime in my Winter Journal most days so far, so I'll probably have a double helping for you at some point to make up for it.

Not today though... I thought we'd go for something shorter after the detailed Star Light, Star Bright post.  (I hope you've had a chance to check out my tag trio for A Vintage Journey - we'd love it if you can find the time to play along with us there this month.)  So it's just page 4 today...

We're still in the 8x8 kraft journal (information for those who've missed the pages so far), and still playing with that lovely kraft/white combination.  But for this page I've stuck to my beloved neutrals with no additional colours interfering.

There's music in the air and a touch of romance on this page...  no romance is complete without musical accompaniment, even if it's just you hearing singing when there's no-one there.

This couple are selected from the Darkroom Door Photobooth sheets (they don't seem to be available any longer, sadly).  I love the golden glow of her picture. With her direct gaze, she captures the viewer's attention, which means she becomes our focus, our heroine in the story.

There's some more of the wide washi tape in the background, and over that I stamped and embossed one of Tim's new Christmas backgrounds.

I love the look of the musical notes, echoing the joyous carol printed on one of the pieces of ephemera.

I also love the bubbles of texture in the snowy gesso.  They were initially created by blasting the gesso with the heatgun, and then I added some of the embossing powder and reheated to create even more texture.

That's not just imaginary music in the air... someone's been writing love letters.

There are swirls of thread, and some more acetate film strip ribbon...

... as well as a few more die-cut snowflakes whisking through the air.

Maybe they've just been to see a film, and now they're walking home hand in hand through the snowy streets.

The Idea-ology Small Talk stickers continue to provide the necessary words to fit my pages, and they also keep echoing deeply held thoughts of mine too.

Well, we all have dreams and wishes, don't we?  A winter romance with walks in the in the frosted countryside, a love song lilting in the air, the sparkle of the snow as stars dot the night sky and moonlight lights up the scene... 

Things are making reasonable progress on the Christmas preparation front here, and I'm still managing to fit in my crafting time (as well as my Czech language learning)... so far, so good.  We'll see how we go as December gets into its stride.  For now, thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you've all been enjoying a lovely weekend. 

Never are voices so beautiful as on a winter's evening, when dusk almost hides the body, and they seem to issue from nothingness with a note of intimacy seldom heard by day.
From Night and Day by Virginia Woolf

I'd like to play along again at Art Journal Journey for Bleubeard and Elizabeth's themes of My Favourite Season/Tis the Season
And it's another Winter Wonderland to share at Try It On Tuesday
Since this page has no added colour, unlike the others so far, I'd like to join in with the Simply Neutrals party over at Apple Apricot
I'd also like to play along at Bastel Traum where the theme is Winter/Christmas
This should be the perfect fit for Anything Goes with an Optional Twist of White over at More Mixed Media