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...

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Encore - Destination Cabbage Roses

Hello all!  I'm having trouble settling back into the swing of things blogger-wise, and the craft table hasn't seen much action either, partly because I've been distracted by watercolours (which you'll see some of very soon), and partly because I've unexpectedly landed up with another theatre gig when I thought I was going to have some nice quiet recovery time.  But I get to play at Shakespeare's Globe, so that's nice!  While I'm trying to get my act together, here's an Encore post in the meantime (see the foot of the post if you've never met one of my Encore posts before).  This was made for Destination Inspiration at A Vintage Journey in June 2015, and here's what I wrote back then...

Hello all, Alison here from Words and Pictures, and I'm delighted to have arrived at Terminal 4 to share June's fourth and final Destination Inspiration project with you.

Packed in the travel bag this month we had:
Colour - Walnut Stain
Technique - texture paste through a stencil
Substrate - watercolour paper
Product - any Tattered die

Three of my fellow Creative Guides have already shared their inspiration with you, keeping us all fuelled for the journey (you can see their roadmaps of inspiration again at the end of the post), and now it's my turn.  Here's what I came up with...  (I had to make this some time ago before life got busy, but I'll do my best to remember how I put it together!)

I started by cutting a large tag out of a sheet of watercolour paper, and applied texture paste through the fabulous Typo stencil before spritzing with Walnut Stain Distress Spray.  I tried to keep some whiter spaces, and places where you can really see the delicate splatter pattern from the spray.

I decided I wanted the Typo lettering to pop a little more, so I did some dry-brushing with Picket Fence Distress Paint to highlight the texture.

I'm not much of a flower-maker in the general way of things, but I know where to go when I do want to do some... my fellow Creative Guide Jennie has some amazing tutorials over at her blog Live the Dream, and I almost always go there for help when I'm using the Tattered Florals die.

I followed her Cabbage Rose design for my large flower (I've enjoyed the results in the past, and it didn't fail me this time either) and a sort of half version of the same for the smaller ones.  I did less curling of the petals on the small roses as my book pages weren't really strong enough to take it.

So with all my luggage unpacked from the travel bag and in place, I now had the fun of adding collage elements and embellishments to finish the whole thing off.

I used one of the brilliant Photobooth photos, and layered up paper scraps and other ephemera to frame it.

I altered my metal embellishments with alcohol ink and some Treasure Gold.  I think the clock looks pretty good peeking out from behind the roses.

I particularly like the effect on the WordBand.  I thought about applying paint to accent the lettering, but decided I rather liked how subtle they are like this.

I like the dark Teakwood and Espresso alcohol ink contrasting with the bright gilding.

I needed something a little brighter to carry the eye on a longer journey and capture the light in places, so I grabbed some thick card off-cuts from the Frameworks Honeycomb die which were hanging around on my craft table and gave them a coat of Antique Linen Distress Paint and then one of Rock Candy Crackle Paint.

Once it was dry and cracked, I pressed the pad of my Walnut Stain Distress Stain down onto them to let the ink sink into the crackles to highlight them.

The seam binding at the top has had a close encounter with the Walnut Stain inkpad so that it tones in with the rest of the tag.

And I'm a real spatter fiend at the moment - can't resist it!  You can see the dry-brushing and a hint of Treasure Gold on my stencilled texture paste here too.

So there you have it... my roadmap of inspiration to re-charge your batteries for the next stage of the journey.  I hope you like it.

I love seeing how each Creative Guide uses the same luggage from the travel bag to create such different and individual projects.

So there you have it.  What will be packed in the travel bag next month?  And how will each Creative Guide use the components to fuel our onward Vintage Journey?  


Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I hope you're all enjoying a lovely long weekend.  The sun is blazing down from a blue sky here, and the birds are singing, so my guess is the craft table still won't see much of me!  Ah well, the cycle of creativity will swing round again at some point, I'm sure.  

Cestina's Dollshouses has been even quieter than Words & Pictures, but for those of you who like to follow what's going on at the Small Worlds dollshouse museum, you'll be happy to know there's finally a new post over there now.  Happy Easter or Passover or whatever you may be celebrating (we have a lot of family birthdays round about now) and see you soon!

An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it makes a better soup.
H.L. Mencken

Since there's not going to be another one for a while, I'd like to share this in the Simply Neutrals Party over at Apple Apricot.

Encore Posts
Projects which made their first appearances elsewhere for Design Team duties or Guest Designer opportunities, but which only had a sneak peek here, are being gathered together in the pages of my virtual scrapbook while I'm busy.
As always, the Encore Posts are formatted differently from the regular ones, so that you can easily spot them.  Please don't feel that you have to comment all over again!

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Borrowing the Dream

Hello all!  I'm here with a CASEing today - not something I do very often.

The moment I saw the glorious tag created by my fellow Creative Guide, Jennie of Live the Dream, for the most recent Tag Friday over at A Vintage Journey, I fell in love with it.  So today, I'm "borrowing the dream". 

Seeing the tag made me want to play right away, and I then checked in with the lovely Jennie to make sure she was okay with me sharing the result here on the blog.

If you want to see the beautiful original, it's right here, and you'll also be able to see how to make your own version.

Mine's really very close to Jennie's - not quite the same Infusions colour, and slightly different finishing touches, but other than that I'm deeply indebted to her for the inspiration and for the lovely time I had at my craft table playing.

I adored the light, ethereal quality of the tag - so typical of Jennie's work - and that wonderful background crackle, as well as the tall, elegant shape.  I'm sure I did order some of those long thin tags before I went to NYC, but I'm blowed if I can find them in my somewhat chaotic craft room.  So I grabbed a jumbo MDF tag and off I went.

I wasn't very successful with keeping my design tape strips showing through, but it gives such a great texture to the crackle - all sealed in with DecoArt Ultra Matte Varnish, so it's going nowhere - that I really don't mind.

Instead, I used some script stamping for additional detail.  (It's a PaperArtsy stamp which came as a freebie extra and has become a firm favourite.)

In any case, some more design tapes get pride of place as backing to the quote I've used from my PaperArtsy EAB09 Love Edition stamp set.

That was probably one of my main reasons for wanting to re-create Jennie's look... I really wanted to combine it with this particular quote.

My love for her tag certainly blossomed suddenly and unexpectedly!

The flower stems are coloured with Indigo Infusions powder - the same powder which provides the shaded colour in the background over the white crackle.

Some Idea-ology accents add a touch of metal...

... accented with just a sweep of white acrylic paint.

And I've dotted around some of my ivory sequins.

They catch the light beautifully.

Some linen ribbon at the top, and that's pretty much that. 

Creating my own version of an inspiration tag reminded me how much I've missed Tim's fabulous 12 Tags challenge.  It's so lovely not to have to do your own thinking sometimes! 

So thank you, Jennie, for providing me with a carefree hour or so at the craft table, and also for reminding me that I really should play with the Infusions powders more often.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I hope you're all having a great weekend, and I'll be round for a catch up soon.

I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.
Herman Hesse

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Love, Friends and Flying with the Paper Dolls

Hello all, and welcome.  Thank you so much for your lovely comments on my Neutral Zone tag - they made me very happy.  Today we're back into a more colourful world - the colour-coded samples I created for my three new stamp sets launched with PaperArtsy back in February.  You've already seen the "red collection" for EAB09 The Love Edition, along with the samples for all three sets created with the Zinski characters in Love, Friends and Flying with the Zinskis.  Today I'm here with a snapshot of the "green collection" for EAB10 Friends & Friendship...

I love them all laid out together like that.  It reminds me of the fun I had putting them all together.  For the remainder of this post, we'll take a closer look at how the Idea-ology Paper Dolls fall in love, make friends and take flight!

I love combining these quotations with the Paper Dolls - as I'm playing, they quite often "speak" to me, and let me know the kinds of things they want to say.  So in each of my colour-coded collections, there had to be some Paper Dolls.

In fact, this first tag was the one which kicked off the whole shebang as far as these samples went.  Leandra needed something eye-catching early on, just one project, and I thought that a nice vivid red heart would be striking, and would also capture the essence of The Love Edition stamp set in one go.

But it was a tight deadline and, if I'm creating in a hurry, then vintage neutrals are my go-to choice.  I combined the two ideas - the red heart, the vintage neutrals - and off we went...

I used some Tim Holtz paper in the background and to create the collage strips and panels.

And what could be better than a wedding as simple shorthand to get the idea behind the love-themed stamp set across.  So choosing these two as the focal point was a no-brainer.

The Thoreau quote is stamped and embossed in Wow Earthtone Pepper - the perfect colour to tone with the beige-greys of the papers, while giving that extra touch of texture.

Once I'd created that tag, I knew I could create the rest of the samples with neutrals too, making my life easier in my comfort zone.  But I didn't want to be stuck with red for absolutely all of them (it's not a colour I find very easy).

I suddenly realised I could stick with my neutrals but shift my accent colour for each stamp set, making it easy to see which quotes came from which sets.  Perfect!  

And because I already had this wonderful Coleridge quote floating in my head, it was pretty clear that green would be the Friends & Friendship colour.

The mother and daughter friendship pairs are sheltering beneath the lovely tree from the Urban Snapshots Nature 1 set, embossed in black over a sponged background of Granny Smith and Magic Moss Fresco paints.

I love the texture you can get with a natural sponge, and it's so easy to do.

The quote itself is very simply stamped in black, to match the tree and the washi tape "ground" they are all standing on.

A little metal accent, and some off-white seam binding - to match the ribbon on the wedding tag - and we're done.

This fabulous flapper pair are on a tag made in exactly the same way as the wedding tag was.  Some TH design paper as background and collage elements...

... and then the other matching elements to tie things together across the collections - the Idea-ology token, the white ribbon, the tangled thread...

... and of course the quote, embossed in Earthtone Pepper again.  Plautus may have been writing two hundred years B.C., but he knew what he was talking about!

These two get some extra greenery in the shape of some die-cut wildflower stems.  The card they're cut from was painted with the same Granny Smith and Magic Moss combination - and it's the same stuff the quote is matted onto as well.

Finally, we head to EAB11 Wings & Flight.  And you'll remember that we're taking flight into the wild blue yonder... otherwise known as the Smurf and China Fresco paint colours.

(You'll get a shot of the whole "blue collection" in the next samples post, whenever I manage to get that written!)

Here I used pretty much the tiniest of the Paper Dolls to create a pair of ATCs, using the same method as for two of the tags above...

Tim's paper again forms the background as well as some (very small) strips and panels of collaging.  

Rather than die-cutting, the little bird and the butterfly are done with the TH punches, out of card painted with a combination of the two blue paints.

These two quotes are the shortest on the plate, so they work beautifully for smaller projects.

But they're not small thoughts, far from it...  In fact, they are huge ideas, full of longing and dreams.

That's one of the things I love about language, that in just a few short words you can open up the mind to whole universes.  That's why words so often inspire me to create visually, I think - to explore the ideas they trigger in me.  It really is about "words and pictures" feeding one another.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing these samples in a little more detail.  There's one more batch to come but, before that appears, I've got something new for you using some words from one of these new sets.  I hope to be back with that some time this weekend.

In the meantime, thank you so much for stopping by, and I hope you have a lovely rest-of-the-week.  See you again soon!

But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
George Gordon, Lord Byron

By words we learn thoughts, and by thoughts we learn life.
Jean Baptiste Girard