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...

Sunday, 20 October 2019

The colours of autumn

Hello all!  We're back in the colours of autumn here today with a trio of ATCs.  (For those not in the know, ATC stands for Artist Trading Card - a piece of art 2.5 x 3.5 inches in size.)  It's been a busy old week one way or another, so I'm going to try to keep this post relatively low on the wordcount and mostly share some pretty pictures!

There were a couple of twists and changes of direction as I went along, and one blinding moment of inspiration which shifted me from being fairly "meh" about these ATCs into loving what was happening.  It's a small thing, and almost invisible in this main picture, but it made all the difference to me!

I started with some paper cut from Tim Holtz's Abandoned Paper Stash (with thanks - or not! - to Anna-Karin's recent gorgeous creations with it for this impulsive purchase).  I added some scraps of torn handmade paper and some punched leaves, but it wasn't quite doing it for me.

It was time to play with the Paper Dolls, and that made things a little better, but the really key moment was when I decided to add some cobweb stamping in my favourite Liquid Platinum embossing powder.

Suddenly I got excited.  The papers are gorgeous, but it was that tiny touch of added light-capturing detail which really got my ATCs motoring.

From there on, it was all much more fun.  I started to really enjoy fiddling around to get the layouts just right.

The torn book page scraps help the Paper Dolls to stand out from the background.

And the individual characters of the three boys started to come through.

Each of the boys found their "right" place in relation to the torn book page fragments...

... and each of them has a little bit of tissue tape to either sit or stand on (including the dog of course).

The leaves are punched from some of the same tags I was playing with the other day for my October Acorns.  And yes, I know you haven't yet seen the large leaves die-cut from one of those tags that I promised you...

Patience, patience!  They are coming, but you'll just have to wait until almost the end of the month for their special appearance.  But there are some touches of that golden shimmer on these tiny ones to keep you going until then. 

And speaking of shimmer, I'm just in love with those gleaming cobwebs hovering amidst the autumnal colours.  (You know by now that you can click on these little photos for a closer look.)

It's like they're glistening with morning dew, but then at other angles, you hardly notice their presence (which is exactly what the spiders want to happen if you're a fly!).

Some metallic cogs in autumnal copper add a bit of extra interest.

Each boy has his own particular cog.

And I think each cog has ended up in the right place on the ATC to keep the eye moving.

And then of course there are the words...

... some Small Talk stickers from one of the seasonal sets...

... but apart from this one, the ones I've chosen are flexible enough to use at other times too.

I used the blade of my scissors to roughen the edges of the paper...

... before mounting the ATCs onto some off-white card and scissor-blading that too.

The word stickers are positioned so that when you look at the set as a whole, the eye again has to keep moving around... 

... different heights, different sides of the ATCs.  Same thing with the book page fragments and Paper Dolls...

... they shift from left to middle to centre to create a pleasing triptych grouping.  I do like working in threes.  (Shhh... don't tell the other two, but this one is probably my favourite!)

I worked on the trio this way round, with the boys at the outer edges, but it also works as a triptych if you flip the outer pair over, as I had them for the first picture in the post, which brings the boys closer together in the centre... you take your pick, but the middle chap has to stay in the middle!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I know I haven't managed much visiting in the last few days, but I'll try to do better in the coming week.  For now, happy Sunday everyone!

There are three ingredients in the good life: learning, earning and yearning.
Christopher Morley

Three things in human life are important.  The first is to be kind.  The second is to be kind.  And the third is to be kind.
Henry James

I'd like to enter this trio at ATCs Mit Herz where the theme this month is Herbst/Autumn
At Let's Craft and Create the challenge is Anything Goes with an Optional Twist of Colours of Fall
Moo Mania & More are playing with Die-Cuts and Punches - lots of punched leaves here
At the More Mixed Media Challenge this month Anything Goes with an Optional Twist of Orange
Anything Mixed Media Goes over at the Creative Artiste Challenge Blog
And at the Bleeding Art Challenge it's also the usual Anything Mixed Media Goes too
I'm just in time to join in with the Favourite Colour "Autumn" theme at PaperMinutes

Friday, 18 October 2019

Happy in sunshine and in rain!

Hello all.  I'm on another round of quick sample-sharing from the recent launch of my latest PaperArtsy quote stamps (you can see all the samples in one shot at the end of the post).  I opened my Stowaway Heart to you earlier in the week, using EAB12 Travel & Journeys, and today's post is doubling up with quotes from both EAB13 Sunshine & Rain and EAB14 The Happiness Edition.  Why do the double?  Well, because it's Zinski time...

Somehow, at some point in the sample making, I always find I want to put some words in the mouths of one or two of these quirky characters.  As I had always hoped when I originally had the idea of word stamps, they can be adapted to all sorts of styles and genres.  So although the Zinskis are out of my usual crafting style, it's fun to see what they have to say for themselves!

The Sunshine & Rain tags are, of course, in the blue/yellow/purple colour palette assigned to that stamp plate.

And the bashful little guy in this tag has the happy blue/green/turquoise/yellows of the Happiness Edition samples.

The backgrounds are done with some more watery brayering.  For the Sunshine & Rain tags, there's Summer Sky, Periwinkle, Forget-me-not, Cheesecake and Haystack, and I left quite a bit of white space for a brighter effect.

The Happiness tag was done with a bigger spritz of water onto the paints on the craft mat (Summer Sky, Aquamarine, Cheesecake, Haystack, Lawn) before brayering.

That high water content got me this fabulous effect, almost like an Impressionist painting.

I'll confess to being more than a little bit in love with this background!

I used the stamping platform for these tags.  It means you can stamp the figure, paint with opaque as well as translucent Frescos, and then re-stamp to recapture all the extra little details... the stripes on the jumper, the buttons on the jacket.

The quotes are stamped in Jet Black Archival on the Sunshine & Rain pair.  When I'm playing with the Zinskis, I generally leave off the actual author of the quote... after all, it's meant to be the character talking.

I usually do this by inking up the words and then putting a small scrap of tape over the author's name.  In this case, it's the poet Walt Whitman - sorry, Walt!

The quote paired with my favourite little Zinski girl is by writer Katherine Mansfield.  I doodled frames around the words in both black and white ink.

The black word stamping looks very bold and full-on to me, given I hardly ever stamp in black.  It's balanced by some dark tissue tape shadows underfoot.

The figures themselves are stamped in Watering Can Archival, just that little bit softer than black.

The words I've put in the mouth of the other little chap actually belong to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  If you've not read his book The Little Prince - which these words are from - I highly recommend it.

I just think his expression is perfect for the words!

This time I've stamped in Olive Archival (much more my comfort zone!) for a lovely tone-on-tone look.

The grassy hillocks under his feet are also stamped in green. 

And the stamping platform was in action again to get the nice clear stripes on the sun, both on his tag...

... and on the sunny one of the two Sunshine & Rain tags.

Some framing with a couple of the border stamps (all the stamps used here are from ZA02 and ZA03), stamped in the complementary paint colours, and plenty of splatter, and we're pretty much done.

All three tags are mounted onto white card...

... and have some white twine to top them off, so that they all co-ordinate nicely.

Speaking of co-ordinating... here's just a quick insight into my thinking on these colour palettes.  I wanted to give each stamp set its own look, but the samples all needed to work together on the PaperArtsy display boards for the trade shows.

Having the same colours but in different combinations from collection to collection means you can quickly tell which stamp set the words come from, but there is a cohesive and hopefully attractive look to them when they're all mixed up together too.

We're back to some more autumnal crafting next.  If I get time to write the post, I hope to be with you at some point over the weekend, but in the meantime thank you so much for stopping by and happy crafting all!

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.
Anthony J. d'Angelo

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

A Stowaway Heart

I'm so happy that my October Acorns made all of you happy too!  There will be some more autumnal crafting along soon, but for today I've got a very quick post for you sharing another of my samples for the latest Alison Bomber word stamps launched at PaperArtsy last month.  We're back round to EAB12 Travel & Journeys, and one of those serendipitous pairings of words and pictures which just fell into place.

The colour palette for the Travel & Journeys set was turquoises, blues and purples, the colours of sea voyages and misty far horizons.  And the stamps from Scrapcosy's ESC11 were a shoo in for the ideas in this collection of words, and especially apt for this particular quote.

I started by doing some of my water brayering over the whole tag with a combination of Summer Sky, Smurf, Periwinkle and Forget-me-not Fresco Finish Acrylic Chalk Paints (quite a mouthful - we usually just call them Frescos around here!).

Then, for once in a blue moon, I actually did some measuring of how far up the tag the horizon line needed to come, before sweeping on a watery wash of Aquamarine with a wide brush.  I love how the earlier paint layers add variations in colour to the watery depths.

I stamped the ships sailing out of the bay using the stamp platform, so that I'd be able to give their sails a touch of Cloud 9 white and then re-stamp to retrieve the details.

The compass stamp leans in from the corner to fill up the space left as the cliffs fall away.   And the lovely map script adds extra detail.

All the stamping is done in Watering Can Archival, but for the script I swept the ink on to the stamp rather than patting it, which gives you a much softer shade (almost like a secondary stamping).

And then, of course, there are the words.  They're stamped in Jet Black Archival (a rare ink colour around here!) and then clear-embossed.

There's nothing quite like that beautiful light-catching gleam, and the tiny touch of dimension to give the words a really special look.

Some simple white twine and a white matted border and the wind is fair for making our escape... see, I didn't keep you long, did I?  Thanks so much for stopping by today and I'll see you again soon.

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by...
From Sea Fever by John Masefield (one of my favourite poems, best spoken out loud, and perfect to go with this stamp set)