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, 20 July 2018

Blog Candy Alert

This is a sticky post until 19th July.

If you'd like to be included in my 6th Birthday Blog Candy, just click on the link and comment there.
If you're just here to look around, then scroll on down and enjoy your visit!

Once again... welcome to my house.
Come freely.  Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring.
Bram Stoker

Friday, 6 July 2018

Trying a Different Look

Hello all, and welcome to Words and Pictures, for the second time today... even though it's probably only for a short visit.  I'm sending you away over to the PaperArtsy blog where I've been playing in a very different style from my normal look.  The theme there this fortnight is Transfers, and I thought I'd take the opportunity to try out a Gelli plate technique I'd been wanting to play with.

I saw Birgit Koopsen's YouTube video using the Gelli plate to transfer images from magazine and book pages and thought it looked like lots of fun.  Of course, being me, I've resisted all those bright paint colours and stuck to a more "butterfly" neutral palette.  This sneak peek is less than half the story, so I hope you'll be able to hop over to PaperArtsy and see the rest of my transfer printing adventures.

And you could also check out today's earlier project for the new Get Sentimental challenge at A Vintage Journey - The Promise of Spring.  Either way, I told you you wouldn't be here long!

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
e.e. cummings

The Promise of Spring

Hello all!  There's a new challenge starting on A Vintage Journey today.  The lovely Nikki would like us to Get Sentimental... so she wants to see lots of sentiments on your projects, be they words, quotes or poems.  As always, there's lots of amazing inspiration from my fabulous fellow Creative Guides, so do hop across to take a look.  But first, here's my offering for you.

I've created a couple of springtime panels using my own PaperArtsy quote stamps from EAB06 Spring Edition, and Scrapcosy's lovely word stencils.  And yes, I do know I'm in the wrong season, but in these sultry summer days I think it's rather nice to remember the gentleness of the fresh spring breeze!

I used a technique learned from the lovely Raquel a.k.a. Scrapcosy to create my wood effect in the background.

You can find out how to do it yourself by watching her brilliant tutorial video here.

I added some extra pen work to doodle some knots and imperfections though, in the end, they've mostly been covered up... ah well!

The covering up started with adding these torn strips from the Tim Holtz Wallflower Paper Stash.  I'm not sure why I chose the eggs.  There was just something about the soft blue of the "wooden planks" which put me in mind of duck egg blue, I guess!

And it was the eggs which triggered the springtime theme.  I knew (obviously) that I had plenty of springtime quotes to choose from in my EAB06 Spring Edition.  This one is by Charles Lanman...

... and the second one is from a writer called Byron Caldwell Smith (a name to conjure with).  They're stamped in Watering Can Archival, edged with Stormy Sky Distress Ink, and mounted on padded tape.

All I needed now were some other reminders of cool spring breezes.  These lilies of the valley have featured before (on my Glimpses of Springtime mini book), and I daresay they'll feature again, as I have a large bunch of them, handed on to me by a friend who no longer wanted them for home decor purposes.

For plastic flowers, I think they're actually really pretty.  There are some Tim Holtz Garden Greens Thinlits tucked in behind for extra greenery.

And at the top of each panel, I added another lily of the valley bud and a little sprig of leaves, punched from the same paper with one of the TH punches.

The little bluebirds are also done with a TH punch, cut out from some Stormy Sky-inked card.

A touch of white spatter, blossom falling in the spring breezes, finishes everything off.

So that's my sentimental memory of springtime.  I hope you'll be inspired to Get Sentimental with us this month.  If you're in need of some more inspiration, you'll find plenty of it over at A Vintage Journey, where my fellow Creative Guides have been their usual brilliant selves in creating magic to share with you.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  If you can take the heat, you can come back later this evening for another helping of Words and Pictures... but for something a little different.  Hope to see you soon!

If it’s going to be a world with no time for sentiment, it’s not a world that I want to live in.
Christopher Isherwood

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Everyday Moments

Hello all!  July?  July!?!  I'm frankly bewildered.  I don't know where time is going at the moment.  But July 1st is what the calendar says, so it must be time for a fresh challenge over at Mini Album Makers.  As most of you will know by now, I haven't got very many everyday moments to myself at present.  I'm in another busy work patch along with (unusually for me) weekends full of social arrangements (I try to avoid them when I've got a lot on, but weddings and 40th birthdays are pretty immoveable!), but I did manage to squeeze in an altered art journal cover for this month's inspiration piece.

We welcome all handmade books and albums over at Mini Album Makers, as well as altered books and book covers.  Do check out the amazing inspiration from my team-mates - you'll be glad you did! - but before you go, let me quickly share a couple of the details of this 7.5 x 7.5 inch journal.

It started as pretty uninspiring plain greyboard.  It's good and sturdy, though (from Paperchase), so I knew it would hold up well to some paint layers.

I decided to use the DecoArt Chalky Finish Paint and Crackle Medium.  The undercoat is done in Relic, a cool, dark grey.

Over that I applied a good coat of the Crackle Medium with a plastic palette knife.  Here it is still wet on the back cover...

... and having dried over on the front cover.  You can use a heat tool for this layer - a good thing when you're under time pressure, as I seem to be constantly these days!

Next, I grabbed the Everlasting - plain white - to do my top coat, applied with a brush and left it to crackle.  This really does have to be left alone to do its thing for the best results.

I used my much-loved Memory Box Windswept stamp with Olive Archival ink to do some background stamping.  And I also blended some of the Olive onto the lower part of the cover.

It's better to use Archival, as the book will be handled quite often.  This journal is not full yet, so it will still be in use regularly.

That also means I need to keep things fairly two-dimensional on the cover, so that I can still open the book out flat to work in.

I grabbed four coffee stirrers, snipped off the curved ends...

... and dyed them with Vintage Photo Distress Stain, before starting to play with them as trellis, with some Tim Holtz Garden Greens Thinlits in the role of the vines clambering over them.

I cut the leafy branches from some distressed green cardstock from one of Tim's stashes.  It gives it just a little extra twist of interest - as does the spatter which, of course, got added later.

The addition of the little girl was a no-brainer once that trellis was there.

I love how she's just perched on the coffee-stirrer frame, in a little secret garden of her own.  She has been lightly tinted with a wash of paint to match what's to come.

The words are from Tim Holtz's Friendship Script Thinlits set.  I painted the cardstock with PaperArtsy Fresco paint in Cheesecake before cutting them.

And to match that soft, pale, creamy yellow, I added some paper flowers with just a drybrush load of the same paint highlighting them...

... and the Philosophy Tag with some more of the Cheesecake filling in the debossed letters, and a touch of fine twine tucked in the top.

I didn't pay much attention to the ring binding - it just got what it happened to get.

So in some places, it's creamily Cheesecakey, and in others, it received a hit of the Olive Archival.

I'm pretty happy with my coffee-stirrer trellis and my clambering vines, both 2D and 3D.

And the Cheesecake splatters over the crackle which finish the whole thing off make me happy too.

Over on the back cover is the best place to see those, where the garden is just allowed to grow wild.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and taking a little rest in my little country garden... it's the everyday moments which count!

There's lots more inspiration from my amazing team-mates over at Mini Album Makers, and we always love seeing your handmade books, journals and albums.

Our sponsors this month are Lindy's Stamp Gang, so do come and play along to be in with a chance to win the $25 gift voucher.  We hope to see you there some time this month.  And in the meantime, have a lovely July!

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
(and craft supplies, Marcus, craft supplies...)

Friday, 29 June 2018

A Glimmer in the Earth

Hello all!  I'm squeezing this in by the skin of my teeth.  Things are stupidly busy for me at the moment, with requests and deadlines flying in from seventeen different directions, but I simply can't bear to miss a Tag Friday at A Vintage Journey... I never have so far, and so here I am.

In fact, I have a pair of tags for you, with a shimmer of light gleaming amidst the earthy colour tones.  These were actually made a while back, while showing a friend how to apply gilding foil to a project.  So they weren't pre-planned in any way, and where they ended up was pretty much entirely a surprise to me.

It's as they move in the light that you suddenly catch the real gleam of the foil - it's a pretty magical effect.  I really must try to use the stuff more often!

It's just going to a be a quick post (for me), as I really haven't time for an epic... and also there really aren't any process photos, as the process was focussed on sharing ideas and techniques, not on recording what we were doing.

There's some Tim Holtz design paper in the background, stuck down onto a regular manila tag, leaving a slight border.

Which stash it's from is anybody's guess.  Someone out there will know...

And then there's some roughly brayered gesso over that...

... along with some credit-card-applications of (probably) Hey Pesto Fresco paint from PaperArtsy.

We used a glue stick to apply the foil - delicately in some places, a little more heavy-handedly in others.

The flower silhouettes are stamped and embossed in Wow Primary Bark powder.

They're both from a set by Inkylicious which I picked up for a song the last time I managed to get myself to Ally Pally.

The quotes are done the same way.  They're both from my own EAB Eclectica stamp sets at PaperArtsy, as you probably know if you spend any time here.  This one is from EAB03 Music & Silence...

... and this one is from EAB01 Trees & Flowers.

I added some partial stampings of the same quotes in green, but that seems to have slightly vanished in the finished versions... clearly, it wasn't Archival ink!

In close up, you can see there's plenty of spatter, and some fairly unsuccessful faux stitching.

There's some more embossing powder around the edges to draw the eye inward, and some dark twine tops them both off.

So that's your lot for now.  Hop over and catch some more Tag Friday action from my brilliant fellow Creative Guides at A Vintage Journey.  I love seeing what everyone makes when they're simply let loose to play.

My apologies that I'm such a poor blog visitor at the moment - there will come a time when I do some proper catching up, I promise.  In the meantime, thank you so much for your continued company.  Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
    Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.
From The Windhover by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Friday, 22 June 2018

A Lightbulb Moment at A Vintage Journey

Hello all!  I seem to be determined to send you away this week...  Yesterday, there was a sneak peek for my Guest Design spot at Stamps & Stencils, and today there's a sneak peek encouraging you to head over to A Vintage Journey for my Creative Card Making post - one of the features of our new journey timetable.

Regulars will know I really don't do cards, so I hope you'll be tempted to come and see how I got along over at A Vintage Journey.  Also, while I've got you here, just a quick reminder to come and join in with my 6th Birthday Blog Candy celebrations - it's a chance for me to say thank you for your amazing support on this crafting journey.

As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.
Mary Anne Radmacher

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Guest Designer at Stamps & Stencils

Hi all!  I'm delighted to be a Guest Designer over at Stamps & Stencils today, a challenge blog I love.

I hope you're not bored of wandering through the meadows with me, as that's where I ended up going for their fantastic Do Judge A Book By Its Cover challenge theme.

I've just got a sneak peek for you here, so I hope you'll have time to hop over and check out my altered journal cover (it's a long way from where it started out!), and that you'll be inspired to join in and play.

Also do come and join in with my 6th Birthday Blog Candy celebrations if you missed them.  It's a busy week here at Words and Pictures - I'll be back almost before you've had time to catch your breath.  Hope to see you again soon!

Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe