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 30 June 2012

L'Homme avec un Parapluie

Oh, okay then, it's Umbrella Man... but he is en français!  That is to say, he's in Prima's En Francais paper collection:

I'm entering this for The Play Date Cafe's weekly colour challenge - they're looking for designs including combinations of Cotton Candy, Ruby, Citrus and Dusk.  I hope this fits the bill.  And I hope it will also work well for Fussy and Fancy's Friday challenge - Fancy Folds (how's that for alliteration?!).

This is also my entry for A Trip Down Memory Lane's sixth (yup, count'em) challengeScraplift Itfrom their Cybercrop weekend last week.  I'm afraid I haven't managed all the challenges.  Many of them were based around scrapbook pages, and that's not something I've really delved into yet.  But you can see my entry for Challenge 1 here if you're interested.

Challenge 6 is all about taking inspiration from somebody else's project - known as "lifting", and we were invited to scraplift from the Gallery of ATDML's Design Team.  I chose one of Ann Freeman's projects from the June Gallery, a lovely gatefold card.  I really wanted to try out that structure for a card.  I love the idea of something hidden then being revealed.

So yet another member of Team Umbrella Man was deployed, this time to France.  I got the Prima En Francais 6x6 pad a while back, and although I've used the odd paper here and there, I'd never focussed a project around it.  What a gorgeous collection it is!

But I didn't want to be covering it up too much, so I selected a slightly plainer page from Paper Cellar's Victorian Classic to tone in with the Prima ones, and that I've added some stamping and embossing to, selecting images which match those in the En Francais sheets.

Here's Kaisercraft's Eiffel Tower embossed with clear powder over Sepia Archival Ink with a touch of Aged Mahogany on the stamp too (I know, I know, I shouldn't really mix them, but Aged Mahogany by itself was just too rich a red.

The crown here is from one of my favourite sets, Pink Paislee's London Market (new abbreviation suggestion: PPLM - can you bear it?  I just seem to have to type it an awful lot), and the little envelope is cut from one of the other En Francais sheets, backed on card and edged with some Weathered Wood Distress Ink (that would be by Tim Holtz, in case anyone's forgotten!).

I also cut the key trim from the other sheet to edge this fold of the card with... I've done the same on many of the edges.  The patterns on these little strips are just adorable.  The attention to detail, as with all Prima papers, is phenomenal.

I put a touch of Glossy Accents on the red ribbon on the envelope, as I wanted to pick out that detail...

... to go with the actual little red bow I made and attached on the opposite fold.  The only ribbon I had that was narrow enough was a bright scarlet (off some Christmas presents aeons ago, stored and hoarded ever since for the day when I would find a use for it), and looked horrid against the browny-reds of the card.

I used Vintage Photo Distress Stain (TH!) to just tone it down a little, and was very pleased with the result.  I did, however, get very sticky fingers trying to glue it into the bow shape.

So that's what's on the front...  Here it is lying flat, so that you can see how Umbrella Man overlaps onto the other side.  That was one of the adaptations I made to the sketch I was lifting: I'm not much of a one for symmetricality; I like things slightly off-centre, or skewiff.

Now we get to open up the flaps... one at a time now...

First glimpse you get of the inside gives you the TH Eiffel Tower embossed on the inner flap to echo the outer, smaller Eiffel Tower (same colours, same process), as well as a glimpse of another use of the newly-dyed ribbon.

Bunting seems to be everywhere at the moment, I guess because of the Jubilee, but this is a French card, so I've Frenchified the bunting.  Why that should mean it hangs vertically instead, I don't know... but that was the shape I felt I needed to balance the columns created by the flaps of the card.

Again, the little cards are cut from one of the Prima sheets, mounted on card, and inked with Weathered Wood to give a little definition to the edges.

I punched holes using the second smallest punch on my revolving hole punch, and threaded them on to another length of 'vintage scarlet' ribbon.  

Cheat sheet: they're attached in the simplest possible way - with sticky tape on the back side of the card!  I originally had them dangling completely freely, but that caused trouble when closing the card, so now the bottom one has a dab of glue holding it in place.

And here's the fully opened card:

Again, I just want to draw your attention to some of the delights of the detail in the papers:

... these gorgeous tickets of entry to all sorts of lovely places tucked in the corner of the central paper... 

... and then the trim alongside the Eiffel Tower stamp, and the fleur-de-lys one on the opposite edge.  

I love how you can just see Umbrella Man standing with his back to you round the edge of this flap!

So, I hope you like it.  I had a lovely time creating it: playing with these delicious papers can't help but inspire you.  

Thank you so much for spending some time here at Words and Pictures.  If you'd like to see more, why not join as a Follower, and you'll be sure not to miss anything.

A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.
Thomas Jefferson

Friday 29 June 2012

Man Up

Hi all!  Thanks for dropping in.  A bit of altered art today, my entry for La-de-dah's challenge My Mojo Monthly which, for June, is titled "Man Up!" - Oh, would that I could... but I've not interpreted it that way for the competition, you'll be glad to hear!  

I had such fun with this - lots of firsts for me, crafting-wise: first metal paper, first altered photo frame, first time I've been able to let some of my lovely Tim Holtz cogs escape from my hoard onto an actual project!

How's about a little 'before-and-after' to start us off?

Yes, from a bog-standard, white, plastic, deep photo frame (another bargain pick-up from a Czech pound-shop type place) to this.

The outer and inner walls are covered with papers from BoBunny's brilliant Weekend Market collection.  You can see it in another form on this album, as close followers will remember (it's okay, there's no test at the end).

It looks as though it's a combination of two papers from the collection, one the rulers, and the other the distressed chintz wallpaper, but in fact it's the front and back of the same sheet, called Rulers.

(What is it about old wooden rulers?  They're so beautiful, and rugged - like a good man, then!)

It's the one slight frustration with the BoBunny (and many other scrapbook papers) that they are double-sided... it means you have to CHOOSE which one of the two you want to use or - ah, I see now what they did there - buy extra pads so's you can have both.  Hmm, clever.

Used in smaller amounts, as here, though, you can have your cake and eat it.

I'm particularly pleased with the inner top of the frame, where the word motors appears right next to the motorcar!

The slogan is also stamped on to a piece of the BoBunny paper, using a little alphabet set I got for less than a pound from The Range (love a bargain).

I wanted to add a little slogan, some words to suit the challenge... and this just came out of a little bit of pondering about what it means these days to be a 'real man' - a very vexed question all round, I think.  For my penny's worth, Real Men Do Cry!

The front of the frame is covered with the metal paper which, as I said, I was using for the first time... it is so cool!

I got mine from PaperArtsy (funkiest of scrapping supply sites) It's metal sheeting on the one side, backed onto paper, so it's easily manipulated and stickable-down.  I ran it through the BigShot using the TH Gears Embossing Folder to get the lovely deep impressions.
Unfortunately, I discovered that - of all the things not to have with me - I had no black acrylic paint in my supplies, which most of the online tutorials recommend using. 

I had to work with a very dark brown acrylic and some Black Soot Distress Ink to get the metal grunged up; also lots of sanding (with - shh - a nail-file) to add to the texture.

I'm also pretty pleased with my first proper bit of fussy-cutting (what used to be called decoupage, but I love the soundscape of the new phrase, all those nice hissy, spitty consonants, and tender little u u vowels - well, in my accent, anyway) around the gears within the frame.

I hope in these pictures you can also see the dimensional depth I worked for within the frame.  The back 'wall' is a paper from DCWV's Tattered Time Mat Stack (that's Die Cuts With a View, in case you're taking notes at the back) with lovely shiny cogs and gears.  Next layer forward is my slogan, stuck to the back of (next layer forward) the metal paper cogs and gears (extra one up in the top left of the frame too), and then forward to the front of the frame for my stamped, enamelled embellishments.  (And the clock and the car are on double padded tape so that they even come a step forward of the frame too.)

I'm dead chuffed with these embellishments because they're basically so simple to make, but I think they look great.  Indulge me in a few extra photos while I try to get the glossiness over to you!

All three are Tim Holtz stamps, stamped on to plain Kraft cardstock using Staz-On black ink, and burnished slightly with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  Then I've used the Melt Art UTEE powder over the Versamark Watermark ink, heat-embossed, to get the thick, glossy enamel effect.  I didn't even have to do more than one coat because the UTEE really does do what it says on the tin - it is Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel!

Please also admire the fussy-cutting on the chaps to the left... I'm getting better at it, slowly.  The hands on the clock are TH's Idea-ology Game Spinners attached with a long fastener.

Get that gleam!

Ooh, shiny!

It's okay... calm again now.  As I said, I really had fun with this one!

I like the rugged, aged look on the corners, burnished with a bit of Black Soot Distress Ink.

I like the concentric circles falling backwards into the frame.  

I like that, from the sides, you get a view of one paper on the outer frame and the other paper on the inner frame.  

Basically, I quite like it.  

Hope you do too.

Thanks for taking the time to take a look.  Now go off and have a good cry somewhere - it's ok!

Last words today go to Zsa Zsa Gabor... I'm saying nothing...

I want a man who's kind and understanding.  Is that too much to ask of a millionaire?

Macho doesn't prove mucho.

Thursday 28 June 2012

Follow Your Heart - the why...

Welcome (back!) to Words and Pictures.  Thanks for taking the time to stop by.  This will be a slightly different post from usual.

I want to share a project with you which really means a lot to me.  It grew out of thoughts and feelings which were swirling around for some time before I found the way I wanted to express them.  This post will be about the "why" of this wall-hanging, so that you can read the story behind it.

If you want to know the "how", that will be along in the next few days, and you can ignore all the touchy-feely stuff in the meantime!

I am entering it in Simon Says Stamp and Show's Challenge this week, Depths of Distress - on two counts.  Crafting, I think, has really helped me while I have been working my way through a difficult time.  And also, as you'll see when "the how" comes out... I don't think there's a single element on this piece which doesn't use one or other product from Tim Holtz's Distress Range!

Okay, the "why" of the piece...

Crafting has become hugely important to me in a very short amount of time.  It's provided an outlet or release of creativity which I think had been bottled up for a long time... and it's no coincidence that all this happened at a time when I am in the midst of rearranging how my life works almost completely.  

Some decisions I've taken may seem, from a rational, logical viewpoint, almost crazy, but they are based on an overwhelmingly strong gut/heart feeling that things needed to change. 

What this piece has done is to have given me a way of exploring and expressing the things which matter most to me in life, the things I'm in pursuit of with some of these crazy changes.  And it also helped to re-focus my thinking about why I'm making these changes, at a point when it was all in danger of getting a little bit blurry.  

So, I'm just going to give you a little background to the different elements, so you can see how the piece came together, and "read" the story.

The sentiment is really at the centre of it all, Always Follow Your Heart.  How do you make sure you are living your life in the best possible way?  What should you be aiming for, trying for, looking for?  

I think in revolving these questions, I can get far too headbound, and it's incredibly important to take time to listen to the inner urgings of the body, mind and soul.  It's a useful reminder to me to keep doing that...

The Umbrella Man appealed to me the very first time I saw him, in his stamp incarnation.  Something about the angle of his head, the hopefulness of how he's looking out from under the umbrella to the sky, or to the horizon, strikes a chord.  When I created my sky blue sparkly cardstock, I knew it was meant for him... that collision of being ready for rain, but hoping for sunshine.

I've talked before about how I feel about this Photographic Memories stamp from Tim Holtz.  It is so redolent of displaced families in wartime, refugees, immigrants who have lost all they had (the home represented by the torn, faded wallpaper behind the photo), and are trying to find a new home, a new way of life.

It speaks to me of my own family background.  My maternal grandparents had to face exactly those difficulties - seeking an escape from the horrors inflicted on the Jews in Central Europe in the 1930s.  It's a history I always felt connected to on a deep level.

Music turns up twice on the wall-hanging.  It's vital to me: listening, singing, playing; whether as a communal activity or in solitude, music is one of my great joys and great solaces.

The piece of music across the centre of the hanging was the trigger for gathering all the other elements together.  It was quite by chance that this particular line was left over from the page of music I'd used in another project (or was it? Had my subconscious mind encouraged my fingers to salvage that particular line?).  When I read it, I almost laughed out loud, because it so perfectly linked things together: Land of my fathers, that home shall be mine. 

So, just at the point when I am trying to work out a way of making a new life in the Czech Republic, in a place within striking distance of the town my grandmother was born and brought up in (a path made considerably smoother for me by the fact that my mother is already forging ahead of me), following my heart which has always yearned to be out of the UK, here is this piece of paper with not only that thought on it, but that thought set to music!  

The luggage label, of course, is all about travelling, but I didn't want a dark, pessimistic brown label, so again I created for myself the sky blue of sunshine and hope.  The compass is about seeking these new directions, not only geographically but also in how I arrange my work/life balance to create space for family, friends and my own creativity.  I'm not there yet, so I hope the compass will be useful.

The Play tag has a double meaning for me.  I've been incredibly lucky to have been in and around theatres for most of my working life, so obviously "the play's the thing"; but also, in my work as a Text and Voice Coach the absolute key to discovery, for me, is playfulness.  

The freedom to play, which so many of us lose under layers of socialisation as adults, is one of the great joys and privileges of the world of theatre, if you have the capacity to take advantage of it.  Playfulness is at the heart of taking risks and finding your way to new parts of yourself.  It is vital to life.

Which leads me to my other great passion - writing, language and poetry.  It's represented here by probably the supreme user, inventor and re-inventor of words, Shakespeare.  

This particular sonnet is essentially about how life is very short - "every thing that grows / Holds in perfection but a little moment", and yet Shakespeare says that he can keep someone alive through his very writing; the person to whom it is addressed will live anew each time the sonnet is read.  There is something there about the power of words to shape our world which is endlessly glorious to me.

I'll finish with the butterfly.  I can't remember the first time I used it as an alias on a computer... probably to put my high score in on Minesweeper back in days of yore!  But it's somehow stayed with me ever since (in my own head at any rate).  And this butterfly is particularly sweet to me because, as I think I've pointed out elsewhere, it has the words California Theatre across its middle.  Not that I have any particular connection to California, mind - but it is Theatre spelt the English UK way!

The heart echoes the main sentiment, of course: that which should be followed.  And the flowers, apart from being adorable, are there as a symbol of my desire both to be starting a garden, in order to be more self-sufficient (though that will have to be vegetables rather than roses, I suppose), and to be putting down proper roots for myself somewhere. By the nature of my work, I've led a very peripatetic life, always on the move.  It's time to slow down, follow my heart, and I think I may have found the place to do it:  Land of my fathers, that home shall be mine.

I do just want to say that all of this wasn't carefully thought out and prepared in advance.  It gathered itself together on my craft table and in my head and in my heart, and found its way in to the world almost without me... or that's how it felt.  When I look at it now, it's very clear what it was all trying to say - as I hope I've been able to share with you here.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

And I've just discovered the words of the Czech National Anthem, Kde domov můj:

Where is my home? Where is my home?
Where water rushes through the meadows
And breezes murmur in the pine groves...
Where in the springtime, full of blooms
An earthly paradise it looms.
This is the fair land of Bohemia,
And in Bohemia is my home.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Time or Travel

The Stampman Challenge this fortnight is Time or Travel.  Well, I'm already doing the Travelling, trying to start part of a life in a whole new country (I sort of wish my ancestors had been Italian rather than Czech - it'd be a million times easier to learn the language!), so I'm sticking to Time for the challenge.

This card has a fairly simple central image theme - I present to you, tah dah... the clock!  But it's developed in several different ways as it builds up.  And of course, for those of you who've been keeping up, it's my standby colour combination of brown and blue...

The first layer is lots of higgledy-piggledy stamping of Kaisercraft's Tic Toc stamp.  I really enjoy using this stamp with all its many and varied clock and watch faces.  It's stamped in Ranger's Archival ink in Cobalt onto plain cream smooth cardstock.  I've then added the Tim Holtz weathered clock in Archival Sepia a few times, in random (but carefully-spaced) places.  It's important that these base images are stamped with Archival inks because of what's to come.  You need an ink that's going to stay in place.

The next step is to put the clock mask in place.  

I tried and tried to get hold of the Tim Holtz Timeworks Stencil set.  On that, the clock mask is an exact copy (though larger) of the clear stamp, with the additional small dial in the middle, and the hands all built in.  I would love to have it (not to mention all those lovely steampunk cogs and gears), but it always seems to be out of stock, and I suspect it may have been discontinued.  

(Anyone who knows of a secret supply, do please get in touch!)  

Timeworks-less, I had to solve the problem myself.  What I do have is the TH Weathered Clock Die, so I got myself some of his Idea-ology Mask Sheets, so that I could make my own stencil.  These sheets are ready to be cut with scissors or a die-cutting machine; they're slightly tacky so as to hold in place when you're using whatever you've cut out; and they come with protective storage sheets, so that once you've cut a stencil or template, you can keep it and re-use it multiple times.

I'm aware that all this stuff trips off my tongue very easily.  Just a few short months ago, I didn't really understand what the die-cutting thing was about at all.  Since I know that some of my followers are even more scrapping-innocent than I was, I'll use a future post to show off my much-beloved Sizzix Big Shot - which is a die-cutting machine - so that you'll know what I'm on about.

Anybody for whom that would just be a grandmother-egg-sucking situation is welcome to sit that one out!
Here's the mask I was able to cut using the die.  You can see that the hands are completely separate, rather than attached as in the ready-made stencil.  On the one hand, that's quite nice: it means you can choose what time you want it to be.  On the other hand, with a mask it's a bit tricky, because you've got three bits you need to make sure are keeping still in one place while you sponge, or spray, or ink over them...

... which is what I did next. 

Using a blending tool, I layered Weathered Wood, Tea Dye, Vintage Photo, Faded Jeans and Walnut Stain Distress Inks onto the card.  There might even be some Chipped Sapphire in there!  You can see that where the mask is, you keep a lovely pale shadow clear of ink.  

Because the mask is transparent, you can see the effect you're getting even before you peel the mask away once you're finished.  

If you wanted it completely white (well, cream really), without the clocks either, you could simply stick the mask in place before you start stamping at all.  

The die is also crucial to the next layer of the card.  I cut the Weathered Clock again, but this time out of Kraft cardstock, and inked it with Weathered Wood, Chipped Sapphire and Vintage Photo using the blending tool.
Top tip - if you want you can skip the mask thing altogether, and use your cardstock die-cut as your stencil... then your ink does double duty, on the die-cut and on the paper around it simultaneously.  (That's fine as long as you're happy to have completely the same colours on both the clock and its background.)  Because I wanted slightly different colour combinations, I inked the card clock separately - but you can be sure I kept the piece of paper from underneath for use in a future project!

Once inked, I covered the whole of the clock with embossing ink, scattered clear embossing powder over it, and heated it to get the burnished sheen which I hope you can see in the pictures; it's perhaps clearest in the one at the top of the page.  The enamelling effect of the embossing also slightly darkens the colours.

The quote is from a Personal Impressions set, Creative Thoughts designed by Lindsay Mason, and is also on plain cream cardstock, distressed using Antique Linen and Vintage Photo.  I think it's beautiful, and completely right, and it's a large part of what I'm engaged on right now, which is to try to listen to my heart and my gut, not only my head - which likes to measure everything out and analyse it.  

The other project I've been working on, which I mentioned in an earlier post, explores that idea in much more depth.  You'll get to hear all about it, and see the project of course, very soon.

Thanks for taking the time to drop by.  If you like the look of it all, why not join up as a follower?   And if you're interested in buying or commissioning any cards, albums or other pieces, do get in touch by leaving a comment.  In the meantime, spend some time with someone you love, or doing something you love... without thinking about the time!

Time is the coin of your life.  It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it is spent.  Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
Carl Sandburg

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Brown and Blue Tags

Okay, normal service is resumed... we're back to the Brown and Blue!   (I will get to the last few pages of the Rose Album soon, honest!)  This is just a quick post to share some tags with you, before I get back to crafting.  Tim Holtz is so right to feel tags offer a good base to play with new techniques and explore ideas.  One of today's tags is part of the inspiration for a bigger project which is on my craft table (amidst a lot of creative mess) right now.

First, some fairly basic tags which I made as bookmarks to give away at our recent in-house book sale.

(Along with our much-beloved family home of forty years, some of the massive collection of books we've managed to accumulate between us over that time is also having to go.)

We offered them as free give-aways with every purchase and, since they have my website address on the back (not this one, but this one), they were also an advertising venture, as some of the earliest bookmarks were.  I really like the idea of continuing that tradition.

I'm afraid I don't buy the craft manila tags to work with.  I get bundles of luggage labels of all sizes by the packetful so that I don't need to be worrying about making mistakes and wasting expensive materials.  I can just go for it, and if I don't like what I've made... fine, no problem, into the bin with it.

As one of TH's stamps says: Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes; Art is knowing which ones to keep.  I'm not making any claims to 'Art' yet, but I'm getting good at the throwing away.

At the time, I'd just got my first Tim Holtz Perfect Pearls Mist, so I had great fun glamming up these bookmark tags with a bit of glimmer.  You can see some of it at least, I think, if you click for a close-up.  The Pearl and the Heirloom Gold are just lovely for adding a vintage gleam to a project.

I'm in love with the Kaisercraft Tic Toc clocks stamp (paired here on the left with the same company's Grunge stamp), and I also use their Script stamp constantly.  Any excuse to use the Tim Holtz pen nibs too!

Each tag was also inked on the reverse, and had a quote there too, if there wasn't one on the front.  I think these have one of my favourites:  Learn to pause... or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you.

I particularly like the background on this tag, partly because when you're making one of these watercolour-type backgrounds, you can set it up, but how it turns out in the end is really in the lap of the gods.  It's also one of the lovely, messy techniques, where you get your fingers and your craft mat nice and mucky (the craft mat wipes clean much more easily than my fingers do).  You can have a look at what I mean here.  

Basically you swipe some ink from two or three stamp pads direct on to your mat, spritz some water on until little droplets form, and then plonk the tag down on top of it all and move it around.

I love how this combination of Faded Jeans, Vintage Photo and Tea Dye Distress Inks turned out.  The great virtue of the Distress Inks, as TH will tell you, is that they're reactive with water, so you get lovely wicking and blending effects when they and the water interact.

I've stamped over the top with Sepia Archival Ink (which means I can choose to do another little water spritz if I want to, without it spoiling the stamped image), using one of the TH quotes, and a stamp from the utterly gorgeous Stampology Silhouette Blossoms by Katie Pertiet.

On to a more complex tag design which I made in the last few days while I was blogging about Brown and Blue, and couldn't seem to break out of the habit at all!  But this tag pleases me greatly, partly because, as I mentioned, it has provided an 'experimentation lab' of inspiration for the project I'm now working on, and also because it sort of assembled itself out of lots of things I was just playing about with and trying out.  I'm entering it for the A Trip Down Memory Lane cybercrop challenge Stamp Your Feet:
First, I had a new toy to play with: the Tim Holtz Umbrella Man die.  What can I say?... I loved the stamp, I bought the die - so sue me! 

A series of happy accidents led to his particular incarnation on this tag.  I'd been doing something with blue Distress Stains (can't remember what now, but I guess the colour is not a surprise to anyone who's been following this blog), and had lots left on the craft mat.  Not one to be wasteful of my precious stash supplies, I thought I'd try adding some Picket Fence (white, and more opaque than the other stains) to the mix, as I'd seen TH doing on a youtube clip.  You should get a more marbled effect than the usual watercolour effect, owing to the opacity of the Picket Fence.

I swiped a couple of medium-sized white tags through it, to use up the spare ink, and to set aside for future use.  One look at the summer sky effect it created, and I wanted to use it to cut my Umbrella Man out of.  I like built-in contradictions, creating a pause for thought.
So, as far as I could, I re-created the craft mat mix of Stormy Sky, Weathered Wood, a hint of Chipped Sapphire and, of course, the Picket Fence, and swiped a whole A4 sheet of white through it, as well as some off-cuts I had hanging around  from an earlier project (some things I never throw away!).
I also added a couple of spritzes of the Pearl Perfect Pearls Mist this time.  I love the sparkling raindrop effect, within a sky that is lightening to clear blue.  And, for the tag, I distressed his outside edge with (what else?) TH Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

I tried really hard to take a photo that would capture the enamelling on the quote, as I'm dead chuffed with how it turned out.  I first stamped the quote in Stormy Sky with some Chipped Sapphire blended direct on to the stamp.

Then I re-stamped (lining up very carefully!) with the Versamark Watermark stamp, and applied some UTEE (Ultra-Thick Embossing Enamel - for those not in the know.  It took me a while to catch up with what they were talking about in the youtube clips!).  Once heated, it created that glorious three-dimensional enamel effect that gets it its well-deserved name.  As they say in certain adverts in the UK - "it does exactly what it says on the tin".

The tag itself had been used to clean up some leftover brown acrylic a few days earlier, and I now used that as the base to add Kaisercraft's Wood stamp, and ink a little extra Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain onto for the background.  I wrapped two strips of Tim Holtz (who's that, you say?) tissue tape round the tag, and added a touch of colour to the butterflies using Distress Markers in most of the lighter blue shades.

The tag is finished off with some crinkled paper ribbon, inked with Vintage Photo to bring out the edges and the creases.  As well as using it to thread through the label, I felt it needed a little down one side too, just to balance the colours.

I've gone in to quite a lot of detail with this one since, as I say, some of the component parts are going on to play a role in the bigger project I hope I'll be sharing with you in the next few days... if I go and get on with it now, that is.

Thanks so much for dropping by, and have a glorious time (scrapping or otherwise) until we meet again.

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
Henry David Thoreau