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...

Thursday 5 July 2012

Hopeless Romantic

Okay, alright... it turns out that I am a hopeless romantic after all!  My latest project is a dead giveaway - I give in... no more denials.

I really didn't plan for it to turn out this way.

I just wanted to see what the gesso was like to work with (fabulous - it gives such a lovely feel, and a shabby chic surface to die for!), and as I covered the box with it, ideas started to gather in my head of stamps and stencils I might use to complement this lovely whitewash effect.

I'd like to point out that this is a before-and-after situation of the highest order.  

Here's the 'before' - I warn you, you may need your sunglasses.

Now there may be people who like the lurid tropical look, but regular readers will know by now that I ain't one of'em!

So the box went through a number of stages.  First a rapid coat of acrylic so that I could look at it as an object without all that interference noise from the shiny lime-green, acid yellow and shocking pink combination.

Then I got the gesso on to it, and straight away knew I wanted some script running across it, so I layered it in.  I stamped some with a fully loaded stamp of  Frayed Burlap (yes, that would be Tim Holtz Distress Ink I'm talking about), and some as a 'second printing' so that they came out at different intensities.

It was at this point that the pinkness first arrived.  It just felt like it wanted some Tattered Rose (TH) in there... so I lightly swept some in using a blending tool (Inkssentials by Ranger, so pretty much TH as well!) being quite random about it.

I think I've said before, I'm a fan of the higgledy-piggledy and skewiff.

The next set of layers I wanted to build up using my lovely Tattered Angels Glimmer Screens (essentially a template or stencil set - the terms seem to be interchangeable as far as I can tell, but if I work out a subtle but telling difference I'll let you know), a set called Timeless Romance.  You have seen them in action with one of the matching stamps in this album.

On the lid, the large keyhole heart is done using the stencil with 'watercolour'.  

I blended some Tattered Rose from an ink pad and some Victorian Velvet Distress Marker and a spritz of water onto my acrylic block (yup, the stamping block - I use it as a palette too), and used a blending tool to apply it, holding the stencil firmly in place.  

The two small hearts on the lid I did with a thick application of acrylic paint, using a wodge of paper towel to apply it, trying to keep the texture. I then did an extra little bit of patterned stencil over the top of each of them.

I've seen a method using stencils and Liquid Modelling Paste, which goes on like clay and dries like stone... I'm so going to give it a go as soon as I can lay my hands on some, but in a village in the middle of South Bohemia, it's not so easy!

I really like the two different effects overlapping each other, but the colouring is so subtle and pale that it's quite hard to get a good picture of it!  It's worth clicking for close-ups on this project.

Then the stamp I've used, again in layered Frayed Burlap, is the lovely thorny one from the Stampology Silhouettes set.

Round the sides, I've done the same, using different stencils (or bits of stencils) and slightly different paint/ink colours as I went.

The flower on the lid is handmade, following the instructions I've seen on lots of blog tutorials.

I don't have the Tattered Florals die so I hand drew and cut my flower shapes, gave them an acrylic coat, and script stamping to tone in with the box.  Then it's a lot of fiddly twisting and squeezing and twirling and tweezing until you have the flower head you want.

Finally I spritzed it with some Perfect Pearls Mist in Pearl, for that vintage glimmer.

I'll tell you this: there are some very patient people out there in Craftyland - I used quite a lot of 'interesting' language before I achieved my single bloom!  

So, now you've got a box... what are you going to put in it?

I suppose the question was already being answered in my subconscious with all that text all over the outside.  I think one of my quotations from an earlier post was also still going round in my head.  In case you missed it, it's worth repeating - such an amazing thought from Jean-Jacques Rousseau: To write a good love letter, you ought to begin without knowing what you mean to say, and to finish without knowing what you have written.

So, if this was to be a box for love letters, or perhaps a correspondence box, it needed some stationery.  I created 6 mini "vintage" postcards (using the same TH stamp as here), 6 mini envelopes (plain cream to start with, but stamped and inked), and 6 small sheets of writing paper (parchment, stamped and inked; one rolled as a scroll).  

I wanted to tie them with ribbon, but the only gauzy one I had was in white, so I pressed one end tight against the Tattered Rose stamp pad with my thumb, and pulled the whole length through, several times.  I ended up with a ribbon in a beautifully delicate shade and a very pink thumb!  I used the ribbon to decorate the rose on the lid too.  

And the final touch?  The rose inside the box; a paper rose which I altered from its rather too vibrant salmon pink to a faded tattered pink with a coat of acrylic, leaving some colour showing through.  

Ah well, much for the cynical veneer; I guess the cat's out of the bag... I'm a romantic through and through, a lost cause.  But at least I've got a pretty correspondence box to show for it!

I'm entering this in the following:
Simon Says Stamp and Show's current challenge Spritz, Spray or Stencil
Vintage Udfording's July challenge Anything Goes (as long as it's vintage!)
The Allsorts Challenge, to include flowers to qualify for In Bloom
The Crafty Cardmakers, who want us to Create Our Own Flowers
The Crafty Bloggers July challenge, which is another Anything Goes affair

Thanks for taking the time to drop in.  It's always lovely to hear your comments - it reassures me that I'm not just talking to myself the whole time!  If you're a hopeless romantic too, and a fan of the shabby chic, do join up as there will undoubtedly be more to come.  But I haven't lost my grungy side entirely I promise, so watch this space.  

Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze.
Amanda Cross

If she means 'glamour' as in a spell or enchantment, then she's in some ways in agreement with dear Oscar (I'm afraid I do just need a little salt with all this sweetness!):

When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving oneself, and ends by deceiving others.  That is what the world calls a romance.
Oscar Wilde

Wishing all of you all the love, romance and happiness you could desire...


Anonymous said...

Hello !!!! Wow what a wonderful project !!! I adore this beauty and the fabulous elements you have incorporated. The Gesso gives a wonderful base and texture as for your bllom it looks so delicate and life like. thank you so much for sharing this beauty with at crafty carmakers and for taking the time to pass by and comment on my card


Caroline said...

What a beautiful project! I like the idea of a 'correspondence' Love letter treasure box. He he... you have definitely more patience than I have creating your flower... it turned out beautifully.

Did you use a stamp for your postcards?

Good luck with the challenges.

Marijke said...

this is just fabulous, love it

Words and Pictures said...

Hi all,
Thanks so much for taking the time to leave such lovely comments... it really means a lot to hear that people are enjoying what they see. And, yes, it is a stamp - a Tim Holtz one of course! I've now put a link in the post if you want more details.
Alison x

Andrea Small said...

It's lovely. You are on fire! Embrace the pink...(BTW, am I the only person enraged by Google? Every time I want to post a comment on yours or Cestina's I have to sign in again - why doesn't it REMEMBER ME? Phew, that's better...x)

Cestina said...

I am on the spot and it's one of my salmon pink roses that has been reincarnated - the picture does not really do justice to the incredible transformation because the texture is also completely different now.

Please do all the other roses in the spare bedroom.....

mettepip said...

What a great project! Really, really nice! You have a lovely blog with some stunning works here. Love your album too!

Thanks for visiting me and leaving your sweet comments!

Anonymous said...

This project is simply wonderful! I love the feel of gesso too and love how you started with that simplicity and ended up with such a work of art! Thanks also for the great step by steps! The Simon Says Stamp & Show design team thanks you for participating in this week's challenge!

Teresa Kline said...

wow, these are gorgeous items...awesome shabby/chic box. Thanks for stopping by F&F and commenting on my project for today. I have to tell ya, I luv my printer, it was recommended to me by others who you digital all the time and it is awesome! It prints pictures and papers effortlessly. It has great reviews. I purchased mine at Staples before Christmas, it was on sale for a very good price. It is the Epson 730, you can get it here.....

let me know if you need anymore help.

enjoy *~*

Jennie - The Crafty Wife said...

Wow! Your box is absolutely beautiful and what a treasure it will become.

DollySelvam said...

hi!!!... i like the way you have decorated the box... very pretty..

Kristen said...

what a pretty box, thanks for sharing how you did it!

xo, Kristina
Sharing bloggy love from SSS challenge
Come by and see me sometime!

Angela D said...

I love your project, really different to the original box, great job! Thanks for joining us at the Crafty Bloggers Network challenge