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...

Wednesday 11 July 2012

In an English country garden

I really enjoyed creating this card... and telling myself stories as I went!  From the moment I saw the colour challenge inspiration photo on the Daring Cardmakers challenge site, I knew which papers I would be drawing on - the 7 Gypsies Conservatory collection.

And it wasn't only the colours which led me there; the eggs are also a featured element within the papers; they have an Edwardian nature-collector theme, so there are botanical drawings, fauna and flora, and plenty of birds and eggs around all over them.

None of my Distress Inks really tone precisely to these colours, so I ended up playing lots of blending and layering games, to get combinations of colours which would relate to the challenge colours.

Over at Sir Stampalot, they want to know about my 'crafty passion'. Well, anyone who's visited recently could tell them I seem at the moment to be fairly firmly lodged in the world of Shabby Chic, so what with that and the feel of the Conservatory papers, it was pretty clear, pretty quickly, how the style of the card would develop.  So here it is:

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted the green ribbon tab at the bottom - you lift up the front to get a form of what's called, I think, an easel card...

The inside has a more turquoisey feel to the bluey-greens, and some memorabilia.

The story in my head is of the woman in the garden remembering an affair of her youth, and all the mementos she's kept from those halcyon days.

I found both the photos on a Google image search trawl.

There doesn't seem to be a record of the garden lady's identity but Lily Elsie (on the right) was a hugely popular Edwardian actress and singer, renowned for her beauty and charm.

I fell in love with this photo of her, but that of course didn't stop me from taking my inks to both photographs in order to get the newly-printed images from a very 21st century printer to look a little more Edwardian.  

In addition to inking with Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress Ink, I did some paper distressing on the edges, as well as giving Lily a good old inked crease too (as though it might have been folded close to someone's heart in a breast pocket; though she demanded the return of her picture in the heat of the break-up!).

All the blue-green papers I created myself, blending Bundled Sage, Tumbled Glass, and occasional touches of Forest Moss and Weathered Wood (Broken China is top of my shopping list when I get home to the UK).

And I've used the little Prima stamp (I think of it as 'the wallpaper stamp' but I think it's actually known as 'Alla Prima Floral 550950') on those papers, including the tag, as well as on the music paper (from an old music book) which forms Lily's background (blending the same colours straight onto the stamp), and as added texture on the front of the card.

As well as the 7 Gypsies, there's a couple of appearances by papers from the Prima Printery collection which I've got in the 8x8 size.  It's a lovely collection of ledgers and text-based papers mainly in neutral creams, some with a hint of green.

I used the Tim Holtz Decorative Strip Die Vintage Lace to make the lace edging for the flap and for the tag inside.  I love this die and, unable to get hold of any actual lace at the moment, I think it provides a really pretty alternative.  I fussy cut (or decoupaged?!) the eggs from the 7 Gypsies Conservatory paper to adorn the tag.  

In my head, this affair grew up around a collector's butterfly net, the naturalist sharing his discoveries with the actress taking a quiet holiday away from the whirl of her West End life.

The internal pocket I made from one of my handmade papers, and used some broad cream chintzy ribbon to decorate it.  The script underneath is the back (yes, the B side!) of one of the Conservatory papers.  You can see why I like them, if this isn't even the primary side!

Amongst the memorabilia there's also one of my mini-postcards (made with the TH postcard and script stamps, and the Prima wallpaper flowers again)...

... and an accommodation invoice (surely they did not share a room, did they?!) cut from one of the 7 Gypsies papers and edged and aged.

And her own final reminder to herself:

When it's meant to be, it's meant to be... they could surely have overcome all the differences between her glamorous life and his studious, academic one.  She shouldn't have been so hasty in bringing the affair to a close.  And now she looks back and knows that what matters is that you Listen to your heart.

Back to reality, and back to the front now, as it were, just for a last couple of details.

The Special Moments text is from one of the Prima Printery papers I mentioned, die-cut with the centre of the TH On the Edge Brackets die.

And of course, with Lily being in a garden, remembering her salad days, I had to add some of the little mulberry paper flowers.  The roses seemed too formal somehow, though, so I used these lovely cream and ivory gypsophila heads - an informal bouquet, picked in the meadows one afternoon as they walked, and carefully preserved with the other mementos of a long lost love.

Oh, come on... I've already confessed to being a hopeless romantic - you're surely not surprised!!

In the hope that perhaps they're being judged by fellow hopeless romantics, I'm entering this in the following challenges:

For the Daring Cardmakers, I've been following their Colour Combination
Sir Stampalot would like to know about 'My Crafty Passion' - for now, at least, very clearly Shabby Chic! - but particularly the layering, Distress Inks, and paper-distressing
The Vintage Artisans have a brand new Challenge Blog, and their first theme is Vintage Shabby Chic
I'm offering another entry to the Crafty Bloggers July Anything Goes challenge
I'm taking a plunge on Crafty Boots, playing their Bingo Challenge - with a vertical win on Blue, Ribbons and Lace (I know you can argue the whole blue - turquoise - green spectrum, but given the fight I had with my mother, you can call it both ways on this card!!)
And I'm adding it as my third and final entry for the lovely Danish site Vintage Urfordring's July challenge Anything Goes (as long as it's vintage)
And there's a Shabby Chic/Vintage challenge at the lovely site Paperminutes (it seems right to be doing all these European challenges as I sit here in the Czech Republic)

I'm so pleased you were able to spend some time here at Words and Pictures today.  I really hope I'm not the only one who creates stories at the same time as creating crafting projects, or you'll all think I'm completely barking!  

In any case, I hope your own story takes a pleasurable turn today, and I hope to have your company again soon.

It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought.
James Douglas

Love is the flower of life, and blossoms unexpectedly and without law, and must be plucked where it is found, and enjoyed for the brief hour of its duration.


Mrs O crafty blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs O crafty blog said...

Beautiful card love all the elements and colours, thank you for joining us at Vintage artisans, Pauline x

Sharon (glitterangel) said...

Wow what a gorgeous card, and what fantastic images you've found. I love it! Thanks for joining in with the Daring Cardmakers this week x

Unknown said...

Stunning, I cant think of any other words... I love it, love the embellishments , the colours are Fab, everything about it is Fab... thanks for sharing and joining in with us at Vintage Artisans

Dragon said...

Oh really pretty... I love this paper too and you have used it beautifully... thanks for your lovely comment on my DragonsDream blog... it's actually mine, which is why you don't see a link...at the top under the dragon, are links to two other blogs if you are interested

brenda said...

A totally adorable card, colours DP's and the distressing is just perfect to compliment to image.

You may already know, but there is a great web site devoted to Lily Elsie with over 200 photographs of her - I have a bit of thing for all things Edwardian and Victorian.

Thanks you so much for sharing your Crafty Passion with us at Stampalot challenge this month.

B x

DollySelvam said...

pretty pretty on the wall!!!... the card inspires me a lot n makes me fall!!!... awesome n cool... thanks a lot for sharing with details and also thanks a lot for your valuable comments ...!!!

Kathy said...

This is an absolute delight, and the colours are perfect for our July Colour Challenge. Thank you for taking part in The Daring Cardmakers
challenge this week.

Dee's Craft Room said...

A truly delightful card and a great interpretation of the challenge. I love the way you have inked the images and the embellishments you have used.

Thank you for sharing your work with all of us at Crafty Boots Challenges.


Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

Mega gorgeous!!!!! Love the you completed the inside, and with a tiny tag too!!! You do shabby chic oh so well!!!! Just eye candy here!!!!

pinky said...

Wow that is one stunning project. Beautiful colours, beautiful layout and beautiful embellishments. Thanks for joining us at Stampalot this month.

Rika said...

Fabulous card,
thanks for joining us at DCM.

Gez Butterworth said...

Delightful card. I LOVE everything about it ♥
Thank you for joining the Daring Cardmakers this week. Gez.

Neet said...

This is so pretty - you do Shabby Chic exceedingly well.
Hugs, Neet

Francesca said...

Beautiful card , Lovely colours

Thanks for joining us for our Crafty passion challenge over at
Sir Stampalot this month and good luck!


mark gould said...

beautiful, i love the colour range and the different layers, so much detail gone into each part.
mark x

Claudia N. said...

This is so delicate!!! So beautiful!!!

Greetings from Vienna,

die amelie

fatmonica said...

This is beautiful,a stunning piece of work.

Sarah Louise said...

Fab card. Thanks for joining in. Sarah CBN DT

Heike said...

wonderful and so much gorgeous details. Love it.

xxx Heike

Ellie Knol said...

O how beautiful! Love the colors of the papers too!
Thanks for your comment on my blog, and on the KK website!

Ruth said...

This is such a pretty card. Thanks so much for joining the Sir Stampalot challenge this month, Ruth :)

Heidi said...

Gorgeous card!
Beautiful colours and details:)
Thank you for joining us at Vintage utfordringen.
Hugs, Heidi:)

Tracy said...

I love your choice of image and the design and finishing touches, thanks for joining Sir Stampalot’s challenge, good luck.
Happy crafting
Tracy x

Sandy Ang said...

Those postal elements on your card is lovely.