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 22 July 2012

Les Bleux

Hi all, welcome (back) to Words and Pictures, and an especially big welcome to the new followers.  (I can't believe it - nearly 50!!)

A shorter post today (I think... you never know how it'll pan out!) to invite you on a Trip to Europe on a Tag, as suggested by the Artful Times challenge this week.  Here you go:

I'm already in Europe, so didn't have as far to travel as some... and while I haven't that much interest in taking a trip to Paris now, I would love to do some time-travelling and take a trip to Paris sometime in the early 20th century, say in 1925...

the beginning of an explosion of cultural effervescence in music, art, fashion and celebrity:

when I could have caught the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs (which gave us the term Art Deco);

when air travel was still a luxury affair, in gleaming silver beauties of the sky;

when I could have caught Josephine Baker performing at the Folies Bergère in her early days, and visited the Moulin Rouge at the height of its artistic peak, with Mistinguett creating her great shows; 

when I could have seen the unutterably lovely Art Nouveau entrances to the Paris Métro still quite shiny and new...

It's nice to dream!

So that's the Paris I wanted to take a trip to with this tag.  Romantic, elegant, slightly shabby chic, gleaming and glamorous.

I started by hand-cutting a large tag to the dimensions of the tag in Tim Holtz's Movers and Shapers Tag and Bookplates die.  I don't have that, nor the base tray I'd need to start with the Movers and Shapers dies, but I can still use a pair of scissors!  I cut it out in a medium-weight chipboard, as I wanted it to have some solidity.  

I covered it with plain white cardstock, and started to create my background.  

I'm going to show some pictures of the background before all the main elements were added, as I liked it so much I almost left it that way!

I embossed the PARIS and the Carte Postale using Archival Cobalt with some Chipped Sapphire, and then clear embossing powder.  The rest were stamped in Black Archival.  There's one that I did in a clear emboss with the Versamark Watermark pad, so it would stay white as the base cardstock, but in the end it got mostly covered with TH tissue tape.  

Apart from the Carte Postale (TH) and the writing (Kaisercraft's Script), the majority of the stamps here are from 7 Gypsies Avignon set, which I managed to get very cheaply on ebay (hurrah!).  It's full of lovely French postmarks, and addresses, and authorisation stamps.  (Regular readers will have seen some of them in highly unusual action here.)

After stamping, I did lots of ink blending, starting with Weathered Wood and building up through Stormy Sky to some Chipped Sapphire towards the edges.  I then wanted to add that gleam, so it got a good few spritzes of Perfect Pearls in Blue Patina and in Pearl.  I love that this gives it almost an enamelly surface, and a slightly roughened surface to the touch.

It also had the extremely desirable effect of modulating a lot of the black stamping to a silvery gray... which really tapped in to one of my main ideas for the tag, my silver aeroplane (sorry, I'm going to be British about this... no airplanes round here).

Finally I added some bits of TH Tissue Tape, from the Sketchbook rolls.  They were the last thing on, so kept their roughened texture.

And I backed some on to some white tissue paper too, so that I could make my ribbons for the top of the tag from it.  I so love the tissue tape - it's just divinely gorgeous... all those fonts and handwriting and lovely Frenchifications!  And I love the crispiness of it on the tissue paper.

I was, of course, creating this background already knowing the elements which would take pride of place on it, and it was a process of juggling the elements and the bits of background to make sure my favourite bits continued to get a look in.

As I said, the aeroplane was actually one of the first bits to come to me.  I knew I could use the TH aeroplane from the journey set - à la the ones Indiana Jones is always plummeting out of - but I really wanted it to have that gleaming silver 1930s aura of glamorous air travel (there's a great episode of Poirot that has just what I mean in it).  So I thought I could try stamping it onto PaperArtsy's Metal Paper.  

I did it in Staz-On, as I wasn't sure whether the surface would take it, and for double safety I gave it a little zhuzh with the heat-tool.  No problem - and just the result I was after.  A little bit of fussy cutting and it's "chocks away"!

Of course you can't have Paris without the Eiffel Tower, so that got the metal paper treatment too.  Again this is TH, from the French Marketplace set, but I've cut it away from the framing elements which usually surround it.  (I should own up to a couple of failed attempts with black embossing, and silver embossing on black cardstock - just not sharp enough for my liking, even with the Detail embossing powder.)

And again, if you catch it in the sunlight, the metal paper really earns its keep.

I got the photos from a Google Image search trawl, and I tried them both in Sepia and in B&W, but decided I didn't want to go the 'Vintage Photo' route for once.  I liked this whole Blue/Silver affair, and though you know my passion for Brown and Blue, I decided to restrain myself!

They were shaping up nicely with some Weathered Wood and Stormy Sky shading, and a nice Black Soot edging (so messy, very mucky fingers, but worth it!), but again I wanted a bit more gloss.  

This time I achieved it by covering the whole picture with Embossing Ink, then heating clear embossing powder to get a kind of grainy gloss.  Ooh, look... shiny!

The lovely Deco lettering of this 7 Gypsies PARIS stamp, having been embossed right at the start, also got an extra little glow from the Perfect Pearls Mist stage.  I love trying to get that extra dimensionality on text.

Clearly, somebody had to have been doing all that writing, and addressing the Carte Postale, so I added the pen nib.  I hope that there's a lovely, passionate affaire to be writing home about.  If you're an American in Paris, or indeed anyone else in Paris, I feel there should be!

Merci beaucoup for your visit today.  I hope you've enjoyed my little time-travelling trip to Europe.  It's been so lovely to hear all your feedback.  The crafting community is full of incredibly generous and positive people it seems to me, and I'm very happy to have found this amazing new world of creativity and talent - all available to admire and learn from, at the click of a few buttons!  Thank you for making me feel so welcome.

I do hope to see you here again soon, but for now... au revoir!

I'm entering this in the following:
Artful Times wonderful challenge to take a Trip to Europe on a Tag
I'd like to make this my second and final entry for the Crafty Creations challenge Tags
The Fashionable Stamping Challenges invitation 'Let's Get Messy and Inky'
The Allsorts Challenge this week which is Distressing
and finally the Tando Creative Challenge to offer up some Texture

As an artist, a man has no home in Europe save in Paris
Friedrich Nietzsche

In the movies, Paris is designed as a backdrop for only three things - love, fashion shows, and revolution.
Jeanine Basinger


sam21ski said...

OMGosh, wow, what a lot of work you have put into this take taking us back to the Paris of 1925, it's absolutely gorgeous and well worth every minute.

Thanks for calling by this week.

Sam - Artful Times xxxx

...the yorkshire fox... said...

...a truely gorgeous posting today Alison, the ice blue, silver & grey look glorious together as they depict the glamour of olde Parisian days...loVe your description of each & every piece and that silver bullet of a plane is very Indiana Jones...another fabulous make from you Alison...loVing your work...Mel :)

Netty said...

wow am so loving your dimensional tag, gorgeous work. Annette x

chrissie said...

Wonderful tag and I loved reading all about how and why you made it.

Love Chrissie xxxxxx

Ink Art Designs said...

Wow... love the colours here, and how everything fits together so very well. The plane flying off the top is one I would love to copy one day (if that's ok) ~ it opens the tag right up. This is such a fun tag!
Dot x

Redanne said...

Thank you so much for the trip to Paris, I enjoyed every minute (although I would have liked to be there today to see the magical end to the Tour de France!). I love that aeroplane, the shine is fabulous, in fact I just love everything about your tag, it is very special and you have done an amazing job on it. A x

catherine said...

It's such a joy to read how you put your projects together. This is an amazing tag and so loved your journey to Paris story. I would have been travelling with you especially for the fashion - one of my favourite eras of dress
x catherine

Sarah said...

What a beautiful study of color (blue) and texture!

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

I love monochromatic schemes!!! This is super gorgeous, and the sheen is wonderful! This is such an awesome tag!!!!!

Shirl said...

Fabulous collage on your tag so much to see and loving every look.

Thank you for sharing with us at Fashionable Stamping Challenges.

Hugs Shirley x x

brenda said...

Your tag is absolutely lovely, the monochromatic colours are perfect as is your great attention to detail.

Thank you so very much for joining a challenge at Allsorts this week.

B x

Desert Rose Stamper said...

I really am so glad I signed up to receive your blog -- I look forward to seeing what you create. I love your style and hope to try some of your techniques that you share. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

anna christensen crafts said...

I saw this when I uploaded my project to Fashionable Stamping Challenges and popped over to see you. How pleased am I that I did? VERY! I love your tag, the vibrancy of the monochromatic colour scheme is wonderful and I love your post... like a little holiday in itself. I have joined you as a follower so that I may return with tea and cake! xx

coconut said...

Whooom, I couldn't miss that georgous "frenchy" tag !!! I just took time to visit your blog following our mail exchange, and since I really love your works and the way you share it, I'll maybe be your 50th follower ! :) And additionaly, I love words too... Coco

Inkypinkycraft said...

sorry i am late! this tag is beautiful..i love working in monotone and the result is delightful..
the tag is wonderful and i love it!
trace x

Zoechaos said...

Fabulous tag, certainly captures the essence of 1925's Paris. Wonderful sense of textures perfect for our Tando Creative Challenge XOXO Zoe

Meggymay said...

Wow, an amazing tag. Love all the details and the fantastic background.
Thank you for joining us at FSC this time.

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

Your tag looks gorgeous..love the blue colors and all the different images...very creative Alison!

Thanks for your kind comments on my blog and becoming a new follower :-)
Your blog is intriguing...so like to follow your artwork too!

greetings, Alie :-)

Chrissy said...

Gorgeous tag Alison, love the colours and all the elements, love reading your blog of why and how...made me want to go now..and I dont go anywhere..



What a wonderful journey through Paris - so much attention to detail, and a fabulous collage layout - the aeroplane is awesome!
Sylvia x

Von said...

Wow outstanding work with such detail and such evocatic images :)
Lovely to have you join us at Artful Times this week
Von x☺x

Victoria said...

Fabulously classy monochrome tag!

Unknown said...

Wow this is awesome, love all the detail on your tag and the style and monochrome look. So elegant xxx

Shelby said...

Wowzer and holy cannoli is this awesome! Love your work and the amazing shades of blue you've capture...looks awesome.


Sandra's Spot said...

Wow what a stunning Paris tag so much work and I loved reading the post. Hugs Sandra X

Claire said...

Wow stunning project with so many beautiful details and all of them gorgeous!! The plane stamped on the metal paper is a fab idea and looks amazing. Thanks for joining us at PanPastel UK
Claire xx

Silvia(Barnie) said...

A wonderful Paris themed tag, love all the details on it. Thanks for joining us at FSC this fortnight.

Terry said...

Wow! There are just so much eye candy on this travel themed tag! Love every little detail and you left nothing out! Fabulous! Thank you for joining us at Fashionable Stamping Challenges!

Sue said...

What a beautiful tag, I love you monochromatic colour scheme - I never think to do this but the result is fabulous. I'm with you on the era as well, I would love to time travel to late 1920's England - above stairs of course, far too much hard work below lol x

Anonymous said...

Oh its my wedding anniversary today and for our honeymoon we went to Paris! thanks for the happy memory! hugs me x

Gez Butterworth said...

Amazing tag. So much texture. Your plane looks fab. Thank you for joining the Tando Creative texture challenge this month. Gez

Curly said...

Wow this is one stunning creation, fabulous design and layout, totally awesome Tag
Thank you so much for joining us at
The Papelitos Challenge this week I do hope that you will try to join us again for our next weeks Challenge

Have a lovely day,
Hugs Bridget :0) x
Papelitos DT

Words and Pictures said...

Hi Bridget (Curlybear!),
Thanks for your lovely comment - but there's definitely something weird going on... I didn't enter the Papelitos challenge (because I didn't know about it having never been there). I have now visited, and lo and behold, there's my tag as the first entry... I'm baffled! Looking into it... but thank you, anyway!
Alison x

Claudia N. said...

OMG, Alison,

such a stunning tag! So lovely!!!

Greetings from Vienna,

die amelie xx

Mrs.B said...

Hi Alison, Not only do we get a nostalgic journey through Paris, but also a fabulous journey of the creation of this wonderful tag, fabulous background and images.
Thanks for sharing with us at FSC
Avril xx

Emma (metalicbutterfly) said...

This is fantastic I love the detail in your post too fabulous tag!


Anonymous said...

You encapsulated Paris to perfection.
Of course now we all have a serious dose of Wanderlust!
Beautiful tag and I like your choice of colours, great attention to detail.
Thank you for sharing with us at FSC.

Fliss said...

A fabulous creation. Thanks for getting messy and inky with FSC.
Fliss x

Sandra said...

Wow Alison! Love this tag! Thank you so much for letting me know about it! So cool how you made the ribbon out of tissue tape! That sheen is stunning! I love Paris! And I wish I could visited it too in the twenties, but I'm happy to settle for going there this Thursday! Hugs, Sandra

Neet said...

This is well worth all the work that you put into it. I just love everything about it and you were so right to Gloss up the photos - it works so well.
I enjoy your write ups as well as your pictures and end products.
This tag is amazing!
Thanks for sharing with us at Artful Times. Hugs, neet xx