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, 7 September 2012

The Fabric of our Lives

Hello and welcome!  I'm finally allowed to share some very exciting news with you... a week ago, after my Guest Design slot, the Fussy and Fancy team got in touch and invited me to join their Design Team full time - I was completely over the moon!  Oh, and I said, "yes, please"...

So here, just a week later, I'm offering up my first Design Team piece as part of their new challenge for this fortnight, The Fabric of our Lives.  The challenge is to use fabric as part of your project, but with a title like that, I'm afraid my brain goes into word-world and comes up with all sorts of extra layers of meaning.  So, as well as actual fabric of our lives, I've got some metaphorical 'fabric of our lives' in the mix.  All will become clearer - but first, the card:

So what goes to make up this card?  And the larger question: what does make up the fabric of our lives?  The quote that popped into my head was: A house is made of bricks and beams; a home is made of hopes and dreams.

So there are the concrete materials which make up the places where we live, and the abstract things which make up our internal lives.  And that's how the little houses became part of the game.

First things first, the background: this I used the Multi Medium resist technique on, painting some of the medium onto actual bubble wrap and 'stamping' it onto the white cardstock.  Once dry, I stamped some Tim Holtz Ultimate Grunge dots in Cobalt Archival, and then inked it up with Broken China, Peeled Paint, Faded Jeans and some Vintage Photo round the edges.

A spritz of water on some kitchen roll, a quick wipe, and your bubbles shine through again, having resisted the ink.

The fabric I used really has been part of the fabric of our lives. Sharp-eyed followers may recognise it as having formed both the table runners and sashes for the chair decorations at my brother's recent (handmade) wedding.

We've got a lot of this stuff still hanging around at the moment, more than I could ever use however long I carry on crafting!  But it seemed highly appropriate to use some for this card - so that partly dictated the colour scheme.

It's backed onto some thick chipboard, painted with white acrylic, attacked with the TH Paper Distresser, edged with Vintage Photo, and then stamped with the Kaisercraft woodgrain stamp in Weathered Wood DI, so that there's another 'building' material in there (my favourite one - if I could have a wooden house, I'd be very happy!).

And the top layer of this element is some lovely, wide burlap ribbon from the Funkie Junkie Boutique.  I hope it doesn't say something about the fabric of my life that I found it necessary to distress and fray the edges of all my material(s)... hope I'm not unravelling!

If I am, I've now got the perfect thing to hold everything in place - I spent my recent winnings from a challenge on a Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher ... look, baby staples!  And so easy to use.

The little houses are cut using the TH Artful Dwelling die, and show another version of resist... This one uses the TH Kraft Resist paper, inked with similar colours as the background (but you get different shades since it's on Kraft), and then stamped with some of the abstract things which make up the fabric of our lives - Dreams, Wishes and Love.

The words all come on one TH stamp, but I used masking tape to separate them so that I could have one word at a time.  They're stamped using clear embossing ink, and then a bright white embossing powder.

The Kraft Resist paper has a resist 'built in', so that again you can wipe away the ink to reveal the shiny kraft colour beneath.  I think it's a great effect - I've used it a couple of times recently...

Once it was all stuck and dried, I used some sandpaper to roughen it up a bit.  I'm a big fan of the 'lived-in' look, and I love the texture and weathering you get with something as simple as an emery board.

The houses are stuck down with padded tape to lift them away from the surface of the card even more.  Something else that helps with that is the rustic burlap twine I've 'woven' around them, and tied in a simple bow.

I know it's not usually done to use the title of the challenge as your sentiment, but it just seemed utterly appropriate, given how the piece had grown out of it so directly.  

I stamped directly onto a piece of the fabric using Coffee Archival and my little £1 alphabet set (best buy ever?), and then backed it onto another bit of chipboard, treated the same way as the main backing piece.

And it's held in place by some more tiny staples.  (Sewing machines and I aren't on speaking terms, so sadly I can't manage the stitching I so admire in many of the projects I've visited, but I'm good with the staples.)

So there you have it... If you'd like to join in the challenge, hop over to Fussy and Fancy, and you'll find lots of amazing inspiration provided by my fellow team members (big proud smile!).  For now, thank you so much for visiting Words and Pictures today.  It's so great to hear your comments, and I will always try to return the visit if I know you've been.  Hope to see you again soon, here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.

I've always loved a challenge.
Lana Turner

Life is challenging, but I'm always up for a challenge.
Venus Williams

I'm also entering this for the following:
Simon Says Stamp's challenge this week is Put A Stamp On It
Tuesday Alchemy are having an Anything Goes challenge
Anything But Square over at Allsorts... I've got a rectangle with lots of other shapes as the focus on it
ABC Challenges have reached W for Wishes - mine are the wishes and dreams that guide your life
Since I don't really expect my Friendship tag to qualify properly for the draw, I'm popping this into the Sunday Share over at Frilly and Funkie, having bought the burlap ribbon from the Funkie Junkie Boutique


coconut said...

C'est superbe, j'adore !!! And congratulations to join the DT you wanted !

Suzie's Card Den said...

Oh WOW this is totally amazing, what a lot of work, but sounded like you enjoyed every minute, congrats on your design team win, totally deserved
Suzie xx

Anonymous said...

Totally brilliant! Congrats Alison on your DT position. Looking forward to following your new crafty adventure.
Regards Florence x

Sazzle said...

WOW Alison there is true meaning behind your project and I love every single element :-)

I'm soooo glad you decided to join us!

xx Sazzle xx

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

Ohhh this is so nice Alison, love your cretativity, you're so talented. It was a joy to watch the pictures and read the things you've done to make this masterpiece. Adorable!!!!

greetings, Alie :-)

Chrissy said...

Superb as always Alison..love all the details and all the steps you have taken with this card.[love your tiny staples too]...welcome to Fussy and Fancy, fantastic to have you on board.


Sophie said...

Hervorragend, einzigartig, und wunderschön.

Ganz liebe Grüße

Redanne said...

Many, many congratulations on becoming a full time member of the DT, not surprised they wanted you! Your card is gorgeous, so many techniques and love the message behind your choices - it really is wonderful and I am so thrilled for you! Crafty hugs, Anne x

brenda said...

Congrats on the GD spot Alison.

This is an awesome piece, love all the inking and textures and this is totally up my street !

B x

brenda said...

I got so absorbed in taking a second look that I forgot to thank you for joining us at Allsorts this week.

B x

House of Bears said...

Congratulations on your DT success, but we're not surprised as your work is truly stunning. We love this piece and may have to try something similar ourselves. Thanks for the inspiration
love the bears

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Hi Alison, huge congratulations on your DT position, but I s, not surprised your artwork is inspiring. Love your first piece, wonderful use of fabric and I love your thought process too. Love the houses and the resist in the background. Thanks so much for joining in the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge. Tracy x

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Great news, congratulations on your new DT position - well deserved :) Your first piece looks FANTASTIC.

Claudia N. said...

First, Alison,

congrats to the DT, that they were so clever to ask you in!!! ;)
I am sure, you will have a great time with the team! Happy you!

Second: love your card and all the gorgeous details and stuff it is made of! Absolutely lovely and stunning. A truly awesome first DT project!!!

die amelie xxx

Gio said...

A card? I thought it was an altered item!! Stunning!

And congrats, you deserve it :-)

Lin said...

Congratulations! Thanks so much for sharing this with us at the Simon Says Stamp challenge this week - good luck!

catherine said...

Congratulations on your Dt spot Alison and I'm not surprised you were asked to stay on. Your interpretation of things is wonderful and created so beautifully
x catherine

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

Mahoosive congrats on your DT spot!!! This is a great first piece...love those houses, and your background is wonderful!

Sarah said...

Oh, congratulations, Alison....you will be such an asset to the team!

Carol Q said...

congrats on joining the DT Alison. lovely work. such nice use of textiles.

Ana K. said...

OO Alison, congratulations!!! Yes, you are really right person!!
And your card....I totally love it...i am looking at it about 5 minutes..great useof fabrick, colours, composition, everything is just perfect!!!

Kjersti said...

Congratulations Alison! Who wouldn't love to have you and your fabulous creations at their team! This card is stunning, love the colours, the layout and how you have made the background!
Have a nice weekend!
Hugs Kjersti:)

Anonymous said...

Fabulous work Alison, love the techniques you've used and the stamped fabricc is perfect ! Sue C x

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Alison on being a new DT member, what an asset you will be.
Adore this creation, those colours work together in such harmony. The house shapes are amazing. This would make a beautiful piece of home decor would it not?

Unknown said...

Wow! This is beautiful and love the sweet details!Thanks for joining us over at Tuesday Alchemy This week! Good luck!Hugs and sunshine!

Brenda Brown said...

The layers are all beautifully woven into the fabric of your project Alison, a wonderful piece with amazing effects.
Congrats on your DT position, they are very lucky to have you.
Have a great weekend.
hugs {brenda} xox

Laine Kammeraad said...

Wow Alison - you created a masterpiece. I love all the different layers and techniques you used. Absolutely gorgeous!!! You have inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and see what I can come up with. Thanks for leaving such a sweet comment on my blog. I really appreciate it.

Your blog is amazing - I just had to join in the fun. Congratulations on becoming a part of the design team. They are really lucky to have you on their team. Really looking forward to seeing what you and everyone else creates.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Hugs and smiles


Fallingladies said...

Congrats, beautiful piece!

chrissie said...

Congrats on your DT place-well deserved for sure.

Just love this piece of art with all its beautiful textures. The colours blend so well together.

Best Wishes from Chrissie xxx

Sarah-Jane said...

This is a stunning creation Alison, I love all the textures and colour. Welcome to the Fussy & Fancy team!
Sarah-Jane xx

Alison said...

This is a stunning project Alison, I love the background, & the colours are beautiful!
Congrats on winning those lovely Artistic Stamper Seaside stamps, hope you enjoy playing with them as much as I do :)
Alison xx

Martina said...

Congratulations Alison on being a new DT member. This is a stunning creation!

Victoria said...

Congratulations on your DT position! Richly deserved! I love the fabric (both kinds) that you've icnorporated into your design. Another beautiful Butterfly creation!

Marjie Kemper said...

First, congratulations... that's very exciting news and I'm sure they're thrilled to have you on the team. Second, I love your creation! What a neat way to use the house dies. Loving the colors and texture you built up... beautiful work!

Debi said...

Butterfly, your work is so amazing!!! thank you for all the lovely comments you leave on my blog nd congrats on becoming part of the DT for Fussy and Fancy, Debi x

Pia said...

This card is stunning, love the colours, the layout and how you have made the background
hugs Pia

Arnoldo L. Romero, MLA said...

I love all the texture and prints in your art piece, and the way you were able to tie it in through the use of an almost monochromatic scheme. Blessings!

Jenn said...

Stunning card, thanks for the wonderful instructions! And congrats on your DT role. Thanks for joining us at ABC Challenges.

Anonymous said...

I love the colours and wonderful textures, very nicely done
Hugs Julie P

Jenny Marples said...

Huge congrats on your full time DT call up. Love this project. Some of my fav colours and the texture is perfect. Hugs, Buttons x

Shelby said...

A ginormous congratulations! You'll do an amazing job and they are super lucky to have such a talented design.
Love how you've incorporated the different fabrics and textures into your design and the dotty background is splendid!


Mrs.B said...

Hi Alison, Congrats on the DT post - no wonder they wanted you with work like this.
Absolutely stunning, and such beautiful colours, and with the use of that fabric, also very personal.
Avril xx