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 26 September 2012

The Railway Children

Hello all!  I'm so happy you've found the time to stop by - and an especially big welcome to the new followers... it's wonderful to have your company!

I've been so enjoying playing with the Artistic Outpost Steampunk stamps - the images delight me.  I did warn you, if you saw this piece, that you'd be seeing more of them soon.  

And when I bumped into a couple of Childhood and literature challenges on my travels, it kindled a fresh spark of inspiration - my mind went straight to Edith Nesbit's The Railway Children.

So I combined the AO stamps with one of what I now think of in my own head as 'the butterfly children' from Crafty Individuals to come up with this...

It's a small collaged wall hanging inspired by a combination of the stamps and the book and, to be honest, the film of the book too - which is part of my childhood as much as the book is.

When I first got the stamp set, I stamped the images quite simply in archival black on some smooth cardstock - just trying them out.  

But then they were sitting there on one corner of my table, begging to be used... so here they are.  They are inked with Vintage Photo (what else?!), creased and torn up a little, and the edges ribbed with the Tim Holtz Paper Distresser.  

I then gave them both a coat of Rock Candy Crackle Paint, and left them to get on with crackling.

In the meantime, I got on with creating a background.  I decided to use some thick watercolour paper, and set to work with some of my favourite DIs (you can see them all lying around here).  

I put smears of Vintage Photo, Stormy Sky, Frayed Burlap etc etc straight on to the craft mat, gave them a good spritz of water and played with the lovely TH wrinkle free distress technique, building up the layers of colour.  Once dry, I also blended some inks on with a blending tool.  And there's an edging of Vintage Photo Distress Embossing Powder to frame it.

You'll see in one corner a ghostly image of the butterfly girl.  I sort of liked it, but she wasn't quite present enough, so I changed the plan, and added another touch of 'book-ness' to the piece by stamping both her and her "father" (another stamp from the AO set) onto pages torn from an old book.  (I have to own up: I'm afraid it's not a copy of The Railway Children, but rather some pages left over from this alteration of Great Expectations - sorry!)  If you look closely, you'll see her hair ribbon is part of the background - accident or deliberate positioning - you decide!!

The sentiment, stamped and crackle-glazed into one of the Funkie Junkie's lovely rusted bottle tops, comes straight from one of the most tear-jerking scenes... and I'm afraid here is where it's definitely the film rather than the book that I'm remembering from childhood.  

There's something in the tone of Jenny Agutter's voice as she says this line - recognising her father on the station platform after being separated from him for so long - that really strikes a wonderful note of poignant unbearable hope and relief.  (You can get a taste of what I mean here.)

And, with my Words hat on, I think it's a perfect line... it wouldn't be nearly so effective if she just said "Daddy, Daddy!" - I believe it's in the sigh of the ay sound in the "my" in between the Daddys that all the emotion really lives.

It's surrounded with TH Idea-ology gears, and there's another rusty Funkie Junkie piece in the form of the heart up by the father's face.  

It's my first use of the eyelets and eyelet tool I got for an absolute pittance in the Czech Republic over the summer, and I've used some dark brown leather thong to hang it.  

The same leather is used to adorn the lace at the foot of the piece - more CZ shopping, inked with Antique Linen and Vintage Photo to soften its rather luminous whiteness!  

The two little tickets could either be platform tickets - which you used to have to buy if you wanted to go onto the station platform just to see somebody off on the train, or perhaps they're cinema tickets to go and see a Saturday morning showing of The Railway Children in the 1970s.

And then the pen nibs are there to take us back to the written form of the story - back to Children's Literature...  By the way, I do know that my butterfly girl is really too young for the role, but there's something so right in her expression of expectation, that for me fits perfectly with that haunting cry, "Daddy, my Daddy!".

So glad you found the time to drop by (especially if you've done it twice... second post today!), and I look forward to repaying the visit as soon as I have the chance.  In the meantime, enjoy doing whatever it is you enjoy doing!

"Apple pie for breakfast - we can't be poor after all!"
From The Railway Children by E.Nesbit

I'm entering this for the following:
I'd like to add it to the Ranger competition for the new Distress colours to show what I've been doing with Distress Ink pads - the background, the inking of the lace, all the distressing - all with my favourite ever inks!  I use them on everything I make, but this is one where I think they really shine...
Crafty Boots are having a challenge theme of Children's Stories
The Craftroom Challenge want our Childhood Memories - this is very much one of mine, but I'd like to add that I didn't see it when it came out in 1970 - but a few years after that!
Vienna Impressions are looking for pieces inspired by Art, Music or Literature, with brown ribbon
The Artistic Outpost September challenge - Anything Goes using AO stamps
With the heart and the bottle top from the Funkie Junkie Boutique, I'd like to offer this up for the Sunday Share at Frilly and Funkie
The Simon Says Stamp Challenge are on an Anything Goes week


House of Bears said...

This is lovely. We really like the way you stamp over the text, it produces such a great effect. It's on our very long list of things to try.

Terry said...

So love the story this hanging piece tells! This is absolutely wonderful and gorgeous! Have a great day!

Yvonne Garner said...

You have taken my breath away with your thoughtful composition. Bravo! One fo the memory books. Best wishes, Yvonne

Belinda said...

Alison, wow... that is amazing. I love how you stamped the pictures over the words. It's a really cool effect I would love to try. It came together so nicely in the end. Very inspirational. Thank you for sharing it.

Oh and thanks for visiting my desk last week.

Belinda (#20)

Unknown said...

Your work looks stunning - love the colours, your composition, this great background and those stamps are phantastic! Its like you're a telling a story of real people and their lifes, like memories of your family.
Thank you for your nice comment on my blog last week and happy WOYWW!
Barbara # 111

Dee's Craft Room said...

Amazing, so many connections to the book and yet so individual. I could spend ages just looking at this piece.

Thank you for joining in the fun at Crafty Boot Challenges.


Sarah said...

Beautiful rusty, crusty background. I thought I would see reference to The Boxcar Children but was pleasantly surprised to find another good story and movie to find.

brenda said...

It's a wonderful interpretation of the Railway Children Alison and the colours match the in era perfectly.

B x

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Gorgeous, love the rusty looking background , looks very striking against the AO images which you have used beautifully in your collage hanging. Love all the rusty elements too. Tracy x

My name is Cindy said...


Rosie said...

Wow, this is really amazing, love it

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

Again stunning artwork Alison...you're so gifted!
What a great combination of stamps and mixed media...it's soooo gorgeous!!!

greetings, Alie :-)

Silvia(Barnie) said...

A fabulous collage with wonderful details. Love the rusty look.

Claudia N. said...

Again a stunning piece of artwork, Alison!

I so love the rusted bottle top and the crackle paint and your selfmade background and.... all of it!

Bussi from Vienna,

Janny Jager said...

Great piece of Art again Alison.
Love it

Greetings Janny

Redanne said...

Saw this on WOYWW but it is even more beautiful close up. A really stunning piece of art. A x

Brenda Brown said...

A stunner Alison, so beautifully vintaged and gorgeous images. Love the background story too.
hugs {brenda} xox

Gerrie Johnnic said...

This is just so delightful....I love your collage, so wonderfully done!

sam21ski said...

Great effect, love the wrinkle free technique and of course your later of rock candy rocks xxx

catherine said...

Just fantastic layout to it all Alison. it is one of my old time favourites too
x catherine

Anonymous said...

Wonderful project Alison. Fab post as always. Really enjoyed reading it.
Regards Florence x

Lisa Somerville said...

Stunnign wall hanging! Love your background colors and the added collage of images! Thanks for playing along with us at Artistic Outpost!

chrissie said...

Brilliant images and collage-so much to look at and enjoy

Love Chrissie xx

Francesca said...

what a lovely hanging, you seem to have your mojo. well done you getting into the top 3 @ TIO. Thanks for your comment I am feeling abit better today, well the sun is shining here, but need to clear up the garden following all the storms or one storm since sunday. Hugs Francesca

froebelsternchen said...

Alison that´s simply GORGEOUS!

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

Gorgeous gorgeous! Love these AO images, and your background is to craft for!!! Fabulous!

Lisa Minckler said...

It's not enough to see your creations, I think I need to brail them too. Incredible textures and a true story being told here. :)

Cestina said...

That line by Jenny Agutter always brings tears to my eyes and it did its work again - as did this hanging. I don't think the child's age matters a scrap - I always thought JA was a tiny bit old for the part anyway.

Lovely, evocative work....

Maria said...

I love the story that this creation tells, and how you've represented the different parts in your art. A very beautiful creation. Thanks for joining in with our 'Childhood Memories' theme over at the Craft-Room Challenge.

Maria x

Annie said...

Love this collaged piece Alison. I also understand why you love these images....they are stunning.

Great Tryptich project below too.


Crafty Hugs

Annie x

Andrea Small said...

and the little catch in her voice when she says it...brave Bobbie...OMG I've gone again just thinking about it xx

Hanne said...

Stunning work! Such a wonderful collage!

Shelby said...

Another gorgeous vintage creation! love all of the layers and the mixing of the inks and all those different elements look fantastic.


Debi said...

beautiful butterfly, another yummy creation, thanks for sharing with us at Craft Room Challenge, Debi x

hazel said...

This is absolutely fabulous, I love it. Thank you for joining us at Craft-Room Challenge.
xxx Hazel.

Linda Coughlin, the funkie junkie said...

I can't tell you how much I love reading your blog, Alison! I know I don't always comment on every post, but your work just tugs at my heartstrings. Not only is your artwork sensational, but I appreciate the time and effort you put into creating your posts - all the photos and commentary and the quotes. It's always a delight! And of course, I love how you share about the products from my shop, but that is entirely secondary! This is a small masterpiece - thank you so much for sharing on Sunday Share!


debby4000 said...

Oh this is fabulous and love all the different vintage images.

Thanks for joining us at Simon Says Stamps Challenge.