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...

Saturday 10 November 2012

Paris - Mon Amour

Hello all, lovely to have your company here today at Words and Pictures.

Parlez-vous Français?  This week over at Simon Says Stamp and Show they're asking for some Inspiration Française, and after musing for a while, I finally came up with some.  And here's the tag I arrived at.

As often happens for me, the inspiration came thanks to a song - one of the lesser known Cole Porter numbers, "Who Said Gay Paree?" from Cancan.  You can hear the man himself playing it here, and the full lyrics are at the foot of the post - I find it achingly lovely, but that's at least partly because this song and I have a history.

I did a lot of shows at university, and one was Cole Porter's Silk Stockings, set in Paris.  The director had always loved this song, and wanted to add it in to the show.  So it was inserted at the point when both lead couples were going through problems before the - inevitably - happy ending.

It was one of many happy summers at university when I played opposite the man who was/is (so far) the great passion of my life.  We seemed constantly to be cast as couples - playing opposite each other in show after show!  

The romance is of course long over, and the song has an added bittersweet touch these days, as he left to go and build his career in France, and lives in Paris to this day.  

(Right about now, any of my family and friends who are reading this are saying: "oh no, not him again" - but I think you never forget your first head-over-heels, love at first sight, earth-shifting romance - or is that just me?!)

So, there's the conventional linking of France with love, romance, and affairs of the heart, and also a very personal connection to that link.  And that's what this tag grew out of...  

I'd just like to say that I think Jill, who sang it in our show, did a better job than CP (I suspect he'd agree he's not the world's greatest singer) - but the verse he plays on the piano is full of exquisite romantic yearning.

The tag itself was relatively simple to make.  I started with a piece of Tim Holtz's Vintage Shabby paper, backed it onto chipboard, and added some TH stamps for extra layers.  

The Eiffel Tower was stamped in black and embossed with Clear Detail embossing powder for glossy dimensionality. 

I did the flourish with embossing ink followed by some dark red mica powder, so it has a lovely shimmer - quite hard to photograph, but I think you can get the general idea!

I found the silver hearts on ebay, but I didn't want it silver for this tag.  

Sadly, I'm working away from home at the moment, and the alcohol inks didn't make it into the takeaway stash, so I had to get creative with giving it some colour.

First I tried with Aged Mahogany DI.  I knew that wouldn't work by itself, so I tried clear embossing over the top to keep it in place.  It partly worked, but perhaps I overheated it, because in places it went green!  

Luckily the hearts are two-sided, so I flipped it over and tried again.  This time I used the embossing ink and mica powder again, and I'm really pleased with the subtle, soft, red gleam it now has.

It's topped with an Idea-ology Game Spinner for the arrow piercing the heart!

I dyed some seam binding with Pumice Stone, Aged Mahogany and a combination of the two, dug a hole in my hand-cut tag (I've come away without my punch too - bah!) and completed the trimmings with an Idea-ology trinket pin.

Et voilà, c'est ça,  c'est tout!  Thank you for stopping by, and I look forward to seeing you again soon here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland, but for now, merci beaucoup et au revoir!

I'm entering this in the following:
Simon Says Stamp and Show's challenge Inspiration Française
Frilly and Funkie's lovely Tic Tac Toe game, playing the top line of metal, chipboard, lace (it's backed onto chipboard)
Top Tip Tuesday are playing a challenge called We're All Heart, and I'd like to offer this tip:  To colour metal without alcohol inks, and still keeping that metallic sheen, try using embossing ink topped with mica powder, heated to fix it

Who spread the rumour Paris was fun?
Who had such fantasy?
Who never knew Paris minus you?
Who said 'Gay Paree'?

Who said of all towns under the sun
All lovers here should be?
Who failed to add
Paris could be sad?
Who said 'Gay Paree'?

I thought our love so brightly begun
Would burn through eternity;
Who told the lie
Love can never die?
Who said 'Gay Paree'?
Who said 'Gay Paree'?
Cole Porter


Sophie said...

Alison, du hast schon wieder ein unbeschreiblich schönes Tag gemacht.
Ich habe mir alle Details genau angesehen.
Einfach sensationell!
Ich liebe diese Farben, sie wirken so warm.

Ganz liebe Grüße

craftimamma said...

Lovely tag Alison! Lots of wonderful stamped layers and I really like the embellishments you chose. Well done for persevering with the heart until you got the effect you wanted.

Thank you for sharing a part of your past. I do agree that you never forget your first meaningful romance. I'm 63 now and although my story wasn't as romantic as yours (or maybe it was in a way) and didn't involve Paris there was one young man who stood out from the others and who I will never forget. He has spent his adult life in Hong Kong! Having said that, my OH and I will have been married for 40 years next Thursday, lol!

Lesley Xx

Candy C said...

Hello Alison! Your French inspired tag is gorgeous! I love your background...all of the stamping and over stamping is lovely. I love the rich brown and reddish tones to it! Then you've added touches of black stamped images...wow...they pop! Your little bits of metal are great embellishments, too! Love it! Thanks for sharing your tag with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. <3 Candy

Cestina said...

You are right - one never forgets that first love. I am 71 and one magical night (and it was the whole night, including the sunrise over the River Thames) still lives as clearly in my memory, fifty years on, as if it had been yesterday.

My memories of Paris, on the other hand, are not quite as satisfying. Your tag is beautiful though......

Anonymous said...

Dear Alison
I had to smile at your comment, the fact you took a little bet with yourself as to which stamp I would use first, well that tickled me. Am I so predictable?!!!
The most perfect colours and wonderful source of inspiration (you cannot go far wrong with Mr Porter). Gorgeous stamping and the detail of the seam binding, adore this.

Anonymous said...

So, So lovely! Gorgeous combination of soft colors with the perfect touch of red :)

Sarah said...

I love visiting your blog, Alison. I am entertained with sweet stories, beautiful artwork, and memorable music all on one page.

sam21ski said...

Another stunning tag Alison, love the background combination of stamping.

Sam xxx

Jenny Marples said...

C'est manifique mon amie! With such a lot going on in the background embossing works so well for a touch of dimension.
Well done for fitting so much stuff in your case in the first place! Where will you fit the stash from tomorrow though!:)
BTW, did you know you can also colour metal with Promarkers? They are relatively easy to transport without too much fear of leaking. Just a thought. Huge congrats on your latest win too. See you tomorrow. Hugs, Buttons x

Redanne said...

Hi Alison, oh how true that we never forget our first love....even at my great age I can still remember the bitter sweetness of it all. I love your story and I love your tag, really beautiful work and well done for the adapt and overcome element of it too. Congrats from me too on your latest win..... Crafty hugs, Anne x

Netty said...

Loving your gorgeous tag and the story that goes with it. Enjoy the weekend, Annette x

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Hi Alison, what a gorgeous tag and such lovely rich colour tones. The Eiffel Tower is showcased beautifully and the heart embellishment is beautiful. I always love reading your thought process and inspiration behind your piece. Thanks so much for joining in the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge. Tracy x

Debi said...

lovely Alison, love the ribbon especially :-) you are so good and producing gorgeous monochrome pieces, Debi x

Carol Q said...

gorgeous tag Alison. love the colours you chose for the seam binding.

catherine said...

This is just so beautiful Alison and love the french theme around it and all the beautiful images.
x catherine

Daniele said...

what a wonderful tag, love the heart and spinner

Kim said...

Hi Alison - Beautiful tag! Leaving you a message here, just in case you didn't receive my email re: the eP team... :-)

Paper Profusion said...

J'aime les couleurs subtiles et de romance de cette tag. C'est très charmante et une belle scène. Le 'stamping' est parfait! Nicola x

Annie said...

Really enjoy your posts Alison x This is a real fab tag and I love the layers added with the stamps.
Love the embellishments and words too. Good Luck in the challenge. Hugs

Annie x

just heading back to look at the post I could not read the other night as too tired to get my glasses x

May said...

Love your story so true... What a wonderful tag... your work is really special Alison I draw beautiful inspiration from your Fabulous work... I love your posts... Very Clever work... Hugs May x x x

Asia King (aka Joanna K) said...

Oh wooooooooooow, this is is a super gorgeous tag!!! Lots of beautiful stamping and I love the Pariesienne chic! Beautiful! xx

Anna-Karin said...

Beautiful tag Alison! Great idea to stamp on that patterned paper, it looks wonderful. Awesome mix of stamps and the metal heart is lovely. Thank you for joining us this week at Simon Says Stamp and Show!

Claudia N. said...

Mon dieu! Exchanging hearts and flowers on foot of the Eiffel Tower...sooo romantic! And that background is just undescribably perfect! Paris feel at its' best!

Love it!

Claudia xx

Andrea Small said...

No, you never forget the life-shattering love, and you never should, whatever happens subsequently. I must say, although I agree with you about CP's voice, I rather like the way he sings it. Lovely tag, xxx

House of Bears said...

Ooh la la, c'est manifique. Love your stamping, your layers. The Tour Eiffel as usual brilliant art work and a great depiction of all things France.

Sandra said...

What a gorgeous tag! Love all the background stamping! And the Eiffel Tower stamp is so pretty! Beautiful embellished as well! Thank you so much for joining us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. Hugs, Sandra

Martina said...

Alison, your Paris Tag is FABULOUS in every way. The creativity of design and the stunning colours are superb.
Great work!

Bonnie Irvine said...

Alison, there is the loveliest vintage feel to this romantic tag. The layers of stamping, the wonderful texture, the gorgeous colour palette all draw me in. The contrast between the soft background, seam binding, and lace with the metal embellies is brilliant. Thank you for sharing the story that inspired this tag and the link to the song. Visiting your blog is always a lovely experience.

Kim Dellow said...

Oh that is just gorgeous. Kim

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Wohow, that's a breathtaking tag with many wonderful details.

Unknown said...

I always enjoy your projects Alison but I particularly enjoyed the words and pictures behind this post. I don't think you ever forget your first love, personally I believe it is one of the things that a woman hides deep in her heart and never forgets. :) Beautiful tag full of Parisian & T!m Holtz goodness!!

Kezzy said...

Wow really gorgeous tag and a beautiful story to go with it. I think your right, you never forget your first real love. For me his name was Carl and we were so in love, then one day he found the church and god and decided he wanted to dedicate his life to god and became a priest. Hugs Kerry xxx

Mrs.B said...

Such a beautiful tag, gorgeous images and so much detail.
I agree, I don't think you ever forget your first love, and sometimes its the smallest things that spark the memories.
Hugs to you.

Janny Jager said...

Beautiful and great card Alison.
Love the stamps and every detail on it very much.

Greetings Janny

Terry said...

Thank you for sharing your fabulous piece of art with the DT from Simon Says Stamp and Show, love your French Tag and all the little detaills wowwzerss fabulous colours and the texture is just great, thank you for sharing. Hugs Terry xxxx

Terry said...

What a great heart to find on eBay and I do love how you altered it! Lovely French inspired tag with such pretty details! Thank you for playing along with us at Frilly and Funkie!

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

Your tag is gorgeous! I love the metal and lace and all the Parisian images! The whole love story is what I really want to talk about over a glass of wine at a local pub and by the fire! LOL! You really opened yourself up here...kudos! And, if the memories helped you to create a beauty like this then WOW! Its light, elegant, and classy, inside of black, dark, and ugly...those would be my past love memories...lol! I thought you were married?
Anyway, thank you again for playing along with us!!!

Teresa Kline said...

such an amazing creation!

enjoy *~*

Sandy said...

Perfectly gorgeous - I have a feeling I am going to get pretty tired of saying this every time I visit your blog. Maybe I could learn Chinese!

Karen McAlpine said...

Love the effect of heat embossing the Eiffel tower. Gorgeous tag...love that seam binding.

Shelby said...

I love the softness of this design and of course the use of all of the elements is absolutely amazing and beautiful.


Lisa Minckler said...

You poured your heart out and it revealed itself so lovingly on this fantastic tag. :) Your creation is most definitely perfect and fitting for our challenge over at Top Tip Tuesday and I'm so honored that you played along.
Big hugs to you,
Lisa xx

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant tag I Love every inch of it and you have shared a great Tip too! thanks! and Thanks for Playing along with us this time at Top Tip Tuesday Challenge, Samantha :0)

Annette said...

oooo la la!! Gorgeous tag and a super tip too.
Netty's Cards
Proud to design for Top Tip Tuesday.