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 5 December 2012

The Year in Poetry

Hello all, for the second time today (if you've already seen What's On My Workdesk this Wednesday)... and a very warm welcome (back) to Words and Pictures!  (Gotta love all those Wws in that first sentence!)

As I mentioned earlier, I'm absolutely delighted to have been invited to design for Nicecrane Designs.

Ignacio Molina, as well as producing sets of gorgeous vintage images for an absolute song, is one of the loveliest people to buy from and do business with... you get emails so full of enthusiasm (and commas) that it brings a huge smile to your face.

As well as the online store, there's a lovely blog where you can find lots of inspiration for how to use the images.

I've used Nicecrane images on past projects, and have bought quite a few more, which are still sitting waiting for me to play with them... so it's a real treat to be able to show off some of the latest ranges he's been creating.

Here I've used the lovely Country Lady Save Pack, inspired by the illustrations from Edith Holden's Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady.

Since there are twelve months to get through, I'm issuing a Long Photo-Heavy Post Warning!!

This was one of those projects where it really felt as though I was just along for the ride... I didn't know very much about it!  That may be the effect of it all arriving in my head in the middle of the night, and half of it being made in the early hours of the morning, but I think it's also a good sign that you're "in the zone", or at least "in the moment" as you're creating... just letting things happen, and enjoying the ride.

It was also clear that the universe was on my side when, after a snowy night, the sun came out to allow me to capture some some photos in its late afternoon golden rays.

There's part of a photo from the earlier shots of my desk that will give you some idea of the journey of this piece.

I used sheets from a cheap watercolour pad (bought from The Works for a couple of pounds), and tore them to the size I wanted.

I printed the lovely monthly illustrations on some canvas weave printer paper which gives them a lovely weight and texture, slightly fabric like... I think you can see something of what I mean in later photographs.

To weather the papers, and tone them in with the images, I did a lot of spritzing.  I started with coffee (yes, actual coffee), but wanted a bit more colour, so I mixed a bit of Mushroom Color Wash in with it.

This gave a good base colour; then, for extra texture and colour I spritzed very lightly with the Mushroom again, or with Espresso Color Wash, and sometimes with both to build up the interest.

Once that was done, I blended Vintage Photo and Wild Honey DIs onto the edges of the pages.  The Wild Honey is great for warming up the tone of whatever colour you're using, and given that these images had quite honeyed tones in them anyway, it seemed the perfect ingredient.

You can see the eventual look on the back cover and these close-ups... and what I love is that each page is unique, with its own colour combination and splatter pattern!

And of course I used the Tim Holtz paper distresser and some more Vintage Photo DI on the edges of the illustrations.  I think you can probably see the woven texture of the paper I printed on here too, as well, obviously, as the lovely texture of the watercolour paper.

Some twine and raffia to bind the pages together... and we're pretty much done.

I'm going to leave you in peace to look through the journal shortly, but I should just say that the stamps come from a variety of sets: the front cover is Tim Holtz's Book Cover (simply love this stamp, and must use it more often!), and inside there are more TH stamps, as well as Stampology, Tattered Angels and Artemio images.

They're stamped mainly in Archival, but blending colours and sometimes including DIs on there too.

If you really desperately want to know more precisely, then drop me a comment or email with the month you want to know about, and I'll share the details with you.

But for now, I'm going to leave you to enjoy the winter sunshine... All I will add are the poem extracts from each page (in case the photos are not clear enough, or you can't read my handwriting) and sometimes a little something about the poems themselves, or perhaps the poem in full, or at least slightly expanded.

Some of the poems arrived on the pages here as inevitable participants, long-loved poems I've lived with for years; some I had to go in search of, and am delighted to have discovered some new poetical treasures!

So, on to the quotations, and the photographs of course!  Don't forget you can click on them for close-ups.

January is here, with eyes that keenly glow,

A frost-mailed warrior striding a shadowy steed of snow.
Edgar Fawcett

February.  Get Ink.  Weep.
Write the heart out about it.  Sing
Another song of February
While raucous slush burns black with Spring.
Boris Pasternak

Another day in March.  Late
rawness and wetness.  I hear my mind say
If only I could paint essences.

Such as the mudness of mud
On this rain-soaked dyke where coltsfoot
displays its yellow misleading daisy.

Anne Stevenson

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring 
Dull roots with spring rain.

Winter kept us warm, covering  
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

From The Wasteland by T.S.Eliot

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
William Shakespeare

I went down the ways of the roses this noon,
     The birds were in tune with the infinite skies,
And all my heart sang, "It is June, it is June,"

And all my soul teemed with the lovely surprise,
As I went down the ways of the roses this noon.

     William Stanley Braithwaite

Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots and gillyflowers.
Sara Coleridge

I want to walk through crisp gold harvest fields,
Through meadows yellowed by the August heat;
To loiter through the cool dim wood, that yields
Such perfect flowers and quiet so complete—
The happy woods, where every bud and leaf
Is full of dreams as life is full of grief.

From August by Edith Nesbit

September Song
(born 19.6.32 - deported 24.9.42)

Undesirable you may have been, untouchable
you were not. Not forgotten
or passed over at the proper time.

As estimated, you died. Things marched,
sufficient, to that end.
Just so much Zyklon and leather, patented
terror, so many routine cries.

(I have made
an elegy for myself it
is true)

September fattens on vines. Roses
flake from the wall. The smoke
of harmless fires drifts to my eyes.

This is plenty. This is more than enough.
                                                                                                     Geoffrey Hill

A springful of larks in a rolling
Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with whistling
Blackbirds and the sun of October
On the hill's shoulder...

From Poem in October by Dylan Thomas

So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;
The place we occupy seems all the world.

From November by John Clare

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Christina Rossetti

I'm entering this in the following:
Sugar Creek Hollow's challenge Distressing
Try It On Tuesday would like us to Get Inky
Crafty Boots who are playing Anything Goes
Inspire Me Fridays which is also Anything Goes
Artful Times - guess what... Anything Goes

Click here to go direct to the lovely Country Lady Save Pack...


Claudia N. said...

Absolutely breathtakingly brilliant, Alison!

Love every page of it and all the lovely spraying and distressing with which you created this beautifully time worn looking treasure!

Thanks for all of the pics and the additional text passages! Loved reading and looking so much!

Claudia x

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Hi Alison, as a keen gardener this really appeals to me. I love the texture from the paper you used and the co,luring is the perfect backdrop for those stunning images. The test is fantastic throughout. Gorgeous and well thought out piece . Tracy x

catherine said...

Blown away by this project Alison and just so stunning
x catherine

May said...

O my word.. Alison when I began reading & seeing first pic I thought it was an old book! I did not think you had created this from scratch!! I say this a lot to you Alison but I REALLY mean it... Your work is truly AMAZING... You are such an inspiration.. I am so glad you took up crafting & set up your blog!! Thank you... Hugs May x x x

sam21ski said...

WOW!!!!!!! Nothing else to say really!!

Sam xxx

Unknown said...

Alison, so happy Ignacio invited you to play along. He is the sweetest and you've done an amazing project using these wonderful sheets. I love this book and will have to make one for myself lol. After Christmas, of course. I'm covered in Gesso right now but totally thrilled you are a part of the team. WooHoo!!!! Congrats sweet lady! Hugs, me xx

Redanne said...

Your post was an absolute delight to look through, love the wonderful poetry (and your writing is fine BTW) and the pictures are absolutely stunning. You have made something modern look positively ancient - you are an amazing crafter Alison and you deserve every accolade you receive. Hugs, Anne x

Sarah said...

This is just breathtaking, Alison. It could be a treasured keepsake of a Victorian lady. (Better put a date on it somewhere...LOL)

Nicecrane Designs said...

Wowwww,,,,Alison,,,,,I am really proud you to be in my Team,,,, Absolutely stunning, and unique project......working with my Edith Holden Pack.Love each detail here,my friend,,,,,,I am sure if Edith Holden ´ll be enjoying this Play of Art......Welcome On Board

Astrid Maclean said...

Wow Alison, you have been busy, what an absolutely amazing book!!! Congrats also for being part of the Nicrane team; though I had heard of them before, I have never looked at them closely, but you certainly have inspired me with this project, - totally fabulous!!
Off to check them out now....

Dee's Craft Room said...

Words fail me. This is stunning, an amazingly beautiful project. You are clearly very talented/

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


Janny Jager said...

Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Alison this is breath taking.
What a very very beautiful book.
This is really stunnig.
So many details .
I love it.

Greetings Janny

WendyK said...

Absolutely fabulous Alison, what a wonderful book to have made. the vintage look is brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Alison I absolutely adore the whole essence of this book, let's start with the fact you created the book from scratch no less.
Coffee was definitely the way to go for that beautiful aged appearance.
Nothing short of spectacular.

Netty said...

Loving your beautiful small poetry book, you have done the team proud with your gorgeous project. Annette x

House of Bears said...

Oh my, this is stunning. We love the aged paper, the images, the poetry, everything. We hope you keep it somewhere it can be looked through often.

Paper Profusion said...

Absolutely stunning Alison. Wonderful post to accompany such a very beautiful and ingenious creation. Tis late now and I've neglected blogland today but will check out Nicecrane 2moro. Nicola x

Kate Yetter said...

Wow, this is gorgeous! So vintage looking... I love it!! The floral motif around the edges is fabulous! A stunner, Alison.

Chrissy said...

Truly beautiful Alison, I could not in million years do anyhing as stunning as this and I bet those pages feel so thick and delicious on the fingertips..gorgeous images and love the verses..fantastic book, just like something out of Raiders of the lost Ark..or the Da Vinci code..I just want to hold it..and turn those pages.


Nan G said...

Breathtakingly beautiful!! I too thought it was an old book, not an original,work of art!! I love the poems you find and post, so I will return to read more of these. Thank you so much for sharing with us!

Unknown said...

This is nothing short of breathtaking. The book looks so naturally aged - amazing! And I just love that touch of Wild Honey distress ink - it really does add so much. What a beautiful piece of art this is.

Brenda Brown said...

I felt I was also in the moment and along for the ride looking at your stunning book and reading those wonderful words Alison. What a wonderful present this would make. I am so inspired and must make some time to do one. TFS
Hugs Brenda xxx

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

...wowzers Alison what a truely amazing piece of work, always so detailed and always so informative, you are one amazing lady to produce piece after piece of such delightful work (have you discovered the secret of getting 48hrs into 24?!)...visiting your blog is always a delight and an amazing adventure into all things beautiful...Melxx :)

chrissie said...

Stunning work on all of the pages can't imagine having time in my whole life to make anything like it.

Love Chrissie xx

liberal sprinkles said...

wow Alison, this is so gorgeous. The use of the flora and fauna images is inspired. You've done an amazing job!


Sue said...

Stunningly beautiful Alison, and I have to agree with Mel, you must have a time machine somewhere :-) I love your handwritten poetry - it's all just wonderful. I'm going to have a wander over to the web page now xx

Silvia(Barnie) said...

I'm missing words, that's really an outstanding project.

Anonymous said...

Oh my word!!! This is so beautiful it makes me want to cry. Stunning
PS My purse will also now cry since you keep sharing the link to the most awesome Images

Andrea Small said...

oh. my. actual. god.

Claudia N. said...

Me again - wanting to thank you for sharing this awesome creation with us at TioT!!! LOVE!

Claudia xx

Asia King (aka Joanna K) said...

Alison, this is an absolute stunner! Vintage charm ay its finest! Gorgeous work! xxx

pearshapedcrafting said...

Absolutely breathtakingly g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s!
What you have done here is just .......well......can't put it into words - WOW!!!!
Now to go and look up Nicecrane Designs. Love Chrisx

Ntsisterz said...

You have totally captured the essence of old manuscripts.Your choice of colors and designs leave me breathless and enchanted. I can't wait to see more!

craftytrog said...

I'm always inspired by your beautiful vintage creations Alison...this one is stunning! I've always loved those wonderful images by Edith Holden.
Alison xx

Hettie said...

I need time to study this fully and as it is knocking on 2oclock I had better get off internet! Wow this looks fabulous.
see ya later! Pinky promise!

PetraB said...

This is stunning and absolutely lovely. Thestamping, the colours and images work sp perfectly together.

Shoshi said...

What an absolutely stunning piece of work, Alison. It is positively mouth-watering! I adore the distressed pages and the whole hand-made feel about it. I can imagine how tactile it must be, and the sound it makes when you turn those delicious pages... I have always loved the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, and I think you have interpreted her work most beautifully. This is a real heirloom. Fabulous.


Terry said...

Exquisite!! Every page and every inch from cover to cover is amazing! Love this! Have a great day!

Bonnie Irvine said...

Alison, this is an amazing work of art and heart. I have read through your post and studied the photos three times already and I know I'll go back for more. There is so much loveliness to take in with the beautiful illustrations, the lovely poems, and the fabulously stamped and aged pages. What a treasure this is! Kudos.

Anonymous said...

This book is absolutely gorgeous, a stunning piece of art, Alison. Wonderful vintage feel and so prettily decorated. The distressing and images are so, so beautiful. Thanks for joining us over at Sugar Creek Holllow for our challenge.
Amelia (DT Sugar Creek Hollow)

Lisa Minckler said...

Ohh mercy sakes Alison. I love your "zoned out" project! You are not only amazingly talented but hilarious as well. Love the comma comment..LOL. Welcome aboard my friend. I can't even begin to imagine the continued inpsiration you will give to us all. Ignacio is no doubt thrilled!
Lisa xx

Candy C said...

Alison....thanks so much for your nice comment on my blog. Oh my goodness!!! I am in love with your Year in Poetry piece. It's magnificent!!! So lovely, vintage and beautifully done! I love all of the images, the poems and your design of this beautiful work! <3 Candy

Evil Edna said...

outstanding, thank you for sharing this wonderful piece with us at TIOT.EE

Meggymay said...

Wow, stunning book, so many details and things to look at.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful project with us at SCH this week.

Princess Judy Palmer said...

Simply beautiful! and breathtaking!

Alexa said...

What a fabulous project - so many beautiful pages it really takes your breath away. So enjoyed reading all the lovely poems. Thank you so much for sharing it with us as TioT.

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

There are not enough fabulous words to give this Alison! AMAZING work! Love each inky illustrated page...GORGEOUS!!!

Inkypinkycraft said...

Alison your work is simply stunning, this is an amazingly beautiful and creative make and you have showcased the images with amazing integrity and beautifully..simply amazing..well done on the post they are lucky to have your amazing talent love trace x

Neet said...

Took me ages, standing behind the hotel door in Berlin, to get to you comment box. Couldn't give in after seeing such beautiful work.
This is a must revisit project as there is so much loveliness to see.
Once again Alison, you have provided a treasure,
Thanks for sharing at AT.
Hugs Neet xx

Gio said...

A truly, lovely, feast for eyes, Alison.

Jenny Marples said...

The choice of paper and the way you've aged it/stamped on it really enhances these beautiful images. This has 'Butterfly' stamped all over it, epitomising your amazing work. It is no wonder you are on this DT (huge congrats hun) as you will have people leaping to buy the images. Now you need more hours in the day!! Hugs and admiration as ever, Jenny x

Kjersti said...

Amazing and breathtaking creation Alison! You are truly a talented lady, thanks for sharing your beautiful projects!
Have a nice weekend!
Hugs Kjersti:)

Julia S-W said...

Stunningly beautiful Alison - from beginning to end.
Many congratulations on your post too - not sure how you manage it all!
Have a wonderful weekend.

Shelby said...

What an absolutely gorgeous and exquisite project! Wowzer all of the work you've done with this project was definitely worth it in the end as this is just stunning


craftimamma said...

This is an absolutely awesome piece of work Alison. The poetry you have chosen is beautiful and the imagery enhances them perfectly. I love the vintage look and sepia tones of all the wonderful stamped images too. An absolutely stunning book.

Lesley Xx

Marjie Kemper said...

This is stunning, Alison. Oh how I wish I could see it in person.... each page a treasure!

Bärbel said...

Das Buch ist traumhaft schön geworden. Es schaut aus, als wäre es schon hunderte von Jahren alt, ich bin ganz verliebt in jede einzelne Seite!

Ellie Knol said...

I have no words to describe this - it's just perfect!

Cathy L. Calamas said...

My mouth is hanging open in awe! Spectacular!! Creating in the "zone" is the best. It's like time stops. :)
And thank you for playing along in our Let's get Inky challenge over at TIOT.

Margaret said...

First of all, Congrats!!! You have done a fabulous job as part of the design team!!
I love the whole idea of the poetry book and each page is as beautiful as the next! And you used real coffee to stain the pages!!!! Does it get any better than that?! This is such an amazing piece and you were most definitely in a wonderful place when you created it!!

Irene said...

Oh WOW!!!!! this book is truly stunning, just gorgeous, thanks so much for sharing