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 11 January 2013

Live in the moment

Hello all and welcome, with an especially big welcome to the new followers - it's so wonderful to have your company on the journey...

I'm sharing another of the explosion of turquoisey pieces which happened immediately after Christmas as I played with my new Peacock Feathers DI and new Distress Stain colours of Mowed Lawn and Salty Ocean (others here, here and here, and I don't think I'm done yet!).

This one also employs one of my other obsessions - the PaperArtsy Fresco paints.

I particularly asked for those colours from Father Christmas, but I still surprised myself with what turned up on my craft desk once I started playing, so I hope this will also be enough of a surprise for them over at the Fashionable Stamping Challenge where the Anything Goes challenge is called "Surprise Us".

It was certainly a case of living from moment to moment as I was making it, and following my instincts... that strange "in the zone" thing that happens when you're creating something, and time passes without you noticing.  I think that's the same as following one's muse - is it? - which is what they'd like us to do at Frilly and Funkie.

The centrepiece for this is one of the glorious Lynne Perella stamps (also from PaperArtsy).  But I didn't know that when I started!

I usually set out on projects without much idea of where I'm going, but this tag was an extreme example: surprise after surprise as I just messed around with the things to hand - changing my mind frequently and experimenting freely, with some good results, and some that needed saving, as you'll see.

I began with a large tag and my Distress Stains.  I dabbed them onto the craft sheet and used a blending tool to work them onto the tag, adding in some Peacock Feathers DI at times too.

I then tried just splodging the sponge of the stain bottle down onto the tag quite firmly, so that it created a lovely - well - splodge, I guess is the word, with a nice splash pattern round it.  Lot of fun!!

I added some random stamping with a music manuscript stamp and then paused to have a look at it.

It seemed Lynne Perella-y, so I grabbed my one and only LP set (so far...), number 001.  (Sorry that number has made my brain go straight to one of my favourite moments from QI - if you fancy a detour, it's here.)

I stamped her in Cobalt Blue Archival ink, and it looked pretty good, but the face wasn't as clear as I'd've liked, so I decided I'd have a go at adding a bit of paint to the image.

I'd seen Leandra's fantastic video of painting an LP image stamped onto material, and thought "why not?".  Since the face was causing the problem, I started there.

I used quite a thin wash of the Nougat Fresco paint, but of course no matter how careful I was I ended up going over the features and even with the thin wash it obscured the features slightly.  So it was time to take a risk.  I decided I would try to restamp just the facial features over the paint.

Not that simple, as the stamps are rubber not clear, so lining them up (if you haven't planned in advance) can be tricky.  So that there wouldn't be any double-stamping of the rest of the image, I inked up only the face, took a deep breath, and went for it.  If you're intimately acquainted with the stamp, you'll see that it's just very slightly off-centre - but all things considered, I'm very happy with the result!

I used an even thinner wash of paint over some other bits of the image, the shells and the swirls and - having done that - I decided to be led by those swirls and shells as I carried on playing.

I added some random stamping of the shell image also from the LP set, and then came another bit of experimentation.  I'd thought of doing some texture paste dots to get some extra circles, so that I'd have somewhere to highlight with Treasure Gold (current product obsession).

But I wanted more than just dots, really, so I decided to try some partial embossing instead, using the Tim Holtz embossing folder, Retro Circles.  It took some juggling to get the right bit of the tag to go through in the folder, but I got there!

Since the stencils were out and lying around (because of my discarded texture paste plans), I decided to use them in another way.  I wanted to tie in the paint on the image into the rest of the tag somehow, and stencilling seemed the perfect way to introduce some text into the background.

Instead of dots, I went with the contrasting lines of the Distorted Honeycomb template that I was lucky enough to win at Tando a while back.

I used some Cut'n'Dry foam to dab the paint (again a diluted wash) from the craft sheet onto the tag, through the stencil, and loved the effect.  With various degrees of dilution as I was dabbing, there are places where the creamy paint is quite opaque, and others where the colours and stamping show through quite clearly - yum!

At this point, I decided to throw a whole new game at the tag, and I punched out the bottom with an X-Cut punch bought at The Range - seemed like a good idea, so I did it.

It wasn't until afterwards that I realised that the punch pattern was a sort of combination of the circle motif and the hexagons: instinct, I suppose - definitely not planning.

The tiny watch parts come from Calico Crafts, and they were the perfect thing to highlight the tag with.  I added a cog or gear to the centre of each shell spiral, including the ones the woman has as her somewhat extravagant earrings!

I had a bit of canvas lying around, so I stuck it onto some card and used it to add the TH sentiment, which seemed perfect for such a moment-to-moment tag.  I frayed it a little round the edges, and inked it for definition.

I put the finishing touches of a lacing of Treasure Gold in Aquamarine and some Distress Stain-dyed crinkle ribbon in place.  As with my Butterfly tag, I made enough ribbon for a double bow plus some more to hang it up by.   

And then I sat back for a look at a tag which - to me - seems quite different from lots of my other work.  It's not revolutionary, but it was such fun to go "off-piste" and to end up with something that really pleases me.

I hope you've enjoyed sharing my experimental journey - I'd love to know how it strikes you.  Maybe it's very obviously a "butterfly" piece, and I just don't see it...  Certainly, now that you've got used to seeing the turquoises from me, it will be less of a surprise than if I'd shared this one first.

In any case, I'm very grateful that you've taken the time to stop by today, and I look forward to seeing you again soon - here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.

Everything that is new or uncommon raises a pleasure in the imagination, because it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before possessed.
Joseph Addison

The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.
Ashley Montagu

I'm entering this in the following:
At Fashionable Stamping Challenges the theme is "Surprise Us"
Try It On Tuesday are still interested in seeing our New Stash
Crafty Creations would like to see Something New
Frilly and Funkie want us to Follow Our Muse - mine likes going in all sorts of different directions at the moment!


Laurart said...

WOW!!! I shouldn't really have that reaction as I have seen this piece IRL but....WOW!!! It is amazing. I love hearing how it was done. The ink splodges are wonderful. I had decided not to get the stains as I felt they wouldn't be needed if I had the DI's but I think I am majorly wrong there! I love all your neutral toned crafts but have to admit the bright greens and blues fit in very well to your style - Any other bright colours planned? Lots of love Laura xxxxxxxx

Paper Profusion said...

Goodness what wonderful pattern and texture Alison. This is stunning - your muse sure has the compass pointing in the right direction! Especially love the gold. Nicola x

Yvonne Garner said...

Hi Alison! I am blown away by your piece of art. I cannot stop taking in all the details. Greens and Turquoises are some of my very favorite color combinations. Bravo!

Trish Latimer said...

Fabulous background Alison...love it!!! xxxx

Marjie Kemper said...

Gorgeous tag, Alison! Love your colors and richly layered background as usual.

Amanda said...

Absolutely stunning colours, such richness, love it all!
Amanda xx

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Fabulous Alison, I seem to be drawn to these colours, I used them a lot before Christmas but I am back to it again. They really appeal to me and this tag really draws you in. Love the background which is a wonderful backdrop for that fabulous image. Love the texture too. Enjoy your weekend. Tracy x x

Olivia said...

What lovely and rich colors!! Just fantastic tag ;-)And the dry embossing just ads another dimension to the tag.

Deborah said...

Such amazing layering and texture, Alison. And well done on overstamping pretty accurately. I chicken out and stamp onto copy paper, cut it out and glue it om top.

Sophie said...

Oh mein Gott, wie traumhaft schön hast du die Stempel eingesetzt...

Und diese herrlichen Grüntöne,
eine richtige Überraschung für mich, dass das auch mit diesen Farben so schön aussieht.
Ich bin total in diese Stempel verliebt.

Francesca said...

What a fab tag, the colours are just wonderful. I love the vibrant colours in the distress as well. Hugs Francesca

Silvia(Barnie) said...

A fabulous tag in great fresh colors. Thanks for joining us at FSC this fortnight.

House of Bears said...

Wow wow wow, this must be a bears favourite of your wonderful creations so far. The colours are amazing. We love distress stains and think they make such great backgrounds.

Very clever to emboss only part of the tag, we may have to try that technique as often we don't want the whole tag embellished.

We are soooooo jealous of your LP stamps, we had a dilemma between those and Dylusions with our Christmas money, Dylusions won, but there are still birthdays to wish for stash!!

Inkypinkycraft said...

Gorgeous like an ocean dream! Love the real sea feel in the colors and shapes! Another wonderful make trace x

Nicecrane Designs said...

Gorgeus Tag,,,,,,, Alison,,,,, woww,woww,,Love your embossing....and donñt forget I sent diret access to my Peter Rabbit Folder,,,,my friend.

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

How interesting this tag is, Alison...love it!! Love the details, colours and the touch of gold!!!

greetings, Alie :-)

Sue said...

Just wonderful Alison, these colours work perfectly together, and I love the touch of embossing. All in all a gorgeous tag xx

Anonymous said...

Love this colour combo Alison, and the techniques you've used. Thanks for joining us (again!) at Frilly and Funkie. Sue C x

Dorthe said...

So stunning Allison,
So much texture, so beautifully glittered with the treasure gold, such wonderful water clours and embossed areas-and the stamp from LP is amazing with the shells in all the blue/green aqua tones.
Thanks for a beautiful inspirering post.

froebelsternchen said...

Oh my GOSH! This sooooo beautiful!

congrats on the News from Artistic Outpost! FABULOUS!
xxx Susi

Shelby said...

Look at that beautiful explosion of colors and shapes! amazingly cool work.


Jenny Marples said...

A veritable feast for the eyes. So much to adore and admire here - it's fantastic to see what happens when you let go completely and play (if a little scary!) although probably not so much for you as I've never seen anything less that amazing on your blog!
Thank you for joining us at Frilly and Funkie (squeal!) my crafty friend. It's always an absolute pleasure to see your work. Hugs, Jenny x

Astrid Maclean said...

Great tag again Alison, specially love the texture in the background, and lovely stamping too of course!

Redanne said...

The Lynne Perella image is wonderful Alison and the sentiment really suits the 'surprise' element. The colours are amazing and not what I expect to see from you - they are quite gorgeous as is your whole tag. Hugs, Anne x

Kate Yetter said...

I absolutly LOVE LOVE LOVE this tag! The colors and textures are amazing! You really showcased these stamps. Did I mention that I love it!

Liesbeth Fidder said...

Wow, thit is amazing Alison !! Breathtaking !

Brenda Brown said...

A fabulous outcome from all that playing and following your muse. Such exciting colours and images together and wonderful texture too.
Have a great weekend.
Hugs Brenda xox

craftytrog said...

Beautiful colours, stamping & texture! You always inspire me Alison! xx

chrissie said...

So many wonderful shades of green and all working perfectly together to make this a stunning tag.

Love Chrissie xx

toni said...

What a beauty! So many different layers all working in perfect harmony. Can i borrow your muse for a bit? Fabulous work x

Anonymous said...

So lovely to see you join us at FSC with this gorgeous explosion of peacock wonder. The stamped image works so beautifully with those colours. We can see its beauty in the photograph but I can just imagine that IRL it will truly come into its own.
Thank You for sharing with us at FSC this fortnight.
P.S. Thank You for joining my Giveaway.

May said...

O my word... Stunning work Alison... Those colours together are fantastic, the stamping, embossing & detail is amazing.. I've been looking at it for over 10 mins before commenting.. so much to look at.. Love it all... Hugs May x x x

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

Very cool! Love the greens and splashes! The texture looks fab!

zandra said...

Love the color combo, great take on the challenge. Thanks for playing with us at TIOT.
Hugz, Z

Nan G said...

Hello! Is this butterfly? Wow!! I'm loving your experimentation with color, Alison! She's a knock out!

sam21ski said...

Absolutely gorgeous Alison. Lovely to see you getting the colours out.

Sam xxx

Netty said...

wow lots of lovely dimension with your fabulous tag Alison. An experiment to be proud of. Enjoy the weekend, Annette x

Janny Jager said...

Amazing tg Alison.
Love the colors and the texture also the text very very much.
Greetngs Janny

fatmonica said...

This is a stunning piece of work.I love the textures and the greens are fabulous!

Sarah said...

I love the colors and you have included just the right amount of splotches, embossing, and gold. Beautifully executed, Alison.

Evil Edna said...

so lovely , it should live in the bottom of a lake and be visited by mermaids. thank you so much for gracing us with this at TIOT.EE

Hettie said...

Wow Alison this is fabulous dah-ling! What a lot of work you have done there but it sure was worth it!
That sentiment stamp is my favourite of TH's.
love this.

Annie said...

Fabulous tag Alison. Love the colours and textures. You have certainly put in lots of crafty techniques and the result is stunning.

Annie x

Kim x said...

Fabulous as always Alison. Fabulous bit of re-stamping.
I would probably have been very sad and got out my re-positioning tool instead of just going for it.
Thanks for all of your lovely comments.
hugs Kimx

Martina said...

How creative and beautiful, Alison! The background is so eye-catching and the colours perfect. And I love the Lynne Perrella stamps! Really great work!!!!!!

Mrs.B said...

Hi Alison, just catching up - this has such a wonderful background, and I love the fact that it just evolved to this amazing tag!
Thanks for sharing with us at FSC
Avril xx
Also thanks for joining us at TioT too

Andrea Small said...

Just catching up after 4 days away and can I just say WOW! and YUM! x

Bärbel said...

Alison, ich liebe Ihre wunderbaren Farbschattierungen zwischen hellem Grün bis Türkise, auch bei diesem Tag sind sie wieder so schön, dazu kombiniert mit so wunderbaren Stempeln, traumhaft schön ist dieses Tag!

Bonnie Irvine said...

I have come back to look at this tag so many times. I thought I had commented already but I think I got too distracted with this wonderful piece of art. I am a huge Lynne Perrella fan and am absolutely smitten with this tag. The colours are lovely and this lovely woman is certainly a fitting star. Beautiful.

Ellie Knol said...

Beautiful tag, so many lovely details!
Thanks for sharing with us at TIOT!
xxx Ellie xxx