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...

Tuesday 30 April 2013

Chance to see...

Hello all and welcome, with an especially big welcome to the newest followers; I'm so delighted you decided to come along for the ride.

Just a very quick re-direct today.

This is just to let you know that there's a tag step-by-step over at Artistic Outpost today if you're looking for some Distress Paint inspiration... 

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle.
Walt Whitman

Sunday 28 April 2013

Flutter by, butterfly

Hello all!  Amidst all the exciting announcements, I've got an actual project to share with you!  

(If you've missed any of the news bulletins, the Our Creative Corner one is here and the Artistic Stamper one is here.)

The stamps for this are all from Artistic Outpost... the sentiment from the Typography plate, and the tiny hedgerow flowers (yup, you heard me - hedgerow flowers) from the Generation Redux plate.

I started with a little papier-mâché hanging board (the small size: just over 5 x 2 inches and half an inch deep), Fresco paints, and a stencil from Magenta, and let it grow from there.

The Magenta stencil is adorable, with these tiny butterflies dancing all the way up.  I applied some Wendy Vecchi embossing paste through it onto the front of the board, and added a few more fluttering onto the edge of the board.

Once it was dry, I started to blend on my paints with a sponge.  Snowflake first, then some Ice Blue and Sky (appropriately, given that's what I wanted it to look like).

The final bit of colour blending was done with Peeled Paint Distress Ink, just to add definition to the edges.

It also gives a bit more of a grassy feel, especially at the foot of the hanging.

I used some tissue paper stampings of the sentiment to decide where and what colour it should be.

In the end I went for a blending of inks onto the stamp, Ranger Cobalt Archival, Memento Teal Zeal and Olive Archival shading across the words from side to side.

And once I'd worked out the position, I took the plunge and stamped it straight onto the board.

The flowers are stamped in Olive Archival; stamping repeatedly from one inking gives you the impression of plants in the foreground and in the distance.

Then it was out with the Distress Markers.  I coloured the butterflies with the brush end, and then added some fine detailing using the firm tip.

I almost think I liked it better before the antennae and dots were there - but there's no picture of that stage, so I'm afraid I can't ask for your input on it!

A simple little hanging then, but one that gives me pleasure... I hope it's done the same for you.

You've still got just a couple of days to join in with the April Referral Programme at Artistic Outpost: just one AO image, and your project will qualify for the prize draw - so come and play!

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I hope your Sunday has been restful, restorative and has set you up for a wonderful week to come.  See you out there!

Flowers and butterflies drift in colour, illuminating spring.
Author Unknown

The green grass and the happy skies
court the fluttering butterflies.
Terri Guillemets

I'm entering this in the following:
Simon Says Stamp and Show are looking for Colour - from any medium - I've got paint, ink and markers
Country View Crafts have a theme of Butterflies this month
The Inspiration Journal have a couple of days left playing with Marvellous Masks and Spectacular Stencils
And I'd like to hook up to Hels Sheridan's Sunday Stampers, where all you need to do is use Blue

The Artistic Stamper beckons

Hello everyone!  After yesterday's excitement, I'm back with more news that I've been holding in til I was almost ready to burst.  I'm setting off on another new journey...

I had an absolute ball being the February Guest Designer for The Artistic Stamper, so I was completely over the moon when Jennie and Emma got in touch to ask whether I would join the team full-time.  You can already guess that there was quite a lot of happy dancing going on!

So there's just a little announcement over there today, with a couple of memory-joggers of those February projects (which I will be adding to my collection here sooner or later - just so I can get everything under one roof, so you will get to see them again at some point!).  It would be lovely if you had a moment to pop over there and visit!

Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the sooner we will be able to treat life as art.
Maya Angelou

The journey between what you once were and who you are now becoming is where the dance of life really takes place.
Barbara DeAngelis

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. 
You can steer yourself any direction you choose. 
You're on your own, and you know what you know. 
And you are the only one who'll decide where you'll go.
Dr. Seuss

Saturday 27 April 2013

A whole new Our Creative Corner

Hello everyone!  A very quick post today just to let you know about the exciting changes afoot over at Our Creative Corner - one of the longest running Challenge Blogs.

There's a new owner, a whole new look, new challenges, a new timetable, and I'm thrilled to bits to be part of the brand new Design Team... wait til you see who I get to play with!

You'll find all the details over at Our Creative Corner.  I really hope you'll have time to pop over for a look... and, of course, time to play along once the first challenge is announced.  See you there!

Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.
Dee Hock

Friday 26 April 2013

A different angle...

Hello and welcome, with an especially big welcome to the newest followers - thank you so much for taking the plunge!

I'm here with another double-DT project, combining the wonderful goodies on offer at eclectic Paperie with a delicious vintage image from Nicecrane Designs.  As usual, you'll find links to all the ingredients either within or at the end of the post.

There's a slightly different slant on things here today... you'll see that all the photos are capturing the piece from unusual angles.  For a more straightforward view of this project, and some simple step-by-step details, hop over to my post at the eclectic Paperie blog.  Here at Words and Pictures we're all about the obliques today!

I knew I would love playing with Tim Holtz's burlap panels the minute I saw them in the new releases earlier this year... and they are very yummy!  You get great texture, great dimension and a great shabby chic look before you've even done anything...

The little boy is from Nicecrane's Child's Garden of Verses V (the set in the image), beautiful vintage book illustrations all ready to be coloured, cut out, or whatever else takes your fancy.

But you could also go for the Child's Garden of Verses Save Pack (click to go straight there) which gets you lots of extra images into the bargain.

I printed him out in a couple of different sizes, so that I could see what worked best, and then used Distress Stains to watercolour him in a neutral palette.  A bit of simple fussy cutting, and he was ready to take his place on the layout. 

There's such an innocence about him, and such a delicious nostalgic feel to these illustrations.  

He's mounted on padded tape to give him some foregrounding dimension, and for the rest of the sticking down I used Glossy Accents... generally great for gluing metal and other stubborn surfaces.

The papers come from the new 8x8 Tim Holtz Collage mini-stash... such a cool new sizing if you're someone (like me) who doesn't work in 12x12 that often.  

As I laid them out, I made sure there were lots of places where they extended over the sides, to continue the dimensional look...

The sentiment stamp is by Tim Holtz, and it's a firm favourite.  I think it's so important to try to carve out space for yourself in our busy, busy society with all its demands.

Whether you lose yourself in a good book, or go for a walk and get in touch with nature, or just sit and listen to music or - if you can find it - in silence... so important. 

(I shared one of my all-time favourite quotes, by Pythagoras, on the last post, and it's all about silence:
Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb.
As you can see, I'm quite a fan of learning too!)

A couple of Idea-ology metal embellishments take their place: one of my favourite clocks... 

...and some moulded corners,  all shabbied up (down?) with some gesso and Treasure Gold gilding wax.

And, of course, there's that delicious burlap texture I was talking about... I decided to highlight it in a couple of ways.  I added some streaks of gesso for a shabby chic look.

Then I had a play with the yummy Liquid Platinum embossing powder from Ranger.

I applied the powder very lightly, even dusting some off, so that there would just be flecks and bubbles caught in the weave of the burlap and on the papers.  I love the effect!
Remember, if you'd like to see a nice, simple, straight on photo of this panel, or any more of the 'making-of' details, then have a look here.  

If there's something that's tempted you, you'll find it at eclectic Paperie by clicking on the links below.

And do take a few minutes to visit Nicecrane Designs... there is such a variety of great images on offer for downloading - well worth taking a look!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by today... I do so appreciate your visits. 

I'd like to enter this in the following:
They're being So Sentimental at the Craft-room Challenge
And this week, Anything Goes at Simon Says Stamp

Every man of genius sees the world at a different angle from his fellows, and there is his tragedy.
Havelock Ellis

To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.
Albert Einstein

If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own.
Henry Ford

Wednesday 24 April 2013

The Silence Between

Hello everyone; hope you're all having a great week!  It's my birthday today, so I decided to indulge myself in catching up with one of my favourite projects.

I was so excited to be invited to Guest Design for Calico Crafts on their blog in February, but I only gave a sneak peek of the projects here at Words and Pictures.

I've caught up with one of them, but it's time to get add the other to my full collection here.  I use this blog like a virtual scrapbook of my work, so it feels important to get them all "under one roof".  So, forgive me if you've seen this before...

I love the eclectic mix of products Calico Crafts offer - so much inspiration just from the crafty stash.

The first piece I created for them was a hanging created out of unassuming beer mats, rusty metal and bits of driftwood.  I love the sense of "found objects" being turned into something beautiful ... well, I think it's beautiful - I hope you like it too!

I started by covering the beer mats with the large Vintage Collage Sheet called Principles of Music (sadly not available at the moment, but there are lots of others to choose from).  I love music manuscript and notation, so this huge sheet of old musical principles and rules really delights me.

Once the mats were covered, I sanded the edges for a more distressed look, and then added some gesso with rough brushstrokes to weather them even further.

I stamped some of the gorgeous hedgerow grasses from the Artemio Wild Summer Meadow set randomly across the three beer mats, and added the rusted hearts.  

I arranged the mats on my craft table in the order I thought looked best, and adjusted the position of the hearts until I was happy with how it all looked.

I got some of the small driftwood sticks and lined them up in between the mats to check that the idea I'd had was actually going to look okay before I started getting twiddly with the rusty wire.  I also gave them a couple of sweeps of gesso for fun!

I punched holes in the beermats and then started threading the whole thing together, making sure to leave enough length in the wire for doing some curly wurly stuff at the ends.

I stamped the quote - which, I should of course tell you, is a thought of Mozart's - and cut them up, inking the edges.  

I attached them using padded tape, for extra dimension, inserting a bit of metal mesh behind the most significant words to highlight them. 

And that was pretty much that... a fairly simple make, but one that really pleases me.  I'd love to know what you think, though please don't feel you have to leave a comment if you did last time!

My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.
Edith Sitwell

True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.
William Penn

Learn to be silent. Let your quiet mind listen and absorb.

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by.  If you've never been there, it's well worth visiting the Calico Crafts blog for lots of lovely inspiration, as well of course as the online store for lots of lovely shopping!  Happy crafting!

Ingredients from Calico Crafts - click to go straight there:

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Moonlight Revels

Hello everyone!  It's Tuesday and time for a new challenge over at Fun With ATCs.  For this fortnight we'd love to see your Artist's Trading Cards (2.5 x 3.5 inches in size) on the theme of Magic or Magical Creatures.  There's some really exciting inspiration from my fellow teammates here, plus all the challenge details of course.  Here's my offering to get you started:

This was a really tricky one to get a good photo of because there's so much faerie dust around (a.k.a. Perfect Pearls, Distress Stickles and Dry Glitter); the real magic happens when you move it around in the light...

I make no apologies for employing the same fairies as in my Once Upon A Time Steampunk Fairytale Book... they're pretty much the only magical creatures I have amongst my stash.  They come from the Prima 6x6 Nature Garden collection.

This is how they look before any doctoring (apart from a bit of sanding round the edges where I've stuck them onto chipboard).

Now they've got some Perfect Pearls powder in Pearl on their dresses and an aura of Rock Candy Distress Stickles in the haze around them, as well as some doodling with the Inkssentials white gel pen to give a moonlit glow to them.

I love this little one!

The moon was created by pressing one of the Tim Holtz texture stamps into some WV embossing paste to get that bumpy, cratered look.

I knew I'd only be using part of it, so I didn't bother making it very round...

Next step was a liberal coating of Rock Candy Dry Glitter... you get so much dimension and texture from this, and it has such a subtle sparkle. Fabulous stuff...

That sparkle, plus a bit of inking, gives the moon a touch more presence... and sparks the faerie revels - dancing in the moonlight!

The words are stamped with my little £1 alphabet stamps with some doodled moonlit highlights.  

They're inspired by Puck's speech from the end of A Midsummer Night's Dream - you'll find it below, of course (oh, and if you're wondering about my weird spelling of faerie, I did go into it here), and I'll leave you with that...

For now, I hope you'll have time to check out the inspiration from the rest of the DT, and it would be fabulous to have you play along with our Magic and Magical Creatures theme at Fun With ATCs... 

I really can't wait to see where your imaginations take you (and us).

Have a wonderful week!

Now the hungry lion roars
And the wolf behowls the moon,
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,
All with weary task fordone.
Now the wasted brands do glow,
Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud,
Puts the wretch that lies in woe
In remembrance of a shroud.
Now it is the time of night
That the graves all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite,
In the churchway paths to glide.
And we fairies, that do run
By the triple Hecate’s team
From the presence of the sun,
Following darkness like a dream,
Now are frolic. Not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallowed house.
I am sent with broom before
To sweep the dust behind the door.
William Shakespeare

Oops, nearly forgot!

For something completely different, there's a one-time-only chance to see the card I made for my nephew over on the Artistic Outpost blog today.

"A card?", I hear you cry.

Yup, a card... because that's what doting aunts do for their adored nephews (and I'd do it for my niece too, but pretty much nobody else.  Grrr... I hate making cards - what is that about?!)

Happy Crafting everyone!

Sunday 21 April 2013

A moment in time

Hello all, and a happy Sunday to you!  I'm here with my take on Tim Holtz's glorious April tag and, for the first time, I've been able to play it almost entirely with Tim's ingredients (though my 4 is a tiny one - I now "need" those Number Parts!).  

The only change is that, as Tim suggests, I've varied the colours: I aimed for the iridescent blues and greens of a dragonfly's wings, with the Pewter as my choice of Metallic Distress Paint.

I won't go into making-of details - you can find out everything you need to know from the Master himself here, but I'd just like to share some of my favourite things about this tag...  

I feel fine blowing a trumpet about this one since really it's all Tim's work not mine!!

I love this stamp - I'd been coveting it for ages, since it was released with the other Classics, in
fact, and inking it up for the first time gave me all the joy I'd expected.

Love the Clearly For Art film - it's so easy to heat and mould, and then re-heat and re-mould if you've messed it up!

Also very happy with the marbling in the background; the Pewter gives that "silvery lace" that the stamp mentions... 

And I seem to be on a real green and blue-green kick at the moment, so the colours please me a lot.

Yes, I know it's ended up looking as though I've got purple involved, but I promise you it's Chipped Sapphire DP!

Love the look of the Distress Paints on metal, it's one of my favourite things about them... and the worn look that Tim offered up for this tag looks so cool, I think.

I chose to use a clock as one of my metallic embellishments - dragonflies, like butterflies are around for such a short lifespan, but fill it with such beauty and industry - a lesson to us all in how to make the most of one's time.

I ran with the gears theme a little... expanding from the ones at the top and adding another at the foot of the tag, along with the gorgeous da Vinci-esque cogs and gears tissue tape from the Commute set. 

Love the funky use of the mini-staples to attach the wordband.

I gave it an extra little brush of Distress Paint in Pewter even though it was already silvery.  The paint somehow brings it to life.

I added the quote for the same reason as the clock; it's one of my favourite Tim Holtz sentiments, both for the thought and for the handwriting it comes in.

Love the shabby, worn look you get on the Crinkle Ribbon when you use the paints as well as stains (as you know, I've already been playing with that!).

I had sooo much fun with this one, and I do love the outcome... thank you, Tim, for another astounding piece of inspiration!  

Hope you all have a wonderful day, and I'll see you soon either here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
Eleanor Roosevelt

“What day is it?"
It's today," squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day," said Pooh.”
A.A. Milne

I'm entering this as my April tag in Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2013
And in the Sentimental challenge at Fashionable Stamping Challenges
As well as So Sentimental at the Craft-room Challenge