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 July 2013

Sunshine, please...

Hello all!  Isn't it typical?  Just at the point when I could really do with some sunlight for photographing a project, it's set in as a grey, drizzly day.  So I'm sharing this A4 canvas now, but I might be back another time with some updated sunny pictures!

This is one of those ones that got me out of bed early, demanding to be made.

Its principal inspirations are Polish, one way and another: the papers, and some of the embellishments are by Finnabair (a.k.a. Anna Dabrowska)...

... and as well as her influence I've also been hugely inspired by the work of Czekoczyna (a.k.a. Kasia Krzyminska)...

... and on top of that, before my recent stint working away from home, I'd ordered some sprays and inks from the Polish mixed media shop 13Arts, and was dying to have a play with them.

I started by tearing and layering strips of Finnabair's fabulous From Sunrise to Sunset papers for Prima.

I glued some more of the Prima papers to a piece of card and used the WordPlay die to cut the lettering I wanted for the words which had forced me out of bed earlier...

Next step was to gather lots of metal flowers, some from the Finnabair collection, some Idea-ology, and some filigree pieces I got from various other places, including the Funkie Junkie Boutique.

I did some stencilling with Distress Inks (mainly Picked Raspberry and Spiced Marmalade, with some Wild Honey and Worn Lipstick thrown in) using the little flower stencil from the same collection.

Then I added some little polka dots of texture paste, as well as smearing areas with paste fairly randomly, and patting it to texturise it.

I used my favourite script stamp from the Tim Holtz Apothecary set to add a bit of texty texture to the background too - which you might just be able to see on this picture.

Once the papers and flowers were all stuck down, I covered the whole flower arrangement with a coat of gesso.

Then the spritzing started.  As well as the 13Arts sprays, there are some Dylusions sprays and some Glimmer Mists involved.

I also did a bit of dry brushing with Haystack Fresco paint, and added some Glimmer Glaze at some point too.

In the meantime the rest of the canvas was obviously getting slightly spritzed, and I made sure to carry the colours over the edges, to create that dimensional look that I love so much.

Of course, the stencilling and texture paste had already taken a trip over the edge too.

Because the canvas was now quite inky, I decided the lettering would pop better if I layered in some more strips of paler paper for the letters to go onto - torn and inked around the edges, of course.

The inbetween words are Idea-ology AlphaParts, the Ransom set, painted white and then inked and glazed a little to tone in.

Quite a good view of some of the texture paste here, too...

Love when you can get colour and dimension and texture even into the words - that's pretty much my day job right there!

Some ripping and rolling to give the papers some edge and dimension - it also brings some white highlighting into play by revealing the unspritzed canvas or paper beneath.

The final touch was to add some Rock Candy Crackle Glaze to all the corners...

... and a touch of DecoArt Gloss Glaze to the flower arrangement.

This has the effect of really bringing the colours back to life - as they can sometimes get a bit dull once they're dry. 

Now all I need is some sunshine so that I can take some proper sparkly pictures!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  If it's raining on you too, I hope it hasn't dampened your spirits too much!

Those who bring sunshine to others cannot keep it from themselves.

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air...
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Keep your face to the sun, and you will never see the shadows.
Helen Keller

I'd like to enter this in the following:
Just in time for the Summer Sizzler at Country View Crafts' Challenge Site
At the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge they're creating an Ode to Sunshine
At Tando Creative Challenges they're interested in our inspiration from a Favourite Artist - Finnabair and Czekoczyna are going to have to take dual honours for this

Oh, and I'm also over at Artistic Outpost today with a little re-visit of a triple tag in one of my more usual colour palettes - worth a look, I think, if you missed it the first time around, though I do say so myself.

Happy Crafting all!

Saturday 27 July 2013

A place for keepsakes...

It's catch-up time here again at Words and Pictures, with an altered box originally shared over at The Artistic Stamper.  So, as always, don't feel you have to comment all over again - though, of course, it's always lovely to hear from you!

I had a lovely time with this one, then hit a complete stall and then, with one risky piece of bold stamping, leapt over the block to end up with something which I really love...

It certainly started out somewhere completely different... as a cheapy gift box from Kik (sort of the Czech equivalent of Woolworths crossed with a pound store).  They were less than 50p each, and in a number of shapes and sizes, so I picked up quite a few.

I started with layers of paint, using a Claudine Hellmuth acrylic (Blank Canvas, so basically white!) for the first time - what great coverage!  

I stuck ripped up pieces of Tim Holtz tissue wrap quite randomly onto the still wet paint and left the whole thing to dry.

Out with the Grunge Paste next... another first time for me, and I LOVE it!  

I smeared on lots of lovely Harlequin diamonds - very happy with the ease of application (and the smell!).

Then some inking to start adding colour to the piece... layering up Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire, Frayed Burlap and Walnut Stain.

I used Cobalt Archival to stamp the delicious tiny polka dots as well as the butterfly from Katy Fox's Encyclopaedia Botanica set.

The little beetle is from the same set, and he's stamped in Coffee Archival, as is the tiny handwritten script from Katy's Carte Postale plate.

I used Distress Paints to alter some metal Idea-ology embellishments: one of the Bookplates, and some Foliage flowers and leaves.

The Chipped Sapphire paint has a slightly more purple-y hue than the ink, so I added some paint to the box edges too, so that the embellishments would tone in better with the whole piece.

The lovely Idea-ology word band added a much-needed horizontal element to the arrangement, but somehow I still wasn't happy with the whole thing.

It was all very pretty, but it was missing something.  I wish I had a photo of that stage to show you - as I think one could easily have stopped there... but I just couldn't quite leave it.  I tried adding some ribbon (various ribbons in fact)... no good.

And then, finally, taking a deep breath, I took the large, beautiful flower stamp from the Encyclopedia Botanica plate and stamped it right on the very top of the box.

Thankfully, it works beautifully (I think!)... a really bold statement against the delicate layers of the background.

Some old, discoloured tracing paper was the perfect colour to sit within the bookplate, and I used my Hero Arts letters to stamp the word k-e-e-p-s-a-k-e-s on it - making my altered box into somewhere precious to keep precious things.

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I wish you all a wonderful weekend, whatever it is that you're up to!

Freedom lies in being bold.
Robert Frost

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Goethe (or maybe not!)

Ingredients used, available at The Artistic Stamper:
Stamps: Artistic Stamper - Encyclopaedia Botanica, Carte Postale, Dots
Distress Inks - Chipped Sapphire, Faded Jeans, Frayed Burlap, Walnut Stain
Distress Paints - Picket Fence, Chipped Sapphire
Claudine Hellmuth Studio Paints - Blank Canvas
PaperArtsy Grunge Paste
Crafter's Workshop stencil - Harlequin 6x6
Idea-ology Findings - Ornate Plates, Foliage, Word Bands
Idea-ology Fastenings - Long Fasteners
Ranger Archival Ink - Coffee, Cobalt
Idea-ology Tissue Wrap - Terminology

Friday 26 July 2013

Golden Memories

Hello everyone... Well, it's been another week of sneak peeks here at Words and Pictures so far, but I'm here with an actual project today!  I'm not sure it's really me, but it's nice to experiment occasionally.

It's another canvas with a combination of Artistic Outpost stamps and Pion Papers (like the romantic canvas of last week).

This time I've used the wonderful Bluebird plate with some of the Pion Vintage Garden papers.

I started with a piece of white corrugated card, but things started to gather and grow, and in the end it needed a larger canvas as the base.

The Artistic Outpost images are stamped on some of my tea/coffee-dyed tags.  I love these birds over the music manuscript...

... and they seemed perfect with the little Pion birds.

The bluebird boy is fast becoming one of my favourite images (he put in an appearance on my little hanging recently), and I edged his tag with some of the lovely typescript stamp from the same set.

That text also appears on the other little tags...

... and on the bunting in the top corner.

The flowers are by Wild Orchid, layered with some cheesecloth...

... and a little heart cut from the white corrugated card - inked of course - to link with the other side of the canvas.

I cut some kraft glassine with the Tim Holtz Doily, and also layered in some other pieces of kraft glassine in various places to add a bit of depth to the colour palette.

I added the lovely Thinking of You stamp to this little postcard from the papers.

And I just love this tiny little bird on the stamp...

I altered one of the Idea-ology bookplates with some layers of Distress Paint, wiping back and adding layers until I was happy with the look.

My trusty Hero Arts alphabet was pressed into action for the word Memories, stamped on another bit of tea/coffee stained tag, to go inside it.

There are doilies layered in too, and where they overlapped the edge, I folded them around to add decoration to the edges of the canvas.

Also around the edge I added music manuscript washi tape.

I not only like the look of this, but it came in very handy for securing the bunting too!

So there are my Golden Memories - hope you enjoyed the tour.  Thanks so much for stopping by, and I'll be back touring around Craftyblogland with a bit more time soon, I hope...

Don't forget you've still got time to join in with the Artistic Outpost Referral Program this month.

All you need is at least one AO image to qualify for the prize draw.  Hope to see you there, or elsewhere very soon!

Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.
Haruki Marukami

True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories.
Florence King

I'd like to enter this in the following:
At the Wild Orchid Challenge where they are playing Blues and/or Purples
A second entry at this month's Hobby House Challenge where the theme is Vintage
At the Fashionable Stamping Challenge they are looking for Flora and Fauna