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...

Sunday 4 August 2013

Be yourself

Catching up again here at Words and Pictures.  This was my first post for Artistic Stamper as a full-blown member of the Design Team. 

I've left the text about creating this piece as it was when written back in May, so I just wanted to say that what you read here about wobbles and stuff is now several months old.  But it was all part of the creative process, and I want to let the record stand... so here goes with as it was back then!

To be honest, I've been having a bit of a wobble about this debut - everything's been a bit overwhelming recently (in a good way on the crafty front, to be fair, but a bit more difficult in other directions) - and I got in a bit of a spin about this make.  In the end - with a couple of discarded "fails" on the desk in front of me, I decided to take it out on a journal page.

I've made tentative inroads into art journalling.  I'm certainly very good at buying beautiful journals - always have been, long before I even knew about art journalling or stamping or inks or any of this!

But recently I've been so inspired by some of the amazing journallers around in Craftyblogland, and it seemed a journal was the perfect place to let go of trying too hard, and just follow my instinct.  So here it is.

I basically just did lots of stuff I like with lots of stuff I like (links at the foot of the post)... but the whole thing starts from the Gibson Girls who - to me - have such a strong yet sad presence as images.  I already did some playing with that idea in Journey to Yourself, one of my Guest Design pieces in February.

And here they are doing an excellent job of representing some of the internal disquiet that I can't afford to let leak out too much.

I gesso'd some pages in my new journal (picked up by my mother in Oxfam - so hardly counts as another purchase!).  

It's a good solid book, 9.5 x 7 inches, with lovely strong paper, but the gesso still helps when you're planning to load'em up.

While the pages were drying, I stamped the Gibson Girls onto some papers from the Tim Holtz Crowded Attic collection, and cut them out with the ATC die from Sizzix.

First step for me is always texture - I love playing with texture paste and stencils, and the new Andy Skinner stencils are so great.

Random torn book pages and torn tissue tape create some extra architecture around the pages, and I already pretty much knew by this point where I wanted my women to go.

I did some inking with Pumice Stone, Frayed Burlap, Faded Jeans and Chipped Sapphire, and then decided the ATCs needed to be glued in so that they would start to get "embedded" into the page.

I did some Harlequin stencilling with Chipped Sapphire, then went over some of it in Picket Fence Distress Paint with the stencil slightly shifted for a dimensional effect.  

I decided I wanted a bit more texture, so I dabbled some gesso through some of the diamonds with a hard bristle brush.

Lots of stamping: beautiful flowers from the Botanical Plate 1...

...butterflies from Insects and Butterflies, the delicious little Calligraphy Mat 19...

Then I had a wonderful time adding the Mini Polka Dots, first in Cobalt Archival, and then in Picket Fence Distress Paint - love this look!

Time to pay some extra attention to my dimensional Andy Skinner flourishes...

... some more layers of ink and paint, building depth, and finally some dry-brushing to highlight the textural detailing.

I'm a bit in love with Pumice Stone - it gives such a brilliant look of aged stone... predictable, I suppose, given the name!

And then, of course, there's the sentiment.  

It's from the new Tim Holtz Way With Words set, and it speaks to me very loudly at the moment, since I'm about to head into some work that demands one of my "other me"s, wearing a different hat, and one that weighs quite heavily.

Can I keep this new creativity alive and bubbling once all those demands start being made on my time and energies (physical, mental and emotional)?  I hope so...

It went through several versions - dark ink, pale paper; pale ink, dark paper; dark ink, tissue paper...

... but in the end there was something about the paler words that seemed to say something more profound about a lighter presence in the world.

So I finished up with Vanilla White embossing powder on some of the reverse sides of the Crowded Attic papers.

I know that this may seem a slightly downbeat debut, but the good news is that creating this page certainly seems to have been therapeutic - on the crafty side, if nothing else.  

And I do really love the pages I've ended up with - it did me good to just let my crafty heart lead the way.  I hope it offers you some inspiration (or at least food for thought).

Thank you so much for stopping by today, and I'll see you again soon - hopefully with a shorter post next time!

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
e e cummings

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
Winston Churchill

My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done; and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.
Maya Angelou

Here's what I used; click to go straight there:
Artistic Stamper stamps: Gibson Girls Plate 1, Botanical Plate 1, Insects and Butterflies No.1, Mini Polka Dots, Mini Calligraphy Mat 19
Stampers Anonymous: Way With Words
Texture Paste
Andy Skinner: Baroque
Crafter's Workshop: Mini Harlequin
Idea-ology: Sketchbook Tissue Tape
Distress Ink: Chipped Sapphire, Faded Jeans, Frayed Burlap, Pumice Stone
Archival Ink: Jet Black, Cobalt
Distress Paint: Picket Fence
Wow Embossing Powder: Vanilla White
From my stash: other acrylic paints, book pages, journal


Brenda Brown said...

Beautiful pages Alison and lovely to see them here in all their glory.
Hot and typically windy here in Lanzarote.
Hugs Brenda xox

Jenny Marples said...

So good to see this 'in progress' to get an idea of the layers used and thought processes behind each one. Have a great weekend, hugs Jenny x

Tincan Crafter said...

Love what you do with the texture paste. Those vintage ladies are really mesmerising. Thank you for turning me onto Andy Skinner. I cant stop watching his Youtube channel! Hugs

Clare Lloyd said...

Fab page. Love the softness and the vintage images, great combo.

maria's knutselplezier said...

Wow, super I love this feminin page!! What a beautiful background did you create, love the structure and great colours it gives a extra contrast between the lody's and the background!!! I love it!ç!


chrissie said...

Wonderful textures. I love the way some of the background spills over onto the images and adds a soften to them. Always inspiring Alison-thank you

Love Chrissie x

Inkypinkycraft said...

I loved this the first time, beautiful textures and colours! Hugs x

kateri said...

Beautiful art. I enjoyed reading everything you wrote and understand completely where you're coming from. I think your work is brilliant. Loved all the quotes also.

Sophie said...

Alison, ich bin sprachlos...
Das ist sensationell!
Was für eine wunderbare Arbeit, ich ziehe meinen Hut vor Dir :-)

Der ganze Werdegang des Werkes ist sehr beeindruckend.
Danke, für diese wunderbare Bilderfolge, die den genauen Arbeitsweg anzeigt.

Noch einen wunderschönen Sonntag
und alles Liebe von Sophie xx

Redanne said...

It is so lovely to see this again Alison, it certainly deserves another viewing - stunning work and I love seeing how it all came together... Hugs, Anne x

Francesca said...

Wow and double wow! Wondrful pages and using some of my favourite stamps, these we one of my first stamps many moons ago, so just love them. Once again fab pages. Love francesca

Rita said...

Good Morning Alison. Well, I don't know where to start. Your pages are so beautiful and the textures look fabulous. Your artistic talent is wonderful and you certainly use it to give us all great inspiration. Thank you for sharing. Hugs Rita xxx

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

...it's hard to believe you had a wobble Alison, I see you as such a strong and accomplished crafter but then I suppose deep down we all have a little fear, it's what pushes us along and to continually strive for better :) always love your work it's so detailed and varied and you work with my favourite colours blues and browns of all shades, nice to see this piece again, the Gibson Girls have endless possibilities...love your quotations too, May Angelou is the most amazing woman...:)xx

Astrid Maclean said...

I remember this piece very well Alison and really loved it already back in May. It was great to re-visit it again here in all it's beautiful detail. A wonderful inspiring spread in my all time favourite colour palette.
Have a good Sunday! No doubt you'll be glad that that time you were thinking forward to then is behind you now.... but... we always need courage to be ourselves, so I'm sure it is still relevant.

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Great journal pages Alison, I love how you have added depth to your pages, adding wonderful interest. Love all the layers of paper too, looks so tactile. It must be great to look back on this piece. Tracy x x

Daniele said...

stunning pages, so many techniques and details, the colour scheme is so lovely

Lucy Edmondson said...

I love this project, Alison. I think it is great to use our blogs to chart our creative lives and how the things we make relate to how we are feeling. I started my blog as a holding place for the things I had made, but opening up about what was going on in your life at that time makes it more of a visual journal. I hope you feel looking back the past couple of months weren't as scary as you'd feared,

Lucy x

Anonymous said...

I appreciate that you left the text as first written with no edits.
Beautiful stamps - beautiful pages.
Oh how I relate. From as far back as I can remember I have been drawn to journals. In fact the more beautiful they are then the chances are I haven't taken pen/pencil to them. I just love journals, knowing they are there if I ever do need them.
I haven't taken that first dip into art journaling although I do have plans, especially with the beautiful hand-bound book I received from my friend Penny.
As much as I admire the brave with their bold use of colour, for me, it is lovely to see a style I can relate to.

Margie said...

I'm seeing this for the first time Alison so really appreciating it! Beautiful colours, textures and images and the sentiment just tops it all off. I love it and you never know, I might have a go at some journalling myself some day! Margie x

cathylynn said...

I totally love this Alison and can relate to every square inch. The textures and colors are fabulous and once again your writing is as good as your art! I am also loving those images. Gosh I think I have to shop!
Hugs, Cathy-Lynn

Netty said...

Although I love all the textures and great stamping Alison, the mantra for me has the biggest impact. Annette x

Dorthe said...

Dear Alison,
This is ever as fantastic beautiful as back then in May... so amazing with all your texture pasted wonderful stencils, and the sad girls,- every part becoming a whole of gorgeous art!! Love the colours ,too.
Dorthe xoxo

May said...

Stunning work Alison, I remember this...Gorgeous texture, Stamping, Colours, Embossing...A wonderful creation, Loved it in May & Love it now... Hugs May x x x

trisha too said...

Beautiful pages, Alison--really lovely.


Sandy said...

I love your journal pages Alison. The Gibson Girls are so pretty. I love seeing the way you have designed this and looking at every jot and tittle. Nice mix of texture and images.

Cinderella Moments said...

I still love those dots! It's great to see it again. The design is so gorgeous.

Heather said...

Just beautiful Allison, wonderful images and your stamping is awesome. I love the stunning texture you have created with the stencils!!!

Heather xx

Meggymay said...

Beautiful pages and I enjoyed looking at all the detailed photos.

Hettie said...

This is absolutely beautiful Alison. I would love to know where you get your ideas from. There is so much to see.

Terry said...

Stunning journal pages, Alison! Love all the texture and the blues are so soft. Congratulations on your first DT post! Hugs!

Shelby said...

Another beautiful and stunningly gorgeous piece of art!


Michelle said...

This is gorgeous! The texture is brilliantly done. Beautiful Alison!

Laura said...

What an inspiration!!! I love your art journal--the colors and stamps and words and textures. Thanks so much for sharing the images and your creative process in making this work of art!! hugs, Laura

Candy C said...

Alison...your art journal pages are so awesome. But then, I love all of your work. :) I love the texture you've added to these pages. That makes such a huge difference in the final piece. Love the stamped women and how you've used them in your design. Just beautiful! <3 Candy

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

Alison...this again is a great art piece. Amazing stamping, colours, layers...and it all fits so well!!!

kind regards, Alie :-)

Anjas-Artefaktotum said...

WOW what a great project, wonderful combination of stamps layers and coloring, really a masterpiece!

Tracy said...

Beeeeautiful soft, elegant and vintage...Alison your work is stunning lady!!!

Big hugs
Off to have another look....

catherine said...

This looks fabulous Alison. Love the images and layout to it
x catherine

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Wow, how cool. It's an outstanding project.

Kate Yetter said...

Love your journal pages. A fabulous set of Gibson Girls. Love them along with the subtle colors and textures.

Scraps of Elegance said...

Gasping out loud...I so love the pic and tutorial on how you assembled this piece. Beautiful work and details and you have inspired me.

barbarayaya62 said...

Beautiful art! There are so many layers and many techniques! Wonderful and inspirational! Hugs BArbarayaya

Fliss said...

This is really beautiful Alison. Such gorgeous stamping and amazing detail.
Hugs, Fliss xx

Bärbel said...

Die wunderbare Textur des Hintergrundes und die tolle Gestaltung der beiden Seiten beeindrucken mich sehr, liebe Alison.
Liebe Grüße, Bärbel

hazel said...

Beautiful pages Alison, I love how you built up the pages and the images are lovely.
xxx Hazel.

Maelchen said...

How Intricate your designs are, dear Alison! In a very positive definition. The colours of this piece are so soothing and do not hinder ones' eyes to wander from one little detail to the other. Perfect harmony! And do you know what I love everytime I come visiting? You never fail me in giving my mind a quote to contemplate about! Thanks for this tradition!
Greets, Manu

Kezzy said...

Wow I remember this, it wowed me the first time as well. I love how soft it is and the way the women are embedded into the page, that is one thing I struggle with. Of course I love all the texture, you certainly are the queen of beautifulttexture :-) hugs kezzy xxx

Crafteezee said...

Hugs Tracy x

Margaret said...

Alison, this is lovely! Once again you have filled a space with texture and so many beautiful details! I could look at this over and over and still find something I missed before, yet it isn't overwhelming at all.