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...

Saturday 28 September 2013

Feeling bluesy...

Hello everyone.  I'm sorry my visiting has been sluggish lately... it's all about moving house round here at the moment.  I'm so looking forward to the point when I'm free to play in Craftyblogland again!

I am managing to squeeze some crafting in - I think I'd go completely spare if I didn't.

Yesterday I came up with a sequence of sorting stuff, filling a box, five minutes crafting; sorting stuff, filling a box, five minutes crafting and so on, and in that way managed to get my Tim Holtz September tag done.

I had such fun playing with the stencils.  Regulars will know I rarely craft without a stencil in any case, so this month's inspiration from Tim was a joy to play with (although I did wreck two attempts by going one step too far before finally arriving at this one).

Because I'm getting to do very little freestyle crafting at the moment, I decided to allow myself my favourite colours for this tag: blues and browns - yay!!

But that's really my main departure from Tim's creation, so if you want the making-of details, I'm going to direct you over to the how-to post of the master himself.

In the meantime, I'm just going to share a few close-ups and colour details of my version, which made me very happy in between the box-packing.

Embossing paste stars giving lovely dimension and texture to the tag...

Love the Picket Fence Distress Paint resist effect (the horizontal stripes are the DP) against my Distress Stains of Weathered Wood, Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans and Chipped Sapphire.

I'm enjoying the Prima Chalk Edger in white at the moment too, so I used that with the rays stencil - moonbeams slanting across the sky anyone?

Layering up the stencils for depth, I did go as far as Black Soot...

... but then overlaid the stencil again and went over it with Vintage Photo.

The edging is Vintage Photo too, of course.

Vintage Photo on the Chitchat stickers too, along with a bit of Chipped Sapphire, and Chipped Sapphire Distress Marker around the outside.

I followed Tim's lead with the Papillon butterflies...

... adding some of the text from the same set.

Stencilling on the crinkle ribbon - very cool idea.

And a type charm: B for butterfly perhaps?  I would have done A for Alison, but the As are all black, and I wanted a white charm.

A couple more Idea-ology bits - a trinket pin and a pen nib, and we're done with a tag that I really enjoyed making.

Thank you, Tim, for yet another fabulous piece of inspiration.

Will do my best to hop around and catch up with some of you soon... and I should be back on proper form in a few weeks.  Happy Crafting all!

I'd like to enter this as my September tag for Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2013
And at Country View Crafts the challenge is to play with Layers - plenty of them here!

I love layers!
Alexander Wang

Thursday 26 September 2013


Hello everyone!  I'm here to share a little hanging with you today using some of the stamps from the fabulous new Artistic Outpost plate Hayride.

It grew out of my tag set from release day, but this time I wanted to use the stamps to frame something a bit more substantial.  As usual, the new stamps mix and match beautifully with other AO sets, and the lovely image of the barn from the Home plate seemed like the perfect complement to the autumnal gatherings from Hayride.

The central panel is a piece of cream mountboard, inked up with Distress Inks to create a warm fall feeling.

Once I'd stamped the pumpkins and the apple basket in Potting Soil, I cut masks for each of them and used the haybale image from Hayride to create the rough earthy texture underneath the harvest offerings.

I added some repeat stampings of the fabulous vine image to create a frame.

Then, with the masks still in place, I stamped the barn in Sepia.

I added the little song lyric, also from the Home set, trying to place it just along the top of the frame.
The background frame is my favourite corrugated card, painted and embossed using layers of Antiquities Rust powder and Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress embossing powders.

There are various paint layers in there: Pumpkin Soup (an obvious choice, with a name like that), Spiced Paprika and French Roast Fresco paints, as well as some DecoArt Quinacridone Red and Gold.

And finally I selected some more of my rusted bits and pieces to give a bit of a dimensional lift to the piece.

It's strung up on good old rustic twine, and the eyelets got smeared with leftover paint colours from the brushes I'd been using.

So that's my autumnal harvest hanging for you today; hope it's tickled your creative tastebuds. 

Thank you so much for stopping by.  I can't promise a return visit immediately, but I will be catching up soon.

Autumn is the bite of the harvest apple.
Christina Petrowsky

Thy bounty shines in autumn unconfined, and spreads a common feast for all that live.
James Thomson

Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.
Jane Austen

I'd like to enter this in the following:
At Frilly and Funkie they're inviting us to Eat, Drink and Be Merry... well, with apples, pumpkins and grape vines, not to mention those delicious-sounding paint colours - Pumpkin Soup, Spiced Paprika and French Roast - I hope this is enough of a feast
At the Vintage Stamping Challenge they would like to see Anything From Your Garden - that would be the apples.  We have an absolutely laden apple tree, but will sadly be leaving the fruit for the buyers to benefit from - no time for apple-picking round here at the moment
And at the Fashionable Stamping Challenge, they're looking for Autumn Colours

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Clean and Simple Experimenting

Hello and welcome everyone, with an especially big welcome to the newest followers. It's lovely to have your company here at Words and Pictures today - another busy day, I'm afraid.

Anyone who was around late last night will already have seen the sneak peek for my project over at The Artistic Stamper today - and check out the bottom of this post for my other bit of omnipresence - yes, since it's Tuesday, I'm at Artistic Outpost too!

But here and now, it's time to tickle your creative tastebuds for the new challenge at Fun With ATCs.  For this fortnight, it's CAS all the way - Clean and Simple please, on a 2.5 x 3.5 Artist's Trading Card.

Regulars will know I'm not much of a CAS crafter (though I thank you all for your lovely feedback on my broken roof tile in the CAS style!), so this was definitely a challenge for me.

But it was a chance to crack open my new Tim Holtz stamps - utterly irresistible scientific apparatus images - and I ended up with a trio of ATCs, stamped according to how we were taught to write up our science experiments at O' Level.

We had to break down the report on any experiment into three sections:

Method - what we did and how we did it (and usually including a diagram - finally a use for all those protractors and set squares in my pencil case!)

Results - what we observed and data we collected

Conclusion - writing up what we had learned and what we could deduce from what we did and what we observed

So that's my very simple (Clean and Simple) set of ATCs, stamped in Jet Black Archival on Specialty Stamping Paper to really let those images shine.  And the words, of course, are done with my little Hero Arts alphabet.

I swiped the edges of the ATCs along the ink pad to get the borders, and that really was that.

I hope you'll find time to come and play along with the Clean and Simple challenge this fortnight.  You'll find lots more inspiration from my amazing team-mates, plus all the challenge details, over at Fun With ATCs.

And if you have time, I would love it if you popped over to either The Artistic Stamper to check out this...

... or to Artistic Outpost to check out this...

... or even both!!  Thank you so much, and I'll see you out there in Craftyblogland soon.

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every great inspiration is but an experiment.
Charles Ives

Count on me...

Hello all - thanks so much for dropping in. This is just a quick sneak peek of a tag that's over at The Artistic Stamper today. 

It would be lovely if you had time to pop over and take a look at the whole thing - I always love to hear what you think.

It's another busy day here at Words and Pictures... I'll be back in the early morning with a little more temptation for you.  Hope to see you then!

Don't count the days; make the days count.
Muhammad Ali

Saturday 21 September 2013

I am not who I was...

Hello all, and a warm welcome to Words and Pictures on this chilly September day.  A fairly quick post today - bet you thought I couldn't do that, eh?  Apart from sneak peeks of course...

And, in an even bigger shock to the system, it's a CAS make - clean and simple (though not that clean to be honest).  I'm sharing a bit of salvage stamping with you today - and I'm squeezing it in because it fits perfectly with the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge of stamping on anything but plain paper.

I stamped on some pieces of slate - an old, broken roof tile which came to the surface as my brother and I cleared out the eaves of our old family home, ready for the big move.  I had to rescue the slates from the skip where he'd chucked them.

Crafting is really not a healthy hobby when you're trying to downsize: almost nothing makes it into the skip in the first place, and the broken roof tile is not the first thing I've hauled out again!

They were pretty mucky, so I gave them a quick clean-up with a baby wipe.  And I kept it simple with the stamping.  

On a couple of pieces I put a rough coat of Snowflake Fresco paint and then stamped in Jet Black Archival.

On a couple of others I stamped straight onto the slate using the white Prima Chalk Edger.

The leaves are from Tim Holtz's Falling Leaves stamp set.

I'm pretty pleased with how much detail it was possible to get, despite the uneven surface of the slate.

(The little spots are raindrops - it started to spit as I was taking the photos...)

And the little quote is one of the Donna Downey Empowered Words quotes by Unity.

I thought the quote worked rather nicely - neither the skeleton leaves nor the slates themselves are 'who they were yesterday' - nor me...

The sharper-eyed amongst you may have noticed that the smaller two pieces of slate in the photos are in fact one and the same piece - stamped front and back - so there are, in fact, only three pieces in total.

Thanks for dropping in today.  I hope you're having a wonderful weekend, whatever you're been up to - especially those heading to Ally Pally.  I'm sad I couldn't get there - time off from house-sorting has to go on actual crafting in order to make my deadlines at the moment... I will manage it one day.  Happy Crafting, all!

I'd like to enter this in the Stamping On Anything But Plain Paper challenge over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge

The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
John F Kennedy

I always shoot for the moon in my work, so that I'm happy when I land on the roof.
Darren Criss

The roof might fall in; anything could happen.
Dashiell Hammett

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Autumn or Winter?

Hello and welcome everyone!  Thank you all so much for your amazing comments and support through last week's busy business - it makes all the work (okay, play - but pretty all-consuming play at times) worth it!

It's a big Artistic Outpost day today, with not one but two brand new releases... one very much Autumn-based, and one on the Christmas end of things.  I'll give you a quick look at what I've been making with each of them, and then you'll get to see the projects in more detail over the next days and weeks.

And there's lots more inspiration from the rest of the Artistic Outpost Design Team, all well worth a visit.  Here's the full itinerary of the hop:

So here's what I've been doing with the fabulous Hayride plate - perfect for the autumnal crafting colours (and with a vine stamp that's gone straight into my top 10 favourite stamps!)...

And I seem to be in a neutrals mode for Christmas - this is what Christmas Chalk inspired me to create...

The two plates are full of gorgeous images and wording, and - as always - they mix and match beautifully with other Artistic Outpost stamp sets.  Christmas Chalk, especially, offers up some lovely Christmas sentiments and decorations which can be combined with any Christmas stamps you already have.

So, for today, I'll just share one of each set of creations with you, so that you can have a closer look at some of these great new images.

Going in to bat for Autumn, we have this set of tags.  I really wanted just to have a bit of a play with the stamps, to explore them a bit, and this was where it took me. 

I had great fun playing with the backgrounds: some wrinkle-free distress, some spritzing and flicking, some stencilling, some inking and distressing.

Pretty much without meaning to, I realised I was creating progressively darker, more detailed backgrounds, ending up with this monochrome rainbow effect!

Each one started with the same basic stamping, done in either Potting Soil or Sepia Archival ink, or a bit of both.

I stamped the pumpkins and then stamped them again on some book paper (nice and thin) to create a mask so that the vine could creep "behind" them. 

This is the simplest tag with just some gentle inking around the edges. 

Can you see why I'm completely in love with this vine - it definitely joins my all-time favourite floral flourishes.

This is the full-on wrinkle-free distress tag, with all the stamping done in Potting Soil.

And I love the little sign too.  As you can see in the stamp plate pictures, the sign itself is blank, so that you can add words over the top to create a number of different notices.  

Here the sign is stamped in Sepia, and the words in Potting Soil, so that they stand out well.

Had a little play with one of my new Tim Holtz stencils here too!

There are three possible sets of word on the Hayride plate, but I know there are sentiments within my stamp collection which will also sit there really nicely!

I think this spritzed and flicked background may be my favourite of the four...

The little pail of apples is another delicious image - delicious apples too, I'd guess.

I could have used the Hayride sentiment from this set, but all the time I'd been playing the Simplify Simplify words from the Old Grist Mill plate had been revolving in my head, so I gave in and grabbed that one instead!

And I inked up the twine and raffia in progressively darker colours too, so that the monochrome rainbow continues onto the tag toppings...

In the Winter corner, we have a tag set created with the Christmas Chalk stamps - though these gift tags are considerably smaller!

I started with some paper from the It's Christmas Time paper pad by Maja Design.

I handcut the tag shapes to fit the words.

Since we're using Christmas Chalk, I stamped in a chalk ink - Versamagic in Jumbo Java.

I do like the matte finish it gives.

I love the lettering - especially those fabulous textured letters of the word Christmas on this one, and the Let It Snows on the first one.

And the reverse side of the paper has this rather smart stripe to it, where I've stamped the To: and From: stamps... making this a really quick make - a lovely way to smarten up your Christmas gift-wrapping with very little effort!

As most of you know, I have a hard time with Christmas crafting before at least November, so I have to finish off back in Autumn, with the glowing September sunshine on the Hayride tags...

Thanks so much for stopping by today... If you want to see more of these amazing new stamps, do have a hop round and see what my amazing team-mates have been creating - you won't regret it!  If you lose your way, you'll find all the details here.  

A quick real life update: a deposit has gone down on a rental property (having seen 20 houses in the space of four days last week) so at least we won't be homeless in four weeks.  And the clearing, sorting and packing goes on...  Hope you're all having a great week, and - if I get the chance - I'll see you out there in Craftyblogland!

I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.
Henry David Thoreau

Three phrases that sum up Christmas are: Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, and Batteries not Included.