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 27 October 2013

Live in the moment...

Hello all!  Well, we've got a lovely interval of sunshine in between the tempestuous winds so I dashed outside to grab some photos of my first make in my new craft space.  

Guess what?  It's a tag.  

Oh... and anyone who was concerned that I ought to bring some ivy with me from the old house, you can relax, as you can see!

I've got a heavy (but probably very enjoyable) work week coming up, so I haven't been able to get my head round any complicated crafty projects (though there are several brewing in the darker recesses of my mind!), but I had to break in the new room, and here's what arrived.

I also promised you some pictures of the glass cabinet - still empty when I showed you the room - doing its proper job of displaying something, so if you scroll down you'll find a few pictures of that too...

This tag started with a background of Distress Paints - Salty Ocean, Picket Fence and a touch of Broken China - sponged on using a natural sponge.  I think it gives a lovely fluffy cloud sky effect.

The sentiment is definitely one to live by, I think.

I added multiple stampings of some of the Tim Holtz meadow flowers, from the small size sets, stamping in Sepia and Coffee Archival inks.

I added some tiny heads of blossom around the place using the Inkssentials white gel pen.

Around the bottom of the tag I used Potting Soil to stamp the little texture stamp to give a real sense of the earthy undergrowth.

I used the same texture stamp, stamping in Broken China, around the edges of the sky for a bit more depth.

The birds were stamped in Black Archival, and then the white pen went into action again to add some feathery detailing - the only thing I'm in two minds about here - I loved them in plain black too.

I added a tiny shadow of Vintage Photo for definition, and then some distressing with the paper distresser around the edges.

A natural topping of raffia and very fine twine, and we're done.

So, on to the display case...

I actually feel a bit uncomfortable having my stuff out on display for some reason (though I can see it's a pity to have it huddled on shelves and in boxes as it has been)... 

... but the rest of my family all love how it looks in the glass cabinet, so I've yielded... 

... and probably reluctantly accept their verdict! 

Besides, it was interesting to see what made the cut as far as I was concerned (there's still a fair amount in boxes!)...

... and it's also really nice to have a visible record of previous work to remind me of ideas and techniques I'd already forgotten about!

Sorry about the reflections in the glass.

I also took a few with the doors open so that you can see what's in there better.

(Remember you can click on the pictures for close-ups if you're curious.)

Not much doubt about my favourite colour palettes...

Or my tendency to work in threes!

It'll be a quietish week here at Words and Pictures as I'm going to be hurtling up and down to London delivering workshops for my "day job", but I'm planning to fit some blog-visiting around the edges so I hope to see you soon.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a lovely Sunday!  

I'm off to enjoy some more moments...

Forever is composed of nows.
Emily Dickinson

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.
Henry David Thoreau

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

Saturday 26 October 2013

Keeping time...

Hello everyone!  Hope you're all having a great weekend.  It's catch-up time here at Words and Pictures (and yes, I'm still trying to do some catching up with all of you too) with a piece I made as a Guest Design piece for the Calico Crafts blog in June.  At the time, I pretty much just showed the finished project, but promised some more process photos in due course... well, here they are.

If I remember rightly, I spent much of the making of this not being sure about it, and wondering where the heck it was going, but ended up fairly happy.  I hope you like it!

It grew into being a piece about what we hold on to, what we preserve in the face of time's onward march, how we keep hold of memories and mementos... with a play on the words "Keep Time" - about a clock keeping good time, and also how we try to keep hold of time, not letting it run away from us too quickly.

I started with one of the little specimen trays, but did away with the sliding lid...

... or rather, did away with the acetate and glued the extra bit of frame into place.

I layered up DecoArt paint and crackle glaze... 

... and more paint...

I lined the rear wall with one of Calico's large vintage collage sheets.  These are amazing - really huge and great quality.

Although I liked the weathered paint all over the frame, I decided to go for a papered exterior, to match the rear wall of the interior.  

And I've still got about 2/3 of the sheet left to use!

I added yet more paint, as well as ink and Treasure Gold white fire...

... to create my weathered look on the frame and within the compartments.

I stamped the Kaisercraft Tic Toc texture stamp onto the paper for some extra "time" texture.

I also stamped it onto the large rusty heart using Coffee Archival ink.

I cut out part of the paper to use in the little round frame from my stash, covering it with Glossy Accents and leaving it to dry overnight.

All the embellishments and doodads have had a touch of Treasure Gold in White Fire so that they all tone in with one another.

I put some of the fabulous Steampunk Watch Parts into a tiny corked vial - how's that for another way of "keeping time".

And there's one of Artemio's Oldies Vintage clock faces, gilded with the Treasure Gold.  I love the antique-y look that gives it.

On the back of the tray, also papered, stamped, inked and gilded, I decided to add the phrase KEEP TIME.

I cut out letters from the scrabble tiles sheet from the Kaisercraft Timeless Classics collection, stuck them onto card, and inked and gilded them. 

Very happy with my homemade scrabble tiles!

I cut the Tim Holtz Weathered Clock out of Grungeboard ready for some hefty treatment. 

The joy of Grungeboard is it will take any amount of paint, medium, texturising and inking without falling apart - in fact, it stays completely flexible throughout - amazing stuff.

I patted on some DecoArt texture paste with my finger tips, so that it would have lots of texture to it. 

Then it got some paint and some gilding, some more paint, some more gilding and some inking until I was happy with the look.

Everything was glued in place using Glossy Accents...

... and the whole thing got a sealing coat of Studio Extra Time Medium.

(It didn't need to be Extra Time, but I'd run out of all the others!)

A final dusting of White Fire Treasure Gold, and we're done!

I had a wonderful time again with the amazing Calico Crafts goodies. Huge thanks to Helen of Calico Crafts, and the fabulous Louise (a.k.a. Zuzu) who co-ordinates the team, for having me back.

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by today.  I'll see you very soon, somewhere out there in Craftyblogland!

How did it get so late so soon? 
It's night before it's afternoon. 
December is here before it's June. 
My goodness how the time has flewn. 
How did it get so late so soon?
Dr. Seuss

Ingredients available from Calico Crafts:
Small Wood Specimen Tray with Sliding Lid
Treasure Gold - White Fire
DecoArt Americana - Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Buttermilk, Whitewash
DecoArt Weathered Wood Crackle Medium
DecoArt Decorating Paste
Claudine Hellmuth Studio Extra Time Medium
Kaisercraft Tic Toc Texture Stamp
Rusty Hearts
Steampunk Watch Parts
Kaisercraft Timeless Classics paper pad
Artemio Oldies Vintage Style Metal Clocks and Cogs
Tim Holtz Grungeboard
Tim Holtz Sprocket Gears
Tim Holtz Corked Vials
Tim Holtz Trinket Pins
Large Vintage Collage Sheet - Postcards (discontinued, but there are lots of other lovely ones)
Antique Ivory Cotton Crochet Lace
Ranger Glossy Accents
From my stash: Vintage Photo Distress Ink, Weathered Clock Die, various embellishments and doodads

Thursday 24 October 2013

A little leaf...

Hello all and welcome, with an especially big welcome to the newest followers - it's lovely to have you with us.  

It's sneak peek time here again at Words and Pictures, for an offering which is over at The Artistic Stamper today.  If you have time to hop over and take a look, that would be great.

Hope you're all having a great week and I'll see you soon, either here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.

It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life. The rich colours of grass and earth were intensified by the mellow light of a sun almost warm enough for spring.
From A Taste for Death by P.D. James

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Deeper Shades of Night

Hello all!  

Things are just about returning to normal here... thank you so much for all your kind thoughts and well-wishing recently.

It's time for the new challenge at Fun With ATCs, and the theme this fortnight is Night

If you hop over, you'll find lots of inspiration from my fabulous team-mates, and here's my starter for ten.

It's related to my Black, White and Red Lonely Leaf ATC from a couple of months ago - I think this could be the start of a series!

And it's a complete contrast to the multiple images of my Around the World in 80 Stamps ATC... this one is very simple.

I used one of my very few wood-mounted stamps - the gorgeous Tim Holtz bare branches - and stamped it in Jet Black Archival onto a Specialty Stamping paper ATC.

I hand cut a little disc of paper to use as the mask for my moon, and then inked Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink onto the ATC.

I worked more layers of inking towards the top of the ATC to get that sense of the gathering night overhead.

And then the little Hero Arts alphabet set provided the single word 'night' - an echo of the single word 'alone' on the Lonely Leaf - this is shaping up to be quite a dark set of ATCs!

And there you have it.   Do hop over to see what the rest of the team have come up with, and then we'd love to see your take, so come and share your 2.5 by 3.5 inch ATCs on the theme of Night with us at Fun With ATCs.  See you there!

The sky grew darker, painted blue on blue, one stroke at a time, into deeper and deeper shades of night.
From Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami

Oops, I forgot - there's also another (C*******s) card over at Artistic Outpost today...  Better late than never, eh?!