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...

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Garden of Dreams

Hello everyone!

I seem to be in a flowery phase round here at the moment.  I blame all those gorgeous Wallflower releases and projects at CHA... and my new Spring Greenery die too!

I've another small canvas for you today featuring an Artistic Outpost quote (not quite as small as the last one).

Although I haven't usually been much for using 3D flowers (though there are always plenty of stamped ones - meadow grasses, anyone?!) it's a whole different outlook now that I've got lots of leaves to play with.

Lots of layers, as usual... starting with tissue wrap over the 6x4 inch canvas, multi-medium, some torn paper napkins and a couple of washes of Light Buttermilk paint.

Then texture paste - but of course! - through a damask stencil, and some Walnut Stain ink to highlight it.

I cut the Tim Holtz Distressed Doily once out of paper and once out of thick card.  

The top paper layer just had some gesso and some inking.

The card layer is underneath and it's had a coat of thick gesso, and a combination of glass beads, Verdigris and Peeled Paint Distress embossing powders for a mossy look.

The quote, from the Chalkboard Wisdom plate is stamped in Versamark on kraft card, and embossed with Wow Vanilla White.  

I stamped it inside one of the frames from the Chalk It Up plate which has had the same treatment.

Then I blended Walnut Stain ink on from the edges.

I'm very happy with my glass bead embellishments.  

They're just those pebbles you buy for putting in vases and suchlike.  

I bought them ages ago, thinking I'd stick them on some pretty papers, but then I saw the amazing Matilde over at 100% Handmade using something similar on book pages and the lightbulb went on... book text - my favourite thing!

I spritzed a couple of pages with various shimmery sprays and stuck down lots of glass pebbles with gloss multi-medium.

Once dry, you can just cut them out.  I love the magnifying effect on the text - I might be more careful about what words I stick them over next time!!

I didn't want anything too turquoise for this canvas, so tried to get ones that were stuck over less spritzed or greener areas.

The flowers are by Wild Orchid, and they've had just a touch of gesso to shabby them up (down?).

And the metal heart is from Calico Crafts, and has had just a fingerful of paint smeared onto it.

I added some tiny wooden hearts - confetti from the fabulous UmWow Studio...

... with just a dusting of gesso added.

And, of course, lots and lots of leaves cut with the new Spring Greenery decorative strip die...

I promised you more ivy, and you've got some of the other leafy bits here too for good measure!

So that's my springtime canvas for you today.  I wonder how long this flowery kick will last - could be a whole new Words and Pictures vibe for 2014!

I'd like to enter this for the Wild Orchid Challenge where I've been inspired by the flowers on their Springtime Photo Inspiration, and using all the colours except the pink which has pretty much disappeared under all the layers!

I'd also like to enter it at the Inspiration Emporium where they are Dieing for 2014 - my dies are the Distressed Doily and the Spring Greenery.

And at Pan Pastels, it's Anything Goes.

A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in - what more could he ask?  A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.
From Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Discover Yourself

Hello everyone!  I hope you're keeping warm/dry/safe wherever you are.  I've some journalling pages to share with you today - pure playtime... and back to my January colour obsession of vivid blues and greens.

No process photos to speak of once I really got going - I was too wrapped up in the process! - though I have a couple of the very start, before I got into the swing of things.

And I made it days ago, so this will be a post of more photos than information.

I started out by brayering paint onto the pages, and adding tissue tape as well as ink and texture paste through a stencil.

I also smeared some streaks of multi-medium with my fingers just to alter how the inks and paints would take in different areas.

Yeah, and then I don't really know what happened next...

There was quite a lot of spritzing involved at various points.  I think Dylusions, Colour Wash and Cosmic Shimmer mists all played a part.

I stamped the wonderful Tim Holtz Art text in ink and in paint, building layers.

In the long run I even embossed some of it, because I couldn't get any of the white paints to hold their own against the inks underneath them.

The quote had been sitting on my table for weeks - stamped on watercolour paper and all inked up with Distress Inks and Stains.  It narrowly missed out on being in an earlier project, but suddenly its time had come.  

But what to put on the facing page?

Yup, you can't keep a good woman down... she turns up in my projects again and again (and again and again).

She's also stamped on watercolour paper and I did my best to replicate the colours from the quote, though I'd long forgotten which particular blues and greens were on there.

For these pages, I surrounded her with butterflies again, but more formally positioned: horizontally...

... and vertically...

And she's even got herself an inky chin in the name of ART!

It still needed something, and that's when I grabbed some little wooden butterflies (the larger ones are by Studio Calico, the absolutely tiny ones are from my lovely Polish find, the UHK Gallery).

I painted them all white, and then added some Ranger Enamel Accents to the teeny ones.  It gives a lovely dimensional glossy look.

For the larger ones I played around with stamping the Papillon butterflies onto them, trying to decide whether I minded that you always lost part of the image...

In the end, I decided it was quite cool!  I'm saving up for the Papillon Framelits that have just been released, but until then, I'm happy with this as an alternative.

The wood has more dimension than card in any case!

I do like them fluttering off on their path of discovery...

So those are the pages...

All my favourite things to do - layering, texture, inking, stamping, and with an extra shot of colour today!

I love that you get a different kind of hit of colour intensity in different lights.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  If the blue-green vibe is all getting a bit much for you, there's a chance to revisit one of my pinker moments over at Artistic Outpost today!

I'd like to enter these pages over at the Tando Creative Challenge where they are looking for Bold and Bright creations.
And at Anything But A Card Diana has offered a Mini-Challenge to do an Art Journal Page.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
Marcel Proust

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.
André Gide

Sunday 26 January 2014

Baker's Dozen 2013

Hello everyone!

I'm taking a look back over 2013's crafty makes, linking up to the Catered Crop's Year in Review event.  It's so interesting to take a moment to look back at the journey, and spot the seeds of things which are now at the heart of the current work; or to remember stuff you loved doing and had completely forgotten about!

Catered Crop are looking for 12 favourite projects... but, as with last year's post, I'm afraid I'm doing it as a Baker's Dozen of 13 - whittling was hard.  Even now, there are some it hurt to leave out!

So, in no particular order (click on the links if you want to see close-ups and how-to details for any of these)...

This altered book, Once Upon A Time, was probably the easiest pick.

I still love the idea that came to me at 4am for the flying Steampunk Pumpkin (Steampumpkin?), inspired by the Steampunk Fairytale challenge at Sandee and Amelie's Steampunk Challenge.

I have to give you two photos of this one... front and back, or should that be inside and outside?

The Silence Between was made as a Guest Design project for Calico Crafts, for whom I'm delighted now to be a full-time DT member.

Meadow flowers, wood, rust and a quote - by Mozart, no less - these are a few of my favourite things!

High time we had a tag, wouldn't you say?  And A Moment In Time gave me one of my great thrills of the year when it was one of the April winners of Tim Holtz's 12 Tags.

(A Thousand Splendid Quotes, the project Tim made a Blogworthy Link I'm afraid doesn't even make the cut.  Of course, I was thrilled he liked it, but it's not particularly my cup of tea!!)

Probably the second easiest decision was this altered cigar box, now filled with Beautiful Things.

It was pretty fiddly to make, but I love the effect of the layers of Vintage Lace Decorative Strip Die... and it's useful too.  Has to be two photos again - inside and out!

Tag time again - and a technique which was to become one of my favourites, combining inks and paints for varying translucency.

And, of course, some of my much-loved meadow flowers and grasses - things that are becoming regular companions on this Wonderful Journey.

Another Calico Crafts Guest project has made the list... this is my Glampunk Birdhouse (yes, I made that word up - Glampunk, not Birdhouse, that is).

Lots and lots of watch parts on this little chap - he's just over half an inch high!

There's a second altered book on the list, Curiouser and Curiouser.  

Actually, it's not curious at all.  Books have always been a huge part of my life, and they're playing a bigger and bigger part in my crafting journey as I go...

This one delves into the world of Alice in Wonderland, with the brilliant Artistic Outpost stamps.  Being selected for their Design Team was another thrill, and thankfully an ongoing one!!

I've been doing more Art Journalling lately, and I can see it becoming a very important part of my personal creative journey (though maybe not always for sharing on here)... but there were flurries last year - as A Nature Journal Is Born shows.

The meadow flowers again, kraft and white which make me happy together, and an early appearance for the splattering which is one of my current favourite things to do!

And this would be a good value post to visit as you'll get to see the extra tags I was planning to incorporate into the journal - not done yet!

You see, looking back is such a great way to count your blessings... Another great joy in 2013 was guesting for The Artistic Stamper in February and then being invited onto the team full time.

This mobile, Float Like A Butterfly, was one of my Guest Design creations for them.

Some more recent art journalling, and some pages inspired by music (another motif which echoes around here at Words and Pictures)... Write a little more often...

If you missed this, it's worth checking the post for the story behind the pages, as well as a link to the fabulous Marlene Dietrich delivering the song which inspired them.

Another thrill last year - designing for PaperArtsy. Jeepers, it was a great year!!

Lots of my projects for them were highly complex, time-consuming makes but I think my favourite by far was this pair of relatively simple, natural tags.

They were made under severe time pressure in the midst of moving house (a stressful year too).

But I put on some medieval music and slipped away from the stress into a world of ink, paint and natural materials - a very real example of The Peace In Crafting.

You're probably wondering whether I ever work with colour palettes outside of neutrals or blue/greens.  The answer is "yes"!!  And when I cross over, I really cross over...

My favourite Artistic Outpost image, the little girl from Think and Wonder, and a riot of pink laciness... At least, I think it's pink!

This tag in a bag delights me in having arrived so unexpectedly - I didn't plan it this way. I didn't really plan at all... I find that's the best way for me.

There's another of Tim's 12 Tags that I really can't bear to leave out...  His July tag was dedicated to the Prescott firefighters who died carrying out their work.

And this tag emerged from thinking of all those who risk or indeed give their lives to protect and save others.

Umbrella Man did his usual wonderful job of representing hope and sadness simultaneously, to Commemorate and Cherish.

Yes, okay, if you're keeping count, that's supposed to be it, but I just want to add my Blissful Baubles as an extra (Christmas) bonus.  Well, it's 2014 now - so have 14 on me!

One of the most enjoyable makes of the year - both to create and to look at afterwards - and full of the seeds of things that I'm really having fun with now and plan to have even more fun with through 2014.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I'm so grateful for all the opportunities that came my way in 2013, and for all the generosity, support and inspiration I've found in Craftyblogland.  I hope I've touched on at least a couple of your favourite projects, and I'll leave you in peace for a bit now!

All of us, every single year, we're a different person.  I don't think we're the same person all our lives.
Stephen Spielberg

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I'm linking up this review of the year with the Remembering 2013 Hop Challenge over at Catered Crop.  It's open until February 1st - so come and join in.  You can also link to posts you've already created if you've already done your reviewing!