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 30 July 2014

A Foggy Artistic Outpost Day

Hello all - it's an up and down day today.  I'm delighted to be part of this Artistic Outpost bloghop, the first one under new management, celebrating the re-launch of the AO line... but I'm also really sad that it's going to be my last official duty with Artistic Outpost.

As you all know, real life has kicked into action, with so much going on on the work front that I'm having to re-balance how everything fits together... and this is one place I've decided to cut back.  It's been a huge honour and privilege to play with these beautiful stamps, and to work with the amazing AO team, under Lisa's brilliant leadership.

Speaking of that amazing team, here's the itinerary for today's hop...
Alison Bomber, Terry Horrall, Kate Yetter

I do hope you'll find time to pay them a visit - you won't be disappointed, I promise you!  And there's a special summer sale with 20% off all Flower and Gardening plates.  You'll find the details here.  But before you head off, here's my offering... and there's even an extra little bonus to come.

Since I'm so sad to be going, it seems appropriate that this is definitely in a bluesy mode...

I started with some Distress Stains on the craft mat - Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans and Pumice Stone - to create the backgrounds.

Then I used the stamps from Loverly London to create some London vignettes.

At one end we have the dapper businessman, stamped in a combination of Blue Violet and Cobalt Archival inks...

...with his pen nib to record the day's transactions.

At the other end the woman - either a lady, or perhaps a singer from the music hall, in which case she's probably no lady at all.  (Classic music hall songs of the time include She Sits Among The Cabbages and Peas - say it out loud to yourself!)

The Idea-ology feather echoes those fabulous plumes in her hat.

Big Ben stands tall and proud in the centre (though that's actually the name of the bell, not the tower)...

... with all those cogs and gears to keep the hands turning and time ticking away.

I used one of the other stamps from the same set to add the random script stamping for extra texture.

And the words are what really gives away at least one of our protagonists as less than gentlefolk in status...

They're very much the words of "the lower sort"!

They're all fastened on with the adorable Idea-ology mini paper clips.

The ATCs are mounted onto some corrugated cardboard, and I was really pleased that I managed to paint it to match the ink used for the stamping - don't ask me what colours were involved!!

And here's your final little added extra.  You'll have noticed there were four backgrounds originally... well, here's a bonus ATC.

Yup, it's a foggy day in London town (with some added gesso to give that soft smoky effect over the stamping)... the detail on these stamps is really incredible.

So there you go - my last official post for Artistic Outpost.  I hope I haven't made you all too blue!

I'd just like to say thank you again to Lisa, Robyn and Steven for inviting me on board in the first place, to the rest of the DT for your amazing inspiration and company on the journey, and I wish you all a fantastic time on the adventures ahead.  Artistic Outpost will always hold a special place in my heart and in my crafting, so you'll still be seeing these amazing stamps turning up from time to time, never fear!

Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope you enjoy your AO hopping!

This melancholy London - I sometimes imagine that the souls of the lost are compelled to walk through its streets perpetually.  One feels them passing like a whiff of air.

Thursday 24 July 2014

An Artistic Naturalist

Hello all... Don't panic, that's Naturalist, not Naturist!  And my Victorian Naturalist wouldn't consider going out on one of his nature rambles in less than full costume, waistcoat and cravat included.

I hope you'll hop over to The Artistic Stamper to see what new specimens he's discovered on his latest excursion... they're all recorded in his Expedition Field Notes (otherwise known as a tag!).

I'll let you in on what's keeping me so busy (and stressed) very soon - I don't want to jinx it before it's all in place... but I really hope I'll be able to pay some visits shortly.  Thank you all for your lovely comments in the meantime, I hope you enjoy the naturalist's field notes, and I'll see you again soon.

Study nature, not books.
Louis Agassiz (Geologist, teacher and naturalist 1807 - 1873)
Personally, I'd go for a bit of both...

Saturday 19 July 2014

In the Calico Garden

Hello all!  It's sneak peek time again here at Words and Pictures.

This time I'm hoping to tempt you over to Calico Crafts where I've been having a lovely time creating a rusty rustic garden - all in a printer's tray!

I hope you'll enjoy your garden perambulation if you hop over to take a look, and I'm hoping to enjoy some blog-visiting in the next couple of days before things get completely bonkers here...  

Update - since the Calico Crafts blog is no more, these links now let you see the whole project here at Words and Pictures.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.
From the Gnomologia, 1732, by Thomas Fuller

A tiny favour... 

This request goes out to anyone who enjoyed the dollshouse posts last month.  Cestina's museum, Small Worlds, is now listed on a Czech tourism site.  Somehow Cestina managed to give herself only a 3 star rating... (don't ask me!).  

If you would be willing to click 5 stars to up the average to its deserved rating, then all you need to do is visit here and click the fifth star.

Thank you!!

Monday 14 July 2014

Burlap Boys and Girls

Hello all!  Thanks so much for dropping in.  Life seems to get busier and busier round here... it's all good and all very exciting work-wise, but I think crafting and blogging may have to take a bit of a back seat for a couple of months.  I'll still be around, don't get me wrong - but I think a little less frequently for a while, probably.

For now, though, I'm really happy that I found the time to play along with number 6 of the Compendium of Curiosities III challenges, hosted by the lovely Linda Ledbetter and her wonderful Curiosity Crew.  I haven't managed to join in as often as I'd like, but this one just fitted in between other things, so here's what I came up with.

We're playing with the techniques on p.37 of the book this time.  I'm afraid you'll need a copy of your own to play along - I won't be going into details, so as to protect Tim's hard work.

I played with two of the small burlap canvases.

There's one with a girl, and one with a boy.

But I refuse to go down the pink/blue divide.  For starters, it's completely random and very recent.

The Victorians considered that blue was a gentle colour suitable for girls, and martial bold colours like pink and red were better suited to boys... so everyone can be blue at Words and Pictures - or pink come to that, but that's for another day!!

So the girl is based around a palette of Weathered Wood, Faded Jeans and a hint of Evergreen Bough.

And the boy has a combination of Faded Jeans, Peacock Feathers and Shabby Shutters.

I pretty much followed Tim's directions to the letter, except for right at the very end, when I added a little extra dusting of shimmer with some Treasure Gold in Pewter.

It's not part of of the basic technique, so I'll share some of my additional detailing...

The Alpha Parts have had a frosting of white Enamel Accents. 

And I altered the Muse Token with my chosen Distress Paints before sanding back to reveal the silvery metal underneath.

Over on the Boy Burlap, the number 3 (rhymes with "me" from the girl's side!) has had the DP treatment.

And the metal elements also benefited from the Pewter Treasure Gold, just to give them that extra burnished look.

Of course, nothing is complete around here without some words.

The boy is telling the girl to share her courage...

... while the girl is telling the boy to cherish his dreams.

Of course everything has to go off around the edges too... 

And you've got to have a butterfly somewhere, haven't you!

That's that for my chunky little burlap canvases.  Hope you enjoyed the quick tour.

Hop over to Linda's to see the always amazing inspiration from the Crew, and don't forget there are prize packages generously provided by Tim and Mario, and the sponsor for Challenge 6 is The Funkie Junkie Boutique (courtesy of the other lovely Linda... the Funkie Junkie herself) - what could be better?!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  As I say, things may be a bit quieter here for a while... but then again, I may end up doing lots of 2am crafting to avoid the withdrawal symptoms, so we'll see!  Happy Crafting all!

Nature makes boys and girls lovely to look upon so they can be tolerated until they acquire some sense.
William Lyon Phelps

I'd like to enter this in Challenge 6 at the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenges hosted by Linda Ledbetter
And it was the faces of the boy and the girl which started me off, so I'd also like to play along with About A Face at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge

Friday 11 July 2014

Dreaming of Die-Cutting

Hello all!  It's time for the new challenge theme over at A Vintage Journey.

This fortnight our host is the fabulous Annie of Curious & Crafty Treasures and she'd like to see Dies and Distress.

As usual there's lots of lovely inspiration from my fabulous team mates, so do check it out.

After a double blue/green frenzy we're back to an autumnal feel with this die-cutting creation, or neutrals at least in any case.

If you missed my blue/green PaperArtsy make or the Artistic Stamper doodly tags, I'd love it if you had a chance to check them out - it's been a crazy 24 hours here at Words and Pictures!

I started with my favourite corrugated cardboard and a plan to use the first die I ever bought which was the Tim Holtz Vintage Lace Decorative Strip Die (and it's probably my most-used too).

I gave the cardboard a rough coat of Picket Fence Distress Paint and stamped the lovely vintage PostCard stamp several times in Potting Soil Archival.

The focal image for the hanging is one of the Found Relatives pictures from Idea-ology.

I used an On the Edge die on the photo, top and bottom.

The Ornate border on the photo echoes one of the other dies I chose to work with, the fabulous Frameworks Lattice - a new favourite.

I grabbed a background tag I had hanging around from my Memento Mori discards to cut the Frameworks.  I stamped the small version of the ornate alphabet included in the Merchantile stamp set before cutting the Lattice.

I also cut some of the same pattern out of plain book pages which I inked with Gathered Twigs and Walnut Stain.

The final piece of the puzzle in die-cutting terms is the addition of the Tattered Doily On the Edge die, cut from the same tag with the fancy lettering on it.

That's been layered up with the die-cut photo and the Vintage Lace, all nice and inky round the edges of course.

You'll see I added some more of the real leaves - like on the Autumn Flowerings hanging, a sort of companion piece to this one - and gave them a dusting of Picket Fence DP too.

All the metal pieces have also been slightly altered using the Picket Fence - giving a dusty aged look.

There's the clock...

A Muse Token, positioned carefully over some of the latticework pieces...

And the ornate keyhole, again echoing the Lattice shapes...

The little number brad... and next to each of the metal pieces I glued a few industrial brads as extra decoration.

I think they add a nice extra metallic touch.

The sentiment is stamped in Potting Soil over a whitewashed book page, and mounted over the photo on foam pads.

Finally, a bit of linen ribbon will do the job when I come to hang this up somewhere.

I hope that gives you some ideas for using your Dies and Distress products.  

You'll find lots more inspiration from my amazing team-mates over at A Vintage Journey, as well as the exact details of Annie's challenge to you.  I do hope you'll be able to come and play over the next fortnight.

Thanks so much for dropping in - hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Since my blue/green PaperArtsy project only had a few hours to itself on the blog, I'm just going to do another quick plug for it here... After all that work, I'd hate it to get lost in the chaos!

Hop now or forever hold your peace!!

Thursday 10 July 2014

It takes two...

Two?  Yes, two... First of all, it's the second sneak peek today.

Sneak peek number one was for my Artistic Stamper creation which I'd love you to see if you missed it earlier, but I'm also thrilled to say that I'm back as an occasional guest on the PaperArtsy blog this evening with a creation that uses just two paint colours.

So here's sneak peek number two...  If you'd like to see what happened when I challenged myself to just "take two", do hop on over to PaperArtsy - I'd love to know what you think.

Thanks so much for stopping by today (stopping and hopping, I hope!), and I'll be back at midnight!

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
Albert Einstein

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.
Albert Einstein (he's now probably in the lead as my "most-quoted" I think!)

Double Doodles

Hello all - it's a busy couple of days here at Words and Pictures...  

You may have seen yesterday's Artistic Outpost offering, and now I'm here with the first of three posts in 24 hours!

This is a quick sneak peek to tempt you over to The Artistic Stamper where I've got a couple of tags to share with you.  It's a pretty short post by my standards, so I won't keep you there long.

I hope you'll have time to check back later today when there'll be lots more fun to be had... yet another sneak peek, and then a whole post for you to enjoy right here!

Doodling is the brooding of the hand.
Saul Steinberg

Wednesday 9 July 2014

A quick trip to Paris...

Ah, if only!  

No, I'm afraid it's just a short hop over to Artistic Outpost where I'm sharing my (now monthly only) project.

It's my first time playing with the lovely Paris Exposition stamp set, so I hope you enjoy the quick trip to Paris... Bon Voyage!

A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life.
Thomas Jefferson

You can't escape the past in Paris, and yet what's so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn't seem to burden.
Allen Ginsberg

Saturday 5 July 2014

Calico Tin Can

Hello all - sorry about the dull post title.  I was trying to come up with clever word plays on Tin Pan Alley and Tin Can Calico, but somehow it wouldn't come together... so I'm just here with a simple sneak peek to try to tempt you over to see my latest make for Calico Crafts.

After the mammoth post of my last Calico project, the Sugar Maple Pear Trees, I've something altogether simpler (and shorter!) for you today - a bit of "upcycling".

Do hop over for a look - I hope you like it... and I hope you all have a lovely weekend.  I'm having a weekend away with friends, so I don't suppose there'll be much blog-visiting but I will come and catch up with you all soon!

Life is rather like a tin of sardines - we're all of us looking for the key.
Alan Bennett