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...

Friday 26 February 2016

Encore - The Peace in Crafting

Encore Posts
While I'm away, there are some scheduled posts with new creations coming your way, but I'm also taking the chance to do some catching up here at Words and Pictures.   Projects which made their first appearances elsewhere for Design Team duties or Guest Designer opportunities, but which only had a sneak peek here, are being gathered together in the pages of my virtual scrapbook.  I'm calling them "Encore" posts and they're formatted differently (all the way down the centre), so you can spot them easily.
Please don't feel that you have to comment all over again!

We're zooming back in time with this post to October 2013, and one of my creations for PaperArtsy during my semester as one of their inaugural guest designers.  (You can see why I need to do some catching up around here!)  These tags also reveal that adding real dried flowers, as I did in my recent excursions Imagine Simplicity and Flourishing Florals, is actually nothing new to me!  In any case, here's what I wrote back then...

The craft-time for this week's makes was carved out of the sharp end of a chaotic house-moving schedule, so I wanted to allow myself some pure crafting joy.  There's nothing necessarily ground-breaking here technically, just me having fun with lovely paints, stamps and inks.

I started with two tags, a stencil, some medieval music on the CD player, and one of my favourite ways to create a background.

I love working with paints and inks next to each other for the contrast.  And Fresco paints with their chalky finish are particularly good against translucent Distress Inks - even the translucent Frescos, though for the full effect you probably want some opaques involved.

I sponged three of my favourite colours through the stencil onto one tag, and then flipped the stencil straight over onto tag 2 and pressed down to transfer the paint onto the the tag surface.

I love doing this, as it gives me a pair of tags straight off - which always sets my brain off working on partner pieces.

Next I grabbed some Distress Inks...

(again, some of my favourite colours)

... and used blending tools...

... to build up areas of colour...

... around and over the paint.

Next step is some spritzing and flicking... 

I usually let the water sit on the surface for a few moments before applying some paper towel to soak up the droplets, and then drying with a heat tool.

I never tire of this look, or of the glowing ink against the chalky paint.

As you'll have worked out by now, I like building up layers in my backgrounds, so it's time to add some stamping.  I used the Ink and the Dog Words 2 plate and some more Mermaid paint for the first layer, applying the paint to the stamp with a bit of Cut'n'Dry foam.

The opaque paint really holds its own against the busy background.

I used the same stamp, but this time with some Aquamarine Archival ink to add another layer.

So, now, what to do with my two beautiful backgrounds?!

Leandra included some Tando arches in my goody box, and the Gothic shape suited the mood created by the music and the crafting so far.

So, some more favourite colours, blended directly onto the arches...

... and then some Crackle Glaze over the top.

Back to lovely Mermaid, combined with some Snowflake, to go over the top of the Crackle Glaze.

I applied it with a sponge instead of a brush to get a random porcelain crackle rather than directional "woody" crackle.

And then I inked it with some Mowed Lawn DI, so that it would tie in with the background even more.  Some more stamping now, and time to introduce my main stamp sets for this month's posts: the Urban Snapshots Nature plates.  I stamped two of the leafy images direct onto the solid arch shapes...

... using Potting Soil Archival ink - how's that for a "natural, earthy" colour?!

And I stamped two of the sentiments onto some plain paper in the same colour.

Out with my favourite Vintage Photo to do some edging around the sentiments.

And of course, I ended up blending some Vintage Photo onto the edges of the tags too.

I love how the ink takes differently according to whether it's over ink or paint, creating different textural layers.

I arranged all the elements using padded tape in either single, double or even triple layers to give various levels of dimension.

The final ingredient came direct from nature: some dried Grape Hyacinth seed heads from my mother's garden in the Czech Republic.

They're so beautiful and very delicate... I bound a couple of stems together with raffia to get the shape I wanted within (and without) the frames.

So there's my pair of tags... it took a while playing with the composition of the elements to get them to complement each other.

I started with positioning the hollow arches to "frame" some of my favourite bits of the background, but then once the seed heads arrived, I realised it was better to position the frame to avoid my favourite bits, otherwise they got to covered up by the flowers!

I kept the topping for the tags very simple and natural too: some lengths of raffia tied together with twine.

I'm really happy with the dimensional layering of the elements.

And overall, these tags gave me some real peace and solace in the midst of a very trying time... crafting comes to the rescue again!  I hope they inspire you to indulge in some joyful creating too.

So there's another piece of time travel for you - back to October 2013 - but on Monday - Leap Day! - there's a brand new treat for you.  I hope you'll be able to stop by and see it.

Monday will also be my last day with the dodgy internet connections and Virtual Private Network complications of China.  Once I'm in Hong Kong I should be able to come visiting again.  I've managed to leave the odd calling card, but I've missed being able to see what you're all up to.   I've had more luck visiting the non-Blogger bloggers, as it's the Google sites which are tricky to access here, but hopefully, that should change soon... in the meantime, happy crafting all!

There is no path to peace.  Peace is the path.
Mahatma Gandhi


Helen said...

Great to see this post again, hard to believe it's from so long ago... hope you get to Hong Kong safely.. what an exciting time you're having!

Anke said...

WOW WOW WOW absolutely stunning, I love your background.


Mrs.B said...

Taking a break from the sun in Cambodia and having a catch up. Hope you enjoy HK as much as I did.
Great to see these tags again.
Avril xx

Amanda said...

Great memory of a make. Enjoy HK you lucky thing.
Amanda x

Brenda Brown said...

Encore posts, what a lovely idea and always good to take a look back sometimes. Glad to see you are around and hoping things are going well for you. Take care.
Hugs Brenda xxx

brenda said...

Super colours Alison and great stencil work on two lovely tags.

B x

chrissie said...

A wonderful pair of tags Alison. I am enjoying this Encore series for sure and maybe we should all look back at what we did in the past. Must say you still have the same style which was always so inspiring for lots of us.

Just enjoy the new places you are visiting and catch-up with us when you can. I bet you have lots of photographs to share- well I am hoping that you have

Love Chrissie xx

Monika Gulyas said...

Beautiful greens, Alison, it's a joy to watch your tags!

Lauren Hatwell said...

Gorgeous! I'm really enjoying seeing all your beautiful past projects. What a lovely idea to keep us going while you're so busy on your travels. Lx

Pamellia said...

Gorgeous Alison! I love how you used the stencil after you used the stencil (if you know what I mean). The crackle on your accents is fabulous and I love the cool colour palette! Beautiful tags. hugs :)

Marci said...

I remember these, I really liked them! Hope you are having some fun. Hong Kong always sounds so exotic to me. Full of beautiful silk and new foods and wonderful markets. Looking forward to your photos.

Marci said...

I remember these, I really liked them! Hope you are having some fun. Hong Kong always sounds so exotic to me. Full of beautiful silk and new foods and wonderful markets. Looking forward to your photos.

froebelsternchen said...

Absolut stunning - I like the colours and textures and how beautiful you all the details made!
Enjoy your stay in HongKong dear Alsion!

Dorthe said...

OHHH you are on a fantastic journey ...Hong Kong next stop!!!
And I was too, watching and reading all you did to create these two amazing tags, Alison. I love all your step by step photos and explaining , thank you, and I love the tags built up from wonderful colors ,stencils, arches and your masterly creative mind.
Wishing you the best in China, see you soon again.
Hugs ,Dorthe

rachel said...

wonderful post Alison - please forgive me for not being able to remember it - its beautiful - I do love the colours - the background is just perfect! Big hugs to you! rachel x

Juliz Design Post said...

I don't seem to remember this post Alison, so very pleased you are revisiting it. The colours are just so pretty together and beautifully designed as always.
Hugs, Julie x

Annie said...

Beautiful tags Alison x love the background details, but the crackle on the arches is a favourite x
Tfs and best wishes
Hugs Annie xx

craftytrog said...

Great background Alison, love the process! Also, those PA stamps are favourites of mine, I love how you have used them on this beautiful pair of tags.
Alison xx

Redanne said...

Wow Alison, was it really that long ago? I have loved re-visiting this one, it is such a beautiful pair of tags! Anne xx

Diana Taylor said...

Having only discovered your blog fairly recently I am really enjoying seeing your older work too - this is beautiful, I love the colours and I love the real dried flowery bits - I always prefer using real to artificial when possible. Lovely!

Paper Profusion said...

Beautifully peaceful and thoughtful Alison and gorgeously designed. Cant wait to hear about all your travels in more details. Nicola x

Anonymous said...

There is certainly a sense of serenity exuding from both tags and even though I am tucked up in bed, viewing your tags I could almost be fooled that I am sitting in the middle of some lush forest with only the sounds of nature breaking the silence.
Safe travels Alison,

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

Hi Alison, old they may be but still gorgeous and a great tutorial too. Have a brilliant holiday. Angela xXx

Deb said...

So glad you shared these again Alison, I'd not seen them the first go-round so am glad I got to enjoy their encore performance! Hope you are having a wonderful time, safe travels! Deb xo

Barbara said...

When you use these shades of colors I'm always in awe! Love love love these pieces! As always an inspiration! Barbara

Almo said...

What a great idea to treat us to an encore of so many lovely projects whilst you are on your travels, I am so loving seeing them again. Wishing you a safe journey to Hong Kong. Mo x

Princess Judy Palmer said...

Very pretty! Am I the only one that imagined paw prints in those pools of lovely paint you showed us? Yes, I thought so.

Anneke said...

Lovely! Your so kind to show had you make your projects.
It makes me feel to go and start in my Craftroom.
I love this color combination. Going to give it a try.Very inspiring.

A Pink said...

a gorgeous duo of tags! Alison - first time seeing for me . Lush colours, texture and layers .
hope you are enjoying your adventures
hugs x

Kay Wallace said...

This is so full of technique, Alison, but I have to admit that one of the simpler ones remains my favorite and that is spritzing and flicking! Just adds so much every time, as it does here. Great pieces, my friend. You never disappoint!

maj. said...

Love, love it!!! Great tutorial!

Cocofolies said...

Both are so delicate and beautiful Alison, a very enchanting post!!!
I don't regret my catching up party this morning :)
Hugs, Coco xxx

Sophie said...

Großartig, Alison...
Was für eine grandiose Idee.
Es sieht nach einem Quartett aus, Frühling, Sommer, Herbst und Winter.
Einfach fantastisch

Liebe Grüße von Sophie