Friday, 28 July 2017

Neutral Blues II

I'm back with my second post playing the (neutral) blues.  If you missed the first instalment, you can find it here.  Since it's post number two, it seems only right to share two tags, no?  And on each tag a twosome too!

This pair came about in the usual slightly unintentional way.  As I created the background for the first one, I found I was mopping up or printing onto a spare which rapidly became a pair to the first.

These also involve some more Oxide play, so as well as the blues, greys and browns, they have that in common with tag number one.  Same stencil in use, I notice - how repetitive of me!

But then the Neutral Blues I tag was made back in April, and the backgrounds of these were done in New York at least a month later, so I hope you'll forgive the repetition.

And of course all three tags so far use the wonderful Paper Dolls.  Another of those Tim Holtz ingredients that I find myself wondering how we managed without before they existed.

This time, though, I've been able to use my own quotes on the tags.  Since I had one dark tag and one light tag, it seemed the perfect time to break out EAB02 Darkness and Light!

For these two, I started by blending Oxides onto the first tag - Faded Jeans and Iced Spruce, I believe (sorry, I did the backgrounds quite early on in my stay in New York, and then finished them off once I got back home last week).  I think there may have been some Pumice Stone Distress Ink involved too.

I applied Walnut Stain DOX to the stencil, spritzed and printed it, before spritzing again to soften the whole thing.

On the second tag I mopped up some leftover droplets of inkiness, and then did the printing again, this time using Faded Jeans on the stencil.

I'm pretty sure the tag had had a coat of either gesso or white acrylic beforehand - that's why it's so pale underneath.

Sadly, I don't seem to have any photos of the next layer by itself.  I added text stamping - in white acrylic on the darker tag...

... and in Walnut Stain DOX on the paler tag (the Oxides stamp so beautifully!).

Time got tighter as work progressed in NYC, so I didn't get much further, and the two backgrounds travelled home with me in that state.

Once here I finished them off... selecting the Paper Dolls to go on each tag and the words to go with them.

I gave the dolls some of my carefully hoarded rusty mesh to stand on.  These were some of the very last snippets.

I'm prepared to use them now because I managed to get a fresh supply while I was away.  Expect to see more rusty mesh in action from here on in!

I created inky backgrounds to stamp the quotes on.  Whether on dark or light, the stamping is done in Potting Soil Archival and clear-embossed.

This starry one is from Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and source of many words of wisdom.

This quote, which I absolutely adore, is by Persian poet, Hafez (full name Khwāja Shams-ud-Dīn Muḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī, but thankfully generally known by his pen-name Hafez).

He lived in the fourteenth century, but his words speak so directly across the centuries.

I used some of the tiny Idea-ology star brads as metal accents...

... topped with white paint for the darker tag, of course.

And I mounted the tags on contrasting layers to give just that final touch of matching opposites.

Once again, combining words and pictures has given me great pleasure here... the words connect me to the people in the photographs, and stories start to unwind in my mind.

I felt as though I wanted to offer affirmation and assurance to both pairs of children and, through the quotes, I hope maybe I have done that - somewhere in the space/time continuum.  I certainly like the pair of tags just as tags, and maybe that's enough.

I hope you like them too, and I'll be back pretty soon with another study in blues and browns - a slight hop out of kin, the next one, but with plenty of Oxide action.  I hope you all have a great weekend, and I'll see you soon.

May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.
Rainer Maria Rilke

Oops, I forgot I was planning to link up at Tag Tuesday again, where the lovely Chrissie has chosen My Favourite Colour Combination as the theme. 
At Try It On Tuesday they would like us to Let It Shine - so with my tiny stars and the advice to all the children to let their own lights shine like starlight, I hope these will fit in.
And at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge the theme this week is You've Got The Edge.  I've got two of them!  And I'm using those edges to carry on the contrasts of the tags, even down to inking the white frame with brown and sanding the brown frame to reveal some white!


  1. Wonderful pair of tags! They would also fit our challenge at TT if you have time to link! Hugs, Valerie

  2. Another stunning Duo of tags
    Amanda x

  3. Such a happy accident to mop up one to make another the same--love them both.

    The words today had me thinking. Children today are so sheltered they miss out on a lot of the things that help their minds to grow as well as their bodies. Always something to make me think when I visit your blog Alison

    Love Chrissie xx

  4. Two beautiful tags Alison! I love those paper dolls, and the quotes are just perfect.
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Alison xx

  5. Me again - thanks for linking to TT Sweetie! Hugs, Valerie

  6. Gorgeousness as always Alison!
    Your artwork just makes me happy to look at it! Your style is your own and is truly inspiring!
    Hope your weekend is beautiful as well!
    hugs,Jackie xx

  7. These tags are fantastic! Love them both!

  8. A pair of absolute stunners Alison, really atmospheric too
    Donna xx

  9. They are so beautiful, I love the softness in your choice of colors, which is echoed in the T.H. paperdolls . The lovely background, Alison, and your wonderful quotes. I can`t wait to get them, coming months :-)
    Happy weekend, to you. Dorthe xx

  10. Those paper dolls are so pretty on your fantastic tags - made with so much love and knowledge! Brilliant!
    Happy weekend to you!
    oxo Susi

  11. Absolutely beautiful and your sentiment stamps just set them off! Love love your DOX layering. Hugs, Autumn

  12. Oh so perfect alison - and I love the paper dolls and the two lots of two! Clever - and gorgeous! Hugs rachel x

  13. Fabulous tags! I have always loved blue and brown together - you've captured it so beautifully!!

  14. Fabulous duo, love your little pairs to enhance them too, a great pair!

  15. I don't mind repetition at all, both tags are beautiful - great colour choices Alison! I have quote set one, I see that I really need set two now, you are such an enabler....! Anne xx

  16. Another beautiful duo of tags. The Paper Dolls are wonderful pieces to use, i really loved the words you added to the tags.
    Yvonne xx

  17. Oh My! I don't know where to start…these are such wonderful tags! The backgrounds, the words, the pictures - your blog is so aptly named! Love the contrast/co-ordinaton! Hugs, Chrisx

  18. Oh my gosh these are utterly delightful Alison with the beautiful blends of inky colours, the gorgeous patterning with the text stamping and the fabulous finish of wonderful words and pictures. Brilliant xxx

  19. Both tags are gorgeous Alison, perfectly aged and distressed! I like them as a pair and, why not, you could have a whole series as a "scrapbook" of lost relatives. I'm kicking myself for not picking up the dolls when they were in stock... but TH has some Halloween ones coming and who knows maybe Christmas too!

  20. Your tags are absolutely gorgeous, Alison.

    Have a wonderful weekend

  21. ... and I have to say Thank you for joining us at Try it on Tuesday

  22. Two fabulous tags, the colours are wonderful together, and I love the TH dolls, now where did I put mine !!
    Have a great weekend.

  23. Oh Alison how I love to see you with those beautiful tags at Try It On Tuesday! THANK YOU ♥ !Happy Sunday!
    oxo Susi

  24. Just popped back to say how pleased I am that you linked to Try It On Tuesday! Hugs, Chrisx

  25. These tags are wonderful, Alison! Love the fabulous backgrounds. Thank you for joining us at Try It On Tuesday.
    Mar xx

  26. Lovely! The quotes, colors and design are wonderful.

  27. Fantastic tags Alison and those quotes are wonderful. Gorgeous backgrounds with all the layers and stamping. Thank you so much for sharing with us at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge!!

  28. Two fabulous tags Alison, love the children on both of them and the great quotes

    Thanks for joining in at TIOT


  29. These tags are so beautiful! Those images are perfectly sweet and your background adds lovely contrast.

  30. Absolutely fabulous! These tags are fantastic, love the idea and as always you are the Queen of Neutral colors, you work with them in an incredible way! Thanks for joining us this week on Simon Says STamp Monday Challenge Blog! barbara

  31. Two adorable tags, just perfect with your words!!!
    I also love your backgrounds, the use of your favourite colors of course but also your choice and use of stencils that make them very fine pieces of artworks.
    Exquisite Alison!
    Hugs, Coco xx

  32. I must say it's great when you 'Play the blues'. This pair of tags with its poignant pairs of children are really moving and beautiful with their beautiful accompanying sentiments from your collection. Great work! xx

  33. These are beautiful Alison, I love the rusty mess, and your sentiments are wonderful xx

  34. A fabulous pair of inky tags Alison, and a perfect opportunity to use your own quotes.
    Avril xx
    p.s. Thanks for sharing at TioT

  35. These are both positively stunning! Pinned to enjoy another day. xx

  36. These tags show off the oxides so beautifully and they make a lovely backdrop for the paper dolls. I am really enjoying seeing this series. x

  37. Love how you created these lovely blue tags with wonderful messages ~ ^_^

    New to Tag Tuesday (A SHUTTERBUG EXPLORES) ^_^

  38. Ooo a double delight ! Yes please and thank you . They are so beautiful , Alison . Those paper dolls are so emotive and your 'words' really help give those emotions a voice .

  39. Oooh, another delightful pair of tags! I really love these shades of blue paired with the greys. Your prints over the inks looks fabulous and a perfect backdrop for these twosomes and your lovely quotes! Oh, and more of that really cool mesh. I think I may have to get my shears out and start snipping the screens on my porch--shame they are plastic of some sort. They just don't make screens like they used to! Alison, these are precious! Hugs!

  40. These tags are absolutely enchanting Alison. Great background and fab your quote stamps layout. xx

  41. I adore them Alison... It was a delight to read again how you created them. Hugs and good night, Corinne xxx

  42. Beautiful tags. When you mentioned light and dark I noticed one tag had light children and the other had dark. Your words of inspiration were there for both children and I think appropriate for their different races. The light children's quote seems to assume that they will run with the stars and that life has beauty for them to dwell on. The dark children are getting more an affirmation that they to have their own light and can shine. I feel it is more saying you'll have to work for it instead of it is there for you to have. Or it could be I hear too much (negative) about race these days. Anywho.... gorgeous tags.


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