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...

Monday 7 May 2018

Hold on, be strong

Hello all!  I'm thrilled to have been invited back into the Designer Spotlight at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge this month.

It's such a pleasure to be invited to create alongside the incredible Design Team there, and we've got a wonderful challenge theme for this week.

The theme is Ombré... the gradual blending of one colour hue to another, often moving tints and shades from light to dark.  The team are also playing with Dina Wakley products (though that's not compulsory to join in with the challenge) and here's the journalling page spread I've created for your inspiration.

I was inspired by both the artistic definition of Ombré and also the underlying meaning in French - shadow or shaded.

So the young Scribbly Girls have the shadows of their future selves hovering over them, offering advice.

Or maybe it is the older women who are looking back at the shadows of their former selves, and wishing they could share their accumulated wisdom with them as they face life's challenges.

I started with my main ombre effect.  I added stripes of Distress Ink to the craft mat - from the bottom up it goes Pumice Stone, Weathered Wood, Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire - and spritzed with water.

I placed my open journal down on top of the inks and pressed it down.  This is the effect after that first "print" was dried with a heat tool.

This particular journal has quite a sheeny coating on the pages, so the inky effects are really pretty.

I then did several more dippings and dryings until I had a wrinkle-free distress look that I liked.

I stamped Dina's Scribbly Girlies in Pumice Stone on a separate piece of watercolour paper and clear embossed the images before tinting them with Distress Inks and a water brush.

I added some Design Tape to the page to give the girls something to stand on.  I was aiming for an Ombré effect with the tapes to echo the main one in the background.

It was at this point that I had the idea of using Dina's Words in Faces stamps in the sky.  My instinct was to have them in white, so they'd hover like wispy white clouds in the blue.

But I wasn't quite sure about it, so I stamped them onto some acetate in white paint so that I could get an idea of how they would look.

That's a yes!  But before adding the faces in a more permanent form, I decided on a bit more background stamping.  Again, I've echoed the Ombré idea.

So the leafy stems are stamped in Frayed Burlap Oxide ink, and the hearts (also from the Scribbly Girlies set) graduate from Stormy Sky via Faded Jeans to Chipped Sapphire.  (And I think later on I also added some Pumice Stone ones near the bottom of the pages.)

The pages also needed something more solid in the background to create depth, so I grabbed Tim Holtz's On the Edge Townscape die.

Once I'd decided they would work, the houses also got the Ombré treatment.  (The cloud faces are still on acetate at this point.)

Time to take the leap and stamp the faces in the sky directly onto the page.

I stamped in Versamark and embossed with Wow white embossing powder.  I love how they look.

The scribbled words in their hair are echoed by the main sentiment panels.

These individual words are also part of the Words in Faces stamp set.

I thought about adding them direct to the page, but decided I wanted them to have a more substantial presence...

... so they're stamped on watercolour paper in Ground Espresso Archival ink.

And, at the risk of Ombré overload, they've also had a touch of shaded inking at top and bottom to echo the colours of the rest of the page.

As I was gluing things in place, I felt the girls needed a little more definition, so I used my fine-tipped Sharpie to enhance their facial features as well as to give them a darker edging to make them pop.

Since the Sharpie is a permanent marker, it will work even over the glossy embossing.

And I used a black watercolour pencil to add shadows beneath their feet.  It beds them into the page and makes them more solid.

Oh yes, look - there are the Pumice Stone hearts.  I knew I'd added them at some point!

I didn't have a particularly clear idea of where I was going at the start of this, but I do like where I've ended up.

The shadowy ideas underlying the pages are reflected in the slightly sombre colour tones, but I don't think that overall it's a melancholy spread.

The words being shared between the younger and older women are full of hope and strength.

And it does warm up when you catch it in the sunlight, so I'm sure the message is getting through!  What do you think?

The amazing team of designers have created some spectacular Ombré inspiration for you over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge, so do hop over and check it out.

As always, there's a $50 gift voucher on offer for the randomly chosen winner, as well as the chance of being selected by the team as one of their top picks. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I hope you've found some shaded and shadowy inspiration to encourage you to join in with the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge this week.  Happy Crafting all!

Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Find these products at Simon Says Stamp:

Dina Wakley Scribbly Girlies
Distress Inks - Pumice Stone, Weathered Wood, Stormy Sky, Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire
Wow White embossing powder
Tim Holtz Design Tape 
Archival Ink - Ground Espresso
Custom Archival Ink Pad (to use with the Ground Espresso re-inker)


Barbara said...

Alison I'm so sorry for my absence! Your works are always absolutely inspirational and this is no different! love the colors, you are an artist! So happy to have with us on Simon Monday Challenge this month! Barbara

Lorraine A said...

Gorgeous pages Alison :-) the background is fabulous and I love the white embossed faces in the sky, the whole design of this is so calming and pretty, you totally rocked the ombré theme!! :-)

Welcome back! it is so lovely to have you back with us in the spotlight!! :-)

Lols x x x

simo said...

Alison! First of all Congrats for being Designer Guest of the Month...very well deserved! Now to your Journal spread...it is absolutely fantastic! I love all the details of the backgound, the Ombre effect and the words of true inspiration and wisdom...and the touch of the 'Future selves' is absolutely brilliant! Brava! Hugs xxx Simona

Julia said...

I like the idea of the older women looking back on their former selves. The scribble girls are lovely, at first I thought you had drawn them with watercolour paint, they really are good. This is gorgeous. X

Dorthe said...

I think it is amazing Alison- I love the idea of the older women , now looking back, and the sweet youngsters, only started to find themselves , could need some advises .
Your gorgeous background in Ombre , the hearts, the foliage, words and houses .
So beautiful with the white embossed women, dear.
Hugs, Dorthe x

Helen said...

what a gorgeous mix of the ladies and the children! Cracking pages

Valerie-Jael said...

Congrats on being in the designer spotlight, well done! Love the gorgeous journal spread. Hugs, Valerie

froebelsternchen said...

This spread is out of this world! Just WONDERFUL! Congrats on the designer spotlight - so so well deserved dear Alison- your art is just brilliant and utterly beautiful!

Amanda said...

Congratulations on your designer spotlight and a fabulous piece that showcases you brilliantly, fabulous pages
Amanda x

Macarena said...

Lovely pages! The background is absolutely stunning, so delicate and soft, amazing take on the ombre theme. Love the white scribble ladies and the words you have chosen. So glad to have you with us this month! See you there! Hugs, Macarena

Meggymay said...

Fabulous colour effects and I love how the pages tell a story of the children growing into women.
Congratulations on your Designer spotlight.
Yvonne xx

SewPaperPaint said...

Biggest congratulations Alison! It's awesome to see your work on display at SSS! I love the colors and use of these fabulous faces and fonts! Gorgeous pages. Hugs, Autumn

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

Congrats Alison, always super to see your fabulous creations. What a clever way to use the acetate to give you an insight into how something would look before taking the plunge, It's all worked out wonderfully, from the build up of colour to every inch of embellishment, so atmospheric.
Creative wishes Tracey xx

Astrid Maclean said...

A wonderful page with some real creative thinking behind it all! Great ombre effects and of course HUGE congrats on being invited back to SSS!!

Mrs.B said...

Congratulations on your Designer spot and this journal spread showcases your style perfectly. A wonderful way of combining the scribbly faces and girlies.
Avril xx

Sue said...

What beautiful pages Alison, and congratulations on you GD spot. Your Ombre is perfect as is your choice of stamps. Have a very happy week, Sue xx

Monika Gulyas said...

Wonderful pages, Alison!!! Congrats on the guest designer spot!!! I love the colours!!! xx

craftytrog said...

A super spread with Dina's girlies! X

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

I haven't picked these images from Dina up yet...love the girls, and love the soft subtle way you colored it all. Enchanting pages with the misty blues.

Stephanie said...

Very cool, Allison! I love the colors and texture! :)

Simon Says Stamp!

Paper Wishes said...

Its so much more interesting to think on more than one level about the theme. I like the spontaneous quality of these pages. Even with the stencils and the wonderful townscape die it has a very personal and individual feel to i.t

Diana Taylor said...

Your work is absolutely beautiful - the ombre effect works so well and I love the thinking behind your work, it's always so interesting to learn about an artist's ideas. Thank you for the kind comments you left when you visited my blog, and well done for being in the Designer Spotlight - it's very well deserved.
Diana x

Redanne said...

Huge congratulations on doing another stint at Simon Says Alison, your ombre pages are stunning! I always enjoy seeing how you build up your beautiful backgrounds. That is a great tip about stamping onto the acetate, will definitely try that one! Anne xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

Congratulations on your Spotlight at Simon Says! You really have created the most wonderful ombre page - I love the idea behind your design too! Not a melancholy page at all as the words lift it to a page full of either hope or memories! All good in my books! Hugs, Chrisx

Patty O'Malley said...

Congratulations! Awesome pages!

Julia Aston said...

What beautiful ombre pages Alison - I love those scribbly girls and your wonderful background - as well as your delightful story of your artistic intent! Julia xx

Jackie PN said...

Wow What a cool spread Alison!!
First off, Congratulations on your guest spot! Woo hoo!!

I just LOVE that background! You nailed the Ombre with both the background and the tapes- so beautiful!
The faces in the sky made me start singing...Lucy in the sky...with diamonds, or hearts in this case! heehee
Beautiful pages my friend!
Jackie xo

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I actually stopped by to thank you for visiting my blog, then read this entire entry. You took Ombré to the max for this journal entry. No detail was left to chance, and your lovely composition was indeed a true tribute to Ombré. I can see why you are a guest designer this month.

Fliss said...

A really gorgeous art journal spread Alison and love those beautiful blue tomes with the little pops of brown.
Well done on your guest designer spot too.
Fliss xx

Etsuko said...

Congratulations on your SSS Designer Spotlight. This pages are absolutely stunning. Great imagination and techniques, lovely work with Dina Wakley's stamps especially artistic young girls stamps your images. I love the pages. xx

Kath Stewart said...

love this amazing project Alison, from the gorgeous background to the beautiful details embossed in white and I'm so happy that you are joining us in the Designer Spotlight for May, hugs kath xxx

Andrea Ockey Parr said...

SooOoooOo excited to have you working with us again! I always love your style and thought your take on this challenge was so clever. I adore your work with shadows on this project and think it turned out stunning!

Emma Williams said...

Welcome back Alison, it's such a joy to have you join us again on SSS and what a way to start the month because this is beautiful ~ a really gorgeous journal page, beautiful ombré background and a very clever design, it's lovely! xx

Maura said...

Alison, so happy to have you back with us this month! I love how you went with the interpretation of ombre as shadow - that's really cool! Great use of the blues and grey, and I really love how you used the scribbly faces in your wonderful background. Awesome pages! Maura

Meihsia Liu said...

Love love love these fabulous art journal pages, Alison. The colors and the images are so beautiful! It's so great to have you on our team again! Hugs :D

Anna-Karin said...

I am so happy that you are our guest this month Alison! I am looking forward to seeing all your gorgeous creations. This art journal spread is so pretty and I love how you interpreted the challenge, with ombre as shadow. It reminded me of a family holiday in Spain when I was a teenager, and managed to ask for a tent spot in the shade in Spanish. Only there wasn't a single tree large enough in that camping site. :)

Sandra said...

Such amazing pages, Alison! Love the effect the background has, and the girls look fabulous. So fun to have you on as our GD again! Welcome back! Hugs, Sandra

sarascloset said...

Congratulations on being GDT at SSS once again, Alison! What beautiful thoughtful pages you have wowed us all with! I love the colors and how you've used those images and words! Hugs!

Zoey | Scrapsaurus said...

Allison, this is such a beautiful page with sucha powerful message!
Well done!
x Zoey

Cocofolies said...

And this spread is also truly charming and dreamful!!!
I love it (as all you do! :D)
Hugs again, Coco xx

maj. said...

Very beautiful and delightful pages!!!

Marci said...

Congratulations on being guest designer again. I love how you explain your creative process and I love these pages.

Paper Profusion said...

I LOVE your double take on ombré Alison. This is wonderfully free, with fabby whites and holds great messages. Major congratulations again (as per earlier visit) for your Simon Monday feature alongside the super talented team. You belong there! Nicola x

rachel said...

I love these products - absolutely brilliantly showcased - gorgeous! Hugs rachel x