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 29 June 2018

A Glimmer in the Earth

Hello all!  I'm squeezing this in by the skin of my teeth.  Things are stupidly busy for me at the moment, with requests and deadlines flying in from seventeen different directions, but I simply can't bear to miss a Tag Friday at A Vintage Journey... I never have so far, and so here I am.

In fact, I have a pair of tags for you, with a shimmer of light gleaming amidst the earthy colour tones.  These were actually made a while back, while showing a friend how to apply gilding foil to a project.  So they weren't pre-planned in any way, and where they ended up was pretty much entirely a surprise to me.

It's as they move in the light that you suddenly catch the real gleam of the foil - it's a pretty magical effect.  I really must try to use the stuff more often!

It's just going to a be a quick post (for me), as I really haven't time for an epic... and also there really aren't any process photos, as the process was focussed on sharing ideas and techniques, not on recording what we were doing.

There's some Tim Holtz design paper in the background, stuck down onto a regular manila tag, leaving a slight border.

Which stash it's from is anybody's guess.  Someone out there will know...

And then there's some roughly brayered gesso over that...

... along with some credit-card-applications of (probably) Hey Pesto Fresco paint from PaperArtsy.

We used a glue stick to apply the foil - delicately in some places, a little more heavy-handedly in others.

The flower silhouettes are stamped and embossed in Wow Primary Bark powder.

They're both from a set by Inkylicious which I picked up for a song the last time I managed to get myself to Ally Pally.

The quotes are done the same way.  They're both from my own EAB Eclectica stamp sets at PaperArtsy, as you probably know if you spend any time here.  This one is from EAB03 Music & Silence...

... and this one is from EAB01 Trees & Flowers.

I added some partial stampings of the same quotes in green, but that seems to have slightly vanished in the finished versions... clearly, it wasn't Archival ink!

In close up, you can see there's plenty of spatter, and some fairly unsuccessful faux stitching.

There's some more embossing powder around the edges to draw the eye inward, and some dark twine tops them both off.

So that's your lot for now.  Hop over and catch some more Tag Friday action from my brilliant fellow Creative Guides at A Vintage Journey.  I love seeing what everyone makes when they're simply let loose to play.

My apologies that I'm such a poor blog visitor at the moment - there will come a time when I do some proper catching up, I promise.  In the meantime, thank you so much for your continued company.  Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
    Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.
From The Windhover by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Friday 22 June 2018

A Lightbulb Moment at A Vintage Journey

Hello all!  I seem to be determined to send you away this week...  Yesterday, there was a sneak peek for my Guest Design spot at Stamps & Stencils, and today there's a sneak peek encouraging you to head over to A Vintage Journey for my Creative Card Making post - one of the features of our new journey timetable.

Regulars will know I really don't do cards, so I hope you'll be tempted to come and see how I got along over at A Vintage Journey.  Also, while I've got you here, just a quick reminder to come and join in with my 6th Birthday Blog Candy celebrations - it's a chance for me to say thank you for your amazing support on this crafting journey.

As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.
Mary Anne Radmacher

Thursday 21 June 2018

Guest Designer at Stamps & Stencils

Hi all!  I'm delighted to be a Guest Designer over at Stamps & Stencils today, a challenge blog I love.

I hope you're not bored of wandering through the meadows with me, as that's where I ended up going for their fantastic Do Judge A Book By Its Cover challenge theme.

I've just got a sneak peek for you here, so I hope you'll have time to hop over and check out my altered journal cover (it's a long way from where it started out!), and that you'll be inspired to join in and play.

Also do come and join in with my 6th Birthday Blog Candy celebrations if you missed them.  It's a busy week here at Words and Pictures - I'll be back almost before you've had time to catch your breath.  Hope to see you again soon!

Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tuesday 19 June 2018

6th Birthday Blog Candy

Comments are now closed for this candy.
Thank you so much for all your lovely words.  I'll be announcing the winner very soon.

Hello all!  It scarcely seems possible but, yes, it's that time again.  Words and Pictures is six years old today.  And though there are certainly glitches and troubles with Blogger, and I know lots of people now share their work mainly on Facebook or Instagram, I'm sticking with the blogging.  It's the place which gives me room for the pictures and the words.  As you know, both of those are important to me.

In traditional style, I'm offering a little parcel of gratitude candy as a thank you to all those who follow along with this crafting journey.

Your visits and comments light up the creative process.  I only wish I could send candy to each and everyone of you, but logistically that would be a bit of a nightmare, I think.  It would clear some space in the craft room, mind you...  No, I think I'm going to have to stick to just the one parcel, sorry!

There's a set of Lynne Perrella stamps from PaperArtsy and some bubbly Thinlits, as well as the usual selection of fabrics and papers, and metal and wooden bits and bobs. 

As always, there's no requirement to be a follower, though obviously it's lovely if you decide to sign up.  Nor is it compulsory to share the news of the candy on your blogs (or even on the dreaded FB!), though again I'd be very happy if you do.  All you need to do is leave a comment on this post letting me know you'd like your name to go in the draw.

The deadline for leaving comments is a month away - midnight B.S.T. at the end of 19th July.  I'm in the midst of a very busy work period again, so that will give both you and me plenty of breathing space.

Once again, thank you for your friendship and inspiration over the last six years.  I never imagined a journey like this, but I'm so glad I'm on it, and I'm so happy you're here too.

The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Thursday 14 June 2018

Meadow Meditation

Hello all and welcome!  I'm inviting you for another walk in the meadows...  As promised in my Meadow Medley at the beginning of the month, I'm over at Mini Album Makers today with a tutorial sharing some of the how-to details from that project, but as part of a whole new handmade book.

The book I've created is a partner piece to the Meadow Medley, and uses some of the same motifs and techniques.  However, the basic structure is something new... I'm sharing a really easy way to make a book, so that you get to focus on the artistic side of things.

So do hop over to Mini Album Makers for another meditative meadow medley - this time with some more information about how it all came together.

In a meadow full of flowers, you cannot walk through and breathe those smells and see all those colours and remain angry.  We have to support the beauty, the poetry of life.
Jonas Mekas

Wednesday 6 June 2018

If only they could talk...

Hello all!  It's been a while since I've been able to put in an appearance there, but I'm happy to say I'm over on the PaperArtsy blog tonight, contributing some inspiration to this fortnight's Paper Dolls theme.

As you can see, I've been playing with the Tim Holtz Paper Dolls, and I've been doing my usual thing of listening in to what they want to say to me.  I've combined the dolls with some of my PaperArtsy Eclectica quote stamps and some Seth Apter paint colours, so if you want to hear them talk, do pop over and check out the trio of tags I've made.

Thanks for stopping by, and I'll see you again soon.

It is an anxious, sometimes a dangerous thing to be a doll. Dolls cannot choose; they can only be chosen; they cannot 'do'; they can only be done by.
From The Dolls' House by Rumer Godden

Friday 1 June 2018

Meadow Medley

Hello all!  June is upon us, and with it a new challenge at Mini Album Makers.  After the industrial excursion of I Say "Why Not?, I've been taking a walk in the meadow with my album for this project, and I've a medley of meadow flowers and leaves for you.

I created my album with the help of some lovely stencils from Stencil Girl (our sponsor this month), some Gelli printing with real natural elements, and a cover made with those same meadow grasses and leaves once I'd finished printing with them.

This is one of those War and Peace length posts, but I've tried to minimise the words and maximise the pictures, so hopefully it's more like a stroll through an art gallery than reading a novel!  Why not grab some refreshments and let me take you on a walk through the meadow with me?

I can't really give you much information about the Gelli prints, as I was just playing and experimenting and enjoying myself in the moment.

I've been watching lots of Birgit Koopsen videos on YouTube to get into the Gelli swing of things.

The leaves and grass stems just came from outside my front door.

And I just used the same few over and over again, so they also gathered paint as they went.

As you can see, I suffered the usual "can't stop" Gelli phenomenon!

I can show you the paint colours I used for my printing session.  All of them were done with variations of these four.

And, in addition to the plant matter, I used Tim Holtz's wonderful Shattered stencil - playing the role of cobwebs here, of course.

And then I had all these prints and nowhere to put them... so I thought they'd better go in a book.

Since I wanted to create a nice substantial book, I needed more pages.  Rather than getting the Gelli plate out again, I decided to play with two glorious meadow grass stencils made by Stencil Girl.

I sprayed through and "printed" with leftover inks in Distress Spray colours chosen to complement the DecoArt paints I'd been using.

I'm not going to do too much on the how-to front with these stencilled pages, since there's a partner piece to this coming soon where I've done a similar thing.

Watch out for my tutorial mid-month over at Mini Album Makers when we'll be taking a walk through some slightly different meadows!

The basic structure for this book was created using the envelope technique.  You can find out more about how that's done by checking out my Glimpses of Springtime and/or Ruth Mescall's great little YouTube tutorial, though this is on an altogether larger scale.

The Glimpses of Springtime book was two inches square.  This one is 7 x 7 inches.  Also, for that one I painted, inked and stamped direct onto the envelopes as my pages.

For this one, since my Gelli prints were on separate pages, I built my envelope structure first, and then stuck on the pages front and back.  This means it's also pleasurably sturdy to handle.  The pages have substance and weight to them.

The cover was the last part to be completed.  Once I'd torn myself away from the Gelli printing, I couldn't bring myself to throw away the leaves and stems I'd been using, so I stuck them down onto another sheet of the 7 x 7 cardstock.

Before I started building up layers of paint and glazes, I stuck the sheet onto a firm piece of cardboard, and sealed them in with a good coat of gel medium.

This should stop them from decaying over time.  I did the same with some leaves and fir fronds in an art journal about three years ago, and they're still going strong!

Using the same paints with glazing medium I  built my layers.

Eventually some inks got into the mix, and some water drops and white paint for splatter.

I also applied the Titanium White with a credit card in places...

... as well as giving the flower heads of the grass stems some fresh life.

I added DecoArt crackle glaze around the edges in places, and used Antiquing Creams over it once it was dry.

A Quote Chip layered over some frayed linen ribbon tells you how much of me has gone into this book.

It was only when I was done that I realised I needed to create a similar piece for the back cover, so I had to start all over again.

I managed to get a fairly similar sort of look, but I wish I'd done it at the same time!

I added some broad hessian ribbon for my spine.  

And there's linen ribbon also glued within the covers to create a fastening for the book.

Again, I'll be sharing some more making-of detail about the binding in the tutorial over at Mini Album Makers later in the month, where I've used the same spine and fastening for the partner piece.

I'm calling this a Meditation Book.  My PaperArtsy word stamps provide just a little food for thought on each internal page spread. 

As you turn the pages, there's time and matter for contemplation, and a sense of peace and beauty should descend.  Each spread has a Gelli print, a stencilled print, and some words to enjoy.  For now let me just turn the pages for you so that you can see each double spread (and do click on the photos to see them in a larger size...

I hope you've enjoyed this meditative meadow walk, and I hope you'll be inspired to create a handmade book this month.

There's plenty more inspiration from my lovely team-mates, including two fabulous new designers whom we're delighted to welcome to the team, so do hop over and take a look.

As always at Mini Album Makers, all styles and genres are welcome, and we love seeing the albums, journals and books you make over the course of the month.

This month's sponsor, as I mentioned, is Stencil Girl.

Check out their amazing products here, and the Stencil Girl blog and YouTube channel for extra inspiration.  They are offering a $25 gift voucher to our winner, and you might also be showcased as one of the Mini Album Makers' top picks, so do come and play along.

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you again soon.

Cross the meadow and the stream and listen as the peaceful water brings peace upon your soul.
Maximilian Degenerez

I'd like to share this at Words & Paintery where the theme is No Rain, No Flowers - with all the flowers and the rainy day colours, I think this should fit right in.
I'm retrospectively linking this to the Simply Neutrals Tuesday party over at Apple Apricot.  Older posts are just as welcome as new ones, and Wen's use of pressed flowers in her creation reminded me of this, so I thought I'd share it there (April 2019)