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, 7 September 2018

Naturally Neutral

Hello all and welcome to another neutral day here at Words and Pictures.  I'm still not in the mood for colour, but luckily these vintage neutrals are perfect to take on A Vintage Journey with me.  The new challenge starting there today is hosted by the wonderful Jennie, and she would like us to get Back to Nature.  We want you to celebrate natural elements in your project.  Think real nature in terms of twigs, dried flowers, shells or pebbles, or perhaps stamps and stencils depicting these wonderful elements.

You can find all the challenge details as well as some glorious inspiration from my fellow Creative Guides if you hop over to A Vintage Journey, but first let's get Back to Nature right here.  Well, I don't know about "back" to nature - I never seem to be very far away from it in my crafting these days, so here's the trio of neutral natural tags I've created.


I haven't been able to track down any photos of the first stages of these tags.  I know I started them in NYC, which means it was back in February or March.  I wanted to have a little play with the (at that time new-ish) Memorandum Paper Stash, which I bought over there.





So I glued some of my favourite old paper sections onto three tags, and gave them a swoosh of watered-down gesso.  And then they stalled...  until this time last week when I pulled them out of the pile of bits and bobs on my desk and started to play with some stamps and dried flowers on top of them.











This is not the first time I've used this combination, but it makes me just as happy now as it did when I created this Imagine Simplicity tag back in February 2016.  There's just something about these flower stems which makes my heart sing.  I guess in some ways they are like white paint spatters in 3D!










The Memorandum papers have a soft golden-pink glow to them (from the aged papers and yellowing tape in the images), like the eerie light you sometimes get at dawn... so I thought I'd like some dew drops in the mix.

I added droplets of DecoArt Liquid Glass to each tag.  Here they are immediately after application, still opaque while wet.














And here they are once they've dried... completely clear, so they reflect the colour of whatever piece of old paper they happen to be sitting on.














You can even see the white spatter and the text through them.














Other than that, I've really kept things very simple here... neutral, gentle, with maybe just a touch of melancholy...















and an occasional whirl of chaos through the middle.










Thinking about it, that's exactly the mood I've been in.  These tags come straight from my subconscious, I think.


If you've read my recent posts, you'll know it's been that way since I got back from my latest work trip.  I expect there'll be some colour again soon, but I'm not going to push it if it's not feeling right.







There's a Quote Chip on each tag - I was slightly limited by size and by wanting the same font on each of them.














But they're all good words.  Must have words!

(For a fascinating glimpse at a bird which uses its wings better than most - with a miniature version of a nest and all - check out Cestina's Dollshouses today.)













I mounted them over a mess of cotton thread - the tangled randomness feels right at the moment.














The metal Typed Token on each tag has had a touch of Mushroom alcohol ink.














It gives a lovely distressed effect.  And you can see the embossed stamping of the meadow grasses here really clearly too.  











The flowers are stamped in Archival and embossed with Wow Bark embossing powder - a really dark brown.


These really are three of my all-time favourite stamps.  Two of them are Tim Holtz images, and one is by Penny Black.















And I love how the dried flower stems echo them three-dimensionally.















You'll have spotted one of the Entomology insects crawling around the tags - another little touch of nature.















I roughened the edges of the tags with the blade of my scissors, and doodled some border frames.  And there's some cream coloured woolly twine to top them off.










I hope you'll be inspired to get Back to Nature and join us on A Vintage Journey this month.  As always, there's more delightful inspiration from my fellow Creative Guides if you hop over to take a look.



Thank you, as ever, for your company on this crafting journey.  There are big changes in the offing over the next year or so.  If you read the tagline for this blog, you'll see some of the plans I had six years ago when I started Words and Pictures... well, they're finally turning into more solid reality.  There's a long way to go yet, but there are even bigger crafting adventures calling to me.  I hope you'll continue to come along for the ride!

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein

I'd like to share this trio at Stamps and Stencils where they're having a sort of anything goes theme called It's been a while...  If you read their challenge details, you'll see these tags fit right in - with that long gap needed for my creative spirit to wander before it returned to let these tags take shape
At the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge they are celebrating Stamptember by inviting us to Stamp It On
While we're at it, let's celebrate Stamptember at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge too - where the invitation is to Stamp On It - do you see what they did there?!
And I'm being a little cheeky but, with all that tangled cotton thread, I'm going to join in with the Haberdashery theme at Frilly and Funkie, just because I do like to play there!
I'd also like to play along at the Creative Artiste Challenge Blog where, as always, Anything Mixed Media Goes - this should fulfil their requirement for multiple mediums with gesso, ink, embossing powders, alcohol ink, pen work, and Liquid Glass
I'd also like to join in with the party at Simply Neutrals #48

54 comments:

Amanda said...

You don’t need colour when you do neutral so well, a beautiful soft and delicate trio of tags. Love them
Love
Amanda x

My name is Erika. said...

Gorgeous tags Alison. You are the queen of making beautiful neutral pieces. hugs-Erika

Helen said...

Beautiful tags, loving the neutral colours, they are perfect for this theme. I am excited for your new adventures and look forward to seeing what is coming for you!

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful set of tags, love the neutral colours, it gives them a wintry look. Have a great weekend, hugs, Valerie

Annie said...

Love your trio of tags Alison and the peacefulness they instill xx Love the soft background and the stamps and texture of the dried flowers really add to the overall appeal xx

TFS and have a lovely weekend
Annie xx

Karen Davis said...

A stunning tag set Alison. I love the neutral colours with the embossed meadow grasses. Perfect!

Sara Barker said...

Ahhhh! Big sigh! Lovely trio of serene, neutral tags that I could never tire of looking at! Who needs color? You've got it all going on with contrast, form and texture. Those dewdrops and doodling are details that make these even more enchanting! Your Einstein quote is spot on! While I'm here, I'll thank you for sharing your artwork at Frilly and Funkie in our Haberdashery challenge; the threads make your tags perfect for the challenge! Hugs!

Cestina said...

Thank you for the feathered arrow to Cestina's Dollshouses...

Serendipity strikes again - "use your wings" and "enjoy the journey" could not be more appropriate for today when the last of the five ospreys on the Dyfi nest set off on its long migration from Wales to West Africa.

And the tags are lovely too :-) xxx

Jennie Atkinson said...

Such a stunning trio of tags Alison - I never tire of your fabulous use of neutral colours and gorgeous layered stamping. Wonderful interpretation of our challenge theme this month. Jennie x

Jackie PNeal said...

whirl of chaos, tangled randomness...
You know Alison, I could come over to your blog just to read your "words" and imagine you saying them! You write as beautiful as you create art!
These tags are fabulous and as you say, you are never really far from nature,so this theme is perfect for you!
I love the palette as always. It truly is so opposite of what I usually create, but it draws me in so.
Those tiny droplets of liquid glass where a smart addition-they just belong!
love your tags and I love your words
Jackie xoxo

Patty O'Malley said...

Your tags are always so beautiful! Love these!

Marci said...

Lovely tags. Beautiful!

Nan G said...

No one compliments the beauty of nature like you, Alison!

SLScheibe said...

Wow! These are so pretty! I love the textures and design and that colour scheme is so subtle and pretty! Perfect blend of browns. Lovely work here! I'll have to drop by again! :)

Dorthe said...

They are pure beauty and joy, to see, Alison. so gorgeous, in all their simplicity , in nature tones of white, with the black foliage and nature tones of bees .
A stunning trio indeed . Hugs, Dorthe

Mac Mable said...

So enjoyed reading your post. Wonderful tags, fabulous inspiration and I just love them x

froebelsternchen said...

They are simply AMAZING!!!!! I love them!
Happy weekend Alison!

HUgs, Susi

Chrissy said...

You certainly do neutral perfectly Alison..love the papers and the texture from the dried stems..gorgeous tags.

luv CHRISSYxx

rachel said...

oh so yummylicious Alison - the perfect theme for you and what a wonderful trio of tags - just gorgeous xx

Redanne said...

Such a beautiful trio of tags Alison, the Memorandum papers are perfect for the background, the dew drops look wonderful! The colour palette is so soft and delicate and suits your stamping so well. Simply beautiful! Anne xx

Julia Aston said...

Three gorgeous nature tags Alison - with your lovely natural colors - the black stems stand so proud and true in front of the pale backgrounds - love all the splatter and dew drops as well as the dried stems and wooley twine! Julia xx

Mrs.B said...

A beautiful set of tags Alison, you do neutral so well and using the dried flower stems gives a lovely texture.
Avril xx

Meggymay said...

It is lovely to see your beautiful set of tags Alison. These colours are subtle and calming. I can spot your makes and style and it is a pleasure to read your posts and how you created your pieces of art.
Yvonne xx

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

So much beauty within nature and I hear your words when you say you feel like you are never that far away from it. I love the uncomplicated design, your trio of tags are so impressive. They would make perfect Wedding Favours.
I'm so inspired.
Creative wishes Tracey xx

Craftyfield said...

Pure gorgeousness, Alison! Very "you" too... Great details throughout and the subtle Vintage colour scheme is just perfect!

craftytrog said...

A beautiful, vintage trio Alison!

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

You just do neutrals so darn well! These 3 are gorgeous and so organic looking!

Meihsia Liu said...

All these tags are gorgeous, Alison. The stamping and all the details you created are amazing. :)

sally said...

Delicious neutral " autumn weed tags" they bring such serenity to my evening <3

Sally xx

Anneke said...

Your tags look amazing Alison! All three of them are so in balance!
They don’t need anymore they look perfect as they are! Thankyou
for your explanation on how you made them. You have started them a while ago
and now was the time to finish them and the look adorable!

Astrid Maclean said...

Ha, well here are definitely 3 new favourite tags of yours! Love those neutrals offset with the beautiful stamping! A wonderful inspiring set just perfect for the theme, love them!

Gio said...

These tag are so lovely , elegant and detailed that you don't miss at all colours. The neutrals you used are so well balanced with the stamped images. Perfection!

Tania Ridgwell said...

Stunning set of tags, love the neutral colours. Thanks for joining us at Creative Artiste Mixed Media Challenge Blog :)

Anna-Karin said...

This set of tags is wonderful Alison! I love the neutral shades and how much texture there is. The flowers are so pretty and delicate and look gorgeous here. Thank you so much for sharing with us at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge blog, and celebrating STAMPtember with us!

Cocofolies said...

They are fascinating Alison!!!
I also love the effect (and idea!) of these liquid glass Decoart droplets.. A gorgeous addition.
Also your choice of stamps and colors is wonderful as usual.
Good week to come, Hugs xx

Karen B. said...

Oh my, your tags are just so beautiful!
Hugs,
Karen B.

Maggi said...

Your tags are simply gorgeous!!! I love the combination of stamps and dried flora, its perfect!v Thanks for joining in the Frillie and Funkie challenge.

Neet said...

You do some amazing things with neutral shades and these tags are just plain and simply "Beautiful". Either that or "Exquisite" - cannot think of anything else but I am in love with them.
Hugs, Neet xx

Deb Riddell ~ Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Gorgeous as always Alison, amazing neutral palette to coordinate with those beautiful botanicals, feel as if I'm walking through a fall meadow, so serene and calming! Thanks so much for sharing them and can't wait to hear about your new crafting adventures, wishing you every success! Deb xo

Lenie said...

They are so beautiful and peaceful! I love this. Lenie xx

Mandy said...

Gorgeous tags Alison! The colours and textures are wonderful.
Thanks for joining us at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge
Mandy xx

Kathy/NorthCarolina said...

Alison the details on these gorgeous tags are swoon worthy! I love the soft, vintage color palette. And the tangled threads, you cheeky thing you! Thanks so much for playing along in the Haberdashery Challenge on the Frilly and Funkie Challenge Blog!

Autumn Clark - SewPaperPaint said...

Oh I especially love the tiny stamped bees on this natural trio! Each one is truly amazing and I am so crazy over your favorite palettes, from blues and greens to neutrals! They always work for me!!! Hugs, Autumn

Bryan Evans said...

Enjoyed reading through and looking at all of pictures. Love the neutral theme, I have been playing with some strong blue colours, so your post really helped to 'ground' me and make me feel relaxed. Thanks.

Sue C said...

Beautiful tags Alison and always a real joy to read your blog posts. Love the little drops of liquid glass and the natural theme is gorgeous. Thanks for joining us at Stamps and Stencils. Sue C x

Let's Art Journal said...

Wow, your tags are amazing! I love the neutral colour palette and all the detail that you created - stunning 😁. Thanks for the inspiration and happy weekend! J 😊 x

Paper Profusion said...

Trademark Alison!! And completely wonderful for it! You do neutral so well. Love these. The glass drops look very nice too - new product to me. Nicola x

Jenny Marples said...

Well these truly do sum up your style so beautifully! Seemingly understated yet packed full of texture, detail and of course the perfect choice of words. Love the glass droplets and swirls of cotton. Thank you for joining us at Frilly and Funkie for this challenge xx

toni said...

A beautiful trio of tags Alison. You are truly the master of the neutral palette and use it to stunning effect! Love the addition of the dried grasses too. Thank you for joining us over at Stamps and Stencils. Toni xx

Barbara Schiassi said...

Alison... I'm in love with these tags! I adore every detail and I envye your skill to use neutral colors!I'm so sorry that I haven't time to comment evry works of my crafty friends...but I see everything and you're as always a wonderful artist! Barbara

A Pink said...

First of all please accept my sincere apologies for being so late with my visit . Its been alot busier than usual here , with a few curve balls as well .

Your tags Alison are stunning. They hold such a delicate beauty and serenity.
I could sit and admire them all day .

Looking forward to seeing all the changes ahead. Whatever they maybe I am so excited for you .

hugs x

Roosterhead Designs said...

Hello Alison,
I am in awe of your neutral trio of tags~
They are stunning. And though neutral can often be viewed as 'simple,'
there is so much depth to these beauties.
They are rich in texture and soft spoken natural beauty~
I like the use of the white twine and the chip quotes, along with a bit of metal on ea.
(and yes, the "whirl of chaos" we all seem to find tangled in our mood and life from time to time)
I appreciate the inspiration these gorgeous tags have given me!
hugs, karen o

pearshapedcrafting said...

Beautiful neutrals! As it happens I had been reading Cestinas blog earlier today! ! Chrisx

FIona Kenward said...

These are lovely, thanks for joining us over at https://creativeartistemixedmedia.blogspot.com