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Sunday, 10 March 2019

Spring Melancholy

Hello all and happy Sunday!  I've managed some intermittent blog-visiting this week - apologies if I haven't made it round to you yet, I'm doing my best.  And I've been squeezing in some art and craft playtime too (we had our one and only two-day-weekend last week - albeit Sunday/Monday - so it felt like a luxuriously long time!).   So in between sharing the new stamp samples, I'm here with something new for you today... a journalling spread to say hello to Spring.

Not that there's much sign of Spring here in New York at the moment... we keep getting snow overnight, though it mostly vanishes through the next day - though we are enjoying fairly frequent blue skies and sunshine, but c-o-o-o-l-d!

The tag which forms the main focal point here has been sitting on my NYC craft table since almost the first day I arrived.

To crack open my travelling stash, I did some Distress Ink blending and then dipping and spritzing with some of my favourite springtime colours.

I then added the meadow flower stamp in Olive Archival, and then got stuck.  I really wanted to add some of the new TH die-cut flowers, but I have neither dies nor a die-cutting machine with me, so that was really a non-starter.

On another day, I'd stuck a couple of torn pieces of book page into the kraft journal I have with me, and gesso'd them, and happened to add the same meadow flower stamp (not with any idea then of connecting the two... it's just I have only limited stamp selections with me).  I didn't take a picture of that stage, but you can imagine it I'm sure.

Cut forward a few weeks, and the new theme of "Hello Spring" popped up at Art Journal Journey, and suddenly inspiration struck... to combine the tag and the pages together, and off we went.

Though I don't have the dies with me, I do have Tim's Wildflower stamp set, so that became the next layer of stamping, both on the pages as wild background stamping...

... and on the tag in a more "finished" version.  I've used white paint pen to add flower head detailing.

I wanted to echo the intense DI colours of the tag over on the facing page, so Dina Wakley's acrylic paints came into play for the vivid wash of the sky.  It's a combination of Turquoise and Peacock, applied with plenty of water.

I love that, being opaque and highly pigmented, it works over the kraft as well as over the whitewashed book page.

I liked it so much that I did some spattering with it too, as well as adding some around the foot of the page to bring even more colour to the grassy hedgerows.  There's some olive green watercolour paint going on at the feet of the flower stems too, to add more depth.

All the lid-stamping, in various sizes, is also done with Dina's paint, the trusty White.

I love the bubbles of light dancing around the page, almost a Bokeh effect.

The Idea-ology Paper Dolls always bring an air of nostalgia to any project, and I think that's particularly true of this grouping.

I'm sure they partly prompted the words I later added, scribbled in white pen across both pages.

For all the joys that spring brings, I find that there's also a touch of melancholy about it... maybe something about knowing how short the spring will be, or memories of springtimes past, or lost youth or whatever. 

The Germans have a word for the feeling of weariness and sadness which can overcome you at this time of year - Frühjahrsmüdigkeit (literally early year weariness or spring fatigue).

So there's something about the combination of the childhood smiles in the photo with the bright springtime feel which actually makes me a little melancholy.  It seems topsy turvy, but there it is.

If you'd rather just say hello to spring in a nice cheerful way, then look away now, but if you're curious, here's what is scrawled across the page spread in white pen:

When I look back, it seems to me that it was always spring or summer, and that there was always laughter.  But that can't be true, can it?  So when the spring sunshine arrives, along with the joy I find I am filled with an aching melancholy, for the lost springs which have gone and for the winters to come.

It's usually a sort of pleasurable melancholy - a wistfulness - full of memories and hopefulness along with the sadness, so don't worry about me too much!

The butterflies, unbelievably, have made several trips back and forth across the Atlantic - strong wings! - in my travelling stash envelope of ephemera.  They were here last year and the year before without being used.

They're made with the Tim Holtz punch and were left over from some project years ago (just found it - it was these money envelopes back in May 2017!), so I tucked them into the travelling stash, thinking that one day they might come in handy.

Now, finally, they get to take their place on a project!  It's a sign of how often I return to the same colour zones that they match perfectly in their new setting. 

Some simple twine through the top of the tag finishes everything off.

I hope you enjoyed taking a walk in my springtime meadow, and I hope you'll be filled with the joys of spring in due course (the proper kind, not the sad kind!).

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I hope to see you again soon.  We're about to head in to the technical rehearsals for Julius Caesar , and then Dress Rehearsal and Previews, so the days get even longer and more intense... so when I say "soon", that may turn out to be a somewhat elastic term!  But happy crafting in the meantime, and I'll see you on the other side.

The word "happy" would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.
Carl Jung

I'd like to share this at Art Journal Journey where Jo's theme this month is Hello Spring
And I hope they enjoy the spring sunshine over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge where the challenge is Whatever the Weather
At Moo Mania this fortnight, they are inviting us to get Close to Nature, so this should fit right in


Anke said...

WOW WOW WOW Alison I love your spring pages, beautiful colors and wonderful stamps.


Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful pages Alison, glad you got some crafty time. Have fun with the performance, take care, hugs, Valerie

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

There sure is a brighter shade shining through these pages Alison with the movement of Winter to Spring, it's so nice to see the fresh green from the wildflowers change from their Blues and Browns of Winter. I agree wholeheartedly regarding the melancholy as I feel Winter gets a tough time with it's business and festivities which seemed to be much more relaxing when I was younger.
Those chosen paper dolls remind me of a personal family photograph from time gone by and it teams up perfectly with your journal pages. The white pen pops, dots and handwritten words brings it all beautifully together.
I too am playing catch up, in between family time and preparing for guests staying next week. Time seems to get shorter and shorter with each day.
Take care and enjoy making more magic moments. Hugs Tracey xx

Kerstin F. said...

Wonderful Alison, love this nature feeling in delicate clours, that let me thought on blooming meadows and more sunshine. Creative hugs, Kerstin xx

Helen said...

some parts of the UK have had snow overnight too, so you're in good company! Love these pages, the white is so effective. I particularly love the circles (can't beat circles!) and the wildflowers look perfect. I am glad you got to spend some time journalling in your busy schedule. xx

Amanda said...

Fabulous representation of spring in your pages, it’s not here either as it’s gales and rain so your pages give some rest bite from all that to lose ourselves in and think of, hopefully, the onset of spring. Good luck for everything, and break a leg as they say.
Amanda x

Astrid Maclean said...

Totally gorgeous, love the focal tag and how those paper dolls tie it all together! The additions of white here and there really lift the whole spread, love it.

Miserable cold and grey here in Scotland, so not much sign of Spring either, - I would much rather be in New York, even if it is cold....

craftytrog said...

A totally gorgeous Spring spread Alison! xx

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Beautiful artwork.

My name is Erika. said...

Oh Alison. Those pops of that lucious blue and green really make this page shine. This is surely spring. I really enjoyed it. Happy what's left to your weekend. Hugs-Erika

Marci said...

Such pretty greens and blues on your page. Spring makes me so happy, if it will ever get here, and the people in your journal look happy about it, too. Hope your rehearsals go well and you get some time off.

Diva Kreszl said...

Such a beautiful piece and lovely post. I love that there is a word for this ‘spring melancholy’. I of course love that spring is coming soon but I understand completely this sense of melancholy, especially in the month of March when it almost seems as if winter is refusing to release her grip.

Let's Art Journal said...

Wow, your pages are gorgeous! The springtime colours are so uplifting and I love your two-page design with the pretty tag and beautiful stamped flowers - perfect 😁. Thanks so much for joining us at Art Journal Journey and wishing you a happy weekend! J 😊 x

Little Artbee said...

I love your pages so much. They are so lightful with this fresh colors and nice flower decoration and this sweet old photo. Very well done,Wow. Really a dream Art piece.
Dear Greetings

Redanne said...

Nothing like a touch of Spring to brighten up a dull, snowy, cold day Alison. The colours are so beautiful and I love the wispy foliage turning into soft Spring colours. The tag is such a lovely addition, as is your white wording across the pages. The Found Relatives remind me of old family photos. A beautiful layout of pages. So pleased to hear that you found some 'me' time on your rare days off Anne xx

Mrs.B said...

A beautiful springtime spread Alison, the blues and greens looks so fresh and I'm so pleased the butterflies actually made it to a project.
The added tag makes a great backdrop for the little group.
Avril xx

froebelsternchen said...

Oh Alison! What a wonderful spread! I am so glad Jo's AJJ theme inspired you to finish this pages - so beautiful - I love the white paint pen flower heads and the white speckles and white handwriting - all together makes it so beautifully atmospheric and I can see how NY's snow inspired you to add all the white to it! Oh yes - I often suffered Frühjahrsmüdigkeit in the past - but can tell that since I am Vegetarian I have power the whole year long. All this wonderful layers even though with limited materials tell from your artful style ! I am so happy to see this linked to AJJ! Thank you very much!
All the best for you and I can tell you that our weather isn't nice just now as well.
Even big storms are forecasted for the next two days and it got also very cold again and rainy. But how do they say? No winter lasts forever! We have to be patient!

Big hugs, Susi

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I had to laugh, Alison when I read you had limited supplies with you. Welcome to my world. Yours, on the other hand, is filled with artistic ability I don't have. Your choice of colors, your choice of stamps, and the idea this was a bit melancholy all added up to not just a fabulous journal spread, but a great use of what you had available.

It's cold here, too, with wind and snow. But seeing your adorable journal entry made me believe spring will be here soon. We're delighted you chose to share this with us, featuring Jo's theme, at Art Journal Journey. Now the butterflies have finally landed, can spring be far behind?

suzyb said...

Love these pages!! The colours, the stamping, the paper dolls. Love everything you do anyway, but this does say Spring is coming.

froebelsternchen said...

Where were my manners? I forgot to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH for also supporting Moo Mania & More with this amazing entry!


experiments in paper said...

A lovely and much-welcomed glimpse into the upcoming season.... we are snow-mired. with more on the way, but only for another week or so I'm guessing. As you know, NYC is glorious when spring really does arrive - I hope you get some time to enjoy, and glad you were able to find some crafty time in the while! I am a-l-m-o-s-t finished with unpacking my studio - quite the opposite of your current situation but so looking forward to actually doing something besides organizing, which is not my strong suit ever :-) . Thank you for the wonderous inspiration both in product and process xxx Lynn

Cestina said...

Ah yes Frühjahrsmüdigkeit - I was explaining the concept to someone recently. Maybe that's what's wrong with me? But the butterflies give me great pleasure - how lovely to think that they have settled down at last after all that journeying. They were so clearly meant to be on this project.

Once again, I love the quote ....xx

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

So glad you had some time to create this Spring Spread...gorgeous soft tones and whispy feel...makes me want to walk in a Spring Meadow. Good luck with Julius Caesar...exciting!

Meggymay said...

A gorgeous springtime page with a wonderful background of wild flowers. It may be a while until we see butterflies, but yours do look beautiful as they fly across your page.
Yvonne xx

Rosie said...

Wow, this is a gorgeous spread.

Thank you for joining us at MOO MANIA & MORE

Brenda Brown said...

I love the whitewashed look combined with the more strong, striking colours, your pages are a lovely sign of Spring days to come. I hope your cold weather warms up soon. Xxx

chrissie said...

Such dedication to your crafting Alison. To be able to make something so beautiful after all the hard work you are doing amazes me. I just love the pages and the way you cut the butterflies from your beautiful painting is so inspiring.

Always good to remember that you need sadness to know what happiness is.

Have a great day

Love Chrissie xx

Patty O'Malley said...

Beautiful pages, Alison! I love the wildflowers and the soothing spring colors.

pearshapedcrafting said...

Well I can certainly see from this that you are looking forward to Spring days! I love how you incorporated that lovely tag! I hope Spring arrives in NY soon! Hugs, Chrisx
ps It's not very warm here either and snow flurries yesterday with a high wind looked lovely, but not a great reminder that Spring will arrive soon!

Neet said...

You put the most amazing blues and greens together, especially when you use them on your kraft pages and have those whitewashed sections on. I do like how you lifted the flowers with the white pen too, perfect for that flower.
Everything you have added to this page is perfect, I love the way the paper curls on the edges, the tag and the butterflies, the white section centre right, the echoing of the wildflowers on the bottom left and right which balances the whole page perfectly.
Brilliant as always and another favourite for me.
Hugs, Neet xx

Dorthe said...

Always so fun to read your posts, Alison- you always gives so much in both text and photos!!
I love how your butterflies have been crossing several times, and now, at last been used , lol- they look wonderful there, and I adore the wildflower stamping and your painted detail on the tag. Takes me back to my childhood , where we lived next to a meadow , looking just like this beautiful spread !! Hugs, Dorthe

Sandra said...

What a stunning page! Love the light green and blue with the white on craft. It really shouts spring to me! So pretty! Thank you so much for joining us at Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. Hugs, Sandra

Roosterhead Designs said...

Hello Alison~
I finally had some time to spend 'visiting' (I always like to take my time here, when possible) and what a delight to see!
Your pages always 'move me.' I love this! The mottled blues and greens are cheerful and bright; bringing hope and promise as the butterflies start appearing~ [the words of C.Jung ring true- if we didn't know & experience some sadness, how could we appreciate the happy?]
These pages draw me (way) back to childhood and my deep adoration for Spring and Summer; and it's freedoms.
Love all your blending of color and texture. I like how the piece of twine adds a warmth to this cool vibrant spread.
Your artistry has beautiful motion and great Bokeh! The tag is amazing~ Thanks for sharing with us. Wishing you the best, karen o

Mac Mable said...

Now that was an interesting read.....No to melancholy or Spring fatigue this end....Yes to Spring ...Maybe because I live in Scotland and we have such long Winters....Your layout and design brought smiles to my face.
How sturdy are those butterflies to fly all that way and to live so long!...LOL x Gorgeous colours on your spread, love your attention to detail and the tiny splats of turquoise all add to a fabulous and very creative project x.
Embrace the pleasurable and melancholy memories and you are going to be soooooo busy, Summer will be here before you know it x

Cocofolies said...

First, no need to apologize, ear Alison. This is so difficult some days, to work, create, enjoy the life with the ones we love, take care of them or us, and stay tuned on Internet!! Even for our crafty friends we admire, want to support, and enjoy seeing the wonderful makes... :)
That's being said, I really LOVE this spring page!!! The tag, with the white paint delicately put on each tiny meadow flower is fabulous!!!! All the details, like the two butterflies (good to read that they finally find a perfect place indeed!), the wording, the various layers and additions is fantastic. And even more as you don't have with you a lot of materials.
Thanks for sharing this beautiful page with us!
Take care. Hugs again, Coco xx

hazel said...

A stunning spring journal spread lovely colours.
xxx Hazel.

Diana Taylor said...

So, so stunning - I just love the colours and beautiful textures. I'm very in tune with your feeling of wistfulness and the words you wrote are beautiful. Such a lovely post to find on a dull, wet day like today!
Diana xx

Craftyfield said...

I love wild grasses, cow parsley in particular, well in stamps anyway and I like how you have built your meadow! Great spring colours on that page too, Alison.
Keep warm! xx

sarascloset said...

Love these gorgeous spring time pages, Alison! So happy to hear of your two day weekend...we need this time, at least to decompress and recharge. Have a great day! Hugs!