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Monday 19 August 2019

A little lavender with a touch of rust

Hello all, and welcome to another new week and another new theme over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge where I am honoured to be in the Designer Spotlight, playing alongside the amazing design team for the month of August.

"Little" and "a touch" are the operative words in the post title, because the challenge this week is ATCs - Artist Trading Cards, those small areas of creative real estate, 3.5 x 2.5 inches in size.

I've always loved working in a smaller scale (check out my Dollshouse creations if you've not seen them before), and ATCs were a regular feature here at Words & Pictures in the early days of my crafting journey.

In 2012/13 I was a member of the design team for a much-missed challenge called Fun With ATCs, so tiny creations on various themes turned up here every week.  Whenever I make an ATC these days I remember how much I enjoy them and this one was no exception!

(You can catch up with all my ATCs - or at least the ones I remembered to label! - by clicking the ATCs label at the foot of the post.)

For some reason, the tiny playing area always makes me want to cram as many mixed media goodies onto it as possible.

So on here you'll find crackle, rust, metal embellishing, die-cuts, ephemera and of course lots of paint and ink creating the setting for my real lavender stems.

The stems slightly over-step the boundaries of the ATC, but I hope I'll be forgiven.  Since the original purpose of the ATC format is for artists to trade samples of their work with each other, this might be a slight fail on that front too... 

I'm thinking it would be pretty tricky to send through this the post in a good state of preservation, but I'm sure it could be done!

I don't have all my usual process photos for this one, I'm afraid.  I started out by putting some opaque crackle paste onto an MDF ATC through the lovely Tim Holtz Trellis stencil.

But after that I seem to have entered a state of creative flow, and forgot to stop for any more photos, sorry!

But I can still tell you what's what... starting with those stems.  They were part of the gift-wrap decorations for one of the presents given to my 102-year old neighbour a couple of weeks ago.  Waste not, want not, eh?

Once the crackle had nicely crackled, I dribbled on some sprays, both Distress Ink and Distress Oxide (I think I tried out Stormy Sky, Dusty Concord and maybe some Shaded Lilac) and let it sink down into all the nooks and crannies.

(You might think I should have used Milled Lavender, but it wasn't the right shade for this ATC!)

Then I layered up some tiny ephemera pieces from the Idea-ology Snippets pack.

These teeny tiny fragments are just perfect for ATCs, and I had a lovely fiddly time selecting and arranging the adverts and labels and tickets.

The lavender seemed to need a bit of extra greenery behind it, so it was out with the Distress Inks and Oxides in shades of green to make some lovely mottled grassy stems.

They are cut using the Wildflower Stems Thinlits, sets 1 and 2.

The beautiful butterfly couldn't be simpler... he's one of the set of Transparent Wings (the earlier release where they're all clear - the new ones have coloured wings too).

He has perched, just for a moment, on the top of a trinket pin, resting against the lavender stems.  I just love how the acetate catches the light at different angles.

The whole thing is bound together with some rusty wire and - inspired by own Heavy Metal ATCs from last month (some extra ATC inspiration there if you want it!) - I helped that rusty decay "bleed" onto the crackled background behind.

There's a little bit of Grit Paste added first for texture, and then washes of DecoArt Fluid Acrylics in Payne's Grey and Quinacridone Gold, added and knocked back and added again until I was pleased with the look.

Oh, I almost forgot the words!  Over the top of each batch of ephemera, there's also a ChitChat sticker.

It took me a while to select the right two words, which can be read in either direction, depending on which one you notice first...

"Peace, always," or "Always peace," - I'd happily accept either one right now.

I added some splatter using a mixture of PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Chalk Acrylics in Lavender (of course!) and Wisteria.

I love these darker speckles alongside my more usual dusting of white.

In fact the lavender heads had faded to a rather dull grey, so I used the same paints to touch them up a little.  I bet you didn't notice... that's how good the PaperArtsy colours are.

And the good news is, as my brother pointed out when he saw this ATC in real life, you can still smell the lavender, which is the really important thing after all!

Speaking of important things, I find that it's moments like this at the craft table, caught up in the flow, playing with your favourite things - whether that's ink or paint or paper or rusty wire - that provide some relief from the wider troubles of the world at large.

Personally, I think it counts as a political act to continue to celebrate creativity and beauty in the face of the bleak political times we seem to be in.  And of course the connections we all share in our crafting corner of the internet are a source of light to defy the darker purposes to which this technology can also be turned.

So however small it feels in the face of everything going on, this shared creativity matters, now more than ever.  I hope you'll be inspired to create something this week, so that we artists (there, I said it) can all continue to trade in inspiration, beauty and light.

And if whatever you create happens to be Artist Trading Card-sized, come and play along at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge where you could, as a bonus, be in with a chance to win a $50 shopping spree at Simon Says Stamp.

As always, there's some glorious inspiration from the incredible SSS design team, so we hope you'll come and share your ATCs there this week.  Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you've enjoyed your visit.  See you again soon, either here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.

P.S. If you like small things, there's a new post over at Cestina's dolls houses to enjoy too.

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.
Albert Einstein

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
Martin Luther King Jr

I'd like to play along at Country View Challenges where the theme this month is Texture
At Moo Mania and More they are looking for Butterflies... found one!
Emerald Creek Dares are daring us to have High Hopes - I don't think you can hope much higher than peace, creativity and light
At the Bleeding Art Challenge they are all mixed media and full-time Anything Goes
I'd also like to join in with It's a Bug's Life over at Crafty Cardmakers


My name is Erika. said...

Rust and lavender work together really well. I never thought of using purple with rust but now I have learned something. Nice ATC> It is quite beautiful. Hugs-Erika

Beulah Bee said...

This is so lovely. What a clever way to use the wings. If the lavender is dry, it could be sprayed with hairspray or Krylon's Preserve It (for example). Using real flowers makes this so special!

Lagene said...

AWESOME lavender ATC! I love all the texture & layers! Congrats on being a guest designer for SSS!

Dorthe said...

It is dear Alison, so very gorgeous,- so much to take in, of wonderful layers, and the crackle under the lavender stems, is together with the rust giving the feeling of this beauty sitting there for many many years , still preserved so lovely, and as you write still smelling so beautiful. Love your message , too.
Hugs, Dorthe

scrappergirl56 said...

This is a favorite for me...love everything about it...ditto, on how creativity alleviates the outside world, when we are in our inside world...

Lorraine A said...

Oh my goodness Alison, this is absolutely stunning! the background is fabulous and I love the lavendar with the rust colour, so beautiful together :-)
Great recycling too!! ❤️

Hope you have a great week and thanks so much for being our guest!! :-)

Lols x x x

Helen said...

For such a tiny work of art, you do pack a punch! love the colours and the texture.

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful colours, textures, I can smell the lavender! Absolutely lovely! Have a great week, hugs, Valerie

Anne (cornucopia) said...

This is beautiful.

Roosterhead Designs said...

Wow do I love this ATC! Beautifully done Alison. Every gorgeous layer and texture brings a wonderful contribution to this little piece of art! I do love how lavender smells so good for soo long ; ) I've not seen that set of butterflies before; she looks exquisite! TFS this lovely piece with us~ Hugs, karen o

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

You had me at rust, Alison. I have been growing lavender for two years and have not gotten those incredible blooms like you shared. Good thing you recycled the lavender.

That butterfly is beautiful, so is the pin, but the rusty goodness was what got me.

I haven't made ATCs for a long time, and I guess I should start again. BTW, I've seen people send items through the mail like your ATC using one of those hard (shell) bubble covers that come on some packaging. You can sent this to me at _____ (JOKE). It's too beautiful to trust it to cross the pond. It's also a rare gem, too. I have to admit you are right about the political state of affairs in our world right now. I'm so glad you made a point of saying we can take comfort and solace in our craft studios, too.

Cathy F said...

Oh so lovely _ loving the layers and crackle! Thanks for joining us at Bleeding Art!

Etsuko said...

What a gorgeous ATC Alison, this little world is a wonderful ATC that is packed with many techniques and your warm heart. xx

Anke said...

WOW WOW WOW Alison, absolutely stunning and so beautiful, fantastic work.


Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

I adore everything about this Alison, I could write endlessly on ever little bit of detail. Being a lover of Lavender the rust really defines this sweet ATC. I'm completely with you regarding your train of thought as my last piece using Lavender reflected my personal struggle with life during busy times. Lavender has such a calming effect on so many levels. A beautiful way to start my day. *Thank you* Creative wishes Tracey xx

Cestina said...

Oh I love this...delightful xx

craftytrog said...

Absolutely enchanting! Yummy crackle and colours Alison.
Alison xx

Patty O'Malley said...

Yes, indeed, your post was a welcome distraction from the troubles in the world so the title of the ATC is aptly named. I just love this beautiful little work of art that manages a big impact despite its size. The colors are soothing, and I can almost smell the lavender! The butterfly sitting on the lavender is the perfect touch as the sparkle draws your eye to it. It is fantastic!

Meggymay said...

A beautiful ATC card and combination of texture, colours and rust. I enjoyed reading your post Alison. I go into my craft space and can forget the world for a while, others maybe not so lucky.
Yvonne xx

Chrissy said...

FABulous Alison, such a tiny space and filled with so many details and I love that butterfly...gorgeous.


Sue said...

This is absolutely gorgeous Alison! These are not colours that I would have thought to put together, but what a stunning combination - along with the crackle of course. Have a very happy week, Sue xx

Redanne said...

You really have crammed a lot into your ATC Alison, it is stunning - what's not to love about crackle, rust, collage and of course, the wonderful lavender. Absolutely stunning work! Anne xx

experiments in paper said...

Such beautiful colors, Alison, though at first the idea of rust and lavender seemed contradictrory to me! I love how light you've kept this, so all the lucious details stand out - and adding the flowers was the perfect touch. Artist indeed!! Bravo! xxx Lynn

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

This is gorgeous Alison. I still love making ATCs though don't do them so often now unless it's for a swap which doesn't happen quite so often. This tiny work of art combines so many elements to perfection. Have a great crafty week, Angela xXx

Margaret Mifsud said...

Oh my goodness!! What's not to love about this ATC! Tiny it may be but it is oh! so! Gorgeous!! Wow! Love the crackle, the rust, the colours and all the exquisite details you added Alison!! Totally delightful!! hugs xx

Ann Chuang Crafts said...

Beautiful lavender ATC, Alison. I love lavender so much.
Lots of texture on the background and the color is beautiful.
Ann x

ann barnes said...

This is stunning! I cant stop looking at the gorgeous textures and colors and that wire, everything about this is just incredible. congratulations on your designer spotlight, your work is amazing. Also, thank you for joining the Emerald Creek Dares Challenge this month. ~Ann xx

Astrid Maclean said...

Looks amazing and Lavender and rust is a great colour combo, love all the textures!!

Let's Art Journal said...

Many congratulations on being in the Designer Spotlight at SSS! Your ATC is stunning, I love the textured background and layers of ephemera with the beautiful lavender and butterfly - amazing 😁. I love the way the wording can be reversed too, so clever! Wishing you a wonderful week! Hugs, Jo x

sarascloset said...

So much to love and admire about this tiny piece (peace) of artwork, but then, I (always) say that. Seriously, I love the crackled, speckled background and the layers of Snippets paired with lavender and rust--your words and pictures speak to me from every direction! Love this, Alison, for not only it's beauty, but for it's significance.

Meihsia Liu said...

Love the beautiful texture and color scheme on this ATC, Alison. The layered embellishments and the butterfly are so fabulous. :)

maj. said...

This is so beautiful Atc, just love all the details!!!

Maura said...

Alison, I just love the beautiful feel of nature you've created here! It reminds me of a naturalist's notebook from past centuries. I love lavender and always grow some, mostly to enjoy that wonderful aroma. Wonderful ATC! hugs, Maura

Mac Mable said...

Amazing little ATC that packs a huge punch x. As always your attention to detail is staggering and I always so enjoy reading your posts and learn so much x. The layering is beautiful and so is the butterfly, along with the crackle, the colours and that pretty lavender.....Glorious creation Alison x

Mac Mable said...

Meant to say....Congratulations on guesting x.

suzyb said...

Wow, I must say, this is absolutely perfect!! I love this piece! Absolutely love it!!!

Diana Taylor said...

This is absolutely delightful - such beautiful soft colours that tone so perfectly with the lavender flowers, I especially love the rustiness seeping into it and the tiny speckles of lilac ink. I smiled at your comments of feeling the need to cram a lot of goodies onto a small space - ATC's have that effect on me too! Isn't it lovely working with lavender - the scent is divine.
Thank you so much for your visit to my blog and your good wishes,
Diana x

Neet said...

You can certainly be forgiven overstepping the boundaries of an ATC with the sprig of lavender when it helps create something so beautiful as this.
Absolutely delightful Alison, a joy to look at time and time again.
Thanks for the lovely comment with the words of encouragement - I have looked at the Alexandra Technique just now and find there is someone quite close to where I live so it may be a go'er in the future. For now I will stick with the chiropractor I saw yesterday, she gave me hope and fully understood my tears etc as she studied psychology first of all.
I think it is good that I have mentioned on my blog how I am feeling as I now have a list of alternatives to try. I am pretty sure I will look at the AT as, being so tall, I know I have become stopped with the pain so I need to stand up tall as I did pre December last.
Thank you so much Alison
Hugs, Neet xx

Claudia N. said...

Beautiful, Alison!

I miss "Fun with ATCs" too. :(
Just love this little format and you've once more just rocked it!

Claudia xx

froebelsternchen said...

I am absolutely in love with your unique lavendar ATC Alison! Simply AMAZING!

Big hugs, Susi

Paper Profusion said...

Gosh, what a little gem. It really is beautiful Alison! So glad you recycled those stems and I absolutely love all elements! Nicola x

Miriam said...

Great project. Thanks for joining in with my challenge over at Country View Crafts.

pearshapedcrafting said...

I loved this when I first saw it and sadly didn't get to tell you! I had hoped to enter an ATC but sadly time ran away from me!! Hugs, Chrisx

Karla Yungwirth said...

This is beautiful!! I love all the gorgeous layers and details and the beautiful lavender - plus that butterfly is beautiful! I agree ATC cards are so much fun! Thanks so much for joining us for the Emerald Creek August Challenge! We hope to see you again!
Hugs, DT Karla

Cathy F said...

I love everything about this, Alison! It's yummy! Thanks for joining us at Emerald Creek!

Preeti D. (aka Dutt Preety) said...

wow! beautiful :) thanks for joining us for the Emerald Creek August Challenge xoxo

Margaret Mifsud said...

I know I have already commented on this Alison, but it is truly gorgeous and I am so pleased you managed to play along with our Challenge at Crafty Cardmakers!! hugs xx

Lin said...

Alison this is completely gorgeous. I love the ethereal look of the butterfly atop all that mixed media lusciousness!

Thank you so much for sharing in our 'Bug's Life' challenge.

Crafty Cardmakers

A Pink said...

What a treat I'm having today hopping round your blog , Alison. This ATC is an absolute treat! . All that fabulous crackle, rust and texture to drool over and then the wonderful added extras !!! Ahhhhhh I love your creativity .
Hugs x

Marci said...