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...

Tuesday 29 October 2019

Glowing Acorns

Hello all!  I'm delighted to be here today with a Guest Designer project for the fabulous Try It On Tuesday challenge.

The theme this month is Colours of Autumn, so it couldn't have been more suited to my current crafting zone.

In fact, what I've created here is a partner tag to my October Acorns.  (You can see them both together at the end of the post.)

If the challenge had gone live only a couple of days later, I could have called these "November Acorns"... just that little bit more wintry than the previous tag!

At long last, those die-cut leaves are putting in their appearance.

I promised you them all the way back at the beginning of the month when I first shared the photo below.  

The tiny punched leaves got used for my Tree Poetry tag and the Colours of Autumn ATCs.   The main tag was the base for the October Acorns, and now finally here are the large leaves which were actually the first thing I started doing with these inky/oxidey tags.

My original plan had included a blue background, trying to capture one of those vivid autumn skies.  It's a combination that's been a favourite on autumn projects in previous years, but somehow it just wasn't happening.  So instead this white-washed woodgrain took its place.

It's glued onto some packaging cardboard which gives it a nice solidity, and it's had a touch of Vintage Photo ink around the edges.

Then it was really just a question of arranging my autumnal gatherings in a pleasing composition.

This, as you know, is the only time of year you'll find me playing with orange, but I do love these acorns (real acorn cups, foam tops).

I must get some of the greenish ones into action soon before the season is over.

The leaves die-cut from the tag have those lovely golden gleaming spots courtesy of some of the Lindy's Stamp Gang Magicals powders over the Distress Inks and Oxides.

You have to catch the light at a certain angle to really see the shimmer.

But that's something I've always enjoyed creating - those now-you-see-it, now-you-don't moments.

There are some tangles of white moss...

... the strands add movement, dimension and texture all in one - that's pretty good going!

The Magicals powders are also in action on my tiny Scrapiniec confetti stars.

Again, at the right angle they can be magical (hence the name, I suppose!)...

... and they also work for spattering if you mix them with some water on the craft mat.

There have to be some words, of course.  These are from my PaperArtsy EAB04 Autumn Edition set.

Some simple rustic twine finishes things off, and that's about that.  But before I go, here as promised is a shot of today's Glowing Acorns alongside the October Acorns.

I often work in pairs and trios, but for once this wasn't a planned pairing.  I guess I must have had some unfinished acorn business... I just had to follow that instinct to play with them again, and I'm happy I did.

Thank you so much to Avril and the rest of the fantastic Try It On Tuesday team for inviting me to be a Guest Designer alongside them this month.  I hope you'll hop over to see what autumnal wonders they've been cooking up, and be inspired to play along with your own Colours of Autumn too.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I'm hoping to have a bit of time this week to catch up with you all around Craftyblogland, and I'll be back later in the week with some more new challenge inspiration.  I hope to see you again soon.

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

You cannot plant an acorn in the morning, and expect that afternoon to sit in the shade of an oak.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

At Tag Tuesday you'll be happy to hear that Anything Goes (as long as it's a tag, obviously!)
They want to see Die-Cuts and Punches over at MOO Mania & More
These leaves have already tricked a couple of you, so I'd like to play along at the Funke Junkie Boutique Challenge Blog where they want to see that It Looks Real
At Let's Craft and Create the theme is Anything Goes + an option of Colours of Fall
And there's a theme of Anything Goes with an optional twist of Orange over at More Mixed Media
At the Bleeding Art Challenge they want to see mixed media, but other than that Anything Goes

Saturday 26 October 2019

A dream within a dream

Hello all!  One of these days I'll get my Art Journal Journey page done near the beginning of the month... not this month though.  I've been procrastinating, but I'm finally there with something for Eileen's Dreams or Wishes theme.  And dreaminess seemed to link up in my head with the Bokeh effect - the out of focus bubbles of light you can create in photography.  That's the theme over at Country View Challenges for October, so this page spread was inspired by linking the two challenge themes.

Bubbles or circles became something of a motif, and that circularity is reflected in the words I've used to... the way dreams have of taking you round in circles to where you began, or of seeming to take you round in circles, yet you find yourself somewhere completely new when you get there.

Or even daydreaming, where you suddenly see those other versions of yourself - other lives, other possibilites... the road not travelled.

And since my daydreams usually take me to a place of monastic peace, an overgrown garden full of ivy clambering on stone walls, that's the location for this dreaming page.

Its real-life location is within the pages of my France Papillon altered book.

I started with some gesso, and then texture paste and a 13Arts garland stencil, embossed with Duck Egg powder.  It seemed a good starting point for whirling dreams.

Later on, it got a bit of extra inking to try to dull down the glossy shine a bit, but the texture and dimension really work nicely.

The double Paper Doll idea arrived next... the dreamer and her dream-self, echoing across the page with dreamlike words attached.  And I added some of the gorgeous PaperArtsy grasses, stamped in Bundled Sage Distress Oxide.

Looking back, I really like this fairly spare white stage... it has an emptiness and room for meditation.  But it didn't feel "finished", so I knew there had to be more to come.

First of all, those Bokeh bubbles.  I used a Simon Says Stamp stencil and Distress Inks in Tumbled Glass and Broken China.

The Tim Holtz architecture stamps are embossed in Earthtone Pepper powder.

I really like how the dreamer is framed by the Gothic archway.

I added the extra ruined pillar as an afterthought (as you'll see if you look closely at the ivy leaves... I managed to wipe the powder away but not all of the Watering Can ink underneath).

The distant dream-self has wings... who hasn't dreamed of being able to fly?

And the cogs and gears provide additional circular shaping, keeping the eye moving around the page...

... as well as reflecting the cogs and gears of the mind processing the day's events through dreaming.

Edgar Allan Poe's words seemed the right choice for a page about the circularity of dreams within dreams.  They're from PaperArtsy EAB07 Dreaming & Doing.

I hope these pages have given your imagination something to dream about.  I'll be back in a few days with a special Guest appearance and some more autumn crafting, but for now I'll wish you all a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you again soon.

People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.
Neil Gaiman

I'd like to share this in the Dreams or Wishes theme at Art Journal Journey
And at Country View Challenges the October theme is Bokeh

Sunday 20 October 2019

The colours of autumn

Hello all!  We're back in the colours of autumn here today with a trio of ATCs.  (For those not in the know, ATC stands for Artist Trading Card - a piece of art 2.5 x 3.5 inches in size.)  It's been a busy old week one way or another, so I'm going to try to keep this post relatively low on the wordcount and mostly share some pretty pictures!

There were a couple of twists and changes of direction as I went along, and one blinding moment of inspiration which shifted me from being fairly "meh" about these ATCs into loving what was happening.  It's a small thing, and almost invisible in this main picture, but it made all the difference to me!

I started with some paper cut from Tim Holtz's Abandoned Paper Stash (with thanks - or not! - to Anna-Karin's recent gorgeous creations with it for this impulsive purchase).  I added some scraps of torn handmade paper and some punched leaves, but it wasn't quite doing it for me.

It was time to play with the Paper Dolls, and that made things a little better, but the really key moment was when I decided to add some cobweb stamping in my favourite Liquid Platinum embossing powder.

Suddenly I got excited.  The papers are gorgeous, but it was that tiny touch of added light-capturing detail which really got my ATCs motoring.

From there on, it was all much more fun.  I started to really enjoy fiddling around to get the layouts just right.

The torn book page scraps help the Paper Dolls to stand out from the background.

And the individual characters of the three boys started to come through.

Each of the boys found their "right" place in relation to the torn book page fragments...

... and each of them has a little bit of tissue tape to either sit or stand on (including the dog of course).

The leaves are punched from some of the same tags I was playing with the other day for my October Acorns.  And yes, I know you haven't yet seen the large leaves die-cut from one of those tags that I promised you...

Patience, patience!  They are coming, but you'll just have to wait until almost the end of the month for their special appearance.  But there are some touches of that golden shimmer on these tiny ones to keep you going until then. 

And speaking of shimmer, I'm just in love with those gleaming cobwebs hovering amidst the autumnal colours.  (You know by now that you can click on these little photos for a closer look.)

It's like they're glistening with morning dew, but then at other angles, you hardly notice their presence (which is exactly what the spiders want to happen if you're a fly!).

Some metallic cogs in autumnal copper add a bit of extra interest.

Each boy has his own particular cog.

And I think each cog has ended up in the right place on the ATC to keep the eye moving.

And then of course there are the words...

... some Small Talk stickers from one of the seasonal sets...

... but apart from this one, the ones I've chosen are flexible enough to use at other times too.

I used the blade of my scissors to roughen the edges of the paper...

... before mounting the ATCs onto some off-white card and scissor-blading that too.

The word stickers are positioned so that when you look at the set as a whole, the eye again has to keep moving around... 

... different heights, different sides of the ATCs.  Same thing with the book page fragments and Paper Dolls...

... they shift from left to middle to centre to create a pleasing triptych grouping.  I do like working in threes.  (Shhh... don't tell the other two, but this one is probably my favourite!)

I worked on the trio this way round, with the boys at the outer edges, but it also works as a triptych if you flip the outer pair over, as I had them for the first picture in the post, which brings the boys closer together in the centre... you take your pick, but the middle chap has to stay in the middle!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I know I haven't managed much visiting in the last few days, but I'll try to do better in the coming week.  For now, happy Sunday everyone!

There are three ingredients in the good life: learning, earning and yearning.
Christopher Morley

Three things in human life are important.  The first is to be kind.  The second is to be kind.  And the third is to be kind.
Henry James

I'd like to enter this trio at ATCs Mit Herz where the theme this month is Herbst/Autumn
At Let's Craft and Create the challenge is Anything Goes with an Optional Twist of Colours of Fall
Moo Mania & More are playing with Die-Cuts and Punches - lots of punched leaves here
At the More Mixed Media Challenge this month Anything Goes with an Optional Twist of Orange
Anything Mixed Media Goes over at the Creative Artiste Challenge Blog
And at the Bleeding Art Challenge it's also the usual Anything Mixed Media Goes too
I'm just in time to join in with the Favourite Colour "Autumn" theme at PaperMinutes