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, 1 May 2020

The flowers appear on the earth

Hello all and a very happy first of May!  It's time for a new challenge over at A Vintage Journey, and our host this month is the lovely Jennie, who is looking for Beautiful Blooms.

As always, the Creative Guides have made some glorious projects to inspire you.  And it's a time of year when Nature puts on one of her finest shows of spring flowers, and heading into early summer, so hopefully this is well timed for her to add her inspiration to ours.

I've certainly borrowed more than just inspiration from Nature for this tag... those are real lavender stems there!  We've taken a bit of detour away from nature and springtime in the last couple of posts (with the Birthday Blues and Browns taking a grungy turn, and the unusual-for-me theme of sewing for Sew Far, Sew Good), but we're firmly back to business as usual here.

Do hop over to A Vintage Journey to see what the others have been up to, but before you go, let me share some close-ups and details of how my flowers appeared on the tag.

The background has been sitting around since the beginning of March - it was pretty much the first of my springtime moments.  And it was certainly a first inking for my then brand-new Field Notes stamps.

You may remember that this pair of tags almost made it on to my Spring Greens page, but got rejected in the end.  This one now finally has its moment in the sun.

And now I think about it, the other tag did in fact appear on that page spread... it got cut up into wildflower stems and then got painted over to make the flowers white.  Ah well, at least one of them survived!

In any case, when Jennie was looking for "beautiful blooms", I thought this remaining tag would make a good starting point.

I added some of the Rubber Dance Weed Love vines in Olive Archival - already beautiful blooms, in my opinion.  As you saw when I was Catching up, they're everywhere at the moment!

I'd had the idea that I wanted to use the lovely picket fence of the On the Edge die in the foreground, but I ground to a halt while I tried to work out what flowers would go on the far side of it.

Not more Wildflower stems - if coloured, they got lost against the background, if plain they just didn't look quite right.  I played with some paper flowers, but they weren't right for the meadow-flower look.  And then I remembered the dried lavender stems left from my neighbour's 102nd birthday cake decorations last summer.

Some of them already put in a crafty appearance shortly after the birthday last August in my ATC, A little lavender with a touch of rust, one of my all-time favourite creations.

They're really looking a little the worse for wear now, so I zhuzhed them up with a tiny touch of paint.  You can see the difference it makes - but I think they still look pretty natural.

I mixed some Fresco Lavender (of course) and Forget-me-not with matte medium, and brushed it on very gently.  I'm hoping that the medium will also seal and protect the delicate flowers to make them last a little longer.

The paler Forget-me-not is the main colour in most places, and the darker Lavender adds shadowy depths.

The fence was cut from kraft card, and I originally planned to have it as a wood look, but in the end I preferred the weathered painted look.  It's all done with DecoArt chalk paints and crackle glaze.

I glued it down with a curve to it, so that there's room for the stems behind, but it also gives a lovely bit of dimension to the tag.

I was really pleased when I remembered the moss tucked away in the stash - I love the grounding it gives to the fence, which was otherwise floating somewhat freely in mid-air!

Given that this is Words and Pictures, there had to be some words and these stickers from one of the Idea-ology Clippings sets simply demanded to be included.

I love that you can still see all that inky goodness in the background, and I think the pen and ink borders do a subtle job of framing the tag to draw your eye inwards.

And the other trick to catch the eye are these tiny gemstones dotted around to capture the light, and therefore the attention.  There are three of them - the rule of three works in visual design as well as in rhetoric.

I'm not much of a one for using "bling" in the ordinary way of things - though I do enjoy it when I see it on others' creations - but when it's a question of capturing sunlight I'll try anything!

The Field Notes stamping is still there to be found when you look closely...

And the loops of fine twine at the top are intricate without detracting too much from the main focus of the tag...

... those gorgeous lavender stems.  You can't really beat Mother Nature at her own game, can you?!

Even the butterfly clearly finds them irresistible.  (He's from the Idea-ology Transparent Wings, but has had a little wash of gesso to the back of the wings to give him a bit more presence.)

By the way, I do realise I'm writing quite long blogposts at the moment, even on the tags.

I suppose it's partly because I have the time to do it, but I also think there's something about losing yourself in the creative process and also in paying attention to tiny details which can distract you from everything which is going on.

Well, it does for me - I hope maybe a visit here does something similar for you... a few moments of light and beauty in a difficult world.

I also feel as though I'm chatting to all of you as I write, so it is a way of staying connected too!

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  There's a whole wealth of floral inspiration over at A Vintage Journey where my fellow Creative Guides have also been travelling amidst the flowers.  We hope you'll be inspired to share some Beautiful Blooms with us this month.  It's always wonderful to meet you somewhere along the way.

Take care, stay safe, stay well, and I'll see you all again soon, either here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.

Where flowers bloom so does hope.
Ladybird Johnson

The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one and it would not be a wasted life.
Ken Watanabe

The Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge this week is to make something which is Not A Card
Anything Goes over at Tag Tuesday this fortnight - I seem to be on a tag streak so they're seeing lots of me this week!
At the Bleeding Art Challenge it's Anything Mixed Media Goes all the time
The Creative Artiste Challenge are celebrating their 60th anniversary with the usual Anything Mixed Media Goes


My name is Erika. said...

Fabulous tag Alison. That crackle fence looks like the one in my yard. Smile. I especially love how you used it on the page. I'm always on the lookout for ways to use those half paper half cloth spread in those journals. Happy May! Higs-Erika

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Happy May, Alison. It's still April in my world, but that doesn't detract from me viewing this incredible tag. I always love how you not just take us through the process, you share both photos and words to guide our eyes. Of note to ME: the lavender, the "aged" fence, and the loops of twine through the hole. All make for an incredible tag and beautiful flowery entry, dear.

Valerie-Jael said...

This is a gorgeous tag, love the addition of the lavender. I'm happy you're on a tag run just now, as we have very much profitted from it at Tag Tuesday, thanks so much for linking to us. Happy May 1st, hugs, Valerie

Annie said...

Your tag is beautiful Alison and I adore the wonderful background x How clever to paint the dried lavender, which looks totally rejuvenated x
TFS and sending huge hugs
Annie xx

Meggymay said...

I think your tag is beautiful Alison and the dried lavender stems are a wonderful addition.
I like to visit your blog you add so much detail of how you create your projects with the photos as well. I feel like I am listening to you talk us through the project, you sure do give us lots of inspiration.
Stay safe.
Yvonne xx

Diana Taylor said...

Another absolute delight of a tag! Gorgeous spring colours and a wonderful tranquility to it. I love the addition of lavender - such a heavenly scent while you work too.
Diana xx

Amanda said...

Ooh you would definitely look over the fence and look into this garden, fabulous tag
Amanda x

Jennie Atkinson said...

So much detail and spring loveliness all in a tag! The background of the tag is just divine and I love how you have used real lavender stems. I can almost smell them! A great series of photographs and creative thinking, thank you for sharing those with us. Jennie x

Christine Alexander said...

beautiful effect with the dried lavender and thanks for the tip of adding a little acrylic paint to pop the colour. Beautiful distressing with the crackle paint on the fence. Totally love the tag :)
take care Christine

Let's Art Journal said...

Such a gorgeous tag for our Beautiful Blooms challenge at AVJ! The background, as always is amazing, I love the meadow behind the worn picket fence that you created and the addition of the dried lavender is just wonderful 😀. The quotes you shared on your post are fabulous too! Happy May wishes and weekend! Stay safe and keep well! Hugs, Jo x

creativeseconds.com said...

I love lavender so this tag is a winner in my book! With your explanations I'm learning so much about your creative thinking, it's wonderful how you create and set aside, and use part of something and create again! The fence is wonderful and the moss is the perfect touch as well as the butterfly. Blessings to you

Sue said...

Wow this is gorgeous Alison! so many of my favourite things here, from the crackle to the twisted wire, but my favourite favourite has to be the lavender, it's just perfect here! Take care and have a very happy weekend, Sue xx

Lys said...

This tag is a bit ahead in the season but these lavenders are so beautifully set here. So great the delicate add of paint, and the fence is perfect.

craftytrog said...

A beautiful tag Alison. I love the crackled fence! xx

Roosterhead Designs said...

Absolutely enchanting Alison! So many creative textures and layers; your processes are amazing~ Beautiful results! Thank you for sharing. Wishing you well~ karen o

suzyb said...

Another wonderful tag Alison. Lavender, is lovely, I have a few of them in my garden. The butterflies like them too. Love the picket fence and your decision to paint it was a good one. Fits nicely. Enjoy your day and stay well.

Dorthe said...

Dear Alison, what an adorable tag, I`m all in love with your painted lavenders,- even I love them au naturel , I so agree, that now they fit better into the background , and all your wonderful details of green weeds, the gorgeous crackled fence and the butterfly . Soooo beautiful. Hugs, Dorthe

Monika Gulyas said...

Fabulous garden scene, Alison!!! So idyllic!!! The real lavenders look fantastic on your tag!!! Big hugs xx

Craftyfield said...

Fabulous tag! I love all the details, the real nature elements, the crackled fence, the gemstones... So beautiful! Have a great Sunday!

Mariann Jakobsen said...

Beautiful tag!! I adore the amazing background. The effect with the dried lavender WOW! The fence is so nice, love the way you've painted and crackled it! ALL the details - Love them!

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

Gorgeous detail and loving the addition of the lavender too. Happy crafty weekend, Angela xx

Patty O'Malley said...

You never disappoint with your beautiful tags, Alison! You gave me a much-needed smile today. I love everything about this tag and the fact that you used real lavender on it. The white picket fence brings back happy memories of my childhood when we had one around our yard. I always said I wanted a white picket fence when I had a home of my own--unfortunately, we live in a neighborhood where fencing isn't permitted! This tag just makes me so happy! Thanks for sharing.

Redanne said...

What a gorgeous little garden scene you have created Alison, I adore the little crackled picket fence and the real lavender is such a wonderful addition (I do love the smell of real lavender). A new favourite tag for me! Anne x

Astrid Maclean said...

What a wonderful country garden you have created on this pretty tag!! Love the crackled fence and how clever to touch up those lavender sprigs with paint, they really pop now on their mossy bed. Fabulous creation for Jennie's challenge!

Chrissy said...

Beautiful soft and sweet tag Alison, with the little picket fence and moss grass and that beautiful sprig of lavender and gorgeous butterfly..right, I'm off to crackle a fence as I LOVE yours so much..


Lagene said...

WOWZERS! The dried lavender is awesome on the lovely tag, love the layout!

scrappymo! said...

Especially loving the lavender and the picket fence!

Thanks for sharing your ideas to stay upbeat during COVID. I too like to light a candle and listen to music! I have always liked to do that... even before covid. Especially with a soy candle, naturally scented.

I read once that opele need to find at least one moment of joy each day to chase the blues away. As I have a friend and also a daughter who can at times struggle with depression, I started that thread for them to read through the ideas.

Daughter has developed a love of gardening, and of creating seasonal plant containers for outside and inside the house. They are works of art! And best of all, that keeps her upbeat!

aussie aNNie said...

Amazing tags, love the grunge yet beautiful effect on these creation....stunning.xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

What a fabulous little scene you created! Imagine a lavender tree!! Nearly missed this! Chrisx

Margaret Mifsud said...

Goodness! I almost missed this one! Love this tag. So beautiful, and with real lavender stems no less! Awesome!! Gorgeous picket fence too and I love the delicate butterfly. A stunning garden scene with an
amazing background and the perfect words as well. Have a lovely day! hugs xx

Mac Mable said...

Hugely inspirational and love the use of the real lavender that was zhuzhed up! x. As always your attention to detail is amazing and all that inky goodness on the background looks artsy the words are perfect x. Stay safe and well and connected x.

creatif edges said...

Amazing tag and the lavender stems are looking fab. thanks for joining us for bleeding art blog challenge
DT- Shraddha

Zoe B said...

What a fab tag! Great 3D image. Thanks for playing at Bleeding Art Challenge

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

A very pretty way of keeping connected Alison i'm lucky to be able to see all my lavender up close and not over the picket fence. A beautiful flower that couldn't be anything other than restful and beautiful. Really happy I managed to get over to see this before the month is done.
Take care Tracey x

Sibylleherbe said...

What a gorgeous tag. Thank you for sharing.