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, 15 May 2020

The Skype's the limit

Hello all, I hope you're all okay, and I'm very sorry I've been such a poor visitor lately...

I'm planning some catching up this weekend, and looking forward to seeing what creative journeys you've been taking during these strange times.

Like many of you, I've found my mojo is an elusive creature in these circumstances, flitting in and out of reach.

Last Sunday, Nikki, Brenda and I gathered for another Skype crafting session, and at the start I was drawing a complete blank on what to make.  (I was also in a bit of a grump that day... for no good reason, just moodiness.)

But by the end, I'd found my way to this collaged journal page which I have to say makes me deeply happy.  (We're in the large Dylusions journal again - last seen on my Daisy, daisy (daisy) painting.)

We've applied various route-maps or rules for our past Skype sessions (either following the same steps, taking it in turns to offer the next instruction; or working with limited selection of ingredients; or with a time-limit), but this time we played with no rules.

(Cards on table... I said I was feeling too grumpy to follow rules!)  It was really just a chat-with-crafting-friends-while-crafting affair.  The only limit was our imaginations (and mojo-cooperation).

As with my lavender Suffragette, I haven't really got any process photos to share.  At first, I wasn't taking pictures because I couldn't get into the swing and didn't really want to record what was happening.

And then all of a sudden it turned a corner, and then I was too much in the flow to be stopping and taking photos!

This was a topsy turvy process for me.  Usually I start with background layers, enjoying myself tremendously until it comes to trying to work out what's going on top of it all - when things generally slow down quite a lot.

This time, it all started with some of the uppermost layers... a simple collage of a trio of Idea-ology journalling cards, a strip of Photobooth photos and a Paper Doll, and the film strip ribbon (still determined to curl which is why I'm having to hold the whole lot down).

I only took this photo because I knew I'd have to remove them all to do whatever I was going to do in the background and I wanted a reminder of the positioning.

It's fairly easy to see what went on the background - as a whole, the page is not complicated.  I did some stencilling over the gesso'd page with a Finnabair script stencil and some Watering Can Archival ink.

There was some Pumice Stone Distress Ink on the sponge already which is why you get a slightly variegated tone.  (Oh, how I wish for Pumice Stone in Archival form!)

If you look through my recent creations, you would think I only own one stamp (not the case!).  These Rubber Dance tendrils from the Weed Love stamp plate have been twining their way over rather a lot of my work lately.

Here they are stamped in Olive Archival - best to use Archival, as I really didn't know what else might be going to happen at this point.

There are a couple of Crafter's Workshop stencils also in action, this time with some texture paste (probably my favourite way of using stencils).

I'm pretty sure I used the Finnabair artbasics Plaster Paste for this.  It has a nice rough-hewn look to it, and a soft white colour tone, rather than out and out bright white.

On a separate piece of cardstock I did some dipping and dabbing with Distress Inks and Oxides so that I could cut a few Wildflower Thinlits stems.

My guess is that Bundled Sage and Peeled Paint are in the mix, and maybe a touch of Old Paper.  I wasn't concentrating very hard, just reaching for what felt good.

The stems hopped around the layout for a while before I settled on their final positioning.

One of the delights of this page for me is that strip of Photobooth photos.  I very often use these little snapshots on tags and pages, but I think in the past I've always gone for just one at a time.

But this time the long vertical line of film strip (which I do use quite frequently - it was a vital ingredient in my Winter Journal pages a while back, and since then it puts in regular appearances) demanded another strong vertical element.

This trio of faces just seemed to be right for the purpose.

It's also rare that a whole strip appeals to me.  But here, every single one of the three faces seemed to be speaking to me.

Together the film strip and the photostrip give the whole page a really strong spine for everything else to hang off.

I love the filmstrip for its transparency - love to see what's behind - and of course for its light-capturing glossiness, but of course film is all about storytelling too, and that gives it such a strong connection to my day-job (more about that at the end of the post).

It's stapled in place.  I did that quite early on, as it was annoying how it kept rolling itself up, which meant I then had to slide everything else in and out from under it from then on, but it all worked out in the end.

Oh, I almost forgot the other person who was involved from the beginning - this fabulously intense Paper Doll.

She's actually from one of the Halloween collections, but I love her just as she is on this springtime page.  Such presence and force of character.

And she has a firm footing in the world too, courtesy of some tissue tape fragments.

I'm quite sure that she will keep on exploring, as the Quote Chip suggests...

... and that she will keep careful journal notes about all the curious things which attract her attention.

There's a butterfly perched ready for flight.  Yes, it's back again.

The butterflies are a definite motif at the moment, appearing all the time, like those tendrils seeking a place to put down roots... symbolic of where I'm at in my life's journey - about to take flight and create a new home (as soon as I'm allowed to leave, that is).

Funny how I've only just realised what those repeated vine-stampings and butterfly-embellishing are probably about.  That's the subconscious for you.

I suppose the tangled thread is maybe about the tangles and obstructions getting in the way at the moment... or maybe I just like how it looks!

Nearly there... I roughened up the edges of the journalling cards with the blade of my scissors before sticking them down.

And right towards the very end I added the delicate splodges (splodge isn't a very delicate word, is it) of ink around the edges.

It works nicely to highlight some of that texture as well as adding to the overall greenery.

So from a very grumpy start, this conversational Skype crafting turned around my day into something far lovelier... big thanks go to Nikki and Brenda for that, and to my mojo for turning up in time.

This flowery page can also serve as some extra inspiration to come and play along with the Beautiful Blooms challenge at A Vintage Journey this month.

I hope you'll be tempted over to see what the other two got up to during our limitation-free Skype session.  These two sneak peeks ought to whet your appetite.  You'll find Nikki's project here at Addicted to Art and Brenda's here at Bumblebees and Butterflies.

Well, that was another photo extravaganza!  But there aren't many words on today's project (if you discount all the vintage script, which you can't read so that doesn't really count) so I've got an alternative focus on words for you if you fancy it.

If you'd like to know a bit more about what's involved in my "day job" as a theatre text and voice coach (or if you're just curious about what I look and sound like!), then you'll find me in conversation here on youtube, talking about my passion for voice/breath/imagination and Shakespeare.  If you think I talk a lot here at Words and Pictures, just wait til you see this!!

Thank you as always for your company on the journey.  Now more than ever these online connections we share are such a force for good.  As I said at the start, I've set some time aside for some Craftyblogland visiting and I'm looking forward to catching up with you all over the next few days.  For now, stay safe, stay well and I'll see you soon.  Happy crafting all!

If you're not in the mood, you can't do that stuff right.
From The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Creativity doesn't wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones.
Bruce Garrabrandt

To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.
Kurt Vonnegut

I'd like to share this at Art Journal Journey where the subject for May is Flowers
I'd also like to play along with the 60th Anything Mixed Media Goes theme at the Creative Artiste Challenge Blog
Still no pink, I'm afraid, but it is optional at the More Mixed Media Challenge where this month Anything Mixed Media Goes + Optional Pink
I'd like to share this with the Anything Mixed Media Goes theme for May at the Bleeding Art Challenge


Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful piece, love the subdued colours. Thanks for joining us at More Mixed Media - I forgive you for not using pink! Have a great day, hugs, Valerie

Helen said...

what a beautiful page, Alison! Another week has passed with me doing nothing, but the "commute" from chair (work) to sofa (home) all of about 2 feet - is more than I can manage... maybe at the weekend... Off to check out your work work now. Stay safe.

Brenda Brown said...

Such a glorious conclusion to our comfortable get-together where your ability to create a gorgeous collage, combined with a story that comes to life, is a feast for the eyes. Your subconscious is most definitely working overtime with the repeat outings of both tendrils and butterflies and the colour green, that signifies life, renewal, nature, and energy, which all fit into your current circumstances.
Thanks for sharing your time and beautiful creations.
huge hugs, Brenda xxx

Nan G said...

A beautiful page Alison. I like the simplicity of the page. There’s a place for the eye to rest and enjoy the view. Thanks for the video clip. I’ve often wondered what you did in the theatre and found it very interesting. I haven’t painted anything recently when I do I’ll send a pic along to you. Take care. Enjoy the down time before the hecticness of packing and moving even tho anticipation grows. Warm hugs, Nan

Marci said...

This page is beautiful!

Dortesjs said...

a beautiful page you did..and yes we do miss being together and seeing eachother its a good thing we have our hobbies

Hazel Agnew said...

So interesting to read your own psychoanalysis of your creation. Sometimes the revelation makes sense and at other times it’s better to take the ostrich approach.
The freshness of your background with the diecuts and beautiful tendrils remind me of exploration and new discoveries. I must explore die cutting again, it seems to be sadly lacking in my art as I am so impatient to throw things together.
Interesting that you began with the foreground for a change....love your character choices on the left!
Another triumph and now am off to look at dies! Hazel xx
Thanks for your kind support on my blog!

sirkkis said...

Very lovely nostalgic art journal page, and the pictures work well also separately. Love all of them.
Happy and healthy weekend xx

My name is Erika. said...

You used that modeling paste brilliantly. I thought it was stitching at first. Either way it is delicate and just enough. Your page is came out great. And it is nice to see a picture of you and see what you are doing for work. It is fascinating how many different things people do that some days teaching seems like a very boring old job. Smile. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Hugs-Erika

craftytrog said...

A vision of loveliness, I really like the greenery and splatters Alison.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend,
Alison xx

Meggymay said...

It is a beautiful page Alison, you must have enjoyed creating this especially as you could follow your own muse. Your crafting group sessions sound fun.
Thank you for linking to Mia's theme at Art Journal Journey, your page is inspirational.
it was good so see you and hear your voice, I think you love your work , it came over in the way you spoke and discussed it.
Have a good weekend.
Stay safe.
Yvonne xx

Dorthe said...

Alison , this is like a little fairy tale, with the wonderful weeds in green, making the sweet girl look like a fairy there,- to me . I imagine she have thoughts of exploring her past, the family and what she came of .... The butterfly showing her thoughts wandering --- yes dear, I know you had other thoughts but this is my happy version ,lol-
Some other day I will look at your lovely face, and hear what you are saying , now it is soon dinner, so hAVE to save it.
Thank you for your note, the wonderful comment was there,- and I`m happy you like my pink - <3 xoxo

Mac Mable said...

First and foremost you never come over as a grumpy person...you are uplifting and inspirational x.
The stencilling first caught my eye as it spiralled out from the background. The green splat tones, from the die cut flowers are so very pretty.
The vertical layout is perfect and what a fabulous design layout it is x.
I too love the rubberdance weeds and tendrils and yes I enjoy using stencils with paste too its adds wonderful texture...as yours does x.
I so enjoyed exploring your creation and as always I love your story telling x. A delight of a post and I am looking forward to listening to your 'day job' link x.
All good our end, just can't find the time to comment, craft and 'live'...in these times you would think I had plenty of time!!! x. Thank you for stopping by my blog Alison x Sending hugs x.

Monika Gulyas said...

Your page is beautiful, Alison!!! The white, light green and brownish grey are wonderful together!!! I also love your layers and white splatters!!! xx

kathyinozarks said...

Your journal page is soooo beautiful-I love the soft colors and all of the textures-just lovely Kathy

Helen said...

Absolutely stunning art journal spread! LOVE all the elements you used and I do hope she keeps up with her careful journal notes! Just brilliant! ((HUGS)) Helen

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

This is a beautiful delicate piece with a great layout. Pleased you managed to find your way with the project, it's a stinker when your brain just wont play nicely. I thought by now I would have used up all those UFOs but only just started on them and I can tell you I have far to many. Have a lovely crafty weekend, Angela xXx

Redanne said...

Alison, you turned that Salinger quote right on it's head with this wonderful project. The delicate colours in the background make a perfect backdrop for those beautiful Idea-ology elements you used on top and who could resist those butterfly wings. The whole piece looks wonderfully tactile.

I am saving your YouTube video for the weekend, your job has always fascinated me so I am really looking forward to seeing/hearing it. Take care and keep safe. Anne xx

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

Hi Alison, I saw your question about the jury service. Apparently there are some Crown Courts still sitting mostly in London. They are registering people ready for when more of them open and because Lincoln has a Crown Court it's likely to be one of them. I have contacted them with my reasons for wanting to be excused as it can take up to 20 days or more for a trial in the Crown court and I don't want to be away from home for that length of time while my mum is going through such a difficult time but not heard anything back from them. Wish things were different as it might well be an interesting experience though not always a nice one. We'll see. Take care, Angela xXx

Chrissy said...

Oh, I just love this project Alison..I love the greenery and the photos[ which can sometimes freak me out]..I love the film strip and butterfly, the textuires and colours, all of it..FABulous..and you are right about Jancinda Ardern, she is awesome.


Mariann Jakobsen said...

Wow, this page is beauuutiful!! Love it!
I also wanted to thank you for the nice comment on my blog.
Thanks for the youtube link.. I really loved it. Learned a LOT, I believe your a great coach!
Have a nice and safe summer. Hugs from winter(not)wonderland ;)

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

There's nothing like a get together with friends to turn our grumpy days around, your created page certainly brightens my day. Beautiful how the delicate green brings life to the whole page, I feel like i'm amongst those tangled threads trying to weave my way through to the end. With limited online time, I feel i'll never catch up with it all but I thank you so much for your visit's Alison always so sweet and welcomed.
Stay safe & ever creative Tracey xx

aussie aNNie said...

Fabulously designed creation, most gorgeous colours too.x

Lys said...

It's interesting how the foreground appeared to you first this time... and I love the tangle thought: maybe the sinuous path of the creative process.
The whole project is fabulous and I love the depth of the story behind the faces. Thanks for sharing with us at Creative Artiste Mixed Media challenge.

nwilliams6 said...

Oh my gosh, I loved your interview and seeing you. Your work is sooo interesting and made me think a lot about my own speaking, gesturing, and breathing. Amazing stuff. My own job sounds so boring now.

Your page is super cool too. I love all the details - the thread, the texture, the colors, the filmstrips (even more meaningful now that I know more about you), and the characters. Amazing details. Very cool.

I appreciate you sharing your interview link and your creation.

Mia said...

What a great collage, Alison! What a beautiful layout! What a SUPER page! I love this vintage style and the green flowers. Thank you so much for joining me again at AJJ! Kisses!

Heartsease79742451.wordpress.com said...

I love that page. I use your word stamps in a. Lot of my makes x

Lagene said...

AWESOME piece! I love all the texture and element layers!

Lagene said...

I enjoyed watching your interview it was so informative about what you do! Thanks for sharing it with us!

Rika said...

stunning page,
love the vinage photo's you used.

Neet said...

Your RD Tangles can come out as often as they want - I think they are lovely. The contrast of the delicate greens against the background and how they sit with the darker sepias of the photographs is lovely.
I enjoyed listening to your video (am only part way through - all had to stop for dinner) and it reminded me of the time we met at the Finnabair workshop such a long time ago. I am going to listen all the way through and thoroughly enjoy my cuppa whilst watching. I am hoping I learn something from you to help with my breathing problems.
Thank you for your visits to my blog, always such a [pleasure to see you have called in.
Until next time
Hugs, Neet xx

Sue said...

This is absolutely fabulous Alison, and so beautifully put together. I really love how you've used the film strips. I'm looking forward to watching your video now. Take care and have a happy weekend, Sue xx

Elkes Lebensglück said...

A wonderful journal page! Fantastic with this background and the old photos. Your idea is fabulous!
Have a good Day!
Greetings Elke

Craftyfield said...

This page made me smile, I too have the Rubber Dance Weed Love, the Wild flower Thinlit and the TCW stencil (although I think yours must be the 12x12). A gorgeous page Alison! I will be listening to you later... x

Let's Art Journal said...

Wow, what a fabulous page! The greens and neutrals look so elegant and I love the delicate stencilling and flowers - so beautiful 😁. I enjoyed your video too, your job sounds so interesting and I was fascinated with the concepts that you discussed such as sending thoughts into space and how you pronounce words can have a physical impact on others. My job entailed coaching others on communication and presentation skills so I loved hearing about what you do 😊. Thanks for sharing and wishing you a happy weekend! Hope your creative mojo returns soon! Take care! Hugs, Jo x

Let's Art Journal said...

... forgot to say ... Thanks so much for joining us at Creative Artiste too with your wonderful page! Hugs, Jo x

Mac Mable said...

I came back to say how much I enjoyed the video chat. I learnt lots too. You clearly enjoy what you do and are so passionate and no full stops here x

Patty O'Malley said...

Beautiful page as always, Alison!

paperwishesbyamanda said...

So good to see the pleasure and inspirartion you can get from the community of other creators. Your page is as inspired and beautiful as ever. Glad your muse returned as you played. Thanks for sharing and keeping in touch. x

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I have NO idea how I missed this. It is beautiful. I love it all, from the glassine photo strip to the three photo booth people, to the little TH girl (thanks for telling me it's from the Halloween collection), to the stamping and layering. It's a genuine gem and I am SO glad you shared your latest Skype art experience with us at Art Journal Journey, too.

Diana Taylor said...

What an adorable page, so delicate and such pretty soft greens. I am in total admiration of the fact you can use green so naturally and effortlessly - I find it a tricky colour to work with despite loving it!

Sharon Fritchman said...

Alison, your page is absolutely beautiful. I love the photos, the muted colors, your sentiment, and all of your beautiful little details! I know what you mean about it being hard to find mojo in these times. I hope you keep creating! Stay well and safe. HUGS!!!

Margaret Mifsud said...

Another delightful page Alison! I so love it when those weed tendrils appear in your work. They are not just a pretty background fill-in because they add so much movement and interest to the page. I love the photos, your choice of colour is always superb and the textures, once again, are amazing! Love, love, love!! hugs x

pearshapedcrafting said...

How great that you can get together for a crafty chat while crafting with friends! This looks to be such calm creation that I would never have guessed it started with a grumpy Alison! Hugs, Chrisx