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, 3 July 2020

Simplify, Breathe

Hello all!  Apparently July is World Watercolour month, so the new challenge theme at A Vintage Journey is well-timed.  The lovely Deb is our host, and she's in search of Watercolour Wonders.  You don't have to use actual watercolours, just any colour medium which is reactive with water... Distress Inks, pigment powders and so on.  All the details are over at A Vintage Journey, along with lots of inspiration from my fellow Creative Guides, so do check it out.  First of all, though, here's my watery offering for you.


Rather than watercolours, I used water-reactive Distress Inks for my backgrounds on these thistly tags.  But I am setting myself a daily watercolour challenge through July too, so keep an eye out for weekly (?) updates here.  I thought by saying it out loud to you here, that might encourage me to stick to it!  I love playing with watercolour, but I haven't done nearly enough of it lately.

You can see the wrinkle-free distress backgrounds in all their glory here in the early stages.


I think Faded Jeans, Broken China, Bundled Sage, Peeled Paint and Mowed Lawn are all in there somewhere, along with plenty of watery spritzing, smooshing and layering.






When I'm smooshing, I always work with multiple tags to make sure I'm using as much of the ink on the mat as humanly possible, so I ended up with a pair to work with this time.












I decided I'd play with this fabulous thistle stamp, one of Tracy Evans' designs for AALL & Create.  (I don't generally work with clear stamps - some of my earliest purchases were clear stamps and a couple have deteriorated quite badly - but there are some of Tracy's images which have proven simply irresistible!)














On one tag I embossed the image with Wow Bright White embossing powder.  And on the other I used my much-loved Earthtone Pepper, also by Wow.















The "watercolours" or watery inks are meant to be the highlight of these tags, so I didn't want to cover them up too much.












There's some fine twine wrapped around the lower end of the tags and I tied on a couple of Philosophy Tags which I altered with the same 
powders.













The one on the white thistle tag has a coating of the Pepper (I was relieved when the words continued to be visible - I hoped, but I wasn't sure!)...













... and the one on the pepper thistle tag has a coating of Bright White.  I deliberately roughened the edges before heating the powder so that some of the metal would show through.












I did a bit of extra stamping using just the text from the image to balance the tags.  It just wanted a bit more detail to the side of the main stamping.














The tags needed a little something more so I fished out some sequins and stuck them in various places.














The glossy embossing is already doing quite a good job of catching the light with that reflective dimensional surface.















But the sequins are of course especially designed to reflect light, and they do it so well!












I did a bit of doodling with my dip pen and white ink to create some frames around the edges, and the same fine twine finishes things off at the top of the tag.










And there's splatter in complementary colours too - some white spatter on the pepper thistle tag... and some grey/brown spatter on the white thistle tag.






So there you have it... some water and some colour and away you go.  I hope you'll be inspired to join us on A Vintage Journey some time this month with some Watercolour Wonders of your own.  Check out the inspiration over there too, and have a fabulous weekend.  Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you again soon.

Because watercolour actually moves on the paper, it is the most active of all mediums, almost a performance art.
Nita Engle

The theme over at Country View Crafts this month is Do More of What Makes You Happy, so I'd like to play along there.  Watercolouring makes me very happy, and I haven't done any in months.  In fact, any play time with inks and water makes me happy.  So I'm very happy that World Watercolour Month is going to make me spend more time doing just that!
At Crafty Cardmakers they would like us to Create Your Own Background - this is one of my favourite ways to do that

32 comments:

Christine Alexander said...

two gorgeous tags Alison, love the wrinkle free distress backgrounds and your little white tag is perfect. Might just try and play along with the challenge, the weekend is almost here.
Darn it work always gets in the way :)

Helen said...

Love these tags, soft colours and images - the thistle is just gorgeous.

aussie aNNie said...

Gorgeous tags and lovely colours as well...Have a lovely weekend my friend.. ♥

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

How utterly charming, Alison. Both your tags are beautiful and in colors you prefer, too, it seems. I was amazed at how you got these two tags to look so alike, yet so different. Lovely.

craftytrog said...

Gorgeous tags Alison! I love the enamelled word token.
Alison xx

Nan G said...

A couple of watercolor-y wonders! Hugs to you

My name is Erika. said...

Gorgeous watercolors! The few little sequins make quite a statement. I like the embossed thistle. Beautiful work Alison. And happy weekend!

Craftyfield said...

Technique perfect with the Wrinkle free Distress background and lovely details (the roughened edges a la deckle edge, just like watercolour papers, for instance... Gorgeous... x

Redanne said...

Well, what can I say? I love watercolour and I adore Tracy's Thistle stamp so your tags are quite heavenly to me. The embossed metal tags are a perfect embellishment and the little sequins are a lovely addition.

Have a good weekend and keep safe and well. Anne x

PS I hope that you achieve your watercolour target!

Deb Riddell said...

Gorgeous as always Alison and wrinkle free Distress is still my all time favourite background technique, lovely layers of watercolour goodness on your tags! Love Tracy's Thistle stamp done 'two ways' and how you have accented them with that lovely fine twine and the Philosophy tags. Thanks so much for sharing them, Deb xo

Chrissy said...

Such pretty colour combos Alison and I love to have a good smoosh at times, have not done that lately..love the white embossed flowers and splatters, love a good splatter too, and love the texture added with the twine..fabulous tags.

Luv CHRISSYxx

Aimeslee Winans said...

Hallo Alison! I really like the tiny droplet splotches of color you get by smooshing. Mine are already unbroken globs, lol. Well, slap me - I just had to write that in order to figure out, I think, I should just be dabbing only the part of the tag where my fore finger that's holding it is? And not lay the tag down? I get Tim's techniques mixed up, don't do them enough. Anyway, love the backgrounds. Stay well and safe! XOX

sally said...

Just gorgeous!

Sally xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

What a fabulous pair of tags! A brilliant way of showing off your versatile background and stamp!! Hugs, Chrisx

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

Great tags Alison and loving the colours they are so delicate and the thistle stamp so nice. The embossed metal tags are a perfect finish to the design. Have a great crafty weekend, Angela xXx

Jennie Atkinson said...

Gorgeous tags Alison (as always) the background colours and technique beautifully done. I love how the two tags mirror each other - similar and yet so different. Gorgeous x

Mac Mable said...

Fabulous tags with great colours and the distress inks look so pretty. Loving the embossed thistles and the little tags and the doodling around the edges with the dipping pen x.

Let's Art Journal said...

Such beautiful watercolour tags! The splatters and splashes on the background look amazing with the embossed thistles and metal tags 😁. Happy July! Hugs, Jo x

J said...

Gorgeous tags - love the textures on that background, very effective. Thank you for joining in with my challenge at Crafty Cardmakers this time...

Jackie

Lys said...

A beautiful pair of tags, the best part given to watercolours and the sober but precise embellishments are a great idea.

Sue said...

These are beautiful Alison, I always love your watercolours, and the white embossed thistle is fabulous. You will definitely have to keep up with your watercolours now that you've told us here lol. Thank you so much for joining in with our challenge at Country View Crafts and have a very happy week, Sue xx

Judy McKay said...

Beautiful mixed media effect. Love the background. Thank you for joining us at Crafty Cardmakers this week. Have a creative week. Judy DT

Cocofolies said...

Both tags are exquisite Alison.
A fabulous play with your embossing powders (love this pepper one by wow!) and this wonderful flower by Tracy.
I'm like you, not much a clear stamps girls, but their nature sets are just irresistible, right!! :D
Hugs,
Corinne xx
PS: I'm currently playing with your beautiful words sets too! :)

Amanda said...

Beautiful watercolour tags these really do seem to be your medium. Fabulous accompanying details
Love
Amanda x

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

Artsy watercolory dreamy tags...love. LOVE that technique so much too.

Margaret Mifsud said...

Wow! These tags are simple exquisite Alison. Beautifully created backgrounds in the loveliest colours and gorgeous stamping as a bonus! Love these to bits.
Sorry I haven't been around at all lately but I'm hoping that will change. Maybe not straight away but soon.
So pleased to see that you have joined the Challenge at Crafty Cardmakers. xx

Maikreations said...

Those are gorgeous tags and I love the creative watercolour background you have created ;o) Thank you for joining us with your "Create Your Own Background" project at Crafty Cardmakers. Have a wonderful week and happy crafting ;o) Maike

Mrs.B said...

Love the soft colours in the watery backgrounds. Although very similar, what a difference the colour of the embossing makes.
Avril xx

Neet said...

Reminds me of a positive and negative. Two gorgeous tags, one in white and one dark one.
I love how you have used the Distress Inks to create such a beautiful misty background. Such a beautiful colour you obtained from the five colours you chose, perfect for the thistle stamp you used.
Alison you have created something which is yours and yours alone again. Beautiful work as always.
Hugs, Neet xx
btw I love the Pepper embossing powder

Dorthe said...

Two wonderful tags, I love your inked backgrounds, and the white and grey embossed thistle oh so beautiful, also the embossed TH tags looks amazing , Alison .xoxo

Patty O'Malley said...

Fantastic tags, Alison! The colors are so pretty!

suzyb said...

I love these two tags, especially nowadays. Simplify and Breathe, perfect for the times. I thank you for these, they are lovely as always.