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 September 2020

Bold Book Text

Hello all!  I was tempted into attempting another New Blogger blogpost by the lovely theme over at Tag Tuesday this fortnight.  Sandie is looking for tags using Book Print.  Book page fragments are something I use very often, and there are still plenty of tags made while I was still in the Czech Republic (liaising with builders ready for the move) which I haven't shared here yet, so I thought this vibrant pair would fit the bill.

(It seems that if I completely abandon my carefully-honed blog-writing process, which I've developed over eight years of blogging, and which I could do at the drop of a hat, without stress or taking too much time, then I may just be able to get the photos where I want them... so here goes.)

I found myself obsessively creating Distress Ink/Oxide backgrounds while I was away.  It's been a while since I've been so ink-oriented - there's been more paint and mixed media over the last couple of years.

The inky return was, I think, partly because I was working with a limited craft stash, but it's also because Speckled Egg Distress revived my love of combining colours.

Now, there's not much of it on these particular tags, but my goodness those topcoat spatters make a difference to the autumnal browns, golds and purples underneath.

And I didn't want to hide too much of all that bold colourful gorgeousness, so these skeleton leaf stamps of Tim Holtz's were a good choice to let the colours continue to shine through.

The Paper Dolls, as usual, were making their own decisions about who was going to get to play a part in the tag design.  This chap is always very forthright about saying yay or nay.  This time it was yay.

I really love this seated girl, clutching her basket and facing us with barely disguised trepidation.  The book page fragments create the perfect highlighting accent to draw our eye away from the vivid background towards the characters.

He demands evidence for any matters arising - refusing to believe anything but strong physical proof for that which he cannot see with his own eyes.

She has only her basket of collected curiosities and her active imagination to offer in defence of things she feels with all her soul to be possible.

I rather like the little fine twine oval frames too - one for her to perch in and one for him to lean on.

I hope you like them too, and I hope you have a good week ahead of you with some time for yourself and whatever you love somewhere in there.  Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll hope to see you again soon, either here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Carl Sagan

There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.
Sherlock Holmes, courtesy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Tell people there's an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure.
George Carlin

Right, well, the photos are going left and right, but I can't get them to overlap by a few lines as they've always done, so there's a load of bare blank space going begging.  It might not bother you, but to my fastidious design eye it's hideously ugly.  And it takes extra clicks to place them, to resize them, to position them... and I've still had to abandon how I write (text first, flowing, then adding photos once the text is complete) which messes up my train of thought and makes the whole process very unsatisfactory.  New Blogger IHATEYOU #newbloggersucks

Having yelled that, I would like to share this pair of tags at Tag Tuesday for the theme Book Print

Friday 25 September 2020

Textured Landscapes

Hello all!  So the removal quotes, the sorting and the early stages of list-making for packing have started... I'm going to be more distracted than ever for a while, I'm afraid.  Not much time for trying to make my peace with New Blogger, so I'm taking the easy option for this post.  Rather than struggling to get the photos where I like to have them, I'm sharing something a bit different where I can just let them all go down the centre because that's where they belong.

This is a series of textured landscapes with light.  Though some of them are really seascapes with light.  They emerged after conversations with my closest friend last year after her father had died.  I didn't decide on them, they just happened, one after another, seeking the light.

So I'm not going to say much more about them, and rather let them speak for themselves.

But for those who are curious about such things, they are in a 10 x 10 inch journal on heavyweight paper, using heavy gesso and Golden heavy body acrylics for the most part, with some occasional collaging.

I hope you like them, and that perhaps they speak to you in these dark times.  We have to keep seeking the light.

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  If you're interested, I'll try to document a bit of the dismantling of the craft room and the remantling (?!) at the other end, where I'll be moving into a larger art space... though I'm pretty sure I'll be filling it up straight away.  I hope you are all doing okay, and I'll try to do some catching up in between the busy stuff.  Stay safe, stay well, stay creative.

Light chooses an unexpected part of the landscape to trick out in gilt, and then the shadow sweeps it away. 
Annie Dillard

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
Marcel Proust

I would like to share these at Art Journal Journey where the lovely host Jo is looking for Texture
And I'd also like to join in at Paint Party Friday where it is Week 30 of Year 10 (pleasing round numbers!)

Thursday 17 September 2020

To walk beside you


Hello all!  I'm very behind on sharing tags with you here on the blog.  I've had a sudden rush of creative mojo while I've been here in the Czech Republic checking on the building work.  But now I'm heading back to (quarantine in) the UK to start packing up my stuff for the permanent move.  

So there might not be too much going on creatively in the next while - I'm not sure how I'm going to juggle it all.  But I've got plenty stored up to share - it's just a question of finding time to blog it all - so I'm back with a favourite trio today.  I notice I can no longer revert to Legacy Blogger, so this post may never see the light of day at all!  (No longer amused, as you'll see by the prologue at the top of the blog.)

These backgrounds are a combination of Distress Inks and Oxides smooshed on the craft mat - but the key ingredient (and the key element in my reawakenedmojo) is the addition of Speckled Egg to my favourite colour palettes.

It's a glorious colour by itself - veering from delicate blue tones to soft greens depending on context - but the joy for me has been in finding how it plays with the other colours I adore.  So there is Vintage Photo here, and some Rusty Hinge.  There's Stormy Sky and Wilted Violet.  And there had to be Pumice Stone too.

The tangled branches stamped to create the undergrowth are a Penny Black image.

And there's a Wendy Vecchi vintage text background embossed in white to echo the book page fragments behind the Paper Dolls.

I was feeling the lack of die-cutting ability, given I had only my travelling stash to work with... but the solution was these twig trees.

They were a fortuitous by-product of a weekend of hard work cutting, chopping and clearing overgrown plants and trees in the garden.

I wasn't doing it all by myself - a lovely young Czech friend came and spent one of his last weekends before starting his architecture degree doing most of the work... I was merely an assistant.  I think he thought I was a bit mad when I started hauling branches back out of the carload headed for the greenery skip which bobs up around the village at this time of year.  I now have a lovely collection of branches large and small to get creative with once I'm settled back here.

The Paper Dolls almost chose themselves.  The little guy in the hat is a constant favourite of mine - I could do with twice as many of him in each pack in every size!

And the toddler has also put in many an appearance on various tags and ATCs over time here at Words and Pictures.  He's carefully holding on to one of the branches to help with his balance.

I do like the seated girl too.  In fact, I glued on an extra branch for her to rest on.

The words are from Tim's Clippings stickers... found text without going to the trouble of finding it.

It's funny how, as you flick through the pages, the phrases you need just seem to appear.

You have to peer between the twiggy branches to catch all the words, which makes for a nice active engagement with the tags.

No need for anything fancy at the top - some simple fine twine finishes things off.

I hope you like them as much as I do.  And I hope you'll bear with me over the next few months.  It's been a busy six weeks dealing with builders and searching for flooring/showers etc where the chosen ones from 2018 were no longer available.  And it's going to be worse as I pack away my life's belongings and ship them across Europe.  

But sooner or later I'll be back in action properly... though maybe not on Blogger given New Blogger, which makes me desperately sad.  I'll have enough on my hands working out how life works in a new country, with a difficult language, and building new income streams given the theatre work is on hold for the foreseeable future, without struggling to deal with a platform which has been "improved" to make my life harder.

But looking on the bright side, it's a beautiful place I'm moving to.  I'm sharing some photos of South Bohemia on Instagram, so you can take a look if you would like to here... @b0hem1anh0me

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  Take good care of yourselves as the second wave takes hold.  Stay safe, stay well, and stay creative.

I want to cultivate the seed that was placed in me until the last small twig has grown.
Käthe Kollwitz

Wednesday 9 September 2020

A different kind of life

Hello all.  I hope you are doing well and staying safe.  Thank you so much for your lovely comments on my rusty cogs and gears - I'm glad you liked them.  I mentioned a couple of posts back that tags were mounting up as my mojo has kicked back into gear over the last few weeks, so I'm here with a pair of them today.

There's been an autumnal turn to most of the tags recently, but these are more of a "last of the summer sun" pair - still enjoying the bright greens and sunlight of August.

The main ingredient in my revived mojo has been the arrival of Speckled Egg Distress as a new colour, and it's here in force.

It's combined with some of my favourite greens and also, unusually for me, a touch of Scattered Straw.

There's some background stamping in Archival Olive with my much loved weeds from Rubber Dance's Weed Love set.

And there are also some light-catching insects from Tim's Entomology plate, embossed in Speckled Egg Distress Glaze.

This gives them that now-you-see-them, now-you-don't effect which I love.

The butterflies over the top come from a couple of Tim Holtz sets.

There are some from Papillon, a much older set but still brilliant.  And the smaller Papillon group are joined by a couple of the larger butterflies from the Entomology plate so that the tags have a balanced look.

The Paper Dolls, as usual, had strong opinions about whether they wanted to be involved or not.

These two were the clear top candidates... they just looked right when I tried them in place.

There's some more background stamping, white-embossed - postmarks and number stamps from the Field Notes stamp set.

I love the extra lift the tags get from the white details.

And it also matches the embossed words on the acetate strips.  This has become one of my favourite ways to add my quote stamps.

I love how you still get to see everything that's underneath, but still get the words hovering over it all.  These are from the recent EAB19 Life & Living, as well as from one of the oldest sets EAB03 Music & Silence.

I hope you like the summery feel of these, and I hope you're enjoying some of the late summer sun that we're getting here in the Czech Republic at the moment.  I'll be heading back to my full stash in the next week or so, but mainly in order to start packing it up for the permanent move.

But I'm looking forward to doing some playing with it all in between times nonetheless - I'm going to need stress relief through the sorting and packing process!!

For now, I'll love you and leave you, and hope to see you all again soon.

Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.
From The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry