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...

Saturday 26 December 2020

Merry Christmas!

I'm late for the 24th and the 25th in wishing all of you a very peaceful, joyous, merry - and above all safe - Christmas, but we celebrate for the whole 12 Days of Christmas, right through to January 6th, so as far as that goes, I'm still pretty early in proceedings!

I haven't made it to the craft table at all in the last ten days or so... I'm hoping time/inspiration for creativity will kick back in either with this festive break or with the energy of the New Year.  In the meantime, love and thanks to you all for your company over this last, strange, rollercoaster year, and here's hoping 2021 will be a better one for all of us.

Stay safe, stay well, stay creative.

Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.
Charles M. Schulz

Thursday 17 December 2020

Thoughts and Tidings

Hello all, I'm sorry for the week-long absence.  As you might imagine - with having just moved to a new country and with Christmas right around the corner, plus trying to build new income streams - there's quite a lot going on.  So I'm just dropping in to share some pictures of a pair of tags which make me very happy.

When I have had a bit of spare time, I've been trying to spend it doing something constructive rather than internet-browsing... so I had a lovely time converting these Rustic Wilderness (the gorgeous new Distress green) backgrounds into this finished pair of tags.

This is the splotchy green and blue pair from the array of Rustic Wilderness backgrounds I shared recently...

I love what they've turned into thanks to the lovely pine and berry branches from the new Forest Floor stamp set.

For the berries, I stamped, added the white embossing powder and then used a brush to brush the powder away from the stems as much as possible before heating.  Then I used a brush pen in brown to give the stems a bit more presence.

I kept the embellishing very simple with some twine and wooden snowflakes...

... and the seasonal Clippings stickers provided the thoughts and tidings to go with them.

There's some background text stamping (because there has to be!) - the amazing advertisement stamp from the Professor #2 set.

And I doodled some borders with my dip pen and grey ink followed by white ink. 

I'm keeping things simple partly because I have no access to 95% of my crafting supplies (Box Mountain will stay Box Mountain until the flooring can be laid - which may well not be until the New Year)...

... but mostly because it didn't feel like they needed anything more.

The deep rich green of the Rustic Wilderness with the paler inky highlights of Speckled Egg and Broken China in the background...

... the beautiful detail of the stamps with those snowy berries and amazing pine needles...

... the simple wooden snowflakes and those Idea-ology Tokens dangling from the twine...

... seemed to me as though they were doing the job pretty well!  I hope they make you as happy as they do me.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I'll hope to see you over the festive period if not before.  Stay safe, stay well, stay cosy and creative.

No writing on the solitary, meditative dimensions of life can say anything that has not already been said better by the wind in the pine trees.
Thomas Merton

I'd like to share these at Country View Challenges where the theme is Anything Christmas

And at Tag Tuesday they're playing Christmas or Anything Goes

Thursday 10 December 2020

Happy Smiles

Hello all!  A couple of those Rustic Wilderness backgrounds I shared last week have made their way to completion with the help of a pair of Paper Dolls, and a touch of ephemera collaging.  Take a look...

The background stamping is courtesy of the Forest Floor stamp set.  The large fir branch in the background has a softer look as I spritzed the inks on it (Rustic Wilderness Oxide and Peeled Paint) with a bit of water before stamping.

The pinecones are stamped in Archival Coffee as far as I remember and it's all over a background of Antique Linen and Vintage Photo with maybe some Pumice Stone in the mix (only because there usually is some Pumice Stone in the mix round here!).

The darker, shorter-needled branches are stamped in pure Rustic Wilderness Distress Ink... such a rich deeply pigmented green.  It makes for perfect layering with the ability to put something really dark and impactful over the rest of the stamping.

The two girls are wrapped up warm against the winter cold, and have happy smiles...

... if not quite the twinkling eyes suggested by the Clippings word stickers!  This one clearly has more important things to do with her time than have her photo taken.

I hope you like all the winter foliage around here at the moment... it's been a long time obsession of mine from way before I was crafting.

The large tree and jugs and vases full of ivy and holly are the most important part of the Christmas festivities for me... along with plenty of candlelight and music.

So having these new foliage stamps to play with along with the fabulous rich green of Rustic Wilderness has certainly put a happy smile on my face.  Even with my limited craft time/energy, I'm loving the moments I do manage to grab at the craft table.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope to see you again soon.  Don't forget to come and join in with our very last ever challenge at A Vintage Journey - we'd love to go out with a bang.  But most importantly stay safe and well until we meet again.

Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.
John Muir

I'd like to play along at Country View Challenges where the theme is Anything Christmas
I'm hoping the twinkling eyes and the gleaming pearl droplets provide enough Christmas Sparkle to join in at Try It On Tuesday

Friday 4 December 2020

A Festive Farewell

Hello all - it's a bitter-sweet day... we've a lovely new challenge theme for you at A Vintage Journey, but sadly it's the very final challenge.   Reluctantly, we've all agreed that it's time to bring the journey to an end.  The wonderful Brenda, who was the originator of A Vintage Journey, has written about all the reasons why in a lovely post over at the challenge blog, so I won't repeat it all here.  But we're going out in style, with a double helping of tiny delights.  

Each of the Creative Guides has created a pair of ATCs for the Merry Little Christmas theme, and also a Farewell ATC.  You can create ATCs of your own following either prompt - festive or farewell - and we'd love it if you would join us on this final leg of the journey to celebrate the years of inspiration and creativity we've all shared together, both the team and all the participants.

I'll start with my festive pair, and a rare sighting of the colour red here at Words and Pictures.  I was lucky enough to win a wonderful prize package from Tim Holtz recently, and it included the lovely Sketch Greenery stamp set in action in the background here as well as the ephemera collaged over the top.

The smooshing in the background is a combination of Distress Inks and Oxides in the new Rustic Wilderness colour and some Speckled Egg too.

The fir branches are stamped in Rustic Wilderness Ink and clear-embossed to sparkle in the light.

I adore this deer - a lovely element in the ephemera pack... and you can still see plenty of the background between his legs!

I needed another delicate image to balance him, and this wreath worked perfectly - again, you can see the background through the middle.

And for once in a while I can even deal with having that little festive touch of red involved.  It's a rare occurrence round here!

The words are also from the Sketch Greenery stamp set.  They're stamped in Walnut Stain on some card smooshed in a few droplets of Pumice Stone Distress Ink to soften its whiteness.

A touch of inking around the edges and a little bit of snow splatter and we're all done...

So now it's time to say goodbye (well, not quite - we'll be back for one final post at the end of this month to announce the Pinworthies) so here's my farewell ATC.  

I'm so grateful for the friendships forged ever more deeply within the Vintage Journey team - it's been a delight and an honour to have served right from the very beginning.  But rather than look back, my ATC is looking forward.

I'm celebrating the joy of the journey with my favourite colours - blue and brown (specifically mainly Stormy Sky and Walnut Stain)...

... some lovely white embossing and a touch of metal and, of course, a butterfly...

... some background text stamping... 

... so many of my favourite things to commemorate one of my favourite ever teams to work with.

And the words (Idea-ology stickers) are looking ahead to whatever comes next with a grateful heart and positive outlook.

I hope you'll hop over to A Vintage Journey to hear from Brenda about our decision and to see the glorious inspiration from my fellow Creative Guides, and I very much hope that you'll find time to join us somewhere down the road this month for one final time to celebrate a Merry Little Christmas and/or a very fond farewell.  It would be lovely to go out with a bang.

Stay safe, stay well all, and I'll see you again soon.

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
Winnie the Pooh

Tuesday 1 December 2020

Safely arrived in the Rustic Wilderness

Hello all and happy Advent, or happy December if you prefer.  Sorry to leave you in suspense for so long, but I've had quite a lot to do!  I'm happy to say that both I and all my worldly goods arrived safely in the Czech Republic and I've been trying to create a little bit of order.  Unpacking can't happen all at once, sadly - the flooring probably won't be down in some of the rooms before Christmas - but at least in the main part of the house there is now somewhere to sit without looking at a pile of boxes!  And after a week of freezing fog today is frosty and sunny and beautiful - here's the view from the back door this morning.

And I thought since I'm now in the Czech countryside, South Bohemia to be more precise, I would also share some of the fun I've been having with the new Distress colour Rustic Wilderness... just backgrounds in progress for now - little moments of creativity squeezed in between packing and loading and travelling and unloading and sorting...

I think you can probably see why I love it!  I'm so happy to have this new green to add to the palette.  Given my love of all things leafy, grassy and nature-themed, it's going to be a much-used colour.  It's here in combination with Speckled Egg and some Peeled Paint thrown in too, and obviously some browns and whites, but the rich deep hue of Rustic Wilderness is really the star of the show.

I hope you're all doing okay and looking forward to a gentle run-up to what will probably be a very different kind of festive season this year.  Stay safe, stay well and I'll see you again soon.

In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You are aware of the beating of your heart. The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment.
Frederick Buechner