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...

Monday, 22 February 2021

Winter Pinecones

Hello all!  I'm sorry for the long silence... I'm still waiting on floors to go down before I can unpack everything, so I'm feeling a little stuck.  But there are a few things going on on my temporary craft table with the supplies I have available.  Mostly all I'm managing are some inky backgrounds, but occasionally a couple of them get a bit further.  Here's a pair of finished wintry tags which do make me happy.

The backgrounds are a combination of Distress Inks and Distress Oxides pressed onto the mat, spritzed with water and then smooshed into with the tags.  I'm no longer sure on all the colours, but I'd say Pumice Stone, Broken China, Stormy Sky and Speckled Egg are all in there somewhere, along with some Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain.  There may be others!

Then I layered on some background stamping...

... weathered text and postmarks for the most part.

I picked up the tiny pinecones (they aren't really pinecones as such - they're the flowers of the alder tree) on one of my winter walks.

That must be the best kind of embellishment, just lying on the ground for free!

And these Paper Dolls, wrapped up warm against the cold, were the two that wanted to come for a walk in the wintry backgrounds.

I usually try out quite a few characters, and there will be some that just seem to say, "yes please, use me!", and for these tags they were very clearly the ones.

The words are all about that winter chill... wonderful snippets from the Clippings stickers.  

Again, the right words somehow seem to appear.  Even though you've never spotted those particular phrases before, suddenly there they are!

At the top of the tags, some simple white twine adds another frosty white accent.

I really like the dimensionality the pinecones give to these tags.  I managed to transport a number of fragile creations much like this across the continent, but I hope I don't have to do it again!


I did some pen-doodled frames around the edges of the tags, just to draw the eye inward.


Not much gets as far as completion at the moment... I'm gathering backgrounds in large bunches but mostly they're going to be waiting for the unpacking, I think.


(I'm especially missing being able to die-cut focal points or extra layers.)  So it's a relief when I do finally manage to get something to go the next step.   And it's a bonus when they make me as happy as these two do. 


I know lots of us are struggling with creative mojo in these dull winter days of lockdown and ongoing crisis.  I think it's also partly just my usual winter hibernation habit, but it's hard to tell how much to blame on what!


Whatever the reasons behind the blocks, those moments when the mojo starts to flow, for however short a time, feel extra valuable.  We have to cherish them.  Wishing you a safe, warm, creative week - in whatever ways you can manage it - and I'll see you again soon.

Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.
Paul Theroux

It might be stretching things just slightly, but I'd like to share this at Tag Tuesday where the theme is Black and White and One Other Colour... my whites are white and off-white, and my blacks are black and off-black, and my colour is shades of turquoise - but it's been so long since I've played along anywhere, that I wanted to join in!

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Rustiness in Progress

Hello all, I'm back with some more tag backgrounds.  Inky smooshing and splotching is pretty much all I'm getting up to at the moment, but I am really enjoying it when I do!

I've particularly been enjoying playing with creating rusty effects using Crackling Campfire along with various browns in Oxide and Inks.

These were over a background wash of Pumice Stone and Frayed Burlap, with some Stormy Sky thrown in for contrast.

There's definitely Vintage Photo and Gathered Twigs in there, and I think there may have been just a touch of Walnut Stain.

I just enjoy the dipping and dabbing and seeing what happens as you layer up the inks, Oxides and water.

I've got no idea what, if anything, will ever go over the top of these backgrounds - that step just doesn't seem to be happening at the moment.

I'm hoping to find a bit more mojo somewhere once I start unpacking (still waiting on floors for those who are curious), though then of course there will be less time!

Ah well... it's all a process working towards getting the work/life/admin/creativity balances right.

There will be more rusty splotches and patina games on their way to you soon.  In the meantime stay safe, stay well, stay creative, and I'll see you soon.

Inking is meditation in liquid form.
J.H. Everett

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Wintry Woods

Hello all, long time no see!  Apologies, I just don't seem to be able to get my act together.  So in the hopes of kicking myself back into blogging action, I'm going to do some very quick posts, just sharing some of the tag backgrounds I've been making.

That's really all I've been doing craft-wise - backgrounds seem to be as far as I get at the moment.  There are too many other things needing my time and energy.  But I am enjoying the backgrounds themselves, and that's really the point, isn't it... to enjoy oneself?

So just a few photos for you of the first pair - lots of lovely inky watery splotches - but I shan't keep you long!








So, if I ever get around to adding anything to these, you'll see them again, but for now the Chipped Sapphire/Stormy Sky combination is enough to keep me happy.  (I think there's just a hint of Wilted Violet in there too.)  I've always loved those Tim Holtz trees, and they layer up beautifully to create a wintry forest to go wandering in.  If you want to see the snowy landscape which is inspiring me at the moment, drop in to see my Bohemian home on Instagram.

I'll try to do better with blogging and visiting (and with crafting too)... it's all a bit of a balancing act at present, but I do hope you're all doing okay.  Stay safe, stay well, stay creative, and I'll see you again soon.

Go to the winter woods: listen there, look, watch, and "the dead months" will give you a subtler secret than any you have yet found in the forest.
William Sharpe

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Some good things in 2020!

What a strange and extraordinary year that was, and it doesn't look as though we're out of the woods yet, though there is light on the horizon as far as some things go (and a pretty certain bleak worsening for some others).  So let's look back at some of the good things, specifically in this post the projects I've really enjoyed this year, and the things I've learned on my creative journey.  It's pretty much a Baker's Dozen and a half... I lost the will to whittle things down any further!

They're approximately in chronological order, and remember you can click on the links to visit the individual posts for making-of details...

Romance in the Ruins


Hopes of Spring


Rusted Hope


Spring Greens


Collect Beautiful Gelli Prints





Happy in her Heart

















I'm so pleased that, despite moving house to a new country and all that entailed, especially in the midst of lockdowns and border closures, I managed to complete two whole months of challenges this year - World Watercolour Month in July with all my leafy grasses and the daily line and wash work for Inktober.

The first of the new Distress Colours, Speckled Egg, released a much-needed flow of creative inspiration.  It's a colour after my own heart just by itself, and I had a joyous time playing to see how it fitted in with my favourite colour combinations.  And of course I was thrilled to have six new sets of word stamps launched by PaperArtsy in two separate releases during the year. 

That's plenty to be going on with, don't you think?! I wonder if you agree with my choices!

I'm on hold with unpacking the craft room boxes, though I do have a temporary set-up with a few supplies, but I really hope that maybe by February I can be fully back up and running in my brand new craft space.  I'll try to keep you posted on that too.  Thanks so much for stopping by today and good luck with all your creative journeying in the year to come.

When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favourite things and then I don't feel so bad.
Oscar Hammerstein II