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!


Helen said...

I do hope you get news of your floors soon, it must be so frustrating. I love the tags though and am glad you are able to create somehow!

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

Oh but your making beautiful backgrounds whilst waiting for those floors to go down Alison. So many lovely things to discover on your tags, like clinging onto the last breath of winter. I hope you may have found catkins alongside those alder pines, we find them regularly here when in season. Really glad to have caught your post before bedtime it seems like an age away that our paths crossed. Here's hoping you'll soon be reunited with all those crafty essentials.
Take care Hugs Tracey xx

My name is Erika. said...

You made some fabulous tags on your temporary art table Alison. The blue background is lovely. I like the little feel of rust with those spots. And adding the pinecones is a great look. I hope the floor gets put in soon so you can get all set up and back to crafting. You must miss having all your supplies. Hope all else is well. Hugs-Erika

Amanda said...

You can never have too many backgrounds and these fabulous tags just show what you can do without a floor lol. Hope you get your crafty space sorted soon
Amanda X

Sue said...

These tags are beautiful Alison, mini works of art as always. It must be so frustrating not being able to unpack properly, but it will all be worth it! Take care and have a great week, Sue xx

nwilliams6 said...

Beautiful work! Wow, Alison. You so captured an icy, vintage feel with your ink work, embellishments, character selection, and words. Brilliant work. Hoping you get new floors soon so you can feel settled.

ginag said...

And thank you again for bringing us inspiration and knowledge with your art. I have collected those tiny alder "pinecones" on my walks, but didn't know their true identity! Keep giving us your talent and treasured quotes.

butterfly said...

I didn’t know already... I googled for images of tiny pinecones until I found them! But thank you for another lovely comment.

Nan G said...

Your tags show off the beauty of winter Butterfly. Delays are being delayed by this pandemic it seems. Hope your floors get sorted soon. Here it’s not the crisis scaring off mojo but another appearance of the big ‘C’ word. Mustering all my strength and will to beat it again. Warm hugs.

Let's Art Journal said...

Such beautiful winter tags! The turquoise backgrounds look stunning and I love the layers you added with the metal pieces and tiny alder "pinecones"; they are the perfect size and make such a gorgeous addition 😀. I hope your floors are sorted soon so you can unpack further and get those die cuts started and you'll have lots of beautiful backgrounds to embellish when your craft room is ready - happy days! Take care and wishing you well! Hugs, Jo x

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

You may be working with restricted stash but this is brilliant. Sometimes I think the more stuff I have to work with the harder it is to decide what to use or is it just me, my poor brain gets all confused and argues with itself about which way to progress until sometimes I just turn my back on the project and leave it for another day......you probably think she's going mad and you could be right Lol! Hope you get sorted soon, Happy crafting, Angela xXx

Valerie-Jael said...

Hi Alison, sorry I am so late commenting, I am still in the clinic and can't spend as much time at the computer as usual. The tags are gorgeous, thanks so much for linking to Tag Tuesday, much appreciated!
All the best for your new tart, hope you get sorted soon. Hugs, Valerie

Neet said...

This autumn I searched all over for some of those tiny cones (flowers of the Alder tree), I even looked up where I might find some Alders close by but the only ones I found were squashed into the mud by walkers in the park. I will look much earlier next Autumn and get a nice supply ready as they are the ideal size to use on cards and books, etc.
Well, to say you only have limited supplies you turned up trumps again. These are beautiful. I love turquoise and the way you have used the colour certainly gives the feeling of a cold day to the overall pictures on the tags. Loved the effect you got with the background stamping and your choice of words is perfect as always.
Hope you get the floors sorted soon, more for your convenience and the feeling that another job is done than for anything else as you certainly do not let it hamper your crafting.
Hoping you are happy in your new abode
Hugs, Neet xx

Mac Mable said...

Your wintery tags sure did make me happy too Alison x. Great to see your amazing creations on your blog x. What wonderful colours on the backgrounds, with great layering of the stamping and always great to use 'free' embellishments x. I love your story telling and those 'words' are just perfect x.

craftytrog said...


Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Once again, I'm very late to the party. Your tags are amazing. I really enjoyed seeing them and these must be new TH paper dolls. I have two sets, and haven't seen either of these before. They fit perfectly, too.

It's great when you can find embellishments on your walks. That is the best kind, I believe. I had to laugh when you said you had no place to unpack and use your die cutter. Welcome to MY world, dear. We all do what we can with the tools and supplies we have. You have created two beautiful tags, both of which have several layers that are your signature style. LOVE them both, Alison.

Craftyfield said...

Some time away from the craft table hasn't dulled your talent Alison! Fantastic colours and details on these utterly gorgeous tags! And the "pinecones"... Checking out Alder trees next, hopefully they grow over here! x

sally said...

I hope you have got some spring weather on the horizon- we have had a few springlike days recently and boy do they make things seem better! I can sometimes pick up those alder “cones” at our local Morrison’s supermarket but I have not been shopping in person since before Christmas and that was only occasional, been doing the online shopping route most of the time and there’s a delivery due in the next 45”! Hopefully the flooring will be with you soon and the creative process will kick in.

Sally xx