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 24 June 2024

Pressed Botanicals - brand new Eclectica Alison Bomber stamps at PaperArtsy

Hello all!  I'm thrilled to be introducing three brand new stamp sets over on the PaperArtsy blog this evening as well as in the PaperArtsy People FB Group.  These are a continuation and also a development of the botanical textures released in February...  I hope you're going to love the Pressed Botanical Textures!!

I've been having a glorious time playing with the new stamps.  I've tried to make sure they work for all kinds of styles - I've been working with clean and simple stamping as well as exploring some really exciting mixed media effects and techniques.

There are lots of samples to enjoy over at PaperArtsy, and also lots of insight into the thinking behind these new designs.  And of course I'll be talking about all that in the Live launch video too, as well as showing the samples.

Hop over to PaperArtsy now to see the blogpost, and join me in the PaperArtsy People Group on Facebook to hear all about it in person, and see the samples shimmering in the lights!

I hope you'll love these stamps as much as I do... I can't wait to see what you'll create with them.

Those who have never been moved to rapture by the tender curve of a blade of grass, the wonderful sternness of the thistle, the rough youth of sprouting leaf-buds; and those who have never been touched to the depths of their soul by the massive appearance of a tree root, the imperturbable strength of riven bark, the slender pliancy of the birch, the enormous tranquility of a canopy leaves - know nothing of the beauty of form.

August Endell, 1909

Saturday 1 June 2024

Collage Quartet

Oh dear, I'm so behind here!  It's the 1st of June, and I'm still catching up with sharing what we got up to in April in Fodder School... but I promise it's worth the wait.  It was an absolute creative treat.  The lovely Christine Karpiak offered up so many different techniques and ideas, and the final project was definitely right up my street!

The classes took us through a process of gathering and making fodder in many different ways, and then using that fodder to create a series of dimensional collages.  

My finished collages have a subtle, natural look to them that makes me so happy, but it's easy to overlook just how many different elements went into the fodder gathering and making.

There's clay-work, eco-dyeing, rusting techniques, stamp-carving, several methods of creating fodder papers, nature-foraging... and it was all so much fun.

I did my eco-dyeing with red cabbage... it's a staple ingredient here in the Czech Republic, so I thought I might as well go with the local produce!  

I was astonished at how playing with the acid/alkali balance of the dye created a gorgeous range of colours, so subtle and all beautiful in their own way.

I'm no stranger to rusting - there's usually a bit of metal or two decaying (deliberately) somewhere in my art studio...

... and I really enjoyed incorporating the rusting side-effects into some of the paper fodder making.

Those papers weren't the only ones we made... we also played with other methods of creating delicious collage papers.  As usual, I was working with my happy colours.

And my colour palette was also strongly influenced by my clay pieces, which were actually one of the first things I tackled.  I added a bonus session to the Fodder School classroom on these, as I used a different method from Chris for painting mine.

(If you join Fodder School, you get access to all the monthly bonuses too, of course.)

Just the fodder by itself made me extraordinarily happy, so I knew the collaging was going to be a breeze!  Working in a series is one of my favourite things to do.  And using old book covers as a substrate is another of my favourite things...

I put on some music and just allowed myself to become immersed in composition.  So meditative as a process. 

That word composition is so apt... arranging the elements on the book board substrates is all about harmony and rhythm, balance and counterpoint, just as it would be in music composition.

My quartet didn't feel quite balanced until I had added a significant word to each panel. Tim Holtz Quote Chips to the rescue...

They're positioned for harmony, counterpoint and rhythm, of course, but also for meaning.

Since the collages are mounted on book boards, and book pages play such a significant role...

... somehow I needed words in my final layers too.

Really and truly a beautiful month of creative exploration and joy.  So many of my favourite things, and a few new ones too.

I found myself in that sought-after state of creative flow so often this month, and I think it shows in the final quartet.  They make me deeply happy.

If all this is getting your creative juices flowing then this is a great time to sign up for Fodder School 3.  We're just starting the June classes - which include a mailart swap around the world!  It's only for Fodder School 3 participants, of course, so find all the details for registering here, and you get access to all the classes already available, as well as to those yet to come... including mine in August!

Happy June to you all... I hope you're enjoying a creative or restful or excitingly busy time (whatever you prefer) and I'll see you again soon.  After all, I need to share May with you before June catches up with me too far!  Happy crafting, all.

A word after a word after a word is power.
Margaret Atwood

Books and doors are the same thing. You open them, and you go through into another world.
Jeanette Winterson