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...

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Playing the (Neutral) Blues I

Hello all!  I doubt you'll be surprised to find that I've been playing with blues and browns (and greys) a lot since my return.  In fact, it started before I went away.  So, starting with a tag made back in April, here's the first of a series of posts scratching that old obsessive colour itch.

I meant this tag for the Vintage Journey Tag Friday in June.  In case I ended up with either no time or no mojo in NYC, I decided to get it made before I left the UK at the beginning of May.

But then my AVJ team-mate, the brilliant Nikki of Addicted to Art, who was also one of my wingmen for the PaperArtsy word stamp release, pointed out that Tag Friday was perfectly timed to share something made with the new quotes.

So instead I made a whole new tag for that (time and mojo both cooperating), and this one got left in the photo album for later.

Later has arrived!  And I'm delighted that this young woman is finally getting her day in the sun.

(More sun than was around when I left - she's had some more photos taken today, as the April ones were definitely suffering from the dreary showery weather which simply wouldn't lift in the days before I flew.)

Of course, being that it was made all that time ago, I can't be sure any longer exactly what ingredients were involved in the making...

I know it started with a mop-up tag (slightly taller than usual - a leftover piece from something else), and I'm fairly sure it's Golden Smalt Blue acrylic.

And then there were various layers of stencilling...

... stencil-printing...

... inky and watery splattering (my guess is that at least some of this is using the Oxides - Faded Jeans and Iced Spruce seem likely suspects)...

... and in the latter stages the dragonfly stamp, embossed in Weathered White, puts in an appearance, along with some text stamping and inky distressing around the edges.

I also mounted it on some cardboard for extra stability.

One of the Paper Dolls takes her place at the heart of things...

... standing on some strips of tissue tape...

... and with some lace and stained tea-bag strips in the background.

The lovely fronds of some Scrapiniec grasses wave in the wind behind her.

And she's been collecting old leaves and drying them too.

The oval frame tries to constrict her into some semblance of modest, ladylike appearance.  But you can tell from its rusty state of neglect that she's uninterested in being looked at, or fitting in.

Neither she nor her nature collections will be confined.  She doesn't fit in the family picture frame.  The dragonfly will always escape the net.

(She may remind you of a recent acquaintance.)

She won't be nailed down by society's expectations.

The rebellions at the moment may be small, but they are significant.  Her clothes are never quite neat enough.  There's always a splatter of mud or a loose thread from brushing through a hedgerow.

She'll continue to do what she loves, and there's no stopping her.

The lace and ribbons her mother and governesses have tried for years to encourage her to embroider, knit or crochet with, remain in a tangled bunch, as she heads back out to the garden, the fields and the woods.

The fresh breezes will ruffle her hair as well as the grasses, and she'll continue to wear whatever she's found on her travels as her corsage, be it flowers or leaves or grasses.

The dragonfly's wings will spread wide to carry her far away.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope you've enjoyed meeting today's tag inhabitant.  As I say, the blue & brown tag theme is going to continue here over the next few days, so I hope you'll be able to pop in and meet whoever's next!

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
Rachel Carson

At Stamps and Stencils there's some beautiful photo inspiration from the amazing Ruth to inspire us to play with Colour, Texture and Shape.  The decorative lace with rusty metal accents are certainly in play here, as are some of those architectural lines, though mine are horizontal rather than vertical. 
I'd also like to share this at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge where they are hoping that You've Got The Edge.  My dragonflies are heading over the edge in all directions, providing extra texture where they do, and the inky distressing provides a frame, as do the "rusty nails" in the corners (which are at the edge, after all).
At Tag Tuesday, the lovely Chrissie has chosen My Favourite Colour Combination as the theme.  As long as I've understood rightly and it's my favourite colour combination, not Chrissie's (!) then my blues and browns are right on the money.  And you already know there are some more blue and brown tags on the way soon!
Finally, at Mixed Media World they would like us to Use Natural Materials on a mixed media project.  The DT inspiration pieces are out of this world, but with my humble autumn leaves, I'd like to play along anyway!  (Thanks for the heads-up, Sara Emily.)

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Anniversary Candy Winners

Hello all!  Thank you so much for the lovely comments and good wishes on my five-year anniversary post.

And thank you too for the wonderful feedback on the release of my very own word stamps since then.  I had no idea it would give me such a thrill to see people being inspired to create with them.  I've seen some beautiful projects here and there.

As you know, I don't get around to blogs quite as much as I used to, so do feel free to give me a heads-up if you've been playing with the quotes and I've missed it.  I absolutely love seeing what people are making with them.  I've got a new Alison Bomber Word Stamps Pinterest board so if you let me know you've used them, I'll happily come pinning.

But you're really here to find out who's won the candy, aren't you?  And the runner-up too, of course.

I did my usual high-tech draw.  Here you all are on the sheet of paper (unless you specifically said not to include your name).  All names are typed exactly as they are in your version (it's not me deciding who gets a capital letter and who doesn't!)... 

... and here you all are in the bowl...

And here's the first name I picked out (eyes shut, fingertips giving a good shushle to the papers - no, that's not an actual word!)...

Congratulations to maj.!

And now for the runner-up - a similar package, but without the PaperArtsy stamp set...

Congratulations to suzyb!

If each of you could either leave your email in a comment below, or contact me via the Get In Touch section in the sidebar, I'll get those prize packages off to you as soon as possible.

Thank you to everyone who took part and, as a number of you said, here's to the next five years playing together here in Craftyblogland!

Sometimes in life you don't always feel like a winner, but that doesn't mean you're not a winner.
Lady Gaga

Sunday, 23 July 2017

A Natural Tag Trio

Hello all!  I've landed, and I'm almost unpacked, but not yet back on UK time sleep-wise.   I keep spending a good four hours wide awake in the middle of the night which makes me a little sluggish come the daytime, sadly.  I guess I'll catch up with myself soon.  Oh, and I'll be drawing my blog candy as soon as I do.

And speaking of catching up, this is something of a bonus post.  When my PaperArtsy word stamps were launched last month, I completely forgot about today's trio.  I'd prepped them in England before setting off, tucked them in an envelope to take with me to New York, ready for finishing off with the stamps once they arrived, and then completely forgot they were there!  I found them just before I was due to come home again, so I finished them off, and I'm here to share them today... the missing trio of launch-night tags.

They're very simple tags, in earthy natural tones (a bit of a theme round here along with my recent Natural Oxides), using the 7 Dots Studio collection Nature Walk as the base.  From there, I just played mix and match with the quotes and some of my (many) PaperArtsy stamps.  The three quotes are all from EAB01 Trees and Flowers.

The main reason I needed to get my samples essentially ready before heading off was that I wanted to be able to use any of the stamps which came to mind - and I didn't want to pack all of them in the suitcase!

So here, this lovely flower from Scrapcosy ESC03 is the perfect partner for the Buddha quote - though of course there are any number of flower stamps out there which would also sing out loud to the same words.

The quote is stamped, cut and mounted on another panel of the Nature Walk paper over padded tape for extra dimension.

And in the background, I've used the quote stamp to add extra detailing.

For each of the tags, I've followed the same basic design - that's why they work as a set.

The glorious Sara Naumann bird from ESN18 takes his perch overlooking the wild wood.

This isn't the whole of Henry James Slack's quote - don't look too closely - that's a comma not a full-stop at the end.

I considered doing tricksy things with the inking to make it right, but decided I didn't mind too much, and I love how the ancient wisdom and dignity of the bird aligns with the description of the ancient wood.

And again, those same words provide some extra interest to the background.

Finally, the lovely tree negative from the Urban Snapshots Nature Plate 3 is paired with the Friedrich Nietzsche words.

No need to tell you this one is not only about trees!

The quote is again mounted on padded tape and has the usual wisp of cheesecloth adding a soft touch of movement to the tag.

You could equally well use this tree with Slack's ancient woodland quote.  And I find that when you pair the images with different words, the images themselves somehow change too.

There's more cheesecloth forming the topping of the tags, with some fine twine fastening it in place.

And you can just catch the echo of the words, whether in clear light...

... or even in the darkest of shadows.

So that's my missing trio.  I hope they were worth waiting for.  I'm going to post them off to Leandra now that I'm home, so that they can join the rest of the samples on the display walls on the PaperArtsy stand.  And now that we're back up and running here at Words and Pictures, I hope to be better at hopping round to visit your blogs and catch up with you as well as myself!  Happy Sunday all!

The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.
Henry Beston

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Blog Candy Alert

This is a sticky post until 19th July.

If you'd like to be included in my Five Year Anniversary Candy, just click on the link and comment there.
If you're just here to look around, then scroll on down and enjoy your visit!

Once again... welcome to my house.
Come freely.  Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring.
Bram Stoker

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Natural Oxides

Hello all!  It's been quiet here again at Words and Pictures, but I'm coming to the end of my New York work stint now - exciting and stimulating, but full-on and pretty exhausting - so hopefully things will be back on a more even keel soon.

I'm stopping in today to share a quick pair of tags using a couple of the new Oxide colours... mainly the lovely new natural neutrals so far - the Antique Linen and the Frayed Burlap (already in love), mixed with some Peeled Paint Oxide and a couple of others, as well as a few original Distress Inks.

I was just playing around on my one day off, and ended up with this pair of nature tags.

The leafy one came first.  I started with a dipped and dabbed background using the Antique Linen and Frayed Burlap DOXs and some Walnut Stain DI.

There's endless delight in the effects you can achieve with a few layers and spritzes of water.

I stamped the leafy branch from the latest PaperArtsy Scrapcosy releases, using Wow Bark powder to emboss it, and coloured it in using the DOXs and a waterbrush.

I mixed Peeled Paint on my craft mat with some Iced Spruce and some of the new Lucky Clover to get my various greens on the leaves.

The acorn had layers of Vintage Photo, Wild Honey, Abandoned Coral and Antique Linen until I liked the look of it.  And the branch has some Walnut Stain, Vintage Photo and Antique Linen.

Because of the opaque pigment ink in the magic Oxide formula, you get good coverage even over quite a busy background, as I had here.  And the Bark embossing of the stamping means the detail of the images survives the colouring in.

I used one of my own new PaperArtsy word stamps from EAB01 Trees and Flowers, stamped in black and embossed with Wow Bark embossing powder.

The gloss and dimension of the embossing helps the words stand out against the ink whirls and splotches.

This next one wasn't really intended as a partner tag when I started out, but it travelled in that direction as I went.  I don't seem to have any making-of photos - I was just messing around, really.

This started with a much paler background, mainly Antique Linen DOX, over which I stencilled the brickwork in Frayed Burlap DOX, using Scrapcosy's new stencils.  

You can also see the Scrapcosy stencils in action with Walnut Stain DOX in this lovely PostCard lettering...

... as well as the stamp-edge frames.

The Tim Holtz flower is stamped partly in Peeled Paint DOX, clear-embossed...

... and partly in Antique Linen DOX, which I then embossed in Wow Vanilla White for more definition.

I used a waterbrush to add some Wild Honey DOX to the flower heads...

... and the same waterbrush and Peeled Paint DOX worked well to add some soft mossy/lichen effects to the brickwork.

The sentiment - again one of mine from EAB01 Trees and Flowers - is stamped in Peeled Paint DOX and clear-embossed.

If I were at home, I'd probably have added some die-cut ivy to the wallflower tag to echo the words, and maybe some minimal metalwork to both of them, but that will just have to wait a few more days!

Both tags are finished off with some Idea-ology Linen Ribbon, stained with Walnut Stain DI, and have had some Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain and/or Ground Espresso DI inking around the edges for a more aged look.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you all have a lovely weekend.  I'm working all the way through it and then packing and flying home on Monday, but I hope to be able to do some visiting (and some more crafting) once I've landed and caught up on some much-needed sleep!

Happy crafting all!

There is new life in the soil for every man. There is healing in the trees for tired minds and for our overburdened spirits, there is strength in the hills, if only we will lift up our eyes. Remember that nature is your great restorer.
Calvin Coolidge