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...

Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Music of Silence

Time for the last sample using EAB03 Music and Silence (click to catch Rainbow Serenity and/or the Singing Zinskis if you missed them).  I wanted this one to go out on a Sunday as this triptych seemed just right for a day of contemplation.

These tags were very simple to make and I hope that in that simplicity they offer peace and serenity.  This was a lovely project to make, marrying my new quotes with older PaperArtsy images, and finding that those images take on new life and meaning for me.

I started with a trusty favourite - the PaperArtsy Crackle Glaze.  It's a two step process, so you choose your background paint colour, then apply the glaze and then your top coat of paint goes over that.

I'm working with the gentlest of palettes, so there's French Roast in the background with a thin coat of glaze applied with a palette knife... the thinner, the better. 

Once the glaze is dry (which you can speed along with a heat tool), you can apply the top coat of paint.  You have to do it fairly efficiently as the crackle magic starts happening pretty much immediately, so it's no good going over an area twice once you've started. 

That top layer of paint has to be left to dry and crackle by itself.  Depending on glaze and paint thicknesses, you'll get lovely variegation in your weathered crackle.

Once it was ready, I did some simple dip and smoosh into Stormy Sky Distress Ink on my craft mat - don't seem to have any photos of this step, but you can see the effect on most of these photos.

When I work with a triptych I like to find a balance across all three panels, so I juggled a little with the positioning of the quotes and the image placement so that there would be a harmony to the set.

I was thrilled to find that by splitting the Victor Hugo quote... 

... the second half fitted completely perfectly into the bookplate in the collage stamp from Hot Picks 1006.

This Music and Silence plate includes some of my favourite quotes of all time.  In fact, these Pythagoras words accompany my Skype identity. 

As a (mostly) former insomniac, I know the value of a quiet mind.  There are still occasional nights where it won't shut up, but I know how to work with it now.

Apart from the Hot Picks birds-in-grasses collage in the middle, the other stamps are all from the Urban Snapshots Nature series.  (Remember you can click on the photos to see a larger version.)

I've always loved the statue (and thankfully it has remained free of the Doctor Who "Blink" horrors), and now, paired with my favourite words, I love it even more!

A couple of leafy branches provide useful balancing of the composition on each tag.

I've done some subtle background stamping also using the quotes.  I think it's Archival French Ultramarine, if memory serves.  And obviously each tag has the echo of its own words going on.

I used some inked white card to mat and frame the tags (they're going on the display boards, so I think the framing is good to define and draw the eye in.

And simple rustic twine tops them off - no need for anything extravagant here... we're all about the tranquillity today.

So, we've finally reached the end of the Music and Silence samples... a little more Autumn and Winter to come and we'll soon be done!  Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I hope you're enjoying a wonderful Sunday, whatever you're up to.

It is neither wealth nor splendour, but tranquillity and occupation which give you happiness.
Thomas Jefferson

Friday, 20 October 2017

Winter Sunlight

Hello all - I'm so glad you enjoyed my frosted falling leaves over at A Vintage Journey.

We're even more wintry here today with another quick catch up for my PaperArtsy word stamps launch samples, as we've made it back round for another sample using EAB05 The Winter Edition.

This one started with a real collision of words and picture. I'd just been finalising the plates, so had the quotes going around in my head, when Pinterest dropped this photo into my email inbox.  It seemed to me to be a match made in heaven for this glorious quote.

Initially, I was thinking of trying to re-create the photo in mixed media form but then I thought, "well, I don't work with photos very often, but plenty of people do... what a useful opportunity to show that the quotes can work for that kind of scrapping too".

So I printed the photo out and set about trying to create a setting for it which wouldn't let it down but, on the other hand, which wouldn't overwhelm it.  (I see now that maybe there's a reason I don't do this very often!)

Influenced partly by the words, I guess, I reached for the White Fire Fresco paint.  PaperArtsy have excellent metallic shades, as well as a Metallic Glaze which you can add to any of their paints, but White Fire is out and out my all time favourite metallic paint.  (It's my favourite colour of Treasure Gold too - no surprises there.)

I brayered the paint onto some Smoothy card and was immediately delighted with the subtle lustre.

Over that, I stamped the fabulous twigs from Hot Picks 1008 multiple times to give me the woodland atmosphere.

And there are lots of fine twiggy branches in the picture too, of course.

One of the things I really love in the photo is the sense of movement from the snow in the air, and I wanted to try to echo that.  I used a palette knife to apply texture paste through a splatter stencil (I think it was glossy transparent paste but it's tough to remember exactly this long after making it.)

While the paste was still wet, I sprinkled Rock Candy Dry Glitter over it, and then let the whole thing dry and set.

Trying to match that extraordinarily lovely blue of the shadows in the photo wasn't as hard as I thought at first.

It turned out that Fresco Blueberry was just in the right tonal range, so I painted a couple of coats (it's translucent so you need that for coverage) onto some more Smoothy paper.

That served as both the frame in the matted layers and as the plaque for Thoreau's words.

I stamped the quote in Versamark and used the Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder on it. 

I love that these stamps are so well made - firm rubber, deeply carved - that you can emboss them and still have a sharp finish on what are really very small letters, especially when you get to the author's name.

I also love how you get that fabulous fiery gleam when the words catch the light.

Finally there's some Blueberry splatter amidst the snow to tie things together.

So a bit of a hop out of kin for me... photos AND glitter... who knew?!  Not the kind of thing you see very often round here, but I was aiming to show another side to these word stamps... I want to share the inspiration they give me as widely as possible!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  We've one final round of samples to get through -one Music and Silence, one Autumn Edition and one Winter Edition left to go - and those posts will make their way to you as and when there's time and space!  For now, happy crafting all, and I'll see you soon.

The colour of springtime is in the flowers, the colour of winter is in the imagination.
Ward Elliot Hour

Monday, 16 October 2017

The time of the falling leaves

Hello all!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  I'm here with a sneak peek, just letting you know about my arrival at Destination Inspiration over at A Vintage Journey today.

The travel bag is packed with wonderful things this month, and if you hop over there you'll see what I got up to with them.  Thanks so much for stopping by and have a wonderful week everybody.

Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf.
Albert Schweitzer

If you don't mind hopping to see the full project, I'd love to share this...
... at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge where they'd like to see Not A Card
... at Stamping Sensations where they are celebrating Autumn Glory
... and at Country View Crafts where they are looking for Mixed Media with Autumnal Hues

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Haunted Churchyard

Hello all!  I realise I've fallen behind in sharing the details of my PaperArtsy samples from the launch of my latest sets of word stamps, so I'm back with another today.

It's using EAB04 The Autumn Edition and, since Halloween creations seem to have taken over around Craftyblogland, the time is probably right to share my spooky Haunted Churchyard.

This is one of the larger quotes on the plate.  If you want to use it on a tag or card, you'll have to snip it up, but I wanted to use it on a bigger page - as though it were in an art journal (though since it had to be sent away to go up on the PaperArtsy display boards, it couldn't really be in an actual book).

I don't have it any longer to measure it for you, but it's about 6x9 inches, so a pretty standard medium-sized journal size.

The words are from Hamlet, and definitely counts as one of the eerie quotes on the Autumn Edition plate, intended for the Halloween fans... but Hamlet himself is not referring specifically to Halloween, only to midnight.  So you can use it any time of year you like!

I still can't believe it's taken until my fourth set of words to get a Shakespeare quote involved but, as I said on launch night, there are two of them on this plate - both of them pretty creepy.  (You can see the other in action in my wingman Nikki's launch post.)

This sample took a bit of a shortcut, to be honest.  The background is formed from a couple of pieces of cardstock which I used for experiments when I first got my Distress Oxides.

They've been hanging around ever since.  I simply stuck them together to make my "page".  I'd worked out that the quote could go at just the right height so that it would disguise most of the join.

I added some gnarled tree branches, courtesy of the fabulous twisty roots image from Scrapcosy 06.  In fact, most of the stamping here is from that plate, apart from the tombstones... but more of that later.

All the gravestones were cut from kraft card which I'd sponged very roughly with Fresco chalk paint in Stone, and then inked over with Walnut Stain in places.

The small ones in the background are cut with one of the newer Tim Holtz Thinlits dies - the Village Graveyard.

I've got large gravestones in the foreground, and those have had a bit of extra spooky attention.  The hovering images, stamped in Watering Can Archival, are from the Hot Picks Halloween 05 plate.

I used a Movers and Shapers arch die for these, but then trimmed a couple to different shapes for variation.

Positioning was key.  Obviously I needed the quote to disguise the background join, and then I wanted my skeleton to stand with his hand on top of the quote, in a nice debonair way.

He's stamped in Versamark and embossed with Vanilla White Wow powder to give a nice ivory look to the bones.

I used some Walnut Stain DI to add extra shading at the foot of the page and under the gravestones, so that the churchyard has a more solid earthiness, and mounted the whole thing on some contrasting card, just so it has a nice framing effect when it's displayed.

On all these samples, I added a layer of Micro Glaze at the very end.  It seals the inks to protect them as they go off into the world.  DIs remain vulnerable to moisture otherwise... if they were to get wet, everything would shift!  It also helps to prevent the colours from fading over time, as well as giving them a slight boost in intensity because of the gentle sheen it has.

That's your spooky lot for now - happy crafting all, and make sure to avoid the witching hour!

Midnight hags,
By force of potent spells, of bloody characters,
And conjurations horrible to hear,
Call fiends and spectres from the yawning deep,
And set the ministers of hell at work.
From The Tragedy of Jane Shore by Nicholas Rowe, 1714

I'd like to play along at Try It On Tuesday where It's Halloween Time

Friday, 6 October 2017

A True Autumnal Day

Hello all!  It's time for a new challenge on A Vintage Journey and our host, the lovely Jennie, is going Crazy For Autumn Colour.  As always there's some glorious inspiration from my fellow Creative Guides, and here's my offering for you.

I seem to be slightly fixated on tags at the moment.  When you're feeling pressed for time, it's a really manageable creative space to play on; or if your mojo is feeling sluggish, there's very little pressure in just having a mess around with a tag.

I'm not saying either of those things was the case with this one - this was an experiment tag (another great tag-use)... still playing with how those Distress Inks and Distress Oxides work together.  I really enjoy the balancing act of transparent DIs and opaque DOs.

For this one I started with all Distress Inks on the mat, dipping and smooshing until I had a nice inky complexity.

I guess there's Spiced Marmalade and Wild Honey involved, and maybe some Rusty Hinge?

I then brought in Oxides from around the edges - Frayed Burlap, Vintage Photo and maybe Walnut Stain (it's a long time between making the tag and writing this post, sorry!).

I love how this gives the impression of the gathering dusk to what had been a really bright tag.

And there's that clear autumn light in the centre of the tag, and then the mists of mellow fruitfulness creeping in around the edges thanks to the chalkier opacity of the Oxides.

As you can see, I've already started stamping by this point - some of my much loved Tim Holtz wild grasses.

I stamped in various inks - some Oxide, some Distress, some Archival - and clear-embossed some for that shimmer of light that I love.

I was enjoying the glossy reflective embossing so much that I decided to add some all the way around the edges - just swiping on Versamark embossing ink direct from the pad.

In places where it seemed too much, I used a brush to soften the edges, brushing away the powder before heating it.  I love the texture you get into the bargain!

From there, it's really pretty straightforward...

The fabulous Thinlits crow is front and centre, with a  touch of spatter.

As I was providing some earthy shadows for him to stand on - a Sharpie marker, as I needed something which would work over the embossing - I realised I really loved the shading effect over the embossing.

So I added more around all the edges, just gently using the side of the nib.  I love how it highlights bits of the texture - or lowlights them, I guess.

At the heart of it all are some more of my new word stamps.

Yes, okay, I'm slightly obsessed with them - but then I wouldn't want to offer up to you words that didn't inspire me too... and they do!

These are from PaperArtsy EAB04 The Autumn Edition, some words by George Eliot, though I've not used the whole quote (hence the comma at the "end" - imperfection duly embraced).

(Has anyone noticed that I'm making sure to include at least one woman's words on each plate?  Obviously, over the centuries, far more men's words have been recorded, but I don't want ever to put out an all-male set and ignore the female voice.)

And what is the large raven looking over his shoulder to see?

Another of my favourite Tim Holtz stamps - the flock of birds circling in the sky, preparing to leave for warmer climes.

Most ravens don't migrate, so I guess he's either gazing longingly or looking scornfully at the lightweights who are setting off to avoid the cold winter weather...

...especially since they're leaving when this last autumn sunshine is still so beautiful.

Some simple rustic twine finishes the whole thing off, and that's pretty much your lot here at Words and Pictures.

But, as I said, there's oodles more inspiration to be found over at A Vintage Journey where my fabulous teammates have been going Crazy for Autumn Colour so do hop over to take a look, and we hope you'll join us along the way. 

There's a wonderful prize package on offer from the brilliant Calico Craft Parts which will go to one randomly drawn winner...

... and you could be selected as one of our Pinworthies and invited to join us further down the road as a Guest Creative Guide - so get out those autumn colours and go crazy!

Thanks for stopping by today and I'll see you again soon.

The air is crowded with birds - beautiful, tender, intelligent birds - to whom life is a song.
George Henry Lewes

I'd like to share this over at the That's Crafty Challenge Blog where the theme is Forever Autumn
At the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge they're taking A Walk on the Dark Side - I hardly ever use black, so with my raven, my Sharpie framing and the gathering darkness of autumn I hope this is dark enough
I'd also like to make a third and final entry at Frilly and Funkie where the request is to Show Us Your Stamps
In a lovely piece of timing, at Stamps and Stencils the new theme is Autumn: Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness - perfect!