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...

Friday, 13 April 2018

Lose sight of the shore

Hello all!  I hope you're all thriving and that there is some spring sunshine finally wending its way in your direction.  I'm aware that I've been neglecting both this blog and all of you... I haven't even managed to share most of the samples from my latest stamp release with PaperArtsy, and that was back at the end of January. 

So there are several short but hopefully sweet posts coming your way with some of the making-of details of those samples.   There's been just the one catch up so far - No Small Dreams - sharing a pair of tags made with EAB07 Dreaming & Doing.  And today I have another pair for you, this time using a quote from EAB08 Strength & Courage.

For these, I was also lucky enough to use some of the fabulous new Scrapcosy designs (also by PaperArtsy) - a serendipitous combination of one of my all-time favourite quotes with some of Raquel's wonderful vintage nautical images.

I had a colour palette including some of Seth Apter's beautiful new paint colours with, for me, the unusual inclusion of the pinkish Spanish Mulberry.  But once I found it could be used to create dawn and dusk sky colours, I was a happy bunny!

These are very simple tags really.  I gave the tags a coat of Chalk Fresco paint, and then stamped my images in Watering Can Archival Ink.  I love the softened vintage look of the grey ink.

Then I used water brushes to apply my Fresco paints, building up from light watery washes to deeper shades where needed.

The quote itself is also stamped in Watering Can, but got a touch of Clear embossing powder to make it pop a little more.

It fits very precisely across a standard size 8 tag when it's upright, or with some more space if you turn the tag to landscape.

And of course you get the lovely glisten of light on the clear embossing, like the sparkle of sunlight on the waves.

The main ship images are magical, but I also love the compass and wonderful vintage script included on the Scrapcosy 11 plate.  They make for delicious extra detailing in corners and edges.

Simple white twine (a bit like ship's ropes in miniature) and a white matted layer finishes them off for display on the PaperArtsy show boards.

So that's today's sample catch-up... I hope to be back fairly soon with some more.  The new stamp sets are widely available online (details at the foot of the launch post) but by all means ask your local retailer about them if you can't find them.

There are various experiments going on at the craft table, but I seem to be doing a lot of starting and not much finishing of things at the moment.  I need to get back in the swing of things!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I hope you all have a great weekend.

It is not that life ashore is distasteful to me.  It is that life at sea is better.
Sir Francis Drake

Friday, 6 April 2018

Rusty and Crusty

Hello all!  Time for a new challenge at A Vintage Journey and, to my surprise, I've had time to join in with some inspiration for you.

The fabulous Autumn wants to see all things Rusty and Crusty.  I managed to find time to play with my newly arrived Seth Apter Baked Texture powders to create a rusty and crusty tag for you.

There's lots more sensationally decayed inspiration over at A Vintage Journey for you, created by my amazing fellow Creative Guides, so do hop over to take a look.

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I really have only had time to play with a few Oxide backgrounds and a couple of half-done journalling pages during my time in New York, but I've pressed one of those backgrounds into service for this brilliant challenge.

I also used some wax paper which came as the wrapping for a bagel I bought - waste not, want not.  The crumpled wax paper forms the base of the rusted strip which is making its way across the tag.

The background started off with some stencilled gesso, and I "printed" the reverse side of the messy stencil onto another tag to give me double playtime.

I then applied my favoured mixture of Distress Inks and Distress Oxides, smooshing and spritzing until I had a grungy look that made me happy.

I love the texture of the gesso and how it resists the Inks but not so much the Oxides.

I think the effect is pretty cool.

I added some stamping detail to my backgrounds, and then there they sat for nearly two months awaiting further time/inspiration.

Autumn's Rusty & Crusty theme in combination with the arrival of the Baked Texture powders was just what I needed to kick me into action.

I tore a strip of the wax paper and applied some of the Chunky Rust powder to it over Potting Soil Archival ink.  I also added some granules of the Rocky Road, a tarry black powder with some shine. 

Once I'd heated a couple of layers of those powders, I wanted a darker look, so I rubbed Ground Espresso Distress Ink over the knobbly texture and added some Clear embossing powder for a bit of shine.

You know that burnished look you sometimes get with rusty surfaces... that's what I was after.  The fibres in the Chunky Rust Baked Texture Powder give it a really crusted look.  It's worth clicking the photo for the close-up view.

Once I was happy with my crusty rust, I darkened the edges of the tag, and then wondered what to do next.

I played around with a couple of alternatives.  I perched this chap on the rusty strip at one point, and I almost wish I'd gone with that, but I decided he was covering too much of my rust.

So instead I went the metallic route with a simple coppery gear wheel and pointer...

... and added this quote by Lao Tzu from my new PaperArtsy EAB08 Strength & Courage plate.

It's stamped in Faded Jeans Distress Oxide to tone in with the splattered grungy background, and I added some Walnut Ink to the edges to make it look as though the word strips are also rusting.

I applied some more clear embossing powder over various brown inks around the edges to give those  a rusty, crusty look too...

... and some simple twine finishes the whole thing off.

I hope my rusty, crusty tag inspires you to come and join us on A Vintage Journey this month.

If you're still in need of more ideas, do check out the amazing creations my fellow Creative Guides are offering up for your delectation.  Rust has never looked so beautiful!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I hope you all have a fabulous weekend.

Change and decay in all around I see.
From Abide With Me by Henry Francis Lyte

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Amazing Nature

Hello all!  What a quiet March it was... well, quiet here at Words and Pictures, and anything but quiet in my other life.  Sometimes the words take over, but I'm really happy to be back at the pictures now - starting with my springtime Up at Dawn tag and now, with a new challenge starting over at Mini Album Makers, I'm delighted to be sharing some inspiration for that.

My brilliant teammates have been creating marvels to inspire you, so do take a look over at the Mini Album Makers Challenge blog, and we hope you'll come and play along.  As always, any handmade book is welcome.

I'm still working away from home, so with the limited supplies at hand I decided to go with a simple accordion construction for this month's handmade book.

Owing to a delay in supply lines, I had to go with my second choice of stamps for the inner pages in the end, but I don't mind so much now it's finished.

At least the stamps I'd wanted to use (Tim's new insects) have now arrived, so I'll be able to take them home with me and play with them there....

I started by cutting a page of watercolour paper in half vertically and then pleating both the resulting strips and gluing them together to make a nice long accordion.

I did it by eye rather than measuring it out - I'm not much for measuring!  Each "page" is about an inch and a half wide and the book is about 4.5 inches tall.  (The watercolour paper was 12x9 to start with.)

I used a recycled coffee cup sleeve to cut textured panels to fit the front and back covers...

... and then glued down torn sections of book page text across the inner pages.

Next up were strips of tissue tape, followed by a wash of gesso.

And then some torn fragments of teabag paper over the top of that...

... followed by drips and dribbles of  watercolour paint in a soft turquoise.  I used my fingertips, a water mister, and a brush to spread the colour around in pools across the background layers.

I then did the same with some of my Walnut drawing ink (one of my favourite new purchases here in NYC), with extra splatters too...

... before adding some Small Talk stickers in various places.  They had to be very short phrases as they're such narrow pages.

As I said, I really wanted to use Tim's new insects to add stamped detail to my pages, but the deadline was looming and they still hadn't arrived so I ended up compromising.

Instead, I used the fabulous new Andy Skinner fossils - the only problem was that the images are on a larger scale, so they had to be partial stampings on my tiny pages.  Still, I think it's pretty effective. 

And I did have with me one of Tim's older insects from his Oddities stamp set, so I added that to the mix too.

The coffee sleeve covers got a rough wash of gesso to highlight the texture.  This is the back cover, left unadorned...

... and I layered up a book page fragment, a scrap of teabag paper and some frayed muslin onto the front cover...

... topped with a butterfly from the Idea-ology Botanical Layers pack.

Some fine twine, glued beneath the layered cover decoration, forms the fastening for my little accordion album, and that's pretty much that.

Do come and play along at Mini Album Makers this month - there's lots more inspiration for you over there.

Our sponsor for April is Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts (I didn't have any with me, but you can see some of their fabulous chipboards in action here on my January album)...

... so you'll be in with a chance of a great prize package, or you could be selected as one of our highlighted winners and invited to guest design with us in the future. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I'll see you again soon, either here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.

Oh, and a very happy Easter to you all, of course, however you may celebrate it, or not!

What we do see depends mainly on what we look for. ... In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the colouring, sportsmen the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them.
John Lubbock