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, 14 January 2018

Believe in Adventure

Hello all!  I'm sorry I'm so quiet at the moment.  As I mentioned, there's a lot going on behind the scenes - not only craft-wise but with real world admin and planning.  January always seems to be a bit of a crazy month!  But I managed to grab some crafting time at the table, and finally used up a piece of scrap card which has been floating around for months... in fact, almost exactly a year it turns out.

I've created a pair of jumbo tags, 8.5 x 4.25 inches, all in my favourite colour combination and using some of the largest Paper Dolls.  Plenty of pictures today, but I've tried to keep the words to a minimum!

I had a piece of white card from which I'd cut the circles and coffee rings for the journal spread A Harlequin Infusion a year ago.  Yes, the not-being-able-to-throw-stuff-away maybe needs dealing with, but occasionally it pays off.  I forgot to take a picture of just the card, sadly.

I thought I'd stick the card down over a tag to make a cool background.  But then I realised that if I first used it as a stencil, I'd get two cool backgrounds!

I spread some thick gesso through the rings onto one large tag, and then glued the gesso'd card onto a second tag.

Once the gesso was dry, I spritzed and smooshed both tags with Distress Sprays - Stormy Sky, Hickory Smoke, Pumice Stone and Walnut Stain.

So you have one tag where the coffee rings are raised from the surface...

... and one where they are sunk down into the surface.

Then I added lots of lovely background stamping.

There's some architectural detailing in Watering Can Archival.

And some numbers and gears done in Potting Soil.

The two large boys - the largest of the Paper Dolls - demanded to be included.

They're each five-and-a-half inches from top to bottom.

I like working with oppositions and pairings, as regulars know...

... so the one in the darker suit is over the lighter background...

... and the one in the lighter suit goes over the darker background.

Then it was a question of selecting a Quote Chip to go with each boy.

They both have such confident expressions and body language... so they definitely needed some positive phrases to go with them.

I also added some pieces of Design Tape to each tag.  There's some nice vintage print...

... and I found a need for butterflies too.  This narrow strip tape is amazing with the finely detailed butterfly images.

I grabbed some gears and Typed Tokens to add metal accents.

Again, picking the right words didn't take long.

They're strong and positive.

I do love these number brads too.

They have such a lovely vintage font for the numbers.

A scrap of linen ribbon tops them both off in a nice simple way.

I hope you like them.  Of course, each tag can stand alone...

But I really like the contrasts and oppositions when you see them together... especially in those backgrounds.  I can't quite decide whether I like them with the two boys close together as in the photo here, or at opposite sides, as in the photo at the start of the post.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I'm away for a few days, but now that the tax (yuck!) is done, I should have a bit more time on my hands for some visiting once I return.   Happy crafting all!

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
Eleanor Roosevelt

I'd love to share this in the Winter Blues theme at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge
And I'm also playing along at That's Crafty Challenges where they are Feeling Blue this month

Monday, 8 January 2018

Trailing Ivy

Hello all!  I'm so glad you enjoyed browsing through my Not A Baker's Dozen of 2017, and I'm sorry I can't count to 13!

Just a sneak peek here today of a tiny ivy ATC which may well form part of next year's "not Baker's Dozen".  It's the first stop at Destination Inspiration of this new year over at A Vintage Journey, and I'm first up to unpack the travel bag and have a play with the contents.

I do hope you'll have time to hop over there and check out what I got up to.  And don't forget we've just started this month's challenge too - asking you to Think Inside or Outside the Box.  I hope you'll have time to join us on the Vintage Journey at some point this month.

For now, I'll wish you all happy crafting and I'll see you soon.

Creeping vines climb
crisscrossing the cracked clay
from Poison Ivy by Saul Makabim

If you don't mind hopping to see the full ATC, I'd love to share this in the Winter Blues theme at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge

Friday, 5 January 2018

Not A Baker's Dozen of 2017

Hello all!  There's a great deal going on behind the scenes at the moment, but I can't share any of it with you right now (though there's a little sneak peek tease over at PaperArtsy which will give you a giant clue).

While all that's under wraps, I thought I'd share my annual round-up of some of my favourite projects from the last year.  I was trying to stick to an approximate Baker's Dozen, but it all went to pot.  It's more of a "Baker's Many"!

You'll see certain themes and products making multiple appearances.  It's one of the things I like about creating these collections each year - it's a chance to reflect on the directions in which the journey is taking me.  And there was one very clear new direction which will be obvious pretty quickly!  Click on any of the links to see the projects in more detail, in case you missed them at the time... 

So the greatest crafting thrill of 2017 for me was, without question, the launch of my own line of word stamps at PaperArtsy - Eclectica³ Alison Bomber.  The quotes on each stamp plate are linked by theme.  These words come from one of the first releases, EAB02 Darkness & Light, and the tag uses the fabulous Distress Oxides, also brand new this year.

Lots of my favourite things - little houses, fresh inky greens and blues, meadow flowers and springtime!

It was an absolute delight to play with the new Lynne Perrella releases at PaperArtsy.
The woman on the right has to be one of my all-time favourite stamps, and she's appeared quite often since!

I've been doing more experimenting with my own mark-making in 2017.
These pen and ink wild grasses were a big step on that particular journey.

More grasses make the cut with this dreamy delicate wooden tag,
and it's in a looser layered style which makes me feel light of spirit when I look at it.

I love the play of light and shadow, and especially candlelight.  These altered jars for Destination Inspiration at A Vintage Journey are all about the light - including some more words from my EAB02 Darkness & Light.
It really is worth checking out the post to see how different they look in different lighting states!

I had a lovely time "colouring in" with my watercolours - one of my new obsessions this year.
(See also a little further down this post.)  And the brickwork makes me happy too.

I simply have to include my first handmade dolls, Shakespearean characters created to go into the Tudor Tavern in Cestina's dollshouse museum, Small Worlds.  I put off making them for an age, convinced I wouldn't be able to do it.
They were one of the great surprises and delights of the year to me when they turned out so well.

This set of cash-envelope ATCs really came out of nowhere - a little bit of this, a little bit of that... scraps and leftovers...
and they've ended up being one of my favourite makes of the year!

I was thrilled to be part of Eileen Hull's Journal Treasury E-book.  Her journal die is a fabulous tool for making your own handmade books, and Lin Brown's PaperArtsy grasses put in their second appearance in this round-up of favourites!

I've already mentioned my watercolour experimenting.  This post gives you some idea of the early steps in the journey.  You can catch more of them by checking out the Watercolour label search (though there are other projects mixed in for which I also used the watercolours).   And I haven't yet shared what I got up to with them late in the year.  Another time for that...

The fabulous Lynne Perrella stamp put in another appearance on this 12x12 canvas of nature gatherings on the PaperArtsy blog.  There's a lot of story built into this one too - almost always an ingredient in my favourite creations.

More tiny houses, more watercolours, but this time in a whole different colour palette!

Another appearance for Eileen Hull's journal die, but this time with a surprise on the inside...

I used one of the Calico Craft Parts Printers Trays - a perfect fit inside the journal die.
Again, lots of stories inside this one... a journey for the imagination.

Another handmade book with the journal die, and some more of those extraordinary Distress Oxides, as well as the scrumptious seasonal Tim Holtz Thinlits dies... can't tell you how happy this journal makes me.

More fabulous Tim Holtz Thinlits, more altered jars, more candlelight... what's not to love?!

A set of ATCs which grew out of a grey mood into something I really loved.
The Darkness & Light words felt completely necessary - I was so glad they existed!

My new stamps in September included EAB05 Autumn Edition - and I had a wonderful time pairing some of the quotes with some of Scrapcosy's wonderful fungi images, also from the Eclectica³ line at PaperArtsy.

More new words from probably my favourite set so far, EAB03 Music & Silence, and my favourite way to play with Distress Oxides - mixing them with Distress Inks.  It all adds up to a surprise rainbow entry... far more colour than we're used to here at Words and Pictures!

Handmade books have been part of the journey since the beginning, but they started to appear more regularly as I became part of the design team for the new challenge blog, the Mini Album Makers Challenge.
I loved making this gentle, meditative tag book, and the wildflower covers make me especially happy.
(There are also lots of quotes from EAB01 Trees & Flowers involved.)

Autumn colours, autumn words (yes, my quotes again... well, the blog is called Words and Pictures!) and meadow grasses...
and that glow of light at the heart of it is maybe my favourite part.

More Oxide backgrounds (again smooshed with Distress Inks), more of the autumn words, and another triptych.
I do seem to like pairs and sets and especially trios.

An autumnal creation for Destination Inspiration at A Vintage Journey... I do love autumn crafting and I didn't really get to do any in 2016, so I indulged myself this year.  More words from EAB05 Autumn Edition to go with the falling leaves.

Sorry, the quotes are here again, but we've moved on to a new season.  This wintry pair of tags make use of some of my favourite words from EAB05 Winter Edition.  Spare and bare, just right for icy winter days.

Tiny houses, wildflowers, lots of crackle, and back to my all-time favourite colour world of blues and browns...
I simply had to include these!

Another handmade book - a slightly different look, though still with plenty of crackle... 
and the words couldn't be more apt.  I feel incredibly lucky to live life as I do.
Creativity and inspiration are part of both work and play - and that's a true joy worth celebrating every day.

As you can see, I've often been inspired by the quotes in my stamp sets, but the other great joy for me this year has been seeing other people inspired by those same words and watching the stamps working in other crafters hands, shaping artwork I could never have imagined myself.  An amazing, uplifting feeling.

Thank you all for your company, your friendship, your lovely comments and feedback, and for all the inspiration I find when I have time to visit Craftyblogland.  There hasn't been as much of that as I'd like in 2017... work and travel made it another busy year, but I really can't complain!  Here's to a year of creative adventures and fulfilment.  I hope 2018 will be kind to all of us.  Happy crafting all!

To be human is to have a collection of memories that tells you who you are and how you got there.
Rosecrans Baldwin