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, 17 September 2017

Fabulous Fungi

Hi, I'm back with the second follow-up post of samples for my new word stamps.  (Once again, the full launch post, in case you missed it, is here at PaperArtsy.)  This time we're hitting EAB04 The Autumn Edition.  Autumn is maybe my favourite crafting season - those incredible colours which take over the trees as well as craft rooms everywhere.  It's the only time of the year when orange starts to appear regularly on my craft mat, though it's rarely called by that name!

And there are so many good autumnal quotes, too... it was tough to whittle it down to the selection on the stamp plate, but I was trying to think how the words would work on projects as well as just how much I loved them.  So here are the first of my Autumn Edition samples... a coaster trio of fabulous fungi (with a bonus ATC into the bargain).

I started with a sheet of A4 cardstock and did some wrinkle-free distressing with various autumnal Distress Inks.  It's a while back now, but I'm guessing Vintage Photo, Rusty Hinge, maybe some Wild Honey and/or Gathered Twigs?

This sheet came into play on some of my other samples too, but at least half of it was available to cover these three beer mats and leave enough over for an ATC.

I used images from the wonderful Scrapcosy plate ESC05 and stamped them in various positions on the coasters, clear-embossing for a little extra oomph.  I then "watercoloured" the images using Fresco paints.

I simply add a dot of paint to my craft mat, spritz with water, and then use a water brush to apply the paint.

This means you get a nice translucent medium - even from the opaque Fresco colours like Chalk and Stone - which you can build up in layers without obscuring the stamp detail too much. 

I'm really pleased with how this turned out as an effect.  I was worried the busy ink splotches of the background would be too overwhelming, but I love how the subtle tinting brings the images to life.

I stamped my chosen quotes on some separate card stock, trying out a few Archival colours to see which would work best.  As you can see, depending on the juiciness of your ink pad, you get different degrees of sharpness and clarity in the stamping.

I believe you can see Sepia, Sienna and Leaf Branch in action here...

Once I'd decided - my trusty Sepia won out - I trimmed the quotes and started to arrange them on the coasters.

I really hadn't planned ahead so it was quite lucky that the positioning worked out okay in the end...

... or maybe it's that with the quotes being of different shapes and sizes, it was always going to be possible to work out a satisfactory arrangement.

I hope you can see what I mean about there being some really good autumn quotes.  It seems it's a season which inspires writers as well as artists.

You can always count on L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables in the middle there for a nice positive slant on the fact that summer is over for another year...

I also used the quote stamps to add a little more detail to those backgrounds again.  I just really like having the thought hovering there too.

I do like the off-green tinting of the leaves just on the turn...

... and the sanded edges revealing a hint of white to reflect the quote panels.

And the overall richness of the final effect...

... seems to me to work really well for this most vivid of seasons.

The ATC is really a very simple affair... the same ESC05 stamp set, this time adding in the lovely sycamore pod and the acorn.

I like that the images have their botanical references attached in the same way as my quotes have their authorial references attached...

It pleases me as a little echo.  It doesn't take much to please my brain!

And rather than keeping the quote "solid", for the ATC I've chopped it up.

That way you can position your phrases to suit both the layout of the image design, and to intensify the phrasing of the thought.

So that's a little taste of autumn for you.  I hope you'll forgive all the photos.  Since all these samples have all gone off to live at PaperArtsy on the display boards, these posts will be my only record of them so I'm indulging myself with plenty of photos.  But it's great to have your company for the ride too.

Next up, we'll start to work through some EAB05 The Winter Edition samples, so do come back soon if you'd like to know the secret of the Frosted Lynne Perrella Woman!   Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a great week.

Fungi are the grand recyclers of the planet and the vanguard species in habitat restoration.
Paul Stamets

Falling in love is like eating mushrooms, you never know if it's the real thing until it's too late.
Bill Balance

EAB04 The Autumn Edition available at Country View CraftsThat's CraftyThe Artistic Stamper and many more...

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Rainbow Serenity

Hello all!  I'm so happy that you are as excited as I am by my new word stamps.  (Check out the full launch post at PaperArtsy if you missed it.)  As promised, I'm here to share some more details of the pieces I made for the launch, and I thought I might as well go sample by sample, alternating stamp sets... otherwise we'll end up with even longer posts than usual!

So here's the first of the sample makes for EAB03 Music and Silence, a pair of rainbow tags with full on colour behind the gentle images and words.

These were created with some backgrounds which had been sitting around on the craft table for some time, awaiting their moment in the sun.  They are both Distress Ink/Oxide combinations.

For the bird tag I started with a side by side of the same colours in Distress Ink and in Distress Oxide - DOx on the left, DI on the right - and then created two tags simultaneously.

(I've shared some of this months ago in an Oxide post so, no, you're not suffering from déjà vu - you have actually seen this photo before!)

Of these two, one tag was dipped first in DOx, and the other first in DI.  After that first layer I dipped and dabbed my layers from both kinds of ink to build up different effects.

The tag used in this post is the one which started as DI, so it has a stronger colour intensity, less chalky DOx, more translucent DI.

I don't seem to have a "before" of the tree tag, but it was also from some Oxide playtime, experimenting with colours.

The main images on both tags are stamped in Archival (doesn't matter what colour) and embossed with Wow Bark powder.

I love the definition you get with the dark Bark.  You need something strong when you have backgrounds this busy.

The tree needed some ground to stand on, so I added just a little extra extension and some grasses with a pen.

Stamping the main sentiments caused slightly heart-in-mouth moments, since these powders are really in-your-face and in strong contrast to the background colours.

They're from a Stampendous set of five powders of various colours, entitled "Coastal Express".

Again, I stamped in Archival underneath.  I experimented with Versamark, but found the softer ink pad created a slightly less sharp impression - and the letters got a bit bulbous.

I'm so happy that even the tiny author's names come up so clearly - you can trust a PaperArtsy stamp to give you great stamping!

With those bold statements in place in the centre of the tags, I felt I needed a bit of an echo to frame them.

So this time I did use Versamark, swiping embossing ink onto the edges of the tags and then adding the relevant powder and heating it.

I also stamped partials of the quotes in Potting Soil or Coffee Archival in the backgrounds.

I think it adds a lovely extra touch of detail and I really like how you get what I call the hovering echoes of the main thought.

Simple twine finishes off the tags, and that's us done with the first of the EAB03 Music and Silence sample posts.

I'll be back very soon with the first EAB04 The Autumn Edition post, so I hope you have a lovely weekend and happy crafting all!

Our mind stops racing when we take a nature walk or just look at the clouds that disintegrate at the horizon.
Balroop Singh

EAB03 Music and Silence available at Country View Crafts, That's Crafty, The Artistic Stamper and many more...

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

New PaperArtsy Word Stamps

Hello all!  I'm thrilled to announce three new sets of my word stamps, available now as part of the PaperArtsy Eclectica³ line.  I'm so excited to be able to share with you some more of the quotes and phrases which inspire and delight me, and I hope they'll also inspire you in your creativity.

You can see the new sets - EAB03 Music and Silence, EAB04 The Autumn Edition and EAB05 The Winter Edition - over at the PaperArtsy blog this evening, and hear about some of the thinking behind these new collections, as well as seeing some samples I've made, of course.

I'm only sharing highlights there for now, but over the coming days I'll share some more details and how-to information of these sample pieces here at Words and Pictures.

And there are some more stunning word samples on the way tomorrow night at PaperArtsy, courtesy of my brilliant wingman, Nikki Acton, so be sure to check back in for those too.

For now, I'll let you hop over to PaperArtsy to find out more about what's in store with these new sets of words.  Enjoy the ride!

I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognised wiser than oneself.
Marlene Dietrich

UPDATE:  You can now catch Nikki's fabulous samples over at the PaperArtsy blog too.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

A quick burst of birdsong

Hello all!  Apologies that I've been MIA again - there's a lot going on behind the crafting scenes at the moment (not to mention preparing for some high-pressure day-job workshops coming up).  All will be revealed in just a few days.

But so as not to leave the blog in complete silence, I'm offering up a quick burst of birdsong today.

There's nothing complicated about these tags.  In fact, they were the result of some joint experimentation with a friend at the craft table, demonstrating some of the differences between Distress Inks and Distress Oxides.  We did some wrinkle-free distressing on some other tags, but these two were the results of our blending and stamping efforts, with some spritzing and flicking too of course...

The colours were her choice - hence the slight departure from the normal palette around here! - but I ended up really enjoying them.  There's a sort of burnished rust and verdigris look which pleases me a lot.  The tag on the left is all Distress Inks, the one on the right is all Distress Oxides (until the very final inking around the edge, that is, and then it was DI on both).

The words are taken from my EAB02 Darkness and Light set.

The phrases are all part of one longer quote (as you can see if you take a look at the whole collection - it's the quote at the bottom of the plate).

But I've used different parts of the quote on each tag to create slightly different thoughts.

They're embossed with Ranger Antiquities Rust powder - which is quite cool up close.

There are things I enjoy about both tags... 

You can't get away from the delight of that Oxide stamping - with such presence and clarity.

Those rapturous birds are an Impression Obsession stamp.

But although the birds are subtler, I do love the translucence of the layered DIs - they have a special depth about them which always makes me happy.

So I'm not going to keep you for long, as you see.  Short and hopefully sweet today.

If I get my workshop planning done in good time tomorrow, I hope to spend some of my Sunday catching up with what you've all been getting up to in Craftyblogland... and if I get bogged down, the visiting will just have to wait a bit longer!

I hope you all have a lovely Sunday, and do come and visit early next week for some big news.  Happy crafting all!

I don't ask for the meaning of the song of a bird or the rising of the sun on a misty morning. There they are, and they are beautiful.
Pete Hamill

I'd like to enter this pair of tags at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge where, in celebration of Stamptember, the challenge is simply to Stamp It!
Though there's only the tiniest bit of rust involved through that Rust embossing powder (well, and plenty of Rusty Hinge DI!), I'd like to share these in the Rustica theme at the That's Crafty Challenge Blog
And they're also feeling A Little Rusty over at Frilly and Funkie so I'm taking my tags to play along there too