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...

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

Friday, 30 June 2017

A Single Flower

Hello all!  Thank you so much for your lovely response to my new stamps at PaperArtsy.  If you missed the announcement, you can catch up with the exciting news here.

It's Tag Friday at A Vintage Journey today, and I've pressed another of my quote stamps into action for my tag.

Tag Friday happens when we have an extra Friday in the challenge month, and the Creative Guides get to simply play however they like, as long as it's on a tag.  

I've been playing with Oxides as well as the word stamps to create a summery tag, full of dappled sunshine through leaves.

I thought we could all do with the leafy shade after the steaming weather (we had the same thing here in New York, though it's now settled into slightly gentler temperatures for a while, thankfully).

For the background I carried on with my explorations mixing Distress Inks and Distress Oxides.  It's a constant delight seeing how they play together.

The first sweep laid down the blues for the sky.  I think it's Faded Jeans and Broken China in both DI and Oxide formulations, with maybe some Salty Ocean DI thrown in.

Then I added a layer of leafy greens... Peeled Paint Oxide and Mowed Lawn DI, dipping and dabbing and spritzing with water.

I think I then went back in with touches of Broken China again, but by this point my memory's a bit fuzzy as I was just in the moment, playing.

What I do remember is really enjoying stamping with the Broken China Oxide.  This is the vintage ledger from Tim's recent Etcetera set.  And you can see I've added some scraps of tissue tape too.

Next step was the stamping.  First of all the quote at the foot of the tag, stamped in Versamark and embossed with Wow Bright White SuperFine powder.

There's a simplicity and clarity to the idea expressed in these words which meant I just had to have it in the EAB01 Trees and Flowers stamp set.

I love this vintage typewriter font, with just that touch of imperfection about it.

I stamped one of Tim's Illustrated Garden flowers the same way.  It has many flower heads, but all on one stem, so I think it works for the "single flower" of the quote!

I considered colouring in the petals, but in the end I decided I liked seeing the dappled background as much as possible.

I rather like how the tissue tape caught and held some of the embossing powder.  I did notice before I heated it, but decided against brushing it away, and I'm so glad I didn't.

There's some white paint spatter, and a simple topping of cheesecloth and fine twine.

And I mounted the whole tag onto some white card to frame it, all nicely distressed around the edges, of course.

So that's your lot from me today.  I hope you'll hop over to A Vintage Journey see the wonderful tags created by my lovely team-mates.

I'm not the only Creative Guide using my PaperArtsy quotes for this Tag Friday, so keep your eyes peeled!

And if I've tempted you with the word stamp, you can find out much more over at PaperArtsy...

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I'll see you again soon.

Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time.
Georgia O'Keeffe

I'd like to enter this tag at Stamps and Stencils where they are looking for Words with Meaning.  These ones mean a lot to me - the need to clear away the complications of life and find simplicity and clarity.  It's ongoing work...

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

My New PaperArtsy Word Stamps

Okay, I've been teasing you long enough... the day is finally here when I can reveal all.  I'm completely thrilled to be able to announce the release of my own stamp sets at PaperArtsy under the Eclectica banner.  And no prizes for guessing they're all about the words.

I've gathered together some of the quotes I love from artists, writers and thinkers from across the centuries and now, thanks to Leandra and Mark at PaperArtsy, I can stamp them on any projects I want!

I hope you'll be able to hop over to the PaperArtsy blog to see more of the samples I've been creating with my stamp sets.  We're starting with two themed collections in this release - EAB01 Trees and Flowers and EAB02 Darkness and Light.

I'm at PaperArtsy tonight, sharing the thinking behind these stamp plates, and over the following two nights you can see the stamps in the hands of two other PaperArtsy team members who have cooked up some beautiful quote inspiration for you.

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing in my day of joy.  I think you can probably understand now why I've been so excited!

Old words are reborn with new faces.
Criss Jami