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...

Thursday, 24 July 2014

An Artistic Naturalist

Hello all... Don't panic, that's Naturalist, not Naturist!  And my Victorian Naturalist wouldn't consider going out on one of his nature rambles in less than full costume, waistcoat and cravat included.

I hope you'll hop over to The Artistic Stamper to see what new specimens he's discovered on his latest excursion... they're all recorded in his Expedition Field Notes (otherwise known as a tag!).

I'll let you in on what's keeping me so busy (and stressed) very soon - I don't want to jinx it before it's all in place... but I really hope I'll be able to pay some visits shortly.  Thank you all for your lovely comments in the meantime, I hope you enjoy the naturalist's field notes, and I'll see you again soon.

Study nature, not books.
Louis Agassiz (Geologist, teacher and naturalist 1807 - 1873)
Personally, I'd go for a bit of both...

Saturday, 19 July 2014

In the Calico Garden

Hello all!  It's sneak peek time again here at Words and Pictures.

This time I'm hoping to tempt you over to Calico Crafts where I've been having a lovely time creating a rusty rustic garden - all in a printer's tray!

I hope you'll enjoy your garden perambulation if you hop over to take a look, and I'm hoping to enjoy some blog-visiting in the next couple of days before things get completely bonkers here...  

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.
From the Gnomologia, 1732, by Thomas Fuller

A tiny favour... 

This request goes out to anyone who enjoyed the dollshouse posts last month.  Cestina's museum, Small Worlds, is now listed on a Czech tourism site.  Somehow Cestina managed to give herself only a 3 star rating... (don't ask me!).  

If you would be willing to click 5 stars to up the average to its deserved rating, then all you need to do is visit here and click the fifth star.

Thank you!!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Burlap Boys and Girls

Hello all!  Thanks so much for dropping in.  Life seems to get busier and busier round here... it's all good and all very exciting work-wise, but I think crafting and blogging may have to take a bit of a back seat for a couple of months.  I'll still be around, don't get me wrong - but I think a little less frequently for a while, probably.

For now, though, I'm really happy that I found the time to play along with number 6 of the Compendium of Curiosities III challenges, hosted by the lovely Linda Ledbetter and her wonderful Curiosity Crew.  I haven't managed to join in as often as I'd like, but this one just fitted in between other things, so here's what I came up with.

We're playing with the techniques on p.37 of the book this time.  I'm afraid you'll need a copy of your own to play along - I won't be going into details, so as to protect Tim's hard work.

I played with two of the small burlap canvases.

There's one with a girl, and one with a boy.

But I refuse to go down the pink/blue divide.  For starters, it's completely random and very recent.

The Victorians considered that blue was a gentle colour suitable for girls, and martial bold colours like pink and red were better suited to boys... so everyone can be blue at Words and Pictures - or pink come to that, but that's for another day!!

So the girl is based around a palette of Weathered Wood, Faded Jeans and a hint of Evergreen Bough.

And the boy has a combination of Faded Jeans, Peacock Feathers and Shabby Shutters.

I pretty much followed Tim's directions to the letter, except for right at the very end, when I added a little extra dusting of shimmer with some Treasure Gold in Pewter.

It's not part of of the basic technique, so I'll share some of my additional detailing...

The Alpha Parts have had a frosting of white Enamel Accents. 

And I altered the Muse Token with my chosen Distress Paints before sanding back to reveal the silvery metal underneath.

Over on the Boy Burlap, the number 3 (rhymes with "me" from the girl's side!) has had the DP treatment.

And the metal elements also benefited from the Pewter Treasure Gold, just to give them that extra burnished look.

Of course, nothing is complete around here without some words.

The boy is telling the girl to share her courage...

... while the girl is telling the boy to cherish his dreams.

Of course everything has to go off around the edges too... 

And you've got to have a butterfly somewhere, haven't you!

That's that for my chunky little burlap canvases.  Hope you enjoyed the quick tour.

Hop over to Linda's to see the always amazing inspiration from the Crew, and don't forget there are prize packages generously provided by Tim and Mario, and the sponsor for Challenge 6 is The Funkie Junkie Boutique (courtesy of the other lovely Linda... the Funkie Junkie herself) - what could be better?!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  As I say, things may be a bit quieter here for a while... but then again, I may end up doing lots of 2am crafting to avoid the withdrawal symptoms, so we'll see!  Happy Crafting all!

Nature makes boys and girls lovely to look upon so they can be tolerated until they acquire some sense.
William Lyon Phelps

I'd like to enter this in Challenge 6 at the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenges hosted by Linda Ledbetter
And it was the faces of the boy and the girl which started me off, so I'd also like to play along with About A Face at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge

Friday, 11 July 2014

Dreaming of Die-Cutting

Hello all!  It's time for the new challenge theme over at A Vintage Journey.

This fortnight our host is the fabulous Annie of Curious & Crafty Treasures and she'd like to see Dies and Distress.

As usual there's lots of lovely inspiration from my fabulous team mates, so do check it out.

After a double blue/green frenzy we're back to an autumnal feel with this die-cutting creation, or neutrals at least in any case.

If you missed my blue/green PaperArtsy make or the Artistic Stamper doodly tags, I'd love it if you had a chance to check them out - it's been a crazy 24 hours here at Words and Pictures!

I started with my favourite corrugated cardboard and a plan to use the first die I ever bought which was the Tim Holtz Vintage Lace Decorative Strip Die (and it's probably my most-used too).

I gave the cardboard a rough coat of Picket Fence Distress Paint and stamped the lovely vintage PostCard stamp several times in Potting Soil Archival.

The focal image for the hanging is one of the Found Relatives pictures from Idea-ology.

I used an On the Edge die on the photo, top and bottom.

The Ornate border on the photo echoes one of the other dies I chose to work with, the fabulous Frameworks Lattice - a new favourite.

I grabbed a background tag I had hanging around from my Memento Mori discards to cut the Frameworks.  I stamped the small version of the ornate alphabet included in the Merchantile stamp set before cutting the Lattice.

I also cut some of the same pattern out of plain book pages which I inked with Gathered Twigs and Walnut Stain.

The final piece of the puzzle in die-cutting terms is the addition of the Tattered Doily On the Edge die, cut from the same tag with the fancy lettering on it.

That's been layered up with the die-cut photo and the Vintage Lace, all nice and inky round the edges of course.

You'll see I added some more of the real leaves - like on the Autumn Flowerings hanging, a sort of companion piece to this one - and gave them a dusting of Picket Fence DP too.

All the metal pieces have also been slightly altered using the Picket Fence - giving a dusty aged look.

There's the clock...

A Muse Token, positioned carefully over some of the latticework pieces...

And the ornate keyhole, again echoing the Lattice shapes...

The little number brad... and next to each of the metal pieces I glued a few industrial brads as extra decoration.

I think they add a nice extra metallic touch.

The sentiment is stamped in Potting Soil over a whitewashed book page, and mounted over the photo on foam pads.

Finally, a bit of linen ribbon will do the job when I come to hang this up somewhere.

I hope that gives you some ideas for using your Dies and Distress products.  

You'll find lots more inspiration from my amazing team-mates over at A Vintage Journey, as well as the exact details of Annie's challenge to you.  I do hope you'll be able to come and play over the next fortnight.

Thanks so much for dropping in - hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Since my blue/green PaperArtsy project only had a few hours to itself on the blog, I'm just going to do another quick plug for it here... After all that work, I'd hate it to get lost in the chaos!

Hop now or forever hold your peace!!

Thursday, 10 July 2014

It takes two...

Two?  Yes, two... First of all, it's the second sneak peek today.

Sneak peek number one was for my Artistic Stamper creation which I'd love you to see if you missed it earlier, but I'm also thrilled to say that I'm back as an occasional guest on the PaperArtsy blog this evening with a creation that uses just two paint colours.

So here's sneak peek number two...  If you'd like to see what happened when I challenged myself to just "take two", do hop on over to PaperArtsy - I'd love to know what you think.

Thanks so much for stopping by today (stopping and hopping, I hope!), and I'll be back at midnight!

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.
Albert Einstein

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.
Albert Einstein (he's now probably in the lead as my "most-quoted" I think!)

Double Doodles

Hello all - it's a busy couple of days here at Words and Pictures...  

You may have seen yesterday's Artistic Outpost offering, and now I'm here with the first of three posts in 24 hours!

This is a quick sneak peek to tempt you over to The Artistic Stamper where I've got a couple of tags to share with you.  It's a pretty short post by my standards, so I won't keep you there long.

I hope you'll have time to check back later today when there'll be lots more fun to be had... yet another sneak peek, and then a whole post for you to enjoy right here!

Doodling is the brooding of the hand.
Saul Steinberg

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A quick trip to Paris...

Ah, if only!  

No, I'm afraid it's just a short hop over to Artistic Outpost where I'm sharing my (now monthly only) project.

It's my first time playing with the lovely Paris Exposition stamp set, so I hope you enjoy the quick trip to Paris... Bon Voyage!

A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life.
Thomas Jefferson

You can't escape the past in Paris, and yet what's so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn't seem to burden.
Allen Ginsberg

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Calico Tin Can

Hello all - sorry about the dull post title.  I was trying to come up with clever word plays on Tin Pan Alley and Tin Can Calico, but somehow it wouldn't come together... so I'm just here with a simple sneak peek to try to tempt you over to see my latest make for Calico Crafts.

After the mammoth post of my last Calico project, the Sugar Maple Pear Trees, I've something altogether simpler (and shorter!) for you today - a bit of "upcycling".

Do hop over for a look - I hope you like it... and I hope you all have a lovely weekend.  I'm having a weekend away with friends, so I don't suppose there'll be much blog-visiting but I will come and catch up with you all soon!

Life is rather like a tin of sardines - we're all of us looking for the key.
Alan Bennett

Friday, 4 July 2014

Candy Winner

Hello all!  I want to say a huge thank you for all your amazing words on the candy post - reading them very often reduced me to a quivering lip and lurking tears.  I feel so lucky to be here in Craftyblogland.

And I'm thrilled to welcome so many new followers - I'm so honoured you decided to hop on board, and I really hope you enjoy the journey.

As I said before, I wish I could send candy to everyone, but it's just not possible, so here we go...

Here you all are - typed up, printed out and about to be cut to shreds.

And here you are in a nice deep bowl.  I closed my eyes, turned my head away and riffled through with my finger tips until they closed on one name.

And that name was...

So it's congratulations to lovely Chris of pearshapedcrafting.  Do drop me a line with your address - my email button is in the sidebar.

And thank you to all of you for your continued company on this crafty journey.  I'm just so happy to have met you all.

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
Marcel Proust

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Autumn Flowerings

Hello all!  It's time for the new challenge at Our Creative Corner and this month it's hosted by the amazing Astrid.  She'd like to see Home Made Flowers and Hand Dyed Ribbons adorning your projects.

I don't usually make my own flowers (though it has been known!) so this was quite a challenge and, being an ornery type, when I saw the theme I decided to try to create something using Home Made Flowers and Hand Dyed Ribbons that wasn't girly!!

I think that's probably what took me into these colour tones - I really do seem to have hit an autumnal streak here at the moment.

Hopefully the weather will improve soon, and summer will return to Words and Pictures, but for now I seem to be wallowing in autumn melancholy.  (Witness my Autumn Leaves, my Urban Tapestry and even the Autumn Limitations of my June Tim tag if you don't believe me!!)

For help with the handmade flowers, I knew exactly where I was going - over to the fabulous flower tutorials of the lovely Jennie of Live the Dream.  

She makes utterly beautiful flowers, and you'll find links to her great tutorials in her sidebar - if they work for me, they'll work for anyone, trust me!  

All of these flowers are made using the Tattered Florals die.  I wanted that slightly blowsy overblown look of flowers at the end of summer, so I picked my tutorials carefully.

The large flower is based on Jennie's Cabbage Rose, and is made out of one of the grey sheets from Tim Holtz's Shabby Vintage papers.  

The plan was for a completely neutral palette, but as I sprayed the water on, the papers went slightly purply - it must be within the paper dye somewhere.

For the other flowers, I was using book pages to create some of the Vintage Roses from Jennie's tutorial.  Since we had that purple tone coming through on the large flower, I decided to add some hints of Milled Lavender and Shaded Lilac to the book page petals too.

Other than that, I used Rusty Hinge and Vintage Photo to add inky highlights and shading to the flowers.

I had to smile as so many of you commented how realistic the leaves looked on my Tim Tag - I already knew that this was coming up, with some actual leaves on it!  

Those weren't real, but these are!  I got a big box of them in Kik (the Czech cheapy shop) while I was away, and they seemed the perfect complement to my autumnal blooms.

I was definitely pretty happy with my flowers - for a first-time attempt at these recipes - but then there was the question of what to do with them all!

I had one of the large papier-mache icons sitting around on the table, and just popped the flowers onto it to keep them safe... and then I noticed they looked pretty good there!

I cut the Sizzix Pocket Watch out of some quite sturdy mountboard, and cut the centre out with a sized circle to create the frame.

I messed around with various embossing powders - UTEE, bronze, copper, Weathered White - until I liked the result... then I had to decide what would go inside that.

(You'll be noticing a pattern here... no planning ahead - just a leap and then a ponder, another leap, another ponder!)

While I was thinking about it and trying various options (a quote, a stamped image) I decided to get the background done.

I painted Raw Umber and Burnt Sienna paints onto the surface, added a layer of DecoArt Weathered Wood Crackle Glaze and then a coat of Warm White paint over the top.

I did a bit of gentle inking over the finished crackle, and especially around the edges and then clear-embossed that for a dewy look.

With the crackle in place, I decided this gentleman from the Found Relatives was the best option to go inside the frame...

He's rather dapper, which certainly helps with the "not-girlyness" of the whole thing!  And why shouldn't men have flowers?!

I dyed my ribbons in colours which would tone in with the flowers - mainly Shaded Lilac, Milled Lavender, Rusty Hinge and Vintage Photo.

The great thing about the pocket watch frame is it also has an obvious location for the ribbons to go.  They're secured in place with some rusty wire.

This being Words and Pictures, I really needed some words too, so I stamped this lovely sentiment onto card, layered it with some paper scraps which were hanging around and used one of my rusted Idea-ology Hinge Clips to hold them together.

Once I had that bit of rust, I wanted more.

So I added some rusted gears around the frame...

... and lots more curled rusty wire to the flower arrangements.

And I thought the Idea-ology corners made a good finishing touch, rusty or not!

So that's my offering for you for Astrid's lovely challenge.

If you want to see the beautiful inspiration from my fabulous team-mates, do hop over to Our Creative Corner - you won't be disappointed.  And we really hope that we'll see your Hand Made Flowers and Home Dyed Ribbons some time before the 28th of this month.  Be sure to check our rules to qualify for the prize draw, and come and play!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  Hope the weather is looking up wherever you are - we're due to have some summery weather here tomorrow, so maybe that'll put a halt to all this autumnal melancholy... but don't count on it!

It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.
From The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
Old time is still a-flying
And that same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying
From To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick

White is an absolute staple in my neutral makes so, with the Warm White Crackle, the Weathered White distressing on the frame, and the off-white book pages and papers, I'd like to enter this in W is for White at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge.
And at the Premium Craft Brands Challenge the theme is Roses are a Girl's Best Friend - or a man's too, I hope?!