In this crazy week, I was wondering whether I'd get time to play the very tempting Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge to create Something Messy. Though I had got extremely messy making some of the PaperArtsy projects, it didn't feel right to include those.
And then I just started playing with some Artistic Outpost stamps in preparation for an AO DT piece, and before I knew it I had a whole mess of ink and paint (watercolour "ground" actually) in front of me... so here's my project.
It uses stamps from two of my favourite AO sets - Think and Wonder and Generation Redux. I picked the "pairs" from each set.
They all seem like sibling pairings to me, but whatever sort of partnership each of them is, they clearly face the world together, strong in their togetherness.
For the background, I cut up a cardboard packaging box and ripped away one side to reveal the corrugated texture beneath.
Sometimes the ripping's really easy and sometimes it takes ages, clawing with your fingernails. This was a pretty simple one, and left those areas of feathery paper which I really love for the extra shabbiness they add.
Then I took Distress Stains in Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain and doused areas of the card pretty randomly.
I followed that with a rough application of ground across the card (fabulous medium, gesso-like but much thicker than any gesso I've used, though there do seem to be different gessos around), and left it to dry.
In the meantime I created another mess of Distress Stains on the craft mat - Vintage Photo, Antique Linen, Picket Fence - and did Tim Holtz's wrinkle-free distress technique to prep my paper for the stamping.
I stamped the images in a combination of Sepia, Coffee and Black Archival inks, blended onto the stamp.
When it came to layering, it was very clear that the sisters needed lace behind them; after all, it's right there on the stamp itself. This is a really ancient lace doily that I liberated from a bag of fabric scraps decades old.
I tried lace behind the others but it didn't seem right, so I grabbed some of my go-to burlap fabric.
It looked great behind the children, especially with some added Distress Stains and ground, but now I needed something of a different texture to go behind the two brothers.
Diet coke can to the rescue... I cut it up (carefully!) and ran it through the BigShot with the Riveted Patchwork embossing folder and then started playing with alcohol inks to colour it.
I'm a huge fan of the wonderful die amelie (a.k.a. Claudia) and her amazing work with alcohol inks, and whenever I visit her blog I think I don't play with them enough - she creates glorious pieces.
I can't remember precisely - but I think Ginger, Rust, Slate, Currant and Black all played a part in this. I debated really grunging it up with some black paint sanded away with wire wool, but in the end I decided I liked the burnished autumnal look of it without that.
I used some more inky paper to cut the word IMAGINE using the fabulous Movers and Shapers die and added it to the arrangement on my corrugated card "canvas".
The fabulous Trace of inkypinkycraft recently did a great step-by-step of metallic flowers over at Frilly and Funkie.
Now, I don't have the Ranger foil, and in any case I wanted to alter the idea a little, so that my flowers would reflect the three textures behind my separate sets of siblings.
So as well as running some embossed, inked cola can through the Tattered Flowers die, I cut some burlap ones, and lastly some crushed paper ribbon ones (I thought lace wouldn't work terribly well, being mostly holes!).
I had great fun layering up my flower variations, bending and crushing the materials for dimension and distressing with some extra ink in places.
The tiny white flowers are cut from the Tattered Flower Garland decorative strip die. I used some Artemio brads - some tiny ones, and some shaped as screw heads - to hold them all together. Very pleased with the result!
The IMAGINE was still sitting there a little baldly, and there was a phrase that had been running through my head as I was playing, so I decided it probably needed to go onto the project. I used my Hero Arts alphabet stamps to print it, and ripped and inked the edges.
Final touches include some rusty hearts, with the by now compulsory application of some ground, and rusty wire to hang the whole thing up by.
And there they are: siblings who've known each other pretty much their whole lives - always there, whether in the background or the foreground, a source of support and shared memories. I certainly can't imagine life without my brother. And I don't say so often enough. So while I'm something of a V-Day curmudgeon (let's not get into it!), I am saying it for once with this project.
Thanks so much for stopping by today... I know it's been a busy old time here at Words and Pictures, and I so appreciate your time, support and incredible generosity. It's not quite over yet, I'm afraid - watch out on Monday for the beginning of one last chapter in my February madness!
Siblings that say they never fight are most definitely hiding something.
From Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid, by Lemony Snicket
I'm entering this in the following:
I'm sharing this in Tim Holtz's Tattered Florals challenge - great prizes on offer, so why not play along?
Simon Says Stamp and Show are inviting us to create Something Messy
Frilly and Funkie have a Lacy and Heartsy Valentines theme
The Inspiration Journal would like us to Spread Some L.O.V.E.
And at Tando Creative Challenges the theme is Love, Love Me Do (and now we're all singing along, or at least humming internally!)