Hi all, welcome to Words and Pictures, with an especially big welcome to the newest followers - I'm so happy to have you with me on the journey.
Those of you who've been around a while will probably have guessed that with a theme entitled Chic to be Shabby, I wouldn't be able to resist making another entry to this week's Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge.
And I also wanted to include some flourishes and swirls - seems like a very shabby chic ingredient - so that I could play along with the Fashionable Stamping Challenge's Swirls theme too, since I haven't managed to join in for a while.
So I got out another of my bargain MDF tickets (part of what's intended to be an album, but I've already used one as a hanging, and that's my plan for the rest too), and set to work.
Nothing went right with the first go, so I flipped over and started again - the bonus of working on a really sturdy, thick piece of MDF - and that's what you see here as the finished piece.
I started with a base coat of Fresco London Night, and then applied texture paste through the gorgeous Crafty Individuals stencil I got as part of my lucky candy win from the fabulous Lynne at Adorn (inspirational shabby chic work - do pay her a visit if you've never been).
Next step was to add some PaperArtsy crackle glaze, but I didn't want it all over the piece. I think you can see the gloss of the areas I've applied it to in this picture.
Once all that was dry, it was time for the next coat of paint. I used Fresco Snowflake and applied it with a brush in some areas (for good strong crackles) and sponged it on in others (for a finer porcelain crackle effect).
You have to work fast, as it will start cracking as soon as you apply it - lightning fast hands switching from brush to sponge and back again!
No need to be patient about drying times with this: you can blast it with the heat tool, but I've noticed you seem to get larger, more prominent cracks that way than if you just leave it to dry naturally.
Now time for some stamping - yay! A bit of Papillon text rolled on in places, and the shabbiest chic sentiment, I think, of all the Tim Holtz ones.
And I did a bit of inky distressing with Vintage Photo and a touch of Gathered Twigs. It highlights the texture paste flourish beautifully against the pale background.
Next step was to add some of my favourite sprigs and branches from the Autumn Leaves Silhouette Blossoms set - they never fail to make my heart sing.
I used some handmade paper to create the hearts, running them through the TH Damask embossing folder and then cutting them with the Mini-Hearts Movers and Shapers dies.
They also got a bit of the Vintage Photo treatment, to highlight the swirls of the damask pattern.
The hearts are mounted on either single and double layers of padded tape to get them hovering at various heights over the shabby background.
I hope that they, with the texture paste flourishes, will be enough P.O.P. to satisfy them over at Inspiration Journal this month.
They're looking for dimensionality, anything that stands out or "pops" (pops of colour also allowed, I believe).
The large flowers are, of course, my cheapo ones from The Range, clustered with the hearts and some of the tiny mulberry paper roses.
Both the large ones and the smaller white ones have had a go with the Distress Ink - mainly Vintage Photo, but a few strokes of Gathered Twigs for extra depth.
I decided I wanted to foreground the sentiment a little better, and at the same time add some more of the delicious handmade paper texture, so I stamped it again on the paper, tore it out, and inked the edges for definition.
The rough texture of the paper gives the stamping a fabulously shabby look!
The lovely delicate twine, fastened at the top with two of the smallest roses, came as part of another recent lucky win. The extraordinary Polish artist Kasia of Papierowy Wymiar was giving away one of her amazing album creations, and I won the draw.
Along with the album (a glorious combination of corrugated card and butterflies - clearly meant to be), she included lots of lovely bits and pieces wrapped in book pages and tied up with this delicious twine - as you can imagine, it went straight in my stash!
I'd like to enter this in the following
Chic to be Shabby at Simon Says Stamp and Show
Swirls at the Fashionable Stamping Challenge
Pick and Mix, the inaugural challenge at Country View Challenges
Add a little P.O.P. at the Inspiration Journal
The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.
Attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe