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...

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Take a leaf out of my book...

Encore Posts
I'm away again for a month or so.  There are some scheduled posts with new creations coming your way, but I'm also taking the chance to do some catching up here at Words and Pictures.   Projects which made their first appearances elsewhere for Design Team duties or Guest Designer opportunities, but which only had a sneak peek here, are being gathered together in the pages of my virtual scrapbook.  I'm calling them "Encore" posts and they're formatted differently (all the way down the centre), so you can spot them easily.
Please don't feel that you have to comment all over again!

Thanks for your comments on my Toilet Roll Tutorial over at the Mini Album Makers blog, as well as my White on White Mobile at PaperArtsy - it's always a joy to hear what you think.

Still on the Encores, and I've got a real blast from the past for you today.  This project goes all the way back to November 2013, but it's just right for the time of year.  It was created for the Artistic Stamper Creative Team blog, where I was on the Design Team at the time.

You could consider it extra inspiration for the Mini Album Makers Challenge, as it's a handmade book, and since the interior pages are only ATC sized, the whole thing is definitely smaller than four inches, so it could also count as inspiration for the current Mini Marvels theme at A Vintage Journey.  How's that for serendipity?!  Here's what I wrote all those years ago over at Artistic Stamper...

Hello all, Alison (butterfly) here with an autumn mini-journal for you.  There's time for a last breath of autumn before we kick into gear for Christmas, isn't there?!

I had great fun altering this little papier mâché book (8 x 11cm, and there's an even tinier one still to come), and creating a mini-album to go inside.

I started by covering it with some Tim Holtz tissue wrap, leaving the "edges of the pages" just with a coat of gesso (thick enough and on a hard bristled brush, so you get some "pages" showing - I'll see if I can find a picture showing that later).

Next step was to stamp the new Leaves Background onto the front and back covers.  I used lots of Archival inks on the stamp: Sepia, Sienna, Coffee and Plum, all blended on there.

Distress Inks next: Vintage Photo, Gathered Twigs, and probably some Rusty Hinge if I remember correctly.

I ended up giving it a coat of medium to seal it, which meant some of the Distress Inks faded a bit with the brush strokes, but I'm fine with that, as it brought the leaves to the fore again.

Time to create what's going inside.  I cut some pages to size (pretty much ATC-size) and did some wrinkle-free distress technique with lots of warm golden brown inks and stains.  I also added a couple of spritzes of Perfect Pearls Heirloom Gold to the craft mat before smooshing through with the pages, so you get a lovely golden shimmer in places.

I used the gorgeous new Journalling Words #5, one per page - it's the US version of "journaling" with one "l", but I guess I can work with that!  Just love all those fonts.

On the reverse sides I used some of the new Katy Fox stamps - the Leaves...

... and the Dates, again stamped in Archival inks, mainly Coffee and Sepia.  Apologies, this was all done after dark - how early is it getting dark already?! - so these are flash photos.

So, enough of the process, let's see some photos of the finished thing by daylight, shall we?

I love that the spine looks like a real old leather volume, burnished with age.

I added some Tim Holtz Remnant Rubs to the cover.

And look how the mini-album nestles just inside the book.

Here's a close-up of that cover, also using the leaves background and some Rock Candy crackle paint.

More crackle paint inside the cover of the box, with layers of autumnal paint shades.

And here are some of the internal pages.  I interleaved them with some hand-made paper pages, and added some stamping using my all-time favourite Calligraphy Mat, number 19!

Oh, almost forgot... here's the promised shot of the "pages" - click for a close-up if you need to!

So that's probably my farewell to autumnal crafting for this year - it's always a sheer pleasure to play with these colours and images, but with the temperature dropping rapidly and Advent Sunday almost upon us, it's probably time to let go soon!

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed taking a leaf out of my book (sorry, appalling pun, but it tickled me!).  

See, I told you it was a perfect project for the time of year.  I'm glad to finally have it safely gathered in here at Words and Pictures.  And it's well-timed as additional inspiration for the Mini Album Makers as well as the Mini Marvels at A Vintage Journey (all the links are in the introduction if you're inspired to play along with either challenge)..

Contrary to what it says in the old text, it's not the last of the autumn crafting for this year.  There are, at least, some more Encores on their way to you, as well as a special look back into the past coming soon.  Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I hope you have a great weekend.

Two sounds of autumn are unmistakable...the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street...by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese.
Hal Borland

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Mini Album Makers Tutorial

Hello all!  Just a quick sneak peek to tempt you over to the Mini Album Makers Challenge blog.  I'm over there today with one of the tutorials the Design Team members are sharing each month.

Mine is a full step-by-step for creating one of the toilet-roll mini albums you've seen around here occasionally... though I have, of course, created a whole new one for this tutorial.  I hope you'll have a chance to hop over to Mini Album Makers and check it out.

And you may have missed last night's sneak peek for my PaperArtsy Shades of White Mobile - it was a bit of a blink-and-you've-missed-it post.  If so, I hope you'll have time to take a look at that too - it's also got some pretty nifty recycling going on.  

Sorry I'm not around much at the moment.  I'm trying to take a bit of an internet holiday along with my sunshine and peace and quiet!  I hope you're all thriving and I'll be back to play soon.

Thanks to my mother, not a single cardboard box has found its way back into society. We receive gifts in boxes from stores that went out of business twenty years ago.
Erma Bombeck

Monday, 13 November 2017

Shades of White

Hello all!  I've something new for you tonight, in between all those Encore posts... just a sneak peek here for a project over on the PaperArtsy blog tonight.

The theme for this fortnight is Shades of White, and I've been playing with light and movement again.  I hope you'll have a chance to pop over and take a look at what I've been up to.  Short and sweet, but I'll be back again before you know it!  Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you soon.

White... is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black... 
Gilbert K. Chesterton

Friday, 10 November 2017

Calico Autumnal ATBs

Encore Posts
I'm away again for a month or so.  There are some scheduled posts with new creations coming your way, but I'm also taking the chance to do some catching up here at Words and Pictures.   Projects which made their first appearances elsewhere for Design Team duties or Guest Designer opportunities, but which only had a sneak peek here, are being gathered together in the pages of my virtual scrapbook.  I'm calling them "Encore" posts and they're formatted differently (all the way down the centre), so you can spot them easily.
Please don't feel that you have to comment all over again!

Hello all!  I've another scheduled Encore post for you, so that things don't go completely silent here at Words and Pictures while I'm away.  It's an autumnal creation made for Calico Craft Parts, and it's definitely one of my favourite autumn projects I've made.  Here's what I wrote about it on the Calico blog back in October 2015.

Hello all, Alison here with some Autumnal ATBs (and a very alliterative post title) for you today.

One of my (pleasurable) problems with the Craft Parts is I'm always torn between altering them and not altering them.  There are so many options for altering, and it's great fun, and they look fantastic... but then they also look so completely beautiful "naked" too.

With this project I think I've found a medium which gives me some of the best of both worlds - Pan Pastels.  By shading only partially, you get the colour but you can also keep some of the natural earthiness of the Craft Parts surface too.

I've used a complete set of all three sizes of the Plain ATBs (they also come with various apertures) and a just some of the wide range of glorious Leaf & Twig Shapes, and Fungi & Mushroom Shapes to create my autumn tower.

Putting the ATBs together is made very easy by the labelling and letters engraved onto the inside surfaces - just match them up and glue.

There's some full-on altering on the ATBs themselves.  I've used the DecoArt Americana Chalky Finish paints and crackle medium.  The base coat is a combination of Relic and Rustic, then I applied the crackle glaze - quite thickly so that I would get a good chunky crackle with lots of texture - and then some of the warm-white Lace colour over that once it was dry.

I shaded an autumnal sky downwards on each side using various pastels, and an earthy mulch upwards, leaving some white space available to give a cool light to the autumn day.

I combined more greens, browns and purples onto the leaves, starting with one layer of colour...

... and building up the layers until I liked the look of them.

And, as I said, I tried to make sure I didn't "colour" the whole piece each time, so that there would still be some "naked" Craft Part visible too.  It's such a lovely warm brown that it doesn't need covering up.

Since the leaves come in all sorts of sizes, you can get them to fit every size of ATB (or layout or card or tag, or whatever project you're working on).

The large ATB is 10x10x10cm, and so I've used the larger sizes - the Sugar Maple Leaf & Twig in large...

... the large version of the Mushrooms Style 9 (this little clump of fungi puts in an appearance in all three sizes)...

... the large Red Oak Leaf & Twig...

... and the Maple Leaf & Twig.  Since most of these are about 12cm at their largest point in the large size, they extend over the edges of the ATB in a way that really pleases me, but meant I had to be a bit careful about juggling them so that the ATBs could still stack properly.

The Ivy Leaf Garland puts in an appearance in its small, medium and large versions, draped across the top of each ATB.  There's also an Extra Large which, at 15cm, is too big for my ATBs but would be brilliant for a layout or large journal page.

The medium ATB (7.5x7.5x7.5cm) has the Maple Leaf & Twig,

and the Mushrooms Style 9 again, all in medium size this time...

... but also has the Chestnut Leaf & Twig for a bit of variation.

And on the smallest ATB (5x5x5cm) you can see the Mushrooms,

... and, to ring the changes just a little once again, the Pin Oak Leaf & Twig in its smallest size.

Some tiny pine cones sit on the very top (having just tumbled off the tree and landed serendipitously!).

And I added some words (of course) to tickle the brain and heart into action as you revolve the tower.

I'm not going to lie... this creation makes me very happy!

I hope you like it too.  (If you love these leaves and fungi as much as I do, you may want to hop over and go shopping - no problem, just click on the links in the text!)  Thanks so much for stopping by today and I'll see you again soon.


Thanks so much for stopping by today - I hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane.  There's something new up next, so I hope you'll be able to drop in again soon.  In the meantime, happy crafting all and have a great weekend!

Nature alone is antique, and the oldest art a mushroom.
Thomas Carlyle