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...

Monday, 22 May 2017

Traveller's Notebook

Hello all!  I'm sorry it's been quiet here, but I'm so grateful for the lovely feedback on my Nature Assemblage for PaperArtsy.  It was one of those makes which just felt right, so I'm happy to know it struck a chord for many of you too.

The reason I've been absent is that I'm embedded in a new rehearsal process, and also enjoying settling in to New York City again.  That doesn't leave a lot of time or headspace for much else.

I have been spending some of my spare time playing with paints and inks, but I'm finding it hard to progress beyond backgrounds and preparation to an actual finished piece.  Still having fun playing both craftily and otherwise, though...

So this post really is a bit of a traveller's notebook entry.

I thought I'd just share a couple of pictures of my travelling craft set up here in my rather lovely Brooklyn apartment.

And then I've also got a few photos of some in-progress pages in my Midori Traveller's Notebook.  Yes, I yielded to my long-time desire for one of those lovely leather journal covers and some inserts.  Well, given the amount of travelling I seem to do...

I have a craft mat with me, some Oxides, some mini-distress inks, Prima watercolour pencils and my tin of Qor watercolour paints (the black tin you can just see on the left), as well as various brushes, plastic palette knives and selected embossing powders, twine and Archival Inks (in the craft bag on the right).

I had some stuff on order with The Funkie Junkie Boutique ready for posting when I got here (fantastic customer service from Linda Coughlin) - so that's where the mini Dina Wakley paints you can see came from.  And I've also been to Blicks for some Watercolour Ground, and a sample set of Golden texture pastes.

On the windowsill right next to the table (lovely big wooden table - couldn't be better!), I've got some stamps, tags, book pages and ephemera, stencils, and stickers (some brought from home and some bought here).

And the lovely basket was just sitting there waiting - perfect to hold the washi and tissue tapes, as well as various Idea-ology bits and bobs - not to mention some Tattered Angels sprays picked up for a song here (yes, there'll likely be an extra bag on the way home).  I'm not travelling light, but then I am here for ten weeks.

As well as the bits and bobs of tag backgrounds and watercolouring you can see in the very first photo of this post, I've been having a lovely time starting to add things into the Midori notebook, though so far I've not progressed to any writing or completed art-journalling.

Before leaving home, I'd already stuck some Tim Holtz design papers into the Midori inserts in various places.

The 8x8 Etcetera pad is perfect for creating signatures just by folding the sheets in half or, as I've done here, cutting them in half to add detail to one side of a page spread.

And I'd also added some washi and deco-tape detailing...

... as well as doing some stamping with the gorgeous vintage Scrapcosy stamps from PaperArtsy...

... alongside some of Lin Brown's grasses and leaves.

One of the things on order from The Funkie Junkie Boutique was Tim's Illustrated Garden stamp set from the releases earlier this year.  So I've already inked them up and started adding them in to the notebook.

These fantastically detailed botanical drawings make wonderful page accents (and go so well with the Scrapcosy stamps too!).

I don't know yet whether I'll paint these, or tint them, or just work around them, but I feel as though I'll be inspired to write or draw or collage when I arrive at these pages. 

The "blank page syndrome" is already dealt with, so you might as well just write something.

Not all the pages have been inked or altered so, if it continues to be the case that all I really feel like doing is backgrounds or occasional elements, then there's still plenty of space to carry on.  I'm not going to bully myself about it.

While still at home, I was also using up scraps and leftovers from around the craft table.

So these two Photobooth photos...

... which have tried and failed to make it onto a number of projects in recent months...

... now finally have somewhere to live.

And I constructed a kraft pocket insert to hold extra Photobooth strips in case I want to add more vintage photos as I go (seems probable!).

Although the standard Midori papers are not really up to much in terms of wet media, I rather like the weathered look you get if you add watery distress inks to them.

The covers of each insert are made of sturdier stuff, so there's some space to play with wetter media there.  And I've got some homemade watercolour page inserts ready too, so if I do want to branch out, I've got the wherewithal.

So that's what I'm up to... just some dabbling to keep my hand in while my creativity concentrates itself back in the Words side of things for a while.  (For the insatiably curious, this is the production which I'm working on here.)   I'm also continuing my drawing/watercolouring endeavours, as well as ending up with lots of Oxide-y backgrounds to play with if Mr Mojo moves over to Pictures again at any point.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and for your patience while things take a turn for the peaceful here at Words and Pictures.  I may get some Encore posts up, or I may manage to share some more of my watercolour journey (there's oodles to catch up with on that front), and I hope I'll also manage some blog-visiting at times.

But for now I'll wish you all a wonderful week, and happy crafting!

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Nature Assemblage

Hello all!  I'm delighted to be offering up some inspiration over at the PaperArtsy blog today for this fortnight's Assemblage theme.  The definitions I read spoke about Assemblage as essentially being three-dimensional collage - 3D objects projecting out from the substrate - and from the first moment of reading that, the idea for these Lynne Perrella houses popped into my head.

As you'll know from my sample-making earlier in the year, I fell head over heels in love with Lynne's latest exquisite releases, and the image I've used is probably my overall favourite from the new sets... and just from looking at her, it was clear what sort of 3D objects she would be gathering around her.  I hope you'll be able to hop over and check out her story, and I hope you're all having a great week.

Your deepest roots are in nature. No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of life you lead, you remain irrevocably linked with the rest of creation.
Charles Cook

Saturday, 6 May 2017

We're in the money!

Hello all!  Thank you so much for the lovely comments on my Eileen Hull Nature Journal.

I'm sorry I'm not managing many return visits at the moment... not only am I in the throes of packing for another stint away from home (travelling today, in fact) but my computer keyboard is having severe migraines, so I'm having to limit my time working on it.

Happily, I persuaded it to cooperate for long enough to write this post and schedule it.

You'll only understand today's title if you look very closely...

Underneath all those layers are some extremely mundane money envelopes - a pack of 250 bought for £1 in a Pound Shop at some point in the dim and distant past.  Nothing much to look at initially, but oh, how I enjoyed altering them.

I'm sharing both of these photos of the complete set as I've been flicking back and forth between them, unable to decide which I prefer, for long enough now, and there's still packing to be done, so you can decide for yourselves.

We've shifted from my actual dolls (see them at Pastime With Good Company) to Tim Holtz's new Paper Dolls... there's considerably less time and stress involved with these dolls!

I'm always inspired by the fantastic sets of ATCs created by Maj at m-1309, and these almost-ATC-sized money envelopes (they're actually 4 x 2 and 5/8) arose out of many happy visits to her blog, though they're not specifically based on any one ATC set of hers.

I've just been to take a quick photo of some of the unaltered envelopes, so that you can see the humble beginnings...

I think it's probably around a year since I created the backgrounds - paper scraps, gesso and Ecoline inks dotted on and spritzed with water.

Whatever I had in mind at the time didn't quite come together (I can't remember what or why), so they sat around near the craft table and waited patiently for me to come back and play with them.

When Tim Holtz's Paper Dolls and new Design Tapes turned up, I thought they'd be the perfect addition.

The little strips of Design Tape add lovely detail without being too in-your-face.

I had a joyous time selecting my characters and adding the simple extra layers of embellishments.

It took a while to sort through the hundreds of dolls to find the ones I wanted at matching sizes.

Almost all of the images in the pack of Paper Dolls are there in multiple sizes, so you can pick just the right dimensions to suit your project.

I love the selection of children I've ended up with, so full of character...

... the serious expressions of some of them, even to the point of definite anxiety in the case of the little girl on the left...

... and then this confident chap, happy to look you straight in the eye from his comfortable perch.

I find that the characters tell you stories as you work with them...

... so that choosing the individual Big Chat word stickers to accompany each of them was pretty easy.

I just listened to what they were saying to me...

... and selected the word which seemed to correspond.

I used some bundled thread on each envelope (something Maj often does).  I have quite often done it myself in the past, and always enjoy the effect, but I seem to forget about it.

I've now put a roll of thread in the little box which sits the middle of the craft table right in front of me, and I've got another in the craft supplies ready to go in the suitcase.  Hopefully I'll remember to use it more often in future!

I kept the embellishments simple - a button and a number brad for each of them...

... and an inky butterfly each.

The butterflies were punched with Tim's large butterfly punch out of a wrinkle-free distress tag.

I used various Distress Inks, chosen to complement the Ecoline inks already in place from a year ago.

It's great fun varying the positioning, so that each one of the set is slightly differently arranged, but balanced in itself.

And it really doesn't take much more time to make four than it would to make one.

(It does require more photos though, in my world...)

I often work in series and sets with tags, but I can't remember doing it at this size before.

I can see this becoming addictive!

You have to look pretty closely now to see the printing from the money envelopes now, but I promise you it is still there.  (Quite why they won't sit all in a straight line is beyond me, but that's children for you.)

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  As soon as I've arrived, settled in and got stuck in to rehearsals in NYC, I hope to be round for some long-neglected visiting.

If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.
Dorothy Parker

I'd like to play along at Frilly and Funkie where the challenge is to Put Your Inking Cap On - making anything without using designer paper.  Quite apart from anything else, that's my favourite challenge theme title ever!
This makes entry number three at Mixed Media World for their Anything Goes with an optional twist of Watercolour theme - and finally, third time lucky, there are Ecoline Watercolour Inks involved
And I hope they're bright enough for That's Crafty Challenges where the theme is Bright!