Hello all, and welcome to Words and Pictures, with an especially big welcome to the new followers... it's great to have your company on the journey.
I'm sharing some white witchery today - a different angle on the denizens of Halloween - the pocket book of a herbalist, or gatherer of simples.
I love some of the witchy images I've seen around Craftyblogland as we approach Halloween - there are some dead glamorous ones, and thankfully very few of the traditional warts and hook-noses variety. That version of a witch is simply another terrible piece of propaganda...
Who knows how much natural wisdom and knowledge of the healing powers of plants was lost in the culling of so-called 'witches', as the Church sought to eliminate the influence of the wise women?
The cover is made of calico, stuck onto thick chipboard, stamped with a Tattered Angels flourish, and frayed at the edges.
It's been aged with blendings of Antique Linen, Vintage Photo and Gathered Twigs Distress Inks.
The twine has also had some weathering with Vintage Photo and Walnut Stain Distress Stains. Lovely, messy job, swirling it around in the ink on the craft mat!
The label has been stamped with some more Tattered Angels flowers - I thought the one on the left was deliciously medieval - and then hand-written (ooer - the handwriting is back, and for the first time I don't hate it!).
It's made from one of my tea-stained tags... If you saw What was On My Workdesk this Wednesday, you'll have seen all the experimentation. I was inspired to give this a go by the wonderful work of Lynne over at Adorn. She creates beautiful vintage pieces using tea and coffee stained elements. I've used some more of the tags for the inside too.
When I said, on Wednesday, that all the tea and coffee soaking reminded me of a school project, I wasn't joking. It's one that I remember incredibly clearly (even though it must be nearly 35 years ago!): we had to create a witch's spell, and were told that we could age our paper by soaking it overnight in the afore-mentioned drinks.
I still remember the refrain from the spell I wrote: Arony, Briony, Rosehip, Thyme, Lend your power to this spell of mine... and that was really the spark for this little pocket-book. It seemed only right to use some of the tags to revisit that phrase!
And I now have the most beautiful stamps to do the work for me - instead of my own hand-drawn efforts at decoration. These are mainly a mixture of the Oxford Impressions set Dr Coffin's Apothecary, and Artemio's Hedgerow Plants... and again with the handwriting!
In the background there's the absolutely gorgeous script from Tim Holtz's Apothecary set... now that's what I'd like my handwriting to look like!
I was playing with Tim Holtz's glorious stamping techniques (which you can see him demonstrating here), in terms of applying the ink to the stamps differently for different effects. All the stamping here is done with Coffee and Sepia Archival Inks (oh, and Black for TH's Apothecary script behind).
I've never been able to draw in the way I would like - and stamps offer a wonderful alternative, I think... it's like the drawing I could never do. I'm so happy to have found stamping as a pastime - it feels like coming home.
And one of the things I adore most about discovering Distress Inks is the capability it gives me to create things that seem to be full of history and character, having travelled through time, and that is what I've loved playing with here. It's a simple piece, but I love it... I'd love to know what you think too.
I'm very glad you found time to drop in today, and I look forward to seeing you again soon - either here, or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.
Medicine is mine; what herbs and Simples grow
In fields and forests, all their powers I know.
O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies
In herbs, plants, stones, and their true qualities.
From Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
She led a peaceful, innocent life, with her green herbs for companions; she associated little with the people around, except in a business way. They came to see her, but she rarely entered their houses. Every room in her house was festooned with herbs; she knew every kind that grew in the New England woods, and hunted them out in their season and brought them home. She was a simple sweet soul, with none of the morbid melancholy of her parents about her. She loved her work, and the greenwood things were to her as friends, and the healing qualities of sarsaparilla and thoroughwort, and the sweetness of thyme and lavender, seemed to have entered into her nature, till she almost could talk with them in that way.
A Gatherer of Simples from Cinnamon Roses (1908)
I'm entering this in the following:
The Fashionable Stamping Challenge are offering a Halloween theme
Try It On Tuesday are having a Halloween challenge
And Top Tip Tuesday are playing with Halloween too. And as a tip: for really natural (and gently scented) aged paper, try soaking in coffee and/or tea for several hours
A third and final entry at the Vintage Stamping Challenge's inaugural Anything Goes challenge
Hels Sheridan at Ink on my Fingers has a post called Harvest Moon, offering the Sunday Stampers Autumn as the theme, and my colours are pretty autumnal I think... and my white witch has been making her very special harvest