I'm sharing a project I've had such fun making - and which has grown out of the same source as much of the work recently, but with an altogether happier process (and outcome too, I think). So this one is for Kathryn and Bill, with great love and admiration for your extraordinary performances in A Tender Thing, which have given me such inspiration... it was a joy working with you on such an amazing piece of theatre.
I was puzzling over ways to alter tags so that I could play along with Anita's wonderful challenge at Frilly and Funkie at the moment... There's some amazing inspiration from the DT as always, including some albums and booklets, like this gorgeous one by the fabulous Stamping Sue, and having thrown out a number of far-fetched ideas, that's where I circled back to in the end.
And it suddenly all made sense as - from nowhere, as it always seems - the idea arrived for the text which might go in my little book. It is what is technically known, I believe, as a mash-up.
In the high-school television musical-fest Glee, which I've dipped in and out of, the school choir will frequently mix together two songs which "match" in terms of lyrics or theme. Instead of songs, my mash-up is of two of Shakespeare's sonnets. How's that for a high/pop culture mash-up in itself?!?
So the title on the cover is Sonnet Fragments, as you don't quite get either of the sonnets in its entirety, but lines from each which "speak to" each other.
And this very combination appears as part of the text in Ben Power's A Tender Thing, as the ageing Romeo and Juliet face up to the sometimes harsh realities of getting older.
As I was working on this - over the course of several days, juggling with a number of other projects - the new Simon Says Stamp and Show challenge was announced, and provided the perfect excuse to go to town on my corrugated cardboard cover which at that point was merely painted and awaiting further inspiration.
SSSaS are playing with Rustification!
That couldn't have been more perfect for this project about the physical decay of the autumn of one's life...
So to the pale acrylic already in place, I added a layer of Ginger and Rust alcohol inks, then played with Burnt and Raw Umber acrylics, mixing them quite roughly onto the cardboard, then adding a wash of Red Iron Oxide to some areas.
I added all those colours to my stash to take part in the Andy Skinner Timeworn Techniques workshop online... but I'm so far behind with that, that I've started to play with them any old how!
I then had a play with some Vintage Photo Distress Embossing Powder along with a few brush dabs of Cosmic Shimmer embossing powder in Dark Bronze. The Vintage Photo gives fantastic texture, and the Dark Bronze gives that lovely lustrous shine in certain places. I'm very pleased with the results!
So to the inside... and apologies for the photo-heavy and long post, but I like to document these things fully - for myself as much as anything else!
The mash-up is of Sonnets 73 and 104. We start with 73, worried about being in the autumn of life... and the decay of former beauty and youth.
(You'll need to read several pages to get to the end of a whole thought.)
The stamps include Tim Holtz, Bobunny, and Stampology, and there's some of the TH calendar tissue tape - the autumn and winter months of course...
The autumnal colours are obviously dictated by the text.
I had a lovely time with the leaves (the stamp is from Artistic Outpost) - the "yellow" ones were embossed in clear onto the manila tags, and then I stamped in progressively darker Distress and Archival Inks to get a variety of shades in my leaf mulch.
The thought is turning bleaker now, from the colours of the leaves to bare branches in the cold...
... so the colours on these pages are bleaker - the branches stamped in Coffee Archival, and the shading done with Pumice Stone - the grim gray of winter starting to take over.
And the branches are compared to the choir pews in church, but their choir of birds has long since flown...
The stamps here are Tim Holtz, and the leaves are die-cut using his Autumn Gatherings Decorative Strip Die, which I've been making plenty of use of while the autumn crafting season is on us!
Here it's cut out of some Kaisercraft music paper, and inked with vintage photo.
I like how the leaves float over the background.
At this point, before it all takes a turn for somewhere even darker, Sonnet 104 interrupts (in the play it's Romeo stopping Juliet in her tracks). This has always been one of my absolute favourites, so beautiful as a thought - in my eyes you are unchangingly young and lovely - and expressed as perfectly as only Shakespeare can...
The gorgeous girl is from one of the Classics sets recently re-released by Stampers Anonymous, and I just love her... I hope the regulars aren't getting bored with her! And the deliciously rusty heart is from The Funkie Junkie Boutique.
And to complete the thought that you're just as lovely as when I first laid eyes on you, the eye comes from that same Classics set, and the girl is from Artistic Outpost's Think and Wonder set (the focus of one of the other upcoming projects - just to tempt you to return soon!).
The inside covers, backed onto the corrugated card, aren't made with tags, but with slightly textured cardstock... it needed something sturdy to get the cardboard to behave - it was part of some packaging and had been rolled up, and was determined to stay that way for quite some time!
I wanted the outside to have a really 'junkyard' look... so as well as the rusty corrugated card, the title is stamped onto very crumpled, torn kraft glassine paper.
That's backed onto some lovely rusty mesh, from the Funkie Junkie Boutique again, which I've frayed and twisted at the edges.
And so that it would show up against the rust, there's a layer of distressed dictionary text in between. I love this view of all the layers of texture, with the distressed edges of the tag pages.
The whole thing is fastened together with some garden twine, which is also what binds the tags inside, for a rough and ready rustic look - as you saw at the top of this post, if you can remember that far back!!
Thank you so much if you've made it this far - I know a long post can be trying when there are so many amazing blogs to visit out there in Craftyblogland, but I hope that you've enjoyed what you've seen. Do let me know what you think, and if I know you've visited I will always do my best to return the favour. Happy crafting for now, and see you again soon...
You can't hide your true colours as you approach the autumn of your life.
I'm entering this in the following:
Frilly and Funkie's challenge to create A Different Kind of Tag, with an Autumn theme
Simon Says Stamp and Show's challenge this week, Rustification
The Fashionable Stamping Challenge are looking for Shades of Autumn
Try It On Tuesday are also offering us the chance to play with Autumn Colours
And with the rusty heart and the metal mesh on the cover, and my AO Think and Wonder set, all from the Funkie Junkie Boutique, I'm sharing this at Frilly and Funkie again in the Sunday Share