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...

Sunday, 18 November 2012

A thankful heart

Hello all, and a very warm welcome to Words and Pictures on a very chilly evening (well, it is where I am, at any rate). 

Everywhere you look at the moment in Craftyblogland, there seem to be Thanksgiving projects and themes and challenges.  It isn't, of course, a holiday that we celebrate in the UK, but what an incredibly worthwhile thought - to spend a day in the exercise of gratitude, of thankfulness and of counting one's blessings.



I watched a TED talk the other day by Brene Brown, and enjoyed it so much that I bought one of her books.  In it, there was a section about gratitude, with the recommendation that it really is something one has to practise, daily; and she talks about how that practice can have a profound effect on how you walk through life. 


I passed this on to my brother and his family, and the kids have really embraced the idea of saying out loud at dinnertime each day something that they are thankful for.  It's a secular form of saying Grace, I suppose.

I'm a regular counter of my blessings - of which there are many - and I try to stay mindful of bearing a thankful heart.  So I'm more than happy to turn my crafting to the cause of thankfulness, with this rustic altered heart.



I had such a lovely time making it, playing with some of my new toys from my trip to the NEC last week (jeepers... only a week ago - it's been a long one!).

The heart itself is one of the 35p ones I got from the MDF Man; it started out like this. (It's about 6 inches wide and 4 inches tall.)







I had a wonderful time experimenting with the paints and crackle glaze I got from PaperArtsy, and I'm completely thrilled with the end results you get - perfectly weathered, and right up my distress/shabby chic alley!

I'd also decided to play along with Simon Says Stamp and Show's current challenge which is Stamping Without Ink.








So none of the stamping on this project is done with inks... mainly it's paint instead, but there is also a bit of Distress Stain stamping.

I used the gorgeous Tattered Angels flourish - which appeals to me because it's already in a state of distress even when perfectly stamped - to stamp at the edges of my peeled paint heart. 


I applied PaperArtsy's French Roast Fresco paint to the stamp with a little make-up sponge (bag of 20 for £1), and found it gave exactly the right coverage for a good stamping. 

I sanded the edges with an emery board, and I did use some Vintage Photo DI to edge the heart, and to boost the crackle in places for extra weathering.  Very pleased with it!






The leaves are also stamped in Fresco paint; two are stamped onto my favourite recycled bread wrappers (lovely crinkly wax paper basically), and two onto watercolour paper. 


I then coloured the ones on watercolour paper using a water brush and various inks, Versamagic (chalky ones) and Distress Inks (because it's simply not possible for me to manage without them).








The central heart I cut freehand to echo the shape of the main heart.  I'm away from home, so there's no access to die-cutting even if I wanted to!  I used a piece of kraft card I'd been experimenting with a while back.  

I'd stamped Tim Holtz's Papillon script stamp on it in Picket Fence Distress Stain, and loved the watercolour look of it, but hadn't found the right project for it until now.

I love the skeleton veins running across behind the text (stamped in the paint again, with my trusty little alphabet), reminiscent of the veins in dried leaves.  It's mounted on some of my favourite white mesh from the Funkie Junkie Boutique.





There's a collection of twine and raffia and white raffia at the top, finished with a bow, and all given an extra bit of definition with some Vintage Photo DI, and that's pretty much it!


I'm thankful for so many things, and I simply have to say that right now I'm so grateful to all of you for your visits, comments and the inspiration I find visiting you all in Craftyblogland. Thank you!




You say grace before meals.  All right.  But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.
G.K. Chesterton

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
Epictetus

I'm entering this in the following:
Simon Says Stamp and Show who would like us to Stamp Without Ink
At Sugar Creek Hollow, the challenge is Kraft
Simon Says Stamp's challenge this week is Thanksgiving/Thank You
The Inspiration Journal is asking us to create small gifts or table decorations to show we are Thankful
Pile It On are also encouraging us with the challenge Let's Be Thankful
Unruly Paper Arts are having a Reader Art Quest for items of Home Decor - if you like this, it would be wonderful if you'd pop over there and vote...

53 comments:

Kylie said...

Wow, just perfect Alison. Love, love, love it!! xx

Terry said...

Alison, this is gorgeous! Love those big cracks and how elegant is that non-ink stamped image! Shabby Chic perfection! Have a wonderful weekend!

Anna-Karin said...

This is so lovely Alison! The cracks on the heart are perfect and the flourish stamping fits so well. Love your sentiment and the idea behind the project. And those gorgeous leaves of course. Thank you for joining us again at Simon Says Stamp and Show!

Ephemera said...

Wonderful project Alison beautifully crafted to shabby perfection, with such a thoughtful sentiment behind it. Have a great day. xx

chrissies said...

Wonderful tag--wish my crackle looked like that but it never does.

Never thought to use paint on stamps but must have a go cause yours looks amazing.

Love Chrissie xx

Cestina said...

Oh this is just lovely - and so are the quotes and the sentiment behind it all.

(Am just wondering which dolls house that crackle stuff will benefit most - one of the new Tudor ones perhaps?

May said...

Wonderful Heart Alison..From a plain 35p piece of wood.. you have turned it into this Beautiful piece of art... I love the sentiment behind it all... Have a happy Sunday! Hugs May x x x

Buttons said...

What a fabulous way to transform a humble heart into a complete work of art. So you, so beautiful. It's wonderful to see your Paperartsy goodies in action - crackle backgrounds have always been a favourite of mine and this works so well. Great leaves too, so crunchy and lifelike. Hugs, Buttons x

Redanne said...

This is just beautiful Alison, love the crackling of the paint and the leaves are beautiful. You are so right, we should give thanks more often - the quotes you have used today say it all really. Crafty hugs, Anne x

PS - if you do the ironing technique just put some kraft paper/card above and below and then put a tea towel between that and the iron and it should work beautifully - the iron has to be on it hottest heat to work well.

House of Bears said...

This is lovely, and remembering to be thankful for every day things is what keeps us happy and content in our opinion. I love the leaf stamps on wax paper. We have some Kraft Glassine somewhere which we must try using for this purpose.

Astrid Maclean said...

Oooooh, LOVE this, right up my alley, love your shabby crackled heart, the stamping with the paint looks fantastic and the way you have finished it all off is just beautiful!!! Stunning creation! Hope you are having a great Sunday!

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Such a beautiful heart, love the crackled background.
Have a wonderful sunday.

Lisa M said...

You have GOT to show how you got the bark texture to look so realistic. I know it's crackle based, but the thickness is just perfect. Maybe I just don't have the patience to let it dry?? Would love to see this is step by step.
Your heart is shabby country chic wonderful and what a joyful and thankful project this is!!
Thank you for sharing this one. :)
hugs,
Lisa x

Paper Profusion said...

Beautiful creation Alison and lovely post too. That is one of the best crackle finishes I've seen - I'm not achieving good results on the crackle front at all. Bread wrapper is wonderful and love the flourish stamping. Have you seen that the new challenge at Sugar Creek Hollow is Kraft? Nicola x

Fliss said...

An awesome creation Alison. The crackle effect is gorgeous and love the stamping and rustic embellishing. Those leaves look amazing too.
Hugs, Fliss xx

craftytrog said...

This makes such a beautiful decoration for the home Alison! I love it!
Alison x

Janny Jager 't Hooft said...

Wonderfull project Alison.
Love the crackled background .
Evey detail on it is GREAT.

Greetings Janny

Candy C said...

Alison, your beautiful heart is a work of art. Well...all of your projects are! I truly love the cracked effect you got from using the Paper Artsy Crackle Glaze. I love that stuff and don't use it often enough! Love your beautiful stamping as well. The addition of the leaves, the burlap heart underneath your "a thankful heart" and then layering that heart and the twine and raffia at the top of of your heart all work together for such a lovely design. Beautifully done! Thanks for sharing your work with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. <3 Candy

Samantha Elliott said...

This is gorgeous Alison. Love it x

Bonnie Irvine said...

Stunning project, Alison. the texture of the crackles, the mesh, and the stamping are lovely. Your art is always a treat. I appreciate your gifts to us.

Meggymay said...

Awesome project, it looks gorgeous and I loved reading your post. .Thank you for sharing it with us at SCH this time.
Yvonne

Sandra said...

Oh Alison, this heart is amazing! Love the big crackles! And the stamping on it as well! Then those gorgeous blueprint leaves! Very pretty! Thank you so much for joining us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. Hugs, Sandra

Chris said...

WOW, this is stunning. I love the texture and the leaves are so pretty.
By the way, for most of us Americans, the day ends up being one of feasting and the gratitude tends to play second fiddle.
I liked your post as much as your card. It's good to be thankful on a daily basis for all the many blessings we have.
thanks for playing with us at Pile IT On.

mark gould said...

really love the crackled paint on the big heart.the paper artsy paints are brilliant, great sentiment for the post as well x

Netty said...

Beautifully altered heart and loving the shabby chic effect. Thank you for the heads up on the bread wrapping that is such a fab idea, Annette x

sam21ski said...

Oh wow, simply gorgeous and your crackle looks fab

Sam xxx

Terry said...

Hey there Allison, wowwwzerssss I absolutely loveeee hearts and I loveee crackle, your heart is really amazing love the way you used the crackle and the leaves on the heart and the colors....woww....Thank you for sharing your fabulous creation with the DT from Simon Says Stamp and Show. Hugs Terry xxxx

Dana Tatar {datatar} said...

Wow! Amazing piece! I love all the distressing and texture. Thanks for the inspiration! =)

toni said...

Hi Alison hope you are enjoying yourself in Stratford and not working too hard. Considering you are away from home you are producing some amazing mixed media art! the heart is lovely,great weathered look and fabulous sentiment.I agree with you completely we have sooo much to be grateful and thankful for!x

Sue said...

What a gorgeous piece Alison, I love your crackled heart, and the wax paper is perfect for your leaves. The rafia and string tie it all together perfectly xx

lynne said...

Sumptuous Alison. Those cracks are perfect in their imperfections and I like the notion of cracks on a heart.The rustic touches of the raffia are so wonderful.
Wishes
Lynne

Fluffles said...

So beautiful - I love this project! Jx

trisha too said...

Lovely piece, Alison! Thank you so much for sharing it with us in the Reader's Art Quest at Unruly Paper Arts!

:)

Kate said...

This is lovely, Alison! I love your crackled heart anth the leaves. So shabby and pretty!

Shar said...

Love the beautiful crackle effect! Thanks for questing with us at UPA!

Sophie said...

Eine wunderschöne Idee.
Und so liebevoll gemacht.

Liebe Grüße

Annie said...

This is sooooo gorgeous Alison. I love the crackle background. A stunning creation. TFS

Annie x

Anita Houston said...

Beautiful! Great thankful make! Love the leaves!

Candy C said...

I'm baaack! And I still LOVE this heart! :) I also wanted to say thanks to you for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice comment about my little matchbook notepad. I so appreciate your thoughts as I am such an admirer of your work! <3 Candy

Jingle said...


This is so gorgeous! Those leaves just look amazing! Beautiful work! Thanks so much for playing along with us over at the Simon Says Stamp Challenge Blog!

Olivia said...

What a beutiful heart!! They way that the paint crakels is just beutiful and makes it more alive to look at ;-)

gayle said...

oooh,this is gorgeous, fabulous texture! Agree with the sentiment too, happy Thanksgiving!

Bärbel said...

Das Herz ist wunderbar, die Krakelierung, die liebevolle Gestaltung, ich liebe es, Alison!

Margaret said...

This is such a wonderful piece! I love the paper you used for the leaves! It gives such a wonderful effect!
I loved reading your post about celebrating Thanksgiving every day (minus all the food-yikes!)and think we could all be better people for this!

Kim Price said...

This is an amazing project. I love the aged look of the heart. Just stunning.

coco said...

I've not enough time to put a comment at each creation, but today I can't go away without leaving a message... I really love your heat, so beautiful and perfect !!! Have a fab day and good continuation, Wishes Coco

BethieJ said...

Your heart is BEAUTIFUL!! I LOVED it!! I enjoyed reading your post as well!!! Have a GREAT day! Thanks for joining us at PIO last week!

Gillian .... said...

Oooo Alison your shabby chic heart is Gorgeous, love everything about it. xx

Joy said...

Absolutely GORGEOUS, love what you did here..stunning..thanks for joining us at Simon Says Challenge blog

Mrs.B said...

Alison this is beautiful, love the shabby chic look the crackle gives. Beautiful embellishments.
Avril xx

Marjie Kemper said...

What a treasured wall hanging! Love the crackle and over-stamping, the fantastic leaves... oh so many terrific details! I'm thankful you blog and share your arts!

Ab Fab Designs said...

Wow lovely stunning projects hugs xx

Daniele said...

what a wonderful creation, love the painted background and stamping
Thanks for joining us at SCH
hugs