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...

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Starfish For Eyes



Hello everyone!  It's time for a new challenge at Fun With ATCs, and this time we're heading Underwater...  

Do hop over and have a look at what my fantastic team-mates have been up to, and we're looking forward to seeing how you tackle the Underwater theme on your 2.5 x 3.5 inch ATCs.

Here's what I came up with.  

I'm afraid this is a photo-heavy post, as this project is one thing when you have it in your hands and can turn it and move it to see all around, but hellishly difficult to capture in a photograph!

It all came about from the idea of a really trying to get under some water, and from a song.    




The song behind this ATC is the Little Water Song, written by Nick Cave and sung by the fabulous Ute Lemper in the version I've linked to.  If you don't know it, I highly recommend a listen. 

(Apologies to those in Germany - I already know you won't be able to activate that link... I tried on my way back from the Czech Republic, having made this several weeks ago.)

It's a really eerie song, with a play on the love cliché  "you take my breath away".  



It appears at first, to be a love song, and a celebration of being underwater, with "starfish for eyes", but gradually it becomes apparent that, in fact, the singer is being drowned by her lover.  

What's not to love about that?! 






So I started with the idea of a layer of alcohol inked acetate, which would be my "water", so that I could then create something underneath it.  I wanted to have a border around the edge where the water really showed up by itself, so it's the acetate that measures 2.5 x 3.5, larger than the "seabed" underneath.

Apologies for the blurry appearance.  I promise it's not the photo - it's the shadow of the inks on the paper underneath creating the double-vision!







It was an added bonus by the time I'd finished, as when the sun shines through it you get a wonderful full-colour shadow effect!











The "seabed" - some watery spritz and flick technique on Distress Inks - is a little smaller than ATC sized, so that you get that watery border over the top. 

Because she's "dead", or at least dying, in the song, I wanted the woman in my ATC to be almost subliminal - barely there.




  

I used an Artistic Stamper image from the Seaside #1 plate - at a bargain price as Stamp of the Week this week - but wiped the ink from around her, so that it was just the woman and no background.  

I stamped her in Versamark and clear embossed her, so she has a real "now-you-see-her-now-you-don't" quality.  I love that she's somewhere in between waving and drowning (Stevie Smith, anyone?!).



I toyed with the idea of giving her "starfish for eyes" as the song lyric says, but decided they'd be too tiny to make an impact.  

So, instead, I used the large starfish from the same Artistic Stamper set, and embossed him in copper with a hint of Antique Linen Distress embossing powder sprinkled in for texture.

I also used the Antique Distress powder to give myself some underwater sandbanks around the corners of my "seabed". 



At this point, I hadn't really worked out how to get my layer of water (a.k.a. acetate) to hover over the top of the scene I was building.  I thought, at first, of using the sponge pads out of the Texture Fades packaging (as I've done on a couple of projects to create dimension).



But the brainwave came out of the blue - shells!  If I used some tiny shells, perhaps the water would sit on them without needing any extra support.

The positioning was obviously key, as was finding several shells of roughly equal size, so that the acetate would sit level not at some bizarre angle. 


But amongst the hoarded bits and bobs in the dollshouse museum there was a whole collection of tiny shells and stones.  

The father of the family in the large Edwardian house is a collector of shells and fossils, so most of them were originally collected for him, I think - but he already has plenty, so these were just leftovers. 









I arranged my selected pieces on my sandbanks, and used Glossy Accents to glue the "water" on top, sealing my almost invisible woman into her watery tomb.

In bright sunlight, she almost disappears in the shimmering water... but she's there alright, in the murky depths beneath.  

I can't wait to see what the Underwater theme inspires you to create - do come and play along. You have a whole fortnight starting from today!








Under here, you just take my breath away.
Under here, the water flows over my head.
I can feel the little fishes. 

Under here, whispering your most terrible name. 
Under here, they've given me starfish for eyes
and your head is a big, red balloon.

Under here, your huge hand is heavy on my chest
and under here, Sir, your lovely voice retreats.
And yes, you take my breath away...

Look at my hair as it waves and waves.
Sir, under here I have such pretty hair. 
Silver it is and filled with silver bubbles. 

Under here my blood will be a cloud
and under here my dreams are made of water.
And Sir, you just take my breath away... 

For under here, my pretty breasts are piled high
with stones and I cannot breathe. 
And tiny little fishes enter me. 

Under here, I'm made ready
and under here, I am washed clean. 
And I glow with the greatness of my hate for you.

Little Water Song, lyrics by Nick Cave

I'd like to enter this in the following:
At Simon Says Stamp and Show they're playing with the Letter S - I have Starfish, Sea, Shells, Stones and Song for you.  Oh, and Stamping, of course!
And the Stampotique Designers Challenge would like to see something Transparent
The shells have been around for over 25 years, so I hope that counts as Dusting Off My Old Supplies for Anything But A Card
And as a second entry into the Anything Goes at Simon Says Stamp

67 comments:

Debi said...

Alison, how you've captured the water effect is seriously COOL! Debi x

Brenda Brown said...

Love the 3D effect you have created and how clever to put the water over the top rather than underneath. Great ideas Alison.
hugs {brenda} x0x

inkypinkycraft said...

This looks fab! Lve how the water rest son the shells, hugs trace x

Rita said...

Good Morning Alison. Stunning act. The colour and techniques look terrific. Hugs Rita xxx

toni said...

What a brilliant idea ! Fabulous sea like colours great work xx

chrissies said...

Brilliant idea it looks really underwater.

Have a great day

Love Chrissie xx

Helen said...

Just brilliant use of the alcohol inks on acetate for water! Your discovery of the shells and stones was perfect!

brenda said...

What fabulous effects with the shells, inks and 3d appearance Alison and such beautifully vivid blues.

B x

Chrissy said...

Spectacular Alison..Love the beautiful blues and shells, so clever.Listened to the beautiful song too.

luv CHRISSYxx

daqadoodles said...

Great idea and a true underwater look!
I don't know much about Nick Cave, but didn't he also sang/wrote: Where the Wild Roses grow, with Kylie Minoque?
It is kind of similar themed.

Deborah said...

Doesn't seem right that Nick Cave is from sunny Australia, does it? I love your ATC interpretation of the song. The water looks very inviting until you glimpse the drowning woman.

Andrea Small said...

OMG x 2!

1) this is so beautiful and CLEVER...I want to hold it! I love your interpretation.

2) this is one of my favourite songs EVER, although to call it a song doesn't really do it justice. It is a perfect artistic experience. I have been known to play it over and over again on car journeys. Er - when I'm on my own. Every time I listen to it I am thrilled. Happy sigh.
A xx

Jennie Atkinson said...

Absolutely brilliant! What an absolutely stunning way to create the feel of being underwater - you really do come up with some inspiring effects. And such a great interpretation of the song. Love it all Jennie x

Debbie said...

What a fabulous idea! love the 3D! And that lovely woman trapped forever! Very clever Alison, and all on an ATC! WOW!

Wishes From A Broad
Debbie
^..^

House of Bears said...

Oh how clever. We love the fact that you made a 3d ATC, and are very impressed with how you achieved the under water effect. We'll be digging out our acetate now.

die amelie said...

I LOVE Nick Cave and I LOVE your underwater ATC installation, Alison! ;)

The idea with the water surface being alcohol inks on acetate is sooo brilliant! An adorable project!

Hugs,
Claudia x

Redanne said...

Hi Alison, the song made me feel rather sad although she sings is so beautifully..... your ATC is a triumph of engineering! Love the colour you achieved for the water element and the shells are so pretty - you are such a clever lady and so inventive. Hugs, Anne x

Netty said...

love the wonderful visual effect you have achieved, Annette x

Mary Elizabeth said...

What a great idea! Love your "water" technique and I love how the shells hold up the acetate.

Beautiful project.

-- Mary Elizabeth

Cestina said...

My guess is that this was not an easy subject for you to tackle. I'm surprised that you could handle it, let alone achieve this sort of perfection. Great.

You are right about not being able to listen to the song. I look forward to hearing it very soon, tomorrow I hope
xx I

Julia said...

What a fabulous idea. When I saw the first image I thought it really was underwater and reading on, your story is captivating. Love it Alison and to think it is ATC sized too, great work!
Julia x

Annie said...

Genius project Alison. Love the 3d effect you have created. Wonderful use of the alcohol inks on acetate. Wunderbar !

Hugs Annie xxxx

Candy C said...

Alison...this ATC is so cool! I love the 3D effect you've gotten. Love the use of the acetate. Love the colors and all of the elements you've used to create this little masterpiece! You rock! Thanks for sharing your always wonderful and creative art with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. <3 Candy

Hettie said...

This is fabulous Alison. Love the story behind it. All the texture and layers are fabulous. Love a lickle alcohol and ink together!!
Who would have thought that Nick Cave would come into the crafting world? I used to work for a company that manufactured his CDs and I once saw him live!!
Hugs
xx

2amscrapper said...

I must say this is one of the most creative projects I've seen....so much thought into every detail to go along with your song lyrics and such fabulous use of product and bits and bobs.

Gio said...

This is stunning Alison!!

I loved to met you at the Extravaganza, and sorry I couldn't have a proper chat with you. Hope to have a chance to meet again!

lynnesbowsandbelles said...

I am afraid of the sea (and what lurks beneath) but this glorious ATC would tempt me to dip my big toe into the water!
Wishes
Lynne

sara j said...

Another brilliant interpertation Alison-you are SO in your element here in craft/blogland! I love the dimension in the piece and the subtle little mermaid...wonderful!! Happy Day.

Sarah said...

Although your photos attempt to show the beauty of this work, I'm sure the real beauty emerges when the sun's rays play through the acetate. What a stunning project, Alison.

Reflective Art Studio said...

Wonderfully Creative. Thanks for joining us this week at Stampotique Designer's Challenge. Hope to see you again real soon. xx Sarinda

Dorthe said...

You have the most fantastic ideas, Alison!! What a wonderful way of showing the sea !! and using that song :-) The piece is a gorgeous ATC,- I love how the stones and shells looks under the acetate!!
xo,Dorthe

Basement Stamper said...

Wow, this ATC is absolutely stunning! Beautiful creation.

Libby Hickson said...

Alison this is absolutely stunning, I am blown away!! Thanks for joining us at the Stampotique Designer's Challenge!

barbarayaya62 said...

Stunning project! fab use od acetate!!!!!!!!! barbarayaya

Paper Profusion said...

Seriously fabulous idea Alison that works brilliantly. Amazing work! Nicola x

Dianne said...

BRILLIANT!!!!. I listened to the song 3 times while I read and drooled over your post.It's amazing how you created it,looking through the acetate looks like real water love how the shadow reflects it, the embossed image is just perfect. I have to say the music just went perfect with the making of you ATC. I have been making some for 4 days now, but this is just outstanding, you never cease to amaze me in everything you make, thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day..

Astrid Maclean said...

Wow Alison, what a totally clever make this is, - you come up with the most amazing out of the box ideas! Love the alcohol ink effect on the acetate and the idea of the shells is brilliant. Loved reading your post while listening to that hauntingly beautiful song!

Kim Dellow said...

Ooo Just wonderful, I want to dip my toe in it and go for a paddle! Kim

Lucy Edmondson said...

Beautiful!

Lucy x

May said...

WOW, What a creation Alison, your ideas are amazing...The use of acetate & the inks have worked beautifully... Love it so much... Hugs May x x x

Nan G said...

Fabulous interpretation of the song! Love the now you see her now you don't woman in the water. The 3D effect is brilliant! Hugs Nan

Kelly Foster said...

Oh how cool is that?! You are one creative lady :)

cheiron said...

Amazing ATC. That water looks real. Thanks for playing along with us in the the Anything Goes Challenge over on the Simon Says Stamp Challenge Blog this week!

Annette Green said...

Whoa, so very cool Alison. I love the appearance of depth and water. Lovely work, as usual!

Linda Coughlin, the funkie junkie said...

This is just so incredible, it takes MY breath away!!!! Your projects just keep getting more and more amazing!

Hugs,
Linda

Sue said...

This really is stunning Alison and so well thought out. You can really feel the poor woman being enveloped by the water. Thank you so much for sharing with us at Stampotique. Sue xx

Silvia(Barnie) said...

A gorgeous piece of art, great summer feeling.

craftytrog said...

It's enchanting!!! xx

mark gould said...

absolutely genius, I love the layers and depth, well thought out and brilliantly carried out, love it

Janny Jager 't Hooft said...

Amazing ATC Alison.
Love every details.
Greetings Janny

Elly said...

Incredible....your imagination and what you create out of it!! (:o)

Anita Houston said...

GORGEOUS!!!! Love the splotchy blue background...just super! Your shells and seaside view are wonderful! Thank you for showing us your S inspiration this week here at Simon Says Stamp & Show!!!

Terry said...

Oh my goodness, Alison! You have certainly captured an ocean scene. Love this beauty! Hugs!

Margaret said...

Oh, Alison! This is both beautiful and tragic at the same time! The acetate on the shells is inspired! You have perfectly captured the word 'underwater' in this piece! The song is so beautiful too! I had never heard it before and am so glad you shared it with us!

Asia King (aka Joanna K) said...

wOOw! This is so super gorgeous and so creative. I loved reading about the way you created your under water scene. Stunning ATC! Hugs xxx

Lisa S. said...

You do have a way with words Alison, your post was truly a fascinating read. Thanks for always sharing the process with us. A stunning project and I'm sure the pictures do not do it justice. Hugs

Marjie Kemper said...

Wow! That is one gorgeous sea creation and what a story behind it... yikes! Love the AI blues - a perfect sea scene!

cathylynn said...

Bravo Alison!! You are a genius! As I started your post I went to the link to hear the song (first time I've heard of it) Great video and then to read your interpretation and ATC to go along with the song is brilliant! The acetate is wonderful used as water and reflection. Yep I'd say you are an artist!!!!
Hugs, Cathy-Lynn

Margaret said...

I already commented on this before realizing that you linked up with us at Anything But a Card! Thanks so much for joining us again!

Sue C said...

Alison, you never fail to amaze me with your creativity ! This one really is fantastic and for such a small project there's so much to see ! Sue C x

Buttons said...

Such a clever idea to capture your seashore under an alcohol ink sea this way Alison. Love the way the light really plays with it, and the subtlety of the drowning female. Hugs, Jenny x

Monique said...

This is so beautiful and it does realy give an underwater feel. Love the shadows give it an extra dimension.
xx

Kasia said...

Alison, what a great idea! Your ATC is amazing :)

Anna-Karin said...

Such a wonderful idea! Love the underwater effect you created here. I wish I could see it in real life. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show!

Nicecrane Designs said...

Amazing Tazg Alison,,,,,,I love the way oyu stamp,,,,,these pict,,,,it inspired me,,,,,to create this effect digitally....woww,wowwwww.

Chris Warner said...

Alison, your creativity never ceases to amaze me! Another fab idea executed with flair. Beautiful. Chris xxx

Kezzy said...

Wow wow amazing, love how you really have given the whole depth of the sea, it's a fantastic piece, love it. Hugs :-) Kezzy xxx