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, 1 July 2013

Anonymous Women



Hello all, it's Monday and the first of the month, and the beginning of a brand new challenge over at The Artistic Stamper (and over at Our Creative Corner too, of course, but you'll hear from me about that on the 15th of the month, and maybe also tomorrow as a little added extra!!).  


After last month's Makes for Men (fabulous entries, by the way), it's only fitting that we're moving over to Ladies Day (or women, as I really prefer to call them).  


You'll find all the challenge details here, along with great makes from some of my amazing team-mates to inspire you.  


Don't forget, you can use any stamps, but if you use Artistic Stamper stamps you get two entries into the prize draw at the end of the month.  But onto my offering...





So often I'm delighted with the - somewhat hastily chosen - title of my blog because, once again, this make arose as a result of a combination of the words and pictures just seeming to speak to each other in my head.

The women on the Artistic Stamper plate Faces No.2 are just extraordinary - wonderful faces from across the centuries, full of strength, intelligence, dignity, beauty, vulnerability - you name it, it's there.  And they spoke to me.








The quote is from Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own - a fantastic short book adapted from a series of lectures she gave at the women's colleges at Cambridge University in 1928.  

It's all about women and fiction but it applies, I think, to women and creativity more generally - and explores the challenges women have faced over the centuries in producing creative work.








It's a brilliant, brilliant piece of argument and rhetoric - and in fact I saw it as a one-woman show, basically back in the form of a lecture, with the extraordinary Eileen Atkins as Woolf.  


Mind-blowing, thought-provoking - one of those experiences that stays with you.  It, quite literally, spoke to me.


Woolf imagines "Shakespeare's sister" (and yes, that would be where the pop group got the name, I would guess), and asks whether her (hypothetical) life and education would have allowed her to flourish as a writer in the same way as her brother did.  


Her case is that without "a room of one's own", it's hard for a woman to free herself from the demands of daily life and pursue her creativity with serious purpose.  Craft room boltholes, anyone?!







So I sat down at the craft table, not so much with a plan, but with those inspirational forces in mind  - and here's a quick look at where they took me.

I started by tearing some book pages (dictionary pages actually - we're talking knowledge here!) and applying them to a jumbo tag with multi-medium.

Then some wrinkle-free distress technique, with Distress Paints and Stains as well as some Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls mica powder thrown into the mix.  

Of course the inks and stains sank into the book paper differently from how they took on the smoother tag surface.  You get a wonderful variation of colour intensity from the effect.





Texture paste next, using the Roman Letters mask (well, there's history and writing churning through my head - what else was I going to use?!).  If you look very closely, you can see that I tried first with Picket Fence Distress Paint, but the effect wasn't strong enough against the busy background.

The Heirloom Gold's pretty cool in this picture too - have a closer look by clicking on it if you like.











I built up layers of inky colour on the lettering, but wasn't really happy until I applied Sepia Archival ink, just swiping it direct from the pad onto the raised texture, and that gave me the intensity of colour I was after.

I added some stamping using my current favourite of the Calligraphic Mats, number 4.









The two women were stamped on Specialty Stamping Paper - my first time really playing with it, and it is a completely different ballgame... not always preferable since it's quite a glossy look, and often I want something a bit distressed or grungy, but really fabulous on getting the detail of beautiful stamps like this.







I cut round them and inked lightly around the edges (it's also really weird inking onto SSP, will
take some practice).  

They're mounted on padded tape to keep them elevated over the flowing river of thoughts behind them.  

By this time, of course, there was no longer any room for the quote!  So I plunged into my usual solution of creating an extension to the tag.






Getting the ink colours to tone was fine, but it wasn't until I added some Picket-Fence DP, rubbed in with my fingers, that I got something close to the opaque, plastery look of the book pages on the tag above.

My trusty Hero Arts alphabet supplied the words - always slightly nerve-wracking: you really don't want to make a mistake when you get to the last word...








That's why you'll often see my words cut out singly - not because I've made a mistake, but just because I usually choose to do it that way, as I find I can stamp a quote much faster if I'm not under the pressure NOT to get it wrong!!

The eyelets are from my stash, and the sections are tied together with Idea-ology paper string...










... as are the ribbons at the top of the tag.  One's dyed in pure Distress Stains for glowing colour, one has some Distress Paint in the mix for that shabbier look.









So there you have it.  Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you'll find the time to join the challenge with your own lovely ladies - or wonderful women - some time during July.  

Until then, happy crafting - and I hope to get round to see what you've been up to very soon...

And here's that quote in full:
When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to. Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman. 
From A Room of One's Own, by Virginia Woolf

I'd like to enter this for the following:
Anything Goes at Simon Says Stamp and Show
The Stampotique Designers Challenge would like to see some New Adventures - my first time adding mica powder to my wrinkle free distress technique, and my first Specialty Stamping Paper experiment

Ingredients used:
Artistic Stamper stamps: Faces No.2 and Calligraphic Mat 4
Crafter's Workshop mask: Roman Letters
Archival Inks: Coffee and Sepia
Distress Stains
Distress Paints
Distress Inks
Grunge Paste
Specialty Stamping Paper
Large Manila Tag
Seam Binding
Idea-ology Paper String
Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls powder

67 comments:

mark gould said...

im in love with that back ground x lovely tag x

Nan G said...

Oh my yes, fab background! Really looks like their thoughts are running down the tag. Fabulous women stamps! I'll have to look up Ms. Woolf, as I love this quote.

barbarayaya62 said...

BACkgorund fabulous as always! Really great,beautiful, and inspirational tags! BArbarayaya

Linda Coughlin, the funkie junkie said...

Delightful - I especially like the texture paste lettering! Beautiful sepia tones and awesome background. Very inspirational!

Hugs,
Linda

maria's knutselplezier said...

Wow Alison, what do I admire your beautiful ART work, I really love your tag , great colour choice , beautiful structure, and great ladies!!Thanks for showing us!!!

Greetings
Maria

Helen said...

your tag is as always, perfect. Love the Roman Letters stencil, especially with paste through it. Your alphabet set is fab, I need another little one!!

Brenda Brown said...

Stunning tag Alison. The textured background sets off the ladies beautifully who sit perfectly together. The lettering adds a Latin appeal which also sets them into a historical context.
hugs {brenda} x0x

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Oh wow Alison.. I really adore all the romantic pieces from the last time... I can not choose a special favorite ..they are all AWESOME!

xxx
Susi

Julie Short said...

What a wonderful post Alison! The images are so evocative and your treatment of them is beautiful. Love very much!

chrissies said...

Such a wonderful tag Alison and a celebration of the freedom that females have today.A wonderful quote to chose.

Love Chrissie x

Annie said...

Stunning tag Alison and I love the background you have created with those gorgeous layers.

Hugs Annie x

brenda said...

I have the 2002 reprint of VW's book and it's very thought-provoking and your tag epitomises the era beautifully Alison.

B x

Deborah said...

That background is just awesome, Alison! And I have to agree that Picket Fence, in paint and stain form, is indispensible.

Gio said...

Gorgeous tag and quote, Alison! I love to read about your creative process.

Have a great inky week! :-)

Cestina said...

Thank you for reminding me of the Eileen Atkins - and so beautifully.......I shall revisit A Room of One's Own.
xx

Chris Warner said...

This is stunning Alison, love it! Have been over to AS, going to try and find the time to join in on this one. Chris xxx

Redanne said...

Truly gorgeous background Alison, love the stamps too and also Virginia's quote. I do love reading how you create your masterpieces! Hugs, Anne x

Astrid Maclean said...

Stunning Alison, these are such wonderful stamps and your background is amazing too! Great step by step!

Lucy Edmondson said...

This is a fabulous piece, Alison! I love it! Love those faces stamps and will have to look into them. Very interested in what you are saying too. I guess that is why we have a number of women who wrote under male pseudonyms. I keep getting told off for saying ladies or girls instead of women but I keep slipping back!

Lucy x

Mary Elizabeth said...

Oh Alison ... what a powerful piece of art. One that allows the voices of many to speak to the viewer. Just beautifully done. -- Mary Elizabeth

coco said...

Your tag is wonderful Alison... I love your background, and its really perfect with these lady faces so delicate and beautiful !! Coco x

Anjas-Artefaktotum said...

Another fabulous tag, I'm really fascinated.

Rita said...

This is Fabulous Alison. I love those stamps. Hugs Rita xxx

Hettie said...

Beautiful tag there Alison. Love the combination of dictionary and stamping...you do it so well too.
Hugs
xx

Candy C said...

Alison...you really are true artist in every sense of the word. I always love your pieces and this one is no exception. The colors and design of this tag are awesome. Love the background. From the torn text to the embossed letters, it's awesome! The stamped images of the women popped on top look amazing. I also love the added sentiment at the bottom...added with jump rings. Even the ribbon at the top has such an artistic feel to it! <3 Candy

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

A stunning tag, Alison! Your work is so detailed and interesting...so is this tag...love what you did on it!

kind regards, Alie :-)

Netty said...

Hi, I love your interpretation of A Room of One's Own Alison. Fabulous background and choice of stamps, altogether a wonderful tag hanging. Hugs Annette x

House of Bears said...

Shakespeare's sister would have probably needed a psuedonym for any works she wanted published, if we think a century or two along, women were still publishing their works as Anon, or Currer Bell, George Eliot etc. at least the authors are recognised for their works now, albeit several hundred years after the fact!

Anyway, we totally LOVE the background you made, the book text is so apt with the theme, and the added texture paste lettering really sets the whole tag off. As for those stampa, want want.

Titbelsoeur, mixed-media addict said...

I really love your tag ! will give a try on your tutorial ! thank you for sharing !!!

Candy C said...

Alison...I'm so happy that you posted this on Simon Says Stamp and Show's Anything Goes challenge. As I posted earlier...it's so lovely. Glad you posted it for all to see! <3 Candy

Sandy said...

Big sigh Alison! I too read Virginia Wolf's A ROOM OF ONE'S OWN - it made perfect sense to me!! I love your work - always so classic and of course your on line journal is a great reference for me!!
Sandy

Dorthe said...

Alison, your background is truly a piece of art in itself, how gorgeous, and the stamps so beautiful. Love the embossed text too- a stunning piece!!!
xo,Dorthe

Gerrie Johnnic said...

Lovely vintage work in browns....your use of the stencil paste is amazing.

Ephemera said...

Ooooh this is gorgeous Alison, such beautiful stamping, just love this exquisite tag. xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

A truly stunning tag! Another post to make me think too! I do so love that Roman Letters mask - perfect for this! Chrisx

May said...

Hi Alison, Love that background it looks like metal... AmAzing....The texture is fabulous... Gorgeous design & images..Love it all... Hugs May x x x

Meihsia Liu said...

This is such a gorgeous tag, Alison. I love the beautiful colors and your great stamping. The image is just so elegant. :)

Kelly Foster said...

Wow - eee!! This is amazing!!! I really loved seeing a bit of step by step process from you. Well done on this awesome tag :)

Bonnie Irvine said...

Alison, you just keep getting better and better. How is that even possible? The background on this tag is incredible. It's one I wish I could see in person just to absorb all that went into it. Those faces are amazing and, when combined with the lovely art behind them, tell a wonderful and rich story.

Shilpa Nagaonkar said...

Great vintage look, Alison. Background has come out really well, thanks for sharing tutorial for that.
http://nagaonkarshilpa.blogspot.in

daqadoodles said...

Great look, and the process and thoughts behind it are very nice to read! (I actually meant the process of making it and your thoughts, but applying it to the process and thoughts of the women works too!)
Thank you for blogging!

die amelie said...

I love your anonymous women and you choose the perfect saying I'd say. But even more I LOVE that amazing background, Alison. I could look at it forever (and if you hadn't shown some befor-pictures I would ask your women to kindly step aside to let the background show in all its beauty ;). One of your best backgrounds ever!!!!

(And of course the women fit in there perfectly...;).

Hugs,
Claudia

Terry said...

Love that rustic feel on the background! Fabulous design and great touch with the hanging sentiment! Hugs!

Carol Q said...

gorgeous images Alison and with a background to show them off perfectly!

lynnesbowsandbelles said...

Alison
Can you hear the sound of applause? It is from me, applauding you on such a fabulous post.
How I wish I had witnessed that one woman show.
I have the most beautiful edition of essays, etc and of course it includes A Room of One's Own. I must re-read it as it has been many a year since I last wrapped myself up in her words.
Your tag is perfection with that wonderfully inky background and splatters and those captivating visages.
Adore this from beginning to end - thank you.
Wishes
Lynne

Paper Profusion said...

You do indeed just keep getting better and better Alison! This is just inked so splendiferously! Stunning post and tag. Nicola x

Silvia(Barnie) said...

A beautiful tag, love the quote.

Sue C said...

Gorgeous tag Alison, love the texture paste letters and the layers of paper and paint you've built up are fabulous. The women's faces are beautiful and as usual the quote you've chosen is fabuloius too !
I'm going to the AM Tim workshop so I shan't get to meet up, which is a shame.

Sue C
x

Dianne said...

Wow Alison, this has left me breathless, speechless,seeing that background and watching how you created it was magical, those gorgeous woman,their colors is divine. I love your extra hanging, I think it's your signature,you create such amazing tags, you couldn't cover them and your words always need a special place. I believe you have created a whole new meaning of vintage, it's a work of art, thanks for sharing my friend, Lynnes right a standing ovation for this creation..

Anita Houston said...

Most awesome an old world beautiful Alison! I love the background script with these gorgeous faces! Awesome vintage look! Thanks for showing us your wonderful work this week here at Simon Says Stamp & Show!

Reflective Art Studio said...

Wow Wonderful. Thank you for sharing with us at Stampotique Designer's Challenge.

hazel said...

Another fabulous tag Alison, I love it.
xxx Hazel.

inkypinkycraft said...

I love this tag so much, the background is cool and wow love that stencil.another gorgeous make x
sorry about lack of comments , playing catch up..trace x hugs x

Monique said...

Beautiful tag. Love the stamps and I loooove the quote!
xx

toni said...

A fabulous jumbo, jumbo tag Alison. Love the inky background and the texture paste on top is gorgeous,I've got that stencil and have yet to use it, thank you for the inspiration, lovely work x

Chrissy said...

Wonderful tag Alison, loved to see all the steps...fabulous colours and images..

Luv CHRISSYxx

Kate said...

So beautiful! The ancient beauties look lovely against that background.
Kate

Buttons said...

A real 'Les Mis' feel to this - love the background effect and the whole composition. Hugs, Jenny x

craftytrog said...

This is stunning...I adore that background Alison! And, those wonderful images...I don't use them enough!
Alison xxx

Julia S-W said...

Wonderful piece Alison. I love the texture in the background.
Juliaxx

Marjie Kemper said...

That background is amazing, Alison! So rich and layered. The texture of the lettering is fantastic.

Margaret said...

Alison, this is such a fabulous post! Your tag is wonderful and I love the pairing of the images and the quote.

There is definitely something to be said for the 'room' and being able to escape...

Suzanne C said...

Brilliant! Love the thought behind your beautiful tag! The background with the torn paper is lovely! Glad you joined us at Simon Says Stamp and Show!

Mrs.B said...

Hi Alison, just had a catch-up!
This is a stunning tag, love the images and background, no wonder you are proud of it.
Avril xx

Bärbel said...

Ein beeindruckendes Tag, liebe Alison, Hintergrund und Gestaltung sind großartig!
Liebe Grüße
Bärbel

MezzaNotte said...

What a great tutorial you give! must try this when Im back from my summer house.

Hugs Katja

Kezzy said...

Wow wow wow amazing gorgeous tag. I so love how you get your backgrounds. Now I'm starting to feel better I am determined to try and get my distress sets to work for me lol. I love the way the hanging bit really looks like a old book sheet and the stamps you have used are awesome. Happy Crafting :-) hugs Kezzy xxx