Monday, 1 July 2013
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
Artistic Stamper stamps: Faces No.2 and Calligraphic Mat 4
Crafter's Workshop mask: Roman Letters
Archival Inks: Coffee and Sepia
Specialty Stamping Paper
Large Manila Tag
Idea-ology Paper String
Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls powder