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...

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Perching on a branch...




Hello everyone, and welcome.  I seem to have the bit between my teeth with springtime makes... and with a new Artistic Outpost set to play with, there'll be no stopping me now!


This tag uses the wonderful Birds of a Feather set (I blame the brilliant Tracy Evans and her beautiful makes with these stamps for me giving in to my "need" for them!) as well as some fir branch offcuts I picked up on a recent outing to some beautiful woodland gardens.


I was inspired by these amazing creations by Rachel Dein of the Tactile Studio, which some of you may have seen on my Pinterest boards... but while hers are created as plaster casts of natural elements (probably more long-lasting), I've got the real thing under mine!












I started by gluing the fir fronds onto the tag with lots of multi medium, adding a good coating over the top too, and then covering the whole thing with thick gesso.














I dabbed on the gesso, creating a textured look over the whole surface of the tag, and also making it easier to get right down into the textures of the fir. 










Next step was to add some shading with Pan Pastels and, before I knew it, I'd returned the fronds to green...  














Didn't really mean to, but there we go!









The bird is stamped in Potting Soil archival...















... and I added some of the Gothic font text in Olive around the edges (Gothic book print - another reason I was besotted with this stamp set!).










With the words "feathers" and "perches" involved, the Emily Dickinson quote from the Quote & Quotables set was an obvious addition, but I'm afraid I had to cut off her name in order for it to fit on the snippet of rusty mesh I had in my offcuts box.










The little wooden hearts are by Studio Calico, and I think the tiny buttons came from the UHK Gallery.  No rhyme or reason to them really, they just felt like the right thing.













Lots of crinkly seam binding to top it off, with a touch of Walnut Stain and Gathered Twigs Distress Ink... 









... as well as a little touch of inking around the edges, and another springtime tag takes its place in the world.

I fear it may be a rather ephemeral creation - I've no idea at what rate the fir branches will rot, or indeed whether they will or not.  So enjoy it while it's here... a pretty good motto for more than just this tag, wouldn't you say?!

Nothing in the world is permanent, and we're foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we're still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.
Somerset Maugham



I'd like to enter this into the Textured Backgrounds theme over at the Stampotique Designers Challenge, where I was thrilled to be honoured as a favourite pick for my monochromatic shreds and patches last week.

And at the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge they're playing Tag It, so I'd like to drop it in there too.

68 comments:

MichelleZ said...

I love this!
One of my favorite AO stamps. I love that bird! And the texture from those fir fronds is amazing. What a creative idea! I find it really inspiring. Now you've got me wondering what's growing behind the house. :)

barbarayaya62 said...

I can not find the right words to comment on your work! They are always beautiful and rich in details, with new inspirations! Amazing!BArbarayaya

Marci said...

Love it! The color( Oh Spring, will you ever get here?), the fronds, the bird stamp. And the Emily Dickinson fragment. I have a different stamp set that includes the next line and I love it. This tag just hit the spot with me!

Inkypinkycraft said...

Love the soft colours ...a fab tag x hugs x trace x

Clare Lloyd said...

Some beautiful and as for the fir...brill idea!

Chrissy said...

Beautiful Alison..love the textures of the fronds and the buttons and hearts and love the bird stamp..gorgeous colour.

luv CHRISSYxx

chrissies said...

Beautiful creation Alison. I must say I immediately thought about the fern lasting. I hope you let us know what happens to it :)

You covered the possibility in your quote for today and it is very true.

Love Chrissie x

rachel said...

love the idea of using real fern - hope you'll let us know how long it survives - I would think under the multimedium it might stand a good chance! Looks fab xx

Deborah said...

Does it smell as good as it looks, Alison? or have the multi medium and gesso blocked the pine scent?

Maggie said...

Gorgeous tag Alison and I can see why you "needed" these stamps they are beautiful, great texture with the tree fronds.

MaggieH

Shirley Chillman said...

You have such a knack Alison of matching the right quote with your work. Bravo with the fir fronds will be pinching this idea.

Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x

Astrid Maclean said...

Great stamps and those other textures really make this interesting. I enjoyed the gallery you linked to too, never heard of her before, but inspiring for sure. The real little branches are a great adaption, I wonder whether they will last under the medium and gesso? I absolutely love that hope quote!!!

Redanne said...

I love your use of natural elements on this gorgeous tag Alison. The colours are stunning too. I am off to have a look at the gallery link. Anne xx

Meggymay said...

Fantastic tag, love how you used the fir, hope it lasts for a good long while.
Yvonne

Juliz Design Post said...

Love your use of the natural elements they give fabulous texture. Great colours too.
Julie x

Paper Profusion said...

Do come back and tell us in a while how long this lasted. It looks wonderful so we'll enjoy it now! Nicola x

Candy C said...

Alison...this tag is gorgeous! I really love love your fir fronds that you have attached to your basic tag. That really looks amazing! The shading with the pan pastels is gorgeous and your little bird is so sweet. As always, I love your project! Hugs, Candy

Hettie said...

This is gorgeous Alison. The use of fronds is just genius!
Love that quote and it kinda hits home today, having a poorly chikkin right now who we are nursing in the house. Hope!
Hugs
xx

Mary Elizabeth said...

(speechless ;) )


This is gorgeous. I love the use of natural elements on art pieces. It's such a peaceful tag. I had to laugh at the fir sprigs going green again ... art elements seem to do that of their own free will, don't they? Really beautiful tag for a beautiful sentiment. Hugs!!! Mary Elizabeth

Kay Wallace said...

This would be a perfect submission to the Stampotique Designers' "textured backgrounds" challenge this week, Alison!! I can't believe you thought to use real fronds for your tag! Soft Spring colors make it perfect!!

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

Again a great quote Alison...and of course your tag looks stunning!!! :-)

craftytrog said...

Wonderful use of those fir fronds Alison, I can see why you fell for that stamp set too! xxx

Mrs.B said...

Absolutely beautiful Alison, love the texture the real branches create, do hope they last.
Avril xx

Lisa M said...

Now THAT is crafty creative...LOVE this idea :)

Princess Judy Palmer said...

Oh my gosh! I love that the fir branches are the real deal! The big flat one reminds me of this clump of evergreens we had in the corner of the yard as a child. I liked to crawl in under them and it was like a secret place in there. Your tag is beautiful and you just keep on making the spring stuff. You'll get no complaints here!!!

annekescardart said...

Wonderful tag. Love your design. Thanks for the explanation Anneke.
www.annekescardart.blogspot.com

Brenda Brown said...

Love how you have used the real fir for texture Alison. The Spring theme is lovely with those gorgeous elements promising some of what should be just round the corner - we hope. xx

Carol Q said...

what a great idea to use the fir fronds Alison, a beautiful tag.

Netty said...

I agree with everyone else about the fir fronds, brilliant idea Alison.
This tag is definitely at one with nature, Annette x

Julia S-W said...

Really, really pretty Alison and I just love the real foliage under the layers! The colours are so perfect for spring and I'm glad you left your fronds green. I'm loving that script stamp far too much!
Juliaxx

isisimaginings.com said...

So beautiful! Love the fir fronds.

Dorthe said...

So very beautiful dear Alison,
I love you used the fir, and it looks fantastic there. Lovely colours, and the bird in brown feels totally at home ...sweet with the little hearts !!
Hugs from Dorthe

Anita Houston said...

Brilliant and genius to use real evergreen!!!! Love your background! Stunning tag!

Unni A said...

Fabulous! Love the colors!
hugs, Unni

Jackie said...

Love the colours you have chosen to use for your tag, you have chosen some differnt textures to incorporate into your tag... It's lovely
Thank you for joining us at stampotique

Amanda said...

Beautiful! What a fab idea adds great texture and something totally unique, I bet it makes it smell nice as well , an aromatic spring tag, genius!!
Love
Amanda x

Silvia(Barnie) said...

OMG how cool is it. The use of a real fir branch is outstanding. Love all the details and the color scheme.

Dianne said...

Hello Miss Butterfly, this tag tickles every one of my fancy's :O). Miss Tracy is amazing isn't she.. Oh my goodness, Rachel Dein work is Dynomite, going back later for a good look, thanks for her link, how creative to use the real thing, I looooove the green and it was meant to be. love that little bird, he is so sweet. looooove that Gothic text, oh boy I'm really in love with this set now, the little hearts and buttons are perfect, the seam binding perfection, yup touch every one. I think it should stay for long time, I'd put that treasure in a shadow box, just saying... Thanks for making my day with this beauty tons of inspiration. Have a wonderful week, I know your busy thanks for visiting my nest, ((( BIG HUGS)))...

massofhair said...

WOW what a wonderful creation. Everything on your Tag is amazing, love the inspired idea of using Fir tree fronds. I think they will last a long time :-) xxx

May said...

Gorgeous tag Alison, Love how you have used the natural elements... the texture & colours are fantastic...the stamps are beautiful...Love it all... Hugs May x x

Stempeln und mehr - Evelyns bunte Welt said...

So nice, Alison! Spring can come, I guess (:o)
xxx Evelyn

Gaby Bee said...

Beautifully done, Alison! Love the soft colors and little branches! Just perfect!

Gaby xo

Kay Wallace said...

Had to come back to thank for your participation in the Stampotique Designers' "texture" challenge this week, Alison. I love to see your work here!

cathylynn said...

Yummy! I love those fir fronds on this tag! What a fantastic idea and once again your colors are fantastic!
Hugs, Cathy-Lynn

Smile_Art said...

absolutely amazing background! love it! <3

Nan G said...

When I first saw this I thought, what a fab piece of lace! But wait..no..it's a cedar frond!! Very clever, butterfly! It has such a delicate appearance even with the layers of gesso and paint. Wow!

Etsuko Noguchi said...

Brilliant Tag! Fab Ideas with natural elements, shape and colours of the fir fronds is so beautiful. xx

Buttons said...

Of course you'd use real fronds! I adore the shapes these create on the base of this tag and the way you've worked over/around them to bring an even stronger sense of nature to this. Jenny x

Shilpa Nagaonkar said...

Wow, Alison, liked this tag! Great idea of pan pastel to color the background.

Jools Robertson said...

Love this, the fern leaves is such a fab idea, they look like they have been embroidered
Such beautiful fresh spring colours and such lovely detailed images

Jools x

Mona Pendleton said...

Beautiful tag Alison! Love all the texture and that pretty pastel background! Hope you have a great weekend!

Jo Nevill said...

Fabulous, I love the way you have used the conifer

Thank you for joining us at Simon Says Wednesday Challenge

Jo x

Kasia said...

Oh! Absolutely fabulous tag, Alison! Love the using of the fir fronds :) Beautiful!

dutchstamptramp said...

What a stunning tag! Love your colourscheme and the texture. Thanks for joining the Stampotique DC!

Ana K. said...

LOVE, love, love this tag Alison...absolutely stunning!

Coco said...

Wow... Love love this tag with its natural elements, thanks for sharing your great technique to add them in this way, the result is fantastic here!!!! Coco xxx

Heather said...

A beautiful tag Alison, a stunning used of the pine fir and a gorgeous bird. I love the text background and lovely sentiment and elements!!!

hugs
Heather xx
(Thanks so much for joining Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.

Kaz said...

This is just beautiful. Thanks for joining us again at Stampotique this week.x

Sue said...

This is both beautiful and clever, and you are right about the wooden button, they are perfect!xx

Anne-Elise said...

Love your gorgeous tag, Alison! So many fab details! Hugs

Kezzy said...

Wow wow wow truly stunning unique tag, I love how you have used the fern leaf, I remember last year using them as a mask, but this is amazing awesome way of using them. I also love the bird image, beautiful. Kezzy :-) xxx

Zuzu's Blog said...

Another beauty Alison. wonderful fresh spring green colour too. I love the bird theme. one of my favourite themes ...

Gez Butterworth said...

Great texture! Thank you for joining Stampotique Designers Challenge. Gez

Mandy said...

Gorgeous tag, so soft and pretty. I love how you've used real fir tree brances.
Thanks for joining us at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge
hugs
Mandy xx

Helen said...

how did I miss this?!! it's gorgeous (goes without saying) - love the real fronds you used.

hazel said...

This is such a beautiful tag Alison.
xxx Hazel.

*Arwen* said...

This is awesome Alison! Great tag with wonderful texture.
Thanks for joining us at Stampotique DC :)

xx Arwen

Kelly Neis said...

Oh my goodness am I behind or you are crafting to fast for me! Your work as I scroll down is so fabulous, It is like looking through a artists book in amazement. You are so talented, sorry I missed it but seeing it all at once, WOW!
Have a great day,
Kelly