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, 18 May 2015

Extraordinary Things






Hello all!  Thank you so much for the lovely feedback on the Dollshouse Book - I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I loved making it.

I'm here today with my take on Tim Holtz's delicious May tag... another wealth of inspiration from the master, and quite a lot of improvising in my version!

I don't have the burlap sheets, but I do have plenty of burlap, and as I was fishing it out of the fabric box I found some cream coloured pieces which I rather fancied playing with.

After I'd glued it to some card and cut the tag, I then gave it a rough coat of gesso to make it even paler, and that led me to this rather delicately toned vintage piece.












I gathered paper offcuts as well as bits of ephemera, including some pieces of vellum, to layer into the design, and then started sorting through the Photobooth characters to see who wanted to come out to play.

It was love at first sight when I saw this woman - and she started to tell me her story almost straight away...












Though she's been overlooked amongst the debutantes of her first season, those glasses hide a first class mind.  She hadn't even considered a university education - not really the thing for girls, don't you know?









But a friend of her uncle's, seated next to her at a dinner party by chance, quickly spotted her potential and invited her to come and take a test down at a place in the country where he was working - a country house, Bletchley Park.










Since passing with flying colours, she's been working night and day on the top secret code-breaking project which will eventually contribute significantly to the defeat of the Nazis in World War II.











Though the decoding work is obviously the main concern (scribbled handwritten notes in a moment of inspiration have to be typed up into reports to be shared), she has suddenly found that it is, after all, easy to speak to men...

... when you have a common interest of importance about which to talk, of course.  Tedious small talk is a thing of the past.










And from being left on the sidelines at dances and at parties, she's now sought out by her male colleagues who admire her mind, her wit and not least her beauty, now that they've taken the time to look at her more than once.

These are only a few of the flowers she's now accustomed to receiving.  (Pre-made, I'm afraid... flower-making is something that only happens occasionally around here.)









So, this former wallflower is blossoming, finding stimulation and fulfilment in her work, and laughter and love with her colleagues.  You could even say she's becoming something of a social butterfly!











No wonder there's a gentle blush in her cheeks, echoing the soft pink tints of her clothes (very delicately done with Tattered Rose and Victorian Velvet).  And is that a hint of lipstick she's taken to wearing?  Or perhaps it's the bruising of a passionate kiss...












I can only hope that she will find somewhere to deploy her considerable talents and intellect once the war is over... or that if she marries one of these intelligent young men, they won't suddenly expect her to become "the little woman" at home.

I'd hate to see her dwindle again, having come into her own with such grace.  The butterfly should never have to turn back into a caterpillar.







In the meantime, let's leave her doing extraordinary things, and finding her way to being anything but ordinary.


Thank you so much, Tim, for the inspiration which tickled this young woman into existence - I'm so glad I got to meet her.  And thanks to all of you for stopping by.  It's always a joy to hear your thoughts... it makes this whole journey come alive.

I'd like to enter this as my May tag in Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2015.

Live a life less ordinary.
Benedict Cumberbatch

In the Autumn of 1943, the Government called up all girls aged 17½ ... to work in munitions or hospitals, the Women’s Services being at that time closed for recruitment. It was with some trepidation that I went for my interview at the Labour Exchange ... fortunately I had a Credit in Maths on my School Certificate, and the official thought I should go for an interview at the Foreign Office. Within a month I was on my way to Bletchley Park. My first impression was a lecture on the utmost secrecy the work entailed, and a signing of the Official Secrets Act.
Hilary Pownall (nee Law) Hut 8, Block D

73 comments:

chrissies said...

Love this post Alison and the wonderful story you have woven around the character centre stage. The tag says all you felt and more.

Terrific quote as well. I am pleased to say that, beneath the surface, my life has been 'less ordinary'

Love Chrissie xx

Helen said...

What an extraordinary tag, and an extraordinary story to go with it, I always enjoy reading them!! I hope she will live happy ever after...

Astrid Maclean said...

A fabulous take on the original, love that cream coloured burlap (or shall we call it hessian?) you have used as the base, and perfectly places pieces around this wonderful lady! Loved reading her story, and now am kind of waiting for a follow up. I'm sure somewhere hiding in that pack of of photobooth characters, one of those intelligent young men is waiting to truly sweep her off her feet, no way is she just going to be a SAHM, I'm sure. She'll give birth to a couple of children perhaps and as a family I am sure they will create something spectacular after the war.... Ok, sorry for all that, I just got swept away, I am just waiting now for the next part of the story..... have a lovely week :o)

sally said...

So glad your enigma solving relative found her place in life & flourishes among the gentle men at Bletchley!

Sally

Shirley Chillman said...

Bruising of a passionate kiss whilst in the stationery cupboard me thinks Alison probably while he was putting the ring on her finger ..ahhhh what a love story.

Beautiful tag with such hidden depth..

Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x x
ShirlsCards.

Amanda said...

Great take again on Tims tag and as always the stories that accompany your work, Milks & Boon eat your heart out!
Love
Amanda x

craftytrog said...

Beautiful!!! xxx

Cestina said...

Fantastic backstory....was talking about Bletchley only yesterday. She would have been one of the older women there so clearly a section head.....
xx

Hazel Agnew said...

Wow Alison, how inspirational is this piece! Your story does her so much justice, love the bit about the bruised lips! Need to pore over this again and enjoy it once more! Just fabulous! X

Gitte said...

Beautiful Tag.

butterfly said...

Hmm... older? Yes, she must be all of 22! But yes, older than the 17 year olds xx

Deborah said...

I like how you've used actual burlap (and gessoing it!) So many things marketed to crafters carry a premium price, especially in the UK. A spot of DIY makes it all the more creative to me.

Inky and Quirky said...

Another stunner Alison,so much beautiful stuff on a little tag and a wonderful little story too :)
Big hugs
Donna xxx

Dorthe said...

Oh Alison, you should really write books, you have a fantastic imagination , I loved reading your story here.
And love the pictures of your most beautiful creation, so lovely.
Dorthe,xo

Irene said...

Your tag is gorgeous, love your take on Tims tag, and, your story is a delight, thankyou so very much for sharing this beauty xx

Pamellia Johnson said...

Fabulous tag Alison! I love the story, when does the movie get released!! haha! You have really made the most beautiful version of Tim's tag, dare I say, I like it better than his! hugs :)

Jennie Atkinson said...

I love your wonderful take on this month's tag Alison. It is so beautifully soft and gentle and I love your story behind it. Great minds think alike as I have a similar piece of burlap for mine! Just a gorgeous tag. Jennie x

Joi at RR said...

Oh my my my... I'm blushing..."Or perhaps it's the bruising of a passionate kiss..." dear me... we have a historical romance narrative to an amazing Tim Holtz Tag creation! WHAT A GREAT WAY to start my week! This is so fun Alison. Thanks bunches for the WONDERFUL story to go with your BEAUTIFUL tag. j.

pearshapedcrafting said...

I love your story that fits this photo perfectly! This is a gorgeous tag that is made all the more beautiful by your words! Hugs, Chrisx

Julia said...

I love the story, your choice of words and your version of the May tag. This is one of my favourites.

rachel said...

what a wonderful story Alison - this fabulous tag wasmade all the more beautiful because of it - I think you;'re so right with that story too - a brilliant mix of intrigue and romance - love it - have you thought of taking up writing???? Hugs rachel xx

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

It all fits so well on this great vintage tag Alison! Very pretty.
Greetings, Alie

Ingrid Kristina V said...

Wonderful story and the tag is out of this world! Thank you for sharing it all! :) hugs.
Ingrid x

Meggymay said...

A gorgeous vintage tag, lovely soft colour tones.
Yvonne xx

Georgie C said...

Your tag is so beautiful and lots of gorgeous elements. You have to be the queen of tags, they always come out amazing!! xx

Coco said...

A scrumptious tag, perfect I think for Tim's Tag challenge Alison!! I'm itching to have a go also on this challenge and the techniques Tim's uses or explains, but sadly, each time the month goes fast without any time left to play...
Happily, I can enjoy your version!! Hugs, xxx

Hettie said...

I saw this lunchtime today and absolutely love it. The story you have created is wonderful and very befitting of the tag you have created.
Beautiful Alison, just beautiful.
Hugs
xx

Lauren Hatwell said...

I enjoyed your little vignette as much as I did your tag Alison. What a great way to plan out a project. It was like falling into a Margaret Forster novel. I loved it. Your tag is beautiful and even better now we know your heroine's story. Lx

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Such a fantastic tag with great elements. I looks really wonderful.

Ruth said...

So beautiful, adore the colour palette, the whitewashed burlap is perfect. I've read several times as I kept thinking about the recent films or dramas that have centred around Bletchley and then remembered I was supposed to be commenting on your wonderful tag! Ruth x

Carolyn Howarth said...

Masterful, both in the creation of the gorgeous tag and the wonderful verbal embroidery!!!!
A highlight of my day!
Carolyn xx

Claire said...

Such a beautiful tag, a real treasure X

Anita Houston said...

Your neutral take is GLORIOUS!!! LOVE this one!!!

JackieP Neal said...

And you sweet Alison, did a deliciously fine job on creating this tag!! Stunning! xo

Shari Trumbull said...

Extraordinary Things, indeed, Alison! I'm in love with this bespectacled woman and the story you've given her is stranger than fiction--but isn't life just that? Such a wonderful back story and history lesson, all wrapped in art--Beautiful and Moving!! This is a lovely interpretation of Tim's tag this month!! Good Luck!! I do hope to have a go at this tag myself month :) XOXO-Shari

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Wonderful tag Alison and your story brings it to life, thank you for the glimpse into this extra-ordinary young woman's life!

Vintagehandmade said...

What a brilliant take on Tim's tag, Alison! Your tags are always extraordinary! Thank you for sharing your amazing art with us!
Hugs :
Branka xxx

Sue said...

What a beautiful tag Alison, and I really enjoyed reading your story behind her - I hope she's still a butterfly too :-) xx

Terry said...

Oh finally I can leave a comment! Alison, your take for Tim's May tag is a real stunner! Love the story behind the lady! Hugs!

maj. said...

such a stunning Tag Alison, beautiful background and so many fantastic details!

Annie said...

What a stunning tag Alison with gorgeous details. Love the embellishments you have used. Off to have a look at your book below

Tfs and hugs
Annie x x

Kay Wallace said...

I made a tag this month, too, Alison! It's such fun to play along, isn't it? Your tag is similar to the one I made, but then, I guess they should be since we started from the same inspiration! Particularly like the photo and sentiment you used here. Well choreographed, my friend!

Julia Aston said...

What a great take on Tim's tag Alison - and such a great story to describe it's creation! hugs, Julia xx

Brenda Brown said...

Loveeee your version and all the improvisation, beautiful. xxx

Candy C said...

Gorgeous tag. I love all of the layers of cardstock and perfectly placed embellishments. Such a lovely design.

barbarayaya62 said...

your interpretation of Tim's tag has caught my eyes! delicate and full of details !BArbarayaya

Sara Barker said...

Beautifully designed tag with a twist on Tim's. and of course, a wonderful story to go along with it. Thank you for sharing!

Sara Barker said...

Beautifully designed tag with a twist on Tim's. and of course, a wonderful story to go along with it. Thank you for sharing!

Kasia said...

So lovely tag, Alison! Love the vintage look :)

Marjie Kemper said...

What a beautifully collaged tag! Hope all is well... happy to be over for a catch-up today.

Paper Profusion said...

Absolutely gorgeous Alison and your post is a total delight and treat to read. You're a sweetheart! Nicola x

Juliz Design Post said...

Congrats on your win Alison, you must be thrilled.
Well done, Julie x

Kay Wallace said...

Congratulations on your big win for the 12 Tags of 2015 for May, Alison! Well done!

Shari Trumbull said...

Congrats on your May Tim Tag win, Alison!! I just LOVE it when I know one of Tim's winners!! Enjoy your future Tim goodies!! XOXO-Shari

Joi at RR said...

HIP HIP HOORAY - you WON Alison - YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So happy for you!! See... someone else loved your story too - not to mention your GORGEOUS tag. CONGRATULATIONS!!! j

Shilpa Nagaonkar said...

Congrats Alison, you are in Tim's winner's list !! :) :)

die amelie said...

Yay - just saw that you and I made it to Tim's top 12 for the May tag, Alison! Congrats!!!!!! xx

Redanne said...

Congratulations Alison!! Anne xx

pmstamper said...

Lovely tag. Thanks so much for sharing. Saw you won in the May challenge, so congrats on that!

Buttons said...

HUGE well deserved congrats hun! SO pleased for you. Jenny x

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Back again to say congratulations on being chosen as one of Tim's May winners Alison! Very well deserved, your tag is just wonderful. Deb xo

Paper Profusion said...

Trying again, darn that spell suggestor. I'm delighted for you Alison. Enjoy your goodies! Nicola x

Mylissa Stout said...

Congrats on being chosen as a May Tag winner....LOL...LOVeD reading your post...Come on over for a visit and weave a story for me...Soooo much fun....YOU have a talent for crafting and story telling...Thanks for the visit..

Kay Wallace said...

Lovely to be on Tim's May Winners List with you, Alison! Congratulations!

Sara Barker said...

Back again to say C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S!!!!! So well deserved Tim win!

Lee-Anne said...

Simply brilliant design, Alison! I love the true vintage feel to this beauty! Congrats on the win over at Tim's!

Brenda Brown said...

So glad to see this wonderful creation in Tim's line up. xxx

Heather Jacob said...

totally loving this beautiful creation, perfectly spectacular x

Nicole Wright said...

Congrats on your May win! It's a beautiful tag!

Karen Garrard said...

Wow Alison what a stunning tag and fabulous story. LOVE IT! A HUGE Congratulations to you! Karen.x

Kimberly Cobb said...

Alison, I can't decide which I love more...your tag or your beautifully crafted story of your tag's heroine. I love the muted shades. Congratulations!

Christy - www.hokiecoyote.com said...

Congratulations! The vintage feel of your tag really stands out to me. Love it.

Mary Elizabeth said...

As a mathematics professor, I am fascinated with Bletchley Park ... the people, the Enigma machine, and the absolute sense of desperation at times to stop the world from being engulfed by flames. So when I saw this post and followed along as this young lady spoke to you through your creative journey, I was transported back in time. AGain -- catching glimpses of depth in your tags as you use transparency with such finesse (the butterfly for example). I can see why this was chosen as a winner over on Tim's blog. Congrats my friend!! -- Mary Elizabeth