It's such an honour to offer up some inspiration alongside the amazing Design Team there. I was so excited to be invited, and I'm looking forward to sharing some inspiration with you for each of the four June challenges.
For this first theme, Summer Garden, we were also to work with some PaperArtsy products. Well, as a regular contributor to the PaperArtsy blog, that's always a pleasure for me!
(And, unlike the photo over at Simon Says Stamp, I finally managed to catch a smattering of sunshine for these pictures - there's a bit more Summer in my Garden now!)
I started with some corrugated cardboard packaging, tearing away the surface around the edges to give lots of rugged texture, and then added some sand texture paste through the Wendy Vecchi Basically Bricks stencil.
Once that had dried, I gave everything a rough brushing of gesso before dry brushing PaperArtsy Taupe Fresco Finish Paint on to the brick texture. It's the perfect shade to tone in to the grey-brown of the corrugated cardboard underneath.
I wanted the effect of a country cottage stone wall running along the back of the garden.
Meanwhile, in the drying times, I worked on the tag to go at the heart of my Summer Garden. It's a regular size 8 Manila Tag, and I did my favourite wrinkle-free distress technique using Distress Inks in Peeled Paint, Antique Linen, Scattered Straw and Broken China.
Afterwards, I did blend on some Mowed Lawn too for a fresher, brighter green tone at the base of the tag.
I stamped the fabulous PaperArtsy wild flower a couple of times in Olive and Leaf Green Archival inks, and added my favourite "bird grasses" along the bottom. (Simon Says Stamp hasn't got this set yet, I'm afraid, but it's looking hopeful - and there are lots of other fabulous PaperArtsy Hot Picks sets to check out.)
Apart from the twine at the top I decided that was pretty much it for the tag.
I started to gather up flowers and metal embellishments - most of these are by Prima.
The large flowers are from the Prima Sweet Vintage Box, but I used PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Acrylic Paints to alter them slightly - mainly for the colour tone but also to give them a softer look.
There's some Snowflake, some Haystack and some Cheesecake, a sunny, warm, creamy colour.
The metal elements are almost all from the Prima Sunrise Sunset Washers Vintage Trinkets set.
I haven't altered them, although I was considering it. I thought a painty patina would mean they could all have the same finish rather than being different colours.
But then I decided I rather liked the combination of the gold and the bronze pieces together. And they have of course got caught in the crossfire of all the paint splatter!
The butterfly is also from a PaperArtsy Hot Picks set - there's a similar one in PaperArtsy HP1506. It's stamped in Aquamarine and Leaf Green Archival inks and tinted with Antique Linen and Scattered Straw Distress Inks.
I chose the colours so he would tone with the tag, and maybe look as though he's just taken off from it.
There are some Prima bolts in each of the four corners, giving the whole piece a bit of heft.
There's lots of trailing ivy in my real garden - and it's probably my favourite thing, as regulars will know - so there had to be plenty of trailing ivy in this garden too.
I used Peeled Paint and Mowed Lawn Distress Inks to colour some card and then cut my ivy using the fabulous Tim Holtz Spring Greenery Decorative Die Strip.
There's another PaperArtsy stamp shimmering in the background, stamped in Broken China and clear-embossed to catch the light.
Repeat partial stampings add some extra detailing here and there around the hanging.
And naturally I need some words - some Tim Holtz Idea-ology Small Talk stickers, slightly muddied with Antique Linen Distress Ink - and we're pretty much done.
I hope you enjoyed wandering through my Summer Garden. If you fancy creating something similar just click on any of the product links to take you shopping. Be sure to check out the fabulous PaperArtsy stamps and paints while you're there.
And of course there's lots more inspiration from the regular team members over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge, and the generous prize voucher on offer as always.
I hope you'll be inspired to create your own Summer Garden, and can't wait to see what you come up with. Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I'll see you again soon, I hope.
I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music.
From Mad in Pursuit by Violet Leduc
A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing and the lawnmower is broken.