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, 14 August 2017

Candlelit Foliage

Hello all!  I'm so glad you liked the Autumnal Oxide Journal (so do I!), but we're taking a little break from the journal journey today because I'm over at A Vintage Journey instead, arriving at Destination Inspiration.  If you'd like to take a closer look at what I created with the contents of this month's travel bag (texture paste, layers, neutral palette and a glass substrate), then hop right this way.

I was responsible for the choice of the glass, so I had to prove it could be done!  I had a vague idea for the lanterns when I started, but they've ended up far exceeding my expectations.  I hope you'll have time to hop over to A Vintage Journey to take a look.

I'll be back in a few days with the next journal, so I hope to see you again soon, either here or elsewhere in Craftyblogland.

If you treat glass right, it doesn't crack. If you know the properties, you can make things; the colour of dusk and night and love.
From Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

If you don't mind hopping to see the full project, I'd love to share this in the Technique School over at Stamps and Stencils this month.  I was really making these altered jars up as I went along, but there are plenty of process photos to take you through it
And since they're a pretty long way off from being a card, I'd like to make them another entry at the That's Crafty Challenge Blog where they're looking for, yes, Anything But Cards

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Autumnal Oxide Journal

Hello all!  As promised, I'm here with some more pictures and words about one of my latest journals created with Eileen Hull's fabulous journal die.  Warning - there are many, many pictures to capture all the colours and angles, so you might want to grab a sustaining beverage!

Oh boy, did I have fun playing with the Oxides on this one?!  As well as some of Tim Holtz's brilliant new Thinlits dies... and I'm very happy with the journal I've ended up with.

If you missed the exciting launch of the Journal Treasury - a collection of inspirational projects made with the die (but also providing inspiration for any kind of handmade books/albums/journals) - you can catch up with all the details here... or just head over to Bella Crafts to grab a copy of the e-book at the reduced August price of 30% off.

Buy the Journal Treasury E-Book

This particular journal isn't in the book, but there is one of mine there, and there are some spectacular projects to enjoy from amazing crafters around the world.

From the moment I saw the new Thinlits collection, there were some "must-haves".  They're intended mainly for Halloween, but there are lots of them which will have a much wider use, especially for those autumnal projects which always get my creative juices flowing.

You've met this colour combination before, and with crows associated with it too.  I've pretty much "cased" my own journalling pages, A Beautiful Adventure.

But now I've got some glorious ink and oxide effects in the background, which simply couldn't have happened back then in pre-Oxide days...

... as well as Tim's fabulous Scarecrow to add to the scene.  And it's a journal not a journalling page, so really it's quite different!

I started with a large piece of watercolour paper, and my autumnal landscape colours in Distress Inks on the mat for the first passes.

Once I had some good bright layers down, I switched to Oxides on the mat and started layering.

And from there I did a bit of ink and Oxide mixing, as well as plenty of water-spritzing, until I was happy with the results.

Well, a little more than happy, actually...

I cut the Eileen Hull journal cover first of all in some strong cardboard.

I spent a bit of time deciding which parts of my large sheet I really wanted to feature... 

... before running it through with the die to get my front and back covers, which I stuck on to the cardboard pieces for extra sturdiness.

I love how the final layer of white spatter really adds detail and depth somehow.

I had added some stamping, of course... one of my favourite Tim Holtz meadow flowers stamps...

(I love how the Antique Linen Oxide gives you this wonderful misty look over the top of all the other inky layers.)

... and the glorious tree branches to give a little more for the large crow to perch on.

He does have the branch which comes as part of the set, but I like how the stamping gives a little more depth and truth to the illusion.

He seems to be contemplating whether to join his fellows in the sky.

The tiny birds flying away in the distance come with the Scarecrow.  They're fiddly, but definitely worth it...

... providing an echo of another of my favourite TH stamps, but with a bit more presence over a busy background.

On the front cover, his partner in crime has no such doubts about whether to leave...

... he's off!

The scarecrow can only stand and watch the results of his successful scaring.  I do love the detail on this die.

If you're wondering, his twiggy fingers do go off around the corner onto the spine.

My signatures inside are made up of some cheap watercolour paper, perhaps for mixed media journalling...

... or maybe I'll stick some of the many autumnal tags I've made (past, present and future) onto the pages.

The signatures are held in place with some elastic twine, so they're easy to get in and out.  I haven't bound the signatures, as I thought it would be easier to create on the pages if I left them loose.

Some simple rustic twine forms the closure.  I didn't want anything getting in the way of the scene too much.

It goes in through the central hole in the spine and is held in place with some wire inside, so it's not going anywhere.

You can undo the knots without any worries about losing the twine!

This one really gives me great joy to look at and to hold, as you can probably tell from the number of photos!  I hope you've enjoyed seeing some more of the details in close-up, front and back, inside and out.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  And remember, if you're looking for more handmade book inspiration, do check out the Journal Treasury.  See you again soon!

Life is populated with scarecrows—all those people and things that seem so scary and trouble our sleep. Isn't it nice to know that most of them turn out to be made of nothing but straw?
Jerry Spinelli

I'd like to play along at That's Crafty Challenges where they are looking for Anything But Cards
At Love To Create, sponsored by Premium Craft Brands, they are having they're usual Anything Creative/Mixed Media Goes, so I'm joining in there too
At the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge, they'd like to see things For A Child - I'd have loved a notebook like this as a child to record my thoughts in

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Journal Treasury Launch

Hello all, and welcome to a very special post.  I'm delighted to be part of the launch of the Journal Treasury - an e-book containing more than 75 journal projects using Eileen Hull's brilliant journal die.  The book includes detailed, easy-to-understand instructions, tips and techniques for creating your own journal, and fabulous photos of design ideas for journals from artists and crafters around the world... including me!

If you would like to find out more and/or order the Journal Treasury, you can do so by clicking below.   Eventually, it will retail at $16.99 (around £13), but for the duration of August there's a special price offer of 30% off, making it only $11.87 (around £9). So now's the time to buy!

It's an affiliate link, so it won't cost you anything extra, but it will give me a little cut of the profits!  You can also catch Eileen in action on Facebook Live today as part of the book launch, and with news of an exciting new Maker Challenge in association with Sizzix.  Check out Eileen's blog for all the details.

I'm very proud that the journal I created for the Journal Treasury is featured on the cover (there it is - right there in the middle!).

It's been a while since we announced that the e-book was on its way.  I promised you at the time that I would share some of what's been going on inside my Nature Journal when we got to the launch.

But I've also been getting busy with the die since I got home, so instead I thought I'd share a couple of quick pictures of my new projects. 

These two are not in the book, but I'll share them in a bit more detail in due course (I do like my close-up detail pictures, as you know!), but for now here are a couple of teaser-tasters...

It really is such a fantastic die - especially if you're someone who enjoys creating handmade books, journals and albums.  It gives you the basic structure, and then it's over to your imagination to travel as far as you want...

... to an autumn watercolour album, perhaps - with Oxide dawn colours and some of the new Tim Holtz dies...

... and plenty of watercolour pages inside ready to capture autumnal words and pictures.

Or perhaps you'd enjoy a journey into the lost and found fragments of a life...

... collected and preserved in a Calico Craft Parts printer's tray - a perfect fit inside the journal cover.

There are so many possibilities.  Even as I write this, I'm itching to get back in the craft room and cut another journal and carry on playing!

The Journal Treasury has oodles more inspiration for you - gathered from around the world of Craftyblogland.   And remember that bargain 30% off for August to celebrate the launch...

If you decide to purchase the e-book, you will be sent an email with a link (if you don't get a link please check your Spam box).  It is a large book and it may take a few minutes to download.  Once you open the e-book you can scroll through the pages and if you want to find out more about a project, just click on the Designer's name.  There really are some amazing journals gathered here to enjoy.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I'll be back very soon with some more pictures and how-to details of the latest journals.

The ideas can come from anywhere and at any time. The problem with making mental notes is that the ink fades very rapidly.
Rolf Smith

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

A 100 Year Old Rose

Hello all!  Thanks so much for your lovely comments on my bright and dark posts - from the Sunshine Watercolour Dwellings to the Glint of Moonlight on Broken Glass.

We're moving from those brights and darks back into the gentle, natural colour palette which is more usual around here.  But the project itself is a rarity at Words and Pictures...  it's a card.

Not just any card, but the card I made for our next-door-neighbour, Rose, for her 100th birthday.

With a name like that, the choice of subject for the card is easy (just as well, since I find making cards really difficult for some reason).  If you follow Cestina's Dollshouses, you'll have seen the lovely miniature rose arbour she created for Rose's 100th birthday present.  And there's lots of rose-related music, trivia and ephemera in the post too.

Rose's favourite colour is green, so that took care of some of the decision making too.

The background panel is made with Tim Holtz's Floral layering stencil.  And it started out as a tag before I trimmed it.  (I've found that starting with a tag is a pretty good way of tricking my brain into card-making.)

I applied texture paste through the stencil and then spritzed some Tattered Angels sprays over it once it was dry... mainly English Ivy, but there's some Patina and some Shade in there too.

I'm pretty sure those are wild roses on the stencil (or dog roses as they are also known for some reason).

The paper roses are from my stash.  I needed the card almost immediately on my return from New York, so I'm afraid there wasn't time for handmade flowers.

But I did manage to squeeze the foliage punch onto the trimmed off top part of the tag to get a few leaves to add to the open bloom.

And I couldn't resist adding the Stein quote from my stamp set PaperArtsy EAB01 Trees and Flowers... well, it was inevitable really, wasn't it?!

It's stamped in Olive Archival to tone in with the background.

Tim's Simple Saying stamps earn their keep again, with the greeting stamped and embossed in Bright White Wow powder both outside... 

... and inside.

And plenty of white spatter finishes the whole thing off.

A fairly simple card, but I'm happy to say it's standing on the mantlepiece right next to the one from Her Majesty the Queen!

I'll be back in a couple of days with an exciting post, so I'll hope to see you again soon.

The first fact about the celebration of birthdays is that it is a good way of affirming defiantly, and even flamboyantly, that it is a good thing to be alive.
G.K. Chesterton

In a bit of pretty serendipitous timing, the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge is celebrating its 7th birthday by playing Happy Birthday this week, so I'd like to share Rose's 100th birthday card there