Friday, 10 May 2013

Be Yourself


Hello everyone, Alison here (that's Alison B - for butterfly, or Bomber, or the second Alison on the team after Craftytrog... as you like it).  I'm so happy to be here with my first post for Artistic Stamper as a full-blown member of the Design Team.  I'm honoured, and very excited, to work alongside these brilliant artists.

In fact, to be honest, I've been having a bit of a wobbly.  Everything's been a bit overwhelming recently (in a good way on the crafty front, to be fair, but a bit more difficult in other directions) - and I got in a bit of a spin about this make.  In the end - with a couple of discarded "fails" on the desk in front of me, I decided to take it out on a journal page.

I've made tentative inroads into art journalling (I'm very good at buying beautiful journals - always have been, long before I even knew about art journalling or stamping or inks or any of this!), but recently I've been so inspired by some of the amazing journallers around in Craftyblogland, and it seemed a journal was the perfect place to let go of trying too hard, and just follow my instinct.  So here it is.


I basically just did lots of stuff I like with lots of stuff I like (links at the foot of the post)... but the whole thing starts from the Gibson Girls who - to me - have such a strong yet sad presence as images.  I already did some playing with that idea in Journey to Yourself, one of my Guest Design pieces in February.

And here they are doing an excellent job of representing some of the internal disquiet being held in behind an apparently calm exterior.


I gesso'd some pages in my new journal (picked up by my mother in Oxfam - so hardly counts as another purchase!).  It's a good solid book, 9.5 x 7 inches, with lovely strong paper, but the gesso still helps when you're planning to load'em up.


While the pages were drying, I stamped the Gibson Girls onto some papers from the Tim Holtz Crowded Attic collection, and cut them out with the ATC die from Sizzix.


First step for me is always texture - I love playing with texture paste and stencils, and the new Andy Skinner stencils are so great.


Random torn book pages and torn tissue tape create some extra architecture around the pages, and I already pretty much knew by this point where I wanted my women to go.


I did some inking with Pumice Stone, Frayed Burlap, Faded Jeans and Chipped Sapphire, and then decided the ATCs needed to be glued in so that they would start to get "embedded" into the page.


I did some Harlequin stencilling with Chipped Sapphire, then went over some of it in Picket Fence Distress Paint with the stencil slightly shifted for a dimensional effect.  I decided I wanted a bit more texture, so I dabbled some gesso through some of the diamonds with a hard bristle brush.


Lots of stamping: beautiful flowers from the Botanical Plate 1...


... butterflies from Insects and Butterflies, the delicious little Calligraphy Mat 19...


Then I had a wonderful time adding the Mini Polka Dots, first in Cobalt Archival, and then in Picket Fence Distress Paint - love this look!


Time to pay some extra attention to my dimensional Andy Skinner flourishes...


... some more layers of ink and paint, building depth, and finally some dry-brushing to highlight the textural detailing.


I'm a bit in love with Pumice Stone - it gives such a brilliant look of aged stone... predictable, I suppose, given the name!

And then, of course, there's the sentiment.  It's from the new Tim Holtz Way With Words set, and it speaks to me very loudly at the moment, since I'm about to head into some work that demands one of my "other me"s, wearing a different hat, and one that weighs quite heavily.


Can I keep this new creativity alive and bubbling once all those demands start being made on my time and energies (physical, mental and emotional)?  I hope so...


It went through several versions - dark ink, pale paper; pale ink, dark paper; dark ink, tissue paper... 


but in the end there was something about the paler words that said something more profound about a lighter presence in the world.


So I finished up with Vanilla White embossing powder stamped on some of the reverse sides of the Crowded Attic papers, and then inked of course.


I know that this may seem a slightly downbeat debut, but the good news is that creating this page certainly seems to have been therapeutic - on the crafty side, if nothing else.  All sorts of far more cheerful and colourful creations are bubbling up over at Words and Pictures over the next few days!


Having said that, I really love the pages I've ended up with - it did me good to just let my crafty heart lead the way.  I hope it offers you some inspiration (or at least food for thought).  If so, come and play along with our Words challenge this month... love to see you there.

Thank you so much for stopping by today, and I'll see you again soon - hopefully with a shorter post next time!

Here's what I used; click to go straight there:
Artistic Stamper stamps: Gibson Girls Plate 1Botanical Plate 1Insects and Butterflies No.1Mini Polka DotsMini Calligraphy Mat 19
Stampers Anonymous: Way With Words
Gesso
Texture Paste
Andy Skinner: Baroque
Crafter's Workshop: Mini Harlequin
Idea-ology: Sketchbook Tissue Tape
Distress Ink: Chipped Sapphire, Faded Jeans, Frayed Burlap, Pumice Stone
Archival Ink: Jet Black, Cobalt
Distress Paint: Picket Fence
Wow Embossing Powder: Vanilla White
From my stash: other acrylic paints, book pages, journal

32 comments:

Brenda Brown said...

Stunning, beautiful pages.
hugs {Brenda} x0x

Cinderella Moments said...

It's gorgeous! All the layers make this such an incredible composition. I love it! Great job!
hugs♥,
Caroline

inkypinkycraft said...

Stunning pages, Alison hugs trace x

Astrid Maclean said...

First of all, this spread is totally stunning! Love all the beautiful layers and how they blend so seamlessly together! Secondly, - I so know exactly how you feel (I know you know this already), - hang in there, and keep creating!!! Hugs!!

Yvonne Garner said...

Hi Alison! Congratulations on your new DT position! They are so fortunate to have you as a team member. Your first piece is just gorgeous, filled with so many places for the eye to linger. Every detail of your piece was done with obvious care. Bravo!

Annie said...

Lots of fabulous layers and textures here Alison and I love it. There is so much detail and it is pieced together perfectly in the most stunning colours.

Look forward to viewing more of your makes

Annie xx

chrissies said...

Really beautiful pages with wonderful ideas and colours

chrissie x

Helen said...

Beautiful, beautiful pages! I love the colours, and the texture - and yes, they do look sad, don't they? Thanks for taking the time to share this stunning work.

isisimaginings.com said...

It is beautiful. I love all the layers & textures & the images are perfect.

Buttons said...

Beautifully created pages here Alison. Love the Gibson Girls images and the texture you've added. Hugs, Jenny x

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

A great start Alison..so many interesting details on your pages.

kind regards, Alie :-)

Tincan Crafter said...

So incredible, love all the layers and texture, especially the texture paste damask bit at the bottom. Absolutely beautiful.

Sue said...

Wonderful pages Alison, I love all the yummy layers xx

May said...

Stunning work Alison, Congratulions on your DT Post..These pages are full of wonderful texture, colours & Beautiful stamps....These images are perfect!! Hugs May x x x

craftytrog said...

Great to be working alongside you too Alison, you have amazing talent! These pages are stunning!
Alison xxx

Artyjen said...

Ooh! That is delicious ;) Love all the layers you created. Good to have you here :)
xoxo Sioux

House of Bears said...

Wonderful. We love all the layered effects, you do backgrounds so well. The images are striking and the finished project is stunning.

Sandra Castle said...

Absolutely stunning pages! I love the ethereal pale colours and all that texture - Wow!!

Lisa M said...

Phenomenal...just gorgeous! I love the vintage ladies so much. :)

Kelly Neis said...

Alison this is breathtaking, I feel the emotions in the journal and women's faces. Gorgeous colors and the elements that you put on it. The end result is one of my favorite pieces from you.
Have a great day.
Kelly

Redanne said...

You express yourself so well in your art Alison, these pages are stunning and worth every moment of your perseverance! Hugs, Anne x

Paper Profusion said...

Exquisite work Alison. You are crafting with all these products so exceptionally - Artistic Stamper have been blessed in their selection of you on the DT! Great post too! Have a lovely weekend, Nicola x

Fandhmum said...

Absolutely wonderful and so inspirational, thanks,
Rosie x

Cathy L. Calamas said...

Beautiful blues! Love those textured paint accents.

Nan G said...

Wonderful pages Butterfly! Love what you do the Gibson girls. Hang in there you have lots of friends in blog land.

Deborah said...

Someone's already used the word 'exquisite' and that pretty much sums up how I feel about these glorious textured pages.

Dianne said...

What more can I say but, all the layering texture,images words, all makes a perfect journal page, great to see you here too, your the BOMB girly:):)Thanks for sharing...

Julia S-W said...

Beautiful, beautiful pages Alison. I love the colours, the texture and the way your Gibson Girls become a part of it all. What I loved too was reading your post and realising how much of you went into this piece - I wish you well with whatever is coming up.
Juliaxx

Kezzy said...

Wow gorgeous as always Alison, the texture is amazing, and all the layers are awesome. Happy Crafting :-) Hugs Kezzy xxx

Titbelsoeur, mixed-media addict said...

what a nice art journal page !!

Marjie Kemper said...

What a gorgeous spread! Congrats on your new DT spot, Alison. These pages are stunning and I love all the step-out photos.

Salla said...

What a beautiful journal spread, and thanks for taking the time to explain and photograph so precisely how you did it!