Wednesday, 4 December 2013

A Winter's Tale - Inspired by Alison

Well, Magpieheaven visitors, I really hope you are not feeling overwhelmed by Christmas preparations. I am determined not to be anxious about a season that is supposed to promote peace and good will! Today I had to visit the Dentist, but I tried not to think about it too much and to spend some time playing before my visit: I should probably have been Christmas shopping, but craft won, I'm afraid. Over at Paper Artsy Alison Bomber has been at her most inspirational! She is a phenomenal artist. Not only does she create amazing work, she is also so generous and honest about sharing the process with her readers. We are included one hundred percent as Alison confides in us about not only her triumphs, but also those bold enterprises that threaten not to go quite to plan, but turn out all the better for that! If Alison's baubles were bothersome, she lets you know that they were and we all gasp in awe at the wonderful outcome!

I so wanted to play along with Alison this time, not just because I admire her work, which I do, but also because her projects look such fun! Alas I don't possess very many  of the wonderful products Alison used this semester! I have no liquid leaf; no triptych to decorate and no baubles or Rock Candy Crackle! I wasn't giving up that easily! I may not have baubles to decorate, but I am trying to create a tag tree in my favourite vase. My plan is to photograph my Winter Wonderland mantel-piece when it is all complete. Each of my tags is going to be about an aspect of what Christmas means to me. Trying to keep in the spirit of Alison's intrepid experimentation I attacked a tag and some card first with Fresco paints and then with Distress Stains: Antarctic and Inky Pool and Faded Jeans, Peeled Paint, Evergreen Bough and Picket Fence. I wanted to create patterns with drips, not in the more impasto style of Alison's gilded icon, but in a water-colour way. I was beginning to think baroque skies on ceilings stretching way above our heads, although I feared ending up with a grey and slushy day in Bromley Town Centre. Would those drips look better with some stamping?
I was thinking that I might enter my tags for the Funkie Junkie 12 Tags Challenge so this will also be my first one! I am actually starting with Week 8 and Linda's lovely blue, snowflake background is what inspired me. I do hope I have time to complete all 12 before the 22nd - eek! Here is a link to the Funkie Junkie Boutique where some of the beautiful supplies to make tags and so on can be found. I played with clear embossing some snowflakes from the Artistic Outpost plate and also using WOW white embossing powder on some others. I don't have the extra thick clear embossing powder that Alison used on her baubles, but I should so like to play with some of that! I swiped my tag through some Perfect Pearls powder to create a shimmer and - in the absence of the fine crackles of Rock Candy - I substituted a silver skeleton leaf, which looks like fine broken lines in the ice or frost fronds.
I liked the marbled look of my backgrounds and the way they shimmered, but I wasn't sure where I was headed exactly and the clock was ticking on towards the horrors of the Dentist! I wanted to use a Lynne Perrella Paper Artsy Christmas image rather than a traditional Santa and that's when the idea of  'A Winter's Tale' started to occur to me.
 I think it was the texture of that leaf that did it! I started to think of a wonderful production of 'A Winter's Tale' - almost the first Shakespeare I ever saw - that my friend Nina's mum took us both to see when we were sixteen. It starred Judi Dench as Hermione and the directer was Peter Brook. At the poignant moment when Hermione's statue comes to life the audience all just gasped as Judi Dench stepped out from a giant pillar of ice, a warm, living woman and not a statue at all. Those memories of the magic of theatre and transformation kept informing what I was doing as I played around with my tag, hoping that a puddly mess would turn into something glittering and festive courtesy of Perfect Pearls and Tim Holtz Dry distress glitter!
I used my marbly card to stamp an image on from LPC0017. I used this image the other day and I am growing to love its versatility. On this project it reminded me of a ceiling painting that a fairy-tale couple such as Hermione and Leontes might have in their palace. I used Wendy Vecchi Cornflower Blue, inspired by Alison and Linda's blue palettes. Like Alison, I tried France Papillon's technique of creating Grunge Paste embellies. These I frosted with Dry Distress glitter and stuck on very carefully! I made about six, but they were probably too thin. These two were the only ones that slipped off my craft paper satisfyingly all in one piece: they reminded me of icing sugar! The snowflakes I had punched out of card I coloured with Frescos in Antarctic and Inky Pool, Nougat and Cinnamon and Shabby Blue Frantage. I wound stained seam binding, lace and singed grey gauze around my tag fastening and added some cream hemp thread. I bordered with Crackle Glazed icicles and a Crackle Glaze frame in French Roast with a coat of Antarctic over the Glaze. I also used brown paper lace with text an musical notes on it.
I wanted my tag to evoke the wintry mood in the first section of Shakespeare's play, where Hermione's little boy settles down to tell a story with the words, 'A sad tale's best for winter.' 
Here is my seam binding, lace and gauze and a Prima brad, which I coloured with Treasure Gold White Fire to co-ordinate more with the winter colours of the tag.
Thank you for looking at my tag today: I do hope I shall be able to complete 12. Thank you Alison too for inspiring me to create something blue, shimmery, dangling and frosty with the supplies that I have, even if it wasn't baubles. I should like to enter this tag for The Funkie Junkie 12 Tags of Christmas and I'm starting by linking to Tag#8 and


  1. Gorgeous, you too are inspiring. I love reading your blog, you have a wonderful way with words.

  2. I believe it is us who are gasping as you unveil your tag through your photographs.
    You most certainly captured drama but also a sensitivity and serenity exudes from your tag, I am mesmerised and thank you for sharing such a special memory.

  3. Oh my word, Julie Ann - I am overwhelmed by your tag, your story, your beautiful compliments. The tag is utterly gorgeous, and I couldn't be happier to be amongst your trio of inspirations - Linda Coughlin, Shakespeare and me!! I love the colours, and the dreamy sparkle of the snowflakes, the wonderful inventiveness of that arched hanger at the top and the ethereal feather. Wowzer! Thank you so much for playing along this week and all those other times at PaperArtsy - it's been fabulous having you along for the ride.
    Alison xx

  4. Hi Julie Ann, I have full confidence you will complete all 12 tags and they will all have one of your wonderful storys behind them. Love all those snowflakes on your tag, plus the leaf, lace and colours just lovely. Alison is so very talented and I love her colour pallette, it is so easy to get inspired by her projects. Hugs Mo x

  5. Wow Julie Ann that was an epic journey, well worth the read.

    Stunning project and perfect for the challenge. Hope the dentist went well & you came out smiling:-) xxx

  6. Brilliant project.Leaves has been a very good position. As a feather mimi stamp that you have used. I like your project Julie Ann! xx

  7. This is gorgeous! The crackle, the dyed ribbon, all these little touches...perfect. Good luck with the other tags, if anyone can pull it off, you can...

  8. Absolutely exquisite!!! xxx

  9. Love it. Great chilly blue and I love those lacy flakes sticking out all over. A very lovely tag

  10. Another beautiful one Julie Ann. Love the colours you have used.
    Well done.

  11. What a stunning tag, Julie Ann! Sorry I am so behind visiting you. I hope all is well with you?

    Lucy x

  12. Oh my gosh - this is one of the most beautiful tags you have EVER made - bravo! And to think you went to the dentist too.

  13. What a totally delightful piece of work, Julie Ann! Your background came out completely awesome and you definitely captured the frosty feel you were going for. Love all the snowflakes and that brad and the fibers are the perfect finishing touches. Great work on Tag #8!


  14. Wow wow wow I really love your tag, and I love the effect of the marble especially on the centre piece, such gorgeous beauty and the top is so fabulous, really really love it. Hugs Kezzy :-) xxxxx


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