Wednesday 24 June 2015

Brown and Crackle - Dreaming with the Dragons!

Hello and welcome to Magpieheaven, where it's not only time to dream with the Dragons; but also my turn to set the recipe for this fortnight! I've chosen brown and crackle. If you pop over to the Dragons Dream TIO here, you will see the great inspiration from the team!  At this time of year I love to visit beautiful old gardens, to sit in the sun and enjoy the roses and the honeysuckle and to imagine the Lords and Ladies, maid-servants, butlers and grooms whose footsteps once rang out over the cobbled courtyards. Usually there's an old, sun-baked wall all crackled and pitted by time, encrusted with moss and touched with the tendrils of clematis, ivy and ancient vines. This is what I wanted to evoke in my tag!

I began by just brayering a jumbo tag with some Cheesecake Fresco paint by PaperArtsy and some Taupe.

In places I added splodges of Chocolate Pudding. Sad to say, I didn't photograph the next stages of the process because I got very carried away and very messy! I squeezed Grunge Paste tinted with a little Brown Shed Fresco through a brick stencil and then, when this was dry, I applied Crackle Glaze over the areas of dark paint, not worrying too much if it went over onto my bricks. Keeping it thin was my main concern! I had two little die-cut arches made from card and I painted these with more Brown Shed, added a layer of Crackle Glaze and then, when this was dry, painted over them with Cheesecake. I also wanted to play with adding some fabric pieces to the tag, so I think I'll show you the finished tag and take you through some of the details.

As you can see I highlighted my background bricks with Treasure Golds and stamped the medieval text from a PaperArtsy mini in places, using paint rather than ink. There's a fair sprinkling of Frantage in Aged Copper too!

The ivy leaves (from a PaperArtsy Ink and the Dog plate) around the arched windows were stamped using Toad Hall, onto card painted with Toffee Fresco and they were then cut out and edged with green Frantage and Treasure Gold. On the lower window, I painted some lining fabric with Smurf Fresco mixed with a little Ranger Fabric Medium and I then stamped the script over with Stazon.

I hope you can see the crackly texture of my background and the different layers and colours. The face is one that I drew myself and scanned and printed onto fabric. I did this by ironing a piece of lining fabric onto some A4 Freezer paper and then running it through the printer. I touched up the face a little with some more Frescos once it was fixed in place and added dimension with some pearl pen blobs and a little lace. I wanted to create the impression of this lady of the manor materialising from the bricks of the old wall.

The sentiment is from an Ink and the Dog plate and the flower is an Eclectica one by Darcy Wilkinson. It's embossed half with clear and half with white embossing powder on toffee tinted card with touches of London Bus and spatters of gold UTEE.

I like to use heavy gel medium to stick down wisps of lace. Then when it's dry I rub over a little Treasure Gold to accentuate the texture. Here you can see that I dry-brushed the edges of my arched window with some Toffee Fresco and doodled just the hint of a vine over the crackle. I liked the way that the card ivy leaves looked almost as if they were made from metal with the addition of the Treasure Gold and Frantage.
Thank you so much for looking at my Dragons Dream tag today. Please do link up, if you can. Remember to use at least one real stamp on your tag; some crackle and the colour brown.


  1. Love the textural shapes, but I really like that black, taupe and white background. It was beautiful all on it's own. xox

  2. What a wonderful tag! once again, so much to look at and admire!

  3. What a fabulous tag! Your wonderful face and oh so many fantastic details to take in! Thank you so much for asking me to GD! Big hugs, Chrisx

  4. So many wonderful details...gorgeous tag Julie Ann! xxx

  5. gorgeous details in your tag x

  6. Wow! Gorgeous tag Julie!! This brown is so rich and she is another many fab details! Love it! xx

  7. Absolutely love your layers !! Yes, you achieved the look you went for with your lady coming from the bricks- very clever Julie Ann! Your details on this tag are as amazing as ever- and I love your use of Treasure Gold and Frantage! (note to one's self-must get and try Treasure Gold!)
    well done my friend! xo

  8. Stunning art work, Julie Ann, very clever idea to print on fabric, I'll come back for a second look.

    Love and hugs

  9. What a fun background, texture and tag design.

    Hugs Diane

  10. Oh you and your scrumptious interesting details Julie Ann!
    How I would enjoy sitting in that garden with you :-)
    Beautiful tag in every way.
    I am always amazed at your step out photos because it is very easy to get lost in play and forget all about the camera. Your written text fills that in nicely.

  11. Wonderful, I love your faces!

    Lucy x

  12. Your imagination continues to grow.
    This is brimming over with enchantment. I adore the dame, with such character in her face. Julie Ann, I am always bowled over with your drawings and it makes me want to venture into this myself. I haven't drawn/painted a face for 10 years or so and I look at how you incorporate your drawings into your stamped artwork and it fires my imagination yet at the same time I have a sense of apprehension at taking this step. The way you created her dress is so magical. Okay, I now need to take another peek!
    Goodnight and Julie Ann, thank you, always, for your continued support and friendship.

  13. Just a stunning creation with fantastic details.

  14. Ah yes... so now I can imagine myself sitting in a medieval convent courtyard - enjoying the warmth coming off those textured bricks which have been baking in the sun all day, and the cool blue of the light on the stained glass window in the arch. I love how the bricks became part of the woman's body, and her delicate hands holding the flower plucked from the vine. I do hope that doesn't suggest her flower has been plucked... then I'd have to remove her from the convent! Beautiful tag, Julie Ann.
    Alison xx


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