Wednesday 8 July 2015

Dragons' Dream TIO - Number 1

Hello and Welcome to Magpieheaven! Today it's time to dream with the Dragons again and this fortnight we start a new theme! We would like you to create a tag, using at least one real stamp as usual, but to include a number chosen by one of the Design Team! This week it's the number 1. Please do take a look at the blog here to see the fabulous inspiration from the rest of the team.

I began by brayering a tag with Honeydew PaperArtsy Fresco Finish and Guacamole. I then stamped a leaf from Darcy's Electica in Hyde Park and covered the tag with Sage Fresco. I wanted to make my tag in shades of green because I had an old folk song playing over and over in my mind: 'I'll give you one ho, green grow the rushes oh/ What is your one ho?/ One is one and all alone and ever more shall be so...'

I gave the tag a good rub with a Baby Wipe so the leaves re-appeared, but the blend of different greens remained.

I stamped this Sara Nauman text, 'The problem of the solitary artist' in different shades of green Fresco: Green Olives, Hyde Park and Chartreuse. It seemed to me that the solitary artist described the number 1 perfectly! One of my favourite techniques, learned a long time ago from Darcy Wilkinson, is to dip a circular lid into a little puddle of paint and use it to print circles. I then painted between the circles in Hey Pesto and again rubbed layers away in places.

The next step was to colour some card with Sage Fresco, which I spattered with Hint of Mint. This I used to stamp a Tim Holtz 'Admit One' ticket onto...

and two little number ones, stamped using the Tim Holtz Tattered Alphabet. I have a confession to make now! Ever since my primary school days, I've loved words and stories; but I've always been a little intimidated by numbers! I recall as a school child having to give the numbers in my 'arithmetic' book characters before I could really feel comfortable with adding or subtracting them! For this reason I've turned the ones on my tag into little pierrots, creating them hats with black pom-poms and lacy trim.

 These 'ones', with their borders of green and gold frantage, could represent the loneliness of the performer who stands in the spotlight and gives his or her all night after night. In the song 'Green Grow the rushes oh!', it has been suggested that 'One is One and all alone and ever more shall be so' refers to God, who Moses encounters in the Burning Bush and who tells him, 'I am that I am', although the song's meaning is really lost in time and it is a strange mix of Christian and Pagan references.
  The word 'problem' takes me back to the days when my heart would sink as the teacher announced that we would be doing 'problems' today. How exactly were we to ensure that Mary, John and Susan would share their sweets equally with only arithmetic to help us? I'm sure that now 'problem solving' has become a far more exciting activity and that Maths can be taught as a useful skill rather than an incomprehensible mystery!
Thank you so much for stopping by Magpieheaven today. I do hope you will have a take of your own on the number 1 and that you will be able to link up a tag to our challenge this fortnight.


  1. That's a beautiful tag, love the colors.

  2. This just pings at my heart Julie... or maybe it's your description but either way... I love your tag and what you said about it. This was a real treat to read and to see. I love the circles - they are almost like magnifying glasses somehow. Really wonderful creation. j.

  3. I am always intrigued to read of your source of inspiration and so I say Thank You for always sharing with us the springboard from which you jump off to dive into your creativity for each individual post.
    From the background to the characters you created from the numbers, it is all captivating.
    I also related to your tale of being intimidated by numbers as I was that same child! Always much more comfortable with imagination, stories and art but when it was time for numbers, it was always much more challenging for me.
    Now before I leave I have to say heartfelt thanks for your comments and the time you take to visit my Blog especially when you are so very busy. I was especially thankful for your comment on my PA samples as I was so apprehensive about those samples.

  4. This is beautiful, Julie Ann and I love your pierrot character!

    Lucy x

  5. What a wonderful tag Julie Ann!! I love your lil Pierrots! xo

  6. Great to see the steps Julie Ann, I love all of the layers on this fabulous tag! xxx

  7. this is beautiful! wonderful layering. xo

  8. There's a theme forming here you know. You may have to start a support group Julie Ann :oD Numbers freak me out! There! I've said it! Thank you. I feel cleansed :oD

    On to brighter things... Your tag is fabulous! I love the lovely cool green. The wipe back technique really works and I love your stamped circles. I am now collecting lids obsessively. Ahhh I feel another support group coming on :oD We could call it "Ladies with Lids" ::oD


  9. Love the fabulous layers here! Truly inspiring! Looking forward to playing! Chrisx

  10. Awesome tag Julie ann! lovely the pierrots and layers. xxx

  11. Used to really enjoy singing Green Grow the Rushes O. Jackie boy, master.............etc! Love your tag too and the idea of the lonely singer is so poetic Julie Ann! Must try to join in! Xx

  12. Wonderful Julie Ann, love the little pierrot hats on your numbers, so whimsical!

  13. Glorious layers building up your splendid tag... the myriad ideas and inspirations around the number ones give this a fantastical spin - the pierrots, the solitary artist, the music, the wonderful woodland greens - it all blends together to make something quite magical.
    Alison xx


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