Tuesday 29 December 2015

2015 Round Up: Niches, Sprays, Words {curated by Alison Bomber}

Good Evening from PaperArtsy HQ, Leandra here to kick off part 3 of our 2015 blog summary series.

Did you learn something new this year? Did you achieve a personal goal, or tick something off the bucket list? How did doing that make you feel? Well it makes me feel happy, satisfied and fulfilled - all good vibes that's for sure! It's easy to make excuses, build walls, plant negative thoughts, but often, when you look back, you do wonder why you hesitated, made excuses, or just didn't make time.

Life is full of opportunities, changes and new developments. The irony is that the older we get, the less 'open' we seem to become to change of any kind. Our younger-selves were full of optimism, excitement and a yearning to explore, and as we get older we seem to become more cynical, conservative in our choices, and even less trusting. Perhaps we need to give ourselves a bit of a slap and a shake and try to regain our youthful optimism to rekindle the 'I can and I will' vibe on a more regular basis!

If we just apply a sprinkling of optimism to what we create, or perhaps all it requires is that you are creative with no specific expectation or outcome required. by doing this, I am confident we will all discover something we thought we couldn't do. 

Words are powerful too. We do all enjoy receiving words of encouragement from a friend, or a nice comment on a blog post or YouTube video. Even just a 'thank you' from a small child, parent, close partner or friend can make all the difference to your day.

Enjoy each day, they are all precious. We do not know what is around the corner. Say kind things to your friends when they are discovering their own unique creative style. Thank those who inspire you on all your social media platforms. It is easy to look or observe anonymously, but when you connect and give that response or feedback your words are so precious to the recipient.

Tonight the lovely Alison Bomber leads us through Niches, Dye Sprays and Words. Alison is the perfect choice to curate these topics as you will see! Even her blog is called Words and Pictures! She weaves magic with words, and inspires me with her gentle yet bold creative spirit. 


Hello all, Alison (a.k.a. butterfly) from Words and Pictures here, and I'm so happy to be sharing some of my highlights from three of the PaperArtsy 2015 themes with you tonight. 

My own crafty journey has continued at pace.  It still feels like such a steep learning curve - there's so much to explore and play with.  Having played with words for most of my life, this visual creativity - only three years' worth - still feels like it's in its infancy. 

On the practical side, I got to try out demoing for the first time this year, thanks to Leandra. In fact I did it twice - and had a great time both times.  Though I did demo some of my planned tags - including my favourite technique of "watercolouring with translucent Frescos", as seen above, I also loved being responsive to requests to see this or that product or technique, and seeing where that went.  Given I make it up as I go when I'm crafting, that made sense to me!

Thinking more about the internal energy of the journey, I'm noticing the creations which make me happy on a deeper level.  Whilst I still get huge delight from experimenting with new ideas, techniques, images and colours, I think this year I've got better at knowing the things which really make my heart sing, and at embracing the fact that certain themes, images and colours turn up again and again, rather than worrying that I'm getting repetitive!

Topic 7: Niches
The Niches topic was such fun that I ended up wishing I'd signed myself up for it (though I'd maybe shot my bolt with my stained glass niche earlier in the year!), and as usual Leandra's inspiration post was brilliant.

I really liked this Flower Niche by Wanda Hentges, with stamps from the Eclectica³ {Lin Brown} range.  It's so clever how she created the niche with layered die-cut negatives, and the pop of turquoise from the flower provides such a lovely contrast to the other colour tones.  Great fun!

Penny Nuttall's Abstract Niches were so sculptural.   I loved the incorporation of the natural elements, and how she turned those humble matchboxes into textured stone niches - the perfect monumental setting for the medieval Lynne Perrella images.

Back to fun with the Treetop Owls by Helen Chilton... I was so inspired by how she created the niche in a book using a simple oval die, and I loved the playfulness of turning that into a hollow in the tree for her parliament of owls. So many great textures and so full of life.

The challenge entries were equally inventive, and often downright beautiful.  I hope you saw this post by Lucy Edmondson at True Colours...  I simply love how the stone exterior contrasts with the vivid colours glowing from within - and the niches are a great way to draw attention to the fabulous details of the Lynne Perrella images.

And I'm rounding off the Niches with this quirkily brilliant Art Doll by Trish Latimer.  It's such an easy way to create a niche with the cookie cutter and the clay, but only Trish would do it through the middle of a doll!  It's a disturbing moment in the step-out when she cuts out her heart, but I'm glad to say that Happy Clare (named for Clare Lloyd, the designer of the stamps) got a whole new heart in the space left behind.  An off the wall delight!

Topic 8: Sprays

Sprays are such an everyday part of crafting life that it was lovely to see them given centre stage in the spring.

I really loved the journalling page A Delight In Play by Kate Yetter (quite apart from anything else, that title really hit home!).  It was so beautiful seeing the sprayed colours flow over the texture created by the collaged scraps in the background, a speciality of Kate's (and well worth visiting the post to see the process photos if you haven't already seen them).

And I so enjoyed the journalling adventure of Ruth Mescall's Fabric Journal.  It was a great idea to create a homemade canvas resist for the sprays, and fantastic to see the results of Ruth’s experiments with various resist options along the way, and great tips for how she "coloured" JOFY's flowers so beautifully, as well as the gorgeous summery pages at the end of it.  

I often seem to be drawn to projects which are the complete opposite of anything I create myself. That's the case with these Spray Tags by Anneke de Clerck, which are so fresh and bright.  The spontaneity of those simple spritzes of paint spray at the start means there’s great life and movement even before the lovely layers build up.  And I love the simple bold use of Darcy's stamps.

The challenge entries were fantastic, but there was one which really blew me away. These stunning springtime teabags from Diana Taylor at Velvet Moth Studio, with their wirework flowers, are utterly beautiful.  It shows you don’t need more than one colour of spray to create something completely magical.

And who could resist the beauty of Julie Ann Lee's Eternal Stars?  Certainly not me!  I love the soft chalky look of the sprays she made with opaque Fresco colours, and the layers of washes give the woman a real depth and compelling presence.  Julie Ann's journey with her faces this year has been a joy to behold, and there's always a wonderful story or beautiful thought embedded in the artwork too.  A stunning page.

Topic 9: Words

Well, I signed up for this one straight away, as you might imagine, but found it strangely difficult in the end, despite another great post from Leandra.  I just couldn't find my flow in the time I had set aside.  Thankfully, everybody else carried on knocking it out of the park!

The sharp, clean look of Paula Pascual's Home Decor piece is so pleasing.  The chipboard letters make a fantastic background and the vivid colours of JOFY's flower really zing against the textured white lettering beneath.  I adore the little touch of script stamping across the flower petals.

There was an Eternal Star from Alison Hall which caught my eye (those Eclectica³ {Sara Naumann} words obviously get to me - that's their second appearance!).  This is a fantastic card with the words providing colour as well as movement across the space, movement which is brilliantly echoed by the positioning of the stars.  The additional texture from the lace and tissue tape is perfect. 

I simply can't leave out this fantastic Canvas Crossword by signature designer Darcy Wilkinson.  There's so much to feast the eyes on here - the fabulous Bougainvillea-painted string used to create the grid over the funky layers of paint and fabulous drippage in the background - so cool how it’s fastened at the edges too (which you really have to visit the post to see in close-up) - and gorgeous glossy word tiles on top of all that! 

With a broad challenge theme like this (maybe that's what stymied me - too many choices!) you get a really a diverse range of entries, and all so creative. I could have picked so many to highlight, but in the end I had to pick one, and it's these gorgeous journalling pages by Lin at Art from Herts.  I love the bold verticals provided by the pens - which write words, so they're the perfect image choice - as well as the pop of the white Snowflake-stamped words against the fabulous layers of colour.

And I hope you didn't miss A Place for Secrets and Dreams by Lynne Moncrieff. These stunning little handmade books, brilliantly using the Sara Naumann word stamps on tissue paper over layers of colour and texture, are just beautiful.  It's a fairly unusual hit of colour from Lynne, but it's one of my favourite creations of hers - the paint layers and words look so delicious on the soft canvas used for the book covers.

And Finally from me....

How about an item that links all 3 of these topics?  Well there's a challenge!  I was so inspired by Helen's way of cutting her book niche (I hacked mine out with a knife when I did it in January!) that I decided to give that a go.  And you'll see what I mean about embracing the things which make me happy when I'm creating... so many of my favourite things found their way on to this!

The words are already pretty much taken care of through the pages of the book, but I added a sentiment too for good measure, and I had a lovely time spritzing and blotting ink sprays and then flicking them for spatter too.  Bizarrely, I don't think there's a single Hot Picks stamp amongst my highlights, so I obviously had to pop one into my niche!  I'll share some more details of this altered book over at Words and Pictures soon.

Believe me, given the choice, I could go on all night about the work inspired by the three themes I've been looking at... there were so many beautiful things I had to leave out.  What an astounding array of inspirational projects and creative entries - and that was only three fortnights out of the whole year here at PaperArtsy.  It's an amazing privilege to be a part of it all.  I can't wait to see what 2016 brings.

Alison Bomber
Words and Pictures
butterfly crafter on Pinterest


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Helen said...

what wonderful projects you chose to revisit, Alison, and I love your own new project too.

Claire said...

Great post tonight, thanks Alison for sharing all your highlights and your own new project is beautiful - so you xx

Miriam said...

I am loving the memories this week - such fabulous projects too. I love your project too Alison :)

Julie Lee said...

Such an inspiring exploration of 3 really fascinating topics. We've been so spoilt for choice with all these incredibly creative and imaginative designers and blog contributors this week! How did you do it, Alison? I know I found it really hard to select just a few projects for each theme. Whatever magic you used, this post is a triumph: you've certainly reminded us of some truly lovely work, with each contributor putting their own individual spin on niches, words and sprays. The whole post - words and pictures alike - was a delight from beginning to end! I love your creation of a new piece using the 3 themes too! It is recognizably you, yet fresh and original too. It was so interesting to think about learning not to shy away from techniques, colours and themes that bring us joy; but to allow them to develop and form a signature style. xx

Unknown said...

Oh my... what a treat... wow.... I have already spent a bit of time looking and looking (not just at this post but all of these wonderful "round up" posts). Ready to go back for another look too!!!! You are all just sooo creative... it's amazing to me to see such incredible talent. LOVE your 2015 Round UP - thanks bunches for super super super inspirations. HAPPY NEW YEAR to all. Hugs j.

Gabrielle said...

Fabulous post and it is such a pleasure to see these beautiful projects again! Love your final piece of art! Fabulous!

Lauren Hatwell said...

More amazing projects to delight and inspire. It so lovely to see them all again and be reminded how great they were. I was nodding vigorously all the way through :oD


craftimamma said...

Love all the inspiration you picked out for tonight's post Alison and your own final project is wonderful. Love all the delicate paint spots and the shabbiness of it all.

Lesley Xx

Lucy Edmondson said...

I love the way you describe things, Alison! Such a wonderful round up; I love this look back over the year and I love your book niche. Thank you so much for including one of mind,

Lucy x

Paper Profusion said...

What a treat to read, study and ponder! Thank-you Alison for your words, thoughts and own brilliant artistry! Again the diverse range and incredible skills of all mentioned really blow me away. Am bookmarking all these wrap-up posts to explore further when time permits. Nicola x

Terry said...

My eyes certainly enjoyed this visit! What a incredible grouping of artwork from everyone! Alison, I do love that window you created for that awesome image! Love it to bits! Hugs!

http://blog.timetocreate.com.au/ said...

What a glorious post Leandra! There is so much here to get the creative juice flowing and the heart humming!
So true that we all love praise and that we also need to step outside our personal comfort zone as often as we can.
Congratulations to all the artists - you rock!

Astrid Maclean said...

Well, I obviously don't visit this blog nearly often enough, as pretty much all of these projects are new to me (I need to do better in 2016 I think)... Great choices, and super variety of styles and techniques. Alison's final project rounds it all up to perfection!

Deb said...

An amazing collection of beauty and talent Alison, wonderfully curated! And the piece de resistance was your beautiful altered book, wonderful colours and design adorned by those inspiring words. Here's to a New Year filled with even more fabulous creations! Deb xo

PaperArtsy said...

Thanks to all for your lovely words in the comments. We approached those of our bloggers who have a natural talent with words to curate these posts for you all, you can see why now. It is always such a pleasure to read Alison's thoughts. We still have a few more nights of round up to go, so do check back.
Thanks Alison. Beautiful

rachel said...

amazing curating alison ... gorgeous work you highlighted. i adore your piece too. big hugs and best wishes for a healthy happy new year xx

Jackie PN said...

Fabulous post with so much creativity and inspiration- set my mind a reeling with ideas!! thank you for the run down!!
Jackie ")

pearshapedcrafting said...

Love your choices and your own project is another stroke of genius! Chrisx

Hazel Agnew said...

Hi Alison....you make my heart sing too with your inspirational creations! Brilliant choices in your review, so we'll penned as usual! Love your amalgamation at the end...bringing together so many wonderful elements and techniques! Xx

Diana Taylor said...

A wonderful post Alison - you've picked some truly inspiring pieces and I'm honoured that you included my little tea bags amongst them - thank you! I have to say I totally love your book art - what an amazing piece, I love your attention to detail and the beautiful subtle colour palette. I too have a 'thing' about grasses and I love the border along the bottom - it's just so perfect.

craftytrog said...

Thank you for this wonderful round-up Alison, so nice of you to include my little card!
Your altered book is just stunning!
Alison xxx

Kirsten said...

Fantastic collection, thanks Alison.

Redanne said...

Leandra, your words were beautiful! Alison, you make a fantastic curator, all your choices are excellent and truly inspiring! Anne xx

Anonymous said...

A wonderfully journey through those three topics (oops, no text appearing in the comment box!)
Will return another time!!!

Anneke said...

Thanks for your kind words Alison! Great to see what you picked and why. And I love your project at the end, it's a masterpiece!