Friday 30 December 2016

PaperArtsy Blog Summary of Topics 16-19 {Curated by Alison Bomber)

2016 Blog Summary: Jewellery, Making Marks, Leaves & Die Cuts

Today's curator is Alison Bomber and she is looking back on Topics 16-19: Jewellery, Making Marks, Leaves, Die Cuts. I love how Alison weaves a post together, so make sure to read between the pictures! You are in for a treat!


Hello everybody.  Alison here from Words and Pictures to share some projects which really caught my eye from a selection of the inspirational topics offered up here on the PaperArtsy blog throughout 2016.  I had a year of work which took most of my attention, so I missed a great deal of what went on in Craftyblogland.  This summary post was a great opportunity to catch up with some of the amazing pieces from the PaperArtsy designers, as well as the creations offered up by the challenge participants inspired by those themes.

It's been a strange year for me creatively, as I've had to spend so much time away from my craft desk, often travelling with quite a limited craft stash.  It's not true to say there's been no creativity.  I'm fortunate enough that my "day-job" is also creative, but it's in the sphere of words and performance rather than physical/visual creativity, and it does take up most of my energy, physical and mental, so I've definitely been missing the crafting side of things.

Still, it was interesting to see what supplies made the cut for the travel stash (bearing in mind luggage limitations on aeroplanes).  Amongst other things, I travelled with a couple of small journals, so art-journalling featured quite often, and Come What May was one of the page spreads which got me into the zone, even though I was stuck in a fairly soulless hotel room.

Being away from home for long periods, crafting became a solace and a retreat.  It was very clear that, when I did get a chance to play, my crafty mojo kept leading me to my happy places... blue/brown or blues/greens, crackle and texture, the play of light, and elements of nature. So that was a different sort of learning, telling me something about where this crafty journey wants to take me.

Given all the travelling, it's appropriate that my Wanderlust Travel Journal from back in January was one of my favourite creations this year - making my own marks, travelling in new ways with some of my much-loved elements - but I never really got a chance to follow it up at the time.  I'm hoping that this coming year I'll get a chance to develop that understanding in new ways.  

After the tumultuous political events of 2016 and with the uncertainty of what's to come in 2017, I think my engagement will have to be with the natural world not the political world if I'm to keep my sanity.  I'm more than ever inclined to retreat to my craft room and stay there so, with luck, there'll be more crafting creative time for me this year... we'll see!

Topic 16: Beads, Jewellery, Dangles, Charms

After a fabulous inspiration post from Darcy, this was one of the themes I really wished I'd been around for, if only to try something really different.  I always love working in 3D, as well as creating things which have some sort of movement to them, and this topic really brought those elements to the fore.  There were great projects all around from the PaperArtsy designers and the players.

I really love these Textured Lockets by Dounia Large.  The tiny book text in the background really appeals to me, and it was fascinating to see the results of Dounia's trial experiments with layered glazes over the Grunge Paste flourish. The final finish looks just like an ivory relief.  I also love the illuminated manuscript colours of the triangular niche in the second locket.  Together they look like old medieval jewellery - a brilliant "time-travel" project.

As I said, I really enjoy pieces which have light and movement built in, and these Dellow Dangles by Lauren Hatwell certainly hit the mark on that front.  The painted acetate means there's a glowing translucence which must be lovely as the dangles move.  I love the teal/green colours, and those tiny sparkly glitter accents are a perfect touch to just provide a bit of colour contrast and an extra zing.  So from the medieval to some very up-to-date quirky jewellery!

As well as the inspiration from the PaperArtsy designers, there were so many delightful and inventive creations from the challenge participants.  Do check out this fabulously sculptural mobile from Tapeva, and Deb Wainwright's shimmering paperclay heart, but the project I've chosen to highlight here is Etsuko's gorgeous divided hanging.  I simply love how she's used her paperclay beads to create a space within the layered collage - brilliant!

Topic 17 : Making Marks

Making my own marks is something I have done more of in 2016, starting out with inspiration from the Everything Art Wanderlust course (though the handmade book I shared above was almost the only thing I managed before work/travel went bonkers), and something I'm determined to continue developing in 2017, so this was a fascinating topic for me.  It's a real leap of faith, I find, to dare to put your own mark into the artwork.  Kudos to all those brave enough to share their mark-making for this theme!

There was a stunning masterclass in mark-making with "tools" from nature from Ruth Mescall as she created her Inky Cards.  Just take a look at the array of grasses, feathers and twigs she used to create her backgrounds.  There's such energy and spontaneity in the inky markings, and the combination of that with Sara Naumann's stamps works just perfectly.

I was blown away by the Abstract Flower Garden created by Anneke de Clerck, from that initial application of Grunge Paste to the whole page - so smooth and perfect, and then brilliantly textural once she started making marks (yes, those background flowers are carved into the Grunge Paste) - to the zing of the foreground flowers contrasted against the subtle tones of the textured background.  A really amazing page spread.

Again, there were many, many great contributions from the challenge participants.  Don't miss Sue the Iron's uplifting happy page or Sarah Anderson's wonderful layered florals, but if I have to pick only one project to highlight it would have to be this fabulous pair of ATCs from Saraccino.  They have texture and depth, and I love that she's included her own handwriting, for that really personal mark-making touch.

Topic 18 : Leaves/ Autumn

Another glorious inspiration post from Darcy and another topic I wish I could have been around for.  The colours, shapes and textures of autumn leaves are art in themselves... taking that inspiration from nature resulted in lots of fabulous projects.

This Birdhouse by Bracken Sparkes is charming.  I love how she's created the whirl of leaves spiralling around the house - so clever - and the layered wood slices make the perfect base for the birdhouse.  And in this photo you can just see the addition of the cute hedgehog snuffling around the bottom of the steps - such fun!

Sue Carrington created the perfect autumnal vintage frame with her Sculpted Leaves.  The tissue paper stamping provides such great detail on the frame itself, and then the layers of colour built up over it and those incredibly beautiful textured leaves give this piece a really haunting atmosphere of autumnal melancholy and nostalgia - simply brilliant!

There's another array of fabulous leafy work to choose from amongst the challenge participants for this topic.  I enjoyed the real leaves decorated by rsgmutticreates, and I loved Craftyfield's gorgeous real-leaf-stamping, but whittling down to one, it has to be the glorious colours and movement of Pavla's wonderful journalling page.  The Infusions give the perfect illusion of autumn mists and forest foliage.

Topic 19: Dies Cuts/ Masks
I definitely go through phases with die-cutting.  I'll go for months without thinking of using them and then I'll have a sudden flurry where I simply can't do anything without them!  There was lots of inspiration during this fortnight for making use of your die-cutting machine all the time.

And if it's inspiration you're after, how about this jaw-dropping dimensional Time Machine from Darcy?  Seriously, my jaw dropped!  I love the painty layers and mark-making on the layered die-cuts, and the bird-stamped acetate creating a window pane in one of the frames, and the construction reminds me of one of those extraordinary Heath Robinson contraptions.  Simply outstanding!

There was also a glorious piece from another of PaperArtsy's stamp designers.  Jo Firth-Young knocked it out of the park with the layered leaves and florals of this joyous Seedhead Triptych in uplifting shades of pink and orange.  As well as making great use of the die-cuts, her post was also full of tips about colour-combining and gelli-printing ideas.  Inspiration galore!

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there were lots of challenge entries for this topic, and again it was almost impossible to single out favourites from the wealth of skill, imagination and beauty on offer.  I recommend a trip to see Irena's charming patterned acorns, and Sam21ski's perfectly composed page, but the project I fell head over heels in love with was this trio of beeswax panels from Hazel Agnew - the texture and subtle beauty of these entirely won my heart.

It's been a real pleasure to catch up with just some of the extraordinary artwork filling these blog pages in 2016.   And thanks to all this inspiration, I do have a project bubbling which combines all four of these topics - but I confess that time has got the better of me again.  You'll just have to keep your eyes peeled over at Words and Pictures for that creation to make its appearance!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and I hope you've enjoyed this retrospective of personal favourites.  Honestly, I could have showcased hundreds more!  Huge thanks to Leandra and Darcy and everybody who contributes so much to offering up this incredible resource of ideas, tutorials, tips and techniques.  Long may it continue, and happy 2017 everybody!

Alison xx


Helen said...

It is always a treat to see and read Alison's contributions, and I love the samples you've chosen from these topics! What a creative lot you (we) all are!

Kirsten said...

Great to see you on the PA blog again Alison, hope you had a lovely Christmas. Thanks for showcasing these gorgeous projects. Have a wonderful 2017.

craftimamma said...

What an absolutely brilliant post Alison! Love your inclusion of some of the amazing projects from challenge entrants too and you highlighted some of my favourite contributions from these topics. Such a difficult task choosing which to include! Good to have you making an appearance too.

Lesley Xx

Deborah Wainwright said...

Great post Alison, a pleasure to read, and thank you for the mention xx

Hazel Agnew said...

An absolute delight to revisit such wonderful topics, to read your fabulous critiques and to have you back amongst us! Wishing you a wonderful new year Alison. Xx

Jane said...

These have been delightful posts to read x

Sarah Anderson said...

I've been really enjoying these summary posts, and this was just as wonderful. Got a happy jolt when I found I'd got a mention, thanks so much Alison.

froebelsternchen said...

Wonderful art Alison!
Yours and the pieces from the others as well!
Fantastic and inspiring !
oxo Susi

Paper Profusion said...

This has been a treat to read Alison. There certainly is a staggering array of artistry and talent in the projects you've highlighted. Nicola x

Julie Lee said...

Such a beautiful post, Alison, once again highlighting the talent and versatility of PA designers and bloggers! These little retrospectives have been a delightful treasury. Many Thanks to you and all the curators who have helped us look back over a year of creativity. xx

chrissie said...

Wonderful post with so many amazing and inspirational projects Alison

Love Chrissie xx

Craftychris said...

Fantastic things to look at today! Oodles of inspiration - thank you! xxx

Lucy said...

What a superbly written post, Alison, weaving all the elements together. Love the choices you have made. Hope all is well with you,

Lucy x

Saraccino said...

Thank you for including ma little cards in the summary! I really, really enjoy the challenges at paper artsy and even though I mostly don't manage to participate, I always look through all the other entries! :)

Miriam said...

Fabulous samples.... love the summary Alison

Cocofolies said...

Fabulous post and samples, I really love your choices Alison, the artworks featured today are so stunningly beautiful!!! Some I'm just discovering by the way, as I miss time too much to read all the posts now. So WOOW thanks!!!! xx

sarascloset said...

I enjoyed reading this post and seeing what caught your eye Alison. Beautiful works of art all around!