Sunday 26 December 2021

2021: PaperArtsy - A Year in Review {Topics 1 to 3}


Hello from PaperArtsy HQ,

At this time of the year, we take a look back at some highlights of the 2021, and the amazing projects our bloggers have shared with you. 

I guess we could all agree that 2021 has be a year of living life a lot more 'virtually' than we normally do. Systems are more automated, education and online classes have become more accessible to us all. Did you learn something new this year? Did you achieve a personal goal, or tick something off the bucket list? 
It has been a tricky year for many of us. Less travel, less contact with loved ones, and a lot less hugging and physical contact! Were you challenged in ways you least expected? I guess all these things help us appreciate what we do have, as well as those we have lost, or things we can no longer do so easily. no one thought it would all go on this long, yet here we are. It is amazing how resilient we can be when we have no choice.

I suggest you grab a mug of something hot, some leftover food from yesterday, no doubt we all have some of that, and settle in for the first of a few days of review posts.

Today we are sharing my picks from Topics 1: Stamp Mash-Up {France Paipllon, Courtney Franich, Seth Apter and Ink & the Dog},  Topic 2: A Pocketful of... and Topic 3: The Creative Laboratory.
A big thanks to Dounia for curating these posts.

~ Leandra 

Topic 1: Mash Up {FP, ECF, ESA and I&D}
We started the new year with a new concept: stamp mash-ups... Lots of us often mix designers when creating, but this time, we are doing it on purpose! We tried to select distinct and different styles that we could see working together, from France Papillon's clean details, Courtney Franich's collaged textures, Ink & the Dog's vintage layers and Seth Apter's grungy abstracts. This topic is all about looking at those stamps (and stencils) to find out how they might interact differently, and maybe stepping a little outside of the comfort zone of your usual style to have some experimental fun!

My first pick is this amazing project by Nikki Acton which I feel really represents the mash-up concept on one small tag. Each collection is recognizable and has a place to shine, while still creating a cohesive whole. Playing on geometry, Seth's circles work really well with the I&D clock, despite being pretty much opposite styles. Nikki's explanation of her process is also an enlightening read, give it a go (link to original blog post)!

And I hope you didn't miss Corrie Herriman's very mad project (her words...). A true undertaking! On striking, striped backgrounds, the stamps coordinate beautifully, helped by the consistent use of the same background stamps and the careful choice of focal images. The recurring pointy hats really emphasize the fun vintage circus vibe. Corrie's attention to detail is amazing, so check the original blog post to see all sides of this gravity-defying project.

Now for something truly out of the box ... Keren Baker decided to paint a violin (and not for the first time either)! This is truly a study in layers, from the subtly crackled 'sky', to the transparent leaves and the number-stenciling across the focal images. The limited colour palette really makes the stamped images stand out and the pink really 'pops'. Be sure to go to the original blog post for more detail pictures of this project, as it is difficult to do the post justice with just one image.

Topic 2: A Pocketful of...

This topic was originally inspired by pocket journaling. It is quite a long-serving trend and several of our designers enjoy bullet journalling, or mini journals and have created stamps perfect for this theme. However we purposefully left the topic vague enough that other interpretations could be explored, from actual fabric pockets to a 'pocket of time'. Our idea was mainly to explore the relationship between the outside and the inside, the exposed and the secret. Our bloggers were sometime a bit mystified by this title but rallied quickly with wonderful ideas on how to squirrel secrets into pockets of all sizes.

Carol Fox obviously got the pocket journal inspiration for gorgeous tag book in sunset colours. Sara Naumann is a fan of journaling and pockets herself, making her stamps perfect for this type of project. Carol's balancing of warm and cool colours is masterful. Her careful layering of stencils and stamps results in backgrounds soft enough for her to record her vacation, yet striking enough to add and complement her photographs too. (original blog post)

Now, pockets do not have to hold cards or pictures, for Leandra Franich they can also hold... paper artdolls. Frankly I suspect Leandra really wanted to make the dolls and then made her pocket dollhouse to fit the topic. Art dolls and Lynne Perrella stamps is a concept that goes hand-in-hand from years ago, in fact most of what Lynne designs are a form of Art doll, but earlier this year it became a bit of an Instagram craze thanks to Meghan Whisner-Quinlan. With Leandra's make, we can still appreciate how transparent layers create both softness and complexity, while the recurring use of script in different forms allow the girls to link to each other while each has her own personality. Check the original blog post to meet them!

And now for a pocket party! Helen Chilton took Zinski Art's new Alpacas & Llamas collection and ran away with it. These stamp are made for bold and bright colours and this bunch seems to be having all the fun! The black and white phrases contrast beautifully with the pocket designs for maximum impact. This is actually an altered book and Helen describes the technique in detail in her original blog post.

Topic 3 : The Creative Laboratory

Another one of those open-to-interpretation topics... Aren't we creative each time we craft? So, let's bring some science in our creativity! This was an invitation to play around with scientific imagery but also to experiment. Maybe it is the occasion to try a new product or to attempt a unusual technique, to compare brands or contrast processes to get just the result you want, and maybe discover other things you like along the way. Of course, like our precise bloggers, you need to write your experiments down, that's what makes it science! 

First up, Jenny Marples played with clean colours and the science-inspired 2021 Hot Picks release for this striking pocket book. It is a gorgeous example of layering and balance of colour, as well as a great use of white as a contrast. This booklet is also filled with everything a little chemist might need, so do not hesitate to check Jenny's original blog post for more pictures.

Autumn Clark went with the 'experiment-and-discover' interpretation of the topic. You might call it a happy accident process! Following the scientific method, she theorised that the resist effect of Vaseline against paint could be applied to Infusions, then proceeded to very thoroughly prove her hypothesis with extensive experimentation, with amazing results! Truly a must try on your next 'lab' day, so go over to her original blog post to learn all the details.

I loved how Miriam Grazier reflected on the topic and built this 3D piece referencing school experiments. It melds science and craft beautifully, with the France Papillon DNA image and the magnifying glass along side the detailed shrunk animals and layered background. Miriam, like a scientist, also thinks beyond the obvious and employs ingenious upcycling. Her original blog post is an insight into her creative process, with its twists and turns and flashes of inspiration.

It is fun to look back on what our genius bloggers have shared with us over the course of a year. This year seems to have zapped by in a blink, but at least the blog remains the perfect reference tool.
Don't forget to save the posts that float your boat on pinterest. No excuse now, you'll hit the New Year with a dozen ideas to crack on with!



Hazel Agnew said...

Always love a mash up! Well done Leandra and the PA team. Love it! Xx 😍

Kathi said...

The year in review idea is fabulous, especially for us spacey types who forget to check out the blog regularly. Thank you! I'll be pinning posts too!

A Pink said...

Always love your 'Year in Review ' posts and this was a joy to read and see some of the many fabulous projects the PaperArtsy Bloggers have created this year. A great way to remind and revisit the original blog posts. Thanks for writing and sharing these posts .
A x

Words and Pictures said...

Fantastic projects all round - the Creative Lab was such a brilliant theme! A fabulous round-up of just some of the incredible creative inspiration on offer here this year.
Alison x

pearshapedcrafting said...

I have missed so much this year, it's great to see these projects and have links so that I can have a catch up.
So much inspiration!!! Chrisx