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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Fly Away




Hello all, and the warmest, and most colourful of welcomes to Words and Pictures!  


Thanks for double-hopping to the various destinations yesterday.  I'm aiming to do some hopping round Craftyblogland myself very soon.  Time never seems to be quite on my side at the moment!


I'm back today to share what I've come up with for the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge 1, hosted by the fabulous Linda Ledbetter.  


There's a wealth of inspiration for the challenge from her amazing Curiosity Crew, as well as from Linda herself, not to mention from the man himself, Tim Holtz, with all the fabulous techniques in CCIII.














We're playing with Tim's Distress Paint marbling technique this first time out, found on p.43 of the book.


It's part of the game rules that we shouldn't give away the technique details... so that keeps things quicker for a start!












I've been playing with corrugated cardboard (no surprises there, then), a random piece left over from a ripped up box, about 12.5 x 5.5 inches, so just a little larger than one of the huge jumbo #12 tags.  













I did my marbling over the top of a layer of heavy gesso, using all my favourite shades of blue with some Picket Fence thrown in for good measure.









When I heat dried the Distress Paint, I held the heat for longer in certain places to get these fabulous bubbles from the gesso underneath.

I'm in love with the textured effect, and the lovely extra detail from the top layer of the technique.

It became pretty clear that what I had was a twilit summer sky...










I did some more marbling on to some Tissue Wrap, this time with a rainbow of colours across the papers.  

I glued the tissue onto white paper - you lose the translucence, but you get zingier colours.











Then I got busy with the Butterfly Frenzy Decorative Strip Die, and sorted my butterflies into shades (fiddly, but not as fiddly as gluing them all in place was!).












My Umbrella Man, cut out of ridged Grungeboard, had been sitting on the table for a few days.  He was planning to take part in another project, but I commandeered him for this one.












I shaded him in sombre browns and blacks, and gave him a little broken boardwalk to stand on.

The boards are made of pieces of wooden coffee stirrers liberated from my favourite coffee shop and dyed with Distress Inks.








Looking up at all the vividly coloured butterflies (are they real or in his imagination?) there was only one phrase fluttering through his (my) mind, again borrowed from a song (happening a lot round here lately)... One day I'll fly away.













Unfortunately there's neither an I'll nor an apostrophe in the ChitChat stickers so I had to go for the full version: I will.

It's quite nice as it shifts the emphasis of the thought slightly: I will fly away, or perhaps - like these butterflies, one day I will get the chance to fly away.  See, I told you I like playing with words!










As I mentioned, gluing the all butterflies down was the fiddliest bit...















... trying to make sure the colours were nicely graduated...









... sticking down the larger ones and then filling in the spaces with smaller and smaller butterflies...
















... into smaller and smaller spaces!












Once they were all in place I roughed up the edges a bit more, and inked them to match the darker, more sombre mood of Umbrella Man himself.  

Will he ever get to fly away, I wonder.










Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I know I've been terribly poor as a blog-visitor lately, but after a day with the dollshouses I usually just want to collapse in a heap.  Must do better!

I'll be back on Saturday with a couple more sneak peeks for you, but for now I hope you're all having a great week.  See you soon (I hope)!

The sky is full of dreams, but you don't know how to fly.
From This is your Life by The Killers

"The Guide says there is an art to flying," said Ford, "or rather a knack.  The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground, and miss."
From Life, The Universe, And Everything by Douglas Adams



I'd like to enter this as my project for Challenge 1 in the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge hosted by Linda Ledbetter.
With all those colourful butterflies fluttering into the sky, I'd like to add this to Spring is in the Air (literally!) over at the That's Crafty Challenge Blog.
And there's an Anything Goes going on at A Sprinkle of Imagination - can't say no to that!

78 comments:

froebelsternchen Susi said...

JUST AMAZING Alison!

sally said...

Amazing patience sorting all those butterflies & then shaping & sticking them onto the background but what a RESULT!

Sally

Amanda said...

What a beautiful labour of love, love the graduation effect.
Love
Amanda x

Almo said...

Oh my Alison! these little butterflies must have taken you ages to glue on, but they do look stunning. I like the graduated rainbow format you have done with them. I also love the detail of Mr Umbrella Man's boardwalk and the bubbling paint on the background. Yet another stunning piece. Mo x

Deborah said...

Wow, what a colourful surprise! I adore the shower of butterflies and the broken coffee stirrer planks - such invention!

Helen said...

what a riot of colour! I was put off the butterfly strip die for just the reason you are explaining... but you show how effective it can be... beautiful!!

Andrea Small said...

Oh I love this. I feel I know him! Your patience with the butterflies fills me with admiration and they are GORGEOUS!

A x

craftytrog said...

Wow! Those butterflies look amazing Alison.
Hope all going well.
Alison xxx

chrissies said...

Never seen a tag like this before-it is amazing.Great use of the Umbrella man as he fits the piece so well with his head tilted to one side as though contemplating.

Love Chrissie x

Von said...

Love how the sun is casting shadows on the texture, looks amazing :)
Von ♥

JansArtyJunk said...

Beautiful creation Alison...those butterflies look stunning! :)

Astrid Maclean said...

Gorgeous background over the gesso with those bubbles and I love your frenzy of butterflies!

Asia King (aka Joanna K) said...

It's raining butterflies here! I looooove it! Love the ombre effect and the brolly man! xx

Artfully challenged said...

Beautiful,I love how umbrella man just fits right in any project. I can imagine how fiddly those butterflies were!

Donna.x

Nikki Acton said...

A lovely make! Wow so many butterflies, 'Butterfly' and so poetic. Where are you going to store this one, it can't get crushed. Nikki xx

massofhair said...

Amazingly detailed Tag, beautiful ombre effect with the butterflies, love the distressed coffee stirers. This must be one of the most exhausting makes ever lol. :-) x

cathylynn said...

Alison this is totally awesome! You put a lot of time and thought into its tag and wowzers it's gorgeous!
Hugs, Cathy-Lynn

Kay Wallace said...

First, Alison, thank you so much for your visits to my blog and for all your kind comments. You do so much to inspire me that I treasure your words! Now, talk about inspiring!! Your project today has inspired me to buy the new CCIII for myself! I love the technique as it adds so much texture and interest to the background. Combined with your cloud of colorful butterflies, it is art heaven for me!

Lisa S. said...

I love all of your fluttering butterflies and the coffee stirrers that Umbrella Man is standing on is brilliant Alison. Fabulous project! My book arrives today and I am going to sit down, turn to pg. 43 and get busy. Also want to say how much I love the colors you used on your project. :) xx

rachel said...

Hi Alison - I adore your butterflies - just saw this die last week for the first time and now I know its a must have - fabulous xx

Julie Ann Lee said...

Well, they may have been fiddly, but those butterflies are just stunning! I love the burst of colour they create on this wonderful corrugated card tag - how lovely that material is, eh?! I also like that you're revisiting a much-loved die. I don't yet have umbrella man, but I think he's been on my wish list since I started blogging a year ago! He's obviously really adaptable so he might just drop into my basket some time soon! Thanks - as always - for the fabulous inspiration you give. Julie Ann xxx

ElizabethR said...

That is just soooooo gorgeous and I'd forgotten that I had that die!!!! Need to play ;) Elizabeth xxx

Cheryl Grigsby said...

This is really, really nice Alison. Your use of Paint Marbling is so creative, your color graduation in applying the butterflies is pleasing and cohesive and your story is compelling! A joy, overall. Thanks for playing CC3C!

iGirlZoe said...

SUPERB! I LOVE LOVE LOVE what you've done with the butterflies. It must have taken SO much patience. Really great tag. :)

Carol Q said...

how absolutely beautiful Alison, the colour changes of the butterflies against the brown of the man with his umbrella is just stunning.

Brenda Brown said...

Sensational. Just love the array of butterflies xx

Darlene said...

ABSOLUTELY !! LUV THIS !!!!

Redanne said...

You are right about that die, it is a bit fiddly but the results are so worth it aren't they... I love what you have done with the butterflies and your background is superb! Anne :) x

Lys Scrap said...

A beautiful rainbow made of delicate butterflies: it's inspiring as much as this flight inspires the man! Lys.

Anita Houston said...

So happy to see all of these butterfly and with Umbrella Man...swoon! Love the painty background too! I'm thrilled you joined us for our first challenge at CC3 Challenge!!!

Alie Hoogenboezem-de Vries said...

A stunning result Alison, what a butterfly party...great!
Kind regards, Alie :-)

SiódmyAnioł said...

Wow, wow, wow!
Fantastic idea! Wonderful colors! :*

pearshapedcrafting said...

Wow! I declare you the winner of the Award for Incredible Patience! This is a real stunner Alison! Love the colour and that fabulous blistering effect you got. I can imagine the smile on umbrella mans face! Chrisx

Debi said...

just one word STUNNING! Debi x

May said...

WOW...Brilliant piece... Love it all... Hugs May x x

Julie said...

WOW, oh wow, this is absolutely amazing!! Loving all the fun elements and colors. :)

Juliz Design Post said...

Wow, I adore this and the fabulous ombre effect with your butterflies. Just stunning.
Julie x

Silvia(Barnie) said...

How cooooool, that's a great tag. Love all these tiny butterflies.

isisimaginings.com said...

I do NOT want to think about all the time & effort you spent on those butterflies, but it was well worth it, your tag is completely gorgeous.

Meggymay said...

Gorgeous piece. love the background and Mr Umbrella Man.
Yvonne

Unni A said...

Wow! I love it! It's just like a norwegian summer :) Wonderful!
hugs, Unni

Marci said...

Oh no, you've done it again! I had convinced myself the butterfly frenzy die wasn't that cute and I didn't need it. WRONG! This just made my day! What a joyous work of art. I love it. And... I knew I saved those coffee stirrers for something, but I never would have thought of boardwalk. Genius! Umbrella man is wonderful, too. A pure delight.

Marci said...

And the color is done brilliantly! I didn't want to leave that out.

S@ndy Diller said...

WOW can you say "Butterfly"? So amazing - and love the colors.

Dorthe said...

Oh Alison, your swarm of butterflyes are just fantastic, and looking so allive only glued in the middle of the body! What a wonderful idea, -he surely need his umbrella, not to be covered in butterflues ,lol.
Hugs from Dorthe

trisha too said...

Well isn't this an appropriate piece for the butterfly to have made!!

Very pretty, Alison!

:)

barbarayaya62 said...

I adore this tag! i adore this die! I adore your colors palette in this tag! Stunning! barbarayaya

Lisa M said...

You had my heart at bubbly Gesso! Why on earth that makes me happy I don't know, but seeing the texture come alive just makes me smile. I LOVE your little tag here Alison. I didn't honestly see it as somber at all. Yes, the sentiment makes it seem as though the man is saddened a bit, but I rather thought the umbrella was more for protection of 'poo' from all the butterflies. I wonder though. It certainly can't be like the splattering our new home received when the geese decided to have the largest reunion known to fowl or man at the lake across the yard. OMG...the 'poo'. I apologize, I have digressed and led you on a mental journey that is I'm sure, nauseating to say the least. ANYWHO...your project is uplifting, vibrant and obviously thought provoking! So many beautiful butterflies :)
Happy weekend and hugs to you,
Lisa x

Tikaani said...

Stunning Allison! I was blown away when I opened my email and saw this. I think I need to make a similar one to hang in my craft room. The sentiment is absolutely perfect :D

Hels Sheridan said...

WOW, this is breathtakingly gorgeous... Thanks for playing along with the CC3 challenge x

Marjie Kemper said...

Lordy, woman, this is fabulous!!! In every single way. Love it! So glad you joined us at CC3C. Hugs from NY.

Sarah B said...

gorgeous - love the graduation of colours in the butterflies - what patience you have xx

Sandy said...

First - you are aware that I am one of your biggest fans!
Now for the meat of the matter - I see you are protecting Umbrella Man from all the butterfly poop and believe me, it (the poop) is not made from sugar!
Sandy xx

Buttons said...

So do you have the patience of a saint?!! All those glorious butterflies in a rainbow shower - superb. Jenny x

Annie said...

Fabulous design and colours Alison. The butterflies are wonderful x

Love it !!
Annie x

Coco said...

Ooooo... a lot of work I guess here for a wonderful result!!!!! Thanks for sharing with us your exceptional and totally amazing creations, this little one is stunning once again! :D xxx

Sophie said...

Oh, mein Gott...
was für eine verrückte und wundervolle Arbeit.
Meine Güte, wie lange hast du daran gesessen?
Unglaublich!

Sophie xx

Caroline said...

Wowzers!! Absolutely STUNNING! Butterflies are my favourite of all crafty gorgeousness & your colours, designs & gradations of size flying high... Amazing, breathtaking & loving contrast ostensibly Mr Sombre Man! Wish air could join this challenge, so envious, lol. Next year maybe... Tfs :))

Fliss said...

Wow! It's raining butterflies Alison and how I wish it would - so much nicer than getting soaked!
An amazing creation which much have required enormous patience.
Thanks for joining in with our That's Crafty Spring challenge and wishing you lots of luck.
Fliss xx

Wanda Hentges said...

LOVE this!!!!!!!!!!!

EKittyScraps said...

Love all of the different textures you used. The gesso bubbles are cool. Very interesting theme too.

Jaine Drake said...

Wowee it's gorgeous. I love everything, the background, the bubbly paint, the butterflies - everything. Thank you for entering the challenge this time with A Sprinkle of Imagination.

hazel said...

What an amazing creation, the butterflies are fabulous - you must have a lot of patience.
xxx Hazel.

lynnesbowsandbelles said...

Alison
I apologise for not having visited for a while.
Love the flurry of butterflies and how I chuckled when you said they were fiddly to glue .... tell me about it. The butterfly canvas I made earlier in the year, surrounding the pretty girl's head, well the butterflies were transparencies and it was a matter of patience and a lot of counting to 10 as I adhered them to the canvas!
I love the vibe to this panel, masculine obviously with Mr Umbrella Man but also a femininity with those pretty butterflies - very beautiful indeed.
Hope you are having a lovely Sunday.
Wishes
Lynne

Kate said...

Wow! I am loving all those colorful butterflies!

Andrea Ockey Parr said...

I adore this piece so much! The abundance of butterflies makes me happy! I love how you created a gorgeous "sky" for them to fly against and the textures you used on your umbrella man are genius! The whole interpretation of this theme is brilliant and I really enjoyed looking at this piece and reading about is creation. I share that sentiment, too!

Hettie said...

Wow Alison. I just love this piece. The contrast between the man and the butterflies is just brilliant, all against a blue sky. Wonderful.
Just like Spring is here and the man is still in winter. Time for him to shed that coat.
A bit deep from me. Blame it on the course I did yesterday!
Hugs
xx

Jools Robertson said...

So fabulousness the butterflies are amazing such subtle, yet dramatic colour graduation

Love your butterflies, butterfly

Jools x

Mona Pendleton said...

Fabulous Alison! Lovin' all the butterflies fluttering about! STUNNING!

maria's knutselplezier said...

I really love this happy tag dear Alison, a lot of work you have put in this image , but it is so wonderfull, love the background and the colourfull butterflies and I'm sure the man on the tag love this too!!!It really makes me smile!!

Greetings
Maria

Terry said...

Oh I do believe this could life off with all those lovely butterflies! What a beautiful tag and I love that Mr. Umbrella has been added! Hugs!

Gio said...

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! You again surprised me, Alison!!Oh those butterflies, so dreamy!

Emma Dawson said...

Wow, stunning. I love the gentle graduation of the butterflies.

Emma x

Paper Profusion said...

LOVE it to bits!! Nicola x

Dianne said...

Hello Miss Alison, well 72 well deserved comments, loving that huge piece of cardboard,that got me all tingly right off :O), those blues marbleized are dreamy, I'm in Twilit love. Shut the front door, the tissue is gorgeous enough but then to turn it into a colorful burst of butterflies was brilliant, they are drop dead gorgeous. and worth all the fiddle.. Being a rain girl that's my kind of Man, and corrugated, love that Man, his little board walk was brilliant I loooooove when you use him, well you have me all a twitter with this one Miss Butterfly, thanks for that I needed it :O)..

Mrs.B said...

Hi Alison, Fabulous piece, such an amazing array of butterflies. Love the gradual shading against the blue
marbled background and the texture of the bubbles, stunning.
Avril xx

Kezzy said...

Wow wow wow truly awesome stunning piece of creativity, I really love when you play with colour, you always play with style lol, funky and unique all the way. I missed out with the first challenge, I did play around but I couldn't get my marbling right to what I wanted and time ran out. I have an idea for the glitter I just hope it works or I get time. I'm afraid May is a busy month with accounting yuk, would prefer to pay. I really do love your background, I think I should have kept to a single colour way. Those butterflies are amazing, I didnt think I would really want/need the die but yet again Alison you make my wants/needs bigger lol :-) Kezzy xxx

Kasia said...

OH WOW! Love it! So, so amazing! Love the idea with the butterflies. It looks stunning! Huges!