Friday, 6 April 2012

A REAL shabby dandelion

I think I'm beginning to identify my signature style - layers, made up of fabric and paper with stitching stamping and a focal point.  Sometimes that focal point is a strong stamped image sometimes as in this case it is one of my photographs.

I rarely take photos of people, don't like that forced stand in a regimented group, smile and record the event kind of thing.  Very often I'll use a long lens and take a close up without people even realising I'm taking a photo - far more intimate and more natural (no I don't work for a red top comic).

But my greatest love with photography is close ups of flowers (and stone walls and moss and wood and rusted metal if I'm honest). Before the days of digital cameras I would go through rolls and rolls of film on holiday or day trips to National Trust gardens and my poor husband would become a photographers assistant as I changed film or lenses.

With my photographs sometimes I don't want a clear image, sometimes I want it all aged or faded or roughed up (there's that style thing again), that's why I love Instagram as it has all those delicious filters you can lay over an image.  In this case I did some image transfer using gel medium.  I printed my photos on ordinary white paper and photocopied them.  Spread a thickish layer of gel medium on card and put the image face down on that and made sure it was well adhered.  Let it dry (overnight is best), wet the image and gently rub off the photocopy paper and you get a roughed up image because the image doesn't stick all over and you get odd bits of white space. Love it.

You can of course use black and white images like I did here or colour ones.  But in both you can further colour as you have paper as the base layer not glossy photo paper.  For this one I used Peeled Paint and Broken China Distress Inks over the top - literally just rubbed the ink pad over the image and used a baby wipe just to move it around a bit and soften the edges.

The 8x8 base layer had Peeled Paint and Shabby Shutters Distress Ink with Lettuce ColourWash added.  The stamping using PaperArtsy stamps was done in Aquamarine Archival (love this teal blue colour) 

Once the fabric strips were sewn on I went over them with gesso (rolled on so it wasn't too heavy)  to tone down the brightness. Rubbed back the gesso with a baby wipe where it had gone over the stamped images.  

The scrap of card was inked with Weathered Wood Distress Stain, embossed using a  brick effect folder and then White Picket Fence Distress Stain over that.  Stamped in  Iced Spruce Distress Ink, torn edge and inked with Iced Spruce as well.

The tag was painted in Baltic Blue Fresco Finish, a layer of PaperArtsy Crackle Glaze and then a mixture of Inky Pool and Guacamole Fresco Finish over that. Stamped in Broken china and Aquamarine.  A strip of lime green silk and some metallic line green thread stitching to anchor it all both physically and visually. 

I like it and it makes me happy to make and look at, but the question is would other people like and more importantly do you think they would spend money on buying something like this???? I ask because what I'd really like to do is make art with my photographs and sell on Etsy.  That would be  big step for me in terms of confidence but doing this blog has helped me  "get out there" and feel more confident in my abilities creatively.

Right enough of the self analysis and time for a fortifying breakfast, it is Good Friday which means in our house - tidying the veg patch ready for planting!




  1. I adore your signature style.. I can't emulate it as I don't have your skills but I really admire it! The photo is stunning! Much, much love x

  2. ...loVe the layers of muted pastles, a gorgeous pice of work that is a delight to the eye...mel :)


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