Monday 18 January 2016

Flourishing Birdsong by Alison

Hello everyone, Alison here with you from Words and Pictures, and I've got a rusty panel to share with you today.  It actually started out as a simple tag and then grew!

Sometimes the Calico Craft Parts take centre stage on a piece, sometimes they provide a fantastic base or substrate, and sometimes they provide a fabulous background flourish... and that's what they're doing for me today.

There are so many fantastic swirls and flourishes and decorative corners amongst the Craft Parts - ideal for scrapbooking layouts or to add brilliant swirling movement to a journalling spread (as I did with my recent pages for Wanderlust, which you can see below - using Fancy Flower Flourish Style 3 and Curled Vine Fancy Flourish Style 4).

I don't scrapbook (not really being a photo-taker), but the flourishes can also take their place in mixed media work - canvases, altered frames or, as here, a layered papercraft panel.

As I say, it started out with a simple tag.  I'd wiped some leftover gesso onto it, and then stamped some of my favourite wild grasses.

I started to add inky colour, and when you spritz and flick you get really white spots because of the gesso underneath.  I also added some flecks of inky colour.

In the long run, I had to add quite a bit more stamping so that the grasses would show behind the bird, and the white spots were a bit too much, so I inked over them (I'll be working with the look another time, though).

I knew I wanted to use the bird, but he looked a bit too much for the tag, so I decided I needed some background layers to create a larger piece...

... so it was out with the corrugated cardboard and some paper scraps, and that of course is when the flourishes became inevitable!  All the layers are glued down with corrugated cardboard in between so that you get lots of dimension, but also lots of room to slide the ends of the flourishes between layers too.

The flourishes have been altered quite simply and yet the effect, I think, is pretty dramatic.  All the pieces used are from the Fancy Flower Flourish Style 2.

I just applied some DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic in Quinacridone Gold with my fingers (which takes longer to type than to do!) - a pretty rough coat - and then some sweeps of gilding wax over the top and around the edges in places.

I really like the warm glow - especially when the sun hits it.

Some stickers add the equally important (to me) word element.

And some extra little ends of flourish take their place with some of the words.  There's no denying these flourishes are delicate - they have such intricate cutting - but if you do lose a curlicue you can either simply glue it back in to position, or with a project like this you can tuck it around another corner!

The corrugated cardboard has had some Quin Gold too, and various other paints and embossing powders, to create a rusty look.  And some real rusty wire means you can hang the whole panel up somewhere to wait for spring.

I hope you like it.  It does change look quite considerably according to the light on it.  It's one thing when it's in the shade...

... but it almost seems to have an inner fire when the sun hits it full on!

Thanks so much for stopping by today.  As always, you can click on the links to go shopping at Calico Craft Parts, and I hope you have a wonderful week.

Alison x
Words and Pictures


  1. Now I am wanting to rip into a piece of corrugated cardboard! Alison, I just so love the rustic feeling and then that lovely bird tag adds so much charm! Great use of the flourish! Love this! Hugs!

  2. wow! Great back ground for that little cuckoo and those flourishes are great. i like the firey shimmer when then in the sun.The rusty look compliments it so well. Great inspiration, Alison.

  3. I love that this time you've made the flourishes the background.. The bird is gorgeous and the rust effect wonderful.

  4. A glorious layout Alison! Love love love those flourishes and your use of them!!
    Jackie xoxo

  5. Yep knew it would be wonderful!
    Donna xxx

  6. Gorgeous work - I love the background tag and the rusty look you've achieved, and the flourishes are beautiful, they just bring it all together.

  7. I did go to your blog and left a comment, but not sure whether it got through. My computer is doing funny things (as is my mind).
    Anyway, another lovely blue and rusty creation, lovely and very you! The altered flourishes look fantastic, such a great use of them!

  8. Just lovely Alison. The tag was lovely from the very beginning! Always love corrugated cardboard in most projects so that was a hit for me too!! And your bird is super cuckoo!!! Hehehhehe!!! It turned out just fun and fabulous. j.

  9. I love your little bird, cuckoo or not ! lol. Great project with lots of lovely texture and interest.
    Corrie x

  10. The way you use these colours is fabulous! I love the rustiness you have created here too! The flourishes are just the perfect finishing touch! Hugs, Chrisx

  11. beautiful work Alison - the stamping on the tag part is my fave - as are the colours - beautiful scheme - love it! Hugs rachel x

  12. Lovely! Great rusty pieces--those flourishes and that corrugated board...a favorite of mine. The blue tag is so stunning among all that rustic background. It is amazing the way the lighting affects these colors! So pretty either way!

  13. I do not like it Alison... I LOVE it!!!
    These flourishes are just wonderful on this layered make.
    What a magical and beautiful composition, a perfect panel to wait for Spring I agree! Coco xx

  14. Great tag background for your not-so-little cuckoo bird, Alison! Glad you moved him to a larger substrate as it just introduced more elements and, therefore, more interest!! This is art!

  15. Alison I love your wonderful hanger, all the "rust" and the lovely blue to go with it, creates such a joyful feeling, in me. The wonderful altered flourishes ,and cardboard makes me want to experience and play !!I love this piece !!
    Dorthe, xox

  16. There are so many charming details on this piece! The corrugated board is a fabulous backdrop and the tag just highlights the entire piece! So cool!

  17. Especially love it in the sunshine light, beautifully warm and heartening. A stunning make Alison. Funny how projects seem to grow, I get that a lot! Nicola x

  18. Gorgeous Alison, the flourishes are the perfect embellishment for your delightful feathered friend! Deb xo

  19. WOW! All that gold shining warmly in the sun. So great!

  20. Ah, your so unique style! Love the overall design and all the rusty!

  21. Love how you made the cardboard backing look like rusted metal - and that bird looks great propped up on his own tag in the grasses!