So I'm still catching up with The Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas (only not Christmas if you're me)... but I'm getting there, and in all we've got until 17th December, so I should make it, I hope!
Linda offered up number 7 yesterday... but this is my number 6 (yes, I know, I still haven't done number 4). And it isn't just any tag - read or scroll onward and you'll see what I mean...
From Linda's original tag, you can spin off in any direction, as long as you let her know what it was in her tag that inspired you. And the prize, if you complete all 12 according to the rules, is sponsored by The Funkie Junkie Boutique.
So for this one, it's obviously the gloriously glossy clock die, and the magical book text background. I've been using book pages as backgrounds, and love them, but Linda's added an extra refinement - ripping some of the print away with masking tape - which I completely love for how it adds to the distressed look. Expect to see more of this one!
I was also inspired by her use of Iced Spruce DI, which I've only just added to my stash, and once I'd started using it I couldn't stop. So as well as using it on the background, as Linda did, mine also made its way onto the clock!
This was one of those projects which just kept expanding by itself. It took several days, and quite a few times of letting it wait and see. But now this tag has hidden secrets to reveal... Let me take you on a journey in search of illumination.
To start with it's not just one tag - oh, no - look here:
Something in the distressed book text and Iced Spruce made me think of those extraordinary medieval illuminated manuscripts, and I started to try to capture something of that quality.
This is the cover of my book, worn, leathery, but still carrying that golden gleam of knowledge and painstaking labour.
The first step was to try out the Indigoblu Mega-Flakes I added to my stash a while ago, but hadn't dared play with yet. I wish I hadn't waited so long - I love them!
They're used here with the Tim Holtz elegant flourish stamp, and I adore the shimmer of the peacock metallic colours in the light. And because it has the shifting colours, it keeps that sense of age and distressing - it's not "perfect" gold leaf, but shifts as the eye looks at it.
I love that in this particular selection of flakes, there's a turquoise-y colour, which I love with the Iced Spruce UTEE'd clock face.
You can see that around the distressed edges of the tag, I added some gold acrylic paint using my fingertip - looking for that medieval gold edged paper feeling.
If I had been a monk in the Middle Ages (sorry, I'd really rather be a monk than a nun; I prefer the singing), I very much hope that I would have been one of those lucky ones in the Scriptorium, charged with copying the best knowledge of the age from book to book, disseminating learning.
I know that in writing about my book of spells, I traduced the church for its actions against "witches", and the wilful destruction of so much wisdom and knowledge of the natural world, but there is also much to be grateful for in the music, architecture and libraries created in the name of religion.
And as they illuminated their great manuscripts, the monks were also in pursuit of spiritual illumination, of course... a journey towards spirituality and inner calm, with which I also find myself in deep sympathy. And all you've seen so far is really the outside cover of our journey in search of illumination, so let us "open" the cover to reveal what's inside:
I was so lucky that the sun shone briefly today - there's so much gold shimmer around that it would have been impossible in the recent dull days to get a photograph that would even slightly do it justice.
The flourish here on the lower panels is stamped in Versamark Watermark ink, and I then brushed gold and copper mica powder into it for the burnished sheen. The whole panel has had a light dusting - I hope you can see the lustre.
The quote is one I've always loved... and it's just the start of the piece. I had the whole of the Desiderata up on my wall throughout my university years. I could probably do with hanging it up again now. Or maybe I'll just open up my illuminated tagbook.
The quote is handwritten on some more of my tea-stained tags, and distressed with Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls Mist (which I painted on in places as well as spritzing), Gathered Twigs DI, and some more gold acrylic paint on the edges. The corner stamp is by BoBunny.
There's plenty of Heirloom Gold misted around, inside and out!
But we haven't yet uncovered all the hidden secrets - the journey to illumination is never simple; it's a lifelong exploration, uncovering layers of meaning in the world. So we have another layer to remove - but we have found the key to the lock, so now we can discover what is revealed behind the tags...
I had a lovely time creating my illuminations. They are embossed in copper, and then painted using Tim Holtz's Perfect Pearls paint technique.
The shimmer is so glorious - again, thank you Universe for the sunlight today!
I even think they're beautiful before they get anywhere near the paper! I don't have one of the official palettes, so I used some leftover Idea-ology packaging from a set of gears (I never throw anything away at the moment).
Once you've made up the paste, you let it dry, but it can be reactivated any time with a brush and water - so pretty!
Thank you so much for bearing with me through this search for illumination - I hope you've found some inspiration, or simply some pleasure along the way. It's certainly a joy for me to know that I'm not on this journey alone... I'm so grateful for your company and your support - thank you!
I don't want to make this post even longer than it already is by quoting the whole of the Desiderata, but if you don't know it I do urge you to follow the link - it's very beautiful. And I'll leave you with just a few more phrases from it which I love.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
You have the right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
... in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
From Desiderata by Max Ehrmann
I'm entering this in the following:
Frilly and Funkie are looking for Anything but a Card with a Hidden Twist
Simon Says Stamp and Show would like to us to Just Add Pearl - plenty of Perfect Pearls here!
And the Craft-Room Challenge are playing with Time-Keeping - my clock face is taking us back in time, and into time for meditation
Thank you to Linda Coughlin for the initial inspiration - this is my Tag 6 in the Funkie Junkie's 12 Tags of Christmas