There are two fabulous new sets to admire: Chalk Wisdom and Chalk It Up.
... while Chalk It Up has wonderful frames and curlicues with which to adorn them. And, as always, they combine brilliantly with the other AO stamp sets.
Do hop round to see what my fabulous team-mates have been creating; here's the full line-up:
I was almost too late for this particular party. Because I was working away from home last week, I missed the postman when he brought the precious package... and then the Bank Holiday meant I couldn't even go and pick the stamps up until first thing yesterday morning.
So, I'll admit I haven't got the full complement of projects yet, but I hope you like this first little play with the stamps.
And let me show you the rest of the results of my playing... you can see there'll be lots more to come in the next days and weeks!
I'd done some searching on chalkboard techniques so that I'd be ready to leap into action as soon as the stamps arrived.
In the end - I found myself combining various bits of information and advice from all over to fit with the ingredients I had to hand.
So, my pretty simple recipe was: some black card, Wow SuperFine Bright White embossing powder, Versamark ink, and an Ingvild Bolme chalk edger (seemed appropriate!).
Since I was on a really tight deadline, I grabbed some ready-inked tags from a previous play session. They're mainly made using wrinkle-free distress technique with combinations of Distress Inks, Paints and Stains, though I'm not sure of chapter and verse on the particular colours any longer, I'm afraid.
And there are no prizes for guessing which stamp sets I reached for under pressure: Think and Wonder and Generation Redux never let me down - though there's a guest spot for one other too.
The wonderful brother and sister from Think and Wonder take centre stage on the pink/orange tag.
(I think if I were allowed only one AO stamp set on my desert island, it would be this one.)
I used a white pencil to highlight their faces with a slightly chalky look.
I love the background lettering behind them...
The two of them were the perfect complement to this particular sentiment from Chalk Wisdom. I like these corner flourishes, from the Chalk It Up plate, though it took me two goes to get them where I wanted them.
I used the white pencil again just to add some chalky outlines round the lettering.
The pencils are the interlopers here, making a Guest Appearance from the Secretary Pool set!
I dyed some seam binding with Worn Lipstick, Spiced Marmalade and Picked Raspberry, and that seems to match the tag, so I'm guessing at least some of those were involved originally too.
A bit of Idea-ology paper string finishes off the topping.
The Coffee Guys from Generation Redux are the next to put in an appearance...
Again, I've given them chalky faces, partly to dilute the vivid green which frankly made the man on the left look a little bit Wicked Witch of the West.
Love the powerful sentiment, and the flourishes top and bottom are part of one of the frames from the Chalk It Up set.
I mounted all the chalkboards on padded tape to give a little pop of dimension to the new stamps we're here to admire!
The extra stamping at the foot of the tag is done with other Generation Redux stamps - the bubble wrap and those fabulous numbers.
And the topping here is seam binding dyed with Mowed Lawn, Salty Ocean and Broken China, and tied with the same double bow of paper string.
Finally, the wonderful schoolmistress from Generation Redux was pressed into service.
I'm not sure why I think of her as a schoolmistress... the text behind her? I don't know: is it just me?
I adore this sentiment - what a brilliant thought - and no extra framing on this one, just a good old edging with the Chalk Edger.
I'm also more than a little bit in love with the teeny tiny hedgerow grasses from the same set... they often put in an appearance.
And this seam binding has Stormy Sky, Weathered Wood and a touch of Faded Jeans about it.
So three very speedy and pretty simple tags and, as I say, I'll have more projects to share with you over the next wee while.
I hope you'll have time to hop around and leave my team-mates some love... should you get lost along the way, you'll find all the details here at Artistic Outpost.
For now, thank you so much for stopping by. I'm off to Coventry on Thursday to play with Tim Holtz - wheeeee!! - as well as to meet some of you face to face, so I'm buzzing, as you might imagine, and I'll see you when I get back.
Chalk dust... everyone could see that there was chalk dust.
From the song Chalk Dust - The Umpire Strikes Back
Just a non-crafty side note on the post title...
I'm afraid I gave in to an irresistible urge! My immediate word association links are chalk > dust> John McEnroe...
I'm going to date myself here - but I can remember so clearly the teenage McEnroe exploding into the world of tennis. Sure, there were already some hot tempers around - Connors, Nastase - but, as a fan of the Iceman, Bjorn Borg (and later of the other cool-as-a-cucumber gods of the game, Sampras and Federer), I remember being shocked at the tantrums JM could throw on court.
They were so notorious they spawned a (with hindsight pretty poor) McEnroe "rap", which is the source of my post title, as well as a still brilliant sketch on Not The Nine O'Clock News. It won't make any sense if you only know JM as the suave commentator he now is, but if you remember the temper tantrums it's hilarious!