Sunday, 7 April 2013

Per aspera ad astra

    Hello everyone! The title of this blog is quite apt today....I struggled with this creation and believe me I was tempted to chuck it in the bin on more than a one occasion...It has been quite a journey...

    I got my first Distress Paints a few days ago and have been having a fun time experimenting with them. Finding them a bit tricky at first, I gradually began to realise what they could do or not do...I LOVE the fact that the colour is permanent...I love how they blend and react with water....I wish the pale colours were a bit more opaque - but that is a minor complaint and probably unique to me!

     I didn't really have any ideas when I sat down to do this, other than I wanted to take part in the Inspiration Journal challenge - Marvelous Masks and Spectacular Stencils. I have some stencils and I planned to perhaps use some die cuts as stencils too....I was really wanting to play and see what happened.

   So I put some Antique Linen, Bundled Sage and Vintage Photo DP onto the mat and spritzed with water. Swirled some card in it and well, first one was too dark...too much Vintage Photo. Put that one aside to use another time - Do we ever throw anything away?!!! ;o) Now more Antique Linen and Bundled Sage and a little less Vintage Photo!

    I spent a while making several blended 'canvases' with the paints...each one obviously different from the last. I picked one up and looked closely at it and saw it looked very marble like, while the others had a more distinct streaky effect.....and suddenly I was thinking 'Roman' - I think my devotion to the re-runs of a popular Roman drama on T.V the last few weeks has influenced me! My husband said he really liked this and said "You've been watching too much 'I, Claudius'"!!

    I cut out a piece to fit a PaperArtsy hanging chunky board . Then I stencilled some texture paste with my new roman lettering template.

I watered down the Antique Linen DP and brushed a thin watery layer over the whole tag which seemed to enhance the marble like effect. I used Vintage Photo to add some swirls using die cut leftovers.

     Then things went very wrong....I wanted I applied some crackle glaze. What was I thinking?!!! It was too shiny and ruined the lovely chalky matt effect. No worries (I was trying to maintain some confidence here) I will go over it with some Fresco French Roast paint....Now it looked like an awful mess....Ok...don't give up.....Spread some crackle glaze over the top...and Uh Oh....My palest acrylic colour is Vintage lace - which is too pink -.......Think, think, think.....I'll cover it with Antique Linen DP....Well, that didn't work! It is too watery and although it did crackle, it was very streaky and now there are just browny-beige blobs of slightly crackled paint around the edges.

      Bin?.....No, not yet. I left it for a while while I sat moodily bemoaning my uselessness. Returning to it another day I decided I wasn't going to be beaten....Per aspera ad astra.......well I might not reach the stars but I will damn well give it a good try!

     I had another go making the marble effect paper and with these sheets I covered some balsa wood and created a frame - which in the end reminded me of marble pillars so I was pleased with the effect. They covered up the worst of the brown semi-cracks.

    I wound some very thin strips of paper covered with vintage Photo DI around the pillars and I spent ages cutting out leaves from all the left over sheets of marble paper. I covered the larger ones with crackle glaze and the smaller ones just had the edges inked with Vintage Photo DI.

    I found an old Dolls house door frame in my bits and pieces stash. It is too small to use on my dolls house so I decided it would be good on here...I covered it with Antique Linen DP and wiped it with a little Vintage Photo DI.

I arranged some peach roses that had had some Vintage Photo DI blended over them and a rose from a previous project that I had spritzed with homemade Old Paper distress ink spray. I had discarded it from the previous project but saved it for a time when it would fit and this was it.

     And so there it is - My Roman tag. It was a very much a learning experience and I am so glad I didn't give up!

       Thanks so much for being here! Hope to see you all again soon!

I would like to enter this for the following challenges -

Inspiration Journal - Marvelous masks and Spectacular Stencils
Simon says - Very strict challenge (anything goes)
Try it on a Tuesday  - Recycle (Dolls house door frame and rose)
Anything but a card - "Who are you inspired by"? (favourite TV program at the moment - 'I, Claudius)
Crafty-emblies - Anything goes


  1. Laura its totally stunning,,i am new to distress ink as well and ur work inspires me a great deal !!

  2. Laura I really like how your project turned out . It has a very vintage feel to it and the vines wrapped around the pillars adds that extra touch . So pretty .

  3. This is gorgeous, Laura! I just bought French Roast yesterday, and my first Distress Paint - I am only going to go for the Picket Fence and try it on stamps. (Are you related to Alison?),

    Lucy x

    1. I am Alison's sister-in-law xxxxxx

    2. And my daughter in law :-)

      And this is so lovely to find Latin on a craft blog...Greek next time?

  4. Well Laura, I'm so glad you didn't give up ! Your project is gorgeous ! The flowers are beautiful and the stencilled letters are fabulous ! Sue C x

  5. Hi Laura, so glad you did not give up and throw it in the bin, it's lovely. The subtle colour palette is perfect. Love the texture on the lettering and the flowers and foliage are gorgeous. Thanks so much for joining in the Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge. Tracy x

  6. Wow that really does look like marble and goes so well with your Roman script stencil - haven't seen that one before. Love all the flowers and the leaves around the "pillars" was a brilliant idea. You never cease to amaze me. Margie x

  7. Phew! That was a close one! So glad it didn't get as far as the bin - it's beautiful (as ever!)- love that Roman script too! Just been given a voucher - might get some distress paints! Chrisx

  8. This is a wonderful piece of art Laura, so happy that you did not give up on it! Hugs, Anne x

  9. Hi Laura, Your roman tag is a credit to you, even if you did have to go round the houses to get this wonderful end result. I love the marble effect and your leaves. Glad you kept going with it. Hugs Mo x

  10. I'll echo everyone else - SO glad you didn't give up as this is a real triumph. Love that marbled look and your beautiful flowers. Hugs, Jenny x

  11. Another echo here too! Well worth all that trial and effort! And using the other bits on the leaves was inspired, they look totally fabulous with the crackle on them. An absolutely gorgeous hanging, the final result with the DPs is just amazing!!

  12. Oh the texture! Love the stencil and paste! The frame is so cool! Love the whole beautiful project! Thanks for sharing your project on our anything goes challenge at Simon Says Stamp & Show this week! No joke!

  13. Laura...this Roman tag is absolutely beautiful! I love your use of the new Distress Paints. I also love the stenciling you've done with the letters. Those flowers are absolutely gorgeous as well. Beautiful is all of your work. Thanks for sharing your art with us at Simon Says Stamp and Show. <3 Candy

  14. I read your entire post and had ejoyed it so much...for something that you thought wentso wrong, it sure turned out stunning!!

  15. A brilliant project love the finished project. Thank you for joining us on the TIOT challenge. Hugs Bee

  16. Holy had me on the edge of my seat that whole post!! I finally exhaled when I saw that you were not defeated and OMG...what a glorious triumph!! The balsa wood was a brilliant save and definitely has a roman pillar feel. It's gorgeous what you've created here and now I'm so super stoked that my paints are in the mail. The leaves are just gorgeous and the marble texture you've achieved is just unbelievable. Beautifully crafted Laura. :)

  17. I DO know this kind of process...I am glad you didn't give up (loved "I, Claudius" too btw)! Your roman tag turned out absolutely beautiful! And very roman indeed :)

    Thank you for sharing this and "the making of" with us at TioT! It was a treat to read too!

    Claudia x

  18. Well worth persevering... it's absolutely gorgeous! Love the blending of the colours you've achieved, and it's great to see those Roman Letters in action (I've had my eye on them!). Great frame too, even if it did come about as a "save" - happy accidents are the best kind!
    Alison xx

  19. I could not help but notice the conversation going on between Lucy and you! What a small world, as I am on AO's DT with Alison!! No wonder you are so talented, it runs in the family! This is absolutely gorgeous! I adore those flowers and leaves! Enjoy!

  20. So glad you didn't give up on this project - it's absolutely gorgeous!

  21. This is beautiful! I loved reading about your ups and downs in creating it. I'm happy you didn't trash it!

  22. What a perfect stencil to use! I think it turned out wonderfully. Thanks for joining in our April challenge at Inspiration Journal! =)

  23. Absolutely gorgeous!!

  24. So beautiful Laura!! I'm really glad you didn't give give up because this is simply stunning. The crackled leaves are wonderful and the roman letter stencil is fabulous. Gooooorgeous!
    Thanks so much for joining us at Anything But A Card for this challenge.
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend (NOT on your computer either!!!).

  25. Oh my gosh Laura, persistence certainly paid off! It turned out wonderfully! Just gorgeous!

    Thanks for joining us in the masks and stencils challenge at Inspiration Emporium!!




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