Sunday, 30 April 2017

Alchemy with Sheena Douglass

Hello lovely peeps!

I hope you are all well! I've been so busy lately but with very good reason, been creating lots of lovely new things with Sheena's amazing new collection! I will catch up with the promised tutorials for the previous collections soon.

So, Alchemy is here!!! A new collection of Perfect Partners stamps and dies. The Inkoids have been creating magic and experimenting with these. We know you will love these too!

I've created cards and various home decor pieces. It's a fascinating subject and you get to play with lots of wonderful things. They also work perfectly with some of Sheena's other stamps and dies. How fab is that? Mix it up!

So here is what I have created. Cards...

I called this one 'Alchemist's Dream'.. and what do they dream of? Well potions of course and the creation of gold!! I also used the Dissolving Planets stencil from the Create a Flower collection as it made a perfect background for chemical soup.

We often think of alchemy as the desire to turn base metal into gold but it is also a metaphor for the spiritual growth of the soul, its transmutation in gold, a state of perfection. Sheena's angel wings work brilliantly with this to represent the ascension of the soul. The golden rays from the sun were created using a Crafter's Companion embossing folder (Verity Rose), painted with Pebeo paints. 

This just had to be done. The Star of David symbolises the balance of knowledge, when everything comes together perfectly. I was able to design this using the pyramid as a template...will show you how in another post. 

I gave an extra nod to Leonardo da Vinci by using the ink splodge stamps from the Christmas Notes stamp set. The centre circle of the magnifying glass was stamped with the words, thought these sentiments would work well this way and then it was clear embossed with powder to make it look like glass. 

For this card I wanted the words to come to life out of the book, so I had them floating in the ethers, and I combined the lady with the eye to suggest that she is growing and gaining knowledge from the books she is reading.

With this one I decided to create an elemental cross with the disc in the centre. The background was created with Pebeo paints and I sponged on Gilding paste around the edge and applied gold foil after it was dry. 

Love this palmistry hand. I decided for the background to crumple some paper, so it would look like the creases and lines in a hand

These scales are brilliant! I cut them out with black card, gold embossed and then applied gilding wax with foil highlights. This makes them look like metal. 

I thought the Professor would be perfect on a notebook, again used the Verity Rose embossing folder as a background for Sheena's fantastic stamp and painted in with Pebeo.

As soon as I saw the All Seeing Eye, I knew I had to create an actual pyramid and make it gold of course!! Loved playing with this.

I was lucky enough to find this frame for sale in a local shop and I just knew, as soon as I saw it, it would be perfect for a project with the Alchemy collection. The Eye would look great and compliment this shape, the eye watching over it all.

And so... to the canvas. This one is bigger than any previous canvas I've made but it needed to be to do what I wanted and get all the bits in. I really wanted to set a scene with this and show how everything works well together and also with other Sheena collections. As you can see, I combined it with some elements of Time Traveller and Day of the Dead. Alchemy is very much about symbolism, so I wanted to convey that.

This is the meaning behind my thinking... prepare to be scared!!! lol

Overall, I wanted the composition to tell you many things. The plaster is coming off the walls, now exposing most of the brick. The cellar window above must have cracked and the ivy is now creeping through and down the walls into the lab. On one level, this indicates how obsessed the Alchemist is with his experiments that the everyday things around him are not taken care of but the ivy also represents something else, which I will explain later. 

The All Seeing Eye is watching over everything.

The keys represent the keys to knowledge, some are hung up high on the wall, to signify the alchemists has gained some higher knowledge. If you look to the lower right you will also see another key partially hidden. This represents something he is still studying and has to gain knowledge of.

The hour glass is the time it takes to learn.

The palm signifies that his fate is in his hands.

I used the skull as a symbol for the search for immortality, linked to the Philosopher's Stone, which is used to create gold and the elixir of life.

Ivy represents determination, survival and the spiritual struggle of the soul. It has the ability to recover after set backs, proving it's strength. Everything an alchemist would need! 

The symbols on the bottles are chemical. The green bottle in the centre has the symbol of verdigris, had to be done! 

I also added crystals and scattered them about, here you can see Emerald, Carnelian, Amethyst and Lapis with Pyrite. 

Old images of Alchemical lists were added to the canvas. Be careful not to use modern images. These are very old, from the 1600 and 1700's so well out of copy right and won't get you in trouble, they are free to use and in the public domain. These added to the feeling of him collecting information and knowledge.  

He's been able to create a tincture of gold but not actual gold yet! His experiments continue!

So, that is a peek inside my head! How scary was that?? lol... Don't stay in there too long, you will go crafting crazy!!

I will be back with another post about how I made these projects in the not too distant future! So stay tuned! :) 

T.T.F.N lovely peeps!



  1. I love the way you tell a story with each card etc., it takes you deep into the card. I think I could quite frighten myself with some of the ideas that are creeping into my head. I do think though that the lady is very much in love with the mad professor, but if course he is to engrossed with his work to notice . I fear she may well be led astray and tempted to get involved in things that should soul don't if she was not so in love with him. Ah. My daughters think I am going mad making up stories about stamps - what do they know. X. X

  2. Thank you Rosemarie, I like to do that if possible. Overactive imagination ;) Oh yes, I think so too! But maybe she will save his life one day and he will realize that the woman on his dreams has been right in front of him all the time!! ;) :) No not at all, if you are we all xx