Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Valentine's Day Card

I decided to do a little cleanup the other day in my studio. It gets messy really quickly in here! One of the things I chose to tackle was some paper that I use to cover my work surface when I'm using ink sprays. The spray tends to get all over everything, so I keep newspapers or large paper bags on hand to put under my project. I get some interesting colors and patterns as they get all dirtied up. I took some of those pieces and die cut them into flower and leaf shapes, using Tattered Leaves, Tattered Florals, and Jumbo Tattered Florals by Sizzix. But now I'm left with a pile of these pieces and need to figure out what to do with them.

I thought it would be fun to layer some of them on a card. I started with a piece of watercolor paper and some ink sprays, I used several shades of red and pink, along with some gold & bronze to create a background. Next I layered some decorative washi tapes over that, gluing them down since the adhesive on these tapes is not quite strong enough for the textured watercolor paper. I glued down a couple of flowers & leaves and set it all aside to dry between a couple of books to help keep it flat. (I keep waxed paper handy to prevent sticking when I use books as weights.)

I had a chipboard heart that I hadn't used on another project, so rather than put it away I decided to use it. I sprayed it with some inks, then put on a layer of Distress Crackle Paint in Clear Rock Candy. 

While that was drying, I decided which sentiment stamp to use - the one I chose is by Heidi Swapp. I added some additional stamping on the lower left since it looked rather bare, using French Post by Hampton Art and Flourish Wave with Hearts by Hero Arts. Next I added my sentiment.

Once the heart was dry, I attached it to the flowers, and rounded the lower right corner of the panel. I folded a heavy piece of cardstock to use as the card base, and rounded the lower right corner of that as well. I used Extreme Adhesive to mount the watercolor panel since it's so heavy.

I can't say that I got very far in cleaning up my space, but I got a little bit done and had some fun along the way.

Happy crafting!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Mixed Media Canvas

Hello! Can you believe January is almost over? Today I'm enjoying the energy that a lovely sunny day brings - I hope your day is going well.

I have been working on something that I originally intended to be two projects, but eventually I combined them into one. I almost never know how things will turn out, and they often take on a life of their own. At one point, I thought I couldn't salvage this, but I think I'm pleased with the way it turned out.

My inspiration for the "love" part of this was a video I watched where the artist created a small canvas, using 3-D letters that she made herself out of layers of paper. I thought of all the chipboard letters I've got - they've fallen out of fashion, but I still hoard them anyway. I pulled out a cover from a discarded book to use as my "canvas". I keep a few of these around, and when I have extra paint or ink on my craft mat I swipe it over one of these just to find a way to use up my excess. It's a great way to build interesting layers of color for a background.

The book cover I chose was a fairly bright blue from earlier painting sessions. I used a combination of inks, acrylic paints and Gelatos to cover most of the blue, ending up with a pinky-purple background with some of the blue still showing through. After adhering the letters, I did a little random stamping with a permanent brown ink, and added some fun tissue tape from Tim Holtz. The letters also received a treatment of ink, paint and Gelatos. I covered the back with a pretty paper (although that ended up being lost later in the project).

I had thought this little "canvas" would be a stand-alone item to use as a Valentine's Day decoration, but I just wasn't happy with it. I liked the colors, but it seemed to be missing something and I couldn't figure out what it needed. That was the point that I almost gave up on it and decided to go on to something else.

Next I pulled out an old canvas. Several years ago I had glued some decorative scrapbook paper on it along with some thread and beads - it hung in a spare bedroom. I decided it was time for a makeover, so I cut off the thread and beads and ripped off as much of the old paper as I could. I probably wouldn't have bothered, but there were wrinkles in the paper and I didn't want that to interfere with whatever I did next.

Although the canvas wasn't completely free of paper, that was okay - the extra texture could be nice. I glued down some washi tape and then coated the whole thing with gesso. Next I adhered some pieces of lace. Then I pulled out some stencils and embossing paste and applied it randomly over the canvas. Now I had lots of interesting texture going on. I had fun with some acrylic paints, thinned down with matte medium and water to create soft washes of color.

I decided I wanted some script stamping, but it's really tough to stamp on a canvas. So I used a trick I learned somewhere and did my stamping on tissue paper. Once the paper is torn, it's quite easy to glue it to a canvas so that the edges almost disappear. It's really a nice effect!

Now I was stumped -  where to go with this next? Then it dawned on me that the book cover I'd already done might look good glued to the top of this canvas. I had some ribbon I'd colored with dye inks that I glued crosswise on the canvas and then added my book cover. Hmm...something still not quite right. I decided that the canvas needed something on the upper left to balance things. But what?

I pulled out an artificial flower, a grungeboard flourish, a key and some colored twine. (This is why I have such a hard time throwing things away - I never know when I might be able to use them!!). I altered the flower and flourish with layers of paint. Once I tried positioning them on the canvas I knew I was on to something. I found a ratty old button that worked perfectly as the center of the flower and tied the key on with the colored twine. At last! Finally done!

I know this is a long post, but it was a rather convoluted process. I hope you enjoyed seeing the finished product. I'm linking this up to the January Make It Take It challenge from Craft Stamper Magazine.

Till next time,


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mixed Media Snowman

Hello! Although it's been a while since I've posted, I haven't been lazy - just busy. I hope you enjoyed your Christmas as much as I did. It was so nice to see family and watch the grandkids enjoy opening their presents.

I started this little project before Christmas, but didn't have time to finish it until after the new year. I had a tacky little metal tray I'd picked up at a thrift store because I liked the size and the color. I decided to use it as a frame for a mixed media snowman. (I was inspired by watching this artist's video.) I wish I'd taken a picture of the tray before I started, but you'll have to imagine flowers painted in the middle. As you can see, it's rather rusty around the edges, but that's the way I like it!

I cut a piece of watercolor paper to fit the inside of the tray, and had fun creating a multicolored background with gelatos and water. I sketched out the shape I wanted for my snowman and painted over the background with gesso. Then I used more gelatos, Inktense pencils, and acrylic paint to add more color, shading, etc. I also had fun with random rubber stamping and inks. I sewed some black buttons on, and cut a little orange "carrot" for his nose. I chose a phrase from a Christmas song, typed it on the computer and cut it out with an old pair of pinking shears. After the phrase was glued down, I put gel medium on the tray and back of my paper and glued everything together. It was difficult to get it to stick around the edges, but I kept pressing and smoothing the paper down until it was stuck good and tight. I gave it plenty of time to dry and added sparkly glitter glue around  the edges.

I had a lot of fun making this, and I'm happy that I found a good use for that tray (why do I buy these things, anyway??)

Till next time,