“Beach Break”

I made this canvas piece at the end of October, but I never got around to doing a blog post about it for several reasons. Halloween. The November 30 Day Coloring Challenge. Getting ready for Thanksgiving. Ending up in the emergency room…

More on that last bit in a bit, as this canvas was the cause. >_<

The inspiration for this piece started with some tissue paper I found in my stash…

Pretty, thin tissue paper!
Pretty, thin tissue paper!

I knew I wanted to use this as a background, so I tore a piece off and glued it down to an 8×10 inch canvas panel using Mod Podge, then painted a thin coat of gesso on top.

Urm... please excuse the shadows. I was having technical issues. XD
Urm… please excuse the shadows. I was having technical issues. 😄

And… there it sat because I couldn’t really think of where to go from there. Finally, one weekend, I pulled out some of my favorite sprays — Lindy’s, Shimmerz and Prima Color Bloom — and created a beachy background. I dabbed some texture paste in places to make foamy waves as well.

I cannot even begin to express how much I love these colors together.
I cannot even begin to express how much I love these colors together.

I honestly almost left the panel as-is, because I loved how it came out so much. But it did have an unfinished feel to it, so I decided to use the background to make a little scene. I added chipboard, netting and seashells…

...and this is how it turned out.
…and this is how it turned out.
Green microbeads created the texture on the mermaid's tail.
Green microbeads created the texture on the mermaid’s tail.
Also added some real seashells and starfish.
Also added some real seashells and starfish.
Some fisherman's netting was the perfect touch...
Some fisherman’s netting was the perfect touch…

However, a word of caution about the netting. As I was cutting it up, tiny pieces of the fiber started floating around. I have asthma, and I must have inhaled some of the fibers. That evening, I was having trouble breathing and my medication wasn’t strong enough to pull me out of it. I started turning blue from lack of oxygen and had to be rushed to the emergency room in an ambulance. Was only there for a couple of hours, thank goodness, and they got my breathing under control quickly. So lesson learned. Wear a mask when working with this netting or anything similar, especially if you have compromised lungs like I do.

December is going to be a busy month, making several gifts for both Christmas and birthdays, so just in case this is my last post of the year, happy holidays and all the best for the new year!

More Artist Trading Cards…

I haven’t been feeling too creative lately. Probably just too busy with work and life stuff, as well as working on my Round Robin art journals and taking part in The Daily Marker 30-Day Challenge for November. There just hasn’t been a lot of time to just… play.

I have, however, managed to make several sets of ATCs for various swaps and two sets just for me. Thought I’d do a quick share…

Splatter Trees
Splatter Trees

These are just simple little cards that were stamped with an image of a bare tree, then masked and splattered with different colors of Distress Inks. I also made an autumn-colored tree, but my mother stole it, heh.

Beauty in the Rain
Beauty in the Rain

These were totally inspired by a YouTube tutorial. First I took a watercolor ATC and added Shimmerz sprays to the background. Then I took another ATC and glued on some pages from a Japanese-English dictionary, then added watercolor paints on top. I then cut out raindrop shapes before gluing the two ATCs together. Bead gel was applied to give it a shiny texture and painted chipboard clouds were added. Sequins were the final touch.

Silver Shine
Silver Shine

These were made for the “metallic” category for the November 2016 ATC swap on the Scrapbook.com forums. They were created mostly by layering coordinating Prima papers and stamped with silver ink. Silvery embellishments and flowers were also added. I think they turned out rather well.

A Little Inspiration
A Little Inspiration

These were an experiment. I stamped and heat embossed three watercolor ATCs with white embossing powder. I then added Lindy’s Stamp Gang sprays and magicals. The embossed images resisted the color and the effect was so cool. I planned to keep these for myself, but the daughter of a friend liked the pink one so much, I sent it to her. ^_^

Birthday Bling
Birthday Bling

I liked the effect of the previous ATCs so much, I decided to do the same for some birthday-themed ATCs made to be sent with my swap cards for folks in the swap having birthdays this month. The purple one is my favorite.

Christmas Mini Shakers
Christmas Mini Shakers

And finally, my contribution to the Christmas-themed ATCs for the SB.com forum swap. I made mini-shakers! I used a variety of stamps, sequins and bling to create these. I’m pleased with how they turned out.

That’s all for now! Close-ups of all individual cards can be found in my SB.com gallery. My next post will probably be about my latest canvas I made which inadvertently sent me to the emergency room. 😄

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

A few art journal pages…

I warned you I’d be playing catch-up! Thought I’d share just a few pages I’d done in my art journal so far…

"Imagine"
“Imagine”

I saw a tutorial on YouTube on how to paint a galaxy using watercolors. (Just search for watercolor galaxy… lots of examples!) I thought it might be something I could do, even though I’d never painted before, so I got a cheap set of watercolor paints from Amazon and this was my first attempt at painting… and I LOVE IT. I don’t know that I could ever do it again, but I’m just amazed I could do something like this to begin with!

"Tomorrow is another day..."
“Tomorrow is another day…”

Next, I thought I’d try a sunset. While it didn’t turn out as well as my galaxy I thought, it’s not to bad. I don’t hate it at any rate. ^_^

For my third page, I wanted to play with some mermaid stamps from The Greeting Farm. My inspiration was a silly television commercial… I don’t even know what product it’s selling, but it’s got a ceramic mermaid talking on her “shellphone.” It makes me chuckle every time I see it, so I thought I’d do a page inspired by it.

"Shellphone"
“Shellphone”

The background is watercolors, then I heat embossed a wave stamp over the top. I didn’t have a die cut machine at this time, so I cut everything out by hand after I colored it in with pencils. The narwhal stamp is from the Lawn Fawn Mermaid For You set.

For my next page, I thought I’d try my hand at collage, using a Tim Holtz ephemera pack I’d picked up along the way. Girls are often not encouraged enough to go into the STEM fields, but every girl has an opportunity to be a Mighty Girl. My nod to Marie Curie.

"Be Mighty."
“Be Mighty.”

My next page was inspired by Marta of Maremi Small Art. I’d watched her “How to Break a Blank Page” tutorial on YouTube which helped me start this one off. I glued down some torn pages from a foreign language dictionary, before covering them with watercolors. I fussy cut some hearts out of scrapbook paper and colored them with gelatos, then put some white distress paint through a stencil. I drew the stitching and patches on the hearts by hand. The finished page turned out better than I’d expected.

"Forever in My Heart"
“Forever in My Heart”

Finally I decided to try my hand at watercolors again. I found another tutorial on YouTube on how to paint a simple cherry blossom scene. While my mountain didn’t turn out very well, I still like the overall result. And I can only get better with practice!

"Travel"
“Travel”

I’ll upload some more pages soon!

Art Journal — “Create”

As you can probably tell, I’m not very good at keeping a blog. When I finish a project, I do almost immediately share it to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but I have trouble finding time to write about the project here. So I will probably post many “catch up” entries in the future. You have been warned! 😉

I recently started my own art journal. My very first. I began it to try out various techniques I’d seen in YouTube tutorials, but then the first few pages turned out so well, at least for me, I decided to turn it from being just  a plain ol’ practice journal into my first art journal. I have several pages done, but I thought I’d start with the cover, since I seem to have gotten the most comments about it on social media.

The journal I chose was a Strathmore Visual Journal Watercolor 5.5″X8″ journal purchased from Amazon. I wanted this one because it was small and was made of watercolor paper. Don’t be fooled by the “cover” in the photo. That cover is actually a thin piece of paper that comes off easily. The actual cover is a really thick, sturdy piece of cardboard? chipboard? Not sure really, but it holds up well!

A "before" shot of the cover.
A “before” shot of the cover.

The photo above is actually the back cover, as I forgot to photo the front before I altered it. But both covers are the same… smooth and easy to work on. I did remove the cover to alter it. Took a little bit of effort to get it off, but it can be done!

So here’s what I turned it into…

"Create."
“Create.”

I honestly had no idea in mind when I started it. I just picked things I liked and hoped it would work.

First I took the TCW “Organic Matter” 6×6″ stencil to spread texture paste on my cover. After letting it set, I painted the whole thing with black gesso. While that was drying, I took some chipboard circles I had received in a “scrap pack” from the Retro Cafe Art Gallery shop and wrapped each one with some embroidery thread from my stash. I glued them onto the cover using gel medium and painted them with black gesso as well. Then I painted the whole thing with clear crackle paint. I let all that dry overnight, mostly because I was tired and wanted to go to bed! 😄

My next step was to paint the circles. I used the small stash of Shimmerz paints I had… Jilted Jade, Orchid-stra, Golden Wheat and a pinkish one whose name escapes me at the moment. I didn’t contain myself to the circles. I painted a little bit of the area around the circles as well.

After letting the paint dry, I rubbed some PearlEx Aztec Gold powder here and there to give it a shine. Rubbed just a little on the circles as well. Love that stuff! I then splattered some droplets of white acrylic paint onto the whole thing before applying Prima’s Pixie Dust fixative to keep the powder from rubbing off.

All that was left to do after was to bling it up! I painted a chipboard sentiment with silver paint to give title to my first journal… “Create.” I glued on some random gems  and pearls from my stash and added a pretty little flower from Michael’s in the corner. The final touch was a beautiful dragonfly from Little Scrap Shop on Etsy.

I had a lot of fun creating the cover, though I think in the future, if I do more journals, I shall save the cover for last. It is a bit bulky to work with. I suppose I could always take it back off, but I like just looking at the cover to remind me I was able to make something pretty. ^_^

“Art”

As soon as I found the Artist Soul stencil by Donna Downey, I couldn’t wait to use it. And the finished piece turned out better than I’d hoped!

"Art"
“Art”

I prepared my canvas panel with texture paste through the stencil, then painted the whole thing with white gesso. When it had dried, I took some Lindy’s Stamp Gang sprays — I believe I used the yellow, blue and green sprays from the Mermaid Seashells pack — and sprayed just the top of the canvas. I then picked it up and let the colors run down, pooling around the words. It took several coats of spray to get it all covered, moving down the canvas as I went.

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Of course, the words kind of faded into the background, so I layered the stencil back over the top of the words and used an ink blending tool and Tim Holtz Mermaid Lagoon ink pad to make the words pop.

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Next I glued down some gesso’d chipboard, painting the greenery green and the penny farthing and lamp with Art Alchemy Steampunk Copper. I also added crackle accents to the penny farthing, along with Art Alchemy Light Patina. The little ceramic roses I found from The Shabby Horse Cafe on Etsy and were just perfect!

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I added some painted metal accents and bling to the penny farthing, then created some little flowers with scraps and Prills. For the “grass,” those are green seed beads glues along the bottom.

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To finish up, I added a large flower in the upper right corner and filled in the lamp with yellow Stickles. It’s hard to tell in the photo, because I have such crappy lighting in my house, but it really does shine as though lit.

I also stamped some dragon flies randomly around… for no other reason than I like dragonflies. ^^;;

Thanks for reading! ❤

‘Time Flies’

After having so much fun making ‘Hocus Pocus,’ I decided I really wanted to try my hand at creating a mixed media canvas. However, I didn’t have many supplies, so I went on a bit of a shopping spree. I ordered some canvas panels, paints, chipboards and stencils. And for my very first attempt, this is what I created…

'Time Flies'
‘Time Flies’

It turned out better than I’d hoped! I mean, it’s not great artwork, but I think it’s really pretty and I can only learn by practicing!

Cherry branch stencil with Kaisercraft Mademoiselle wood icons
Cherry branch stencil with Kaisercraft Mademoiselle wood icons

Please forgive me, being so new to doing any kind of artwork and posting it online, I didn’t write down everything I used… I will endeavor to do better in the future!

I started by adding texture paste through stencils onto the canvas, then I used white gesso on the textured bits (though next time I think I’ll do the whole canvas). After that dried, I started layering colors using some Prima Color Bloom sprays and some sprays by Lindy’s Stamp Gang.

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After getting the first few coats of paint down, I started layering chipboard pieces (painted with gesso) purchased from Creative Embellishments. I added a few metal gears and clock parts in as well. The gears and industrial parts got sprayed with copper and gold paints, then some were painted with Art Alchemy Steampunk Copper paint.

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I also added a cute little resin fountain from Prima Marketing to add to the garden feel.

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I had a bunch of paper flowers leftover from my scrapbooking days that I had almost chucked out because they were a hideous shade of pink. Luckily I didn’t, so I  tacked on a bunch here and there, painted them with gesso and sprayed them with metallic paints to go with the industrial feel of the opposite corner.

The fairy wasn’t part of my original idea. I had more flowers there to begin with, but I didn’t like them. They looked too fussy. I was playing around with different chipboard pieces and thought the fairy fit into my industrial garden nicely.

When the flowers dried, I added some bling!

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The final embellishment added were the numbers above. I felt that corner needed a little something extra, so I added “40” to represent me … I had turned 40 a month before I made this. Time really does fly!

Had tons of fun making this, and I have so many more ideas in the future! If only I had more time! ^^;;