MTW Challenge: The Presence of Wonder

A new month means a new challenge issued on the More Than Words Challenge blog. I entered my first in February and had a lot of fun with it. I had to skip March due to various conflicts, but April’s theme was just too good to pass up.

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http://morethanwordschallenge.blogspot.ca/2018/04/april-2018-main-challenge-nature-animal.html

I have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to pretty photographs that pop into my feed, and a good portion of those are of cute animals. So that is what I used for my inspiration. I scrolled through, trying to find a photo that would spark something, and I found a pretty picture of koi fish. I love koi and the koi pond in the Japanese Gardens in Sydney is one of my favorite spots in the world, so I chose to use koi in my layout.

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The Presence of Wonder

My first attempt at this layout was… just horrible. I started it, but just did not like where it was going, so I scrapped my first attempt and decided to try something different. I used watercolor paper to flow grey and red sprays as my background. While trying to get the color to flow, I accidentally let a little bit of it drip down the paper. I thought it looked cool so I added a few more. I then used some background stamps for some added interest all over the colored portion.

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After that dried came the layering. A piece of chipboard painted with gold Sparks paint, flowers and ephemera pieces from Kaisercraft’s Hanami Garden collection. I also added some die cut koi after painting them with watered-down distress inks. The large koi is from Hero Arts and the smaller ones are from Memory Box/Poppystamps.

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To finish, I added some color to the flowers, some mini art stones, Finnabair Melange pieces and a quote sticker from Tim Holtz. I also added some clear crackle glue on top of the fish. It’s hard to see in the photos, but in person, the crackles look like fish scales.

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The whole layout took three hours, start to finish. I had just sat down to do the background last night, but I was having so much fun, I just had to keep going. Thanks for stopping by!

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Time to think spring!

Happy Easter …. a couple of weeks late! I swear, I had every intention of getting this up in time for the holiday, but my week of vacation turned into days in bed sick followed by doctors visits, so I didn’t get a lot done! Maybe on my next vacation I can keep myself well enough to work on some projects.

So for today, I have one tutorial and a spring-themed project to share. My tutorial is for decorated Easter eggs. Or, since Easter is over, spring eggs!

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Flowering Easter Eggs

I started off with two paper mache eggs from Hobby Lobby. (I got a bag of 5 for less than $2.)

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My first step was to cover them both with tissue paper. I used a scripty tissue that I bought off Amazon a couple of years ago. It gets mostly covered up, but you can still see some of the details in the finished egg. I used Multi Matte Medium by Ranger to glue on the paper.

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After they dried, I then painted both eggs with a thin coat of white gesso… not enough to cover the script, but just enough to push it into the background. While that was drying, I cut some cheesecloth and sprayed one with Prima Color Bloom Mustard Seed and the other with Lindy’s Maidenhair Fern green to dye the cloth.

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I then added just a little bit of Color Bloom Tea Stain and Lindy’s Sea Mint Green just for some deeper tones. When the cloth was dry, I used Multi Matte Medium to glue the cloth onto the eggs.

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I dry brushed just a little bit of white gesso onto the cloth before attaching some lace and a string of pearls onto the eggs.

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Then came the fun part… decorating! I layered on different small flowers of yellow and green onto my eggs. With the green egg, I also glued on some die cut scraps out of my scrap box.

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Next I poured a few Prima Art Stones onto a paper plate and sprayed them with the same sprays as I’d used on the cheesecloth. When they were dry, I dipped by brush into the glue, picked up some stones, and went around both eggs for some more texture. To add a little bit of shine, I also glued on some gold and green seed beads as well.

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For final touches, I added a purple butterfly from Reneabouquets onto the green egg and a vellum butterfly from 49&Market onto the yellow.

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I had so much fun making the eggs, I decided to do a couple more a few days later. Only, these were simpler.

I first painted the entire egg with white gesso, then I did one in lavender and one in robin’s egg blue chalk paint. I glued ribbon/lace onto both eggs again, this time going up over the top of the eggs instead of around the center. To the purple one I added simply one flower, a twine bow, some bead stems and a couple of gems on the side. To the blue one, all I wanted was one of Reneabouquet’s beautiful butterflies with a couple of extra gems glued onto the wings.

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Unfortunately, as most of us in the U.S. can attest, spring has been slow in arriving this year. I have been so sick of the cold weather, I knew I wanted to do something that just screamed spring, so I made a wreath using pink flowers for cherry blossom season.

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Think Spring

Most of the flowers used are from Prima’s Cherry Blossom collection, with a few others thrown in for size variety. The wreath I got at Hobby Lobby as well. I think it was around $4 or so. Nothing fancy to it, I just layered and glued flowers on with a hot glue gun until I was happy with it. I also added some ephemera from Prima’s Lavender collection and another Renea dragonfly. Maybe spring will show up soon so we can enjoy some real blossoms!

Thanks for stopping by!

Golden Bee Box

My next project was inspired by a Tiffany Solorio video where she altered a papier mache star box. I wanted to try something like that, so I asked my mother, who was heading out of town to Hobby Lobby (our town is too small for its own craft store) to pick me up a similar box. Unfortunately, she couldn’t find a larger one, so she brought home several tiny boxed in various shapes for me to play with. I was immediately inspired by the hexagon box and wanted to do a bee-themed alteration.

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Golden Bee Box

My first step was to cover the entire box in black gesso. Even the insides, because I didn’t care for the brown color with what I had planned for the box.

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At this point, I had planned to stencil some flowers on top and add my bee charm to the flowers, but as you’ll see, I ended up covering most of the stenciled area up when I decided to add more height to the top of the box. I used the Tim Holtz Floral Layering Stencil and some Pumice Stone Effect Paste by Prima/Finnabair to add flowers to the top of the box and three sides. For the other sides, I simply dabbed just a bit of pumice paste here and there, giving it just a little bit of texture. (Basically, I cleaned my palette knife off on the bare sides.)

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It was at this point that I realized I wanted just a bit more to the top of my box, so I found a resin flower in my stash from Melissa Frances and I die cut some leaves using the Prima Forest Leaves die set. I also die cut a honeycomb piece using the Memory Box Honeycomb Corner die. To give the honeycomb pieces a little more depth, I die cut it three times and glued the die cuts on top of one another.

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I repainted my box and embellishments with black gesso. I added a little round metal button from Prima to the center of the flower and a bee charm I had in my stash.

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I also added three smaller bee charms to the sides of the box with the stenciled flowers. On the other three sides, I added pieces from the Honeycomb Corner I had cut apart. All of my embellishments were glued down with Heavy Body Gel by Prima/Finnabair.

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I painted over the bee charms on the side with black gesso, and when everything was dry, I painted the whole box with Midnight Sky Metallique paint by Prima/Finnabair. It is a lovely deep blue color with a metallic sheen.

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When that was dry, I took the Art Alchemy Metallique Wax in Antique Gold and went over the whole box to highlight all the textures.

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I then took some matte medium and added Gold Rush glass glitter by Prima/Finnabair here and there for some extra shine.

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My final step was to add Swarovski crystals in a delicious honey color to each of the bees.

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This was a really fun project that I managed to complete in one afternoon. Sometimes working on smaller projects can be the most enjoyable!

I’m on vacation next week, so I hope to do some spring-themed projects while I’m off. I’m heartily sick of winter. Bring on the flowers!

Canvas: Hope is Never Lost

I’ve had this idea for a mixed media, steampunk-style canvas in my head for a while, since I bought a three-layered mechanical heart chipboard piece by Wycinanka. But I kept putting it off in favor of other projects. To be honest, sometimes I put something off for fear of ruining a project. Finally, last weekend, I sat down and decided to just do it. I need to learn to be brave when creating. And to not be afraid of messing something up.

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Hope is Never Lost

I had recently purchased a set of three canvases that were 4 inches wide by 12 inches high. They’d be great for doing a triptych piece, but I wanted to use them separately. And it was the perfect size for my chipboard heart. I started by taking the Riveted stencil by the Crafter’s Workshop (6×6) and covering the whole canvas, including the sides, with modeling paste through the stencil. I also added some strips of drywall tape for extra texture and a bit of crackle paste here and there as well.

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After letting all that dry, it was time to add color. I used Light Patina, Mermaid Teal and Royal Blue Metallique paints by Finnabair over the texture, blending them until I was happy with the results. I then took some Finnabair Metallique Wax in Antique Gold to highlight the texture and edges of the canvas.

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Wanting to add a little bit more to the background, I took some twine and dyed it with Prima Color Bloom Golden Walnut spray to make it a bit darker. I wrapped it around my canvas and attached the ends to the back with Heavy Body Gel, left overnight to dry.

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After arranging my embellishments and other pieces on the canvas to the approximate design I wanted, I painted all the metal and chipboard bits with black gesso, let them dry, and repainted with Steampunk Copper and Rustic Brown Metallique paints. I also added a bit of Royal Red to the top layer of the steampunk heart, to kind of get a “bleeding heart” effect.

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I painted the bottoms of some Finnabair Melange stones with Unicorn’s Hair Sparks paint and added them to the canvas as well. When the glue had dried, I added some Glossy Accents around the cogs and sprinkled on some copper microbeads. I also dabbed on a bit of rust paint in places to get an aged feel.

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My final touch was to add one of the Tim Holtz quote chips across my mechanical heart. It seemed to be the perfect sentiment for the canvas. I distressed the edges with a little bit of rust paste to blend it in with the rest of the canvas.

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Thanks for stopping by! I’ll have another step-by-step tutorial in a few days — an altered paper mache box. I’m having so much fun exploring new mixed media techniques and I’m eager to see what I’ll be inspired by next.

Altered Paintbrush #1: A Relic in Time

While wandering down the YouTube rabbit hole recently, I came across several tutorials for creating an altered paintbrush. They were simply gorgeous and I really wanted to give it a try myself. So when my dad had to travel out of town to house-sit for my brother, I asked him to stop in a Harbor Freight and pick up a cheap paintbrush for me to experiment on.

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A Relic in Time

The brush he brought me was a 69-cent chip brush, 3 inches wide. Since I wasn’t sure what, exactly, I would be doing to the brush, I first covered it in some Tim Holtz tissue paper using Mod Podge. Though it ended up being completely covered on the front, the paper made the back of the brush pretty as well.

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I used heavy gel medium to glue my embellishments on, including two chipboard pieces, one by ScrapFX (the lightbulb) and the other by 2Crafty (the wings). I also glued on some metal gears from my stash, a metal flower and a piece of molded paper clay. After letting all that dry overnight, I painted the whole thing with gesso and added some Art Stones here and there.

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My first thought, at this point, was to use sprays to color the brush. I used Fairy Pond and Precious Stone Color Bloom sprays by Prima, letting it dry in between coats. But afterwards, I didn’t really like the color on the metal bits, so I dug through my paints and found Finnabair’s Patina Paste set, which I’d had for months but had never gotten around to using.

I brushed on the blue and green pastes with a small brush, then used the brass paste to highlight the textures. I also used a bit of Metallique Wax in Vintage Gold. When I was finished it started to look like some kind of treasure that had been unearthed from the bottom of the ocean and I was in love.

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My next step was to take one of the Tim Holtz Mini Pocket Watches, into which I glued down a spiral clock face I found on Pinterest. I added a little bit of Glossy Accents at the bottom of the inside of the watch and sprinkled on some gold micro beads, which looked a little like simulated sand when done. Afterwards, I rubbed a bit of Vintage Gold wax along the outside, to have it match the rest of the brush. I then glued the watch on top of the metal flower.

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I painted a Finnabair Mechanicals metal butterfly with the brass patina paste, bending the wings upward a bit for depth. I also felt it needed a little something so I used Glossy Accents to glue some small Swarovski crystals onto the butterfly.

I also took three pieces of the Finnabair Art Ingredients Melange and painted the flat part with Finnabair Sparks paint in Dragon’s Eye. After the paint dried, I attached them to the brush with more Glossy Accents, and the little stones look like they glow! It’s such a cool effect!

To finish off my project, I added a few more Swarovski crystals. I just love bling!

I had a lot of fun altering my paintbrush and I can’t wait to do another… hopefully soon!

MTW Challenge entry

I’ve been a fan of the More Than Words Challenge for well over a year now. The design team always makes such fabulous example pieces, and the winners of each monthly challenge are truly inspiring. I’ve been tempted to enter before, but time always got away from me. This month, however, I found some time to sit down and do my very first scrapbook-type mixed media layout.

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http://morethanwordschallenge.blogspot.ca/2018/02/february-2018-main-challenge-forever.html

The challenge this month was “Forever” and “Hearts.” Fitting for the month of Valentine’s Day. I had found a cute photo on Pinterest of two lovebirds and it inspired me to do this layout.

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Everything Begins and Ends With You

I primarily used elements from Prima’s new Lavender collection, with a few other flowers and chipboards from my stash. My take on the challenge words is a bit subtle. I found a flair button with the word “Forever” on it. I had a larger chipboard heart I was planning to use, but I felt it detracted from my photo, so I went with several smaller wooden hearts.

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I greatly enjoyed creating this piece, and I hope it won’t be my last entry into this wonderful challenge!

 

Update 3/8/2018: Truly honored to have received an honorable mention for this layout!

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Altered Embroidery Hoop: ‘Dreamer of Dreams’

If someone had told me a couple of years ago that I would be able to make pretty pieces of art… pretty enough I’d want to hang on my walls… I would have laughed in their face. I thought I wasn’t crafty. I’d always wanted to be able to create, but believed I never had the talent for it.

Then I found YouTube.

I really am quite thankful for those who take the time to record their creative processes and explain, step by step, how their beautiful creations were made. They’ve helped me believe that, hey, I could do that too!

My recent forays into YouTube introduced me to altered embroidery hoops. As I used to be a prolific cross-stitcher, I have several old hoops lying around. I figured I’d give it a shot…

I’m not going to go into detail as to how I made this wall hanging. Instead, I’ll just link to the video that inspired me to make it. Many thanks to the artist, Ola Khomenok, a member of the Prima Marketing design team. Her video is a really neat process to watch, and I hope it will inspire you, too. 🙂