Tag swap: Go Deep

The mixed media box I made for the last swap on the Scrapbook.com forums was well received, so when the summer tag swap opened, I hopped at the chance to participate. Since the theme was summer, my mind immediately goes to the ocean. I haven’t taken a trip since my last cruise in 2016, but I’ll always associate summer with the beach and the cool ocean depths. So that’s what I went with for my partner’s tag.

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Go Deep

I wanted my tag to have a semi-transparent look, so I started with a clear acrylic sheet that I cut down to a 6×8 inch tag. For texture I added some torn drywall tape in various places.

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I then added some heavy white gesso to the bottom half of the tag, and clear gesso to the top half. The clear gesso doesn’t dry totally clear on the acrylic sheet, but gives a nice semi-transparent cloudy look.

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When dry, I added some limestone texture paste to the bottom of the tag, then added various sizes of art stones to create my ocean bottom. While that dried, I got my embellishments ready — chipboard pieces, seashells, a starfish and a resin mermaid — by painting them with white gesso. I attached some fish net to the tag and arranged my composition before gluing everything down.

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To add color to my tag, I used Lindy’s sprays in Whale Watch Blue, Ponderosa Pines Olive and Opal Sea Oats. I then dry brushed gesso over the top to tone down the colors.

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After I was mostly satisfied with the color, I decided the mermaid needed just a touch more. I painted her with Fairy Wings Sparks paint, then added Vintage Gold wax to highlight certain areas. I then used Verdigris embossing powder by Ranger to heat emboss a Dusty Attic sea dragon chipboard piece to add to my tag. The quote is from the Prima Art Daily Planner collection sentiment sticker pad. As a final touch, I added a touch of Peacock wax here and there.

Thanks for stopping by! This was my last swap I’d signed up for, so I don’t know what I’ll create next. But I’m sure I’ll have fun doing it!

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Pumpkin Spice

It’s September! Fall is in the air! At least, for the northern hemisphere. If you’re anything like me, the US holiday of Labor Day marks the last day of summer, and the day after Labor Day is the first day of Halloween. Halloween is my very favorite holiday… not that I celebrate it very much. I just like the spookiness of the season.

I’ve been on a staycation-vacation for the past 10 days, and while I didn’t do any Halloween crafting (I like to wait until October to really get into the mood), I did decide to get my autumn on by creating an altered pumpkin.

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Pumpkin Spice mixed media altered pumpkin

I started by painting a Papier-mâché pumpkin I got from Michael’s with Heavy White Gesso. I then decoupaged some printed tissue paper onto the “humps” of the pumpkin using Mod Podge. After letting that dry, I painted over the whole pumpkin with some watered down Ginger Magic Sparks paint by Prima. It gives the pumpkin a lovely metallic shine. I also painted the stem with Rustic Brown Metallique Paint.

After letting the paint set for a little while, it was time to start laying my elements on the top of the pumpkin. I used flowers from Prima’s Amber Moon collection, along with some silk and plastic flowers from the craft store. I also used some sisal fiber and pinecones for a little more texture. I then capped the whole thing off with a Prima jewel vine.

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For finishing touches, I dripped some Glossy Accents into the creases of the pumpkin and sprinkled some Gold Rush Glass Glitter over the top. I also added some crystal gems from the Amber Moon collection.

Upcoming projects will include my September Julie Nutting layout and an altered masquerade mask. Thanks for stopping by!

Be True

Hello, again, lovies! I’m back with another mixed media piece. I seem to create things in waves. First mixed media, then art journal layouts, then card making, until I finally come back around to mixed media. But I don’t mind. It’s good to flex the creative muscles every now and again!

Prima Marketing is holding its annual design team call, and this year, I’d thought I’d try out for it. Though I honestly don’t think I have a shot, based on looking at all the other beautiful entries, it has helped get me out of a creative slump I was beginning to feel a few weeks ago. So for that, I’m grateful. 

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So this project absolutely did not go as planned. In my mind I wanted to do a very rusty project with spots of patina. But when I started applying the rust paste, it was too orange for the picture in my mind and I just wasn’t feeling inspired to keep going. So I ended up painting over it with white gesso and using the pretty, soft pastels of the new Finnabair Opal Magic paints. I then highlighted a few areas with Vintage Gold wax and added a little bit more white gesso to tone down a few areas. And that’s when I fell in love with it. 

  

I just love the juxtaposition of the mechanical clockwork gears and the soft pastels. I’m so glad I didn’t give up on this project! I just had to step away for a while to think about it. I think, a year ago, I would have abandoned it completely. But I give my thanks to the many artists I watch on YouTube who keep saying it’s okay to make mistakes. I think I’m slowly gaining a little bit of confidence finally. 

Thanks for stopping by! I’ll probably have one more little mixed media project before the deadline for the design team call passes. See you soon!

MTW Challenge: The Magic of the Sea

The More Than Words Challenge theme this month is something very near and dear to my heart… beaches and seashells! I just love beach-themed layouts, which is a little funny since I live nowhere near the beach! To me, when I think of a beach, I think of the ocean. I’ve never cared for lakes much. But oh, the ocean is still so full of mystery!

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http://morethanwordschallenge.blogspot.com/2018/07/july-2018-main-challenge-beach-seashells.html

As a child, my mother would take my brother and me to visit her side of the family in Australia. We would always go to the beach… Balmoral Beach near Sydney, to be exact. It’s one of my most favorite spots in the world. Unfortunately, when we were small, we could only go visit during our summer vacations, which meant it was always winter in the southern hemisphere when we visited. So no swimming in the ocean for us. But it’s always been a dream of mine. To swim in the ocean and snorkel with tropical fish.

That dream became a reality two years ago when my best friend and I were in Aruba during a cruise. We did a snorkel excursion and I had so been looking forward to it… and then, as we all got into the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean, I had an asthma attack. I couldn’t swim and breathe at the same time. So I had to get back into the boat and watch my bestie snorkel with the fishes. Alas!

Being half-Aussie, I’ve always held a fascination for the Great Barrier Reef. And as many times as I’ve visited family, I’ve never been! Someday, I hope to do so… and to visit an Australian beach when the weather is warm enough to actually get into the water.

When I saw the theme for this month’s challenge, I immediately thought of a wooden seahorse I had that I’d been wanting to decorate. I’ve seen seahorses in aquariums, but I would dearly love to see one in the wild someday! So with my little seahorse acting as my canvas, I tried to create something reminiscent of the ocean.

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The Magic of the Sea

I used a starfish and some seashells I had purchased in Key West for craft projects a couple of years ago to decorate, along with some fishing net and smaller starfish. I heat embossed some chipboard coral and a chipboard spiral seashell to act as a “horn,” turning my seahorse into a sea-unicorn. I added the word “Inspire” as the sea has always been such an inspiration to me. I layered flowers and resin pieces in clusters, and for final touches, some shiny pebbles and a chipboard mermaid. It’s hard to tell in the photos, but the mermaid is very sparkly.

I had a lot of fun with this one! And I got to relive so many happy memories in the process of creating it.

Thanks for stopping by!

MMP Challenge: Light the Way

So, I’ve never participated in the Mixed Media Place challenge before, but I was inspired by the February challenge and looking at all the fabulous entries. I found it too late that month to participate, but when the March challenge was announced, I fell in love with the mood board and thought I’d join in the fun.

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http://mixedmediaplace.blogspot.com/2018/03/march-challenge.html

Well… things did not go according to The Plan. I got sick. Work got crazy. Anxiety got worse. And I just did not get to do what I had intended to do for the challenge. Still inspired by the mood board, I found a few minutes of free time this past weekend, so I sat down to play in my art journal.

And once again, nothing went as planned. By the time Saturday evening rolled around, I had an art journal background that was, to be frank, a hot mess. I was frustrated and tired, and I thought, “Ah well. I’ll just toss this and work on something else tomorrow.”

I didn’t sleep much Saturday night, because my anxieties like to keep me awake obsessing over little things… like my failed background. So when Sunday morning dawned, I decided that, yes, the background was a hot mess, but it was a hot mess I had created, so I was going to OWN IT.

And I finished the layout. It’s not perfect by any means, but I am now happy with it. I used mostly Finnabair mediums — Crackle Paste, Sparks and Metallique paints. It’s hard to see in the photos, but it’s a super shiny background. I just love using those paints!

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Light the Way

 

 

Hopefully someday, things will go according to The Plan… but I won’t hold my breath. 😀

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!

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.