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. 😀

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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!

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!

“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. XD

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!

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!