A haunted ATC trio

I’ve wanted to try my hand at Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) for a few months now, but I had a trip to plan and get through and the deaths of several friends to deal with (two expected, one not so much). So my art attempts were really limited to my art journal for the past couple of months. But after my trip was over (and I got over my sickness acquired while on said trip), I decided to give it a shot.

My opportunity came when the October ATC swap categories over on Scrapbook.com  were announced. There wasn’t a Halloween theme, but there was a favorite quote or saying option. I knew I had three stamps that combined two of my favorite things — Halloween and Shakespeare — and inspiration bloomed.

I started with three watercolor ATC bases, then took different shades of Distress inks in typical Halloween colors, orange, green and purple, and used a blending tool to rub the ink into the card, starting with the lightest shade of each color, making them darker toward the edges. Then I spritzed some water on top to create droplets. After the cards had dried a little, I took three different stencils and used one on each card with Black Soot Distress Ink.

The finished backgrounds....
The finished backgrounds….

The cards sat like this for a few days while I tried to figure out how to proceed. I assigned each quote to a color and decided to find an appropriate Halloween stamp to go along with each card’s theme. I had the thought to heat emboss the quote onto acetate and layering it on top of the card, so I needed some flat-ish embellishments to go between the layers.

Let me go through each one…

Shakespearean Sorcery #1
Shakespearean Sorcery #1

From Act IV of Macbeth, I wanted to do something spooky, and I had the perfect tiny graveyard stamp to use at the base of the card. I added a “31” ephemera piece from the latest set to add to the corner. Every good, creepy cemetery needs a few ghosts, so I sprinkled some Halloween sequin mix on top before layering the acetate on top, adhering it with glossy accents. When dry, I went around the edge with Orange Peel Stickles and glued on some little bones as a final touch.

Shakespearean Sorcery #2
Shakespearean Sorcery #2

Also from Act IV of Macbeth, I knew this one had to be a little witchy. I fussy cut some potion bottles and a spell book from a piece of Graphic 45 Rare Oddities paper  and glued them down. I stamped a spider dangling from a web across the top. Both this stamp and the cemetery one are from the same set, Halloween Borders from Hero Arts. I used a different Halloween sequin mix (I’m sorry, I don’t remember which one!) to sprinkle on top before adhering the acetate. I went around the outside edge with Black Diamond Stickles before finally attaching a small metal spider charm in the upper corner.

Shakespearean Sorcery #3.
Shakespearean Sorcery #3.

Not from Macbeth this time, but Act III of Hamlet. I think this one’s my favorite. Shh. Don’t tell the other two. I used a raven stamp from a Halloween set from Inkadinkadoo. I used the Faber Castell white Big Brush Marker to color in the moon very carefully. A third Halloween sequin mix — containing bats and moons! — was sprinkled on top before gluing down the acetate. I used Starry Night Stickles around the edges, then painted a chipboard bat with black gesso and glue him on top of the card.

The finished set...
The finished set…

The cards turned out better than I expected, and I almost didn’t want to give them up! But I figured I can always make them again. 🙂

Wonder what I’ll get in exchange… 😀

 

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!

Cheers!

I had uploaded a card I made for my best friend’s birthday to my gallery on Scrapbook.com, when someone asked if I had a video of how I made it. I’m not in a position to make videos at the moment (no work space… I create on my bed right now), but I’m hoping to change that in the future when we move at the beginning of next year and I’ll have my own craft/hobby room. But it was simple enough to make so I thought I’d write out how I did it…

Cheers!
Cheers!

I started with the Simon Says Stamp set “Adult Beverages.” I was taking my bestie on a cruise for her birthday, and the one thing she really wanted to do (besides swim with dolphins) was to drink something fruity with an umbrella in it. That was the inspiration behind the card.

I used my MISTI to line up the drink stamps on my card stock. Then I added the “extras” — the umbrella, straw and fruit slice, then the sentiment (which is from a coordinating stamp set).

As far as I know there’s not a die set to go with these stamps, so I got out my trusty exacto knife and carefully cut out the center of the glasses. I used a black distress marker to color the edges of the cuts, then taped down a piece of acetate on the back. I cut foam tape into thin strips and placed them all around the edges of the cut outs on the back side, on top of the acetate. I only did one layer though, and afterwards, I wish I had done two, because it didn’t leave a whole lot of room for the sequins to move.

I brushed the acetate with a powder tool to get rid of static, then filled in the wells made by the foam tape with sequins and beads. (For the martini glass, I filled with a white sequin mix, but put in one olive green sequin with a smaller red sequin glued on top for the olive.) Then I attached another piece of white cardstock to the back. After that, I just glued the shaker to a card base and glued on some sequins to the front!

I finally have a die cut machine, so I’m eager to start making more cards in the future!

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! XD

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! ^^;;

Hocus Pocus

YouTube has been very bad for my bank account. I watch amazing people put together amazing works of art… then I run out and order the materials they used so I can try, too. This is how I’ve come to dabble in mixed media.

It all started when I stumbled upon video tutorial Marta Lapkowska. She made it look so easy, I actually thought to myself, “I could do that!” Now, I’ve never been artistic. I can’t draw. I can barely color. I’ve had no training. I can cross stitch, but that’s about it. But as I watched these videos, a whole new world of ideas opened up in my head. This led me to create my first mixed media project.

"Hocus Pocus"
“Hocus Pocus”

I love Halloween. It is my most favorite holiday. I love spooky, scary, paranormal things. I love magic. And I fell in love with Graphic 45’s paper set, “Rare Oddities.” I bought some paper and embellishments for my… I don’t even know what to call this… shadowbox? Anyway, I took the wooden tray that held some resin Prima embellishments and spray-painted it grey (because I didn’t have black). I stamped and colored the background papers before gluing them into the boxes, then went to town with embellishments.

Left side...
Left side…

It’s hard to tell in the photos, but the embellishments were attached with pop dots, giving it some dimension. I added some beads to a little glass cork jar and stained some cheesecloth for an old curtain effect.

Right side...
Right side…

I used some pieces from a Halloween ephemera pack by Creative Imaginations, then blinged the whole thing up with flowers, gems and Stickles.

My Scrapbook.com gallery has a list of most of the products I used.

“Hocus Pocus” was actually meant to just be a practice piece for a larger Halloween shadowbox I want to do in the future. But I’m really pleased with how it came out!