A Whale of a Tale

Happy Official Start of Summer! Summer always makes me think of the beach and the ocean… which is  a bit odd since I live nowhere near either. But those few times I’ve been, I’ve loved every minute of it. So to celebrate the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere, I thought I’d create an ocean-themed project.

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I’ve had this MDF fish tail from Darice for a little while, which I’ve been wanting to use. So to begin with, I painted the whole thing with white gesso for a base coat, then I mixed white gesso with Finnabair Victorian Green Impasto paint to lighten the color a bit, and painted all sides with this mixture. (Of course, you don’t have to paint the front if you use paper like I did, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do at first, so the front was painted as well.)

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I chose a piece of paper from the Blue Fern Studios Seaside Cottage collection (sadly, not available anymore) and traced the tail so that the drawing of a ship would be visible on the bottom right corner of the tail. I cut the paper out and glued it down to the front of my project with Mod Podge. I then sanded the edges to get rid of any overhang.

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Next I took the Mermaid Stencil from StencilGirl and heat embossed fish scales in various places using Azure Mist embossing powder from WOW.

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Next I began to arrange my composition. I used a chipboard seahorse, anchor and netting, flowers from 49 and Market, resin ship cast from a mould and seashells from my stash.

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I heat embossed the seahorse using WOW’s Sparkling Snow and the net and anchor with Earthtone Honey and Chocolate Caramel Pearl. I glued everything down using a combination of 3D Matte Gel and hot glue. To finish I added some Finnabair Art Stones and splattered some Azure Sea Asters spray from Lindy’s for “splashes.” I also added a small starfish as well before finally rubbing Finnabair Vintage Silk wax over everything. It’s hard to see in the photos, but it gives everything a really nice shine.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope my little project inspired cool ocean breezes and salty sea scents!

Art journal: June, July and August

Three more months have come and gone since my last post on my Julie Nutting art journal. So I figured I’d just post June, July and August in one go. I’m actually quite proud of myself for managing to keep up with one layout a month. I wasn’t sure if I could manage to do so. Only four more layouts before the year is over! Hard to believe!

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Go With the Flow

June is my birthday month, and since I have a fascination/obsession with mermaids, I wanted to do a mermaid theme just for me. I used one of the newer Julie Nutting dolls, Merbaby, which came with a cute little sea-unicorn friend. I used Distress Oxides for my underwater background and decorated the bottom of the ocean with some Hero Arts sand embossing powder, ephemera from the Kaisercraft Mermaid Tails collection and some cute-cute fish stickers from Little B. I was really happy with how it turned out!

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For July, I wanted to travel to the beach! I don’t live anywhere near the ocean, but I have a deep love for the seaside. I used a piece of scrapbook paper with a beach scene from Ella and Viv. I used the Gina Julie Nutting stamp and decorated my layout with ephemera from the Kaisercraft Summer Splash collection. Gina’s outfit is paper-pieced from the paper of the same collection. Sandy details were added with the Hero Arts sand embossing powder.

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Fairies Gather Here

This month, August, I decided to channel my inner fairy princess for a magical layout. Again, I had the perfect piece of scrapbook paper for my background, from Reminisce’s Woodland Elf collection. I turned the Julie Nutting Scarlett doll into my princess using beautiful papers from the Once Upon a Time glitter stack by DCWV. The fairies were heat embossed in white and are stamps from Lavinia stamps. They have the prettiest fairies! My sentiment is from the 7 Dots Studio Garden Party collection and fit my layout perfectly. Sequins and the Spectrum Noir sparkle pen finished off the project.

Thanks for stopping by! I’ve got some exciting projects and collaborations coming up in a couple of months, so I’ll be working on those as well as other projects for myself. Some I won’t be able to sure until later this year, but I’ll still be creating!

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!

“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!