Unimaginable

Is anyone in the Northern Hemisphere ready for spring yet? I know I am, and we haven’t even had that bad of a winter here in Tennessee, not like the northern states. But these gloomy, cold days are great for working indoors on craft projects! And I’ve just finished my latest… a steampunk octopus!

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This was actually going to be my second video tutorial, but I somehow messed up my camera settings and a large chunk of the middle didn’t get recorded. So I’ll just do my best to explain how I created him.

I started with a 12-inch blank MDF octopus from Diverse Woodworking. I painted the base with black gesso, then used modeling paste through the Riveted stencil from TCW to get the metal plate look. When that dried, I painted the entire thing with Ancient Coin and Steampunk Copper Metallique paints from Prima/Finnabair. I set it aside to dry while I worked on my embellishments.

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I used a Baroque frame, faucet knob and quote band from Tim Holtz, along with several chipboard cogs from Dusty Attic and a tin heart from Prima for the center of my octopus. I painted everything with black gesso, then went over different elements with the following Prima waxes: Vintage Gold, Rich Copper and Brushed Iron. I arranged them how I wanted on the octopus and glued everything down with heavy body gel, leaving it to dry overnight. The next day, I mixed small and medium Art Stones with some Ancient Coin paint and added them here and there around the cogs. I also decided I wanted to rust him up a bit, so I dabbed on some Prima rust pastes here and there over the entire octopus and cogs.

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The chipboard hat and accessories came from Creative Embellishments. I painted everything with black gesso, then used Rich Copper wax for the hat and Peacock wax for the “feather.” Glued everything down, then attached the hat to the octopus’ head with more heavy body gel. I added Crackle Accents to the “goggles” to give them a cracked, glassy look and finished the hat off with silver Nuvo Drops as rivets.

For the eyes, I used a chipboard piece from Creative Embellishments and jewels from the Prima Santorini collection. I really wanted him to have blue eyes for some reason!

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I knew I wanted to add some things in his tentacles, so I used a couple of cogs, a little resin starfish, a clock charm and a Tim Holtz Christmas Bauble colored with Pool alcohol ink with a little copper mixative. A few more Art Stones hid where the glue was visible.

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At this point, he was mostly done, but I felt he needed a little something extra in the center. So I found a resin seahorse and painted it with Ancient Coin paint, then rubbed a little Peacock wax over the top. Such a gorgeous combination!

Thanks for stopping by and hopefully, I’ll be more careful with my video clips in the future!

Lost in the Darkness

Last month, I wrote about decorating shaped MDF pieces from an amazing little company I’d found online, Diverse Woodworking. I had so much fun doing up one of their swans that I wanted to do a second, companion piece to it. As my first swan was white and pink, I wanted to make my second black and maroon. A white swan and a black swan. My very own Swan Lake, if you will.

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I pretty much did the exact same thing with my black swan as I did with my white. I used Prima Marketing’s Midnight Garden collection to decorate my swan. I adhered a piece of the paper collection to the swan using Mod Podge, and layered it with some heat embossed chipboard pieces, Midnight Garden Flowers and ephemera. My final touch was to add one of the new Parisian Hat Pins from Prima and a Halloween quote chip by Tim Holtz.

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I am absolutely loving these MDF shapes! So much so, my next project-in-progress is a steampunk octopus. Hopefully he will be finished soon!

Shine Brightly

A few months ago, I found this amazing company called Diverse Woodworking on Amazon. I was looking for some shaped MDF pieces for my mixed media projects, and discovered they had a huge selection, especially on their own website. I ordered several pieces, and have already used some of them. I’ll link to their blog posts below.

I was going through my chipboard pieces recently, organizing them, when I discovered I had these cute little crowns by Creative Embellishments. I thought a couple of them might work perfectly for the wooden swan I had in my stash from Diverse Woodworking, and was immediately seized by inspiration. I thought about using Prima Marketing’s Moon Child collection on the swan, but it just didn’t seem to fit, so I ordered a couple of pieces of paper from the Lavender Frost collection, along with some flowers. When they arrived, I knew they would be perfect.

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Shine Brightly

To start with, I painted the edges of the swan with white gesso. When that dried, I traced the shape of the swan onto the backside of the scrapbook paper (Hidden Truth), face down. I cut the swan shape out, and glued it down onto my swan using Mod Podge.

I took some chipboard flourishes and heat embossed them with Mulberry Mist (which I believe has been discontinued) embossing powder from WOW! Immediately after applying the second coat, while the embossing powder was still hot, I sprinkled just a little bit of the Fool’s Gold embossing glitter on top, and heat set that. I glued these pieces onto the body of the swan, and began to layer my embellishments on top.

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All of the flowers used, except for some of the very small ones, are from the Lavender Frost collection. The small flowers are by 49 and Market. I also added a few white feathers, and some chipboard leaves, as well as a chipboard sticker and gems from the Lavender Frost collection.

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I heat embossed the chipboard crown with the Fool’s Gold embossing powder and added a few dark purple Swarovski crystals before gluing it to the top of the swan’s head and added a few flowers.

I felt her neck needed a little something, so I added some glittery pink ribbon tied in a bow around a few small flowers.

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For the final touch, I added a butterfly from Reneabouquets and a Quote Chip from Tim Holtz.

Like I said, I really love working with these MDF shapes. So much so, that on Black Friday, I took advantage of their sale to stock up on shapes for my 2019 mixed media projects!

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Previous blog posts using Diverse Woodworking shapes:

Guest Designer: Be Jolly

Good morning! I’m back on the WOW! Embossing Powder blog today with an altered MDF ornament. I’ve used several different embossing powders along with Finnabair paints and the Prima Santa Baby collection to create this delightful little holiday piece. Head on over to the WOW! blog for more details and photos!

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Santa Baby altered embroidery hoop

Happy Christmas… In July! I was all set to work on my July Julie Nutting layout this weekend, but it just wasn’t happening. Instead, the Prima Marketing Santa Baby collection was just begging to be played with. Many of my online craft stores and craft companies have started having Christmas in July sales or releasing their holiday lines. And this weekend, I just felt like playing, too.

I also wanted to make something relatively easy so if you’re just starting out into this crazy world of mixed media, this should be something a beginner can do without too much trouble! 

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I decided to create an altered embroidery hoop so I could showcase the lovely flowers from the collection, which I just fell in love with. I used a 6-inch hoop for my project, which I first painted with a thin coat of gesso. Not enough to coat the entire hoop, as I wanted it to look a little distressed. 

I wanted to add a little color, so I took a bush with very stiff bristles and not-very-carefully painted the hoop with a bit of watered-down Pink Blush Metallique paint. 

I liked the effect, but I felt the pink was a little too in-your-face so I dry brushed just a little bit more white gesso onto my hoop to tone it down.

I used the hoop to trace a circle from a piece of paper from the Santa Baby 12×12 pad and cut it out. I painted a coat of clear gesso on top first, as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the background at that point. 

I ended up using Snowflake Paste through a Kaisercraft stencil to add texture. But I felt the white paste looked a little lost against the pale background, so I sprinkled on some Rose Gold embossing powder from WOW and heat set it. So sparkly! I then glued the background to the back of the hoop. 

After letting the paper dry for a while, it was time to start layering my elements! For my first layer, I added three green paper straws with the ends cut at angles. They match the colors of the Santa Baby collection perfectly!

Next, I took a piece of swirly chipboard and heat embossed it with WOW Spring Breeze embossing powder. I lay the chipboard in the hoop while I played with arranging the flowers, but as you’ll see, I ended up cutting it in half and changing the position later.

I took a tag from the Santa Baby ephemera collection and tied some pink twine to the top before gluing it on top of the straws. Then I begin layering my flowers.

At this point, I decided too much of the chipboard piece was being covered up, so I cut it in half and rearranged it on the background. More flowers were added.

Finally, it was just a matter of finishing touches. I added the chipboard round candy piece from the chipboard stickers along with the chipboard ribbon to the top of the hoop. A few more ephemera pieces were added, along with some gems from the Santa Baby collection and some smaller ones from my stash. The final touch was the white chipboard shooting stars in the center which I’d gone over with my Spectrum Noir glitter pen first, and my project was complete!


A piece of ribbon will be added so the hoop can hang, but I think it looks good displayed on a little stand, as well.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope I have inspired you to do something a little Christmasy before July is over!