Friday, August 1, 2014

Mixed Media Challenge - August: Texture through Stencils

I am a stencil addict! I have so many already, but just can't stop buying them. I used to think stencils were only used for paint, but after seeing Christy Tomlinson use modeling paste through stencils, I decided I'd better give that a try! So I purchased some and never looked back.
A bit after that, I found out the wonders of super heavy gel medium, a favorite of Finnabair's. I actually use that a lot more. I bought a jar on Amazon, and at the time, the 32-oz wasn't much more expensive than a 16-oz, so I asked Jay what I should do (I couldn't possibly use 32-oz of it!!) but he told me to buy the big one. So I did, and I am glad I did, since I have used over half of it in the past year, and it's still good.

Anyways, my point is that this is one of my favorite things to do, add texture to a project using modeling paste or heavy gel. There are so many products on the market right now that I have yet to try, too--embossing paste, texture paste, etc.

Here's my project using some modeling paste through a checkboard stencil:
It's actually done on a 6x6 block of wood. I went to Lowe's and asked the man to cut up a 2x6 into 6-in squares and he though I was crazy. But I got myself 6 6in square "canvases" for a fraction of the price of real canvases (I think the total was like $3 for all of them, since it was a "messed up" piece of wood, I forget what they called it, but it was cheap), so I was elated!

So I hope you will join us!
Our sponsor this month is Eclectic Paperie and they are giving away a $25 gift certificate to the winner!

I really hope you will join us at The Mixed Media Monthly Challenge!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Artsy Inspiration Blog Hop

Recently an online friend of mine asked me if I would participate in a fun blog hop/train and she said such kind things about my work, I had to say yes :)  This is how it works. Today, I will share a little bit about the person who asked me to participate, and a bit about myself and my creative process, and in a week I will post again, about a few more artists who inspire me!

Rachel of Captivated Visions has been an art inspiration of mine for a few years now. We "met" for the first time when I applied to what was maybe her first official Creative Team call for her digital scrapbooking designs. I spent two years on her team, watching her career grow and watching her designs evolve! I would say that she is now one of the most prominent digital mixed media designers out there, and I am so glad to say that I "knew her when".   She does much of her work using paper and paint and then lets us digital artists play around with her art without getting our hands dirty! (Although I definitely do get my hands dirty these days!) Just take a look at these hand crafted creations:

And here's a bit about me.

How does your creative process work? How does your work differ from others of its genre? 

 My creative process is messy and I honestly borrow a lot of inspiration from other sources. Once in awhile, I have a great thought that is my own, but I do a lot of practice in the meantime by looking at others' work and trying to emulate the things I like. That's why I love art journaling. I can watch a video by Donna Downey, for example, try out her techniques, and hopefully learn something along the way. And I can look back at those pages over and over but I don't necessarily have to display them for all to see :)

What are you working on now? 
 Well, I just got back from an amazing art workshop with Donna and with Finnabair, but I think it deserves its own separate post! Here's a quick peek at a journal cover I made (although as my husband said after I showed the journal to him "It looks better in person!"):


Why do you do what you do?
Because apparently, I have this overwhleming need to create! I didn't realize that I felt that way until I started digital scrapbooking several years ago, and that love has transformed into a new love for mixed media art. I love the "no-rules" approach, because I am a perfectionist and no rules means I can never do anything"wrong"!

Thanks for stopping by, and please come back in a week to learn about some inspirations of mine!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Mixed Media Challenge

It's a new month, which means a new Mixed Media Monthly Challenge! This month's theme is using household objects in your art. I am a hoarder (I'm sure some of you can identify...) so I have a lot of things that I keep around for use later.

And our sponsor this month is Die Cuts With a View, who makes a great variety of fun and affordable scrapbooking and crafting supplies.

Here's my page:

In this art journal page, I used bottle caps from Feliway diffusers to create the purple circles. This is my favorite tool for making circles, because it has a built-in handle for "stamping", and we go through about one a month. The tops from Bath and Body Works Wallflowers work as well.

My other favorite tools from "throwaway" items are the waste left from punching out pieces from games. My husband and I are a a bit of game nuts, so we have no lack of these.  They work especially well when I want to create dimension using modeling paste or heavy gel medium (because they are made from heavy cardboard and are thick) I have circles, hexagons, octagons, hearts, etc.

And finally, a fun find is a silicone trivet I found at Walmart. It is perfect for stamping a hexagon/chicken wire pattern on my pages! I don't actually use this for its intended purpose, but it's fun to see new uses for things. I have also considered buying a patterned dishmat to use a stencil but haven't tried that yet.

I hope you enjoyed my page and learning some fun ideas on how to use household items. We'd love to see your projects. For complete challenge information, check out the blog here:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Steampunk Kitty

So, several months ago, I saw these Finnabair altered steampunk-style horses popping up, and I fell in love! I found this video tutorial: “Altered Wooden Horse - tutorial by Finnabair”

Then I went to our local flea market and bought some old horses, and decided that I could also do this with my favorite animal--a cat! I bought a couple old cats and then set to work.

Here's the before:
Pretty ugly, right??

So I painted it, added some fun stuff, created a hat out of clay, and here's the result:

I think it's quite an improvement, don't you think??

Thanks to Finnabair for the great inspiration! I now have a lot of other items I am planning on altering... :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Mixed Media Monthly Challenge #1!

It's finally here, Challenge #1 for the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge Blog! We hope to inspire you to create something each month, with only a handful of rules and hopefully a lot of room to play around and try new things.

For our first challenge, all we ask is for you to use some spray inks or mists. If you don't have any, you can buy a spray mister from the travel section of Walmart/Target/etc for a dollar, and then use watered down acrylic paint, liquid watercolor, or re-inkers (or if you want to go crazy, mix all 3--I've done it before!)

Here's my journal page:


Here's the step-by-step (no photos this time, sorry):
1. Start by gluing down thin strips of pattered paper horizontally along the bottom left and top right.
2. Add some washi tape and masking tape on top.
3. Scrape on some heavy gloss gel (modeling paste would work too) through punchinella.
4. Glue down some ephemera (tickets, flower, foil tape that was run through an embossing folder, butterfly die cut)
5. Use stamps in random places to add visual texture (I used Prima's small acrylic Vintage Vanity stamps--my absolute favorite for this type of project)
6. Use a bit of gesso over top in random places.
7. Now go crazy with spray inks! I used Dylusions Red, Bubblegum, and Sunshine. I also used some Luminarte Silks along the edges. Oh, and to finish it off, I used my brand-new Prima Bloom Spray (Gilded)
8. Add some words, glue the pages down into the journal, and that's it!

The journal I used is the Prima Sunrise Sunset Mixed Media Journal by Finnabair.

So, I hope you will play along, we would love to have you join us. I can't wait to see what you create! Visit the blog here for complete rules and prize information.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Altered Canvases Part 2

I am on a roll lately, so here's a few more canvases:

First, an altered Tim Holtz burlap panel. I used some more wood diecuts from SACrafters. The small hexagon pieces are Studio Calico. I created the heart myself using the same process as described in this post. 
I couldn't decide if it needed more, but now that I am looking at the photos, I'm pretty happy with it!

I'm entering it in the Paper Wings Productions Anything Goes May Challenge

Next is another altered burlap panel. I had the hardest time photographing this one--I think it looks much better in person, but oh well. I used a technique that I saw in this video from Frank Garcia from Prima for the torn edges effect.

And I'm entering this last one into the Berry71Bleu May challenge. I absolutely love flowers and I love the simplicity of the single red rose in the center of this little canvas! Here's the inspiration image--you can even see the lower left hand image lent a bit of inspiration to my canvas as well.


As always, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Altered Canvases

Yes, it's been awhile since I shared anything, sorry about that! Lately I have been working on a lot of things, though, so I wanted to share a few of them:

The first two are 5x5 deep edge canvases. These are Finnabair-style...basically I covered with Luminarte Silks, then used super heavy gloss gel through a stencil for the background. I then started layering metal items. I finished by using some more Silks on the top.

 Supplies of note:
Purple canvas - Stencil by Christy Tomlinson, Roman Numerals by Prima, Ivy charm by Vintaj, assorted metal pieces (the swirl is actually a Christmas ornament hanger)

Pink&orange canvas - Prima gear wood pieces, Clock face and metal gears by Tim Holtz, Crafter's Workshop stencil

 And I'm really proud of this last one. It's a 4x4 cheap canvas, and it's not based on anyone else's particular style, it just sort of came together for me.

Here were my steps:
1) Cover background of canvas with Luminarte silks in Teal, Bolivian Blue, Olive, and Sky Blue.
2) Cut up pieces of cheesecloth and burlap and use Heidi Swapp Color Spray in Olive and Teal to color them.
3) Use gel medium to adhere (this step was really messy). Let dry overnight.
4) Randomly place letter die cuts (from Tim's Typewriter Sizzix die) and use gel medium to keep in place.
5) Use gesso over the diecuts once dry.
6) Use more Luminarte Silks (teal, blue, etc) to color over the background pieces. Highlight/dry brush with Emperor's Gold.
7) Cut a piece of drawer liner (the grid-like piece in the background) and adhere with Super Heavy Gel Medium. Then cover with Silks.
7) For the heart: I used some sort of overnight air dry clay, but I am sure paperclay would work fine too. I made the heart shape, then pressed a Sizzix embossing folder over it, gently but firmly, to give it a pattern. I had no idea if that would work, but turns out it worked wonderfully! After it was dry, I painted with Silks.
8) The wings and the wood cog are from SACrafters on Zibbet. I just made a big order from there, and I love all of the pieces I got! (The metal cog is Tim Holtz)

I think I may go back in a few places on these and add some Rock Candy Crackle Paint (like the wings above). Mine was all dried up :(

Hope you enjoyed! I really, really like how these all turned out and I am getting quite the collection of little art pieces now.