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: http://mixedmediamc.blogspot.com/

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.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Lots of art journaling and an altered canvas

Time to show off some projects I've been working on.

First, my take on Kasia's Prima Live with Prima project from a few weeks ago:

It's the back of a canvas, which creates a nice shadowbox effect.

Next, I want to share a bunch of art journal pages that I have been making lately. I had an old planner from high school that I have been altering and I just finally finished all of the pages! I also decorated the cover, but I'll save that for another post :)

This first page is inspired by one of the tutorials in the Pop and Colours workshop:

And the next few are just my own creations:

this next one is inspired by one of Donna Downey's "mixed media Wednesdays" videos:
and the last page in my book:

Hope you like my pages, and I hope something here inspires you!

Friday, January 31, 2014

No Rules Painting

I have always been a rule-follower. I don't like breaking the rules, I like knowing where I stand, and I don't like upsetting people.

But somewhere along the line, I came across art journaling, mixed media, Tangie Baxter, Christy Tomlinson, Donna Downey, and so many more, who threw the rulebooks out the window, and encouraged me to do the same. [In fact, I read an interview with Teesha Moore that said that very thing--she actually hates rules]. I learned that this was one "safe" realm where I didn't have to follow any rule I wanted, and it was so freeing!

So the irony is, by creating that "safe zone" for myself, I actually gave myself my own rules. I never tried to paint or draw anything that looked remotely real. I was afraid that the "true" artists would come and yell at me for not having proper technique, for not using the right paint/paper/etc. They all know color theory, anatomy, perspective, etc, and I have never taken a true art class, so I know very little.

There are a lot of things artists will say not to do/to do. I know there may be a right/wrong way to do some things, but what's going to happen if I don't follow the rules? What if I use cheap craft paint?
What if I use the wrong type of paper or brush? What if I do my shadows the wrong way?

The worst that can happen is I end up with a big mess that looks like crap, I suppose. I will have "wasted" time and materials. But oh well! At this point in my life, art is a hobby, something I enjoy. And if I enjoy it and I don't know the real rules, OH WELL! Maybe later I will take more time to learn them, but for not, I am having more fun not worrying about fancy rules and just doing whatever I want.

All that being said, the other reason that I've never tried fine art is that I was afraid I would suck at it. I'm the type of person who hates failing at something, and pathetically gives up when I don't get it fast enough. I know that that's an awful way to be, so I have been trying to overcome it.

So, when I saw a newsletter from Craftsy recently that advertised a free acrylic painting course, I jumped on it. I watched the first few videos, and the teacher made it look so easy, I thought that I really might have a shot at doing this!  (I have also attended a couple of those "wine and canvas" events that seem to be everywhere these days...you follow instructions to make a painting while relaxing with your girlfriends and sometimes drinking wine) So I have been trying my hand at painting lately. I read somewhere that it takes drawing/painting about 100 faces to start being very good at it. I don't know what number I'm at by now, but I can see a true progression at this point.

You can judge me for not following the "art rules" if you want, I don't really care. I just want to show others out there that it is worth giving it a shot. If I never tried, I wouldn't get any better.

Ok, rambling over. I want to show you what I've been working on!

 First, let me remind you of some previous painting attempts I have posted on here before (notice they are all firmly in the "mixed media" realm due to the really crazy backgrounds they have)

They're not horrible, but the first two especially lack any depth at all. The last two, I made more recently and they are starting to look a bit better.

So here's what I have done in the past few weeks...


And faces....

 Something's off about this last one, but I'm not sure what. Her eyes are too far apart maybe? She looks a bit manly for some reason. The shadow on the side of her face is definitely off, but after messing with it for quite awhile, I decided to just let it be.

If it helps put it in perspective, here's the magazine photo I was basing her off of:

I will keep trying and post updates in the coming months!