Thursday, 2 May 2019

Creating Texture Pieces

I’m always looking for new ways to create materials and embellishments for my mixed media projects. I often create pieces using molds and air-dry clay.

Prima Marketing, which makes a wide range of products for altering art, recently released a new product, Re-Design Modeling Material. This product is very soft and pliable, which makes it easy to manipulate and press into molds. It dries to a hard, durable, plastic-like finish, which can be painted and applied to any art project. Here is a photo of some fossils that I made using Prima Marketing products (Paper Clay and Re-Design Modeling Material) with a Glaser Ceramic sprig fossil mold.

Since the Re-Design material is flexible as it dries, I had a lightbulb moment. Maybe I could create thin textured pieces by running the Re-Design material through a 3-D embossing folder and the Sizzix Big Shot machine. For this experiment, I used Stampin' Up's Tin Tile Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.

The results were very successful. The modeling material was easy to remove from the embossing folder. You could probably brush on a bit of cornstarch to ensure easy lifting, but I didn't use any. The piece dried quickly; and, it can be trimmed to the size you want to use.



** Important: As it dries, you'll want to occasionally flip the piece and carefully flatten it out. You might want to place a piece of foil and a book over the piece as it dries to keep the edges from curling.

An embossed textured piece like this can be added to a canvas, notebook, or anything you'd like to alter.



I threw together a video for you to see how it works. I was in a hurry and didn't use a tripod, so please excuse the hasty camera work!



Sunday, 14 April 2019

Eggs-travaganza


I've promised my crafting group here in Loveland that we would do more than create cards this year. While we all love card-making, we just thought changing it up once and a while would be fun! In particular, I want to teach them some cool mixed media techniques. Since my previous posting last week, I have made even more sample eggs for my upcoming workshop.
The class is this week -- just days before Easter -- and we are going to practice acrylic pours on Easter eggs, which they can take home. Then, once they feel confident, we will pour acrylics onto Christmas ornaments that we will sell at our charity bazaar at the end of the year.
Lots of experimenting has occurred in my art studio over the last few weeks. I've been mixing acrylics with the pouring medium, Floetrol. Acrylic pours create amazing marbling and cell action in the egg, as you can see from some of these photos. 
In addition, I created super glimmery paints by mixing ColourArte's Primary Elements pigment powders with PolyPour medium -- these products are available directly from ColourArte.com. 
I produced an EGGS-TRAVAGANZA video that shows how I poured the paints and decorated the eggs. Feel free to click the link and have a look, and I hope you have a chance to play with paint pouring, too. You can use the same technique on clear glass Christmas ornaments.
Be messy. Be free. :-)


Saturday, 6 April 2019

Altered Easter Eggs


One of the first item that I ever "altered" was a papier-mache Easter egg. Last year, I "gifted" most of those original eggs, and this year's basket was looking a bit empty. I decided to replenish my decorated mixed media eggs and also share the techniques with friends in a workshop at my church. The week of Easter, we will be doing speciality acrylic flow pours onto both plastic and papier mache eggs. Here are some of the samples for the class. 

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Bee Free Mixed Media Notebook


1. Place the honeycomb stencil onto the notebook.

2. Use a palette knife to mix Modeling Paste with a small amount of Black Gesso. This will help to color the Modeling Paste, which dries opaque. Use a palette knife or silicone tool to spred this Modeling Paste/Gesso mixture over the stencil. You will be applying it almost like spreading butter.
3. Dry the honeycomb with a heat gun.

4. Use a brush and apply black gesso over the front and back covers of the notebook. Dry.
5. You’ll use blue-toned mica sprays to create a sky effect on the cover of the book. Start by spraying some Bucaneer Bay Blue, which also contains brown walnut stain. Then move onto glittery blue sprays. such as Sassy Saphire, Texas Bluebonnets, and Delphenium Turquoise.
Pause between application of a spray; dry it; and then look at it before spraying another color. You can lightly use Bashful Blue as the final color to lighten the look.  Dry.

6. Now let’s concentrate on the honeycomb pattern. Apply a gold mica spray to ONLY the honeycomb area. To intensify the gold,  use the Solar Gold with applicator top to add color to each individual honeycomb.  Allow to dry or gently force dry with heat gun.
7. While waiting for any of the project to dry, you can paint the moulded flowers with metallic paints (Silks). Pick harmonizing colors. After the paint dries, you will spritz on one of the Moon Shadow Mists, which contain glittery mica powder and walnut ink. This will create dimension on the flower so that the paint doesn’t appear flat.
8.  You need to spray seal the book before you proceed to gluing on elements.
9.  Apply diamond glitter to the wings of the honey bee and gold glitter to its body.
10. Time to add the embellishments! First of all, lay everything onto the front of the book to see where you want to put the pieces.  Refer to the sample as needed.
Use Heavy Body Gel on the flowers, tuck the feathers behind the flowers, and stick flowers onto the book.
Add the 2 bronze mini utensils.
You also can add the holographic blue beads, as shown in the sample.


Flitter Fly Notebook


Let’s transform a plain black notebook.
1. Cut a piece of burlap or cardboard and use white glue to adhere it to the notebook cover.

2. Brush black gesso onto the front and back of the notebook. Dry.

3. Use a stencil and a silicone brush or palette knife to spread on a gel medium or modeling paste. Dry.

4. Brush on black gesso. Dry.

I mostly used purple-toned products to color the notebook, but you can use whatever color scheme you’d like.
5. Use a combination of glittery mica sprays and metallic paints to color the front and back covers.

You can begin by painting on Snap Dragon or Royal Orchid Silks. After that dries, spray two or three of these colors: Buccaneer Bay Blue, Smoky Sapphire, Bluebeard Blue Violet, Hi Maintenance Magenta, and Witch’s Potion Purple. Pause between application of a spray; dry it; and then look at it before spraying another color. You can add some pink, such as Pink Grapefruit and Plumeria.
6. Now use your fingertips to Art Alchemy Amethyst Magic. You also can use a touch of Opal Magic.
7. You need to spray seal the book before you proceed to gluing on elements.
8. Use Heavy Body Gel to stick on metal butterflies. To create height, you can use buttons to lift the butterflies.  Add flowers, metals and jewels, if desired.

Does my nose look big?

Have you ever tried brass embossing plates? A number of years ago, one of my Canadian crafty friends gave me a set of gift tags. I'd never seen so much detail and cuteness in an handmade tag, and she told me about Lasting Impressions, which makes a wide range of brass stencils or embossing plates. Here are some gift tags and a box that I made with one of their cute snowmen. There's helpful information on the Lasting Impressions site that explains the "how to" of hand embossing.

Snowman with Attitude

This Sizzix snowman has some serious attitude! I made both tags and cards using this cute and whimsical fellow! The background was made by stamping and embossing snowflakes and using a variety of Tim Holtz distress inks.

Dance card pendant necklaces

These embellished "dance card" pendant necklaces were my favorite mixed-media art project of this past autumn. They have miniature pencils that lock the tiny notebook in place. 









With a puppy keeping my hands full, I haven't had much time in the art studio lately. But I did manage to make a card and schedule a workshop to make this card at my church. Yes, I'm already making Christmas cards. We sold out of almost all of our Christmas cards at our King of Glory Lutheran Church Christmas bazaar last November, so we are starting over with new products. This card features an old Stampin' Up stamp set, "Roses in Winter," and a newer set, "Reason for the Season."

Tully Loves the Snow!

I'm not sure what Tully will do when we are no longer in snow season because this dog LOVES the snow! Here are a couple of videos of him playing in the white stuff. Hubby Niall even made a "snow mountain" for him to play on.

Tully the Snow Dog

Tully on Snow Mountain

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Tully McTuck



Welcome to our new English Shepherd puppy, Tully McTuck!

The top photo is when we brought him home at the end of November at 8 weeks.

The new photo is from yesterday. He is now 30 pounds and 4 1/2 months old with tons of energy! I love the ear action!

We had a bit of snow yesterday, and he enjoyed scampering around in the frigid white stuff. He particularly liked digging mulch and sticks out of the flower beds. He's wanting a snowy romp and walk today, but we started out at -6 degrees F. Too cold for little paw pads! We're trying to keep him amused with ball and fetch indoors. A puppy needs to play!