Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mixed Media Welcome Sign

Oh the weather has been so nice!  Warm and lots of sun so naturally I spend as much time outdoors as possible.  The peonies just bloomed.  The Sarah Bernhardt peony had the most beautiful large, pink blooms and then a violent rain storm knocked all of the blooms on the ground.  Oh well it was beautiful for one day, but some good did come from this.  After the rain was over, we had the most beautiful rainbow that I have ever seen.

Lately I have been working on little decorative accents for my house.  The garage is an area that has been overlooked.  It's not an area that anyone in the family ever thought of decorating, until now.  Why shouldn't the garage entrance to the house be inviting?  In an effort to try to give the garage a face lift, I made a welcome sign.  My husband really likes the sign for it's simplicity.  It's for the garage so I didn't want to go over board on embellishments.

This was a quick, easy and inexpensive project.

Directions for Mixed Media Welcome Sign:

Art Minds Clear Pine Craft Wood  5.25 x 12 inches- available at Michaels
Liquitex Acrylic Paint- Payne's Grey, black
SVG Cuts Maple Manor cutting files-Chat Noir
Ranger Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel- Clear
Heat Gun or Ranger Melting Pot
Teflon coated craft tweezers
Golden Crackle Paste
Lavender color flowers
Martha Stewart Leaf Paper Punch
Black Card Stock for Chat Noir and outline
Scrap of olive card stock for leaves and gold for cat's eyes
Sheer Purple ribbon
Vinyl for electronic cutting machines- light purple and black
Computer font or Sketch font from Silhouette Design Store
Hot Glue Gun
Sharpie Marker- black
Tim Holtz Distress Ink-Twig
Craft mat or ceramic tile
Old paint brush

1.  Cut Chat Noir and outline out of black card stock to dimensions given in cutting file.  Glue the cat to the outline and then glue a scrap of gold card stock under the image for the eyes.

2.  Melt the UTEE in the Ranger melting pot and use tweezers to dip the cat until the entire image is coated. Set aside on the non stick craft mat to harden and dry.  If using the heat gun to melt the UTEE, place the cat on the craft mat.  Spread UTEE evenly over the cat and heat until the UTEE has melted.  Set aside to harden.

3.  Coat the wooden sign with gesso on both sides and let it dry.  Coat the the entire piece with Payne's Grey, let it dry and add a second coat of paint.

4.  After the paint has dried, apply a smooth coat of crackle paste with an old gift card.  Set aside to dry overnight.  Don't try to rush the drying with a heat gun, the crackle pattern will be more noticeable with air drying.

 5.  Once the piece is completely dry,  apply a thin coat of black paint with a foam brush and wipe off with a soft cloth or paper towel, until the only black paint that remains is in the cracks.

6.  Using a font from your computer or a purchased font, cut Welcome out of black vinyl, to fit the center of the sign.  I used the Silhouette Design Store Sketch font and cut it at 7.25 inches long.  Use the offset option to make an outline of Welcome and cut it at the same dimensions as the black lettering, out of light purple vinyl.

7.  Adhere the purple Welcome outline to the center of the sign and place the black lettering over the outline.

8.  Glue Chat Noir to the left side of the sign, letting his tail hang below the bottom edge of the sign. 

9.  Glue flowers around the right side of the sign and next to Chat Noir.  Punch leaves and glue under the edges of the flowers.  I used seven leaves but you can use more or less.

10.  Place a few drops of the distress ink on a craft mat and dip the tip of the paint brush handle in the ink.  Dot the ink randomly over the sign.  Picking up additional ink from the craft mat when necessary.

11.   Glue a piece of sheer purple ribbon behind the top edges of the sign to make a hanger.  Cut two pieces of ribbon large enough to tie small bows. Glue the bows to the top front edge of the sign.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mixed-Media Journal

Art journaling has never been my strong point.  Journals are as important to artists as they are to writers. It's a place to experiment with new products and work out ideas.  Sometimes an idea works out and sometimes it doesn't, but that is part of the learning process.

 I really like the idea of keeping an art journal but I'm intimidated by it.  Recently I joined the Documented Life Project  group.  The other members of the group are very talented and creative and their journals are beautiful.  One member of our group had her work published recently in Somerset Studio magazine. Each month we have a theme.  April's theme was Color Safari, exploring inks and paints.  Dyann Reaverley was the guest artist. It was fun learning how to use the new Dylusions paints and inks and I enjoyed fun working with such a creative group of women who are encouraging and inspiring.

Here are some of my Color Safari projects using Dylusions paints and ink.  This background page was a lot of fun and used very little paint.  The Dylusions paint by Ranger is one of my favorite journaling products.  It's thin, goes on smoothly, doesn't soak through the page and dries quickly.  It's a definite improvement over the heavier acrylic paints. To achieve this background I applied orange Dylusions to the paper in a circular motion (with Ranger Foam Blending Tool), next turquoise was added around the edges, followed by grass green and then purple was blended over the entire page.  When using Dylusions, a little goes a long way. Always dip the foam blending tool in the paint lid (not directly in the paint) and swirl the paint around on a non stick craft mat (I used a small white glazed tile from Home Depot) to blend it, then apply the paint to the paper. Keep adding light layers of paint until you achieve the desired color.

These next photos are journal pages using Dylusions paints and inks.

Annabelle Lee

The background of this page was made using turquoise and purple paint.  The background was layered using Stencil Girl's Square Dance (circles in squares) 6x6 stencil and applying Tim Holtz Vintage Photo distress ink to the stencil.  The page was misted with water.  Once the page had dried, Stencil Girl's Talia the Rain Goddess was centered on the page and Viva purple metallic embossing paste was applied over the stencil with a palette knife.  Remove the stencil from the page and soak in water immediately to remove the modeling paste.  Let the page air dry over night.  Once the page is dry, outline the circles in the background with a black Sharpie marker.  Outline the black circle with Dina Wakely Heavy Body Acrylic paint- Penny and a fine tip applicator to fit the paint tube (this is available from Ranger).  Make a circle in the middle of the large circle, using the Penny colored paint.  After the page is dry add the quote of your choice.

 I was reading Edgar Allen Poe's poems while waiting for this to dry and decided to use a quote from Annabelle Lee.  The eyes of the piece are mesmerizing and Talia turned out beautiful so I chose the line " The stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes of the beautiful Annabelle Lee."-Edgar Allan Poe.  Annabelle Lee is being copied and framed to hang in my home, without the white gel pen quote.

This bird was created by layering yellow Dylusions paint over the entire page and then adding bright pink and orange around the page.  I used Stencil Girl's Eyes 6x6 stencil and Tim Holtz Vintage Photo distress ink over the stencil.  To cover the entire page, move the stencil around.   Outline the some of the areas of the stencil with white gel pen and other areas with a fine line black Sharpie pen.  Outline black outline with Dina Wakely Turquoise Heavy Body Acrylic paint and let it dry.  Center Stencil Girl's Perched Bird 6x6 stencil on the page and cover with Liquitex Light Modeling Paste.  Let the bird dry.  Once dry, use a Bronze metallic Sharpie marker to draw in a branch and outline the branch with the fine line black Sharpie.  Color the leaves and the bird's eye with the Dina Wakely turquoise paint and make a freehand swirled border around the left side and the top of the page. Let the paint dry. Outline the swirled border with white gel pen.  Use TCW's Doily stencil and white Dylusions paint to add accents around the top and sides of the page.  Once dry, lay the stencil over the white stenciled areas and add bright pink Dylusions paint.  Once the page is completely dry spray with Walnut Ink Java color and then spritz with water until the ink beads up. Blot with a paper towel and repeat.  Gently wipe the ink from around the bird to outline him.

Pearls is a tribute to Coco Chanel.  The quote "Pearls will set you free." came from Karen Karbos's book the Gospel According To Coco Chanel.

 While working in the Life Project class, we had sprayed so much water on our pages that the spray ink had soaked through the page.  I was using the Canson Mixed Media journal and the paper was not heavy enough to prevent the ink from saturating the page and bleeding through the back.  I didn't want to waste the page so I used the medium mask from Dylusions Flossie stencil and mask.  After laying the mask on the page, I used Dylusions purple paint the cover the entire page. Next I used a Hedi Swapp stencil and applied key lime Dylusions paint over the stencil.  The paint turned gold when it reacted with the purple.  I outlined the stenciled squares with white gel pen (on the right side of the page) and outlined Flossie and added her pearls with the gel pen. The chain was made by making small circles with the Penny colored Dina Wakely paint.  The Fleur de lys with made from scraps of paper using the Martha Stewart paper punch, after gluing them to the page, they were outlined with turquoise Dina Wakely paint.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Decorating With Paper and Vinyl

In the process of reorganizing my studio, I decided it's time to give it a "face lift" rather than a complete makeover.  The Jet Max white craft storage units store all of my art and craft supplies but the plain white cubes are beginning to look a little tired and drab.  They needed some decorative elements but painting was out of question.  Lately I have been experimenting with using vinyl in decorative projects around the house. I like the fact that vinyl can be removed or changed if I tire of it.  My printer and the storage cube are candidates for vinyl.  The desk top storage units will be papered and painted.

Decorated Printer
Decorated door to on storage cube.

The white storage units on my drafting table are functional but boring and not very inspiring.  I really like Graphic 45 Papers and wanted to use the paper from the Artisan collection in a decorative project.  I chose the peacock paper to cover the drawers on the desk top storage units and then painted the edges of the cubes with a mixture of Dylusions turqouise, Liquitex light blue and Liquitex white acrylic paints.  I added a few drops of Golden Acrylic Glazing Medium to make the paint flow.

Larger Storage Unit

Smaller Storage Unit and Washi Tape Storage.

 Directions For Decorating With Paper and Vinyl Projects:

Recollections Storage Cubes from Michaels
Hard Coat Mod Podge
Foam Brush
Graphic 45 Paper- I used Peacock from the Artisan Collection

Vinyl designed to be used in cutting machines- I used teal and bubblegum pink vinyl from My Vinyl Direct. They have a large selection of colors and sizes and offer a custom color pack where you can pick 12 (12x12) sheets of the colors of your choice.
Black vinyl- Left over Cricut vinyl from Michaels.  Both Cricut and My Vinyl Direct use vinyl manufactured by Orcal.

SVG Cutting Files- C'est la vie was from Snap Dragon Snippets and Carpe Diem from the Silhouette Design Store
Dylusions Turquoise acrylic paint
Liquitex White and Light Blue acrylic paint
Small Flat Paint Brush

1.  Cut the Carpe Diem out of teal vinyl, using the SVG cutting file dimensions (without resizing).  I placed a 12x12 sheet of vinyl on the cutting mat and taped the edges with Scotch Blue Painter's Tape to secure it.  Carefully weed the excess vinyl from the cutting mat.  Place the phrase on the front of the storage cube door and press in place.  Cut four corners from the vinyl left on the cutting mat and place the vinyl corner in each corner of the door, as accents.

2.  Cut the Eiffel Tower out of black vinyl, without resizing the original image.   Align the tower on the center of the printer and press in place to secure it.  Cut the heart and c'est la vie out of pink vinyl and align the phrase under the tower and the heart in the center of the tower.  Attach a small adhesive pink crystal to the top of the tower and adhesive pearls at the ends of the flourishes.

3.  Remove the drawer pulls from the desk top storage cubes and set aside.  Cut the 12x12 peacock paper in half.  Use Mod Podge to glue the paper to the drawer of the large storage cube.  Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the paper to coat it and set aside to dry.

4.  Cut the remaining half sheet of the peacock paper to fit the drawer of the small storage cube and the front panels of the washi tape storage cubes. Glue in place with Mod Podge and coat the top of the paper with Mod Podge and set aside to dry.

Stamped Gift Tissue Paper

This month's Somerset Studio magazine had an article on making decorative tissue paper, using stamps.  This was just the type of project that I was looking for-it's quick, easy and inexpensive.  Placing decorative tissue paper inside a gift box makes the gift presentation even more special.  Decorative tissue is available in the gift wrap aisle of most stores, but it's more expensive than plain white tissue.  Most crafters have a variety of stamps and stamp pads sitting around waiting to be used in a project, so the only real investment is the tissue.

Stamped Tissue Paper

I used a French theme for the tissue that will line the inside of the box containing the Enchanted Pumpkin Carriage.

Directions for Stamped Gift Tissue Paper:

Marie Antoinette and Louvre stamps from Stamp Franciso
Color Box Fluid Chalk Ink-Charcoal
White Gift Wrap Tissue Paper
Heat Gun-I used Ranger Heat-It tool

1.  Lay tissue on a sturdy flat surface. Lay a second piece of tissue under the tissue to be stamped, to absorb any excess ink.  Tissue paper is not consistent, some brands are thinner than others and ink bleeds through the surface.

2.  Ink the Marie Antoinette stamp (or the stamp of your choice) with the charcoal ink. Make sure the entire surface of the stamp is covered evenly with ink. Stamp the image in the lower left corner of the tissue. Press down firmly on the stamp and lift it straight off the paper (don't twist the stamp while lifting it up).

3.  Ink the Louvre stamp with the charcoal ink and stamp next to Marie Antoinette, leaving a little space between the images. Press down firmly on the stamp and lift it off the paper.  Stamp the Louvre above Marie Antoinette. Again leaving some space between the images.

4.  Stamp Marie Antoinette next to the Louvre and above the Louvre.  Re-ink the stamp after each stamping, to ensure a crisp image.  Continue to stamp the images in an alternating pattern until you reach the end of the tissue paper.

5.  Use a heat gun to set the images.  It only takes a few seconds of heat to set the image.  Do not overheat the image or the paper will scorch and start to yellow and turn brown.  I really like the Ranger Heat-It tool because it has a low air flow that gently heats the surface without scorching it.  I had always used a Black and Decker heat gun, that my husband had purchased for me, but the high air flow and temperatures always scorched my paper and scattered my embossing powder everywhere.