Thursday, October 5, 2017

VISIT THE PUPPET MASTER AT DECOART

Hello everyone!  It's almost the weekend!  Halloween is coming and it's a GREAT time to do some holiday crafting!


Hop on over to Decoart's Mixed Media Blog and check out my 5 x 7 canvas titled
"THE PUPPET MASTER".  Created using the fabulous DecoArt Media products and Andy Skinner's new Birds and Bones Stamp set, this canvas will be part of my Halloween decor this season.

There is a complete pictorial tutorial over there so hurry up and check it out!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

THE BIRD BRAIN HALLOWEEN DOOR HANGER

 BOO!

HALLOWEEN IS COMING!

How about a fun tutorial using Andy Skinner's wonderful Skuldoggery and Birds and Bones stamp sets?

Barney "the Bird Brain" is waiting for you over on Andy's Blog!



Who is Barney "the Bird Brain"?  Well, here's a hint ... he's just hanging on a door!

Here is a sneak peek at this fun and easy project.  Head on over to Andy Skinner's Blog for a complete pictorial tutorial.   

Thursday, September 7, 2017

THE UNICORN PAPERS ART JOURNAL

Greetings art fans! 
I've been having so much fun with a new project and I wanted to share it with you.

Recently I got together with a couple of my art buddies and we decided to play with our "take" on creating Shannon Green's Unicorn Papers and Journal.  Never heard of it? Me either! You can see her YouTube video HERE and HERE to see how she constructed the basic pages. Layers and layers of paint, pattern and FUN!



This is the cover of my little journal. I LOVE IT!  More about how I constructed it at the end of this post. 

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I shared with you how to coffee stain your own book pages? Click HERE to refresh your memory on that. That was my first step in working on my own Unicorn Papers Journal. This is not a mandatory step but I really love how my pages turned out with this as the base. The pages actually feel more like material rather than paper after you complete the layers.


This journal started out as a 42 page (back and front) paperback devotional. But you could use anything. I coffee stained my book pages because I love the feel of them and the aged look before I even began working with them.


Here is what things looked like in the beginning. I decided on the colors I wanted to use to create my "rainbow" of color. Let me say that DecoArt's NEW PREMIUM ACRYLIC PAINT TUBES are PHENOMENAL and definitely live up to all the hype they've received! 

The colors are rich and creamy and work to perfection. I also used some of DecoArt's bottled acrylic paints. They are wonderful as well ... but OH! Those new Premium Tube Paints! They are thicker and for this project, I liked them the best.

Anyway, you start with a variety of acrylic paint colors arranged to your liking.  Have a hotel key or straight edge and a plastic palette ready to go.  AND...UNDERNEATH, don't forget to have a piece of scrap paper not only to protect your work surface but to get all sorts of yummy, wonderful abstract colors as you're working.  SAVE THOSE SCRAP PAPERS!!!


Next, squeeze out big dobs of paint at the top of your plastic paint palette. They should be touching but not overlapping. Then using your hotel key, lightly scrap the paint downward to the opposite side of the palette. Let the paint flow down from the hotel key leaving a trail of color.


Once you have done that,use the edge of the hotel key to pick up some rainbows of paint and then start randomly swiping it across your coffee stained pages.  You will get all sorts of randomness. This is just the first layer so don't be so concerned with covering every inch of the pages with paint. The pages in this picture are only the first layer of paint.


Next, take a piece of wax paper a little larger than your book pages. Squeeze some DecoArt Titanium White Acrylic Paint or Gesso onto the wax paper and spread it out with the hotel key. Next turn the wax paper, paint side down on top of each of your painted book pages. Press the white paint into the book pages. You get a wonderful random white layer on your painted layer. Reload the wax paper with white paint and repeat the process until you are happy with all of your painted book pages.


Here is what your pages will look like at this point. Onto the next layer ...



NOW the REAL FUN begins! Adding another layer of pattern and more color! Choose anything you like to create texture. Anything from stencils, stamps, bottle lids, bubble wrap, sponges, rubber drawer liners; you name it.  Dip those pieces into your rainbow of paint on your palette and start pressing them randomly onto your painted book pages.


Here are your pages at this point!  Aren't they wonderful? So much color and FUN going on here!

Now it's time to embellish the pages in whatever manner you choose. I started out with a magazine girl for my first finished page. I will take you through the steps I did on a few of my beginning pages as I am working through my art journal to help you along your journey.



I chose a magazine girl and cut her to fit my page. Then I started tracing around the stamped flowers with a Fudeball Permanent Black Ink Pen. After that, I used a very small brush and painted DecoArt Titanium White Acrylic Paint around my flowers and dotted in the centers for more interest. 



Next I used an exacto knife on a pad to cut around some of the flowers so that my girl could slip underneath them and I wouldn't lose that detail when I glued her onto the page.



Contining to add more layers and detail; I added various Washi Tapes from Jane Davenport and some other random ones. I added more black pen markings as well.



I added a sentiment from a magazine and inked around it to finish off the page. I also used my finger with some DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Carbon Black paint on it to finish off all of the edges of the page.  I will do that on every page as I love how it frames everything.

Some pages can be really detailed while others can be simple.

An example of a simple page ...



I began with this page with all of the basic layers on it. The black stamps are Seth Apter's from his Ink Spots and Pathways stamp sets. Aren't they cool? I just love this background! Again, the black paint around the edges of the page.



Here is the finished page.  I simply glued my magazine girl in place and added a magazine sentiment which I framed with a black permanent ink pen. Simple ... but the background makes this page!

No magazine people on a page?  Okay. Here's an example ...



I added some DecoArt Media White Gesso to this page in the center. You'll see why in a second.



I stamped this lovely butterfly onto the center of the page using Permanent Black Ink. I also stamped a sentiment underneath. I started filling in the butterfly using another fun medium, Dr. Martin's Radiant Concentrated Water Color and a fine brush. 



Just look how the white gesso allowed the butterfly to POP against an otherwise very colorful background. I edged the page with black paint and added some random stamping of Andy Skinner's very versatile peeled paint stamp from his Industrial stamp set. LOVE THIS STAMP! A few black paint bottle lid circles and it's finished. Simple yet very powerful. 



One more page example and then I'll show you the construction of the outside cover.


This page features a stamp from Dina Wakley's Silhouetted Women stamp set.  It was stamped with Permanent Black Ink.  Now what to do?



I added another magazine girl to this page and also did a little heat embossing. Using Seth Apter's circle stamp from Pathways, I first stamped in black and then in Saffron Permanent Ink.  Immediately I added some Clear Embossing Powder over the ink, removed the excess powder and heat set it. I repeated this three more times randomly on the page.



And here is the finished page; framed in black paint.  The sentiments are from Dina Wakley's Face In The Crowd stamp set and are stamped with Permanent Black Ink.  I also cut around the stamped image and slipped the girl into the page. I like how those figured intersect.

And now for the cover ...



Remember when I told you to SAVE THOSE SCRAP PAPERS? Here's why!!!
Just look at all of the color, pattern and possibilities here.



I chose this small piece of randomness for my journal cover. To the left you see the paperback devotional journal all double taped and ready to receive it's cover. I cut the paper a bit larger than the journal so I would have "wiggle room" when covering the journal. Then I cut off the excess paper.  Finished, this will be an 8 1/4" x 5 1/2" journal.



Here is the journal cover in place; along with the black paint edges.



I glued my little unicorn girl in place a little below the center of the cover. Once dry, I added black pen work around the little girl and added some glitter glue to her because she's a "magical unicorn".  The shimmer of the glitter glue really plays off of the brilliant colors on the cover and the black edging really pops everything.



  Finally, I computer generated the letters for the cover, cut them out and glued them in place. I did some black pen work around every other letter to complete the look.



Once all of my pages are finished, I will glue them into the book.  If I have trouble with the staples in the center of the book coming apart, I will do some sort of stitching in the center to hold everything together.  This is such a fun project!  I hope you'll give it a try.

And don't forget to pull out those DecoArt Premium Acrylic Tube Paints and bottle paints!  You will LOVE your results!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

CHRISTMAS IN AUGUST? CHECK OUT MY TANDO "STONE" CHRISTMAS COTTAGE

Ho! Ho! Ho!

In August?  Well, if the next 4 months go as quickly as this year has so far ...
Yes!!!  Ho! Ho! HO!


Today I am sharing a cute little vintage style "stone" Christmas cottage I created using DecoArt products on a Tando Creative's darling little 3D Mini House!  These little houses are so cute and you get THREE of them in one kit; houses and all of the exteriors - door, roof, window frames!

The stone effect was created using Andy Skinner's "Shredded" stencil from DecoArt.  Instead of looking like snake skin, I thought it would make awesome "stone" walls ... and it DID!

Check out the entire project along with a complete pictorial tutorial

Friday, August 18, 2017

QUICK AND EASY AGING BOOK TEXT THROUGH COFFEE STAINING

Hi again everyone!

I'm working on a project that I will be sharing with you in the near future.  But for now, I wanted to share with you one of the steps I am doing in preparation for this project ... 
aging paper.

There are several Youtube videos about this topic but I figured why not just post a couple of pictures and some brief descriptions so you don't have to look it up.

A QUICK AND EASY WAY TO "AGE" PAPER BY COFFEE STAINING IT

Supplies You Will Need For This Technique
  • Some sort of paper
  • Trays with a deeper side to allow you to pour coffee into the tray
  • Instant or brewed coffee
  • Wax paper, freezer paper or some protective covering for your counter top to lay drying paper
  • 200 degree oven - use oven mitts to work with trays in oven



Begin with your book text ... or any paper for that matter. I needed 8 1/4" x 5 1/4" pages so I used a kraft knife to cut them from a hard back book. I will save the book cover and use it to make some sort of junk journal or altered book in the future.  Next ...


Use instant or brewed coffee for this step.  I used brewed coffee (made a bit strong) and poured it into a tray with at least a 1" side.  Put enough coffee into the tray to cover your paper.  I also like to add some coffee grounds that help make the coffee mix stronger as you are using it.  Place papers in the tray and be sure they are covered with coffee.  I usually put up to six pages at a time.  Let soak for 8-10 minutes.  (You might want to turn the papers over about half way through but that is optional).


Hold the papers up over the coffee and let the excess drain off of them.  Lay them on a different cookie sheet or tray.  Do not overlap them.


Place them in a preheated oven of 200 degrees.  Let them "dry"in the oven for 8-10 minutes.  My papers on the lower rack dried first.  Repeat this process until all of your papers have been stained and dried.

*Watch the papers to see how quickly they dry.  Everyone's oven heats differently.

  
Once the papers are dry from the oven, place them on a piece of wax paper or a counter to totally dry.  If you have any coffee grounds remaining on them, they will easily just brush right off.  Once the papers are completely dry, you can stack them for later use.


And here is my stack of papers; ready for my project!  Fun and easy to do!

Have fun with this technique.  It's easy and really not a big mess at all!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

ALTERED CHILDREN'S BOOK PAGE INTO A MIXED MEDIA JOURNAL PAGE

Greetings Everyone!  As the day hot days of summer linger on, I've been trying to find more time to play in my air conditioned craft studio.

I've been doing some really fun projects for Andy Skinner's Creative TeamDecoArt's International Design Team and Mixed Up Media Magazine.



Here is a peek at my latest art journal page created for DecoArt's Mixed Media Blog.  

I began with a childrens' paper book.  I am transforming it from a childrens' book into an art journal. A great way to explore your creativity and breathe new life into an old, tired children's book that otherwise might find the trash. 



Here is what I started with.  You can go to DecoArt's Mixed Media Blog HERE to see my new and improved art journal creation.  Done with DecoArt's Media products, a magazine girl, some Andy Skinner stencils and other basic tools, this page came together like magic!

Enjoy your summer and take time to explore your creativity!  Have some fun experimenting on new techniques or trying to use the products you already have in interesting new ways!

Thanks for stopping by and if you care to leave a comment here or at DecoArt, I thank you in advance! I always love reading your thoughts.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX ALTERED JOURNAL

Hello everyone!

Would you join me in wishing ANDY SKINNER a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY TODAY?

Ever have some left over pieces that you want to use but they just sit in a little box and keep accumulating?  Well, get out that box, and start looking at those pieces in a different way!

I had so much fun using some leftover Tando Creative steampunk pieces to alter a plain journal cover into something fun and kind of "funky". Definitely NOT steampunk!



Check out the entire book cover and the tutorial for Andy Skinner HERE.  It's fun to think outside the box and see where your imagination takes you!

Monday, June 12, 2017

STEAMPUNK GOGGLES ~ WHAT FUN!!

Hello everyone!

I had such a BLAST creating these 3D chipboard Steampunk Goggles from Tando Creative.  

I am amazed at how easy they were to put together and how sturdy they are; especially with all of the products I used on them.  Very cool!



These goggles are my second piece for Andy Skinner's Creative Team.  You can see a pictorial tutorial for them HERE.  I am so proud to be a part of his team as I am always dumbfounded by his techniques.  He can take DecoArt products and create illusions of stone, rust, metal...whatever...with ease.  Just fascinating!



So hop on over to Andy's blog for the lastest from the Creative Team and maybe get a jump start on your creativity or inspiration!  All it takes is an idea and a little bit of "know how".

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

A VINTAGE POSTCARD CANVAS FOR DECOART MEDIA BLOG

Summer is almost here!  
This time of year always takes me back to my childhood.  My mom would take my brother and I to the park where we would play and swing in the warm sunshine. I remember running in my backyard; pretending I could fly like the butterflies.  My mom had a lovely rose garden in the center of the back yard and beautiful peony bushes lining the back fence.  I loved to walk among all of that fragrant floral display of color.
Ahhh.....summertime and childhood memories!


I guess that is what inspired the sweet little vintage canvas I am sharing on DecoArt's Media Blog right now.  I'd love for you to hop on over and take a look.  I have a complete pictorial tutorial to show you some new techniques and possibly answer some questions you might have about a DecoArt Media product and how it can be used.

Enjoy the sunshine and take some time to PLAY with your creativity!



Friday, May 26, 2017

MIXED UP MINISTRY OF MIXOLOGY BOOK COVER

Oh happy Friday!  I hope everyone has a fantastic AND CREATIVE weekend.

I am over the moon excited to be part of Andy Skinner's Creative Team. 
I am sharing my first piece on his blog.  You can check it out HERE.


I am sharing two different techniques using DecoArt, Tando Creative and Stampendous products.  You can  see a step by step rusting technique on the plain chipboard gears and cogs.  I am also sharing one of Andy's very fun image transfer and coloring technique that has stunning results.

DecoArt has a vast array of wonderful mixed media products: paints, gessos, modeling pastes, brushes...you name it, they've got it!

Tando Creative has an amazing collection of cut MDF board and chipboard.  You have GOT to check them out!

Stampendous has too many beautifully cut stamps to count! I love so many of them!  

I hope you'll check out the tutorial over on Andy's blog and then maybe try some of the techniques on your own creative piece this weekend!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Friday, May 19, 2017

HALLOWEEN FUN WITH ANDY SKINNER AND DECOART

I know it's not even Summer yet and I'm already thinking about Halloween!  
I guess since I'm already seeing all of the big box craft stores putting out FALL things already, I think I better get with it!

I bet Christmas items will start appearing in the stores next week!  It's ridiculous!  But THAT is another blog post subject!  (smile)

Anyway.... I wanted to share with you a Halloween frame I just completed.  Here it is ...


I absolutely LOVE Andy Skinner's Ministry of Mixology Frames from Tando Creative.  The are dimensional, large enough to really have some fun playing and experimenting on the surface and they are sturdy!

A few months back, I got together with some of my friends and we experimented with some different techniques in creating the background for the frame.  I didn't take pictures of this process so I can't share the step by step with you.  But, I basically I created a lot of texture with old pieces of netting, my fingers and a palette knife and a little Crackle Paste particularly around the edges of the frame.  Then I covered the background; working in small sections with modeling paste and stamped into it using various Halloween themed rubber stamps.  

After all of that dried, I added my DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic colors, sticking with the traditional black and orange.  The center piece of the frame was done with a little Crackle Paint followed by shades of black and grey.  The bolts were all done by using one of several rust techniques and DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics.  I have to admit when the frame was finished, I was less than enamored with it.  So, I put it down and figured I'd come back to it sometime and try to rescue it.  That day came this week!  And now I LOVE the end results!

I rubbed some DecoArt Copper Kettle Metallic Lustre in strategic locations all over the frame and WHAT A DIFFERENCE IT MADE!!  It gave "life" to a rather dull background and really popped the stamped images. 

So now I can pick up on the step by step as I finished out the frame...


I began by taking some Halloween pieces purchased from a box store: a small plastic-ish skeleton, some little skulls and some creepy hands.  I gave them a basecoat of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff (a great soft beige color).  


Next I made a "dirty wash" of Quinacridone Gold and Paynes Grey mixed with water-about equal parts of each of the paints and more water.  I painted that all over the pieces and wiped away the excess.  Repeat this step until you have achieved the appearance of a natural bone color.  


Here is the end result.  LOVE IT!


Next I created an eye socket using Paper Clay that would fit into the center section of my frame.  That has to dry thoroughly; like overnight.


Next I chained up my skeleton with some old chain I had in my craft room and some jump rings.  


I began working on the interior recessed portion of the frame.  The sides were covered in DecoArt Media White Gesso using my finger.  I love using my fingers much more than a palette knife because you can really get a "feel" for the project.  


After that was finished, I scraped DecoArt Media Crackle Paste through a stencil made to look like bricks.  Let it dry thoroughly.  You do not heat set any of DecoArt's Crackle products.  Let them crackle naturally with a normal drying time.


Next I painted over the gesso with Titan Buff then Yellow Oxide followed by Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide and finally a bit of Quinacridone Gold to give a bit more of a rich  "brickish" appearance.


To weather the bricks and give them a lot of contrast, I added a layer of DecoArt Media Antiquing Cream in Raw Umber.  Simply brush it on and let it dry.  Then using a damp cloth, wipe away all of the cream you want to remove.  You can also brush on the antiquing cream and immediately wipe away the excess; giving a lighter antiqued look.


Next, using my finger, I added some depth to the brick interior of the frame.  I added a little DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber primarily around the outside edges of the center; feathering it in toward the center.


I temporarily assembled the frame to placement of my eye socket.



Then I painted the socket using various colors of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics to give it a more natural look.  I found an eyeball on the internet, sized it to fit my eye socket, printed it, cut it out and mounted it on a piece of chipboard.  I brushed over the eyeball with DecoArt Media Gloss Varnish.  



I took an old craft brush and sprayed the bristles with DecoArt Media Black Shimmering Spray.  After it dried, I cut bristles out of the brush and stuck them in place using a 1/8" piece of double sided adhesive tape that was added to the eye socket.  After that dried, I painted over the tape to blend the eyelashes into the eye socket.



Then I simply assembled the center section of the frame in place using double sided adhesive tape and hot glued the hands, skulls and skeleton in place.  I also added a bit more chain running across the frame; from the boney hands to the chained skeleton.  I love dangling chains and things that move freely on a piece.

I hope you are all taking some time out to play and experiment with your artsy adventures!  It's so fun and freeing.