I started this canvas by using a mixture of white and ultramarine blue and the Sea Foam stencil. I covered the whole canvas, varying the intensity of the blue. I let this dry.
This week I really wanted to play around with mixed media and stitch, so I combined the two on this canvas. I call it Float. When life gets rough and sends icy stormy seas your way, just float on top and stay calm.
I started this canvas by using a mixture of white and ultramarine blue and the Sea Foam stencil. I covered the whole canvas, varying the intensity of the blue. I let this dry.
Next I brayered a heavy body white paint over the pattern to push it more into the background. I let this dry.
I wanted the next layer to add some shine and to look like icy cold waves. My area of the US got hit by a massive snow storm and everything is freezing and covered by ice and snow. That cold look came out in this painting. I used the Surf stencil and iridescent pearl paint to add the waves. It isn't a really obvious layer, but it does add shimmer and the wave pattern really shows from the right direction. I let this layer dry too.
Next I added waves with yarn and fibers. The blue yarn is truffles yarn and I used fibers from the Sky mix. I sewed them on with thread in a wave pattern. I ended up cutting them off at the edge of the canvas and using gel medium to glue down the edges. I covered the ends of all the fibers and yarn to make sure that they wouldn't fray. I added a boat cut out of my hand dyed fabric that matched the colors in the fibers and background. I glued this down with gel medium too and smoothed it out well to avoid bubbles in the fabric. I didn't put gel medium over the top of the fabric because I wanted it to stay soft.
Next I painted the sun, sails on the boat, and a girl riding in the boat. I used Derwent blocks and pencils to paint the sun and the sails, and the girl's dress. I mixed the yellow with gesso to give the look of a pale winter sun. I also used this mixture to add a touch on sunlight to the tops of the waves. I refined the girl's face. I used a salmon pink Neocolor two crayon for the skin tone and a variety of Sakura pens to add details to her face. I used a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen to add highlights. I used a mix of gesso and ultramarine blue to paint over the sky area. I love how a bit of the stenciling still shows through. I scraped Payne's grey paint with an old plastic card to give the painting a border and I did this on the sides of the painting too.
For the final touch I used embroidery thread to add some stitching to the sun and the boat. The more layers of collage and paint that you have on the canvas the harder it is to sew through. It is possible, though, to add stitches to a canvas to give it extra texture which I love so much.
I hope that my painting helps you float above your troubles even when everything outside is icy cold and miserable.
I decided to make a small art piece to hang in my sewing room this week. I was inspired by the Bird stencil designed by Jill Berry and one of Maya Angelou poems, "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings". You can read the whole poem here.
I started with a small piece of watercolor paper and a wood cutout of a bird in a cage. I painted the cage with silver paint and the watercolor paper with Twinkling H2O's.
After the watercolors were dry I scraped glossy gel medium through the bird stencil so that the pattern would show up on the background. Make sure that you wash off the gel medium right away, so your stencil doesn't get ruined.
I painted over the bird and the perch with metamica paints in moonlight and willow blue.
I glued the wood piece to the watercolor paper with more gel medium and weighed it down while it dried to ensure good contact.
After it was dry I wrote the parts of the poem down that I wanted to use onto tissue paper. I glued them to the page with fluid medium and let it dry. I also punched holes into the top of the paper and tied on a ribbon for hanging. The last step was to go over the words again with a Pitt pen so that they showed up better.
I hope that I have inspired you to go and make some art to beautify your creative spaces.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope that everyone is having a great week and celebrating life with your family. I decided to make a bright and colorful prayer flag so that I would be reminded of the Joy of the holiday season all year long.
I started with a piece of muslin on which I had printed a single layer mono-print.
I used the Celestial Stencil to add some bright patterning to the flag.
Over the top of that I add another texture layer using the Picasso stencil from the TEXTures 2 series.
I folded over the top of the prayer flag and stitched it down with embroidery floss to make a hanging pocket. I added the word joy by couching down some recycled silk fibers. They add wonderful texture and a fun look. I stitched around the word with white thread so that it stood out from the background more. I added a few more stitches here and there for extra interest. I added some ribbon that I dyed to the bottom of the flag to finish it off.
Here is a photo that I took in better lighting.
Here are some prayer flags hanging above my desk. I made some of them and some I received in a prayer flag exchange.
Have a wonderful weekend.
I love winter and the snow, but I still look forward to spring too. I decided to make a bright and cheery journal page this week. It is nice to warm up by thinking about the flowers and dragonflies coming back to the cold north.
I started by spraying homade spray paint through the Bird and Gera stencils from the TEXTures 2 series. These stencils remind me of the warm spring that will come. I used green, blue, and yellow sprays. I used a Caran d'Ache Neocolor II Artists' Crayon in yellow to fill in some of the white areas.
I used the Dragonfly stencil to add dragonflies over the page in shades of blue.
I copied one of the dragonflies from the stencil and enlarged it. I cut a stencil of the enlarged dragonfly out of chipboard and added it to the page with modeling paste. After the modeling paste was dry I colored the dragonfly with Viva Decor Inka Gold in steel blue.
I used the Gera stencil to add details to the dragonfly with green paint and I also added designs with the same stencil around the page. I added a shadow around the large dragonfly with a charcoal pencil.
I cut some bubble shapes from a sheet of music and also a banner for the top of the page. I glued these down with fluid matte medium.
I added yellow to the music paper with the same neocolor crayon that I used earlier. I also added some sketchy lines around the bubbles and along the scallops.
I had some flowers punched out of my painted papers and a sheet of melted Glitterati fibers. I added these flowers to the top border to give the page a pop of color. I added a hopeful message to the bubbles.
I hope that this page reminds everyone living in the cold regions of the world that spring and warmth will return.
This quilt was inspired by views of the forest in the northern winters and the cardinals that I see outside of my window during the cold months.
I'm happy to get to play with Jill K. Berry's new stencils. I love her TEXTures series and this TEXTures 2 series is just as fun. At the end of this post I will let you know how you can enter to win a set of the TEXTures 2 stecils.
I wanted to play with these stencils on fabric and see what I could come up with. They work on fabric just as well as any other substrate and added a lot of atmosphere to the piece that I made.
I started with a piece of white cotton that was 44" by 22". I sprayed my fabric with water and applied color with a Derwent Inktense block in iris blue. I used textile medium and more water to spread out the color over the whole piece of fabric.
Then I got out the TEXTures stencils and using the Picasso and Miro stencil I began to spray my fabric through the stencils. I used my homemade ink sprays, a mixture of water and Daler-Rowney FW Acrylic Water-Resistant Artists Ink with a bit of paper glaze to fix the color. I first used my process cyan spray because the color was just a bit different than the blue of my fabric. I wanted to add subtle texture to my background. Then I used my pearlescent black spray to spray through the other stencil. This time I covered much more of the fabric because I wanted to create the feel of underbrush on a forest floor. Since I am making a wall hanging that isn't meant to be washed I didn't worry about using these ink sprays, but I did heat set the fabric after these layers were dry.
Next I wanted to add texture to the black fabric that I was going to use for tree trunks. I sprayed the fabric pieces, through the same two stencils, with a white pearlescent ink spray and a sepia ink spray that I mixed in gold fabric paint as well. These didn't show up well, but I was just trying to add some more subtle texture.
I added a Wonder Under fusible web to the back of both of the black fabric pieces, so that I could fuse the tree trunks to the quilt after I cut them out. I cut out two layers of trees and fused the first layer to the quilt when I had them arranged the way that I wanted them. I used the black with the white spray in the background layer. Then I painted lines on the trees for the bark using fabric paint in white and grays. I also cut out some basic cardinal shapes from red fabric and fused them down too, after the paint was dry.
Next I painted a bit of detail on the cardinals and I painted branches for the trees. After the paint was dry I put a layer of the fusible web over these trees and a layer of white tulle over the top of the fusible web. I ironed these down so that they were all fused. If you try this make sure that you follow the directions and have a pressing sheet between your iron and the fabric. Otherwise you get glue all over your iron that is a pain to clean off. I added the white tulle so that these trees felt a bit misty and further away.
I followed the same process for the foreground trees except I used the black fabric sprayed with the sepia spray and I used paints in shades of browns for the details.
I stitched the cardinals down with some red thread to make sure that the fusible wouldn't come up and it added a nice touch to the quilt. I love the texture that hand stitching gives to a textile piece.
I added snow, with white fabric paint, to the ground and along the edges of the trees in the foreground.
Next I added a batting and backing fabric and used free motion stitching to add bark lines and branches to the foreground trees. I added white stitching to quilt the snowy ground as well. I still have to add a faced binding to finish the quilt, but that is going to take me a bit longer to do. I will share more pictures when I have the binding and the quilt sleeve added.
I hope that you enjoyed my art quilt tutorial and come back next week to read about my new project.
If you would like a chance to win these stencils go here to find out all the information.
I have been sharing ideas for gifts lately, now I want to give you an idea for making gift tags. These tags will be unique to you and easy to personalize for any type of gift all year long. They are a lot of fun to make too.
I started by carving some stamps with a winter theme. I have been wanting more stamps that have my own designs anyway. I drew these on Adobe Illustrator, printed them out and then transferred the images to the speedy cut block. I traced over the lines with a pencil and then put that side onto the block and rub the image until it is all transferred. You can also draw directly onto the block. I chose to carve three different snowflakes, a snowman, and a holly sprig. Then I carefully carved the images. For all but one of the stamps I left a positive image. The other stamp had smaller lines, so I choose to carve out the lines instead of the background. I like the grungy imperfect look that you get when you make your own stamps.
I got out my gelatin plate and and used the stamps, some stencils, and found objects to make mono-prints on the tags. I am using three different sizes of tags. I usually choose between two to four colors that coordinate, and spread them on my plate with a brayer. For this project I am using craft paints.
I like to lay down stencils in the paint and then pick them up and add other designs around and over them. This doesn’t give a really clear impression, but adds background texture to the tags. I also press my hand carved stamps into the paint to leave the impression of the stamp behind. Make sure that you wash your stamps thoroughly after using them with paint or the paint will dry in the grooves and ruin your stamps. I use all kinds of objects like bubble wrap, punchinella, empty thread spools, string, and anything else that you can think of to make an interesting print. I used the Celestial stencil and some of the words fromTam’s inspiration series too.
On some of the tags I made one print and then went over that with another print after the first layer was dry. I had a darker blue background and I used silver paint and laid thecelestial stencil onto the plate and then the tags, so that the stencil image was left behind on the tags. I pulled up all the extra paint using copy paper and deli paper in between colors. When I have gotten as much of the paint pulled up as I can, I used a baby wipe to completely clean my plate.
After I had all my tags printed and they were dry, I used my hand carved stamps to stamp images onto the tags. I used a StazOn ink pad in jet black and a VersaMagic ink pad in cloud white. I added coordinating yarn to each tag.
These tags are quick and fun to make once you have your stamps carved. I hope that you go and make some mono-printed tags to add to your gifts this holiday season. You could add punched images, doodles, stick on jewels, or anything else you can think of to dress these up even more.
I'll see you next week with another project.
I posted this yesterday at Artistcellar for Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to all of my USA readers.
Since I get to post on this holiday I wanted to share a gratitude spread that I created in my journal. I make gratitude spreads often so that I remember all that I am grateful for throughout the year, but especially on this holiday.
I started on the right hand side by laying down my four stencils in the Playful Pod series. I sprayed through the stencils with a mix of Dylusions sprays and my homemade paint sprays. I used a mixture of red, orange, green, and brown sprays. I wanted to represent many of the autumn colors. I then removed the stencils and sprayed over this layer with an antique gold and a bright gold spray paint while it was still wet. I let the page dry thoroughly.
Next I applied a thick layer of modeling paste with a card along the edges of the page. I pressed my hand carved leaf stamps into the modeling paste. This left a basic impression of a leaf and a lot of texture. Make sure that you wash your stamps right away and use a stiff brush to get off all the modeling paste, so that your stamps don't get ruined. I let the modeling paste dry completely.
I outlined the leaves with a dark brown Inktense pencil so that they would stand out more. I used a stiff brush to add Inka Gold to the inside of the leaves. I love the shimmer that Inka Gold adds to the page and the gold color went perfectly with my spread.
I wanted the leaves to stand out even more so I painted around the leaves with raw umber paint and scrubbed it out so that there wasn't a harsh line of paint. This helped the leaves to pop off of the page even more.
I wanted to add pumpkins to the middle of this page, because they symbolize Thanksgiving to me. I used a charcoal pencil to sketch them in since the page was too dark for graphite to show up. I painted my pumpkins in with Quinacridone Burnt Orange with Cadmium Red Light Hue and Titan Buff for highlights. I painted the stems with a mixture of Green Gold and Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold and I brought the Green Gold down into the top of the grooves of the pumpkin. I used both Liquitex and Golden paints.
I used the left hand side of the spread for my words. I started by rubbing distress ink pads on my page. I used a variety of green and browns. I also sprayed this page with the two gold spray paints in random spots. I stamped my larger leaf stamp into each corner with StazOn ink in Timber Brown.
I wrote Give Thanks on mulberry paper and I stamped Happy Thanksgiving on wax paper. I glued both down with fluid medium. They both kind of melt into the background but leave some added texture on the page.
I stamped and wrote words with a couple sizes of Pitt Pens in the middle of the page and I wrote "I have much to be grateful for this year" on the top of the page. I decorated around "Give Thanks" and "Happy Thanksgiving" with a white Gelly Roll pen and a clear star Gelly Roll pen.
Don't be afraid to experiment and try out new things in your art journal. It is a great place to have fun and grow as an artist and to remind yourself about what is really important.
Here is the finished spread.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving weekend
I'm still in the mood for mixed media collage. I'm still trying to use up some of my painted paper stash that I talked about last week. This week I want to show you how to make a necklace. I started with a box of wooden dominoes. I drilled holes in one end of each domino with a Dremel tool. I love this little power tool that is so versatile. I made a template to mark the holes on the dominoes, so that each one would have the hole in the same place. I decided to drill holes in each domino so that I could decorate them anytime that I wanted to without having to stop and drill the holes first. That way I can make a quick gift whenever I need one. With the holiday season coming up and being a busy mom, quick gifts are what I will be making.
After the dominoes were prepared I picked collage papers that were in the same color family or that coordinated with each other. I tore some of the papers into small pieces. I used regular matte gel medium and covered one side of the domino. I layered the papers over the domino adding a layer of the matte gel over each new layer until I had the domino mostly covered. Make sure that you keep the matte gel out of the hole in the domino so that the cord can go through later. I used a variety of papers, some that were opaque and some that were translucent. I let each side dry completely before adding papers to the other side. I didn't add any papers to the sides since they are so narrow. I usually make a few of these necklaces at a time.
After both sides were dry I added a little paint to the collage. On some of the dominoes I used Metamica paints to cover over the areas that didn't have any papers. I also added paint along the edges and on any of the white paper edges. I blended out the paint just a bit while still letting most of the paper show through. I also painted the sides of the dominoes. I like the extra shine that the Metamica paint adds. On some of the other dominoes I used Silks acrylics glazes and painted over the whole domino. They add a more subtle shimmer to the whole domino while still letting the papers show through. I also used Viva Decor Inka Gold to add some shimmer to one of the dominoes. Inka Gold works really well on wood and over collage.
While the dominoes were drying I used punches to cut out shapes from more of my papers. I also put a thin layer Glitterati fibers in Flamenco between two pieces of parchment paper and melted them into a mat of shimmery fibers. If you touch a hot iron to the paper over the fibers for a few seconds they melt. I used punches to cut shapes out of this as well. The last way that I got some shapes was by layering the Celestial stencil over a painted paper and tracing out the star shape and cutting it out. I choose which side I wanted to be the front of the necklace and I glued the prepared shapes to that side using more matte gel medium. I used contrasting colors most of the time so that my pretty bits of paper and fibers would pop off of the surface.
I let everything dry completely and then I used a black Pitt pen or paint to add a shadow around the shapes so that they would show up even more.
I finally added a coat of varnish to both sides and the edges so that they would be protected more from wear. Then I used hemp cord large enough to slip over the head and knotted the end to complete the necklace
Here are a few more necklaces that I made.
I hope that this gives you another idea on how to use up little pieces of paper and make a nice gift at the same time.
I have a new nephew and he is also my Godson. Therefore I wanted to make a special present for his parents to use as he grows up. I decided to decorate a wooden box for them to keep memories and keepsakes in for him. I used a pallet of brown and blue for this box.
I got a plain wooden box and started gluing papers to it. I put a layer of matte gel medium by Liquitex onto the box and added scraps of my painted papers. I went over the top of the papers with the gel medium as well. I made sure that there were no bubbles and that the papers were stuck down all the way. I used mono-prints on deli paper and computer paper. I also used bits of the different papers that I used for cleaning off my stencils. I like to spray inks through stencils and then flip them onto a piece of paper to clean off the excess spray. I use these papers for collage later, so I have a large collection of all kinds of papers that are painted. I keep layering images onto the same piece of paper until I get some interesting papers. For this project I selected thin papers so that they would be flexible and go over the curves of the box easily. I covered the majority of the space inside and outside the box. The only surface that I didn't decorate was the bottom of the box.
I decorated the inside of the box and then the outside so that everything would dry well and nothing would stick. After all the surfaces were dry I added Metamica paints in Chestnut and Moonlight to the open areas. I scrubbed the paint out so that I didn't have a lot of harsh lines and everything was blended together.
After all the paint was dry, I used Tam's Whimsy Hearts and Stars stencil to decorate the sides and back of the box with black paint. For the top of the box I used Tam's Inspiration stencils to add the words "you are loved" in black paint. On the front of the box I stamped his name in black paint.
When the paint was dry I sketched around the shapes and words with a white Gelly Roll pen. I added lines inside of everything with a clear star Gelly Roll pen.
I let the box set for a couple of days to make sure that the paint was completely cured and then I sealed the whole box in stages. I used gloss medium and varnish by Liquitex to seal it.
The box shimmers and shines and will be a great place to store all of those baby milestones and memories when his parents are too busy to fill out the baby book.
I hope that you can find interesting ways to use all of your extra painted papers that mixed media artists seem to collect.
My current art journal is just about out of space, so I thought that it might be nice to show you how I make my journals. I use my art journal to travel internally and externally. Sometimes I explore exotic places and sometimes more mundane locales. I use my journal to gain clarity and to work through problems as well as to experiment. Sometimes our path is obscured and we go to a dark place, and when we get there we find a bright spot amid the darkness. I used this idea for the theme of my new journal cover.
I start my journals with a piece of white duck cloth canvas. I cut the piece a little larger all the way around than my pages will be, plus a flap. I like to be able to close my journals and have everything tucked away inside, so I add a flap.
I decided to decorate my cover with stencils. I started with the Pari stencil and some turquoise and brown fabric paint. I covered the whole piece of canvas with the stenciled image randomly using my chosen colors.
After this layer was dry I used white fabric paint and a brayer to push back the background image. I let that layer dry.
I painted over the edges of the canvas with black paint making sure that I scrubbed the paint out, so there wasn't such a harsh line of black. I randomly scrubbed black paint over the whole piece. I wanted to add interest and and to obscure the map in certain areas. I let that dry as well.
I took the Celestial stencil and added star images inside of the black areas with silver fabric paint. I let that layer dry and then I heat set the entire piece of canvas. I put my journals through a lot of abuse, so I wanted to make sure that the paint wouldn't rub off the cover.
I cut a piece of felt and a piece of cotton fabric for the inside of the cover. I like to make quilted journal covers because they are more unique and the quilting adds interest to my design. I use felt inside because it adds some stiffness to the cover so that it isn't too floppy. I pin all the layers together and free motion quilt the whole piece. This time I used a random wiggly pattern for my quilting. I don't draw out the pattern before I start sewing, I just doodle with the thread and see where it takes me. After I had covered the entire piece, I zigzag stitched the edges three times. I want the cover to have a strong edge and not to fray too much. I trimmed off all of the excess fabric and neatened up the edges.
I prepared my signatures next. I use Strathmore mixed media paper with a velum finish in my journals. I love the way that the paper holds up to all the wet messy journaling that I do. It is also a smooth paper so I can easily draw on it too. I made four signatures with five folios each. My finished pages are 9" x 12". I really like working on this size of paper. I added inclusions to my journal this time. I haven't done this before, so it should be interesting working with these extra papers. I chose a couple of different sizes of card stock, some graph paper, and some manila envelopes.
I made a template of out of a food box for punching the holes in the papers. I am using six holes. I line all the folios up in a signature and the inclusion papers too and I hold everything together with large clips. I place the fold in to the crack of a large outdated phone book. I punch the holes with an awl. I do this for all the signatures.
After all the holes are punched I line up everything inside my cover and mark where the first signature will go. I sew the first one in with book binding linen. I start on the bottom hole on the inside, leaving a tail, and sew to the outside and then into the next hole up and down to the first hole and do it again. Then I go up on the inside to the next hole and do the whole process again. For the last set of holes I go to the top hole first and sew twice through the holes leaving a tail on the outside. I repeat the process for each signature. I learned this method of binding a journal from Effy Wild. She has a free tutorial if you want more information. You can check that out here. Here is a quick illustration to demonstrate the stitching path.
I use the tails on the outside to bead. I knot them and bead them to add a bit of decoration. I punch a hole into the center of the flap and using a button hole stitch I sew around it to finish the cut edges. I add a ribbon, a lace, or cord to close the the journal and keep everything inside. I like to wrap it all the way around with some extra room so it will fit as my journal expands. The inside tails I knot and add a bit of glue to the knots so that they don't come undone.
Here is a page in my journal where I used Tam's Butterfly Wings stencil and the Loved stencil plus some of my hand carved stamps.
I hope that you enjoy making your own journal sometime. I get a huge amount of satisfaction from working in a journal that I made myself.
(URL HIDDEN) AK, United States
Modern cabin in Alaska wooded setting. Warm and comfortable with a full bath, kitchenette, and loft. Twin over full sized bunk bed. Access to carport and space for larger vehicles. Only minutes...
I have a loving husband who thinks I'm a bit crazy to be so obsessed with art. I am a mother of five children from ages 21 to 5. I spend most of my time mothering and keeping house. In my free time I like to play with textiles, art journaling and painting. I have a degree in textile and apparel studies with a design focus. Right now I am more interested in fiber arts than apparel design, but I don't know where my journey will take me.
Check out my husband's website. He is a writer and has written about our life and many other amusing stories.