Category Archives: Mixed Media Mania

The Best of Both Worlds

I’ve been stretching the boundaries of my comfort zone and striving to learn new things.  My mantra this week has been “where there is fear there is no creativity”.  I first heard this statement years ago on a how-to decorating show on television.  I think it was called “Interior Motives” and it was hosted by a delightfully funny man named Christopher Lowell.  He shared so many skills and in such a non-intimidating and empowering way that I was able to decorate my whole house using his ideas.  For someone with their first home and a limited budget and being paralyzed at the thought of making a bad decorating decision this was huge.   It is not a stretch to say that by following his Seven Layers of Design and creating all sorts of home projects I was opening the door to my art creativity.  I realized what a joy it was to use my hands to create things.  From making cornice boxes and curtains and painting baseboards and draping fabric and becoming intimately familiar with my staple gun (that does not sound quite right does it?) I started to think creatively.

Fast forward a few years and I discovered scrapbooking.  I always made photo albums of our family vacations and tucked in all the ephemera and room keys and little comments about our adventures.  I never knew there was a whole UNIVERSE out there of people decorating these scrapbooks and creating layouts around all this stuff.  I went into an Archivers store that I passed by dozens of times and it was GAME ON.  I could not get enough of it–the paper, the stickers, the stamping–all of it.  I would spend days working on a single layout.  Agonize over every decision.

Fast forward another couple years and I had stopped scrapbooking and had moved on to a small and sporadic papercrafting business.  I was using my scrapbooking skills on cardmaking, giftbags, bookmarks, and journals.  I had small-scale success at holiday gift fairs and word-of-mouth sales.  I took a stab at an etsy site but my heart wasn’t in it.  It felt like I was forgetting how to create things with my own voice and I was becoming paralyzed by worrying about what other people would like.  I was second guessing every idea.  My happy creative mojo was nowhere to be found.  During this time I started taking classes and attending art retreats that featured lots of mixed media art.  I had my cool little art shack and every art supply I wanted but wasn’t feeling it.  I was creating a whole lot of nothing…nada…zip.

Fast forward to October, 2012, and I saw an ad in the paper for a paper crafting fair on the weekend.  I decided to go and see what was new in the paper crafting world.  Well the answer was ALOT.  The scrapbooking world has finally started incorporating more mixed media techniques and embracing more imperfection and less cookie-cutter-ness (new word!).  It seems there is room at the table for both scrapbooking and mixed-media to co-exist comfortably.  I’ve noticed mixed-media artists using some of the tools of scrapbooking and they aren’t even holding their noses!  I’ve noticed scrapbookers embracing the drippage and splatters and textures of mixed media without frantically diving for paper towels!  It is thrilling!  There are throngs of artists who like me enjoy having a paintbrush and an inkpad in both worlds.  Yippy skippy!

All that said–here are my creations from the past week.

Created from ribbon, lace, string pearls

Created from ribbon, lace, string pearls

Mixed media and photo

Mixed media and photo

Glass bead gel, Dylusions, handcut leaves

Glass bead gel, Dylusions, handcut leaves

 

Small Wall Hanging

All of these were created using both scrapbooking and mixed-media tools and techniques and were loads of fun to make.  TFL!

Art Out With Your HeART Out!

 

 

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Filed under Mixed Media Mania, Musings

Mini Album Musings

Beach

Hello!  I’ve been out of pocket for a bit but have no fear…I’ve been doing lots of creative things.  My obsession with watching YouTube and UStream tutorials is still in full effect.  There are so many clever and creative people in the world.  I happened across some videos from Steff Miller (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5c3Gun5U4R8) and her blog  (http://withagrin.blogspot.com).  She does tons of scrapbooky mini albums that have so many little details and nooks and crannys.  I am fascinated by them.  

I also saw some work by Esther Craft (http://www.youtube.com/user/esthercraft).  She apparently doesn’t do videos anymore but I really enjoyed her mini albums and their intricacies.  Worth checking out.

In the past I made a grand total of two mini albums.  They were both done in 2006 when I was a newbie scrapbooker.  One is distinctly mixed-media with lots of paint and a beach theme.

First Mini Cover

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The other is more scrapbooky and also with a beach theme.  (I love the beach.)

2nd Mini AlbumIMG_0782IMG_0784IMG_0783IMG_0787IMG_0785IMG_0786

I’ve always incorporated hidden journaling in my scrapbook pages using pull-tabs and flaps and such.  I know I love stuff like that and I envision future grandchildren enjoying looking at my scrapbook albums much as I did as a child with my grandma’s photo albums whenever I went to visit her.  But I digress….

I decided to make a mini album.  My goals were to incorporate some of the upcycled tags that I enjoy making, use up a lot of bits and bobs from my stash, and to learn how to do some of the pockets and other mechanics used by these other artists.  I think I accomplished my goals.  My album is not as cohesive overall as I would like.  I jumped around on styles but I learned new things on every page.  Here are some pics.

Front cover IMG_0742 (500x399) IMG_0743 (500x355) IMG_0744 (500x375) IMG_0745 (500x343) IMG_0746 (500x395) IMG_0747 (500x347) IMG_0748 (500x331) IMG_0749 (500x413) IMG_0750 (500x407) IMG_0751 (500x390) IMG_0753 (500x351) IMG_0754 (500x385) IMG_0755 (500x369) IMG_0756 (500x363)

If you want to watch a flip through and see  how the mechanics work, here is the link to my YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-_SwcZCUVU).

TFL!

Art Out With Your HeART Out!

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Filed under Mixed Media Mania, Musings

One Woman’s Trash Is…..

Upcycled packaging

Upcycled packaging

Hello!  Hope all is good and right in your world.  I’ve been off creating in the art shack for a few days.  Working on several different projects.  I thought I’d share one of them today.  As you may know I enjoy upcycling things into other things.  This is a trash to treasure project I made last week.  Literally–trash.  I’m sure you can’t imagine that I would have a love of art supplies of all kinds.(wink wink)  Well this project is made of art supply packaging that would normally end up in the recycling bin or trash.  See if you can recognize some of the elements.

The background is distressed, inked, and painted cardboard packaging.  The flowers are made out of the cut out hearts and their centers are made from the plastic shell packaging.

Trash to Treasure

The hearts used were cut out of stuff like this.

The brown “rack” for the words is also gessoed and painted plastic packaging shell.

Upcycled packaging

Upcycled packaging

The “medallions” were made by molding the plastic shell packaging and then pouring Ice Resin into the molds.  The resin pieces were then inked and misted to give them an aged look.

 

Resin Medallion

 

Resin Medallion

In the picture above I used the cellophane package as an embossed background for one of the medallions.  I colored it with alcohol inks and some Lindys Stamp Gang mist.  The bow is made of part of a mesh produce bag tied with scrap ribbon.  The words in my Word Garden are also cut from packaging and are backed with brown paper bag and they are removable.  Don’t ask me why on earth I made them removeable??!!  Just because.

I hope you enjoyed my trash to treasure Word Garden.  TFL!

Art Out With Your HeArt Out!

 

 

 

 

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Layout of the Week

Queen of Her DogI had a fun surprise yesterday morning that made my day!  I enjoy being creative with mixed-media art, scrapbooking, beadweaving, cardmarking, encaustic art, doodling….suffice to say if it’s artsy and/or craftsy then chances are I will love it.  I belong to the forum and gallery community at Swirlydoos.com.  I entered a layout in a challenge there recently and yesterday found out it was selected as Layout of the Week.  There are so many creative and talented people who do beautiful work at Swirlydoos so I am honored to receive this accolade.  Here’s the link.

http://www.swirlydoos.blogspot.com/

TFL!

Remember, today is a perfect day to Art Out With Your HeArt Out!

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The Second Act–Tags Brought to Life

As promised, here are the tags from my previous post brought to life as part of a couple of Mothers Day cards.

Tag Card 1 (469x600)I added the first tag to the front of this hand-made card with a few embellishments and a bit of lace.

The second tag also became the front of a hand-made card with a few embellishments and some bits of lace and trim.

Tag card 2

I really enjoy giving second life to items that are normally thrown away without a second thought—in this case the hang tags from purchased clothing.  I encourage you to think about even small ways you can make use of an item and give it a second life.  TFL!

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Filed under Mixed Media Mania, Tag Tutorial

Spring Has Sprung

Well at least in MY art shack!  I am loving that there are warmer and sunnier days popping up more often.  It has put me in the mood for vibrant colors and fresh new starts.  I am so energized by sunshine.  After the shorter and darker days of winter I love the renewal spring brings in nature and in my spirit as well.

Recently I created a mixed media canvas.  The first one I’ve ever done completely on my own.  I created one other mixed media canvas a couple of years ago at an art retreat class I attended, but that one was under the guidance and supervision of a wonderful and talented instructor (Kim Geiser of Persimmons Studio).  This time I was under the influence of only myself and my sunshine energized spirit…. and, well,  some chocolate.  Rich, creamy dark chocolate….but I digress–back to the story of my canvas.  A few months ago I was introduced to the Faber-Castell Gelatos by the Swirlydoos Kit Club (swirlydoos.com).  I’d heard of gelatos and actually even had one in my possession from a gift bag I’d received at an art retreat, but I’d never actually tried it out.  I received several gelatos in the kit from Swirlydoos and I’d had a chance to experiment with them and had fallen in love with them.  Gelatos are water-soluble creamy crayon-type yummy goodness that come in many colors–many rich, vibrant, and very tempting colors.  I knew I wanted to use gelatos to make a background for whatever I was going to do on my small (half-off clearance bin) canvas and I knew I wanted to use a particular flower stem that I had in my stash–again from Swirlydoos–so I set about working on my canvas.  I primed my canvas with white gesso and used a combination of coloring and spritzing with water and blended with a brush.

IMG_0562 (500x375)

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had no firm plan so I kept experimenting with the water and combining the different gelato colors and was finally satisfied with my background.

IMG_0561 (500x371)

 

 

 

 

 

I wanted to add some texture so I got out my Golden Crackle Paste and a couple of Crafters Workshop stencils and some Luminarte Silks acrylic glazes.  Here is the result:

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I liked that the elements of the stencils I chose were of similar size and had a similar pattern.

Once I finished my background setup I wanted to incorporate my flower stem inspiration piece, some textured packing material, and some delicate butterflies I had previously misted.  Over the next few days I worked on my canvas off and on in between other projects.  I arranged, I rearranged.  I added, I subtracted.  I adhered my flower inspiration but I just couldn’t decide WHAT NEXT???  So I did what I often do when I’m troubled by anything a major dilemma—retail therapy.  Art supply retail therapy.  During the course of my “therapy” I found some really gorgeous and so so so beautiful trims in the color palette I was using on this project.  It was the inspiration I needed and my project FLOWED!

I added my packing material.

First Canvas 2013-03-18 007 (371x500)

I added butterflies.

First Canvas 2013-03-18 006 (373x500)

I added the trim.

First Canvas 2013-03-18 005 (371x500)

I coated the background with a layer of spray matte finish and then topped it off with a coat of Tattered Angels Glimmer Glam (in Chandelier)…

 

and it was finished.  TFL!

First Canvas 2013-03-18 008 (372x500)

 

 

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Ode To Art

Jan RR layout 2013-01-27 008

Art–how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: I love flowers and paint and textures. I love bling and baubles and buttons. I love masking and mists and layers. I love inks and gesso and gelatos. I love stamps and stencils and paper.

Oh how I love paper. I love to look at it, I love to cut it into shapes, I love to tear it and place it just so. I love all of it’s many colors and designs, and how some is sparkly. Sparkly is especially nice. There is a paper for every artistic situation. There is bold paper, demure paper, gossamer thin paper, thick and chunky paper, paper with glitter, paper with fibers and paper that you can see through. There is paper made from other pieces of paper.

A new piece of paper makes a bad day good. A new piece of paper makes a good day better. A new piece of paper can be so beautiful that I don’t want to use it for anything and I have to save it for awhile and admire it from time to time. A new piece of paper can open the door to my imagination and become a part of something special. A new piece of paper can hold all the creativity I can muster and then alittle bit more.

And the love affair continues…..

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The heART Exchange Experience

I want to start off by saying that I so admire bloggers who blog regularly.  It seems no matter my intentions I have thus far been unable to make it a regular habit!  I feel like I have to be in a certain frame of mind and I have to have the right pictures to accompany my post so !voila!–a perfect recipe for no regular posts.  Perhaps I also need to quit playing Words With Friends online too…but that’s another story.  I am determined to keep veering back onto my blogging path until I get it right!

I had a very fun experience doing my first heART Exchange through the website http://yourheartmakesadifference.com/about/about-the-movement/.  I swapped with “an artist, dreamer and believer” named Leanne Wargowsky at fromchaoscomeshappiness.com.  We were matched by the swap coordinator at Your HeART Makes a Difference after we joined the swap.  Here is the piece of art I received from Leanne

 

It is a really fun collage piece on painted canvas!  I am thrilled to receive it from Leanne!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I sent her a piece I had previously posted here in one of it’s incarnations.

  It was really fun to send a piece out into the Universe without knowing one thing about where it was going or anything about the person to receive it.  Sending it out only for the sake of doing it and to give it wings.  I will probably participate in other heART Exchanges because this one gave me so much pleaure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have an artsy day!

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Alone Time

 

 

Kusadasi Turkey

Sometimes I need some alone time.  Pretty regularly actually.  I know I’m not the only person who feels this way because I have friends who tell me they are the same way.  I can tell when I need alone time because I start to get annoyed by    every    little    thing.  I get short with people.  I find every question or comment like nails on a chalkboard.  Doesn’t matter if it’s family, friend, or foe.  I know it is time to get away for a bit.  Doesn’t have to be for long–even a couple of hours is adequate but longer is better.  I hear there are some people who don’t know how to be alone.  Maybe it has to do with your upbringing.  I’ve always been this way as far as I can remember.  I love people and I love to have fun and interact, but in between I need solitude.  My dog is allowed to hang out with me during my alone time–she actually enhances it by being generally adoring and silly and calm!

Today I am feeling like I need alone time.  I’ve been “on” for several days now and I need to be off for awhile.  My ultimate master plan is to hunker down in my art shack and immerse myself in a vat of gel medium and then roll in glitter and paint and ink.  Well, that’s my fantasy ultimate master plan…more realistically I will be thrilled and satisfied to gel medium some object and then beautify it with stuff!

Here are some things I’ve been working on lately.  Did another piece of doodle art–this time colorized with colored pencils and Copic markers and Signo markers.

 

A mixed media piece I’ve been messing with for awhile and can’t decide if I even like it right now.  Sometimes I like how things are progressing and then add another something and wish I had an undo button.

We’ll see how it looks at the end.  The last piece is a scrapbook layout.  I was completely enamored with scrapbooking a few years ago, but I’ve gotten away from it for a couple of years because I was exploring other creative options.  I’ve decided I want to do some scrapbooking lately because I’ve had so many wonderful adventures and events and memories that I want to preserve for my family in a meaningful way.

TFL!

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Filed under Flash Trash & Glitter, Mixed Media Mania, Paper Beauties

Tag–You’re It!

Ha ha..I crack myself up sometimes!  I love to decorate clothing tags to use on other things.  Not all of them–certain ones that have just the right weight and size or if they have a cool texture or a cool graphic.  Apparently I’m more discerning about tags than I realized!  Anyway here are a couple I made last week.

 Before

After the katyoparty treatment!

Coated with gesso then drug a bit of texture into it.  After that painted with acrylic, went to town with paint pens and Stickles!

and repeat…gesso, acrylic paint, stamped image enhanced by paint pens and stickles and another scrap of the fancy schmancy painted paper!

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Filed under Flash Trash & Glitter, Mixed Media Mania, Paper Beauties