Thursday 11 June 2015

What makes me smile for Our Creative Corner

I am so excited as I have been asked to be Guest Designer at Our Creative Corner today and it's the lovely Jan from Scrapbooking from the Attic was has invited me to take part and who has chosen the theme - "What makes you Smile", Thank you Jan for the invitation, just reading the title did just that and got me thinking. There are numerous things that popped into my head, my family and my grandchildren who always put a smile on my face, holidays we take, my garden ....... the list could go on and on. But what makes me smile in the art and craft world? It has to be my love of vintage and shabby projects, collages and being part of a wonderful visual and real community of friends and artists who are so very friendly, kind, sharing and generous in many ways.

To get started I spent some time doing lots of perusing and trying to make a decision about what I should make for today (I do procrastinate so easily you know) and decided to list all the elements that currently make me happy - trinkets - idea'ology, pen nibs, keys, numbers, rust, charlotte dolls, string, found relatives - heritage photos, 3D projects, vintage colours and putting this thinking to work I came up with a canvas.

There are of course many more photos on the OCC blog and I have written my post with the idea of explaining my thought and design processes as I create, build and complete a project. I hope you will join me to see how it all goes and to see the complete project

Gosh it's been a busy week, this is my fourth post since Sunday so I probably won't see you here for a few days now but have a great weekend.

Take care.

hugs Brenda xxx

Updated - post copied across from OCC

I'm so pleased to be joining you at Our Creative Corner today with a mixed media canvas that has so many things on it that make me smile.

When Jan invited me to be a guest I was preparing to go away on holiday and of course that made me happy, but when I came home I needed to spark the mojo again so I decided to write a list of some of those smiley things that I love to use in my work, particularly those of the art kind.

Here's some of those I included - vintage/shabby, heritage photos, trinkets/idea'ology, butterflies, pen nibs, rust, wire, 3D, Tim Holtz, photo booth, collage, numbers .......... you get the picture?

One of the things I love reading about on the blogs is how people go about creating their designs - - - as they go along, in their heads, sketched in a journal - - - there are just so many ways and if you are anything like me you may well have tried a number of these, but there is one way I can honestly say I never do and that is have a picture of the finished project in my head before I begin - it just doesn't happen for me. I tend to have an idea of where I am going and for this project it was canvas, mixed media, layers, vintage and repeating some process steps that I have been teaching recently - so lets follow my train of thought.


I wanted to used die-cuts to lay down some texture but I knew I needed to have an idea of my layout first so I began to gather elements together laying them on the canvas building the design until I had an idea of what it might look like. Now this isn't to say this is how it will end up (as it didn't) but it sure does give me my starting point. You can see I was also thinking about what final embellishments I might go for, but as you can see some of them changed too.

Here we see layer 1 on the left with the elements from the Tim Holtz Trellis framework die, inked with walnut stain distress ink and adhered to make a textured background. I gessoed around the tessellated shapes but not over the pieces as the card picks up the paint better without it. On the right is layer 2 where I have added a babywipe painted coat of cerulean blue, cobalt turquoise hue and phthalo green-blue DecoArt media fluid acrylics, keeping the colours very pale and watery.

I have used two of Tim Holtz's stamps to create layer 3 on the left, stamping with black archival ink randomly over the canvas. In wanting something a little more feminine I then used the Tim Holtz flourish die with DecoArt white crackle paste to make layer 4. Now you can start to see the depth building.

Whilst the crackle was drying I started on the cameo frame gluing three card pieces together to give some depth. I then gave it a coat of gesso and dried it, a coat of cerulean blue, then some watery washes of prussian blue hue, cobalt turquoise and phthalo green-blue. When dry I blended walnut stain distress ink all over, flicked it with some water and dried it to get a slightly distressed look and sealed it with glue 'n seal.

I gave the ornate frame three coats of gesso drying between each and when perfectly dry I daubed a little glue and seal in a few places with my finger and also let that dry. I mixed a small amount of phthalo blue-green with translucent white and gave it a watery wash then rubbed over it with a babywipe and some mottle white areas appeared as the glue and seal made a resist. Next I text stamped over it with watering can archival ink and sealed it with glue and seal.

Next on to the embellishments - adding some tiny photos and remnant rubs to the film strip .....

.... messy painting and dipping the bird cages and then inking the edges with walnut stain (these were cut from a muffin wrapper) ......

.... using Tim's altered surfaces technique in his Compendium of Curiosities III to achieve this chippy paint look on a numeric alpha part.

.... painting the long arrow, rusting the pen nib and putting the heart charm and tag label pendant together with paint and treasure gold.

Back to the canvas and I added some of the acrylic paints I was using, mixing them with water, daubing a little on the canvas and spritzing allowing the colour to run and seep into the cracks and crevices.

Finally I started to put the design together, but as is usual with me, I was not happy with just the bits I had chosen to embellish the canvas and more was needed. I had thought I wouldn't put a back on the cabinet frame but the lovely photo booth picture looked lost with a very busy background and the piece of wood I had got out in the beginning to link the top and bottom focus areas just didn't work at all so I used a strip die to cut something more ornate and just dabbed it with some of the paints to achieve this distressed look. The flower is metal and acrylic again given some painty splodges to bring the colours into this very monochromatic appearance.

So finally I put all the elements together - here are some close ups.
There are three main focal points to the canvas, the top cabinet card, collage elements and photo booth picture .....

... the central section that 'connects' the top right and bottom left, thus creating balance and harmony to the overall piece and .....

.... the bottom left section that is smaller in size but still balances the overall composition.

I loved stamping over the small parts from the Trellis frameworks die, it provides additional interest to some of the pieces ....

.... as does the crackled flourish.

The darker brown of the ornate strip seems to provide that additional contrast in colour that was needed to my eye, and although it is a more elaborate piece it still seems to fit with the busy background of .......

.... colour, crackle and stamping.

I added the heart and flower to take away the starkness of the rigidity of the straight ornate strip, it too needed some variation in line.

So I think I got all but one of the smiley things in from my list and loved every minute making it. I hope you enjoy looking at it and hopefully it will make some of you smile too.

My thanks again to Laura, Jan and the team for having me. Don't forget Jan has chosen this fabulous theme so I hope you will be able to pop to the challenge post to see the wonderful samples from the design team and hopefully join in with a chance to win a package of Tando goodies.


A Visual Journey #24

Welcome To my Visual Journey #24 post, a quickie today as I have another post coming up later with a canvas and some process steps, so keeping this one simple here we go -

Openig a double page I gessoed it with a fairly thin coat and when dry I used the DecoArt media acrylics through two Tim stencils. Although I picked this range out of the box I in fact only used six of them.

I added tissue tapes, stamping and chose some glimmer mists to create colour.
Top Tip - when my glimmer mists are almost empty I add distress ink reinkers with perfect pearls to custom make my own colours similar to what was in the bottle.

I have a box on my shelf that is labelled vintage images, many of them are digital images I have collected over the years, most of them were free from places like the Graphics Fairy. These steampunk ones just called to be used when I saw them.....

.... I added some on both pages and also found a little quote and chose some chit chat stickers to make up another.

"Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving."

"Each day is different".

How true.

I am hoping it will stay dry on the Isle of Wight as we are going to the Rock Festival. Off early tomorrow morning to get the ferry and home the early hours of Monday morning. I am looking forward to seeing Fleetwood Mac, I have seen them in concert but I am sure they will be fabulous on an open air stage with all the lights. No camping for us we have booked a B&B so we will be able to have nice warm showers and a cooked breakfast every day. I hope you are having a great week and enjoy the weekend ahead - anything good planned?

Take care - see you later this morning with a special post for today.

hugs Brenda xxx

As always if you would like to share the visual journey collection you will find the code to add to you post here -

... and I look forward to sharing in your pages through the linky below.

Thanks for taking the time to share your work with me and each other.