Thursday, June 30, 2011

A break in my experiments

I took a break in my Surface Treatment Workshop book to play in a journal today.  I'm still trying to get the hang of "layers" and have a long way to go.  Still, day by day I get a little closer.

Modeling Paste

This morning I ran down to the studio to do a quick trial using my new modeling paste.  I cut a circle out of some scrap cereal box board and placed it on the left hand side of my card.  I just scraped the modeling paste over the circle stencil with my pallet knife.  The smaller circles were made using a plastic stencil as was the "friends" text.  Next I tried different mediums over the paste to see how they would react.
Starting at the bottom
Stripe 1 - watercolor
Stripe 2 - watercolor
Stripe 3 - 50/50 mix of acrylic and glazing medium
Stripe 4 - the same mix as 3 but with a bit of water mixed in with another color too
Stripe 5 - alcohol ink
Stripe 6 - sponged on inkpad ink
Stripe 7 - luminere paint
Vertical side stripe is of course gold leaf.  I took a bit of black ink on my sponge and lightly wiped it over the word "friends" to bring it out a bit more.
Voila  - lots of new ideas in my head now!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Aluminum Foil

This experiment out of Surface Treatment Workshop is very similar to my own experiments with metal tape.  The twist on this is that you glue objects down on your base prior to putting the foil over it.  In this case I glued a few centavos to an illustration board sprayed it with adhesive and then put the foil over it.  The difference with aluminum foil and metal tape is the ability to really wrinkle and manipulate the foil.  The wrinkle "veins" create a nice and interesting effect, especially when alcohol inks are dripped over it.

Cool Glue Effects

Today I am still working in Surface Treatment Workshop book.  This experiment involves using regular white craft glue as a "resist".  It's basically a crackle technique with something you always have on your art desk - plain old white craft glue!  This piece is called "River Dreams" and involves using the technique on two different types of surfaces.  The background was on cheap old acrylic paper.  I underpainted with ultramarine blue and stenciled some gold polkadots on it.  Once it was thoroughly dry I coated the paper with a thick layer of white craft glue (I used Elmer's Craft Bond All-Purpose Glue).  While the glue was still wet I over painted with viridi acrylic very gently so as not to work the viridi color into the glue.  Having little patience for air drying, I used my heat gun on low.  Once the whole piece of paper was cracked and dry I glued a sculpey baked face onto the front.  I undercoated the face with ultramarine blue, let it dry, applied glue and viridi as before.  The face didn't crack as much as the paper, probably because it was harder to get a thick even coat on the face, but I think the look turned out ok, and what an inexpensive alternative to crackle medium!

NOTE:  Well, since Blogger won't let me comment even on my own post (what the...???) I'll add my comment here.
To clarify, on the background after I applied the glue and paint I dribbled water on it which caused the cracking to feather here and there making it much more interesting.
Hope that helps!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fun With Tyvek

Today's project was to work from mcElroy and Wilson's Surface Treatment Workshop.  There are 45 different mixed media techniques, most of which I am going to try.  The first one that caught my eye was a "subtractive" technique. 
Materials needed are parchment paper, tyvek, iron.
I had some painted tyvek envelopes left over from a tyvek poppies project and thought they would be the perfect thing to experiment with.  The first thing to know is that tyvek will pucker different ways based on which side of the tyvek you heat.  To make it pucker with raised areas you should heat the backside of the painted tyvek and if you want it to pucker away from you with "valleys" then heat the side with the paint on it.
So the first thing you do is to go outside - trust me on this - melted tyvek will give you a wicked headache!  I went onto the concrete patio and laid a towel down and pluged my iron in.  Next take the parchment paper and fold it in half.  Slip the piece of tyvek into it and then start to experiment.  I would suggest experimenting on a piece of unpainted tyvek.  It takes some experimenting to get the hang of it without burning a hole in the tvek.  But once you have it put the tyvek into the folded parchment with either side facing up, based on the result you want to achieve.  Next what I found worked the best was to hold the iron very lightly over the area you are heating.  When the tyvex gets to the right temperature it will shrink very quickly so you really have to watch it.  Anyway, let it cool and start arting with it!
Above is my first trial.  I always like to make an atc with my experiments so I can make notes on the back and use them as references in the future.  The piece above is called "eyes of peace" and utilized a few holes that showed up in the tyvek from overheating.  The eyes are compliments of Abraham Lincoln and fit perfectly into the holes.  The biggest challenge with this was how to adhere the tyvek to your base surface.  I have a piece in my journal that I stuck into a big blop of gel medium and will wait for it to dry.  I got a nice texture on top of that piece with the gel medium by putting a piece of velum over it to push down on the tyvek to get it good and stuck to the piece.  When I pulled the velum straight up it left a nice complimentary texture to the buckled tyvek.  Anyway to adhere the piece above I used E-6000 and then wrapped the top and bottom edges with copperfoil tape and stapled them.  I added a few more pieces of copper tape to stamp my text onto but first I dry brushed the whole card with viridi acrylic.  It really helped to accentuate the tyvek buckling.  And yes, it really is Abraham Lincoln under there!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Catching Up

I've been so busy doing art lately (among other things!) that I haven't made it here to add what I've been working on!  So this post will be a bit of an art dump! lol!
Let's start with a few altered cabinet cards!  While I couldn't bring myself to paint on any of my ancestors cabinet cards, I had no problem doodling on complete strangers!  These really are a lot of fun but good cabinet cards that have that special character are getting harder and more expensive to find.

Next I have quite a few ATC swaps I've been participating in. 
The first swap was a fancy fish swap.  I used a variety of techniques, and I especially liked using the dimensional magic from ModPodge (covered goldfish in upper right).
The next swap was a flower swap.  These were a bit more chunky than my usual so the photo's of those are a bit blurry (I scaned instead of used my camera - lazy, I know!)

Next was a swap that challenged us to use metal air conditioning tape (it's a pretty sturdy adhesive backed foil). The card at the top involved wrapping the base card with yarn and then weaving foil strips through.

This next card below was a great surprise.  I didn't really have a plan for where I was going with it and I think it turned out just great!  On the base card I covered it with the foil tape, embosed little doodlies on it and then dripped and swiped alcohol inks on it.  Next I laid two pieces of recycled silk fiber I got from and then scattered some really cool cello glitter. I then covered the whole card in a sheet of tissue paper and then I applied the butterfly at the body area and bent the wings up.  I then cut the tissue paper away from underneath the wings.  I really like how it came out and it was so unexpected!

The next swap was one I just finished for the Roses On My Table site and had the theme of ocean.  For the top card, I actually wove some funky fiber on the top.  It took me back to my days in Guatemala where I learned how to weave on a backstrap loom from a group of mayan weavers.  I then added some lace that I watercolored and a little shear ribbon bow to finish it off - oh yes, and a fish!

 This card below just about made me crazy trying to get the eyelash yarn to stick to the card!  I started with a base of an old Nat Geo map of the ocean and stamped/watercolored/stenciled over it and then stuck big round blue glitter all over it - which reminded me why I don't use a lot of glitter! lol!  Then came the glue and eyelash yarn... egads, but I think I described it as trying to staple a jellyfish to a fried egg!
 This one was for my husband who is facinated with the giant squid.
Ok, leaving ATCs and moving on to journaling!
This top page was for the Roses Journal Journey and the prompt was "song"
This page below was an experiment for me using techniques I have never used before.  This and the next two pages were inspired after watching Cristina Zinnia Galliher's videos. For this page I started with a collage base of text and music then whitewashed, stenciled, glued fiber, attached photo and text elements, whitewashed again and then took pastels and melted them (blue and white) and applied.  I'm pretty happy with it!

 This page continues some of Cristina's techniques.  The subject is my sweet little girl.  I started with a fabric base, added text and music collage, paint, fiber, ribbon. and a little glitter at the end :-)
 This piece started with a collage base, added dried flowers, paint, fibers, stamped tissue paper and a chalkboard heart that I applied Mona to.  I kind of like this one too!  It's nice when you like your art! lol!
 This page was for a Roses group with the prompt of "Lyrics"  I chose "The Mummers Dance" by Lorenna McKennitt.
Then I think the only thing left are a few art challenges - one for a Marie Antoinette Gotic Arch and a Flower Matchbox.

This was the first matchbox I had ever done.  It was a real challenge to create in such a small space! For the inside of the box I lined it in handmade paper and then attached a glittered 3D flower sticker.  For the cover I wrapped the box in foil tape that had been coated in alcohol inks and a gold brocade ribbon attached to either end.  The flower on the front was made by pulling ribbon through a sewing bobbin and attaching a glass drop to the center.

 WHEW!  I think I am caught up now and can go make some more art! Yippee!