Monday, 20 May 2013

Dance your Dreams

Here's a really fun project. Nothing speaks to me like great shoes - well, unless it's great papers!

Seriously, I've been in love with shoes since I was a little girl tottering around on toy plastic high heels. Here's a snap I found on Pinterest. I wonder how many of us turned our ankles in those early years - lol. Who else remembers how absolutely glamorous a girl felt in these?

The main image on this card is Stampin Up's Fabulous You. I stamped it in VersaFine on a scrap of white cardstock. Then I scanned it with my printer and saved the image to my computer. From there, I was able to enlarge it so it made a statement image (bonus: much easier to color the larger size with Copics).

The card front was embossed with a Cuttlebug folder. The sentiment is from My Favorite Things. It was stamped in VersaFine and heat embossed in clear. The background for the sentiment was cut with a Spellbinders die.

This card was created as part of my commitment to the Kards for Kids program in support of the patients at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children. Older kids there need cards, too. Check out Kards for Kids here if you'd like to get involved.

It's a gorgeous Victoria Day here in my corner of the world. Hope the sun is shining where you are.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Watercolor Stamping

There are so many possibilities when it comes to making the most of our rubber stamps that it just boggles the mind. I recently came across the watercolor stamping technique, and thought it would make a good topic for this week's Eureka and QKR Technique and Tutorial post. This project features QKR's Rose stamp. Besides a stamp, all you need is:
  • Watercolor paper - I prefer a smooth finish to watercolor paper that I intend to stamp on. Some papers have a noticeable grain, and it makes it more difficult to get a good imprint
  • Distress Ink in Frayed Burlap and, if you have them, Re-inkers in Squeezed Lemonade, Mustard Seed, Bundled Sage and Faded Jeans. If you don't have the re-inkers, just use your stamp pads.
  • Water brush or fine paint brush
  • Small Palette or a stamping acrylic block

Here's how it comes together:

Stamp your image with Distress Ink's Frayed Burlap.

Immediately after stamping, begin going over your lines with a damp brush. You can see (above) where I started going over the lines in the top, left corner. Squeeze your waterbrush to get the water flowing, or dip your paint brush in some water. Blot on paper towel because you don't want too much water on your image. Then allow your image to dry, or speed it along with a heat gun.

Put very small drops of re-inker in your pallet compartments. Dip just the very tip of your brush in re-inker.

Begin adding color to your image by going over an area with your lightest color, and then adding a bit of the darker color where it would be appropriate to have deeper color or shade. If you get too much color or too much water in an area, just blot it with a tissue. Don't worry if you go over the lines - that just adds to the watercolor look.

Float a little bit of Faded Jeans around the flower. Be very careful here - Faded Jeans is a pretty strong color - you might want to blot your brush on paper towel before applying to the watercolor paper. Encourage the ink to move to the outsides of the paper, away from the image, with your wet brush. You can see the completed look at the top of this post.

Here's a card I made with my rose. I'm not really happy with the completed project. I love the card design, and I love the rose, but somehow the two don't seem to belong together. Does anyone have any advice for what I might do next time? Maybe use a beige/brown or green tone rather than the blue around the flower?

And that's it for this time. Do give this a try - I think you'll love it too!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Mixed Media Fun and Games

The term "Mixed Media" seems to be everywhere these days. It looks and sounds complicated, but it's really just an invitation to have some fun. I thought mixed media would be a good topic for todays Eureka and QKR Technique and Tutorial post. Mixed media simply refers to a project in which two or more different art mediums are used together. To you, that means pulling out all the various materials in your stash and letting your imagination run wild.

The project above is a 12 inch square canvas with 2 inch sides. The main image is a digital Eureka's Gladiola and Hummer. I also used rubber background stamps Filigree and Abstract Flower. Here's a list of products I used on this project:

Digi Stamp
Rubber Stamps
Mod Podge
3 coordinated Printed Papers (in black and white, but any paper would do)
Folk Art Acrylic Paints
Stampin Up Watercolor Crayons
Distress Inks
Copic Stamping Illustration Paper
Smooch Spray

And here's how it came together:

Tear pieces of printed papers and adhere them with Mod Podge. Just paint a bit of MP on enough of your canvas to match the size of your paper piece, and then paint over that paper with another coat of MP. 

Repeat until as much of your canvas as you desire is covered.

Allow to dry. Then apply a thin coat of acrylic paint. Mix up the colors as you desire. I started pulling the blob of paint with a scrap of thick card stock, but soon had my fingers right in there.

Note: Between these lines is what I did next, but I was not happy with it. You may want to skip these steps or think farther ahead than I did.

I then taped a piece of tissue paper to a piece of cardstock and printed my main image.

Then I colored with Copics and carefully - really carefully - adhered the tissue to the canvas with MP. A light hand with the top coat is essential - pat on the MP with the brush rather than the usual painting motion to avoid tearing the wet tissue.

I completed the canvas, then I stood back and had a look. Hmmm....too dark and too small. Back to the drawing board.


Next, I printed the image again - larger and in grey tones - on Copic paper. I colored the flowers in lighter colors, cut out the flowers by hand (leaving the bird on the table) and adhered the paper with Mod Podge over the first image. You can still see some of the leaves of the first one.

Better, but now it's too bright. So I applied a thin layer of beige arylic paint and sponged brown Distress Ink over the edges.

Now it was a bit too dark, so I simply wet an old washcloth and sponged off a bit of the distressing. Much better. Was this process stressful? No, it was fun - like a science experiment. I knew I could cover the whole thing with acrylic paint and start over if needed.

Scribbles of Stampin Up Watercolor Crayon were added to the upper corners and blended out with a wet paint brush and my good old stained fingers. You can see here the left is blended and the right is the crayon.

Then I inked up the background stamps with bown and gold Distress Ink and randomly stamped, using partial impressions around the edge. (Sorry, forgot to take photos of these next steps - too excited)

Next, I mixed a little of the metallic acrylic paint with a bit of water and added some to the very top of my canvas. Then I stood the canvas up and thumped it a couple of times on my craft table to get the wet paint  to run.

Then I mixed a little Peeled Paint Distress Ink re-inker with water, dipped a paint brush in it, and splattered my canvas.

Finally, I sprayed the whole thing randomly with Smooch for a little sparkle. Another time I would leave this step out as it creates quite a glare on the canvas.

And that's it for this week's Eureka and QKR T&T tutorial.