Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Happy Wednesday!  
I hope you're having a good week.  It's rainy here in Missouri and the extended forecast is for more of the same.  

So this is a perfect time to steal away to my studio and play!

We were recently given a new word prompt for our year long art journal through Wanderlust 2016.  This time the theme was "Things I need to let go of."  

I typically like more positive, happy pages but this theme had more of a dark connotation for me because things you need to let go of are typically things that are not good for you.

So ... after much soul searching, then many layers of background to try to convey more of a broken, chaotic, disjointed feeling; this is the art journal spread I ended with.

I began by just gluing and sealing bits of random cardstock and book text onto my art journal pages.  I used Golden Soft Gloss Gel to do this.  After it was dry ...

I painted a coat of Diarylide Yellow followed by a light coat of Pyrrole Red DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics to the surface and let it dry.

Next I decided to use Andy Skinner's Mega Crackle technique.  You can see a video of that HERE.  Basically after the paint on the background surface was dry, I painted a medium coat of Paper Artsy's Crackle Medium over the entire surface of the background and let it air dry thoroughly.  You could also use DecoArt's Weathered Wood for this step. 

Next I painted a medium coat of DecoArt's Media Crackle Paint over the Crackle Medium.  Work fairly quickly and do not continue to brush back over your surface.  Almost immediately the Crackle Medium will activate and large cracks will appear.  Let air dry thoroughly.

To create even MORE crackles or a "Mega Crackle" effect, paint a medium layer of DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze over the surface and let air dry thoroughly.

To age and better define all of this crackling going on, paint a light coat of DecoArt Media Antiquing Cream over the surface of the crackled background.  In this case, I chose Raw Umber.  Once dry, use a baby wipe or damp cloth to remove the excess Antiquing Cream.

After wiping away the excess Antiquing Cream, here is what the Mega Crackle technique looks like so far.  Perfect for my background that I am attempting to look chaotic, discombobulated to fit the theme of these pages.

To add more color to the background, I dry brushed first DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Cobalt Teal Hue followed by Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide to add sepia tones and the "age" factor and finally a little bit of Carbon Black around the edges and randomly on the pages.

With dry brush colors randomly added, here is a sample of what the background now looks like.

I love Dina Wakley's silhouette stamps and one in particular was perfect for my pages.  Except....the stamp size was too small.  So, I scanned the image and increased her size to 6 1/2" on my computer.  Then I printed her out on heavy cardstock, cut her out and later glued her the left side of my art journal spread.  I added the sketched lines after she had dried.  I glued her in place using Golden Soft Gloss Gel as a glue and then a sealer.

I added a brick effect to the perimeter of my journal pages using Tim Holtz' Bricked stencil and Archival Ink.  

Here are the art journal pages before I glued on the silhouette and finished them out.  Before I glued that in place though, I wanted to lighten the left side a bit where the silhouette would be to create a better contrast.

So using my finger, I first lightly added DecoArt's Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White around the general area where the silhouette would be.  Then I added some Yellow Iron Oxide to soften the vivid white just a bit.  When I was happy with that area, I glued the silhouette in place and added my sketch lines around here with a permanent black pen.

Next I added the words "Let Go Of" using some old rub on letters I've had forever.  I just love them!

To start filling in the background, I added some random stamping using one of Dina Wakley's Script Stamps and Black Archival Ink.

I used a white Posca Pen to do a little doodling on the rub on letters to help them stand out.  Here is what this portion of the art journal spread looks like at this point.

I used Tim Holtz' Rays Stencil and DecoArt's Dazzling Metallics Peacock Pearl color to create rays emerging from my silhouette.  I extended the rays even further onto the journal page with the paint and a small brush.

On my computer, I created the things that I need to let go of.  I sized them to fit on my rays but I did not want the white paper to cover the rays.  So, I experimented with a piece of plain tissue paper taped onto a piece of plain paper using Scor Tape around all four edges to secure the tissue paper in place when the paper ran through my printer.  IT WORKED!!!  So then all I needed to do was tear around each thing I need to let go of.

If your tear instead of cut the edges, they will meld better into your background.  I first brushed a layer of Golden Soft Gloss Gel on the surface of each ray, laid my tissue paper piece in place and then brushed over the tissue paper with more of the gel.  Here is how it turned out.  I love it!

For the finishing touches, I added a few circles stamped from paint lids dipped into paint and some dots stamped randomly onto the page using Tim Holtz' dot stamp.

I hope that you're having a wonderful week and will find some time for yourself to just let yourself go and play with your art.  These pages were very catharsis for me by helping me realize things that could be holding me back from being my best self. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


If you were a child of the 60s, then you no doubt grew up to Beatles music.
I loved Paul McCartney and John Lennon and as probably THOUSANDS of other 
starry-eyed young girls, I was convinced that I would someday marry Paul.

Well, that never happened but my love of Beatles' music remained.

I am sharing a new (to me) Andy Skinner splash technique featuring an image transfer of John Lennon on an 8x8 canvas.  You can see this canvas and the complete pictorial tutorial on DecoArt's Mixed Media Blog.

I posted a bit of a teaser on my blog yesterday.  Today I thought I would share my newest splash image transfer canvas; Paul McCartney.

He's a bit different than John but basically the same techniques were used on both.  "Let It Be" are Making Memories rub on letters that I've had forever.  But, I love how they look on this canvas.  I will be hanging John and Paul side by side in my art studio.

For the complete pictorial tutorial on how to do these techniques, hop on over to the DecoArt Mixed Media Blog.  It's a really fun and easy project!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Hello everyone!

I'm back with a really FUN project for DecoArt Media's Mixed Media Blog.

How about combining random splashes and a photo transfer together on a colorful canvas?  Sound difficult?  It's NOT!  But it IS loads of fun and you really need to try this!

Here's a sneak peak at what you will find over at DecoArt's Mixed Media Blog.  

I'll give you a hint ... do you love mixed media AND John Lennon?

I hope you'll enjoy my step by step pictorial tutorial and it will inspire you to get out of your comfort zone and just GO FOR IT!  

Friday, May 6, 2016


Happy May everyone and welcome to my blog!

This month at Creative Carte Blanche, the lovely and talented Cheryl Grigsby is hosting our latest art adventure.  She is challenging us to stretch our creativity to include 3 W's ... using something WOODEN, WILD and WORD.

I have created a vintage shabby chic style miniature cabinet that I call "The Bird Chest".  This is a view of the chest with the doors open.

Here is a view with the doors closed.

And here is a side view of this sweet little chest.  

The 3 Ws for this challenge include:
  • Wooden - the chest
  • Wild - the birds
  • Word - "Fly" on the top of the chest and "Soar" on the back of the chest
Now I will happily take you through my steps in creating this new Spring home decor piece I already have found a spot for in my guest room.

The chest is approximately 6" tall.  I found this plain little chest at Michaels for $1.00.
I wanted to add some detail to the sides of the chest and I knew that I wanted it to be bird related so ...

I measured the sides of the chest, found an interesting feather clipart image on the internet and sized it to fit the sides of my chest.  Next I rolled out some Paper Clay and cut out around the feather image.

I added more detail to the feathers with my cutting tool after I cut out the shapes and set them aside to dry thoroughly overnight.  

In the meantime, I painted a light coat of DecoArt Burnt Umber acrylic paint over the wooden chest as a basecoat.

I have the most wonderful pieces of old German book text.  So I measured, cut and tore pieces to lay onto the shelves of the chest.  

And I loved that look so much that I decided to add more text to the back of the chest.  I glued them all in place using Matte Medium as a glue and then as a sealer.

I also tore a piece and adhered it to the back of the chest using Matte Medium as a glue and then sealer.  Let all of the text dry thoroughly.

Next I mixed Decoart paints and their Crackle Paint to get a soft salmon or peach-ish color.  I was hoping that I had not added so much paint to the Crackle Paint that I messed up the ratio and the paint would not crackle.

It didn't crackle a lot but it did still have some nice crackling and I loved the texture it produced.  I sanded off the rough edges and I was ready for the next step.

I added a layer of Raw Umber Antiquing Cream to the chest and wiped off the excess.  I rubbed most of the antiquing cream off.  I just wanted to leave a hint of "age" from the cream.

Next I began to add my complimentary color to the chest; my favorite ... teal!  Using a small brush, I began with the feathers on the sides of the chest.  I also added some black accents to the tips of the feathers and around the edges to make them stand out.

Then using my fingers, I rubbed a mixture of Cobalt Teal Hue and Titan Buff and began applying the teal color to the chest itself; creating the shabby chic appeal.  I love working with my fingers because I get a much better feeling for the project when my fingers are gliding over it rather than a paint brush.

For the back of the chest, I created a "skin" using Matte Medium and a bird image I sized and printed off of the internet. I added the sentiment and printed out a couple of copies using an inkjet printer and regular copy paper.  If you have words on the image, be sure that you reverse them before you print them out.  

To do this "skin" technique, you simply brush a generous amount of Matte Medium over the image; brushing in one direction and removing all of the brush strokes possible.  Let dry.  Then add another coat of Matte Medium brushing in the opposite direction and let dry.  Finally, brush one more generous amount of Matte Medium over the image in the original direction and let dry thoroughly.

Once dry, wet the image and begin gently rubbing off the paper backing of the image. Continue this process until all of the paper backing is removed.  You will have to do this two or three times.  

Once as much of the paper backing as possible is removed, brush Matte Medium over the book text on the back of the chest.  Lay the "skin" in place over the book text, burnish out the air bubbles and brush Matte Medium over the image to glue it in place.  Then brush over the image to keep the pulpy backing from returning once the image dries again.  It is called a "skin" because you can still see the book text underneath the image.  It gives the image sort of a ghostly appearance.

To blend the bird image into the back better, I added some of my chest colors around the edges of my skin.

Next I finished up the exterior by adding more of the teal top coat using my finger.

Finally to the back of the chest, I added some Scrabble tiles that I had distressed much in the same way I did the small dominos below (see technique with next pictures).  I added the teal paint mixture over some of the tiles then edged them with DecoArt Carbon Black acrylic paint.  I also ran my fingers along the edges of the bird chest with the acrylic paint to better define the edges and age them.

Here is the completed back side of the chest.  I added a little bit of color to the bird using my Neocolor II watercolor crayons and a Detail Water Brush.  

I created a sweet little element to add to the top of my chest by first distressing a small domino with various acrylic paint colors and my fingers to give it an aged, distressed look.  Once that was dry, I added an image of small birds sitting on a branch that I sized to fit the domino.  I glued it in place using Matte Medium.  Once dry, I sanded off the edges to make them meld into the domino.  Then I brushed Matte Medium over the image to seal it.  Super easy to go but really a nice element to add to my bird chest.

After distressing a mini domino, I stamped "FLY" on it using small letter stamps.  I used black permanent ink so that the ink on the letters would not smear.  I gently heat set it and edged the domino with black paint using my finger.

Next I created some little bird books to put on the shelves of the chest.  These are so easy to do.

I found some images of bird book covers on the internet and sized them to fit my shelves.  Then I printed them out using my ink jet printer and left space to the left of the covers so that I could fold them over to create a "book".

I inked the edges of the book covers with a dark brown ink to age them.  I also cut little strips of paper to fit inside of the book covers.  I folded them in half, to represent interior pages of a book.  I inked the edges with the dark brown ink and then glued the pages together at the center fold using Glossy Accents.  Once I had glued 3 or 4 pages together, I glued them to the center fold on the book cover.  Wha-lah!  Instant miniature book!

I glued the two dominoes some miniature eggs I colored with a mixture Cobalt Teal Hue and Titan Buff using my fingers and one book on to the top of the shelf along with a little excelsior grass with Glossy Accents.  Pretty cute!

Here is a closer look at the inside of the little bird chest.  I love how all of these elements are so sweet and fill up the shelves.  They were all glued into place using Glossy Accents.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog to check out my 3Ws project for Creative Carte Blanche.  I hope you'll join us by stretching your imagination to create a piece made of wood, something wild and including a word.  Then post it to our blog so that everyone can share in your creative process.

Have a great week!