Friday, March 31, 2017


Hello everyone! Welcome to my creative world.  
I believe that creativity is contagious and if you can conceive it, you can create it!

This time, I have been working with a product from Stampendous called Frantage
I LOVE this stuff!

Katy Leitch of the fabulous online Mixed Up Media Magazine invited me to have a play with Frantage and see what I might come up with.  

My piece is currently in the latest edition of Mixed Up Media Magazine online now!  Check it out as well as all of the other fantastic pieces of art and articles in her publication.

To be honest, I thought I was going to do something with a spring theme; maybe a bird house and some graphic birds or something.  But then, as what usually happens when I hit the studio, other things started "talking" to me and I went from springy to the Wild West in a flash.  I bet many of you can totally relate to that.  Anyway ...

I created this really fun and sweet little canvas that I have titled 
" You're Never Too Old Or Too Young To Follow Your Dreams"

Here are three little buckaroos who may someday grow up to be as famous as the Old Wild West's Buffalo Bill.

Those little buckaroos from Tim Holtz' Found Relatives cards were the inspiration for this cavnas.  I cut them out and I was hooked!  I chose a few more ephemera pieces from Tim Holtz' packets I had and searched the Internet for a couple of other pieces that would work nicely on my canvas.  I ended up with an Indian teepee and a poster of Buffalo Bill.  I sized them to fit my canvas, printed them out on an inkjet printer and away we go!

I began with a plain 4" x 12" stretch canvas, the teepee image and some little wooden applicator sticks that I colored using my finger and DecoArt Media Burnt Umber Fluid Acrylics.

I folded the teepee along the already obvious fold lines and added the sticks behind.  I love the dimension this gave.  But now it was time to experiment with the Frantage elements and see if I couldn't add a little more interest and vibrancy to the teepee.

I wiped an embossing ink pad along the outside edges of the teepee and then sprinkled them with Frantage Aged Bronze Embossing Enamel.  I brushed away the excess enamel and returned it to the container.  Then gently heat set the powder until it turned into a really cool tactile antique bronze edging.

Then I decided to experiment with DecoArt's Media Liquid Glass to see if I could add glue to the lines on the teepee, sprinkle the embossing enamel and see if it would stick when heated.  Again, I brushed away the excess enamel and heat set it.  (The Liquid Glass dries clear but not glossy and is an excellent glue.  It also creates the illusion of glass when applied over something and given a chance to air dry).

Okay!  I'm now loving these results and decided to go one step further.  How about adding more Liquid Glue to the blue accents on the teepee and sprinkling some of the Frantage Encrusted Jewel Kit of embossing powders and elements?  Let's do it!

I added a little of the solid tealish embossing powder and sprinkles of the teal and bronze embossing enamel mixture and heat set it over the Liquid Glass.  LOVE the vintage look; the grungy tactile feel that doesn't rub off.

I laid the teepee to the side and began working on the canvas background.

I had some really interesting paper towels and dictionary papers that had been coffee and tea dyed.  I decided to make use of them for this piece.  I brushed DecoArt Media Matte Medium on the surface of the entire canvas, laid the papers in place and brushed Matte Medium over them.  Matte Medium dries clear and works as both a glue and a sealer.

Next I brushed a little Walnut Ink around some of the edges to give a more aged appearance to the canvas.  I also lightly spritzed the canvas and blotted the excess.  Then I heat set it to move on to the next step.

I was getting ready to stamp and emboss more of the Frantage enamels onto the canvas.  If you've worked with embossing powders before, you probably know that sometimes either something on the surface of your work or static electricity in the atmosphere makes more embossing powder stick to the surface than you intended it to do.  It can make a mess!  So, I like to tap my little powder filled destatic pillow over the surface of my piece before I stamp with an embossing pad to better prepare the surface.

I selected this beautiful background stamp from B Line Designs stamps.  I inked the rubber stamp with an ink embossing pad and without using an acrylic backing, I randomly stamped the surface of the canvas.

I sprinkled over the stamped image with the Frantage Jewel Encrusted mix of teal and antique bronze embossing enamel and heat set it.  

Next I stamped over the canvas again with the clear embossing ink and sprinkled it with Frantage Aged Copper Embossing Enamel.  In the picture you can see both elements after they have been heat set.  Love it!  Now that the basic canvas was well on the way, it was time to start working again on the elements that would create the design for this little Wild West canvas.

I decided that the boyish trio needed a wooden plank sidewalk to stand on, just like in the old west towns.  So I colorized more of the applicator sticks using my fingers and DecoArt Media Burnt Umber Fluid Acrylic Paint.  I cut the sticks into 1/2" pieces.  I cut a piece of black chipboard into a 1/2" x 4 1/2" strip.  I added some 1/4" Scor Tape (double sided tape) to the top and started lining up my wooden planks.

What is a wooden plank walk without a fence or hitching post?  I had some square craft sticks.  I painted them in the same way as I had done the planks and created fence pieces.  I lined them up against a ruler for spacing and glued them together using DecoArt Media Liquid Glass.  Just leave them alone and give them a chance to air dry.

For additional strength and depth, I added a second row of fencing over the first and let it air dry.

Next I added little support planks to the bottom edge of the canvas where the wooden plank walkway would sit.  I glued these in place using hot glue (a quick and very substantial bonding).

And what is a hitching post without horses?  I found these little hobby horse images on the internet, sized them and cut them out.  Then I added my own little applicator sticks to give them more dimension ... and they are so cute!  I also found a barrel image that I cut out added to the finished piece.  You will see it with a couple of these cute little horses in the finished pictures. I laid these to the side to dry thoroughly and went back to the embossing.

Here is another piece of ephemera from Tim's packets.  I added Liquid Glue around the edges of it and sprinkled it with the Aged Copper Embossing Enamel.  I love the patina mix in with the copper!  Then I added Liquid Glue to the letters and the coins to make them stand out a little more as the glue dried clear and raised up those images a little.

I added Liquid Glue to the edges of this frame and around the portrait and the oval "20" on the top and bottom of the frame.  I really love the distressed look that the Aged Bronze Embossing Enamel adds to this otherwise neat but flat frame.

Here is my little trio of cowboys standing on their wooden plank walk.  They are cute but there is a lot of sepia and and browns working here.  They needed a little "umph" behind them for contrast and interest.

Bring on the Frantage Mica Fragments and Silver Crushed Glass Glitter.  Oh my gosh!  This stuff is amazing! It takes something bland to "POP" with just a little glue and very few flakes.  Now this picture looks a little weird but when the little cowboys are placed on top of this vintage mica heaven, they really pop!  And just wait until you see the little hitching post placed in front of all of this!

How cute is this?  I've hot glued the fence/hitching posts in place and added a wire and rope lariat to one end.  The only things left to add are the horses and the barrel. 

So here is what the canvas looks like at this point.  Kind of strange.  But you can see all of the Frantage elements in the background.  From the tealish and copper background to the mica fragments and glitter glass, you can create some really amazing vintage illusions!

Now to add some more "pop" and color to the left side of the canvas to balance things out a little bit.  I added yet another element from the Encrusted Jewel Kit using Liquid Glue and a few more of the Silver Crushed Glass Glitter.  This was not heat set. I love the added dimension it gives.

And here is the left side of the canvas with all of the elements glued in place.  See what an amazing difference the Frantage elements make?  I love how vintage look, the tactile feel and the warm colors that these simple products add.

 And here is the finished right side with all of the elements now glued in place.  Again, I love how the mica fragments add so much to the background without taking away from anything.  They add that vintage feel and when you move the canvas in the light; the mica fragments and glass glitter really enhance that light.

I hope you've enjoyed this pictorial tutorial and you've learned something about Stampendous Frantage Embossing Enamels and Elements.  These truly were fun and easy to work with.

Thank you to Katy Leitch for inviting me to be a part of your wonderfully inspiring online magazine.  Be sure to check out Mixed Up Media Magazine for all sorts of monthly amazing artists and mixed media art!


  1. Congrats for being in the magazine.

    Your Wild West piece is fabulous. I love the way you used the Frantage stuff to add glitz, texture, and visual interest!

    Thanks so much for the clear instructions and step-out photos!

    You rock! :D

  2. Wow Candy this is an amazing work of art and a brilliant post full of information and explanations. I love how your muse talked to you and took you off to the Wild West and how you found all the elements you needed to create this magnificent canvas. The frantage products have produced such lovely textures and colour combinations and the three boys dressed in their cowboy clothes look as though they are waiting for the rodeo to begin as they stand behind that cleverly designed fence. You are the master of detail and wonderful vintage effects. Great job my friend - have a wonderful weekend xxx

    1. Oh my gosh, Brenda. This is such high praise coming from an artist whose work I so love and respect. Thank you thank you thank you for all of your kind thoughts. As you well know, it takes a lot of time to create a tutorial. I am so happy that you found it interesting and educational. Thank you, my friend, For your very sweet post.

  3. That is one well embellished composition. Bravo...

  4. Candy, this is fabulous! I just love those Frantage as well-they always add such great textures and dept! and your colors- they are gorgeous colors! AnNother amazing piece from you Candy! keep it up, you are so roll!
    huge hugs,Jackie

  5. I am late because I wanted to devote time to this post, so glad I did because it is so full of wonderful tips and ideas. Firstly, the frantaged teepee looks fabulous and I love how you made it dimensional with the little sticks. My favourite part has to be the little enclosure with the sidewalk and hitching post, the little cowboys look adorable but it is the hobby horses that I love most, they are just so fabulous! And then Wild Bill - the embossing enamel really does gift his picture a 'lift'. So many wonderful ways to use Fran's products (her new book is fantastic) - I really hope she sees this, I think she would be so thrilled!

    I saw your project in Mixed Up Magazine and it has been wonderful to see more closely how you brought this fabulous project together. Amazing, as always! Anne xx

  6. Just brilliant - from the multi-layered background to the magnificent dimensional teepee, there's just so much going on here to admire, enjoy and be inspired by. The gilding is amazing, as are those mica flakes gleaming in the light. Love your boys penned in by the fences - just as well to keep them out of trouble, I should think!
    Alison x


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