Saturday, June 20, 2015

Is it raining where you are?  It's been raining off and on all week here!
I NEED some SUNSHINE!  But, at least when it's raining outside,
you can be spending time in the craft room and that is exactly what I have done.

Welcome to challenge number THIRTY ONE out of thirty four of the 
Compendium of Curiosities III Challenges hosted by the lovely Linda Ledbetter.  The multi talented Curiosity Crew has once again created an array of very creative pieces to inspire you.

This challenge showcases the products, techniques and style of the one and only 
Tim Holtz. We invite you to join in on the fun and create your own original art and link to our challenge. There are two chances to win with each challenge and you can win some really generous and wonderful prizes!

Speaking of the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenges, have you guys seen the entries to our last challenge using the Faux Cracked Glass technique?  If not, you really need to check them out! There is some seriously fabulous technique and art there!

Back to THIS challenge ... turn to page 47 in your Compendium of Curiosities III books and check out the Layering Stencil: Paint Resist technique. 

Altered Art Journal Pages, Layering Stencil Paint Resist Technique, Dyan Reaveley Characters

Here are my finished art journal pages done with Tim's technique in the background.  While I can't share the actual technique with you ... that is what you need the book for ... I will share with you all of the products I used and the steps leading up to and following the actual Layering Stencil: Paint Resist technique.  I will also share some little tips with you along the way.  

If you follow my blog, you know that I love to create as I go ... nothing pre planned ... just got for it.  I paint more with my fingers and baby wipes than I do a brush. At least for me, when I work this way, I seem to get  more "into" what I'm doing and I "feel" the surfaces and direction my project wants to go much better than when my hands are clean.  I hope that makes sense. 

Okay, let's get started talking about these latest Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge inspired art journal pages.

I really love altering things.  When I have some free time, I've been altering pages in a paperback children's book that was given to me; in effect, creating my own art journal! 
While art journals are nice, with a little imagination, you can pretty much make one out of anything!

The pages measure 8" x 9" each ... plenty of room to play, experiment and create!  I began this art journal spread by covering the pages above with a generous coat of White Gesso, using a palette knife.

Once I spread the Gesso, I let it air dry.  I love using Gesso on top of a substrate because it gives me a totally different surface to work on.  It allows some of the images from the pages below to still show through (depending on how heavy I apply the Gesso) and it provides me with a surface that will accept a lot of different mediums I may chose to work with.

Once the Gesso was dry, I began adding some of Tim's Distress Paint to the surface to soften the stark white background. I used a baby wipe to apply the color.  I began with Scattered Straw, a wonderful soft vintage yellow-ish golden color.

To the Scattered Straw, I added the rich and orange-ish Wild Honey followed by Tim's new luscious green Cracked Pistachio Distress Paints. Again, I was working with a baby wipe to apply the paint to my art journal pages.  Then I heat set them to speed up the drying process.

I love the richness of this background!  The colors dry to a beautiful matte finish.  But, as I was about to discover, to do the Layering Stencil: Paint Resist Technique, Tim's Distress Inks did not want to adhere to my slick new surface.

So, I sealed them with some clear drying Matte Medium.  I used a brush to apply the Matte Medium and gently heat set it to dry.  Then I lightly sanded the pages so that the inks would grab to my modified surface.

Using Tim's Layering Stencil Paint Resist Technique, I went to work.  In the photo above, you can see a closeup of my pages with all of the layers of color and stenciled images.

The resist paint portion of this technique was done using Picket Fence Distress Paint and Tim's Numbered and Splotches Stencils.

To create all of the layers of color on top, I used the following Distress Ink Colors:
Fired Brick, Wild Honey, Peacock Feathers, Gathered Twigs, Ripe Persimmon, Twisted Citron, Mermaid Lagoon

The Tim Holtz Stencils I used to create the layers of images were:  Bubble, Harlequin, Cargo, Bricked and Latticework.  

If you look closely, you can see most of those stenciled images in the photo above.

Remembering that I was working with Distress Inks and that they are water soluable (meaning that they will change or can be removed with water), I decided to spray seal my pages before going forward.  So I chose a clear, matte sealer and lightly sprayed the surface of the pages then gave it a bit of a heavier coat to seal my pages ... for whatever I may decide to add to them next.

And here is a larger picture of the finished Layered Stencil: Paint Resist Technique pages.  I am always amazed at how much depth you can achieve by layers upon layers of color and images.  And you NEVER get the exact same look twice!  (Before I began adding my embellishments to the pages, I used a messy, artsy script stamp from Dina Wakley's Textures stamp set to randomly add touches of black and yet another pattern to the pages.  The black stamping really pops the characters and marbles I was about to add.

My pages were really bright with color and have a very whimsical feeling to me.  So, I decided to add some character from Dyan Reaveley's stamp sets.  They are fun and who doesn't love playing with paper dolls???

So I stamped some of her funky people with mix and match body parts onto some Specialty Stamping Paper using Jet Black Archival Ink. (Heat set the black permanent ink.) I brought them to life using Tim's Detailer Water Brush and various colors of his Distress Inks.  I heat set all of the characters, fussy cut around them, leaving a white border and glued heads to bodies.

Some of the Distress Ink colors I used to paint onto my characters are:  Ripe Persimmon, Squeezed Lemonade, Cracked Pistachio, Mermaid Lagoon, Tumbled Glass, Festive Berries, Gathered Twigs, Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers, Tea Dye, Fossilized Amber and Tattered Rose and Scattered Straw when mixed together make a great flesh tone then add Tattered Rose for the cheeks.

These images were mixed and matched from the following Dyan Reavely stamp sets:  Pondering Petunia, Dependable Dotty, Doolally Dorris, Traveling Travis, and Rainbow Ruby (not all pictured above).   I also used two sentiments from Dyan's newest Laugh 'Til You Leak stamp set.  The sentiments were actually what inspired these art journal pages ... "Who left the bag of idiots open?" and "You may not have lost all your marbles but there's definitely a hole in the bag."   

I decided that I would need a bag and also some marbles to go along with my "idiots" I'd just created.  So, I wiped some Distress Paint onto a Non Stick Craft Sheet, spritzed just a bit of water, swiped a Manila Tag through the paint, gently spritzed it again and let the colors run and move on the tag and I gently heat set it.  You can repeat this process until you get the layers and the look you are going for.

Once I was happy with my colors for my "marbles", I punched them out of the tags, using various sizes of circle punches.  I inked the edges in black using my Black Soot Distress Pen and added a white highlight on each one using a Uni Posca pen.

Here is a closeup of the marble bag that I added to the left side of my page ... full of my marbles and "idiots".  I cut the back of this Glassine Bag (measuring 4" x 6 1/2". I also tore a piece out of the bag so that the marbles could "escape" from the bag, as suggested in the sentiment.

Then I began at the bottom, gluing my marbles in place using Glossy Accents on the front of the marbles to stick them to the glassine front of the bag.  I chose a glassine bag so that the marbles and my "idiots" would clearly show through.  I continued this process, stacking the marbles and adding the heads, body and sentiment.

I glued the bag in place and added shading around the bag using a Graphite Pencil, a Detailer Water Brush and my finger to blend in the grey shadowing effect. I love the depth it adds.  Next, I added the character standing to the left and shaded around her as well.  The umbrella and shadowing was added at the top of the page and I began to add the marbles spilling out of the bag. Once they were glued in place with Glossy Accents, I added Glossy Accents to the tops of the marbles and let it air dry, to add a glossy dimension to the marbles.

The characters on the right were glued in place using Glossy Accents.  Then I added the marbles underneath them in the same manner I had done on the opposite page.  I shaded around all of these elements using the Graphite Pencil, water brush and my finger to blend.

Once the sign toting characters were in place and the marbles were dry, I added black sketching lines around the marbles and the characters using a Black Permanent Pen.  I really like the lines as I think they add a bit of fun and whimsy to the pages.

Finally, I added some random white circles that were added using the cap from a bottle of white paint, dipped into the paint and randomly "stamped" onto the pages.  Using my finger, I added some random swipes of black acrylic paint to the edges of pages to sort of frame them and pull everything together. 

So there you have it ... my art journal pages using Tim's Layering Stencil: Paint Resist technique in my background.

I hope you've enjoyed going through the process with me and this has inspired you to join in the fun at the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge.

Our wonderful sponsor for this challenge are the good folks at 

They have generously donated a $50.00 gift certificate for every other challenge and we thank them so much for their participation!

And our other over the top prize packages full of Tim Holtz products have been donated for every challenge by Tim and Mario!  
We thank them so much for their generosity and support!

So what are you waiting for?  You would be one of our lucky winners!

Good luck!

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Hello again my blogging friends!  

Do you ever go shopping and see something that really sparks your imagination?  That happened to me recently when I was at a big craft store.  I saw an adorable little children's book with all sorts of cuts and shapes and windows.  That totally fascinated me and immediately my creative juices started flowing as to what that little book COULD be....with a little help from some of my wonderful DecoArt products.

So, I bought it (actually SEVERAL of them .... for A DOLLAR each (regular price for them), brought them home and went to work!

Sorry for the length of this blog post but there is A LOT of information to cover ... so grab a cuppa something and sit a spell.  I'd love to share some inspiration with you.  Thanks for spending a part of your day with me!

Altered Mixed Media Children's Book Featuring Andy Skinner's Chipped Paint Technique on the cover.

Here is a picture of the original book and then the beginnings of my version of the altered children's book. There is a detailed pictorial tutorial of how I transformed the book from its original to here book on DecoArt's Mixed Media Blog. Notice the "CHIPPED PAINT EFFECT" on the front of the book?  

Here is another picture of just the altered book, also showing the back of the book.  This "chipped paint" effect is an Andy Skinner technique.  I am totally amazed at how Andy can manipulate acrylic paint and other mediums to create the illusions of all sorts of weathered, vintage, chipped surfaces. I call him "The Master of Manipulation" and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible!  If you click on the DecoArt Mixed Media Blog link above, you will be taken to my tutorial and see how to create this effect. 

Since this was originally a children's book, I was inspired to leave it a book about children ... vintage children. So after finding all sorts of adorable photographs of vintage children in my files and files of images, I narrowed them down to the few that you will see within the pages of my magical little castle book below. 

We will turn the pages together and discover the magic of manipulation with DecoArt paints and products, a little imagination, lots of rub ons, stamps, laces, little metal embellishments, butterflies and little positive and powerful encouragements throughout.  I hope you will enjoy this little book as much as I loved creating it. 

Altered mixed media children's book using DecoArt products.

Here is my finished altered children's book.  Notice all of the little children peeking through the windows purposely cut out of the original book?  I LOVE all of the color, the various shapes, the textures and the smile that comes each time I hold this book. I can almost hear the children's laughter and feel that innocence again that was "childhood". 

On the front cover of the book, I have added a Tim Holtz Alpha Parts "REMEMBER". I love these little black plastic dimensional wonders! They can really make a statement. Here, I combined DecoArt Metallic Gold and Silver Media Acrylic paint and using my finger, I kept tapping and rubbing the surface of "REMEMBER" until I got the weathered look I was going for. When that was dry, I added touches (with my finger) of DecoArt Blue Green Light and Titan Buff Media Acrylic paints to simulate a patina look. 

I have to warn you now, I am somewhat of a "finger painter" when I work on mixed media projects. So I will often use my fingers instead of a brush when there is not a lot of detail work involved. I'm not sure if that is because I just love getting my hands painty of if it's because I get a better feeling for the piece through actually touching it with my hands as much as possible, instead of relying on a brush.  Actually, I think it's a combination of both! (smile)

Let's move on to the inside pages of the book ...

Altered mixed media children's book using primarily DecoArt products.

I love all that is going on here.

To begin ...

I painted a couple of strips of white heavyweight cardstock with DecoArt's Media Crackle Paint and let it dry. Once dry, I painted over the crackle finish with DecoArt's Cobalt Teal Hue and Vermillion Media Acrylic paint. These colors are a beautiful vivid color!  But since this is a vintage book, I wanted to tone down the color just a bit.  So ...

I brushed over the surface with "the magic potion" DecoArt's Quinacridone Gold Media Acrylic paint. I cannot tell you how much I LOVE THIS STUFF! Everytime I use it, it's like heaven's gate opening up and a choir of angels singing.  I seriously think I may have an addiction going here!  (smile)  

Notice how the crackle really pops with the addition of the Quinacridone Gold?  And the way the Quinacridone Gold mutes the vivid teal and gives it more of a warm, greenish-brown cast is just magic.  And the "feel" of the product on the paper....just amazing!

I used these strips of paper to die cut and emboss Tim Holtz' butterfly wings from Butterfly Duo set.  You will see one of the wings used below.  

Altered interior cover page of childen's mixed media altered book using DecoArt products.

In the tutorial on DecoArt's Mixed Media blog, you will know that I originally covered the surface with patterned cardstock. Over that, I added a light was of Quinacridone Gold and water mix. I stenciled "JOURNEY" using Andy Skinner's Industrial Elements stencil with DecoArt's Titan Buff Media Acrylic paint. 

On either side, I added random images from Andy Skinner's Shedded Stencil using first first with DecoArt's Burnt Umber and then Blue Green Light Media Acrylic paints. (Be sure you immediately wash your stencils after using paint to get them clean.)

Next I added gold highlights to the raised areas of the butterfly wings and around the window opening and randomly around the edges of the page for a more dramatic effect. 

I glued the vintage image of the sweet little girl onto the butterfly wings and glued her in place on the page.

Next I added a piece from a Mica Sheet over the window opening and glued it in place using Glossy Accents because it dries clear. 

I used remnants of the teal crackled paper I used to create the butterfly wings to create little encouragement signs that would be displayed throughout the book. This sweet little butterfly girl is holding on of Tim Holtz' favorite expressions "embrace imperfection".  I glued it in place using Glossy Accents.

Finally I used random pieces of remnant rub ons from Tim Holtz to fill in little areas that might need something.

Altered children's book using DecoArt products. First interior page view.

Moving on to the next page ... notice that the children on all of the pages are positioned so that when the book is closed, they are peering through the window openings. 

I began the final steps on this page by adding book text from a German book I bought at a flea market while visiting Rothenburg last summer. This was added using DecoArt Matte Medium first to glue the text on and then brushed over it to seal it. Using a baby wipe, I lightly added some DecoArt Blue Green Light Media Acrylic paint to the page and heat set it. I added the little metallic embellishments that had also been given a touch of the Blue Green Light acrylic paint for a patina look. 

I added gold highlights using my finger and DecoArt's Media Metallic Gold acrylic paint to the edges of the vintage photograph and the black chipboard piece that I mounted under the photograph, around the window openings and randomly around the perimeter of the page. 

I glued the little metal embellishments in place using Matte Medium brushed onto the surface of the book and then over the metal pieces to seal them in place. Let dry or gently heat set to dry.

I positioned the vintage photograph so that the little girls would be peeking out of the window when the book was completely closed.  Before I glued them in place, I added the tag with a Unity Stamp sentiment from their Empowered Words set. I glued it in place and glued the colorful ribbon flowing from the tag behind where my vintage photograph would be placed.  Then I glued the photograph in place.  The chipboard mounting gave the photograph a bit more dimension. 

In the roof top section at the top of this page, I had added a portion of a Tim Holtz embossed doily and it along with the page had been colored with various colors of DecoArt Acrylic Media paint. (see DecoArt's Mixed Media blog)  I used one of Tim's bee images from his Remnant Rub Ons sets and added the words "be free" from more of Tim's Remnant Rub ons. After gluing a cabachon in place over the top of the bee (using Glossy Accents), I let it dry.  When dry, I added the vintage German glass glitter and teal micro beads with Glossy Accents.  When dry, I glued the bottle cap in place using Glossy Accents.

Little butterflies are seen throughout the book.  Then are images I had on my computer, sized to fit various locations in the book or to be used as wings behind some of my sweet little children images.  I glued them in place using Glossy Accents on just the body portion (so that the wings could be lifted and given more dimension). I added a little Glossy Accents to the tops of the body and later penned in antenna using a black permanent pen.

Turning the page we see the next spread ...

Altered children's book using DecoArt products, pages 2 and 3.

Again, you can read about all of the background tutorial work on DecoArt's Mixed Media Blog.

After I had done all of the background work, I added various rub ons from Tim Holtz as well as others that I had in my stash.  When  was happy with my background, I brushed over all of it with a light coat of DecoArt's Ultra Matte Varnish.  This provides a beautiful transparent seal and the feel of the page is a professional finish.

Altered mixed media children's book page 2.

Here is a closer picture of this page with the sweet little butterfly baby and the encouraging sentiment.  These butterfly wings are more of Tim's Butterfly Duo.  I painted in the indented areas of the embossed wings with DecoArt's Blue Green Light and then washed the crackled wings with a Burnt Umber wash.

Altered mixed media children's book using DecoArt products,page 3 closeup.

This next page only has two images of children blued onto it but it looks like four because of the children peeking through the windows!  Again, I added more rub ons to the page, stamped a Unity Stamp sentiment.  "FRIENDS" are some of Tim Holtz' Label Letters.  I love the vintage feeling they add to the photograph of the boy and his dog. That photograph is mounted on black cardstock and black photo corners were added.  The sweet little girl is holding a "be fearless" sentiment; more of Tim's Remnant Rubons. The lacy wings are a Memory Box die cut out of black cardstock.   The embossed butterfly at the top is one of Tim's Butterfly Duo that was added to this page at the very beginning of the transformation using heavy white cardstock and Matte Medium to glue it in place and seal it.  It is colorized with the background colors of washed DecoArt Titan Buff Media Acrylic paint, antiqued with DecoArt Burnt Umber and Metallic Gold Media Acrylic paint around the cut openings and edges of the page and the embossed butterfly.  I also added some Renaissance Guilding Wax to the raised areas of the butterfly and finally a "FLY" Remnant Rubon to the center of the body.  Finally I added a Tim Holtz Word Band underneath the double window.  I added colorful ribbons to either side.

The Word Bands are an antique silver color.  I wanted to alter that to an antique bronze-ish color.  So I simply mixed DecoArt's Media Burnt Umber and Metallic Gold Acrylic paint to create a nice antique bronze color.  I used my finger to add the paint to the band and heat set it.  I kept working the paint onto the band until I achieved the look I was going for.  Then I wiped DecoArt's Blue Green Light Media Acrylic paint over the entire surface of the band and wiped away everything but the paint that had seeped into the letters.  You can see the result in the photograph above ... the word band with the letters subtly highlighted in color.

Turning to the next page spread ...

Altered Children's book using DecoArt products-pages 4 and 5.

On these two interior pages, I mixed some DecoArt Titan Buff and Cobalt Teal Hue Media Acrylic paints and using a baby wipe, I randomly swiped the color on the pages.  Then I added DecoArt Metallic Gold to the cut openings and the edges of the pages using my finger as my paint brush. 

I used a beautiful vintage stencil that I have and patted a paint mix of DecoArt Titan Buff and Cobalt Teal Hue. (Clean your stencil after using paint on it). Then I heat set the pattern.  You can also see the wonderful added detail that Andy Skinner's peeling paint background stamp adds to this page. I added the vintage laces by first brushing DecoArt's Matte Medium in the areas of the page where I would be adding the laces, laying the laces in place and then dabbing the brush over the top of the laces to seal them and also to remove any clumps of the clear drying Matte Medium.

Altered Mixed Media Children's Book using DecoArt Products-closeup page 4

Here is a closer look at page 4.  I love the butterfly children with their colorful wings and encouraging sentiment. The red hearts on their chests are cut out of red cardstock, glued in place using Glossy Accents and then Glossy Accents added over the top of the red hearts for more dimension and a bit of a gloss finish. The little clock in the clock tower was created by painting a circle with DecoArt Titan Buff Media Acrylic paint, heat setting it, then added a Tim Holtz Remnant Rub clock face over it.  Finally I added some little metallic clock hands and a half pearl over the center of them using Glossy Accents. 

Altered mixed media children's book using DecoArt products-page 5 closeup

More rub ons were added to the background of this page along with more vintage lace. Just two couple of children were glued onto this page.  The set of children at the bottom right are actually on the page behind but are visible through a cut opening. Again, little butterflies were added to the page by gluing them at the body and allowing the wings to be folded up for more dimension. The sentiments stamped in Black Archival Ink are from The Unity Stamp set "Empowered Words". Again, as on all of the interior pages, I used my finger and some DecoArt Metallic Gold Media Acrylic paint to highlight the cut out areas and along the edges of the pages.

Turning the final page ...

Altered mixed media children's book using DecoArt products. Final two pages.

we see the layout of yet more sweet little vintage children.  On the left, you see the vintage lace from the previous page peeking through the cut out doorway.

Altered mixed media Children's book using DecoArt products-closeup page 6

The sweet little butterfly child above the opening was glued in place using DecoArt Matte Medium.  Isn't she precious holding her little doll?  And I adore the vintage cabinet card image on the right.  I actually mounted that image on top of a piece of chipboard that is painted with DecoArt Burnt Umber paint and the corners rounded with a CropADile. This mounting gave her just that little touch of dimension that added so much.  I also added a few more little monarchs to this page spread because I love them so much!

Before I show you a close up picture of the back cover, I wanted to show this background to you.  I love it!  This is layers and layers of different "stuff".  First was Tim Holtz' Melange Tissue Wrap Paper then a light coat of DecoArt White Gesso. On top of that I added a wash of DecoArt Yellow Ochre Media Acrylic paint and water and heat set it dry.  Then I created a wash of Quinacridone Gold and water and added another layer of wash to the page. I heat set that dry. To get the "ghostly" images of letters, I used Andy Skinner's Alphabet Spaghetti stencil on the upper portion of the page and used Gathered Twigs Distress Ink over it. I LOVE LOVE the colors here! 

Altered mixed media children's book using DecoArt products-back inside cover

And here is a closer look at the finished page.  You can see the stenciled area above.  fashioned a pocket out of the vintage photograph of the brother and sister on the bottom right.  More detail about the pocket in a second ...

I glued the sweet vintage photograph of the little ballerina to the top left of the page after adding black photo corners to give her more of a vintage feeling. I folded some little monarch wings in half and using Glossy Accents, I added them to her back. 

The "a child is like a butterfly ... " sentiment was computer generated.  I tore and distressed the edges of the paper with Gathered Twigs and Black Soot Distress Inks and glued it in place on the page. I glued the little monarchs as I had done on previous pages, leaving their wings free to lift.  I added Glossy Accents to the bodies to give them dimension and penned the antennas with a permanent black ink pen.  

I brushed DecoArt Matte Medium to the rook peak, place the metal embellishment in place and then carefully brushed over the metal piece with the Matte Medium to seal it in place. 

Finally, I added the "CAPTURED MEMORIES" plaque to the upper right of the page so that it is visible when the book is closed. To create the plaque, I simply painted a piece of DecoArt White Gesso'd chipboard with DecoArt Quinacridone Gold Media Acrylic paint and heat set it dry. Then I lightlyl spritzed the chipboard with DecoArt Carbon Black Media Mister and distressed the edges with DecoArt Carbon Black Media Acrylic paint (using my finger). Once that was heat set dry, I stenciled the letters in place using DecoArt Titan Buff Media Acrylic paint. I then glued it in place using Glossy Accents. 

The pocket photo was created by adding photo corners and 1/8" Scor Tape (double sided tape) on the back top, bottom and exterior side of the photograph.  Then I created the little tag using manila cardstock and lightly sponging it with DecoArt Blue Green Light Media Acrylic paint onto the outsides of the tag. I distressed the edges with DecoArt Burnt Umber Media Acrylic paint. After stamping the Unity tricycle and sentiment, I added a large vintage grommet and some black ribbon. The tag slides in place behind the photograph. 

From this ...

and this ...

To this ... 

SO much fun to experiment and play with so many techniques, products, images and elements.  I hope that you enjoyed this little journey though my altered book and that maybe somehow it inspired you to not be afraid to try new things and allow your imagination to be free enough to explore the possibilities of what something "COULD" be.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


Hello Friends! 

Today I am so pleased to share with you another mixed media project that I have created for DecoArt's Mixed Media Blog.  This time, it's the beginnings of an altered children's book.

DecoArt Mixed Media Blog Tutorial Featuring An Altered Children's Book

Click HERE to be taken to the pictorial tutorial.  If you've not visited the DecoArt Mixed Media Blog, you're missing out on some wonderful art and all sorts of tutorials and educational videos.  I encourage you to check it out!  

While you're there, be sure to check out the new DecoArt International Mixed Media Design Team.  I am so thrilled to be a part of this wonderful group of artists; headed by that "Master of Manipulation" himself, Andy Skinner!

An Altered Children's Book for DecoArt-Vintage Mixed Media Book using DecoArt Products and created for the DecoArt Mixed Media Blog

In a few days, I will be posting a pictorial tutorial of my completed embellished book here, so be looking for that!  Since this originated as a children's book, I decided to keep it a book about children, using all vintage images peeking through the cut out doors and windows. It's interesting to see how this book evolved from start to finish.  It was SO MUCH FUN to make! Here's a little sneak peek ...

Have a great weekend and I hope you'll find some time to do your own mixed media project!

Saturday, June 6, 2015


Hello Everyone!  
Happy Saturday and welcome back!

We are counting down the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenges.  Hard to believe we are already on 30 out of 34 challenges! I hope you all are having as much fun as myself and the Curiosity Crew are having. Your entries have been amazing and inspiring to us as we all travel this art journey together.  

Turn to page 54 in your Compendium of Curiosities III books and check out Faux Cracked Glass.  This is a very fun technique with really awesome results.  One of my favorites, especially at Christmas time when I'm trying to create something vintage to look like cracked or faux Mercury Glass.

faux cracked glass mason jar for Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge

The first thing that came to mind for this Faux Cracked Glass technique was a Tim Holtz Mason Jar introduced at this past CHA in January. I love these little guys!  

So, I popped one out of the 3-pack that they come in and went to work using the technique to transform the plain Mason Jar into somewhat of a Victorian little jar that will probably end up storing vintage buttons. 

I cannot tell you how I did the Faux Cracked Glass technique but I will tell you that I tinted the glass using Wendy Vecchi's Archival Ink Cornflower Blue Refill Ink color.  And ... one other useful hint.  Instead of using Matte Medium as the base, I prefer to use Wendy Vecchi's idea of the Glue N Seal as a base.  From my experience of working with this technique; both products will work.  But I seem to get better results with the Glue N Seal as my base ... less of a potential for the stuff peeling off of the glass.

Here is just the jar after I finished the technique and had tinted it with the Archival Ink refills. Don't you LOVE the cracked glass look? For me, adding a tint of color really enhances the cracked glass and adds to the vintage look.

I wanted to "doll up" the plain top of my mason jar so I pulled out some Prima Trinkets, Junkyard Findings, some half pearls and the cut off top from a Maya Road Vintage Pearls Trinket Pin ...

After a little stacking and hot gluing, here is lid during the altering process. 

After a light basecoat of White Gesso, I covered the lid in Burnt Umber Acrylic Paint.  When that was dry, I added a layer of DecoArt Crackle Medium and let it dry.

Continuing with the altering/aging process, I added a topcoat of DecoArt Lace Chalk Paint and within seconds watched the magic start to happen as the paint began to crackle and reveal the brown layer below.  I did not heat set this but rather, let it air dry. 

After the paint dried, I added a layer of dry brushing using a Melon Acrylic Paint to bring out the highlights of the edges and give some added depth to the evolving vintage lid.

To give added definition to the edges, I added a touch of Renaissance Guilding Wax to the edges (using my finger.) After everything was dry, I added a layer of DecoArt Ultra Matte Varnish to protect and seal the lid.

The jar was coming along nicely but looked a bit "naked". So I decided to give it a real Victorian look by adding some metal embellishments.

I used these pieces above to create a decorative band that would encircle the mason jar.  These pieces are bendable, so they would better fit the curvature of the corners of the mason jar. I joined them together using Tim Holtz' larger Jump Rings.

Next it was time to fashion some charms to dangle from the metal band.  I created these little charms using "stuff" from my stash.  The one step looper helped create a uniform upper loop to attach to my jump rings. I used little antique bronze ball and keys and a Swarovski crystal on each charm. 

Here is what I thought would be the finished metal band to add to the mason jar.  But after I got it in place, I decided to add yet another dangling chain between each key and some rhinestones.  You see those in the next photograph.

Adding the metal band to the mason jar was a bit tricky because of the curvature of the jar.  But, I managed it by bending the metal band to fit as best I could.  Next I added a 1/8" piece of Double Sided Adhesive Scor Tape to the underside of each long lacy metal piece. Starting in the center back, I attached the metal piece and then pressed the two side pieces in place. Immediately I brushed Ranger's Matte Medium over each of the lacy metal pieces; working the brush in and out of the intricate metal to ensure it's hold but also not to leave clumps of Matte Medium.  It dries clear and is a great glue and sealer!

Once the metal bands were holding, I added the rhinestones to the metal bands and then the lid using Glossy Accents.  Another wonderful Ranger product that dries clear and works as an amazing glue and sealer.

When all of the gluing was finally dry, I added the pieces of chain between each of the keys.  I like how they look and they definitely add to that vintage Victorian feeling that I was going for.

I decided to add a dangling token from the top of the lid. Here you can see the transformation from Tim's original brushed nickel silver finish to an Antiqued Bronze finish with a blu-ish "xoxo" in the center to bring out the blue of the faux cracked glass mason jar.

To do this, I simply mixed Gold and a touch of Burnt Umber Acrylic Paint together and using my finger, kept touching and adding paint to the surface of the silver metal until I was happy with it's appearance. I heat set the new antiqued bronze finish and then using my finger, I added a slight seal using the Ultra Matte Varnish and heat set it. Then I added Tim's Broken China Distress Paint over the "xoxo". I then wiped away the paint on the surface of the token, leaving it to fill the "xoxo" area. Finally, using my finger, I added just a touch of the Ultra Matte Varnish over the surface of the token to seal it.

Here is the finished back side of the jar. I really like how it turned out and I LOVE the Faux Cracked Glass technique!  It's a real winner when it comes to totally altering a glass or clear plastic piece to look incredibly aged and vintage.

After attaching the token with an extra piece of the chain to the top of the lid, I decided to add a small metal piece, adding a rhinestone to the center of the molded star on the front of the jar. I then carefully painting the molded star with a little paint brush using gold paint. I may decide to go back and attempt to paint the "Vintage Quality" lettering also molded into the front of the jar.  I think that might look really cool.  But anyway ...

This is my altered "Faux Cracked Glass" piece to share with you. I hope that you learned something from the techniques that I could share with you and I hope you will pull out Tim's book and read up on how to create the Faux Glass look.  Then make your own creation and link it up to the Compendium of Curiosities III Challenge!  

We have TWO lucky winners with each challenge; one chosen by the crew for their interpretation and execution of the technique and the other is randomly chosen to receive a wonderful gift certificate from our wonderful sponsors.

Our sponsor for this challenge is the lovely and talented Linda Coughlin of The Funkie Junkie Boutique ... a fabulous online store supplying you with all sorts of your crafting needs; specializing in those fun little metal piece and laces that you don't see everywhere else. She is offering a $25.00 gift certificate to our lucky winner.

Click on the banner above to be taken to The Funkie Junkie Boutique.

And as always, Tim and Mario are such generous and supportive guys!  They have donated a huge bunch of Tim Holtz products to be given away to each of our lucky chosen winners.  So, don't miss out on your opportunity to win some awesome goodness from Tim and Mario!

Good luck!