Thursday, November 10, 2016


If you haven't heard it yet, I have a TWO PART pictorial tutorial featured on DecoArt Media's Mixed Media Blog.  

Learn how to create this very dimensional industrial style wooden box.

PART ONE of the tutorial features techniques on how to create the illusion of "metal" gears from chipboard Tando Creative Industrial Elements Gears and DecoArt Media products.  So simple to do!

PART TWO of the tutorial features techniques on transforming plain surfaces (in this case a wooden box) into detailed carved wooden boxes.  So fun to do and the results will amaze you!

I encourage you to check out this TWO PART tutorial and begin experimenting and playing with these techniques!  It's all free and waiting for you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


I am always fascinated when you can transform a substrate into something it's totally not! 

 For example, turning chipboard ... a paper product ... to mimic a piece of metal.  I also love how you can transform a plain and simple wooden box into what looks like ingrained leather or a carefully carved piece.  The best part, IT'S NOT HARD TO DO with DecoArt Media products!

I have created a two part pictorial tutorial that is being featured on DecoArt Media's Mixed Media Blog.  PART ONE, transforming chipboard into "metal" gears is featured on November 8th.  

Would you believe that these rusty, patina "metal" gears, wheels, bolts and cogs ... 

began as this?

Hop over to DecoArt Media's Mixed Media Blog for the complete tutorial and start playing with your DecoArt Media products!  You won't believe how simple the steps are!

Then ... come back to DecoArt's Mixed Media Blog on Thursday, the 10th for PART TWO of my tutorial that will feature the transformation of a plain wooden box.  

You will learn how to use things you probably already have to create this dimensional, detailed "carved" wooden box and then adorn it with the "metal" gears. 

Christmas is right around the corner and little trinket boxes like this would make wonderful gifts!

I hope you'll join us over at DecoArt's Mixed Media Blog for all of the details!  

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog.  If you'd like to leave a comment after seeing the two part tutorial, I'd love to hear from you.  Your thoughts are always important to me.

Friday, November 4, 2016


Can you believe it's already NOVEMBER??  This year is flying by!

It's time for a new art adventure at Creative Carte Blanche.  This month, Annette Green has given us a really wonderful theme with so many possibilities! 

"YOU HAVE ME IN STITCHES" can be anything from machine sewing fabric to faux stitching with a mixed media pen.  It's all up to your imagination.

I decided to create a little mini journal.  With Christmas coming up, these would be neat little stocking stuffers or gifts...and the beauty of them is, there are so easy and inexpensive to make.

I have to admit, I was so inspired by my sweet artsy sister Cheryl Grigsby's art journal pages for our October challenge, that I sort of borrowed an idea from her for this piece.  See Cheryl, I told you that I loved what you'd done!  

I'll take you through the process of making this little journal, complete with Annette's "You Have Me In Stitches" theme! 

I began by cutting some black chipboard, cardstock and dictionary pages into 3 1/4" x 5" rectangles.  These would be the covers for my little journal.  

Next I applied a generous amount of DecoArt Media Matte Medium to the chipboard, laid the cardstock piece in place on the top brayed over it to remove any air bubbles.  I repeated this process for the inside of the cover using a cut dictionary page.  Then I repeated this process for the back cover.

Next I sanded the edges and then applied a black cats eye ink pad around all of the edges.

Since this project as a sewing or stitching theme, I decided that I was going to use Tim Holtz' dress form stamp on the front cover.  I chose three vintage women's heads that I liked and sized them to fit that stamped dress form shape.  I printed them out using my inkjet printer onto a piece of white cardstock.  Then I brushed over them with DecoArt Matte Medium to seal them and let it dry.

Next I lightly went over the printed images with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide to give the black and white photos more of a sepia tone. I wiped the paint on using a baby wipe.

I backed the heads using Matte Medium and a piece of scrap paper to give it strength.  Then I colored the head using a water brush and various Distress Ink colors.  For the cheeks I used Victorian Velvet.  The lips are Worn Lipstick, the flower in her hair is Picked Raspberry and her hair is a combination of Fossilized Amber and Squeezed Lemonade.  I edged around the head with the black cats eye ink pad.

I wanted to make this more of a vintage piece so I thought lace would be appropriate on a sewing themed book cover.  The lace was a bit dark so I lightly added DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White to the lace using my finger and gently heat set it.  I added a piece of 1/4" Scor Tape to the back side and the lace was ready to place on the front cover.

I stamped the dress form in place using Ground Espresso and gently distressed the front and back covers with Spiced Marmalade.

Next I laid the lace in place and added the colorized head to the top of the dress form.  That was put in place using black pop dots underneath the head so that it would be elevated from the cover.  I then brushed a light coat of Collage Medium Crazing on top of the cover, except for the head and let it air dry.

While the Crazing Medium was drying I stamped one of my dear friends and fellow Creative Carte Blanche cohort, Yvonne Blair's sentiments from Impression Obesssions onto a piece of muslin using Potting Soil Archival Ink.  Then I layered the muslin with a piece of organza in between.

I hand stitched the layers together, cut down the sides and then frayed them using my Tonic Scratcher tool.

In keeping with the stitches theme, I added a few buttons and some stray threads to the layered piece.  Then I added three strips of Scor Tape to the backside so that I could stick it in place later.

Once the Crazing Medium was dry, I added a layer of DecoArt Raw Umber Antiquing Cream by wiping it on with a baby wipe, gently heating it and then wiping off the excess.  In the background, you can see some of the crazing produced by the medium.  Then I laid the hand stitched piece in place over the lace trim on the cover. 

Next I added some rhinestones to my vintage lady to dress her up just a little bit.  I cut interior pages from some vintage paper I had.  I cut the inside pages slightly smaller than the covers.  

 (After the covers were finished, I measured in 1" from each end and punched a hole that I would run cording through to hold the mini journal together.)

On the back side of the journal cover, I simply stamped a few of Tim Holtz' stamps using a combination of Black Soot and Ground Espresso Distress Inks and heat set them.  I then added a couple of pieces of vintage lace using 1/4" Scor Tape to hold them in place.  I then brushed over everything with DecoArt Media Matte Medium to seal the cover.

I used some of TIm Holtz' cord trim to complete the mini journal.  I tightly wrapped a little scotch tape over the end of the cording so that it would not fray as I was trying to slip it through all of the holes.  I assembled the mini journal and added the cording then tied it off using a square knot but leaving enough "play" so that the journal could be opened flat for writing in it.

Here is the completed back cover of the journal.

Here is the interior of the journal

And once again, here is the front cover of the journal.  

I hope that you've enjoyed this tutorial and you will join us at Creative Carte Blanche for this adventure that will leave you in stitches!  Post your project on our blog and share it with other wonderful artists in this community who all share a love of mixed media and all things creative and inspirational!

Next up will be my artsy sister, Cheryl Grigsby!  So stay tuned for her amazing piece she will be sharing next week!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Hello everyone!  Happy NOVEMBER! 

Have you heard that Katy Leitch has a new online magazine?  It's called Mixed Up Magazine:  A Digital Craft Magazine With A Mixed Media Twist.  
HERE is her Facebook Page.  You really need to check it out!  It's interactive fun featuring various artists, products and submissions from all sorts of mixed media artists like you and I.

I was honored when Katy asked me to create a piece using DecoArt's Media Liquid Glass for her magazine.  I went for the obvious by creating a sweet vintage "glass" window scene on a 6"x6" canvas.

In this piece, I used DecoArt's Liquid Glass as a glue, a sealer (mosaic tiles), to create a faux porcelain rose effect and to create an old vintage thick glass effect (window panes).

So simple to do but with fantastic results! 

Please check out Katy's new Mixed Up Magazine online!  Mixed Up Magazine's November 2016, Issue 2 is now on sale!  Go HERE to check it out and get your subscription!  If mixed media fascinates you, then you will love this magazine full of fabulous articles and ideas from some amazing talent!

I'd love to take you through the step by step in creating this sweet little piece.  So grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy the pictorial tutorial!

I began with a scrap piece of chipboard approximately 8"x 10".  Using DecoArt's Media Matte Medium, I generously brushed the Matte Medium on the surface of the chipboard and covered it with old dictionary pages.  Then I brushed another layer of Matte Medium over the pages to seal them.  Let air dry or gently heat set.

When dry, I added a layer of DecoArt Media white Gesso over the top of the dictionary pages using a baby wipe.  Let air dry or gently heat set.  This step adds some texture to the chipboard and also adds "tooth" for any product that may be layered on top of this.

My next layer was applied a big brush but anything can be used to provide another layer of texture.  I used DecoArt Media's Crackle Paint.  It is a thicker substance that when dry, creates a wonderful crackle effect to the surface.  It goes on white and dries white.  Let this product air dry to let the crackle effect naturally form on the surface.

Next I began adding my color to the surface of the layered chipboard using a combination of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Cobalt Teal Hue and Titan Buff.  I applied the paint to the surface using a baby wipe.  Let air dry or gently heat set.

I absolutely LOVE DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide.  It is a transparent paint but it's effects are HUGE!  It gives a soft warm hue to any surface.  It instantly provides that feeling of age and weathering.  Because I wanted this to be a vintage piece, I applied the Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide to the surface using a baby wipe and let it air dry.  You apply such a small amount that it takes no time for it to dry. I laid the chipboard to the side and began working on the 6"x6" canvas.

I covered the sides of the canvas exactly as I had done when covering the chipboard; beginning with DecoArt's Media Matte Medium followed by Gesso then Crackle Paint (dry between each layer).

I used the same DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic paint colors on the sides of the canvas: a combination of Cobalt Teal Hue and Titan Buff.  Then I wiped a layer of DecoArt Media Raw Umber Antiquing Cream over the crackled, painted surface.  You can let the Antiquing Cream dry completely and then wipe away with a damp cloth or baby wipe or you can wipe away the cream immediately after adding it; depending on the weathered look you want to achieve.  I totally LOVE DecoArt's Antiquing Cream as it really does give beautiful weathered effects that I can completely control!

Next I found the center of the canvas and measured where my window would be centered on the canvas.  I penciled in those lines so that I would know how long to cut my chipboard into strips to create a weathered wood lap siding on my canvas.
This picture emphases the crackled, weathered look on the sides of the canvas but you can also see the penciled outline of where the window will be on the top of the canvas.

Next I cut the chipboard into strips 3/4" wide.  For either side of the window, I cut the strips into 1 1/2" lengths.  I began at the bottom of the canvas and laid a 3/4" x 5 3/4" strip completely across the bottom of the canvas.  To secure the strip in place, I used double sided ScorTape.  Beginning with the next layer, I began stacking the "lap siding" pieces.  I cut the strips into 1 1/2" lengths and added a piece of 1/4" Scor Tape to the top of each piece.  Then I measured 1/2" up from the edge of the previous strip and stuck the layered strip in place.  I continued to do that up both sides of the window; making sure that each side matched going across what would be the window in the center.  
Once I got above the window opening, I laid two more full strips of 3/4" x 5 3/4" across the top of the canvas.  

This is now what the canvas looked like.  You can clearly see the opening where the window will be placed.

Using plain Grungeboard, I die cut Tim Holtz' Window and one of his Pediments pieces.  I actually die cut two of the window boxes and top pediment pieces to add more dimension to the piece.  I glued the window box and pediment pieces together and let them dry.

If the "lap siding" is old and weathered then the window needs to be old and weathered as well, right?  I removed the lower vertical piece of Grungeboard, separating the window panes.  That way, it looks like the window is open. I covered the three window pieces with DecoArt Media Crackle Paint and let it air dry. You can already see the beautiful crackle effect before I do anything else to the window.  

I first wiped on a layer of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff to give the basic window a soft, off white color.  Then I added the Antiquing Cream over all of the window pieces and wiped off the excess.  Here is my result and I LOVE it!  I did not glue the pieces together yet as I now had LOTS to do to the basic frame of the window before putting it together!

I used a piece of scrap cardstock and created a background to go behind my window.  I used a combination of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Primary Magenta, Titanium White to create a soft pinkish color.  I then applied Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide to soften, age and warm up the color.

Next I applied Scor Tape to the underside of the window frame; preparing it to add the Liquid Glass to create old 1800s thick glass to the panes.

Next I laid the window frame onto a piece of wax paper and filled the two window panes with DecoArt Liquid Glass.  It comes out with a thick milky consistency but self levels and dries clear.  Let air dry. Once the Liquid Glass was dry, I could remove the wax paper backing and reveal a very old looking "window".
(You can also just dab the Liquid Glass onto a surface in the shape of a round ball or whatever.  It will dry clear and leave what looks like water droplets.)

While the window glass panes were drying, I also added Liquid Glass on top of some little paper flowers.  Again, the Liquid Glass does on white but dries clear.  These little milky looking flowers will look like porcelain roses once the Liquid Glass dries!  A very cool and simple look to achieve!  Let air dry.

While the roses and the window panes were drying, I cut a little piece of vintage lace to use as a valance hanging in my window.  It was a fairly dark brown lace and did not show up well behind the window.  So, I touched DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White paint all over the lace with my finger.  I love how it brings out the design and texture of the lace!

Now it was time to start assembling the window!  See the old vintage "glass" in the window panes?!?!  LOVE IT!!

Using another piece of Scor Tape, I stuck the lace valance in place on the window.  (This is the backside of the lace, so it does not have the Titanium White paint on it).

Next I added some moss type stuff I had laying around to the backside of the window boxes using the Scor Tape.

Next I glued the moss and porcelain roses in place at the bottom of the window frame.  Then I applied small double sided adhesive pop dots to the bottom and also the top of the window frame.  These pop dots will hold the window box and the upper pediment in place but giving them dimension.

To add just a bit more detail to the upper pediment, I found a couple of little bronze colored metal pieces.  I covered them first with Titan Buff followed by touches of Cobalt Teal Hue and then I also added touches of Titan Buff mixed with Primary Magenta on the heart.  Once dry, I glued them together and glued them to the center of the upper window pediment carefully using DecoArt Media Liquid Glass as a glue.  It dries clear but it also dries glossy so be careful not to add any more Liquid Glass than necessary to adhere something.

Here is a more detailed look at the upper pediment, the old "glass" and the valance underneath.  I adore the crackled effect of the frame!

Now to add the sweet little vintage girl...I sized her to fit the opening in my window and printed her out on a sheet of semi gloss photo paper.  Rather than colorizing her, I wanted to leave her black and white with just a touch of a sepia tone to "age" the photograph.  Yet another reason why I love DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide!  I simply mixed a little of the paint with water and lightly touched a makeup sponge in the mixture and then dabbed it onto the black and white photograph.  You can see what even a tiny amount of the Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide adds between these two photographs.

Next I cut out the little girl, inked her edges in black and glued her in place in the window.  Isn't she just so sweet?  Actually when I saw her, she inspired the sentiment for this piece, "When you wish upon a star."

I found two bronze colored keys in my stash that I decided to use on either side of my window.  But I did not like the bronze color.  No problem!  I simply altered the color of the keys by touching them with my finger and DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Gold Paint.  Then I simply glued a key on either side of the window using the Liquid Glass as a glue again and let them dry.

I created the sentiment on my computer, selected a font I liked, sized it to fit across the top of the canvas and printed it out on a piece of regular copy paper.  I glued the words on top of a piece of scrap black chipboard and let them dry.  Once dry, I cut them out and placed them on top of the canvas.  I glued them in place.  I began lining the outside edges of the words with DecoArt Liquid Glass and then worked my way into the center of each word. 

 This is what the sentiment looked like at this stage.  You'd probably be thinking, "Oh no! I just ruined my whole piece!" But no ... you have not!  What you have done is create what will look like little mosaic tiles once they dry clear.  Keep watching!

And ... just like magic!  When dry, here is the sentiment!  All glassy looking and the perfect finishing touch for this sweet little canvas.

Here is a closeup photograph of the faux porcelain roses.

Here is a close up photograph of the old vintage "glass" in the window panes.

And once is a picture of the entire canvas.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and learned something you didn't already know about a product, a new technique or a different way of using a product.  Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out Mixed Up Magazine!