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!

Monday, March 20, 2017


Greetings everyone.

I am so excited to be a part of Mixed Up Media Online Magazine coming up on April 1st! month!

Here's a sneak peek at my piece you will find there.  Lots more detail to see in this 4" x 12" canvas.

I had the most fun playing and experimenting with Stampendous' Frantage line of embossing powders and embellishments.  I am IN LOVE with them!

Hop on over to Mixed Up Media's Online Magazine on April 1st for the latest edition.  If you're not a member, you should be!  There are amazing articles and art from all sorts of talented mixed media artists from all over the world!

Keep watching my blog. I'll be sharing a complete pictorial tutorial about this piece and my experimentations with Frantage!

Have a fabulous day and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Greetings everyone!  

DecoArt is such a great company to design for. I have so much fun with their amazing Media line products.  

This month, DecoArt is teaming up with Stampendous and their fabulous stamps! Several of the DecoArt Media Design Team are participating in a blog hop. We've created some amazing art pieces for YOU using DecoArt Media Line Products and any Stampendous stamps of our choice.  You can find out more about this art adventure at our 
DecoArt Mixed Media Blog and Stampendous' Blog.

Here is the piece I've created for this blog hop.  I call it "Unexplained Toxic Skuldoggery" after the three sets of Andy Skinner Stampendous Stamps I chose.  HERE is a link to see all of Andy's amazing stamps at Stampendous.

I chose these three different stamp sets from Andy Skinner as the focus of my 8" x 10" canvas board.  I love Andy Skinner's techniques using DecoArt Media products.  His stamps and stencils are also awesome!  So this was a natural combination for me:  Andy Skinner Decoart Media products, his Stampendous Stamps and his fabulous DecoArt 8" x 8" Fossil Stencil.

Pretty much as always when I sit down to create something, I have no idea what I'm going to do.  I just jump in and see where it goes.  This was no different.

I knew I wanted texture so I started with a palette knife and a generous layer of DecoArt Media White Gesso covering the entire surface of the canvas board.  I set it aside to dry although you can gently heat set it.

I wanted some unexpected dimension on this flat canvas board so I decided to create a little drawer and two other drawer fronts.  One drawer would be like it was pulled out and there would be two more drawer fronts as if they were shut.

To create the drawer and drawer fronts, I cut pieces measuring 3 1/2" x 1" out of chipboard.  The open drawer required two pieces of  3/12" x 1" strips (front and back), two 1 3/4" 1" strips (two side pieces) and a 3 1/2" x 1 3/4" piece for the bottom of the drawer.  Then I cut four 3 1/2" x 1" pieces, glued two together and that created the other two drawer fronts.

Next I assembled the drawer using "structure strips" (as my friend, Jim the Gentleman Crafter) likes to call them.  These are 1" strips of cardstock that are scored in the center.  Double sided tape is applied to either side and then these strips are attached at the joints of the box (or in this case "drawer") that you are making.  This holds them together and provides extra support.

To create the drawer and drawer fronts, I cut pieces measuring 3 1/2" x 1" out of chipboard.  The open drawer required two pieces of  3/12" x 1" strips (front and back), two 1 3/4" 1" strips (two side pieces) and a 3 1/2" x 1 3/4" piece for the bottom of the drawer.  I used the structure strips to join the drawer together.
Then I cut four 3 1/2" x 1" pieces, glued two together and that created the other two drawer fronts.  Once that was done, I used my finger ... my favorite art tool ... to cover all exterior sides of the drawers with DecoArt Media White Gesso.  I intentionally tried to make the surface resemble wood grain then I gently heat set all of the pieces.

Here is how the front of the drawer looks once the gesso is dry.   All of the sides and the other drawer fronts also look this way. 

Now with the magic of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Burnt Umber, Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide, Quinacridone Gold and Carbon Black, the white gesso drawers are transformed into "wooden" drawers.  I simply used my fingers to rub on the colors, starting with Burnt Umber then Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide, followed by Quin Gold and finally a little Carbon Black around the edges.

To alter the silver word bands, I simply swiped them with DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Gold first.  Next I added just dabs of Quinacridone Gold with my finger to give a rusty appearance.  Heat set each layer of paint.  Next I swiped Payned Grey across the top of the word band to fill in the letters.  Then I quickly wiped off the excess dark grey paint, leaving it only in the indented letters.  Last, I added a few more layers of the gold and Quin Gold, dabbing with my finger to build up the weathered layers.  Finally, I added just touches of black around the edges of the word bands to give them a more aged appearance.

Here is the drawer and the drawer fronts all assembled.  I used a bead of DecoArt Liquid Glass behind the word bands and brads to hold them in place.  I love the way they look like old worn drawers!

I wanted to add a little dangling charm on the drawer so I pulled out this Tim Holtz piece, added some DecoArt Media Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide to the white enamel finish (using my finger), heat set it and added the rub on.  It turned out pretty cool!  I attached it to the drawer using a Making Memories clip pin and a jump ring.

Now to work on the basic canvas board background some more.  First I brushed on some DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Yellow Oxide and wiped off the excess with a moist baby wipe.  Then I followed that layer with a layer of Transparent Red Iron Oxide and wiped off the excess.

Next I brayered some DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Carbon Black onto my craft mat surface and then rolled it over the crackled looking background stamp from Andy Skinner's Toxic set.  I could also have just pressed the stamp into the paint that was brayered onto my craft sheet to "ink it up".  I randomly stamped the image on the canvas board and then immediately washed the stamp.

Here is the way the background board looks at this point.  I LOVE this stamp effect but I think I got too much of the stamp on the background.  So ... let's do some more layering!

I used my finger and a sponge to add more DecoArt Media White Gesso randomly over the surface of the stamped background.  Then I added some torn dictionary pages over the Gesso using DecoArt Media Matte Medium and a brush.  I brushed over the surface of the background first to glue on the dictionary pages.  Then I brushed Matte Medium over the dictionary pages to seal them in place.  The Matte Medium dries clear.

I blotted on a little more of the DecoArt Media White Gesso over the dictionary pages to blend them into the background.

Then using my finger again, I added some DecoArt Media Crackle Paste on top of the background.  This dries white opaque.  You need to let any of the Media line Crackle Products dry naturally in order for the crackle to really work properly.

Here is the new and improved background.  You can still see some of the original color and crackle stamp peeking through.

I brushed on more of the DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Yellow Oxide and wiped off the excess with a baby wipe.  Then, I mixed first DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics and water together, I ran a brush across the top of the canvas, held the canvas upright and allowed the paint to run down the canvas.  I also spritzed the paint with water to assist in the runs. Then I laid the canvas down and heat set the runs in place.  I repeated this process until I was happy with the look. 
I repeated this process with the DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Carbon Black, only not adding as much black paint to run down the canvas.  I like the results!  Then I flicked a little of just the black paint randomly onto the surface of the canvas board and heat set it.

I wanted to lighten up the background underneath where I planned to stamp this skull image.  So, I lightly drew a pencil line around the skull, removed it and ... 

used a baby wipe to add a light coat of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff in this area of the canvas board.  Then I heat set it to dry.  The inset picture shows you what the skull stamp looks like once it was stamped over the dry Titan Buff paint.

Instead of just stamping these very cool prehistoric skulls onto stamping paper, I experimented with added a little texture to the paper first.  I added a very small amount of DecoArt Media Texture Sand Paste to some DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic Titan Buff paint. I mixed it up, spread it onto the stamping paper with a palette knife and then my finger.  Then I heat set the paint.  Next I stamped several images and chose my favorite two to use on my piece. 
I colored them using DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide followed by Quincridone Gold and finally watered down Paynes Grey.  I used very little paint on my brush when adding the color.  Since Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide and Quinacridone Gold are fairly transparent paints, they did not cover up the black stamp lines.

I cut out the skulls and added them to my "drawer".  I also put some dictionary paper behind them to add interest to the drawer.

Now it was time to add more stamping to the background using Andy Skinner's background stamps from the Toxic stamp set.  Again, I randomly stamped the images using Permanent Black Ink.

The "Specimen 2675" is stamped in Permanent Black Ink as well and came from Andy Skinner's Skuldoggery stamp set, as did the skull.  This is what the board looks like at this point.

Now it was time to pull out the Fossil stencil and add it to the left side of the canvas board.  I taped the stencil in place and created a texture concoction out of DecoArt Media Texture Sand Paste, Crackle Paste and Titan Buff.  I would scrape this over the fossil stencil to create a boney image with texture.  Once the stencil image was covered, I removed the stencil and immediately washed the stencil and palette knife.  I left the fossil image to air dry.

Once the fossil stencil was allowed to dry naturally, I added some shading using DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Paynes Grey and almost a dry brush effect over and around the stenciled image.

Now it was time to start stamping and adding my embellishment pieces for this canvas board.  I chose the Toxic Hazard and toxic danger symbols from Andy Skinner's Toxic stamp set.  I used my finger to add DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Yellow Oxide and Primary Yellow onto a piece of stamping paper.  I also created some orange paper by swiping DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Pyrrole Orange and Vermilion onto a piece of stamping paper.  I heat set the colors dry and then stamped the images onto the paper using Permanent Black Ink.  Once dry, I added some DecoArt Media Crackle Glaze and let it air dry.  Next I added some DecoArt Media Burnt Umber Antiquing Cream into the creveases created by the Crackle Glaze and wiped off the excess. I cut out the images and mounted them onto black chipboard for more depth.  Then I glued them onto an interesting metal piece I found laying around.  

Here is what those pieces finished out looking like before I decided to add a patina look.

Next I laid the pieces in place to see how the canvas was going to take shape.  Yep...I like it!

It was time to start gluing everything in place. My dear artistic friend and blogging buddy, Gaby Bieberle from Germany recently sent me some amazing little "goodies" to work with!  She is so sweet and generous and I totally LOVE her work!  Anyway, I am using a few of the wonderful little treasures she sent me on this piece. A watch face and a key are pictured here.  I glued them in place using DecoArt Media Liquid Glass. It goes on milky but dries clear.  I love using it to create a faux glass look or for gluing on smaller items.  Here I have run a bead of the Liquid Glass and am getting ready to glue down a glass vial with small mica chips and glitter glass in it.

Next I created a plaquette from black chipboard to go above my skull.  It is 4" x 1" and is double layers thick.  Using my finger, I brushed first DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Metallic Silver over the chipboard.  I then added a light random layer of Paynes Grey; particularly around the edges of the plaquette.  I covered the nuts and bolts left over from a very cool Andy Skinner's Tando Creative Industrial Elements chipboard set the same way that I did the plaquette.

Next I randomly added some DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Quinacridone Gold to give everything a rusty effect and then I stamped "6753" (partial numbers from a stamp) from Andy Skinner's Unexplained stamp set.

I added a bullet casing that Gaby had sent me and a Tim Holtz wishbone to it.  It sits on top of one of my drawer fronts.

To the left side of the plaquette, I added this quirky hand charm.  I added a rub on in the center of the circle and filled it with DecoArt Media Liquid Glass.  It is milky right now, but will dry clear.

I added an optometrist's glass over the eye.  It was glued in place using DecoArt Media Liquid Glass.  Then I dangled a patina wirey screw and an old key from the glass using a couple of jump rings.  I also added a chain going up from the optometrist's glass to the plaquette above.

I really liked the look of the patina finish on this canvas so I decided to create my own patina and add it to other elements.  To do this, I simply mixed a very small amount of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff with Glue Green Light.  Using my finger, I gently added the greenish color to various objects and I LOVED the finished result!

Here are the labels on the drawers with the patina look.  You can also see a little patina added to the watch face and key to the left.

Here you can see the patina added to the metal pieces and the Toxic signs.  I think this gives them even more of a metal look; even though they are chipboard.

You can also really see the patina added to other elements of this canvas on this finished picture.

I hope you enjoyed this little art adventure with me using DecoArt Media products and Stampendous stamps! Several of my other DecoArt Design Team buddies have also used Stampendous Stamps to create some beautiful art for you.  Be sure to check out DecoArt's Mixed Media Blog and Stampendous's Blog for those links and more details.  You won't want to miss these very special projects!