Friday, November 11, 2011

Four Ways Friday #69 - Inspired By Nature Coloring Techniques

For this week's Four Ways Friday I'm doing things a bit different.  Rather than share four completed projects,  I wanted to share with you four techniques for coloring the floral image from the Inspired By Nature stamp set.  Enjoy!  Here is a photo of the four variations:
Let's take a look at the different techniques used to color these images:
This first technique is simple and fun!  I used markers (Poppy Parade, Old Olive, Peach Parfait, and Chocolate Chip) to color directly on the stamp as shown here:
Next I spritzed the stamp with water a number of times (I keep water in a small spray bottle on the craft table for techniques like this one).  Then I stamped onto watercolor paper.  So simple and such a wonderful, bright image!
 For this second piece I just added one additional step to the technique in the first piece.  I colored the stamp with markers as described above.  Next, I "huffed" on the piece with my breath to make sure the ink was moist and then I "kissed" the uninked baroque stamp from Baroque Motifs on the surface of the inked stamp and lifted.  This "kissing" technique removes ink from the inked stamp and leaves a shadow of the pattern from the uninked stamp.  I then "huffed" again on the inked stamp and stamped the image onto Whisper White card stock.  This creates the boldest of color of the techniques I am sharing with you today. 
This third technique produces a softer image than the first two, depending on how much water you use.  For this piece I colored directly on the stamp with Watercolor Wonder crayons using various shades.  Next I spritzed with water and stamped onto watercolor paper.  I love how this technique really mimics watercolor painting - so soft and pretty.
For the final project I decided to do the Poppin' Pastels technique.  I stamped the image onto Whisper White card stock using VersaMark ink.  Next I dabbed Stampin' Pastels in various shades onto the cardstock using cotton swabs/daubers.  I gently brushed off the loose pastel and used my eraser to erase some of the smudges.  I love the doppled effect this technique creates!
I hope you've enjoyed these four coloring techniques.  I hope they inspire you to try something new or to try a technique you haven't used for a while.  I now need to figure out what cards I want to create with all these panels!  I hope you have a beautiful, relaxing and creative weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Little More Progress!

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  Sit With Your Art
I sometimes pressure myself to know exactly what I want to do next with my art.  The reality is, I don't know!  What I am learning, is that if I just sit with my art, the next step will come.  Sometimes it might be in a few seconds...or a few months!  I am finding that I am enjoying having a number of pieces "in process" at the same time.  That way, when I get stuck or when I just have to wait for a piece to dry, I can keep moving forward with whatever whispers to me.  I am learning to sit with my art and wait for it to speak to me.
I made a bit more progress on this piece that I shared with you yesterday.  The first thing I added was some gold acrylic paint to the raised images that were stenciled using modeling paste.  Then I decided glitter was definitely in order, so I added some green and blue glitter glues and smooshed them around with my finger on the canvas part of the piece.  Then came some additional inspiration - the desire to add more butterflies.  So, I die cut them out of white organza:
Next I dipped them in diluted fabric stiffener so that I could give the a bit of shape.  I draped them on some wooden skewers that I stuck in a piece of styrofoam:
Once they were dry (it didn't take too long since Denver is dry and the organza is quite thin), I decided to spritz them and paint them with a number of different products (I did use some champagne shimmer mist paint that I had mixed with alcohol and I also used a number of non Stampin' Up! products).  I then attached them to the canvas using matte medium.  Here's what the piece looks like now - I wish you could see all the sparkle from the glitter!
The piece hasn't told me that it is done yet, so I will continue to sit with it and see if it pushes me further.  I hope you are enjoying sharing this process with me as it unfolds.  There is something beautiful about sharing this piece in this way - like the butterfly emerging from the cocoon, this piece is emerging from inside of me in its own right time.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Making A Bit Of Progress: Beautiful Butterflies FLY Artwork

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  A Bird Does Not Sing Because It Has An Answer.  It Sings Because It Has A Song.  -Chinese Proverb
I have been working on a number of mixed media collages for sometime now.  The one that drew me to this quote is not ready for sharing yet...or maybe it is definitely a work in progress!  Maybe I'll give you a peek a bit later in the week.  It began with images of blue jays and has evolved, quite slowly I might add, from there.  Today I decided to pull the piece back out and continue working on it and I felt it needed some words.  So I started looking for quotes about birds and came upon this perfect proverb.  It was exactly the message I needed to hear.  Why do we create art?  Not because we have answers or feel like we are creating the perfect piece.  We create art because we have a song to sing.  There are notes inside of us that need to be expressed.  And so we sing.
I did feel like I made enough progress today on this piece from last week that I decided to share it with you today!  Doris, if you're reading this, I'll be curious about your thoughts on where I'm taking this :)  Let me share with you how I've gotten this far.  It began on my birthday on Oct. 21st!  A friend gave me a gift and the gift was wrapped in beautiful tissue paper.  Once I started working on this piece, I knew the tissue paper had to be incorporated in some way.  So, I took the tissue paper and adhered it to a canvas board using matte medium.  Here is what it looked like after that step was complete:
I decided the pattern was a bit too bold and that it would overshadow the piece I had made, so I took a risk and coated the entire panel with white gesso.  Gesso is great since it is more transparent than opaque.  Here is the panel coated with gesso:
And can you see what else I added????  If you look closely, you will notice that I used the Mostly Vintage stencil to create texture on the panel!  How did I do it?  I held the stencil down and then covered it with flexible modeling paste.  I applied the paste over the stencil using an old hotel room key (very much like using an old credit card) and then lifted the stencil.  I LOVE how you can use stencils for different mediums - not just ink!  I then let the paste dry and started to play around with where I might position the original piece on the canvas.  I started with trying it here:
As I was playing around with the placement I decided that the piece needed more color.  So I began creating washes of color - blues and greens - using watercolor crayons and a brush.  Which leaves me with the piece exactly as you see at the top of this post (I have not adhered the original piece down onto the canvas yet - I seem to like it placed more to the left than to the right...but who knows how I'll feel tomorrow!).  I'm not sure where the piece will go next.  I need to sit with it for awhile.  I feel like some sparkle is going to get added to the panel...we'll see.  I'll be sure to let you know where I go next!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Notably Ornate Kissing Technique

Today's Question From The Craft Room:  What Do We Allow Ourselves To Get Annoyed At?
My day began on a bit of an odd note - I allowed myself to get annoyed and then, it seemed, all I could focus on was the annoyance I heard around me.  My annoyance began with contacting Amazon regarding a recent book purchase from one of their sellers.  When the book arrived it had library markings on it (not disclosed in the listing) so I contacted the library named on the book plate and, it turns out, the book had been checked out 2 years ago and never returned.  In my mind, the book was therefore not in my legal possession - even if the last seller was totally unaware of the book not ever making it back to the library.  So, I contacted the on-line help at Amazon...and needless to say it was a very frustrating experience - both in terms of time and because it appeared the person did not understand what I was typing in my chat messages.  I have never cared whether or not English was someone's first, second, or fiftieth language.  And, I realized today that when I am contacting a company that conducts their business in English, it would make sense for their customer service employees to have a certain level of proficiency with the English language.  Unfortunately, the person I was chatting with on-line today at Amazon was unable to understand the language she was reading and was equally poor in her typed responses.  It really became a ridiculous exercise in communication (or lack thereof).  After the experience I went onto facebook and saw a friend's post - she was annoyed at not being able to find a body pump class at her gym.  Next, a friend called and the first thing she said was that her socks were falling down and she didn't understand why socks fall down in the first place!  So there you have it - a curious series of annoyances that just built on one another in my mind...and I let them...and that is what I am really annoyed about!  Why do I allow these things to even stir my emotions, let alone set a course for my morning?  So now I am breathing deeply and focusing on what is worth giving my attention to - my art and my peace.  What do you allow yourself to get annoyed at?
Today's card used a kissing technique.  I inked up the bird from Notably Ornate using Sahara Sand ink.  I then took an uninked stamp from Baroque Motifs and pressed it against the inked up bird stamp.  This removed some of the Sahara Sand ink from the bird.  I then pressed the bird stamp onto Very Vanilla card stock and this beautiful bird appeared!  I cut it out with scissors and then mounted it to a small piece of Very Vanilla card stock with dimensionals.  The mini vintage tag was embellished with a word cut out of a book and then added to the card stock with a rhinestone brad.  I then adhered this panel to a piece of card stock that I had sprayed with ink and shimmer paint.  This whole piece was then attached to the Very Vanilla card base using dimensionals.  The final touch was to add some scored lines on the bottom of the card using my scoring board.  I hope you like it!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Wax Resist Background With Shimmer Paint Stamping

Today's Lesson From The Craft Room:  I Am Preparing To Hibernate!
As I watch out the window of the craft room, I am noticing a change in the behavior of the birds and squirrels.  It seems everyone is becoming more determined to get as many peanuts and seeds as they can as they begin to feel winter in the air.  I am noticing a similar change in my own behavior as the air begins to chill and the days begin to darken earlier.  I had been doing a wonderful job of curtailing my art supply purchases...until recently.  Michael has even joked that it might be time for an intervention!  I have found myself running to craft stores, art stores and shopping on line.  As I reflect on this recent change in my behavior I realize that I am stocking up for winter.  With the end of the year just around the corner, my work schedule and travel schedule will begin to wind down.  I am anticipating a nice long stretch of time at home - time to create and explore new art techniques and supplies.  So it makes sense to me that I am squirreling away the supplies I will need for my art hibernation :)  Do you find your own behavior changing in any ways as the seasons change?  What do you take with you into hibernation?
Today's card was a progression from a card I shared with you last week during Four Ways Friday.  I had fun using the scoring board with the wax resist technique so I decided to try it again and to step it up!  I started with a piece of Very Vanilla card stock and covered it with Certainly Celery ink with the direct to paper technique.  I then placed the piece on my scoring board and rubbed it with a wax candle.  Next I applied Concord Crush ink (direct to paper) and then used a hot iron to remove the wax from the card stock (I placed the card stock between 2 sheets of scrap paper before heating it with an iron).  I then placed the piece on the scoring board again and rubbed it with the wax candle.  Next I applied Rose Red ink (direct to paper) and once again ironed the piece between 2 sheets of scrap paper to remove the wax.  I then stamped an image from Extreme Elements a few times using Jet Black Staz-On ink.  The stars from Extreme Elements were then stamped using Frost White shimmer paint.  Finally, I added some yellow glitter glue (non SU!) and smooshed it around with my finger.  I let the piece dry and then tore it to use on this card.  The greeting from Just Believe was stamped with Jet Black Staz-On and then punched out using a 1 3/4" circle punch.  I hope you like it!
Here is a close-up of the card stock: