Monday, 13 October 2014

Katzelkraft DT post: Egyptian shrine.

Hi folks.
Very happy to be back using Katzelkraft stamps in my altered art and mixed media as part of their design team. its been 2 or 3 years since I was last in the team.
those of you who know me, would have been able to guess which stamp set I would start with. and it was a 50:50 between the Egypt set or the Da Vince stamps.
this time around Egypt won the day. You will find them HERE:

I used a fair few DecoArt paints and mediums on it. crackle medium, fluid acrylics, gesso, decoupage medium and metallic lustres. and the little shrine is a "Calico Craft Parts" Shrine.
All Stamps are from Katzelkraft who are a French company (with very very reasonable shipping cost  throughout Europe).

And just as a little journey back in time, here are some of the things I made in the past using the stamps.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

DecoArt Mixed Media Haunts Challenge...

Join the DecoArt Mixed Media Design Team in a spooky Halloween challenge from October 1st through the 28th! Have a peek at our talented designer's projects below and be on the look out for their full tutorials on the DecoArt Media Facebook throughout the Mixed Media Haunts Challenge!

Feeling inspired? Create your very own spooktacular piece and submit it below through the Inlinkz link at the bottom of our Design Team project photos. Entries will be accepted until October 28th at 11:55pm.

On October 29th, Andy Skinner will choose his two favorite pieces. The runner-up will receive $50 worth of DecoArt Media product and the grand prize winner will receive $100 worth of DecoArt Media goodies!

Here is my project...
My friends daughter gave me a commission. she asked if I could make her a "thing" (she drew a rectangle in the air so i guessed she meant a sign or plaque) to hang on her bedroom door for Halloween. She asked me to make it scary...
"Could you make it all scary and creepy?"
Strangely, her mum was less than enthusiastic about that as she is only 6 and a half. Her instructions were, on no accounts, make it scary.
hmmm.... So i had to please a little girl who wants a scary creepy plaque for her door and a mum who doesnt want her little girl having nightmares.
So here it is. its a bit of a boggy old graveyard with creepy crawly insects and bats but no ghosts, zombies or monsters (although zombies did come up as one of her preferences).
Hopefully its scary enough but fun enough at the same time.
And for my DecoArt friends, here is a basic tutorial on how the plaque was made.
I painted the plaque black and when it was dry i painted a few patches with crackle medium (weathered wood). I didnt do it all over as i wanted the cracking to be random.
When the crackle medium was tacky enough to be painted over, I painted over the top with media fluid acrylics in shades of green. you can see the selection in the image. i let it start to crack and then i sped up the drying process with the heat gun. I let it bubble up the paint in places as it adds texture (handy for one of my final steps)
I set it aside to dry properly while i prepared some fabric leaves and chipboard grave stone crosses by coating them in crackle paint. i had tinted some for another project and had some left ove so it looks a bit pink here but it doesnt have to be tinted. i just didnt want to waste the excess i had.
set these aside to dry.
When they were dry i used my media misters on them using shades of green teal and purple.

I printed off and cut out a couple of pumpkins. using decoupage medium I stuck them to card and let them dry.
I cut the pumpkins out and give them a coat of crackle glaze. allow to dry. and then use some burnt umber paint (or any shade you prefer) to stain the cracks. simply paint over the glaze, wait a few seconds then gently clean off with a damp cloth. the paint will stay in the cracks but come off of the surface.
Make some spirals from wire, prepare your embellishments (I used pain on some calico Craft Parts bats, webs spiders and insects) and now assemble your parts...
Tear out a rough oval of scrap paper and place over the centre of the image. then use a spray mister around the edges.
Allow to dry and paint on a moon. Because of the bubbles created when heat drying the paint, my moon has texture and craters.
Next i painted some large chipboard letters and treated them in the same way as the pumpkin images with crackle glaze and brown paint.

glue everything into place. there you have it.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Time Flies at "A Vintage Journey"..... guest designer spot.

Hi there folks. I was very happy to have been asked along to "A Vintage Journey" as a guest designer  this month. The theme is "Time Flies". I have combined my love of "DecoArt mixed media" and "Tim Holtz prodcts" by altering this old clock case i managed to find in an antique shop for less than a fiver!.

I painted it with a charcoal coloured chalky finish paint (relic) , gave it a coat of the crackle medium for chalky paints then gave it a coat of white chalky finish paint (Everlasting) and sealed it with a couple of coats of creme wax .
I used some tissue tape to decorate the bottom of the clock case and around the the top. Next i cut out lots of butterflies using my Tim Holts Framlets dies and some paper from the "laboratories" papers and attached them randomly around the case. i used acetate to attach some so it looked like they were flying free of the clock case.

I cut out a circle of "wallflower" paper to stick to the back wall of the display area then all I had to do was stuff it full of moss, eggs and a handful of wonderful Tim Holtz ideology and ephemera.

Please do go over and take a look at "A Vintage journey". its a Tim Holtz inspired blog challenge full of amazing and varied inspiration.
thanks for visiting
Z x

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Work in progress reaches completion (maybe): with DecoArt

So a few days ago I showed you a pretty large canvas i had started while sitting in my friends back yard chatting and getting my back burned to a cinder in the sun....
neither of us had a clue what we were going to make, we just picked up some brushes and paints and sort of just "started"... I was using DecoArt media fluid acrylics. They have a wonderful high percentage of pure pigment so far less likely to get that muddy look mixed paints can get. i started by painting a line of cobalt blue to the top and adding water so it would run down the canvas. then i turned my canvas upside down and did the same withe green. i then built up colours in the same way, with a lot of water.
I think the sun put me in a rather dreamy frame of mind and I went uncharacteristically floral and pastel.  but at one point, I went a step tp far and it went from quite attractive to a bit of a mess. I dont have photos of the mess as i persevered for a little bit and rescued it. though it is far from its original soft dusky colour palette.
I had my Stampendous mixed media stamps and stencils with me so i used some DecoArt texture sand paste through the "sequin waste" stencil and formed my tall flowers (they represent a cross between lupins and delphiniums lol) but then time caught up and it was time to pack up.

anywho, I brought it home (here it is with my cat scrutinising it)...

...and tried to keep going with it as i am bad for just "giving up" and tossing projects to one side if they dont go well in the first hour lol.
here it is with a little additional detail.
It was at this point I blogged it and facebooked it and asked what folks thought i could put as the main focus.
Various opinions were put forward. some thinking it should be left as is as it didnt need a focal point.
My friend, Astrid, came over to my place on Monday and instantly put her hand in the area that i felt needed the focal point and she too said that there needed to be one and it needed to be in that area. so, as that had been my gut feeling too, i set about adding some focus with a "foreground presence", to stand out fro the soft hazy background.
I added a large dragonfly. then decided to add two more (as it somehow felt like the right thing to do).

I used Decoart "interference" acrylics on the dragonfly wings. its so hard to show you this in a photo, but tilting it to the light can show the wonderful lustre of the interference, and tilting it back shows just the original painting. the interference had a beautiful blue colour and a green colour that both seemed to be very "insect" appropriate. I have tried to get a photo but its not doing the lustre effect any justice at all. it is more like a Lalique piece of glass in real life. very effective for a dragonfly.

So I think its finished now. maybe. no doubt i will pick it up a few more times and dabble.
Z x

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Stampendous/DecoArt Blog hop post 1

I'm in a mixed media frenzy: Stampendous and DecoArt have come together to do a fantastic blog hop full of mixed media loveliness.
We have been using an amazing range of paints and mediums from DecoArt along with the wonderful  "Studio Multi Media" cling rubber stamp packs, Fran-tage embossing powders and Elements and the Creative Palette from Stampendous.
When the supplies arrived with me, I immediately watched the cool youtube video Stampendos have provided on how to use the "Creative Palette".

Next step was to try it out and make some backgrounds of my own.... 
I set some aside for future projects and then set about using one to make my first ever journal page.
I had been watching the video of Prof Wangari Maathai (she won the nobel peace prize in 2004)  telling the story of the little hummingbird. And I was inspired by it. My page was made to remind me of that inspiration and to remind me that I can only try my best and that must be may be insignificant but it is important to try. Imagine if we all put our minds to the same problem and did our best!!!!
 I selected one of my backgrounds and decorated it further with more of the stamps and stencils, using more acrylic paints. I hand painted on some grass and plant life then printed off a hummingbird image. I used more paints and some pastels to highlight the hummingbird then printed off my quote and glued it on too. I coated the whole page with DecoArt multi-purpose sealer.  

And for your interest, here is the youtube link to the story...