Sunday, February 19, 2017

Making ATCs - With Cat Hand

I watched this video last night by Cat Hand. Click here to watch it. It inspired me to try the technique myself today. I did not have the same materials and modified the process slightly but basically followed the steps as she laid them out.

Step 1: Use Mod Podge to glue down book text, music page and other miscellaneous papers to a piece of kraft chipboard.

Step 2: Put down some different colours of paint randomly onto the page. Cat Hand used Dylusions paints but I only had regular acrylic paint in tubes at my disposal.

Step 3: Add some torn strips of patterned scrapbook paper. Cat Hand used strips of leftover painted papers.

Step 4: Use bubble wrap and white paint to add another layer. Cat Hand used a brayer to apply the white paint.

Step 5: Use archival ink and a background stamp to add more interest to the page.

Step 6: Cut into ATC size cards. You will get nine from a standard 8.5" X 11" piece of chipboard, with a few small bits left that you can use in other projects.

Step 7: Add torn pieces of patterned tissue paper to each card. I did not have any, so I stamped a bunch of random stamps on plain white tissue and used that.

Step 8: Use Mod Podge to adhere a small stamped image and heart to each ATC. Cat Hand stamped her images onto book text paper but these stamps got lost on it, so I used plain copier paper and archival ink.

Step 10: Add a word or phrase (I used Tim Holtz ChitChat stickers) and I outlined the hearts and words with a fine line black marker. To finish them off, I used black ink around the edges to frame them.

The whole process took most of the day. A lot of time was spent waiting for layers to dry. I did speed it up a bit with my heat tool when my patience had run out.

These turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself, and I can see myself using this technique again. Thanks, Cat Hand, for a fun project on Family Day weekend!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Heart Art Challenge - Week 7

Simplicity is Beautiful
As so often is the case, my initial inspiration for this tag came from a video that I watched on YouTube: Nicoletta Zanella's 'Mixed Media Tag: Simplicity is Beautiful'. And once again, the finished tag that I made only superficially resembles the tag she created in the video. I tend to go off in my own direction though, don't I?

I began by tearing up a couple of old book pages and collaged them onto the tag with Mod Podge. When that had dried (which seemed to take FOREVER), I brought out the turquoise and daffodil yellow craft paint, mixed them with a bit of water and applied it to the tag. You can see that I'm already starting to stray from the one in the video but you expected that. 

I decided to use two small bottle caps and the edge of an old gift card to add some random circles and lines to the tag with black paint. You will notice a couple of OOPS though, blobs and streaks of paint that ended up there by mistake (circled in red). But as Carolyn Dube says in her videos, 'An OOPS is nothing more than an Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly'. So, a 'mistake' becomes a 'unique design element'. I like how that lady thinks.

I also used my new fan brush and black paint to add some splatters. I think that I almost have the correct ratio of paint and water to do that the way I want to. I'm sure I will get it right sometime along the way if I keep practicing.

Next comes the focal point, the hearts, because this is a 'heart art challenge' and would not be complete without a heart or two. I was going to cut them from a gelli print that I recently made but the prints were too busy for an already busy background. I ended up using some plain pink cardstock for them.

Before I adhered them to the tag, I brushed on a coat of matte medium to seal it. I'm not terribly happy with the final result but it was fun to make and I guess that is all that really matters. I did try a couple of new techniques and learned a thing or to, so it's all good.

Bea Grob - Week 7
To watch Bea's Week 7 process video, click here. Like me, she seems to be trying new materials and techniques every week. This is going to be an amazing year!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

More YouTube Favourites

I keep finding more fabulous YouTube channels! I could spend hours watching videos but I've had to limit my viewing time or I would never get anything else done. I swear, I think that I'm addicted!

4"X 4" canvas by Shel C
My newest discovery is Shel C - PaperOcotilloStudio. I am loving a lot of her process videos. She creates art journal pages, mixed media canvass art, altered tags and more. She is also one of the owners of the Facebook page, 'Pick A Stick Challenge'. It is a group for art journalers with a monthly challenge designed to stretch your creative comfort zone by giving you 10 steps to follow, randomly chosen at the beginning of each month. Artists can interpret them any way they like but you must follow the steps in the order listed. I have not yet been brave enough to attempt one of the challenges.

Bea Grob
Of course, I'm following Bea Grob and have joined in on her weekly Heart Art Challenge. There is a companion Facebook group also, FaceTheScraps, where you can see what others are doing for the challenge. We are on Week 7 now, and I'm having a lot of fun with it.

Nicoletta Zanella
Another recent addition to my subscription list is Nicoletta Zanella - Inspired by My Art. Her art journal pages and tags have really provided me with a lot of inspiration for future projects. She does some guest posts for various blogs, like this one for Faber-Castell and you can see more of her work on Flickr.

Every night, before I turn out the light, I am watching YouTube videos on my tablet. The one thing that I have to be careful about is that I don't end up spending more time watching videos than I do creating art. And I have to get some sleep too.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Heart Art Challenge: Week 6

Last year, I joined a Facebook group called Mixed Media Morsels. It is a companion to a video series created by CatHand to share mixed media techniques in small bites. I learned so many new ways of creating in the mixed media style without being intimidated by the enormity of it. Accepting the fact that there is no right or wrong way to create art was the biggest key to growth.

This year, her videos are entitled 'Mixed Media Morsels: Main Dish' taking the techniques learned in 2016 and combining them on a larger scale as art journal pages. This is where the idea came for my heart art tag this week. To see the Main Dish 2 video, click here.

Since I'd made so many tag backgrounds while playing with my Gelli plate last weekend, I decided to use one of them for my tag this week. 

I picked up a fan brush at a local art store yesterday. It seems to be the tool of choice for adding paint splatters to your work. I still have to find the right combination of paint and water to get the subtle effect I was looking for. My resulting splatters this time were anything BUT subtle. No worries, just another learning experience on the journey.

Next, I cut out a large heart from copy paper. I tore up small bits of pink and white patterned scrapbook paper and glued them randomly onto the heart. I trimmed off the unnecessary bits and used a sponge to ink the edges with black archival ink. The edges of the tag were done also.

I adhered the heart to the tag and coated the entire thing with a generous coat of Mod Podge to seal everything together. 

I used my new stamp and die set to make the butterfly. I auditioned several different colours before settling on the turquoise butterfly. The other colours I tried did not 'work' at all. To give the butterfly a bit of dimension, I glued a piece of chipboard to the back to raise it a bit off the tag. The words 'Butterfly Kisses' were done on my Dymo label maker. 

I am experimenting with so many new techniques and learning a few things along the way. Most importantly, I'm having fun! 

Here is Bea Grob's card for Week 6. To see her process video, click here. Stay tuned for Week 7.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Art Everywhere

Wherever I am, being surrounded by art makes me happy. I even have art displayed in my small cubicle at work. My heart art tags adorn the walls and I have several ATCs on mini easels on my CPU and desk.

Here is where I spend my weekdays, Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can see my heart art challenge tags are prominently displayed on the wall. By the end of the year, there will be 52 tags hanging there. I hope that I have enough space for them all!

I also showcase several ATCs around my workspace, alternating them with new ones each week. Currently displayed are a set of cards I traded for with someone in Dubai. I love all the detail and the texture on these cards.

And yes, that IS Cookie Monster you see sitting off in the corner. He was gifted to me by a fellow employee after I wore a fluffy blue scarf to work one day that was exactly the same colour.