Category Archives: mixed media

Aged Crown Finish

I have received quite a large number of requests on how I did the finish on my Crown of the Ocean.

Because of the response this piece received, I decided it’s time to share just how simply this aged finish is to do.  Keep in mind that I am not replicating this finish exactly.  I am using a different crown base with different colors because this base will be used on my next crown.  You’ll have to stay tuned to see how it turns out!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Retro Cafe Art Gallery Style 2
Ten Seconds Studio VerDay Patina Paint System
Art Alchemy Metallique Paint “Steampunk Copper”
Gold Leaf
Leaf Adhesive
Gesso
Heat tool

Stand by to be blown away at just how easy this is to do!

Step 1:  Coat crown base in gesso.  I do this so that the paint that will be applied in the next step stays nice and vivid without absorbing the chipboard color.

Step 2:  Apply acrylic paint with a sponge brush.  I brush it on and then dab over it to give it a rough finish.  It’s also a great way to hide brush strokes that you don’t want to be seen.

Step 3:  Once the paint has dried, use a sponge brush and randomly dab the iron paint from the VerDay kit onto the base.  Remember, perfection and precision are the enemy here.

Spray with patina spray and apply second coat according to product instructions.  Once it has cured, about 4 hours, this is the finish you end up with.

Step 4:  Be sure to carefully read the directions on the bottle of leafing adhesive.  If it is applied incorrectly, your leafing will not stick properly and will flake off.  Once your adhesive has dried for the requisite amount of time, stick the leafing on like you would do foiling.  Again, precision is not the goal here.  We want a random, muddled look that adds to the aged finish.

Step 5:  Use a SOFT paintbrush and brush away the excess leafing and finish the edges.  If you notice you have some hard edges in the leafing, simply scratch at it with your finger nail.  I recommend using a cheap synthetic watercolor brush.  A hard brush will remove the leafing.

Keep brushing the leaf and finishing the edges until you are happy with how it looks.  You can also reapply the adhesive and leaf to cover any “holes” you may see.

Step 6:  The easiest way to I have found to shape the crown without creasing it is with a heat tool.  Gently heat up the chipboard bases from behind and slowing shape the crown until the ends connect.  Take your time and be patient otherwise you will end up with creases.

Connect the crown pieces with the brads that are included and call it done!

The wonderful thing about this finish besides how simple it is to do is the crown could be considered complete at this point.  It’s such a beautiful and high impact look that any further embellishing is not necessary.  However, if you’re like me, more is more!

“Gabriella” Santos Shrine

Hi everyone!  I’m back today to share with you a project that was intended to go one direction, but in the end, took on a completely different idea as one idea failed and another proved to be fantastic!  I wish I had taken photos of the mishaps that forged the road ahead for Gabriella, but alas.  I did not.  In all honesty, I think I was too frustrated to even think about grabbing my camera.

You see, at first, she was going to have the face of Frida, but since that idea fell apart, more like broke upon my floor (literally), I decided to go in a different direction instead.

I have had this beaded beauty in my cabinet for some time now, just waiting for the perfect piece to put it one.  And talk about serendipity!  If you have followed me for a while, these pieces are hand beaded one by one using a needle, glue, seed beads, and micro beads.  Her “halo” is a piece of magic in itself.

I also wanted to try my hand at painting.  Not just regular shading, full color type painting.  Actual images in the vein of tole art painting.  I knew Gabriella was going to have a mix of cultural infusions and I wanted the shrine to be of a Mexican folk art style.

The inside of the shrine is a very cool printable from Xquizart that simply enhanced the look I was going for.

Gabriella’s heart is always at a low and hot smolder.  Passion for life, even in death is her mantra.

Would you like to know the secrets in assembling this piece?

Step 1:  I always prep my pieces with gesso simply because I almost always end up painting them.

Step 2:  I used Sandra Evertson’s “MUSE” stamps and stamped into Apoxie Sculpt.  I cut the excess clay away and used them in other moulds.  You notice the Frida face?  Yeah, well, she broke when I dropped her, thus the change in direction.  You can paint the pieces without the clay being dry.  It’s perfect for us impatient types.

Step 3:  Draw your design onto your pieces.  I used a pencil and then painted it in with acrylic paint.

Step 4:  Trace panels onto paper.  Cut and glue them to each piece.

Step 5:  Highlight the flowers with a white pen and ink edges.

Step 6:  For Gabriella’s smoldering heart, paint a base coat of acrylic paint.  Once it dries, apply a thick layer of Kroma Crackle that has been tinted with acrylic paint.  Heat set it with a heat tool.  This technique is one I learned from Michael DeMeng.

The Santos heart that serves as Gabriella’s bodice was done using a faux Kintsugi effect which I demonstrated on Facebook.  You can find the full video here.

Assemble your pieces using an industrial glue like E6000 or Goop.

Supply List:

Large Exquisite Santos Doll Antiquity Shrine Kit
Relics & Artifacts® “Rising Spirit IV with Wood Support”
Relics & Artifacts® “Flaming Hearts Ex Votos I”
Relics & Artifacts® “Ancient Soul”
Sandra Evertson “MUSE” Art Stamps “Mandala”
Sandra Evertson “Muse” Art Stamps “Muse”
Kroma Crackle
E6000 Industrial Adhesive
Xquisart “Hippie Chick”
Tumble Fish Studio “Cut apART”
Signo Uni-Ball White Gel Pen
Liquitex Acrylic Paint
StazOn “Jet Black”

“Make A Wish” Butterfly Doorplate

I remember when Kristin first came out with this beautiful Escutcheon Plates.  They were unique, simple, beautiful, and I had to have them.  Buuuuuuuut I didn’t know what I wanted to do with them.  Until now.

I’ve recently developed a newfound love for dies and my kids got me this Tim Holtz butterfly die with coordinating embossing folders and I’ve never used it.  Until now.

As many of you already know, I also love Relics & Artifacts and will continue using them when I can.  Especially now.

You know what else makes me all sort of giddy?  When friends come out with cool stuff to use.  Like Lynne Moncrieff’s stamps.

Would like to see how I put all of the elements I love together?

Step 1:  Prepare your pieces with gesso.  When gesso dries, use an adhesive and sprinkle glitter onto the plate.

Step 2:  Cut butterfly and emboss with coordinating folder.  Paint with acrylic paint and highlight with Inka Gold metallic rub.

Step 3:  Paint framing element with acrylic paints.

Step 4:  Use the flourish stencil and acrylic paint over the glittered doorplate.

Step 5:  While the doorplate dries, paint the Flora piece with acrylic paint and highlight with a lighter color.

Step 6:  Stamp sentiment and cut works apart.

Step 7:  Chalk the edges of each paper cutout and arrange on doorplate.

Step 8:  Add beading detail.

Simple stuff using elements we all love!

Supply List:
Retro Cafe Art Gallery Escutcheon Door Plate Style 1
Retro Cafe Art Gallery Large Flourish Stencil
Gesso
Bohemian Jewel Aquamarine
Inka Gold

DecoArt Glamour Dust
DecoArt Acrylic Paint
“Lynne’s Affirmations” stamps
Beads
Tim Holtz Butterfly Die
StazOn Jet Black ink

 

Crown of the Ocean

Hi everyone!  I’ve gotten the crown itch again and this is one I’ve been wanting to do for what seems like forever.  My heart has always been drawn to the sea.  I always feel rejuvenated and at peace when I set on the sandy beach and stare out at the horizon.  This crown is the result of my combine respect and appreciate for what the ocean gives us and the power it wields.  It is full of life and just has it harbors it, it can easily take it away.  It has the power to render things from the small and insignificant to the mighty and regal, aged and fragile.

Here’s a brief tutorial on how I put this Crown of the Ocean together.  Because this piece never had a completed vision in my mind’s eye, I do not have proper stepped out photos.  This was totally a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of project.  All I knew when I started was that I wanted it to be a sea theme.

Step 1:  Paint your crown base with acrylic paints, both matte and metallic.  Once it dries, get the oxidized effect using any number of patina-creating kits out there.  After the patina fully cures and dries, apply gold leafing randomly all over the crown.  Dress it up with some dresden trim that has been treated with patina.  Finally, glue ball chain around the crown.

Step 2:  Paint your fancy shells using white gesso.  Apply a coat of opalescent paint in the center of the shells.  Use gold acrylic paint to dress up the outside edges and bring out that shine with a high impact metallic glaze.  I used Tattered Angels High Impact paint in “Antique Gold”.  Use a paintbrush and spread some resin on the inside of the shell and sprinkle some microbeads and add a pearl. The resin seals in the beads but it also looks like water.

Step 3:  Use the coral fans as embellishments!  Dress them up with Iced Enamels “Carnelian” or any other corally color you have.  You could even mix paints to achieve just the right orangey shade.

Step 4:  Start attaching your pieces to the crown base.  I started with the heavy shells first and then built around them.  You also will want to use a very strong glue like E6000 or Goop.  make use of those shells you found on your last trip to the beach!  Keeping them au naturale adds a softening contrast against the glitzy gold and vibrant coral.

Step 5:  Finish by attaching starfish.  I left mine their natural color so that the color of the coral is tied in with the rest of the crown.

Now sit back and admire your crafty genius!

Supply List:
Retro Cafe Art Gallery “Regal Chipboard Santos Crown Style 1” (you will need two)
Retro Cafe Art Gallery “Coral Cut-Outs”
Relics & Artifacts “Coquille”
Relics & Artifacts “Daisy Chain Small”
Ice Resin

Iced Enamels “Carnelian”
VerDay Patina Paint System
Liquitex Acrylic Paint “Gold”
Tattered Angels High Impact Paint “Antique Gold”
Art Alchemy Paint “Rich Turquoise”
Art Alchemy Opal Paint “Blue-Gold”
Art Alchemy Micro Beads “Bronze”
Art Alchemy Micro Beads “Splash”
Art Alchemy Micro Beads “Copper”
Tim Holtz Ball Chain
Gold Leaf and Adhesive
E6000 Adhesive
Shells, pearls, and starfish

A Teaser of My Heart

I’m active in my art universe again and working to keep this place here, my little creative space on the interwebz, updated!  I have a sneak peek here of my latest piece on the Relics & Artifacts® Muse!

I wanted to try something new and you’ll have to head over to see what I came up with.  Let’s just say, I needed to remind myself to LIVE OUT LOUD!

A Return and a Flaming Heart

Oh man does it feel GREAT to be back!  When the lovely Kristin of Retro Cafe Art Gallery decided to take some time away in order to prepare for the arrival of her gorgeous daughter, I thought it would be a good time to just relax, enjoy the down time and focus on other avenues such as school.  Now that the shop is open, it’s time to give this space here a little much needed TLC and what better way to start off on a new foot than sharing my HEART with all of you!

I’m always a sucker for shrines, shadow boxes, and niche boxes and this is one I’ve had in my stash for some time now.  To sit down with the pieces and paint and just let the process take over was pure magic.

After seeing some beautiful Mexican folk art pieces by my fellow Art Sister, Kim Collister, I was inspired.  I just let the vision in my mind flow through my hands but at the same time, I wanted to keep an element of traditional inspiration in the piece.

Shall we take a journey into my technical process?

Step 1:  Prep your Fancy Flaming Heart Milagro Shrine pieces with some gesso and color those babies!  Go wild, honey!  Go.  Wild.

Step 2:  Bust out that acrylic paint and sponge brush and go to town!  I like the bumpy look so I dabbed the paint onto the heart rather than brush it on.  You can also dab it onto your hands.  I may or may not have done so myself.Step 3:  Add more color and accent with some shading.  Like splatters?  Then splatter away!  (Mine ended up getting covered up, but I’m okay with that.)Step 4:  Glue everything together.  If you are like me and use E6000 or Goop, don’t forget to open a window.  I think I may have gotten a wee bit loopy unintentionally huffing the Goop.  I’m a sucker for beads and if you’ve seen my work, you’d already know this about me.  Why should this piece be any different?

Step 5:  More fine beading on the flames and tips.  For the niche, add some glue and dump some microbeads into it.  Why wait for that glue to dry?  Bust out the Goop (and a fan!) and glue your charm in.  Lovin’ my dainty border?  Take a length of seven of the small daisy chain dresden and cut that baby in half.  Be sure to use super sharp scissors!

Step 6:  Make a margarita, sit back, and just admire your creative process!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy not only my return to blogging but the re-opening of Retro Cafe Art Gallery.  I’m sure I speak for the rest of my Art Sisters by saying we are thrilled to be BACK!

Supply List:
Fancy Flaming Heart Milagro Shrine
Finnabair Art Alchemy Metallique Paint “Gold Rush”
Finnabair Art Alchemy Metallique Paint “Rich Turquoise”
Finnabair Art Alchemy Metallique Paint “Fresh Orange”
Finnabair Art Alchemy Metallique Paint “Ancient Coin”
Finnabair Art Ingredients Micro Beads “Copper”
Relics & Artifacts® Dresden Trim “Daisy Chain-Small”
Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint “Cadmium Red Medium Hue”
E6000 Glue
Milagros Charm
Seed Beads

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Inspiration in Experimentation

alcohol-ink-pendant-2So I was playing around one afternoon and a thought occurred to me.  Relics & Artifacts® take and hold different mediums and paints so well, alcohol ink had to be sure thing.  Inspired, I sat down with some bright colors, a makeup sponge and a Chandelier Pendant and went to work.

A little dab here, some more dabbing there, add a rub-on and holy smokes!  It worked!

chandelier-5At this point, I was playing around with Bohemian Jewels as a finishing accent.  Aren’t they just lovely against those bright colors?

I decided to try to glitter up the rub-on a bit, and while the effect isn’t exactly what I was looking for, it didn’t turn out too bad.  I also went with the rhinestones compressed together instead of spread apart.  Slap a coat of Ice Resin® on top and just let that baby goooooo!

alcohol-ink-pendant

Stay tuned over on the Relics & Artifacts® Muse for a tutorial and some different looks and effects in the very near future!

Supply List:
Tim Holtz Alcohol Ink “Dockside Picnic”
Tim Holtz Remnant Rubs “Botanical”
Relics & Artifacts® Chandelier Pendants V
Relics & Artifacts® Bohemian Jewels Aquamarine
Ice Resin®

“Merry Christmas” Banner

banner-1

Can you believe we are already getting ready for Christmas?  I know I can’t.  This year has just flown by!   Today, I have a cute banner for you using the layered ornaments and snowflakes from Retro Cafe Art.

banner-7You would never believe how easy this banner was to put together!  For real!  And I’ll bet money you have all of the supplies I used here already in your stash.

banner-5Some pretty Christmas themed scrapbook paper, embossing powder and a heat tool, some super awesome alphas, glitter, and Ice Resin is all you need!

banner-4Oh, and no worries if you don’t have Ice Resin.  You can use Diamond Glaze but you won’t be able to fill the bezel wells.  Trust me.  It looks just as adorable without the resin.

banner-3I chose to use Ice Resin because (shhhhhh….don’t say anything) the stuff scares me!  YES!  It scares me.  But after doing this bad boy, it’s not nearly as daunting as it was before.

banner-2Wanna know how I put it all together?

Step 1:  Cut your pretty paper to fit each piece you want covered.  I used Mod Podge to glue my paper down.

banner-step-1Step 2:  Use your embossing powder and heat tool to cover the snowflakes.

banner-step-2Step 3: Decorate each piece with beads and glue down the frames.  Mix your Ice Resin according to the manufacturing directions.  Sprinkle in some round beads or glitter and let it cure according to the instruction.

banner-step-3Step 4:  Prepare your awesome alphas with some paint and for extra sparkle, add some glitter. Dump that stuff all over!

banner-step-4Step 5:  Place your alphas inside the wells created by the frames and dump more resin to fill and cover the letters.  I sprinkled some more microbeads to get a layered effect.  It also helps to use the leftover resin and paintbrush and spread it all over the whole piece to seal it.

banner-step-5Attach the pieces to ribbon with hot glue and add some Bohemian Jewels to the ornaments’ hanging holes.

Supply List:
Snowflake Ornaments
Christmas Ornaments
Microbeads
Bohemian Jewels
Dresden Trim
Ice Resin
Iced Enamels
Glitter
Acrylic Paint
Scrapbook Paper
Alphas
Beads

2016 Tombstones from Retro Cafe Art Gallery

2016-tombstones-2

This year is the first time I’ve ever worked with any of the Tombstones from Retro Cafe Art Gallery.  You see, every year, Kristin hosts a Tombstone swap and every year, I’ve always watched from the sidelines, always a bit nervous to commit and play along.

skull-tombstone

Some of that apprehension was due to logistics in that I live overseas.  I was always nervous that my submissions would arrive late or not at all.  I was also worried about damage to them during the shipping process.

spider-tombstone

I also worried about my level of talent.  I mean, I have seen most of the tombstones after they were altered and decorated and they were just mind-blowing.  To throw my little creations into that kind of mix was daunting, to say the least.

zombie-hands-tombstone

Fast forward and here we are and it’s 2016.  I decided, “What the heck!” and decided to play along this year only it’s not a swap.  It’s a challenge.  And I’m not a regular participant.  I’m a design team member.  A much different perspective and the guise of participating under obligation is one heck of a motivator.  After all, I can’t be a spoil sport simply because I’m a scaredy cat right?

witch-tombstone

So there you have it.  My 2016 Tombstones, all dressed right and purty for this Halloween shindig!  Wanna know how I did it?

Step 1:  Using the “Witch Hunt” digital collage, trace, cut and glue down your chosen designs to the tombstone.  I used Mod Podge.  If you don’t plan on painting or inking the paper, you can seal it with a coat of Mod Podge over the top.  I chose not to since I chalked my edges.

tombstones-step-1

Step 2:  Prep your embellishments with a coat of gesso.  I do this so that when I paint them, the color holds true.

tombstones-step-2

Step 3:  Start embellishing your embellishments!  I used paint and glitter over mine.  The Finnabair Crackle Pasts gives my zombie arms a nice, scaly look.  I dusted some dark brown mica powder into the crack and wiped clean with a baby wipe.

tombstones-step-3

This one, I covered in glitter.

tombstones-step-4

Step 4:  Wind wire around a skinny skewer and clue your mini bats and pumpkins to them.  Attach to the tombstone with hot glue.

tombstones-step-5

Step 5:  Finish your embellishing and assemble your tombstones.  I glued moss onto my bases and added some finishing touches.

2016-tombstones-1

Be sure to jump in on the fun in the Retro Cafe Art Gallery Community and order your 2016 Tombstones today!  A $25 gift certificate to the Retro Cafe Art Gallery store is up for grabs with this year’s challenge.  Be sure to use #2016Tombstones in your entry post!

Supply List:
Gothic Tombstone ATC Bases V
Gothic Tombstone ATC Stands
Frame Silhouette Ornament (Spider)
Frame Silhouette Ornament (Witch)
ATC Witch Hunt Halloween Background Collage Sheet
Sugar Skull Cut Outs
Pumpkin and Jack-O-Lantern Cut-Outs
Mini Bat Cut-Outs
Broken Fence Cut-Outs
Gothic Fence Cut-Outs
Spooky Black Cat Cut-Outs
Zombie Arm Cut-Outs
VerDay Paint & Patina Set
Inka Gold (Lava Red)
Finnabair Art Alchemy Metallique Paint (Green Olive)

 

“Curious Curio”

Curious Curio 1

I just love shadow boxes and curio cabinets.  They treasures stored inside, the mysteries, the stories, they commonality between each item it holds just gets my imagination flowing.  I’ve only ever done one multi-cubicle shadow box before,  I figured it’s high time to do another!

This “Curious Curio” is just filled to the brim with the curious, the odd, and the weird.  Everything just seemed to come together so easily.

Curious Curio 9

It’s super easy to put one together if you use the Keepsake Curio Shrine kit, Relics & Artifacts, and some found objects you most likely already have in your stash.  Let’s take a stroll through the curious and the odd and learn how I put this beautiful collection together.

Step 1:  Prime your Curio pieces with some lovely VerDay paint and patina according to the package instructions.  Don’t be shy with it either!  My beautiful color variation is the result of three coats, the last coat being applied with the previous coat still partially wet.

Curious Curio Step 1

Step 2:  Assemble your Curio once the VerDay has completely cured and dried.  Once your adhesive has dried, start hacking into some really cool paper for you cubby backgrounds.  I used a mix of Graphic 45’s “Steampunk Debutante” and “Old Curiosity Shoppe”.

Curious Curio Step 2

Step 3:  Add a strip of paper around the outside of the curio if you choose to cover the assembly notches.  I like decorative edges so I “aged” some white Fleur Dresden trim with VerDay to finish it off.  I used a chalk edger to make the very deliberate “lines” on the paper and age it a bit.

Curious Curio Step 6Step 4:  Now it’s time to focus on the cubbies!  I used the Circle Shrine Trinket in one cubicle and the result is beautiful.  Use some Art Alchemy Paint and Crackle Accents to dress up your trinket and a micro head from the “Figureheads” set of Relics & Artifacts  I ended up going back and finishing mine off with copper studs and Finnabair Micro Beads.

Curious Curio Step 4Step 5:  What is a “Curious Curio” without some tiny vials of questionable substances?  Decorate your vials with medical labels from the “Antique Medicine Bottle Label” collage sheet.  I also filled my vials with Art Stones and more Micro Beads.  I dressed my vials up further using some jute and leftover Dresden.

Curious Curio Step 3Step 6:  Let’s add another Trinket shrine, a head with a mind’s eye!  I painted my Head Trinket shrine with some more Art Alchemy paint and dressed him up with more micro beads.  I toned down the beautiful vivid green with a chalk edger.

Curious Curio Step 5Step 7:  Let’s add some body parts but without the “eew” factor.  The “Milagros” set of Relics & Artifacts are PERFECT for this curio.  Now some of the best results happen because of happy accidents and this is one of them.  To get that cracked, pivoted, aged porcelain look, apply a REALLY thick coat of Crackle Accents and let it set overnight.  The result will be nice crackling along the edges but a shiny and “clean” surface on the main areas.

To get the pivots, I used a pair of pliers and actually hit the pieces directly.  Be careful and don’t beat them but don’t be gentle and tap them either.  Once you think you’ve done enough damage, brush over the cracks with Artisan Powder and wipe the piece down with a dry napkin.Curious Curio 6Step 8:  The “Treasure” cut-out that serves as my title uses a technique I learned from the amazing and lovely, Linda Cain.  I have ALWAYS adored how she does her paint work and blending.  She shared her secret with me and I could not believe how simple it was.  She paints the piece with one color.  Once dry, she does the edges with a second color using a sponge!  Brilliant right?!  I need more practice but I still love how mine turned out.

Add a drawer pull to finish off the top.

Curious Curio 3Step 9:  Finish assembling your cubbies as you feel.  I used a Frozen Charlotte, a vacuum tube dressed in a Fleur de Lis crown, and some found objects and beads I had in my stash.

Curious Curio 7

Would you believe that the gold eagle piece is simply the top to an old cologne bottle?  Dig around and use your imagination!

Curious Curio 8

These curios contain endless possibilities and the fun is limitless.  Be on the lookout for more of these coming from me!

Supply List:
Keepsake Curio Shrine Kit
Chipboard Art Scrip Word Cut-Outs Set 3
Circle Shrine Trinket Pack of 2
Head Trinket Keepsakes Kit Pack of 2
Antique Medicine Bottle Label Collage Sheet
Ornate Fleur Cut-Outs Style 1
German Dresden Border Fleur White
Frozen Charlotte  China Doll Small (2″ – 2.5″)
Vintage Vacuum Tube
Antique Brass Fleur-de-lis-Crown Set of 4
VerDay Paint & Patina Kit
Vintage Mechanicals Clock Face Small
Art Alchemy Metallique Paint “Gold Rush”
Art Alchemy Metallique Paint “Royal Red”
Art Alchemy Metallique Paint “Green Olive”
Art Ingredients Micro Beads “Copper” (linked to Bronze)
Art Ingredients Mini Art Stones
Art Basics Soft Matte Gel
Ranger Inkssentials Crackle Accents
“Milagros” Relics & Artifacts
“Figureheads” Relics & Artifacts
Tim Holtz Locket Keys
Graphic 45 “Steampunk Debutante”
Graphic 45 “Old Curiosity Shoppe”
Chain
Beads
Various Found Objects