Thursday, December 17, 2015

Beaded Embroidered Metal Key - Jewelry Pendant

Hello Everyone,

Before I begin to discuss this project. I have a confession to make. I have a problem...I have crafting ADD. I like to try everything dealing with making stuff and is creative. So earlier this year, I started taking jewelry making classes at my favorite bead supplies store; Off the Beading Path in Occoquan, VA. Sometimes I'll craft multi-task; while I am waiting for the paint on my art pieces to dry, I am making a bracelet. This project is something I made as part of a class and finished at home. This pendant is a metal key that has been embellished with beads, which has been sewn onto leather.       

How it’s made

I started by gluing the metal key, using E-6000 onto Nancy's Stiff Stuff. It's stiff fabric that feels like lightweight chipboard, except you can easily sew through with a needle and lies flat. For reinforcement, I also stitched the key to the Stiff Stuff. I used Fireline beading thread; it's fine, but super strong. I just love this brand of beading thread. I then sewed the 11o green and bronze seed beads onto the Stiff Stuff using a back stitch technique. The bail is made using a peyote stitch. I then glued the project onto a suede fabric, using E-6000 and cut along the edge of the piece. Suede absorbs sweat and protect the stiff stuff.  In order to conceal the glued pieces of fabric, I stitched, some beads along the outside edge. Look the pictures closely, you can't even see the fabric. Lastly, I added a chain. I wear this piece with my brown, green, creams and even purple (good contrast) clothes. In case you try it, happy beading.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hot Chocolate Christmas Mug - Paper Craft

Happy Holidays!

Today I bring you a holiday cheers with holiday theme craft; paper mugs for hot chocolate. I made these to give to my my co-workers.  It’s a cheap, quick and fun craft for all ages.  Check out the various version I made.

How it’s made

First I cut out the mug using a template I got from internet. If you do a search you will find several version of the mug. I decorated and embellished the mug with paper, colored textured gel medium, black 3D pearl paint from Viva (great brand, btw), hole puncher, ribbons and stickers. You can add marshmallows and/or candy cane too, instead of using hot chocolate packets, soup, coffee or apple cider packets can be used intead. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Unlock Your Dreams- Mixed Media Canvas - Mixed Media Shadowbox

Hello Everyone,

So I decided to make this grungy, shabby chic, 8x8 reverse canvas shadowbox. In all honesty, I was not sure where I was going theme" Unlocking Your Dreams". I wanted to portray a caged lock, symbolizing your dreams, hence, the wire wrapped around the canvas and lock. The caged lock symbolizes our dreams held in bondage by our fears. It’s like a metaphor within a metaphor. The idea is that we need to break from ourselves, unlock our dreams and just go for it. I had made it months ago and decided  that I hated it. So I put in some dark corner amongst my art rejects…you know, out of sight out of mind. One day I was straightening things out and came across it and decided that I like it after all. I tweaked a couple of small things and took it out of hiding.

How it’s made

I started out by decoupaging the backside of the canvas with book paper in order to cover the staples holding the canvas. I then painted it with white Gesso. My plan was to wrap the canvas with the wire, giving the cage look. But before doing that I had to work on the center area. I used embossed scrapbooking paper to line the center opening, and painted using Lindy’s Gang Stamp Shimmer spray paint. I wanted a soft, fancy center to contrast the metal lock. I then glued the lock to the center using strong glue, E-6000 glue brand. I then wrapped the canvas with 24 gauge copper wire and decoupaged the entire canvas, back and front. I used purchased imported handmade paper that had string embedded in the paper fibers. I felt that it gave the piece a caged look. The paper is white, and spray painted using Lindy's Gang Stamp Teal Shimmer Spray Paint; Tibentan Teal, Time Traveler Green, and Don't Eat Golden Snow. Once it was dried, I used Tim Holtz Pearls Spray Paint. 

About the embellishments; I sprayed painted with silver paint a  Suzan Lenart Kazmer lock. The compass and mini note book are also from Susan Lenart Kazmer. The gears, arrows, key and mini fountain pens are from Tim Holtz. All which have been painted with Gesso, brown, teal acrylic paints and bronze pearls.  The butterfly is from Fab Scraps; it’s made out of metal and has been painted with Gesso and purple, white acrylic paint. The flowers are paper Prima flowers. The letters is made of chipbooard from Dusty Attic, which was painted with Gesso and Martha Stewart bronze paint. The canvas and embellishments have been sealed with Modge Podge Spray Acrylic Seal.

I hope you enjoyed my little reverse canvas shadowbox piece.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Create Art - Mixed Media Canvas

Hello Everyone!

Those of us who do arts and craft use paintbrushes quite a bit and over time the brushes simply get worn out. Ever wonder what to do with them? Keep them and make art out of it. Brushes inspire so many art themes. In essence, you're upcyling your brushes. I made a grungy, shabby chic mixed media canvas, with the word "create" using brushes.

How it's made

I painted an 11x14 canvas with gesso. I knew I wanted a rainbow of colors for the brushes and canvas. I first laid the brushes on the canvas and planned out my colors. Also vary the sizes of the brushes. I painted the brushes completely to include the bristles with gesso with a good brush of course. I determined how much area I need to paint each segment on the canvas and painted it using American Craft and Martha Stewart matte acrylic paint. The flowers are fabric Petaloo brand flowers and generic paper flowers. The butterflies are  also from Petaloo; the Color Me Crazy line of products. They are flowers and butterflies designed to be painted. I painted the butterflies using Lindsay's Gang Stamp shimmer sprays. The words are chipboard letter from Etsy and painted them in gold acrylic paint.  The copper-ish swirly bling is from Prima. I just love gears and the one you see here are metal gears from Tim Holtz and some generic ones from Michaels.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Key to my Heart - Mixed Media Shadowbox

Hello Everyone!

Today I bring you love…at least in the form of art.  Key to my heart is such a fun theme to work with and for a while I’ve wanted to create an art piece using this theme. So finally the inspiration came to me and a came up with this cute shadowbox. So in order to explain the inspiration behind this piece, I need to get real for a minute. Anybody will tell you that any matter of the heart is simply complicated, despite the countless experts who write and talk about it.  Having said that, "simple and complicated" is what I wanted to show in this piece. The light teal color is supposed to be clear skies, a simple backdrop. In the center is an oversized heart with a tiny key in the opening of the heart and the ladder used to reach the key. These symbols represent the challenges and obstacles we run into when dealing with love and how we are always reaching and trying to win at love.

How it’s Made

I started by painting the entire shadowbox with gesso, then I used  teal acrylic paint for the outside. I used a mixture of Martha Stewart Pearl Acrylic paint colors Mother of Pearl and Aquarium. The inside is decoupage with purchased handmade paper. The paper’s original color is a bluish/teal color with swirly thingies. I used Lindy’s Gang Stamp shimmer spray paint Tibetan Teal and Don't Eat Golden Snow on the paper to match the outside paint a little better. I thought that if I used acrylic paint on the paper, it would completely cover the paper and really wanted to show the beauty of the paper. The heart is made out of FIMO Polymer clay and paper mache. However, instead of using newspaper I used paper towels. I like the indented texture of the paper towels. The heart is painted using Martha Stewart red pearl color. The key is a jewelry charm. I made the ladder out corrugated cardboard and painted using a Martha Stewart Satin paint called Puddy. The entire Shadowbox is is sealed . Hope you enjoyed my, go tell someone you love them.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Soar- Shadowbox

Hi Everyone!

The day you stop having fear, you are on your journey to making your dreams a reality. All which I believe, keeps you from expanding your wings so that you can begin to take flight and soar to new heights. I know it all sounds cliché and probably too dramatic. Nonetheless, it's what I believe and it's what inspired this reverse canvas mixed media piece. So in this piece the bird is leaving his home and all that is familiar, which is why there is a picture of mama bird on the wall. Leaving what is familiar to pursue our dreams takes courage. The little scrolls wrapped with a pen signify the dreams and desire we have deep in us.

How it's made

I used an 8 x 8 deep canvas to make it look like shadowbox. I decorated the canvas using Tim Holtz scrapbooking paper. The letters are Tim Holtz as well. For the area behind the nest, I fuzzy cut the butterflies and musical notes. The swirly leaves are altered Dusty Attic chipboard, which I painted with 3D shimmering paint to give it some dimension. The nest is made out of Spanish Moss and the grass is made out regular Moss. The eggs are made out of polymer clay and painted with acrylic paint. The picture of the bird hanging on the wall was fuzzy cut from the paper and used branches from my backyard to make the frame. The bird that is flying is a BoBunny chipboard, which I painted. The scrolls are also made from the scrapbooking paper and tied with hemp string. The pen is a Tim Holtz metal embellishment. The flowers are made of fabric and are from Petaloo. I hope you enjoy this piece and may you take flight and soar. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Fly - Altered Alarm Clock

Hi Everyone!
So one of the things I like to do is alter stuff. So for this piece is altered Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Assemblage Clock. It’s a metal vintage looking alarm clock, which can be altered…or made it into a real clock. I chose to make a bird and birdcage theme mixed media piece. I recognize that my metaphor is a bit contradictory; with the cage inside the clock, and the birds flying out. Are the birds flying out of the cage and into the world outside clock or out of the clock? That's a rhetorical question, it's art, it’s whatever you want it to be. What I am trying to convey in this piece is that the time to free ourselves out of our own self-created cage is now. We choose when we want to free ourselves and that we are not defined by our situation.

How it's made

I decided to decoupage it with decorative handmade paper that I purchased from the craft store. The cage is made out wire and polymer clay, which I baked for 15 minutes at 150 degrees.  I laid the ground with moss. I used various Prima and Petaloo brand flowers,  made out of fabric, felt, paper and wire (for the stems). The butterflies are made out fabric, bling and glue. I have placed a metal clock inside (I know redundant). The birds and lettering are Dusty Attic chipboard, which have been painted and dabbed with a Stickles glitter. The birds are coated with Modge Podge dimensional magic glue, to give it that 3D look; looks a little like varnish (just lightweight). Hope you enjoyed my altered clock.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Tommy Breaks Free - Book Sculpture

Hi Everyone!
Today I bring you an art piece that is unique, a book sculpture. First, I would like to deeply apologize to the book purists. I was looking for a book at the thrift store when the title of the this book "Liberty" inspired this piece. I quickly imagine some guy whose been in prison for a crime he did not commit trying to break free. I imagined his anger and agony and him breaking out of the book. Just so you know the story in this book is not the same, it's totally different story.

How it's made
I started by cutting out the center of the book with an Xacto knife. Since Tommy was going to breaking out, I wanted it to look like the pages were ripped out. Once I cut them out then gave it naturally ripped look.  Tommy is made of polymer clay and decoupaged with the pages from the book. I made the handcuffs out of clay and chain and painted using brown and bronze colors.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Opportunity Knocks - Mixed Media Canvas

Hi Everyone!

Knock! Knock! Whose there? Opportunity. Wouldn’t it be nice, if great things came our way easily. The sad truth is that they don’t and we have to work really hard at making things happen. And there are times that despite trying hard, blood, sweat and tears we come up short again and again. Yes, this is demoralizing and upsetting. You can do two things, retreat or make something happen using a new game plan and instead of working within an established perceived parameters or establishment, we look outside them and create our own opportunities.

How it’s made

I started with an 11x14 canvas. The entire piece is made out Dusty Attic chipboard shapes that have been altered and painted. The background, case you can’t tell, is supposed to be a house’s outside wall.  The background is painted using several colors; orange, burnt sienna, brown, white, yellow and a tinge of red,  I wanted this Tuscany Villa type color. The bricks is made from chipboard, Dusty Attic brand; they were painted with red, brown and white. The grout in between the brick is Modeling Paste. I used a palette knife like a trowel to smooth out the Modeling Paste between the bricks. The door did not come with a door knob, so I had to make my own out of polymer clay. The door’s wrought iron bars and door knob have been painted with brown, burnt sienna acrylic paint and bronze pearl powder. The pearl powder gives this aged and distressed look. The door was painted in green and white gesso. For the door, bricks and background I applied used a dry brush technique using gesso. I think it gives this aged distressed look.

So remember, if opportunity does not knock, build a door and paint it whatever color you want…

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Winged Heart - Mixed Media Canvas

Hi Everyone!

Hearts and wings is used a lot in art themes, in just about every style. Who doesn't like hearts and wings; its symbolism is awe inspiring. I too got inspired and decided to make this shabby chic, steampunk style canvas piece and it just had to be aqua, yellowish color scheme. Being that I like inspirational words on my art pieces, I found this perfect quote to go with it "Let your dreams be your wings and your heart be your guide". I believe that our dreams takes us wings. Well you just can't have the wings, you also need to know where you are going. So your heart is your guide, you know like a compass.

How it's done

I used an 8 x 10 canvas, which I painted white gesso.  I added swirly design using a stencil and Modeling Paste. For the background I used Lindy's Gang Stamp shimmer sprays; Tibetan Teal and gold. The heart and wings are made out Fimo polymer clay. I first created a template by tracing a heart shape onto chipboard paper and shaped the clay around the template. I could of done it freehand, but I wanted to make sure the heart was evenly shaped. I also stamped shapes on the heart with a rubber stamp. I painted it with gesso, then painted it with read pearl paint. Then added watered down black paint, and filled the crevices of the stamped shapes and wiped any excess paint.

The wings were a little tricky to make. I could of easily bought resin wings, but the ones I saw I ran across were too small, so I had custom made mine. I wanted this 3D, so I carved look the wing's feathers. Started out by first drawing the wings on paper, ensuring the size is proportionate to the heart and that it fit on the canvas. Then I transfer the drawing onto tracing paper. I flatten out an area big enough for the wings to fit on. In order to have an evenly shaped area, I ran the clay though the pasta making machine. The clay is 1/4" thick.  I placed my tracing paper on top of the clay, and the piece of plastic  on top of the tracing paper.  Using a clay stylus and traced the wings. The plastic keeps the tracing paper from ripping, being that it's so thin and fragile. Then I used an Xacto knife to cut out the wings. I painted it with gesso, then mother of pearl acrylic paint.

The gears are Dusty Attic chipboards and Tim Holtz metal gears. I first painted all the gears with white gesso, then painted with them with aqua and brown paint acrylic paint. In order to give it that grungy, rusty metal look, I used Jacquard bronze pearl powder and mixed it into the paint. It totally gives it this rusty metal look with a hint of shine. The decorative swirly shape above the heart is also a Dusty Attic chipboard that was painted with aqua acrylic paint. The key, keyhole, and arrows metal embellishments are from Tim Holtz, which was also painted with same paint  and pearl powders as the gears. I used bling throughout the piece...I like how it contrast the grungy gears.

So go on, grow your wings,  follow your heart and make your dreams come true...



Friday, April 17, 2015

Follow Your Dreams - Shadowbox

Hi Everyone!

A word, phrase, or quote and at times, a dream will inspire an art ideas. From that inspiration I create a shadowbox, canvas, sculpture, or alter some other innocent artifact. Words once again have inspired me to create mixed media shadowbox; I call it “Follow Your Dreams”. These words conjured the image of a cage with the door that is ajar and the birds flying. The theme creates an allegory for our inner psyche; a desire to achieve our goal and dreams and to do so we must reach outside ourselves.

How it's made

For the shadowbox I used a picture frame, which I painted with gesso, then painted with Martha Stewart pearl aqua paint. I also added textured designs to the front and sides using a stencil and Modeling Past. The cage is made out of 16 gauge galvanize steel wire. I cut individual piece of wire all the same size and slightly bent them. The wire is held together FIMO clay. The clay at the base was textured using Lisa Pavelka border clay molds. I then baked the wire into the clay in the oven for 15 minutes at 250 degrees. After baking the clay, you might find that all of the wire pieces may still get loose. If this happens, add E-600 glue in the hole and the wire will bond to the clay. I used Prima flowers and various clocks, key, and keyhole metal embellishments; which have been painted. The grass is made using texture paste, which has been painted with green paint. The birds are made out clay from a silicon mold that I made from a necklace charm. I like the bird charm so much that I wanted to use it for other craft pieces  that I had make a mold so I can make clay embellishments. The swirl piece that looks like it’s holding the cage and the letters is Dusty Attic chipboard. The cage’s background was made with a musical notes stamp, using Staz-On ink. So get on out there and follow your dreams!