Monday, June 29, 2015


I've come to love stenciling, with all the various techniques that can be done with these versatile tools, and recently had occasion to purchase some wonderful stencils made by The Crafter's Workshop, at Scrapbook Centrale in Montreal.  So I was happy to see three challenges for stencil use!

This is a photo-heavy post for my own archives, so please feel free to breeze through!

Since I wanted to skid in at the last minute to the Country View Challenge "Shabby Chic",  I went with the doily and vintage themes.

Because my base stencil is very large, I decided to work on a jumbo tag for a change.  I built up my color first, by applying Distress Ink from lights to darks in the blue range:  Tumbled Glass, Broken China and Faded Jeans.

I spritzed with water and then thoroughly dried, doing this several times.

I then stenciled with clear gesso using a cosmetic sponge, and when dry, sprayed with Ranger Color Wash in Denim.  I let this dry, and then wiped with a semi-dry baby wipe.

I stenciled on a trio of grungy little butterflies, again from The Crafter's Workshop, using Lumiere Metallic Rust paint, again with a cosmetic sponge.

In keeping with the rust/brown colors, I sprayed some seam binding with Lindy's Stamp Gang Coco Bean Copper, along with their Long John Silver spray to add some lighter areas; I used this last color also to spray some small BoBunny doilies.  When dry, I twisted these for a bit of interest.

To go with the ribbon and doilies, I spritzed up some pre-made Kaisercraft roses from my stash with the same Coco Bean Copper and Long John Silver sprays, this time adding just a bit of Lindy's Bayou Boogie Gold as well.

I pulled out a scrap of coffee filter that had been sprayed with a variety of metallic sprays for a previous make, and cut it with a sweet half-doily die.

The final embellishment was a grunge board key I had cut a long time ago from a die, with lots of repeated applications of aged silver embossing powder to get a metallic look.  To match this color scheme, I dabbed the key with some Treasure Gold in Copper, and then swiped on some black acrylic paint, and wiped that off again with a dry baby wipe after about a minute.

The final bit was to add some script stamping, using black archival ink - I think this came out rather too dark, but too late now!  If doing again, I would use Coffee or Wendy Vecchi's Potted Soil.

And here is the final tag, with some close up shots of the embellishments.....

Thank you so much for stopping by!  And if you've time, please leave a comment - I always love to hear your thoughts!  xx Lynn

I will be adding this to the Shabby Chic challenge at CountryView Challenges, the Crafter's Workshop Stencil Challenge at Artistic Trading Post, the current topic "Stencils" at PaperArtsy, and at Brenda's visual journey once the new month opens up.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Journey to the Masculine

I love seeing  the inspiring makes at Mixed Media World, and this time the theme is Masculine/Father's Day.  Working toward a masculine look or theme is a challenge for me, increased by the fact that I am not preparing a card for a special someone.

Thus, I turned to a steady source of inspiration - the relationship between people and healers.   I have focused this make on a shaman.  The word originates from the Evenki - an aboriginal people from what would now be known as the far north of Siberia.  I chose an image of Shaman Feder Poligus, whose picture dates from 1907.

I decided to make something that would look like a page from a diary kept by an anthropologist traveling to Feder's tribe (as someone obviously did by the fact we have his photo!)

 I took regular white card, and after crumpling it and flattening once again, spritzed with Ranger's Ink Refresher (or glycerin for those of you who can find that).  Once damp, I crumpled it again, flattened and spritzed again, and repeated one more time to get a very supple page.

This was then spritzed with Distress Ink Sprays in Wild Honey, Gathered Twigs, and Vintage Photo, and left to dry. The example on the right is the result of drying overnight, and it was still somewhat damp - it lightened a bit as the project progressed.

Meanwhile, I prepared another piece of card by applying Distress Paints in Mustard Seed, Wild Honey, Vintage Photo and Gathered Twigs to my craft sheet, spritzing generously with water, and swiping my card through several times (whilst spraying the results each time with water if I thought they needed a bit more mixing.)

I did not want to transfer Feder's picture by printing on tissue paper, as it would be about 5 inches by 4 inches (tricky to apply to the surface) .... so I decided to try a gel skin, inspired by Darlene McElroy and Sandra Wilson from their book Image Transfers Workshop.

This involves painting the photocopied (not inkjet!) image several times with gloss soft medium, each time in a different direction, and letting each coat dry before applying the next.  I used a rough (cheap) hardware paint brush because I was interested in the brush strokes.  I left it to dry for about 48 hours (I live in a humid climate, and we have had a lot of rain - drying would take perhaps less time in your area).
Once dry, I removed the paper on the back of the image by generously spraying with water and gently rubbing with my fingers, persistently repeating until the image was clear.

Meanwhile, I took a baby wipe saved from blotting up in a previous project that had lots of yummy browns and a bit of copper spray on it, to use as the second layer on top of the leathered paper.

 I took my painted card, and tore it down to something just larger than Feder's image, and then distressed the edges with Wild Honey Distress Ink.

 I crumpled a piece of Kraft Glassine paper, and sprayed it with deep brown colors from the Distress Sprays and Ranger's Color Wash, and then put Prima's copper crackle paste (from the Art Basics line) through the Tracks Tim Holtz stencil.  I coated this with a layer of matt medium to keep the crackle paste in place.

I secured the sprayed glassine to the baby wipe layer with four small copper brads that I further distressed with Aged Copper embossing powder and a swipe of black archival ink.

 I crumpled several times a piece of waxed brown paper bag (I use these for my lunch),  and traced with a Sharpie pen a version of the Mongolian alphabet spelling "shaman" from a font I found online.  I exaggerated the strokes and added some dots for interest - hopefully I have not turned the word into something unsuitable for polite company!

 I layered the waxed paper over the texture paste on the glassine paper, and tucked the end under the portrait.  For the last bit, I glued a small branch from my hydrangea, to represent the shaman's staff, which in many cultures is itself decorated with feathers, seed pods, beads, and other symbolic items.  However, for lack of most of these things and because I am rather late to this party already, I chose to keep it simple.

Thank you so much for stopping by, and if you've time, please do leave a comment!  I always love to hear from you!  xx Lynn

I will be posting this at Mixed Media World.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Something Hidden for Paper Artsy

I have had a slew of ideas for this fortnight's theme, based on all the yummy projects from the Paper Artsy blog, but no time to fiddle with any of them, alas.  So this is just a simple journal page, where the journaling is veiled by textured mulberry paper that has been sprayed with colors....

I started with a piece of white cardstock which I painted with a blend of light tan acrylics, after first applying a layer of white gesso with an old credit card.

On my ever-growing list of "Things I Want to Learn" is writing script that looks decent.  And as I've not yet done this, I rely on digital fonts from various sources online.  This time I used a fun font called "Salt and Spices" from You Work For Them.

The journaling is a love note to my lately departed cat, Winifred, who I still miss hugely.
After composing my note on the computer, I printed it off on tissue paper, and adhered it to my base page with clear gesso. I didn't use matt medium as I was afraid the ink would run.... why I thought gesso would be better I have no clue, but it did work!

Next, I cut a piece of the beautiful mulberry paper, which is textured with thicker fibers arranged in lovely circles.....

I like to do this sort of messy spraying on a lipped baking sheet, on which I have a teflon liner for easy cleanup.  I used three Distress Sprays:  Mustard Seed, Faded Jeans and Festive Berries....knowing that the water would cause them to blend into greens, oranges and purples as well.

Once dry, these colors lighten up quite a bit, as you can see.  I applied this colored layer to the journaling with matt medium.

Here are some closeups....

Thank you so much for stopping by, and if you've time, please leave a comment!  Always fun to read!

I will be posting this at Paper Artsy and Brenda's Visual Journey.

xx Lynn

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Rocking with Lynne Perrella in Montreal!

I just returned from a wonderful three class series taught at Scrapbook Centrale in Montreal by the phenomenal Lynne Perrella,!

Thank you to Natalie and all of her staff at Scrapbook Centrale, and my fellow workshop participants for making me feel so welcome!

Lynne offered three workshops, one each day. The first addressed the use of "Color as Catalyst". These pieces were created on flat boards (not wrapped canvas), using toner copies of faces, acrylic paints, Portfolio water-soluble oil pastels, and stencils.

On the second day, we looked at using color with full-body figures with various collage elements.  Again we used the same art materials, but this time created the work on Bristol Vellum that was painted with gesso as a base coat.

And on the third day, we played with color, collage and dimensional letters!  Again, we worked on art board, in a larger size, and used any letter or letters from a wide variety of materials.  My letter is some sort of hard plastic faced with canvas.  I liked the large amount of real estate to play with, and at Lynne's suggestion, will consider working on a series of these larger letters.

Watching Lynne demonstrate every day, and witnessing her coaching and critique across many different styles was an incredible learning opportunity.  And of course, I came away with many ideas and lots of new thoughts on using relatively ordinary art materials, including red rosin paper as a foundation (which would need gesso to make it accepting of paint or ink).

I am still working on the last project - I liked how my letter turned out, but not sure I like it on the background project (which I also like - just not sure the two are really compatible).

Here are some detailed shots of the background  - her "bodice" is actually a scrapbook paper depicting a photo of the Great Wall of China.  The scroll above her head is white crackle paste (Wendy Vecchi) mixed with some Luminarte Primary Elements mica powder in Nutmeg.  It is neither shiny nor very crackly, but I do love the texture and color anyway!
The rest of the piece is stenciled, including through the same stencil I used for the scroll at the top (which is Pam Carricker stencil, I believe).

Thank you so much for stopping by, and if you've time, please do leave a comment - I always love hearing from you!  xx Lynn

I will be posting this on Brenda's Visual Journey this week.