Sunday, February 28, 2016

Nelson Loves Millie

This is the story of Nelson and Millie, who are on their honeymoon in Paris in 1946.  

They met while he was serving in the second World War, stationed in England. 

She was a refugee
 from France, where she had been a cabaret singer prior to the occupation by Nazi Germany June 14, 1940. 

 I cannot imagine what this must have felt like.....just as I cannot imagine now the suffering of the thousands of political refugees still trying to escape Syria and other notorious homelands. 

But back to Nelson and Millie..... this is my tag for Tim's February challenge.  

I started by staining a #10 manila tag with Tumbled Glass stain, and drying.  Then I used the stencil technique described by Mr. Holtz, using Peacock Feathers and his fabulous Flourish stencil.  I do not yet have the mini version, but I did use the larger version thrice horizontally as he describes to cover my tag.

I love, love, love the watercolor effects of this technique!!  Even though this stencil has large areas of stencil material, it still registers beautifully as a watercolor.  I chose this because I envision Nelson and Millie ensconced in a lovely Paris hotel, with gorgeous wallpaper!  

I distressed the edges with Frayed Burlap DI, and then I sponged on some Pumice Stone DI through the Harlequin stencil....I don't have a picture because I moved right onto my image.

I had thought to use a very sweet image from the Passport Photos collection, but I did not like how the left side of the image cut off the potential Millie's face....even though I adore the couple.  So I went online, and located the image I used.... printing it on regular copy paper at 90% of the original.  This size cut off the gorgeous velvet brocade curtains on the right of Millie, and the fact that she is actually sitting on a faux Roman pedestal... but I wanted the detail for their faces, and also to eliminate the evidence of Nelson's lit cigarette!

Now to the frame.  I made this by using two nested dies, and one of my mop-up tags from this.  I also cut a small heart lock from a Sizzix lock and key collection from the same tag, as well as the little Movers and Shapers Eiffel Tower.   Not the right color, I know - but trying to keep to the color schematic here, lol!  The heart lock represents the now discontinued Love Bridge...imagine 45 tons!!! 

I used some left-over letters from the same previous piece, using the coppered-colored card, and as "N" and "M" were there.... well, you can see where this went with the names!

Next, I applied Ranger texture paste with the small Valentine sentiment stencil, and added some detailed copper embossing powder - got a little messy on the "adore", but better on the "you and me".

Last, I made a bow from seam binding spritzed with Tumbled Glass Spray Stain, and then aged with a new Prima powder specifically designed for this purpose.

And here is the finished piece.

Thank you so much for visiting.... and if you've time, please do leave a comment!  I love hearing your thoughts! And PS - I am reluctant to put on the new craft sheet from Santa, since this one still works even though it is a bit scrungy.  I did get some oven liners per Lisa's suggestion... now I just need to clear everything off to put them in place, lol!! 

xxx Lynn

Monday, February 15, 2016

Stenciling, Splatters & Crayons

After the darker palette of the last few makes, I wanted to create something a bit more spring-like, especially since we just got hit by another snow storm (only a few inches, but still!)  I was also inspired to make another something for the current PaperArtsy Wax challenge, and to put something into the new Stamps and Stencils challenge to Splatter, Spritz and Smoosh!

My foundational inspiration was the prompt for the Wanderlust art journal from Kasia, to write and write and write in one's journal....

I did so with a medium-fine Sharpie pen....

I wanted to add some color, and thought to do so with Portfolio crayons, which although oil based (so really creamy) react to water... but first I added some stenciling with Ranger transparent gloss paste though a Stencil Girl faux script stencil from Carolyn Dube.

I forgot take a picture before coloring, but hopefully you can see from the sheen here that I have a layer of the transparent gloss paste stenciled on top of my original writing.

From there, I added the Portfolio Watercolor crayons in a rainbow can also see here how I was testing on a scrap piece of card how to use water with this product.  I am familiar with these wonderful crayons from Lynne Perrella, with whom I have been fortunate to study several times (and again this May!)  But she does not use these as watercolors, generally.  Rather, she  blends them with her fingers, sometimes with a bit of water, but really not much - nothing like what I am doing here.  I have colored with the crayons here, but without water.

And now I have added some water by spritzing with a spray bottle and dragging down the color swatch with a very soft paint brush.

I then wiped away the color from the texture paste.... I love what results.  

For some reason it was harder to get this look in the warmer colors - I think this might be because they are lighter but also because my brush was wetter.  Will have to play around with this to see what is what!  But nonetheless, I love the soft color spectrum I got!

Next, I added some bling splatter using Lumiere Sunset Gold and the Tim Holtz splatter brush...

And here is the finished page... I like the colors, and the elements - but it needs something.  Will have to figure that out!

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

xxx Lynn

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tangled Wax

Encaustic art intrigues me - the dreamy feel that comes from the wax layers lends another aspect.  So I was delighted to see Paper Artsy's latest challenge to use wax.  I've also been wanting to play around with two of the latest ideas from Wanderlust (which I encourage you to join - so many wonderful teachers available online this year!)   The first idea was to get some Zentangling going...and the second was to use Kasia's prompt to write, write, write fast, fast, fast on a page.  I've done that in my journal, which I will be posting next, and it was so fun I decided to try it on this piece.

I was not as brave as Astrid to try the wax bit on gessoed paper, lol!  Instead, I used an 8 inch by 8 inch board prepared for encaustic, which I had on hand as I just got a DVD by Michelle Bello on encaustic techniques.  I was also lucky to secure a Ranger Melting Pot, which although discontinued, are still possible to find here in the States, at least online.  But I could also have used a small  metal container heated low in a frying pan, or any number of other work-arounds that you can find on the internet.

I began by painting a wide stripe of black gesso, over which I would lay a piece of this beautiful textured paper I found at our wonderful local art store.

First, though, I used a regular Sharpie to cover the white space with writing and something like a tangle.  I don't know how Zen it is, but it does repeat the pattern, which seems to be the gist of this technique.  I have always been a doodler, though as I do most writing on my laptop these days, I rarely engage that part of my brain - this was a lot of fun!  I chose a curved feather pattern that is my very favorite to freehand machine quilt, because it is almost impossible to screw up.   I used a Sharpie for its permanence, and stuck to the regular size rather than fine point, because I didn't want to spend days creating a pattern on this largish piece, and I didn't think the fine point would show up anyway.

 Next, I applied the paper with some soft gel medium.

Apologies for the wonky placement.... Blogger rarely lets me put pictures where I want them!

A look that one finds frequently in encaustic pieces is embedded metal, particularly rusted metal.  I had nothing like that to hand, so I decided to use Quinacridone Gold acrylic, diluting it so that it would drip down my piece.  Then I added a bit of PaperArtsy rusting powder, which is the grey stuff you see.  Although I did spray with white vinegar, it didn't rust too well but I think that is because my substrate was not wet.  But no worries, because the grey fits right in!

Next, I dripped some diluted PaperArtsy Blueberry translucent acrylic ....

 And then I began to apply the melted beeswax.

 Then, although it is hard to see here, I scratched some loops into the dried wax...

 and rubbed on some Lumiere Metallic Copper and Metallic Rust paints with my fingers, and wiped off with a damp cloth before the paint was totally dry.

 I like how the paints work with the texture of the fibrous paper....

And how the scratched loops retain the color...

 And here is the finished piece....

 Thanks so much for stopping by, and if you've time, please leave a comment - I love hearing from you! xxx Lynn

Monday, February 8, 2016

Industrial Love

I had a recent, and rare, spate of craft space straightening up, getting stamps and dies organized, and re-organizing my now rather extensive embossing folder collection.  Along the way, I came across one of the Spellbinders 3-D embossing folders, called Roman Romance - seemed appropriate for  at least one of the challenges I had in mind.  I've also been revisiting many of the bookmarked tutorials I've noted since I began looking at all wonderful projects and artists several years ago.... it took me a year to put myself out there, and so glad I did!    
One of the tutorials I looked at is this great faux rusted metal card from Jenny Marples, aka "Buttons"... you can see it here.  Since I wanted to enter the A Vintage Journey's latest "Industrial" challenge, I thought this might be a good place to start.... So I followed Jenny's step-outs, at least initially! As you will see, I ended up riffing on her idea...

 I didn't like the look of the Rusted Hinge paint on my card, so I spritzed it to get some movement.... and added some Ripe Persimmon - a little bright, but I went with it.

and in successive dryings and re-smooshings through the paint, finally arrived at something I liked, even though it no longer resembled Jenny's wonderful take on rusted metal.

Once dry, I embossed with the Spellbinder's Roman Romance 3-D is hard to see on my piece, but the folder slowly fades into nothing., as you see below... it is a very stunning effect. I wanted a dramatic effect, as I would post this as well in the current Country View Challenge "Make Your Own Background".  I thought at first I would use this in landscape, which is why these pictures all have that angle, lol!

 I liked the embossing well enough, but it wasn't really showing the detail, so I spritzed with Hickory Smoke and ground Expresso Distress Stains.  The Hickory Smoke has a vague purplish tone to it that I really liked on the silver - you can see that on the left and right, just below the embossing.

I really liked the rusty grunge effect I had going... but now what?

Well, I knew I wanted to also enter Anything But Cute's latest challenge, "Grungy Love", so I went about adding some grungy frill.   I sprayed some card with Lindy's Stamp Gang's Cattail Copper Brown spray, along with some Ground Expresso Distress Stain (love that stuff!!), and when dry, cut a strip using the Sizzix Vintage Lace Edging Decorative Strip die.  And while I was at it, I mopped up the luscious leftovers with a couple of manila tags....
 The lace die cut was too shiny and light with just the LSG spray, so I spritzed it again with some Gorund Expresso - just the grunge I was looking for!!   You can also see here some of the depth on the mop up tags.... fabulous!!

To get the love thing going, I cut out the letters using one of my mop-up tags and the Decorative Strip die Vintage Market Alphabet from Tim Holtz.  Then I used a word die from Heidi Swapp  - "Imagine".... it is more contemporary but I like the contrast.  And am pleased to say that using my precision plate with both of these dies in my regular Big Shot machine worked like a charm.

My words did not stand out from the background, so I traced around them with a new Micron pen that I got as part of a set - getting ready to ZenTangle for Wanderlust!  This pen is larger than what I will use for that - as a 1.0 (not 0.1).... but perfect for this, as my Black Soot Distress Pen had a little issue with its nib.  Below you can see the difference this simple outlining makes!

I thought I needed to get some hearts in for the ABC challenge - now I think not but ok, I did it anyway, lol!  So I stamped with a heart with French script and a Fleur de Lis in the upper left corner of my piece - but it really did not show up given all the other texture and depth...

So I stamped a few more times, always using StaysOn Black, as my card is pretty slick on the surface from all the paint and sprays.   And just for good measure, I stamped again with another heart from this set, which stands out a bit more as a heart....I also traced around the script hearts with my Micron pen in a dotted pattern - just to help them stand out a bit....didn't trust myself to tracing a line with such a loose pattern!

And there you have it!  Very fun and so glad to be getting into my that I can find it, lol!

As mentioned, I am entering into the following challenges:
A Vintage Journey
Country View Challenges
Anything But Cute

Thanks so much for stopping by, and if you've time, please do leave a comment.  I treasure them all, and YOU!
xxx Lynn