Friday, July 26, 2019

Precious Metal for A Vintage Journey challenge!

Amanda is hosting the July challenge at A Vintage Journey, the theme of which is "Precious Metal"... here is her description:  For this challenge we would like to see some kind of precious metal feature in your project. Think gold, silver, brass, copper, aluminium, steel.... It could be in the form of embellishments, cardstock, paint, gilding wax, foil, gold leaf or rub ons. Just remember to ensure that you create in one of our preferred styles of vintage, shabby, mixed media, art journaling, industrial, timeworn or steampunk.
I have been noodling with the idea of steam punk insects, having wanted to do this since I saw VonPappe (Claudia's) fabulous beetle years ago.  and decided to see if I could give that a go for this challenge by creating a steam punk scarab beetle, as I had seen a steam punk beetle necklace that inspired me.  

I stamped the largest beetle in the Tim Holtz Entomology set (CMS328) using Delicata Celestial Copper on black card.  I use a sticky grid sheet in my stamp platform rather than magnets....

I then die cut the beetle out with its corresponding wafer die in the set  (Sizzix 663068).  These dies yield amazing detail! The poke holes also function as registration marks; simply align the skinny leg bits to the stamping underneath the die. 

I ran transparent wings (93785), through damask Alterations folder which I had out from my last make.

I painted the wings with Copper Mixative alcohol ink, but made even though I had used a copper pigment ink to stamp the beetle, the wings now made the body overly gold looking.  I was able to correct this by applying Prima Gilding wax in Aged Bronze to the wings.  You can see the contrast below; the left wing has the wax.

I recently purchased a bunch of small watch findings and gears from Ebay, as none of my gear dies cut anything quite this small, and I figured my insects would need these smaller bits.  This beetle is a prototype for a little book of steam punk insects I am making for my entomologist and steam punk enthusiast brother for his birthday.

I attached these little metal bits to my beetle body using E6000  glue, which is the best for gluing metal.  I was pleased with the results, although it is tricky for my big hands to be fiddling with these tiny gears with a very sticky glue, lol!

Now for the background..... I wanted some texture, but nothing too outstanding to compete with my beetle....and I wanted an abstract look. 

Since my beetle is metallic, I decided to create a gossamer piece of gold paper for him to perch on.  I thus sprayed Heidi Swapp's gold spray on thin mulberry paper.  The paper resists the spray slightly, leaving a not quite opaque look, and the paper's fiber provide a bit of textural interest. 


For the background, I decided to experiment with a very rough, handmade watercolor paper I had recently purchased with some eco printing in mind....

I sprayed it heavily with the Vibez Taupe of the Morning spray from Shimmerz paints.  The paper is absorbent, and maintained the rough texture....but I wanted more contrast.

Once I sprayed with Lindy's Gang Red Hot Poker spray, I got the look I was going for.

For the sentiment, I knew I wanted to use a small one from the Tim Holtz Theories (CMS 329), and decided to use one of the larger planks from Tim's Bigz die of the same name, since my rusty background reminds me of pine bark.  I cut this from cream card, and keeping with my metallic vibe, colored it with layers of Cosmic Shimmer Metallic Gilding Polish in Apricot, Treasure Gold and Red Bronze.  I then stamped my sentiment with Staz-on black ink.  It looked a little blah, so I put on a thick layer of Clear Rock Candy crackle.

I wanted the crackle to show more, so I put a thin layer of Golden's Shading Gray Fluid Acrylic on, to seep into the cracks.... this is a transparent paint, similar to Payne's Gray in watercolor.... and revealed the crackling quite nicely, albeit made the sentiment a bit hard to read.

Ultimately, my wings now looked a bit unfinished, so I touched them up with Onyxite Treasure Gold wax.... mounted the piece to a piece of black card, and then to a 5 x 7 inch card.  Done!

Thanks so much for hanging in there with me, and please do leave a comment - I love hearing from you and appreciate them all!

I am entering this into the current A Vintage Journey "Precious Metal" challenge, Bleeding Art mixed media challenge, SanDee and Amelies's Steam Punk Summer Challenge, and Creative Artiste current mixed media "Anything Goes" challenge.


  1. My... this is some luxury watercolour paper! Beautiful distressed textures and the metallic beetle is gorgeous.

  2. Your watch-part bug is a triumph! I love the gilded textured wings, and that amazing crackled sentiment panel - precious metal indeed! Thanks so much for joining us on A Vintage Journey.
    Alison x

  3. That's a very cool project and overall design! Thanks for joining us at Bleeding Art!

  4. A fabulous project. An awesome beetle, brilliant metallic effects and super techniques.
    Thank you for joining in with our July challenge "Anything Mixed Media Goes" at Creative Artiste Mixed Media. Good luck x

  5. I so love this! I love insects and steampunk and your realisation of a steampunk insect is absolutely cool, inspiring and amazing! Wow!
    Thank you for sharing this cool project with us at SanDee&amelie's Steampunk Challenges!

    Claudia x


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