Art Journal Page: Beautiful Art

The first Monday of the month sees my monthly art journal evening at the Studio, and next week the theme is ‘never been used’. I’ve asked studio guests to bring something from their crafty stash that they have never used, and we’ll be incorporating them into our beautiful art journal pages.

In prepping my sample for the session, I came across an embarrassment of unused kit deep in folders, drawers and baskets. I think I will need to do more of these! I know I’m not alone, so what do you think – anyone fancy a ‘never been used’ challenge blog?

Here’s my show page, worked in my very first art journal from 2011 on a background that I’d not yet used:

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THCC103: Day 3

Ok, I’m still not caught up… but this is Day 3’s exercises for Creative Chemistry 103 (CC103)  led by The Professor (Tim Holtz). This particular class was centred on getting texture using the various collage mediums and texture pastes recently introduced to the Distress product line. I don’t have most of these, so substituted various DecoArt products instead and I reckon they do just as good a job!

CC103 Day 3

It’s the first time I have used Distress Crayons, and I have to say I am impressed. Slightly softer than a gelato, the crayon blends beautifully under fingers and into other colours, and the reactivity with water is superb. Glad my spending overruled my scepticism and they were there to use!

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Art Journal Page: Impossible

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For February’s Art Journal Session, we’ll be playing with emboss resist. It’s one of those techniques that is counter-intuitive, but is just planning layers to build up the effect using the embossing powder as the mask. I have to admit the way the text developed and fitted on the page was complete chance – but I like the way it isn’t obvious what the text is at first glance, reinforcing the sense of the quote.

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Mass Production Line: The Burley Christmas Cards

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It’s that time of year again. That time when you’ve designed this year’s Christmas card, and it’s time to make all 75 cards that are apparently required. So, a mass production line swings into action. Here are some tips:

  • When heat embossing large numbers of images, consider getting a teppanyaki hot plate (top right). Cover with a heat resistant non-stick sheet, turn up to a temperature where the embossing powder just melts, and then as you stamp and add the powder to each piece, the previous piece is melting. Slide the piece off with the end of a paintbrush as the embossing powder finishes melting. Occasionally you may need to push the card to the hot surface (again with the end of a paintbrush) if it has curled up.
  • Liquid Pearl dots love to cling and merge to the next one if wet. In my mass production line, I dotted in the same place on each holly sprig before leaving the set to dry. After a minimum of an hour, I did the next dot on each sprig, and left them again. Finally the third dot was added in the same fashion.

    TOP TIP:
    If your Liquid Pearls is misbehaving, warm it up on a radiator or in your pocket. It become less viscous, flowing better and forming nice domes.

  • Assemble in batches – and take a break between batches to stretch, change your attention, and generally improve productivity. And prevent boredom!

As to the finished result – you’ll have to wait and see. Especially if you’re one of the lucky 75 that receives the real thing 😉

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Background Check: Day 2

BC_participantIt’s Day 2 of my online class, and we’re playing with stamps and inks to make backgrounds. In the main today was revising techniques I’ve previously come across, but always good to see them used in imaginative ways by the tutors and yank them back to the forefront of my memory! Here’s today’s highlights:

Lots of stripes, and not a stripe stamp in sight. What’s a man to do? Go find some funky foam and cut that into strips. Add a bit of removable double sided tape, and ta da, strippy stripy stamps and backgrounds 🙂

I also like the idea of working more on mid-tone cardstock. I remember in college working on a charcoal ground and getting on better – you can use light and dark shades to emphasise shape, form and, in this case, pattern. I’ve been doing some zentangling on Strathmore Toned Gray Artist’s Tiles and finding the same (more of that in another post).

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What I did at the weekend…

IMG_5893_wThis gorgeous bird started out as a £1 plain brass charm at the start of Saturday morning. It’s only 7x5cm in size, but had the dimples ready for the cloisonné effect additions of Stickles Glue (Stardust, Peacock & Lagoon), Juniper Liquid Pearls and some Glossy Accents. So by the end of Sunday, this was the final result. I need to make sure I get to the rest of them, so I’m staying quiet as to where I found it!

I also completed two more art journal pages – another for my Carabelle Studio stamps demo, and the second featuring new stamps from Tim Holtz. This page had several layers of paint and distress stains to start, and then I augmented it with the ‘Pretty Like A Flower’ stamp, with distress markers. It’s the first time I’ve used PanPastels to tone down a background, fixing with a quick hairspray. Which by the way causes archival ink to swim about, so the gesso layer got thicker to cover that learning moment…

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Iridescent watercolours really make the embossed butterfly zing – but beware when drying the previous page – the embossing remelts and distresses both the artist and the facing page somewhat!
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Never Been Used: Spider Mum Stamp

I’m sure I’m not the only one that has a section of stash that has never been used. Shocking, I know. I have to admit my never been used pile is relatively small – but I have a lot of stash, so there’s actually a fair number of items in it! This situation is not good. Happily, I keep stamps out of the drawer until I have used them in a project and as the pile is growing, I thought I would do something about it.

So I’d like to introduce you to a new hashtag: #nbu – never been used. If you too would like to rise to the challenge of raiding your stash for something that you have never used so far, make a project with it and share the fact that you have one less thing that has never been used, remember to tag it with #nbu. Then we can all share in your success!

Here’s my inaugural never been used project. I have several Stampendous Jumbo stamps in my unused pile, and this is the first to be used – Spider Mum. I’ve stamped in Jet Black Archival onto watercolour paper and then coloured with Letraset AquaMarkers. The border is heat embossed with WOW! Superfine White Pearlescent EP.

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