Wednesday, 20 August 2014

What Do You Keep Your Crafting Supplies In. . . . . . . ?

Hello everyone. Today I'd like to share a piece I made last year but haven't shared as yet. This was my final project during the Andy Skinner 12 week course I attended throughout 2013. We were able to develop our own project using the techniques learnt during the course. (So, the skills are taught but the design is my own). I enjoyed this course so much and made some really lovely friends who were great fun to work with!

Strangely, we all chose the same starting point: an Artemio wooden box which had a clear window and divider inside. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the box before altering it - oops! We all chose the same object to alter but the results were entirely unique and individual.

The box was made using DecoArt products although this was not the new Media line of course - that is now becoming more widely available. You will probably find that your local craft shop or favourite online company may still have some of the Traditions line which I used for this project. Many of the new Media line can be substituted for those used here.

I wanted to use my box as a cupboard rather than a box so decided to add a handle and use the divider provided as a shelf. There are a number of photos in this sequence - just thought I'd warn you!

A little cabinet that can hold a number of items - you will note the old style DecoArt packaging!

The inside of the box showing the weathered wood finish and the 'shelf' which was originally a divider for the box.
The top of the cabinet features a little terracotta angel which was altered to adorn the top - another charity shop purchase.
The box was taken apart and given a good coat of DecoArt Gesso then dried. The surface was lightly sanded and another coat of gesso applied, followed by another light sand.

Stencils and DecoArt modelling paste was used to add details to various areas of the cabinet. Half pearls were applied to complete the look. 
Die cuts were also used make added decorative details to the cabinet. On this die cut, a stencil and modelling paste were used to add another layer in addition to some stick on half pearls.

Some old studs from a basket were rescued and put to good use on the door of the cabinet. Another coat of gesso was applied once all the extra details had been put in place.

The outside of the cabinet was painted with DecoArt Americana paints in a mixture of colours. The inside has been prepared with a true ochre shade. Once dry, a beautiful metallic gold shade of Americana was applied. The ochre shade gives a base for the metallic paint and means that only one coat needs to be applied of the final colour.
The Weathered Wood is applied inside the box.
Warm white was applied over the top of the dry Weathered Wood medium. This reacts very quickly and you can see this happening on the left side and on the base.
The die cut previously shown with a gesso finish has now been painted, crackled and the edges finished with some carefully applied paint.
Another die cut used on various faces of the cupboard. 
The stencilled modelling paste is painted with the main colour followed by a hand applied coat of the metallic acrylic paint. Have you tried the new DecoArt Media metallic paints? They are amazing and full of gorgeous pigment!
I used chicken wire instead of the glass supplied as I wanted to create a more rustic look. The wire looked far too new and shiny so I painted it with various shades of Traditions paint then sealed it with the Americana sealant. 
The inside of the door was finished with some strips of rusted card to cover the edges of the chicken wire.
A little altered door knob was added to the outside. I have since added some crackle glaze to this and it looks far more authentic.
The saved studs from earlier have now been completed with colour, crackle glaze and some dark acrylic antiquing. Have you seen the new Media line Antiquing Creams from DecoArt? They are so simple to use. You need to check them out!
The internal edges of the cupboard were antiqued with some brown paint to give a very shabby look.
The terracotta cherub was painted with gesso, followed by a coat of metallic acrylic. When dry, a good layer of Weathered Wood medium was applied and allowed to dry. A final coat of warm white Traditions paint was applied and allowed to react with the medium as it dried.
The cherub's crown was originally a candle holder but I thought it added a little style to the piece. This was given a patina finish with various DecoArt paints.

Some further close ups to show you the wonderful crackle glaze and the antiquing underneath.

 I hope you enjoyed having a little look at this project. If you have time, do let me know what you think.
 I'm still finding lots to do in the house and the garden so the crafting hasn't quite got back on track yet but please bear with me!

If you want to find out more about the DecoArt Mixed Media products just click here

To learn more about how to use the products, Andy Skinner has produced a series of excellent videos giving step by steps and lots of amazing techniques for you to learn. Click here to learn more.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Summertime At Our Creative Corner

Good morning everyone. I'm back with a new challenge which opens today at Our Creative Corner. The lovely Laura is our host this month and here's what she says about her challenge:

'Summer is in full swing - whatever the weather! Whether it is pouring with rain or blisteringly sunny wherever you are, Our Creative Corner want to see some 'Summer' inspired creations.  What sparks your imagination when you think of the word 'Summertime'? Travel to faraway exotic destinations, buckets and spades, sand dunes and sparkling sea? Does summer bring to mind delicate flowers in a hazy garden or bright vivid tones of a warm sunset? Perhaps just the use of vivid colours evokes a summery mood....or do pastel shades have more of a summer look for you? 
Whatever your interpretation of 'Summertime' is we would love to see your creations here at Our Creative Corner.'

I have chosen to use the colour which most evokes summertime for me: Sparkling, clear turquoise with a hint of bronze/gold from reflections of the sun on beautiful, far away oceans. I love those pictures of impossibly perfect white sand and the clearest turquoise water don't you?

I suppose I've taken a different tack with this challenge but I wanted to use colour as my inspiration rather than traditional summertime images. However, there are some little details which reflect summertime as a visual image. Here's what I've made - hope you like it:

A wooden keepsake box 
The box was another Charity shop find. I dismantled the tassel handle and started painting BEFORE taking a photo - oops! You can still see a small portion of the original colour scheme of black and gold and not a great deal of style!
The box was painted with three coats of DecoArt Gesso. I thought I may use the tassels and the piece they were attached to so added gesso to these too, in the end I didn't use them but they're saved for another day.
DecoArt crackle paste was put through a stencil which imitates air bubbles in water. The whole box was then covered in gesso again. Once dry it was given two coats of DecoArt Media fluid acrylic in cobalt teal hue - I love this colour so much.
Although it's not easy to see, a coat of DecoArt Interference paint was applied in various places on the box. This is just an amazing product. The only problem is it can be almost impossible to capture the effect with a camera!
Next step was to very roughly add some DecoArt Media fluid acrylic in quinacridone gold. This colour can be used without diluting as it so transparent - another favourite!
Next, various images were stamped onto the box top and sides using versamark ink. Mica powders in shades of gold and bronze were then carefully applied.
Finally DecoArt crackle glaze was applied to various areas and highlighted with Traditions burnt umber paint - I really love the new Media line from DecoArt but don't want to waste all the paints I already had so you will see them pop up from time to time!
Small metal fittings were aged with a variety of products and then attached to the box.
The hinges look a little orange in this image but in real life they look aged and dirty!
The inside of the box is painted with warm cream Traditions acrylic followed by crackle glaze. When dry, some DecoArt Antiquing Cream was applied following the instructions. This is the part of the project I like the least: I hoped the colours used would make the inside look like old ivory but it didn't - in anyway!
I've decided to keep some special shells in the box which my daughter and I collected whilst in Florida several years ago.
The sides of the lid were stamped with the water bubble image followed by mica powders. I didn't want to use it all over the box because it's a very busy image.
I love the way the stamped image appears to look so worn in places. It looks flaky but is actually very stable I'm glad to say!

The lid was given a homemade embellishment ( both pieces are buttons in real life but who would have guessed?) which was painted with the same colours as the box including a patchy coat of DecoArt Interference paint in turquoise. The crackle glaze was added next. When dry, Traditions paint was used in the cracks and a little more Interference paint was added randomly. At last, you have an image which highlights the effects these beautiful colours give.

 I do hope you like my interpretation of Laura's Summertime Challenge at Our Creative Corner. All that's left is for you to make your own piece and link up with us. Who knows - it may be you who wins the prize from our sponsor, or is chosen as one of the top three by the challenge host or you perhaps you will be our challenge winner and have the opportunity to come back and share your art with us on the blog? If you don't enter, you'll never know!

Lastly from me, thanks for visiting today.