Monday 1 July 2013

Captured Memories At Our Creative Corner. . . . . New Challenge Starts Today.

We had some beautiful entries for our last challenge which was a Recipe concocted by Buttons. Our new challenge goes live today and this time the talented Linda aka The Funkie Junkie is your host.

Linda is asking everyone to use the theme 'Memories' for the month of July. This gives lots of scope for the type of project you produce which could be a layout, card, wall piece, tag, 3D art, the list could go on and on!

There is one rule for the product you make: it must use a real photograph. Not sure of the other rules for the challenge at Our Creative Corner? Click here and you can find a short set of rules which we ask you to remember when you play with us.

Please remember to pop over and see the wonderful creations made by my Teamies. Halfway through the month, the second team will post yet more inspiration for you so don't forget to pop over then too!

For my piece this time, I have made a piece of wall art using a family photograph. I did cheat slightly because I only have photographs of the originals so I printed one off onto photographic paper.

I've used a picture of my paternal Grandmother when she was aged approx. 19. If you click here, you will see the childhood image I used of my Grandmother in a previous post. The photos I have are a wonderful record of my Grandmother's life from childhood, through to becoming a young woman, bride and mother to three children. A very special memory for our family.

I should warn you that there are a number of photographs because I've shown the making of my product in more detail this time. Grab a coffee and let's go:

The finished piece which could be hung on the wall or given a stand and stood with other family photos.

How did I achieve this end result? Let's start with the substrate used for the base:
I found this hanging in a charity shop and thought it might be useful at some point! Originally, it had a thick white cotton cord for hanging. I've removed the cord and kept it for another time. At a glance it looks like shabby wood but it is simply a thick, rigid piece of plastic - what more can I say?!
Two coats of gesso were applied to cover the existing design. Three colours of  DecoArt Americana acrylic were then randomly applied over the surface (not blended though) and dried.A fourth toning colour of DecoArt Americana was then applied covering the random shades from the first stage. When dry, the base was sanded to reveal some areas of the first layer of colour. 

The base was then stamped with versamark using a background stamp - I made sure that the stamping was Not precise in order to give an aged worn look.  Gold and brown mica powder was then lightly brushed onto the stamped area and allowed to set. Finally, a coat of DecoArt Americana sealant spray was applied to protect the surface.

To make the flowers (follow images from left to right), I painted card with the same colours used on the base - I've only shown two here as the rest were already cut up!
Flower shapes were die cut. Each die cut was stamped with a script image and versamark. Gold mica powder was then applied.
DecoArt Two Step Crackle medium was then applied according to the instructions. Raw umber Traditions paint was applied to the crackle when dry and wiped back with a baby wipe leaving the colour only in the crevices.
The flowers were then assembled in various combinations of shape, size and colour.

In the centre of each flower, a 'distressed' brad was used to hold the layers together. The distressing was done with various DecoArt acrylics and a small swipe of their gold Metallic Lustre.

Images of the three remaining flowers are shown below:

The frame for the photograph was cut from Amazon packaging - so useful! Various layers were cut until I achieved the look I wanted.
The top layer of the frame was embossed and coated with gesso. This was followed by two layers of DecoArt Traditions acrylic. Some gold DecoArt Metallic Lustre was roughly applied to the raised areas followed by some sepia archival ink to age the frame.
Two flourishes were die cut from the same Amazon packaging as before. Each went through the same process as the frame to achieve the aged appearance,

The flourishes were used to help 'frame' the flowers.

I was quite pleased with how the background turned out, particularly the stamped image which shows up much better than I could have hoped. 

The final touch was to add coffee archival ink to the edges of the base just to complete the aged look.
If you got down to the bottom, thank you so much for sticking with me! I really enjoyed making this piece but when I showed it to my Husband he said  'it's far too girlie and peach coloured'. Can't win really can you??!!


  1. Hi Julia, your hanging is so beautiful, rich an opulent. I absolutely adore the way you did the flowers and the frame around the picture is wonderful. A beautiful piece. Hugs, Anne x

  2. Your grandma was a real beauty, Julia! What a lovely photograph! And your frame is absolutely stunning. All the yummy textures, crackles and colours and that wonderfully aged feel to it! I LOVE it! Thrilling work!

    Claudia x

  3. absolutely stunning Julia - I love this and thats the best crackle I've seen in a long while - wonderful xx

  4. Unbelievable textures and techniques... an amazing photograph to kick us off, and those wonderful crackle flowers - sensational make, Julia!
    Alison x

  5. This is so beautiful Julia, I love how you have made the background and the textured frame works beautifully round the adorable photo. A great piece.
    Have a fabulous week.
    hugs {brenda} x0x

  6. This is a super gorgeous piece Julia! Your Grandmother would be soo proud of you xxx

  7. Stunning project sweetie, I love every little bit of it. What a beautiful family photo too, such a pretty lady now perfectly framed for display. Amazing work my lovely.
    Huge huggles x x x x

  8. Hi Julia, your hanging is stunning and a wonderful piece of upcycling. The photograph of your pretty grandmother looks perfect in the embossed frame. Elizabeth xx

  9. Wow! Leaves me breathless, Julia. Absolutely stunning. And the pic is absolutely awesome. Hugs, Suzanne xxx

  10. What a great alterations Julia...your flowers always look so amazing.
    But the creation in total is great!

    kind regards, Alie

  11. Its amazing !I loved the treatment you have given to the base and flowers !

  12. What a lovely piece of art you have created. It does the beautiful photograph proud.
    Hugs Brenda

  13. Wonderful crackling effects on everything wow, and all is perfect !!! Coco x

  14. Lovely bit of recycling, gorgeous crackle flowers and that beautiful photo! You did a really great job on this one Julia - its just so special. Love, Margie x

  15. Wow! This is amazing. A beautiful piece of art! :)

  16. This is incredibly gorgeous, Julia. I am positively drooling over the way you transformed the substrate, wonderful colors and patterns. Your grandmother is lovely and what a cherished wall hanging this will be. Fabulous flowers - love all those cracks. You really did us proud with your sample for this challenge!


  17. Wow. Absolutely beautiful. I love your crackled flowers they look perfect. The distressed bg with the stamp looks spot on too xxx. A great little show case for a lovely family photo x

  18. Well, this is fabulous, the background is so luscious, then the crackle flowers and flourishes is freaking gorgeous,the embossed frame for that lovely photo, its a gorgeous, thanks for sharing...

  19. This is a delightful piece, Julia. Love how you have the aged look, that go so well with your beautiful photo. The crackled effect is perfect on your flowers. Just stunning! Cheers, Di

  20. PURE ELEGANCE and vintage goodness here! I love every rich bit I see! The golden flourishes, the photo, the warm color! Beautiful beautiful!

  21. Be still my beating heart!!! I am SO grateful you did lots of close ups as my nose was pushed against the laptop screen to get a better look at that background (not a pretty sight!) LOVE the use of mica to create that worn textile look. Of course! Mica! Isn't it funny how we forget so many things learned some time ago? Really glad you reminded me. Those crackled flowers are truly sumptuous and the frame for your precious photo is perfect. All in all I adore this completely. Hugs, Jenny x

  22. This is so beautiful and elegant Julia, I love everything about it.
    Looking forward to seeing you again on Sunday.
    xxx Hazel.

  23. Your grandma looks fair and beautiful and you've created and awesome vintage frame to her honor.

  24. Such a beautiful piece Julia! I love the background & those fabulous crackled flowers!
    See you Sunday!
    Alison xx

  25. Totally gorgeous! Those flowers and flourishes are astonishing. Love this project!

  26. This is absolutely beautiful! I LOVE those flowers!!

  27. Hi Julia, catching up - as usual, This is stunning, beautiful background transformation and a gorgeous photograph beautifully framed, love the techniques you've used, thanks for the details.
    Hope you are well.
    Avril xx


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Juliax