Tuesday 17 September 2013

A Photo, A Piece Of Tie Dyed Fabric And Some DecoArt So Soft Fabric Paint. . . . . . . . .

I've been having a play with some of the new DecoArt So Soft Fabric Paint. I've only played with one colour but I wanted to see how the finished result would feel on fabric. In my experience, lots of fabric paints leave the surface feeling stiff or 'plastic-like', they often bleed and forget using it through a stencil - disaster!

The first thing I did was to choose an image of my daughter and have a little play around with it on a simple image editing programme called Photoscape.

So from this. . . . . . . 

. . . . . . . to this. Now I had a black and white image I could transfer onto fabric and it turned into. . . . . . 

. . . . . this explosion of colour!
I used an old piece of tie dyed fabric from my teaching days; some Americana Transfer Paper (which is just like carbon paper and is used on top of the fabric face down, with the altered image on the top and a pencil/pen is used to trace round your chosen image) and finally some black DecoArt So Soft Fabric Paint. 

The fabric was taped flat on the craft sheet so it wouldn't drag or move when painted. You can see from this image that you then simply colour in the areas with your chosen shade but you must keep referring to your picture just in case you colour the wrong section!
Several different sizes of brush will be needed according to the line and space that you are adding using the paint.

The instructions say to leave the paint to dry for 48 hours before washing on a gentle cycle. I washed mine by hand and although the black didn't run despite me using a good thick layer (as suggested on the bottle), I did get lots of colour run from the tie dye. On the left you can see a worn patch with the tie dye pattern just visible. This happened because I was too rough with my fabric when washing. However, I liked the distress look much more than the pristine one, so gave a few other areas of the work a good rub.

I really like the tie dye pattern and colours showing through.

I tried to have a go at splattering some paint onto the exposed areas of tie dye. I didn't go overboard with it and I like just the small touch of splatter!

For the sides of the work which would be exposed on the canvas this piece would be mounted on, I chose to use some So Soft through a stencil (very easy - no bleeding and it washed off the stencil easily). I used an Andy Skinner stencil for the two sides and another for the top edge but I can't remember who it came from - sorry!
Once dry, the fabric was ironed then stretched over a canvas with a frame and stapled into place.

Top edge stencilling to create interest on the sides of the frame.

So, how easy was that?!! So much fun and now I want to have a go at stamping with DecoArt So Soft - it's supposed to work like a dream so I can't wait!

Hope you like it! For those who are nosy, we're still moving but our date isn't until approx the 21st so still time to pack more boxes!

Please also keep your fingers crossed for my cat Frankie (you can see his photo on the left margin of my blog). He was diagnosed with pancreatitis yesterday and is very poorly now. Fingers crossed they can get the meds and diet right to manage it.

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Mother And Child At Tag Tuesday. . . . .

It's good to be back playing along with Tag Tuesday. Sorry to have been absent fellow taggers - lots going on here at the moment.

The theme this week is 'Mother And Child' and my first thought was do a vintage piece with a wonderful image, sepia tones and relevant embellishments. That didn't enthuse me so I carried on with some more packing for the big move (grrrr!). I then came across this photo and others of my daughter when she was about 16 months old.

We used to live in a small seaside village which meant lots of lovely walks come rain or shine! It's funny when you see these photos, it seems just like yesterday and the memories are so clear. Amazing considering my daughter is now well into her 21st year!

Never been to Tag Tuesday before? You really should click here and see the wonderful work over there.

I have never tried to scrap before but I suppose you could say this is my first ever attempt. . . . . . .there's still paint and crackle of course!

Oops! looks like one word has slipped - not so because I put it at that angle but when you see it in a photo it looks very odd. Oh well. I've tried to include things and colours that remind me of the sea: the blues, fish & shell stamped images, a real shell, the rope and one more piece of driftwood from Aldeburgh in Suffolk (thought I'd used the last one so got quite excited when I found this rolling around in a box!
Looks better when you see the angle close up I think! Some card was coloured with distress ink, spritzed, dried and then stamped with the words using archival ink.
The tag was cut, coated with DecoArt gesso (2 coats), followed by 2 coats of Warm White. The tag was then painted with Aquamarine and before it dried a scrunched up plastic bag was used to dab some of the paint off, revealing the warm white underneath. DecoArt crackle paste was used to create texture in the background. Various seaside images were stamped with the same colour paint used in the background. I put a thin layer on my craft sheet and dab the stamp into it a few times before placing it on the work.
These three DecoArt colours were used to dry brush the painted crackle.
A little warm white was used here and there to highlight small areas.
The photo was cut and then edged with some thick jute rope, I feel this keeps to the seaside theme.
Look at that little face!! 
 A little shell collected on one of our many beach walks (we still both love to do this so I have no idea when or where this one came from!).
That's the right angle to view the words!!

I really enjoyed making this tag and although I should be packing boxes, I can't not sit at my desk for an hour or so can I? (or three, or four!).

Thanks to my new followers for joining me - hope you enjoy looking. Anyone else cold? Brrrrrrr. . . . .

Sunday 8 September 2013

Hit The Books At Anything But A Card. . . . . . . . .

It's time for another challenge at Anything But A Card and this fortnight we are asking you to create a project using er. . . . . . . books! 

You could create a project based on your favourite book; alter a book; use book pages on your art; create a mini book or journal; make a bookmark or cover - the list is endless!

If you pop over to Anything But A Card, you can have a look at the wonderful creations made by my team mates. There will be more inspiration from the other half of our team in a weeks time too so don't forget to have a look will you?

So, what have I done this week? Firstly, I used the fab Mr Skinner as my inspiration (well, his art and techniques not him personally you understand! He might take offence if he looks at my project and thinks he was the inspiration!!). I'm afraid I've gone slightly Halloween too - had to follow the Maestro's lead, it would be rude not to. . . .  I did the Skinner 'Book Of Secrets' online course in order to try to improve on some techniques visited in previous workshops. My project today is based on those techniques and one that Andy did as a demo piece.

I've altered a little hard backed book which are reasonably priced and very useful to give as gifts or even use yourself.

As usual, I forgot to take a picture of mine but these books are identical to the one I used.

The book then turned into this:
For some reason the colours were difficult to photograph accurately but you can see them more clearly in other images. Look to the spine of the book and you will see that I chose to add a layer of bookbinding paper to improve the look. Once that was in place, I could add all the other layers and elements. Everything was then coated with gesso.
Large skeleton rock star: silver
Thought you might like to see the guitar player in all his glory!

Image of the back view. Lots of shades of DecoArt Traditions were used in various ways to add colour. 
Metal skeleton charm playing a guitar, watch parts, Tando chipboard, sticky backed canvas (under the skeleton & just visible);embossed card and modelling paste were all used on the front cover.
This view shows the work before I tamed down the colours which I felt were a little bright in some places.
The modelling paste was used through a stencil, over the top of the canvas. The watch parts and chipboard shapes were pushed into the paste before it dried.

Gradually building up the paint layers on the back of the book. Lots of layers of embossed card too.

Once covered in the book binding paper, the spine was treated to some 'studs' and lots of layers of DecoArt Traditions paints. 

This project was great fun and combined with Andy's ideas on his online course, I feel I have improved certain techniques - wish I could tell you about them but it wouldn't be fair to Mr S if I did that, would it? Want to learn more about online workshops with Andy? Just click on his blog HERE and feast your eyes!

Ok, that's my offering for today. What are you going to make for this challenge?? Remember to check the rules to make sure your entry is a valid one - it's such a shame, isn't it, when people put in lots of effort but the project doesn't come close to what the challenge is asking for? Please make you that's not you won't you?!

Thanks for looking and I hope you like my little book which is a vast improvement on the original. It's up to you know. Can't wait to see what you come up this! Off you go to Anything But A Card and see what the other ladies have come up with.

Sunday 1 September 2013

Forgotten Things At Our Creative Corner

Hello everyone. Today sees a new challenge at Our Creative Corner hosted by the lovely Redanne. Here's what Anne has said:

'As crafters we tend to have so much in our stash that some things inevitably get forgotten. You know how it is, you buy that 'must have' item and then you put it away in a safe place ........and it gets forgotten. Or, there might be a technique that you used to love, but have not used or even thought about for ages. So, whether you are re-discovering a forgotten item or technique, we would love to see your creation. Please remember to make it very clear in your entry what the 'forgotten' element is'

Lots of scope for this challenge isn't there? I decided to use several 'forgotten' items:
*Puzzle in a tin (charity shop buy)
*Mulberry paper flowers
*Red plastic heart
*Metal flower

I decided to alter my tin and create a long forgotten love token which has stood the test of time. . . 

A Mensa Puzzle bought in a charity shop. (I couldn't work it out!). I've kept the puzzle pieces for another day - you never know when they will come in handy. . . . .
The inside layer of the tin is rigid foam, coated with flock - not very stylish!
 So, from this, to this:

The top of the tin with the key to the contents.

Alternative view.

Here's the inside of the tin complete with a love heart token which has retained its colour, despite the age.

The tin was given two coats of DecoArt Gesso. Modelling paste was used through stencils in two areas.

When the modelling paste formed a skin, a rubber stamp was spritzed lightly with water and gently pushed into the paste.

After coating with gesso, I found that the painted foam bubbled if you used a heat gun. I prefered this look so went to town with the heat gun on the base and the sides.
Chicken wire was cut roughly to fit into one corner of the tin. This was then given a good coat of gesso.
Chicken wire was added to the lid on top of the stencilled modelling paste. Mulberry paper flowers had their stems removed, they were stuck into the tin and given a coat of gesso.

Some areas of the lid were lightly sanded with foam backed wet and dry.

The lid was covered with a mix of three DecoArt Traditions paint.
The inside of the tin was also painted but with a different mix of DecoArt Traditions.
The lid was stamped with two shades of paint - see above and below.

I then made a mistake and outlined the light areas with some raw umber paint. Why? I don't know really but it was too late to start again! To help with the aged look, some DecoArt two stage crackle medium was added to the lid. I put over the outlined areas to attempt to soften their harshness. When dry, raw umber is rubbed into the cracks.

 The tin base went through many coats of paint, washes and finally some two stage crackle medium as above.

Another forgotten item was this metal flower. The centre was snipped out and some DecoArt Metallic Lustre was applied and buffed.

The red heart is given several coats of DecoArt gesso.

The heart was given a variety of layers using different techniques and the products above to achieve the end results. In the image below you can see how the metal flower finished up and the the way in which the heart nestles on top of it.

Some more images to give you a few close up views:

Lots of layers of paints, mediums and techniques are used to attempt to recreate an aged look.

Lots of rusty wire has been used to help create the look - I love this stuff!

A little touch of Treasure gold here and there just adds a hint of richness now mainly lost in time.

That's my offering for this fab challenge from Anne. Sorry to have so many pictures but I always love to see how someone has achieved an end result - I hope you do too! I also wonder which products and techniques people use - it's how we all learn from one another isn't it?

It's now your turn to pop over to Our Creative Corner  to see the gorgeous work from the other Team A members have come up with. Don't forget to look out for the work from Team B halfway through the month too!