Thursday 5 February 2015

Love Is In The Air. . . . . .

It's time for a new challenge at Artist Trading Post Exchange. This fortnight our host is the lovely Yvonne and here's her challenge:

'It will soon be Valentines Day, so my theme is all about Love, what does it mean to you?
A feeling, a look, a touch, a word, something that makes your heart happy.............the list can be endless. So for this challenge, share with us how you see 'love' in your world. Remember we are a Mixed Media Challenge and this is the style we would like you to follow, include some stamping, but no digi images.'

Now, I'm not a great one for Valentines Day (my Husband thinks it's a load of nonsense so no hearts and flowers here!), but I do like to give a little something to my two favourite people (Hubby and Daughter). This often involves making a card but that's not my favourite thing to make. Yvonne's challenge had me thinking that I should make something using things I love, for someone I love to give to. That way, everyone is happy and I think that's one of the most important things to do for people you love: make them happy by small gestures rather than showy acts which may only happen once a year. That's my take on love and what makes my heart happy - for what it's worth!

Before I show you what I've made, don't forget to go over to the Artist Trading Post Exchange to see what my teamies have made for your inspiration; you won't be disappointed I promise! Please remember that the Artist Trading Post generously provide a £10 voucher for the challenge winner so it's worth popping in an entry!

Here's the piece of art I made for my one of my two favourite people and no, it's not my Husband!

A hanging which can be put on the wall or propped up somewhere as a little reminder of how much someone is loved. I think the close ups will give you a better idea of what is going on with this piece. As ever, the main photo being excellent, continues to elude me at the moment!

I wanted the hearts to have texture so chose to use this Golden Fiber Paste. A medium thick layer was spread on a craft sheet with a palette knife and left to dry (just over 24 hrs).
When dry I used a metal die as a template with a pencil to mark two hearts onto the paste. These were cut out with scissors and sealed with a good coat of gesso.
Each heart is painted with a different colour of Fresco paint.
Each heart is given a coat of crackle finish followed by some white paint to highlight the crackle. The hearts are sealed with matte medium then black acrylic paint is used around the edges to give definition. I wanted a modern, contemporary look for the hearts so this layer of black is made quite a bit chunkier than I usually would do.
Four Dina Wakley hearts are stamped and embossed onto white card which has been coloured using the same Fresco paints as used earlier. A layer of matte medium is applied to dull the shine and a tiny black gem is applied for effect. The hearts are applied using some foam pads to raise them from the uneven surface of the large hearts.
For the main background I used some foam board which holds its' shape well and isn't too affected by the mediums - be careful not to over wet it or use a heat gun though! Some die cut card leaf flourishes were glued to the board to create a 'relief' finish. Everything was given a coat of gesso followed by the Fresco paints shown which were applied with some foam. Treasure gold in white fire was applied to the die cuts using the waste they were cut from to prevent getting gold specks everywhere else. Finally a coat of crackle medium was applied and left to dry.
Once dry, I used a combination of colours to antique the background - LOVE doing this!
I wanted to make a feature of the two hearts so they have been attached to two other layers. The layer next to the foam board base is a chipboard Collage Frame. Originally I was going to use this for one heart but in the end used two. The frame is treated the same as the background except for the die cuts and it is also given some black acrylic paint on the edges for definition.
The layer below the hearts is a Red Cross coaster which come through the door and which I can't bear to throw away! The coaster is painted with one shade of Fresco and when dry a medium is added to create a weathered wood appearance. Once dry, a coat of Snowflake Fresco is applied and the cracks magically appear. This is followed by matte medium and some black and eggplant Fresco to dirty it up a little.
The layers up close.
The sentiment is stamped onto a spare piece of coaster which was treated as above but with a different colour.
I love making things for people and I love using crackle mediums so I think I've covered all the bases I can for Yvonne's challenge. What about you? Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Don't forget that the winners of my Flower Power challenge will be announced on Saturday 7th Feb and look out for another Exchange Post in the coming weeks - they are a real source of inspiration.

Thanks for dropping by and as ever, I'd love to know what you think of my offering!


  1. The marriage of textures, colour and layers is fabulous, beautiful contrasts and loving the lilac hues. Ruth x

  2. A great saying for someone you love....a great make, Julia!
    greetings, Alie :-)

  3. I loved reading your post and seeing your awesome project made with love. Fabulous textures and techniques and the colour combination is beautiful.
    Yvonne xx

  4. Fantastic colours, textures and dimension which make the most wonderful plaque Julia. You can tell from reading your post that this is for your Daughter, am sure she will adore it and put it where she can see it everyday :-) xxx

  5. Oh wow Julia, your art is always inspiring and this creation is just exquisite. I love all the gorgeous crackling and the beautiful colours you have achieved. The sentiment is wonderful too. This really is very beautiful and I am sure it will be cherished! Hugs, Anne xx

  6. I love this, the color and design.

  7. Julia I love your purple creation! Hearts are gorgeous and made with awesome technique, thank you for showing…I immediately added Fiber paste on my wish list!
    Greetings from Slovenia

  8. Fabulous project Julia ! Love all the distressing and your Fibre Paste hearts are gorgeous ! Sue C x

  9. Aaaah! The colours, the texture, the hearts the crackle…….all absolutely gorgeous! Chrisx

  10. Mmm, fiber paste - now that looks good fun! I love how the hearts look and that crackled flourish background is the perfect foil. Sold! Jenny x


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