Hello there! How are you doing?
I am feeling much better after hurting my back lifting a piece of furniture last week. I am still not 100% but I have some of my energy back and it doesn’t hurt to move around anymore, which is awesome! I have already been to one session of acupuncture which helped quite a bit and I have been taking things easy (no more lifting furniture for a long time!).
Thank you to everyone who responded to my post here and for all of the e-mails I received with your suggestions and get well wishes! It means so much to me that you took the time to leave me a message. You guys are amazing!
Since I have been feeling better I have been in the mood to get some of my projects done outside; my garden seriously needs weeding and I have some furniture pieces in the garage that really need to get finished. Mother Nature though has another plan in mind as it has been raining here almost non-stop for the past few days and there is no end in sight!
Here is the view from my family room window yesterday looking into my backyard towards my garden shed. Everything is all green and the plants are starting to finally fill in. With all of this rain though my garden will be overgrown in no time!
And here is the view outside of my window today..It looks the same doesn’t it? Mr. Sun, where have you gone?
I do love the rain because it makes my garden look all pretty. It is really starting to put me in a funk though, especially when I see this long-term forecast for our area. Yes, you are seeing right! It is supposed to rain almost every day until the end of the month. What gives? Really??? I am hoping that the Weatherman is wrong because his forecast is making me depressed!
You know what? I decided I am going to try to make the best of all of the this wet weather and get some things done inside the house instead . I have been busy working on some art and craft projects this weekend and yesterday I went to a full-day course on Mixed Media Collage which was a lot of fun. What is Mixed Media Collage, you ask?
Mixed Media Collage is the combination of text, found objects, scrapbooking supplies, art mediums, drawing and painting to create expressionist artwork on a canvas or a birch panel. Techniques used include raised stencils, digital grounds, drawing, gel transfers, crackling and sealing.
Below is the collage that I made in the class. I think it turned out pretty cute and better than I thought it was going to. When I first started on this piece I had no idea where I was going to go with it. Here I was staring at my blank canvas with all of these paints, scrapbooking supplies and patterned papers in front of me. What do I do with them? What if it turns out ugly? The instructor had also just told us that at the end of the class we have to share our collage with the 24 other people taking the class so we can be critiqued on our work. Um, what? Ya, pretty nerve wracking!
I did know one thing for sure. I knew that I wanted to incorporate some french text from The Graphics Fairy in my piece, so I decided to use this french graphic found here. The Graphics Fairy has so many wonderful images to choose from it is mind-boggling. There is never a shortage of inspiration for me when visiting her blog!
So what do think of my first collage? Do you like it? I wanted to make something that would go nicely with my turquoise sewing cabinet in my future sewing/craft room so I used a lot of turquoise in this piece.
If you are interested in making your own mixed media art similar to the one I have just made or maybe just want to learn something new, I have included some general instructions of the techniques and materials that I used in my collage below.
First, I started out by painting 2/3 of my 12″X16″ canvas with a very watered down turquoise acrylic paint. Before it had a chance to dry, I used a kitchen sponge to tamp up and down which created the light blue area in the middle of the canvas. It almost looks like clouds when you look closely at it.
Then for the aged brown area at the top, I used watered down brown acrylic paint and a sponge to age it. I painted the brown paint on the canvas and then used a sponge stamping it up and down to give the canvas an aged look. I then dripped some water over top of the entire area and dabbed that off with my sponge. This made the brown look like it was aged with an acid treatment.
To create the dotted brown area underneath the text, I used a piece of burlap like a stamp with a little bit of brown paint added to it. I just dabbed it here and there along the edge of the brown area.
If you didn’t already know this, burlap is not just great for making things for your home, it is also wonderful for adding texture to your arts and crafts. Who knew?
For this area (top left), I used some Japanese mesh wrapping paper like a stencil along with some dark gray-black acrylic paint. You can see the paper in my previous post here. After stenciling the paint on, I decoupaged a corner of a sewing pattern piece (see below for more details) on top. The lines of the pattern almost look like they were drawn on with a Sharpie pen but it is the sewing pattern that has created this design.
On the far left I decoupaged a paper doily on the canvas for some added texture. I used gel medium underneath the doily and then I added more to the top to seal it. I then painted it with watered down turquoise paint and once it was dry I added some crackle medium on the top. You can sort of see the subtle crackling that took place with the addition of the crackle medium. I finished the doily off by antiquing it with some burnt umber gel paint to bring out the crackled design.
Now for the french text. I added the photocopied image to the canvas using Golden Gel Medium and it was left to dry for two hours (see my How to Transfer Photos to Canvas Tutorial HERE for specific instructions ). Since I was in this class I didn’t have time to leave the transfer to dry overnight, so when I removed the paper backing some of the text came off in spots. Usually, I leave my gel transfers to dry overnight but I think it all worked out well this time as it gives this piece more of an aged look. I also love how these transfers show up transparent and allow the background to show through.
Moving right along…this circular shape was made using Martha Stewart’s Arabesque stencil which I shared in my previous post here. I used a special paste mixed with a small amount of turquoise acrylic paint to make a raised stencil. Once my stenciled area was dry, I again stenciled the same design over top but I moved it over to the right slightly and this time I used a dark gray-black paint to give the design a bit of shadowed look.
Don’t worry, I am not trying to hold out on you! I will be sharing with you my raised stencil technique later this week including what product I use to stencil with.
Here I used the same raised stencil technique except I didn’t add a second set of stenciling over top. I then decoupaged a sheet from a sewing pattern on top. I tore the edges to give the tissue paper more interest and made sure to wrap the paper around the edge of the canvas.
Did you know that you can use sewing patterns for your artwork and craft projects? They are so much fun to use and so inexpensive! Because sewing patterns are made of tissue paper, they go on transparent when decoupaging and they will take on whatever background is already on there. So neat!
Here you can more clearly see the raised stencil.
These two photos show how I have continued whatever technique I used on the front of the canvas over on to the sides.
When I felt like my collage was all finished, I coated it with two coats of gel medium in a matte finish. This helps to protect your collage so all of your hard work won’t be ruined by little fingers, spills, dust, etc. and so everything will be stuck down nice and firm and be unified together!
If you haven’t had a chance to create a mixed media collage before it can seem like it would be a lot of work and it also might make you feel a little intimidated. I know for me it did. I am so happy that I decided to give it a try anyway because I learned some new techniques and I now feel confident enough to create some more collages in the near future.
You don’t need to be an artist to do this! All you need is a little bit of creativity, some patience and some courage to try something new. What’s the worse thing that can happen? If you collage ends up not turning out the way you wanted it to you can always cover it up with more paint, stencils and/or images whenever inspiration strikes again.
Making your own art is very inexpensive too. The canvas I bought only cost me $7.00 and the other supplies I brought with me to the class or they were provided to me as part of the course fee.
If you would like to see some examples of mixed media collage Pinterest is also a great source for inspiration.
In other blog news…
Stay tuned for some more projects that I will be sharing this week. I have been a busy girl…
Also, if you haven’t had a chance to enter my giveaway from Molly Maid just click on the “ENTER HERE” below. There are 5 ways that you can enter to win. One easy way to enter is to submit your favorite cleaning tip. Easy peasy!
Until next time,
Parties I’ve Linked Up To:
~ Homemaker on a Dime – Creative Bloggers Party ~ Under the Table and Dreaming – Sunday Showcase Party ~ Be Different Act Normal – Show and Tell Saturday ~ Tatertots and Jello – Weekend Wrapup Party ~ Craft Envy – Saturday Spotlight ~ Funky Junk Interiors – SNS Link Party ~ The Graphics Fairy – Brag Monday ~ Sumo’s Sweet Stuff – Market Yourself Mondays ~ DIY Showoff – DIY Project Parade ~ Craft-o-Maniac – Monday Link Party ~ I should be Mopping the Floor – Mop It Up Mondays ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Tuesdays Treasures ~ Today’s Creative Blog – Get Your Craft On ~ Between Naps on the Porch – 177th Metamorphosis Monday ~ A Stroll Thru Life – 120th Table Top Tuesday ~ Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday ~ Home Stories A to Z – Tutorials and Tips Party ~ Sew Can Do – Craftastic Link Party ~ Mad In Crafts – Mad Skills Party ~ House of Grace – Twice Owned Tuesday ~ ~ Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ Domestically Speaking – 130th Power of the Paint Party ~ Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party ~ Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ Embracing Change – Creative Inspirations Linky Party ~ 733 Blog – Sugar and Spice ~ Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ House of Hepworths – Hooking Up With House of Hepworths ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ Fine Craft Guild – Time for a Party ~ Craftionary – Friday Fun Party ~
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