March 26, 2013

Grown with Love card....mixed media

Hi everyone, if you're like me and you live where it's cold & snowy outside.....but it should indeed be Spring.....welcome to the "I'm so over Winter" club.  How about some fresh and fun projects?  

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll have noticed that I've been dabbling in mixed media and all things artsy lately.  Call it a mid life crisis awakening or who knows what but I have felt the need to get back to my artistic roots, however humble they may be.  My college degree was in Interior Design but I soon learned from all of the art classes I took that my true calling was more in tune with the arts.  It's seems a shame to keep all that creativity locked up so I'm listening to what my heart is telling me.....get my fingers painty, create more, experiment, be more organic in my work, take a risk, see what happens.  

So I'm gonna do it.  I've recently invested in some new art supplies and I'd love to share my ideas with you as I go along.  Some ideas will be in the form of adding a new technique (new to me I should say) to my projects and scrapbook pages.....some ideas will be in the form of just experimenting with art journal pages.  I've been researching these more and I'm totally intrigued.  I hope that by sharing my findings you'll perhaps be inspired to try something new creatively and want to join in.  I'm working on new blog posts that will kick off my "art revival" of sorts where I'll list some great references/mixed media artists and the new supplies I'm using.  Please, please leave a comment to let me know what you think. Are you in?  Have I lost it?  Are you longing to try something new with your crafts?  

On to today's project. One of things I've been desiring is something new to use as focal images on my cards.  I love stamped images but sometimes I just want to reach for something else.  I recently compiled a new file of photos that I've taken and I've decided to turn them into mini Instagrams.  I'll be using them on my art journal pages which I'll share soon....but today I'm using this lovely photo below of some flowers I picked last summer.  
I turned the photo above and 2 other photos into a sheet of mini Instagrams.  You can see some of the cut photos below and I'll be sharing them in a new kit also.  So here's my finished card below.  
I used the small Instagram photo of my flowers as the focal point and then there are lots of fun layers underneath.  
The beautiful floral patterned paper is from Crate Paper, stamps are from Papertrey Ink and the tags are from the Pink Flower Kit that I'll talk about a little later.  In the close up below you can see some wonderful dictionary paper that has a beautiful texture to it.  You can also see some white texture on my photo and some on the rest of the card.
I'd love to share with you how I created the textured paper.  I've been experimenting with 2 new products in my artful arsenal of supplies.  The first is Gesso.  Gesso is a thick liquid primer that is used to prepare canvas and other surfaces for paint and other mediums to go on top.  It dries with a somewhat chalky finish and accepts other mediums very well.  What I love about Gesso is that is instantly mutes and tones down whatever surface you apply it to.  You can use a brush but I have found that palette knives which have a flat blade are what I like best.  This way you can apply the Gesso like frosting or perhaps think of it like buttering a piece of bread.  Simply slather it in thin or thick coats over your paper.  Then let it dry...you can use a heat gun to speed up the drying process. You can see that I applied a swipe of Gesso to the small Instagram photo and to a few places on the card front too. Since I like a lot of white space and softer colors, this stuff is going to be used a lot I can tell already. The brand I used is from the Claudine Hellmuth line from Ranger but you can find jars of Gesso in any craft store or online art stores like Dick Blick. 
The next product I've been experimenting with is Modeling Paste.  Modeling paste is a thicker medium that works just like Spackle.  It is used to build thicker, dimensional layers and is easily applied with a palette knife.  It dries to a hard finish and is very textured.  You can apply it by itself but it's most fun to use with stencils.  Below I used a small stencil from Studio Calico.  I'll be sharing some sources for more fun stencils as I build my collection.  To use a stencil with modeling paste you simply lay your stencil down on the surface you want to use and slather the modeling paste over the stencil, filling in the holes of the stencil.  I think it's best to cover just random parts of the stencil so that small patches of the paste are left.  You can easily color your modeling paste with acrylic paints, ink droppers, etc.  Refer the above photos of the card to see the finished texture.  With both Gesso and modeling paste, you want to clean your palette knives or brushes after each use.
I've also pulled my watercolors out of the drawer too.  I added a bit to my grid cardstock and some splatters to my dictionary paper before assembling my card.  To add a little pooling of color, I like to wet the paper first with clean water.  Then I mix my watercolor with my brush and let it bleed into the clean pool of water. This creates an organic look instead of brush strokes.  You can sop up excess with paper towels.  I use my heat gun to speed the drying process.  I use the Teflon craft mats like crazy when working with mixed media products.  They are so easy to clean and you can use your heat gun over them too without damaging the surface.  Right now I'm using cheapo watercolors but I'm looking into a few brands that carry travel sets of watercolor.  I need a little better quality that mixes better.  I'll report back on what I find.
If you've made it this far, thanks for joining me today.  Up in the shop I have a fun new kit that has a sampling of the dictionary page that has Gesso and modeling paste on it.  Plus the kit contains a full 4 x 6 sheet of 6 mini floral Instagrams.  The card I created today uses the Large Manila Tag, the small white tag + dictionary page, a mini Instagram and a snippet of a paper doily from the kit.  It's a fun little kit if you want to see if you like this mixed media look on your projects.  You can try misting the dictionary page, adding some watercolor or ink droppers, etc.  It's hard to see but the kit also contains a clear card box that can be used to package up some cards as gifts. 
I have my supplies I used today still out on my work table....maybe I'll see what else I can create today. And again....let me know what you think about adding some mixed media to your projects.  Would you ever consider doing an art journal just to get the creative juices flowing?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

28 comments:

Diana Fleming said...

Love your work, and now your new "direction". Thank you very much for the great tutorial- I have been wanting to try my hand with gesso and stencils but didn't know how. You gave me the nudge I needed :).

Susan said...

I also love your work! You are an inspiration! I think it is always good for us to push ourselves into trying new things.

Susan said...

I also love your work! You are an inspiration! I think it is always good for us to push ourselves into trying new things.

Sarah said...

Oh Michelle! I love, love, love your style! These colors and textures, so great! The new mixed media work sounds really good! I also made my first experience with gesso and acrylic paint. Tonight I want to try a few new cards for my project life, and i am sure your blog will be my inspiration.

So thanks for share your ideas with us

Suzy Girl said...

Michelle...I'm in! I'm excited about you going in this direction and will follow your lead. I've always wanted to try this and can't wait to see more on your art journal. Thanks for letting us know how you do each step to. I'm always anxious to see what your next post is going to be. Looking forward to it all.

Becky said...

Loving the textured text paper! I've tried art journaling and just haven't found my niche yet (yet, ha!) I used gesso for the first time a few weeks ago and loved it! You've inspired me to try the modeling paste though!

Elisa Hernandez said...

Very pretty, love all the layering.

Yvonne said...

I have done art journals and they are always a fun project. Many times making the book from found materials is as much fun as then using the book. Anything that gets the creative ideas flowing is a great thing! Always love your blog!

Heather Sweet said...

I am soooo looking forward to your "art revival!" I have been wanting to start art journaling. I've never done anything like art journaling before, so I think you'll teach me a lot. I also really like your style and color palatte; it's similar to colors I identify with. Seeing these in art journal/mixed media projects will be fantastic! I have been doing research on art journaling and think the pages I've seen are just gorgeous, but the colors are't inspirational to me. I think your art journaling and techniques will be. I am so excited! I'm going out to get a journal and some basic supplies. Could you give me some suggestions?

JeanFB said...

Fabulous, Mish! I am sooo "in"! Good for you. I also grew to feel that my scrapbooking and papercrafting hobbies needed a little more of a fine arts influence, and I've also been experimenting in mixing the two. I can't wait to come along (virtually) on your journey! (I actually said "oh yay!!!" out loud when I started reading your post, tee hee!)

Meredith MacRitchie said...

The mixed media thing isn't something I am interested in doing myself, but I do think it is a neat process - and I really like how it works with your card - even just how you used instagrams as your focal point is a fun change and it worked so well!

Troy Louise Seegmiller said...

I love what your doing & I get the desire to add more mixed media to projects. My mother & grandfather were oil & watercolor painters. I always dabbled with it & took classes in high school, but got away from it in college. Many, many years later I found that stamping filled that creative need, but do long for a bit more of the individual art to add to it. Thanks for the inspiration. I love your blog - you are so creative. I look forward to your new adventure. Hugs.

Pam said...

Believe it or not, an art journal is next on my list. Several friends are thinking of making journals too and we may plan to all meet and brainstorm ideas! Can't wait to see what you come up with. Shari Carroll (Hero Arts) is making an art journal page a month and posting on her blogeroonie (to quote YOU)! I love your blog. I have made so many cards in "your style" that my friends are now copying me!

Pam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara said...

I think all that art can get to much for cards. Good for anything else. I know what ever you do its going to be good. I can see from the pictures you are ready for some warm weather now, maybe you and the husband should take a vacation to Hawaii!

Elizabeth V. said...

It looks like you had lots of wonderful fun trying new techniques...thank you for sharing the adventure on your blog. I really like your mini-Instagram photos. I loved the typewriters and I really love your flowers. It is a lovely change of focal points! Thanks as always for sharing your creativity with us. Hope you have some sunshiny days very soon!!

Green Velvet Box said...

I have been stalking Chirsty Tomolinson's work because I love the SheArt...I want to take her class with my oldest daughter over our spring break! I can't wait to see what you create. I'm intrigued by the art journal but since I've only just picked up on SheArt, I'm kind of out of the loop as far as mixed media art goes. It sounds like a lot of fun though!

Stacie Mandrell said...

love this idea! i stumbled across creative jumpstart a month or so ago and loved every minute of it! ended up playing a bunch and doing a bunch of different techniques i learned on my project life week cards! love the idea and plan to jump in this summer trying out an art journal for that exact reason...to experiment! thanks for sharing your ideas! love it!

Rebecca Ednie said...

I'm fascinated by the mixed media I've seen lately too and I'm inspired to try it. So I'm totally on board to see what you Create. I'd love to see what products you try and I already love the detailed explanations of what each product does, what look you get and how to use it. Keep us posted even if a project doesn't work out. Whatever you learn can help us not make the same mistakes. Totally on board!!

Stahl Family said...

Love this kit....will you be listing just the instagram photos alone?

Sharon said...

So very happy for your new journey! I love your style, and can't wait to see what you begin to learn with Mixed Media! I have the KOI 24 color watercolor set by Sakura. I love their bold, bold colors, and it travels beautifully.

Anne said...

Loved this post. I'm definitely on board. Oh by the way, Just love the new photo heading.

Gypsy 2 said...

I am a Mish fan from long ago!!!
I love the way you think outside the square and that you are willing to try something new.
I like your style and aspire to try it in some of my crafts.
Keep up the good work and I wait to see episode 2.
Well done.

Tammy B said...

lovely. i never would have thought of making a mixed media card, thanks for the inspiration! i have been branching out into different realms as well, i think it's good for our souls!

Jennifer Scull said...

love the card you have made with these great products!
I really want to try gesso & the modeling paste, but haven't yet. you are inspiring me to break out the pennies next time I get my craft money.

would love to see you carry these new floral instagrams in your store! I so love all of the others you have had.

Happy Easter to you and your family!

The Scrappy Tree said...

I am so excited to see some mixed media from you!! I've been dabling myself and love it. I do art journaling too (just did some last night as a matter of fact!). I love gesso and modeling paste as well as watercolors. Another great way to add some color is by using Faber Castell Gelatos. If you've never tried them, check out some You Tube videos. They are really fun and great to use for art journaling or just coloring images.

alexandra s.m. said...

Gorgeous work as always Michelle ;-)
Thanks!

La Tulipe said...

I've just begun to work in the same direction (mixed media).(Please excuse my bad english)
You must try to work with stamps in gesso. I love the effect. I dont't have modeling paste.
You could use an old credit card with gesso (to spread). I put acrylic painting in the gesso to color it (i love non homogeneous mixing).
I've just tested crayon and after oil of terpentine.
Lots of joy!
XO from France.

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