Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mixed Media advent calendar

I have been working on a Mixed Media Advent Calendar for a swap on AFTCM for the better part of a week now - off and on between cleaning up and sorting my stuff!!
I am so happy with how it worked out!!!!!!!!!!
I used heavy weight cardstock - the backs I ripped off of commercial cards before I refurbished them for donating. Check out the cards here and here.

 Check out the process I used for decorating both sides of these papers before I created the little houses.  For the backs - the glossy ones have alcohol ink backgrounds and the matte ones have collage.  All the fronts were decorated with a multiple step paper decorating process that used a handmade stamp, acrylic paint and plastic wrap.  Fun!!
To keep all the houses looking like they belonged in the same neighborhood I decided they would all have black roofs, A's down their sides, a door and windows.  Each also has a number which doubles as a house number.  After all, we need to know how many sleeps before the big day!!
So there are little houses, big houses, skinny houses and everything  in between. Even a few duplexes!!
 Some with chimneys, some with dormers, some with hedges and a wide variety of roof styles.  The scored flaps are folded to the back and tied on the sides with fiber to create a little pocket which holds the surprise of the day as we count down.  The letters on the roofs and down the sides were created with decorative packing tape I bought at Michaels last year!!
 Worked so well - added texture and a funky style to the whole lot!!  It was fun to design doors and windows for each house and hand draw the details.  They were all layered and watercoloured to give them a bit of dimension.  None of the houses are exactly the same.
 So click on the photos and check out the fun little details I added.  A little bit of something below the roof line, something above or around the door, etc.  I used brads and eyelets for the door handles.
They have numbers on the backs as well.  These were die cut from foil lids!!  The little pockets are waiting to be filled!!
It has been a super fun project.  It can be used to count down to any occasion and left up year round should the recipient be so inclined!!
A wonderful little neighborhood!!

I have a few leftover card backs which I hope to use to make another little village.  Maybe I will use different architectural guidelines for the next one!!!  What fun!!  They can stand on a shelf or mantle or maybe could be tied together to stand independantly.
Consider making yourself a fun little advent calendar that you can reuse every year to count down to Christmas and, if you make it fun enough, it will decorate your house or studio all year long!!  A new tradition!!
Would love to see what you have created!  Leave a comment and include a link!!


Paper decorating!!

I started on a new project last week and decided to use the backs torn off of old commercial cards as a base because they were good heavyweight cardstock.  I picked the largest ones because those  worked best for the final result.
Are you asking yourself what I did with the card fronts?? You can see the cards I have refurbished and donated here and here.
For my project all of these needed to be scored at 2.5" so I used my "new to me" Martha Stewart scoring tool - Thanks Carol.  That was easy!!
For my project both sides of the cardstock needed to be decorated so I decided to use alcohol inks on the glossy ones!  Worked really well!!
 For the matte ones, I decided to create small collages using decorative papers.  I just dug through my stash of papers and picked pieces that seemed to work well together and glued them down.

So that took care of all the backs of these pieces of cardstock.  Now,  on to the fronts!!
Here is my set up for doing the fronts.  I started with this cool looking piece of packaging that I found as I  was going through my "stuff".  I coated the edges of the open weave with gesso to seal it before I started using it as a stamp.  I sponged acrylic paint onto the edges with a foam brush and stamped it on the cardstock.  Repeated 3 or 4 more times until the whole surface was covered, not worrying too much about how well it stamped because it was just going to be texture in the final project.
   Once they were dry I started adding colour using watered down acrylic paints.  Just painted them on pretty willy nilly and covered them with wrinkled plastic wrap to help create interesting patterns. I waited only a few minutes before removing the plastic wrap and discovered that the stamping was resisting the washes better than I expected, so combined with the random pattern of the plastic wrap, some of the backgrounds turned out pretty cool.
I have taken digital photos of all of them so I can use them in my art later on!!

Decorating paper is so much fun!! I love the randomness of it all and it is fun passing the day just mucking with paint and paper.  In this case, it is even better because I started with cardstock that was headed to the recycling bin!!  Now, that is upcycling!!


Steampunk fat book page

I have been crafting in my new room!!!  It is wonderful.
Here is the project I was working on today - a Steam punk fat book page.  I created this for a swap on AFTCM.  I created a steam punk wind screen using items that I picked up on my walk the other day and a few add ons.  What did I pick up??  The base - a clear plastic with holes in it and the rusty washer.  I added the central piece (inside of a foam brush) from my desk, the little washers and the electronic bits were discovered during a raid of DH garage and the butterfly charm, the rhinestone and the copper piece are from my stash.  I wired all of them into place using wire which I had pulled out from ribbon a while back.  Thinking about it - most of these elements have been upcycled!!  I ended up painting the back of the clear piece after I had started wiring elements into place so I used a variety of mediums until I got the look I needed. On hindsight, it would have been better to sand and paint it beforehand but it sort of evolved so I had to make it up as I went along.  I really like the way it looks!!  Once the windscreen was finished I started looking for a fall scene, a flying machine and a pilot.  The pilot and the windmill I found at Graphics Fairy and the fall scene I downloaded off the internet.  I love how it all came together.  I had to add some details to the pilot and also created the outside of his flying machine.  The back of the page has the fall scene with some verse I wrote about the colours and flying!!  I added some coordinating fiber on the right hand side and my page was done!!

The colours of fall are so awesome here.  I grew up in the west where fall colours go from green to yellow and if we were lucky brown but more often than not, we would get a hard frost in September and all the leaves would fall regardless of what colour they were!!  Bare trees for Halloween and very often snow suits too!!

PS - If you have been waiting for more photos of my craft room - I have uploaded them into the original post - here!!