Monday, September 08, 2014

Subway canvas - Love is . . .

I have been wanting to make a subway art canvas for quite a while and in the last few days I have finally managed to get all the elements together and make it happen!
I bought an 
8 x 10 art canvas at a local discount store and painted it with red acrylic paint in several shades and added a few gold highlights.  I created the subway art in Corel Draw using a wide variety of fonts with the theme of Love is. . . .. 
I reversed it using the Reverse Function in the laser printing process which worked great.  I applied a generous coat of Modge Podge to the canvas and laid my printed art carefully over it (printed side down) and rubbed gently to make sure that the two surfaces were in contact everywhere.  I left it to dry overnight. On hindsight, there was a bit too much glue in some places which created a few ridges.  Those ridges dried and became permanent fortunately they do not detract from the look of the finished piece.  
I generally followed this subway art tutorial at Full of Great Ideas  but I think it is absolutely necessary for the glue to be completely dry before you begin to remove the paper.  As it was, I did lose some detail in some of the letters as I was removing the paper which I touched up with a black fine tip Sharpie.  I followed that with a coat of matte Modge Podge which blended the colours in the letters and covered up any little bits of paper that I had not removed.  I am a happy crafter!!  I will be adding a ribbon hanger and it will be good to go.  I will certainly be making more of these in the future.  
 This is loosely patterned after the bible verse but the verse has so many nots in it that I went looking for words that portrayed positive attitudes and attributes that would provide inspiration for everyone.  I added the I AM and the YOU ARE at the top as a reminder that we must set these goals for ourselves and it behooves us to appreciate these qualities in those close to us.  It is also a reminder that it takes two to create a good relationship and both have to work at it regardless if the relationship is with our spouse, partner, parents, siblings, extended family, friends, etc.  


Fairy Door

 A fairy door!!  
Everyone should have one just to stay in touch with the other dimensions of life that blur in our awareness as we grow older!!
I did some research when I joined this swap because I had never heard of them before.  What a cool concept!  It keeps the child in us alive!!
It took several weeks to really work out the concept of how I would create the different layers and what features I thought would be necessary in my creation. 

I finally decided that my door would be able to physically open.  I wanted it to open into a world that was airy and not defined by me so I decided to use metallic cardstock behind my door so the world everyone sees when they open it will be of their own making.  I found one on line that had this feature and I liked the idea of it right away.  I wanted my door to have a window to provide light for the world that lay beyond.  I wanted the frame to have a peaceful greeting.  
So last week I started on my door.  I cut two pieces of light weight chipboard to 5.5"x 8.5".  I painted all four sides with black acrylic paint.  While they were drying I went looking for the pieces I would need.  I found the little strip of wood that I used on the frame of my door.  DH is always bringing me little scraps of wood from his shop knowing that I like to add them to my creations!!  It was about two feet long and a 1/16" thick.  Perfect for the frame of my door.  Next, I located the tiles for framing my opening.  I have a stash of letter tiles I have collected over the years from games, etc and so I started there.  I had originally thought I would use Scrabble tiles to keep wood as a theme but when I found these black letter tiles I decided these ones were "the ones" because they would make the words much more subtle.  I laid them on my chipboard and figured out that I needed 22 to go around so started working out a saying that would work with that many letters.  Needless to say, the paint had long been dry but I now had the wood for my door and the tiles for my frame so I could figure out how big my door was going to be.  I measured three times and cut once!!  I cut both pieces of chipboard with the same opening and marked the backs of both of them so I could keep my layers in proper order.  My tiles were a bit shiny so I decided to paint them black with the bit of acrylic paint I had sitting from painting the chipboard.  Dulled them very nicely but not completely - perfect!!  I decided to build my door first.  I measured and cut my wood strip to make the frame all the way around.  I sanded their edges and dry fit them until I was happy how they went together.  Once I knew how much room there was between the frame pieces I decided on my window size - 1.25".  I used my circle cutter to cut the hole in the top layer, placed it on the back layer, traced the hole onto it and used the circle cutter to cut that one too.  Once I laid them back to back I was pretty close so I just tweaked both of them a bit with an exacto knife.  I decided to add some words, so I found a book page that would do and trimmed it to fit under the wood frame.  I found a scallop punchie in kraft and black (prize on one of my groups) and cut a hole in it as well to create a frame for my window.  Next, I worked on the hinges.  I originally thought two would be enough but when I got to this step I decided that three would be better.  I cut them using a latch die (SX) from leather using my Big Shot.  Perfect!!  I knew that I would need just a bit of play in my door to accommodate the hinges so trimmed just a smidge off the door.  Fortunately, I had allowed a border all the way around my wood frame so I did not have to change that.  Next, I dug out my jewellery findings in hopes of finding something that would work as a handle for my door!!  I found an old earring with this beautiful hoop and with a bit of jigging I made myself a door handle!!  With all the pieces of my door ready to go I started assembling.  I started by gluing my book page to the front of my door.  I cut triangles in the window opening and glued all of them to the inside front of the door.  I glued my wood door frame in place using double sided tape and then used a small drill bit to make the holes I needed through all the layers for my brads.  I drilled holes because I did not want to split the wood which easily happens when the wood is so thin.  I used tiny black brads.  They look like bolts!!  I positioned my hinges, used my awl to mark the holes, drilled them out, attached the hinges with double sided tape and added the brads.  Added my little door handle and glued the frame around my window.  I then glued the back to the front which left the inside of the door neat and clean with all the brad tangs hidden between the two.  I used a black permanent marker on the cut edges to remove the kraft colour of the chipboard on those edges.  Once the door was finished I completed my frame by gluing those two back to back.  Onto my tiles!!  They were hollow at the back so I needed to work out a way to glue them to my frame.  In the end, it was an incremental process.  I glued small squares of cardstock to the inside hollow using hot glue then added a square of 3D foam tape to that which gave me the correct depth to attach to my frame.  I positioned them on the frame to find that I had made a slight error - I had not trimmed my chipboard before I created the door so now I had a half inch on both sides of the frame that was untiled!!  I went looking for something that would do the job of filling that space.  I found a bike reflector (found object on one of my walks) that was the perfect size after I cut it out of its holder and trimmed it in half using a hack saw.  Sanded the edges, added several cardstock layers to the inside and two layers of double sided tape and they were ready to be added to my frame.  I laid out all the tiles and made sure they were all in the correct order before I started gluing them into place.  I started in the top left hand corner and did all that side applying LOTS of pressure to get the foam tape to stick completely to the chipboard.   Next, I started in the right hand corner and started placing tiles.  On my fourth tile, I realized that the last two were flipped though it was difficult to tell because they were an "H" and an "O".  I immediately applied some heat and gently lifted them up.  They did tear a bit of the chip board's painted surface but I was able to repair that and reposition the tiles!!  The little reflectors fit just perfectly at the bottom of each frame and will allow the door to been seen at night!!  A feature I had not intended but adds nicely to the design of my fairy door.  I cut a piece of silver metallic cardstock just slightly smaller than the back and glued it in place using double sided tape!!  The door jammed a bit after it was all assembled and I trimmed it a bit.  I should have waited a bit longer because after everything dried for a bit it may not have been necessary after all but what was done was done - a lesson learned.  In the end, the gap between the door and the frame is a little larger than I would have liked but it works well which is the important thing.  So, it has been pressing for the last day.  I will be packing it up today and sending it on its way to my partner!!
I thoroughly enjoyed the process of creating this little door and I look forward to finding a place in my craft room for the one I will be receiving in return!!