Thursday, October 23, 2014

Quick Tag for Marion Smith Designs

Hello friends!

It's been a crazy, crazy week with both the boys and me sick. But I managed to make a really quick and simple mixed media tag with some gorgeous Marion Smith Designs products.

Many of us end up with odd-sized papers after projects and I like to keep those because you never know when they come in handy. So I managed to steal about 30 min of craft time and use up some of those scraps.

To make this tag, I used papers I have from the Up and Away sheet from the Nirvana collection, as well as some bits left from Mad Tea Party. I took the Up and Away sheet and adhered it onto a product packaging as a backing and trimmed for a tag shape. Next was to tear some strips off the Alice paper from Mad Tea Party and layer them. I also cut out the floral basket from the same piece of Alice paper and did more layering with a cardstock doily and chipboard. 

The white cabbage rose resin from Junque and Gems. Love that they come in white so that I can paint them. A tip to share: the surface of this particular resin is very smooth and doesn't hold paint well, so I primed it with gesso before proceeding. After that, the 13arts matt paint and Silk Acrylic I used for coloring stayed on beautifully. I also tucked in a piece of Tattered Diamonds chipboard from Blue Fern Studios as the Alice paper in my layers had repeating diamond motifs. 

The floral basket which I fussy cut out, and you can see the repeating diamond motif which I borrowed from the Alice paper. 

That's all I have for you today. Thanks for dropping by and have a great weekend!


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Operation Salvage... and a double challenge entry

Good day friends! How has your weekend been so far? We're having a great time as the weather seemed to have mellowed a little and it was wonderful to be outdoors.

So today I bring to you something different. Instead of showing you the reveal at the beginning, I'm gonna leave it at the end just to explain how unbelievable frustrating the process of creating can be. It started out with a bad cold, which means I'm not thinking straight and that sometimes mean that my mojo gets as blocked as my nose.

So after some false starts, I ended up with this:

This was a photo I posted on my Instagram feed. The first attempt comprised of some doily stenciled designs and lilac mist, which I thought looked blah. So I made my own tissue paper collage and sealed it with some Ayeeda gel medium. Looking good so far.... 

And this happened. Nice try, lifting the color orange from the butterflies but IT. WAS. DISASTROUS. I know some of you may say this looks fine, but it was the exact opposite of what I had in mind. So this is one manifestation of two different syndromes that I currently suffer from: (1) the "Let's try this color and see how it goes. Oh SHIT..." syndrome and (2) the head-eye-hand-mis-coordination syndrome. At some point, we all face frustrations in translating the image we visualize in our head to reality. Sometimes it has to do with a mental block, sometimes it's a matter of finding the right techniques to help us express ourselves. 

And so Operation Salvage kicked in. I love it that many of my talented friends dabbling in mixed media find it fun when something goes wrong. It's that attitude of being able to restore something and transform it into something else; turning a mistake into a miracle. It's wonderful what some gesso can do. That's why it's my BFF. Now it doesn't look that loud anymore, but I still have to think of a way to add in texture and colors to create the look I had in mind. 

So repeat tissue paper collage.

Dab gesso randomly for a softened and whitewashed look and some gold glitter. Now we're talking!

Instead of using mists and paints, I whipped out something I've neglected to use for about 2 years - my stash of Pan Pastels. These are the Pastel tints which I bought but never found the chance to use. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to exhibit them now because of the soft cast they give.

Love that look! Now it's looking even closer to what I'm seeing in my mind.

Here is the sketch and mood board which I was trying to create this entry for:

And the final product of Operation Salvage:

I flipped the sketch and borrowed some elements from the mood board. The butterflies are my main inspiration and the picture I used was from one of my trips to the Butterfly Park in Penang. There are actually two of them on the stem and because it was such a delicate moment, I used the softer version of the colors Rachael had on the ring and also sprinkled bits of gold glitter around to show the classiness of these winged dancers. You can also see a bird cage, and I tucked resist canvas butterflies in the garden I created out of Prima flowers (there was fabric in the mood board as well). And don't forget the giant butterflies on my tissue paper in the background!

Some closeups:

So that's the story behind this page, and it was a fun one for me to share with you. Yes we have all at some point lost our mojo and end up staring blankly at our papers, determined never ever to touch this stuff again. Yet time and time again it's the journey we take every time we pick up our scissors, pen, brush (whatever it is you use to create) that moves us so deeply, and draws us back to this thing we call creating. To my friends who feel discouraged sometimes or are new to this, don't be afraid to make mistakes because there's always a beautiful lesson hidden inside.

Have a great week ahead!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Art of Faith

Hello friends!

Today is my turn on the 13arts blog and I have a special page to share with you from my art journal. I shared the cover I made for the art journal in my debut post for 13arts and have been creating in it ever since. But because the pages inside are very personal, I don't really post them anywhere. Today's page I'm sharing is something I hope can inspire you as the message in it has inspired me. I made it after a friend shared something personal with me.


The paper was primed with gesso and I used lots of 13arts goodies to create the background. There was dripping across the two pages, paint splatters with Ayeeda mists, and I used a mixture of gel medium and Matt paint for the stenciled details. Underneath all that layers are some sheets of hymn music which I torn out from a hymn book that is at least 100 years old. My uncle found it in London and gave it to me, but I feel so heart-pained when I had to tear it out from the very old book.


I went a little crazy with altering the chipboard from Blue Fern Studios - first I did some gel transfer with Ayeeda gel medium to create a distressed paper texture. Then I painted the surface with Ayeeda mists and paints, dabbed gesso for a even more weathered effect. For more dimensional look, I mixed liquid medium with Pearl Gold paint and dabbed it randomly over the chipboard so that they look like  - gold pearls!

More altering of the flowers with Ayeeda paints, and my favourite Gold Pearl which I find that I must use in almost every project that I create. 

Another angle of the page where I have a die cut doily which I distressed with the Gold Pearl paint. 

This is all I have for you today, thanks for dropping by!