By Mollie Deem, Guest Designer
If you ask me, not a single bit of October Afternoon, no matter how big or small, should ever be wasted! Since today is my last post as guest designer, I thought it would be fun to make a few projects using scraps left over from the previously posted projects.
The bright poppy colors from the Midway collection and the basic blacks from Witch Hazel are just perfect for adding a little splash of color to any page (or room). My boring beige cubicle at work is in need of a little art piece to liven up the place, so I thought I'd make a piece and share a tutorial to help de-construct mixed media for those of you who are interested in, but intimidated by, mixed media.
Step 1 - Creating the background
- Grab a pre-primed (gesso has already been applied) 10" x 10" art canvas. (I prefer to use the gallery wrapped canvases because I can paint the edges to "finish" the piece instead of framing it.) I found that the sprinklers didn't take well to the gesso, so I covered the entire canvas with a very thin layer of acrylic paint. Let the paint dry completely before starting the next layer.
- Once the white acrylic base layer has dried, apply a coat of "icebox" sprinklers to the entire surface. To do this, I poured a bit of the sprinklers into a paint dish and brushed it on with a 1-inch flat brush. Try not to coat it too evenly and work to get a bit of a streaky effect, leaving a little of the canvas white as you go. Let his layer dry completely. (You can use a heat tool on low to speed up dry time.)
- Next, spray on a little Midway "Token" sprinkler to the center of the canvas. Using the brush, work it toward the outer edges making sure not to leave any hard edges. Once that section is complete, repeat the process until the majority of the canvas is covered. Let this layer dry completely.
- Put a generous dollop of gesso in the middle of a punch cup (or another container with shallow sides). Pour in a generous splash of Woodland Park "Springs" sprinklers and mix until the gesso is tinted completely with the sprinklers color. (Remember, you can always add more to intensify the color, but it's much harder to lighten it.) Using an empty paper towel or toilet paper roll, dip the roll into the tinted gesso, then "stamp" circles onto the canvas. Let the gesso dry completely (I let it dry overnight). Note: It's very important to let the gesso dry completely before moving on to the next step!
- One thing to note when drying gesso: You can't use a heat tool to speed up the dry time. If you apply heat, it will seal the top of the gesso, trapping the moisture inside of the rest of the gesso, making it nearly impossible for it to dry out. You MUST let it air dry.
Step 2 - Creating the "pie chart"
While the gesso is drying, create the paper pieces for the "pie chart" element.
- First, cut an 8-inch circle from black cardstock. Using the stencil, trace the outline of the pie "pieces" onto the cardstock. (The stencil I used is by Rhonda Palazzari for Crafter's Workshop.)
- Then cut an 8-inch circle from medium weight chipboard.
- Next, use a pencil to trace the different pie "pieces" onto a variety of patterns from the Midway and Witch Hazel lines.
- Once the pieces are traced, cut them out.
- Fit the patterned paper pieces onto the black cardstock and glue them securely into place.
- Lay the template over the top of the pie chart pattterned paper pieces, use a couple of pieces of washi tape to tack it in place, and then begin tracing with a black pen (I used an extra fine point, water-based Sharpie paint pen. If you use it, work quickly so the ink doesn't collect and bleed under the stencil.)
- For the "love" piece, I only outlined the letters and the pie piece. For the "circles" piece, I outlined and then filled in the pieces between the circles. For the "chevron" piece, I outlined the chevrons, and then did a vertical "scribble fill" so that parts of the patterned paper would still show through.
- Once all the pieces are traced and the pen work is completed, follow around the black cardstock circle to cut the excess patterned pieces away.
- Use the stencil to draw an outline on each wedge. Then freehand an extra outline by following the outline traced with template. (Don't try to be perfect with the second line ... the imperfection is what gives it character.)
- Because cardstock has a tendency to fade over time, I also painted the black parts between the pieces with the Sharpie paint pen as well.
- To give the paint pen a little time to dry before the next step, prepare and apply the brads to the "circles" wedge. For this step, select the brads you want to use, remove the metal "wings" that would normally poke through the paper by snipping them off with scissors and then flattening the little piece that remains. Apply a thin foam dot (no thicker than 1/16-inch) and use those to affix the brads to the "circles" wedge.
- Glue the pie chart to the front side of the chipboard circle, then add thin foam tape to the back side of the chipboard.
- Glue on two strips of black and white baker's twine. Set aside.
Step 3 - Completing the background
- Baby wipes are the "magic eraser" of the acrylic and water-based paint world. Gently wipe the canvas with a baby wipe in straight lines to take off some of the mist and blend the two mist colors together to create a streaked effect. If you wipe off too much, you can always layer it back on, but it's much easier to just go gently and lightly and make multiple passes until you achieve the look you want.
- Once you're done wiping away the layers, use a white (water-based) Sharpie poster paint pen to draw circles inside the teal gesso circles. Let air dry or use a heat tool to speed up dry time.
- Get messy. Unscrew the spray pump from the Midway "Token" sprinklers. Put a little drop of it on the tip of your finger and start gently rubbing it around and over the circles to dull down the color of the white and teal circles so they blend in with the background better. Continue repeating this process until you've worked across the entire canvas. Let dry. (You can use a heat gun to speed up the dry time of the mists.)
- On a mixing tray, add a small dollop of flexible modeling paste and mix in a little black acrylic paint to tint it. (Make sure to use the flexible kind because the stretched canvas moves and will crack the dried paste if you don't use the flexible kind.) Lay the stencil down so it aligns with two outer edges of the canvas. Use a pallet knife to spread the modeling paste over the "stitching" pattern. The modeling paste will give the "stitches" a raised texture on the canvas.
- Make sure to keep the stencil flat and tight to the canvas so the paste doesn't bleed under. Also work with a very small amount of modeling paste at a time so it doesn't gush over the edges of the stencil onto the canvas. Ideally, you would wait for the first two sides to dry completely before doing the other two sides, but if you are VERY careful, you can do the second two sides at the same time. I let two of the corners go past each other so it looks a little like a crop mark symbol. Be sure to let dry completely before handling the canvas (I think the jar says overnight for best results.)
- Center the pie chart to the canvas and affix using foam tape. Flip the canvas over (face down) on a flat surface and apply pressure from the back side to help the tape adhere without stretching the canvas.
You canvas is done! Step back, admire your work and give yourself a pat on the back. Then decide whether to leave it as is or to frame it. (I chose to frame mine.)
WEAR YOUR FAVORITE PAPERS!
I don't think you can consider yourself a full-fledged October Afternoon fanatic until you wear your favorite patterned papers around town. Yes, you read that correctly. I said WEAR your favorite patterned papers! :)
To help you accomplish the much-coveted, full-fledged fanatic status, here are a couple of simple designs for making jewelry with your favorite patterned papers.
One of the first scrapbooking techniques I learned involved making your patterned paper look like old, worn fabric. To do this, cut or punch out circles of patterned paper and then simply spray them with water, wad it up in a ball, gently work it with your fingers a little bit and then open it back up, lay it flat, and iron it dry. For these "homespun" pendants, I simply used the fabric technique on circles, stitched the paper to two layers of canvas (with a smaller piece of chipboard in the center for stability), frayed the edges and added an eyelet with a jump ring. Wouldn't these be totally adorable paired with a denim shirt?
For a slightly more modern take, I used patterned papers from OA's Make It Merry, Witch Hazel, Midway and Farm Girl collections all mixed together on metal charms/pendants of different sizes and shapes.
For these, I used full-sized 12" x 12" patterned papers because that's what I had leftover for scraps, but I typically prefer to use papers from the 8 x 8 paper pads because the smaller scale lends itself better to pieces for jewelry making.
To make these I glued the metal charms to patterned paper using Diamond Glaze (I call it the liquid cement of the paper world). Once the glue is dry, trim the excess paper away using fine-tipped scissors. Then punch the hole at the top and sand and lightly ink the edges. After the prep work is done, place the charms on a styrofoam plate or wax paper and carefully apply Diamond Glaze to the top to make it look like epoxy. Let dry overnight, add a jump ring and then put it on the chain.
It's hard to believe that a month has gone by already! I'd like to say a big thank-you to October Afternoon for inviting me to create with their products and to share those products with each of you.
And to each of you ... thank-you for inviting me into your homes each week. I hope you've enjoyed the last few Fridays and I'm looking forward to seeing what you create in the October Afternoon galleries or on OA's Facebook page. I still have several ideas and lots of October Afternoon goodies to create with, so I hope you'll continue to follow me on Facebook at https://facebook.com/pages/PlayswithGlue/127871400623708 or at my blog at http://www.girlswithglue.blogspot.com/
BEFORE I GO...
The March/April issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine comes out on Tuesday, February 26 and you'll be able to get a little October Afternoon "fix" when you take a look at the two-page layout, "Best day ever," made with the Midway collection. You'll find it in the feature article Accentuating the Negative on Page 71. Here's a little sneak peek of the March/April edition for you: http://www.creatingkeepsakes.com/articles/March_April_2013_Sneak_Peek