Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nail Polish technique

This technique is something I saw on the internet a long time ago.  It is simple, unpredictable and a lot of fun.

I lined a container with foil. It makes it easier to clean up. It has about 1cm (1/2 inch) of water in the bottom.  The paper towel is for the wet cards. You need a dark colored card stock. Here I have painted an index card black and gold. You need clear nail polish, the cheaper the better. Some of the expensive brands won't work. I have tried it with colors but it really only works with clear polish but you can experiment with whatever you have.

Place your card in the water and push it to the bottom. It may take a minute to get it to stay there. Using the brush in the bottle let a drop of nail polish fall onto the water. It should immediately spread out into a rainbow of colour. That is all there is to it. Use tweezers to slowly pull the card out of the water and the nail polish will stick to it.

I laid the cards on the paper towel to dry naturally. Be careful not to touch the polish until it is dry or it will come off and stick to you instead. When it dried the polish over the painted area did not look bright enough so I glued the cardstock on top instead.

I use a paper towel to clean the surface of the water if I want to do another card. You can see the left over polish.  When I have finished I pour off the water and then put the foil in the bin.

This is what the technique looks like when viewed from straight on. You can see some of the color but when you move the card in the light you get the full effect you see below.

See, I told you it was easy. Have fun an experiment with what you have at home.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Silk Paper

I recently learned how to make silk paper at a craft fair. It is not really paper, more like a silk fabric or felt. Whatever you call it you can then use it in any textile work you want to.

I started with these packets of silk. Two were mulberry silk and one was a silk hankie.  you don't have to use these, it can be any fibers you have. You can also add strands of other fibers as well if you want (like Angelina strands).

 You need to pull some strands of silk off the bundle to make your paper. Some of the silk separates very easily but other types like the hankie are harder to pull apart. I wore rubber gloves because the silk sticks to any rough skin (which I have a lot of) but that is not necessary.

 Lay all the strands in any pattern you want on a craft sheet. You can make a pattern if you want but the design is up to you. If you want thick paper at the end lay down more silk. If you want a lacy look leave holes. This is where you get to be creative.

When I learned this technique we used a piece of tulle underneath and one on top to hold the silk down but I found it difficult to remove at the end so I just lay it on the craft mat instead.

 Next I put a drop or two of detergent (any type) into a spray bottle and filled it with water.  Use that to spray the silk. Get it quite wet because the soapy water makes the textile medium penetrate the silk better. When it is wet through use a sponge to remove any excess water.

Textile medium is the glue that is going to hold the silk together. You can use any brand, in the class I used Jo Sonjas but here I have used Folk Art brand. Dilute the medium with water (about 1/3 medium to 2/3 water) and use a foam brush to paint it on your silk. Make sure the medium goes all the way through your silk. Leave it to dry overnight and then you can peel it off your craft sheet.
 You will end up with a piece of fabric that you can use any way you like. 

 Your silk paper will have some interesting textures.

I used silk paper on this index card.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

ICAD Week 3

The theme for this week was stitch. I loved this week because I got to stitch on the cards. I find stitching on cards easier to do because you don't have to worry about tension as much as with material.

The first card I did used stamps in response to the prompt - postage stamps. I used a piece of dyed material for the background. 

Prompt - polka dot. I  used the hand made silk paper that I made at the craft fair in May for the dots. They were machine stitched on. 

Prompt - definition. I painted the background with acrylics then hand stitched the word on. The definition was printed with the computer. 

Prompt - Italy.  I hand stitched the whole card with thread. The pattern is woven and stitched on the card.

 Prompt - Summer.  I used some painted paper for the sea over an acrylic painted sky.

 Prompt - poetry.  The house is scraps of paper over an acrylic background. 

Prompt - stencil.  I stencilled the flowers on with acrylic paint but it was a little dark so I went over it with white. This made the colour run under the stencil a bit but when I outlined the petals with the machine stitching it covered most of the mistakes.

I don't worry about making a mess with these little cards because they are not a permanent form of art and it keeps me trying new things. I am very inspired by this challenge and am taking notes of ideas I want to try that I have seen from others sharing their art. I have seen a lot of wonderful Gelli plate printing so maybe I need to go shopping...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hand stitching on cards

This week's theme at the ICAD challenge is stitch. I have done some machine stitching and some hand stitching on my cards. This post will explain how I do the hand stitching.

I usually start with a card that has some paper cut outs on it. They are glued in place. This example has a bunch of scraps of card stuck down in a wavy pattern.

 I then use a paper piercer to make the holes I am going to stitch through.  The space between the holes is how big your stitch will be. Mine are about 1/4 of an inch apart but they can be closer if you want small stitches. If you don't have a paper piercer you could use the point of a compass or a large pointy needle. You don't want the holes to be too thick or they will stand out alot in the finished design.

If I am doing a design (like the word stitch in this card) I will use pencil to write or draw the design and pierce the holes along the pencil lines. It helps me get straight lines.

I use two strands of embroidery thread to make it a little thicker but you can use whatever you like. I start by gluing the thread to the card on the back so I don't have knots.

I come through the 2nd hole on the front of the card, then take the needle through the first hole to the back. 

 Then I come up through hole number 3 to the front again.

Next go back through the previous hole,

and come up through the next hole. Continue stitching in this way, up one hole in front and then back a stitch.

This is what the back of your card will look like. It has two lots of thread.

It doesn't take very long to get a lot of stitching done. When I get to the end I take the thread to the back of the card and glue the end down. When the glue is dry I cut off the extra thread. You can experiment with different types of thread and how many strands you use. Try it on scrap card first but then have some fun stitching.

Friday, June 14, 2013

ICAD week 2

This week the prompt was to use ink. I mainly chose to use spray inks like Dylusions and Moonshadow mist sprays.

This first card decided the style I was going to use all week. The daily prompt was city or map. I traced a map stencil onto an index card and cut it out. I then drew the Eiffel tower on another card that had been sprayed blue. I mounted the cut out above the blue card with mounting tape. It has a great 3D effect that I liked so I continued that all week.

The prompt here was sun. I drew the sun on the back of the sprayed card and cut it out. 

The prompt was a list of favourites. I chose my favourite ideas that I have seen on the ICAD page so far.

The daily prompt was circus. I had to draw more circus tents and cut them out. I used markers  for the colouring and blue spray for the sky.

The prompt was ivy. I think this is my favourite for the week. The veins were done with gel pen so they are a little raised.

The prompt was junk mail. I cut the fruit from supermarket catalogs and the butterflies from a Target catalog. They were stuck to green sprayed card and cut out, then mounted over orange sprayed card. 

The final prompt was camera. I sketched my own camera and mounted it over a sprayed card. I have enjoyed playing with cut outs this week but will be looking forward to the next challenge. I love to change things all the time, it keeps me inspired.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Art of Wild Abandonment

Last year when I was going a little online workshop mad I signed up for the the-art-of-wild-abandoment-workshop. At the time my right arm was only just out of plaster and I found it a little tiring to complete so I stopped doing the lessons. I have recently gone back and finished the class. It was a lot of fun and really helped me with sketching, a skill I am trying to develop.  I am sharing the work I did for the class. We started off with sketches that I watercoloured and then moved onto mixed media.

 If you think you can't draw then this class will teach you how to get started. 

Radishes are such an interesting and yet easy subject to learn with. 

I got to use some of my stash of scrap paper for this one.

This page is one of my favourite art journal pages I have done so far. I love being inspired by great teachers who encourage individuality. Junelle, who teaches the class, comes up with so many ideas that I can't help thinking of experimenting with some of them.

More collage using unusual materials.

Scrap paper again. Love the use of collage on art journal pages.

A mixed media nest using strips of paper. I stuck a couple of rolled fabric flowers on the nest along with one I made with paper.

The last page I did for the class using paintbrushes as the subject. Inspiration just streams out of watching the videos and listening to Junelle. I have almost filled the journal I made for this class and it is my favourite to look through. I am usually a neat artist and this class really helped me achieve the more painterly look that I like. I am already signed up for Wild Art 2 but am probably going to put that on hold until after the latest class I signed up for. It is Junelle's summer class wild-art-summer oh-yes . I just can't help myself when I find an artist that I admire and love to learn from.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Make art often

 I think all artists should try to make art often. Even if you are not making art to sell, a little creativity each day can spark new ideas that you want to expand on. That is why I like the online classes because they inspire me to try things I may not have thought of.

These cards come from a 21 Secrets class with Kate Crane. It was called Journal Soup. 

 This page is done with sprays, acrylics and cut outs.

 Acrylics and collage. The image is one of Alphonse Mucha's designs.

I forgot to add the little red hearts to these angels. They now have them on their dresses. 

Inks and stamps on this page. 

Acrylics and hand made stamps for this one. A little home made collage as well. 

This page is transparent and stitched together. The images are sandwiched in between. 

Another 21 Secrets lesson I have done is with Jodi Ohl.

First we made a journal using an old painting for the cover. This one was my calendar picture a few years ago. Now it has a new home.

This page uses a stencil for the leaves.  The tags were printed and inked then the flowers were painted and cut out before I stuck them on here.

 This page has a tile printed background. I used scrapbooking letter stickers for some of the words. The rest were freehand drawn.  I drew the dragonflies and cut them out for this page.

None of these art journal pages is any great work of art but there are ideas here that could be adapted to larger pieces. I would really like to make a transparent journal.   Maybe soon....