Wednesday 14 September 2016

Make the most of it...........

........... I'm not sure there'll be a repeat performance.  I completed my very first, and also possibly very last, attempt at 'mixed media'. Having accumulated loads of stuff to play with, for about the past couple of years or so, finally bit the bullet - on Friday afternoon of last week. I then had a further play on Saturday afternoon, Sunday late afternoon, Monday afternoon and then finished it off on Tuesday morning. I make that five different days!

I'm not sure I can be doing with so many steps and stages, the horrendous mess and a desk looking as if a bomb just went off! I'm a clean as a whistle kinda crafter, my stamps are all pristine and kept meticulously clean, everything is put away again once I've used it - and I hate having half finished stuff hanging around waiting to dry or for the next stage.

Anyhow, after the good ole moan - this is the end result:

I used (I've only written it down here as a reminder in case I ever lose the plot again and decide to have a second go!):

- 6" x 6" Clarity stamp canvas board, which I covered with white Gesso

- next took Paper Artsy Grunge Paste and added some dimension to opposing corners - using a Stamposaurus 'Brickwork' stencil and a Clarity 'stripes' stencil

- once it was dry I then painted all over the canvas with acrylic paint - a mix up of Violet and White to produce Lavender, then left it to dry. I know I could have used the heat gun at various points but I was curious to see just how long it took for each stage to dry naturally

- once dry it was too bright, so I painted all over it with watered down white acrylic paint and used a baby wipe to just dab away until I'd lifted enough of the white to produce a more pleasing shade of lavender

- I had a rough idea of what I wanted to add into the canvas and next I die cut the leaves, hearts and butterflies out of white Centura Pearl card to get an idea of how they might work. Too stark by far and way too neat

- so, I stuck the leaves in place using Ranger Multi Medium Matte - which confirmed the starkness - gulp

- I'd cut doubles of the butterflies and hearts knowing they were being added to uneven surfaces so I layered those together using Glossy Accents and then layered one heart overlapping the other

- out came the embossing ink refill fluid and a brush - plus some Stampendous 'Shabby White' Frantage embossing enamel and I embossed the butterflies, heart and also added some Frantage to the leaves

- still too stark - so I brushed more embossing fluid onto the bricks and stripes on the canvas, scattered with more Frantage and embossed that. By this stage the entire craft room was sparkling with tiny little pieces of gold from the Frantage

- ha! So now the butterflies and hearts totally blended into the backgrounds didn't they? To counter that I took a broad nibbed gold calligraphy pen and went round all the edges of the butterflies and the hearts - as well as adding a few scribbles to the fronts as well. It looks just like gold leaf in real life.

- the sentiment is from LOTV's 'Life's Journey', stamped onto the rough side of white tissue paper using Stazon 'Jet Black' ink and then the edges torn (not cut, straight edges wouldn't blend into the canvas well - that much I did know!) around very carefully. Then stuck the sentiment in place using Ranger Multi Medium Matte

-used a SU 'splodges' stamp from the 'Sheltering Tree' set to stamp a few times using Stazon 'Stone Grey' ink - and was left with the impression that a mouse with dirty feet had run across the canvas - so I added a few gold splodges with the calligraphy pen there as well - and also some gold scribbles on the flat areas of canvas which looked a bit bare

- the leaves needed some flowers so I found lavender flowers in the neglected box of flowers, added white brads and hot glued them in place. Didn't like the white brads after all so coloured those using the gold calligraphy pen and tickled a little bit of gold around the centres of the flowers

- hot glued the hearts in place as well as the butterflies

- used Glossy Accents to add some lavender coloured pearly gems to the butterflies as well as one of the hearts

Finally, called it done! Tell you what, that sentiment I used is somewhat ironic. If I knew I could NOT fail - I'd probably be churning out these by the dozen! But I seemed to hit so many issues along the way, many of which I've not even written about here. I had enormous encouragement via email from Sarn along the way although my guess is that it's the freedom to just throw what you like at things and see what happens that attracts many crafters to multi media. I take my hat off to them as it's most probably how true artists work - I now know that I'm a clean and 'non-messy' crafter, possibly more of an engineer, first and foremost.

The funny thing is, my in-house critic likes it a lot. Then he asked 'so what are you going to do with it, where will it go?'. At that point I just shrugged and rolled my eyes ......... I have absolutely no idea!


  1. I with you on being a 'clean and 'non-messy' crafter', Di, although I'm not so good at packing things away as soon as i've finished with them. I giggled all the way reading through your post! I have quite a few pots of 'messy' things I've bought at craft fairs after seeing them being demonstrated, which I've never opened! I really like your project though, with all the detail and different textures. Perhap we all need to get 'messy' every now and then. xx

  2. My hat's off to you for taking the mixed media plunge, because it's nothing that interests me at all! I couldn't stand making the mess, but your card did turn out to be quite pretty!

  3. Laughed out loud at your saga, Di!! I can relate - after you get so many things out and you STILL aren't finished with the card you feel like someone should say in your ear in a very firm voice, "Ma'am, step away from the card, and no one gets hurt!"! Your card is fabulous despite all the time and mess, though, so all is good!!

  4. Great mixed media, Di!! Love how you arranged all the elements!! Fab gessoing and colours! Amazing flowers!

  5. I think for the first time i am seeing mixed media card from you :) It is fantastic. Well i myself have never tried hand at mixed are giving me serious inspiration!

  6. Well, you should frame it and hang it up obviously! It's awesome, well done. I have tried and find it sooooo hard, so I was with you all the way reading this! Lxxx

  7. Well done Di it's a brilliant first time ever piece...very shabby chic and such pretty colours . As a lover of mixed media a couple of things I would suggest if I can be bold ....Grunge paste is the least user friendly of texture pastes ....try Ranger...very quick drying and takes all media on top. Also practice is the key and not being too precise. I am a seriously neat crafter....I just use a really big craft sheet! Hugs xx

  8. Well I think it's gorgeous! It's odd that I tend more towards the clean and simple side (although not exclusively) because I am by nature a VERY MESSY PERSON. I THINK IT'S BECAUSE I LIKE TO HAVE A VERY CLEAR IDEA IN MY HEAD (oops, a cap lock moment) of where I'm going, and when you start to get messy it leads you off in unexpected directions. That's probably why the mixed media projects I've been most pleased with have been made under the guidance of a tutor who was able to point me in the right direction at each twist and turn.

  9. This really made me smile Di as I had a very similar experience the first time I tried mixed media a few months back, and I even made my own embossing paste, so that was even more mess! After a whole day creating a 5x7 canvas, I was slightly disappointed to say the least as I had seen so many wonderful pieces posted on Pinterest. However, I don't like to be defeated and so I spent most of last weekend working on an MDF Book Box. I've just added the finishing touches this morning and I'm thrilled to bits with it. I did remember to take a few pictures along the way and I will post these, along with pics of the finished project on my blog in the next week or two. Anyway, I'm waffling on here when what I'm basically trying to say is don't give up Di. Jane is absolutely right in what she says about not being too precise. Just embrace the mess and have a good clean up at the end. You've done a wonderful job on your first piece and I really hope that you'll be inspired to have another go. Crafty hugs, Sandra xx

  10. Well, I for one think this is a wonderful first step into mixed media Di and I adore the colours.

    Believe it or not I too am a very tidy crafter and hate mess, so I find when I make a mixed media piece it's the project of the day and after each step I'm off to the kitchen to clean what I used for each stage. A quick espresso at the same time (I know I'm meant to be cutting down on them for the sake of my BP) and by the time I get back to my craft room the last step is dry and I'm ready to move on.

    So please do stick with it Di, it grows on you !!

    B x

  11. I should also have added as I am in agreement with what the others have said, never try and be too precise and I would even go as far as saying I rarely end up with what I anticipated, it's a sort of ongoing learning curve and you wonder 'will this work' so you give it a try. Basically you can't go wrong and this last few weeks it's been the ideal sort of crafting for me when stamping is so difficult.

    B x

  12. I like it. Great colours and lots of interest. I'd like to know how to stay tidy though, normally I can't see my desk (might explain a lot). X

  13. This is gorgeous Di, I love it.

    Sue xx

  14. Wow Di, ......This is amazing you must be feeling so proud of what you have done l just love it and shows that the impossible is achievable! stunning are my words dosen't matter how long it takes you finished it well done you! have some relaxing time l'm a tidy crafter too l don't leave any mess around and keep everything in it's place l couldn't craft otherwise.....hope you have an enjoyable day take care xx

  15. Way to go mate! As you already know (cuz I had a sneaky peek) . . . I think it's MARVELLOUS. You should be really proud of yourself for giving it a go and getting such a great result. I wholeheartedly agree with Jane and Brenda's comments above. BTW . . . I make a lot of mess WHILE I'm creating, but enjoy the tidy up to make my craft space neat again afterwards.

    I have a little shelf with a ridge along the front where I display my canvas boards. You could also get one of those plate holders to sit the canvas in and display it somewhere.

    Now that you've done one canvas, I truly hope you have a go at another at some point. Don't worry about the mess you make WHILE you're doing it . . . it can always be cleared up!

    Hugs, Sarn xxx

  16. Oh Di! reading your post so makes me smile. I so identify with you...I am a neat freak and the mind (and purse at the time) is willing, and then the bottles of lush sit there until I have forgotten what to do with them. :) I did an MDF heart for my son and DIL when they married...I was proud...but it never appeared to see the light of day (don't think they knew the time and love that had gone into it) so I have lost heart. So..........please display your lovely masterpiece because it truly is lovely...I love your colours and you obviously knew what to do with your 'lush'.....if you have a craft room put it there as a reminder of your talent. Perhaps mixed media is a bit like giving birth?...after a while you forget how hard it was and have another try! xx

  17. Congratulations on a fantastic mixed media creation Di. It's absolutely gorgeous. I did have a laugh (in a kind way) reading through your process I'm just surprised it's not PINK! I love all the elements and you should definitely hang it up on the wall.

    I'm afraid I'm a messy crafter whatever type of card I'm making and do leave mixed piles of stuff all around until I have no space left or can't find what I'm looking for. Since my craft sort out though I do try to clear MOST of it away after each session and it does actually make me feel happier. Barbxx

  18. Hehe Di I am with you ...have tried to get to like mixed media but I love my dies far too much!!
    Dr Sonia

  19. Hi Di,
    what a gorgeous canvas.
    I love, love it.
    You have made a wonderful and grand job of it.
    I can understand that you hate the mess, but your creation is very lovley and gorgeous.
    I have always adimired you clean crafting lines on your creations, and if asked to descibe you that is how I would say you are from your description of your self.
    I too am a messy crafter and have loads of snippets on the side of my desk that need clearing away.
    Sometimes it takes days to wash off the ink from my hands when crafting with inks.
    Lots of crafty love. Jenny L.

  20. Well I think you did fabulously Di and added lots of texture, great colours too. I have never done anything like this and tend to steer clear of really messy crafting as I craft in the living room on the dining table which, needless to say, is never eaten off much these days. I do try to keep it fairly tidy as it is always on view. x

  21. So lovely! I am a messy crafter and it reminds me of my foray into mixed media last Christmas. I got a blob of gold embossing paste attached to my slipper and managed to utterly ruin the lino in the bathroom by treading it everywhere. Not good!! Xx

    1. Oh April! Sorry but I roared with laughter at this! I was so worried about ruining our bedroom carpet when I was running to and from the shower room to rinse things that I was hopping out of my flip flops and scampering around barefoot whenever I left the craft room. Maybe we need to put dust sheets over all vulnerable floor areas?


      Di xx Still giggling here :)

  22. Well my flaber is totally garsted. I feel so honoured that you have made this piece especially for my challenge. I'm doing a mixed media project which I started Saturday and it was suposed to be finished and posted today but I'm still at the painting stage. Doing it all out in the garden. The Doc going into over load otherwise at the mess doesn't bear thinking about!!
    I love , love this canvas board and all the elements therein. Absolutely super duper my friend. Gorgeous flowers . You have mixed media nailed . Thank you sooooooo much for fluttering by my challenge. Two bites of the cherry coming straight up. Hugs
    Mrs A.

  23. Great canvas, Di. While my card style might be clean and simple, I'm not a very clean crafter. I don't usually leave half finished projects on my desk, but there is one there right now and I just realized the stamp set and blocks are still there too. Off to clear away lol.

    Em x

  24. Oh my gosh! You just hit all the nails on the head on why mixed media isn't for me. Your project came out right nice. Now trash all that mixed media stuff and get back to the regular you! ;-)

  25. Well I LOVE it!!! I know I'm not a card maker but you should have seen the mess I made in my kitchen last week making Damson Jam - it was EVERYWHERE! Still not as bad as when I stewed some plums and waited until they cooled before taking the stones out - I had bits of plum skin and juice up to my elbows, it looked like I disembowled a cow or something!

  26. Well done you, a totally brilliant first attempt, you are a better man than I am Gunger Dinn, wouldn't even dream of giving it a go, especially after reading this.
    Also after reading the above comment I had to scroll up and read more and that was so entertaining.
    I am a terrible crafter, the place is clean and tidy and I start to make a card, then half way through I get an idea for something else so go on to that and it seems to start the ball rolling and I end up with loads of stamps, loads of papers and embellishments and no cards made but a total and utter messy craft room.
    Totally brilliant post.

    Kath x

  27. You may not like the mess and the palaver Di but this is blooming brilliant. You are a very clever lady and you can do this, if you can get used to it. If there is a next time try applying the paint with a sponge or cloth because it dries so much quicker that way. I think me and my projects would horrify you as I have at least twelve on the go at a time lol, it's so that while one thing is drying I move onto another and so forth. Just awesome art and a brilliant post too Karen xx

  28. This is very pretty, Di... and obviously took up a lot of your time to create (judging by the write up)!
    Well done for getting messy :)

  29. It's super cool - I love it Di xxx
    I know how you were about the mess. I am a bit of a 'cleano' too so I have trouble with MM as it's sooo messy LoL
    Great work :-D

    IKE xx

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  30. You need to do more of it, I love it. I've decided I need more space now as you say "drying" time means that things are all over the place!
    My MISTI is finally on the way - yah!

  31. A really pretty canvas to have come from a very messy place Di! You are brave.....I don't do mess! LOL
    Janice x

  32. o, this is fantastic, I wish I could do something like that!

  33. WOW.. that's amazing! Really fab creation - AWESOME!

    Thanks for playing along with our Butterfly Challenge and good luck!


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  34. Your first mixed media piece is a success Di!! Even though it gave you a lot of grief and mess, you did great. I do not like a mess either when I'm crafting, although lately I just can't be bothered to clean up between projects. :)

    I'm not a mixed media girl. I'm amazing at what other's can make, but when I put together lots of layers and products, mine just look ridiculous. :) It's a special talent, that's for sure. For now I stick to my CAS cards and add in little bits of mixed media, which helps me learn lots of things.

    You definitely need to display your canvas. SARN had a great idea about a display shelf.

    Thanks for sharing your process ... and I'm glad you stuck with the five days to get the canvas made. It's awesome! xx


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