I know, I know…corny….but it was the first thing that came into my head. Wanna know the answer to “When is a book not a book?” When it is a canvas, that’s when. This week, Simon Says Stamp and Show issued an irresistible challenge” Something Messy”. (http://simonsaysstampandshow.blogspot.com/2013/02/challenge-something-messy.html. At almost the same time, The Eclectic Paperie issued an altered book challenge. http://eclecticpaperie.blogspot.com/2013/02/get-altered-challenge-altered-books.html
Now ,I love to alter books, so that challenge was right up my alley. I’m not so big on getting messy, however. I am a great lover of mixed media style (Anita Houston, Marjie Kemper, Sherry Cheever, Vicki Chrisman and May Flaum, Jim the Gentleman Crafter and of course Tim Holtz, are some of my personal art heroes) but I am really intimidated by all that blank canvas/paper and all that ink. What if I do it wrong, what if it doesn’t turn out right, what if, what if, what if? So, the perfect exercise to stretch my skills (which is my big goal for 2013) was to combine the two challenges into one. At least in my little brain, that seemed like the right thing to do.
(Sorry for the wonky photos. It’s incredibly gloomy here in NC today, and I had the hardest time getting a shot of this! Either the photo was bleached out, or it was shiny. I took more than 2 dozen photographs all over the house and finally decided it was not going to get any better.)
This is one of the largest pieces I’ve done to date. The canvas, which I covered with a sage green burlap, is sized 11 x14″. I started with a vintage dictionary page, stamped an image from Stampin’ Up on it with Ranger Archival in Jet Black. This was covered with black superfine embossing powder and heat set . Water pens were used to color in the image, Distress Inks added color to the page the page. A harlequin stamp from Red Lead Studio added some more detail. I added some other images from Tim’s Lost and Found Stamp set (flimstrip and flying birds) to round things out. The dictionary page was placed between two sheets of brown packing paper and ironed until the embossing powder melted off and only the silhouette remained. (Faux batik technique…Sherry uses this a lot.) I then used a white Signo pen to outline the silhouette image because it looked a little lost on the page..
The dictionary page was sewn onto a piece of Graphic 45 ABC Primer paper which was triple stitched around the perimeter. Wonky stitching (yes, people, that is a professional term) was added to the distressed dictionary page. I splattered with ink, added distress stain, and used Studio Matte Medium to secure some dried ferns from my stash. Picket fence Distress Stain was added to an Idea-ology word stick. This was secured with twine. Bits and bobs were added, taken away, changed out, added, taken away….and I left the piece overnight to think about it. I really wasn’t sure if I liked it at all. But I sent a photo to my daughter Liz, and she said although it’s very different from what I usually do, she liked it quite a lot. OK. then we’ll finish it. And let the chips fall where they may.
I will tell you this, folks. Mixed media is a lot harder than it looks. I love watching online tutorials and I love the results these talented artists achieve, but until you give it a try, you have no idea how challenging it is to do a piece like this. But, it was fun, too. I felt like little locked doors in my mind were creaking open as I let go and just played with the inks and stains. It was a change, and you know what they say about that…a change can be as good as a vacation.
Why not get out your supplies and enjoy some playtime? Try something new, something different. One of these challenges would be the perfect excuse.
Don’t forget to leave a comment for Thursday’s Blog Candy. Today, I’ve added some vintage sheet music to the mix. Fun! Remember: you must be subscribed to this blog to be eligible for the blog candy. Here are the deets, in case you just found me:http://www.kathybydesign.com/a-valentine-for-sophie-and-blog-candy-alert/
Thanks for stopping by to read my little blog. Your comments never fail to make me smile!