Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Explore Autumn

Hello there everyone and Happy Fall ya'll! I sure hope you all are enjoying each day to the fullest. Autumn makes me think about Giving and getting together with family, not to mention having a bountiful harvest. My Grandmother has been in the wheat business for years, and the farm has been passed down through generations. Wheat, corn, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, hay rides and so much more are starting here in my neck of the woods and that got me thinking about what to design for Autumn. Here is my canvas:
Today is the start of a new challenge at Anything But Cute and our wonderfully talented Autumn of Sew Paper Paint is our Hostess. She chose the theme of "An Autumn Day" and describes it as follows:
"I could not help but choose October as my month to hostess here at Anything But Cute. This month, we want to see your creations inspired by An Autumn Day.  Anything goes mixed media with an fall color palette, or Autumnal elements.  Be inspired by nature with the sights, smells, and sounds of this beautiful season.  We cannot wait to see the amazing artwork you turn out!"
Perfect theme for this time of year in my part of the world. I started with a flat canvas and then laid down some stencil work using matte texture paste. While the paste was still wet I sprinkled on some clear glitter, and because I am an impatient person, I used my heat tool to help the paste dry faster. :) After it was all dry I added multiple colors of distress inks and kept blending until I was okay with it.
Next came all the embellishments. I was gifted this orangish burlap and had to use it on this design. I cut it into strips and glued it to the canvas with a hot glue gun. 
I pulled some of the threads from the burlap to give it a distressed look and then got my acorns out. I gathered these while visiting my Grandmother for Thanksgiving last year and to celebrate her 90th Birthday. I did have to glue the acorns back into their shells. Hehe! 

The rest of the embellishments are picks from various stores. I added and altered and layered until it looked right to me. 
The bows were made with some leftover ribbon and jute. Those bows took forever to make but persistence pays off. 
The corn husk was inked up and fringed up a bit. The husk part was lightly misted with water and cut into smaller sections that I could curl back. The devil is in the details right? Yeppers.
A couple of metal elements were added and the word "Explore" was added because the cooler days mean exploring more of my town. And voila! Done. Hopefully you all are staying warm and enjoying your day. Carpe Diem! Hugz! ~Niki

I would enjoy sharing this design with these challenges: 

I am celebrating Fall and the harvest of the wheat crop. Not to mention the celebration of the upcoming Holidays. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Vintage Travel Tag

Hello dearies! I hope you are all well and good. We are having cooler weather in my neck of the woods. I miss the 90's and above but most people seem to enjoy the 70's. I spent a little bit of time in my art room to create a new tag for our challenge over at SanDee&Amelie's Steampunk challenge where of theme is Anything Goes Steampunk/Industrial. I haven't created a tag for what seems to be months so thought I would see what happened.
I started with a Kraft tag and added an Andy Skinner stencil with DI.
 Then layered the word panel stamped with an Artistic  Stamper word stamp, heat embossed and crinkled on top of the tag. Then swiped some distress ink over it and around the edges. The metal trinkets were glued with glossy accents. The metal sentiment was adhered with rusty wire and glossy accents. 
I heat embossed the little car with champagne EP and fussy cut it to fit the bottom of the tag. The stamp was a gift from Bubbles aka Pamellia @ mylittlecraftthings. The windows were colored with a black marker.

Hope to see you try your hat at anything Steampunk and be in the draw for some wonderful prizes! Hugz! Carpe Diem!
I would like to share this tag with these challenges:

Monday, September 5, 2016

Pixie Coffin or something else?

Hello lovelies! Seems like I have an adventure to tell! I was diggin up my grass to plant a new flower garden and came upon this enchanting little surprise! Do you believe in Pixies and dream about fairytales? I just might after seeing this! I call it Mortem Lectulo. In Latin this means death bed. I'll tell the story in a sec...
Today starts a new challenge at Anything But Cute and the lovely sweet Branka from Vintage Handmade is our hostess. Yippee! Our theme this month is one that many of you will enjoy: FRIENDSHIP! Yeppers! Let's celebrate those near and dear besties! Branka described the challenge as so,"Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people. We want you to show us a mixed media creation that's inspired by friendship. You can create anything, from tags to art journal pages but make sure it's a mixed media piece. Let's celebrate friendship together!"

As I said my friend (Jazmin, my furry BFF or 15 years. She's a mixed breed little 8lb dog with a heart of gold!) and I were digging, she did most of the diggin, and we stumbled upon this little coffin. I couldn't wait to open it! Like Pandoras Box, I just had to! The outside was decorated with a green watchful eye and some intricate scrollwork. So cool! With baited breath I carefully opened the box. Trumpets sounded and a little pixie laugh was heard! Jaz and I looked at each other in wonder. The first thing I saw in the coffin was a little bottle with what looked like a note in it! 
I was busy taking pictures of everything to share with you all and right when I opened the coffin it started raining! Coincidence? Maybe. Anyway, I brought the note inside and tried to decipher it. Here is what I think it says:
 "My Dearest Daughter,  
As a Pixie you may encounter other
creatures that aren't like us,
and wish you harm. As King
of the Pixies, I have made these
coffins called Mortem Lectulo,
 to help protect my offspring. 
Use each potion wisely,
the sword bravely,
and trust your heart. 
Beware the ones who have
no reflection! 
If bitten, drink the large red potion
and pray. 
Go forth with honour and courage. 
Your adventure had just begun!"
Wowzers! Looks like Jaz and I found a warriors protection coffin! Weird and different but very interesting.
Here is what else was in the coffin. And who knew Pixie's spoke a bit of Latin?!
Little potion bottles, the bravely swung sword, some little wooden stakes and the scary red liquid in the larger bottle! The green fabric it all sets on feels like silk and so luxurious! You can tell she was a Princess with good taste, as was her father. Wonder where she went? Jaz chased something off when we first opened the box, wonder if it was the Princess? Guess we may never know......

After much research on this little gem I think I know how her father made it. The outside was coated with a chalky sort of paint and then a twisted citron green ink was added to the edges. The brown looking stuff has to be artisan powder! 
The scroll design looks to be coated with the citron and the powder as well. The jewel is probably a family crest with the green eyeball (maybe a dragon eye?). The inside padded top and bottom had to have been made with the help of batting and a template like this one. Notice the little notches that were cut out to help in placement of the template to make sure it fit well. Such a smart King!
Looks like these Pixies were very intelligent because the padded parts were hot glued to the top and bottom. The sword was embellished with some gems and pearls. These Pixies must be rich!
The scroll looks to have been stamped and heat embossed with a snow embossing powder and distressed by crumpling the paper and swiping DI over the entire thing.
It only makes sense for the red liquid to be a life reviving potion made from red berries know for their healing powders (today we call it chili powder ink).
The green stakes are as small as toothpicks but to a Pixie it probably fits her hand perfectly. Some people might know that these are what humans call toothpicks. :)

In conclusion, Jaz and I had a blast looking at this coffin. Just goes to show that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover or I would have maybe thought there was a dead little something in this coffin. BTW-here is a pic of my child "Jazmin". She is a rescue, a cutie pie and doesn't look like she is almost 16 years old! Aww! Loves her. 
Jaz and I wish you all a happy weekend! It is a holiday here and we are continuing with our gardening. We are making progress but this is what it looks like until tomorrow when we dig in again. Hand laying the brick edging is taking longer than I anticipated. Carpe Diem right?  

I would very much like to share this discovery with these challenges:

My furry "child" helped me find this and pixies are fun for any child! 

My fave is Jaz, chalky paints, coffins, and creating the unexpected. 

The stamping is on little scroll the King wrote. 

Fairy tales and dreams go hand in hand in my book. Pixies are magical creatures dreamt up by someone very creative and imaginative. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Shabby Garden Barn Doors and Peeled Paint

Hello there dearies! I am back after a month long break and ready to share with you all my newest design. I have been decorating my home and am wanting to put barn doors up in my kitchen and in my bedroom for a rustic vibe. It is on my to-do list but I needed to get the idea out of my head and with the new challenge over at Anything But Cute, I knew this was a win win situation. I give you my version of a Shabby Garden.

The doors are on hinges and open to reveal the secret garden elements inside. 
Lisa the Fantabulous, of Mermaid Crafts, is our hostess for this month at Anything But Cute #16, and the theme is inspired by her mood board of this Shabby Garden. 

Here is what she would like to see: For this challenge, we are asking you to take a stroll through a romantic shabby garden. Create any mixed media project strongly inspired by the mood board. Think flowers and plants in cracked pots, peeling paint bird feeders, distressed timeworn furniture, crumbling statues, soft pastels and feminine accessories. Don't forget to tell us how the mood board inspired your project and have fun!

This is an 8x10 reverse canvas. I used cardboard from a box to cover the front. I cut out the middle with an exacto knife. Then I added a Layer of white gesso and when dry peeled back some of the cardboard. Next came a layer of DecoArt white chalky paint. The inside lip of the canvas was painted with the chalky paint as well. 
While the chalky paint was drying (it really doesn't take long though) I started constructing my barn doors. I used the backing from a calander. The doors got the gesso and white chalky paint base. 

While many people use wax to create the peeled paint technique, I found it didn't give me the look I wanted (I really did try it). I randomly painted chalky paint (Relic and Turquoise) over the white base. Then tried the wax layer. Blah! 

So I re-did it with CHAPSTICK! Yeppers, I seem to have an abundance of Chapstick laying around and liked the smell (hehe!) so I swiped it over the areas I wanted to "crack and peel"! It worked like a charm and you can see the "cracks" it created after I painted over the Chapstick with the white chalky paint. 

After the top layer of paint is dry, take a sanding block and GENTLY sand over the areas you want to distress. This will reveal the colors below and creates a wonderful peeled paint shabby look! TIP-I also used this technique of the Chapstick on my shabby wall shelf in my bedroom! Works great! I also stamped a rose design using the shadow stamp technique. You can see these on the gram and the front and back of the doors. 

Anyway, I used a plain piece of scrapbook paper to make my background. I heat embossed a stencil design and a word stamp from the Artistic Stamper, then I scraped off some of the embossing powder before I used my hearing tool. I used white and grey EP. Then I grabbed a pipette and dribbled my shades of blue from the DecoArt media line and spritzed with water to create a watercolor effect. 

After the background was dry I added some stamped feathers, small flowers and sprigs. I used ink around the edges of the small white flowers to give some added blue color. 
And there you have it! My take on a Shabby Garden. This was a challenge and out of my comfort zone but it was a totally BLAST to design! Hugz and Carpe Diem!
Closed Doors
Sneak Peak! :)
Open Doors!

I would love to share this Shabby design with these challenges:

Some of my best moment this summer are planting new flower beds and learning how to make a butterfly friendly "bird bath" (you add flat marble stones to it so the butterflies can stay above the water)

The Artistic Stamper-Anything Goes

A Vintage Journey-Stencil It
I used the TH flourish stencil on the frame and the background inside the canvas

Mixed Media Place-Be Inspire by the mood board. 
I used the blues and the overall shabby feel of the board and was inspired by the over hanging tree path. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Time Moves On

Well it sure has been a busy time here at my house. I am painting and designing my master bedroom and is a big undertaking but the end is in sight! I really wanted to share this Time piece and stamping into modeling paste again. Fun stuff, this is sort of where my stenciling brayer technique came from. Anyhow, I altered this cover. It was black and white with a lot of poof to it, like it was stuffed with something and I figured it was TIME to change it. Lol.
I started with DecoArt black gesso, then some DecoArt modeling paste. Waited for it to dry a bit then grabbed lots of stamps and stamped away! Then added some skulls, an old door plate, some gears and some more skulls, and a pull handle. An eclectic mix but it makes sense in my brain. :) Then painted with black gesso again. This is an Andy Skinner technique.
I then applied a wash of Titanium white paint, let it dry, then a wash of my new favorite DecoArt color Prussian Blue Hue! Gorgeous color!!! I left some areas white for a nice ghostly contrast. 
Random spots of DecoArt Q-gold and Red Oxide. The Media line of acrylic paints from DecoArt are awesome sauce for layering. 
You may have noticed I left the drawer pull alone. This is a play on words. My Skellies and other pieces have been "aged" by time and have essentially died but metal stays around a lot longer hence the sentiment "timeless". Although I did apply some paint to see what it would look like, in the end I wiped the paint off.  Multiple dry bushing with Titanium white was done as the last step. This design took time because of the layers of paint and I wanted to try different colors. There was some Phthalo Green-Blue and Titan Buff but I covered those up. 
Hope y'all are having an amazing weekend and enjoying everything you do! Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki

I would like to share this altered cover with these challenges: 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Steampunk Bee Keeper Bracelet

Another awesome sauce challenge awaits at SanDee&Amelie's Steampunk challenge! This month as usual, it is Anything Goes-Steampunk/Industrial! We have some amazing prizes up for grabs but in order to win you have to play. Easy right? Yeppers! I started this process with no ideas and just created freely. Toilet paper anyone? Mine looks a bit different than most. Hehe! It's a Steampunk Bee Keeper bracelet!

I started out with a regular roll of toilet paper (minus the toilet paper) and cut it in half, then used a straight edge to make sure all of my edges were good. Then I grabbed some black Leather Paper from Sizzix (totally loving this stuff!) and ran it through an embossing folder. I glued this to the front of my toilet paper roll and spritzed the back with some water. While it was drying I put a few HEAVY books on it. 
Then I cut out some leftover fabric to fit the back of the toilet paper roll (the side that sits against your skin). That was glued with Tacky Glue, not something that I use a lot but glue that I will totally use again. 
I punched some holes on each side of the bracelet and used waxed thread to create my closure. Very hard to lace this up by yourself but somehow I managed. BTW-I have 7 tattoos. This one on my wrist is the day when I met my husband. V.II.MMX

The lace up step should have been done last as I had to take out the thread in order for the bracelet to lay flat while I used metallics paints, mica powders, LSG sprays and magicals. 

I then added by metal embellishments and glued this with glossy accents as well as using brads to help anchor everything. 

I do believe this turned out okay and may have to try my hand at a few more. Here is a side view. Yes, that is my arm and yes I have multiple scars on both of my arms. Scars always tell a story. :)

I do hope I have shared something new with you and have fun creating! Hugz and Carpe Diem! ~Niki

I would love to share this design with these challenges:

Bees come out midsummer in my neck of the woods.