She Art & Patchwork Collage

photo 3Today I am posting some mixed media pieces, ala Christy Tomlinson, that just keep the fun coming. This first piece is made up of a patchwork of little mementos and doodads. Did you ever see the SAturday Night LIve episode where the newscaster is describing the phenomenon of bits & pieces of cripcrap lying on various surfaces throughout a house? A hunk of wax, a penny, a piece of metal, a domino, lost now from the herd. Nerts. That’s what the newscaster names this stuff. I pulled out some random nerts and a glue gun and some paper and paints.
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It began as a 12×12 canvas, and I modpodged (thats a verb now) newspaper, wrapping paper, and even a deli bag on in sort of square shapes.
From there, I randomly edged out a subtle patchwork effect, adding doodles and some ink stamps.IMG_0623 
At this point, I picked out my favorite herts like the green domino, the guitar pick (Julian made about a ton of these after returning from Japan with a guitar pick-maker), a lense from a pair of glasses, a broken flower bit, and a piece of 4
I built up little layers of this and that, glue gun at hand.
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Finally, I arranged all the various nert clusters, over neutral or vibrant colors, whichever suited them best. I outlined them with black pen, to help them pop a bit.
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The other sort of piece I was working on a couple months back is from Christy Tomlinson’s “She Art” tutorials. I cut these house-shape pieces of wood, and began modge-podging on papers, added orange paint to sculpturing paste + stencil, and created a “girl”.
I used this ink stamper that leaves a techie globe which I love. I also used a picture of a red cardinal. I scraped orange sculpting paste through a circular stencil.
IMG_0724Coloring her hair and face were all-new to me. Painting faces! Yikes! Christy T. leaves most of her She-Art images “faceless”–which takes the pressure off. I was totally happy with this first attempt, and became obsessed with painting! To be continued…


Recrafting: Painting over mixed media mistakes


Here’s something to do with pieces that you don’t like: create a new piece, by painting over it.

Here’s a piece that was supposed to look like a tree, ended up looking like a fancy cake, and guess what? It doesn’t matter because I don’t like it.


I kept fiddling with it, adding a new color, more texturing, and still didn’t like it.


Thanks to Christy Tomlinson, over at Scarlet Lime, I learned a canvas recrafting technique! Unfortunately, I didn’t take photos of the process. In a nutshell, I chose a paint color, drew flower and leaf designs, and then painted around those designs.

You can also use old canvases from Goodwill or yard sales, too. I’m calling it recrafting.


A little doodling with white and black pens, and voila! This funky canvas, that originally didn’t come together at all, has provided tons of bits of color that now works.


Experiments with Mixed Media

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A Giving Tree

After trying tiny mixed media projects, ala Christy Tomlinson, I took a leap and did a bigger canvas of this tree. Here is a picture tutorial of the process. First, I chose fairly neutral papers, sheet music, dictionary print, and some textured paper for the bottom and applied with mod lodge. Then I painted the sky with acrylic paint “Sea Green” and the earth with “Limesycle”:



Next, I tore cardstock papers for the trunk, cut branches, and lots of leaves~ with different colors. I also cut out tiny flowers. I applied everything with modge podge, and then began outlining leaves with a pale blue felt marker. This helps the leaves and trunk “blend” to the canvas.


Next, a big leap. I Forgot to take pictures! Doodling is so hard for me. It requires letting go and swirling a black in pen in random little flourishes. Even words. I’m afraid of leaving big blotches that detract. Its so hard! But when they’re good, wow, they add so much relaxed flare. The doodling on this piece is just so-so. I got better 😉

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The final piece has is detailed with black pen, white ink, ink stamps, rub ons, touches of paint here and there, and some words to give it a mood, “cherish genealogy story,” which must have come to me after scanning in about 500 slides of my childhood family.

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I added the hearts and the butterfly later with a glue gun.

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Here’s another piece that weighs in at 2 pounds. What? Lol. This canvas has tried to be good many, many times over the years and styles I’ve put it through, and never made it. Today, its called “Laundry~enjoy your everyday life” and I finally like it.


It began with several kinds of papers and swabs of paint that I applied with fingers for more randomness and depth.


Cutting the dresses at the right angle, was the hardest part. Everything else was about doodling (also hard, but getting slightly easier), shading, rub ons, stamping with ink, and drawing the casual bird.


Its final effect is soft and lets the clothes feel soft too, blowing gently in the Spring breeze. Enjoy your everyday life…


DIY: Barnwood Headboard & Mantle

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Upcycling barn wood

I totally love building stuff myself. I realized recently that I’ve built a bunch of stuff in my yard and house and never posted it to my blog. Well here goes. We made this nostalgic and chic headboard out of recycled lumber from our favorite REStore. Its measurements are almost perfect for our king size bed.

Here’s how we did it:

Scrub and sand boards. Then lay them out in a pattern you like. I used 2 pieces per slab, cutting unevenly. I used a side board to line them up.

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Then we flipped the each board over, to maintain the pattern, while beginning to screw small pieces to the back for supports. Then screw the 2 vertical trim boards to the sides and stand it up.

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The Mantle

This took a face piece, a wide top shelf piece, and two small pieces. Then I added some trim to finish it.

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From here, its hard to tell, but the backside of the mantle is hallow, creating an opening for mounting. I turned it right side up and added the long plank to the top with glue and screws on the edge of the under board.

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Then came a coat of white-wash made of white paint and water 50/50 was enough to get that antiqued quality.

Next comes a hard part. Making compound miter cuts. Confusing. Crazy making. I suggest going to UTube and watching a video. Then, its doable with some scratching of the noggin.

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My guys installed it: first, we horizontally hung a 2×4 (with a stud-finder) to the bare wall. Then we slid the “box” with no back over the 2×4 and screwed it in tight. Next, we measured the headboard and screwed a 2×2 into the studs. Then we heaved the headboard up onto the 2×2 and screwed in several 3 inch nails.

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I placed vases, candlesticks, and some canvases of me and my hubby on the mantle. I loved building this thing, and we love the romantic barnyard feel it brings to the room! Just kidding.